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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.

9,505 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,505
Reviews: 2,755
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 169
Gots: 1,265 | 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
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Ratings: 9,505 | Reviews: 2,755 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drunkboxer1
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been a while since I've had this one. Looks good, clear golden amber pour. Smells of some sweet pale malts and some citrusy American hops. Tastes sweet and bready at first, with some grapefruit like hops in the middle and a fair amount of bitterness at the end. It's a really well balanced beer by my standards -better than Dale's or other hop-forward versions of the style in my opinion.

Photo of carsonplunkett
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Yuengling pint glass that my roommate took from her job. Haha.

A: Pours a deep amber color with an inch or so of tan, off-white head. Very nice lacing.

S: Lots of hops and grass. Smells pretty average for a pale ale.

T: This pale ale really stands out in my opinon. Has a bitter taste with the perfect balance of hops and a smooth finish.

M: Perfect amount of carbonation. Great mouthfeel.

D: Decent drinkability. A little too expensive to be a session beer for me though.

I've had this pale ale on tap and out of a bottle and must say it's a little bit better on tap.

Photo of Daybis
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Deep gold appearance. Very frothy and creamy head that lasted a long time. Lacing clings all the way down the glass as the beer is drank.

S - Hoppy and kind of sweet.

T - Sweet upfront with the perfect amount of hop flavor.

M - Medium body without a whole lot of carbonation.

D - This beer is great. It is very drinkable.

Overall, this beer is great. Great aroma, head retention, and taste.

Photo of Anthony1
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a perfect pint

pours a nice amber color with a creamy head. Smells very hopsy as wall as a strong hops taste. was a strong taste, but not overwhelming. almost like a mild IPA. medium feel with lots of carbonation, good feel.

Liked this beer, reminded me of a mild IPA

Photo of nocheinsbitte
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

purchased a 1/6 barrel from the local bier store for my kegerator.

A: Pours a rich, slightly dark, golden color with a good foam head that hangs around for a long time.
S: Pretty hoppy, acid like. Nothing great, but you can tell it is a pale ale.
T: A little bitter with a moderate after taste. Leaves your mouth dry.
D: Since I have it on tap, it will be easy to drink. However, I don't ever go out of my way to buy it at the store or in a bar.

Overall, a decent pale ale and one that I think everyone has had already. A recommend. Prosit.

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle. SNPA is a deep gold, almost orange with a very slight haze. The head is off-white and quickly settles, with nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is very hoppy, with cedar and citrusy notes. Upon sipping, it's very balanced. Hoppy, yet evened out with a good amount of toasty malt. The beer is medium-bodied and very smooth. Extremely easy to drink, Sierra Nevada Pale is my standard session ale.

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

SN Pale pours a golden straw color, with a hint of orange; it's a nice shade. There is a good amount of white head that is leaving some lace as it settles. The beer is extremely clear and you can see bubbles of carbonation rising in it. The aroma is full of strong hops; very inviting. There is some malt in the flavor, along with grass and hops. There is a full hop aftertaste that is very pleasant. This is a very hoppy pale ale. The body is moderately light and there is some sharp carbonation in the mouthfeel. This is a very drinkable beer; pretty, tasty, complex and reliable. It is always a safe choice.

Photo of washburnkid
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have a love/not so much love relationship with this beer. It's good sometimes, especially on tap. But when you get a bad bottle, you really get a bad bottle. The latest SNPA case I bought this last week fits into the "not so much love" category. Here's the review for the bottle, and I'll review it on tap in the near future.

A: Big white frothy, creamy head over a slightly hazy golden. Super sticky lacing and some frothy retention.
S: Toasted malts, fresh grains, some metallic, and a hop aroma that is really trying to push through but can't quite make it over the malts.
T: A few more hops on the tongue than the nose would have me believe. A bit piney and herbal, but that fades quickly and the taste turns into a wet grainy and slightly skunked character. Some woodiness in there.
M: Light-bodied with medium carbonation.
D: This baby is lacking in the flavor I know and love. The bottle just doesn't do this brew justice. Get it on tap...many of them!

Photo of lweaver18240
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, this may be my favorite beer.

A- Amber, yet clear enough that you can read through it. Pours with a light head that maintains with each mouthful.

S- Smells like high quality hops to me, not much else prominent.

T- Tastes like heaven. Starts off sweet and hoppy, simplistic and perfect. Then the flavor of hops rolls along the tongue and lingers for a bit, but not overly intense.

M- Lightly carbonated and incredibly smooth leading to a high level of drinkability.

D- Very sessionable. Drank a sixer before bed and it went down easier than water. Woke up and drank one at room temperature, and it was equally delicious. Not many beers can pull that off.

A very well done ale that isn't overly bitter, nor is it overly complex. A great beer to enjoy casually and often.

