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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.

8,977 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,977
Reviews: 2,711
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 149
Gots: 1,028 | 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: 8,977 | Reviews: 2,711 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Stockfan42
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden orange body with a thin white head that seems to stick to the glass pretty well.

Smells of grapefruit and hops with a spicy kick.

Taste has a very sharp and bitter bite. Very crisp, very clean, hops and grapefruit again. Also got a nice spicy kick as detected in the aroma.

What I really enjoy about this beer is the mouthfeel. A very creamy body while still maintaning a very citrusy and bitter bite. Goes down easy and very drinkable.

Overall a solid pale ale. Never a let down.

Stockfan42, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of heebes
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle.

Pours a clear, crisp orange amber with huge foamy off white head. Leaves plenty of lacing. Lots of tiny bubbles rising, good carbonation. Nose is light bready malts, barley, faint light citrus of hops. Smells light a creamy pale. Taste is wonderful, never have I tasted so much flavour in a plae ale! Big on a malt backbone but balanced well from the barley. Medium to light mouthfeel. Tasty and drinkable, several easily downed in a session. A standout classic American staple.

heebes, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of zpeid
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a gold/amber color with a decent amount of head.
On the nose you get mild hops and citrus.
A well balanced taste with notes of citrus, slight bitterness at the end.
All in all a good beer, will buy again.

350ml bottle (5.6% ABV) served in a pint glass

zpeid, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of TCMike
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a glass, and got a 1 finger white head. The color is like copper.
The aroma is of citrus, and hops.
The taste is good. A little hoppier than a lot of pale ales, but not overly so. It's a little dry, and has a bitter taste that lingers briefly. It had a light-medium body. Medium carbonation.
Drinkability is decent, but not being a fan of bitter, I may get sick of it after a few.

TCMike, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of chicagoabbot
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from a 12 pack into a snifter. Amber pale body dominated by a very generous head. Nose is not too hoppy, not too malty. Nose is the weakest part of this very good and very solid brew.

Wow, it is super clean on the palate, no negative aftertaste. I am not even pale ale's biggest fan, but I love this brew. That's even saying extra because I usually veer more toward the smaller breweries in terms of taste. It's impressive that Sierra Nevada is so quality.

A beer I do not shy from buying frequently. One of my top 10 pale ales.

chicagoabbot, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of Wattsox
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

350ml bottle, consumed Jan 2011, BBE Aug 2011.

A - Amber colour body, slightly hazy from the very slight sediment from the bottle conditioning. Decent frothy head which dissipates fairly quickly, leaving a generous amount of lacing which clings all round the glass.

S - Quite a gentle aroma of hops and malts with a little citrus; well balanced aroma.

T - Sweet malt opening, some citrusy hops and a nice balance between the bitterness held slightly at bay by the sweetness. Nice dry finish with some gentle lingering bitterness.

M - Smooth mouthfeel with medium body.

D - An extremely drinkable classic APA, would work extremely well as a session beer.

Wattsox, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of biteme398
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a pretty big head into a mug. Color is dark yellow with an orange tint. Lacing left as head recedes. Plenty of hops in the nose along with a grassy smell. Taste is very intricate. Citrus notes dominate but pine and maltiness are also present. Mouthfeel is very smooth. Everything is so well balanced. I could drink several more if I wanted to.

biteme398, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of janubio
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle, copper-amber colour with a thin head with not much retention and not much lace. Smell of hops, something like cheese rind and pine. Medium boyd, it holds well in the mouth, where I feel hops, citrus, spices (pepper?) and caramel. It's the first Sierra Nevada I have a chance to taste and I can say I'm not dissappointed at all, I wouldn't mind to drink some of them any day.

janubio, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of BeerMusketeer
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Im have always lov ed this beer but hadn't had one in ages. Just picked up a sixer and am remembering why I am so fond of sierra nevada. Nice orange/tan body with a decent head. The aroma and taste are a wondeful balance of gentle hops and solid malts. This is still the best APA for me.

BeerMusketeer, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of 3rdRowTailgater
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an American pint glass. It pours a copper color with a nice, big thick head that lasts.

A very nice citrus hoppiness balanced with pale malt. Not too hoppy, not too malty. Great blend.

The taste is pure APA. It's got citrus and piney hop notes along with malt and ends with a slight bread taste. Really nice balance.

It's not too viscous and not too thin and the taste lingers just long enough. I could drink this all night and I have many times. It's a classic for a reason.

3rdRowTailgater, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of gskitt
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a solid all-around all-American pale ale. Pours a subdued, light orange and had some decent lacing. Smelled of some hops, but pretty silent in the smell department. Tasted of a nice balance between the hops and malt, a great mouthfeel makes this a great, unpretentious and drinkable APA.

gskitt, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of jmshulk
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: A fresh citrus, hay mix. I really like the smell of this beer, makes me think of a nice summer day.

