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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.

8,738 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,738
Reviews: 2,693
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 134
Gots: 920 | 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: 8,738 | Reviews: 2,693 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gold with orange highlights, a touch hazy. Thin off-white head left a ring and a wispy centre with cloudy trails and some lacing. Lazy carbonation. Hoppy nose with light orange zest, a clean and inviting aroma. Citrus hops taste with wonderful bitter / malt balance and substantial body for the style. This beer simply tastes great. Among the finer pale ales that I've tried, tasty with a nicely blended barley malt finish and an aftertaste that pleases and lingers for quite a long while. I'm sure I've had this and other Sierra Nevada products a few years ago, before I became a BA, and this one is just as I remember all the Sierra Nevada products - far above the norm for quality, taste and cost. Keep up the good work, SN.

ThatWineGuy, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of Vengeance526
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium golden color with a 2 finger white head that slowly settles to a small ring and leaves some nice lacing.

Aroma of earthy hops and a bit of citrus.

Taste again reveals the hops, a little earthy, a little piney and a faint spicy character. Some grapefruit present in the finish.

Crisp with a medium level of carbonation. Very easy to drink. Still a classic although I think the Torpedo may have ruined this one a bit for me since I basically see that as an amped up SNPA.

Vengeance526, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of jwinship83
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

24oz bottle with no freshness date.

A- golden, almost amber colored body with a finger of white head. minimal lacing, good retention.

S- caramel malt upfront with a solid hoppy finish. grassy and floral hops mostly, with some citrus in there as well.

T- caramel/toffee malt and plenty of hops. loads of grassy and citrus hops. not as much floral as i could smell.

M- on the lighter side with lots of carbonation.

D- easy to finish and sessionable. something nice to find on just about every shelf in town.

jwinship83, Mar 17, 2009
Photo of sbe1
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada's fantastic flagship beer.

Appearance: Clear deep gold color with a white creamy head that lasts until the end, nice lace on the glass. A good looking beer.

Smell: Malty and grainy with a hint of muskiness, all rich and raw and good, with hints of hop florals.

Taste: Crisp and slightly salty/citrusy start with a nice hop bitterness. Clean and sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Clean, crisp and refreshing. Just the right amount of carbonation and hop tickle.

Drinkability: Excellent. A great American beer and a great session beer.

sbe1, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of Bananaman
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've always like this beer on bottle, but on-tap it's a quite different experience (maybe partly for the lower alcoholic content) and I like it!

The beer pours a bright amber color with a huge white head! Looks amazing, you just want to take a deep sip as soon as you have the pint in your hands.

Aroma holds lots of fresh hops! I mean, there is a huge difference between the smell of this one and the botteled one. They both smell good, but this one smells a lot fresher.

Taste is, as expected, very hoppy! Lots of hops, some slightly sweet malts and even more hops. Some slight hint of tropical fruits, probably from the Cascade(?) hops. The only problem I have is that the carbonation is a bit too high, but it doesn't matter when beer tastes this good!

This sure is one of my favourite session-beers!

Bananaman, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of joshuadlight
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So much has been said about this classic.
I cannot do much to bring anymore recognition, other than to say that I concur with this beer's position as one of the greats and as the face of a brewery and of craft beer in general. Malty and hoppy, balanced, drinkable, beautiful. Its just one of those beers that a brewer stumbled upon and knew it was going to be legendary.
If for some reason you are reading this review and have not enjoyed a SNPA, get out there and try this yourself. It perfectly represents the style and craft beer in general. Awesome beer.

joshuadlight, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of grayburn
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

It's crazy to me that I hadn't had this beer before last night...it really is the staple of the craft brew revolution...so it is time for me to pay it some justice.
The beer pours a pretty copper with a healthy head on its shoulders that plays well with others for a long time.
The smell is a nice balance between pine and citrus hops. Very refreshing smell, not too strong.
The taste is the same, just enough flavor, without wearing out the taste buds. This would be an excellent beer to get someone into good brews, as it does not come off strong enough to offend the pallette of even the stoutest macro drinker.
The mouthfeel is light, with good carbonation, another factor that really plays well with the beer as a whole.
I could drink this beer all the time, it is definitely worth the nametag that it carries, tugging along the burden of the brewer...excellent drinkability and a testament to the return of our barley messiah.

grayburn, Mar 12, 2009
Photo of kbeals
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is a copper color with plenty of fluffy white head. Excellent lacing and clarity. Smells of earthy, piney hops, a bit of a malt background but not much. Taste is again hoppy, some light citrus taste too it with a bit of a grainy finish. Beer is very smooth and pretty light-bodied with not a ton of carbonation. A very tasty brew and one that I could drink for awhile.

kbeals, Mar 12, 2009
Photo of southernbelle09
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heard a lot about this one so I finally decided to give it a try. Has a very nice, clear copper color with fluffy white head and some sediment at the bottom of the bottle. This one has a nice eartly hop aroma with not much malt. A really tastey pale, has a nice body and fruity/earthy hop notes. Overall a really good beer and one I wouldn't mind drinking a few of. I'll be sure to give this one a try next time I see it!

southernbelle09, Mar 11, 2009
Photo of cagocubs
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purs a clear amber/cider with nice big 2 finger white foamy head. Smells of earthy hops with a caramel sweetness. Picked up a citrus and evergreen scent as well. Love this taste, crisp citrus mixed with a great hoppy taste. Maltiness flows through at end with nice aftertaste. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth. Very crisp and light bodied. This is very drinkable. I can't believe I have waited this long to try SN PA, I will be drinking this a lot more.

cagocubs, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of Brenden
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This time I tried it on tap. You'll notice the only difference is that the appearance was actually better when I poured it myself.

