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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.

8,501 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,501
Reviews: 2,680
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 120
Gots: 807 | 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
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Ratings: 8,501 | Reviews: 2,680 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JayQue


4.38/5  rDev +8.4%

The beer that started it all for me. Back in 2005, I asked the hotel bartender in La Jolla for "something different". He said try this local beer. No more BMC for me after that. I was going to save the review for something significant but six years is long enough!!!

Poured this old friend into a pint glass. Pours a light copper/golden color with a big white head on a hard pour. Retention is good and there are some rings of lacing on the glass.

Aroma is citrus hops, very nice. Taste is great. This is the quintessential every day Pale Ale. Nice balance between malt and citrus/piney hops with the hops leading the way. A good hops bite but overall subdued bitterness, a true APA not a mis-labeled IPA. A few of these at one sitting is a beautiful thing.

Mouthfeel is rich, crisp and provides a good hops bite within an overall balanced APA. Overall a great beer and one that is available everywhere to be enjoyed. Like Old Rasputin, the wide distribution should have no bearing on how good these beers are.

10-29-2011 18:55:10 | More by JayQue
Photo of hoptualBrew


4.4/5  rDev +8.9%

100th review! Chose to save this classic brew for my 100 - just an amazing beer & available nearly everywhere. Gotta love Sierra Nevada for putting out a quality product on such a large scale.

12oz bottle to my Duvel goblet. Crystal clear rich copper color with a stacked off white head that laces the sides of the glass. Very nice here, looks refreshing! Waited a minute to let the yeast settle on the bottom of the bottle then pitched it in as well. Yeast floaters all over it, suspended in the brew as if time has frozen.

Mostly all floral hops and pale malts in the nose along with a light caramel like sweetness. Not overpowering in aroma, but just enough to make a statement & claim itself as an APA.

Hop bite up front - floral with a good amount of lemon and a light nutty caramel malt backbone to fill in the skeleton. Mouthfeel is smooth & mildly "soap-like" aftertaste, but in a good way (if that makes any sense).

Overall, this is an absolute staple to the craft beer world & was one of my first true craft beers. It holds a sentimental place in my heart & on my palate.

10-27-2011 02:23:41 | More by hoptualBrew
Photo of kdawg105


5/5  rDev +23.8%

Excellent Pale Ale! Sorry Sweetwater must say they have you beat in this department. This is a smooth beer with a bite of hops in the finish. It has a great flavor with a orange rind punch. I really like this Pale Ale It is very light bodied mouthfeel and a very nice and refreshing clean finish. Very good brew would recommend anyone try it.

10-24-2011 23:12:59 | More by kdawg105
Photo of TheMultiYeast


4/5  rDev -1%

Golden orange with a white head that eventually settles.

Clean grassy floral hops and pine dominate the scent with a bit a malty sweetness after sniffing around.

Fresh moist hops are immediate on the tastebuds, grapefruit galore, but very well balanced with malt sweetness. Light prickly bitterness afterwards.

This is a Pale Ale that is very drinkable yet flavorful, wouldn't mind having several.

Overall this is everything a Pale Ale should be. Kept within it's limits, but loaded with character.

10-22-2011 03:27:41 | More by TheMultiYeast
Photo of fsvan


4.28/5  rDev +5.9%

Bottle poured into New Belgium globe.

A- Bright golden, with a tinge of orange. Lively carbonation leads to a couple fingers of barely off white head. A lovely looking beer.

S- That piney hop smell that dominates many of the SN hoppy beers, but not without a malt backbone to stand up to it to keep it in check. Barely. Slight citrus notes lurk behind, but you have to bury your face in there to make them peek from behind the pine. A superbly hoppy smell for an APA.

T- Piney hops again dominate, in a way I always expect from SN pale/IPAs. As with the smell, the hops are backed by a nice amount of maltiness, but not too much.

M- Medium bodied, perfectly carbonate.

O- SNPA is the quintessential American pale ale, the forerunner of the style. Is the absolute best? No. But after years of challengers coming forward, SNPA still stands its ground, refusing to budge an inch. That this is so affordable and so easily attainable makes it easy to forget how good of a beer this really is.

10-22-2011 00:37:45 | More by fsvan
Photo of atis


4.4/5  rDev +8.9%

Pours golden/copper with half finger head that dissipates to patchy layer, almost no lacing. Aroma is caramel malt with significant presence of citrus hops, simple and beautiful.

