1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

9,067 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,067
Reviews: 2,719
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 151
Gots: 1,057 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,067 | Reviews: 2,719 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of tippebrewcrew2
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is, as i'm sure it was for many others, a beer that starter my path to quality beer. It is a good example of a west coast apa and is probably one of the most widely distributed micro's on the planet. This is the beer you turn to when you are at a bar looking for what they have on tap. budlight, miller light, mgd, schiltz (really?). I'd rather hook up with the larger, one-eyed, one and half sized, woman-beasts at the other end of the bar. SN pale ale! thank god, my savior! WHen you say micro or craft beer to the general person this is what they think of and that's not a bad thing. This is a good front runner for craft beer. It has a good hop profile, a decent body, and overall it's a respectable beer. I will not turn it down at a party and I will not frown on a guy who brings a 6er to a party. good beer, great brew co!

tippebrewcrew2, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of OskarL
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Slightly hazy amber/golden color with a nice head that leaves nice lacing.

Smell - Earthy hops with some citrus and bready malt.

Taste - Citrus, flowers and some spices with a sweet bready malt and some stingy bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, crisp with a medium body.

OskarL, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of FreshHawk
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden bronze with orange hue. Large white froathy head. Good retention with a good amount of lacing left.

S - Lots of different hop smells, including citrus, floral, and some earthiness. A fair amount of bready malt too.

T - Good base of bread and caramel malt. Lots of hops dominate the taste. Lots of citrus, both grapefruit and orange, as well as a good amount of floral hops and pine taste. Some spices are present too. Fair amount of bitterness, but not overpowering.

M - Medium body with good carbonation. Smooth and slightly fizzy.

D - Very good drinkability. Lots of hop flavors, but not overpowering. Bitter and sweetnes balanced well so you get good bitter and hop flavors. Easy to drink and tasty.

Notes: Really nice hoppy beer with lots of flavors but not overly hopped. Great widely available hoppy beer. Great beer to have for everyday drinking.

FreshHawk, Mar 01, 2010
Photo of Dorian
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

had my fifth SN pale ale tonight thought id have another for reviewing purposes and same as always it goes down very smooth very clean light hops aroma with a piney finish taste. even though i love this beer i do think its an extremely drinkable all around beer just a bit hyped maybe?

Dorian, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of vette2006c5r
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, looked like a traditional pale ale, with not a very large head. It had a hoppy smell, that was pleasent. It had a very "dry" and hoppy taste, exactly what you would want out of a pale ale. It didnt leave much of an aftertaste and was easy to drink. Overall it was a great beer, deffently worth trying, and enjoying more then once.

vette2006c5r, Feb 27, 2010
Photo of niklas0770
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The hazy light coppery color with the one finger head looks very inviting i must say. After a couple of sips it leaves a thin lace.

The smell is very hopy with some kind of flower sweetness added to it. I also get some kind of crispiness, almost like an wisebeer.

The taste is still very hopy with that crispiness I mentioned earlier. There is also that sweetness I can't seem to put my finger on.

The mouthfeel is quite dry but yet refreshing. The carboration is not as aggressive as I expected, but that's not a bad thing.

Drinkability - I want an other one!

niklas0770, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of WeezyBoPeep
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Mostly clear copper color with a golden hue. Thin, patchy head with lace.

S: Light piney hops and grapefruit peel, biscuity grains that round out a nice, funky malt scent...lingering notes of honey and caramel.

T: A slightly sour, carbonated front leads to a perfectly balanced presence of malt and hops. Traces of fresh baked whole wheat bread and caramel. Finishes extremely well with a lingering, earthy fade with plenty of wheat.

D: This is definitely a good go-to pale ale for a summer evening.

Value: Considering you can get this beer at most fern bars and lots of gas stations, this widely available brew is hard to deny as being a serious bargain at under ten bucks a six pack.

WeezyBoPeep, Feb 24, 2010
Photo of Hojaminbag
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's basically a mystery to me how I haven't managed to review this beer yet; I always just assumed that I already had.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has a clear copper body with some fairly active carbonation bubbles moving around inside. About a finger and a half of light tan/off-white head sprouts up and has some ok retention and a little bit of lacing.

The aroma has a good dose of hops that exude bitterness and grapefruit along with a decent amount of sweet malts to balance it out.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, when fresh, is a very hoppy APA (which I think is a good thing). When this beer was handed to me already poured, I guessed that it was the Sierra Nevada Torpedo. After re-investigating the Torpedo there are obvious differences, but this APA has a pretty similar hop profile to the Torpedo. Lots of bitter, grapefruit flavored hops with a touch of pine resin in there. A slightly sweet malt presence balances the beer out with biscuit and light caramel flavors.

Mouthfeel is a little light in body and a little high in carbonation, but it is a little bit oily the make up for the lighter body.

Sierra Nevada APA is pretty drinkable, and overall is a classic beer that will never get old.

Hojaminbag, Feb 23, 2010
Photo of HiGravShawn
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Beautiful and coppery colored. This looks both delicious and refreshing.

S: Smells like most good pale ales. Good balance of hops and malt with no off smells.

T: Mmmm... my idea of what a pale ale should be. Great aroma from hops without being too bitter. Perfect malt balance. Nothing out of place.

M: Good. Medium bodied with good levels of carbonation for its weight.

D: Top flight here. I can drink 4-5 of these in a sitting without batting an eye.

HiGravShawn, Feb 22, 2010
Photo of backfat
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

while consuming one of thousands of these bottles at the local watering hole known as sergeant preston's food and drink.
pours a deep golden yellow with a pretty white head. mmm. can't beat northern cali. hops. dank. nose is dominated by sweet and citrusy pine hops. tastes is mildly tart/sweet with a slight bitterness bite finish that is very welcomed with the sweet. high carbonation, medium body. the perfect pale ale in my opinion because it is practically an IPA.

backfat, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of kingcrowing
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured Into a pint glass at three needs, burlngton.

Pours a nce lght crisp yellow with a 1 fnger white head. Nose is light, sharp an hoppy. Very nice.

Taste is very creamy, crisp and smooth. Very hopy for a ale ale. But it's really an amazing beer and one of my all time favorites.

kingcrowing, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of Iloverasputin
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a glass mug. Developed a nice white head that went down to a creamy lace that sticks around. It has a clear honey like color. Smell is slightly citrusy with a little spice. Initial taste is citrus with good hops, turns into a nutty biscuity taste. The after taste is a bit of malt. Very well balanced. This one has high drinkability. Its February now, but I think this would make a great summer beer.

Iloverasputin, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of BeerNemesis
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. 12oz.

Appearance:
Golden with a little haziness. Clingy white lace.

Aroma:
Grain, spicy hops, cirtus, tangy

Taste:
Very smooth, tangy, a little spice, pine, sweet malty backbone. Bready, biscuity finish

Mouthfeel & Drinkability:
Very drinkable. I could have a few of these with some cheese. Mouthfeel is smooth and consistent.

Notes: I had one of these with some asiago, jack, and cheddar on sweetish, bready biscuits. The combo was fantastic.

BeerNemesis, Feb 19, 2010
Photo of stimulus
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep amber / golden color with minor lacing and a very small head.

S: Smells very hoppy, like other pale ales and IPAs I've tried. Also catch a whiff of citrus a bit later.

T: It tastes very much as it smells, with hops dominating the flavor profile, along with a faint hint of citrus at the end.

M: Quite light with some carbonation. Goes down very smoothly.

D: At 5.6%, there is very little alcohol burn as it goes down.

stimulus, Feb 19, 2010
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,067 ratings.