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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.

8,213 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,213
Reviews: 2,670
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 111
Gots: 656 | 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: 8,213 | Reviews: 2,670 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of Slynger


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

This one pours a bright amber-blond with a fluffy white head and a touch of haze.

First sniffs deliver fresh earthy grassy hops and lightly toasted biscuits in the morning. A little bit of light citrus shows up with deeper and warmer sniffs. Not too deep, but it's got everything the style demands.

Light and oily, refreshing and crisp taste. Very light sweetness of crystal malts and lemon. Relaxed biscuits and grassy bitterness stroll in with light earthy spice.

This is the classic american pale ale, and I respect it and dig it. A pleasure to consume anytime.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2008 04:46:04 | More by Slynger
Photo of becktone


4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Decided I'd re-review this beer now that my palate has become a little bit more refined.

Eye: This beer looks great when poured at home, not so much from the bar though. I have a feeling that the sanitizers always kill the head. Dark gold-amber in color with a nice big head thats got great retention, not much lacing though. It looks great in the glass.

Nose: Ahhh, west coast. The aroma of this beer is sweet sweet cascade hops-little bit citrus, little bit floral...simply amazing. Also a good strong malt backbone to support this brew's hop aroma.

Tongue: First off I get some citrus from the hops that is quickly followed by sweet malts that balance it out and turn to a caramel flavor in the finish. Hop flavor is present throughout the entire beer, from first taste to finish there is hop character/flavor. A classic staple of the style.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Medium bodied in the mouth with appropriate levels of carbonation, just as it should be. This is a very drinkable beer, I could, and have, just sat around and drank this all day and night. This is a classic staple of this style of beer and I'll always be coming back to it.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2008 17:03:32 | More by becktone
Photo of Gueuzedude


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

Bottle Code 8003Y11126; Sampled February 2008
A vigorous pour yields a frothy, initially almost four-finger thick, light tan colored head that leaves some spotty lacing as it slowly recedes. The beer is a brilliantly clear, rich copper color that has a bright, copper color that almost has a metallic sheen to it when held up to the light. Soft citrus hop notes greet my nose and yield aromatics similar to grapefruit, orange zest, notes of creamsicles and light pine aromatics. There is a malt backbone here as well with aromas of soda crackers, toasty grain and biscuit like malt.

This starts out with a nice sharp hop bite and continues with a solid bitterness through to the finish. Grapefruit-like hop flavors and a touch of catty-hops show off the signature Cascade notes. Slightly herbaceous, with a definite pine-sap character, the hop character is just resinous enough to keep it interesting. Lightly caramelized malt and a drier biscuit / cracker note provide a malt backdrop to the hop character that is the real focus of this beer. This is quite quaffable, though it of course has a certain heft and body to it that helps to keep the hop notes in balance.

In the modern scene of hop overdosing, this beer can seem a bit tame, but it is so widely available & still delicious that it is always appreciated when I have this beer. This was my first craft brew experience back in the 90s and I remember how shocked I was at the flavor that greeted my unsuspecting taste-buds at the time; the hop character was just out of this world & an extreme jolt to my senses. I still remember that experience and I remember thinking how anyone could drink something like this. The funny thing is that it didn't stop me from having more and I became aware of all of the varied flavors that craft beer had to offer. Definitely a classic that will always hold a place in my belly.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2008 01:29:01 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of 7thstreetbrewery


4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this for the first time last night.

Appearance - Orange amber in color with white foamy head and nice lacing.

Smell - Citrusy from the Cascade hops.

Taste - It was surprisingly light which threw me off for a second fearing a watery beer, but then the hops come through and the carbonation is great lending to a very clean finish! Its an ale that you like to swish in your mouth, very crisp.

This would be a great barbecue or steak ale!

It may be my new "lawnmower" beer this summer!

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2008 16:22:58 | More by 7thstreetbrewery
Photo of Kemmerlin


4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Amber orange in color with a big frothy head and good lacing.

S: Citrus came right out from the start with a good malty and hoppy smell to warm up the taste buds.

T: Dry hoppy flavor in the beginning with a sweet honey after taste.

M: Dry but smooth as its going down a little much on the mouth when trying to drink it quickly to get out of the bar but was good when I was not in a hurry.

D: This guy was very drinkable and I would love to get this guy again.

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2008 03:33:43 | More by Kemmerlin
Photo of trackstar1043


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

Picked up at 24 oz bottle to go with a nice dinner.

A - Beautifully Golden with a hint of orange, clear and unclouded. Massive head almost 1 in plus, that lasted 2 or 3 mins. Leaving behind a sticky lace as the head disapated, fantastic.

S - Bitter sweet aroma, with hops and a mix of fruits with a somewhat creamy lingering.