Photo of jwheeler85
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip glass:

A- Had a nice medium amber color with a little bit of head

S- Interesting aroma in the sense that I could really smell the hop bitterness and some floral qualities reminiscent of cascade hops. Not sure if that was the type used, it just really reminded me of smelling cascade hops at the homebrew store. Excellent job of showcasing hop potential.

T- Starts of with some hopiness (go figure), then some mild sweetness from the light malts, and then some hop bitterness as a clean finisher.

M- Medium carbonation with a light mouthfeel

D- This has become one of my favorite summertime beers. Not quite as refreshing as some hefewiezens that I've had, gut it's definitely high on the list of thirst quenchers (gatorade is for pussies!). Probably the best pale ale I've had... and they sell cases of it at Trader Joes!

Photo of GweedoeBRew
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is what I think of as the benchmark for all "west coast" pale ales. I used to be a homebrewer with a 12pack of Sam Adams always in the fridge. Now I have become a homebrewer with a 12-pack of SNPA in the fridge

Great aroma, great taste... great!

Photo of joehop67
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers. The bouquet is not overly strong, which is somewhat deceiving. The bright hoppy flavor is what I look for in my beers. I don't get the "piney" flavor that some of the other reviews refer to but nonetheless an excellent example of hop flavor in general.
Readily available, even in pre-free the hops Alabama.
On tap this beer presents a nice head without a long wait for settling. Important when you are really in need of a cold brew! The copper-gold coloring represents this beer well. The flavor, texture, and overall drinkability of this beer makes it the perfect go-to beer for any beer lover.

Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a very good beer to live by. Some people like Bud, Bud light, Miller, etc. But for those who like a little bit of hops in their life or can i say "need" alittle hops in their life, this is the "one".

A- Appearance is good with a little stir of the yeast half way down the beer produces a nice light orange-amber fluid with fluffy white head that hangs for a minute or so. Light lacing but visually appealling. Mildly hazed.

S- Smell is light but carries hints of grassy hops, carmel malts, and yeasty undertones.

T-M- Not your everyday flavor... which is excellent. A great light if i may Ipa for everyday drinking. Nice and swift hop bite at first, next is a nice smooth malty backbone to fix things up, and a mild carbonation to leave you fully refreshed.

D- Drinkablity is great. Perfect for turning a boring atmosphere into a flavor blasting apa experience. Refering to boring beer of course!

Photo of beer2day
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep gold with a nice 1 and 1/2 finger head. Minimal retention but nice lacing.

Faintly citrus nose. Some malt character as well, slightly yeasty.

Tastes slightly sweet up front, but goes bitter quick. Wish the mouthfeel was a little thicker, but it is passable.

A good, basic go-to beer.

Photo of reallyhoppie
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This golden-amber ale pours with a lacy white head and smells of grain, flowers, and citrus. The beer is smooth bordering on creamy with sweet bready malt flavor that finishes with citric hop backbone being revealed. Light body, easy to drink, pleasantly dry on the finish.

Photo of Murchmac
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this beer a million times and can't believe i've never reviewed it. The beer that launched a thousand vessels...

A nice frothy geyser of white funk spunk mushrooms over the pint glass with thick white foam racing down the side of the glass. Ahhh refreshing. Look around, this is not brown, it's a hazy shade of copper orange.

Not much of a smell out the bottle, but on tap I know it's more pungent. Some floral hops but much. Smells are good, but taste is better.

Nice clean and in this bottle creamy combines with a great citrus hop taste. Sweet malts and hops coati your oral cavity. This is not yuk mouth, even though I don't brush.

Great beer, no wonder Jugs magazine voted this Pale Ale of the year.

Photo of ZorPrime
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally could get some. Bought it in New York in June 2009. Brought back to Quebec, almost confiscated by the canadian customs (argh!!).

Tasted on June 5th, 2009.

A: Pours as a copper color with a good head. Nice cloudy looking foam forms the head. Slightly clings to the glass.
S: Average intensity of hops. I mainly get piny hops maybe some citrus but very light.
T: Piny hops
M: Very dry finish. Hops oil cover the inside of the mouth which makes it feel very good...
D: So easy to drink.

Wow, I'm glad I've tasted it. Next time I have to bring a 6-pack to Quebec. This pale ale is more hoppy than some IPA from down here. A saying on the west coast love for hops!!

Photo of NeutroMan
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a mug.

A - Pours a clear golden amber with a one-finger head that lingers for a while and leaves good lacing.

S - Floral hops (not overpowering), toasted grains, and some citrus elements.

T - Wonderfully balanced. Starts with some malt sweetness that smoothly finishes with a nice dry, crisp hop bitterness.

