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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.

9,894 Ratings

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Ratings: 9,894
Reviews: 2,860
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 206
Gots: 1,707 | 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: 9,894 | Reviews: 2,860
Photo of kurp001
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle bought at Shawan Liquors

A moderate pour yields about one finger of off-white head that sticks around for quite a while. Body is a slightly-cloudy amber; pretty much classic pale ale appearance, here.

A grassy hop character is notable in the aroma, along with a mild malt presence.

Again, the hop character is the first thing that pulls through on the taste, while a full malt flavor rounds things out on the finish. Great balance, here.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and crisp; again, very much in line with the style.

In my opinion, this is one of the most drinkable beers ever, period. Yes, the 5.6% ABV technically disqualifies it from the session beer category, but I find myself making a session out of SNPA way too often. The flavors are just solid without being overpowering, making this a great beer to have a few of. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale pretty much has a permanent spot in my fridge, and likely always will.

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

Poured from bottle to pilsner glass. Serving temp was about 35F.

Was a very nice golden amber with an almost 2 inch foamy head. Head stayed for most of the glass and stuck to it nicely. Was a very well-balanced brew. Very hoppy aroma as well as taste, but not too overwhelming where I couldn't drink this regularly. Probably the best APA I've had to date.

Photo of TheQuietMan22
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear deep gold. About two fingers of off-white head.

Smell: Tangerine or grapefruit citrus. Just like a pale ale.

Taste: Sweet, almost sour grapefruit. A little caramel. A well-balanced hop bite at the end.

Drinkability: Not like what I remember; no cigarette butts this time. A very good brew for a meal in the Sierra Nevada's. It's true to a style which is not my favorite.

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

By far one of my favorite beers.

This is the beer that got me started on the path of the hop.
It has a great light amber color and smells of citrus and delicious hops.
It is bitter, but a wonderful bitter, with a hint of citrus flavor but mostly the hoppy wonder that I have come to love.

One of the few beers I actually buy often!

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

This is the gold standard for American Pale Ales - a classic. Drinking the beer out of an american pint glass, the slightly cloudy, off-golden, bottle conditioned beer forms a nice off white head. The head eventually gives way and leaves a nice lace on the glass while the small carbonation bubbles jet to the top of the beer. The aroma gives you a tease of hops but mostly the malty sweetness comes through in the nose. The first sip gives way to that sweet initial taste then it's quickly balanced by the floral hops finishing with a faint bitterness. The mouthfeel is right on target which is on the lighter side of medium bodied. This beer is perfect for complimenting bar food: pizza, wings, poppers, & burgers. It's also a great everyday beer which should occupy any american pale ale lovers beer fridge or beer meister. A great beer for anyone who loves a nice flavorful but not over the top american pale ale.

Photo of Faune
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a amber orange with a head that turns to a thin lace.

Smell: Hops, citrus, fruits and grain. Medium bodied.

Tastes: Fruit, citrus, hops, malt.

Mouthfeel: Smooth medium bodied.

Overall a great Pale Ale. A classic, enjoyable beer.

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

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a main stay for me.

appearance: Pale orangy (if that's a word) color. Nice head, Nice retention, average lacing

smell: citrisy pine. hint a lemon peel. Hops are definetly up front. Faint malt in the background.

taste: Hops a prevelent. Great citris characteristics. Slight bitterness in the finish that is attributed to those wonderful cascade hops. Very flavoful Pale Ale and well balanced

mouthfeel: light/medium bodied. Good carbination, smooth and clean in the finish.

drinkability: yes! Could stay with this all night.

Photo of jt31914
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: about 1-1 1/2 fingers head; darker yellow and very carbonated. Head retention is very long lasting.

S: Clove and hop smell - pretty weak but nice.

T: Weak clove and hop taste, this beer isn't very bitter and is quite mild; however, it is still good and there is a nice noticeable barley flavor in the beer.

