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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.

8,079 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,079
Reviews: 2,662
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 109
Gots: 586 | 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: 8,079 | Reviews: 2,662 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Applesauce1


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

I got the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale on-tap at B-dub's in Athens, OH.

Appearance: copper-orange color off the tap with about a half-inch head once the bartender handed it to me; looks pretty good
Smell: excellent smell, fresh hops definitely dominating (I never noticed this beer smelling this good the other times I had it.)
Taste: good; hoppy; bitterness in the aftertaste; hints of fruit

This is a reliable fall back beer for most bars. It's good on-tap and in bottles.

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2006 21:02:42 | More by Applesauce1
Photo of 51mmz0rz

New Jersey

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

A: Strong, fluffy, off-white head; Clear amber color liquid with small bubbles. Great lacing.

S: Piney hops, some citrus.

T: Delicious hops of front; touch of malty aftertaste, followed by mouth-watering hoppy bitterness that lingers.

M: Good carbonation, small bubbles, medium fullness.

D: Not enough hops to completely destroy my palate. Balanced; I want more after every sip.

I really like this beer. Right now, if I was craving hops, but didn't want my mouth destroyed, this is what I'd turn to.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2006 21:42:32 | More by 51mmz0rz
Photo of kimcgolf


3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have had this both on tap and in bopttle....rating this based on last mnight’s draft. Poured to a rich amber with a foamy head, which did not stay long. Spicy with a hint of fruit. Drank this with a rack of ribs, a perfect complement and a good finish

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2006 12:35:45 | More by kimcgolf
Photo of TheSarge


4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale has to be accredited with helping to boost the craft beer scene into the general public eye. I reviewed this brew at the Cheesecake Factory, which just shows this beer has a fine appreciation.

Initially this brew pours with a wet frothy head, which condenses into a sticky texture froth. After several minutes the lace is behind and sticks to the end. The body is golden amber, and has evidence of a moderate amount of CO2.

SN's Pale Ale is very fragrant. There's ample hop aroma, giving off citrusy and floral essences.

To me, the taste is somewhat toffee like. When I put it in a different perspective, it can kind of taste a bit like strawberries. This is a very finely balanced brew.

This feels a bit coarse and wet at the same time. Definitely a quencher.


Serving type: bottle

06-30-2006 17:21:18 | More by TheSarge
Photo of hylton44


4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

O-blessed king of the American pale ales!

You entice my tongue with your sharp, squeaky, citrusy scent. You sooth me with the promise of your rich, dark yellow hue. You brighten my day with a sparkling white, even head.

I love Sierra Nevada Pale Ale! I know countless beverages from pop to beer have promised "clear sparkling" water within their lists of ingredients, but in the S.N.P.A., I really find myself wondering if they have some secret fount that makes this brew as damned refreshing as it is. There's just something clean tasting about it. It carries also a sharp, bitter tang, but it finishes very clean and delicious

Pale Ale is a nice contrast to other styles in that I don't feel like I need to hang around and let it warm up in order to release hidden attributes. Like revenge, Sierra Nevada is sweet and best served cold. I drink it pretty fast and love every second of it. I cannot think of a more welcome Summer drink.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2006 02:13:06 | More by hylton44
Photo of barleyman


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

Poured from the 12 oz. brown glass bottle into my straight sided glass tumbler. Develops a white head which quickly dissapates.The smell is of cloves and hops. the taste is of hops on the order of a dry hopped homebrew.The mouthfeel is absolutely correct for an American pale ale. The drinkability is perfect without being over the top for this style. This is the best beer that can be found in the state of Georgia in nearly all outlets, including gas stations, beer stores and grocers.

Just a thought,


Serving type: bottle

06-27-2006 02:03:38 | More by barleyman
Photo of slargthorb


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

Appearance: Nice color, Looks good to me!

Smell: Fresh smell, So far so good

Taste: Cha-Ching!! Grapefruit like a lot of others have mentioned, also pine. Not weak by any means but somehow manages to diminish down to no negative aftertaste very soon after swallowing. Clean aftertaste lingers indefinitely. Or should I say as long as you can resist taking another sip/gulp.

