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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.

9,514 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,514
Reviews: 2,757
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 169
Gots: 1,285 | 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: 9,514 | Reviews: 2,757 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Smithson49er
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden, Amber and some nice carbonation leaving a pretty foam lace

S: Not over powering but the cascade hop note is present and smells great

T: Balanced and smooth with enough of a hop character to really be enjoyable

M: Fresh and crisp it really hits the spot when you want to slam a few craft beers and go enjoy the great outdoors

O: This being one of my first reviews I had to do one of my old standbys you really cant go wrong with this beer.

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

on-tap poured into a pint glass

A- light copper/amber hue with a small bone white head that dissipates quickly. Darker than one would expect from a pale ale.

S- Solid malty, sweet crispness fronted by a decent smack of piney and citrus hops. Pretty straightforward.

T/M- Again, fairly straightforward. A solid crisp and toasty malt layer provides the backbone with a zing of zesty piney flavored hops. In the middle there's a slightly nutty spiciness, but very soft. Also a touch of citrus.

O- A very good go to beer and just short of exemplary for the style. You really can't go wrong with this when you're looking for something to session, on the other hand, this is not going to not your socks off in any way; just good stuff all around

Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This bottle released a beautiful dark gold liquid with a nice thin white head. Very fragrant. Oranges, lemons, grapefruit, spice.

Slight malty sweetness, which is quickly buried under a wave of hoppy goodness. Mixed in with the hops I can detect apples and citrus. The hops never quite hide the creaminess of the malt, but there's no contest as to who wins this battle.

Obviously, this beer is a classic. It is widely available and worth returning to every so often. Even though I worship the hop, I usually like my ``unimperial'' pale ales a bit more balanced than this one. Still, it tastes darn good.

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

Poured into a tulip pint: Light, golden amber, clear, with three fingers' rocky, sticky, glistening head. Very good-looking brew. Thick lacing sticks around the crown.

Grapefruit, both flesh & zest, a little sulfur, not enough to be off-putting, some fresh-cut grass, & a small crackery grain presence. Nice.

Lightly sweet lemon-tea-ish flavor up front, quickly followed by a bracing, assertive bitterness like citrus zest & pine. Full-flavored but not heavy, very refreshing.

Medium-light-bodied, a little resinous quality in the aftertaste, good, crisp finish.

Overall, great. Very drinkable, refreshing, flavorful, exactly what I want from a sessionable pale ale. This, along with Anchor Steam, is a no-brainer as far as quality, widely accessible brews that exemplifies American craft brewing. Beautiful.

Photo of SWMeyer4141
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review Number 50.

One of my go to beers for the past 5 years, figured I would give it a well deserved review

Appearance-Vibrant Golden amber color with a 2 inch creamy off white head. Leaves some nice lacing.

Smell-Citrusy Hops(grapefruit, lemon), Pine and a Caramel Malt aroma. Very nice for a APA.

Taste-Off the bat you get the caramel malts, then you get hit with some citrus with a piney hop finish. Not too bitter, very nice finish leaving you wanting that next sip.

Mouthfeel-My mouth is coated with some nice piney hops. Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Overall-I can see myself 50 years from now still enjoying this beer. It goes great with food too. I do my grading to style and this is definitely one of the best, if not the best Pale Ale. I would drink this next to a buddy drinking a Pliny and I would be completely satisfied.

Photo of morehoppps
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-Tap, Served in classic Bar Pint Glass.

A: Nice, thick, two-finger head. Red-Amber in color, with lots of carbonation. This beer looks magnificent in the light, even better in the sun.

S: Piney hops, and a tinge of some floral in there, pretty light aroma.

T: Piney and Citrus somewhat subtle hops with a nice malt balance. Very good balance of hop and malt.

M: Nice and carbonated. Just how a Pale Ale should be. Crisp Mouthfeel, Light to Medium Bodied. Drinkable? Yes.

O: Great craft beer that is readily available. Highly Recommended.

Photo of Duff27
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a one fingered head on top of a dark orange/light red beer. Below average head retention and no lacing.

S- Smell is of faint oranges

T- Follows the smell with floral hops added, Light on the palate but very flavorful.

M- Good carbonation, feels nice in my mouth.

D/O- Drinkability on this is awesome...right up there with the best flavor&drinkability ratio there is. A gateway drug is there ever was one.

Photo of mikechance
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With all the "new" releases, seasonal and special bottling this beer tends to be overlooked and underappreciated. It is still an outstanding beverage.

The color, smell and taste don't disappoint. This an American West Coast pale ale and it is wonderful. It is very bitter yet quite drinkable. It goes well with appetizers, a meal or as a session beer. It is perfect on a hot day to quench a big thirst. It has so much flavor, body and smoothness for a pale ale. It’s still one of the all time great craft beers!

Photo of bigwillystyle9
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Amber gold with half centimeter of frothy head, leaves nice lace. Well carbonated with particulates.

