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

8,067 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,067
Reviews: 2,661
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 108
Gots: 582 | 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: 8,067 | Reviews: 2,661 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Cs1987
Cs1987

Australia

4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Light amber, 2 fingers of head which reduced.

Smell - Probably the strongest American Pale Ale smell I have experienced. Very good.

Taste - Very bitter, as expected. Tastes mostly of grapefruit, kiwi fruit and passionfruit.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, good carbonation.

Drinkability - The bitterness is a little too much for me to enjoy this as a session drink.

Overall - A very good American Pale Ale, but I still prefer Little Creatures Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2008 14:23:58 | More by Cs1987
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81

Virginia

4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Have had this numerous times, and I was at a bar and got a draft and had a pen on me, so I wrote a review. A rich, copper hue with a one-finger mountain head that dies so slowly, leaving a lace ring down the entire glass. A hop smell is prevelant, floral and citrus, with some malts in there and a light alcohol smell. Full-bodied and creamy - delicious - with a coffee/bread malt taste on the back, blended with some hops for a semi-dry backbite. Has a citric taste going down before the, like orange and maybe lemon (MAYBE) and some sweetness in it like there's caramel or honey in it. A quintessential microbrew to be enjoyed by everyone.

Serving type: on-tap

05-12-2008 21:16:09 | More by clayrock81
Photo of stumac
stumac

Texas

3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

pours up good looking golden brown, nice white head. definite hop spicyness in the nose. also some subtle malt. there's a little bit of citrusy hop smell too. also taste of hop bitterness for sure. pretty light bodied, medium carbo, easy drinking, great session pale.

Serving type: on-tap

05-11-2008 04:11:34 | More by stumac
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at Miller's Ale House, Levittown, NY.

L - clear, amber color with a short white head that fell to a thin layer.

S - sweet malt and citrus hop aroma.

T - great balance of malts and hops.

F - medium bodied with good carbonation feel.

D - easy drinking brew.

Serving type: on-tap

05-11-2008 03:07:20 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of marc956
marc956

Texas

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

A taste of "home" while away from it. (I spent many years in California before moving to Texas last August)

Good, clean, crisp taste, best cold obviously, enough of an alcohol volume (5.6%) that you can't down them nearly as easily as a lager, but a very good beer year round that can be paired up with most any kind of food.

Now if I can just find Lagunitas IPA down here I'll be such a happy camper !!

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2008 02:38:33 | More by marc956
Photo of BamaBeerBuff
BamaBeerBuff

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at the Mellow Mushroom in T-town.

A: Beer poured a deep amber hue with a decent sized white head that settled quickly and left light amounts of lace on the glass.

S: Very intense citrus and floral hop aroma with some underlying sweetness and caramel malt (in an APA?). A very intriguing, pleasant aroma.

T&M: It had an initial tangy hop flavor that was mellowed out nicely by the sweetness from the malts. Not a really complex or robust flavor, but it's not trying to be. A solid flavor profile. It's got a medium to light body with lots of carbonation that suits the hop flavors well. Finish is mildly drying and refreshing.

D: "This beer drank pretty good, don't it?" It's refreshing, well-balanced, and light--this is a great session APA. It's got a nice balance of hop bitterness/tang with malt sweetness, and is a safe choice. I could definitely kick a few of these back.

Serving type: on-tap

05-09-2008 00:40:47 | More by BamaBeerBuff
Photo of irish53b
irish53b

Nebraska

4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from glass into a weizen glass. The deep golden color and ample head make this beer a poster child for appearance.

The smell is quite good floral and citrus notes with a cereal grain undertone. The taste reminds me of a grapefruit with a bit of sugar on top. The taste leans to the bitter side but a bready sweetness keeps it in check.

The mouthfeel is medium with a bit of creaminess to finish. The beer is highly refreshing and has fair amount of carbonation. The beer is dangerously drinkable and would pair nicely with a sweet dessert. My personal favorite pairing is New York style cheesecake.

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2008 02:51:46 | More by irish53b
Photo of SpecialK088
SpecialK088

Missouri

4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a Delirum Snifter

A-Pours a light golden color with little head and almost no lacing other than right at the edge
S-Very hoppy with a slight citrus hint
T-the hops come across immediatly with a very subtle citrus flavor leaves a very good flavor in the finish.
M-Extremly smooth with a very good level of carbonation.
D-Very easy to drink i could easily see myself having them on a regular basis

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2008 18:41:33 | More by SpecialK088
Photo of naterock
naterock

Missouri

4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have tried this in the past, and recieved a skunked bottle. This time, I hope it's better. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.
A: nice orangish color, nice lacing head good retention. the yeast doesn't cloud the beer which is nice.
S: very woody presence, a sweet floral aroma like a sweet pastry
T: Fantastically hoppy with a good kick, sweetens as the flavor matures.
M: highly carbonated, I forced a good head to bring the carbonation down, but not too low.
D: This is very drinkable, but on a happy stomach, this could cause problems if you haven't eaten.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2008 17:52:43 | More by naterock
Photo of tjkurz
tjkurz

Wisconsin

4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Smells of floral hops the head caps off the beautiful deep bronze orange hue body perfectly. Great hoppy floral and grapefruit citrus. This beer welcomes spring perfectly. Substantial mouthfeel creamy carbed goodness.

