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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.

9,808 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,808
Reviews: 2,835
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 196
Gots: 1,608 | 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: 9,808 | Reviews: 2,835 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of joemcgrath27
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - crystal clear copper golden, solid off white head retained very well with a steady stream of bubbles from the bottom, traces of random lacing
S - generally mild odours of herbs, grass, pineapple, and grains
T - crisp pilsner like hop freshness, herbal and grassy with some metallic, light bready malt, with a peppery finish
M - medium to light body with great carbonation, juicy through the middle and moving to a medium dry finish
O - a very tasty and sessionable pale, but I do have to say that the Torpedo blows this out of the water

Photo of mpyle
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich copper color, fairly clear but not brilliantly so. Poured a fairly large head with creamy fine bubbles. Good head retention.

Nice hop aroma, green piney grass smelling. Some nice caramel malt smell beneath the hops.

Taste is simultaneous malt and hops, with a good piney hop flavor dominating. Bitterness is assertive but not overpowering, but definitely lingers into the finish.

Medium body and carbonation, with no astringency or warming.

Was amazed to see that I'd never reviewed this beer despite having consumed it for the last 15 years or so. Still holds up as a great, hop forward beer. Everything is perfectly in balance, and oh so drinkable.

Photo of CwrwAmByth
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 350ml bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Pours a bright hazy orange colour, magnificent!

Smell is hoppiness, lovely whole hops that reminds me of boiling hops when making my first homebrew.

The taste is excellent, very hoppy with a recognisably American hop bitterness, yet it is extremely soft and well balanced, with alot of malts as well, making it very drinkable.

Overall a fantastic drink, great on a scorching summers day like today.

Photo of setexascustoms
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: 12oz bottle poured into an SA Perfect Pint

A: A nearly clear golden amber, with only the slightest haze. A finger of foamy off-white head, the retention isn't stellar, but the lacing is. I was nearly done when I noticed the yeast sediment on the bottom of the glass.

S: Clean, dominated by floral hops and behind that almost a sour dough.

T: Again, very clean. The hops seem better balanced than in the nose, and there's a certain sweetness. I also still pick up the sour dough.

M: Here is where this beer is exceptional to me. It coats the mouth wonderfully, and the texture feels almost slick. Truly remarkable.

O: This is my first review, and I'm still acquiring a nose and palate for these beers. I've always drank more flavorful beer than your average consumer and always leaned toward the darker, smokier brews. But this may be my current favorite, how well balanced it is and again the mouthfeel puts it over the top. Here's to America's Pale Ale.

Photo of fx20736
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Coppery amber, lazy carbonation with a khaki 2 finger head that leaves plumes of lacing.

Aroma: Restrained Grapefruit & pine resin

mouthfeel: slightly flat but fairly acceptable.

taste: broad field of crackery malt plowed by a balanced mixture of citrus and piney hops. Beer finishes dry and refreshing.

Notes: So many American Pale Ales aim for this. Sierra Nevada gets there. Well balanced, enough malt to anchor the hops, enough hops to refresh and delight. Like the other Sierra Nevada beers I have tried this one says quality.

Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz poured into a plastic cup. (Hey, it was $2 U-Call-It night)

Appearance - Light copper amber body. Moderate head with good retention.

Smell - Balanced hop. Mild. Spicey. Balanced for sure.

Taste - Spicy. Hoppy. Mild. Balanced. Not boring. Good gateway pale ale.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied. Well done. Creamy body. Smooth drink. Frothy carbonation.

Overall Drinkability - Good, balanced beer. Balanced but not boring.

Photo of brewski101
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drink this one on a fairly regular basis - mostly on tap but sometimes bottled. Good thing that it is widely available. The color is always consistent. Aroma could almost be trademarked. Taste of the hops is well balanced by any residual maltiness. Very approachable. Good anytime

Photo of stjaernstoft
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, ABV: 5.6%.
350 ml bottle, 22.90 SEK at Systembolaget.

A: The liquid is somewhat hazy and bubbly. The colour is gold with tones of orange. The head is fluffy and slightly off-white - some lacing occurs.

S: Mild, fresh and fruity on the nose. Big notes of hops, dried apricots, green grapes, citrus fruits, flowers, rye bread and spices. Very pleasant.

T: Fruity and bitter flavours of hops, dried apricots, mandarins, green grapes, freshly baked bread, spices, caramel, honey and yeast.

M: The body is medium. The bitterness is medium to large. A drinkable pale ale, with a relatively balanced mouthfeel.

O: A very nice and stable APA - an easily drinkable session beer. I suspect that it would be a great choice paired with lots of different tasty types of food, as well.

Photo of sixthglass
3.45/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Copper in color, slight head.