M/D: Very drinkable with nice smooth mouthfeel. For a beer that you can get pretty much anywhere this was pleasant.

Photo of zoso493
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Probably the best entry-brew into the realm that is craft beer...

Appearance: Pours a beautiful coppery gold with a one and a haf finder head that dissipates to just covering the top of the beer.

Smell: A lot of cirtusy hops with some sweetness and floral notes.

Taste: Mild, sweet hop character with a touch of bitterness at the end that lingers just long enough.

Mouthfeel: A little thinner than expected, but still not bad.

Drinkability: Very high. This is a great session brew.

Overall, this is definitely classic brew that I haven't had in at least a year, but I'm glad I picked up a bottle. There's definitely a reason that so many people drink this when they are starting to get into craft brews. Great beer, for just that reason

Photo of Blitzstyle
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottel into a pint glass. A nice golden copper color pours a 1/2in head. Looks very refreshing head disapates after a min or 2.

Smells awesome not over powering not weak perfect in a way. Mostly citrus notes and can pick up Cascade hops.

Taste great just like it smells actually not to bubbley going down. Nice hop aftertase that lingers for just a min.

Gave it a 5 on drinkability. Could and have made this beer a all night session beer. Love it!!

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

A - golden orange body rests below a generous white foamy head. Carbonation apparant, prototypical apa appearance.

S - sweet bready malt body lies beneath layers of tropical fruit and earthy hop aromas. Smells good but not aggressive. Masterfully balanced.

T - citrus hops blend with caramel malt. Well balanced, leans towards malty at times. Not quite as flavorful as it smells but to style.
M/D - very easy to drink, totally approachable for a newcomer to craft beers but still enjoyable for seasoned tasters.

Photo of rfgetz
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a supplement to my recent review of it in a bottle...

Differences to note:
- brighter and cleaner looking
- much fuller, fresher hop flavor and smell
- carbonation much more balanced

As close as an APA can come to IPA in hop smell, flavor and bitterness. Overall, the draft version exceededs the bottle by a mile.

Photo of muskabeatz
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm excited to say that this is my first review. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a nice orange bronze color with a 1 inch head. Dissipates rather quickly, leaving very minimal lacing.

Smell consists of primarily citrus and hops.

Taste takes over where the smells leaves off, presenting a prominent citrus and hop flavor, giving way to a sort of buttery, biscuity undertone. Very well-balanced, with just the right amount of carbonation.

An extremely drinkable APA that I will continue coming back to.

Photo of Mavajo
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tried this beer once before and was very disappointed. Decided to try it again just to see if I'd gotten an old bottle. I'm glad I did - this sample was much more enjoyable.

Pours a nice orange color with not a whole lot of head - dissipates almost immediately. Smell is of citrusy hops. Taste is similar. The citrus and cascade hops are really noticeable, but it's not really bitter. There's a slight hint of spice here. Quite drinkable, especially if you're a fan of the style.

Photo of Yooperduder
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Head is light, lingers slightly but is not overpowering. No foam mustache from this beer.

Smells wonderful, slight citrus smell with some cascade hints.

Very crisp, effervescent mouthfeel, a definite hoppiness with some crisp citrus.

Overall a great drinking beer with some extraordinary drinkability. One of those beers that you can drink mowing the lawn or out on the town. Nothing complex or mysterious, just a good honest pale ale.

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

On tap pint glass.

Hazy golden, cloudy from the yeasty turbidity, a nice one inch head dissapates to a fluffy wisp and clingy lace.

Smells of Perle and cascade hops; piney and juicy grape fruit.

Tatse is exceptionally balanced malts and hops; grapefruit bite and a sweet blend with a spicey finish.

Very drinkable and sessionable.


