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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.

9,884 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,884
Reviews: 2,856
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 204
Gots: 1,702 | 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
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Ratings: 9,884 | Reviews: 2,856
Photo of Baraka
4.52/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Golden color with a solid head. Aroma is weighted heavily towards citrusy west coast hops, although there is a bit of malt balance. Features medium carbonation and an impressive hop bitterness (esp for a pale) that quickly overwhelms any malt present. Crisp and delicious, this is the ultimate session beer.

The quintessential example of an APA, SNPA is simple yet brilliant, and one of the beers that got me into craft beer in general. The perfect pale ale for a hophead as well as a great stepping stone to the world of hoppy beers.

Photo of geryeb624
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a golden amber with about 1 finger of off-white head.

S- Nice hoppy citrus aroma with some maltiness in the background.

T- Crisp and refreshing flavor. Starts out with a bitter hop kick and finishes with a nice, malty backbone.

M/D- Very nice feel with perfect level of carbonation. Very refreshing brew, and perfect for kicking back and enjoying with friends or a ballgame. Very well balanced, and easily sessionable.

Overall, this is a very good, very balanced pale ale, and one that I enjoy drinking in a number of situations. A classic of American craft brewing.

Photo of Sudsy89
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle, chilled

Pours a pretty amber color, has a thick, white head that looks like shaving cream!

I noticed a bit of citrus smell and taste, along with a moderate amount of hops. Overall was very smooth, has a slight hop bitterness but definitely not too much for me. This would be a great beer for a hot day, it's refreshing and light but still has a good amount of flavor. Mouthfeel is nice, not too watery. I could easily go through a few of these, alcohol content is good at 5.65%.

I highly recommend this beer!

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

From a 6 pack from ABC liquors in Tampa.

Pours a light amber, slightly murky, with a decent, sturdy white head. Good retention for a pale ale.

Nose is citrussy hops, bready malt, a touch of citrus and lemon.

A bitter, hop-dominated brew, with both citrus and earthy hops coming to the fore, but with a fine malty backing providing enough sweetness to make this highly drinkable. Notes of bread, caramel, grapefruit and lemon. Finishes bitter and tart.

Decent body, carbonation thoroughly covers the palate, allowing the hops to really pop.

A great example of the style. Would be a terrific go-to beer (if we would ever get this in Ontario, that is...) Great pick up.

Photo of r0nyn
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Appearance is good, a golden amber color with about half an inch of white frothiness at the top. Not too much lacing at all. Smell is of hops and yeast, with a slight undertone of citrus. Fragrant, but not overpowering. I was sort of expecting a similar bouquet to Troegs Nugget Nectar, but it just seems simpler and cleaner.

A big hoppy blast of bitterness starts it off, and never really goes away, even as the taste of the beer settles on the tongue. I caught some hints of citrus and some good malty presence, but the bitterness is always there and continues into the aftertaste. Not terrible, but definitely a little unbalanced in that department. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation that manages to retain a semblance of smoothness.

Drinkability is okay for me. Maybe I was spoiled by having Nugget Nectar first, but the bitterness was just a bit unbalanced, at least in my admittedly inexperienced opinion. It was by no means overpowering, just a little too... present in the taste without much else complexity. One is all I'd think I'd have in a given night.

Photo of steve8robin
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle...

A: Medium copper color with hints of honey gold. Thick 1 inch white head that fades at a decent pace. Very good.

S: Earthy hops blended with some nice bready notes. Some light fruits on the backend. Decent.

T: Sweet bready malts upfront with hints of earthy hops in the middle. This brew blends very well with the flavors. Good.

M: Leave some decent flavors on the palate. Good.

D: Goes down super easy. Perfect.

All in all, this is a solid brew. A nice light summer drinker. I love big beers, but if I had to drink a light style, this one might be a way to go. Good to try if you can.

