1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

8,695 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,695
Reviews: 2,690
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 129
Gots: 896 | 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:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,695 | Reviews: 2,690 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PhxHorn
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%

I was surprised that I hadn't reviewed this beer, but I found myself in a Bud/Miller/Coors establishment and was pleased that they at least had this available so as to avoid the horror.

Solid yellow in color, with white head, it smells moderately of hops and a hint of spice. Tastes moderately of hops and citrus, a teeny bit of malt, and has a strong amount of carbonation. Just a damn solid American Pale Ale that I tend to take for granted until I find myself in a jam, and I learn to appreciate it all over again.

PhxHorn, Jun 07, 2008
Photo of ekfinn
4.83/5  rDev +19.6%

Finally, I'm getting around to review this absolute staple of American brewing. Poured from a 12 oz short brown bottle into a 16 oz thin-walled goblet. Head is beautiful and clings lace to the side of the glass. Aroma is strongly floral and hoppy. Color is a beautiful golden orange.

Taste is exceptional. This sampling was sampled outdoors on a hot and humid day and served at 38 deg F... a bit colder than many purists would like. Hops and citrus are strong and stand out at the beginning, with a very slight malt coming through a moment after. Hops lingers on the palate long after consumption.

Although heavy on the hops and citrus, this beer is quite simply excellent for many different foods, climates, and occasions, and quite possibly is the reference beer for the American Pale Ale style. Love it.

ekfinn, Jun 06, 2008
Photo of BucBasil
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%

Appearance: Poured from the 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer is a clear golden color ith hints of orange. Head was about 2 fingers thick and slightly off-white.

Smell: Clean aroma with a citrusy hop aroma that is also slightly floral with a hint of balancing malt underneath.

Taste: Very nicely balanced, starting out with a light, almost orangey hop character. Malt is always there, somewhat bready and adding some depth and substance to the beer. Finishes with a crisp drying hop.

Mouthfeel: a bit disappointing - smewhat flat, though this probably wouldn't be a problem from the tap.

Drinkability: One of those perfect chill-out, highly drinkable beers. Nothing you have to think about, but with plenty of taste and substance.

BucBasil, Jun 06, 2008
Photo of yourefragile
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Clear, slightly hazed bright golden amber color with slow carbonation and a fluffy off white head that dissipates to a thick ring with lots of webbed lacing.
S: Floral hops, a little citrus and strong background of grain. Earthy and slightly pungent. Not spectacular, but adequate.
T: Smooth, medium bodied. Malty, biscuit body with a earthy flavor, grain, and floral hops, citrus rind finish. Amazingly refreshing and drinkable.

yourefragile, Jun 05, 2008
Photo of SurlyDuff
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%

Ha! not sure how I managed to never review this one. It's a real go-to beer, and is available ontap more places than I can think of.

For rating purposes I am basing it off the 24oz botttle (which I found for $1.99).

Big creamy/foamy head and amber hue.

Smooth hop aroma, piney and freshcut. Floral and a tad acidic.

Nice clean sharp hop bitterness at first, then a malt smoothness takes over, and then it goes dry and sharp hop bitterness for the finish. An exceptional APA, in fact I think it to be the quintesential APA in every respect. For a big-quasi-regional-semi-craft brewery, I love the consisitance in the quality, fair pricing/value, and good flavors!

SurlyDuff, Jun 05, 2008
Photo of steelerguy
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%

A - Pours a beautiful golden color with a nice thick slightly off white head. The color and carbonation is what I consider perfect for an APA. The head diminishes throughout but always covers the top and leaves a little lace.

S - Nice citrus smell from the Cascades with some malt undertones.

T - Damn...that is good. The hops hit perfectly, then the crisp citrus flavor, and ends with a nice malty sweetness. This is what I would call a stepping stone beer to get into the harder IPAs and even double IPAs. Not so hoppy or alcoholic that it is a sipper though, and is very refreshing.

M - Has a very good mouthfeel, I like the carbonation...I guess it could be a bit creamier but I am nit picking.

D - Excellent. This beer is good after getting home from work, after working in the yard for hours, with a burger at a restaurant, while watching a football game. Just a good beer for all occasions.

I think this is a benchmark beer. When I think APA, I think Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. There may be some better out there, but not many, and never as widely available. This is craft beer at it's finest...well, Sam Adams is not bad either.

steelerguy, Jun 05, 2008
Photo of aubuc1
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%

12 oz bottle from a 12 pack case in to an imp pint glass. Pours a golden orange color with an off white head. Light, sweet citrusy smell with pine in the background. Slightly hoppy balance taste with the smells in the background. Some orange taste. Nice easy to drink pale ale. Renowned for its quality, and rightly so. Of beers recognized by non beer people- it is the best.

aubuc1, Jun 03, 2008
Photo of TroyS
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%

This is one of my regular brews along with sweetgrass, so maybe I under rate it. It's a great ale. I like it because it's somewhat hoppy/piney. Buy some and drink it. GREAT pour! The thing that I like the best about this particular brew is that it's a good drink, but available nearly everywhere out here. I got this one at Hooligan's in Pocatello, Idaho;)

TroyS, Jun 03, 2008
Photo of hellcatsjg
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%

Appearance: Hazy dark orange with a big creamy head. A nice layer of foam lasts for most of the glass.