The color is an opaque coppery orange. The head is still quite nice with good retention and lacing is good as well.

The smell has notes of grain but is most strongly of spice and floral hops.

The taste is crisp with a powerful spicy citrus and a strong hops bitterness. There is also a very light touch of sweetness that takes the edge off a little. There's a bready sort of maltiness that kind of hovers just within reach.

The body is medium with a light carbonation. A nicely lingering finish is pretty dry.

This is a standard-setter far pale ales, and anyone interested in the style should consider this one a mainstay.

Brenden, Mar 05, 2009
Photo of krunchie
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a pint glass at 13°C

A: Pours a golden, clear liquid with a white, sparkly head with adequate retention for the style. Excellent CO2

S: Slightly estery. Lots of hops in the aroma (american dual-purpose hops, Cascade and maybe even Amarillo comes to mind). Citrus, grapefruit and some light malt

T: Maltier than expected from the smell, but actually very well-balanced! Very smooth and blossomy (if that's even a word), fresh, crisp and light. Maltier at first, but some hop bitterness in the finish (not much bitterness though, mostly flavoring hops). Very refreshing!

M: Light and smooth on the tongue and throat. The CO2 tickles a bit on the palate, really nice :)

D: Absolutely great. Goes down easier than any other ale I've tried. The balance between malt and hops is fantastic and makes this one excellent beer. Both the malt and the hops are easily distinguishable and tasteable individually - really enjoyable!

Conclusion: Outstanding all-round APA with great aroma and flavor hops. Maltier taste at first, but hoppier citrusy, grapefruitish in the finish. Very drinkable and excellent CO2. Highly recommended!

krunchie, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of babaracas
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a mostly clear amber with two finger white head leaving dense lacing. Smell: pale malt, piney, earthy hops, touch of caramel. Taste: pale malt, earthiness, grapefruit, pine, tangerine, and again, a little bit of caramel. Revisited this one after trying torpedo recently, still tasty and ultimately sessionable. Pretty sure SN can do no wrong with an apa or ipa.

babaracas, Mar 04, 2009
Photo of aval89
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a honey brown color with a nice looking head. The smell was of pines, very citrusy..nice hop aroma.. Also a bit of caramel/sweet malts. When you dive in you immediately get that rich hoppy taste, citrus, sweet malty finish with just a hint of caramel in there. Goes down very smooth, but a little light in my opinion. Very drinkable though. Extremely well balanced brew


aval89, Mar 03, 2009
Photo of mempath
4.78/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

an old standby i haven't visited in years! let's see what i remember and see if my palate has refined due to being bush-hogged by barrel-proof bourbons this winter...

a-that deep golden color that suggests orangey-green. i love it. a beautiful head that diminishes a bit quickly, but not too much so...sporadic lacing that doesn't cling for long.

s-so fresh, crisp, better than i remember. i probably didn't if smell it on purpose last time (that was 1989, i think....). i catch a perfect whiff of malty-hoppiness. what schmaltzy-happiness!

t-my goodness, this is really a fundamentally premiere stellar top notch pedigree american pale ale...it has a nice bitter, but subtle fade out, but it's hard to get to that point due to taking another swallow before too much time passes...the hops are right up front, but there's an obvious depth to it as well as (is this oxymoronic?) being subtley assertive. i love the way the maltiness weaves and pirouettes on the margins.

m-as it should be. as you would expect from this classic. chew it, inhale, you catch ethereal textures, nice continued hopscotch play of hops and malt...even catching somthing herbal, a hint...not sure what that is, but it's a bonus.

d-very very quaffable. an ultimate session brew for me.

this simply blows the quite admirable SN ESB 2009 out of the water. and yes, that itself is a fine brew.

mempath, Feb 28, 2009
Photo of gotweid
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle a nice golden amber type color. Head was small but the lacing clung to the glass all the way down. Fairly attractive beer. Aroma is very spicy, high on citrus and hops. Notice some grains in the aroma as well. Taste is dominated by citrus with a nice hop bitterness and malt balance. I taste grapefruit. It is good grapefruit though, not the pucker your mouth grapefruit. Mothfeel is medium bodied, slightly bitter, somewhat refreshing and actually very smooth and easy. Very drinkable. I found myself thinking this beer was ok at the beginning to thinking it was really, really good by the time I finished the bottle. I really enjoyed this. Time for another...

gotweid, Feb 28, 2009
Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice darker yellow with a head that retained nicely. The smell was just typical beer type smell nothing outstanding, nothing bad either, a pefect 3. Fortunately the taste was better then the smell. Piney hops, not overwhelming like a hop bomb, but certainly present. Pretty complex flavor profile for a pale ale, it wasn't a one-note hit as you could sense the malts and a fruityness of some sorts. Seemed like it was a little overcarbonated to me, maybe it was just the tap it poured from. Despite the extra bubbles, this was extremely drinkable and went extremely well with my wings.

