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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.

8,559 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,559
Reviews: 2,682
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 122
Gots: 831 | 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: 8,559 | Reviews: 2,682 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jonb5

United Kingdom (England)

4/5  rDev -1%

350ml bottle. Poured into peroni glass. Foamy head but I couldn't quite gauge it because of the glass. Pale copper colour, clear. English hops aroma, possibly cascade. Tasted hints of bananas and gummi bears. Very nice balanced bitterness. Goes down so well, great mouthfull, lots of character. Top beer.

11-08-2011 13:17:45 | More by jonb5
Photo of ChadQuest


3/5  rDev -25.7%

The flagship for the style, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
Pour is a copper color with a quick showing of a head that settles down into a collar. translucent.
Aroma has some grains and cereal malts with cascade style hops. The flavors of 'Merica. Some citrus gives some brightness to this ale and the malts keep it about perfectly balanced.
Mouthfeel is crisp enough to meet my desires.

This is the base that all other pale ales get judged to.

11-07-2011 02:31:46 | More by ChadQuest
Photo of dansmcd


4.08/5  rDev +1%

A - A clear, light golden amber beneath a finger of bubbly head, and then spotty lacing.

S - Big floral hit, accompanied by hoppy citrus and a touch of pepper.

T - Floral and citrus flavours, particularly mandarin. Some mild hop bitterness.

M - Crisp and tangy. Moderate in terms of body and carbonation.

O - A modern classic. Very tasty and easy drinking.

11-05-2011 09:53:35 | More by dansmcd
Photo of davidjphillips


3.85/5  rDev -4.7%

Poured into a tumbler from a 12 oz brown bottle. It has a beautiful copper color with a nice head of creamy foam and a lacing that clung for some time.

Immediate citrus aromas, especially grapefruit. Also a floral (rose) scent with a hint of hops. Very pleasant smelling beer.

The immediate taste and mouthfeel of the beer is very smooth with enjoyable hops and citrus flavors. However, the end is a tad bitter and sharp.

Overall, this beer has a stunning appearance and a tempting scent, with a pleasant initial taste and mouthfeel. My only complaint would be the bitterness in the aftertaste, but nonetheless this is a great example of an APA.

11-05-2011 00:22:50 | More by davidjphillips
Photo of 18alpha


3.4/5  rDev -15.8%

I usually only drink this beer if I'm in a bar with no other craft on tap. I used to be a big fan of this beer but I think they changed their formula several years ago. It is still a good beer but not what it once was. It obviously didn't hurt their sales but if you are looking for great beers, check out some of their limited releases and seasonals.

11-05-2011 00:17:09 | More by 18alpha
Photo of dankster


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

On tap at falling rock tap house denver.

Appearance is a great copper tone with two fingers of head. smells like west coast hops all the way. have always loved this beer in bottles but i think on tap is a new fav. lots of pine and grapefruit noted. mouth is dry and a easy drinker. slick and wet on the palate. Overall top five Pales in the american market IMO. if you have not hade this on tap i say try it to tell the difference between the bottle and the tap! Just fantastic cheers

11-04-2011 17:54:12 | More by dankster
Photo of Viciousknishs


4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

A- pours a brassy amber color with a perfect finger and a half of off white head. Great retention with some great lacing.

S- dry biscuity malt aroma with just the faintest touch of honey glaze. A huge dollop of piney resiny hop aromas with a note of yellow grapefruit citrus rind.

T- floral resiny hops hit the palate at first. Assertive hop bitterness leaves a classic pine/juicy grapefruit lingering on the palate. Just enough malt to bring a really nice balance and refreshing character.

MF- full round mouthfeel with a medium body and great bottle conditioned carbonation.

D- very very drinkable.

Overall this is the classic example of what an American pale ale should be. Balanced and full of hop flavor. Superb

11-02-2011 01:09:23 | More by Viciousknishs
Photo of BeerNoobNC

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +10.1%

Poured from bottle into a pint glass. Small layer of yeast at the bottom of the bottle after pouring.

I'm not as well-versed with the Pale Ale as I am with the IPA, but this seems like a special beer. The beer poured a very hazy, light orange color, like an IPA but a little lighter. Everything about the smell is citrusy.

Much like the smell indicates, there is a pretty heavy citrus flavor. This citrus flavor balances the hop flavor very well, though the hop flavor is dominated by the citrus.

From what I remember of the pale ales that I tried before I began reviewing on BA, this one is special. It is very drinkable, as I could easily have several of these in a row. Also, if the hoppy beers are not your thing, this would be a good beer to start yourself acquiring that taste. You can slowly work your way up to trying more hoppy beers.

10-30-2011 00:51:59 | More by BeerNoobNC
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
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,559 ratings.