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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.

9,680 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,680
Reviews: 2,801
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 182
Gots: 1,477 | 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: 9,680 | Reviews: 2,801 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kbeals
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is a copper color with plenty of fluffy white head. Excellent lacing and clarity. Smells of earthy, piney hops, a bit of a malt background but not much. Taste is again hoppy, some light citrus taste too it with a bit of a grainy finish. Beer is very smooth and pretty light-bodied with not a ton of carbonation. A very tasty brew and one that I could drink for awhile.

Photo of southernbelle09
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heard a lot about this one so I finally decided to give it a try. Has a very nice, clear copper color with fluffy white head and some sediment at the bottom of the bottle. This one has a nice eartly hop aroma with not much malt. A really tastey pale, has a nice body and fruity/earthy hop notes. Overall a really good beer and one I wouldn't mind drinking a few of. I'll be sure to give this one a try next time I see it!

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

Purs a clear amber/cider with nice big 2 finger white foamy head. Smells of earthy hops with a caramel sweetness. Picked up a citrus and evergreen scent as well. Love this taste, crisp citrus mixed with a great hoppy taste. Maltiness flows through at end with nice aftertaste. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth. Very crisp and light bodied. This is very drinkable. I can't believe I have waited this long to try SN PA, I will be drinking this a lot more.

Photo of Brenden
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This time I tried it on tap. You'll notice the only difference is that the appearance was actually better when I poured it myself.

The color is an opaque coppery orange. The head is still quite nice with good retention and lacing is good as well.

The smell has notes of grain but is most strongly of spice and floral hops.

The taste is crisp with a powerful spicy citrus and a strong hops bitterness. There is also a very light touch of sweetness that takes the edge off a little. There's a bready sort of maltiness that kind of hovers just within reach.

The body is medium with a light carbonation. A nicely lingering finish is pretty dry.

This is a standard-setter far pale ales, and anyone interested in the style should consider this one a mainstay.

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

Served in a pint glass at 13°C

A: Pours a golden, clear liquid with a white, sparkly head with adequate retention for the style. Excellent CO2

S: Slightly estery. Lots of hops in the aroma (american dual-purpose hops, Cascade and maybe even Amarillo comes to mind). Citrus, grapefruit and some light malt

T: Maltier than expected from the smell, but actually very well-balanced! Very smooth and blossomy (if that's even a word), fresh, crisp and light. Maltier at first, but some hop bitterness in the finish (not much bitterness though, mostly flavoring hops). Very refreshing!

M: Light and smooth on the tongue and throat. The CO2 tickles a bit on the palate, really nice :)

D: Absolutely great. Goes down easier than any other ale I've tried. The balance between malt and hops is fantastic and makes this one excellent beer. Both the malt and the hops are easily distinguishable and tasteable individually - really enjoyable!

Conclusion: Outstanding all-round APA with great aroma and flavor hops. Maltier taste at first, but hoppier citrusy, grapefruitish in the finish. Very drinkable and excellent CO2. Highly recommended!

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

Pours a mostly clear amber with two finger white head leaving dense lacing. Smell: pale malt, piney, earthy hops, touch of caramel. Taste: pale malt, earthiness, grapefruit, pine, tangerine, and again, a little bit of caramel. Revisited this one after trying torpedo recently, still tasty and ultimately sessionable. Pretty sure SN can do no wrong with an apa or ipa.

Photo of aval89
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a honey brown color with a nice looking head. The smell was of pines, very citrusy..nice hop aroma.. Also a bit of caramel/sweet malts. When you dive in you immediately get that rich hoppy taste, citrus, sweet malty finish with just a hint of caramel in there. Goes down very smooth, but a little light in my opinion. Very drinkable though. Extremely well balanced brew


Photo of mempath
4.74/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

an old standby i haven't visited in years! let's see what i remember and see if my palate has refined due to being bush-hogged by barrel-proof bourbons this winter...

a-that deep golden color that suggests orangey-green. i love it. a beautiful head that diminishes a bit quickly, but not too much so...sporadic lacing that doesn't cling for long.

s-so fresh, crisp, better than i remember. i probably didn't if smell it on purpose last time (that was 1989, i think....). i catch a perfect whiff of malty-hoppiness. what schmaltzy-happiness!

t-my goodness, this is really a fundamentally premiere stellar top notch pedigree american pale ale...it has a nice bitter, but subtle fade out, but it's hard to get to that point due to taking another swallow before too much time passes...the hops are right up front, but there's an obvious depth to it as well as (is this oxymoronic?) being subtley assertive. i love the way the maltiness weaves and pirouettes on the margins.

m-as it should be. as you would expect from this classic. chew it, inhale, you catch ethereal textures, nice continued hopscotch play of hops and malt...even catching somthing herbal, a hint...not sure what that is, but it's a bonus.

d-very very quaffable. an ultimate session brew for me.

this simply blows the quite admirable SN ESB 2009 out of the water. and yes, that itself is a fine brew.

