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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.

9,887 Ratings

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Ratings: 9,887
Reviews: 2,858
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 204
Gots: 1,703 | 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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 9,887 | Reviews: 2,858
Photo of micromaniac129
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber in color. With a vigorous pour, produces a nice big head that is dense and slow to fade.
Slight haze.
Aroma is that of spicy hops with floral undertones. Malt taste is understated and has bready or biscuit taste.
Taste is that of floral hops and bready maltiness. Sweet
Smooth and well balanced dry finish.
A go to pale ale
Drink well my friends

Photo of LiquidBread219
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A= This beer looked very good to me it was orange-amber in color. It had a really nice foam head that sat ontop of the beer for longer period of time than most beers that I have sampled.

S= Basically citrus hops with some pine in it.

T= It was very hop focused the taste was very similar to the nose.

M= Creamy and thick goes down very well.

D= This is a very drinkable beer basically always in stock fairly cheap perfect if you don't want to drop a lot of cash. It goes down easy and is easy to drink.

Photo of Pballa4lyfe
4.73/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- terrific amber/copper color, light head

S- nice hoppy aroma

T- hops hops hops, delicious..can taste a bit of fruityness

M- yummy, nicely carbonated, full

D- nice beer, could drink a few of these in a night, my safe beer choice

Overall, my favorite beer hand down...i try to drink this beer as much as possible...absolutely love it

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

This is my first review and the only one i'll score a 5 across the board. I wont throw perfect scores around. I'll score the brews i review accordingly. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale dominates.

- Pours excellent. Has an attractive bronze/gold color, and comes alive with bubbles as it hits the glass and stays alive unlike many other ales that lose carbonation quickly.
- Has a unique smell that reminds me of cedar, and just calls out your name.
- Plenty of hops to balance the carbonation to bitterness ratio. Has a "foresty" taste to it(for lack of a better word), and doesn't get old. It's hard to drink the other beers when Sierras are in the cooler. They always go first at the fights we host.
- The mouthfeel is simply crisp, and satisfying
- As for the drinkability like I said before they always go before all of the other beers. They're great all night. Not too filling, and you wont't be making trips to the bathroom each brew.

This beer is perfect.

Photo of billshmeinke
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a nonic.

Clear golden body with some carbonation running around. Initial pour yields a half inch white head that dies down to a cap of foam on top. Some lacing left behind, retention is quite nice.

Smells of bread, whiffs of alcohol, grain, and white grape. A bit of floral hops as well.

Tastes follows smell. I get bread, grain, white grape, and light bitter resin and floral hops.

The mouthfeel sports lively carbonation and medium bodied. Crisp and smooth. Just what I want from a pale ale. Very refreshing.

An insanely drinkable beer, and a staple in my regular line up. I get the impression that this is a slightly older bottle as there is usually more of a hop presence. Will need to be reviewed again when I know I'm drinking a fresher bottle.

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

On-tap, served in a pint glass

Pours a bright amber color with a two finger, sturdy cream colored cap. Small streams of bubbles and good retention. Head eventually recedes in a rain drop type of pattern to form a thin layer of foam. Aroma is of grapefruit, peaches and apricots with a sturdy caramel malt backbone. The flavor is almost identical to the aroma. Grapefruit up front with soft peach and apricot as the caramel malt comes through in the middle before a moderately bitter finish. Medium body with a creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is spot on. This is highly drinkable. A nice balance with just the right amount of hops winning out to not overly assault the palate. A staple in the beer landscape.

Photo of TonyVic
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is clear and pale gold. When poured it has a nice creamy, long lasting head. The aroma is citrusy and piney. It also has some lingering herbal notes that add to the complexity. The mouthfeel is full, creamy and smooth. Hss great taste and easy drinkability.

Photo of JMad
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a bottle to a pint glass...
Pours a dark orange copper color with a fluffy white head that left perfect lacing.
Smells of light citrus and pine.
Taste has a nice all around piney bitterness followed by bread.
Feels light soft and crisp.
This is a very solid pale ale, pretty much sets the standard.

Photo of gkunkle
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours darker than I expected for a pale ale, its a transparent light copper color with a nice white head that sticks around for a while and leaves a little lacing. Smells of citrus and pine hops, very crisp and fresh smelling. Taste is great, starts with citrus and pine hops followed by understated sweet malts. I know its bitter, but it doesn't taste that bitter, quite refreshing. Mouthfeel is perfect, carbonation is just right too. I usually buy 12oz bottles when I try beers, today I got the large bottle (I think it was 24oz) and it was gone before I knew it.

