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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.

9,790 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,790
Reviews: 2,831
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 190
Gots: 1,594 | 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: 9,790 | Reviews: 2,831 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of animalchin
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Fatter, short neck bottle - signature Sierra Nevada. Pours a dark orange with red-orange hues shimmering through the glass. A layer of head that is consistent with moderate lacing.

S - Sweet orange, sharp hops that is assisted along with some doughy malts.

T - A GREAT balance of hops and malts. I'm having a hard time deciphering what comes through more. There is certainly a bread like degree that signifies some toasted maltiness, but at the same time there is a more tangier, citrus situation from the hops.

M - Smooth and lubricated. Has a lot of mobility.

D - Another please.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is my favorite beer. It took me a long time to realize this, and the reasons for this statement are long and boring. I say this is my favorite beer on the basis of aesthetic, economic and contextual terms.

Photo of kneeland
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I'm not a huge fan of pale ales, but this one really works for me. I went with this for the first of my 5 gallon shell series, and I was happy I did. Sierra Nevada has a wide appeal to people. I won't order this at every bar I go to, but I'll drink it again.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.83/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So I never reviewed this? This is probably my "if you could only have one beer etc. . ." type choice. The world gold standard.

Pours a great dark yellow and amber hue, minimal head, not much lacing. Aromatic whole flower hops. The three C's.

Taste, unlike anything else. The most mass produced hoppy bitter beer out there. Pine and citrus. Tastes like Chico. Great throughout. Drinkable for days, great price. And unmistakable mouthfeel of bitter hops and unique as hell tree/pine kind of flavor going for it. So much caramel and yet the bottle conditioning keeps the carbonation peppy and perfect so that the caramel is never heavy.

The first time I drank this beer (UC Davis keg party in '93) I was a senior in high school, and I hated it. I asked the party host if he washed his cups because the beer tasted like it had soap in it. What a noob. . .

Photo of GaryKing28
3.99/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Classic pale ale. Very eazy to slam , aromatic and refreshing. I'd recommend SNPA to anybody.

Smells of x-mas tree pines. Grass ,spice and hop residue.

Nice light amber ,with flakey cream top.

Handfuls of chewey ,grassy hops-with grapefruit like bitterness. Its waxy and dry in the finish. Subtle maltiness.

Very eazy and likeable.

Photo of NA1NSXR
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Light amber/dark golden, medium size foamy head, medium-light lacing.

Smell - Smells great, sweet with a lot of citrus aromas, some caramel comes through as the beer warms up.

Taste - Starts hoppy, ends malty/bready. Balanced flavor with medium bitterness, citrus aromas contribute lightly to taste without adding tart. It is all very good, but lacks any defining element of the taste.

Mouthfeel - Medium consistency, carbonation is enough to strike a feeling in your mouth but not too much.

Drinkability - Overall very good. Drinks a bit below its abv. Its simply a very solid beer with some slight additional bitterness and citrus overtones.

Photo of BillyBoysPie
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear orange/gold with a full inch of dense, white foam. Retention is fine, just a little layer of foam, but plenty of lacing.

Florals and, what's this I smell... oh yeah, Cascade hops! Plenty of the citrus expected, but not overpowering/strong. It all sits neatly atop a firm pale malt background.

Taste is ever so clean, ever so easy. Taste begins with a hint of lemon and lime and moves quickly into the pale malt. Nothing caramel or toasty, just unadulterated malt. The bitters return at the end with some pith coming across with the typical alpha oil clean flavor. Creamy, well carbonated, and easy to drink.

This beer is hard not to like unless there's a component of it that you're allergic to. Goes great with all sorts of summer food fare, but has enough backbone to justify just drinking it because you like it. Quintessential APA, and a great brew.

Photo of JamisonM
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 24 oz bottle into a wheat glass

A: nice head really nice color its a copper color and the beer is not clear, dry hop anyone?

S: hops malt and a spicy orange maybe the orange zest mixed with the actual fruit

T: taste is like the smell you get hops and malt followed up with some orange zesty flavors and finishes back with the malt the beer is balanced and well crafted

M: its high in carbonation and that makes it refreshing perfect mouth

D: of course this one is highly drinkable and you get more bang for your buck with most beers 5.6 ABV is nothing to sneeze at

overall its a really well crafted beer and one of the best APA's I have ever had perfectly drinkable for all year round but I like to drink this spring and summer and maybe some fall but not as much during the fall.

