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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.

8,220 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,220
Reviews: 2,670
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 112
Gots: 661 | 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: 8,220 | Reviews: 2,670 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RodBurg


4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This brew is such a classic, I'm ashamed to say the first time I tried it was only about a month ago. I love the short brown bottle and the cool looking green label. The label alone conjures up images of majestic mountains and forests in the American West.

A fine layer of yeast coats the bottom of the bottle and it pours out a beautiful clear golden. A small, coarse head rises and doesn't stick around. No lacing.

The smell is wonderful. Crisp pale malts matched by the sharp cascade hops.

Tastes crisp, clean, and very refreshing. The malt and hops are in perfect harmony here. Slight grapefruit tones with a light/medium body and a good amount of carbonation.

This is the standard for American pale ales and what they all should try to live up to. A great thirst quencher and summer beer. This one is going on regular rotation in my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2008 05:39:08 | More by RodBurg
Photo of gford217


3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear golden amber with a small white fluffy head that dissipates quickly to a ring leaving only a little lacing. The aroma is big on citrus hops with grapefruit up front and a hint of pine in the background. The taste starts with a big citrus hop bite up front before giving way to the malt backbone. There is a little pine bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is fresh and clean with good carbonation but a tad light for my liking. This is certainly one of the best mainstream beers out there and one that I order frequently when there's not a lot else available. Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2008 02:37:38 | More by gford217
Photo of changeup45


3.55/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap, out of the bottle, I always enjoy this beer. Copper color with moderate off-white head and some lacing. A bit floral, nicely hopped, with grapefruit, moderate bitterness and some sweet malt for a nicely balanced beer. This is a solid beer and probably easy to find for most people.

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2008 20:19:32 | More by changeup45
Photo of thekevlarkid


4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Strong hoppy aroma with a floral hint. Copper color. Pours with a nice thick head that shows great retention. Delicate bubbles leave good lacing too. Medium bodied and bitter with a crisp, dry finish. Smooth and refreshing. The light carbonation makes you want to savor it and swish it around in your mouth. This is a good beer (you can see why it's their flagship) and you could easily drink it all night.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2008 02:40:49 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of twiggamortis420


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wanted to see if the 24oz bottle tasted any different than it's little bro. Poured into a Yeti snifter glass a clear copper color with great lacing and retention.

Light, citrisy hop aroma. Smells fresh. Delicate bready malts present as well. Has everything you should smell in an APA, nothing you dont.

Taste falls on the hoppy side of life. More floral than citrus. Light, crisp and smooth. I get the feeling the water they use is really tasty with just enough minerals. Yum.

Pretty amazing how SN can brew so much of this and keep the quality this high. Prost!

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2008 04:41:53 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of wspscott


3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle in sam adams glass

A: Crystal clear, dark golden color. Thin white head with a little lace.
S: Citrus hops dominate, there is a hint of pine in the background
T: Sharp hop bitterness, definitely a pale ale. The hops aren't obviously cascades, mostly just bitter. A little caramel sweetness to help balance things out.
M: More carbonation than I remembered, right on the edge (but not over) of too much. Crisp but not watery. A roundness on the tongue, mouth filling, tongue coating. Surprised that there is not more of a head given the mouthfeel.
D: It had been a while since I had had one of these. A great pale ale, but not as great as I remembered. I think that this is a perfect beer for a 4th of July picnic or a baseball game. Highly drinkable, well worth seeking out.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2008 21:17:05 | More by wspscott
Photo of bbeerman


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

I really enjoyed this beer recently, much more than I expected (or remembered from the first time I had it years ago).

The appearance was quite nice. A bit darker than other comparable beers.

I find the smell pleasing and inviting. There is no false advertising either; you taste what you smell once you begin to drink this Pale Ale.

This beer is wonderful on the senses. It tastes great anytime of the year and goes down smooth.

