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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.

8,526 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,526
Reviews: 2,682
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 120
Gots: 818 | 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: 8,526 | Reviews: 2,682 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dalepryor


4.4/5  rDev +8.9%

all i can say is wow! i've been drinkin many different beers for the past few years, i havn't settled on one yet, but then i come across this masterpiece. starting with the first popping of the cap the smell overwhelmes my senses, then i pour slowly into a pint glass, the color is an off-balanced orange and the carbonation going straight to the top, i'm watching as i'm typing and the head still seems to be growing. one sip, two sip. it's a wonderful brew. my top 3 for sure. one i'll be running to for years to come. excellent!

10-15-2007 03:16:53 | More by dalepryor
Photo of nbrown


3.93/5  rDev -2.7%

When I was in highschool I usually only drank the usual macros. Then I bought a few of these in a concert parking lot.This is pretty much the first good beer I began drinking on a regular basis. It is still my go to beer if I go to a store and they don't have a very good selection.

Good taste, color, smell and I could and have drank these all day long.

10-12-2007 03:28:54 | More by nbrown
Photo of Beercub


4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

I liked this beer when I first started exploring more exotic beers, and I'm never disappointed when I return to it. The price, availability, and complexity (almost perfumy) aspects are a win-win combination and help to explain why it has steadily been growing in marketshare. It is the quintissential citrucy APA that all must be compared to. My overall favorite every day beer, although Dale's is starting to give it some competition.

10-11-2007 16:38:29 | More by Beercub
Photo of crazybrody06


2.9/5  rDev -28.2%

Pours an average straw color, but the head was white and frothy and lasted a long time.

The smell is pine and hops.

The taste is not great, hops, the pine comes through on the flavor as well but not much else that Im picking up. Not a lot of flavor at all.

The mouthfeel was borderline watery, but not quite.

Overall this beer dissapoints in most categorys although if I had to I could make this a session beer.

10-05-2007 15:56:10 | More by crazybrody06
Photo of bunnyhustle


3.83/5  rDev -5.2%

Finally reviewing after several tastings, both in bottle and on tap. Pours a nice golden amber with thick, almost rocky head. Nice smell of hops and a hint of pine. Taste is good, not great though. A good balance of malt and hops leaning towards the hop side. Moderate carbonation leaves a crisp and light feeling in the mouth with a dry and bitter aftertaste. Easily drinkable and has a good flavor do to the hop presence. Overall this is a very good beer, not an amazing one. Due to its availability definitely worth drinking over most other beers commonly found on tap.

10-04-2007 23:29:43 | More by bunnyhustle
Photo of atrus138


3.58/5  rDev -11.4%

Nice amber color with a bit of head and plenty of lacing.

Smelled plenty of hops, with some floral aromas and hints of citrus.

Tasted nice and bitter, like a good pale ale should, though it isn't overwhelming.

Very easy to drink. Not too thin, but has lots of flavor. When a place has very few taps, this is usually the best they have to offer.

10-04-2007 04:33:10 | More by atrus138
Photo of Amalak

New York

4.35/5  rDev +7.7%

A: Had it out of the bottle. Tremendous head that lasts. Copper in color.

S: Hoppy and slight smell of fruityness.

T: Tremendously smooth and sweet. I like this beer a lot.

M: Good yet nothing that jumps out.

D: Very refreshing and smooth and flavorful.

Out of your everyday beers of high quality, this is the one that I would buy most often.

10-01-2007 03:00:18 | More by Amalak
Photo of Beerbuddha


4/5  rDev -1%

**This is a beer that I revisted that I originally did not like**

Apperance - Nice golden amber color with think white head.

Smell - Strong hops aroma with a hint of malts and pine.

Taste- Wow! I originally did not like this beer years ago but I guess my taste buds changed. The taste of hops and pine is wonderful. With just a slight hint of malt it makes this beer great.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with high carbonation.

Drinkability- I love it. I'll be ordering this as a regular. I'm really happy I revisited this beer.
M - Medium body and sweetness w/ moderate bitterness and carbonation.

