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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.

9,665 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,665
Reviews: 2,797
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 178
Gots: 1,448 | 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: 9,665 | Reviews: 2,797 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of callmescraps
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Time to review a classic:

Appearance - An light orangish-copper color. A pretty decent inch of chunky head that laces the top nicely.

Smell - Lots of grapefruit. Very strong citrus with a little hop kicker.

Taste - Lots of grapefruit up-front, with some hop bitterness coming in on the follow. The finish is fairly dry.

Mouthfeel - A nice balanced body. Not too thin, nice carbonation. It's a good, very crisp.

Drinkability - Pretty decent, although it's kind of hard to drink too much with all the citrus followed by the hop bitterness.

A classic of the style. Sometimes I forget how good these old reliables really are.

Photo of JayNH
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a nice clear light copper. Carbonation bubbles up nicely. A small foamy head dissapates quickly.

S- Citrusy hops with a subtle bready sweetness. Also a slight scent of alcohol.

T- Hops... A nice coating of grassy flowery hops on the tongue. The hops really stand out in this brew.

M- Carbonation is prickly on the tongue Nice full body to this brew.

D- I really like this beer. Hoppy with a nice full body.

Photo of bag057
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice clear copper with a good off white head that does not last very long. very fine bubbles throughout.The smell is floral and citrusy. Fantastic bitter hop taste but not too overpowering. Dry finish with hoppy aftertaste. Very drinkable ale.

Photo of Vendetta
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Original Rating Date:
October 6, 2008

Pours a bit darker than expected, looks wonderful. Smells hoppy with hints of citrus fruit. Taste is malty, very citrusy, crisp, incredibly easy to drink. This gets me excited for Sierra Nevada's IPA. Really complete, excellent tasting beer that's unbelievably easy to drink. A-level beer. Didn't notice too much of a difference from the bottle, to be honest.

Photo of AleWerks
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah SN pale ale. What can you say? Aroma is nicely balanced between hops and caramel. Appearance is light copper with a white head. Flavor is hoppy and balanced. Mouthfeel is bright and hoppy, finishing clean. Overall, this beer is the epitome of the American Pale Ale style. I drink this beer every chance I get.

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

A: Amber body with a white head and visible carbonation.

S: Wow, citrus hop aroma. Screaming West Coast.

T: Great hop bitterness lots of hop flavor. Lingering bitterness in the aftertaste.

M: Clean and crisp. High carbonation tingles the toungue.

D: It's hard to have this much flavor at 5.6%. This is one you can enjoy beer after beer..

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

I had this at Noodles and Company in Minneapolis of all places. I was rather shocked at their beer selection. Coors Light and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale! HA! What an easy choice! I can understand only having 2 beers on hand. But Coors Light and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale? Really? Anyways I just thought that was odd.

What a great Pale Ale. Perfect balance. Perfect balance of malts and hops, body and carbonation, aroma and taste. Everything. Just great. One I will hopefully be drinking for years. I really don't have anything bad to say about this brew.

So remember, next time your at Noodles, choose a Sierra Nevada!

Photo of ssam
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A-very nice color and 2in frothy head. the head didnt retain very well and disappeared completely.

S-the smell is very pleasing, you get surrounded by the smell of the malt and the hops, very balanced and fragrant

T- delicious pale ale, lots of hoppy aromas and tastes, but not overly bitter. small citrus undertone

M- nice mouthfeel. just the right amount of carbonation

D-okay drinkability, slightly heavier than i would have liked

good beer

Photo of heath1agnew
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance- pours a nice light amber color with a two finger head that eventually settle down to one. Carbonation bubbles can be seen.

smell- wonderful hops with a hint of citrus

taste- AHHH. pretty dang good. the hops are not over powering and the citrus is just right in the background. has a wonderful slightly bitter finish.

mouthfeel- just perfect for it's style not to thin and a nice kick of carbonation. also has a great dry finish.

drinkability- it's a no brainer. it's easy to drink and the dry feel to it leaves you wanting more.

Photo of xhcadamx
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - honey amber with lots of tiny bubbles. Nice creamy head and good lacing.

