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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 honestdave


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

Poured a 12oz bottle into an ale glass.

A: Appearance is gold to amber in color. Really nice thick creamy white head from a strong pour. Small carbonation bubbles rise into the creamy head. Good lacing down the glass.

S: Smell is more floral than citrus. Really fresh scent.

T: Slight malty flavor followed by a super satisfying bitterness from the Magnum, Perle and Cascade hops is a delight. Piney hop goodness!

M: Natural conditioning provides just enough carbonation to give this brew a refreshing medium mouthfeel.

D: Perfect session ale. I can drink several and still want more. Stays refreshing to the bottom of the ale glass.

Summary: This is the one beer that really got me into American craft beer. Absolutely one of my favorite ales. This beer provides really fine balance between the malts and ends with great hop bitterness. Everything one would want in an ale. Excellent!

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2010 21:18:16 | More by honestdave
Photo of Sam21


4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz into pint glass.

Appearance - Pours clear amber with a healthy white head. Excellent retention and good lacing.

Smell - Floral and citrus hop aromas as well as some bready malt.

Taste - Matches the nose. Fruitiness up frot with some bready malt in the middle. Nice balanced hop finish meshes nicely with breadiness. Good balance.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, smooth.

Drinkability - This is a fantastic American pale ale. An extrememly drinkable well-balanced beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2010 01:25:48 | More by Sam21
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.08/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a two finger white head that fades quickly to a thin layer leaving traces of lace. Crystal clear amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Citrus hop nose. Flavor is citrusy, no sweetness, light bitter hop finish. $1.60 for a 12oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2010 22:17:58 | More by jdhilt
Photo of darkmartin


4.63/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours to a clear golden brown with a heavy, thick tan head. Thick, sticky layer of lacing.

Smell: Smells very yeasty with some faint citrus hops.

Taste: Intensely complex flavor is initially quite shocking. The aroma suggests a fairly simple brew of yeast and citrus hops. However, the taste reveals an initial fruity, malty dependence that yields to a moderately bitter series of citrus hops that eventually give way to a dry, clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied beer that feels very clean in the mouth.

Drinkability: The beautiful golden color with an intimidating head, and the complex flavors presented in the taste, create an absolutely excellent pale ale. This will be kept in my fridge as often as it is sold.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2010 06:12:47 | More by darkmartin
Photo of albertjr21

New York

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

A: Poured from a 24 oz. bottle into a pint glass. A clear and light golden amber color under a dense foamy head.

S: An appetizing, good old fashion blend of yeast and Cascade hops beautifully represented in the nose.

M/T: A lively palate awakening occurs at first sip with a evenly distributed malt sweetness on the tongue that quickly makes way toward a robust hop bitterness and clean quenching dry finish.

D: With or w/o food, this is the classic American you can't go wrong with because of it's versatility with different cuisines and crisp refreshing drinkability.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2010 13:00:40 | More by albertjr21
Photo of bigrzman


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

I am reviewing this at a party. This has a a nice cascade hop smell with a nice pale malt back end. Citrusy and spicy. Orange peels and corriander. Good solid amber colr decent heas. Great on a summer day. Its a good beer with good drinkability. All around solid.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2010 23:52:20 | More by bigrzman
Photo of Baraka


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

Golden color with a solid head. Aroma is weighted heavily towards citrusy west coast hops, although there is a bit of malt balance. Features medium carbonation and an impressive hop bitterness (esp for a pale) that quickly overwhelms any malt present. Crisp and delicious, this is the ultimate session beer.

The quintessential example of an APA, SNPA is simple yet brilliant, and one of the beers that got me into craft beer in general. The perfect pale ale for a hophead as well as a great stepping stone to the world of hoppy beers.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2010 23:14:47 | More by Baraka
Photo of geryeb624


4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a golden amber with about 1 finger of off-white head.

S- Nice hoppy citrus aroma with some maltiness in the background.

T- Crisp and refreshing flavor. Starts out with a bitter hop kick and finishes with a nice, malty backbone.

