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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

9,665 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,665
Reviews: 2,797
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 178
Gots: 1,452 | 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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 07-05-2001

Generous quantities of premium Cascade hops give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavor.

37 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,665 | Reviews: 2,797 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thehuntmaster
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of beerme411
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of Sachsenfreude
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of BRob
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of gtermi
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer pours a very nice redish gold with a nice thick head.

S: I am getting a good amount of hops, some caramel and a little bit of sweetness.

T: This beer has so much flavor. I am picking up a lot of sweet malt and hops. Its just a perfect amount of both.

M: The beer has a good amount of carbonation, but its very enjoyable.

O: This is my go to session beer and is good with anything. I love pairing it with food, hanging with friends or just when I am bored.

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Time to review a classic! Poured into a beer mug.

A: Pours a light golden color, with a very sexy, fluffy white head.

S: Has a subtle floral smell paired alongside some understated malt notes. Faint hints of citrus are detectable, as well.

T: Starts with a little bit of biscuity malt before opening with a solid bite of NW hops. Has a floral, piney character that merely tingle your taste buds, rather than attack it with scissors. Not my favorite tasting beer, but it still works perfectly.

M: Good carbonation with a proper feel on the palate. Dry finish makes it a great pairing with spicy/zesty/bitter food.

O: It's a craft beer classic for a reason, people. All the refreshment you'd expect from a pale lager, but far more satisfying to drink. Insane drinkability, well priced, very easy to find, and a fantastic gateway beer for newbs. What's not to like?

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

the sierra nevada flagship brew, more of an ipa than a straight pale ale, but a delicious beer nonetheless. a complex and robust hop nose is enticing, and the balanced flavor, medium body and effervescent carbonation make this a staple in most good bars. this is much hoppier than other american pale ales, but is not heavy as some can be. it is highly drinkable with a slightly bitter finish and an extraordinary crispness. the colder the better

Photo of jonb5
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

350ml bottle. Poured into peroni glass. Foamy head but I couldn't quite gauge it because of the glass. Pale copper colour, clear. English hops aroma, possibly cascade. Tasted hints of bananas and gummi bears. Very nice balanced bitterness. Goes down so well, great mouthfull, lots of character. Top beer.

Photo of ChadQuest
3/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The flagship for the style, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
Pour is a copper color with a quick showing of a head that settles down into a collar. translucent.
Aroma has some grains and cereal malts with cascade style hops. The flavors of 'Merica. Some citrus gives some brightness to this ale and the malts keep it about perfectly balanced.
Mouthfeel is crisp enough to meet my desires.

This is the base that all other pale ales get judged to.

Photo of dansmcd
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A clear, light golden amber beneath a finger of bubbly head, and then spotty lacing.

S - Big floral hit, accompanied by hoppy citrus and a touch of pepper.

T - Floral and citrus flavours, particularly mandarin. Some mild hop bitterness.

M - Crisp and tangy. Moderate in terms of body and carbonation.

O - A modern classic. Very tasty and easy drinking.

Photo of davidjphillips
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tumbler from a 12 oz brown bottle. It has a beautiful copper color with a nice head of creamy foam and a lacing that clung for some time.

Immediate citrus aromas, especially grapefruit. Also a floral (rose) scent with a hint of hops. Very pleasant smelling beer.

The immediate taste and mouthfeel of the beer is very smooth with enjoyable hops and citrus flavors. However, the end is a tad bitter and sharp.

Overall, this beer has a stunning appearance and a tempting scent, with a pleasant initial taste and mouthfeel. My only complaint would be the bitterness in the aftertaste, but nonetheless this is a great example of an APA.

Photo of 18alpha
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I usually only drink this beer if I'm in a bar with no other craft on tap. I used to be a big fan of this beer but I think they changed their formula several years ago. It is still a good beer but not what it once was. It obviously didn't hurt their sales but if you are looking for great beers, check out some of their limited releases and seasonals.

Photo of dankster
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at falling rock tap house denver.

Appearance is a great copper tone with two fingers of head. smells like west coast hops all the way. have always loved this beer in bottles but i think on tap is a new fav. lots of pine and grapefruit noted. mouth is dry and a easy drinker. slick and wet on the palate. Overall top five Pales in the american market IMO. if you have not hade this on tap i say try it to tell the difference between the bottle and the tap! Just fantastic cheers

Photo of Viciousknishs
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a brassy amber color with a perfect finger and a half of off white head. Great retention with some great lacing.

S- dry biscuity malt aroma with just the faintest touch of honey glaze. A huge dollop of piney resiny hop aromas with a note of yellow grapefruit citrus rind.

T- floral resiny hops hit the palate at first. Assertive hop bitterness leaves a classic pine/juicy grapefruit lingering on the palate. Just enough malt to bring a really nice balance and refreshing character.

MF- full round mouthfeel with a medium body and great bottle conditioned carbonation.

D- very very drinkable.

Overall this is the classic example of what an American pale ale should be. Balanced and full of hop flavor. Superb

Photo of BeerNoobNC
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass. Small layer of yeast at the bottom of the bottle after pouring.

I'm not as well-versed with the Pale Ale as I am with the IPA, but this seems like a special beer. The beer poured a very hazy, light orange color, like an IPA but a little lighter. Everything about the smell is citrusy.

Much like the smell indicates, there is a pretty heavy citrus flavor. This citrus flavor balances the hop flavor very well, though the hop flavor is dominated by the citrus.

