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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.

9,890 Ratings

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Ratings: 9,890
Reviews: 2,859
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 205
Gots: 1,704 | FT: 4
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: 9,890 | Reviews: 2,859
Photo of MLucky
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just a classic. If you don't like this beer, you don't like American pale ale.

Poured from a 12ozer, a nice amber color, persisent head, nice lacing.

Excellent aroma. Citrusy hop, a bit of esters, biscuit malt.

The taste is the very definition of this style. A firm balance of citrus and sweetness, greapefuit aftertaste.

Frighteningly drinkable. Goes down so easily you have to watch yourself.

This is just a tremendous American pale ale. The beer world has changed a lot since it was introduced back in the early '80s, and I suppose I can understand it if some people feel that SNPA has been surpassed by hoppier, more sensationalistic brews. But damn... this tastes amazing. Sierra Nevada changed the brewing world, and this is the beer that did it. If you can't dig it, it's your loss.

Photo of WestValleyIPA
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Time to review one of the great-great grand-daddies of craft brewage. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my Zatec fluted glass. 4 glorious fingers of spongy white head that recedes pretty quickly. Niiice lacing though. Nice golden amber color. Smells so familiar. Cascade in the house. Floral. Citrus. Classic. Full bodied, floral and medium bitterness. A little bit of citrus and skunk. Dry finish, good carbonation. One of the most drinkable beers on the planet.

Photo of stoudt
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

IPA's are traditionally my faves and I've been putting off trying this for fear of a big let-down, I mean c'mon, affordable, abundant, and good...Can't be. Let me say, this beer is everything I thought it wouldn't be and more. I just love it!

A- Poured in to a traditional small bar glass. Clean and sparkling brass color. Nice white 1 finger head(small glass)that lasts longer than it takes to drink the beer. Lacing is present, and doesn't disappear soon.

S- Cascade, oh yea, it's there, it's a pale ale.

T- Very nice flavor. Great balance for this type. Malt is there but faint. Hops are pleasing, not so bitter as to need a chaser.

M- There's something to be said for bottle carbonation and this is IT!

D- Something about this beer makes me want another. 12 oz. just isn't enough of this goodness.

Photo of iskivolkl
4.55/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is fair, my bottle did not pour an exceptional head, and It did not last terribly long either. The beer is a nice clear amber color with a very minimal amount of haze.

Smell has a mild aromatic hoppyness, not a very complex aroma overall.

Taste provides a nice balance of a bitter hop taste with a citrus wash to follow.

Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, provides a good tingly feeling on the tongue.

An easily drinkable beer in any situation, all of the flavors are very up front, making for a beer that can be truly enjoyed without lots of thought.

Photo of Soonami
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a beer that I consistently buy. It is affordable, easily available and tasty. This beer is chocked full of grapefruity Cascade hops in the aroma and taste. I also smell some caramel and toasted grain in the nose. The malt contribution is pretty limited though, there is a little doughy sweetness, but the beer finishes pretty clean and dry. The beer has a refreshing amount of carbonation and has enough mouthfeel carry the flavor and make for a good drink.

Photo of Dougal
5/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If you like a beer balanced with hops and malt and one that has alot of taste characteristics and enough hops to keep you interested then you I guess you really want the very best of a session beer. This is an exceptional beer that should be exported to other nations so that they will know we are more than Anheuser Busch and Miller Coors and even more than Sam Adams.

This beer holds up to the best of them and actually is in the winner's circle of the best of them

Photo of spacechimo155
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a maple, extremely clear brown with a nice thick head. smells like it tastes, fresh cascade hops, and lots of them. mouthfeel is a bit thicker than appearance suggests, still on the light side. nice carbonation. This beer is how Sierra Nevada took over

Photo of Thorpe429
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap on the home kegerator. Works out quite well.

Pours a nice light copper color with a good white head and some pretty sticky lacing on the way down. The nose is all about the American C hops with some excellent citrus notes throughout. The taste is slightly-bitter citrus hops with a very mild malt presence in the background. Not excessively bitter, but does the job right. Drinkability is really high, as this is perhaps the most classic of all the craft beers.

Photo of FosterJM
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16th review on BA
Bottle poured into a pint glass.

App- Has the color of an orange sunset with a high carbonation level in the glass, poured a 1/4 in white head with good retention and some nice lacing.

Smell- Yeasty with the spicy hops and a bit of pine.

Taste-Very crips and gentle pale ale. Was one of the 1st craft beers I had a long time ago. It was nice to grab a bottle last night from my brother in law at a family party. The right taste to help people get into beer. One of the best Pales out there.

Mouth- Its up there with the better pales, even though people consider this one of the run of the mill beers for people to try.

Drink- Could have had more than 1 I tell you that. Too bad for the 1hr half drive home and the fact there was none left. May have to run to the store to pick one up.

