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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.

9,802 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,802
Reviews: 2,833
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 194
Gots: 1,604 | 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:
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: 9,802 | Reviews: 2,833 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hayes31
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A great smell to this beer, followed by a great taste. It's got a sweet aftertaste to it which makes it extremely refreshing, and it goes great with whatever food you may be eating since it washes everything away with a pleasant twang.

Its availability is a great upside.

Photo of beachbum1975
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With 2,026 review prior to me, there's not much I can possibly add.

I've had this beer many, many times and I consider this to be the flagship American Pale Ale of America.

In fact, I base all my other pale ale reviews off this beer! Consistently on this beer is always spot on. The availability of this beer (everywhere!) helps, as well.

It's my go to beer if all my other choices are BMC's...

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

Had this on draft in a pint glass at Belmont Inn in Portland, OR.

appearance - pours a nice amber with a low head, decent lacing

smell - caramel malts and citrus hops

taste - floral hops with a strong malt body, bitter hop finish

mouthfeel - medium body with adequate carbonation

drinkability - very smooth and enjoyable, good flavor, not overly complex but well crafted

Photo of wesclaypool
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Luna Loca...and a billion other restaurants, at least in this region.

a - Great color, very deep amber. Not a whole lot of head, but stays pretty much until the glass is empty.

s - I would say this is the weakest aspect of the beer in my opinion. I don't really get much out of the smell, but you can certainly tell the hops are there.

t - This is where the hops really come out. If you like a bitter beer, but still smooth, this is the one that's readily available.

m - Very smooth with a biting aftertaste.

d - Again, great, smooth beer that's readily available on tap and in the bottle.

Photo of BigIrishman
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours golden with a a nice white head.

Smell: Citrus hops bursting out of the glass, slight sweetness underlies the big grapefruit burst.

Taste: A light grapefruit flavor that is underscored by a subtle sweetness from the malt. Fairly clean taste, really balanced and subtle flavor profile which really makes this the definition of craft beer. There is a nice bitter backing to this all that cleans the palate nicely.

Mouthfeel: Very light and crisp.

Drinkability: This is definitely a sit around and drink a sixer beer. This is my go to when looking for a relatively cheap beer that I can drink all day. While the ABV is not technically in the "session beer" category, it's one beer I tend to session on a hot summer day.

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

Long time standby, first time getting around to reviewing it.

A- Pours a deep rusty copper hue with a foamy, 2 finger off white head that leaves lacing on the way down.

S- Grainy, lots of floral hops.

T- Bready with deep grainy undertones leading into a nice hop bite.

M- Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This is the quintessential american pale ale. In my opinion the best widely available beer on the market

Photo of 7thInningSuds
3.3/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Looks good

S - Smells good

T - Okay. Hop presence is definitely there, but not overly so.

M - Okay.

D - Not something I'll have every day, but the not bad for a pale ale. Wanted to try this since it got such a high average review on here, but not a beer I'll keep stocked in the beer fridge.

Photo of Beerocrat69
3.15/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It had been awhile since I've had one of these, and my memory was better than the bottle I just tasted. Maybe I got an old bottle (trying to give them the benefit of doubt.) I doubt anything has changed at the brewery. Beer looked golden-copper colored with a white head and nice lacework on the glass. It had a resiny, pine-like aroma. The hop bitterness was lacking and it tasted more sweet than usual. Not as dry as I remember. This beer was balanced - in a bad way. It normally finishes more dry. Maybe the bottle-conditioning never took off on this batch or this bottle. I'll try again soon.

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

pours a bright light copper with a nice fluffy white pillow head. nice lacing and retention.

a nice balance of pine hops and malts. touch of sweetness

malts are dominating up front with a light floral hop flavor.. bitterness kicks in towards the end and is heavy on the pine.

moderate to light carbonation. full body, but light and easy.

tons of flavor, easy to drink, always enjoyable.

Photo of vazy
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- This beer pours a good head that settles in. The color is a dark caramel color and the head is nice and frothy. Its clear and looks very inviting.

S- Has a good amount of hops and a decent balance with the malts. Its a bit piney and leafy. Smells like the mountain woods basically.

T- Its on the bitter side, but not too bitter. The malts are a bit nutty and the hops are florally. Really has a good bite to it. I love the last flavor of the sip because its somewhat buttery.

M- Its light and smooth and a crisp finish.

O- This was a pleasant beer to drink. They don't lie on the label when it says "purest ingredients" and "finest quality". A truly enjoyable beer to drink!

Photo of kbanks13
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This is my first review on BA, so I'm not quite as experienced at this as others.

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass

Appearance: Fluffy, white, finger and a half of head after a reasonably aggressive pour. Dissipates to a thin layer of head with lacing on the glass. Clear golden amber color.

Smell: Citrus, floral aromas, pungent hop odor.

Taste: Somewhat bitter and very hoppy, but not overly. Crisp and clean. A very bright flavorful beer with a light lingering after-taste of grains.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and reasonably carbonated.