Photo of gotweid
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle a nice golden amber type color. Head was small but the lacing clung to the glass all the way down. Fairly attractive beer. Aroma is very spicy, high on citrus and hops. Notice some grains in the aroma as well. Taste is dominated by citrus with a nice hop bitterness and malt balance. I taste grapefruit. It is good grapefruit though, not the pucker your mouth grapefruit. Mothfeel is medium bodied, slightly bitter, somewhat refreshing and actually very smooth and easy. Very drinkable. I found myself thinking this beer was ok at the beginning to thinking it was really, really good by the time I finished the bottle. I really enjoyed this. Time for another...

Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice darker yellow with a head that retained nicely. The smell was just typical beer type smell nothing outstanding, nothing bad either, a pefect 3. Fortunately the taste was better then the smell. Piney hops, not overwhelming like a hop bomb, but certainly present. Pretty complex flavor profile for a pale ale, it wasn't a one-note hit as you could sense the malts and a fruityness of some sorts. Seemed like it was a little overcarbonated to me, maybe it was just the tap it poured from. Despite the extra bubbles, this was extremely drinkable and went extremely well with my wings.

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

Jan 29, 2009
Golden Yellow pour. 1 finger head that left quickly. smelled of clean hops, and citrus. Taste is - wow - i really suprised at how much i like this brew. I tried this beer early on in my craft beer drinking, and thought it was not good, and was even turned off on other APA's , because of my memory of this one. But i thought i would give it another shot, as i know i didnt have quite the appreciation i do know for really good beers. Even though im still new to this, I think i have "matured" a little in my drinking experience/appreciation. ALL that being said, this is truly a great beer! nice, clean taste, with just a bit of hop bitterness to finish it off, and when i say in the finish, i mean way down in the back of my tounge, almost down into my throat [i may actually prefer just a touch less]. nicely done, and one i will definitely get again. this would be a great beer for drinking several of, for instance during a football game, or after mowing the lawn. pretty refreshing.This one has me excited about trying other APA's...

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

On tap (at Pub 71, Atlanta, GA) - It had a very nice clear yellow/golden color to it with a pretty big white head, that was pretty light or not dense. It was well retained. For a pale ale, I thought that the aroma was really good, light malt and hops aroma with a very light hint of sweetness. Taste was hoppy with some pine, malt and that light hint of sweetness. The flavor was really good, way better than expected. The body was light and the beer was very refreshing. Maybe slightly over carbonated, but not really to the determent to the beer. This one is a keeper. Highly enjoyed it. This one will be a staple once summer rolls around.

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

Pours a nice light amber color with about a 1 inch thick head that left nice lacing all down the glass.

Smells sweet, with pine, hops, and a little citrus coming through in the nose.

Taste is great, a little piney at first followed by the hops, but not finishing too bitter. Finished up with that citrus coming through again in the end.

This is a light beer, typical of a pale ale, not too heavy on the palate at all with a medium amount of carbonation. Very refreshing.

This is a great beer overall, I love how the hops counterbalance the slight sweetness the brew brings in the beginning. Very sessionable. I buy these in the 12 packs :)



After about a year of drinking better beers and appreciating flavors better, I can safely say that this is the definition of sessionable, and is probably the most solid beer that is readily available to me (like even at the corner gas station). Thus, I've bumped the ranking up from a B+ to an A-. I love this beer.

Photo of kjh5040
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Always a classic and have yet to meet somebody who loves beer and doesnt enjoy a snpa. Light amber/copper small amount of carbonation and head. Nice, lighter aroma and taste with a hoppy bitter finish to it. Cant taste the grapefruit like some people have. A great go to beer since its found almost anywhere and is relatively cheap. Wish i had another sitting in my fridge...

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

from notes:
served a light copper / amber transparent with a small white film that leaves down to a film with a nice ring around the edge that left decent lacing
smell is sweet with good pine and grapefruit notes
taste is light all hops, pine floral and grapefruit going on
mouthfeel is crisp with the bitterness but still quite nice
drinkability is good this is a great alternative compared to BMC

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

A - This beer poured a great amber color that produced a fluffy white head that had decent retention and laced the side of the glass nicely as well

S - The aromas produced by this beer were sweet malts and some citrus-like hop flower mixed in

T - This beer had a malty start that progressed to a grapefruit and orange center that finished with a great hoppy bitterness which was not a hopbomb, but was not subtle either

M - The mouth on this beer had a very crisp, medium body with moderate amount of carbonation

D - What can I say, this is one of the greatest session beers ever created, although some people tire of it, I never do. One of the most wonderful American Pale Ales crafted, hats off to Sierra Nevada

Photo of jazztoloc
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 OZ bottle poured into a pint. Love the colors on Sierra Nevada´s bottles and caps.