Photo of Star80
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a fresh 12-pack at the grocer store so felt was a fair time to finally review this ale. Definitely a classic beer which for me defines the pale ale style. The beer looks like a pale golden color, pours out with a lot of carbonation and effervescence. Nice thick head and clinging lace from the abundance of American hops. There is always some residual yeast in the bottom of the bottle from the bottle fermentation; I like this, and I try to swirl it into my glass. Smells like, well, hops and some biscuity maltiness, and despite the strong presence of hops I feel this beer is well balanced and very drinkable. This is a great beer to introduce the beer neophytes to the greatness of hops, and fortunately is widely available everywhere. God bless America.

Photo of pascopotter
4.63/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Just new to the beer market. My brother in-law bought me a six pack of the Pale Ale to try out. By far, some of the best beer i've tried. I've tried a few Pale Ales, but none quitt as good as this brew. Would like to try more of the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. beer. Would highly reccomand this beer.

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

The beer pours a very nice orange-amber with lots of evident carbonation and a 1.5 finger frothy cap.

It smells resinous and hoppy with some florals and the aroma of clean laundry, peach notes, and some yeastiness.

The taste is clean with some hop bitterness, honey, sweet biscuits and florals.

The mouthfeel is fantastic! It's creamy and soft and full in the mouth with a lovely smoothness and a crisp finish.

Drinkability is also good, though I shared a large bottle with a friend.

An all-around winner pale ale!

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

A - A really beautiful pale ale. The glass really showed off the carbonation and a good 2 fingers of fluffy white head

S - Smells flowery and hoppy

T - I'm only now starting to open up my tastes to beer, so it could have been that this beer was too hoppy for my tastes. It could be that my tastes are more malty than hoppy. All that I know is that it tasted hoppy like a kick in the teeth.

M - surprisingly crisp and refreshing! Definitely a superb mouthfeel.

D - I didn't have enough to really tell on drinkability, but I do know that it didnt fill me at all. That combined with 5.6% ABV and I would imagine this is a great session beer if you're used to the hops.

Photo of hlgaskins
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured from a bottle with a light amber leaning slightly toward copper tones crowned with a creamy two inch head that laced the glass with a wintry pattern, and it continued to lace the glass until it was empty.

S- Nice mild bouquet with a hint of citrusy hops and yeast dominating its aroma.

T-The taste of hops is just a little out front but not overpowering (just where I like it in pale ale). The flavors lean away from sweetness toward dry, less malty, which again is a characteristic I highly favor in pale ale. A moderate citrus and pine flavor topped by a well pronounced hops clearly comes through on the back of the palate which complement its well-balanced flavors.

M-Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a nicely carbonated beer that feels almost creamy to the mouth right to the end. Great on a warm summer day!!

D-This is a great alternative for fans of IPA's who are also looking to lower their alcohol intake, carbohydrates, and calories while holding onto some of the attributes that make IPA's such flavorful beers. It's becoming increasingly easy to find across the country which makes it a beer staple for those living in fringe areas with limited choice or traveling by vehicle. I purchase a lot of different quality beers over the course of the year, but this has become in a sense my house beer. I would not only buy it again but have been doing so for some time.

Photo of DrewKid4
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber with mild carbonation and small but creamy white head with good lacing.

S: Slight hops with some roasted malt smells. Refreshing.

T: Hop kick at first, finished with roasted malts.

M: Good mouthfeel. Many hoppy brews leave the mouth rather dry but with a good balance with the malts, it leaves a neutral finish that begs for more.

D: One of the most drinkable APAs and great for being available anywhere.

Photo of association330
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this in my rotation for so long, it's about time I reviewed it.

12 oz. bottle, no freshness date.

A - Pours amber with yeast in suspension. A bubbly, two-finger head drops to a cap with a nice ring of foam and an average amount of lace.

S - Citrusy hops, pine sap, light caramel malt

T - Faint caramel note quickly gives way to a balanced, west coast hoppiness. Nice pine and citrus notes (particularly grapefruit rind). Swallow is plenty bitter, but not overly so for the APA style.

M - Medium-bodied. Lively, but smooth, carbonation. Very nice.

D - Want hops, but don't feel like dropping a ten-spot on a bomber of some tongue-walloping, ultra-limited imperial? This is your fix. Always a classic and available in the average grocery stores of just about every town of any significance nowadays.

Photo of tealeaf
2.97/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

well i have tried this beer on two occasions only, and both times i was not impressed. maybe it is because i am not a big pale ale fan.

