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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.

9,507 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,507
Reviews: 2,756
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 169
Gots: 1,266 | 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: 9,507 | Reviews: 2,756 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CamuMahubah
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Amber with moderate lacing...

Has a grassy piney twang...

Taste a bit bitter a first followed by a crisp ending...

Creamy despite the hop infusion...

Quaffing beer that reminds you of when you first discovered good beer could be had. This beer reminds me of some other brewer's IPA's...

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

Thanks very much to my girlfriend who went in search of beer for me on a recent trip to San Francisco.

Pours a burnished golden bronze colour, very clear. Tiny streams of carbonation around the edge of the glass feed a light film of white head. Nice colour, nice looking beer all up.

good tropical fruits on the nose, the sweeter end of the spectrum though - mango and peach, almost. Also a real candy/caramel sweetness to it as well. Nice.

Taste is quite light. Pleasant sweet fragrant fruitiness on the front palate, then a subtle but pleasant dry hoppy bitterness. It's definitely not huge on the palate, but everything is nicely balanced. Quite dry on the finish, and refreshing. Mouthfeel spot on. Crisp and sharp to match the light hop bite.

A very drinkable pale ale. Really nicely balanced and very refreshing. Folks from the states come to Australia and often compare Little Creatures Pale Ale to SNPA, and I'm glad I can now do the same. It would be great to drink SNPA all the time, but I don't think I'm really missing out given I have Critters here in Australia to fill the gap.

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

I know Sierra has been around for a long time but I can't help but grab a case whenever I am confronted by it.

A - Copper colored with a strong 2 fingers of head.

S - Hoppy/fruity aroma. Ever-so-slight hint of diacetyl.

T - Consistent taste throughout the life of the beer. Flowers, herbs, and a bit of butter. Enjoy the bitterness!

M - Light and crisp. Never heavy.

D - A personal favorite. Easily drinkable - as is evident by the empty bottles strewn around the table. Doesn't take a lot of work to make this beer go down.

Serving type: bottle

I think this beer has it all; taste, drinkability, and it's affordable. A perennial favorite.

Photo of Exner83
3.2/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A crystal-clear, golden color with a subtle flowery smell. Above-average activity with a solid head and light lacing.

The taste is an estery, acidic fruitiness--lightly oily with a remarkable bite. This is a pungent, hop-favored brew. A stinging, slick finish caps off the quaff.

I'd prefer more malt balance. This brew's one note short of a chord: A little more hop-to-malt harmony, and I'd be dancing.

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

A - Wonderful clear, golden hue. Head is small but has good retention

S - Floral hop aroma

T - Crisp and refreshing. A well balance of the fruity hops and bready malts

M - Light bodied, goes down smooth. Medium carbonation

D - One of my favorite beers. Goes down so well. Very easy to drink.

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

This is a classic example of an American Pale Ale.
Consistently a great tasting beer.

A deep amber pour with a good head and great lacing.

Has nice floral hops bitterness and is very well balanced. Good mouthfeel and finishes up clean and crisp.

One of my favorite session beers.

Photo of soupyman10
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well gotta say, I still have a soft spot for this guy. Definitely the one that got me into craft beer, and still a win over most of the stuff out there. Pours a delicious deep amber color with a colossal head that leaves outstanding lacing. Seriously, this beer looks amazing. Nose is solid - maltier than I remembered, but lots of swirling citrus and light floral hops as well. Taste is likewise. Strong and delicious, lots of caramel malt balanced nicely with the mildly spicy grapefruit hops. Feel is good, medium body with solid carbonation. Really, an excellent beer. Might have to switch to these more often if prices keep going up like they are.

Photo of NCBeernut
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Light amber with decent semi-sticky lacing. Even after the head falls, it still leaves a nice sudsy layer behind.

S: Light floral, citrusy hops. A touch of sweet breads. Very pleasant

T: Perfect balance. Nice floral hoppy bitterness and complex bready malts all come in for the duration of each drink. Just a touch of tannins left on the tongue. A little over carbonated when it begins to warm but still a fairly smooth mouthfeel.

D: I can't stop. Give me a case.

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

From a 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass, this beer pours a lovely opaque orange with a light carbonation that holds for quite some time. Lacing is light but ever present and renewed with each sip as the carbonation is released, as if on queue.

A light hoppy aroma with notable floral and citrus segues to a great taste and a very pleasant finish. This is one of the most consistent brews I've experienced, be it in the bottle or on tap. No more twist-offs though, as they went to pry off tops a year or so back. So don't forget the opener.

Photo of theghost3
4.63/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Light orange appearance with a white head. Good amount of lacing. Smells of flowery hops, citrus, and yeast. Taste is bitter at first, then rather sweet, and again, citrusy--much like grapefruit. Mouthfeel is crisp, rather carbonated at first taste. This is a very drinkable APA. I've been drinking it for years and it's consistently great. This is just about the best APA out there in my estimation.

Photo of OldYoda
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This has been my "go to" beer for quite some time. Poured from a bottle into my trusty Troeg's pint glass. A lovely dark gold with a nice 1 or 2 finger head and lacing that hangs around.

Smell is floral hops and some malt. Invites you to jump in - and I do.

Taste is exceptional. A great hoppy bitterness and well balanced on the finish.

I love the mouthfeel of this beer - it is just outstanding. Finishes with a crisp bitterness that invites another sip.

Drinkability is outstanding. Two or three or these is a great night. Along with Bell's Two Hearted this beer defines the gold standard for Pale Ales.

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

Served on-tap in a clear pint glass at proper temperature at Escafe in Charlottesville.

A: Classic orange-amber pale ale with billowing off-white 1-2 finger head with rings as you get through the beer

S: One of my favorite smelling beers with tons of Cascade floral hops with strong pale and caramel malt contribution. It helped usher in the West Coast pale ale/IPA -- what else can you say.

