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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.

9,508 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,508
Reviews: 2,757
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 169
Gots: 1,276 | 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
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Ratings: 9,508 | Reviews: 2,757 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ckeegan04
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy golden amber color with one finger off-white head. Slowly fades away and leaves decent lacing.

S - Strong aroma of citrusy grapefruit hops. Far stronger aroma than when had from the bottle. Smells almost IPAish.

T - Light malt sweetness up front, primarily caramel. Quickly overcome by a juicy hoppiness. Taste of grapefruit with a hint of something a little more tart.

M/D - Medium bodied. Easily drinkable. Hops are a little strong for an APA, but I consider that a good thing.

Photo of Silenus89
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured to my pint glass from 12oz bottle. Cloudy amber color with good carbonation and nice head. Smells of nuts,citrus hops, alittle sweet malts. Tastes of pine and hops and malts top it off. Light/medium body. This has a good drinkability beer that is readily available. Id get this again

Photo of NHGrafx
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 24oz brown bottle.

Pours a copper color with a decent head, which does not last long at all and minimal lacing.

This one has a lovely aroma. There are some nice floral aromas mixed with a nice citrus aroma which smells like grapefruit and mandarin orange slices. As it warms, aromas of yeast come through as well. Very pleasant.

Taste starts off citrusy which then yields to the bitterness from the hops. There is also some malt flavors in there as well, but they seemed hidden to me. The finish has some nice bitterness to it and is also very dry. Mouthfeel is relatively smooth. Moderately drinkable, for me anyway.

Overall this is very nice example of an American Pale Ale.

Photo of philipquarles
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with a smallish white head. Retention isn't great, nor is the lacing. Still looks good though.

Smells of hops up front, with a bit of pine/juniper, citrus and some sweet malt. The citrus really comes forward on the palate, and with the hops and malt makes it a very well balanced, slightly bitter brew. Great example of a pale ale.

Very drinkable overall; thanks to the lowish ABV, something I could actually drink all night.

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

Poured clear orange-copper with 1 cm white crown. Good lacing.

Smells of citrus, red licorice, and dry cereal (think Cheerios).

The mouthfeel is crisp, with good carbonation.

The taste is hoppy and floral, with a nice malty sweetness, grapefruit, and a slight sourness. The aftertaste is nicely sour and bitter. A good brew.

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

continuing to work my way through a 12-pack, and it's finally starting to grow on me again. still a little on the beer-soda side, but so long as you haven't had anything hoppy in the last few days you can get in a groove with snpa. doesn't seem so watery now either. still seems to be lacking in something, but having a harder time placing what it is and caring less about finding out.

came back after a couple years, and was dissappointed with snpa.
4 clear light ambery orange, nice short head and scattered lace
3.5 citrus hops and a tiny suggestion of pale malt. very simple.
3.5 the flavor is ok, citrusy, one-dimensional. the sweetness keeps it from being crisp, and there isn't quite enough bitterness to solicit additional swigs. had to push myself through a bit. the worst was that it kept reminding me a little of some sort of soda pop.
3 thin body, a bit too watery even for an apa, imo.
3.5 fairly easy to drink but i was surprised to find myself struggling to really enjoy snpa this time around. not sure what exactly the problem is. it's not that i'm too much into more extreme stuff to like an apa, and i've been really loving the smuttynose shoal's pale ale. will have to give sierra nevada another try to reconfirm.
now that this update is done, i'm looking at my earlier impressions (below) and apparently i wasn't all that wild about the stuff in the first place.

review from 9/08/08

3.5 A small head, slight lacework, nice glowing coppery amber, translucent
3.5 S dough, grapefruit
4 T thankfully not too doughy, lots of grapefruit. pretty clean and simple.
4 M ample carb, light to medium bodied
3.5 D a bit one-dimensional, but can be worth having two during a session. the wide availability means it can on occassion save you from having something very bad at a bar or restaurant.

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

Reviewed from notes from my rainy South Caka-Lacka (SC) adventure.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Firm pour yields a 2 finger head that diminishes quickly. No lace to speak of. Beer pours a nice orange/golden amber.

Nose- Citric hops, not over whelming, but strong enough to let you know what you are in for.

Taste- Muted citric sweetness, followed by tart and tangy citric hops. Carmel malts rear their head. Nicely balanced, dry and bitter finish. Very nice.