S - Subtle smell, with hint of cedar wood.

T - Slightly bitter, stimulates the tip and front sides of the tongue. Leaves slight after taste of woody flavor.

M - Nicely smooth.

O - Enjoyable pale to heavy beer. Seems a little strong for a pale ale.

Summary: Reasonably priced with smooth and stimulating flavor and texture.

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

A - Slightly hazy Golden color with a white head a medium carbonation.

S - Smells of floral pine with a hint of malt in there somewhere, smells very good.

T - Tastes like the smell of floral pine, some malt in the middle with a slight bitter ending that lingers of hops.

M - You feel the carbonation but not as much as a lager, just enough to get a small tingle, very drinkable beer. Light to medium body.

O - Great beer for spring summer or fall, not as hoppy as an IPA, but has good flavor and is very enjoyable.

Photo of Ochsenblut
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a hazy light copper with a bone white head that immediately dissipates to sticky lacing with big soapy bubbles.

Floral, aromatic and a spike of citrus peel come through.

This beer is dry and bitter to the end, allowing light grapefruit notes to peek in through a mineral-rich body. It's only slightly crackery as it fades to a brief sourness in the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is medium with a medium to high amount of suspended carbonation.

I would suggest this beer to anyone as a stepping stone into pale ales.

Photo of jman892
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy orange with a small but persistent head. Mild lacing

S - Mild citrus aroma, not picking up much on the nose

T - taste is light citrus flavor, not overwhelming, mild hop bitterness, a bit of honey balances it out

M - great level of carbonation here, nice easy drinker. alcohol well hidden

O - pretty straightforward brew, but definitley above average for the syle. A good one to always have on hand

Photo of Ralphs66
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The only craft beer at the restaurant that is closest to my home...I usually go for the martinis at this place, but my resurrected love of beer caused me to ask what was available. Tender reaches into the recesses of the fridge and pulls this one out; buried behind the dismal and prolific adjuncts of the world. In all the years I've been drinking beer, I've never had this one before. And now I'm wondering what the hell took me so long. This is a damn fine beer. Highly drinkable and just tasty overall.

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

Poured this one into a pint glass. This one s a pale golden straw color with lots of visible carbonation about an inch of pillowy white head.

This one has a grainy malt aroma with a little bit of candied citrus in the aroma. This lacks a good hop aroma though, it's there and it's piney but it's not what I would expect. The hops are more present on the pallet. Start to finish it has a nice piney hop aroma with a nice grainy malt body. Really a solid brew.

Nice light and crisp body on this one. The carbonation is a bit sharp on this one though. Overall a solid brew that I've had countless times. Really a good brew that I'll continue to buy.

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

Pours pale amber-gold with a thin sticky crust of white foam that leaves cathedral lace. Nose is honey grahams and pine resin. Toast, orange marmalade and light mango with snappy spruce and pink grapefruit hops. Fruity twinkle to end and assertively dry linger. Medium, good amounts of stick and chew.

Easy to forget how good this beer actually is. Superbly balanced, but hopped enough to shame some lesser IPAs. Glad this is in all 50 states and around the world.

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

A: nice golden color with thick foam and lots of lacing

S: the aroma of this beer wasn't anything special, but I wasn't expecting much for a pale ale that uses the basic ingredients

T: this beer claims to use the finest malted barley and hops to give it its crisp light hoppy flavor; it definitely proves its claim when the beer hits your taste buds

M: not sure if their "fresh seal cap" had anything to do with this, but the carbonation and freshness of this beer was excellent

O: Sierra Nevada is one of my go to beers when I'm not looking to spend too much. This beer doesn't try to be something it isn't... make sure to look at the date if you're buying a 12 or 24 pack; the fresher the better

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

Pale, but slightly hazy, amber hue with a very healthy almost pure white head that sticks to the glass with the best of them throughout the drink and perfect head retention. Aromas of the kind of hops that got me into IPA's, but not as strong as many IPA's or APA's I've had since. Light hoppy aroma with a sweetness backing it.

This is the taste that got me into IPA's back in the day. It basically introduced the hop as a beer's main character to me. Like I said for the aroma, I've had better since, but as for the taste, this is one of the most solid beers out there. Very perfectly balanced for a beer that is known for its hoppy character. For an introductory beer to the world of craft, there isn't a much better beer to have. Bitter when it needs to be, and just sweet enough on the backside to balance it out perfectly. The mouthfeel is slightly creamy and smooth but not extremely.

One of the best all-around beers out there and one that I will always accept willingly when offered. One that apparently got a lot of people into craft beers, me included. Always have a soft spot in my heart for this one.

Photo of rrski198
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Big fluffy white head with decent lacing. Huge round slow rising bubbles highlight the golden yellow colored ale. Looks delicious.