Taste is sharp citrus bitterness with hints of salt, nicely balanced by slightly sweetish malt. Long lingering piney/grassy hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium with medium/high carbonation.

Not bad at all.

10-20-2011 19:53:42 | More by atis
Photo of redblacks75


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

A: Exactly what I want from a pale ale. A copper hue best describes the color on this. There is a thin head to it I can best describe as off-white. No lacing to report.

S: Caramel, pine, malt, dough. It's appropriate for this style.

T: Bitter, balanced between the hops, and malt. Slightly acidic.

M: Thin, dry, the fizz is noticeable.

O: It's very hard to argue the quality of this with the price point. When people ask about the first craft beer they should try, I usually steer them towards this. It's not extreme by any means, yet is solid. It's a well constructed ale.

10-16-2011 21:24:03 | More by redblacks75
Photo of D11


3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

from bottle into pilsner

A- a golden yellow with slight copper color, decent white head that lasts.

S- hops, and some caramel maltiness

T- i tasted mainly hops. seems like you get 'everything all at once' when u taste it.

M- has a good mouthfeel. maybe a tad thin at the end of the drink though.

O- great beer, also easy to find. could drink this regularly.

10-16-2011 03:18:40 | More by D11
Photo of Ruger


4.13/5  rDev +2.2%

A - Pours a hazy copper color with a perfect off-white two finger head.

S - Piney hops and citrus.

T - Really balanced, a bready sweet start with a perfect crisp hop aftertaste.

M - Perfect carbonation with a light to mediumish body.

O - Would be an amazing session beer.

10-12-2011 03:45:56 | More by Ruger
Photo of LeeryLeprechaun


4.13/5  rDev +2.2%

The beer is a nice orange gold color with a lovely head that lingers.

The aroma is hoppy and piney with a little hint of caramel hop.

The flavor is at first sweet with some caramel hints and finishes with a nice hop bitter bite.

The mouthfeel is medium and beer is well bodied.

Overall this is a wonderful session beer. It is refreshing and not to radical in any one direction.

10-12-2011 00:14:43 | More by LeeryLeprechaun
Photo of phichifiji00


4/5  rDev -1%

Poured into pint glass.

Appearance: Golden in color. Pours about 1 inch of thick, foamy white head, that slowly fades over a few minutes. Moderate amount of lacing.

Smell: Hoppy, Citrus, Pine resin, floral, hints of caramel and malt.

Taste: Hoppy, citrus, pine resin, spicy (almost a saison/farmhouse quality) malty towards the middle, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: light-medium bodied, lots of carbonation, smooth, bitter finish.

Overall: A very drinkable, well executed pale ale. Everything is well balanced for the style. Just damn good.

10-10-2011 17:01:07 | More by phichifiji00
Photo of aorloski


3.6/5  rDev -10.9%

A - thin tan, pale brown, i respect this beer so much
N - light hops, more on the bread side, one of the better smelling pale ales
T - malty, bready, hops are in the back not the front but in a good way. like i said, this beer has a lot of respect to me, it is very easily drank as a beer advocate.
M - thin, carbonated
O - literally the best session beer for a hop head.

10-10-2011 01:14:06 | More by aorloski
Photo of wvsabbath

West Virginia

4.1/5  rDev +1.5%

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Tan dark brown, 1/2 creamy head, some lacing.

Smell - Floral hops, yeasty, Grassy, bready, some light carmal malts.

Taste - Crisp hoppy mixed with some yeasy and a nice malt backbone. The yeast adds a farmhouse ale like feel to it. Floral hops add some bitterness. Theres a nice spice/lemon flavor mixed in also.

Mouthfeel - Its fairly light and very smooth. Tounge gets bittered from the hops and yeast. Palette is coated with same bitterness and a little bit of malt. Aftertaste is bitter and dry but nothing too harsh at all.

Overall - The flavor, the price, the avaibilty, you cant beat this beer. Its a simple beer, theres nothing special about the flavors, its just a straight up pale ale made very well.

