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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.

8,223 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,223
Reviews: 2,670
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 112
Gots: 661 | 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: 8,223 | Reviews: 2,670 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Proteus93


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

A: Deep straw / amber colour sporting a yellowish head which was rather slow to recede, leaving liberal lacing.

S: Sweet, somewhat fruity + malty. A hint of an aroma of apple or something in there.

T: Full flavoured... hops, very mild fruit flavours, something seemed almost mushroom-like for lack of a better comparison. Quite nice.

M: Just a tad thick, but otherwise fine and the carbonated fizz manages to perfectly compliment the hops in this one.

D: Very drinkable and compliments a meal very nicely. Perhaps not completely sessionable, but it's tempting!

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2008 04:10:47 | More by Proteus93
Photo of MisterClean


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


A - Pours a nice golden-bronze color. Light head.

S - Lots of citrus and pine, which begs to quench my thirst.

T - Initial light-bitterness, with floral hops, and a big strong pine finish from the cascades.

M - Very quenching and satisfying. Light alcohol feel.

D - Definitely a winner. This is the beer that turned me on to micro brewing.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2008 02:06:25 | More by MisterClean
Photo of BlackBearForge


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

Bottle data indicates a bottling date of 1-31-07.

Pours a crystal clear golden amber with a nice two finger creamy slightly orange head which subsides quickly to just a thin surface cover with minimal lacing.

The smell is a bit yeasty with a nice floral orange-citrus note. Nice actually.

The taste is sweet biscuity malt with a big bitter component, the two being nicely balanced. Hoppy but not to an extreme, with a touch of fruit sour orange-citrus component and perhaps a tad of caramel. As noted, nicely balanced with just a touch of alcohol warmth on the tongue.

Mouthfeel seems medium to me with just the right touch of carbonation.

Drinkability is quite good, it goes well with most foods and is one of my standard everyday beers. Might be a bit more bitter than batches I've had in the past, still very good and easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2008 21:19:24 | More by BlackBearForge
Photo of Spikester


4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 24 ounce bottle about 55 deg. F. Aroma is grassy some breadiness.

Finally a pale ale with perfect balance between hops and malt. I hate to rate a California brew above the Northwest micros but I must.

The pour yielded a huge head. The lacing was plentiful completely covering the glass. Good level of carbonation. Nice light amber color. Nicely hopped with a somewhat bitter taste but due to sweet maltiness the hops don't overwhelm. The aftertaste is just slightly bitter.

As far as drinkabilty is concerned this one could be habit forming. Am very much looking forward to trying the draft version. One of the very best of the style.

Another plus is the consistency. Always good and an excellent value as well.

My favorite Pale Ale at this time. If I were only allowed one beer for all time I guess this would be it. For an everyday craft beer it is at the top of the pedestal of APAs.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2008 03:59:45 | More by Spikester
Photo of 1759Girl


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

Appearance> Lively golden, with a medium bubbly head
Smell> Hoppy and fruity, very nice.
Taste> A crisp, clean start, rush of hops, with a resiny, with ever slight sweetness to its finish.
Mouthfeel> Medium bodied. Quite pleasing.
Drinkability> Once I conquered my fears of Cascade Hops, it became a standard, though I still prefer Stone's. Only just.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2008 03:47:51 | More by 1759Girl
Photo of littleshamrocks


4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle with no freshness dating. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a medium amber with about one finger of frothy white head. It has a very nice clarity and about an average amount of carbonation. When held up to the light it seems to have some small particles, possibly yeast, suspended in the brew. The head settles to a small crown on top and leaves behind impressive rings of lacing. The aroma is kicked off by toasted grain/bready maltiness along with a mix of a floral to perfumey to citrusy hop presence. Some fruity esters are here as well. The malt flavor is very solid with some spicy hops in the middle and an orange peel-like bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a somewhat coarse texture and lively carbonation. The finish is lightly astringent.

This beer makes me feel nostalgic. It was one of the two or three brews that really got me hooked on "better" beer. I remember back then being impressed by the hoppiness of it, but now, after being exposed to a whole new world of beers, I am struck by the balance in the ingredients. It is a supremely drinkable classic of an American craft beer. If Sierra Nevada would only put some kind of freshness dating on their bottles, I would keep this one around much more often.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2008 01:14:52 | More by littleshamrocks
Photo of MDekker


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

Pours out with a golden brown hue, some head (not a hard pour) and pretty continuous bubbling. The aroma is dominated by pine and hops. It's somewhat floral, too, with a slight fruity sweetness. The taste starts bitter and ends bitter, with a little sweetness in between. After a while it makes me think of apples a little bit. It feels fresh and clean, with a mild lingering aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fine; nothing offensive. In the end, this is a "good" pale ale, although every time I've had it I've never been as excited as some be are about it. I'm not yearning for more when I'm done.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2008 15:48:24 | More by MDekker
Photo of Mazeraski

New York

4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

12oz. bottle poured into a glass mug

A - Transparent golden honey color with a slightly tan head that lasts about halfway through the 1st sample.