I find this to be a good session beer as I could easily enjoy a six-pack in a sitting. There is a slight hint of alcohol (at 5.6% ABV), but definitely not overwhelming.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2008 07:52:14 | More by bbeerman
Photo of BoSox5902


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

very strong hop flavor. a great ale. i got a six pack of this from my dad for my 21st birthday. up there with samuel adam's as one of the best american brewed beers. i usually like the european imports myself but this beer can give them competition.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2008 05:21:21 | More by BoSox5902
Photo of Dodo2step


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

P- Grape and Gourmet on my trip to Va Beach!

A- pours a nice light copper and orange color. A one finger head is nice and frothy and leaves a nice white lace around the top of my glass.

S- some floral and citrusy hops hit my nose and it smells grandiose. Very sensous in smell. The hops overrun the smlee of alcohol and malts.

T- a nice grapefruit citrus hop taste. It is like an explosion of grapefruit in my mouth. I also detect some floral flavors at the tail end.

M- dry and refreshing. Very hoppy which i did not like in the past but have come fond of the hoppiness.

D- i bought a 12 pack for the DMB concert and they went down smooth and very easy. Flavorful and easy to put down as a summer beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2008 00:19:24 | More by Dodo2step
Photo of GoodKnight1220


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

Got this on-tap at the local brew-pub.

Poured a nice golden yellow with little head or lacing.

Smells mostly of hops and light floral.

Very smooth and dry, can taste the floral and hops but not over powering, has a nice bitter finish.

Very good brew, can drink plenty of these.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2008 23:26:33 | More by GoodKnight1220
Photo of GrimmReaper

British Columbia (Canada)

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

Quite the find this one was,recommended by the waiter at the Sheraton restaraunt just outside Disneyland,a medium amber color,with a bubbly creamy off white head that left some sticky lacing,a great scent of citrus,some pine,nice hoppy aroma to it.Taste was a great blend of hops and malts, also hinted of citrus some grapefruit and very nice spicy touch to it.Medium mouthfeel to this one all going down rather nicely,can't get this one in my area,will try this one again next time i come across it,very enjoyable and highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

08-07-2008 04:24:40 | More by GrimmReaper
Photo of prsguitarsr4me

New York

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

Probably my favorite casual drinker. I can always finish off the night with one of these. I love the taste - not extreme but there is definitely something going on with every sip. Excellent taste and drinkability - I'm not blown away by the smell or appearance so much, but then again, for me, its a casual drinker, and I always recommend it. And honestly, I want just as much out of a casual drink than anything else - it has to taste good, and this Pale Ale definitely does.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2008 02:21:56 | More by prsguitarsr4me
Photo of midaszero


3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear golden color with 2 finger of puffy white head that sticks around

S - Citrus (orange and lemon) and hopes. Almost a slight sweet caramel note

T - Crisp with some orange flavor plus lemon peel with floral and spice notes.

M - Medium body with medium carbonation

D - Pretty decent. Personally I found several other pales more drinkable but this is a good stand by and usually readily available.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2008 01:20:24 | More by midaszero
Photo of PatronWizard


4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light clear amber orange, a little more subtle than I expected. Decent head but it faded quickly.

Light aroma of ???

Taste is actually just what a beer should taste like and the feel is, well....rather nice. Carbonated enough for just a light belch.

Drinkable? You bet. I think this is actually the flavor level I'm at in my beer evolution; anything less would be unappreciated. My highest review so far has been an EPA and with liking this taste so much I suspect I may be a pale ale kinda dude for now.

I love a good beer on an empty stomach. Puts just the right amount of fuzz into the mind.

Overall: good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2008 19:41:44 | More by PatronWizard
Photo of scottbrew4u


3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A Classic!

A: Pours a golden-orange color with great clarity and a white bubbly head that hangs around a bit before settling back.

S: Citrus! Fresh grapefruit and some orange and a bit of peppery hop spiciness. Nice toasted malt aroma underlying and slight toffee sweetness in the end.

T: Fresh herbal and citrus hop flavors with some red grapefruit bitterness. Malt profile is of fresh baked bread and some toffee flavors. Hops keep coming with some herbal and fresh grass flavors.

M: Medium bodied with crisp carbonation and a slight alcohol presence at the end.

