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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.

8,962 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,962
Reviews: 2,710
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 149
Gots: 1,022 | 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: 8,962 | Reviews: 2,710 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Dougal
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If you like a beer balanced with hops and malt and one that has alot of taste characteristics and enough hops to keep you interested then you I guess you really want the very best of a session beer. This is an exceptional beer that should be exported to other nations so that they will know we are more than Anheuser Busch and Miller Coors and even more than Sam Adams.

This beer holds up to the best of them and actually is in the winner's circle of the best of them

Dougal, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of spacechimo155
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a maple, extremely clear brown with a nice thick head. smells like it tastes, fresh cascade hops, and lots of them. mouthfeel is a bit thicker than appearance suggests, still on the light side. nice carbonation. This beer is how Sierra Nevada took over

spacechimo155, Oct 26, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap on the home kegerator. Works out quite well.

Pours a nice light copper color with a good white head and some pretty sticky lacing on the way down. The nose is all about the American C hops with some excellent citrus notes throughout. The taste is slightly-bitter citrus hops with a very mild malt presence in the background. Not excessively bitter, but does the job right. Drinkability is really high, as this is perhaps the most classic of all the craft beers.

Thorpe429, Oct 25, 2010
Photo of FosterJM
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16th review on BA
Bottle poured into a pint glass.

App- Has the color of an orange sunset with a high carbonation level in the glass, poured a 1/4 in white head with good retention and some nice lacing.

Smell- Yeasty with the spicy hops and a bit of pine.

Taste-Very crips and gentle pale ale. Was one of the 1st craft beers I had a long time ago. It was nice to grab a bottle last night from my brother in law at a family party. The right taste to help people get into beer. One of the best Pales out there.

Mouth- Its up there with the better pales, even though people consider this one of the run of the mill beers for people to try.

Drink- Could have had more than 1 I tell you that. Too bad for the 1hr half drive home and the fact there was none left. May have to run to the store to pick one up.

FosterJM, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of perrymarcus
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a SA "perfect pint" glass.

pours a slightly cloudy amber/bronze tone with a little short of two fingers' light beige head; very impressive retention, some lacing... great looking beer.

nose is a bit underwhelming with light citrus hops and a bit of pine evident.

strong hoppy profile frames the taste; balanced to an extent by a caramel malty presence but clearly hops is the dominant character in this one. some hoppy bitterness to the finish. nothing crazy delicious here, but moderately tasty and refreshing.

medium-body/medium carbed mouthfeel... high drinkability score, easily a "session" type of brew.

perrymarcus, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of Derranged
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this on tap and from a bottle, but the bottle had much more flavor so I'll stick with that.

A- Dark orange amber color.

S- Citrus, grapefruit, hops

T- Very flavorful. Hoppy, citrusy, sweet with a slight bitter finish. One the best Pale Ales I've had.

M- Kind of thick and medium carbonation.

D- I can drink this all day and all night.

This is one of my favorite beers, and its not too much money. Great stuff. Havent had it in months, I think I need to get some more.

Derranged, Oct 19, 2010
Photo of SovereignBCS
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Excellent beer, htis is one of my favorites and it was my first craft beer, finally got time to review it.

A - nice head

S - Hoppy, almost grapefruity with clear citrus

T - Perfect American Pale Ale

M - Good, would've like a little less carbonation

D - Could definitely knock back more than a few of these in a sitting

SovereignBCS, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of StoutyMcStouters
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24 oz bottle, poured into a plain round table glass.

Poured with a gorgeous dark golden color and two fingers of head, head retention was good with lacing that stuck around for a while.

Smells very much like flowers, like a garden in a cup.

The flavor it packs was way more than expected, it has an awesome bitter citrus infused taste, really more than I could have asked for with the price I paid. It is hard to describe how natural but redefined it tastes. Bang for the buck is huge with this beer.

Easy to drink with a super smooth mouthfeel to it. I wish the aftertaste was a little less pronounced; The bitter overpowers the good taste of the beer as the flavor fades.

Overall a very solid, tasty beer, wish I had tried this beer sooner. Seems like it would go very well with a nice chicken or fish dinner.

StoutyMcStouters, Oct 18, 2010
Photo of sdj5
4.78/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Looks very nice. Slightly cloudy peachy-tan color.

Smells floral and welcoming.

The taste is very crisp and clean with the hops hitting you in the middle and most strongly in the aftertaste.

The hops give it a delicious bitter flavor but it's never overpowering or disgusting.

The carbonation hits your tongue and feels very good. The beer is otherwise of a very crisp mouthfeel.

I could drink this all night. It is a fantastic, high-quality brew.

sdj5, Oct 17, 2010
Photo of jsanford
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass

A - Pours a beautiful orange with a 1-inch creamy white head. Very nice spotty lacing and retention.
S - Crisp with floral & citrus hops and sweet, bready malt. Very clean.
T - More citrus hops with a slight pine bitterness, backed up by more bready malts. Again, so crisp and clean tasting.
M - Smooth and creamy with a medium-light body and high, sharp carbonation.
D - Infinitely drinkable, absolutely delicious.

jsanford, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of Groomsy
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very nice orange/slightly golden color. Nice one-finger head that slowly disappears throughout consumption. Nice carbonation and bubbles float up to the top of the glass, very impressive lacing down the side of the glass.

