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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.

8,563 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,563
Reviews: 2,682
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 123
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: 8,563 | Reviews: 2,682 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CRichardsMN


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

Pours out a clear amber orange body with a light though creamy off-white head. Retains head for a short while then falls to more of a film and ring which leaves lots of lace behind. Don't know if it is the norm, but there are a few floaters which eventually settle to the bottom (really the only visual detraction IMO).

Light maltiness and a nose full of hops. Much more hops than I would have expected from a straight up PA, more like a EPA or IPA.

Again, light maltiness or biscuit and mostly citrusy hops. Finishes cleanly with a moderate amount of bitterness.

Medium bodied with a crisp carbonation. Smooth and dry finish.

Not typically into pale ales (or higher) but this one is very well done. If it fit my palate, I'm sure I'd have multiples of this one around.

This is only my second brew from SN and I was a bit gun-shy (so shy in fact that not until a neighbor gave me this one did I venture forth...). The first was Bigfoot, which was not a welcome brew as it was more like biting into a grapefruit rind then getting punched in the back of the head. This beer is much more reasonable and I'm now willing to try more from SN.

01-24-2010 23:07:37 | More by CRichardsMN
Photo of BuckeyeOne


4.47/5  rDev +10.6%

This is the ultimate in West Coast session beers. Many a BA has drunk and reviewed this widely available beer. I especially like the hop bitterness this version of an APA brings. It's got a touch of malty sweetness, just the right amount of carbonation, and is consistently tasty bottle after bottle.

There is almost always at least a few bottles of SNPA in my fridge.

01-21-2010 20:31:30 | More by BuckeyeOne
Photo of hopheadjuice


4.18/5  rDev +3.5%

12 oz. Brown bottle poured into punt glass.

Appearance: Poured a bronze copper color with a nice head that stays for a bit moderate lace. Yeast particles very much so present I love sierra Nevada for all their bottle conditioning.

Smell: Smells great for a pale ale you can smell the cascade hops. Very earthy and piney.

Taste: This brew tastes awesome I love this beer to me it almost tastes like an IPA that isn't dry hopped. perfect neutral beer not to bitter not to sweet amazing with pizza.

Mouthfeel: God bless Sierra Nevada's bottle conditioning. Medium bodied with perfect carbonation.

Drinkability: very easy to drink I can drink these all night long I love them.

01-20-2010 23:06:07 | More by hopheadjuice
Photo of roddwolff


4.4/5  rDev +8.9%

Tasted at Caesar's Palace in Vegas, couldn't see the appearance because i drink from the bottle, but the logo had some hops and a landscape; Smell: Perfumed with hops and some apple, honey and toffee; Tasted: Floral and pine hops together with pineapple and peach scents; Mouthfeel: Dry, bittersweet with a bitter finish, medium body and low carbonation; Drinkability: Very good, i drank while playing slots.

01-20-2010 19:55:15 | More by roddwolff
Photo of TheMadJack


4/5  rDev -1%

Poured from 12oz. Bottle into Glass Mug

Pours a honey orange with nice thick, white head. Good lacing - at two-thirds the way through, there is still a sharp, clear line where the foam originally came to. The beer is not quite perfectly clear.

Smells of flowery hops - jasmine and honeysuckle notes readily apparent. Touch of pine and orange zest.

The beer is literally bittersweet: upon first contact there is a sudden honey-like sweetness with a crisp piney, grassy bitterness. Bready malts form a base, more of a texture than a flavor. Bitterness lingers on the finish.

Crisp, with a little bit of stickiness to the malts and in the finish. The carbonation helps serve to thicken the mouthfeel.

This is a versatile, enjoyable brew that's not a challenge to drink nor too heavy on the stomach. Only thing keeping this beer from a perfect 5 is the sticky bitter finish that lingers just a bit long - I feel like I need to wash my mouth out with something less ...sticky and lingering? Sure, we'll phrase it that way. Otherwise, very good.

01-20-2010 09:21:36 | More by TheMadJack
Photo of sitarist


4/5  rDev -1%

A- Honey color, nice white head, sticks to the glass, somewhat cloudy.

S- Not as complex as their other beers, but there is a hint of citrus, malt, and yeast.

T- Not as complex as their other beers, but there is a hint of citrus, malt, and yeast.

M- On the light side of medium bodied, lots of carbonation makes for a quick dry finish.

D- Very enjoyable. My friend says its bitter but I dont think so at all. A great starting point for American craft beesr. A great anytime beer.

