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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.

8,809 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,809
Reviews: 2,703
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 138
Gots: 943 | FT: 2
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: 8,809 | Reviews: 2,703 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ironlung
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap @ Amici's pizza on Lombard in S.F.

A: Light amber. No-head. Nice lacing.

S: Very faint (I'm in a place that cooks pizza's on the open flame so no suprise that's all I really smell)! Pine hops are all I can detect.

T: Crisp. Snappy. A great hoppy pale ale. Perfect bitterness for the style IMO.

M: Light. Palate cleansing. Great beer to enjoy with a meal because it's not overpowering.

D: Super high! My go-to beer, and breakfest drink of choice!

ironlung, Nov 20, 2008
Photo of RickS95
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this years ago, but didn't appreciate it. I just thought it was bitter. I'd like to think my taste buds have matured since then, and I tried this the other night with an open mind (and because they were giving away logo glasses if you bought one).

It poured a nice-sized white head. Dark caramel in color, filtered. Strong scent of hops in the nose, nothing unusual there.

Seemed highly carbonated and bitter in the mouth. Lacing was ok, I thought I remembered more.

Being a pale ale, it had the standard issue hoppy, bitter finish that lasted. But it was refreshing at the same time.

I had this while eating Mexican food. It really went well with the spice hot nachos. I enjoyed the beer this time, so much so that I had two El Gordo glasses (22-ounce) and got to take home to Sierra Nevada logo glasses.

RickS95, Nov 17, 2008
Photo of roscoehnj
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The classic APA.

appearance: slightly darker than the typical APA, inviting.

smell: not as hoppy as the taste but nice nonetheless

taste: exactly what an APA should be - pronounced hoppiness but not as much as an IPA.

mouthfeel: medium body, again what you want in the style

drinkability: could drink this all night long with no palate fatigue

One to always have in the fridge. Also the perfect beer with which to turn macro drinkers on the the good stuff.

roscoehnj, Nov 16, 2008
Photo of irishman06
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 12 oz. brown bottle.

Nice thick head with thin lacing that lasted for the duration of the drinking.

Citrusy aroma, with some slight hop bitterness. Taste is similar. Crisp and refreshing, with slightly sweet citrus notes, ending with alcohol warmth and hop bitterness. Nicely balanced between malt and hops, as it should be. A wonderful APA, however I don't if it is the best, although it may be considered a classic.

irishman06, Nov 15, 2008
Photo of Foxtrot
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a nice yellow and amber color into my frosted pint glass with a finger of head.

S - Smell's of pine and hop character; nice and clean.

T - Hit's my mouth with hops and mellows out with some citus notes, then pans out with a nice clean and crisp pine finish. Lots of good character for a relatively common Pale Ale.

M - Not too bad, but a bit on the thin side for me. Good carbonation.

D - This beer has some serious drinkability. It has a really good flavor that is not overpowering, but is smooth and refreshing.

Foxtrot, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of cottonkoozie
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Wonderful amber/peachy color. Good head with pretty good retention. LACING!!

Smell - Very good smell, not over powering, but good floral hops smell.

Taste - Great taste. Good balance but also a good pronounced hops flavor. Not too sweet, not too bitter.

Mouthfeel - Excellent mouthfell. Perfect carbonation.

Drinkability - Goes down smooth. Light after taste that is very similar to grapefruit juice.

Great beer. First time trying it, but will definitely buy this one again sometime. Should be on everyones list of a beer to try at least once.

cottonkoozie, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep bodied yellow shaded in with tones of amber. A seemingly infinite number of tiny bubbles sprout up from the base and race to the top. Clarity exist but in a somewhat blurred state. The top half inch is peach hued and adhesive enough to envelop the glass above it.

Notes of citrus, grass and pine combine for a pleasant effervescence. It is a soft fruitiness that includes orange blossom and a squirt of lemon juice. The hop character is pronounced but moderate - it's not a smack to the sinus but rather a gentle tickling of the nostrils.

Hints of grapefruit and citrus fruit are noted in the flavour, too. More prevalent now, however, is the taste of lightly toasted, caramel laced malts. It's not exactly a rich, gooey presence but it adds an extra shot of flavour to what is otherwise a very simple beer.

The hops might snip at those not accustomed to bitterness but should definitely be considered restrained. The modest 37 IBU's add a nice underlying quench to each sip. Crisp mouthfeel and good carbonation only adds drinkability to what was already something quite tasty.

Sierra Nevada is rightfully regarded as the grandfather of the American craft beer revolution. Their pale ale was particularly inspirational for a generation of craft brewers that were now re-inventing old world styles and hopping at levels previously unheard of - All hail it !

biegaman, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of BeerMark
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale pours a nice light copper/bronze color with a one finger head. It has a pleasing citrus hoppy aroma that I really like. This beer has a nice mouthfeel. Am I tasting orange in this beer? Finishes dry with just the right amount of hops. Wow, I'm impressed with this beer's nice flavor. May be the perfect "better" beer for newbies due to the decent amount of hops and easy drinkability. A fine APA which seems to be available in many Wal-Marts and Winn- Dixie's across Alabama.

