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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

7,941 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7,941
Reviews: 2,659
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 102
Gots: 526 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Generous quantities of premium Cascade hops give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavor.

37 IBU

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 07-05-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 7,941 | Reviews: 2,659 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rpardon7


4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 Oz bottle with a nice foamy rocky thick white head, that slowly receded and left nice lacing the length of the beer. The color is a nice clean light amber with small trace of yeasty sediment. Smellis of toasty biscuity malt with a strong citrusy grass like hop ovetone. Taste is sweet biscuit malt up front with clean citrus hop and fuit with a nice clean dry finish of hops. The mouthfeel is light and clean and very smooth. Drinikability is very high on this beer. This is my go to beer during the summer months, great APA very nicely balanced beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2010 19:09:25 | More by rpardon7
Photo of mjurney


4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Golden amber color, clear with some sediment (from the yeast), lots of carbonation, beautiful rocky head, leaves a really nice lacing on the glass.

Very floral, hint of citrus and spice, sweet malts.

Floral-cirtus hops up front, touch of earthly-spice, along with semi sweet bready malts in the background. I could detect some hint of grapefruit in the middle. Smooth finish with slight dry floral aftertaste. Very refreshing. Light-medium bodied, carbonation feels great.

Very drinkable. Good example of an American Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2010 18:21:17 | More by mjurney
Photo of Zimbo

United Kingdom (Scotland)

4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been drinking this for years and have always marvelled at how such a widely available beer can be so consistently tasty. But it is the mouthfeel and taste which really capture me. That citrus chewy oily hoppy quality once the beer hits the tongue never fails to activate even the most stubborn taste buds. Sure it isn't a 240 hour IPA but the balanced lingering bitterness and reasonable alcohol gives the brewer no where to hide faults. Just as well that I've never found any worth mentioning apart from the fact that it is hard to have just one. So easy to find and enjoy and so rewarding. The consensus is growing but I still don't think it gets the respect it deserves.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2010 22:56:46 | More by Zimbo
Photo of BBMuffins


4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a beer that I've gone back to again and again as a great, refreshing summer beer.

Appearance - It's a nice golden color with fizzy carbonation.

Smell - Smells almost exactly like it tastes, a nicely toned bitterness with some citrusy grapefruit and perhaps a bit of an apple or orange peel scent. I know those are two distinct smells, but it has a bit of both. Apples might just be me, though.

Taste - Taste is as described for smell, exactly like a nice, juicy grapefruit and some malty undertones. It's such a well balanced beer, the bitter and the malts blend perfectly to provide a nice solid beer, while not overwhelming to a standard non-IPA or DIPA craving palate.

Mouthfeel - A pretty dry, fizzy drink. One of the more carbonated beers I've ever had. I love it.

Drinkability - This beer is an excellent example of an American Pale Ale, it's easy to drink, tastes great, feels great, and it's just a fantastic standard. I love this beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2010 10:54:44 | More by BBMuffins
Photo of bohemiandonut


4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

To begin unconventionally, the first thing that sets me off about this brew is the mouthfeel. It's incredible. Easily one of the most carbonated beers available. Taste is a bitter orange honey. This is the Superman of Champagnes.

It's easy to miss this beer, but it's also easy to misbeer and under-score the nuances of any these biologique treats. Grassy, yeasty and hoppy, SNPA earns its green belt. You go way back with this beer and you know it.

Kind of a fighter, this baby. So drinkable yet so direct. A statement neither overdone nor cheap. God bless Sierra Nevada, perhaps the most solid brewery in all the world. Unstoppable, beautiful ale.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2010 09:17:45 | More by bohemiandonut
Photo of imwalle


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving type: bottle poured into a tulip glass
First kind of pale ale i have ever drank.

Appearance: Yellowish/orange with a white head, no lacing

Smell: very floral due to the amount of hops in it.

Taste: yet again you can taste the hops. there was another taste in there but i could not put my finger on it, it may have been a bit of pepper but couldn't really tell.

Mouthfeel: it has a great mouthfeel with a little bit of carbonation. the more i drank it the drier it felt. it was crisp also

Drinkability: a very drinkable beer. This may become my new regular beer. it went great with the pizza i had while watching the football game.

Will definitively get it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2010 04:49:16 | More by imwalle
Photo of AEK

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355ml brown bottle poured into a Young's branded pint pot.

A. Yellow-bordering on orange in colour with a soft, pillowy white head.

S. Fruity malt, peppery spice.

T. Citrus fruit, bubblegum, sherbet notes. A slightly hoppy finish.

M. Medium bodied with some carbonation.

D. Quite a nice interpretation of a pale ale from the boys at Chico. A BIG improvement on their Porter I just had. Also, I appreciate this beer more than when I first tried it about 5 years ago. Like their Porter it is still lacking somewhat in the aroma/palate departments but would take this offering over the Porter.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2010 23:24:38 | More by AEK
Photo of CajunCavern


4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle - Nice golden, slightly orange color with white head. Citrus, particularly grapefruit and orange peel aroma. Loaded with fresh hops flavor, spicey, that good bitter smack finish. I used to prefer darker beers to American pale ales, but this beer is the one that changed my mind. This beer goes great with crawfish and pizza.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2010 19:00:01 | More by CajunCavern
Photo of gopens44


4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Revisited this beer, but previously I had only had it from a bottle, which was never a disappointment.