Its a nice rustic gold, amber color.

i picked up alot of hops in the smell, there may have been a little hint of citrus in there too. i actually really liked the smell of this beer.

the taste is what throws me off.
the hops sort of punch out in the beginning and theres an after taste of more hops with a little bit of fruitiness, to me at least.

like it may be because i am not a big fan of pale ale even though there is a few i enjoy.

for me this beer was bearable for about half a glass and after that i had to struggle to drink it.

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

Pours a clear amber with a huge, foamy off-white head. Head falls very slow. Big sticky lace.

Rather clean smell, must be too cold yet. Flowery hops come through.

Nice taste. Wonderful hops, not too strong with a good malt base.

Medium bodied in the mouth, average carbonation and a mild bite.

Easy drinking, thirst quenching classic beer. Always enjoyed.

Photo of Bravo4
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this straight from the bottle into a German seidel.

A- It has a rich golden, amber color to it with a 1-finger white head that disipates quickly. It leaves a nice ring of head around the glass and slight lacing. The lacing annd head seems to have a gritty texture.

S- My sense of smell isn't all that good but it definately has some citrus scent to it with a slight floral hops aroma. I also detect a minute amout of pine.

T- Like the smell it has a citrus/pine flavor with a slight hops bitterness. The bitterness of the hops isn't too agressive but it isn't overly lacking either.

M- It has decent carbonation and a creamy but not heavy feel.

D- It's definately a very drinkable beer. It would be one of my choices for a session. I would recommend this to someone who isn't familiar with pale ales or is used to American macros but it's also enjoyable for a seasoned pale ale vet.

Photo of Bfarr
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear Copper amber with a big frothy tan head with broken lacing. A floral aroma with some sweetness. Nice malty, lightly caramel weetness balanced out with a fairly prominent floral/earthy flavor with light bittering finish. Mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy for a pale ale.

Highly drinkable pale ale with a great bottle conditioned carbonation. Good hop presence for a pale ale but not overdone.

Photo of LacquerHead
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into a Sam Adams pint glass.

It pours a nice amber color with a very slight haze. The brew produces a white foamy head that never dissipated. (The foam clung to the sides of the glass very nicely.)

The hops was the first thing I detected along with a slight citrus along with grain.

The taste was very smooth and the bitterness of the hops was not overly aggressive. There was a slight citrus, but for me straw and grain came through the most. The overall flavor reminded me of autumn. This was easy to drink.

This is the beer I would recommend to anyone who wanted to try a pale ale for the first time. The hops is a little mild for my taste, however, the smoothness and quality keeps me going back. This is just a well put together beer.

Photo of mash4077
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a bottle into your standard 16oz glass.

A- Pours a dull copper/orange, with spots of gold in the light. Translucent with mild cloudiness. About a finger of head which disipates relatively quickly.

S- Hops are the most noticeable smell, right up front, with an orange scent coming out strongly as well.

T- Strong hops taste for the style, almost imediately, with less of an orange presence than expected considering the smell. Finishes off with playful maltiness and definite spicy flavors. Well balanced, all in all, but the hops do stand out on their own (in a great way). The malts are much more noticeable as it warms.

M- Definitely creamy, but not too heavy for the style. Well carbonated, but not overly fizzy. More "relaxing" than "refreshing".

D- Very drinkable, a midpoint between a session and an IPA. I'd reccomend it to timid macro-drinkers and Pale Ale enthusiastes alike.

Photo of irishking1977
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this beer several times on draft, and it never really struck a chord with me. Friends that have tried it for the first time described it having a "celery and ashtray" taste to it. While I doubt they've ever chewed on a celery stalk and a cigarette butt at the same time, I can see what they mean, to a degree. Beer enthusiasts pretty much rave about this beer, so since I consider myself one as well, I thought I should give it an honest review:

A: Pours a translucent dull gold with a moderate head that doesn't stick around for long nor leave any signs of lacing. Decent and somewhat typical for a pale ale.

S: Floral hops aroma mixed in with some malt and citrus characteristics. Seems fairly balanced.