M/D- Very nice feel with perfect level of carbonation. Very refreshing brew, and perfect for kicking back and enjoying with friends or a ballgame. Very well balanced, and easily sessionable.

Overall, this is a very good, very balanced pale ale, and one that I enjoy drinking in a number of situations. A classic of American craft brewing.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2010 02:28:35 | More by geryeb624
Photo of Sudsy89


4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle, chilled

Pours a pretty amber color, has a thick, white head that looks like shaving cream!

I noticed a bit of citrus smell and taste, along with a moderate amount of hops. Overall was very smooth, has a slight hop bitterness but definitely not too much for me. This would be a great beer for a hot day, it's refreshing and light but still has a good amount of flavor. Mouthfeel is nice, not too watery. I could easily go through a few of these, alcohol content is good at 5.65%.

I highly recommend this beer!

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2010 00:23:00 | More by Sudsy89
Photo of JohnnyBarman

Ontario (Canada)

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

From a 6 pack from ABC liquors in Tampa.

Pours a light amber, slightly murky, with a decent, sturdy white head. Good retention for a pale ale.

Nose is citrussy hops, bready malt, a touch of citrus and lemon.

A bitter, hop-dominated brew, with both citrus and earthy hops coming to the fore, but with a fine malty backing providing enough sweetness to make this highly drinkable. Notes of bread, caramel, grapefruit and lemon. Finishes bitter and tart.

Decent body, carbonation thoroughly covers the palate, allowing the hops to really pop.

A great example of the style. Would be a terrific go-to beer (if we would ever get this in Ontario, that is...) Great pick up.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2010 17:28:03 | More by JohnnyBarman
Photo of r0nyn

New York

3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance is good, a golden amber color with about half an inch of white frothiness at the top. Not too much lacing at all. Smell is of hops and yeast, with a slight undertone of citrus. Fragrant, but not overpowering. I was sort of expecting a similar bouquet to Troegs Nugget Nectar, but it just seems simpler and cleaner.

A big hoppy blast of bitterness starts it off, and never really goes away, even as the taste of the beer settles on the tongue. I caught some hints of citrus and some good malty presence, but the bitterness is always there and continues into the aftertaste. Not terrible, but definitely a little unbalanced in that department. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation that manages to retain a semblance of smoothness.

Drinkability is okay for me. Maybe I was spoiled by having Nugget Nectar first, but the bitterness was just a bit unbalanced, at least in my admittedly inexperienced opinion. It was by no means overpowering, just a little too... present in the taste without much else complexity. One is all I'd think I'd have in a given night.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2010 00:26:55 | More by r0nyn
Photo of steve8robin


4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle...

A: Medium copper color with hints of honey gold. Thick 1 inch white head that fades at a decent pace. Very good.

S: Earthy hops blended with some nice bready notes. Some light fruits on the backend. Decent.

T: Sweet bready malts upfront with hints of earthy hops in the middle. This brew blends very well with the flavors. Good.

M: Leave some decent flavors on the palate. Good.

D: Goes down super easy. Perfect.

All in all, this is a solid brew. A nice light summer drinker. I love big beers, but if I had to drink a light style, this one might be a way to go. Good to try if you can.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2010 05:18:50 | More by steve8robin
Photo of Star80


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

Bought a fresh 12-pack at the grocer store so felt was a fair time to finally review this ale. Definitely a classic beer which for me defines the pale ale style. The beer looks like a pale golden color, pours out with a lot of carbonation and effervescence. Nice thick head and clinging lace from the abundance of American hops. There is always some residual yeast in the bottom of the bottle from the bottle fermentation; I like this, and I try to swirl it into my glass. Smells like, well, hops and some biscuity maltiness, and despite the strong presence of hops I feel this beer is well balanced and very drinkable. This is a great beer to introduce the beer neophytes to the greatness of hops, and fortunately is widely available everywhere. God bless America.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2010 21:40:17 | More by Star80
Photo of pascopotter


4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Just new to the beer market. My brother in-law bought me a six pack of the Pale Ale to try out. By far, some of the best beer i've tried. I've tried a few Pale Ales, but none quitt as good as this brew. Would like to try more of the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. beer. Would highly reccomand this beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2010 23:17:11 | More by pascopotter
Photo of strangemusic

British Columbia (Canada)

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

The beer pours a very nice orange-amber with lots of evident carbonation and a 1.5 finger frothy cap.