Drinkability: I could easily have several of these, especially on a warm day. Smooth and crisp with a rich flavor but a lighter body.

Overall, a great beer that I picked up on a whim and really enjoyed. I would definitely pick up another sixer in the future.

Photo of skenyon1811
4.21/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottled poured into a pint.

A: Almost picture perfect appearance. Golden orange and crystal clear. About an inch of head that lasted a minute. Great lacing and retention.

S: The aroma is it's weakest point and that itself is still really good. I would like this to have a little more of a floral aroma, however it has more biscuit aroma. The aromas are very subtle.

T: If someone asked me "what does an APA taste like?" I would hand them a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Perfectly balanced. It has a great hop pallet. Bitter and smooth at the same time.

M: Medium mouthfeel. Has great carbonation and is very crisp.

D: This is an excellent beer to keep in your refrigerator. It will never let you down. I could and have put back a few of these in one session.

I'm finishing this review so I can start on my second Sierra Nevada. Cheers!

Photo of jwellborn
4.56/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A long time classic that I have yet to review.

Poured in to a Pint Glass.

Appearance- Pours a coppery/gold with lots of bubbles and about a 1 inch head with good retention. Looks yummy. Also slight amounts of lace on the way down

Smell- Hops and slight pine smells. Nothing too big or overpowering. Maybe my nose is broken.

Taste- Up front hops fade to malty goodness as the brew makes its way to the back of my mouth. More woody/pine flavor is detected. I love the way the hops hit fast then even out to leave a clean palate.

Mouthfeel- Very smooth. Not too light, but enough to let you know its there and then gone. Crisp and once again smooth. Good carbonation.

Drinkability- Man, this is one drinkable beer. I feel I could easily down a sixer of these and keep rolling. I would say a good transition beer. You could go either way from here, either more malty or hoppy.

Notes- From growing up in CA, Sierra Nevada has always been near the top of my list as far as breweries. It's impressive to see how much they've grown and good on them for continuing to make great beer on such a large scale. Overall an outstanding beer that you would not want to miss.

Photo of Yoonisaykul
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My first taste of Sierra Nevada.

Open bottle smells like delicious honey.

A- Already noticed how beautiful it was as I poured. A mix of copper and gold with some pretty big bubbles rising. Thick white head recedes but leaves great amounts of marbled lacing.

S- Smells extremely fresh and hoppy yet it doesn't really smell like fresh hops. Or maybe I just haven't had the chance to smell the very hops they've used. Some of the best grassy hops I've had the chance to smell yet. Piney and a bit woody. Malt seems to soften up the whole thing. Don't know what else tosay. It smells really goodand I can't wait to taste it. Warmer now and the honey comes out.

T- The smell led me on to think this would be sweeter. It really isn't. A lot less going on than in the smell. Piney overall and wood finish. Didn't blow me away but I'm sure I'd be very happy to always have this on hand. It's a simple yet very interesting taste.

M- Medium carbonation. Very smooth and slightly higher than medium mouthfeel. Good balance in the mouthfeel.

D- High. Cold enough, you can easily drink this all day.

A great, considerably bitter, beer that I have a hard time imagining you'd get tired of.

Photo of buschbeer
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I poured into a pint glass to two fingers of off white head. I noticed to yeast in the bottom of the bottle after I read that it was bottle conditioned on the label. It has a nice golden hue. It has a nice hoppy aroma. The malt comes through as I drink. The taste doesn't quite match the aroma. There is the malt backbone with some hops. I guess I'm just so used to IPA's and DIPA's. This is a really drinkable beer. I put it right up there behind Burning River as far as APA's go.

Photo of jspruit
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle at The Drink Store in Stoneybatter on Sierra Nevada special. It's been awhile since I had this-a few years at least I'd say and it is about time I gave it a review.

Pours a nice shade of copper and orange. Nice carbonation with a small off-white foamy head. Leaves some nice lacing going down.

Smells very nice. Floral with hops is the main note here-with some butter biscuit smells too.

Tastes alot like it smells with the hops the overwhelming note. A light malt backbone comes in too which is nice and then it finishes a bit dry. Some citrus notes join the floral aroma-but not too much.

This goes down pretty smooth for an APA and that's probably another reason it is so popular. Not heavy or light and leaves you wanting another.

This is my favorite style of beer, and although not my favorite of this type, I can see why it is so popular. Nice balance of hops, ABV, aroma, mouthfeel, etc. Overall a great beer and definitely something I would not turn down if given the chance.

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

just one of those ubiquitous craft beers I somehow never got around to reviewing - the last one consumed was probably at a rooftop bar in Wilmington, NC, New Year 2004ish

a: curved tyranena pint glass, fluffy white head, good retention, rich golden color, some lace

s: nice hop profile of young pine and grapefruit rind, adequately potent while in balance with the grainy pale malts

m: carbonation moderate, body light-medium

t: piney and cirtusy hop flavors on a cleaner pale malt body that provides a nice level of grain flavor and only a mild sweetness, bitter grapefruit rind finish

d: the balanced body sets this one up for great drinkability - a classic pale

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to a Duvel tulip

A - Light amber colour with a lot of thick white head that slowly dissipated; slight lacing. Some visible carbonation.