Drinkability - hops are a bit much for a session beer, but two will do you just fine.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2008 00:31:04 | More by tjkurz
Photo of dhd1491
dhd1491

Georgia

3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Throwing horseshoes over at my neighbors' I was able to sample three beers one right after the other. Good opportunity for comparison, as horseshoes is always a multiple beer event. Anyway, the three included my old stand by, Sweetwater 420, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and Sweetwater IPA. In my estimation, the Sweetwater IPA was the far superior of the three. Better flavor and drinkability. I was struck by how similar the 420 and the Sierra Nevada tasted. However, I think I would slightly give the nod to the Sierra Nevada. Its taste is better than average, with hoppiness and sweet malt balanced. Some cloying straw taste that is also in the 420, but not so much. Interesting that before I started sampling widely from other beers recently, I didn't notice the straw flavor in 420. It was my favorite beer. Now, I would be pretty loathe to go back to it. Luckily, Sweetwater's IPA is so good that I can still give my business to that local brewery.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2008 23:45:54 | More by dhd1491
Photo of OtisinAZ
OtisinAZ

Arizona

4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great beer! Poured a perfect head even when slow pouring to keep the dregs where they belong, in the bottle.
great color with a strong hop aroma making you want to try it.
The taste was of a light malt with a blast of hops very refreshing on a hot AZ day.
Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2008 21:42:45 | More by OtisinAZ
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

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

I could sit here and drink this beer all day long. Gold color, medium-size white head, little bit of lacing. Mostly malt aroma, a little bit of citrus. The citrus comes through more in the taste, and I think it intensifies in your mouth. A little bit of malt in the taste also.

Serving type: on-tap

04-20-2008 21:55:15 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of beerman21
beerman21

California

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

Classic APA i remember this being the first true real beer ever tasting. Appearence is golden copper with champange like carbonation rising to a thin bubbley head. smell is of citrus hops, grapefruit, with grass malt like undertones, alchole soaked all wheat bread is present as well. Taste is crisp dry citrus, flowers, grapefruit and bready. Great beer will never pass it up.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2008 23:47:29 | More by beerman21
Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
EnojysAnyBeer

Colorado

3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good beer with a flavor that's too overpowering for me alone. Goes well with spicy food.

A- Classic amber that's a bit dark for a pale ale. Clear.

S- Smells yeasty and malty along with good citrus grapefruit ester

T- Too much grapefruit to drink without food. Good flavor after you acquire a taste for it. Great with pizza and spicy foods

M- Feels clean and smooth with a bit of citrus pinch

D- Drinks good but the grapefruit is too much for me to pound this beer down

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2008 03:56:38 | More by EnojysAnyBeer
Photo of SIRIUS2
SIRIUS2

North Carolina

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pale gold in color, clear, with dense white foamy head at about 1/4" but receded quickly to not much more than a fluffy ring.

S: Citrus hops are prominant on the nose, similar to a an IPA but not as pungent. A little agitation reveals more floral notes with the faintest bit of light malt.

T: This sure tastes like an IPA! A nice complexity of hops dominate the palate. Malts come in second, a distant second, this being a relatively dry brew. The finish quick and clean with just nothing but hop bitter lingering to the end.

M&D: A rather light and dry brew. Carbonation is fine but brisk and the brew has a smooth disposition. A fantastic beverage but I might have considered it an IPA. Especially if you like hops, grab one of these!

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2008 00:45:27 | More by SIRIUS2
Photo of MrIncognito
MrIncognito

Virginia

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

A - Slighty foggy orangy/yellow. Thick white head, but only about a finger due to a weak pour. Constant rising bubbles.

S - Hops with orange and lemon zest.

T - Very smooth, light citrus taste at first followed by a smack by the hops. Hops are strong but not overpowering and well-balanced with the orange zest.

M - Smooth with nice tingly bubbles. More wet than dry but does have a drying effect after swallowed.

A very nice beer that is balanced and full of flavor. A great beer to have with burgers and steaks. This is my go-to when available and there is nothing new for me to try.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2008 12:29:53 | More by MrIncognito
Photo of cvstrickland
cvstrickland

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a seidel brings forth two fluffy fingers of milk-white froth... decent retention and nice sticky lacing-- atop a crystal-clear copper-amber body.