It smells resinous and hoppy with some florals and the aroma of clean laundry, peach notes, and some yeastiness.

The taste is clean with some hop bitterness, honey, sweet biscuits and florals.

The mouthfeel is fantastic! It's creamy and soft and full in the mouth with a lovely smoothness and a crisp finish.

Drinkability is also good, though I shared a large bottle with a friend.

An all-around winner pale ale!

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2010 21:59:51 | More by strangemusic
Photo of Insomnicat

North Carolina

3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A really beautiful pale ale. The glass really showed off the carbonation and a good 2 fingers of fluffy white head

S - Smells flowery and hoppy

T - I'm only now starting to open up my tastes to beer, so it could have been that this beer was too hoppy for my tastes. It could be that my tastes are more malty than hoppy. All that I know is that it tasted hoppy like a kick in the teeth.

M - surprisingly crisp and refreshing! Definitely a superb mouthfeel.

D - I didn't have enough to really tell on drinkability, but I do know that it didnt fill me at all. That combined with 5.6% ABV and I would imagine this is a great session beer if you're used to the hops.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2010 03:29:04 | More by Insomnicat
Photo of hlgaskins


4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured from a bottle with a light amber leaning slightly toward copper tones crowned with a creamy two inch head that laced the glass with a wintry pattern, and it continued to lace the glass until it was empty.

S- Nice mild bouquet with a hint of citrusy hops and yeast dominating its aroma.

T-The taste of hops is just a little out front but not overpowering (just where I like it in pale ale). The flavors lean away from sweetness toward dry, less malty, which again is a characteristic I highly favor in pale ale. A moderate citrus and pine flavor topped by a well pronounced hops clearly comes through on the back of the palate which complement its well-balanced flavors.

M-Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a nicely carbonated beer that feels almost creamy to the mouth right to the end. Great on a warm summer day!!

D-This is a great alternative for fans of IPA's who are also looking to lower their alcohol intake, carbohydrates, and calories while holding onto some of the attributes that make IPA's such flavorful beers. It's becoming increasingly easy to find across the country which makes it a beer staple for those living in fringe areas with limited choice or traveling by vehicle. I purchase a lot of different quality beers over the course of the year, but this has become in a sense my house beer. I would not only buy it again but have been doing so for some time.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2010 20:58:18 | More by hlgaskins
Photo of DrewKid4

New Hampshire

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

A: Dark amber with mild carbonation and small but creamy white head with good lacing.

S: Slight hops with some roasted malt smells. Refreshing.

T: Hop kick at first, finished with roasted malts.

M: Good mouthfeel. Many hoppy brews leave the mouth rather dry but with a good balance with the malts, it leaves a neutral finish that begs for more.

D: One of the most drinkable APAs and great for being available anywhere.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2010 21:44:09 | More by DrewKid4
Photo of association330


4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this in my rotation for so long, it's about time I reviewed it.

12 oz. bottle, no freshness date.

A - Pours amber with yeast in suspension. A bubbly, two-finger head drops to a cap with a nice ring of foam and an average amount of lace.

S - Citrusy hops, pine sap, light caramel malt

T - Faint caramel note quickly gives way to a balanced, west coast hoppiness. Nice pine and citrus notes (particularly grapefruit rind). Swallow is plenty bitter, but not overly so for the APA style.

M - Medium-bodied. Lively, but smooth, carbonation. Very nice.