S - The nose is a balance between hops and malts. The malts are slightly more predominant and are sweet, with some caramel. The hops are present but not to the degree that I expected. There is a floral hop aroma (not really much citrus, which is what I expected).

T - The taste follows the nose - sweet malts with an ever so faint hint of floral hops. The hops initially came through more so in the aftertaste, but after getting half way thorough the bottle the hops became more notable with some citrus and floral notes.

M - Light to medium body; some chew and also a nice smoothness to it. The carbonation is noticeable and is the expected amount for this style.

D - An excellent pale ale. This is pretty close to being a session beer IMO. I could easily slug back a sixer in a night. A great all round example of this style.

Photo of soju6
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a clear copper color with a full head and good carbonation. The aroma seems to hint of herbal with citrus. The taste is crisp and bitter up front with a trace of citrus. The feel is creamy, quite smooth and refreshing and finishes dry. This is a nice drinkable brew and one of my default brews when I want something comfortable, not overpowering.

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

Tonight I am drinking my 1 millionth bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

This is obviously not a tremendously fashionable beer these days, but it is still a damn solid brew. I would bet that this was the first 'hop-bomb' experience of many a BAs drinking life. Though not a 'hop bomb' by today's standards, it is certainly hoppy-flavorfully and bitter.

A - It pours a nice brassy amber, with a voluminous head, plentiful lace, and excellent retention.

S - Subdued savory, spicy, grassy and herbal hops sit upon a rich amber malt.

T - The taste is just pure humulus; lemon-y, tea, grassy and herbal. There is a sturdy but unobtrusive malt backbone. This beer is simple, and quite good.

M - Nice. IPA.

D - Very frequently this is the best option in the 'house'; restaurants, ballgames, non-beer festivals, concerts, etc. For that reason alone, if you don't like this beer, you should learn to.

Photo of curasowa
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden yellow color with one finger of fluffy head that lingers a long time. Great hoppy aroma with some sweet malt notes in the background. The hop aroma is crisp and piney. Taste starts out right up front with a nice, medium body and a touch of sweetness before the hops just blow everything else away. While bitter, it is in no way harsh or unpleasant, helped out by good carbonation and a nice crispness that really brings the flavor out and intensifies the aroma. Finish is lingering with a earthy bitterness. One of my favorite Pales.

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

Pale copper in color with lots of carbonation and a bit of head which is retained nicely, leaving good lacing. Smells of hops, for sure - plenty of citrus and pine notes, which a touch of caramel maltiness in the background. Tastes about the same - great hop profile with mostly pine notes. Caramel and bready malts come through nicely making for a balanced, easy to drink ale.

Photo of ZX6Chris
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A=pretty dark for a pale ale, almost brown, nice carbonation and a rich creamy head.

S=A pleasant sweet smell. I've used Cascade hops and never got this smell myself. It's like a grape medication smell but in a good way. I really like it.

T=Tastes is milder but it is a pale ale. It's semi sweet but not in a sickening way, with a good malty flavor. I get alot of hop oils that add flavor but not too much bitterness.

M=Solid medium body, nothing light about this. It feels great in your mouth. Not dry at all.

D=This Pale Ale is delicious from a beautiful pour to a great finish. Easy drinking and flavorful. I didn't try this for a long time and now regret that. At $2.99 a bomber I'm gonna be drinking alot more of this.

Photo of SourBatchKid
3.47/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Sightly washed out bright yellow-brown, a finger of head that quickly disperses into a lace then only memory of the head at first pour.

S- Smells of hooped out alcohol and the rushing river flowing out of the Sierra Nevada's, just kidding about the last part. But seriously, at first I can smell dank hoop buds, but thats quickly is taken a back.

T- I wish this tasted like overwhelming dank buds, however very refreshing. It reminds me of someone deluding a great beer for a gag. Ah sigh... Maybe, if it was reduced in a pan we might have some complex flavors. The flavor is there, but I can barely find it.

M- At first sip, the pearloge is unsteady with medium carbonation. Easily aerated into a thick head in my mouth that lingers for only seconds. I might just prefer to enjoy it this way from now on, aerateing it I mean.

D- I could drink this in a pinch or out of convince, purely out of convince, this is a large supply in my basement.

Photo of mjw2808
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber color with a small head that leaves a good bit of lacing. The smell is very hoppy, with citrus notes and also a noticeable caramel presence from the malt. The taste is very hoppy but balanced out with some malt sweetness. A little bit of citrus is there too, but not as much as there is in the nose. Lots of carbonation too. Very clean crisp finish and very drinkable.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,802 ratings.