T - A crystal malt/cascade flavor w/ subtle cherry and pine needle hop flavors collaborate in the classic pale ale. The taste is fresh w/ a nice dry, light grassinesss.

D - A very drinkable beer, great west coast pale example. Well worth each sip. This went great w/ my roast duckling entree.

09-30-2007 04:40:24 | More by Beerbuddha
Photo of dojobrewco


3.43/5  rDev -15.1%

This is my go to brew. Being from AL where the beer selection is ass, I can usually muster up a six pack of good ole Sierra Nevada Pale Ale almost everywhere. I love everything about this beer. From its amber pour, hoppy aroma and taste, to its crip finish this beer never disappoints. I am reviewing it from a 12oz. bottle serving but I will say that it is even more glorious on draft.

09-30-2007 00:39:30 | More by dojobrewco
Photo of PhageLab


2.9/5  rDev -28.2%

I purchased a 24oz bottle of this from a local grocery store today and poured it into a 14oz tall pilsner glass w/wide mouth.

A - Complex deep amber color in the center which fades out to a pale yellow. It produced a frothy brown head which slowly dissipated. Appeared to be full-flavored.

S - Faintly metallic aroma, not much to it, hard to distinguish.

T - Highly bitter initially yet quickly turns into an almost floral aftertaste. I could definitely taste the hops, but it was not overpowering.

M - As I said, the bitterness fades fast and it is actually much lighter than I had anticipated. Nothing too special here.

D - Although it doesn't pack nearly as much punch as I had expected, it is still very tasty. I may not go out of my way to get another, but I certainly wouldn't turn one down if offered.

09-28-2007 01:36:46 | More by PhageLab
Photo of rdub


3.58/5  rDev -11.4%

Had on tap at a local Texas Roadhouse. Nice 1/2 inch head which stayed most of the glass. Couldn't tell much from the aroma since I just fired down half a rack o' ribs. Golden dark color also looked nice. Definite hops bitterness but not as strong as some. All in all, a nice alternative to the typical BMC offering.

09-26-2007 15:44:19 | More by rdub
Photo of Slatetank


4.2/5  rDev +4%

I had a bottle of this at the General Sutter Inn in Lititz, PA. Served cold in a pilsner glass.
A - A pleasant amber honey color w/ a white head of about an inch. Lots of lace clings to the glass with great head retention.

S - Subtle floral hop aromas when cold, the slightly sweet malt aromas and a bit of piney sap aroma is more noticeable as it warms.

M - Medium body and sweetness w/ moderate bitterness and carbonation.

T - A crystal malt/cascade flavor w/ subtle cherry and pine needle hop flavors collaborate in the classic pale ale. The taste is fresh w/ a nice dry, light grassinesss.

D - A very drinkable beer, great west coast pale example. Well worth each sip. This went great w/ my roast duckling entree.

09-24-2007 17:52:36 | More by Slatetank
Photo of Pooba001


4/5  rDev -1%

After all these years, its about time I reviewed the SNPA. Given its ubiquity in grocery stores, gas stations, and bars without an abundance of craft beer, I'm pretty sure I've drank more of this than any beer in the world.

Pours from the bottle a rich, clear golden, light amber color, always looks appetizing. Good head that fades quickly. The aroma is mostly hoppy, floral and citric, but a light malt is noticeable as well.

The taste is a good strong blend of everything to look for in an American Pale: Cascade hops, pale malts, strong bitterness, a barely perceptible yeast undertone, and a crisp, dry finish. The hops are the star here, and while there could be more complexity, citrus, grapefruit, pine and spicy flavors flourish. If I'm putting together 3-4 beers to represent west coast pale ales, this is on the list.

Mouthfeel is very good, carbonation hits just right, and among pale ales its extremely drinkable. This is one of the beers that got me into craft ales, and its still a terrific standby. One of America's classics.

09-24-2007 10:04:25 | More by Pooba001
Photo of MmmIPA


3.9/5  rDev -3.5%

My last of the "Sierra Nevadathon" Ive had this beer plenty of times but never reviewed it.

