1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

8,179 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,179
Reviews: 2,668
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 111
Gots: 639 | 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: 8,179 | Reviews: 2,668 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Dusty8807
Dusty8807

Michigan

4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, this is my first review attempt and I figured this was a pretty good beer to start with. A friend of mine in Minnesota has been pointing me to it's reviews here and raving about it lately.

My first thought upon pouring it out into my glass is the look. I love the crystal clear Amber color this beer has, and the nice white/light brownish colored head it produces, which seems to last for a good few minutes.
I'm not too great on getting the scent of a beer, but I would say this had a nice almost flowery aroma to it.
The taste is good, a slight bread flavored bitterness followed by a very slight tangy taste that I can only describe as fruity, almost apple and citrus flavored.
I'd say this beer is quite drinkable, this being my second one tonight actually. It goes down smooth and tasty. Friends of mine all found it to their liking when I let them taste it as well.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2008 03:24:29 | More by Dusty8807
Photo of WHROO
WHROO

Australia

4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A:poured clear golden colour, with beautiful easily poured 2 finger head. Just off -white coloured head, that resembled me of a beautiful malty thickshake. Just wanted to slurp it through a straw. Great head retention too with attractive lacing.
S: noble cascade hops, full of feminine notes, roses, flowers, & musk.
T: Same in flavour, very florally, & more flavoursome hops (than bitterness). As a matter of fact sensed no real bitterness at all. Was hoping for maybe a little bit more. Could taste some biscuity malts, nice sweetness too, in the way of honey, & toffee. Finishes more dry than bitter.
M: is fine!!! A very well made & balanced beer. Good carbonation...maybe left a little sweet coating on the palate if anything.
D: Full of Perfume in both aroma & flavour...very attractive beer!
Over the last month I have chosen mainly imported beers that get great grades on this very site, & this Pale Ale did not disappoint...my goodness I have tasted way harsher Pale Ales.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2008 08:35:18 | More by WHROO
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. On tap into a pint glass. Copper in color with a bit of lace.

S. Floral hoppage and some malts in the distance.

T. A good grassy hopping of some caramel malt. A bit of floral hops. Biscuity malt. Balanced well and nothing out of place.

M. Medium bodied and crisp. Ample amount of carbonation. Finishes slightly dry.

D. A nice pale ale. Pretty much the definition of the style. Solid and a worthy of a staple.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2008 04:04:55 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of wescj
wescj

Tennessee

4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Srarts with a little more than a half inch of head, which quickly dissipates to a thin, patchy layer. Moderate lace. Mostly clear orange/amber, with a hint of haziness.

Hops are first thing on the nose, then citric fruits. Also some floral notes, with malt on the back end.

The balanced, dry hoppiness is what I love about this beer. Also very bready with some citrus in there, and just a bit of something sweet and spicy.

Crispy and carbonated, with a nice hoppy aftertaste.

Very drinkable, and a good ale all around. I wouldn't mind keeping a 12 pack in the fridge pretty regularly.

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2008 00:30:06 | More by wescj
Photo of snaotheus
snaotheus

Washington

4.88/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is one of my favorites. It's probably the single beer I drink most often.

The flavor is delicious and hoppy with crisp mouthfeel. Drink it very cold, and very often.

What else am I supposed to say to fill up 250 characters? The beer's great. Go try it!

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2008 15:34:44 | More by snaotheus
Photo of oriolesfan4
oriolesfan4

Maryland

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

Took me a while to finally try this one but I did it and found a great, drinkable beer. Has a unique, characteristic taste to it that must be from different types of hops no usually used on the east coast. It's crisp, refreshing, very well balanced.. if aint broke dont fix it.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2008 21:26:03 | More by oriolesfan4
Photo of PerzentRizen
PerzentRizen

Mississippi

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

Juicy hops, fresh flavor, and a great warm weather bite that makes you fall in love with it.