A: Light copper, nice head and lacing. This is a very nice looking beer. Love at first sight.

S: Hops, hints of manila mango, spicy herbs, lots of herbs.

T: Very smooth, some fruit. Love the the bitter mango finish, great!

M: Medium carbonation and body, nice balance.

D: The drinkability of this beer is very high for me. This was the first time I had this and it was a very nice surprise. I wish I coud get it in Mexico in a near future.

Photo of Adam2200
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A.very clear light white head with steady retention on the head

S. smell is light hop aroma not as strong as most pales that I am used to

T.the taste is nice light with small after taste of hops it is good for a light pale drinker

M. there is no bad taste in my mouth just pale ale

D.Very nice beer with any type of food or company good for a new beer drinker for ales

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

A very nice looking pour, true amber with loads of carbonation visible within the colomn. Its sudsy head fills half of the glass with a moderate pour. It is crystal clear and almost as inviting as a spring day. There was heavy lacing left in the glass.

It smells crisp and slightly bitter with subtle hints of yeast. There is nothing overbearing or extremely impressive. Just a little hoppier than I have smelled in the past.

Tastes slightly hoppy with a metallic "ting" to it. Very mellow with semi-sweet malts...not quite caramelesque. I get flavors of buttered bread...actually pretty nice.

A great medium bodied beer that is both soothing and creamy with just a smidge of bitterness on the finish. The carbonation is very nice, going almost unnoticed until the end.

Very smooth and extremely easy drinking, without a doubt a great session beer. I have drank more of these than I care to count...still serves me well, almost like a safety blanket regardless of the occassion.

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

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale poured clear and golden from the bottle. The head was dense with lots of lacing on the glass. Crisp flavor similar to a lager with some citrus. Nice carbonation helps to assert itself in ways that its mild recipe might not without it.

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

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is truly an American icon. Although there are more elaborate beers than this one available across the country, few can demonstrate the level of consistency, claim the enduring drinkability or indeed have the widespread availabilty that SNPA has.

Having just spent the last few days moving house (a sure way to build a thirst if ever there was one) I finally got the opportunity to have a few beers tonight. My fridge is packed with some really great beers from such breweries as Stone, Victory, Brooklyn, Southampton and even some SN Bigfoot, Torpedo and Celebration - but despite my impressive inventory, all I wanted to do was guzzle some SNPA, such is its thirst quenching quality. The thought of SNPA came into my head a few days ago, and I know that when that type of thing happens it's an itch that's not going to go away until it's scratched. So a quick trip to the supermarket soon remedied the situation - and that's one of the real beauties about this beer - it's available practically everywhere.

With its clean, crisp, (look at me I'm stood on top of a mountain and it's so) refreshing taste it really is a beer I could drink until the cows come home. Pure Class.

Photo of LyonsHead
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: deep rusty orange/amber color, nice head. exceptional clarity and great lacing. This is just a fantastic looking beer

S: piney, citrus notes with a good malt backbone to that backs it up with a touch of sweetness

T: More on the bitter side but it has balance as I detected malty sweetness towards the end

M: Medium-body with a dry finish that highlights the hop prfile

D: overall this is a really good APA, definitely put a few of these away... tasty beverage.

Photo of JohnWaynes44
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a golden orange in to a pint glass. The head is nice, with considerable lacing.

Smell is subtle, slight hint of floral.

Fresh and bright taste. Hops are there but not overwhelming. Malts try to peak through the dry finish.

Mouth is pretty light for the style.

I could and will drink this all day. It is refined enough to compliment fine cuisine and simple enough to drink all day at a ballgame.

I love this beer. It is always consistent. You know you're going to get a good head and it's always fresh. Good value and easy to find (even in rural Indiana). This beer is solid and so is the brewery. Thanks.

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

Great amber color.. looks like a pale!

Smell its slightly pine and citrus, but not too strong.

Light malt and decent hop notes. Mild citrus and pine. Doesn't taste so grainy like some other sessional pales. No rice or corn there!

Great fishing beer, slightly dry.

A bit more on the bubbly side.. I like a pale that is slightly less carbonated.

A home brew kit I have says SN uses hop pellets to make this one... I don't think it's true.. maybe in the start!

Photo of Napone
4.71/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - golden amber with a nice head. Not 'orangish' like some Pale Ales.

Smell - mild to moderate aroma, not too intense

Taste - great going down with a complex finish

Drinkability - a very drinkable beer, similar to some of the India Pale Ales I've had in the past

Sorry about that lack of technical terms, this is my first ever review.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,680 ratings.