BeerMark, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of brandoneast
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I have a soft spot for Sierra Nevada Pale Ale as it was the first real beer experience that opened my senses to something completely new. What I remember was that it lasted like grass and piney bitterness, yet sweet and...I wanted more.

Pours golden amber with a tight beige head that falls to a nice lace. Nose is pine with biscuty malt then follows to a slight citrus. Hops are spicy, fruity, and floral while the Cascade bitterness lasts throughout the tasting to the back of the throat with easy carbonation. So many flavors in this brew and is so drinkable.

brandoneast, Nov 07, 2008
Photo of davedahl
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at Hog Island Oyster Co. in San Francisco.

Pours clear ligh amber. A proper 2-finger pour leaves a nice head.

Fantastic hop-nose not over-bearing.

Carbonation keeps bubbles coming throughout the session. Which is very nice and keeps a thin layer of head on the surface. Perfect lacing thank you Mr. Hops.

Mouthfeel is full and slightly oily from the hops - definitely not "slick" though.

Hops are in the forefront of taste. Malt has a nice ever-so-slight carmely taste.

The grand-daddy of PA's never fails. This one is especially fresh and "bright" tasting. Likely due to the foot-traffic Hog Island receives - keep rolling those kegs!

davedahl, Nov 05, 2008
Photo of Jangles
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 24 oz. bottle into a Guinness Imperial pint glass (anything else is such a travesty).

A: Golden amber color, very clear. Minimal head that disappears pretty quickly

S: Strong hop profile. Very "herbal".

T: Initially very heavy on the hops, butts right up against being too bitter and piney, but backs off, well, tapers off, at the finish without going too far. Just barely.

M: Crisp and consistent, start to finish.

D: Quite drinkable, but I feel like it needs food to accompany it. I just cannot see myself putting these away without a meal or a snack.

Overall, I would drink it if it was there, or in the absence of one of my favorites, but I am not going to seek it out. I suppose I am not quite as impressed as I should be, given its reputation.

Jangles, Nov 04, 2008
Photo of Soneast
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep golden yellow color. A nice 3 finger off white head. The head starts out very bubbly at first and then creams up to a good 1/2 inch thickness. Pretty good lace on the way down. A ton of bubbles riding the entire perimeter of the glass.

A very nice, crisp, hoppy, pine scent to this that leaves a nice citrus aroma on the back end.

This has a nice grapefruit/citrus flavor with some delicious bitter hop, that never overpowers the whole beer. A great balance of malt detected throughout.

This beer is an excellent example of this style. Easily sessionable, refreshing, very nice carbonation and a very nice piney aftertaste. Due to the overall availability of this beer, it has become my session beer of choice as of late. I can get it at any liquor/grocery store and a good majority of bars around here carry it as well.

Soneast, Oct 31, 2008
Photo of jjanega08
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A= this was the only problem I had with this beer. Even with the most rigorous pour I didn't get much of a head. It was a very small head and it dissipated very quickly leaving just that thin layer of bubbles so you know its a beer still. It was a deep amber color which was beautiful and you could still see some yeast sediment at the bottom which I liked.
S= very good and floral. I like hoppy beers and this was a great balance with hops and malt.
T= beautiful. Not to hoppy not to malty. great balance
M= Lower carbonation. Not to heavy. good but not great
D= Awesome, great for watching a game and relaxing after a long kayaking trip.

jjanega08, Oct 31, 2008
Photo of CampusCrew
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

the classic pale ale. I have had this may times before but I just had one last night and it reminded me how much I really like it. I had it on tap and it pours with a beautiful head. Nice deep golden color with nice fulffy white head. The scent is very strong with the hops but the taste is balanced when you drink it. It's a great hot day beer or for tailgating. It can be used in alot of diffrent recipes and goes great with a wide variety of food. This isnt the best beer on the market but proably the best american pale ale. I love the drinkablity and I will continue to drnk this when I have the chance to.

CampusCrew, Oct 30, 2008
Photo of Smixam
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Golden amber color, very clear. Light head that disappears pretty quickly

S: Citrus and pine hop profile. Very fresh and not terribly strong.

T: Starts off heavy on the hops, nice citrus crispness with a pine finish. More malt balance than I would have expected - this really isn't a bitter pale ale like you may expect from the smell or the initial bite. Finishes very clean.

M: Nothing special, very crisp and a pretty even feel start to finish. Little to no aftertaste.

D: For 5.6abv, this is a drinkable brew. It's light for a pale ale so you can easily put away a few of them, and it's appropriate for any season or food pairing really.

Overall a solid standby beer, one I don't mind having around at all times.

Smixam, Oct 30, 2008
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One good Pale ..Poured a orange color with a finger-width, creamy white head that leaves lots of lacing as you drink. Scent is surprisingly not as hoppy as I would have thought. Lots of fruit and a woody/grassy aroma I couldn't place. Palate is crisp, clean and very dry. Not as hoppy as a lot of Pales and IPAs. You get a slight hop burn on the tongue, but it's balanced enough to let the grapefruit and spices come through.

barleywinefiend, Oct 28, 2008
Photo of seedsofchaos
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Classic amber in appearance with a delicate off-white head. Lacing is present but not enticing. Carbonation is active through a beautifully transparent body. Carbonation has a nice effect on the bouquet by exemplifying the Pacific Northwest hops that put off a great smell of citrus and sweet candy. A touch of pine perhaps but the hops are floral and citrus forward. Caramel malts seem to dominate most of the malt aroma but there is just a tad of biscuit that evens out the sweetness.