I poured mine into a footed long-stemmed sierra nevada tulip glass. The color is an apple cider color with amazing clarity despite the note on the top of the bottle concerning yeast sediment. This should be served chilled to around 45-55 degrees.

The smell is of fresh juicy hops and light malty alcohol (only an illusion as this beer is only 5.6% ABV.

The taste is fresh, tart and exceedingly good. I really love this pale ale because it has the bite of an IPA and the body of a traditional pale ale. I love the hop character.

The mouthfeel is a light, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. For the style the mouthfeel is very good (I generally like the more substancial beers in mouthfeel so I had to push myself to rate this a 4.0).

This is an exceedingly drinkable beer. In fact I plan on finishing my six pack in the next few hours as I enjoy the afternoon.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2008 19:44:14 | More by PerzentRizen
Photo of PatrickJR
PatrickJR

North Carolina

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

For whatever reason, I wasn't a huge fan of this beer when I first tried it. Since I have had so much of it since then, I owe it a better review.

Poured from 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Two finger head that recedes to patchy white cap. Decent lacing, transparent golden/amber with continuous streams of bubbles from the bottom.

S - Great hop aroma. Big grapefuit peel is balanced by equally large floral aroma. Slight graininess from the malt.

T - Starts off with an aggressive but not unpleasant hop flavor which quickly turns into a bitter, dry finish. Lots of citrus and floral going on. Pale malt profile provides adequate backing.

M - Highly carbonated and refreshing. Carbonation keeps the hops in check and makes for a crisp brew.

D - One of the most drinkable craft beers out there. Full of flavor and pretty unoffensive. A great stand-by.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2008 18:55:50 | More by PatrickJR
Photo of seanyfo
seanyfo

United Kingdom (Scotland)

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

35cl bottle poured into a Kolsch Stange

A - Deep amber/copper colouring, 3 finger head that dissapates quickly but leaves good lacing.

S- Sweet malts first, some caramel, faint floral hoppy notes, flowery

T- Floral notes come through first, nice caramel sweetness offsets this and finishes with a subtle hop sharpness.

M- Moderate carbonation, moderate to full body

D- Nice interplay of hop bite and sweetness. Flavours not overpowering and this makes for a sessionable yet interesting ale. A Winner!

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2008 19:20:45 | More by seanyfo
Photo of gabeerfan
gabeerfan

Georgia

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

Poured a clear medium amber with a nice white head that fell to a thin ring/whispy cap.
Very hoppy aromas. Lots of grapefruit and pine with some fresh cut grass. There are malts present, but they are bit players in this beer.
Flavors are a little smoother than the aroma would lead you to believe. There are still lots of grapefruit/pine/grass flavors. Light brown sugar malts make a larger appearance, but the are still pretty subdued compared to the hops.
Medium-light mouthfeel. Not oily like an IPA and good carbonation to help keep the palate clean but still the hop bitterness does linger, but not forever.
Pretty drinkable. Good flavors and low ABV make this a good drinker for the night.
This is probably many BA's gateway beer. This wasn't my first craft brew, but it was about my favorite. Great beer that should be shared with as many people as possible.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2008 02:58:34 | More by gabeerfan
Photo of yossarian14
yossarian14

Massachusetts

4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On top of all the high marks for quality, I also have a soft spot for this brew, as it was a benchmark in my beering adventures. It became a beer to which I compared all others. I have recently taken to almost exclusively trying new beers of all styles (which I highly recommend) but I came upon this bottle in my inlaws fridge, and instantly decided it would be my next (third) review. I have a solid twenty minutes before I am noticed missing, and plan to cherish each and every one.

A-Light clear bubbly amber color with a large almost half-a-glass head (I poured into a curved Boddintons pint glass)that sticks around and then leaves some lacing.

S-When I smell a Sierra Pale Ale I get that green fresh hoppy IPAish sense in my head

T-But the taste is something smoother and more refreshing than expected.The bitter hops remain after a well balanced initial mouthful.

M-Carbonation is present and tingly throughout your mouth. Gets a little heavy and syrupy as it warms. I would tend to not want to let this one sit too long in the sun.