T - Not nearly as bitter as I was expecting, a nice mid-bodied with a creamy taste of citrus, fruits and eager hops. When down extramley smooth and a crisp clean finish.

M - Not a heavy drink at all, again suprised on how light light and crisp it went down, slighlty low on carbonation in my personal taste.

D - Fantastic with a nice steak or pasta dinner, easily could be a daily favorite.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2008 00:24:54 | More by trackstar1043
Photo of MOShepp


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

Poured into a mug. One finger off-white head with a good amount of lacing. A dense light amber color.

Hoppy aroma with floral, citrus and bread.

Tastes of bread, clover and citrus. The hops really shine through. More bitter than most P.A.'s especially at the finish, a lingering after taste but still smooth.

This one is easily consumed and is nice and crisp. I drank it on it's own but will try again with Mexican food maybe.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2008 04:38:18 | More by MOShepp
Photo of ZAP


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

You can't go wrong with this brew...a highly drinkable, yet flavorful pale ale.

The aroma is decidedly floral with some mild spiciness....the taste includes some of those same characteristics but whatalso emerges is a subtle sweeter style citrus hop flavor....think mandarin oranges or ripe clementines..clean and crisp drinker...just the right malt balance...

Not as "big" in assertiveness as some others....I really enjoy Summit Extra Pale Ale and would probably rate that a little higher but it's kind of like comparing apples to oranges...the Summit is a little more aggressive...this is softer and sweeter...both are very tasty...

Highly recommended for the style...

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2008 05:43:09 | More by ZAP
Photo of hardy008


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

Appearance - Amber in color with a nice white foamy head which left a nice lace down the side of the glass.

Smell - Citrus from the Cascade hops.

Taste - rich and full bodied. slightly bitter, but extremely pleasant.

Mouthfeel - full bodied and clean.

Drinkability - The kind of beer you can drink one after the other.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2008 03:13:55 | More by hardy008
Photo of meechum


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

I last had this beer before last night approx a year ago..before I was a BA and absolutely hated it..I thought it was so overly bitter and unpleasant...what a difference a year makes

A - Poured a golden yellow to soft amber color with a nice fluffy white head that fell moderately and left a nice bit of lace

S - Very citric with a hint of the bready malted flavors in there

T - A nice sharp citric hit up front that mellows out and gives a nice full flavor of bread and grains and then finishes with a re-awakening of the citric hop bite that finishes a little dry and crisp

M - Nice crisp and clean flavor with a little drying at the end..no bad aftertaste

D - This may be the epitome of the APA...and is a great example for the style

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2008 17:38:20 | More by meechum
Photo of steelcutoats


3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I bought a six pack of this at Dawg's in Greensburg last night and figured I'd wait until today to write my review. I must say this is one of the best pale ales I have ever tried. I'm somewhat familiar with the Sierra Nevada line...I've sampled their IPA, Celebration Ale, and BIGFOOT Barleywine, respectively.

I poured one 12 fl. Oz. bottle into my trusty tasting snifter and almost immediately smelled the aroma of hops. This is definitely a more aggressively hopped A.P.A. There was a short head, only about a quarter of an inch, which eventually subsided. The color was a beautiful amber gold. As mentioned before the nose was sharp with hops and also a yeasty malt aroma. The taste was bold for an American Pale Ale. You can tell that the good brewers at Sierra Nevada take their time crafting this offering. I'll have to remember to pick up a case of this next time I'm out at the beer distributor.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2008 23:37:52 | More by steelcutoats
Photo of johnnyirishman


3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was very happy with this beer, its been around for a good while and ive enjoyed it for a long time, but not untill recently have i actually savored every aspect of beer. Ive just recently started "tasting" beer for what it really is, delicious. I'd rank Sierra Nevada as a very drinkable beer but not for the "casual" drinker. Anyone whom enjoys a nice hoppy flavor with a slight bite(bitterness) will enjoy this beer. It delivers a nice pour with a head that dissipates to generous lacing, Golden brown in apperance, with an aroma of floral, the taste is slightly bitter with a hint of pine, and finishes clean.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2008 16:16:14 | More by johnnyirishman
Photo of Gehrig


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

Tasty, different pale ale from Sierra Nevada. Copper body, two fingers of white head top this pale ale, with significant, durable lacing decorating the mug--quite good. The smell is hopped, not heavily so but certainly present, with fruit intruding occasionally. The taste is a bit more balanced than the nose and, combined with good carbonation, this is enjoyable--smooth, delicious, at times bitter but never overbearing.

Ordering a second of these to wash down a lousy fish sandwich for lunch today was not only necessary, but quite enjoyable. Far from the boldest pale ale, but solid and quite tasty.

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2008 01:52:14 | More by Gehrig
Photo of baseballrock


4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this is a great beer and there is nothing more i can say.