Smell: A little hard to distinguish, but the first thing I noticed was the hops; a very elegant blend of a sort of citrusy type of smell along with a pine smell(?). A little bit of sweetness from the malts as well. There's a good balance in the smell, but it seems very hops-dominated.

Taste: Whoa. Good stuff here. Lots of good stuff. An abundance of citrus hops comes up front that sort of "wake up" your tongue followed by some slightly sweet malts in the middle to balance out the hops which just bombarded your tongue (in a good way). The beer goes down with a very nice bitterness and "yeast" taste that leaves a lingering aftertaste in the mouth. VERY impressive and refreshing. Kinda kicked my tail.

Mouthfeel: Moderately thin and light, but not watery; there's some substantial body to this beer that is a good balance between easy to drink and solid thickness. The carbonation also plays a role in this.

Drinkability: Depending on the setting, it would be really easy to knock back a few of these. Its great refreshing taste and solid body make it a very drinkable beer for any time of year.

For my first pale ale, I'm very impressed. Not only is this an American classic, but it's a good way to get into craft brews. Definitely going to go for it again.

Groomsy, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of ebby82
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's difficult to review a beer I have drank so much, but I shall try.

Pours a dark golden hue into a pint glass with a bit of head. The smell is of sweet hops, with just a hint of malt. The taste is a mellow, slightly hoppy deliciousness. It's body is on the light side, and it's drinkability has been proven time and again. Not the best pale ale I've ever had, but one of the best, and at it's price and availability, it really can't be beat.

ebby82, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of thebeerdoctor
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An American classic. Poured into a standard ale glass, this time it was the twenty four ounce version, quite good for an extended sitting. The inimitable resiny pine character of this ale also serves to remind me that it tastes as good as its aroma. The yeast strain works magic, and I have heard the legend that this strain originally came from Ballantine. Who knows? All I know is this remains the year-round flagship brand of Sierra Nevada, and rightfully so.

thebeerdoctor, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of wvu9787
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my 22oz Fear and Loathing beer mug, bought at local beer store a 24oz. bottle at $2.69, 5.6 ABv.

A: Dark yellow, maybe a bright gold color, Very carbonated, bubbles rising off the off white head.

S: Hops, pine with a citrus smell, very little smell overall,but then again my nose is a little stoped up.

T: Citrus, very grapefruit to me, lemon/lime, not really too hoppy for a pale ale but is there, it does taste good and is very refreshing, makes me think of summer, a good beer to drink when riding the ol' lawn mower.

M: Carbonated, however very thirst quenching, somewhat dry in the finish over all not bad and is a little bitter.

D: Very drinkable, i am not a "Hop Head" by any means and dont usualy drink PA/IPAs but i do enjoy this one its not over the top with hops and is very refreshing, love the grapefruit taste to it.

I do enjoy this beer, its a ideal summer beer IMO
even though is pretty cold out and is in mid OCT. its still a good choice if your looking for a light tasting pale ale, not bad at all.

wvu9787, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of nickhiller
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: clear to hazy copper color, with short brief head that reduces to a ring around the edges, good lacing.

S: citrus, pine, iron, other fruity hop notes to be sure. All smells are light, faint even, but in the best way.

T: toasty biscuit from the malt, a fruit I can't place from the hops, the perfect amount of bitterness on the finish. This beer is like the story of Goldilocks: not too much this, not too little of that, but just the right amount of everything.

M: well carbonated, dry and yet thirst quenching.

D: This has and always will be one of my favorite beers. It is both the quintessential American Pale Ale and Californian beer, as well as Sierra's best beer (obviously all my opinions). I love the simplicity of it, the straight forwardness, and that it has a similar taste to all the other Sierra beers, but is the one that really stands out among the rest. Also I love that it's nearly everywhere--it's my go to beer when I'm at a bar or restaurant with a limited selection, a great alternative to the macro tripe these places often have to offer.

nickhiller, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of RankRefugee88
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into my Sam Adams glass.

A - Light looking beer, but full of color. Pearly white head with decent carbonation in the golden body. Looks very drinkable.

S - More of a malty smell than what I would have expected. Hops & yeast are certainly there. Bready, with a drop of caramel. Appealing smell.

T - Very satisfying. Very good balance with the hops. It's slightly sweet and bready too, but I think the balance of the hops is what makes this beer taste so right. This pale ale definitely hits it's high notes. It knows it's job and delivers.

M - Carbonated, but very smooth. Places well in between 'too thick' and 'too light,' just a happy medium. Slightly chewy, but just enough to let a good aftertaste simmer on the taste buds.

D - Very good drinkability. It's light but very good for when you want to drink a few.

Pretty good beer, I've had this many times before but just decided to rate it while enjoying a 6-pack during a football game. Definitely a good beer for any sort of occasion.

RankRefugee88, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of shand
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint bottle

Appearance: A nice orange-amber with three fingers of head. The head retains pretty well, and is a great beer.