Mouthfeel: A LOT! going on for a brief moment passing through the mouth. Pleasant fizziness, real intensity of complex flavor. Body just right.

Drinkability: Highest possible drinkability!

I hadn't read all the other reviews when I first tried this recently. Bad reviews wouldn't have changed how much I liked this one but it did feel good anyway to see everyone else seemed to think highly of it too. I like the darker stuff too. Good extra stouts , the seasonal 'Stone' , Anchor Porter etc.. But this Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has got to be my 'desert island' beer!

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2006 21:55:20 | More by slargthorb
Photo of ArcTeryx


4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden-orange hue. There is a small white fizzy head present. An absolutely delicious citrusy (mostly grapefruit) smell. The aroma is evident even without putting your nose too close to the glass, and it's one that makes me salivate.

There is a hoppy, citrusy taste throughout, but the aftertaste is where this beer really shines. It is oh so crisp, and very hoppy and dry. Makes you want to smack your lips. This beer has a great mouthfeel as well, and you can tell that this beer has substance.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has recently grown to be my favorite all-around beer. It is well-priced, available most anywhere across the states, has highly drinkable session-like qualities, and it just plain tastes good.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2006 20:06:47 | More by ArcTeryx
Photo of bort11


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

12 oz bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. Wonderfully bright golden orange color. Active streams of carbonation rising from the bottom. Massive frothy white head that maintained a strong lace until the last sip. The smell is a tightly balanced floral hop with a little bit of lemon. The taste is one of the most balanced of any pale ale I've had. The hops are up front. Floral and puckery but not overbearing. Even amount of malt flavor integrated in. Mouthfeel is light to medium body with just enough carbonation.

SN Pale Ale is a classic. I can easily session these all day, which I had the pleasure of doing over a weekend camping trip. In fact, through a casual survey, SN Pale Ale seems to be the top camping beer on BA right now.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2006 03:02:24 | More by bort11
Photo of wcudwight

North Carolina

4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a brown bottle-conditioned 24 ounce bottle into an imperial pint glass.
Looks like a sweet tea. Once the whispy thin head recedes, it could easily be mistaken for sweet tea.
Aroma is a nice mixture of sweet caramel, and piney hops.
Flavor starts out with a big malty taste of caramel sweetness. Also some biscuit. Then you are heavily hit with both citrus and piney hops. Finishes crisp and dry.
After the glass is drained you are left with hop burps and a longing for more.
SNPA is proof that beer can be mass produced and still very flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2006 03:36:26 | More by wcudwight
Photo of JBStith

North Carolina

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

Very solid version of an American Pale Ale. This is a year around staple in my house.

A: Great deep golden, almost amber, color. Pours a nice white head with decent retention and lacing.

S: Smells very floral and citrusy.

T: Tastes of bitter hops. Similar to smell, very floral and slight citrus. Nice underlying malt.

M: Mouthfeel is just right for this style. To too thin and not too heavy. Just right to spend a hot day beer drinking.

D: Drinkability is great. Bitterness may get to be too much after a few, but overall this is a great drinking beer with great flavors.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2006 18:13:52 | More by JBStith
Photo of joeskirkie

New Jersey

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

A light amber body with a very good off-white head.

In this citrusy and leafy hop aroma, the citrus wins the contest. But the real winner is you, the drinker.

A wonderful bitterness on the tongue. It's by no means overpowering. It blends into the pale malt notes that follow, which then take a back seat to the bitterness once again on the finish.