A - is a light brown but not amber, it has great lacing, and the carbonation is of incredible, large bubbles.

S - the smell is hoppy, with a bit of floral.

T - the taste is balanced, with a light pineyness to it. I love the bitterness.

M - slightly heavy on the palate, the bitterness does mask the overall taste a bit.

i think this beer is very drinkable. i think it is perfect for the style. i always try and keep a few of these around.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2008 23:55:52 | More by baseballrock
Photo of skittlebrau


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I can't believe I've waited so long to try this one considering how it is a staple of the American craft beer industry.

A: An attractive beer. Amber brown like apple juice. Tall head or maybe I just poured it too hard. There was good head retention.

S: Floral hops and toasty bready malt.

T: Hop character takes over here with lots of flowers again, but there is a respectable malt backbone. Flavor is just slightly dry.

M: Thin.

D: Drinkability is pretty good. I tend to go a little slower on hoppy styles of beer, but this one had me reaching for another.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2008 17:33:15 | More by skittlebrau
Photo of SpencerT


3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a Crystal clear golden, almost apple juice in color.
Clean scent of peach and piney hops. Good balance of hop and the sweetness of malt. A hint of citrus comes to you as the pint warms a bit.
Clean and refreshing with very distinct flavors.
This ale has good drinkability and could go well with seafood or other light tasting dishes.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2008 00:39:40 | More by SpencerT
Photo of BMan1113VR


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

Aroma is moderate pine hops with light molasses malts. Pour yields a small frothy barely off-white head with fair lacing. The color is a golden honey. Taste is fruity at first followed by moderate bitterness. Not watery at all. Light to medium body, slightly over carbonated. Quite possibly the king of common beers.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2008 22:01:24 | More by BMan1113VR
Photo of Deadstar


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


Look: Poured a very nice golden-brown, the head dropped down to a quarter inch of foam and then to some suds around the sides in about two minutes or so.

Smell: A little bit hoppy, my nose still isn't trained very well (as well as the words in my vocabulary to really describe what I'm smelling.) Some citrus scents in there too.

Taste: Very pleasant. I couldn't really taste any alcohol in this; it was also nice and hoppy. The taste lingers in the mouth after swallowed.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation tickles the tongue while the drink itself is quite lite.

Drinkability: I'd say this brew is quite drinkable. I'm most of the way through the 24oz bottle and I feel like I could drink more if I'd like to after finishing it.

Overall, very solid.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2008 03:40:20 | More by Deadstar
Photo of SMark


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

Had this on tap at Ruby Tuesday's because they did not carry Yuengling's. I will have to keep searching for a nearby RT's with the oldest breweries beverage.

The first one was served in a footed pilsner glass and I was immediately concerned if not confused. The second, yes I drank the first anyway, was served in a pint glass. Then I felt a little more comfortable.

The beer was poured in both instances with a nice white foamy head which left adequate lacing as it was consumed. A golden color was present.

Hops were noticeable with the aroma and taste. The beer was very clean tasting and assured me I had made a good choice as I have previously had this in bottles.

Bitterness stayed with me for a while and it was enjoyable the whole time.

This is a very good flagship beer for Sierra Nevada and I should try more of their offerings. I look forward to trying the Celebration Ale.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2008 02:45:39 | More by SMark
Photo of DaveUK

United Kingdom (England)

4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Light brown, strong bottle conditioned head.

Aroma - Perfumed grass and fresh citrus fruit hops, orange peel.

Taste - Juicy toasted malt up front and a soft hop bitterness that builds into a strong bitter and grassy hop finish.

Mouthfeel - Powerful carbonation delivering a bubbly creaminess to compliment the initial malt taste. Light to medium body (as expected) with only a little sweetness on the lips.

Overall - A crisp and hoppy pale ale. Good hop mix for aroma - complex and intriguing. It draws you into a sip. Alcohol is completely hidden. A well crafted ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2008 22:41:51 | More by DaveUK
Photo of CrellMoset


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

Poured from a 12 oz glass into a pint glass.

Appearance was orangey-copper, with a medium, white head with good retention. Lacing was average in volume and retention, and carbonation was medium. All in all, a very nice beer to look at.

Smell was very intense, with piney hops dominating but not overpowering a sweet malty backbone.

Taste was great, quintessential American pale ale. An initial burst of hops, with a good balance in the middle and a nice, piney aftertaste. No alcohol detected.

Mouthfeel was again decent, working well in concert with the taste - full, without being too full, with the mild carbonation dying down perhaps a little too quickly.

Drinkability is superb - this is a definite go to beer for me, and it's good that perhaps the most easily-available American Pale Ale is such a classic. A good introduction to the style, and a good dinner party beer. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2008 23:45:03 | More by CrellMoset
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,213 ratings.