Mouthfeel- Tart and tangy, highly carbonated.

Drinkability- Very high. An easy drinking pale ale. My go to at bars with a dubious beer menu.

Photo of OtherShoe2
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received a nice orange pint with a decent bubbly head that left some lacing.

Smells of malt and floral hops. Some citrus.

Citrus rind hop flavor, smooth malt, crisp finish. Some carbonation, not over the top, though.

What a great, solid beer. Clean and refreshing for any season. A real drinker here, which is scary. Classic APA all the way.

Photo of Brew33
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz draft.

I have had this beer numerous times on draft and in bottles. It was my first venture into American craft beer.

It is a solid APA. Great color, aroma and taste. Perfect body and head. An excellent beer. Great balance of hops and malts. I have now graduated to more complex, flavorful Pale Ales but this is like Mom's Pot Roast to me, sometimes I crave it.

It isn't the best Pale Ale on the planet but it is timeless and tasty. I would gladly shell out my money for this brew anytime. Good stuff.

Photo of mtstatebeer
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle. Pours a medium yellow-orange color with a small creamy off-white head. Aroma is almost all hops with some pine and citrus. Flavor is of sweet caramel malts and bitter spicy hops. Very well balanced, good pale ale. Finishes astringent and dry on tongue. An easy 'go-to' beer when the best beer you can get within an hour drive is SN or Rogue.

Photo of steinlifter
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy deep golden, frothy head with good retention.
citrus and floral hop aroma.
dry hops hit the palate 1st mellowing to some citrusy and malt flavor.
med. body,fairly carbonated, a bit chewy.
drinkability for me is decent,however a bit hoppier than I prefer, but a very good example of the style.

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

A long time session beer of mine, as well as the first american pale i ever tried.

A: Pours a nice copper gold color with an off white head about an inch or so. crystal clear, nice bubbles. all around a good looking beer.

S: peppery and citrusy hops, a light malt bill, fairly sweet smelling, but hops dominate it, very nice.

T: clean hop tastes, a nice bitterness that lingers, the malt is caramelly and sweet. a little more towards the hoppy side, but that's exactly how i like it. the finish is very clean. pretty crisp up front. not too sticky, very balanced, all around excellent.

M: balanced, not too thick or thin, nice lingering bitterness, nicely carbonated. all in all great.

D: for a relatively higher hopped beer, this beer does alright as far as drinkability goes, i really like to drink a few when i choose to drink them. a great standby beer when i can't decide on anything.

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

12 oz bottle

A: Pours light tan/ orange with a finger of cream colored head and little lacing.
S: Citrus, tangy fruits, sweet, light hops.
T: Sweet and hoppy. Bitter after taste with a slight sense of alcohol. The bitterness and sweetness are very well balanced.
M: Smooth and light.
D: This is pretty refreshing beer, good for hot afternoons. I would excitedly have it again.

Photo of RodBurg
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This brew is such a classic, I'm ashamed to say the first time I tried it was only about a month ago. I love the short brown bottle and the cool looking green label. The label alone conjures up images of majestic mountains and forests in the American West.

A fine layer of yeast coats the bottom of the bottle and it pours out a beautiful clear golden. A small, coarse head rises and doesn't stick around. No lacing.

The smell is wonderful. Crisp pale malts matched by the sharp cascade hops.

Tastes crisp, clean, and very refreshing. The malt and hops are in perfect harmony here. Slight grapefruit tones with a light/medium body and a good amount of carbonation.

This is the standard for American pale ales and what they all should try to live up to. A great thirst quencher and summer beer. This one is going on regular rotation in my fridge.

Photo of gford217
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear golden amber with a small white fluffy head that dissipates quickly to a ring leaving only a little lacing. The aroma is big on citrus hops with grapefruit up front and a hint of pine in the background. The taste starts with a big citrus hop bite up front before giving way to the malt backbone. There is a little pine bitterness in the finish. The mouthfeel is fresh and clean with good carbonation but a tad light for my liking. This is certainly one of the best mainstream beers out there and one that I order frequently when there's not a lot else available. Good stuff.

Photo of changeup45
3.55/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap, out of the bottle, I always enjoy this beer. Copper color with moderate off-white head and some lacing. A bit floral, nicely hopped, with grapefruit, moderate bitterness and some sweet malt for a nicely balanced beer. This is a solid beer and probably easy to find for most people.