Lots of hops, tinge of citrus, malts.

Sharp and smooth.

Doesn't coat the mouth very well, but leaves a good after taste.

Excellent session brew, this is the brew that started my love for craft beer. So I have to give a big thank you for opening up my beer virginity and thrusting me into a world of delicious brews.

Photo of Ilovesuds
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a 12 pack and popped open a bottle. My initial reaction was that it had no nose and tasted like a watered down IPA. The second bottle I let sit in the glass and warm up a bit. What a difference. Nice understated citric nose. Inviting amber gold color with a nice head and lace. Taste is grapefruit and pine. Not too "in your face" but that was expected with an ABV of 5.6%. The only thing I didn't like was the carbonation. I thought it was a bit harsh and over bubbly. That said I still would enjoy this again and again.

Photo of Parky1
3.71/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper-coloured, virtually no head is present.

Hoppy, with hints of caramel.

Sharp and hoppy, slightly bitter.

Light, fizzy and dry.

I've had a few in the past and will no doubt have a few more in the future.

Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 1/2" off-white head that dissipated quickly over amber liquid with excellent clarity.

S: Citrus hops, honey and malt.

T: Initial taste is of slightly bitter citrus hops, which transitions to sweet malt and a somewhat dry finish.

M: Medium to thin viscosity with a low level of fine carbonation.

O: A very good American Pale Ale that is extremely well balanced, drinkable and would be a good pairing for many foods.

Photo of jifigz
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bottle poured into a mug.

A: A golden orange with a nice white head. Carbonation bubbles can be skyrocketing towards the surface. A little bit of lacing is apparent.

S: Fruity, malty, yet light and refreshing smelling.

T: Crisp fruit flavors up front. Mildly tart with a wonderful clean taste that is just the perfect light blend of sweetness, bitter, and fruity. The aftertaste is mildly bitter but by no means too much so.

M: The MF is crisp and clean feeling, lighter bodied and easily quaffable. Nothing offensive or harsh to the palate.

O: The classic example of the American Pale Ale. This is just a damn good beer. It is not trying to be anything that its not and it is simple and up front. I have been drinking this beer for years and years, and finally got around to actually adding my two cents here, and it will stand the test of time and always be a classic.

Photo of Jwale73
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle served at 53 degrees in a standard pint glass. Pours a bright, translucent copper with a half inch, loose, creamy, bone white head. Head disperses into a broken slick. Nose is very subdued but expresses a light caramel malt character as well as an earthy hops presence. Taste follows nose with that addition of a mild citrus character that intersperses itself through the flavor profile. Moutfeel is light in body with an assertive carbonation that lightly burns the back of the throat. This is my go to beer when I'm out and the beer list is limited. Solid and quite drinkable; definitely a classic.

Photo of gerite
3.44/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at a local restaurant. The beer I received had no head and neither I nor my wife could detect any aroma. The taste was more on the hops side with a hint of malt. Overall, it was a crisp light beer with no after taste that goes well with a burger. Except for the lack of any aroma, this was a pretty good Pale Ale with good golden color and a refreshing taste.

Photo of MrDonQuixote
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 24 oz bomber into an oversized wine glass:

A- Nice orangish golden color with a half inch white head

S- Floral and citrusy. There is an obvious presence of strong hops

T- Hoppy upfront; hints of orange and other citrus notes as well. Nice malty finish

M- Super smooth due to the malty finish. Nice carbonation.

O- Great APA. One of the best of the style, and one of the staples of craft beer. Definitely worth all of the love and hype.

Photo of 1Adam12
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one of the first, if not THE first craft beers I ever tasted many years ago.

Pours an orangish golden color with a half in head. Smells very earthy. Has a bit of old sock smell about it. Hops are very noticeable as well as a bit of citrus. Taste is hoppy with a lot of earthiness. A tad bit of bitterness on the back end. Not a very complex brew, but good. This is a bit over carbonated for me, but very satisfying. Overall, this is a good everyday beer, or good session beer.

Photo of paxchristi
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada is a classic microbrew staple and this is their premiere beer. Its the essential gateway into craft beer, and I could not speak more positively about our friends in Chico. They have found a niche and it is serving them well in the microbrew/craft beer cult. Their consistency is out of this world; probably due to their commitment to bottle conditioning.

Appearance: Pours a good looking beer. I expect this from my pale ales. Golden amber with a good amount of head-- 1.5-2 inches that leaves great lacing down the side of the glass. Totally professional.

Smell: Earthy, grainy, biscuit front infused with hoppy intensity in the nose. Definite esters. I even caught a grassy/leafy smell in the undertone.

Taste: HOPS! Body is medium filled with citrusy tones-- near a bit salty yet still earthy. There is something behind the hops that gives it balance but I do not know what to call it. Total bitter finish matched with an earthy tone that brings it balance. Classic.