10-09-2011 21:46:03 | More by wvsabbath
Photo of wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

12oz bottle poured into pint glass

A clear golden orange with some tiny suspended particles and only a few bubbles but a long lasting thumbs width of head that leaves several rings of lace well down the glass

S some citric and floral hops with some caramel malt

T a little bready and lemon rind on top of what I smell, good example of the style

M much thicker then expected and much more bubbles then one would guess from so few visible bubbles in the glass, right on in this area

O no complaints with this one it would be in my regular rotation if I could get it around here

not a bad way to get a hop fix without getting smashed, this is about the best thing I could find on the Vegas Strip pretty solid stuff though

10-06-2011 21:46:27 | More by wordemupg
Photo of ccm414


4.28/5  rDev +5.9%

Poured from the 16oz bottle...

A- Light copper/amber in color. Very crisp and clean looking. Pours with a nice 2 1/2 finger head that recedes at an expected pace leaving a nice lace around the glass.

S- Mostly a floral hop aroma with some light caramel sweetness. It may be the glass or my nose tonight, but I almost pick up a mildew type smell that's very faint.

T- Sweet caramel malt up front that is quickly balanced with piney hops. It is dancing with being almost too bitter, but man does Sierra Nevada do a great job.

M- Clean and crisp. Nicely carbonated. Almost a creamy finish. Leaves you wanting more.

D- VERY drinkable. This one is a beer that I return to over and over again. Love this one. Sierra Nevada really did a great job here.


10-05-2011 22:17:43 | More by ccm414
Photo of MbpBugeye


3.1/5  rDev -23.3%

Clear amber gold. The head is sticky, leaving tons of white lacing. It fades to a pillow, fueled by tie laser etched Perfect Pint.

The smell is straightforward. Lightly doughy malts under floral hops.

Sweet floral and citrus hops start things off nicely. A toasted grain malt presence takes things until some bittering pine finishes it.

Very sharp carbonation, its way too much for me. The body isn’t too thin though.

Not the end all and be all pale ale, like everyone claims.

10-04-2011 05:38:56 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of Malt


3.83/5  rDev -5.2%

Poured this beer from the bottle to a mug right now. The head started out thick but quickly faded. Nice color. Has a mild citrus/hoppy smell. There is very little carbonation. I am not really into having sediment on the bottom but I will manage. Has a mild bitterness for taste. Overall this is a great beer for a gathering or as some would say, a kick back.

09-27-2011 03:40:53 | More by Malt
Photo of Crundy


4.03/5  rDev -0.2%

appearance: clear golden honey color, light beige head about half a finger

smell: citrus, slight malt, pretty feint aroma

taste: quite bitter, malt flavor, very slight alcohol flavor, a dry cirtus taste remains in the mouth

mouth feel: smooth, very bitter taste, good carbonation, medium body taste

overall: Good beer, more on the bitter side, I probably wouldn't buy it for myself but wouldn't turn it down if it was offered to me.

09-27-2011 01:35:24 | More by Crundy
Photo of SeattleBeerBlog


4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

Grew up on this stuff and figured I should finally make a formal review!

A- Great light copper Color, slightly hazy from bottle conditioning and dry hopping but still very clear, nice one inch head that dissipates a little too quickly but great lacing and a tad bit of white head remaining.

S- Grapefruit, pine, sweet malt, floral. awesome pale nose

T-Bitterness hits right up front with great grapefruit, pine, citrus notes supported by a great dry malt backbone, lingering bitterness is great, much hoppier than I remember, and so tasty.

M- nice carbonation (perhaps a bit low but good) and alcohol level is unnoticeable, medium bodied.

O- there is a reason this is one of the top selling beers in the US. It was the first American Pale Ale in the world and is still a fantastic beer, I don't drink this as often as a should and it is so good out of the bottle (Kegs are CO2 conditioned). Best pale hands down.

09-27-2011 00:20:07 | More by SeattleBeerBlog
Photo of mocktm


4.05/5  rDev +0.2%

Review #100! Good to see it'll be one of the beers that really started it all for me.

Golden orange hue, sports a creamy white head that clings well to the glass. Some sparse sediment is in the bottom of the bottle from the bottle conditioning.

Earthy floral like aromas up front, mixed with orange rind and some spiciness to complement the malt backbone. Meshes really well to create a very favorable balance.

As with the nose, a variety of flavors combine their efforts to produce a hell of a beer. Moderate spice and citrus underneath an assertive hop bite, all atop a malt sweetness that acts admirably to round it all out.

