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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.

9,283 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,283
Reviews: 2,731
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 156
Gots: 1,159 | 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: 9,283 | Reviews: 2,731 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thagr81us
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer that started it all for me... Served from tap into a sampler shaker. Poured yellow-orange with a one finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, pine, and pine hops. The flavor was of sweet malt, pine, pine hops, and nutmeg on the followthrough. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium-high carbonation. Overall as I said before, this was my gateway drug. My palate is a lot different now than it was. This brew wasn't overly great, but I can see why I started out drinking this. The flavor on this one was quite nice, it is just that the nutmeg I got on the followthrough is in no-way-shape-or-form one of my favorites. Still one of the easiest to find and better tasting Pale Ales out there in my opinion.

thagr81us, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of nezelrac
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of those beers I have frequently as it is one of three offerings worth drinking at the convenience store nearest my house - for some reason I never stopped to take notes...

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass
initially a little too cold, but I gave it time to warm up

A - nice copper-orange capped by a good two fingers of just off-white foam; good retention - slowly fades to a half-finger of small bubbles with a dense island of larger and smaller bubbles; nice lacing on the glass

S - bready malt and mildly citrus/pine hops; nothing too complex

T - initially hops and malt wound together, followed by a hop bite, then a touch of sweet caramel-inflected malt; finishes spicy and a little citric with a decent backbone of malt

M - good medium weight; CO2 is just enough to keep it moving, with a good lingering effervescence carrying the hops through the finish

D - highly drinkable; easy and enjoyable

nezelrac, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of forsakenpariah
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first beer review.

Serving type - 12oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Pours an orange-golden color with a fluffly, off-white, roughly one-inch head with good retention and moderate lacing.

S - The nose is dominated by bold, crisp, citrusy hops. A hint of floral and sweet scents are present as well.

T - The first sip is like a sucker punch of sharp, bitter hoppy glory. Lots of citrusy and floral hop flavor. There is a bit of caramel malty sweetness. Some hints of biscuit and earthy flavors as well. The flavor tends to sweeten and mellow as you drink.

M - Light body with moderate carbonation. The hops leave a lasting refreshing impression on the palate.

D - Good drinkability; this is an excellent session beer. This is overall the best pale ale I've had by far. I'll definitely be drinking it again.

forsakenpariah, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of hartsoet
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: When poured in a glass nice head after pouring.Had a golden brown color. Smell: Had a nice aroma that was a bold fragrance of hopps. Taste: Bold taste something with a high hint of hopps. Mouthfeel: The first taste this beer started on the bold side of a strong beer. But the follow up taste mellow out. Making it very enjoyable. Drinkability: A very great beer for this last comment.It's refreshing and mellows out the more you drink.

hartsoet, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of bamadog
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is one of those beers that you've had about a million times but never sat down and took notes on. Well, I've sat down to take some notes. Review is from notes taken on 2/3/2011 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a light orange/coppery color and it starts with a nice 2 finger head with decent retention; head slowly fades to a full and uneven cap with a thicker island floating in the center; body has really good clarity and shows moderately strong carbonation; a few spots and swaths of lacing are left behind.

Smell: Smell is light, and could be a little stronger and more robust, but there is some citric hoppy zest and a definite toasty graininess and a slightly sweet maltiness hides out beneath.

Taste: Spot on and quite tasty -- definite lemony citric hops that are followed and well complimented by the toasty graininess; following that the sweet malts that lie beneath sneak in and with the hops, creates a bit of a faint floral flavor that lasts for a few brief seconds before returning to the hops; nothing overwhelming here, pretty straightforward -- always a great beer to go to in the summer, and it's ready availability makes it a great go-to when you're in a place that's lacking in craft.

Mouthfeel: Body is pretty light overall and the carbonation is crisp and prickly and provides quite a bit of liveliness; there is a moderately thick stickiness hanging out on the roof of the mouth that stays pretty moist throughout the drink.

Drinkability: This is really one of those all-day everyday kind of beers with the nice flavors that don't wreck your palate and a pretty doable ABV that clocks in below 6%.

bamadog, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of guitarsnbeer
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a yellow-orange or light goldish hue, with a nice inch pillow of slightly off-white head. moderate webs of lace as I drink on

smells like nice fresh resinous hops.

hops attack the palate in a most pleasant way, with a slight twinge of carbonation and citrus. well balanced and clean finish

resinous hops coat the mouth with some chewyiness to it. as the beer lingers in my mouth and warms up I tend to notice a malty sweetness.

this beer drinks great for a relativly affordable and accessable beverage. at %5.6 abv. it is perfect for me to drink a few anytime, and goes great with most meals.

guitarsnbeer, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of RIbeaz
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I managed to get my hands on a couple of bottles of this brew at a frat party. it was good break from the typical house party beers.

