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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.

8,073 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,073
Reviews: 2,662
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 109
Gots: 584 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,073 | Reviews: 2,662 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SaltyLime


3.15/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - Nice gold color with a thin sliver of a head. Carbonation bubbles were never ending.

Smell - Crisp hops.

Taste - Sharp bitterness at first, mellows out. Strong. Takes getting used to.

Mouthfeel - Bitterness dominates. Carbonation is definitely not subdued.

Drinkability - Drinkable. Would not turn down if offered for free. I needed food to fight off the bitterness. Not too happy with this one.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2007 18:53:02 | More by SaltyLime
Photo of MrMcGibblets


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

the now widely available classic and one of my first pale ales. this helped start me on my road to better beers. i managed to talk the manager of my local dive bar into getting this on tap so now i have something to drink when i'm at that shithole playing golden tee. pours a light amber with a small creamy head. light caramel malts and citric, floral hops in the nose. all of which are subtle aromas to me now, but they were huge some time ago. light caramel malt sweetness at the start well balanced out by a decent hop bitterness. slightly sour and crisp finish. light/medium in body and very sesionable. i'm glad this is now widely available but selling to the evil empire of retailers (walmart) scares me for some reason.

Serving type: on-tap

04-27-2007 03:31:03 | More by MrMcGibblets
Photo of PittBeerGirl


3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- light rust colored translucent body with bubbles everywhere. Beautiful creamy white head with great retention.

S- light pine hops

T- Pine hops upfront and and remain until the aftertaste. Clean finish with some sweet malt remaining.

M- high carbonation and medium weight body. Goes down pretty easy.

D- This is really drinkable and I'm glad I had it. I will have it again.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2007 19:58:40 | More by PittBeerGirl
Photo of bozebus17


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

Pours a hazy light orange color. There is a thin bright white head that lasts the whole glass.

It smells fresh, grainy, and citrusy. This gets my mouth watering.

As far as flavor goes there is a crisp citrus-hops taste. This is well balanced by a smooth malt flavor. This beer is light-medium bodied. It goes down clean and is a very easy-drinking beer.

SNPA is a true American classic. This brew is crisp, refreshing, and damn tasty. I don't really buy this beer much and every time I do I wonder why.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2007 16:53:45 | More by bozebus17
Photo of brdc


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

Out last night in a place with little good beer offerings, I decided to have a good solid standard such as this pale ale, even though pale ales are not my favorite.
I had a pleasant surprise (never had it on tap before)
Rich golden colour with a white head with good retention and lacing.
Smell is, as expected, hoppy, mostly citric fruits, but flowers and some malts provide a nice balance to its nose.
Creamy, smooth, it has ample hoppiness but it also has a malty backbone and mild alcohol warmth that does balance it quite nicely.
As I mentioned, pale ales are not my favorite style, and I generally think they are, for my taste, a bit unbalanced, and that includes the bottle version of this one.
However, this fresh tap version (they rolled it in front of me) is better balanced than the bottle version and most pale ales I had.
A nice offering when on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

04-20-2007 16:37:17 | More by brdc
Photo of boxvic


3.45/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Drank straight from the 12oz bottle.

The smell is rich, and almost sickly sweet. Others say fruity but only if rotten fruit. That isn't a knock against the beer either, the smell is right on for a Pale Ale- though I've always preferred a more crisp smell.

Appearance, well I dunno I didn't pour it, and I frankly don't care what it looks like- it is all about the taste.

Taste, a yeasty almost dark lager taste. I prefer this taste to the sweet taste I've experienced with other Pale Ales.

Mouthfeel... this is where Sierra Nevada turns me off. The bitter, almost copperish, aftertaste coats your mouth. I'm not sure if it is the yeast or what, but something about it just stuck in my mouth. For some this is a good thing, but I prefer a rich tasting, yet crisp, beer.

Drinkability, with a meal this would certainly be the beer of choice. The aftertaste would be neglected, and the taste would compliment a steak better than A-1 (and yeah, A-1 it's that good).

For a night of drinking I'd take Blue Moon. The aftertaste is less pronounced.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2007 03:59:20 | More by boxvic
Photo of ajmoody76


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

bought at local grocery. 12 oz. (355ml) bottle into a pint glass. a shade lighter than copper with a nearly white head. head was a finger width with nice retention.

nose was fruity with citrus fruits. nice hoppy bouquet. not a lot of malt presence. no off odors identified.

great taste. a little hop bitterness but more fruit. the malt does have a place in this beer but takes a backseat to the hops. not a lot of sweetness in this beer.

good amount of carbonation. nice brussels lace. meduim-fullness mouthfeel. grapefruit on the aftertaste.

nice example of the apa style. the hops are a little out front. very drinkale beer. actually have had many sessions with this beer. have not had this in awhile. wonderful beer!

