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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.

9,010 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,010
Reviews: 2,716
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 150
Gots: 1,041 | FT: 2
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: 9,010 | Reviews: 2,716 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spitInTheOcean
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

beautiful gold color. nice head retention. nice effervescence. great clarity.

smells like hops. citrusy ones at that. no real malts apparent through all those hops.

bitter beer. wow that is bitter. more hop bitterness than hop flavor. there is a subtle sweetness there in the middle just before the finish which adds a very nice dimension to this beer, i think the flavor of the caramel is subtly detectable too. this beer of course is full of hops at every stage both bitterness and flavor.

soft mouthfeel and crisp for an ale.

i have heard this beer referred to as the benchmark american pale ale. i think it deserves that title. this is a good beer. it IS simple, but not to a fault, instead its simplicity sort of makes it more lovable. its just a good beer. good night america

spitInTheOcean, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of treque
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: between a deep gold colour and an orange, semi traslucent, lots of carb, very persistent, long lasting off-white head,

S: some orange peel, citrics, pine, grass, american hops

T: medium body, balanced flavour, good bitternes on the aftertaste, long lasting end

treque, Jun 29, 2011
Photo of rowingbrewer
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a dark yellow color with an orange tinge to it. the smell is pine and citrus hops with a subtle malt backbone. the flavor is floral and slightly hoppy with the malts coming through mid sip. the beer is not to bitter and has a fairly light mouthfeel. this is a very drinkable pale ale.

rowingbrewer, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of kylehay2004
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I know many of us are beer "fanatics" but something is to be said of beers that can both please the Bud Light drinkers and the Beer snobs. This beer is not the best in its category but it is a staple amongst beer drinkers and is as good bottled as on draft which is not always the case. It has an initial sharp flavor that fades quickly so as too not be overly offensive. A solid overall beer.

kylehay2004, Jun 24, 2011
Photo of Nrod
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Amber color with nice white head.

Smell: In my opinion, it`s a very "hoppy" smell.

Taste: Really excellent taste. Perfect balance between hops and malt. Tipical american pale ale taste (the good ones).

Mouthfeel: MOderate carbonation. Nice bitterness.

Overall: Great American Pale Ale, highly recommended. Unfortunately Ì'll have to travel abroad to try it again

Nrod, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of SouthFLBeerLover
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my "every day-beer" because the price ($10.99 to $12.99 for a 12 bottle box) is more than right for what you're getting. I've also enjoyed this beer on-tap, but will submit a review for a bottled beer at this time.

A: Amber color with nice big white head. Medium lacing.

S: Very aromatic, with lots of hops, some pine and a hint of citrus.

T: Excellent taste, where whole hops and malt are in perfect harmony coupled with a hint of pine flavor. This is a great beer for almost any occasion, and that's why it is my so-called "every day-beer".

M: Medium-body with moderate carbonation. Right kind of slight bitterness due to whole hops.

O: This is an example of a solid American Pale Ale that has everything nicely balanced. One can't go wrong buying this truly excellent beer.

SouthFLBeerLover, Jun 21, 2011
Photo of jamescain
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass

Appearance: Light brown with a white head about two fingers thick that slowly fades into a thin lacing over the top of the beer

Aroma: Slight hint of piney and citrus hops breaking through the malty background.

Taste: Moderate hopping provides a hint of citrus and a bitter finish, but the taste is mostly malty and toffee like.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation dry finish and easy to drink. Enjoyable and refreshing.

Overall: It’s a good beer. It’s affordable, available, and tasty. This is my go too beer if we’re having people over for a party because I can grab a bunch for guest and myself. It’s also often the only craft beer at a BMC bar besides SA and I don’t always want a lager.

jamescain, Jun 20, 2011
Photo of knucks999
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a traditional nonic pint glass. Two fingers of foam on the pour, lacing as I drink it. Great aromas of grapefruit and other floral hops. Very smooth taste, the malt and the bitterness blend very well together. The finish is quick and clean that makes you seem more thirsty as you drink. Very balanced, great beer.

knucks999, Jun 19, 2011
Photo of karait95
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice yellow orange color, it is more a yellow one as a good American - hops style beer, the head was good but not impressive, and remains not too long

S: Hops and malts are combined in this beer, nothing to wild nothing to different from the style just a good elaborated American pale ale.

T: A hopy beer well representing the style but with no complexity, just the straight flavor of the hops and no malt is present or at least can be clearly sensed.

M: It is medium complex, almost not sweetness at the beginning and then fast turns into bitter and hard bitter with long ending that leaves a medium nice sensation.

karait95, Jun 19, 2011
Photo of Rifugium
3.23/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: God only knows...

