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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

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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 AmberMan22
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'll definitely give props to this for having a great looking head and streaking lace down the glass, but otherwise it doesn't look all that special.

Smell is better though, with a clear burst of hops coming through. Nothing too overwhelming, which is good, but hard to detect any sort of pale malt to back it up.

Taste is very enjoyable. Good hoppy backbone, clearly a little more support from the malt than I could detect in the nose.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly creamy -- didn't expect that out of a beer this color.

Solid, very drinkable beer, especially sitting at 5.6%, this makes it almost a poor man's IPA.

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

33cl bottle in a pint glass.

A: Gold, with a 0,5cm white lasting head.

S: Citrus peel, oranges, candy floss/cotton candy

T: Peach note up front, followed by citrus flavours - oranges and lemons, slight grapefruit in the finish. Somewhere in the mix is some sweetness - toffee and brown sugar.

M: Full-bodied yet the carbonation clears the palate somewhat. Still a little heavy, perhaps the higher alcohol than I am used to?

D: A lovely beer that went down very well. Had I had a second bottle I would probably save it for another night.

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

A - beautiful clear orange with good head which recedes quickly and leaves little lacing, however.

S - Hops with caramel malt.

T - More bitter than the nose suggest. Very hoppy and very refreshing.

M - Nice and light with excellent carbonation that tingles as you swallow.

D - Very drinkable. Mid range ABV and pretty light. This is a fantastic session beer.

I enjoy the simplicity of this brew. It is a true pale ale and tries to be no more. Well-crafted and just what I hoped it would taste like.

Photo of tippebrewcrew2
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is, as i'm sure it was for many others, a beer that starter my path to quality beer. It is a good example of a west coast apa and is probably one of the most widely distributed micro's on the planet. This is the beer you turn to when you are at a bar looking for what they have on tap. budlight, miller light, mgd, schiltz (really?). I'd rather hook up with the larger, one-eyed, one and half sized, woman-beasts at the other end of the bar. SN pale ale! thank god, my savior! WHen you say micro or craft beer to the general person this is what they think of and that's not a bad thing. This is a good front runner for craft beer. It has a good hop profile, a decent body, and overall it's a respectable beer. I will not turn it down at a party and I will not frown on a guy who brings a 6er to a party. good beer, great brew co!

Photo of OskarL
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Slightly hazy amber/golden color with a nice head that leaves nice lacing.

Smell - Earthy hops with some citrus and bready malt.

Taste - Citrus, flowers and some spices with a sweet bready malt and some stingy bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, crisp with a medium body.

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

A - Golden bronze with orange hue. Large white froathy head. Good retention with a good amount of lacing left.

S - Lots of different hop smells, including citrus, floral, and some earthiness. A fair amount of bready malt too.

T - Good base of bread and caramel malt. Lots of hops dominate the taste. Lots of citrus, both grapefruit and orange, as well as a good amount of floral hops and pine taste. Some spices are present too. Fair amount of bitterness, but not overpowering.

M - Medium body with good carbonation. Smooth and slightly fizzy.

D - Very good drinkability. Lots of hop flavors, but not overpowering. Bitter and sweetnes balanced well so you get good bitter and hop flavors. Easy to drink and tasty.

Notes: Really nice hoppy beer with lots of flavors but not overly hopped. Great widely available hoppy beer. Great beer to have for everyday drinking.

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

had my fifth SN pale ale tonight thought id have another for reviewing purposes and same as always it goes down very smooth very clean light hops aroma with a piney finish taste. even though i love this beer i do think its an extremely drinkable all around beer just a bit hyped maybe?

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.77/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, looked like a traditional pale ale, with not a very large head. It had a hoppy smell, that was pleasent. It had a very "dry" and hoppy taste, exactly what you would want out of a pale ale. It didnt leave much of an aftertaste and was easy to drink. Overall it was a great beer, deffently worth trying, and enjoying more then once.

Photo of niklas0770
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The hazy light coppery color with the one finger head looks very inviting i must say. After a couple of sips it leaves a thin lace.

The smell is very hopy with some kind of flower sweetness added to it. I also get some kind of crispiness, almost like an wisebeer.

The taste is still very hopy with that crispiness I mentioned earlier. There is also that sweetness I can't seem to put my finger on.

The mouthfeel is quite dry but yet refreshing. The carboration is not as aggressive as I expected, but that's not a bad thing.

Drinkability - I want an other one!

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

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Mostly clear copper color with a golden hue. Thin, patchy head with lace.