Poured from tap into a pint glass.

Great color, bold yet lighter yellow (does that make sense?). Nice head - thick at first,probably 2" that held together well for about half of the beer, then settled to a thin layer. No lacing

Smelled great - not too hoppy, not absent of any scents, just a good mellow yet bold smelling beer (there's another contradiction, eh?)

Tasted better than I remembered. Not too strong, but you know that you are drinking a well crafted beer. A little hoppy, but smooth and crisp. Temperature may have been a little too cold, but the glass was sitting on the ice strip on the bar. Still not anything to bitch about. Probably served at the same temperature that you'd find if you pulled it from a cooler. So, I guess this would make an excellent tailgating beer. Not too heavy, great taste, and certainly a better idea than any macro that most coolers are invaded by!

I'd buy this baby over and over again as an everyday drinker, no doubt about it!

Serving type: on-tap

08-18-2010 18:46:11 | More by gopens44
Photo of 89Vision


3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. This isn't what I usually drink, but I saw it in the grocery store and it made me thirsty, so I figured why not. I've had it before, though I didn't appreciate it then.

The appearance is a toasted golden color, with a very thin head. It has a bready pine scent that is pleasing, but subtle.

This beer is pretty damn tasty. While I'm not usually a fan of highly hopped beers, I enjoyed this one. It does have a fairly high bitterness, but its not unpleasant, and the hops give a nice pine, woody flavor, but doesn't become overpowering. I could see this beer being perfect for a camping or canoe trip.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2010 19:22:37 | More by 89Vision
Photo of scobeer


4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden amber colour is inviting with some really interesting citrus aromas. Very well balanced, the hops aren't overdone which makes it easily drinkable but still interesting enough to savour. Fair amount of carbonation gives a zesty feel. A renowned American IPA for good reason.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2010 04:51:56 | More by scobeer
Photo of VietPong


2.38/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I found this beer to be super bitter. I do like beers with a slight bitterness, but this definitely seemed overpowering. It wasn't as crisp as i expected and the aftertaste was bitter in combination with the beer. I traded it for something new and couldn't finish the first one

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2010 18:24:45 | More by VietPong
Photo of SFLpunk


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz brown glass pry-top bottle. Proprietary code on label.

Golden amber with thin off-white head. Crystal clear, leaving lots of lacing. Nose of earthy woods-y skunky deliciousness. Palate is crisp and bitter right off the bat. Woody hops, piney but not a lot of citrus. Some pink grapefruit or grapefruit zest anyway. Bitter bitter, bitter, but somehow insanely drinkable. Can drink this all night. I think it's because it's so clear.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2010 02:33:42 | More by SFLpunk
Photo of Casey10


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has started to become my go to beer as I was drinking a lot of IPA's I wanted to back down a bit and got back into this one. I never reviewed so I thought as I might as well now.

This is truly a a great beer it is easy to obtain perfectly golden and crisp and is super consistent. Also because of afordability and the ability to find this in a lot of places makes this one in my mind a top notch brew.

Sure it's not a hard to find or hopped up monster but anyone looking into geeting into craft beer or just chilling having a nice regular craft brew can do no wrong here.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2010 23:03:17 | More by Casey10
Photo of wcintula

New York

4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass with a nice big sticky yeasty head. Has strong citrus and floral hop smells with yeasty smells too, mmm. Strong hop-forward ale, with sweet notes. Strong carbonation in this moderate bodied beer. I drink tons of this poop, it's great.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2010 17:51:25 | More by wcintula
Photo of jdense


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle served over lunch at Palo Alto CA Municipal Golf Course, 8.13.2010.

Finger and a half white head, medium dissipation with above average lacing. Clear amber body, multiple streams of carbonation. Pretty big hop presence in the nose, floral, a a bit of citrus and resin, significant hop bill balanced by caramel/crystal malts. Taste mirrors nose, this is certainly one of the more hoppy APAs you'll find, bordering the IPA category. Smooth clean mouthfeel with good effervescence, a hint of stickiness. Tres drinkable. My buddy called this beer ubiquitous and for good reason. A standby whenever you travel, you know this is gonna taste good. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2010 15:05:12 | More by jdense
Photo of eclaycamp


4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Maybe the one beer that got me into craft beer 10 years ago or so. Pours a light golden amber with a nice fizzy white head. Looks beautiful in the glass. Aroma is light citrus and grassy hops with some nice caramel malts in the background. First taste is both familiar yet arresting at the same time. Just a brilliant brew. There's this great oily and piney hop character in the body and in the finish that's played out perfectly by the sweetness in the malt body. Wonderful semi-sweet finish. I've been getting back into Pale Ales recently, and this beer is probably the perfect example of what I'm looking for in the style. I really like this beer a lot, and tasting it again for the first time I've fallen back in love with it all over again.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2010 01:11:16 | More by eclaycamp
Photo of thasnazzle


4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - slightly cloudy deep amber with a small head that sticks around the glass

S - Sweet citrusy notes with just a hint of pine.