Smells grassy, citrus and spruce flavors lurking;

Taste is a punch of fruity and bitter hops that is mellowed by a mild, grassy, floral character and a tangy citrusy sweetness. Tart, crisp, and refreshing.

Pleasantly hoppy and well-carbonated, light and refreshing in the mouth, and finishes with a nice bitter astringency.Stands up to spicy food great!

Readily available in most of my local grocery stores, I have no good excuse not to keep this fine brew in my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2008 23:12:25 | More by cvstrickland
Photo of awermuth
awermuth

New Jersey

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

though my rating scale might not specifically reflect my love for this beer i have to say it is one of my favorites. It is kind of pricey, depending where you're at. but if you haven't tried it and you're into pale ales pick it up you will not be disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2008 08:39:59 | More by awermuth
Photo of smcolw
smcolw

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Perhaps the most classic of APA's. Everything about it sets the standard for style, much like Guinness. It may not be my favorite but it is close.

Clear and gold with lots of continual bubbles. The head lasts well but leaves spotty lace.

The aroma is mostly hop which is reflected in the flavor as well. Astringent and dry with a below average body. Highly carbonated. Good aftertaste of strong hop bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2008 23:51:03 | More by smcolw
Photo of Rsobotka
Rsobotka

New York

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

a: Strong Foamy head with deep amber copper color

s: nice and hoppy...a little fruity with a bitter aroma

t. its a bitter hoppy taste thats scares you but finishes so pleasant that you just cant help but drink more

m: plenty of bubbles but very smooth as its reaches your belly

d: This is one of those classic beers that cant be duplicated and will forever mesmerize drinkers because of its great nature and pleasing taste

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2008 13:56:19 | More by Rsobotka
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

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

A - Two finger white head with good retention and lace. Copper body with excellent clarity.

S - Spicy hop aroma with restrained grapefruit aromas and a hint of orange. Some malt, but the aroma is dominated by hops.

T - Moderately spicy hop flavor up front with caramel and biscuit malt balancing in the middle. The finish is moderately bitter and smooth.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish with just a bit of astringency.

D - Quite drinkable. The malt character is a bit weak, but it is more than made up for by the excellent hop character, especially in the aroma.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2008 03:24:58 | More by nickfl
Photo of swizzlenuts
swizzlenuts

Wisconsin

4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: A light copper colour with a fair amount of carbonation. A finger's width head that sticks around for a bit

S: Very hoppy with a slightly fruity undertone.

T: First is a load of hops that hit your tongue, and what follows is a nice fruity taste. The hops linger on and create a bitterness which is quite refreshing.

M: Creamy in the way a Pale Ale should be.

D: Incredibly drinkable.

This beer is so much fucking better out of the bottle. The fruity flavours come out where the CO_2 hinders it out of the tap.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2008 19:57:15 | More by swizzlenuts
Photo of BgThang
BgThang

Texas

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

I HATED THIS BEER when I first tried it about 2 years ago.

with that being said it is now my session beer.
My go to beer when I am fiend'n for hops. I just cannot seem to get enough hops nowadays.

here goes the review
the pour is a nice crisp slap you in the face with hops aroma as it pours a classic pale ale color. neutral amber
the head last a little while.
the nose on this reminds you of a carolina pine foresst (thought I would throw back to the pine o pine commerical LMAO)
I am glad this beer is widely distro'd in the states. When I am back home (east texas) you usually can only find bud light which is right next to the nascar poster, but there is SN pale ale.

The mouth on this is one of hoppy goodness. The backend is a bit bitter but not overdone. I hear the fresh pale ale from the tap at the brewery is phenomenal.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2008 09:09:37 | More by BgThang
Photo of rightsideways
rightsideways

Massachusetts

4.95/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

quite possibly my favorite beer of all. I buy from a pretty shady liquor store in MA and many times i'm disappointed by what is obviously the result of abuse in transit or by the store. That being said, Sierra Nevada is ALWAYS a good buy. i'm not sure if the resilience of the beer they brew (the ESB i buy there is always great too) or the high turnover and consequently low shelf life of this great brew.

appearance: light amber color, very clear with some lacing and it's well carbonated which leads to a good head that sticks around for a bit.

smell: hops baby! gotta love cascade for finishing apparently... i'm trying that in my next brew. i can always smell those hops which is impressive because the website doesn't mention dry-hopping with this brew.

taste: great balance of hops and malt. not too bitter either, just a nice piny/citrus taste that keeps me coming back for more! although it's only 5.6% ABV it seems like a bit more but maybe i'm just sucking the beer down at an incredible rate...

this will be my go-to beer for quite some time i imagine!

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2008 01:48:52 | More by rightsideways
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,067 ratings.