S - cascade hops, toasty cereal, and a earty spiciness

T - pretty much like it tastes with a good carbonated bite. well balanced.

M - very smooth but a little dry at the end.

D - gets a 5 for me. I can find this anywhere and I can drink this anytime.

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

Poured into glass.

Appearance beer is a clear light amber color. The white head does not last long. Some lacing.

Smell I hardly smell anything at all. Some grassy floral hops smell.

Taste Nice mellow Pale Ale. Nothing over the top. Some piney taste that finishes a hint bitter. Good quality beer. Not an abundance of flavers but sometimes simple is better.

Mouthfeel: Very clean and tasty on the palete. Light bodied.

Drinkability: Very Very Drinkable beer that is clean and refreshing.

Photo of colts9016
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour is amber hue, with carbonation. The nose is citrus, yeast and hints of malt. Taste is citrus and floral, with hints of yeast and malt. Finish is bitter and dry. Overall very good pale ale... Although I will have to say that is pale ale has an assault on your palate.

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

Poured from 24oz into Guinness tulip pint.

Appearance: Pours a golden, slightly orange color with a large head, dissipating relatively slowly, that leaves a decent amount of lacing

Smell: Floral and citric hops with a little bit of nuttiness.

Taste: Biscuity malt, with a rounded, bitter finish that also has hints of sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Pretty thin body, but smooth, crisp, and somewhat dry at the end.

Drinkability: A good, drinkable beer all-around. Definitely something I'll go for in the future, might be something I'll have around for parties. Can't believe I passed on this beer for so long.

Photo of wahhmaster
4.53/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Fist review...here goes...

Poured from a 24 oz. bottle into a Guinness branded tulip pint glass (I really need to get better glassware; this shit is ridiculous).

Appearance: Fuckin' epic. Nice straw color with a decent head that dissapates quickly but leaves average lacing.

Smell: Hoppy aroma with grassy hints. Pretty good but nothing to write a sonnet about.

Taste: Why haven't I had this beer before?!? This is amazing. Nice hop taste that comes on strong upfront. Basically tastes like it smells: hoppy and delicious. Leaves a nice aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Kind of thin. Nothing special here...

Drinkability: A solid pale ale by Sierra Nevada. Highly recommended for fans of the style, beer noobs, or beer advocates in general. Peace out...

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

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass
A - This ale is a deep honey color with a 1" head which is off white and falls slowly to a fluffy skim.
S - Citrusy hops as well as some malt.
T - Hops are lighter than they smell but taste comes first. Slightly bitter.Followed by some malt sweetness.
M/F - Medium body with nice carbonation.
D - Very drinkable ale not too hoppy and a rather smooth brew.

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

Poured from a bottle into an American pint glass.

What can I say that hasn't been said before? Pours up with a slightly copperish golden body and a two finger creme colored foamy head. Very soapy for a bottle beer--dies slowly, maintains plenty of skim, and sheets most of the glass. Wow.

From there it's like somebody's plopped you down in the most comfortable recliner in the universe and said, "You are about to drink a beer that will get sick of you before you get sick of it." Just enough hops to tell you to keep drinking--and smelling: there's plenty of flowers and grapefruit going on here-- and just enough malt to make it stand up. The balance is impeccable. But what might be the true feats here are, on the one hand, the quality and sock of the flavors given the ABV, and the insanely creamy mouthfeel on the other. What kind of yeast are these people using? Do they grow their hops in soil with flecks of gold? This almost isn't fair to other breweries.

My first advice to myself if and when I start homebrewing is to break into Sierra Nevada after hours and steal all their ingredients. I'm positive my beer will be stunning if I do, even if I end up microwaving it and stirring the wort in an unwashed kettle in which I cooked beef stew three days ago.

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

Poured from a 12 oz stubby bottle into my Otter Creek pint glass

Appearance: A nice gold hue, a nice head that entered into a small wisp of lacing, nice retention and good glass lacing.

Smell: Citrus fruit pop out in a big hop profile, passion fruit, grapfruit, pear and a tinge of esters make this one a nice beer to smell. A nice floral aroma takes over.

