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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.

8,982 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,982
Reviews: 2,711
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 149
Gots: 1,032 | 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: 8,982 | Reviews: 2,711 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of taigor
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a regular glass.

A - Poured clear amber color with medium head that slowly dissipated leaving intermediate amount of lacing.

S - Mostly hops and citrus with faint alcohol smell.

T - Hops and grains upfront followed by slight bitterness of citrus.

M - Light bodied with medium to high carbonation.

D - Very enjoyable, refreshing and drinkable beer.

taigor, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of hunthearin
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P - 12oz Brown Bottle, Colorful Green label with a Nature Scene
A - Reddish, Copper color that looks nice in the glass
S - Hoppy and Sweet Smell
T - Knockout! Quite refreshing with hues of grapefruit and other assorted citrus flavors
M - Refreshing with a bite to the tongue
D - A beer to savor, a six pack would do me just fine

hunthearin, Mar 22, 2010
Photo of teovaldi
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear dark yellow with a huge white frothy head that lasts a while.

Smells of lots of citrus hops.

Crisp taste of hops that finishes dry and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with good carbonation.

The perfect sessionable APA.

teovaldi, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of bosox941827
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into imperial pint glass
Long time drinker of SNPA, just now getting around to a review...
A - "Classic" pale ale, orange decent head retention with a rough pour, dissipates fairly quickly. Absolutely clear.
S - Nice biscuit-y malt aroma, mixed w/light hop aroma after the pour.
T & M - Caramel-y malt flavor, evolving into a nice spicy mid-palate with a solid, lingering Cascade hop-finish, with just a hint of alcohol flavor mixed in at the end for good measure. Hop finish is extremely pleasant and for me what separates this pale ale from others. A bit more carbonated than other SN offerings, with some prickly carbonation at the beginning....
D - Yeah, through the roof...could drink these all night, and have..
SN's flagship is just that for a reason, it's a great one to keep in the fridge when you need a "comfort beer" after trying out double/triple IPAs, etc. Great stuff.

bosox941827, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of tykees88
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange colored with a slight head when poured into my glass. I like the smell of citrus and obvious hop action. the taste is just alright to me though, I like pales and ipa's for that matter but this one just didn't hit it home for me on taste. I feel like there was something off or just something in it that I didn't like. Anyways a good beer that I will drink again someday down the road.

tykees88, Mar 20, 2010
Photo of JunkYardJake
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.
Good looking beer. Hazy copper tone with orange hues. Big fluffy head. Decent retention and lacing. Smells good. Floral, citric and a little soapy. Has a strong hop bite with a mild grapefruit flavor. Nice clean, dry bitterness. Good mouthfeel from the medium body and soft carbonation. Very drinkable to say the least. Lovely beer and is usually a go-to beer at alot of chain joints.

JunkYardJake, Mar 20, 2010
Photo of bourbonbock
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured myself a bottle of this into a clean pint glass which made a light copper colored beer with about a finger and a half of lacing.

A. This beer just looks like it's gonna be good. Light copper, clear, and fine carbonation. Little circles of lacing are left behind by the head.

S. Great hop smell with a smooth clean aroma.

T. This beer tastes great with a clean malt flavor underneath a well balanced hop flavor.

M. This beer feels good and is refreshing on the tongue.

D. Great beer to drink a six pack of. Aftertaste is good and sticks around long enough to remind you to take another sip.

Very solid beer that I haven't had in a long time. This is definitely gonna be in my top 5 when I'm looking for a six pack.

bourbonbock, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of jpro
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, light copper with a big foamy head that quickly recedes and leaves spotty touches of lace all over the glass. Aroma is slightly bready and is dominated by floral / citrus hops. There's a light touch of caramel malt in the taste, but this is quickly overtaken by the citrus hop / lasting grapefruit rind bitterness. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side; its a fairly drinkable and refreshing ale. Here's to the brew that is the "gateway" for many of us craft beer geeks -

jpro, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hudsonphotog for sharing this beer. I have drank it for years but never reviewed it.

Pours a clear orange color with a white head. The aroma is citrus hops with a lot of orange notes. The flavor is orange and other citrus with a medium amount of bitterness. High carbonation and a medium mouthfeel. An American classic that never disappoints.

Mora2000, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of alcurtsinger
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm new to this so bear with me, I am not yet able to identify specific flavors.

A - 1 Finger of foam, and a beautiful gold color.

S - A sweet hoppy smell

T - Very balanced and a perfect amount of hoppy flavor.