T - citrus pine-y floral hoppiness in abundance with what I have always thought is a smidgen of blueberry in the background, a tiny bit of malt, finishes with a dry bitterness.

M - At once crisp and refreshing, goes down smooth and finishes dry.

D - I could drink these all day and all night.

Everything in this brew is fine-tuned to perfection. There is definitely a reason it's so widely seen as the standard-bearer for pale ales.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2010 01:57:13 | More by thasnazzle
Photo of uhhhaaron


4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

consumed 03-03-2009, 12oz bottle into pint glass

appearance: pours a golden honey color with a fluffy 1.5 finger head.

smell: pines, citrus, caramel/sweet malts, & a toasty biscuits. good balance.

taste: upfront is the citrus flavors, some bready notes, sweetness from the malt & caramel. then the piney hop bit for the finish. nicely balanced with a smooth finish.

mouthfeel: smooth, somewhat creamy. ideal carbonation with a light to medium body.

drinkability: Very drinkable and a great session brew.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2010 09:39:12 | More by uhhhaaron
Photo of grittybrews


4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a rich orange into a Duvel tulip with an inch of clinging white head. Slightly sweet citrus aroma with a hint of caramel.

Moderate carbonation and a light mouthfeel. Sweet caramel malt flavor followed quickly by a mild grapefruit bitterness. Nothing too assertive, but well-balanced, light, and easy-drinking. The hop profile wasn't quite as lemony as Sierra's Summerfest, but this one was equally suited to a summer evening.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2010 06:22:48 | More by grittybrews
Photo of AleWatcher


3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into standard pint...

I've been drinking this for a few years, so I figured now that is in the Top 100 list (context: minimum reviews was changed to 1000 in order to be considered a top 100 in the world beer), I felt it was time to review it!

This brew pours a coppery color with orange hues and an off-white head of three fingers that had respectable retention. Thick glaciers of lace cling in huge slow moving masses of micro bubbles.

Smells of a sweet malt-- like a Hawaiian bread and sweet caramel note. The hops come across as mostly citrus and floral. The nose translates well on the taste with a good upfront sweetness that gives way to a grapefruit and citrus hip note with a slightly spicy floral note towards the finish. The finish is clean and pleasant.

Nothing rough or uneven about this beer-- very well balanced and easy to drink. There is probably a reason that this is one of the biggest gateway beers into the world of craft-- it is a mighty fine beer.

The body is medium with decent carbonation. I'd actually prefer a little more carbonation, but this is certainly respectable.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2010 01:40:47 | More by AleWatcher
Photo of drinkiusmaximus

New York

4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a Golden color with slight amber tint fingers width head not much lacing to speak of.

S-Hops,piney with a slight citus scent.

T-piney Hop bitterness not much malts to speak of not much needed as the bitterness does not linger.

M-light to medium a nice crisp refreshing brew.

D-This for me would be nice on a Hot Summer Day when I am looking for a nice hop slap but don't want to be weighed down by a heavier beer. This is my go to for a Pale Ale!


Serving type: bottle

08-09-2010 01:05:21 | More by drinkiusmaximus
Photo of tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Fluffy, eggshell white head of about two fingers. Going down slow but leaving nice lacing. Golden colour with carbonation towards the heavy end of the spectrum.

S - Nice aromatic hops. Piney.

T - Lot's of hop bitterness up front mixed with a little bit of maltiness and decent bitterness lingering. Yummy. Not as well balanced as I'd expect but the presence of the malts is good. Finishes really piney but starts with a really nice, mellow hop flavour.

M - Light to medium body. Can't feel any carbonation in the mouth.

D - This is a good hop fix. Really nice and piney. I like some more citrusy hops but I could drink a few of these.

There's a reason this beer is the benchmark for the style. Totally smashes the Old World definition of pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2010 00:57:03 | More by tbeckett
Photo of rtepiak


3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a surprisingly good beer when it sits. i've had this before and it wasn't so promising. this has been sitting around for about six month and spread the hop range. nice citrus... not astringent but a nice mild apple and grape along with the floral clean palate in the finish. although the carbonation is sufficent... the malt is too lean for the yeast quality and it has a fingernail yeast flavor. although its extremely easy to find.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2010 03:04:33 | More by rtepiak
Photo of newcastleme


3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was an excellent ale. The only problem is that it may be too sweet of an ale.

Appearance was a pale standard ale.

The smell was moderately sweet.

Taste was the most appealing factor of this beer. It was strong with nice hints of fruit.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and not to strong.

I would drink this beer again and feel it has incredible potential for food pairings. I would pair this with seafood and some chicken dishes.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2010 03:01:35 | More by newcastleme
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 7,941 ratings.