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden yellow/orange with a frothy white head that leaves nice lacing.

Taste: A little malty to start and eventually leads to a nice hoppy finish, but not too bitter, just right. The only knock might be that it lingers a little too long.

Palate: Medium bodied, with a silky feel.

Overall: Great beer, I feel bad drinking this with 5 inches of snow on the ground, but I wouldn't turn down another.

jmshulk, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of NATOuk
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Amber colour with slight cloudiness, Respectable head which lingers

A pleasant, slight citrus smell which is not too powerful

Very earthy and slightly sweet to start which gives way to a strong hop bitterness on the finish.

Very pleasant medium level of carbonation, just right for this type of ale

This is one which can either be savoured over a long time as a single drink but is very drinkable in quantity. A fantastic regular beer to keep in the fridge and not particularly expensive and easy to obtain at the local Tesco supermarket.

(Also spotted on draught at All-Bar-One in Canary Wharf, London)

NATOuk, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of greenmonstah
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into DFH snifter

A - Pours a pale copper with a finger of off-white head.

S - Smells hoppy and a bit grainy. Citrus and pine hops are present.

T - Plenty of hop bitterness and a bit of grainy dryness. A little bit of grassyness and some underlying sweetness.

M - Just right. Medium body, just enough carbonation. A little bit dry in the finish and a bit cloying in the back of the throat, keeping this from getting highest marks.

D - Incredibly drinkable. Goes down easy and refreshing. Very tasty. Perhaps the best widely available beer around.

greenmonstah, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of jsprain1
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a copper-amber with a thin slick of a head. A wee bit of lacing, but not much.
S- Smell is pale malt and some hops, which manifest themselves in green apple, light citrus and pine aromas.
T- A good balance of pale malt and fruity hops. Good hop presence, somewhere between grapefruit and pine. I'm sticking to green apple peel as the primary flavor I'm picking up.
M- Medium body, medium-high carbonation.
D- The quintessential APA. Refreshing and easily drinkable.

jsprain1, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of aficionado224
4.9/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many others rate this beer very highly, and I quite agree this is a great pale ale, or simply a great beverage of any type. It has plenty of flavor to savor, but not so much it needs to be chewed. I could sip this and luxuriate in each sip, or quaff this to quench my thirst from heat or exertion or both. I highly recommend this brew, and if you have never tried it, you gotta get your hands on one, soon.

aficionado224, Jan 19, 2011
Photo of climbhighnz
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have heard and read that Sierra Nevada is regarded as such a wonderful brew. I'm from New Zealand, we don't get this beer anywhere in stores. I have been buying this and many others (1 beer at a time!) from a NZ website that imports beers from all over the world. I love APA's for their pleasant taste and easy drinkability, and this was no exception

A - Nice color to it, more orange than yellow.

S - Pleasant floral and citrus hop aroma. Doesn't jump out at you but it's subtle. Doesn't smell bitter on the nose, just smells fresh.

T - Such a smooth, easy drinking beer. Some hints of pine, and some bitters, with a gentle citrus hop finish. It has a taste that I immediately enjoy, and it doesn't overpower the pallete. The taste lingers. It stays with you the whole time, very flavorful.

M - Easy in the mouth, doesn't taste too bitter, has just the right amount of body to sip it slow or drink it fast to quench your thirst.

D - I can have one and be happy, or down a couple and savour the flavour. A great session brew

climbhighnz, Jan 19, 2011
Photo of JDFish
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass:

A: Golden color, perhaps a little hazy. 2 finger fluffy foam with decent lacing.

S: Unique smell. Can't quite place it...biscuity malts maybe. Slight piney hops smell

T: Delicious and smooth. Malts dominate here, with a little sweetness covered by low to moderate piney hops. Great, great balance

M: Medium to me, about right, part of the great balance

D: Extremely drinkable and affordable. Why drink Bud or Miller when this is around. Great brew, very serviceable and available.

JDFish, Jan 19, 2011
Photo of SuperSpy
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Golden-orange and slightly hazy. A small white head with plenty of lace.

S - Citrus and spicy hops. A slight hint of biscuity malt. Simple and enticing.

T/M - Medium bodied and smooth with floral, citrusy and earthy hop flavors mingling perfectly. The flavor smoothly meld to that same hint of biscuit that was in the aroma with a dry bitter hop finish.

D - More please.

SuperSpy, Jan 19, 2011
Photo of AllFineThings
4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

One of my everday favorites.

