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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.

8,988 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,988
Reviews: 2,713
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 149
Gots: 1,034 | FT: 2
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: 8,988 | Reviews: 2,713 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Shrews629
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Orangish/Amber color with a beautiful white, frothy head that was very dense with some large bubbles hanging around. The lacing was nice and the head dissipated to a nice ring. Saw some sediment working its way to the bottom of the glass, but otherwise mostly clear.

Smell - Floral hops right off the bat. Smelled very nice, very prominent hops that were very clean and "springy" smelling. Getting a bit of fresh fruit in the nose. Peach or maybe pear. Also, got a hint of the sweet smelling malts.

Taste - Initial taste is slight fruity grapefruit. Nice bitter punch in the aftertaste. Really lingers on the palate.

Mouthfeel - Medium/Thin mouthfeel that was crisp and smooth. Just a tad watery however.

Drinkability. This is a very easily drinkable beer. I really like it. This brew is perfect for spring and summer. The smell is the prominent aspect of this beer in my opinion. I will definitely pick this up again.

Shrews629, May 30, 2010
Photo of Millski7
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden orangish-amber hue, with about a finger thick slightly off-white/cream head which is quick to dissipate. Good carbonation and sticky lacing. Aroma is very floral and hoppy, somewhat minerally. Initial flavor is a predominant hop taste with some subtle spices. Medium bodied feel in the mouth with a crisp finish and lingering hops sticking in your palate.

I found that this ale is very upfront with the hops and keep them kicking throughout the entire beer and well after each draught. However the medium body and crisp finish make this a very enjoyable beer on a summer day. Quite delicious.

Millski7, May 29, 2010
Photo of MVotter
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - The Sierra Nevada Pale Ale pours a crystal-clear amber, with a 1/2 inch cream colored head.

S - Apple and hops.

T - Terrific blends here. Wow ... the first impression is a sweetish hop-tang, and a then a hint of caramely malts; not overly hoppy, and at the same time the hops never relinquish control to those malts.

M - Medium gravity feel, smooth operator, just the right amount of carbonation.

D - Superb. Expertly crafted, balanced brew.

MVotter, May 27, 2010
Photo of EkimGram
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Rich amber colour with a nice-sized head.

Smell: Hops, lots and lots of hops.

Taste: Extremely hoppy, crisp but not too light. Has some bite to it, decent amount of carbonation. Finishes nice and clean.

Mouthfeel: A little bit too much carbonation. It has some bite to it that may not always be welcome.

Drinkability: This is a great beer. Lots of flavour, not too heavy or bitter.

EkimGram, May 26, 2010
Photo of brewerburgundy
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle, Sam Adams perfect pint,

The pour is a darkish yellow with copper tinges. A very proud creamy off-white head forced me to stop pouring with half an inch left in the bottle. The lacing is wonderful and a good cap never goes away.

The nose is divided between pink grapefruit and oddly, melon, from the use of solely Cascade hops and grainy bread.

Taste essentially mimmicks smell. Grapefruit becomes more dominant with sour juice, not sweetness. Some bready malt intercedes before grapefruit pith bitterness finishes.

Good carbonation level doesn't disturb the flavors and the weight on the palate is perfectly full.

Without this beer, the craft beer worldwide might not be where it is today. To many of us beer geeks this may not bring the excitement of an Imperial IPA, but it is a damn solid beer. Even though it isn't technically sessionable this would make a good all nighter.

brewerburgundy, May 26, 2010
Photo of Kaiser777
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A thick golden hazle color with a off white foam that raised just a bit, but never the lest a good thick foam with a million little bubbles floating from the bottom of the glass to the top.

S- A semi sweet smell, very hoppy with a slight hint of citrus, maybe even a carmel like candy smell as well.

T- A little hoppy with an explosive after taste with a little splash of citrus and a twist of sweetness that leaves an amazing after taste.

MF- Coats the mouth well and like I said before it has a beautiful after taste with a splash of citrus that I have grown to love over the years.

D- Very drinkable one of my favorite pale ales, actually one of the first micro brews I have ever drank about a year ago, and oh what a journey it has been.

Kaiser777, May 25, 2010
Photo of scottyb88
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled August 2009...picked it up not knowing the date system

A-clear medium orange with lots of carbonation, one finger slightly off white head

S-still smells great with nice pine and citrus notes with a slight sweetness; although a little muddled

T-has an orange peel bitterness, some earthy notes

M-slightly thick, yet smooth and well carbonated; the finish is a nice orange peel bitterness but its really clean and smooth

D-still a great beer after 9 months or so on the shelf; I'm sure its better fresh, but it was still very enjoyable; a staple beer in anybody's beer fridge

scottyb88, May 24, 2010
Photo of popery
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

SNPA is a great accomplishment. Plus, it was one of the first beers that I ever drank, years before I would drink another craft beer, and it's shaped my view of beer. I have no idea how to rate it because it's essentially my yardstick for every APA, IPA and DIPA that I've ever tried. Anyway, it's a darkened amber color with a wonderfully foamy head. The aroma is a wonderful combination of piney hops and caramel malt. The flavor starts sweet and finishes dry and hoppy. Mostly clean mouthfeel with a touch of slickness in the aftertaste. The finish has a healthy dose of hop bitterness for an APA. This beer is an absolute classic.

popery, May 21, 2010
Photo of Spica66
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this was the first "really hoppy" beer I ever tried back in the late 1980s. At first, I didn't know what to think of something that tasted like this, but I learned what to do. Drink it!!