Photo of perrymarcus
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a SA "perfect pint" glass.

pours a slightly cloudy amber/bronze tone with a little short of two fingers' light beige head; very impressive retention, some lacing... great looking beer.

nose is a bit underwhelming with light citrus hops and a bit of pine evident.

strong hoppy profile frames the taste; balanced to an extent by a caramel malty presence but clearly hops is the dominant character in this one. some hoppy bitterness to the finish. nothing crazy delicious here, but moderately tasty and refreshing.

medium-body/medium carbed mouthfeel... high drinkability score, easily a "session" type of brew.

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

I've had this on tap and from a bottle, but the bottle had much more flavor so I'll stick with that.

A- Dark orange amber color.

S- Citrus, grapefruit, hops

T- Very flavorful. Hoppy, citrusy, sweet with a slight bitter finish. One the best Pale Ales I've had.

M- Kind of thick and medium carbonation.

D- I can drink this all day and all night.

This is one of my favorite beers, and its not too much money. Great stuff. Havent had it in months, I think I need to get some more.

Photo of SovereignBCS
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Excellent beer, htis is one of my favorites and it was my first craft beer, finally got time to review it.

A - nice head

S - Hoppy, almost grapefruity with clear citrus

T - Perfect American Pale Ale

M - Good, would've like a little less carbonation

D - Could definitely knock back more than a few of these in a sitting

Photo of StoutyMcStouters
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

24 oz bottle, poured into a plain round table glass.

Poured with a gorgeous dark golden color and two fingers of head, head retention was good with lacing that stuck around for a while.

Smells very much like flowers, like a garden in a cup.

The flavor it packs was way more than expected, it has an awesome bitter citrus infused taste, really more than I could have asked for with the price I paid. It is hard to describe how natural but redefined it tastes. Bang for the buck is huge with this beer.

Easy to drink with a super smooth mouthfeel to it. I wish the aftertaste was a little less pronounced; The bitter overpowers the good taste of the beer as the flavor fades.

Overall a very solid, tasty beer, wish I had tried this beer sooner. Seems like it would go very well with a nice chicken or fish dinner.

Photo of sdj5
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Looks very nice. Slightly cloudy peachy-tan color.

Smells floral and welcoming.

The taste is very crisp and clean with the hops hitting you in the middle and most strongly in the aftertaste.

The hops give it a delicious bitter flavor but it's never overpowering or disgusting.

The carbonation hits your tongue and feels very good. The beer is otherwise of a very crisp mouthfeel.

I could drink this all night. It is a fantastic, high-quality brew.

Photo of jsanford
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass

A - Pours a beautiful orange with a 1-inch creamy white head. Very nice spotty lacing and retention.
S - Crisp with floral & citrus hops and sweet, bready malt. Very clean.
T - More citrus hops with a slight pine bitterness, backed up by more bready malts. Again, so crisp and clean tasting.
M - Smooth and creamy with a medium-light body and high, sharp carbonation.
D - Infinitely drinkable, absolutely delicious.

Photo of Groomsy
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a very nice orange/slightly golden color. Nice one-finger head that slowly disappears throughout consumption. Nice carbonation and bubbles float up to the top of the glass, very impressive lacing down the side of the glass.

Smell: A little hard to distinguish, but the first thing I noticed was the hops; a very elegant blend of a sort of citrusy type of smell along with a pine smell(?). A little bit of sweetness from the malts as well. There's a good balance in the smell, but it seems very hops-dominated.

Taste: Whoa. Good stuff here. Lots of good stuff. An abundance of citrus hops comes up front that sort of "wake up" your tongue followed by some slightly sweet malts in the middle to balance out the hops which just bombarded your tongue (in a good way). The beer goes down with a very nice bitterness and "yeast" taste that leaves a lingering aftertaste in the mouth. VERY impressive and refreshing. Kinda kicked my tail.

Mouthfeel: Moderately thin and light, but not watery; there's some substantial body to this beer that is a good balance between easy to drink and solid thickness. The carbonation also plays a role in this.

Drinkability: Depending on the setting, it would be really easy to knock back a few of these. Its great refreshing taste and solid body make it a very drinkable beer for any time of year.

For my first pale ale, I'm very impressed. Not only is this an American classic, but it's a good way to get into craft brews. Definitely going to go for it again.

Photo of ebby82
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's difficult to review a beer I have drank so much, but I shall try.

Pours a dark golden hue into a pint glass with a bit of head. The smell is of sweet hops, with just a hint of malt. The taste is a mellow, slightly hoppy deliciousness. It's body is on the light side, and it's drinkability has been proven time and again. Not the best pale ale I've ever had, but one of the best, and at it's price and availability, it really can't be beat.

Photo of thebeerdoctor
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An American classic. Poured into a standard ale glass, this time it was the twenty four ounce version, quite good for an extended sitting. The inimitable resiny pine character of this ale also serves to remind me that it tastes as good as its aroma. The yeast strain works magic, and I have heard the legend that this strain originally came from Ballantine. Who knows? All I know is this remains the year-round flagship brand of Sierra Nevada, and rightfully so.

