1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

9,514 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,514
Reviews: 2,757
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 169
Gots: 1,285 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,514 | Reviews: 2,757 | Display Reviews Only:
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

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

The Sierra Nevada flagship, and perhaps the American pale ale flagship, pours a nice hazy amber/orange with some strata visible immediately after the pour. A good size rocky head had good retention as a film was left throughout.

Nose was well balanced with citrus hops initially and toasty malt, mostly caramel, not far behind. Some spices and fresh fruit are also distinguishable.

Flavor is definitely not lacking, the bittering hops announce their presence and stay through the after party. The malt is well defined as well, with it also comes some citrus and spice. Very clean bright flavor, excellent.

The body is medium, feel is slick and smooth. The carbonation is spot on as far as I'm concerned, excellent balance of slick smoothness and crisp bite. Finish is somewhat dry and hops linger for quite a while.

The ratings don't lie, excellent beer.

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

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. Pours an orange orange/yellow color with a decent sized white head. The head slowly retracts down but stays around for a while which leaves some nice rings of lacing. Aroma is good for whats there, I don't get a whole lot but for whats there it's hops, citrus, kind of grassy, overall not bad. Taste is pretty good. Citrus hops, not to over the top bitter just kind of right. A little sweet, theres a little caramel going on. A great beer for sure. Like most Sierra Nevada beers it's pretty solid, and overall just a great pale ale.

Photo of MaxBrews
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Light amber color with a nice thick head that gives way to a very soapy head. Very appealing. A few bubbles here and there.

Smell: of quality hops and malt no more no less.

Taste: Not too hoppy, floral just a good sweet malt taste. A fair amount malt in the after taste.

Mouth feel: perfect amount of carbonation, not to heavy too light. Easy to drink and tastes great.

Drinkability: smooth great tasting beer, that Is well suited to all tastes, the price is good. The flavor notes may not blow you away if you're looking for something intense but for the style of beer a great example.

Photo of imanidiot777
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: It is a light amber color in the glass and the head stayed for a decent amount of time. Looked very appealing.

S: Not good at picking out specific smells but overall smelled good.

T: A good sweet malty taste, other minor things I could not pick out.

M: A good crisp feel to it, perfect level of carbonation.

D: Very drinkable, goes down easy, good year round beer.

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

This is the savior go- to beer when traveling by motorhome in the U.S..
Sometimes available at Wallyworlds (Wall Mart)
Good hops and one of the best balances around, the avitar of west coast ale.
Thank Bacchus (Even if it's not wine) for SNPA!! All hail!

Photo of BabyBastard
3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber into glass, small, white head forms but retreats fairly quickly. Ale appears hazy, nice lacing sticks around for awhile, this is a good looking ale.
Smells of malt, light citrusy hop aroma, nothing too over the top.
Taste is similar to the smell, maltiness with a slight hop bite.
Mouthfeel on this one is good, perfect carbonation, feels great on the tounge, nice and tingly. Very refreshing.
I'd have to rate the drinkability high on this ale, there is nothing too outstanding about it, but it is very nicely rounded. Moderate alcohol content makes it a cakewalk to have a few in a row.

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

A- Slight chill haze in the golden body. Thin white head sticks well to the sides.

S- Some sweet malt undertones with some grassy, citric hop aromas on top.

T- Semi sweet, bready malt base holds everything together. Grassy and citrus notes from the hops jump in on the malt base. Finish is a touch dry with a some final sweet citrus coming in.

M- Smooth feel with a crisp finish and good carbonation level.

D- Really great session beer; goes down smooth and crisp. Would recommend this one for sure.