Photo of chetripley
4.56/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

What can be said that hasn't already? Clear pour, medium head, deliciousness in a glass.
What all American Pale Ales strive for.
Consistency bottle after bottle.
I have compared SN to many and they don't stack up to it.
If there is a complaint about it I have to say the smell is slightly off-not bad, just not biscuity or malty like I would expect out of any lager/ale offering.
Can and will drink anytime. Always in my fridge.

Photo of donniecuffs
4.52/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass. Nice amber/orange color, with a very good carbonation presence, a nice off-white head, and good lacing. The aroma is dominated by pine and citrus from the getgo, but you can also detect some biscuit and malt in there as well. The taste reveals why so few people have been able to duplicate this pale ale's success; citrus and pine hop flavor gives way to maltiness, which then gives way to a dry finish. Nice medium-bodied and carbonated mouthfeel, with a great dry finish. This beer defines 'session pale ale'.

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

A-Very nice light copper color. No head to speak of, I suspect it was due to a barkeep who doesn't know how to draw one correctly.

S-Nice floral and citrus notes with some spicy hops.

T-Smooth yet with a nice hoppy/bitter bite. A nice biscuity maltiness to it as well. Very nice, very well balanced.

M-Surprisingly smooth and creamy, but with a nice bite and dry finish.

D-Very, very drinkable. A great session brew to be sure!

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

this beer is a very clear golden orange color. the smell consists of fruit with a bit of a pine twist. the taste is great. it starts off very fruity with a hint of malts but mostly hops hops hops. i love it! the mouthfeel is smooth, lightly carbonated and a bit buttery. since it has a light alcohol rating a could drink a good amout of these before i get too buzzed

Photo of 8Punisher8
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Between this ale and Boulavard Pale Ale, they're the beers I can always count on for a great hop taste/smell. When there is nothing else good in stock, these two are my 'fallback' beere. Between the great taste and smooth hoppy finish, this one is a winner, which is why it's one of the industry standards when it comes to American Pale Ales.

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

By the time I got the glass, the head was very thin, which was a disappointment. The body was brownish orange with a lot of playful bubbliness. Nice nose - a lot of grape and citrus notes, with a little bit of grain and yeast. ah, the taste was multi dimensional, with a sharp zesty bite, sweet fruitiness and a robust hop bitterness, more than average for a pale ale. A lot of carbonation there with a light palate. A very drinkable session beer.

Photo of Marcrates
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a nice golden yellow with an inch and 1/4 head. Looks tasty.

Smell - Very sweet and citrusy.

taste - Has an immediate sweet taste, with a flowery and citrusy after taste.

Overall this is a very drinkable, yet flavorful beer. It didn't blow me away, but it may just make my top 15 or so. Only time will tell.

Photo of Genuine
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A - That pour resulted in a bone white 2 finger head which did not last long at all. This was a bit disappointing, but in appearance only. Has a nice golden brown/tan color.

Smell - Lots of citrus and a bit of pine. I would have to say more grapefruit.

Taste - almost like what it smells. Lots of citrus and pine. Not a hard one to get down at all. I am a big fan of the hop presence in this one. Seems to be at just the right amount.

Mouthfeel - nice, clean carbonation. Maybe a medium body, since it's not light nor much on the heavy side.

Drinkability - This is a great session beer. This is the beer me and my buddies "go to beer" if nothing else is available. Very nice beer to have while working on the cars or relaxing on a sunday afternoon watching football.

Photo of Wisconsinality
3.67/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- This one pours a hazy golden color with about 2 fingers worth of head. A bunch of tiny bubbles coming from the bottom of the glass.
S- The thing that jumps out at me is the zest of the ale. The smell of grapefruit is pretty predominant. Also a hint of yeast.
T- This is a pretty good example of a pale ale. Grapefruit can be picked out right away. There may also be some other fruit like orange in there and a hint of yeast.
M- Pretty good overall, a nice medium body with a good amount of carbonation and a little bit of bite from the perceived grapefruit.
D- I could have a few of these but I think after that my taste buds would be a little worn out.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,894 ratings.