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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.

8,184 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,184
Reviews: 2,668
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 111
Gots: 643 | 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: 8,184 | Reviews: 2,668 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AshevilleSippin

North Carolina

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

Short Version:
Solid all around textbook American Pale Ale. Dry and pleasantly bitter with a crisp bite and nice structure.

Seems like I take these things for granted any more. Fact of business, these are truly a gem of the mainstream beer world. I was desperate and had to buy beer at a backwoods grocery the other weekend. Choc full 'o Miller, Anheueser, and 40-dogs of malt liquor my options looked grim. But lo and behold at the end of the isle I found Sam Adams Lager and SN Pale Ale as the two token yankee beers in the whole store. Score!!! I took them both.

Got me to thinking how many times I've bought these and not rated them. Probably because I get busy, don't have time to rate, and always know there will be another sixer sometime in the future where I can knock out the review.

Enough jabbering, here goes with that thar review:

This is what I think of as a down-the-line America Pale Ale. They don't veer off the standard and try to get cute. It's a solid drink you can always count on.

Poured a medium golden amber color with a 2 finger rocky/sudsy off-white head. Clear as a bell. Light herbal and citrus on the nose. Lemongrass perhaps.

It's showing decent lace if you drink it quick. After a couple minutes the head drops to a thin film with splotchy white sidewalls. Carbonation is pretty busy. Vitals are good.

Flavor is dry and bitter. It's sporting some citrus, mild spice, and has decent medium malt body. Dominant hop-bitter rather than sweet. It's not a thick chewy beer but there is plenty of meat to separate it from imposters. There's a little grain on the finish. Aftertaste is grainy, dry and pleasant. I could drink these all day long.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2008 05:35:06 | More by AshevilleSippin
Photo of AKBelgianBeast


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

The classic staple.

Pours a clear ambery orange with nice white frothy head. Smell is west coast hoppage with some spice. Taste is quite good with wonderful west coast hoppiness. I have some sorry ass IPAs (alaskan) with less hop flavor and bitterness than SNPA. Some good spice in the taste as well. Certainly a staple pale ale round these parts, and IMO one of the best in the country. This is always a go to, when you have to run in and run out of the store. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2008 07:59:56 | More by AKBelgianBeast
Photo of jeremyd365


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

Had it from a 22oz bottle.

Poured a light copper with medium head. Felt pretty carbonated and smelled flowery. It tasted slightly hoppy and was quite smooth. No bite at the end and very drinkable.

Had never had anything from Sierra Nevada before although I've seen it often. This great pale makes me want to definitely check out some of their other styles.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2008 21:04:49 | More by jeremyd365
Photo of adamette


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

On tap at Ruby Tuesdays in Mentor, Ohio

A one fingerhead, brown translucent tiny bubbles from below reach the top slowly.

S Mild hoppiness, pleasing

T Moderate hoppiness, pleasant amberlike taste.

M Just fine, nothing remarkable.

D Good, I can see having several of these.

Notes: this is my default beer if I find it on tap and the other choices are not satisfactory. It is very consistent and interesting.

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2008 15:41:38 | More by adamette
Photo of jadpsu


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light clear copper/amber with a good head and solid lacing.
Staying true to its style, hops pretty much dominate the aroma providing some hoppy bitterness. Definite citrus piney notes come through strong. Tart.
Moderate mouth feel and bready maltiness taste adding balance and enjoyment.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2008 03:08:04 | More by jadpsu
Photo of Spidey13


4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is the beer that first turned me on to craft beer two years ago. I had it on tap last night and decided finally to try to write a review.

In the glass, it is a very pretty, clear golden/copper color with a fluffy white head. Lots of lacing is left on the glass. The nose is very bright and floral with hops. Some citrus in there too with a bit of caramel underneath. The taste starts off with sweet caramel up with and them the grapefruity hop flavor and bitterness shows up and is fantastic! There are also some bready flavors in there and, while the beer warmed up, I think I tasted a bit of the alcohol underneath. There is a nice, medium mouthfeel with a medium/high carbonation. As for drinkability, I could drink this beer all day long. Never get between me and a SNPA. Do you hear me? NEVER!

Serving type: on-tap

03-27-2008 12:12:44 | More by Spidey13
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

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

The old standby... I can't believe after years on this site I've not yet taken a pen to paper with this guy. Bottled in mid-December 2007 and sampled on 3/24/08.

Served in a pint glass at just over fridge temperature.

Appearance- Pale orangey-gold, this offers a few floaties (looks like bits of hop leaves and yeast) with great action in the glass. The head crests at about three fingers, and remains puffy for several minutes after the pour. Excellent lacing that clings to the inside of my glass.

Smell- Sweet, juicy grapefruit exemplifies the nice Cascade hop aroma... a lemony twist appears at the end, it's all about the citrus here.