Medium bodied and slightly creamy, this beer just tastes incredibly clean, like mineral water. A widely distributed semi-main stream gateway beer; as sessionable as it gets.

I honestly don't know if there is a better beer that gets the distribution this one sees. Next time you have a buddy reaching for a BMC, hand him one of these instead, I doubt he'll ever go back, Cheers!

09-26-2011 00:12:55 | More by mocktm
Photo of crzyc

Rhode Island

4.22/5  rDev +4.5%

Bottle into pint glass.

A: Light head, a little lacing. Cloudy light amber body.

S: Orange, citrus.

T: Malt and orange up front with hops, spicy finish.

M: Nice carbonation, full bodied taste.

O: Very good APA, will never turn one down.

Six Pack Pier LQ

09-25-2011 19:28:38 | More by crzyc
Photo of breakofdawn


4.72/5  rDev +16.8%

I'm going to be a bit biased here: this is my all-time favorite beer. But to be honest, the first time I tried SN Pale Ale...I hated it!

Beer pours a golden/orange color. Some lacing left on the side. Smell of hops and pine notes.
More hops upon tasting, not overwhelming, but enough to get the point across. More pine notes, maybe a hint of citrus (almost grapefruit-esque). Some malt and barley mixed in as well.

Dry mouthfeel, definitely has you wanting more!

Overall, an impressive 4.5/5. Highly recommended, and a fine beer to enjoy year round.

09-25-2011 01:16:11 | More by breakofdawn
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac


3.85/5  rDev -4.7%

Bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a bright golden hue and settles into a slightly darker yellow with a puffy white cloud of head and just the right amount of retention.

S: Aroma is lightly malty with crisp sweetness, just a touch of yeastiness and has some lingering hop bitterness with citrus and pine notes.

T/M: A medium to high amount of carbonation and a bright, brilliant body. Some slight bitterness is introduced up front followed by a refreshing bit of citrus hop and a biscuity, pilsner-like finish.

Not exactly a complex brew, but very revitalizing; the ideal pale ale. This is the go-to beer when you want something light.


09-25-2011 00:30:44 | More by TheBeerAlmanac
Photo of vancurly


4.33/5  rDev +7.2%

Amber, frothy white head, which persists, nice bubbles from the bottle.
Aroma of grapefruit, caramel, marmalade.
Big malt hit initially, with citrus & lychee, followed by caramel, with the bitter finish. It's a like a parade in your mouth.
The overall effect is one of finely-tuned balance.
For me, this beer was becoming mythical.... so much good written about it, but I couldn't find it in Australia. Finally, I came across it, at the excellent Leura Cellars. One of the best Pale Ales I've ever had.

09-23-2011 06:35:23 | More by vancurly
Photo of endovelico


4.63/5  rDev +14.6%

Poured into Nonic glass. Reviewed under medium high natural light. Best before 14/08/11. Reviewed on 22 / 09 / 2011.

Appearance: Pours a hazy orange-copper brew with small off white head that collapses immediately leaving a medium size cap. High apparent effervescence. decent lacing.

Smell: Medium high intensity aroma. One would expect a trampling grapefruit/lemon aroma, but this isn't the case at all. Excellent balance of brisky aromas, grapefruit, lemon, light malts, caramel, flowers, pine, maybe a touch of grass. It's so lively and imponent yet balanced and delicate.

Taste: Medium intensity. Obviously, you're going to be getting hops, the thing is you get so many layers of flavours from the hops alone, that you cant help but feel marveled at the complexity achieved.

You get the citrusy flavors, you get resiny flavors, you get some of the pine and briskeness from the malt. Having said that, these are pretty common notes associated with american-hop heavy brews, the key, in my opinion, is in the fantastic balance. Each sip brings forth a different more evident note, to the point that you feel you're drinking a variation of the same brew each time.

Mouthfeel: Medium to Medium high bitterness (it would probably be higher if it were fresher). Medium bodied. Medium carbonation. It is coating and goes down smooth leaving a earthy / citrusy aftertaste.

Overall: Great example of what a APA should be in my opinion. It's so well balanced and rich and you can't really expect vast creative intrepretations of an APA so i really cant fault it for not having a unique over the top gimmick tecnique, ingridient or flavour. It's an APA, and it's a darn good example. Thank you Sierra Nevada Brewing co.

09-22-2011 15:22:01 | More by endovelico
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,501 ratings.