01-18-2010 02:49:56 | More by sitarist
Photo of wnh


4.35/5  rDev +7.7%

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a bright golden amber, full of suspended yeasty sediment but still clear, capped by a thick, foamy, pristine white head.

Typical Sierra Nevada hop notes on the nose--pithy underripe citrus zest and pine resin--with a touch of leafiness. A nice toasty, biscuity malt backbone holds up the hops.

Sweeter on the palate than the nose indicates, with a fruitiness that suggests yeast rather than malt. A fleeting note of caramel-like malty sweetness shows up mid-palate, then fades into a bitter but faintly sweet underripe citrus note. Finishes clean but mildly yeasty, with just a touch of lingering bitterness.

Light to medium in body and relatively soft; very quaffable, perhaps the most quaffable pale ale I've had. There seem to be two extremes in pale ales: those that rely almost solely on the hops (Lagunitas, for example), and those whose hops are all muddled up in the rest of the beer. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale manages to land right between those two paths, with hops that make themselves clear but don't dominate the beer.

Worthy of its place in the American craft beer pantheon.

01-15-2010 19:09:46 | More by wnh
Photo of drtth


3.95/5  rDev -2.2%

Served in an shaker pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a bright clear light copper color with a ½" white head that leaves sticky lacing on the glass as it recedes. Sipping leaves a nice pattern. By the end of the beer there is only a small ring of foam leaving some light speckles of lacing. There is a spider web of lacing still stuck to the upper inch or so of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is fresh, clean, lightly scented with floral and citric hops (grapefruit zest mostly) and a light caramel aroma.

Taste: The flavor is slightly sweet with the light caramel flavor laying over the mild floral and grapefruit hop flavors. The bitterness is restrained by the malt sweetness and is noticeable but does not dominate.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied with light but persistent carbonation. The finish is medium long with the hop bitterness bursting through and concealing the malt before the bitterness fades away into dryness.

Drinkability: This is a very drinkable beer in many ways. Not only would I like another, I have enjoyed this beer in the past and I'm sure I'll be having it again. It goes nicely as a counterpoint to lightly spiced foods and is a nice, all-around beer. While there are other APAs out there I'd not turn this one down if offered.

01-13-2010 02:38:41 | More by drtth
Photo of danetrain0101


3.8/5  rDev -5.9%

Appearance is of a dark golden color. Foam is thick and lasts long. Thick and long.

Smells nice and hoppy with a light malt smell.

A light hop presence. Some malts can be tasted as well as some hints of alcohol.

Feels like a nice smooth pale ale with a medium body taste.

A nice drinkable pale ale to have on any occasion.

01-11-2010 05:54:56 | More by danetrain0101
Photo of dgilks


4.03/5  rDev -0.2%

Pale amber colour with a small white head. Moderately poor head retention. Clear.

Moderate floral, citrus hop aroma. Moderately-low malt profile. Clean and crisp.

Moderately-low hop flavour with a solid, biscuity malt backbone with hints of caramel. While there is substantial bitterness this is a very balanced APA with lots of malt to hold it up. Medium-dry finish.

Medium body with moderately-high carbonation. Fairly smooth.

A quintessential APA. While it is maltier than expected it ticks all the boxes even if it isn't spectacular. It could have more hop aroma and flavour to help carry the beer to greater heights.

01-09-2010 09:48:18 | More by dgilks
Photo of mostpoetsdo

Rhode Island

3.85/5  rDev -4.7%

A: Light copper coloring, with a decent head and nice lacing.

S: Citrus and hoppy.

T: Incredible amount of hops up front, especially for a pale ale. Strong floral and citrus taste as well.

M: Light to medium body with a nice crisp feel to it.

D: Easy to drink, and a great pale ale.

01-07-2010 22:40:42 | More by mostpoetsdo
Photo of sbw138


4.03/5  rDev -0.2%

Bought a bottle at The Foodery, poured into a pint glass.

Poured a nice light amber/gold color, with a nice white creamy head. Head kept a decent retention while I drank it.

Nice piney hoppy smell with a decent malt background. A more impressive smell than your average pale ale.

Had an interesting taste of almost a combination of piney and citrus hops. Not what I usually expect from a pale ale, but a good surprise. Had a bready/biscuitty taste towards the finish.

Nice medium body, with good carbination.

Very drinkable beer. Great choice since it is a pretty popular. This is usually my go to beer at a place with not the best selection. I used to overlook this beer, but I give it my respect!