From what I remember of the pale ales that I tried before I began reviewing on BA, this one is special. It is very drinkable, as I could easily have several of these in a row. Also, if the hoppy beers are not your thing, this would be a good beer to start yourself acquiring that taste. You can slowly work your way up to trying more hoppy beers.

Photo of JayQue
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer that started it all for me. Back in 2005, I asked the hotel bartender in La Jolla for "something different". He said try this local beer. No more BMC for me after that. I was going to save the review for something significant but six years is long enough!!!

Poured this old friend into a pint glass. Pours a light copper/golden color with a big white head on a hard pour. Retention is good and there are some rings of lacing on the glass.

Aroma is citrus hops, very nice. Taste is great. This is the quintessential every day Pale Ale. Nice balance between malt and citrus/piney hops with the hops leading the way. A good hops bite but overall subdued bitterness, a true APA not a mis-labeled IPA. A few of these at one sitting is a beautiful thing.

Mouthfeel is rich, crisp and provides a good hops bite within an overall balanced APA. Overall a great beer and one that is available everywhere to be enjoyed. Like Old Rasputin, the wide distribution should have no bearing on how good these beers are.

Photo of hoptualBrew
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

100th review! Chose to save this classic brew for my 100 - just an amazing beer & available nearly everywhere. Gotta love Sierra Nevada for putting out a quality product on such a large scale.

12oz bottle to my Duvel goblet. Crystal clear rich copper color with a stacked off white head that laces the sides of the glass. Very nice here, looks refreshing! Waited a minute to let the yeast settle on the bottom of the bottle then pitched it in as well. Yeast floaters all over it, suspended in the brew as if time has frozen.

Mostly all floral hops and pale malts in the nose along with a light caramel like sweetness. Not overpowering in aroma, but just enough to make a statement & claim itself as an APA.

Hop bite up front - floral with a good amount of lemon and a light nutty caramel malt backbone to fill in the skeleton. Mouthfeel is smooth & mildly "soap-like" aftertaste, but in a good way (if that makes any sense).

Overall, this is an absolute staple to the craft beer world & was one of my first true craft beers. It holds a sentimental place in my heart & on my palate.

Photo of kdawg105
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Excellent Pale Ale! Sorry Sweetwater must say they have you beat in this department. This is a smooth beer with a bite of hops in the finish. It has a great flavor with a orange rind punch. I really like this Pale Ale It is very light bodied mouthfeel and a very nice and refreshing clean finish. Very good brew would recommend anyone try it.

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

Golden orange with a white head that eventually settles.

Clean grassy floral hops and pine dominate the scent with a bit a malty sweetness after sniffing around.

Fresh moist hops are immediate on the tastebuds, grapefruit galore, but very well balanced with malt sweetness. Light prickly bitterness afterwards.

This is a Pale Ale that is very drinkable yet flavorful, wouldn't mind having several.

Overall this is everything a Pale Ale should be. Kept within it's limits, but loaded with character.

Photo of fsvan
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into New Belgium globe.

A- Bright golden, with a tinge of orange. Lively carbonation leads to a couple fingers of barely off white head. A lovely looking beer.

S- That piney hop smell that dominates many of the SN hoppy beers, but not without a malt backbone to stand up to it to keep it in check. Barely. Slight citrus notes lurk behind, but you have to bury your face in there to make them peek from behind the pine. A superbly hoppy smell for an APA.

T- Piney hops again dominate, in a way I always expect from SN pale/IPAs. As with the smell, the hops are backed by a nice amount of maltiness, but not too much.

M- Medium bodied, perfectly carbonate.

O- SNPA is the quintessential American pale ale, the forerunner of the style. Is the absolute best? No. But after years of challengers coming forward, SNPA still stands its ground, refusing to budge an inch. That this is so affordable and so easily attainable makes it easy to forget how good of a beer this really is.

Photo of atis
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden/copper with half finger head that dissipates to patchy layer, almost no lacing. Aroma is caramel malt with significant presence of citrus hops, simple and beautiful.

Taste is sharp citrus bitterness with hints of salt, nicely balanced by slightly sweetish malt. Long lingering piney/grassy hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is medium with medium/high carbonation.

Not bad at all.

Photo of redblacks75
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Exactly what I want from a pale ale. A copper hue best describes the color on this. There is a thin head to it I can best describe as off-white. No lacing to report.

S: Caramel, pine, malt, dough. It's appropriate for this style.

T: Bitter, balanced between the hops, and malt. Slightly acidic.

M: Thin, dry, the fizz is noticeable.

O: It's very hard to argue the quality of this with the price point. When people ask about the first craft beer they should try, I usually steer them towards this. It's not extreme by any means, yet is solid. It's a well constructed ale.

Photo of D11
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

from bottle into pilsner

A- a golden yellow with slight copper color, decent white head that lasts.

S- hops, and some caramel maltiness

T- i tasted mainly hops. seems like you get 'everything all at once' when u taste it.

M- has a good mouthfeel. maybe a tad thin at the end of the drink though.

O- great beer, also easy to find. could drink this regularly.

Photo of Ruger
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy copper color with a perfect off-white two finger head.

S - Piney hops and citrus.

T - Really balanced, a bready sweet start with a perfect crisp hop aftertaste.

M - Perfect carbonation with a light to mediumish body.

O - Would be an amazing session beer.

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

The beer is a nice orange gold color with a lovely head that lingers.

The aroma is hoppy and piney with a little hint of caramel hop.

The flavor is at first sweet with some caramel hints and finishes with a nice hop bitter bite.

The mouthfeel is medium and beer is well bodied.

Overall this is a wonderful session beer. It is refreshing and not to radical in any one direction.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,665 ratings.