Taste- A perfectly balanced, mellow APA that is surely a great and consistent example of the style. The hops and malts are totally in sync, while the finishing bitterness dries the palate and leaves a refreshing taste.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Well carbonated but slick and smooth enough to really enjoy. The texture complements the bright hops and subtle malts, letting the flavors emerge fully. One of the most accessible, yet thoroughly satisfying beers with that beautiful West Coast hop kick.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2008 03:35:59 | More by yelterdow
Photo of kwm13

New York

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

This one pours a nice golden amber color with a decent head on it.

Without knowing the name of it, one might guess that this could be an IPA because of the strong hops smell. The scent also brings out citrus.

Tastes like a great Pale Ale, really hoppy, little carbonation. Crisp finish.

A great offering.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2008 22:48:39 | More by kwm13
Photo of stephens101


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

This was one of the first craft brews I ever had. I remember thinking how strong it was at the time. Let's see how it treats me now. Pours a clear copper with an off white two-finger head that sticks around a bit. Smells of hops with a tinge of citrus and pine in the background. Doesn't taste as strong as I remember, which is not surprising. In fact, it's not strong at all, but very drinkable. The citrusy hops are mellowed out with the malts and a bit of biscuity goodness. There's a fruity essence apparent as well, and a subtle sweetness comes forth after a while. Very smooth with not much carbonation going on. Great balance of taste and drinkability. There's a reason this one is so popular.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2008 22:49:48 | More by stephens101
Photo of AndySR15


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

A: Poured a light golden orange color with a nice light head that leaves minimal lacing on the glass.

S: Aromas of hops and citrus are most prominent but there is a definately some malt aromas that come through.

T: A great balance of hops and malt. Starts out with a nice hop bite and finishes with a bit of malty sweetness and hops.

M: Great! Light, crisp and clean with the perfect amount of carbonation.

D: A great Pale and a great session beer. Nothing betther than having a case of this stuff while you are tending to the BBQ. You can easily drink quite a few.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2008 22:14:31 | More by AndySR15
Photo of mbunje


3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ah...Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.... I lost my craft brew virginity to this green labeled beauty. Sampling this from a bottle.

Pours a crisp copper with a substantial 1"+ head on a rough pour. lots of lacing. gradually reduces to just a thing bone white film. Beautiful coloring.

Smell is mild and not tons of identity here. a bit of a metallic smell. hint of malt. nothing overpowering.

Taste is good. Mild hops with good malt balance. fruit in the aftertaste. A pleasant taste, mild character. Slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is very crisp and smooth

So easy to drink I could have this all day long. Love it. The original. I don't think I appreciate the hop character and bitterness as much as I used to when I was just a "virgin". But for some reason this is not as distinctive as it used to be, but still a very good brew. Like classic rock. You can do it over and over again and it is still great.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2008 03:43:49 | More by mbunje
Photo of Lukie


4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a nice dull orange, with a soft smooth head. It's different to other pale ales I have seen.

Mmm... Grassy overtones, with green apple, and citrus fruits.

Hoppy characters of course, with grassy notes, citrus bitterness, and some fruity malts in the back. Almost a tanderine and grapefruit punch in the beginning.

Incredibly smooth, with low carbonation. Almost creamy. It's a fantastic drinking beer, and could easily become a great session beer here in Oz if the price was a bit cheaper.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2008 13:34:57 | More by Lukie
Photo of spfldcardinalfan


4.83/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What else can one say but almost true perfection? Not too much carbonation, excellent aroma, color threw me off at first but love is blind. The citrusy notes finishes clean off the palate. Beer not quite the same in the bottle. I would strongly urge everyone to try this at least once, or twice, oh why stop there, comes in kegs too!

Serving type: on-tap

03-16-2008 22:33:11 | More by spfldcardinalfan
Photo of Hokies

Rhode Island

4.97/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A nice pale red color with decent lacing

S: Very nice with a citrus note with an excellent hop aroma.

T: Probably one of the best Pale Ales I have tasted, with a nice citrus taste that finishes with a decent hop flavor

M: Nice carbonation that does not overpower.

D: Excellent example of a Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2008 06:07:22 | More by Hokies
Photo of Baileyuk


3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly darker Amber color. Had a perfect head and a good level of carbonation. The smell was great with a lot of hops and citrus. I was expecting a little more hops but I have been on quite an IPA binge recently so maybe I was affected by this. That said the general taste was pleasant and the beer was very drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

03-13-2008 19:46:31 | More by Baileyuk
Photo of riboflavin88


4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really liked this Pale Ale, it poured a brownish-orange color with a medium-sized white head. Descent lacing down the glass. Its nose was full of esters, a flowery citrus scent with grassy undertones. Its taste was mild, which made for a very drinkable Pale Ale. Taste is much like its nose, primarily floral up front with some spicy and citrus flavors in back. Hops were definitely present, but not overpowering, very crisp and drinkable. I will definitely have this beer in my fridge on a regular basis.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2008 04:22:19 | More by riboflavin88
Photo of jyeast101


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

Pours a copper in color with a thick white head. Smells of hops and standard grains. A familiar flavor. The hops come to the forefront of this really balanced beer. Has a sweet finish. This was one of my first micros. Early 90's when I found Guinness. First introduction to hops. Definately gets a bump in review from nostalgia. A highly drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-13-2008 02:09:40 | More by jyeast101
Photo of Traquairlover


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

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Nice clear amber, white to light off white head, fair retention, good lacing, medium carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S = Heavy scent of piney hops, with a good syrupy malt backbone, well balanced.

