1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. 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

8,215 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,215
Reviews: 2,670
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 112
Gots: 658 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,215 | Reviews: 2,670 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of adpietsc
adpietsc

Arizona

4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is simply one of the best in its class. It is a delicious American pale ale. It is highly drinkable and tastes very good. The hop taste really stands out in this beer. One could drink this beer all night with no regrets. Another thing that is good about this beer is the price. It is very affordable for its style. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2007 03:32:17 | More by adpietsc
Photo of Magpie14
Magpie14

Michigan

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

Appearance: mostly orange with hints of dark yellow and gold blended throughout. Has a glowing quality when it pours. Blobs of lacing and well over a two-finger creamy orange head. I bought one of the big bottles of 24 ounces.

Smell: hoppy as hell! Mostly floral hops with some earthy characteristics as well. Sweet malts and sutle fresh fruits.

Taste/Mouthfeel: big strong hop presence and slightly bitter. Cascade hop like flavors and smooth as a whistle going down. Sweet malt and fruit flavors hold everything together. Fruit flavors are more and more noticable. This has got to be one of my all time favorites! Just a nice balanced APA and super refreshing and crisp bitterness that is very enjoyable.

Always an enjoyable beer for me and I always reach for this one when I want an APA. Darn tasty!

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2007 17:40:00 | More by Magpie14
Photo of billybob
billybob

Massachusetts

4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

nice gold orange color off white one inch head held fairly well with a moderate lacing. smell is apple, peach, lemon, citrus, i catch a bit of each. taste bready malt with hint of caramel up front and lemongrass citrus finish but without that bitter rind taste. light to medium mouthfeel and carbonation is ok. easy drinker, good session beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2007 04:08:10 | More by billybob
Photo of trevorwideman
trevorwideman

Manitoba (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Pint Glass. The Classic APA, I finally get to try it.

Light copper in colour, unfiltered. 1 inch head leaves lots of lace and subsides but never goes away. Carbonation is fairly high. Nose is very subdued but citric hops shine through. There's a bit of sour mustiness I can't put my finger on. Not offensive, just a little more low key than I was expecting.

Taste is like, what? That sip went down so fast and easy that I have to have another, then maybe another... It strikes a good balance between malt and hops, that's forsure. There's nothing outlandish here, just a very clean citric flavour and lots of earthy bittering hop character. The nutty malt is just enough to balance things out, there's a very mild caramel-like sweetness in the background, but nothing cloying to be sure. This is a very well-balanced and pleasing session beer. Mouthfeel is well carbonated, but not obnoxious, and the body is just perfect for the style. Aftertaste is bitter and finish is dry. Drinkability? This is almost the definition of drinkable, perfect for any time of the year and if I could buy it in Canada it just might be a constant in my fridge. Doesn't disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

03-06-2007 03:28:00 | More by trevorwideman
Photo of KOPBeerDrinker
KOPBeerDrinker

North Carolina

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

Pours clear and golden with foamy head about 1/2" which quickly dissipates leaving lacing on the glass. Smells of citrusy hops and toasty malt. Medium body with good mouthfeel and carbonation. This is one of my favorite beers-easy to drink with good balance of hops and malt and available at most all bars/distributors in the area.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2007 02:17:16 | More by KOPBeerDrinker
Photo of Atch
Atch

Wisconsin

3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Nice golden orange color, medium carbonation, 1 finger head that leaves quick and some descent lacing.

Smell: I get citrus and (coconut)?

Taste: A good balanced beer that definitely fits the APA style.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth texture, holds the carbonation.

Drinkability: I would absolutely have another.

I remember years back when I first tried SNPA, thinking how great it was and it would make me pucker. Then; being introduced to IPA's and doubles, I kind of forgot about Sierra. Probally the beer responsible for my never-ending hop quest. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale= Old Faithful.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2007 00:33:32 | More by Atch
Photo of Braudog
Braudog

Virginia

4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If I’m ever stranded on a desert island and am given the opportunity to choose one and only one beer to live with for the rest of my days, SN Pale Ale has to be on the candidate list. Is it the best beer I’ve ever had ... well, no. But it is perhaps the best EVERY DAY beer I’ve ever had. I could drink gallons of this, like a fish-tank full, and never get tired of it. It has the pentultimate balance of malt and hops with an awesome bouquet of ... well, everything. If some day I ever have the guts it takes to start my own brewery, I only hope my flagship brew is as good as this. Or, if I start my dream tavern some day, there will ALWAYS be a tap reserved for SN Pale Ale.

Serving type: on-tap

02-24-2007 02:32:39 | More by Braudog
Photo of atigerlife
atigerlife

Hawaii

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

Pours a wonderful golden orange color with a large two-finger white head. Lots of carbonation seen rising. Good lacing.

Aroma of orange, hops and a distinctive floral scent.