Photo of rarbring
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A copper-toned amber beer with an off-white head that leaves lots of lacing.

The smell is aromatic, grape-fruit, sweet oranges, pine, flowers and tropic fruits.

A good crisp taste, citric tones, bitter orange, malty aromas like digestive biscuits.

A rather high carbonation, a medium body and in all a refreshing feeling.

This is an APA I really like, to be better it could possibly have a little more maltiness. But good for both drinking and to (spicy) food.

Photo of AgentMunky
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a squat 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: Looks good! A light golden brown with bubbly effervescence and about an finger of light head. Heavy lacing.

S: Smells crisp and clean. Faint citrus; hops and some malt.

T: Unsurprisingly, the beer tastes how it smells - good, crisp, with citrus notes dominated by malty hops. A mild bitterness balances the flavours well. The finish is oddly bready, but not too dry and certainly pleasant.

M: The carbonation, citrus, and hops conspire to create a refreshing beer that keeps me sipping 'til the glass is empty.

D: Exceptional indeed. A great beer for drinking, sharing, and enjoying. Especially nice in warm weather or after a long day. Highly recommended.

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

Poured from bottle into a regular glass.

A - Poured clear amber color with medium head that slowly dissipated leaving intermediate amount of lacing.

S - Mostly hops and citrus with faint alcohol smell.

T - Hops and grains upfront followed by slight bitterness of citrus.

M - Light bodied with medium to high carbonation.

D - Very enjoyable, refreshing and drinkable beer.

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

P - 12oz Brown Bottle, Colorful Green label with a Nature Scene
A - Reddish, Copper color that looks nice in the glass
S - Hoppy and Sweet Smell
T - Knockout! Quite refreshing with hues of grapefruit and other assorted citrus flavors
M - Refreshing with a bite to the tongue
D - A beer to savor, a six pack would do me just fine

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

Pours a clear dark yellow with a huge white frothy head that lasts a while.

Smells of lots of citrus hops.

Crisp taste of hops that finishes dry and slightly bitter.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium bodied with good carbonation.

The perfect sessionable APA.

Photo of bosox941827
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into imperial pint glass
Long time drinker of SNPA, just now getting around to a review...
A - "Classic" pale ale, orange decent head retention with a rough pour, dissipates fairly quickly. Absolutely clear.
S - Nice biscuit-y malt aroma, mixed w/light hop aroma after the pour.
T & M - Caramel-y malt flavor, evolving into a nice spicy mid-palate with a solid, lingering Cascade hop-finish, with just a hint of alcohol flavor mixed in at the end for good measure. Hop finish is extremely pleasant and for me what separates this pale ale from others. A bit more carbonated than other SN offerings, with some prickly carbonation at the beginning....
D - Yeah, through the roof...could drink these all night, and have..
SN's flagship is just that for a reason, it's a great one to keep in the fridge when you need a "comfort beer" after trying out double/triple IPAs, etc. Great stuff.

Photo of tykees88
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Orange colored with a slight head when poured into my glass. I like the smell of citrus and obvious hop action. the taste is just alright to me though, I like pales and ipa's for that matter but this one just didn't hit it home for me on taste. I feel like there was something off or just something in it that I didn't like. Anyways a good beer that I will drink again someday down the road.

Photo of JunkYardJake
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.
Good looking beer. Hazy copper tone with orange hues. Big fluffy head. Decent retention and lacing. Smells good. Floral, citric and a little soapy. Has a strong hop bite with a mild grapefruit flavor. Nice clean, dry bitterness. Good mouthfeel from the medium body and soft carbonation. Very drinkable to say the least. Lovely beer and is usually a go-to beer at alot of chain joints.

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

I poured myself a bottle of this into a clean pint glass which made a light copper colored beer with about a finger and a half of lacing.

A. This beer just looks like it's gonna be good. Light copper, clear, and fine carbonation. Little circles of lacing are left behind by the head.

S. Great hop smell with a smooth clean aroma.

T. This beer tastes great with a clean malt flavor underneath a well balanced hop flavor.

M. This beer feels good and is refreshing on the tongue.

D. Great beer to drink a six pack of. Aftertaste is good and sticks around long enough to remind you to take another sip.

Very solid beer that I haven't had in a long time. This is definitely gonna be in my top 5 when I'm looking for a six pack.