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2007 01:09:42 | More by ajmoody76
Photo of Imstillthegman


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

It came to me in a pint glass. Nice copper color with an off-white head. Decent lacing rings marked the intervals at which I stopped sipping.

Good clean citrus hop scent with a biscuit malt backbone.

Crisp, citrus hop flavor with a subtle hint of sweet, doughy malts. More hop presence than most pale ales, but it is done very nicely.

Very easy to drink and not heavy at all. Great session brew. Not sure why I always looked over this one when I saw it on-tap, but that won't happen as often now.

Serving type: on-tap

04-17-2007 00:19:25 | More by Imstillthegman
Photo of CFbeermaker


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

Poured a beautiful clear rich golden color with a 1/4 inch off white head and frothy lacing down the glass as you drink. It has a real nice scent of grapefruit and floral hops. Tastes good. You get a real nice citrus flavor with barley malt and a floral hop finish. This beer is really light, smooth and very refreshing. This is a great beer for those beginning their hop journey. I think it would be great on a nice summer day.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2007 04:25:37 | More by CFbeermaker
Photo of jdg204


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

Picked up a 6 pack so that I could finally review this classic which I've had many times before and is one of the reasons I got into better brews.

Appearance - Lovely bronze color with a nice white head and lots of little fizzy bubbles.

Smell - Very aromatic citrus smell with some nice spices added, very nice balance.

Taste - It's most likely the excellent amount of hops that sets this brew apart from other pale ales, the healthy portion and the nice crisp bitterness comes from it which is very well balanced with a nice subtle citrus flavor.

Mouthfeel - Very consistent texture with an excellent aftertaste that leaves the drinker very satisfied.

Drinkability - I have to say this brew just impresses me the more and more Pale Ales I drink. I find the catagory to not be overly impressive but this one of the originals still stands out as one of the elite and makes for an excellent brew with a spicey meal.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2007 02:44:13 | More by jdg204
Photo of matsputis


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

Golden amber with some orange

It smells like a big grapefruit. Also has bready-biscuit aroma - a nice balance of hops and malts.

A strong citrus taste with bitterness starts it off, followed by the malty presence and a nice crisp aftertaste. The bitterness stays for a little bit.

It has a very nice crispness to it. Clean flavors

I especially like the aftertaste, and the bitterness gives it a nice kick. The grapefruit flavor I can deal with, but it's a bit strong. I'm fine with just one.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2007 02:13:02 | More by matsputis
Photo of prototypic


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

Appearance: Pours a transparent golden color with a one finger head. Decent retention and light lacing left down the mug.

Smell: Combination of floral hops and some citrus notes. Citrus scents are primarily orange, mango and a slight hint of grapefruit. After sticking with it for a few, it has a bit of a grassy smell.

Taste: Predominantly, it has a grassy taste with strong, bitter hops. Citrus tastes are detectable, but they are slight. There's a slight malty taste to it. But, the hops are definitely stronger here.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied and very easy to drink. The 5.6% abv really propels this to a session beer. Overall, this is one of my favorite all-around beers. Especially for a session. I expect that most here have tried this. If you haven't, you must.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2007 03:21:17 | More by prototypic
Photo of cichief


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

Had this on draft at the Ram's Head Tavern in Savage, MD.

A- Poured a nice gold in color with a beautiful white head.

S- Very flowery, nice and hoppy.

T- Nice and clean, very hoppy, with a nice dry finish.

M- Nice, not too fizzy, done very well.

D- A good everyday beer, a perfect example of the American Pale Ale style.

Serving type: on-tap

04-08-2007 01:42:30 | More by cichief
Photo of BretSikkink


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

Golden-orange pale ale, some haze that takes off once it warms, almost-white lacing chills on top and gets itself all over the glass. The nose is biscuity grain, some spicy hop leaf, a little floral but citric as well.

This is a very smooth pale ale, there's a good pepper ester hop presence, but backed up by a solid bread malt sweetness. The finish is a little dry, some more sweet malt. There's a definite citric hop twang, a little fruity.

Very solid APA. Definitely a paragon of the style. Recommended, it goes well with many dishes and is welcome for many different events.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2007 02:28:41 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of MMansfield

Nova Scotia (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of trevorwideman. Thanks.

Appearance: Pours a very slight hazy pale amber colour with a foamy two finger white head, leaving lots of lacing and decent retention.

Aroma: Lots of floral hops and loads of citrus. A tiny bit of honey, and biscuit malt, but heavy on the hops.

Taste: Hop forward with a bit of spice. Small amount of pine. Grapefruit like bitterness in finish.

Mouthfeel: Plenty of body, creamy and highly drinkable.