Taste is of citrus [orange] hops, wildflowers and grass. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel has a medium body and is spritzy and dry. Crisp.

Overall, a very good session beer. A good standard beer to have in the fridge. Very enjoyable. Great beer for burgers or munchies.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2007 19:50:30 | More by atigerlife
Photo of Gmann
Gmann

New York

4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a clear golden honey color with a small white head that dissipated into a nice cap, left some nice lacing as I drank it. The smell is of citrus hops and caramel malts, a bit metallic. A bit of grapefruit in the taste, hops are not too pronounced but provide a lovely flavor, a nice malt backbone to balance the ale. Perhaps the best balance of flavorful hops and solid malt presence. It is well carbonated as apparent by the numerous bubbles rising to the top, smooth, and finishes with a flavorful hoppy sweetness if that makes sense. This is an extremly drinkable and flavorful APA.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2007 03:12:30 | More by Gmann
Photo of lehows
lehows

New York

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

Pours a light amber color with a foamy white head. Leaves some nice lacing too. Aromas of fresh hops, citrus, some malt. Flavor has a nice malt presence which I enjoyed, along with the refreshing citric hop bite. Some hints of caramel as well. Good carbonation and mouthfeel. A great classic, SNPA is just a solid APA.

Serving type: on-tap

02-16-2007 00:47:13 | More by lehows
Photo of adowney523
adowney523

Massachusetts

3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a pale brown color. The beer is cloudy, a fading one-finger was fading as it was drank.
Smell is of toasty malt with faint hops in the background.
Taste is mostly toasted biscuity malts up front. The faint hops in the finish are fainter, but the notes are citrusy and piney.

A classic American pale ale. My bottle was a bit old, so I think some of the hop character faded with time.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2007 16:37:49 | More by adowney523
Photo of beerphan
beerphan

Pennsylvania

4.83/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottles -> nonic
no date

Pours a golden straw orange, with a decent slightly not white head that settles to dishsoap suds. Patchy lacing that is thick and sticky. Carbonation presents itself aggressively than slows to a steady rhythm.

Nose: Citrus hops, um yeah, the kind grown in Northern Cali.

The classic aPa flavor that has been enjoyed for years. Solid fruity hops with a solid yet subdued malt presense. Light grain flavor presents itself occasionally. Bittering is present and easily acceptable for pretty much anyone. Bitterness lingers tamely with just a kiss of sweetness.

Mouth is medium-full with a gentle crispness.

Drinkability is off the chart. Mostly due to an incredible easily quaffable flavor and body. Partly for being available all over. Thank you Chico!

The measuring stick. Period.

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2007 23:30:53 | More by beerphan
Photo of ncvbc
ncvbc

North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Considering this beer is distibuted more widely than many other beers rated on this site, I'd say it's pretty darn consistent. This being said, I still gave it a strict review. I have always respected this beer and would drink it over many others of its style. It's one you can come back to and one that you can find more easily than the rest.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2007 04:05:12 | More by ncvbc
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
MrHungryMonkey

Texas

3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light yellow/amber, clear. Mild head and carbonation.

Sweet bready malt. Citric piney American hops. Sweet and spikey.

Biscuit malt, lightly buttery. Hop comes through nicely, citric and floral. Nice balance and strength.

Moderate carbonation, mild foamation.

Nice American Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2007 03:19:32 | More by MrHungryMonkey
Photo of meadhead
meadhead

Montana

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

An All time
nearly any major grocery store classic
normally the best on the shelf to me
A perfect blend of those grapefruit-ty hops
and nice sweet malt backbone
balanced carbonation
and each swig can alternate in character
from start to finish
nothing too complicated
never anything to complain about
Good good stuff

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2007 03:05:16 | More by meadhead
Photo of witster18
witster18

Tennessee

4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this is truly a fantastic brew...we are lucky to see this across the country at selected grocers. The nose is grassy of hops and sweet of semi-sweet chocolate. The beer pours a amber color with lots of small bubbles...but the beer is carbonated perfectly....the taste starts with the grapefruit and then graduates to some beautiful malted goodness with some roastedness to it. This is where the sweetness and richness(chocolatyness) and some other palate cleaning bitterness of late hops balance things out. Exceptional...especially for its' availability...for quality/availability/price...this is HARD to beat. At 7.49 a six i'd say it blows away most nearly ALL the imports on the shelf. SUPPORT WELL MADE DOMESTIC BREWS LIKE THIS!!!

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2007 22:49:44 | More by witster18
Photo of theformula
theformula

Virginia

4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'll join in the chorus and say that yes, this is THE American Pale Ale as far as I'm concerned. Can be found anywhere and is a great price and is loyal to its style.

Great piney/floral aroma that speaks of bitter grapefruit and biscuity malts to come.

Tastes similar to aroma. Great cripsness and pleasantly bitter w/ fresh piney hops with just enough malt backbone to make things interesting. Pretty light body and dry finish means it's as easy as Paris Hilton....to put down a few of these.