Mouth: Dances in my mouth. Hops sticks to the palate and the nose. Even carbonation gives this beer is a strength of this brew. It brings out the bitterness of the hops and gives the hoppy stick to the palate a stronger effect. Brilliant.

Overall: An American classic. Enough said. This is always be one of the go to beers for me. This is the poster child for American Pale Ales. The poster child may not always be the absolute best, but it is definitely the one that gives an accessible entry into the subtleties of craft beer appreciation.

Photo of soulfly1492
3.45/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Deep gold. Moderate white head, with above average lacing. Average to slightly above average retention.

Aroma: Pale malt. Caramel. Floral, indicating the presence of bitter hops. Bready. Perhaps a bit of diacetyl.

Taste: Sweet malt, quickly followed by orange/grapefuit citrus, followed by pine/floral hop bitterness. I detect a faint amount of diacetyl at the end of this one. I wasn't quite sure so I checked out the label, and sure enough this brew is bottle conditoned.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Chalky dry texture. Lots of carbonation.

Overall: Not bad. Definitely on the dry/bitter side of the style. Very crisp and refreshing. Could have done without the diacetyl. The citrus flavor really is the highlight in this one.

Photo of breslaubrewer
2.72/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I know this is the classic example of an American pale ale ,but.... in the midwest it becomes oxidized on the retail shelves and doesn't hold up well. I've had one six pack I really enjoyed (nice piney floral aroma, dry finish, bitter spicey taste). I usually won't buy unless I know it's fresh because I get a cardboard/oxidized taste that I can't overcome and usually throw the rest out.

Photo of chefhatt
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this beer into a pint glass, it has a golden color body with a big foamy white head on top. The smell comes as pine and lemon. The taste first off is malt, then the bitterness of the hops comes through. Neither flavor is overpowering. The mouth feel is nice and smooth, easy drinking. Overall a good beer.

Photo of IPA35
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this nice looking golden ale into a a pint glass. Slightly hazy with a foamy head. good visible carbonation.

It smells of pine resin and citrus (lemon) and the malts is a light caramel. Inviting.

The malts are a bit weak tasting, more bready than robust/caramel as with the Anchor Pale Ales. The hops are fruity with a average bitter, hoppy aftertaste. Some sweetness in there but the hop takes over quick. Not very complex but it is good and very easy to drink. That was the first pour without yeast. Now the second half. It mellows down the flavour a little prehaps?
It leaves some brown stains in the otherwise white head and there are some brown particles in there that have sunken to the bottom by now.

It has a medium body, not thick but not watery either. Just fine. Under average carbonation.

I think I prefer the Anchor offerings for flavour, but this is even more drinkable.

Photo of jgreenearrow
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a golden copper color with lighter golden tones around the edges of the glass. The beer is fairly translucent, as bubbles are easily visible as the cascade up to the top of the pour. A thin cream colored foam formed at the top of the pour with very little retention. Some slight lacing remains on the sides of the glass.

S: Caramel and biscuity malts dominate the nose. Some slight citrus is present as well, rounded out by some hop bitters.

T: Sweet malts and caramel flavor burst onto the tongue at the outset of the sip. Bread crust and biscuit meld into flavor profile in the middle followed by some citrus of orange peel and grapefruit and hop bitterness in the finish.

M: This is a light to medium bodied beer. Carbonation is pleasant and refreshing.

Overall, this is an excellent pale ale. The flavors are complex and well balanced. Neither malts nor hops dominate the flavor profile, as all of the flavors meld nicely to create a refreshing beer.

Photo of ummswimmin
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada pale is one of the original craft pales in wide distribution. This was one of the gateway beers that got me into craft beer drinking as a hobby. It is easy to drink. It tastes really good, and it isn't too complicated.

I haven't had this beer in many years, and it was really nice going back.

The coloring is a nice shade of copper with a minimal amount of head. Carbonation was present, but it wasn't over-whelming.

There is light hoppiness coming off the top and in the taste as well.

This is a good example of a pale. You could refer to it as "old reliable."

Photo of lawlerj
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A - pours a hazy copper with a decent size head. Leaves speckled lacing on the glass. Appears to be moderately carbonated.

S - strong rich malty aroma on the nose. A bit of hops in the background but nothing crazy. Very rich.

T - buttery malt and rich hops - bitter hops in there and some citrus/floral hops in the mix as well, but doesn't overpower the malt base.

M - medium bodied, smooth nice mouthfeel.

O - overall, this is a solid beer. Deserves respects as one of the originals. I had it some years ago before my palate really developed and I didn't care for it, but it really sits well now.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,808 ratings.