Photo of thekevlarkid
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Strong hoppy aroma with a floral hint. Copper color. Pours with a nice thick head that shows great retention. Delicate bubbles leave good lacing too. Medium bodied and bitter with a crisp, dry finish. Smooth and refreshing. The light carbonation makes you want to savor it and swish it around in your mouth. This is a good beer (you can see why it's their flagship) and you could easily drink it all night.

Photo of twiggamortis420
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wanted to see if the 24oz bottle tasted any different than it's little bro. Poured into a Yeti snifter glass a clear copper color with great lacing and retention.

Light, citrisy hop aroma. Smells fresh. Delicate bready malts present as well. Has everything you should smell in an APA, nothing you dont.

Taste falls on the hoppy side of life. More floral than citrus. Light, crisp and smooth. I get the feeling the water they use is really tasty with just enough minerals. Yum.

Pretty amazing how SN can brew so much of this and keep the quality this high. Prost!

Photo of wspscott
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle in sam adams glass

A: Crystal clear, dark golden color. Thin white head with a little lace.
S: Citrus hops dominate, there is a hint of pine in the background
T: Sharp hop bitterness, definitely a pale ale. The hops aren't obviously cascades, mostly just bitter. A little caramel sweetness to help balance things out.
M: More carbonation than I remembered, right on the edge (but not over) of too much. Crisp but not watery. A roundness on the tongue, mouth filling, tongue coating. Surprised that there is not more of a head given the mouthfeel.
D: It had been a while since I had had one of these. A great pale ale, but not as great as I remembered. I think that this is a perfect beer for a 4th of July picnic or a baseball game. Highly drinkable, well worth seeking out.

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

I really enjoyed this beer recently, much more than I expected (or remembered from the first time I had it years ago).

The appearance was quite nice. A bit darker than other comparable beers.

I find the smell pleasing and inviting. There is no false advertising either; you taste what you smell once you begin to drink this Pale Ale.

This beer is wonderful on the senses. It tastes great anytime of the year and goes down smooth.

I find this to be a good session beer as I could easily enjoy a six-pack in a sitting. There is a slight hint of alcohol (at 5.6% ABV), but definitely not overwhelming.

Photo of BoSox5902
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very strong hop flavor. a great ale. i got a six pack of this from my dad for my 21st birthday. up there with samuel adam's as one of the best american brewed beers. i usually like the european imports myself but this beer can give them competition.

Photo of Dodo2step
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

P- Grape and Gourmet on my trip to Va Beach!

A- pours a nice light copper and orange color. A one finger head is nice and frothy and leaves a nice white lace around the top of my glass.

S- some floral and citrusy hops hit my nose and it smells grandiose. Very sensous in smell. The hops overrun the smlee of alcohol and malts.

T- a nice grapefruit citrus hop taste. It is like an explosion of grapefruit in my mouth. I also detect some floral flavors at the tail end.

M- dry and refreshing. Very hoppy which i did not like in the past but have come fond of the hoppiness.

D- i bought a 12 pack for the DMB concert and they went down smooth and very easy. Flavorful and easy to put down as a summer beer.

Photo of GoodKnight1220
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got this on-tap at the local brew-pub.

Poured a nice golden yellow with little head or lacing.

Smells mostly of hops and light floral.

Very smooth and dry, can taste the floral and hops but not over powering, has a nice bitter finish.

Very good brew, can drink plenty of these.

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

Quite the find this one was,recommended by the waiter at the Sheraton restaraunt just outside Disneyland,a medium amber color,with a bubbly creamy off white head that left some sticky lacing,a great scent of citrus,some pine,nice hoppy aroma to it.Taste was a great blend of hops and malts, also hinted of citrus some grapefruit and very nice spicy touch to it.Medium mouthfeel to this one all going down rather nicely,can't get this one in my area,will try this one again next time i come across it,very enjoyable and highly recommended.

Photo of prsguitarsr4me
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Probably my favorite casual drinker. I can always finish off the night with one of these. I love the taste - not extreme but there is definitely something going on with every sip. Excellent taste and drinkability - I'm not blown away by the smell or appearance so much, but then again, for me, its a casual drinker, and I always recommend it. And honestly, I want just as much out of a casual drink than anything else - it has to taste good, and this Pale Ale definitely does.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 9,508 ratings.