Pretty much the middle of the road in my beer journey. I'll drink this if there's nothing better available, but otherwise, it's just that average beer that I'll let pass.

Pours a slightly hazed (depending on temperature) copper color with anywhere between 1/2 and 3 fingers of frothy white head. Grainy aroma with a certain caramel smoothness underlain. Smooth malts in the taste, grains, balanced by crisp, non-threatening hoppiness, and just a implication of citrus. Light-medium mouthfeel, and easily drinkable.

Rifugium, Jun 18, 2011
Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The classic Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I remember sitting at the Keystone Pub when I ordered my first one back in 2007. It was probably one of my first pale ales. I can't recall having one prior to it. Anyway, it pours out as a lightly hazed yellowish gold color. The head is strong and leaves a good lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer has a really nice hop aroms on it mixed with some malts on the nose. The taste of the beer has a good bitterness to it with a dry hoppy aftertaste. When it comes to the mouthfeel it's a highly drinkable beer. It's got a good body to it and it's not overly heavy. Overall this beer is worth checking out if you haven't already, It's a pioneer pale ale, it really holds it's own again many competitors.

Knapp85, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of orangesol
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank a few of these this past weekend at the beach. Reviewed from notes.

A - Pours hazy golden yellow with a small half finger tall white head leaving spotty lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of citrus, pine, lemon, toasty grain and biscuit like malt. Nothing too over the top, just a solid nose. This one might be a bit old.

T - Starts off with a nice, light, citric hop kick quickly giving way to a mix of caramel and biscuit from the malt. It has a good overall balance of flavors. Finish has some hop bitterness, lingering for a short time. A tad old but still very nice.

M - Light body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Slick feel with some lingering bitterness in the finish.

O - How can you go wrong with a SNPA. It is perfect for a hot summer day at the beach like today. I can, and plan on, drinking this all day.

orangesol, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of xybreeder
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've enjoyed this beer for years now, but thought it deserved a review regardless; should have done this a long time ago...

A: A beautiful golden orange, superb clarity, medium lacing and head retention.

S: Smells SO yummy, lots of hop aroma, citrus and pine dominate the nose, with a hint of earth on the back end.

T: Great hop flavor with not a lot of bitterness. Citrus/grapefruit tastes, along with a solid malt backbone, a perfectly balanced pale ale in my opinion.

M: Perfectly carbonated, medium to full body, wet.

O: One of my favorite, if not THE favorite "commercial" (larger brewery) pale ales, keep up the great work SN!!

xybreeder, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of mah0019
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type - Bottle poured into my faithful pint glass.

Appearance - looks like a beautiful pale ale should. Decent head, with equally decent lacing, however I would say the appearance does the overall quality of the beer some injustice.

Smell - extremely light smell, but one that is captivating. In my opinion, hints of fruits followed by copious amounts of hops.

Taste - one word... EXCEPTIONAL. It has all the boldness and body you could hope for, coupled with hops and a perfect finish. One of the few beers that I would say combines the refreshing taste of a mass market light beer and the sophistication of a craft beer. Perfect balance. Truly one to experience.

Mouthfeel - quite nice actually. not as thin as one would expect, but once again its simply one part in what makes this beer truly "off the charts" good.

Overall - great beer. My 2nd time out of the bottle, however had many on tap (strongly suggest you seek that experience out if you have access). I whole heartedly recommend this beer. To me, it is to Pale Ale as Sam Adams is to American Lager. Something combining just enough originality with tradition, and just enough mass market appeal with craft street cred. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

mah0019, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of dbmernin83
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm reviewing this beer out straight out of the bottle, as I've had it many times before. I know, every beer deserves to be drank from a glass, but sometimes, a beer just suits the vessel it arrives to you in and is perfect from it.
The stout, green-labeled bottle sweats (everything looks better wet) obviously out of fear/nervousness while it awaits its undoing
A chilled fog "genies" its way out of the bottle and I inhale it. Grassy, piney hops and biscuity malts.
A hop PING! with a malt SWANG!. This beer is delicious. Balanced, flavorful, and refreshing. A go-to in ANY sistuation, especially after they start canning (everyone likes it in the can).
Cower in shame Budweiser, this is America's REAL king of beers.

dbmernin83, Jun 08, 2011
Photo of cudmud
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: This sample pours with a clear, pale antique copper color. The beer produces one finger of bright white head and good lacing. This is a handsome brew and what other pale ales should be compared to.

Smell: The hops form a solid backbone of wonderful smells. I detect grapefruit and fresh cut grass in this beer.

Tatse: Hops are the major component of the flavor profile. The hop flavor is so strong that it can be cut with a knife.