A: Very clear beer, gold in color, with lots of carbonation.

S: Love those hops, hops and slight maltiness.

T: Wow, I love hops.

M: Fine, smooth

D: 6 of these will not make it through the night in my fridge!

Spica66, May 18, 2010
Photo of tigg924
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, clear, gold in color, high carbonation

Smell: citrus hops, toasted malt, and honey

Taste: Smell: citrus hops, toasted malt, and honey

Mouthfeel: light bodied, high carbonation, sweet start with a bitter backbone that lingers

Drinkability: An American classic that I could session. A nice and light beer that is perfect for outdoorsy activities.

tigg924, May 16, 2010
Photo of hayes31
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A great smell to this beer, followed by a great taste. It's got a sweet aftertaste to it which makes it extremely refreshing, and it goes great with whatever food you may be eating since it washes everything away with a pleasant twang.

Its availability is a great upside.

hayes31, May 14, 2010
Photo of beachbum1975
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With 2,026 review prior to me, there's not much I can possibly add.

I've had this beer many, many times and I consider this to be the flagship American Pale Ale of America.

In fact, I base all my other pale ale reviews off this beer! Consistently on this beer is always spot on. The availability of this beer (everywhere!) helps, as well.

It's my go to beer if all my other choices are BMC's...

beachbum1975, May 13, 2010
Photo of djbreezy
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on draft in a pint glass at Belmont Inn in Portland, OR.

appearance - pours a nice amber with a low head, decent lacing

smell - caramel malts and citrus hops

taste - floral hops with a strong malt body, bitter hop finish

mouthfeel - medium body with adequate carbonation

drinkability - very smooth and enjoyable, good flavor, not overly complex but well crafted

djbreezy, May 10, 2010
Photo of wesclaypool
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Luna Loca...and a billion other restaurants, at least in this region.

a - Great color, very deep amber. Not a whole lot of head, but stays pretty much until the glass is empty.

s - I would say this is the weakest aspect of the beer in my opinion. I don't really get much out of the smell, but you can certainly tell the hops are there.

t - This is where the hops really come out. If you like a bitter beer, but still smooth, this is the one that's readily available.

m - Very smooth with a biting aftertaste.

d - Again, great, smooth beer that's readily available on tap and in the bottle.

wesclaypool, May 10, 2010
Photo of BigIrishman
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours golden with a a nice white head.

Smell: Citrus hops bursting out of the glass, slight sweetness underlies the big grapefruit burst.

Taste: A light grapefruit flavor that is underscored by a subtle sweetness from the malt. Fairly clean taste, really balanced and subtle flavor profile which really makes this the definition of craft beer. There is a nice bitter backing to this all that cleans the palate nicely.

Mouthfeel: Very light and crisp.

Drinkability: This is definitely a sit around and drink a sixer beer. This is my go to when looking for a relatively cheap beer that I can drink all day. While the ABV is not technically in the "session beer" category, it's one beer I tend to session on a hot summer day.

BigIrishman, May 09, 2010
Photo of Lothore
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Long time standby, first time getting around to reviewing it.

A- Pours a deep rusty copper hue with a foamy, 2 finger off white head that leaves lacing on the way down.

S- Grainy, lots of floral hops.

T- Bready with deep grainy undertones leading into a nice hop bite.

M- Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This is the quintessential american pale ale. In my opinion the best widely available beer on the market

Lothore, May 09, 2010
Photo of 7thInningSuds
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Looks good

S - Smells good

T - Okay. Hop presence is definitely there, but not overly so.

M - Okay.

D - Not something I'll have every day, but the not bad for a pale ale. Wanted to try this since it got such a high average review on here, but not a beer I'll keep stocked in the beer fridge.

7thInningSuds, May 09, 2010
Photo of Beerocrat69
3.13/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It had been awhile since I've had one of these, and my memory was better than the bottle I just tasted. Maybe I got an old bottle (trying to give them the benefit of doubt.) I doubt anything has changed at the brewery. Beer looked golden-copper colored with a white head and nice lacework on the glass. It had a resiny, pine-like aroma. The hop bitterness was lacking and it tasted more sweet than usual. Not as dry as I remember. This beer was balanced - in a bad way. It normally finishes more dry. Maybe the bottle-conditioning never took off on this batch or this bottle. I'll try again soon.

Beerocrat69, May 05, 2010
Photo of hooliganlife
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a bright light copper with a nice fluffy white pillow head. nice lacing and retention.

a nice balance of pine hops and malts. touch of sweetness

malts are dominating up front with a light floral hop flavor.. bitterness kicks in towards the end and is heavy on the pine.

moderate to light carbonation. full body, but light and easy.

tons of flavor, easy to drink, always enjoyable.

hooliganlife, May 02, 2010
Photo of vazy
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- This beer pours a good head that settles in. The color is a dark caramel color and the head is nice and frothy. Its clear and looks very inviting.