Orangish body with a thick pillowly white head.Nice lacing is left after the head falls down.It looks like more of a IPA then a APA.Small mosels of carbonation.

Cascade smell (very fruity and citrusy)

Bittering taste then some malt.Piney hops with some dank hop taste in the aftertaste.Bready like malts and some tea like hops also.

Mouthfeel is good and easy going.I like it,its the easiest out of the SN familly.

I can remember buying a case of this stuff a year and some change ago and being very overwhelmed by the bitterness.Now it is a shadow of its self in my eyes.See what time does?This is a beer that I would drink if there wasnt any other type of craft beer there.Not because it sucks but just because its not moving me anymore.There are plenty of hoppier beers out there that overpower this.I dont know how to say that without dogging the beer.

09-23-2007 06:08:38 | More by MmmIPA
Photo of illidurit


2.93/5  rDev -27.5%

Hey folks have you ever wanted an MGD with a blast of bitter one dimensional hops? Here's your beer.

Looks decent enough. Smells like rind. The malt, instead of light and crisp, tastes bready and doesn't serve to balance the hops. The beer is way overhopped, tasting of acrid pine needles. The bitterness is obnoxious and the beer isn't refreshing or balanced. HORRIBLY overrated, just like everything else from Sierra Nevada.

09-21-2007 20:58:42 | More by illidurit
Photo of TheodorHerzl


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%

Poured from a bomber into a 20oz IP glass.

It pours a nice golden copper hue with two fingers of fluffy white head that dissipates quickly, but leaves a little amount of lacing on the glass.
The aroma is floral fresh and is very inviting with a touch of hops. The first sip is a little bitter for an APA, but it finished crisp and very smooth almost creamy. The mouth feel is very light with medium carbination and the finish goes down very easily. I could get in trouble with this easy drinking pale ale. Great representation of the style and just a good beer.

09-18-2007 20:37:10 | More by TheodorHerzl
Photo of Overlord


3.88/5  rDev -4%

Pours a (not surprisingly) pale yellowish amber with a nice head. Floral and pine scent, which blends into ... floral, hop, and pine taste overtones. This is one of the benchmark pale ales, and it stands up well on a price per taste ratio. Certainly not my favorite beer, but does have a nice blend of party affordability and taste.

09-17-2007 00:43:46 | More by Overlord
Photo of jasonjlewis


4.53/5  rDev +12.1%

Read my first review. Wow how tastes change. I once didn't like ales. This ale is an example of how to make a good pale ale. Great head and retention. Great hoppy smell.

This beer starts off witha nice breadiness, followed by a nice hop bitterness with citrusy undertones. Such a smooth mouthfeel. I could drink this beer all day.

The prototypical pale ale that everyone should have in their fridge.

09-11-2007 01:21:31 | More by jasonjlewis
Photo of beerNdarts


3.9/5  rDev -3.5%

I love 'nevada. Currently one of my house beers, this stuff goes great with just about anything and is one of my house brews...

A- Who cares, its in the bottle. Label is attractive, no freshness date but I like that SN has kept the "micro-brew" look despite being the second-best selling craft beer, behind Sams. From draft it's a darker amber, but thats for another review.

S- Cascade hops and citrusey, that about all I can make out. My sense of smell is kind of shot.

T- Mmmm. I'll admit, when I first tried this stuff I was put off by its citrusey and almost piney taste. Now I'm hooked, although I would say that its definitely best between the time you take it out of the fridge and 20 mins thereafter. Sorry I don't have a thermo.

M/D- Yummy? Mouthfeel is pretty light, and I consider it highly drinkable stuff. Put it this way, I gave it a 4. I rate PBR as a 5 on M and 4.5 on D. Guinness is a 4.0 on M and 5 on D. Take it for what its worth.

Is it beer thirty yet?

09-06-2007 02:44:15 | More by beerNdarts
Photo of allergictomacros

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +8.4%

A - Pours a clear copper with an inch thick creamy head.

S - Juicy grapefruit hops with a solid malty backing. Some notes of honey and tangerine.