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

Pours a clear, light copper with a big foamy head that quickly recedes and leaves spotty touches of lace all over the glass. Aroma is slightly bready and is dominated by floral / citrus hops. There's a light touch of caramel malt in the taste, but this is quickly overtaken by the citrus hop / lasting grapefruit rind bitterness. Mouthfeel is on the lighter side; its a fairly drinkable and refreshing ale. Here's to the brew that is the "gateway" for many of us craft beer geeks -

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hudsonphotog for sharing this beer. I have drank it for years but never reviewed it.

Pours a clear orange color with a white head. The aroma is citrus hops with a lot of orange notes. The flavor is orange and other citrus with a medium amount of bitterness. High carbonation and a medium mouthfeel. An American classic that never disappoints.

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

I'm new to this so bear with me, I am not yet able to identify specific flavors.

A - 1 Finger of foam, and a beautiful gold color.

S - A sweet hoppy smell

T - Very balanced and a perfect amount of hoppy flavor.

M - Crisp and lighter than I expected

D - I could drink a bunch of them and I will considering it was on sale for $12 for a 12 pack.

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

Just had my first pint of SN Pale Ale on tap, I was impressed.

A - Nice golden straw color, a fingers worth of foamy white head. beautiful looking beer in the glass!

S - I get grassy hops right up front. has a sweet fragrance to it.

T - Extremely refreshing. hops are present, some citrus notes. nothing over bearing, just an extremely well balanced flavor.

M - light bodied and very crisp. great amount of carbonation.

D- I could drink glass after glass if my wallet would let me. It goes down easy and is a great accompaniment with meals. It paired well with the nachos I had for dinner.

Deliciously refreshing Pale Ale, perfect beer for warming weather. You really can't go wrong with one of these.

Photo of Prostman81
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A standard-bearer for the American craft beer industry, and always a reliable go-to beer for pretty much any situation. Helps bridge the gap for all types of beer drinkers. Bottom line is, if you want a quality Pale Ale, this is your 'man'. The craft scene is flooded with PAs now, and I fear this one is often taken for granted, but I still use this beer as a benchmark when judging other Pale Ales, including the ones that I brew myself.

Photo of soco7tyx7
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Copper in color with a soapy white head. Leaves thin film throughout with mild lacing

S - Pale malts, light hop aroma

T - Sweet pale malts for sure up front and in body balanced with with a clean light hoppy finish. Clean. Some earthiness

M - Crisp, medium light body, smooth

D - Very easy to drink and could drink a lot of it. I enjoy this brew very much. It's always a good stand-by. I like that they put it in a bomber for a cheaper price...more incentive to buy (even tho i'm really paying more for less)

Photo of keithmurray
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz draft

beer pours a crisp golden amber colour

aroma is of citrus, grapefruit, pine and hops

taste is of caramel, hops, grapefruit

mouthfeel is a good amount of carbonation, slightly bitter aftertaste, crisp, and tasty

this is very drinkable, easily sessionable.

Solid brew from S.N.

Photo of farrago
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finger plus of white foam, medium sized bubbles pop here and there, slight retention, settles into a thin layer across the surface, not much stickiness in the lacing. Coppery orange to yellow in hue, hazy, lighter and more transparent around the rims. The herbal hops get out in front of the pack in the nose, the white grapefruit, orange pith follows behind, grainy with a spicy edge, more lactose than florality or maltiness, sheer activity seems to be its strongest aspect. Medium-bodied plus, here its relative lack of movement gives it more gravitas. Sweet touch to the orange, grapefruit citrus, floral dimension a bit stunted. Malts undistinguished, smooth things texturally but don't add much flavor, light brown sugar. Peach, apricot fruit demure. The bitter residue left behind through the finish actually gets you thirsting for more. Never as good as when you remembered it as a kid but not bad either.

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

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Bottled sometime in Jan 2010 I think.

(A)- Pours a clear caramel colored amber that produced a large white head that dissipated down to a light frothy layer. Left tons of sticky webbing behind in the process.

(S)- Citrus of lemon, lime, & pineapple with a good piney background. Bits of honey-like caramel sweetness; very subtle though.

(T)- Great dry pine with a burst of lemon citrus. Light honey/caramel sweetness. Bitter, but fits the level for the style.

(M)- A good carbonation level & balance to it. Crisp & refreshing. A great mix of dryness, citrus, bitterness, & malt. Smooth.

(D)- A superb example of the style. An easy drinker for sure. Not overly bitter, malty, or dry, but just right. Always a great summer APA in my opinion.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,790 ratings.