01-07-2010 17:42:59 | More by sbw138
Photo of munchie101


4.88/5  rDev +20.8%

A - light gold with with 1/2 inch head that disipates within about 5 minutes. beautiful for a PA.

S - Citrus bitters, hops, some sweetness I think too.

T - Initially light, the hop flavors take a moment to hit and do not overpower my taste buds, lots of other flavors I don't quite recognize but very enjoyable.

M - not too dry like some brews very pleasant, a little light perhaps, but I like that in an ale like this. Feels like carbonated spring water and hops flavors.

D - One of my favorite PAs now that I've been able to try it, not too hard hitting and but wonderfully flavorful.

01-05-2010 02:12:01 | More by munchie101
Photo of Kaiser81


3.95/5  rDev -2.2%

Got in one of those variety packs from a coworker for Christmas. It wasn't refrigerated, so I don't know if that'll affect the quality.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Pours a nice golden orange color with about 2 fingers worth of soft, pillow head. The head is a slightly off colored white. There is a nice amount of lacing left on my glass.

S - I get piney hops coupled wit a lemony-citrus scent. There is a sweetness from the malts present as well.

T - Pretty much follows the nose. Lemony citrus flavor with piney hops. There is just a touch of sweetness mid palate with the biterness of a pale ale that lingers on the aftertaste. There might be a slight bit of woodsy taste in there too.

M - Light bodied with good carbonation. An excellent crisp and refreshing beer.

D - A very easy to drink and sessionable beer. This should be the standard when it comes to bottles at parties.

01-02-2010 07:19:55 | More by Kaiser81
Photo of vkv822


4.22/5  rDev +4.5%

12oz. bottle into pint glass.

A cloudy golden color with a thick foamy white head and nice streams of carbonation. It has a citrusy and hoppy nose. The flavor is pretty similar, and stays consistent, with a light bitter citrus & pine hop note,with some malty almost bready notes. The mouth feel is an average medium body. In a very pleasant way, it is a nice standard pale ale that makes itself very drinkable and enjoyable with its classic simplicity.

12-31-2009 19:12:34 | More by vkv822
Photo of benclimbs


3.9/5  rDev -3.5%

Pours golden orange with a sizable head and ample lacing

smell is citrustastic but nothing other than that lemon and orange peel

taste is also quite tart, not like a sour but just dominated by citrus hops, a nice buiscuit like finish

mouthfeel is smooth

A very drinkable, classic tasting American pale ale a wonderful staple session beer. One of the first craft beers i ever had years ago and Its still a very nice brew

12-31-2009 04:06:31 | More by benclimbs
Photo of mckeowbc


4.53/5  rDev +12.1%

This is my all time favorite session beer. It has a nice punch of Cascade hops that give it a nice floral bouquet and clean almost grassy taste without being overbearing. The moderate alcohol content and light malt flavor makes this a beer that is easy to drink and doesn't wear on the palate like heavier or hoppier beers. Also this beer pairs well with almost any food, but beef or spicy barbecue seem the most appropriate.

12-31-2009 00:49:06 | More by mckeowbc
Photo of carwreCk


3.95/5  rDev -2.2%

SNPA smells of citric hops. Taste is pretty hop-forward with citrus and pine. Not much detected from the malts. Bitter on the end. Mouthfeel is medium for the style and ABV, pretty highly carbonated. Drinkability is good. Not too bitter or having any other characteristic(s) that would prevent more consumption.

12-30-2009 23:16:10 | More by carwreCk
Photo of manahansf


4.8/5  rDev +18.8%

Pours a clear, light copper/blonde color with a light and lacy white head. Through the glass you can see the high carbonation levels as bubbles float to the surface and send out a noseful of citrus hops aroma. The drink is very smooth and well balanced. A generous helping of citrus hops overpower the slight hints of complementing malt. The body is very light, crisp, and refreshing. It finishes with a smooth reminder of the citrus bitterness and fades out slowly.

12-30-2009 03:49:39 | More by manahansf
Photo of afausser


3.88/5  rDev -4%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy deep amber with a finger of head. There is TONS of carbonation that is persistent even as the beer sits, which results into a fluffy, bubbly, foamy head that lasts a decent amount of time. There is also a very nice sheet of fine lacing.

Smell: Piney, yeasty, and light, with faint citrusy hints of tangerine and orange.

Taste: Again, piney and citrusy, with oranges, lemons, and grapefruit that blend nicely with the hops. There is also a floral/herbal element, out of which I'm picking out oregano and mint. I'm actually also getting a very faint hint of strawberries out of it. Pine, oranges, lemons, and hops in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light--but the carbonation makes it start out a bit foamy. This, fortunately, improves as it sits.