It's nicely carbonated. If you ask me, this is the quintessential session beer. It's obvious why this beer has had such success

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2006 02:40:14 | More by joeskirkie
Photo of uabigdaz


4.68/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is almost perfect. I didn't like it in my younger years, but I adapted quickly to the strong taste of hops. This beer pours a slightly dark yellow, witha nice amount of head which remains quite nicely. Smells of hops, very mild smell, but in a good way, not empty, just mild. Tastes almost perfect, quite mild, but also very hoppy at the same time, a very very good balance. The only reason I took drinkability to 4.5 is because at 5.6% and how good this beer tastes, it's hard to keep yourself from getting drunk. Really premier beer, I like this one a lot... a lot. Great beer at a reasonable price (for a premium brew). Check it out.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2006 04:48:16 | More by uabigdaz
Photo of edskirk3


4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Short stubby-looking 12oz twist-off bottle, but I used a bottle opener anyway because I assumed. There is no decodable freshness information.

Gold-orange in color. Creamy, tasty-looking off-white head that laces up pretty well.

There's a signature American hop aroma of pine and grapefruity citrus. You can definitely tell it's there but it's not overbearing. A fine balance of pale malt and hops is found when drinking. But in the aftertaste, the hops have the last laugh with a lingering bitterness.

SNPA is medium-bodied, and I believe a bit oily from the hops used. Also, it goes pretty well with the pizza I just had. This is a great brew to introduce people to the world of better beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2006 18:59:04 | More by edskirk3
Photo of soulgrowl

United Kingdom (England)

4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Clear orange-amber. Medium bubbles. Off-white beige head with a meringue-like texture. Moderate retention.

Smell: Pronounced butterscotchy diacetyl. Crisp herbal-citric-floral hops. Fresh caramel malts. Orange and white wine notes. Light rosy notes.

Taste: Extremely well-balanced. Fruity notes of white grape and pineapple. Bright citric hops. Very fruity finish. Mild gasoline-like fusel in the background.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and grainy. Clean finish.

Drinkability: Yum. So very good. I've had this beer with many foods and it is quite versatile, but I have never been so pleased as when I matched it with liguini with clams in a simple white wine sauce.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2006 23:52:24 | More by soulgrowl
Photo of villainchiwwin


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

poured into pint glass (without yeast infiltration)
golden amber hue with a fairly thick white head that slowly lost steam and fell. chunky patches of lacing.
nose holds flowers with some grainy malt underneath; some bready notes. smells 'organic', if that means anything (and it does if you can catch the meaning).
honey ambrosia, flower, lime taste with clout to start with, changes upon the swallow to significant bitter hoppiness over grain husk.
light-medium body with some desirable astringency throughout. nice high tingle and lengthy, dry finish.
abv isn't too high, tastes great, super-session brew and classic in my catalogue of legends at this point.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2006 01:38:25 | More by villainchiwwin
Photo of TheDeuce

New York

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

Sierra Nevada is the standard for which all APAs are judged, while now not as good as some of the micro versions of the APA this beer far outdoes most non BMC brews that one can actually find at bars and locations without hunting . Clear head, hoppy smell, somewhat light but flavorful, goes down smooth, and very quaffable.

Can't ask for much more than that from this legend.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2006 22:11:09 | More by TheDeuce
Photo of plaztikjezuz


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

bought a six pack at L&L in lansing, michigan. ($9.76 w/ tax & depost.)
pours a brilliant golden with a copperish hue has a nice fluffy white head that has stanma.
the aroma is citusy with a hint of pine little sweet.
the flavor is citrus, malt, resin, spicy, and clean
i live SNPA it is a baseline standard for other american pales to be judged by. clean refreshing perfectly hopped.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2006 01:41:05 | More by plaztikjezuz
Photo of guitarmage


4/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear and dark orange amber color. Not bright and vivid like mirror pond, not at all cloudy. Head was some what reluctant, white and thin with decent retention.

Smell: Floral esters and subtle leafy hops, very pleasant, not especially fragrant.

Taste: Tastes of mild orange, esters, nice touch of hoppiness that fades quick and finishes clean with a touch of breadiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, light to medium bodied.