Mouthfeel: Full body

Overall: A solid beer and the gold standard of rating pale ale.

cudmud, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of bubseymour
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a ok crafted Pale Ale although its got quite a dry, bitter hop bite to it that makes it hard on the pallet and not easy to repeat samplings. Not nearly as well crafted/balanced as the SN Torpedo IPA, this APA could be smoother and a little more refreshing. It has some positive flavoring notes, but seems a little off balanced with bitter hops and takes some effort to get down the full 12 oz. I go to this a few times a year because its so common but its usually a 1 and done sampling.

bubseymour, Jun 07, 2011
Photo of thierrynantes
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (350 ml.), tasted in 2011.

Appearance : amber color, with white foamy head.
Smell : fruity and citrus hop aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : sustained bitterness is confirmed in the mouth, fruity and hops finish.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style Pale Ale.

thierrynantes, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of jhtipton
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer actually took away my craft beer virginity almost 10 years ago. Finally got around to writing a review. Thank you to Bierkraft for getting me a six before I deploy. Difinitely one of my favorite Pale Ales. Appearance is a rich dark golden with mild head and mild lacing. Smell is the SN hop presences I have grown to love, nice and floral and piney. Taste is fairly complex for a Pale Ale. Floral, citrusy, a little spicey or peppery finish. Mouthfeel is somewhat medium bodied with low carbonation. Overall a wonderful example of West Coast or American pale Ale and what makes me proud to be an American.

jhtipton, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of rlee1390
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had in a bottle at a Ruby Tuesday (but that is another story) as I've been looking forward to finally reviewing this beer (and it was the best option on the "menu")

A-Cloudy orange, about a finger of head that leaves behind lacings.

S-Citrus, floral and hoppy.

T-Starts with some citrus and floral notes. Ends with some bitterness, solid balance. Some earthy tones as it warms.

M-Medium bodied and some carbonation

O-The best intro beer to newbies, the safest bet to get at a bar when there isn't a craft option (a better choice than Boston Lager). A solid beer that everyone should try at least once.

rlee1390, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of lazy8
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle in chilled pint glass

A - Amber/orange with a 1 inch head. Lacing throughout the glass

S - Malt more than hops but both are present

T - A fanstastic American Pale Ale. Malt includes dark, roasted flavors. Hops add bite, while not overpowering the flavor

M - Smooth with noticeable but nice aftertaste. Hop character shines through.

O - The best American Pale that is readily available both at home and in bars/restaurants.

lazy8, May 31, 2011
Photo of juniorforce
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Pours an orange amber with good head and lacing.

S - Citrus, pine. Great balance of hops and malt flavors.

T - Love the smell of this beer. Citrus and pine. Floral notes are also present.

M - Perfect carbonation with a medium mouth feel. Good crisp feel.

O - This is my favorite beer. Great anytime of the year.

juniorforce, May 31, 2011
Photo of stxSS07
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Killian's pint

A- Pours a golden yellow with a finger's worth of head. Sticky lacing with carbonation streaming off the bottom of the glass.

S- Bitter hops, some grain, malt, and an earthy finish.

T- Floral hop notes, a bit of balancing sweet malt, and a crisp piney finish.

M- Light bodied with a good amount of carbonation that leads to a refreshing dry finish.

O- A refreshing classic and one of my summertime "go-to" brews.

stxSS07, May 30, 2011
Photo of Schmittymack
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at my watering hole, Old Chicago Westminster as part of their Craft Beer Week mini-tour. Poured a nice golden-amber color with a faint white head. Lacing was wonderful as it hung to the glass during the entire pint. Aroma of some citrus, malt, with some floral tones mixed in. Taste was very nice: malt, bread/biscuit, a touch of honey, with just the right amount of hop bitterness at the end. This is one of the brews that got me hooked on craft; I'll revisit this one again and again.

Schmittymack, May 29, 2011
Photo of pburland23
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've been drinking SN Pale Ale for as long as I've been drinking craft beer, but had never reviewed it....until now.

On tap at Old Ebbit Grill in Washington, DC.

Pours a golden orange amber. Very clear. About a finger and a half of nice, white head. Pleasing head retention and lacing throughout the pint.

Smell is strong with floral hops and some grainy malt sweetness. Nice smelling pint.

Taste follows suit. I picked up lots of floral hops, some grapefruit and perhaps a little peach as well. There is just enough malt, slightly bready, to balance out each sip.

Mouthfeel is very smooth. Carbonation is on the light side, bit doesn't disrupt the overall taste of the beer.

SN Pale Ale is one of the classic of American craft brewing. These days, it's probably overshadowed by bigger, bolder beers. But, if you're looking for a well-made craft beer that has withstood the test of time, this is one to seek out.

pburland23, May 29, 2011
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,010 ratings.