Taste is a great balance of malt and hops that goes down smooth. Bitterness is low on this crisp beer with hops showing up vegetative at times but, again, obviously floral and citrusy. Very well balanced and pleasant for a pale ale.

Perhaps the definition of sessionable in my opinion. Refreshing even more so when thinking about having a few of these after a warm summer day.

seedsofchaos, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of JoeCeez
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: slightly hazy copper, with two fingers of bright white head that leaves decent lacing

S: lots of citrus and pine hops with a hint of grainy malt

T: like pure white grapefruit juice, some pine, a nice mild caramel sweetness to balance the firm bitterness

M: nice and crisp, not overly carbonated, smooth not oily at all

D: This is my standby session beer I can drink these all night and sometimes I do, my only problem is that sometimes after 5 or 6 I develop some mild heartburn that seems to only happen with this beer

This is one of the beers that made me realize that I love hops, I remember being 13 and going to my yuppie aunt and uncle's house for holidays and they would always have this in the fridge, needless to say it was love at first sip.

JoeCeez, Oct 26, 2008
Photo of redneckchugger
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

poured into my mickey mouse pilsner( its great don't knock it)
shade darker than than straw pale, inch of clingy white head, good lacing
piney hop smell
piney hops on the tongue too, bit of malt in the back, goes down well, classic beer, the be all and end all of session beers IMO

redneckchugger, Oct 26, 2008
Photo of spointon
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this one on tap at the Ruby Tuesdays in Merrillville, IN.

A= This ale poured a very clear, deep orange amber color with a 1.5" white head. The head dropped to a thin skim and left huge amounts of web-like clingy lace down my glass.

S= This one was served to me way too cold, but after letting it warm a bit I found lots of West Coast citrusy hop aromas as well as a biscuity maly base. More hops than malt, but still within the boundaries of what I would call balanced for the style.

T= I was pleasantly surprised to find that as this ale warmed, there were flavors other than the obvious pine and grapefruit citrus coming forth. Initial hop rush was bitter and puckering and the malt base followed with bready flavors and bakery sweetness. The yeast effect on the flavor was limited to only the slightest fruitiness as this was a very clean ale. The finish was dry and the alcohol was only minimally detectable.

MF= Medium bodied. Crisp feel from the medium+ carbonation level.

D= A classic ale and it had been way too long since I had one on tap. Easily drinkable and full of flavor, this is an excellent session beer.

spointon, Oct 25, 2008
Photo of kshankar
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Orange/amber color with nice foam and lacing.

Aroma: Malts and hops balanced out well.

Taste: Hop bitterness balanced with the malts. Bitter at first, and then less so going down

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, clean finish, good carbonation. Overall good

Drinkability: Not too heavy, relatively low ABV, and tastes fine. Could go through a few with ease

kshankar, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of superdedooperboy
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on-tap at The Pizza Joint in Evans, GA. A rather chilly night outside, and we sat on the patio, but I chose this classic over the only real warmer on-tap, Old Rasputin.

Amber in color with a thick, creamy off-white cap that leaves a nice layer of foam on the drinking vessel.

Floral and fruity esters in the nose, and a bit of sweet malt aroma as well.

Medium-bodied and quite smooth. Sweet grains and biscuit appear, with fruity and nice hoppy bitterness filling out the middle, finishing slightly dry.

Highly drinkable and very well balanced. The quintessential American Pale Ale is a perfect session beer and would make a superb entry into the world of craft brew for any of the uninitiated.

superdedooperboy, Oct 24, 2008
Photo of punzak
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It has a really nice balance. I could drink these all day long. In fact, I was recently talking with a friend of mine about what beer we would choose if we could have an unlimited supply of only one beer for consumption while trapped on a desert island. This was my choice.

punzak, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of guntherhophead
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clover honeyish amber. White head w/lacing, and light sediment dancing in the carbonation.
S-Sweet floral hops, citrus, honey, grain.
T-Clean and even--fresh grain, light citrus, flowery hops, and an excellent aftertaste.
M-Light-medium body w/good carbonation. Excellent harmony.
D-Sessionable and refreshing.

guntherhophead, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of ncbeermonger
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As available as a pale ale can be. You can find this beer just about anywhere. The ale is a golden color with orange hints. You can smell the hops, but it does not curl your lips into a smile like I like my pale ales to do.
It is a crisp pale ale, light and drinkable. This is a gateway pale ale. One you can find just about anywhere. I absolutely love pale ales, and IPAs so the fact that this one is such a good gateway pale ale is a good thing. The ABV is not huge, but it is big enough to get you in trouble if you drink them like they are light American Lagers.
Love this beer because it is everywhere!

ncbeermonger, Oct 22, 2008
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,809 ratings.