D - Want hops, but don't feel like dropping a ten-spot on a bomber of some tongue-walloping, ultra-limited imperial? This is your fix. Always a classic and available in the average grocery stores of just about every town of any significance nowadays.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2010 03:55:40 | More by association330
Photo of tealeaf


2.9/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

well i have tried this beer on two occasions only, and both times i was not impressed. maybe it is because i am not a big pale ale fan.

Its a nice rustic gold, amber color.

i picked up alot of hops in the smell, there may have been a little hint of citrus in there too. i actually really liked the smell of this beer.

the taste is what throws me off.
the hops sort of punch out in the beginning and theres an after taste of more hops with a little bit of fruitiness, to me at least.

like it may be because i am not a big fan of pale ale even though there is a few i enjoy.

for me this beer was bearable for about half a glass and after that i had to struggle to drink it.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2010 22:07:38 | More by tealeaf
Photo of dstc


4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a huge, foamy off-white head. Head falls very slow. Big sticky lace.

Rather clean smell, must be too cold yet. Flowery hops come through.

Nice taste. Wonderful hops, not too strong with a good malt base.

Medium bodied in the mouth, average carbonation and a mild bite.

Easy drinking, thirst quenching classic beer. Always enjoyed.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2010 17:11:38 | More by dstc
Photo of Bravo4


4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this straight from the bottle into a German seidel.

A- It has a rich golden, amber color to it with a 1-finger white head that disipates quickly. It leaves a nice ring of head around the glass and slight lacing. The lacing annd head seems to have a gritty texture.

S- My sense of smell isn't all that good but it definately has some citrus scent to it with a slight floral hops aroma. I also detect a minute amout of pine.

T- Like the smell it has a citrus/pine flavor with a slight hops bitterness. The bitterness of the hops isn't too agressive but it isn't overly lacking either.

M- It has decent carbonation and a creamy but not heavy feel.

D- It's definately a very drinkable beer. It would be one of my choices for a session. I would recommend this to someone who isn't familiar with pale ales or is used to American macros but it's also enjoyable for a seasoned pale ale vet.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2010 01:54:20 | More by Bravo4
Photo of Bfarr


3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear Copper amber with a big frothy tan head with broken lacing. A floral aroma with some sweetness. Nice malty, lightly caramel weetness balanced out with a fairly prominent floral/earthy flavor with light bittering finish. Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy for a pale ale.

Highly drinkable pale ale with a great bottle conditioned carbonation. Good hop presence for a pale ale but not overdone.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2010 00:31:40 | More by Bfarr
Photo of LacquerHead


3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into a Sam Adams pint glass.

It pours a nice amber color with a very slight haze. The brew produces a white foamy head that never dissipated. (The foam clung to the sides of the glass very nicely.)

The hops was the first thing I detected along with a slight citrus along with grain.

The taste was very smooth and the bitterness of the hops was not overly aggressive. There was a slight citrus, but for me straw and grain came through the most. The overall flavor reminded me of autumn. This was easy to drink.

This is the beer I would recommend to anyone who wanted to try a pale ale for the first time. The hops is a little mild for my taste, however, the smoothness and quality keeps me going back. This is just a well put together beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2010 14:30:20 | More by LacquerHead
Photo of mash4077

New York

4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a bottle into your standard 16oz glass.

A- Pours a dull copper/orange, with spots of gold in the light. Translucent with mild cloudiness. About a finger of head which disipates relatively quickly.

S- Hops are the most noticeable smell, right up front, with an orange scent coming out strongly as well.

T- Strong hops taste for the style, almost imediately, with less of an orange presence than expected considering the smell. Finishes off with playful maltiness and definite spicy flavors. Well balanced, all in all, but the hops do stand out on their own (in a great way). The malts are much more noticeable as it warms.

M- Definitely creamy, but not too heavy for the style. Well carbonated, but not overly fizzy. More "relaxing" than "refreshing".

D- Very drinkable, a midpoint between a session and an IPA. I'd reccomend it to timid macro-drinkers and Pale Ale enthusiastes alike.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2010 18:51:06 | More by mash4077
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 7,941 ratings.