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.

8,553 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,553
Reviews: 2,682
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 122
Gots: 830 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,553 | Reviews: 2,682 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MaxBrews


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%

Appearance: Light amber color with a nice thick head that gives way to a very soapy head. Very appealing. A few bubbles here and there.

Smell: of quality hops and malt no more no less.

Taste: Not too hoppy, floral just a good sweet malt taste. A fair amount malt in the after taste.

Mouth feel: perfect amount of carbonation, not to heavy too light. Easy to drink and tastes great.

Drinkability: smooth great tasting beer, that Is well suited to all tastes, the price is good. The flavor notes may not blow you away if you're looking for something intense but for the style of beer a great example.

05-28-2009 21:01:35 | More by MaxBrews
Photo of imanidiot777


4.03/5  rDev -0.2%

A: It is a light amber color in the glass and the head stayed for a decent amount of time. Looked very appealing.

S: Not good at picking out specific smells but overall smelled good.

T: A good sweet malty taste, other minor things I could not pick out.

M: A good crisp feel to it, perfect level of carbonation.

D: Very drinkable, goes down easy, good year round beer.

05-27-2009 16:14:57 | More by imanidiot777
Photo of mudbug


4.6/5  rDev +13.9%

This is the savior go- to beer when traveling by motorhome in the U.S..
Sometimes available at Wallyworlds (Wall Mart)
Good hops and one of the best balances around, the avitar of west coast ale.
Thank Bacchus (Even if it's not wine) for SNPA!! All hail!

05-26-2009 22:27:55 | More by mudbug
Photo of BabyBastard

New York

3.58/5  rDev -11.4%

Pours a light amber into glass, small, white head forms but retreats fairly quickly. Ale appears hazy, nice lacing sticks around for awhile, this is a good looking ale.
Smells of malt, light citrusy hop aroma, nothing too over the top.
Taste is similar to the smell, maltiness with a slight hop bite.
Mouthfeel on this one is good, perfect carbonation, feels great on the tounge, nice and tingly. Very refreshing.
I'd have to rate the drinkability high on this ale, there is nothing too outstanding about it, but it is very nicely rounded. Moderate alcohol content makes it a cakewalk to have a few in a row.

05-26-2009 16:06:05 | More by BabyBastard
Photo of TommyW


4.33/5  rDev +7.2%

A- Slight chill haze in the golden body. Thin white head sticks well to the sides.

S- Some sweet malt undertones with some grassy, citric hop aromas on top.

T- Semi sweet, bready malt base holds everything together. Grassy and citrus notes from the hops jump in on the malt base. Finish is a touch dry with a some final sweet citrus coming in.

M- Smooth feel with a crisp finish and good carbonation level.

D- Really great session beer; goes down smooth and crisp. Would recommend this one for sure.

05-26-2009 00:33:53 | More by TommyW
Photo of thain709


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%

A - A light golden orange body...an off white head about one finger tall...settled into a nice ring...really nice lacing

S - Very crisp on the nose...lots of hop and a strong malt backbone

T - A real nice hop taste...doesn't focus on pine or citrus...just a solid hop flavor...some sweet malts present that leave that little caramel taste...has the perfect amount of bitterness

M - Light bodied...crisp and refreshing

D - Great drinkability...spot on...a real nice pale ale...I have not been disappointed by Sierra Nevada yet

05-25-2009 20:22:23 | More by thain709
Photo of gatornation


3.85/5  rDev -4.7%

pours a nice light copper color with a good head and lacing ,,just right for a pale ale ..the smell is a hop/malt battle with malts at a slight edge..but ok/ good.. the taste is floral.citrus spice, grass .and hops,with sweet malt its all there but at a minimal level not a wow! pale ale just a quality brew not an over the top pale ale..the mouthfell is good its easy to drink and tasty..it tends to lean on the sweet malts to much and could use a tad more hops... but still a great macro cant go wrong pale ale and recommended

05-23-2009 22:27:26 | More by gatornation
Photo of BeerCon5


4.22/5  rDev +4.5%

Pours a slightly hazy golden orange color with a good amount of white fluffy head. Lacing lasts throughout.