Smell: Nice earthy and floral hop aroma balanced with a good amount of malt.

Taste: Almost perfect pale ale. Nice amount of earthy and floral hops balanced perfectly with a nice amount of malt. Nothing overpowers and it is all very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Feels quite creamy in your mouth. Nice crisp hop flavor left behind.

Drinkability: One of the most drinkable beers out there. Nice flavor and nice balanced complexity. This is a great beer for any type of drinker and does not disappoint. Highly recommended.

hellcatsjg, Jun 02, 2008
Photo of NOOGIE
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%

This is the staple of the frisbee cricut, always availabe. Once I showed up to a tournament this weekend my friend had one right away for me. I would always take a 6 pack of Sierra Nevada when I would go on the road to a tournament. Anyways the look of the beer has a dark amber color, little foam that disappears quickly. Smells of hops and some fruit good smell overall. The taste is very hoppy and fruity, excellent taste. The feel is smooth with carbonation, good wetness. The drinkability is very good, with an extra sweetness at the end.

NOOGIE, Jun 02, 2008
Photo of ccrida
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%

This is my favorite pale ale, because it's basically an IPA. Today I'm in vegas slurping these out of the 24 oz bottles, so no comments on the appearance, other then memory telling me that it looks fine, with tons of lacing from the hops.

Smell is good, bright cascades baby - there's a reason these are the classic west coast hop!

Taste is as good as it gets for an APA, nice crisp toasted malt with a huge hop backbone, but where it differentiates itself in my book is that it's not just a bitter bomb, but plenty of hop FLAVOR, with a clean finish.

Mouthfeel is crisp and snappy, this is a great hot weather beer, not to heavy in the stomach, I can and have drunk way to many of these in one sitting, very easy drinker - an exceptional world classic!

ccrida, Jun 02, 2008
Photo of daythree16
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%

Poured into a pint glass at the bar. Amber in color with a one finger head that fades and leaves a little lace on the glass.

The smell is mostly of citrus with hints of candy in there. The taste is of light malt sweetness up front with citrus notes and a good hop bitterness.

The mouthfeel is very carbonated but still smooth. This is a great session beer and a very refreshing pale ale.

daythree16, May 31, 2008
Photo of adams82
4.7/5  rDev +16.3%

Pours copper; very bright for a bottle conditioned beer and has a pretty hefty white head.

Smells of fresh cascade hops; floral and slightly fruity, fairly citric and piney, with a hint of caramel malt.

Tastes exceptional. Lots of cascade hop flavour; floral fruity, spicy and slightly citric. A beautiful blend of hops and caramel malt, very refreshing and extraordinarily delicious. The flavour is very well balanced and is dead on for the style.

Very smooth, light, refreshing. Medium bodied with an exceptionally drinkability. One the quintessential American style Pale Ales and a wonderful beer.

adams82, May 28, 2008
Photo of CamuMahubah
4.2/5  rDev +4%

Amber with moderate lacing...

Has a grassy piney twang...

Taste a bit bitter a first followed by a crisp ending...

Creamy despite the hop infusion...

Quaffing beer that reminds you of when you first discovered good beer could be had. This beer reminds me of some other brewer's IPA's...

CamuMahubah, May 27, 2008
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%

Thanks very much to my girlfriend who went in search of beer for me on a recent trip to San Francisco.

Pours a burnished golden bronze colour, very clear. Tiny streams of carbonation around the edge of the glass feed a light film of white head. Nice colour, nice looking beer all up.

good tropical fruits on the nose, the sweeter end of the spectrum though - mango and peach, almost. Also a real candy/caramel sweetness to it as well. Nice.

Taste is quite light. Pleasant sweet fragrant fruitiness on the front palate, then a subtle but pleasant dry hoppy bitterness. It's definitely not huge on the palate, but everything is nicely balanced. Quite dry on the finish, and refreshing. Mouthfeel spot on. Crisp and sharp to match the light hop bite.

A very drinkable pale ale. Really nicely balanced and very refreshing. Folks from the states come to Australia and often compare Little Creatures Pale Ale to SNPA, and I'm glad I can now do the same. It would be great to drink SNPA all the time, but I don't think I'm really missing out given I have Critters here in Australia to fill the gap.

lacqueredmouse, May 26, 2008
Photo of smanders
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%

I know Sierra has been around for a long time but I can't help but grab a case whenever I am confronted by it.

A - Copper colored with a strong 2 fingers of head.

S - Hoppy/fruity aroma. Ever-so-slight hint of diacetyl.

T - Consistent taste throughout the life of the beer. Flowers, herbs, and a bit of butter. Enjoy the bitterness!