S- Has a good amount of hops and a decent balance with the malts. Its a bit piney and leafy. Smells like the mountain woods basically.

T- Its on the bitter side, but not too bitter. The malts are a bit nutty and the hops are florally. Really has a good bite to it. I love the last flavor of the sip because its somewhat buttery.

M- Its light and smooth and a crisp finish.

O- This was a pleasant beer to drink. They don't lie on the label when it says "purest ingredients" and "finest quality". A truly enjoyable beer to drink!

vazy, May 01, 2010
Photo of kbanks13
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This is my first review on BA, so I'm not quite as experienced at this as others.

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass

Appearance: Fluffy, white, finger and a half of head after a reasonably aggressive pour. Dissipates to a thin layer of head with lacing on the glass. Clear golden amber color.

Smell: Citrus, floral aromas, pungent hop odor.

Taste: Somewhat bitter and very hoppy, but not overly. Crisp and clean. A very bright flavorful beer with a light lingering after-taste of grains.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and reasonably carbonated.

Drinkability: I could easily have several of these, especially on a warm day. Smooth and crisp with a rich flavor but a lighter body.

Overall, a great beer that I picked up on a whim and really enjoyed. I would definitely pick up another sixer in the future.

kbanks13, May 01, 2010
Photo of skenyon1811
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottled poured into a pint.

A: Almost picture perfect appearance. Golden orange and crystal clear. About an inch of head that lasted a minute. Great lacing and retention.

S: The aroma is it's weakest point and that itself is still really good. I would like this to have a little more of a floral aroma, however it has more biscuit aroma. The aromas are very subtle.

T: If someone asked me "what does an APA taste like?" I would hand them a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Perfectly balanced. It has a great hop pallet. Bitter and smooth at the same time.

M: Medium mouthfeel. Has great carbonation and is very crisp.

D: This is an excellent beer to keep in your refrigerator. It will never let you down. I could and have put back a few of these in one session.

I'm finishing this review so I can start on my second Sierra Nevada. Cheers!

skenyon1811, May 01, 2010
Photo of jwellborn
4.63/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A long time classic that I have yet to review.

Poured in to a Pint Glass.

Appearance- Pours a coppery/gold with lots of bubbles and about a 1 inch head with good retention. Looks yummy. Also slight amounts of lace on the way down

Smell- Hops and slight pine smells. Nothing too big or overpowering. Maybe my nose is broken.

Taste- Up front hops fade to malty goodness as the brew makes its way to the back of my mouth. More woody/pine flavor is detected. I love the way the hops hit fast then even out to leave a clean palate.

Mouthfeel- Very smooth. Not too light, but enough to let you know its there and then gone. Crisp and once again smooth. Good carbonation.

Drinkability- Man, this is one drinkable beer. I feel I could easily down a sixer of these and keep rolling. I would say a good transition beer. You could go either way from here, either more malty or hoppy.

Notes- From growing up in CA, Sierra Nevada has always been near the top of my list as far as breweries. It's impressive to see how much they've grown and good on them for continuing to make great beer on such a large scale. Overall an outstanding beer that you would not want to miss.

jwellborn, Apr 30, 2010
Photo of Yoonisaykul
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My first taste of Sierra Nevada.

Open bottle smells like delicious honey.

A- Already noticed how beautiful it was as I poured. A mix of copper and gold with some pretty big bubbles rising. Thick white head recedes but leaves great amounts of marbled lacing.

S- Smells extremely fresh and hoppy yet it doesn't really smell like fresh hops. Or maybe I just haven't had the chance to smell the very hops they've used. Some of the best grassy hops I've had the chance to smell yet. Piney and a bit woody. Malt seems to soften up the whole thing. Don't know what else tosay. It smells really goodand I can't wait to taste it. Warmer now and the honey comes out.

T- The smell led me on to think this would be sweeter. It really isn't. A lot less going on than in the smell. Piney overall and wood finish. Didn't blow me away but I'm sure I'd be very happy to always have this on hand. It's a simple yet very interesting taste.

M- Medium carbonation. Very smooth and slightly higher than medium mouthfeel. Good balance in the mouthfeel.

D- High. Cold enough, you can easily drink this all day.

A great, considerably bitter, beer that I have a hard time imagining you'd get tired of.

Yoonisaykul, Apr 29, 2010
Photo of buschbeer
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I poured into a pint glass to two fingers of off white head. I noticed to yeast in the bottom of the bottle after I read that it was bottle conditioned on the label. It has a nice golden hue. It has a nice hoppy aroma. The malt comes through as I drink. The taste doesn't quite match the aroma. There is the malt backbone with some hops. I guess I'm just so used to IPA's and DIPA's. This is a really drinkable beer. I put it right up there behind Burning River as far as APA's go.

buschbeer, Apr 29, 2010
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,988 ratings.