Floral scent with some citrua and light grains.

The taste is of citrus and mild spicy hops, light biscuity malts.

Medium bodied, creamy and crisp feel.

This is an excellent PA, I would probably get this again if 6ers were available in my area.

05-21-2009 20:35:58 | More by BeerCon5
Photo of mdwalsh


4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

A: One finger white head, lots of active carbonation. Golden colored with a little haze. Head consists of mostly smaller bubbles and leaves a great lacing. Sticks around for a good while too.

S: Hoppy, but not overwhelming and not specifically piney or citrusy or floraly, just hoppy. Not terribly strong, but that's a good thing. Not perfect, because after drinking for a bit, the scent begins to resemble that wet hop/wet dog smell that I know some like, but I do not.

T: Again, simple hoppiness, maybe tending towards piney. A smooth malty aftertaste makes a cameo appearence, but the hops are the defininf character of this brew.The taste really sticks to the top of the mouth. It has a funny sort of bitter that I'm not sure sure I'm a fan of though.

M: Mine is very cold, it's nice. Slightly biting, but warming. Light bodied but still forceful and very much present on the tongue. I will give it a four for mouth and four.five for drinkability, but I would rather do four.two five for both. Can you tell my numbers aren't working?

D: Very refreshing and not at all offensive.

05-21-2009 18:19:44 | More by mdwalsh
Photo of yemenmocha


4.28/5  rDev +5.9%

Pours luminous amber with hint of gold and thick white head. Nose is fresh with citrus hops, and some pine. Palate offers a nice balance of malt with hop bitterness that yields an amazingly drinkable ale that leans to the hoppy side of things. Medium bodied.

05-21-2009 01:03:52 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of mralphabet


4.03/5  rDev -0.2%

On-tap at All Sports Cafe Salem, VA.

A: Very nice bronze color with a hint of orange. Just a little cloudy.... Nice lacing.

S: A little hop aroma, a little citrus and some malt... Nothing firm to nail down.

T: Very well balanced... You get a nice hit of hops but not to much then a nice caramel like malt ending with a slight bitterness.... Very nice Pale Ale...

M: Med bodied, smooth but nicely hopped bitterness.

D: Very drinkable, tastes great, ABV is pretty good and not too filling... I'm not the biggest Pale Ale fan, but this one kind of won me over.... Balance is the key, bitter and sweet and refreshing.

05-20-2009 04:08:54 | More by mralphabet
Photo of miket163


4.4/5  rDev +8.9%

Poured a golden amber into a American pint glass. 2" white head lasted until th last quarter of the glass with great lacing.

smell: Grassy and slightly grainy with a citrus hop aroma. Slight floral scent. Excellent.

taste: Nice pale malt flavor, with a very grapefruit like hop taste. Floral and citrus like hops dominate this exceptional brew. Slight hop bitterness, but very clean.

Killer beer...one of my favorites!

05-20-2009 02:36:12 | More by miket163
Photo of porterwoobie

North Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +7.7%

poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: very clear golden amber color with a white head that dissipates quickly but laces to the sides

S: some graininess along with a mild citrusy hop aroma

T: mild sweetness. this is where the hop character shows itself as the bitterness lingers in the mouth.

MF: carbonation was a little on the higher side, medium bodied, seemed to have a dry finish.

Drinkability: classic american pale ale. very drinkable.

05-18-2009 17:17:55 | More by porterwoobie
Photo of kaseydad


3.9/5  rDev -3.5%

Ahhh an old friend who got me into the craft world. Unfortunately I no longer "visit" my friend very often.

Reviewing this from a tap on a big 22 oz. pour. It appears with a small foamy head which quickly dissolves on top of an amber red/caramal color.

Smells hoppy and also tastes hoppy with a major malt backbone to try to smooth it out.

Easy drinkability allows for multiple bottles or glasses at a seating.

Unfortunately this beer doesn't do it for me anymore. The fact that is available almost everywhere is a plus, but I tend to avoid it now...though I love some of the other SN products.