Photo of wvu9787
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my 22oz Fear and Loathing beer mug, bought at local beer store a 24oz. bottle at $2.69, 5.6 ABv.

A: Dark yellow, maybe a bright gold color, Very carbonated, bubbles rising off the off white head.

S: Hops, pine with a citrus smell, very little smell overall,but then again my nose is a little stoped up.

T: Citrus, very grapefruit to me, lemon/lime, not really too hoppy for a pale ale but is there, it does taste good and is very refreshing, makes me think of summer, a good beer to drink when riding the ol' lawn mower.

M: Carbonated, however very thirst quenching, somewhat dry in the finish over all not bad and is a little bitter.

D: Very drinkable, i am not a "Hop Head" by any means and dont usualy drink PA/IPAs but i do enjoy this one its not over the top with hops and is very refreshing, love the grapefruit taste to it.

I do enjoy this beer, its a ideal summer beer IMO
even though is pretty cold out and is in mid OCT. its still a good choice if your looking for a light tasting pale ale, not bad at all.

Photo of nickhiller
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: clear to hazy copper color, with short brief head that reduces to a ring around the edges, good lacing.

S: citrus, pine, iron, other fruity hop notes to be sure. All smells are light, faint even, but in the best way.

T: toasty biscuit from the malt, a fruit I can't place from the hops, the perfect amount of bitterness on the finish. This beer is like the story of Goldilocks: not too much this, not too little of that, but just the right amount of everything.

M: well carbonated, dry and yet thirst quenching.

D: This has and always will be one of my favorite beers. It is both the quintessential American Pale Ale and Californian beer, as well as Sierra's best beer (obviously all my opinions). I love the simplicity of it, the straight forwardness, and that it has a similar taste to all the other Sierra beers, but is the one that really stands out among the rest. Also I love that it's nearly everywhere--it's my go to beer when I'm at a bar or restaurant with a limited selection, a great alternative to the macro tripe these places often have to offer.

Photo of RankRefugee88
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into my Sam Adams glass.

A - Light looking beer, but full of color. Pearly white head with decent carbonation in the golden body. Looks very drinkable.

S - More of a malty smell than what I would have expected. Hops & yeast are certainly there. Bready, with a drop of caramel. Appealing smell.

T - Very satisfying. Very good balance with the hops. It's slightly sweet and bready too, but I think the balance of the hops is what makes this beer taste so right. This pale ale definitely hits it's high notes. It knows it's job and delivers.

M - Carbonated, but very smooth. Places well in between 'too thick' and 'too light,' just a happy medium. Slightly chewy, but just enough to let a good aftertaste simmer on the taste buds.

D - Very good drinkability. It's light but very good for when you want to drink a few.

Pretty good beer, I've had this many times before but just decided to rate it while enjoying a 6-pack during a football game. Definitely a good beer for any sort of occasion.

Photo of shand
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint bottle

Appearance: A nice orange-amber with three fingers of head. The head retains pretty well, and is a great beer.

Smell: Smells great, floral hops and citrus dominate.

Taste: Tastes amazing. Hops are the star of the show here for sure, but they're perfectly balanced for an APA. The malts do a great job at keeping them in line. Just a great tasting pale ale, no gimmicks.

Mouthfeel: Super smooth and feels really good.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, very good.

This is probably the best widely available pale ale. A great introduction to the style that can be found just about anywhere. Highly recommended.

Photo of MeMyselfNAles7
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The hype is real this is the real deal. Its all that you heard from and more. This is the top notch example of the style.

Poured it in a pint glass and it cast a golden orange brew with a full beige crown. Full body, nice carbonation. Hops, citrus fruits, pine and caramel. On the palate is fairly the same as on the aroma. Crisp refreshing starts up a little dryish but then the hops and malts are loose and they linger on until the aftertaste in which the malts subside and they get replaced by a hoopy fruity aftertatse. Nice drinkability and superb balance.

Photo of TheKingofWichita
2.8/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So I don't want to seem like an ass but I didn't really like this beer.
Pours an off orange color with a white head, and minimal lacing.
Smells a little citrusy with some hop character and some pine.
Tastes like hops, hops, hops, bitterness, with a little malt and citrus thrown in for kicks.
Mouthfeel and drinkability were fairly average.

Photo of BBP
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Semi-translucent orange with great carbonation and a creamy head. Laces well too. While I couldn't find any other people mentioning this, it almost looks unfiltered. Perhaps I had some yeast buildup from storing it sideways.

S- Slightly hoppy (considerably hoppy for a pale ale), with notes of grain and caramel.

T- Citrus and pine upfront. This brew balances hops and malt tremendously. After getting into craft beer I find this to have the level of flavor I want, but not much more. It doesn't disappoint, but doesn't impress too much at the same time.

M- Pretty creamy, but fairly thin. Carbonation was just right though.

D- Easy to drink, and good all around beer. Has everything I expect for a beer, but not much more. Still, for the price and availability, this beer is more or less the craft beer drinker's lifeboat.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,890 ratings.