Drinkability: The mouthfeel knocks this down for me a bit, I think, but the taste is light and nice. I remember not liking this beer before I got into craft beers, and I'm glad I gave it another try.

12-28-2009 14:19:34 | More by afausser
Photo of CharlatanSin


4.33/5  rDev +7.2%

This has been my standard fridge beer forever, and, as is true with so many other people, it was my gateway to craft beer. However, I've never reviewed it...UNTIL NOW

A: Pours a light amber, with a one finger off-white head that collapses into a cap that sticks around.

S: Grassy and citric. Hops become more pronounced as it warms.

T: Ah, that old, familiar taste. I've never really tried to describe it until now. It starts out sweet and malty. This is followed by sharp pine and floral hops, with some of the citrus from the nose. The bitterness really stays on the palate. Perfectly balanced.

M: Slick and oily. Medium carbonation.

D: This is the definition of a session beer for me. SN Pale Ale and Brooklyn Lager are the two beers that you can always find in my fridge.

12-26-2009 20:05:04 | More by CharlatanSin
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

3.35/5  rDev -17.1%

Poured "allegedly" from a bottle into a flulip from some fancy Italian eatery.

A: Pours a vigorous 3 finger fluffy fine white head with great retention. This one hung on for dear life till the very end... Brew itself is clear golden. Lacing is weblike and ample and really covered the entire side of the glass.

S: Nose is light peach, spice, grapefruit and tangerine, hops. A slight piney character is also detectable.

T: Starts off rather watery with a light malt backbone the crescendos into a strong hoppiness. Malts fade into the background but is still detectable. Both flavors fade gradually without ceremony, leaving a hoppy aftertaste. Slight citrus throughout. This beer has a split personality. Malts and hops very clean, and very distinct.

M: Light bodied and believe it or not, flat as a pancake. Finishes wet and lingers with hoppiness that really never goes away.

D: Drinkable because of the light bodied and enjoyable because of the simplicity. However, nothing to really think about here and therefore, not as enjoyable as it could be for me.

12-24-2009 22:38:09 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of DrDoitchbig


4.53/5  rDev +12.1%

Posting this from notes due to the recent site crash. From now on I'll be saving my reviews on my computer so I can just copy and paste them if such a thing happens again. I know I won't be as happy with this as my original, my notes are just shorthand.

Appearance: Poured somewhat aggressively into my Duvel tulip. The result was a billowing two finger off-white head. Underneath that the beer was a dark amber, bordering on burnt orange. The head diminished throughout and left some minor splotches of lacing.

Smell: That classic Sierra Nevada aroma. Fresh cut pine is the dominant with a hit of lemon-lime citrus just behind it.

Taste: The same wonderful crisp pine and citrus are present from the smell. Following is a great malt backbone that keeps things from getting too hop centric. This beer is just fantastically balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, very smooth and crisp. There is even a bit of creaminess on the finish.

Drinkability: I could honestly drink 10 of these. I finished an entire bomber over the course of this review and frankly I could go for another. For me this is the epitome of session beer.

Overall there may be better American Pale Ales out there, but I haven't had one. Thanks to Sierra Nevada along with Samuel Adams I never have the fear of not being able to find good beer. You can pick this stuff up at just about any place that sells alcohol. It's a good feeling.

12-20-2009 05:13:29 | More by DrDoitchbig
Photo of keyn


4.3/5  rDev +6.4%

Darkish orange with some yeast from bottle-conditioning. Nicely balanced--just enough hops to notice them but leaves plenty of room for a nice fruity/citrusy background. A solid, enjoyable beer that is very sessionable and should appeal to most beer drinkers.

12-18-2009 04:23:48 | More by keyn
Photo of bnes09


4.2/5  rDev +4%

Light orange and transparent in appearance. Finger thick head that leaves a frothy lacing and sticks around while you're drinking.

Smell is hoppy, fruity and complex.

Malts hit the tongue first providing a smooth bready backbone. Hops come in later with a nice citrusy bitterness and nice lemon and orange flavors. Nothing is over-powering and the flavors blend together nicely.

Medium-bodied brew and moderately carbonated. Leaves a bitter sweet aftertaste.

I'm impressed with this beer. Great flavor but not too much for the palate to handle. I could definetly enjoy six of these and never lose interest. Bravo!

12-18-2009 02:19:07 | More by bnes09
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,563 ratings.