05-16-2009 15:44:49 | More by kaseydad
Photo of jonziefle

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -6.4%

Appearance: Poured a crystal clear light amber color, with a three-finger light khaki head. The head is a bit foamy/billowy and has good retention. Plenty of visible carbonation. Very good lacing.

Smell: Smells of grain and bready malts. A sharp bitter nose, but with very little hops at all.

Taste: A mild beer with a good balance between the grainy malts and the light hops. No one taste really dominates. A good "standard" of the style, memorable for its simplicity.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, and very smooth. Good crisp and clean finish.

Drinkability: A very good pale ale. Very simple without one real defining quality, but a true standard of the type. Very easy to drink and goes with anything. Might be the beer that started my on my craft beer journey.

05-15-2009 04:45:51 | More by jonziefle
Photo of Rhynes2


3.7/5  rDev -8.4%

Took a few tries to get into this beer to be honest. Clear, light colored beer when poured out. Little head retention. Very citrusy in flavor. I am normally a fan of the grapefruit flavor in a beer but this beer was a bit too sour for my tastes. Aftertaste is a bit too unpleasant. I really liked the bottle condition aspect here. It really helps this beer stick out and be unique. Had very high expectations for this one but it didn't impress me much.

05-14-2009 16:57:51 | More by Rhynes2
Photo of Beefeater57


3.95/5  rDev -2.2%

A: Light tangerine color, quite carbonated. Slight haze, solid white head that clings to the glass.

S: Orange peel, lemon peel, some yeast. Juicy citrus smell with faint sour notes.

T: Citrus flavors up front, some lemon, lime, grapefruit. Faint toastiness from the malts. Hop bitterness brings out the grapefruit flavor I'm getting. Slight astringency, finishes a little tart/sour.

M: A little fizzy on the tongue, body is a bit thin.

D: A lot of bright citrus flavors. It's an American classic, and usually the beer I order when I'm at a bar with limited craft beer selection.

05-10-2009 18:32:42 | More by Beefeater57
Photo of mullenite


4.3/5  rDev +6.4%

Poured a clear orange with a two finger frothy white head that stuck to the glass like nothing else and left a nice cap on the top of the beer and a thicker ring around the glass.

Smell is a combination of grapefruit and fresh cut grass with grapefruit winning out overall. The scent is not overly bitter however, compared to some other hoppy pale ales and balanced ipas this is subdued.

Right off the bat and on the tip of the tongue is an excellent biscuit malt flavor followed immediately by the citrus hops. Towards the back of the tongue the biscuit shows itself again this time with a much more pine flavored bitterness that lingers for some time.

A solid medium body with a great cleansing carbonation that keeps the long finish from being too sticky.

This one is very easy for ME to drink, for a beginner it might be too much but probably a great introduction to hops.

This has been a bar standard for me for a while, bottle or tap it's a great go-to beer.

05-07-2009 16:05:02 | More by mullenite
Photo of Bockrules

New Mexico

4.4/5  rDev +8.9%

Poured from a 24oz bottle into a Weizen glass

A - Pours a huge, fluffy, off-white head. Nice Dark gold to bronze color. Very nice head retention - stays intact all the way down the glass. Leaves behind good lacing.

S - Very balanced smell of cascade hops and sweet malt. Some hints of orange and spice. Quite nice, but could stand to be a tad more potent.

T - Orange flavor and hops dominate upfront. The body is incredibly balanced; the sweet malt and hops are in perfect harmony and the orange flavor and spice play over the top to give a very rich and delicious taste. The finish tastes like an orange creamsickle and slowly the hops kick in to leave a bitter-orange aftertaste. Very Delicious!

M - Moderate to high carbonation, and medium bodied. This beer also has a very creamy mouthfeel to it, which is unusual among APAs, but suit this beer extremely well.

D - This beer is one of the classic example of a stellar APA and for good reason. The brew is incredibly balanced, but has enough hop flavor to satisfy pale ale fans. The subtle and yet complex flavors coupled with a truly unique and incredible mouthfeel make this beer the benchmark for all other APAs.
I will definitely purchase this beer again in the near future.