Final Statement: Wow, this is different from the pale ales i've tried, and certainly one of the best. Very impressed with this West Coast Pale Ale. Highly recommend.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2007 01:05:20 | More by MMansfield
Photo of DoubleJ


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

One of the three major craft beers you'll find at many establishments on draft (the others being Fat Tire and Boston Lager), I got this at Famous Dave's BBQ when I was in Fresno this weekend. Paired with BBQ beef tips, on to the beer:

What's to say that hasn't been said? It's a west-coast classic with it's own unique beat. Typical of American styles, it leans towards the hoppy profile, with a grapefruit/citrus aroma. From draft, it has a creamy feel that's good to the last drop. I'm glad to hear from casual beer drinkers that this is on thier list for thier favorite beers, so it has appeal for everyone.

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2007 19:53:37 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of alexskovan

New York

3.4/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured slightly hazy pale amber with a sturdy white head. Faint aroma of hops, very understated. Taste is mild with those grapefruity hops that pretty much define the APA style I guess -- they aren't overwhelming in this one.

A decent APA if you like the grapefruit thing.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2007 21:10:49 | More by alexskovan
Photo of ArrogantB


4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle of a classic beer which I poured into a standard pint glass. The color is a light orange yellow and clear. The head is a frothy white cloud. The smell is hoppy and I also detect a perfume quality. The taste is crisp and also has elements of perfume. Very balanced and the drinkability is awesome. I could easily put down a sixer.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2007 16:39:51 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of Duster72


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

Pours a copper color into pint glass with off white head which dissipates quickly. Aroma is floral hops and malts. Taste is an intricate blend of citrus and floral hops with some carmel malts and a biscuit taste. Mouthfeel is smooth. Every sip begs for another. Excellent beer to drink a few of.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2007 11:34:14 | More by Duster72
Photo of slider


4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I believe this is the standard to judge all APAs against. It is a very good, but not spectacular, APA that is readily available. Goes well with pizza or barbeque and doesn't taste as strong as it is (5.6%). I would love to see more of the Sierra Nevada products available in bottles.

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2007 00:32:54 | More by slider
Photo of BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

2.6/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Brown 350ml bottle, best before mid Oct 2007, drank late March 2007.

Imported into the UK and sold in a lot of supermarkets, thought I'd see what all the fuss was about with Sierra Nevada beers.

Poured into my Corsendonk tulip glass it looked a bright traffic light amber, almost terracotta orange colour. A tight white head sat on top, bubbles replenishing the head from the base and side of the glass.

An aroma of sour hops, mashed with an iffy yeast culture, attacked my nose, obviously not a Brit Pale Ale, thats for sure.

Young, green taste, the beer isn't ready to drink yet. Made me burp straight away, which also indicates to me it isn't the finished article.

Dry and metalic aftertaste, sorry, not for me.

Not too sure what I was expecting from this beer, something smoother perhaps, certainly not the young, dry, tinny flavours which I found. I will try another in the summer maybe, to see if the warmer weather helps me see it's characteristics in a better light.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2007 20:24:20 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of leechungsr


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

This is a great beer. Very drinkable; tasty.
A: deep golden beer with a little bit of thin white head.
S: complicated; floral hops, citrus, caramel. yummy.
T: mild and well balanced. Malts and hops are mixed well; little hoppy aftertaste.
M: good carbonation; refreshing. Not too thin, but probably less than medium.

Serving type: on-tap

03-25-2007 01:44:01 | More by leechungsr
Photo of Stephen63

United Kingdom (Scotland)

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

A - Good head texture that lasted well down the glass, nice amber hued body.

S - Impressive hit of flowers and citrus.

T - Citrus taste dominate but in a smooth way, not acidic. Hoppiness evident in the aftertaste though very pleasant.

M - Felt really good with natural carbonation just at the right level.

D - One of these babies is not enough!

Yes this really is a classic pale ale and worthy of its reputation.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2007 21:14:20 | More by Stephen63
Photo of Redwood21


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

this is a great beer, its very smooth, and goes down smooth. there is a definate taste of hops with a finish of hop/bitterness. However the bitter finish is by no means overpowering. There is a semi complex flavor profile, but still simple enough for someone new to pale ales. A great first pale ale, but one that you will come back to. Great pale ale and great beer. Must try.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2007 04:18:13 | More by Redwood21
Photo of OStrungT


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

This beer pours a clear light golden yellow color with a thin whate head. The head fades fast, leaving a nice sized lacing.

This beer has a very mild floral hop aroma. I can detect some biscuit like aroma also. A very subtle sweet caramel aroma is present. All the aroma of this beer is very mild and subtle, but it is still complex.

This beer tastes much like it smells. Some subtle floral and citrus hop flavor. Also some sweet malty caramel flavors mix in with a slight biscuit malt flavor. Very well balanced, and mild.

This beer goes down very smooth, leaving a very slight floral hop aftertaste. It is carbonated well. It is crisp and refreshing.

This beer would probably make a great session beer. It tastes good, but it is very mellow. It also is not too high in alcohol.

Overall: This beer is one that I often overlook. It is not anything special, but I think I should give it the attention it deserves in the future. It is a good beer for the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2007 22:31:39 | More by OStrungT
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,073 ratings.