The smell was an inviting crisp hop aroma. the first sip was a clean, hop bittered taste. Very tasty. Good malt backbone and i caught slight citrus taste too. Very good feel to it and very drinkable.

This was may first american pale ale of of its style and i was not disappointed. i had heard good things about this brew before and it defiantly lived up to what ive heard.

RIbeaz, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of damndirtyape
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz on tap served in a tumbler at Knuckles in San Fran. I noted that the glass was very cold (some ice on the rim) so some of the review may be tainted by this, but I let it warm up a bit before drinking.

Appearance: Clear orange-copper beer with a off-white head. The foam was practically non-existent when it came to the table, but after sipping a bit and giving it a swirl, some of it came back. Some lacing noted the whole way down the glass, but not a lot.

Smell: Very clean and floral scent with a hint of sweetness. At first I thought it was a bit perfume like, but it grew on me as it warmed up.

Taste: Clear citrus hops blended very nicely a good malt backbone. The malt flavor ranged between biscuity and caramel, probably which alternated due the meal I was having. A pleasantly tasty beer.

Mouthfeel: Some carbonation on the tongue with a thicker than water mouthfeel. Some lingering sensation on the teeth coming from the hops.

Drinkability: Despite the poor appearance, which I chalk up to the serving glass and not the beer, this beer is an all-around good one. Went very well with the meal (Angus burger sliders and garlic green beans and I could see this going very well with many others. Very tasty beer which I could have another and another of with little complaint.

damndirtyape, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A classic and pioneer in craft beer! Usually poured out of 12oz bottle into pint glass or on tap. Pours a nice deep golden color with a little bit of cloudiness. Aroma has the cascade hops up front bringing out that nice floral undertone. There also seems to be a little orange present in this also. The flavor is what I would consider to be probably the true American Pale Ale. The malts are present up front along with their counterpart, hops. Nice and refreshing. Following behind these two ingredients would have to be that orange I smelled earlier. There is also a little pepper and floral in the back end. Leaves a bitter and refreshing taste in the end. Good classic beer again.

CuriousMonk, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of Stockfan42
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden orange body with a thin white head that seems to stick to the glass pretty well.

Smells of grapefruit and hops with a spicy kick.

Taste has a very sharp and bitter bite. Very crisp, very clean, hops and grapefruit again. Also got a nice spicy kick as detected in the aroma.

What I really enjoy about this beer is the mouthfeel. A very creamy body while still maintaning a very citrusy and bitter bite. Goes down easy and very drinkable.

Overall a solid pale ale. Never a let down.

Stockfan42, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of heebes
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle.

Pours a clear, crisp orange amber with huge foamy off white head. Leaves plenty of lacing. Lots of tiny bubbles rising, good carbonation. Nose is light bready malts, barley, faint light citrus of hops. Smells light a creamy pale. Taste is wonderful, never have I tasted so much flavour in a plae ale! Big on a malt backbone but balanced well from the barley. Medium to light mouthfeel. Tasty and drinkable, several easily downed in a session. A standout classic American staple.

heebes, Jan 31, 2011
Photo of zpeid
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a gold/amber color with a decent amount of head.
On the nose you get mild hops and citrus.
A well balanced taste with notes of citrus, slight bitterness at the end.
All in all a good beer, will buy again.

350ml bottle (5.6% ABV) served in a pint glass

zpeid, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of TCMike
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a glass, and got a 1 finger white head. The color is like copper.
The aroma is of citrus, and hops.
The taste is good. A little hoppier than a lot of pale ales, but not overly so. It's a little dry, and has a bitter taste that lingers briefly. It had a light-medium body. Medium carbonation.
Drinkability is decent, but not being a fan of bitter, I may get sick of it after a few.

TCMike, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of chicagoabbot
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle from a 12 pack into a snifter. Amber pale body dominated by a very generous head. Nose is not too hoppy, not too malty. Nose is the weakest part of this very good and very solid brew.

Wow, it is super clean on the palate, no negative aftertaste. I am not even pale ale's biggest fan, but I love this brew. That's even saying extra because I usually veer more toward the smaller breweries in terms of taste. It's impressive that Sierra Nevada is so quality.

A beer I do not shy from buying frequently. One of my top 10 pale ales.

chicagoabbot, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of Wattsox
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

350ml bottle, consumed Jan 2011, BBE Aug 2011.

A - Amber colour body, slightly hazy from the very slight sediment from the bottle conditioning. Decent frothy head which dissipates fairly quickly, leaving a generous amount of lacing which clings all round the glass.

S - Quite a gentle aroma of hops and malts with a little citrus; well balanced aroma.