M - Light and crisp. Never heavy.

D - A personal favorite. Easily drinkable - as is evident by the empty bottles strewn around the table. Doesn't take a lot of work to make this beer go down.

Serving type: bottle

I think this beer has it all; taste, drinkability, and it's affordable. A perennial favorite.

smanders, May 24, 2008
Photo of Exner83
3.2/5  rDev -20.8%

A crystal-clear, golden color with a subtle flowery smell. Above-average activity with a solid head and light lacing.

The taste is an estery, acidic fruitiness--lightly oily with a remarkable bite. This is a pungent, hop-favored brew. A stinging, slick finish caps off the quaff.

I'd prefer more malt balance. This brew's one note short of a chord: A little more hop-to-malt harmony, and I'd be dancing.

Exner83, May 24, 2008
Photo of BeenJammin
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%

A - Wonderful clear, golden hue. Head is small but has good retention

S - Floral hop aroma

T - Crisp and refreshing. A well balance of the fruity hops and bready malts

M - Light bodied, goes down smooth. Medium carbonation

D - One of my favorite beers. Goes down so well. Very easy to drink.

BeenJammin, May 23, 2008
Photo of BigMike
4/5  rDev -1%

This is a classic example of an American Pale Ale.
Consistently a great tasting beer.

A deep amber pour with a good head and great lacing.

Has nice floral hops bitterness and is very well balanced. Good mouthfeel and finishes up clean and crisp.

One of my favorite session beers.

BigMike, May 22, 2008
Photo of soupyman10
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Well gotta say, I still have a soft spot for this guy. Definitely the one that got me into craft beer, and still a win over most of the stuff out there. Pours a delicious deep amber color with a colossal head that leaves outstanding lacing. Seriously, this beer looks amazing. Nose is solid - maltier than I remembered, but lots of swirling citrus and light floral hops as well. Taste is likewise. Strong and delicious, lots of caramel malt balanced nicely with the mildly spicy grapefruit hops. Feel is good, medium body with solid carbonation. Really, an excellent beer. Might have to switch to these more often if prices keep going up like they are.

soupyman10, May 21, 2008
Photo of NCBeernut
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%

A: Light amber with decent semi-sticky lacing. Even after the head falls, it still leaves a nice sudsy layer behind.

S: Light floral, citrusy hops. A touch of sweet breads. Very pleasant

T: Perfect balance. Nice floral hoppy bitterness and complex bready malts all come in for the duration of each drink. Just a touch of tannins left on the tongue. A little over carbonated when it begins to warm but still a fairly smooth mouthfeel.

D: I can't stop. Give me a case.

NCBeernut, May 21, 2008
Photo of HalfFull
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%

From a 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass, this beer pours a lovely opaque orange with a light carbonation that holds for quite some time. Lacing is light but ever present and renewed with each sip as the carbonation is released, as if on queue.

A light hoppy aroma with notable floral and citrus segues to a great taste and a very pleasant finish. This is one of the most consistent brews I've experienced, be it in the bottle or on tap. No more twist-offs though, as they went to pry off tops a year or so back. So don't forget the opener.

HalfFull, May 20, 2008
Photo of theghost3
4.63/5  rDev +14.6%

Light orange appearance with a white head. Good amount of lacing. Smells of flowery hops, citrus, and yeast. Taste is bitter at first, then rather sweet, and again, citrusy--much like grapefruit. Mouthfeel is crisp, rather carbonated at first taste. This is a very drinkable APA. I've been drinking it for years and it's consistently great. This is just about the best APA out there in my estimation.

theghost3, May 19, 2008
Photo of OldYoda
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%

This has been my "go to" beer for quite some time. Poured from a bottle into my trusty Troeg's pint glass. A lovely dark gold with a nice 1 or 2 finger head and lacing that hangs around.

Smell is floral hops and some malt. Invites you to jump in - and I do.

Taste is exceptional. A great hoppy bitterness and well balanced on the finish.

I love the mouthfeel of this beer - it is just outstanding. Finishes with a crisp bitterness that invites another sip.

Drinkability is outstanding. Two or three or these is a great night. Along with Bell's Two Hearted this beer defines the gold standard for Pale Ales.

OldYoda, May 18, 2008
Photo of argock
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%

Served on-tap in a clear pint glass at proper temperature at Escafe in Charlottesville.

A: Classic orange-amber pale ale with billowing off-white 1-2 finger head with rings as you get through the beer

S: One of my favorite smelling beers with tons of Cascade floral hops with strong pale and caramel malt contribution. It helped usher in the West Coast pale ale/IPA -- what else can you say.

T: Great balance of malt and floral and slightly fruity hops flavors. The malts and fruit flavor come to the front the brew warms.

M: Smooth with low carbonation and a pleasant bittersweet aftertaste.

D: Despite its strong floral hops and relatively high bitterness, it's a great beer anytime (and thankfully available nearly everywhere). A go-to beer anytime.

argock, May 15, 2008
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,695 ratings.