S: Bready malt and big time hops. Perfectly pair and balanced scent. mild alcohol rounds out the scent. Smells like its a hoppy pale ale but solid.

T: Wow, very nice. This is a hoppy pale ale and thet are definitely showcased here but the malt is PERFECTLY balanced. sweet, buttery, earthy, spicy; this beer hits on all cylinders.

M: Thick, full, oily, spicy, and the carbonation level makes it all really pop.

O: one of the best pale ales ive ever had. This is perfectly done and very well balanced. Might be too hoppy for some, but for me, this is a staple in my fridge and a perfect session beer.

Photo of FrankWBurnsIII
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It has been some time since Sierra Nevada's pale ale has graced by taste buds, but I wanted to be sure to give it a shout out on BA.

This was probably one of the first craft beers I ever had and my love for the whole category took off after that.

Among the pale ales I have had, I would say it's the best one. In fairness, I do not drink a lot of pale ale.

Among my non-craft drinking friends, this seems to be a favorite just the same, so the beer is really offering something for everyone.

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

A- Very light copper color. One of the clearest Pale Ales I have ever seen. Great looking head on the pour, perfect amount.

S- Nice strong cascadian hop scent. Floral notes come through a lot on this brew.

T- I wish the hop flavor was a little more powerful. Perfect amount of citrus flavor. Though the scent had floral notes, i do not detect any in the taste of the beer.

M- Perfect. I wish more Pale Ales had this thinner type of feel. I find that IPA's and other Pale Ales seem too thick.

O- Perfect beer to start someone on who is not too fond of hops. The citrus flavor and the floral scents will please any type of preference.

Solid Beer.

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

Visual: copper in color with orange hues. Just a lsight layer of various sized bubbles left as a head. a smudgen of lacing.

Nose: Orange peel, slight citrus, buttered biscuit, and eggs (not sure about style.. maybe scrambled).

Taste: Clementine and orange peel flavors up front, followed by pineapple citrus,bit of bready chewiness, tin metallic flavor, and a crisp earthen finish that is dosed with a balanced hop bitterness.

Mouth: feels like beer thats for sure, mildly carbonated, left fairly dry but yo mouth waters for more.

Drunkability: solid american pale ale. it is a good stand by because it is pretty easy to get ahold of nation wide. However, i endorse drinkin local beer, so i must say that this would taste even better if i were sippin it fresh in Chico, Cali.

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

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a wide glass.

A - Beer is a deep golden color and very clear. The head is not overly big or long lasting, but is made up of tiny white bubbles.

S - The aroma is big and sharp. Green, citrusy, fresh hops. There is just a hint of bready malt in the background, but it is certainly secondary.

T - The taste is dominated by fresh hops emphasizing citrus and grapefruit. There is just a bit of nutty, grainy malt in the background. Not much complexity.

M - The bitterness is sharp but not mouth-puckering. A bit of carbonation fizz. Body is moderate, as fits the strong hops flavor. No alcohol noticeable.

D - The beer is very drinkable and enjoyable. It holds up well despite being such an early example of craft brewing. My only complaint is a lack of complexity with the hops so dominant.

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

Lots of numbers and things printed on the bottle. Don't know what they mean, but I would suspect this beer is about 4 months old, based on the store.

A - A hazy but clear amber body with touches of rose around the light. Small white head lingers a bit

S - Mild citrusy hops, light sweet malt. Small nose.

T - Bitter citrus hops are the thing here, but that's not overpowering. It's also got a nice simple malty backbone and its a good balance.

M - Medium-thin body, fairly smooth. Decent

O (D) - This is a good tasting beer that is not mind blowing in any way, but it's very good and very drinkable, and I find it to be rather sessionable. A great beer year round for sure.

Photo of legalpete19340
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a nice bright orangish gold with a thick two finger head that stuck to the glass and laced perfectly.

S: Piney hops push forward with citrus notes in the back, dry herbal scent with crispy pale malt. Smells like a dry forest.

T: Bitterness hits upfront with loads of pine and herbal spiciness. A solid pale malt backbone holds everything up and swings into the mid swig with a crispness and caramel sweetness then backs off again and lets the hops finish things up with a slap of bitterness.

M: Medium and surprisingly foamy/creamy with perfect carbonation.

O: Just a great beer IMO. Perfect example of the APA style. I keep coming back to this beer and am impressed by how enjoyable and interesting it is. Made better because I can find it anywhere.

Photo of pmlondrigan
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can't believe it has taken me this long to review this beer, I've only been drinking it forever. Decent pour honey amber with a white head that actually creates lacing, surprising as I usually drink this out of the bottle. Aroma is kinda hoppy I guess, more bitter and grassy and vegitile. The flavor is of pale malt, and grassy whole leaf hops, some herbacious taste and a mite of floral woody hops. Regular body, nothing special, overall it is sierra nevada pale ale. Period.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 9,514 ratings.