Drinkability: Clearly a great pale ale. Not especially complex or flavorful, which is nice, very drinkable. I can drink many of them without my mouth getting saturated with flavors.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2006 07:05:54 | More by guitarmage
Photo of AltBock


3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. stubby bottle with just a simple green label with a small picture of a mountain stream running through some trees. The neck label had all the information about the beer, except for a date. Above the barcode is a bottle number that would no use to the average consumer. The bottle was sealed with a twist off cap.
After drink craft beer for well over a year, this is actually the first time I got to try this readily available beer.

Appearance: When poured into a mug, the beer was a nice golden copper color with an less than 1 inch head of fizzy white foam. The head of foam dissipated away not too fast leaving behind some fizzy rings and very little fizzy white lace.

Smell: I didn't get much of an aroma from this beer as I would have liked. All I got was an average smell of little citrus fruits with just a hint of bitter hops behind that. That's it, nothing more.

Taste: For such a highly produced beer, it had an excellent taste. The taste was that of citrus fruits in the beginning, then little toasted malt, and then finishes with a dry bitter hoppy taste. I was actually quite surprised that the taste would be this good.

Mouthfeel: It was light, not watery, smooth, carbonated, and with an aftertaste of dry bitter hops. What more can I ask for from this beer?

Drinkabaility: A great beer that's a must try and it wouldn't be hard to find it, it's almost everywhere in the US and at a good price too. Something that I will have again!

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2006 19:05:09 | More by AltBock
Photo of haz77


3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A – Pours a light copper with a half in of head which dissipates to a thin layer. Looks to have high carbonation.

S – Grapefruit and other citrus, pine-like hops

T – Initial sweet malts are quickly swept aside by the pine-like hops. Citrus runs through the spine of the drink. Restrained bitter finish.

M – Thin to medium and smooth. Moderate carbonation

D – Easy to drink and an all-round good beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2006 13:40:21 | More by haz77
Photo of deuschbag


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

12 oz. bottle pored into a pint glass. sierra pale ale pores a light copper color with a nice thick white head that lasted about 10 mins then faded away to some good lacing.

smell is very citrusy hoppy and spicey. spices dominate the smell.

i've yet to compare a beer to taste similar to this one. i think sierra pale ale has its own distinct flavor. it's hoppy, yet has such a nice tangy spiceness to it..but not too much of either one of them. also some bready, bananna and roasted malts.

this is surprisngly light bodied, although slightly dry.

one of the most drinkable beers i've had. this is my "go to" beer all year long.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2006 09:41:08 | More by deuschbag
Photo of BeerNutta


4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

A = Poured a copper colour with a thin foam head.

S = Strong inital citrus smell followed by a stong hop aroma.

T = Same as the smell. Inital maltiness with a strong fruity backbone. Stong hop finish. Very nice.

M = Moderately carbonated to quech thirst.

D = Very drinkable. Great session beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2006 13:32:56 | More by BeerNutta
Photo of devo


4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a favorite session beer. It's affordable, widely available and easy to drink. Sierra's a great fall back when nothing unique is on the docket.

Sierra pours a nice golden, almost wheaty brown that hints at bready notes with a finger and a half foamy head.

The smell is pleasant, though limited. Floral hops dominate the scent with a some citrus mixed in.

The taste is clean with hops as the dominant flavor. It's a classic, very pleasant and enjoyable American Pale Ale.

You can drink and enjoy Sierra forever. It's a wonderful, everyday brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2006 06:57:39 | More by devo
Photo of goochpunch


4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours out an apple juice color with a fluffy white head and a hazy body containing moderate carbonation. Citrus rind hops and bready malt fill the nose. Close to perfect, but I've had pales with a bit of a stronger presence in the nose. Malts are sweet but not cloyingly so. There isn't as much of the brightness I tend to associate with American pales. From the hops I get mostly citrus flavors with some floral notes. Perfect mouthfeel from a pale. Enough carbonation to keep it from being a still beverage, but it's not intrusive, on the other hand. Moderate body. Perfect "session" beer.

Although not as over the top as some American pales, this one is textbook.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2006 04:31:35 | More by goochpunch
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,079 ratings.