T = As with the smell, good piney and citrus hops flavors, good bitterness level, with a smooth fresh grain, fresh baked white bread malty balance, nice bitter finish.

M = Medium bodied, good level of carbonation, good mouthcoating.

D = This was my standby beer for at least a couple years running, but it's been a year or so since I've had it and I remember why I liked it. Just an excellent American Pale Ale. Definitely recommend it.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2008 20:42:03 | More by Traquairlover
Photo of BMoney575


4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled on 3-7-08

Pours a very clear orange/yellow, with a foamy white head that lingers forever. Big lacing clings to the glass.

Smell is earthy, resiny hops. Very subtle, but at the same time very fragrant. Sweet and bitter and everything you look for in a pale ale.

Taste is sweet at first, but in a hop way. The malt adds an unbelievable balance, and the hops add a very nice kick. Fantastic.

Mouthfeel is great, just enough carbonation to keep things tart.

Drinkability is astoundingly good, this beer is anytime, anywhere.

Overall, an absolute staple in my fridge. Beer the way beer should be, easy and flavorful. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2008 03:34:13 | More by BMoney575
Photo of Saunapoika


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice, dark, golden, clear appearance with initially, a 1-1/2 finger quickly receding head. Lacing continues throughout the experience.

S: Fruity, hoppy, clean smelling with just the slightest hint of maltiness.

T: Sweet up front, turning into a floral bouquet in the middle and a sharp, hoppy, dry, bitter finish. Very nicely done. The smell is very deceiving as far as the taste goes. Much more taste than the smell can deliver.

M: For me, a bit overcarbonated. A slight too much stinging in the experience for me. Had I let it sit for awhile, I think I would have been happier with it. Not bad though...

D: Not too shabby. I think with a bit less carbonation, the smoothness would temp me to quaff down a couple more of these things. I have really enjoyed the SN Pale Ale for a while now and have finally had the chance to rate it. Nice job. A great beer to try and clone as far as homebrewing goes.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2008 20:07:25 | More by Saunapoika
Photo of BeardedBoffin

New Mexico

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

The color of this brew is a beautiful merger of gold and orange. The exuded scents are an aromatic bouquet of floral hops, lime, orange and pine needles. Carbonated and nimble on the palate, the presence of hops is noticeable throughout. A slight sweet and bready character provides a nice balance to the hops. The beer finishes with dry bitterness. This is a very drinkable, pleasing and enjoyable beer, one for any occasion.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2008 21:28:56 | More by BeardedBoffin
Photo of jkdrummer


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

Nice fluffy white head is strong and laces very nicely. Pours golden. Yeasty odor but the hops are present. Very mild and no bitterness -- fruity. Very dry beer -- not a complicated taste at all, basic but boring. Goes easy and has a malty aftertaste. Recommended, would be great on a hot summer day when you want that pale ale taste without the extra hops of an IPA.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2008 00:27:44 | More by jkdrummer
Photo of Hoagie1973

New York

3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

What I liked about this beer was that the hops were dominant, but not obnoxious; there was still some decent malt flavor present and a moderate sweetness through the middle.
Beautiful amber/red color and nice thick white head. Impressive retention and lacing. Appearance was my favorite characteristic. Drinkable; not a bad stand-by APA.

Serving type: on-tap

03-02-2008 09:13:33 | More by Hoagie1973
Photo of nasty15108

New York

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

This is a classic American Micro-Brew. This ale was poured from the classic brown 12oz bottle into a glass.

A - The ale poured a golden amber color, with a thin head of white foam. Lots of carbonation and lacing.

S - Hoppy and fruity with hints of flowers.

T - Crisp, light and refreshing with lots of hoppy punch in the finish.

MF/D - Clean and refreshing taste. Lots of bubbles and pleanty of dry flavor. A classic American Pale Ale. One of the best out there. If you haven't tried this classic, get out there and find one.

Serving type: bottle

02-29-2008 16:44:32 | More by nasty15108
Photo of hdofu


3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a good beer if pale ale is your thing. It has a heck of a white foamy head on top of a knox blocks colored liquid. It smells heavily of hops. It's taste is of malt with a hint of grapefruit. The feel is a bit oily and a medium bodied beer. I'm not big on pale ales but this isn't bad and I would drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2008 02:15:50 | More by hdofu
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,184 ratings.