T - Tangy citrus/grapefruit is up first with a touch of pine. Solid malt in the middle and finishes with a smooth, dry bitterness. This definitely hits hard and fast with a sharp acidity up front, but is back in balance by the finish.

M - Medium bodied I'd say. Feels substantial without being heavy.

D - Gone already. Need I say more?

09-05-2007 21:09:54 | More by allergictomacros
Photo of Floydster


3.58/5  rDev -11.4%

12 ounce bottle from Ralphs

Poured into a cold pint glass

Dark brown with a white head and a nice strong smell

Nice strong pale ale that can be found almost anywhere

Good beer for the summer time at packs more a punch than a lot of the widely distributed microbrews

09-05-2007 16:35:29 | More by Floydster
Photo of zerofear13

New York

4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Second tasting, and I although many of the other characteristics are still relevant here, the taste was much different. I'm not sure if it was the batch or what, but this brew was much more flavorful than my first tasting. The most notable difference is the powerful grapefruit and citrus taste. My original review stated that I could not taste the hints of those flavors, but perhaps it was too cold the first time around. To add to my initial review, amazing flavor of grapefruits and citrus and a bit wild for an American Pale Ale, but very delicious nonetheless.

09-02-2007 23:25:51 | More by zerofear13
Photo of domtronzero


4.18/5  rDev +3.5%

This is by far the most-frequently purchased beer i my household (between my wife and I). This is my staple beer, almost always found in my refrigerator.

Pours a beautifully clear, deep amber with a two finger, tightly packed head. Lacing is always left all over the glass. Aroma is piney and hoppy, with the cascade hops overpowering the aroma with its citrusey notes. Taste is very hoppy, but balanced well with toasted malts. Hints of caramel and toffe are noted, but mostly an herbal hoppy presence and a strong orange/grapefruit flavor. Exceptionally mouth filling, but easy drinking. Despite the slightly higher than average ABV, it is remarkably easy drinking. Perhaps the most well-crafted pale ale made in the USA. I strongly recommend this beer to everyone.

09-02-2007 20:13:28 | More by domtronzero
Photo of GRPunk


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

24 oz. bottle in an imperial pint glass.

A- Pours a deep amber color with a medium off-white head. It had medium carbonation and decent lacing.

S- Lots of floral and piney hops with some sweeter malt tones to bring it a little closer to balance.

T- Definite hop flavor is present, but it doesn't overpower the bready tones. More in balance than the aroma lets on.

M- There's a bit of a bite and tingle from the carbonation and hop flavor.

D- I could definitely drink more than one of these in a sitting. I had a 24 oz. bottle and wouldn't mind putting back another 12oz.

Overall- I consider this a good representation of the style. With the availability as it is, it isn't something I need to seek out, but it's a good "go-to" beer especially when options may run thin.

09-01-2007 02:56:14 | More by GRPunk
Photo of hustlesworth


4.35/5  rDev +7.7%

i can remember years ago when i had one of these and said "YUCK" haha oh how the times change...

A- poured a crystal clear topaz honey amber colorwith rising bubbles topped by 2in of dense soapy off-white head with medium retention leaving 1/8in ring and random fingers of lace stuck to the glass.

S- citrus, sourdough bread, yeast and malted milkshake, roasted nuts and grains, and spicy peppery herbal hops with a floral twang to it

T- orange, grapefruit, white wine, lightly caramelized malt, fruity powdery yeast in the middle. the sourness of the citrus and the herbal pine sap hop bitterness cuts all underlying sweetness down leaving a lingering spicy resinous woodsy leafy hop aftertaste with bread and biscuits way wayyy in the background.

MF- perfectly balanced in my opinion, resinous yet refreshing. finished nice and dry and went down like a silky champagne although unlike most champagne, the carbonation was at an ideal level.

D- uh yeah, i could drink this all the time and it's definitely my go to beer when i'm lookin for a bullseye, right up there with old speckled hen and sam adams boston lager.

08-30-2007 06:03:54 | More by hustlesworth
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,526 ratings.