I'll keep coming back to this one.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2007 03:28:29 | More by theformula
Photo of Eirerate
Eirerate

Illinois

3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my favorite mug. As expected from the style, pour produced small head which left behind little lacing. Dark golden color seemed just a bit hazy but still appealing. Got a nice aroma of piney hops but not overpowering. Smooth enjoyable flavor. I liked this beer even though I prefer a darker beer with a more prounced malt flavor. Mouthfeel is not overly carbonated. A nice balanced beer and a fine example of the style. Very drinkable

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2007 16:55:01 | More by Eirerate
Photo of BBM
BBM

New York

4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! I was surprised by this beer (though I guess I shouldn't have been) It pours a modest golden yellow color, with a smell of citrus and piney hops.

The flavor is very solid. The hops don't overpower the balance (as is the case with some APAs) but are noticeable and distinguished. It is balanced by a malt backbone for a smooth, enjoyable flavor. Mouthfeel is medium, not too carbonated, and smooth. Very drinkable. One of the better APAs out there for my money.

Serving type: on-tap

01-29-2007 20:18:16 | More by BBM
Photo of david131
david131

California

4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden, with a good amount of carbonation. Thin head remains throughout the drinking of the beer. There are a few yeast floaties in there as well.

S- Very distinct to me. Very crisp, grassy, hops. For some reason I always think of celery with this beer too. Also, there is a little bit of mustiness to it. But, it all adds to the subtleness of this beer.

T- The crispness of the hops are the first thing that I notice. Pretty complex for a pale ale.

M- Good amount of carbonation adds to the little kick from the hops.

D- Highly drinkable. Good beer to have if you're in the mood for something a little hoppy, but nothing to overwhelm you. Something I always have around.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2007 16:31:20 | More by david131
Photo of IgnatiusReilly
IgnatiusReilly

New Jersey

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

On-tap to pint glass at PJW's.

Pours a nice clear golden orange. Thin head leaves a light lace on the pint. The nose has the expected floral hop aroma for a pale, albeit mild. Hint of grain. The hop bitterness hits the palate immediately, balanced with a grainy/bready malt flavoring. Faint taste of alcohol combined with dry taste of hops leaves a crisp aftertaste. Texture of the ale comes off more thin than chewy.

A very easily drinkable pale ale. Reliable stand-by to have at any bar.

Serving type: on-tap

01-24-2007 18:20:37 | More by IgnatiusReilly
Photo of athensbeermaster
athensbeermaster

Georgia

3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Never had this Classic ale on tap with some spicy mexican food.
Wow the hefty malt backbone with the tangy citrus notes went down perfect. The head was a good two fingers and had some lacing down the whole glass.The flowery and musty earthtones from the hops really cool down the spicy salsa. Thanks to Garrett Oliver for that suggestion.Who needs a bad beer with a lime?

Serving type: on-tap

01-22-2007 21:46:45 | More by athensbeermaster
Photo of theopholis
theopholis

California

4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance--pours a bright copper/amber with a nice 3 finger head that appears to have some staying power. Leaves little tiny chunks of lace, but not much.

Aroma--Good balance of bittering and floral hops in the nose. Overwhelms the malt character, but that's okay. Some notes of citris and pine.

Taste--Again, good mix of bittering and floral hops. Slightly bitter and dry. Get some nice woody overtones at the back of the toungue. Also some citrus, pine and some malt. More complex than most American pale ales.

Mouthfeel--Good. Medium body with a nice CO2 bite on the toungue. Clings to the inside of the mouth perfectly, giving you a nice after-taste. Carbonation level perfect.

Drinkability--Highly drinkable. Sessionable if you go solow. Good for daytime and night time drinking. Very versatile. A good beer for people looking to leave the American macros behind to cut their teeth on.

I really do need to try this stuff on tap one of these days.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2007 18:29:04 | More by theopholis
Photo of beeragent
beeragent

Texas

3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is what a good pale ale should be! Poured from a 12oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The beer poured a light orange, with no head, and no lacing. The aroma is all hops with slight citrus. The taste is mostly hops, creating a very nice citrus flavor, with very little malt. The mouthfeel is medium. Overall, this is just a great pale ale. Very easy to drink, and a great session beer. Definitely try this one.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2007 08:51:34 | More by beeragent
Photo of umustdrink
umustdrink

Minnesota

4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear orange-yellow color. Pours a thick head, fades to an eighth inch. Average lace.

S - Bitter hops, slightly piny, with an earthy malt balance.

T - Clean balance of bitter hops with sweet brown sugary malts, hints of cinnamon and pepper. For a pale ale this is very hoppy.

M - Very smooth but with some carbonation to give it a little bite.

D - One of my favorite everyday beers, easy drinking, high sessionability.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2007 02:28:57 | More by umustdrink
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,215 ratings.