Photo of pb9613
4.97/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer poured a color that is not amber but not golden. The color is in a league of its own. The beautiful with head that appeared on top was solid white which lasted throughout the entire drinking experience.

The beer smells of that wonderful cascade hops with a rich citrus nose.

The taste is divine. This is what pale ale should taste light. Wonderful malty flavor with a rich hops taste. The bitterness of the hops is left as an undertone to the overall flavor with the flavor hops coming to the forefront.

This beer fills the entire palate of flavors with a heavy malt flavor for body and the hops for aroma and flavor.

This is a beer you can sip all night and not realize how many you drank until you wake up with the hang over.

Overall one of the best beers on the market and the reason Sierra Nevada has been around 30 years.

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

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, 5.6 ABV, cals=172
In tap @ Sawgrass
- 1 finger head, golden/orange/light amber color, semi decent lacing, foamy head has good endurance.
- Primarily hoppy smell, floral notes in background, with pronounced citrus & grapefruit hop notes
- One of my go to pale ales. I like the citrus hop charactersticcs on a solid malt bill. Appropriatte caramel malt support IMO. Just the way I like hoppy brews - noticeable malt support.
- Medium body, good carbonation, minor bitter aftertaste.
- A very approachable pale ale for newbies, I like cascade hops and their floral/citrus notes. Top of my list for a very accessible APA's. Easy to find, always very much enjoyed. Affordable @ $8 per sixer, EXCELLENT APA and a steal at the always consistent affordable pric

Photo of Kestrel452
2.2/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

If you're relatively new to beer, I would highly recommend you steer clear of this brew. You will most likely find it way too bitter to drink, and maybe even so much so that you cannot even take another sip. Before you venture out into the realm that is known as pale ales, try some more balanced/milder beers like Honker's Ale before going for this. The beer was great except for the flavor, it was just sickeningly bitter.

I realize this is widely regarded as an excellent beer, but it is NOT something a beginner should drink. Pale ales are inherently pretty bitter, but this one is extra hoppy/bitter. You'll end up turning yourself off to pale ales and possibly ales in general by making this your first go at an ale.

If you want to get used to beer that employs a good amount of hops, drink Sam Adams Boston Lager. It's well balanced, but it also does have a substantial enough hop character to fit the bill. It's about as bitter of a beer that's enjoyable to me.

In time, you may develop a palate for extra bitter beers like SNPA. However, let me reiterate that this beer should be avoided when you're starting to try out different varieties of beer. Happy Drinking!

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

A - This beer looks great. The head is an attractive creamy white with excellent lacing and good retention. The initial pour produced about 2 fingers of head and after 10 minutes or so there is still about half of a finger remaining. The beer itself is a bright copper colour.

S - Notes of citrus hops and slight grains.

T - Fantastic. The hops have a citrus flavour that has great pine notes. Slightly bitter but balanced well. Initially there are the citrus and hops, followed by the sweeter malts with grain and a very subdued biscuity taste.

M - I love the feel of this beer. The retention of the head is absolutely great and lasts throughout the glass. That combined with the slight bitterness of the hops and the hints of sweetness all come together to make a beer with a very nice mouth feel.

D - I'm scoring it high because this beer is fantastic from start to finish. The smoothness, appearance, and balance of the taste all make this very enjoyable to drink.

I have had Sierra Nevada before, and they continue to impress me. Definitely a brewery that I am glad to find is popular.

Photo of CBOLAND17
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Theres nothing like a good pale ale. And i would consider this beer to be the original american pale ale. It has a deep golden amber color with great head retention and a very balanced hoppy kick. Also the malt comes through quite nicely and isnt overrun by the hops. a great session brew.

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

A-orange and bright very bubbly with a big white fluffy head that last for the entire brew.
S-very nice floral and citrusy with pine and every thing you would expect this is the standard pale ale
T.Very hop focused and well balanced all the flavors froms the nose combine into a bitterly refreshing experence.
M. creamy and thick goes down well
D. I like this beer and its widely stocked so its easy to get so you don't have to settle for one of the big boys

Photo of gilman
4.7/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite staples, even brewed a copy of this and it was great also(maybe a little better but just cause fresh and on tap).
Pours dark orange with 2 fingers of white head
smells fresh, with strong citrus hops Very nice
Tastes very crisp, lot of hops with some light citrus and pine
body is little thick, not too thin perfect
Over all a very drinkable beer

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. SNPA...a classic. Can't believe I've never had one before...

A- pours a nice shade of dark orange with a 2 finger white head. Laces beautifully

S- smells really...fresh I guess would be a good word. Crisp, citrus hops with a slight hint of pine in there. Very nice

T- its mild, but a nice mild...not overwhelming at all. Tastes very crisp, with some light citrus and pine hops.