M - Medium bodied. Crisp and smooth. Carbonation isn't offensive.

D - I could definitely knock back a few of these, no problem.

A classic American Pale Ale.

Photo of beerorRIP
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at the office: in a standard pint glass, there is about a finger of head soapy on it, that does fade away over time. a bit of lace sticks around here and there. the body is a nice and clear light amber or orange color.

smells like some floral hops going on in there, but nothing out of control. fairly light in this department, but this isn't an IPA or some such creation, just a pale ale.

a nice dry taste. starts a bit malt sweetness, and transitions to hop flavor and bitterness. floral and citrus in the hop flavors.

a light to medium body for this one, and the carbonation isn't prickly or too low.

a session beer for certain. dangerously easy to drink, and flavorful enough that you'd want more without thinking it's too 'heavy' or 'filling'.

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Golden color, pours with minimal head.

S- Better than average, but nothing special. Hoppy, fresh elements.

T- very good. Smooth, balanced, and very crisp. Hops are very well blended and represented. A hint of hop oil essence on the tongue really seals the deal.

M- Crisp, smooth, and refreshing, although much better cold than getting closer to warm.

D- Wow. You can really put a couple of these down no problem. A good staple American Pale Ale. There's a reason you see this everywhere.

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

this is my first sierra nevada and i like it.

I got this as a 24 ounce bottle so it's a bit much for me to drink at one time but I find myself getting through the whole bottle pretty easily.

I poured half into a glass and liked what i saw. A nice head about 1.5", white dense and foamy and collapsing into a lace when i got half way through the glass.

The smell was...like a beer but smelled like a good beer meaning it didnt smell weak, it smelled like a beer with something in it. I picked up a hoppy smell.

The taste is...wow. It's a balancing act between malt and hops with hops winning by a nose. The taste is good and not weak at all, when you drink it you get to taste this. Kind of citrusy, must be the hops talking to me.

Mouthfeel is good, not watery but i was expecting that. Maybe it's the carbonation? I'm sure that is helping it some but it just doesnt seem watery to me.

Aftertaste is mild, you know you drank a beer but doesnt leave a bad taste in your mouth. It almost leaves you wanting more.

Overall this is a pretty darn good beer for general purpose drinking or with a meal. They suggest spicy dishes but I think it would hold up to a burger or a pizza or some other greasy food quite well also.

Photo of JordonHoltzman
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: less than a finger's worth of foam. faded pretty quickly. it was white while it lasted. its an orangy color, dark orange. the lacing is nice despite sub-par head retention

smell: lack of strong aroma, i even put a finger in my nose to make sure my nose wasnt stuffed. i can smell the hops and some alcohol

taste: sweet, the slight bitterness in the front. the sweetness kicks hard in the back. the alcohol presence is there, but just the right amount

mouthfeel/drinkability/overall: this is a crisp beer for sure, definitely well carbonated. no sense of oily-ness. pretty filling. overall a solid beer.

Photo of vishneda
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into glass. This was our Friday afternoon work beer.

The beer has a light amber (apple juice) color with a snow white head. A little murky through the glass. The one finger head quickly unfolds. There is a bit of lacing, however.

There is a sweetness to the scent of this beer with a prominent fruity lime aroma. A floral or pine note lingers in the mix. You can smell some of the grain but it is not overpowering.

SNPA comes in a little like an unfiltered wheat and leaves like a proper pale ale. This drink starts out sweet with those citrus notes and some quiet floral/pine. The hops kick in mid-palate, giving you a chance to appreciate boldness of their flavor. To me, the hop dominates the flavor of this brew even with the initial sweetness and what it lacks in depth in overcomes in quality.

Crisp is the one term that really defines this beer. When you combine the flavor with a medium-to-light body and almost ticklish carbonation you get a very sharp and dry beer. Not a filling beer in any sense. I enjoyed this beer; I am glad to have found a beer with character that I can easily find in the supermarket.

Photo of Ralphus
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

An American classic that I wish we could find more of in Canada. It would be a mainstay in my fridge if we could. Here's hoping!

SN PA looks nice. A very deep golden colour with a decent off white head that settles to a ring of foam. Some lacing is left behind as you drain this beer back quickly. The smell is mostly of hops but there is some fruity yeast to be found as well.

The taste is a just right balance of sweet malts, fruit and bitter hops. It's really well done and very refreshing! It goes down quickly and has a very solid "beery" aftertaste. Drinkability is about as good as it gets in my opinion.

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

A - a pale golden color, with a tint of orange. has a thin white head that clings to the glass

S - fresh pine, citrus and floral. bitter hops and sweet malt

T - crisp hoppy bite just like the smell, refreshing

M - sharp hop presence with a med carbonation and body

D - great drinkable allround american pale ale

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 9,505 ratings.