T - Sweet malt opening, some citrusy hops and a nice balance between the bitterness held slightly at bay by the sweetness. Nice dry finish with some gentle lingering bitterness.

M - Smooth mouthfeel with medium body.

D - An extremely drinkable classic APA, would work extremely well as a session beer.

Wattsox, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of biteme398
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a pretty big head into a mug. Color is dark yellow with an orange tint. Lacing left as head recedes. Plenty of hops in the nose along with a grassy smell. Taste is very intricate. Citrus notes dominate but pine and maltiness are also present. Mouthfeel is very smooth. Everything is so well balanced. I could drink several more if I wanted to.

biteme398, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of janubio
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle, copper-amber colour with a thin head with not much retention and not much lace. Smell of hops, something like cheese rind and pine. Medium boyd, it holds well in the mouth, where I feel hops, citrus, spices (pepper?) and caramel. It's the first Sierra Nevada I have a chance to taste and I can say I'm not dissappointed at all, I wouldn't mind to drink some of them any day.

janubio, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of BeerMusketeer
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Im have always lov ed this beer but hadn't had one in ages. Just picked up a sixer and am remembering why I am so fond of sierra nevada. Nice orange/tan body with a decent head. The aroma and taste are a wondeful balance of gentle hops and solid malts. This is still the best APA for me.

BeerMusketeer, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of 3rdRowTailgater
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an American pint glass. It pours a copper color with a nice, big thick head that lasts.

A very nice citrus hoppiness balanced with pale malt. Not too hoppy, not too malty. Great blend.

The taste is pure APA. It's got citrus and piney hop notes along with malt and ends with a slight bread taste. Really nice balance.

It's not too viscous and not too thin and the taste lingers just long enough. I could drink this all night and I have many times. It's a classic for a reason.

3rdRowTailgater, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of gskitt
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a solid all-around all-American pale ale. Pours a subdued, light orange and had some decent lacing. Smelled of some hops, but pretty silent in the smell department. Tasted of a nice balance between the hops and malt, a great mouthfeel makes this a great, unpretentious and drinkable APA.

gskitt, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of jmshulk
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: A fresh citrus, hay mix. I really like the smell of this beer, makes me think of a nice summer day.

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden yellow/orange with a frothy white head that leaves nice lacing.

Taste: A little malty to start and eventually leads to a nice hoppy finish, but not too bitter, just right. The only knock might be that it lingers a little too long.

Palate: Medium bodied, with a silky feel.

Overall: Great beer, I feel bad drinking this with 5 inches of snow on the ground, but I wouldn't turn down another.

jmshulk, Jan 22, 2011
Photo of NATOuk
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Amber colour with slight cloudiness, Respectable head which lingers

A pleasant, slight citrus smell which is not too powerful

Very earthy and slightly sweet to start which gives way to a strong hop bitterness on the finish.

Very pleasant medium level of carbonation, just right for this type of ale

This is one which can either be savoured over a long time as a single drink but is very drinkable in quantity. A fantastic regular beer to keep in the fridge and not particularly expensive and easy to obtain at the local Tesco supermarket.

(Also spotted on draught at All-Bar-One in Canary Wharf, London)

NATOuk, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of greenmonstah
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into DFH snifter

A - Pours a pale copper with a finger of off-white head.

S - Smells hoppy and a bit grainy. Citrus and pine hops are present.

T - Plenty of hop bitterness and a bit of grainy dryness. A little bit of grassyness and some underlying sweetness.

M - Just right. Medium body, just enough carbonation. A little bit dry in the finish and a bit cloying in the back of the throat, keeping this from getting highest marks.

D - Incredibly drinkable. Goes down easy and refreshing. Very tasty. Perhaps the best widely available beer around.

greenmonstah, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of jsprain1
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a copper-amber with a thin slick of a head. A wee bit of lacing, but not much.
S- Smell is pale malt and some hops, which manifest themselves in green apple, light citrus and pine aromas.
T- A good balance of pale malt and fruity hops. Good hop presence, somewhere between grapefruit and pine. I'm sticking to green apple peel as the primary flavor I'm picking up.
M- Medium body, medium-high carbonation.
D- The quintessential APA. Refreshing and easily drinkable.

jsprain1, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of aficionado224
4.9/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many others rate this beer very highly, and I quite agree this is a great pale ale, or simply a great beverage of any type. It has plenty of flavor to savor, but not so much it needs to be chewed. I could sip this and luxuriate in each sip, or quaff this to quench my thirst from heat or exertion or both. I highly recommend this brew, and if you have never tried it, you gotta get your hands on one, soon.

aficionado224, Jan 19, 2011
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 9,283 ratings.