M - Crisp and lighter than I expected

D - I could drink a bunch of them and I will considering it was on sale for $12 for a 12 pack.

alcurtsinger, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of wolfinthemirror
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just had my first pint of SN Pale Ale on tap, I was impressed.

A - Nice golden straw color, a fingers worth of foamy white head. beautiful looking beer in the glass!

S - I get grassy hops right up front. has a sweet fragrance to it.

T - Extremely refreshing. hops are present, some citrus notes. nothing over bearing, just an extremely well balanced flavor.

M - light bodied and very crisp. great amount of carbonation.

D- I could drink glass after glass if my wallet would let me. It goes down easy and is a great accompaniment with meals. It paired well with the nachos I had for dinner.

Deliciously refreshing Pale Ale, perfect beer for warming weather. You really can't go wrong with one of these.

wolfinthemirror, Mar 18, 2010
Photo of Prostman81
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A standard-bearer for the American craft beer industry, and always a reliable go-to beer for pretty much any situation. Helps bridge the gap for all types of beer drinkers. Bottom line is, if you want a quality Pale Ale, this is your 'man'. The craft scene is flooded with PAs now, and I fear this one is often taken for granted, but I still use this beer as a benchmark when judging other Pale Ales, including the ones that I brew myself.

Prostman81, Mar 17, 2010
Photo of soco7tyx7
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Copper in color with a soapy white head. Leaves thin film throughout with mild lacing

S - Pale malts, light hop aroma

T - Sweet pale malts for sure up front and in body balanced with with a clean light hoppy finish. Clean. Some earthiness

M - Crisp, medium light body, smooth

D - Very easy to drink and could drink a lot of it. I enjoy this brew very much. It's always a good stand-by. I like that they put it in a bomber for a cheaper price...more incentive to buy (even tho i'm really paying more for less)

soco7tyx7, Mar 17, 2010
Photo of keithmurray
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz draft

beer pours a crisp golden amber colour

aroma is of citrus, grapefruit, pine and hops

taste is of caramel, hops, grapefruit

mouthfeel is a good amount of carbonation, slightly bitter aftertaste, crisp, and tasty

this is very drinkable, easily sessionable.

Solid brew from S.N.

keithmurray, Mar 16, 2010
Photo of farrago
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finger plus of white foam, medium sized bubbles pop here and there, slight retention, settles into a thin layer across the surface, not much stickiness in the lacing. Coppery orange to yellow in hue, hazy, lighter and more transparent around the rims. The herbal hops get out in front of the pack in the nose, the white grapefruit, orange pith follows behind, grainy with a spicy edge, more lactose than florality or maltiness, sheer activity seems to be its strongest aspect. Medium-bodied plus, here its relative lack of movement gives it more gravitas. Sweet touch to the orange, grapefruit citrus, floral dimension a bit stunted. Malts undistinguished, smooth things texturally but don't add much flavor, light brown sugar. Peach, apricot fruit demure. The bitter residue left behind through the finish actually gets you thirsting for more. Never as good as when you remembered it as a kid but not bad either.

farrago, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of sweemzander
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Bottled sometime in Jan 2010 I think.

(A)- Pours a clear caramel colored amber that produced a large white head that dissipated down to a light frothy layer. Left tons of sticky webbing behind in the process.

(S)- Citrus of lemon, lime, & pineapple with a good piney background. Bits of honey-like caramel sweetness; very subtle though.

(T)- Great dry pine with a burst of lemon citrus. Light honey/caramel sweetness. Bitter, but fits the level for the style.

(M)- A good carbonation level & balance to it. Crisp & refreshing. A great mix of dryness, citrus, bitterness, & malt. Smooth.

(D)- A superb example of the style. An easy drinker for sure. Not overly bitter, malty, or dry, but just right. Always a great summer APA in my opinion.

sweemzander, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of therica
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= copper-gold, small head if poured carefully, otherwise pretty good-sized, some lacing.

S= nice malts, maybe some toasted in there; strong hops florals.

T= definitely in the trendy west-coast bitter-hops category (as are most of Sierra Nevada's beers), very strong Cascade or Nugget or similar and very fresh; more malty than many craft APA's. Some toasty notes.

M= green-hops bitter but nice to savor if you enjoy that flavor; malts keeping my mouth watery.

D= very drinkable if you enjoy strong hops-bitter ales. I tend to prefer Lagunitas Pale Ale in this category, however.

therica, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of SamN
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Slightly hazy light golden color, great thick bubbly head. Lots of active carbonation. Good looking beer, but the head is the crown here. Just crazy bubbly and rich and foamy.