Photo of thain709
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A light golden orange body...an off white head about one finger tall...settled into a nice ring...really nice lacing

S - Very crisp on the nose...lots of hop and a strong malt backbone

T - A real nice hop taste...doesn't focus on pine or citrus...just a solid hop flavor...some sweet malts present that leave that little caramel taste...has the perfect amount of bitterness

M - Light bodied...crisp and refreshing

D - Great drinkability...spot on...a real nice pale ale...I have not been disappointed by Sierra Nevada yet

Photo of gatornation
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a nice light copper color with a good head and lacing ,,just right for a pale ale ..the smell is a hop/malt battle with malts at a slight edge..but ok/ good.. the taste is floral.citrus spice, grass .and hops,with sweet malt its all there but at a minimal level not a wow! pale ale just a quality brew not an over the top pale ale..the mouthfell is good its easy to drink and tasty..it tends to lean on the sweet malts to much and could use a tad more hops... but still a great macro cant go wrong pale ale and recommended

Photo of BeerCon5
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy golden orange color with a good amount of white fluffy head. Lacing lasts throughout.

Floral scent with some citrua and light grains.

The taste is of citrus and mild spicy hops, light biscuity malts.

Medium bodied, creamy and crisp feel.

This is an excellent PA, I would probably get this again if 6ers were available in my area.

Photo of mdwalsh
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: One finger white head, lots of active carbonation. Golden colored with a little haze. Head consists of mostly smaller bubbles and leaves a great lacing. Sticks around for a good while too.

S: Hoppy, but not overwhelming and not specifically piney or citrusy or floraly, just hoppy. Not terribly strong, but that's a good thing. Not perfect, because after drinking for a bit, the scent begins to resemble that wet hop/wet dog smell that I know some like, but I do not.

T: Again, simple hoppiness, maybe tending towards piney. A smooth malty aftertaste makes a cameo appearence, but the hops are the defininf character of this brew.The taste really sticks to the top of the mouth. It has a funny sort of bitter that I'm not sure sure I'm a fan of though.

M: Mine is very cold, it's nice. Slightly biting, but warming. Light bodied but still forceful and very much present on the tongue. I will give it a four for mouth and four.five for drinkability, but I would rather do four.two five for both. Can you tell my numbers aren't working?

D: Very refreshing and not at all offensive.

Photo of yemenmocha
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours luminous amber with hint of gold and thick white head. Nose is fresh with citrus hops, and some pine. Palate offers a nice balance of malt with hop bitterness that yields an amazingly drinkable ale that leans to the hoppy side of things. Medium bodied.

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

On-tap at All Sports Cafe Salem, VA.

A: Very nice bronze color with a hint of orange. Just a little cloudy.... Nice lacing.

S: A little hop aroma, a little citrus and some malt... Nothing firm to nail down.

T: Very well balanced... You get a nice hit of hops but not to much then a nice caramel like malt ending with a slight bitterness.... Very nice Pale Ale...

M: Med bodied, smooth but nicely hopped bitterness.

D: Very drinkable, tastes great, ABV is pretty good and not too filling... I'm not the biggest Pale Ale fan, but this one kind of won me over.... Balance is the key, bitter and sweet and refreshing.

Photo of miket163
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a golden amber into a American pint glass. 2" white head lasted until th last quarter of the glass with great lacing.

smell: Grassy and slightly grainy with a citrus hop aroma. Slight floral scent. Excellent.

taste: Nice pale malt flavor, with a very grapefruit like hop taste. Floral and citrus like hops dominate this exceptional brew. Slight hop bitterness, but very clean.

Killer beer...one of my favorites!

Photo of porterwoobie
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: very clear golden amber color with a white head that dissipates quickly but laces to the sides

S: some graininess along with a mild citrusy hop aroma

T: mild sweetness. this is where the hop character shows itself as the bitterness lingers in the mouth.

MF: carbonation was a little on the higher side, medium bodied, seemed to have a dry finish.

Drinkability: classic american pale ale. very drinkable.

Photo of kaseydad
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh an old friend who got me into the craft world. Unfortunately I no longer "visit" my friend very often.

Reviewing this from a tap on a big 22 oz. pour. It appears with a small foamy head which quickly dissolves on top of an amber red/caramal color.

Smells hoppy and also tastes hoppy with a major malt backbone to try to smooth it out.

Easy drinkability allows for multiple bottles or glasses at a seating.

Unfortunately this beer doesn't do it for me anymore. The fact that is available almost everywhere is a plus, but I tend to avoid it now...though I love some of the other SN products.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 9,514 ratings.