D-This one has given me many a headache which earns it a 5 in Drinkability

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2008 01:47:55 | More by yossarian14
Photo of ectomorph
ectomorph

Tennessee

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

12 oz bottle decanted into a pint glass leaving the sediment behind.

A - Orange and amber in color with a Thin white head that remains intact.

S - Citrus and flowers balanced with malt crackers and bread.

T - Excellent balance between the hop citrus and the bread finish. The Pale Ale standard.

M - Moderate body and carbonation, nice and even.

D - Very high. All day with any food.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2008 01:43:20 | More by ectomorph
Photo of birchstick
birchstick

Colorado

4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a clear amber with a gorgeous head
S - smells almost like an IPA, but there is a nice touch of honey and malts as well
T - this is starts off with a bit of malts, which give way hops. I was surprised that this wasn't very bitter given the aroma and amount of hops in this.
M - full and nicely carbonated
D - this makes for a perfect go-to beer. It is also a hoppier version of a pale ale, but the increased hops works well in this beer. This is one of my staples when I am out at bars without much variety. Always a good choice.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2008 04:13:32 | More by birchstick
Photo of beerfairy
beerfairy

Illinois

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

Had it many times, just getting around to reviewing it.

A- Golden honey color with a nice head.

S- Very hoppy, citrus smell from cascade hops.

T- Very hoppy, good mouthfeel and slightly bitter.

M- Medium-light mouthfeel, that finishes dry.

D- I can take or leave this beer, although it is a big seller so lots of people like it.

This is the Pale Ale most breweries try to replicate.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2008 22:58:29 | More by beerfairy
Photo of gunnerman
gunnerman

Florida

4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass pours a copper color with a foamy one finger head that leaves some nice thick heavy lace. Smell is pretty malty, I was expecting a bit more hop smell in the nose but the malt was overwhelming. THis beer is so smooth and goes down very well a nice balance with the hop and the malt not overpowering but a nice solid flavor of earth and citrus. I have had this beer alot and have never reviewed it, this is a classic that should be in everyones beer refrig truly an amazing product from an amzing brewer.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2008 23:01:26 | More by gunnerman
Photo of tedsox31
tedsox31

Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Goose Island pint glass. The color is a clear amber with a nice frothy, white head that retains well and leaves lacing on the side of the glass.

The smell is floral to me, along with some yeast and grains. I like it very much.

This is a sharp, fruity taste. I notice the fruits first, followed by some citrus and yeast, and finishing with the grainy hops taste. It has such a good hops taste at the finish. Keeps making me come back for more.

Clean, medium mouthfeel. There is carbonation, but it balances nicely with the rest of the beer.

Overall, a very drinkable beer. A session beer if I have ever had one, what with the generally low abv (comparatively) and the tastiness. I am looking forward to making the original recipe that you can find in Papazian's book.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2008 22:30:52 | More by tedsox31
Photo of Jayli
Jayli

Massachusetts

4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This light amber brew throws out dense white head that creates a nice lacing throughout the entire beer. There is a wonderful blast of hops in the aroma. The flavor follows this same trend. Great hop character with a fantastic understated bitterness. Underlying malt is sufficient. Pretty clean tasting for an ale. This is one that is good to go all night. One of my favorite Pale Ales.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2008 04:30:58 | More by Jayli
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

3.38/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well, I think enough virtual ink has been spilled over this beer. The basics have been covered about 1,500 times.

For me, this is certainly a beer worth trying. While not one of my favorite styles, it has the misfortune of following Alpha King by a short time span, & suffers by comparison to that proof of God.

It has the requisite bite, pale color, low ABV, but it's a bit more obvious & less refined that the class of the APA field. But a good beer to go & sip around a bonfire on a warm fall night, which is what I will be doing in roughly five minutes.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2008 00:47:28 | More by maximum12
Photo of champ103
champ103

Texas

3.28/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a deep amber orange color. A small white head forms and leaves little lace.
S: Floral hops and grapefruit. Some citrus and piney aroma as well.
T: Bitter grapefruit up front. Some floral hops and citrus fruit again. Not a lot of malt for balance.
M/D: A medium body that has a crisp snap on the tongue. A nice creaminess follows. For me, the bitterness takes away from the drinkability. Not something I want to session.