S- No doubt about it, this is a pale ale. Effective hop aroma, but backed with a crisp sweetness. Weak aroma, could've been stronger.

T- Mmm, so freakin' tasty. So balanced you don't expect the pronounced hops finish. Not overpowering, but it's noticeable. Stout malt backbone provides a solid foundation for the playful hops. Florals, sweet breads, herbal bitterness, very slightly dry finish. Solid taste, a very well made beer here.

M- Crisp tiny bubbles, nothing too much, it's all nicely played down to let the flavors do their thing. Medium light body with a pleasent mellowness. Not sticky bitterness left over.

D- Very high. It's great, had this with a spicy lobster cayenne bisque, and it was the perfect pair. A pale ale that I can session with without getting worn out on hops overload.

Great beer, another hit from Sierra Nevada.

SamN, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of apbarwood
3/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A bright, brownish-gold color with a small pure-white head. Retention is lacking with only the finest amount of lace. It takes a pretty aggressive pour to get some head. Aromas are faint but pleasant nonetheless. Ditto that on the flavor. You get what you'd expect basically but in small amounts with a good balance between fruit bitterness and pine with some herbal hop notes and just enough malt to hold everything together. The body is mediumish and the feel is slightly undercarbonated. The thing that this beer has going for it is that it's balanced exceptionally well, but it isn't going to knock anyone's socks off. I really wanted more out of it particularly from the hops. This is definitely brewed with the larger market in mind. That being said, it's not bad, there's nothing offensive about this beer at all and I think it's a good training wheel pale ale but fans of more flavorful styles of pales will be well suited to look elsewhere.

apbarwood, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of thedrewski86
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, orangy golden color with a white bubbly head. Light mango smell, not much in the way of lacing. Taste is crisp and refreshing, fairly light body. Citrusy with a light piney hop. Awesome example of an ultra-drinkable pale ale.

thedrewski86, Mar 08, 2010
Photo of mike130
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got on-tap at the Rake.

Nice pour, nice head that stays for a while but then fades into a small layer on top of the beer. Straw yellow colour, looks ok but nothing special.

Smells very nice - loads of American hops. A bit of malt as well.

Tastes quite hoppy, but very well balanced. Nice bit of malt a then a small hop kick, makes it very drinkable and not unlike a milder IPA. Nicely balanced.

Good carbonated mouthfeel, very drinkable. Probably falls within your definition of session beer (if not, don't nag), and is easy to drink.

mike130, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of DNICE555
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap At Eli's

A - Clear copper body with a white head.

S - Smells of grain, mild hops and some malt.

T - Maltiness, toasted grains, mild hops.

M - On the lighter side, well balances, pleasant.

D - A solid pale ale that is very drikable. Great session beer.

DNICE555, Mar 05, 2010
Photo of AmberMan22
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'll definitely give props to this for having a great looking head and streaking lace down the glass, but otherwise it doesn't look all that special.

Smell is better though, with a clear burst of hops coming through. Nothing too overwhelming, which is good, but hard to detect any sort of pale malt to back it up.

Taste is very enjoyable. Good hoppy backbone, clearly a little more support from the malt than I could detect in the nose.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly creamy -- didn't expect that out of a beer this color.

Solid, very drinkable beer, especially sitting at 5.6%, this makes it almost a poor man's IPA.

AmberMan22, Mar 03, 2010
Photo of brewingmatt
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl bottle in a pint glass.

A: Gold, with a 0,5cm white lasting head.

S: Citrus peel, oranges, candy floss/cotton candy

T: Peach note up front, followed by citrus flavours - oranges and lemons, slight grapefruit in the finish. Somewhere in the mix is some sweetness - toffee and brown sugar.

M: Full-bodied yet the carbonation clears the palate somewhat. Still a little heavy, perhaps the higher alcohol than I am used to?

D: A lovely beer that went down very well. Had I had a second bottle I would probably save it for another night.

brewingmatt, Mar 03, 2010
Photo of jmerloni
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - beautiful clear orange with good head which recedes quickly and leaves little lacing, however.

S - Hops with caramel malt.

T - More bitter than the nose suggest. Very hoppy and very refreshing.

M - Nice and light with excellent carbonation that tingles as you swallow.

D - Very drinkable. Mid range ABV and pretty light. This is a fantastic session beer.

I enjoy the simplicity of this brew. It is a true pale ale and tries to be no more. Well-crafted and just what I hoped it would taste like.

jmerloni, Mar 03, 2010
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,982 ratings.