D: It doesn't get much more drinkable then this. Hop heads appreciate it and even those just starting to get into hops can find it flavorful. Good to introduce to friends thta don't regularly get good beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2008 16:31:50 | More by scottbrew4u
Photo of rbettis


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

My Favorite Beer
I have been drinking this for 20 years. I have tried so many other beers all over the spectrum all over the world. I always can't wait to get back to my home in N. California to have a couple. Contrary to the beer tasting advice I like them iced. Since I met my wife ten years ago, there has only been a couple of times we have been without.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2008 20:18:13 | More by rbettis
Photo of glid02


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

Got this on tap at Dark Horse Tavern in Atlanta.

Pours a dark copper color with about a one finger head. Diminshes into a small layer of bubbles with not very much lacing.

This has a good floral smell with some of the bitters that are to come. Not as aromatic as some other APA's I've had, but certainly pretty nice.

This tastes pretty similar to how it smells. Some floral taste with a lot of the token Cascade bitter. Not a whole lot else going on, but what's done is done well.

Mouthfeel is alright, good carbonation and a pretty good thickness. Could be just a little thicker, although I may be expecting more of an IPA thickness than an APA. I'd wager that I'm not, but if I am then sue me.

This is a very drinkable beer. Goes down smooth with no unwanted aftertaste. The bitterness is expected and welcomed.

Overall if you haven't tried this, try it, but really who hasn't? It's a little better on tap than what I've had from the bottle - looks prettier and the flavors are a little more subdued and crisper. Definitely worth a try on tap if you've only had it from a bottle. If you've never tried it then definitely try it, be it from a tap or from a bottle.

Serving type: on-tap

08-02-2008 07:16:23 | More by glid02
Photo of Antilochus

Ontario (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the White Horse in Parsons Green. Served in a branded, Eurostamped SNPA pint glass. Nice! Cost 4 quid though.

Orangey-golden body, nice consistent white head. Leaves a bit of lace. Nothing spectacular here but lives up to expectations.

Tangerine, orange peel, malt backbone, a bit of rust and some pine sneaking in there as well. Quite good. West coast-lite.

Palate is well balanced for a hoppy APA, well-rounded with plenty of malt presence and reasonably fresh hop character. Pine really comes through, solid bitterness makes this a very drinkable and classic APA. Reminds me a lot of St. Ambroise Pale from McAuslan.


Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2008 21:00:19 | More by Antilochus
Photo of kinger


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

Definitely a nice surprise, I had a feeling this ale would be good but not this good! Pours a nice copper color with decent creamy head and an abundance of lacing. The aroma is highly hopped with a nice malt scent. Mouthfeel is thick and filling with an unbelievably smooth crisp finish. The flavor is the perfect balance of bittering hops and malts for a pale ale. This is a great standard for the pale ale style and an exceptional example.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2008 20:06:45 | More by kinger
Photo of goatherder


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

Golden in colour, great clarity for a bottle conditioned beer and an ample white head. Big hop aroma up front, tangerines and rockmelons with the malt peeking through as the beer warmed up. A firm hop slap up front with all the fruitiness of the aroma which gives way to a wonderfully round, bready malt flavour. The bitterness is well balanced and gives a crisp end to the maltiness. The mouthfeel is middle to thin with the carbonation just a bit high for my liking. This combines with the relatively high abv to inhibit the drinkability for me. This beer comes with quite a reputation and I'm happy to say it lives up to it. A great example of an APA, able to showcase the hops whilst allowing the malt to shine through too.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2008 08:32:24 | More by goatherder
Photo of bobhits


3.35/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

How does one review a beer like this? My gut reaction is to essentially call this the example for a pale ale and score it solid 3's. That said the "normal" opinion is that this is a great pale ale. I personally do feel that while very enjoyable this is middle of the road in the pale ale category.

A. A nice thick head. I'm serving it in a stone IPA glass. A caramel color, I'd say maybe 2-3 shades of amber darker than a crappy macro if that makes any sense.

S. Lets again compare to a macro for just a half second. The malt reminded me a lot of a bud, but with a bit sweeter note, and then there is some hop aroma that a bud could only dream of. Not a lot of aroma on the whole, but nothing wrong there either.