Pours an orangeish, yellowish hue. Has an inch to two inch head that dissipates after a few minutes.

Laceing is noticeable as you drink down your glass.

The smell is of citrus and some hops.

Tastes like citrus and some hops and malt coming through.

Can drink these every day and is quite sessionable, is affordable and can be drank in any kind of climate at any time of the year--kinda my miller-LOL!

AllFineThings, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of GehenHerzog
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in Dogfish Off Centered pint glass.

A- Pours a golden, orangish with a bubbly white head.

S- Citrus smell with a little bit of alcohol

T- Great flavor and good balance. Citrus hops really shine in this beer with a nice maltness hint coming through. There is a very little detection of alcohol at all.

M- Very smooth and medium bodied. The carbonation is solid for the style.

D- The abv (at 5.6%) makes it somewhat of a sessionable beer (not really) but I could drink quite a few of these.

This is one of my go to beers that I normally always have in the fridge. For the price you can't really beat it.

GehenHerzog, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of TheBear11D
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24oz bottle

Pours a clear golden orangish yellow color with plenty of visual carbonation. The creamy nearly white head has hardly changed since the pour (roughly 10 minutes) and leaves layers of lacing.

Citrus is easily the most noticeable of the aromas thanks to the hops, but there is some caramel that also stands out.

The citrus hops are toned down a bit in the flavor from the aroma although they are still present. Malt is also noticeable in the flavor.

Medium to thin body with plenty of carbonation.

Pretty drinkable and worth having again.

TheBear11D, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of logmacschlog15
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Served in Dogfish Off Centered pint glass.

Appearance: Pours 1 1/2 fingers of white, creamy head. Golden amber, dark straw colored. Lively carbonation. A little bit of lacing.

Smell: Fruity cascade hops are showcased with a subtle sweetness from the malt. Hint of alcohol.

Taste: Super flavorful with a good balance leaning toward the hoppy side of things. Nice malt sweetness with some biscut/bready undertones. Juicy, grapefruity hop with some floral notes. Slight bitterness and a hint of alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth medium body. Carbonation dances on the tounge.

Drinkabilty: Very drinkable. The 5.6% ABV makes it just low enough in alcohol to drink for longer periods of time. A classic go to pale ale.

logmacschlog15, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle at 42 degrees into a pint glass.

A: It pours a mostly transluscent golden-orange color with a finger and a half of white head that has decent retention and laces well.

S: It's quite hoppy for an APA; citrus, floral hops, caramel, and biscuit.

T: Floral hoppy bitterness up front with citrus, sweet malty flavors, and a dry, bready finish.

M: It has a medium to medium-light body with some foaminess and a crisp finish.

D: This is a decent go-to brew but it isn't great in quantity because it really seems to dry the palate quite a bit.

bucklemyshoe, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of Chadpaq
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ahh, the beer that started it all for me. Figured it was time for a review. Poured from a bomber into a...um...solo cup. Nothing's clean! I'm sorry, Sierra Nevada, I know this hardly does you justice. But I'm confident you'll be just as delicious in plastic as you are in glass.

Huge, billowing head that's hardly receded in three minutes. Is this a product of the solo cup, or a too-ambitious pour on my part? I somewhat like it. It's very serene, and makes the beer's surface appear cloud-like. The beer heavens, as it were. Salvation in a solo cup. Unfortunately, I can't see through said clouds to make an assessment on appearance, and the impermeable walls of the cup allow zero insight to the matter either. Ahh, I've finally caught a glimpse as a ray of artificial, 60-watt sunshine makes its way through the cloud cover: Golden honey comb with a touch of lemon zest. Very pretty beer, something I'd expect from the staple American Pale Ale.

I used to think this beer smelled "piney," and I still do. However, I've come to regard it as a positive connotation, something that wasn't always the case. It has a very natural, pure aroma.

I need two words to describe this beer, and two words only: Drinkable Satisfaction. Often, a tasty brew isn't as drinkable as one would like because it's so darn heavy. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a beer may go down as easily as water...but it may taste like just that. This beer falls neatly in the spectrum of...well, Drinkable Satisfaction. It's damn tasty. Bitter, fresh hops with a fair amount of grain and a bounty of other fresh ingredients. But, the body isn't huge, nor is the alcohol content, so it's very sessionable.

I've always felt that this beer had a good amount of carbonation, but not too much, allowing one to truly appreciate the copious amount of hops present within it, as well as the yeast and barley. It feels quite fine on the palate.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. The beer that started it all for me, craft-wise. I feel like there should be a sixth rating category for this beer: Nostalgia. If I could, I'd certainly give it a 5 here.

Chadpaq, Jan 13, 2011
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,977 ratings.