M- nice body. About what you'd expect. Not too thick, not too thin...just right

D- oh hell yeah. Not a hop bomb. Perfect gateway beer for a non-craft drinker. Super easy drinking. Great beer

Photo of culver501
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-light copper colored, 1 inch white head, good retention, great carbonation out of my laser etched sierra nevada glass

S-grass, pine, yeast

T- just really well balanced all the way through, piney hops immediately followed by a sweet roasted malt, i can't help but think that they're use of whole cone hops really brings a freshness and complexity that set them apart from the beginning, this one of my all time favorites so its much harder to review than i thought

M-between clean and slightly warming in the mouth, great balance as well

D-the most drinkable in my opinion, their other brews never disappoint either but this one just seems to be an american classic, I love going to the brewery in Chico too, always great surprises on tap

Photo of zhanson88
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper colored, one finger of eggshell white head with a medium amount of lacing.

Smell: Fairly heavy on pine and hops. Underlying caramel malt backbone.l

T: Pine and citrus up front with a hint of malt, and a pleasant amount of hops at the finish. Classic taste, and still a solid APA.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Slightly-heavier-than-light body with nice carbonation. Drinkable beer that has more flavor than a lot of the crap you will find. This beer is a classic and one of the founding American craft beers.

Photo of mentz99
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Color: Copper-orange with a slight cloudiness. Nice white one inch head.
Aroma: Citrus and piney hops with a caramel malt base.
Taste: A very smooth and drinkable beer with a slight citrus taste. Slightly bitter, but not over-powering. Very well balanced.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and well carbonated.
Very flavorful and balanced beer. A really good APA.

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

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A - Pours clear golden orange with plenty of carbonation. Somewhat thin head fades to film with some nice wavy lacing.

S - Piny hops, citrus, a touch of malt sweetness.

T - Begins with some pine hops and a bit of citrusy oil. Not overly bitter or overwhelming as the beer strikes a nice balance. Malt base holds its own, but allows a touch of sweetness in the middle. Clean finish with some dryness.

M - Very bubbly, somewhat creamy, little lingering feel.

D - The smooth creamy touch makes these even more drinkable than it would be otherwise.

A solid, go-to beer. Hard to go wrong with this one, although it's not particularly exciting.

Photo of CBlack85
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

The beer pours a ever so slightly hazy copper/light amber color. An aggressive pour produces about three fingers worth of creamy white-ish head that slowly recedes leaving behind sheets of lacing that nearly cover the glass.

The aroma is of grassy piney hops, followed by the light scent of orange zest and lemons. The malt is moderately noticable, giving off a biscuity and grainy character.

Lots of citrusy hops, with the piney/grassy hops taking a backseat. Quite well balanced with the biscuity/bready malt backbone always being present but never outdoing the hops. Slightly sweet. The carbination give it a sharp quality on the tounge. Medium bodied and finishes relatively dry. Very drinkable

In many ways this was one of the beers that turned me on to craft beer, and I always seem to have some in my beer fridge. Just a terrific go to beer. I pulled some out today to watch the Colts game and figured that I would check out how I reviewed it to see how my opinion of it had changed; and to my surprise I had never taken the time to review this great beer. Can't go wrong with SNPA

Photo of TrappistFan
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: a golden orange / amber color, 3cm cream colored head that lasts until the end.

Smell: citrus and light hops, very well balanced.

Taste: has that very recognizable Sierra Nevada hops/yeast taste to it. Hops are definitely present but not at all overpowering. Leaves a nice, mild citrus aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light feel, but the carbonation makes it feel fuller without being too fizzy or gassy.

Drinkability: Superb drinkability, I could (and have) drink these all night.

This beer is one of my go-to beers, and I often use it to introduce "beer" drinkers to real craft beers, usually with great results! This beer rightfully deserves its status as one of America's craft beer "ambassadors".

Photo of beyah
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 24 oz bottle to a US Tumbler , 1 finger of head.

Color - golden with a slight cloudiness, white lacing hangs in there for a long, long time.

Smell - Very nice hoppiness, slight maltiness in the background.

Taste - Smooth very drinkable, there is a slight citrus taste to the beer. Not too bitter just perfect in the hop department.

Mouthfeel. Perfect carbonation, for this style beer.

I used to be a great fan of Bass Pale Ale, but now I have a new favorite Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

Photo of Jef59
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - bright amber with a cream colored head that clings with big rings and lasts till the last drop

S - wheat bread with some floral and citrus notes

Nice wheat flavor with some cherries. The citrus and floral hops in the nose are also represented nicely in the taste.

Really good apa

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,887 ratings.