S - Slight grass/piney hint with a pronounced floral hoppiness and also dashes of citrus and small wisps of alcohol.

T - The hops hit your tongue first with a small punch, then the slight malt rushes in, with the gulp ending in an excellent second wave of hops a little bit larger than the first. All this mixed with little bits of citrus and faint notes of alcohol hiding in the background.

M - A smooth and uniform feel throughout, teetering on the edge between light and medium bodied.

D - One of the most drinkable beers I have yet encountered that actually has a really great taste. With the ABV toward the lower end and the excellent representation of an American Pale Ale, this is one to grab for longer sessions.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2008 06:34:57 | More by Mazeraski
Photo of TexIndy


3.2/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. It was a bronze color with a ton of yeast floaters. Decent carb, no lacing. It had a small beige head that settled into a partial film. The aroma was floral and hoppy with a grassy malt smell as well. Something in there didn't sit right though. It also appeared in the taste. It was a weird bitter aftertaste that I usually don't find in PA/IPA's. I love a good bitter PA/IPA bite but that weird aftertaste really hurt this one. I got as a single so possible that it's a bad sample so will try again. But for now I can't really recommend (One and done)

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2008 03:14:11 | More by TexIndy
Photo of

3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In glass from a 12oz bottle

A - Light body, excellent clarity and light tan head

S - Strong hoppy scent, grass, Strong floral quality, light citrus and faint alcohol

T - Well balanced hop laced beer, smooth malt and floral hops flavor.

M - Smooth light coat from start to finish.

D - One of the great pale ale's a true American craft ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2008 20:25:17 | More by
Photo of beersabound


4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A classic APA. A brilliant golden/amber hue flows from the bottle to create a snappy finger's width head that fizzles out a bit quick. Not much lacing or stickage either. Wafts of clean malt hang out behind a citrusy and slightly piny hop aroma. Clean hop bitterness with a slight sweetness are followed up by a dry finish. A well balanced session beer that is quite drinkable. The mouthfeel has a little too much CO2 and pops without much of a creamy or lucious texture.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2007 23:14:14 | More by beersabound
Photo of mattster


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

Opened 12 oz bottle, poured into nonic glass.

Nice large foamy head of say 2". Dies down at a moderate pace to create a nice thin layer of foam across top of brew. Color is light amber, mostly clear with good bubbles in it.

Smell is very clean with some hops and slight citrus notes. Taste follows through with very clean crisp hoppy taste, although I don't detect citrus on my palate. Beer has a nice mouth feel and is very drinkable. I may have another before calling it an evening.

I'd been worried for sometime that Sierra Nevada was becoming to mainstream, but it appears that even though more mass markets are carrying their beer, they are still able to produce a quality product.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2007 13:30:27 | More by mattster
Photo of skeetermoses


3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I liked this one, of course beer always tastes better when you finish skiing, I did have this beer with rocklette when I was in Utah, it happens to be my 3rd favorite beer behind the Heffe and the Bass that I drank. But I always have enjoyed SN beers in the past so I could not go wrong.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2007 07:26:40 | More by skeetermoses
Photo of willjschmidt


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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle (bottled on 10/17/07) into a pint glass.

A: Pours a golden amber color with a thin white head that recedes quickly.

S: Lots of pungent floral hops in the nose.

T: A smooth, well balanced, and tasty American craft beer classic. A floral and herbal hop taste layered over a bready malt base.

M: Smooth and medium bodied.

D: Not much new to say about this one. An American brew classic and probably the most popular micro in the country. Also a good option for a beer on draft since it's widely available on tap.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2007 03:52:51 | More by willjschmidt
Photo of MiguelMandingo


3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It is kind of weird that for as long as I have been reviewing beer, this one has somehow slipped through the cracks. I used to drink this beer all the time when I first got into "better beer", and for no particular reason, I just stopped buying it for a while about six months ago. I had some the other night at a bar, and it just didn't taste the same. A friend gave me this bottle to review, and I am having the same problem.

Poured a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - It pours a completely transparent copper orange. It produced a pretty solid two finger white head and it left a bit of light lacing behind. It has constant stream of carbonation bubbles rising to the top of the glass.

Smell - Crackery/biscuity malts in the front of the scent, which then gives way to resinous grapefruity hops, and a slight hint of pine. This while the scent of this beer screams Cascade Hops, the scent is slightly subdued - it isn't as powerful as I remember it.

Taste - The initial flavor is very bready, with a tinge of a caramel sweetness. That flavor gives way to Cascade Hop flavor - slightly resinous grapefruit with the smallest hint of pine. There is slight bitterness that continues from the middle of the flavor and then plunges at the end, with the caramel sweetness rounding out the flavor. I remember this beer being far more dramatic - maybe my palate has changed, but this doesn't wow me like it used to.

Mouthfeel - On the thicker end of light bodied. The carbonation level leaves something to be desired, it feels kind of flat by the time it reaches my throat. It does, however, go down very smooth.