Smell: Smells great, floral hops and citrus dominate.

Taste: Tastes amazing. Hops are the star of the show here for sure, but they're perfectly balanced for an APA. The malts do a great job at keeping them in line. Just a great tasting pale ale, no gimmicks.

Mouthfeel: Super smooth and feels really good.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, very good.

This is probably the best widely available pale ale. A great introduction to the style that can be found just about anywhere. Highly recommended.

shand, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of MeMyselfNAles7
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The hype is real this is the real deal. Its all that you heard from and more. This is the top notch example of the style.

Poured it in a pint glass and it cast a golden orange brew with a full beige crown. Full body, nice carbonation. Hops, citrus fruits, pine and caramel. On the palate is fairly the same as on the aroma. Crisp refreshing starts up a little dryish but then the hops and malts are loose and they linger on until the aftertaste in which the malts subside and they get replaced by a hoopy fruity aftertatse. Nice drinkability and superb balance.

MeMyselfNAles7, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of TheKingofWichita
2.78/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So I don't want to seem like an ass but I didn't really like this beer.
Pours an off orange color with a white head, and minimal lacing.
Smells a little citrusy with some hop character and some pine.
Tastes like hops, hops, hops, bitterness, with a little malt and citrus thrown in for kicks.
Mouthfeel and drinkability were fairly average.

TheKingofWichita, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of BBP
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Semi-translucent orange with great carbonation and a creamy head. Laces well too. While I couldn't find any other people mentioning this, it almost looks unfiltered. Perhaps I had some yeast buildup from storing it sideways.

S- Slightly hoppy (considerably hoppy for a pale ale), with notes of grain and caramel.

T- Citrus and pine upfront. This brew balances hops and malt tremendously. After getting into craft beer I find this to have the level of flavor I want, but not much more. It doesn't disappoint, but doesn't impress too much at the same time.

M- Pretty creamy, but fairly thin. Carbonation was just right though.

D- Easy to drink, and good all around beer. Has everything I expect for a beer, but not much more. Still, for the price and availability, this beer is more or less the craft beer drinker's lifeboat.

BBP, Oct 09, 2010
Photo of ramseye4
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I first cut my craft beer teeth on this one back in freshman year of college, and I have fallen in love with it. It's my go to beer, the perfect combination of affordability, availability, and price. It pours a beautiful golden amber color, with a nice head, and bubbles rise steadily to the top of my SN Pale Ale pint glass. It is a truly gorgeous Pale Ale. The wonderful hop aroma rises from the glass, with oranges shining through. The taste is just as magnificent as the beer looks and feels, with hops immediate on the tongue, with the citric fruit taste charging through, with a fruity aftertaste. A decently high amount of carbonation is apparent, with a medium body an a delicious hoppy finish.
I'd have to say that all things considered, this is my favorite beer. No matter what else is in my fridge, there is always at least a few Sierra Nevada Pale Ales lurking in amongst them.

ramseye4, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of shredsofautumn
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24 oz. bottle purchased 10/05/2010 in Easthampton, MA.

Appearance- N/A: Drank straight from the bottle over lunch (Complete faux pas, I know. My apologies to my brethren.)

Smell- Decent amount of potent hops, slight flowery notes, tinge of biscuity malts.

Taste- Sharply hopped. Hops predominate the flavor, good warmth for the fairly average ABV level. Good malt undertones. This is the brew that put Chico, California on the map. Flagship of Sierra Nevada, and always a good choice for a well-concocted pale ale.

Mouthfeel- Crisp. Hops linger around after the initial swallow. Very nice for the style.

Drinkability- Very good. I wouldn't drink more than a couple pints (24 oz. is perfect), but doesn't that often define a well crafted beverage? Very good pale ale.

shredsofautumn, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of Tilley4
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had a couple of pints with some blackened grouper while watching a Tampa Bay sunset over the water...

Arrives a dark reddish golden with a thin wispy head ... Not that great....

Faint citrusy hop aromas and a sweet mat bill characterize this one... This one seems to have more pop in the bottle but who knows how long this one has been tapped.... This one is ok...

Sweet roasted malts with a tangy citrus finish... Fairly solid but nothing to write home about...

A nice solid little brew to have with a meal...

Tilley4, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of micromaniac129
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber in color. With a vigorous pour, produces a nice big head that is dense and slow to fade.
Slight haze.
Aroma is that of spicy hops with floral undertones. Malt taste is understated and has bready or biscuit taste.
Taste is that of floral hops and bready maltiness. Sweet
Smooth and well balanced dry finish.
A go to pale ale
Drink well my friends

micromaniac129, Oct 02, 2010
Photo of LiquidBread219
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A= This beer looked very good to me it was orange-amber in color. It had a really nice foam head that sat ontop of the beer for longer period of time than most beers that I have sampled.

S= Basically citrus hops with some pine in it.

T= It was very hop focused the taste was very similar to the nose.

M= Creamy and thick goes down very well.

D= This is a very drinkable beer basically always in stock fairly cheap perfect if you don't want to drop a lot of cash. It goes down easy and is easy to drink.

LiquidBread219, Oct 02, 2010
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,962 ratings.