T. This beer reminds me as far in the way it's balanced of an english pale ale, but with American hops. The thing is while compared to a macro or even an english beer the malt back is somewhat sweet, it's rather boring and imo not very great by American standards. There is a decent bit of hop flavor here, but don't expect this to come off as hoppy. It's hard to really say what flavors the hops are giving off as they're really pretty subtle. I want to say a bit of a piney flavor, but really all I get a bit a bitterness to balance things out. If you're looking for a well balanced pale ale then this is one of the best beers you'll find. If you want something that says "American pale ale" then this imo is a bit of a disappointment.

M. I like thicker beers even in my pale ales. That said there's enough carbonation here and it is very very drinkable. My complaints are simply why it isn't perfect.

D. Mean moons ago a friend and I played beer pong with this stuff. What more need I say? You can drink this till you're on the floor or you can have a glass with you're dinner. For me I'm not drawn to keep drinking this like some beers, but I certainly have enjoyed this bottle.

Maybe I'm become too much of a snob, but I can't say that this is a beer to seek out. Clearly it's everywhere so nobody really needs to put any effort into it. If this is on tap and not much else is, then enjoy. If you're at a place with 500+ beers, you might want to try something a bit more "interesting."

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2008 05:42:05 | More by bobhits
Photo of Biggness

New York

4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer pours a nice semi cloudy amber with beautiful carbonation in it with atleast two fingers of head. The smell is mild of nuts and hops. The taste is very smoothe of a nice well balanced Pale Ale, you can not compare this beer to Alpha King Pale Ale but it is a very nice Pale ale. I was worried about the mouthfeel since the carbonation looked high but you barely notice it when you drink it and its an incredibly smoothe beer. An incredibly drinkable beer, nothing about it would slow you down. Well done and I look forward to more!

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2008 21:11:57 | More by Biggness
Photo of everetends


3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle I got out of sixer that is available everywhere, sad that this is my first sixer of SNPA. I just never got around to it and was overly critical SN for quite a while.

A: Poured a golden almost amber color. Had a decent amount of carbonation activity. Poured a fluffy white head that was a bit suprising as it had good retention. Pretty good looking brew.

S: Smell is of pine, citrus hops and touch of sweetness coming from the malt.

T: Taste is also of a touch of pine, a good amount of hops (a bit more than I was expecting), and is rounded off with the sweetness of some good malt.

M: Light to medium in body, good carbonation for the style. The slight creaminess of this brew really allows some sticky hops to hang around. Pretty crisp and refreshing.

D: Really good brew for a majorly produced micro. It really does deliver and really impressed me for the amount of beer they pump out. Sierra Nevada is about 10 bucks a sixer here and I tend to stay away from it because I can get some good brews for about 2 bucks less around here. Sill this is a good beer and my opinions are changing.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2008 05:02:26 | More by everetends
Photo of FacistCannonBall


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

This was actually one of my first beers in the craft brew realm some 15 years ago. I saw it on tap a local hangout and decided to give it a shot. I've been drinking it ever since, so I figured I might as well put in my two cents. It's a great looking beer with a good sized head that laces down the glass, as the beer is finished. What I love most is the smell of this pale ale with its piny/citrusy hop aroma balanced with malt goodness. This taste is usually great though there are times where I noticed pronounced differences in the beer from batch to batch. I've found that this beer can be quite variable in aroma and taste. Usually, it hits the spot perfectly. I had it with sliced BBQ beef brisket at Joey's in Pomona and it complimented and held up quite nicely the smokiness and tangy sweetness of the BBQ sauce.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2008 23:59:35 | More by FacistCannonBall
Photo of weissbierdrinker


3.05/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale copper color with a two finger light tan head that leaves very nice lacing around the glass.

Smell is slightly soupy with some malt notes.

Taste starts out hoppy with a very nice bitterness to it, then turns to a bit soapy dry finish.

Overall it's a very good beer that I would drink again.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2008 01:12:40 | More by weissbierdrinker
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,220 ratings.