05-07-2009 08:21:42 | More by Bockrules
Photo of Blakaeris


3.6/5  rDev -10.9%

Pours golden-amber with a thick creamy white head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Aroma is grassy, floral and citrus hop and grainy malt.

Taste is crisp and clean. Nice bit of grapefruit hop. Grainy caramel malt backbone keeps everything in balance. Lemon grass and fruity citrus character lingers throughout. Finish is crisp and dry with resinous pine and spicy hop.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

A very drinkable APA that is accessible even to those not yet initiated to the wonderful world of hops. Overall flavor is mild but crisp enough to keep things interesting. A great session beer.

05-06-2009 21:38:07 | More by Blakaeris
Photo of TheFightfan1


4/5  rDev -1%

Poured into a mug. Pours a clear golden color with a thick white heading. No real lacing.

Smell is all citrus hops with a sweet malty aroma,kind offruity as well.

Taste and Mouth is ridiculously hoppy, Ver crisp and refreshing.Nice carbonation,a little tingle on the tongue. Light to medium bodied as well.

Drink is very good. Easy to put down a few. I usually don't like hoppy beers but this is very smooth and not a dry and bitter as others.

05-01-2009 23:37:21 | More by TheFightfan1
Photo of infi

New York

4.33/5  rDev +7.2%

Poured into a pint.

Pours a translucent golden orange color with a generous amount of bubbling occurring throughout the glass, which forms a white head of extra fine bubbles forming and settling to a thin cap that moves away from the center of the glass and towards the perimeter. From a birds-eye view, it's appears to be a white ring with some thin patches of bubbles scattered in the middle. The smell is incredible with its floral bouquet of spicy hops, pine, citrus, honey and slight amounts of malt and yeast. Extra whiffs indicate that the aromas are more citrus-oriented than the pine, kinda like cutting into a fresh grapefruit. This is one damn good smelling beer.

The taste, at first, is very sweet from the malts and honey. Then, the pine and citrus come into play as they present themselves as a slight dry bitterness. And towards the end, I can taste the pith of grapefruit and a hoppy spiciness, which leaves a nice crisp and dry aftertaste. There is a definite earthy characteristic in the flavor profile - it's excellent.

This pale ale has a medium-bodied mouthfeel with adequate amount of carbonation in the mouth. And as aforementioned, a crisp and dry aftertaste remains on the tongue and inner linings of the cheeks, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Drinkability is very high. You won't notice how fast you'll be drinking it. It is remarkably sessionable, tasty and reliable. SNPA will always be one of my go-to beers.

04-29-2009 23:17:40 | More by infi
Photo of jdubjacket


4.18/5  rDev +3.5%

Ah, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. A staple for me at gas stations, crappy bars and restaurants. Pours a transparent golden color. Completely see-through. Smell is slightly grassy and hoppy. Taste is initial bitterness followed by malty backbone and ends again with the bitterness of the hops. Some bready characteristics. Overall, this is a great stand-by brew for any occasion.

04-29-2009 03:22:10 | More by jdubjacket
Photo of cadizkyguy


3.53/5  rDev -12.6%

This is my second Sierra Nevada beer (had a so-so first impression of Torpedo IPA). Appearance and drinkability are the best things about this beer, I found. Definitely, a nice refreshing brew out of California. Smell is somewhat lacking for an american pale ale, but I guess I was spoiled by Three Floyds Alpha King (my go-to american pale ale). I had heard and read great things about this Sierra Nevada offering, but I don't find it lives up to the hype, though still a very good beer.

04-29-2009 01:32:46 | More by cadizkyguy
Photo of cdizinno

South Carolina

4.6/5  rDev +13.9%

A: Golden amber with a nice head that settles into a lasting white lace.

S: Loads of floral, spicy hops. Touch of earthiness.

T&M: Smooth, medium body. Sharp, tangy, fruity, citrus bitterness. Light floral and spicy. Large hop finish.

This is one of my favorites. I always come back to this for a regualr drinking ale!

04-29-2009 01:18:13 | More by cdizinno
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,553 ratings.