Drinkability - This is a beer you can drink the hell out of. It tastes pretty good, it is available pretty much everywhere, which is great because I will reach for this over any BMC, any day. It is an easy drinking brew. It is also one of the quintessential "training wheel beers" for most people that I know.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2007 03:49:02 | More by MiguelMandingo
Photo of jackorain


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

Finally got around to reviewing this old standby

A-Straw gold with orange tinge liquid with a slight haze. This is topped with a stark white 1 1/2 inch high pillowy head that hangs around for a good long time. Leaves some decent lacing behind as the head recedes.

S-Biscuit and bready malts back-up with a sizable dose of citrus (mainly gapfruit) hop araoma.

T-Caramel amlt shows up initially but slips away to reveal biscuit malt and a bit of white bread. The middle brings grapefruit hops and a decent bitterness level.

M-nearly medium body with a craemuness to the carbonation with a late prickle.

D-Good, I could have several at which point I wold have to switch to something with more hops

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2007 19:13:34 | More by jackorain
Photo of CDBeerDisappear


3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured orange amber with a half inch head. Decent lacing and plenty of visible carbonation. Aroma was hoppy but not overly so, just right for a pale ale. Nice balance between malt and hops with a clean dry finish. Good mouthfeel, carbonation was bright and sparkling. Very drinkable, a good pairing with bar food.

Serving type: on-tap

12-27-2007 00:54:20 | More by CDBeerDisappear
Photo of Kjos29


1.8/5  rDev -55.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Drank it in a Bottle
Appearance yellowish brown hint.
Don't remember the smell.
Too tart for my taste.
You could drink pretty many.
Overall I think this beer company gets way too much attention for something that doesn't taste very good by beer standards.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2007 04:04:52 | More by Kjos29
Photo of dsa7783

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another great, classic brew from a company that I've really taken a liking too... A copper colored beer poured with an impressive head that receded after a bit... smell is very dry and biscuity... The taste is solid.. a good example of the style, with caramel and bready overtones... mouthfeel is equally good and with an easy drinkability, this is a classic American brew... their Celebration Ale was great, and this somewhat reminds me of it, with a lower alcohol percentage... a good, clean, crisp taste... Definitely recommended...

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2007 01:17:09 | More by dsa7783
Photo of shroompod


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

Clear golden tone , small head, a little lacing.

Smell is faintly floral, citrusy.

Taste is primarily hoppiness , with some slight malty undertones.

Mouthfeel is light , with a crisp aftertaste. Carbonation is apparent.

A little high in the ABV department, but I have no trouble drinking 6 of these.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2007 00:54:59 | More by shroompod
Photo of assmasterson


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

A: Pours a moderate orange, just a tad lighter than iced tea. Little to no head, but that's because of how I pour it. Clings to the glass and slowly retreats back down.

S: Citrus up front with some floral in the background.

T: Nice and hoppy, with a slight sour aftertaste. Later drinks bring more of a lemon flavor. Simply delicious.

M: A tad sticky, yet thin enough to be quite enjoyable.

D: Very high. Definitely one to always have in the fridge alongside the others.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2007 00:45:01 | More by assmasterson
Photo of vdubmatt

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The first thing you get when opening a bottle of SN pale ale is a huge dose of cirtusy hoppy goodness. This is probably one of my favorite session beers. Has a nice pale amber color with a small whiteish head. Again, the smell is dominated by citrus. Taste is very refreshing and crisp with a strong hop dominance, but a nice malt backbone. Moth feel is slightly watery. Very drinkable. All in all, it is a great beer that you can find almost anywhere in my experience.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2007 00:34:54 | More by vdubmatt
Photo of MTNboy


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

Appearance- This beer is a very nice gold amber color. A little more foamy than I would like but still a nice looking beer.

Smell- Very floral with a good hops presents.

Taste- Not as bitter as I thought it would be. There are some great citrus tones in the flavor but balanced with the malt.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Smooth but bitter and light and refreshing.

Drinkability- A nice dinner or stay home and chill beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2007 08:58:31 | More by MTNboy
Photo of ajr24


3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Copper and golden with a nice creamy head with good coverage on top. Small amount of lacing and it has an average head retention.

S- Piny and citrus/floral, smells like an excellent IPA which it is.

T- Piny, hoppy and awesome. Grapefruity and piny balance

M- Creamy and cripy (krispy-kreme?)

D- Sessionable as anything

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2007 02:18:57 | More by ajr24
Photo of JohnGalt1


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

12oz picked up at the Boise Coop for about $1.35... shared with a coworker... my half poured into a Delirium tulip.

Short lasting white head... atop a crystal clear lite golden brew.

Aroma is perfect blend of pronounced citrus hops and pale malts.... with just a touch of yeast fruitiness.

Flavor is as good as a an APA can be... cascade hops... balanced pale toasty malts and bitterness.... finish is more cascades and a little fruitiness. Body is perfect medium/low with the right carbonation.

Really not anything somebody can say bad about Sierra Nevada pale... I really don't buy it much anymore unless I am at a gas station and this is the only micro they have.... but writing a review makes me think about just how quintessential this brew is.... a classic if there ever was one.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2007 07:59:06 | More by JohnGalt1
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,223 ratings.