T: No sense of any celery stalks or cigarette butts, but I do get a sense of mild hops, with semi sweet malt and a slight bitter, citrus twang at the finish.

M: Good, solid carbonation; this is a relatively easy drinking beer. Slightly thicker and more robust than your average pale ale, but that's supposed to be a good thing.

D: A decent choice for a session beer; and a good choice for a keg during a summer cookout. I know I'll recommend this, to any casual beer drinker. Not something that amazes me by any means, but a solid pale ale, to be sure.

Photo of zimm421
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Appears a clear, copper, orange color with a frothy white head. The head sticks around for a good while and leaves some good lacing.

Smells strongly of hops, lots of citrus and floral scents. The hops definitely dominate the nose. The taste is very well balanced, starting with the hops, again lots of citrus and floral notes. It then moves to the malts, with a very nice sweetness. It finishes with a nice bitterness and citrusy aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is fairly thick, but not overly heavy. It is very smooth with a slightly below average amount of carbonation. This beer is very drinkable, goes down so easily, and is something I'll go back to again and again. Always a good buy, and so refreshing after a hot day.

Photo of gracebeliever
3.2/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This brew poured gold/copperish with a light amber bubbly head.

It had a mild hops smell

Smooth hops taste but not overly robust however. At first there wasn't a lingering residual taste in my mouth. After several sips this changed. It began to accumulate but even then the duration wasn't drawn out.

The head reduced to maybe 1/8th inch but would revive with each taste. But very little lacing.

I sampled this beer twice. The 1st solo. The 2nd with dinner. I think therefore I prefer it solo rather than with food. For my taste I prefer the beer to mesh in a wonderful way with a meal. In this case it was with grilled New York Strip, Baked Potato and corn on the cob. Perhaps it was this meal but the beer was just a beer. Nothing happened. The beer was the same as when taken solo.

Overall I like this beer and if I find it in the midst of the other normal in-restaurant-beers I will drink it gladly.

Photo of NuggetNectar22
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a staple in my beer rotation. This is one that you can party with. It isn't too high ABV which allows you to enjoy a few. I drink this on a warm afternoon. It has been commercialized, but still stays delicious. It is a ligher color and finish.

Enjoy. -T

Photo of awinkro
3.74/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Cooper in color with about a 1/4" of head during the consumption.

S: More citrus/grapefruit aroma than floral, but some floral is present. Small amount of malt and caramel essence as well.

T: Slight spicy start, quickly followed by hops that linger for the entire drink. A nice malt balance comes in at the tail end.

M: The hops seem to linger on the palate after the drink, making the following drinks further apart.

D: It's a great standard for Pale Ale and a bar for new breweries to try and reach.

Photo of jporf911
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sierra Nevada consistently puts out a number of good beers, so I was excited to try this one out. It was recommended to me by an Indian friend (slightly ironic that he enjoys APAs more than IPAs, isn't it?).

Poured from a 24oz bottle into a traditional glass.

Appearance- Pours primarily yellow-orange with a fluffy white head that isn't as large as I expected, considering the heads on most pale ales; still, there are a lot of bubbles and a good deal of sticky lacing all over the glass, along with a thin sedimentary layer that probably resulted from the bottle-conditioning. There are even more bubbles in the second glass; in fact, I'd go so far as to say there's a veritable shitload of bubbles.

Smell- The nose is a bit floral and very citric, with a strong scent of bitter hops on the back end. There is also a slight undertone of grain, but the citrus overpowers it for the most part. Not bad.

Taste- Christ almighty, who shoved an entire orange into this bottle?! The most noticeable aspect of the taste is the almost overpowering acidity. It soon fades to a citrus sweetness with notes of orange peel and spice. Bitter hops linger on the back of the tongue long after swallowing. The second glass was not so acidic, so this beer may simply need a bit of time to breathe before being poured, or it could be a matter of your mouth and throat needing to adapt to the acidity.

Mouthfeel- This Pale Ale is thin but not watery, with a pleasant tingling sensation from the abundant carbonation and acidity.

Drinkability- This is supposedly a classic example of the American Pale Ale, but it's a tad too acidic compared to others I've had. It's good, but it's not something I would drink on a regular basis.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,884 ratings.