Taste: Good blend of hoppy flavors to an excellent carmelized profile. This beer has a mellow alcohol backdrop that is muted yet begging to pop out. Citrus notes from the nose play a big part in this finish.

Mouthfeel: Decently carbonated to make the hops nice and bitter in the finish, keeps a nice balance and doesn't lose it's body on the tongue.

Drinkability: An excellent beer from SN that will continue to get praise. Behind Celebration Ale, this is the best dose of good hops I've had in a while. A creeper beer that is highly recommended in my book.

Photo of Tone
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden/yellow color. Decent head with little retention and little lacing. Smells strongly of hops. Fits the pale ale style quite nicely. Strong bitterness of hops with average carbonation. Could have a little more flavor, but overall very good beer.

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

I poured a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. The beer pours a clear copper color with a pretty head-and leaves nice lacing. It has a pleasant hoppy aroma- like walking the smell of a christmas tree. The beer is crisp with mild pine accents. The finish is dry with a mild piney aftertaste. A medium bodied beer that I could drink all day. This is the APA all others should be compared to. Overall a very well rounded beer, and one of the ones that got me interested in craft brews.

Photo of eporter66
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle (I like the SN stubby bottles) into a pint glass.

A - Golden amber color, poured to a 1/2 finger head that quickly dissapates to a ring. No real lacing left on glass.

S - Citrus and hoppy - pleasant but fairly mild smell overall.

T - Good fruit flavor on tongue, the hop bites and lives a bitter fruity laced aftertaste, and stays in the back of your throat.

M - Crisp, good carbonation tingle, medium bodied

D - I do not think of myself as a hophead, and read that this is a good introduction to IPA's. I certainly get the bitter flavor, but enjoyed the fruitiness. I assume the bitter aftertaste is what the hopheads enjoy. This was a an enjoyable beer, and certainly can be followed by a few more. I can see this one catching up to you after a few.

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

A: Light amber body with a nice white head with very evenly sized bubbles. There is some visible carbonation.

S: MMM. Great west coast hop aroma. Gotta love those citrus hops.

T: Great hop bitterness with a ton of hop flavor. Again, classic west coast. Good lingering bitterness in the aftertaste.

M: Nice and crisp. There is a good amount of tingling from the carbonation.

D: Great beer all around. We just finished off a keg of this and we might need to get another.

Photo of hoppheadIPA
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A "staple" craft brew in my fridge. Pours out of the bottle a rich amber with excellent head and retention. Leave thick lacing as I drink the glass.
Smell is hoppy and caramel malt. Great combo with just the right amounts of each.
Taste is what I expected, hoppy with a malty backround. Excellent drinkability for me.
Not really an aftertaste with perfect carbonation.

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.45/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 4/5/08. Bottle. Pours amber with a small white head. Smells of flowery soap (not that it smells like soap, just the flowery notes of some soaps). Taste of flowery hops, some spices. An excellent pale ale, hoppier than some. 7/4/6/4/13 (3.4/5)

Photo of MillySox
3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Perfect appearance, head, and gravity. Hops overtake the malt just a bit. Yet still has execellent distinct hop flavor. Very smooth and drinkable. Leaves me wanting another swig. Sometimes leaves me wanting more. Prototypical for the style.

The best beer on tap at lots of places that otherwise offer very little.

Photo of jeffthecheff
4.72/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pour is golden copper color with a nice, bottle conditioned head that covers the surface the entire time.

Good aroma full of cascade hops. Strength is moderate from the dry hops. Smells great but makes you wish for a stronger nose.

This is the best tasting pale ale out there, no wonder its the most popular. Light bodied but with a strong hop taste and moderate bitterness. This got me addicted to hops. The citrus/pine/grapefruit flavors are all there.

Mouthfeel is great all the way through. Carbonation is right on, where other pale ales have too much. Bite from bitterness is welcoming and doesn't make you cringe. Drinkability is excellent. If I want a 6 pack for one night this is a good option.

Overall this is a great beer and has to be the top american ale to start off on if your getting into craft beer. I won't leave this behind either.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,665 ratings.