S: Light piney hops and grapefruit peel, biscuity grains that round out a nice, funky malt scent...lingering notes of honey and caramel.

T: A slightly sour, carbonated front leads to a perfectly balanced presence of malt and hops. Traces of fresh baked whole wheat bread and caramel. Finishes extremely well with a lingering, earthy fade with plenty of wheat.

D: This is definitely a good go-to pale ale for a summer evening.

Value: Considering you can get this beer at most fern bars and lots of gas stations, this widely available brew is hard to deny as being a serious bargain at under ten bucks a six pack.

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

It's basically a mystery to me how I haven't managed to review this beer yet; I always just assumed that I already had.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has a clear copper body with some fairly active carbonation bubbles moving around inside. About a finger and a half of light tan/off-white head sprouts up and has some ok retention and a little bit of lacing.

The aroma has a good dose of hops that exude bitterness and grapefruit along with a decent amount of sweet malts to balance it out.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, when fresh, is a very hoppy APA (which I think is a good thing). When this beer was handed to me already poured, I guessed that it was the Sierra Nevada Torpedo. After re-investigating the Torpedo there are obvious differences, but this APA has a pretty similar hop profile to the Torpedo. Lots of bitter, grapefruit flavored hops with a touch of pine resin in there. A slightly sweet malt presence balances the beer out with biscuit and light caramel flavors.

Mouthfeel is a little light in body and a little high in carbonation, but it is a little bit oily the make up for the lighter body.

Sierra Nevada APA is pretty drinkable, and overall is a classic beer that will never get old.

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

A: Beautiful and coppery colored. This looks both delicious and refreshing.

S: Smells like most good pale ales. Good balance of hops and malt with no off smells.

T: Mmmm... my idea of what a pale ale should be. Great aroma from hops without being too bitter. Perfect malt balance. Nothing out of place.

M: Good. Medium bodied with good levels of carbonation for its weight.

D: Top flight here. I can drink 4-5 of these in a sitting without batting an eye.

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

while consuming one of thousands of these bottles at the local watering hole known as sergeant preston's food and drink.
pours a deep golden yellow with a pretty white head. mmm. can't beat northern cali. hops. dank. nose is dominated by sweet and citrusy pine hops. tastes is mildly tart/sweet with a slight bitterness bite finish that is very welcomed with the sweet. high carbonation, medium body. the perfect pale ale in my opinion because it is practically an IPA.

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

Poured Into a pint glass at three needs, burlngton.

Pours a nce lght crisp yellow with a 1 fnger white head. Nose is light, sharp an hoppy. Very nice.

Taste is very creamy, crisp and smooth. Very hopy for a ale ale. But it's really an amazing beer and one of my all time favorites.

Photo of Iloverasputin
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a glass mug. Developed a nice white head that went down to a creamy lace that sticks around. It has a clear honey like color. Smell is slightly citrusy with a little spice. Initial taste is citrus with good hops, turns into a nutty biscuity taste. The after taste is a bit of malt. Very well balanced. This one has high drinkability. Its February now, but I think this would make a great summer beer.

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

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. 12oz.

Golden with a little haziness. Clingy white lace.

Grain, spicy hops, cirtus, tangy

Very smooth, tangy, a little spice, pine, sweet malty backbone. Bready, biscuity finish

Mouthfeel & Drinkability:
Very drinkable. I could have a few of these with some cheese. Mouthfeel is smooth and consistent.

Notes: I had one of these with some asiago, jack, and cheddar on sweetish, bready biscuits. The combo was fantastic.

Photo of stimulus
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep amber / golden color with minor lacing and a very small head.

S: Smells very hoppy, like other pale ales and IPAs I've tried. Also catch a whiff of citrus a bit later.

T: It tastes very much as it smells, with hops dominating the flavor profile, along with a faint hint of citrus at the end.

M: Quite light with some carbonation. Goes down very smoothly.

D: At 5.6%, there is very little alcohol burn as it goes down.

Photo of kevinjosephlee
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a glass.

A: An amber color with a whitish head; the beer appears to have small (perhaps proteinaceous) particles floating throughout the beer. good lacing and moderate head retention.

S: A citrusy hop nose

T: Moderately high hop bitterness and piney notes. Very subdued malt character makes a brief appearance before being struck down by the overtly hoppy bitterness in the finish.

M: Light-medium body with good carbonation.