I do enjoy this beer, I just think it is over rated a bit. Lots of bitter grapefruit and not much malt balance. If that is your thing, then its all good. Its not mine. Though I would not hesitate to drink this as a fall back when nothing else good was around.

Serving type: on-tap

09-17-2008 05:23:09 | More by champ103
Photo of bcolflesh
bcolflesh

Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drank 2 bottles at Zendcon 2008.

Someone came from the free bar with one of these and I asked him how it was - he shook his head, "not so good, dude" - I saw him later enjoying a Corona.

This is really good - hints of many flavors, and a really slight bitterness, which I normally would not like - but it's almost nothing and disappears immediately.

I was eating various cheese cubes and mashed potatoes - but this would have been good on it's own I think - good beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2008 05:04:15 | More by bcolflesh
Photo of JBuff41413
JBuff41413

Colorado

4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite beers. I have to pick it up every so often. I'm finally getting around to reviewing it.

A- Clover honey color with a 3/4 inch creamy white head that falls to just a creamy glaze on the surface.

S- Very hoppy with grapefruit and honey.

T- Sweet caramel malts up front beautifully transitioning in to a quite bitter brew with lots of hops and grapefruit taking the forefront.

M- Medium-light mouthfeel, that finishes dry.

D- I love this beer and is one of my most popular session beers. 4 in a sitting is perfect.

This was one of my first beers and still one of my favorites. GREAT pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2008 05:45:48 | More by JBuff41413
Photo of ckeegan04
ckeegan04

Texas

4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy golden amber color with one finger off-white head. Slowly fades away and leaves decent lacing.

S - Strong aroma of citrusy grapefruit hops. Far stronger aroma than when had from the bottle. Smells almost IPAish.

T - Light malt sweetness up front, primarily caramel. Quickly overcome by a juicy hoppiness. Taste of grapefruit with a hint of something a little more tart.

M/D - Medium bodied. Easily drinkable. Hops are a little strong for an APA, but I consider that a good thing.

Serving type: on-tap

09-14-2008 03:58:34 | More by ckeegan04
Photo of Silenus89
Silenus89

California

4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured to my pint glass from 12oz bottle. Cloudy amber color with good carbonation and nice head. Smells of nuts,citrus hops, alittle sweet malts. Tastes of pine and hops and malts top it off. Light/medium body. This has a good drinkability beer that is readily available. Id get this again

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2008 03:06:25 | More by Silenus89
Photo of NHGrafx
NHGrafx

Massachusetts

3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 24oz brown bottle.

Pours a copper color with a decent head, which does not last long at all and minimal lacing.

This one has a lovely aroma. There are some nice floral aromas mixed with a nice citrus aroma which smells like grapefruit and mandarin orange slices. As it warms, aromas of yeast come through as well. Very pleasant.

Taste starts off citrusy which then yields to the bitterness from the hops. There is also some malt flavors in there as well, but they seemed hidden to me. The finish has some nice bitterness to it and is also very dry. Mouthfeel is relatively smooth. Moderately drinkable, for me anyway.

Overall this is very nice example of an American Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2008 00:57:07 | More by NHGrafx
Photo of philipquarles
philipquarles

Connecticut

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

Pours a clear copper with a smallish white head. Retention isn't great, nor is the lacing. Still looks good though.

Smells of hops up front, with a bit of pine/juniper, citrus and some sweet malt. The citrus really comes forward on the palate, and with the hops and malt makes it a very well balanced, slightly bitter brew. Great example of a pale ale.

Very drinkable overall; thanks to the lowish ABV, something I could actually drink all night.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2008 05:07:45 | More by philipquarles
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,179 ratings.