SwiftyMcBeer, Feb 28, 2009
Photo of webbcreative
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jan 29, 2009
Golden Yellow pour. 1 finger head that left quickly. smelled of clean hops, and citrus. Taste is - wow - i really suprised at how much i like this brew. I tried this beer early on in my craft beer drinking, and thought it was not good, and was even turned off on other APA's , because of my memory of this one. But i thought i would give it another shot, as i know i didnt have quite the appreciation i do know for really good beers. Even though im still new to this, I think i have "matured" a little in my drinking experience/appreciation. ALL that being said, this is truly a great beer! nice, clean taste, with just a bit of hop bitterness to finish it off, and when i say in the finish, i mean way down in the back of my tounge, almost down into my throat [i may actually prefer just a touch less]. nicely done, and one i will definitely get again. this would be a great beer for drinking several of, for instance during a football game, or after mowing the lawn. pretty refreshing.This one has me excited about trying other APA's...

webbcreative, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of PhillyStyle
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap (at Pub 71, Atlanta, GA) - It had a very nice clear yellow/golden color to it with a pretty big white head, that was pretty light or not dense. It was well retained. For a pale ale, I thought that the aroma was really good, light malt and hops aroma with a very light hint of sweetness. Taste was hoppy with some pine, malt and that light hint of sweetness. The flavor was really good, way better than expected. The body was light and the beer was very refreshing. Maybe slightly over carbonated, but not really to the determent to the beer. This one is a keeper. Highly enjoyed it. This one will be a staple once summer rolls around.

PhillyStyle, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of feelmefoam
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice light amber color with about a 1 inch thick head that left nice lacing all down the glass.

Smells sweet, with pine, hops, and a little citrus coming through in the nose.

Taste is great, a little piney at first followed by the hops, but not finishing too bitter. Finished up with that citrus coming through again in the end.

This is a light beer, typical of a pale ale, not too heavy on the palate at all with a medium amount of carbonation. Very refreshing.

This is a great beer overall, I love how the hops counterbalance the slight sweetness the brew brings in the beginning. Very sessionable. I buy these in the 12 packs :)



After about a year of drinking better beers and appreciating flavors better, I can safely say that this is the definition of sessionable, and is probably the most solid beer that is readily available to me (like even at the corner gas station). Thus, I've bumped the ranking up from a B+ to an A-. I love this beer.

feelmefoam, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of kjh5040
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Always a classic and have yet to meet somebody who loves beer and doesnt enjoy a snpa. Light amber/copper small amount of carbonation and head. Nice, lighter aroma and taste with a hoppy bitter finish to it. Cant taste the grapefruit like some people have. A great go to beer since its found almost anywhere and is relatively cheap. Wish i had another sitting in my fridge...

kjh5040, Feb 26, 2009
Photo of sliverX
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from notes:
served a light copper / amber transparent with a small white film that leaves down to a film with a nice ring around the edge that left decent lacing
smell is sweet with good pine and grapefruit notes
taste is light all hops, pine floral and grapefruit going on
mouthfeel is crisp with the bitterness but still quite nice
drinkability is good this is a great alternative compared to BMC

sliverX, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of cvfish
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer poured a great amber color that produced a fluffy white head that had decent retention and laced the side of the glass nicely as well

S - The aromas produced by this beer were sweet malts and some citrus-like hop flower mixed in

T - This beer had a malty start that progressed to a grapefruit and orange center that finished with a great hoppy bitterness which was not a hopbomb, but was not subtle either

M - The mouth on this beer had a very crisp, medium body with moderate amount of carbonation

D - What can I say, this is one of the greatest session beers ever created, although some people tire of it, I never do. One of the most wonderful American Pale Ales crafted, hats off to Sierra Nevada

cvfish, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of jazztoloc
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 OZ bottle poured into a pint. Love the colors on Sierra Nevada´s bottles and caps.

A: Light copper, nice head and lacing. This is a very nice looking beer. Love at first sight.

S: Hops, hints of manila mango, spicy herbs, lots of herbs.

T: Very smooth, some fruit. Love the the bitter mango finish, great!

M: Medium carbonation and body, nice balance.

D: The drinkability of this beer is very high for me. This was the first time I had this and it was a very nice surprise. I wish I coud get it in Mexico in a near future.

jazztoloc, Feb 21, 2009
Photo of Adam2200
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A.very clear light white head with steady retention on the head

S. smell is light hop aroma not as strong as most pales that I am used to

T.the taste is nice light with small after taste of hops it is good for a light pale drinker

M. there is no bad taste in my mouth just pale ale

D.Very nice beer with any type of food or company good for a new beer drinker for ales

Adam2200, Feb 21, 2009
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,738 ratings.