Notes: For some reason, I remember that this same exact beer tasted a lot less hoppy and bitter when I had it this past weekend. One big difference is that I did not pour it into a glass last time, but this time I did. It is amazing how much the drinking receptacle can change the experience of the beer. I much preferred this beer IN the bottle. The bitter hops were more balanced by the malts.

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

Poured in Sam Adams glass

A - Deep gold and crystal clear with a thick, rocky off white head that lasts for minutes. Belgian lace clings to the glass well after consuming.

S - Light caramel malt with moderate grapefruit/citrus hop aroma. Very low fruity yeast character. Mild bready malt. All aromas are playing very nicely with each other.

T - Citrus up front in flavor, closely followed by the smooth, bready malt. Bitterness is pretty moderate but lingers long after, along with the fresh grapefruit flavor. Mild caramel in finish sweetens the aftertaste and keeps the hops in check.

M - Medium carbonation and dry. Smooth, yet clears from the palate quickly making for a refreshing beer.

D - It's been a while since I've had this beer, and I wanted to review it to make sure it was as good as I remember it. It definitely is. This is an excellently crafted, well balanced beer that still deserves high recognition.

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

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a very fine bottled beer. The appearance is beautiful, with a nice head and a good, brown color. Aroma is pleasant, taste is excellent and just bitter enough, and mouth feel is good, with wonderful body. Overall, this is an exceptional product.


Photo of dpodratsky3
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Perfect orange amber, slightly darker than average, capped by awesome clingy, creamy, fluffy, just off-white head, already sticks heavily

S: Fairly mild, malt is easy to pick up, nice breadiness, hops are there, but flavor nut super pronounced, floral and kind of grapefruit hops

T: Starts off wit ha nice bite of resiny and slightly grapefruit hops, have a lot of flavor packed in, but they don't kill you with too much bitter, there is also a nice biscuity malt counterpoint that is semi-sweet at first, the beer finishes bitter, and I wish the malt extended a little bit

M: Not real dry like an IPA, not too bitey either, not thin, almost didn't notice the mouthfeel

D: Good, but could be better, rivals some IPA's

Notes: A very good pale ale, that definitely finds its place under an IPA. It doesn't try to be an IPA like some do. It looks amazing and tastes good. Just a solid beer.

Photo of cpetrone84
4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-tranlucent golden yellow colored ale with a thick white head. solid retention and nice lacing left on the glass.

S-the nose brings pale malts, a touch of grain, with a nice (but light) tangerine and orange hop citrus bringing up the rear.

T/M-the taste follows the nose. grainy, pale malts with notes of sweet caramel, tangerine hops, notes of orange, smooth, medium body, creamy, well carbonated, hint of pine and bitterness at the finish.

D-well done pale ale, this was the beer that got me started into craft brews. it goes down smooth and easy and brings a nice balance of pale malts and citrusy hops.

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

A - Pours a nice clear copper with a hint of orange. Frothy white head settles after a few moments to a nice soft layer on top and excellent lacing.

S - The hops fill the nose before the glass even gets near me. An abundance of fresh piney hops and a slight earthy smell.

T - Strong bold hops hit you up front, but there's a good solid malt base to back it up. Well balanced with plenty of flavor.

M - Mouthfeel is soft and smooth with nice carbonation. A bit sticky from the hops.

D - Excellent. The mouthfeel and taste plus a low abv make this an excellent session beer.

Notes - There's not much I can say about this beer that hasn't been said already. This is a classic pale ale, and if you like hops, or are trying to get into the hoppier stuff, this one should be on your list.

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

On-tap a the PAP.

Pale amber pour with a cushy white and good retention.

Nose is loaded with pine resin, a hint of earth, and mint.

Clean with soft carbonation, which might not be so soft from the bottle. Quick finish, great balance of fresh, piney hops and crystal malt.

Classic in every way.

Photo of OttoBomb
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in 16 oz. conical pint glass (January 23, 2010).

Eyes: This was served on tap at a bar in a shaker pint glass, so any extra head was likely run off. Underneath the thin head was a rich clear straw-copper color, the head wasn't all that clingy to the glass.

Nose: Fresh cut pine and grassy hops hit the nose, some yeast a bread aroma also.

Tongue: Follows the nose, sharp hops, crisp and a tad bitter, but the flavor is quite good and well balanced with the malts.

Mouth: Mid bodies, good carbonation, refreshing and tasty.

Libation: A quality sessionable beer. There might be some better APAs out there, but not a whole lot of them. I'm pleased this is widely available at most bars in Chicago these days.

I had this on tap and I'm looking forward to trying this again fresh from a bottle.

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