T: Great balance of malt and floral and slightly fruity hops flavors. The malts and fruit flavor come to the front the brew warms.

M: Smooth with low carbonation and a pleasant bittersweet aftertaste.

D: Despite its strong floral hops and relatively high bitterness, it's a great beer anytime (and thankfully available nearly everywhere). A go-to beer anytime.

Photo of Ch1mpy
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I am reviewing this only a few days after I had their ESB which perhaps was even more to my liking.

Amber in colour and a centimetre thick off-white head. Relatively little carbonation.

Dry, saturated smell with aromas of hops and vanilla.

Taste is perhaps a little insipid, but with lots of bitterness. Aftertaste is very smooth bitter and the mouthfheel is excellent. Goes down very easily.

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

Had this on tap

A - A brilliant gold. Lucid with a one-finger white head.

S - Sweet floral hops dominate the aromas of this ale. Love the nose on this, and any other APA for that matter.

T&M - Earthy hop bitterness is the most prevalent flavor; a little feeble, however. Light bodied. The mild hop flavors blend real well with the strong carbonation. Fairly clean finish.

D - Definitely a solid session beer here. Nice hop flavors, light bodied, low ABV...easy drinking, for sure

Photo of Rayek
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at the City Grille in Denver.

A: Copper color with good clarity and small carbonation bubbles. The white head was small, but retained nicely and left a little lace.

S: Lots of citrus. Most notably lemon and grapefruit. Some pine and oak qualities as well.

T: Malt hits first with a dry biscuit quality. Hops are well balanced and lemony. Wood flavors of oak and pine come through. Finishes quite dry, with a mild lingering bitterness.

M: Medium body with the right amount of fizz.

D: Great session beer. Pairs well with Tex-Mex food.

Photo of Cs1987
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Light amber, 2 fingers of head which reduced.

Smell - Probably the strongest American Pale Ale smell I have experienced. Very good.

Taste - Very bitter, as expected. Tastes mostly of grapefruit, kiwi fruit and passionfruit.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, good carbonation.

Drinkability - The bitterness is a little too much for me to enjoy this as a session drink.

Overall - A very good American Pale Ale, but I still prefer Little Creatures Pale Ale.

Photo of clayrock81
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Have had this numerous times, and I was at a bar and got a draft and had a pen on me, so I wrote a review. A rich, copper hue with a one-finger mountain head that dies so slowly, leaving a lace ring down the entire glass. A hop smell is prevelant, floral and citrus, with some malts in there and a light alcohol smell. Full-bodied and creamy - delicious - with a coffee/bread malt taste on the back, blended with some hops for a semi-dry backbite. Has a citric taste going down before the, like orange and maybe lemon (MAYBE) and some sweetness in it like there's caramel or honey in it. A quintessential microbrew to be enjoyed by everyone.

Photo of stumac
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

pours up good looking golden brown, nice white head. definite hop spicyness in the nose. also some subtle malt. there's a little bit of citrusy hop smell too. also taste of hop bitterness for sure. pretty light bodied, medium carbo, easy drinking, great session pale.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at Miller's Ale House, Levittown, NY.

L - clear, amber color with a short white head that fell to a thin layer.

S - sweet malt and citrus hop aroma.

T - great balance of malts and hops.

F - medium bodied with good carbonation feel.

D - easy drinking brew.

Photo of marc956
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A taste of "home" while away from it. (I spent many years in California before moving to Texas last August)

Good, clean, crisp taste, best cold obviously, enough of an alcohol volume (5.6%) that you can't down them nearly as easily as a lager, but a very good beer year round that can be paired up with most any kind of food.

Now if I can just find Lagunitas IPA down here I'll be such a happy camper !!

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

Poured on tap at the Mellow Mushroom in T-town.

A: Beer poured a deep amber hue with a decent sized white head that settled quickly and left light amounts of lace on the glass.

S: Very intense citrus and floral hop aroma with some underlying sweetness and caramel malt (in an APA?). A very intriguing, pleasant aroma.

T&M: It had an initial tangy hop flavor that was mellowed out nicely by the sweetness from the malts. Not a really complex or robust flavor, but it's not trying to be. A solid flavor profile. It's got a medium to light body with lots of carbonation that suits the hop flavors well. Finish is mildly drying and refreshing.

D: "This beer drank pretty good, don't it?" It's refreshing, well-balanced, and light--this is a great session APA. It's got a nice balance of hop bitterness/tang with malt sweetness, and is a safe choice. I could definitely kick a few of these back.

Photo of irish53b
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from glass into a weizen glass. The deep golden color and ample head make this beer a poster child for appearance.

The smell is quite good floral and citrus notes with a cereal grain undertone. The taste reminds me of a grapefruit with a bit of sugar on top. The taste leans to the bitter side but a bready sweetness keeps it in check.

The mouthfeel is medium with a bit of creaminess to finish. The beer is highly refreshing and has fair amount of carbonation. The beer is dangerously drinkable and would pair nicely with a sweet dessert. My personal favorite pairing is New York style cheesecake.

Photo of SpecialK088
4.58/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a Delirum Snifter

A-Pours a light golden color with little head and almost no lacing other than right at the edge
S-Very hoppy with a slight citrus hint
T-the hops come across immediatly with a very subtle citrus flavor leaves a very good flavor in the finish.
M-Extremly smooth with a very good level of carbonation.
D-Very easy to drink i could easily see myself having them on a regular basis

Photo of naterock
4.45/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have tried this in the past, and recieved a skunked bottle. This time, I hope it's better. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.
A: nice orangish color, nice lacing head good retention. the yeast doesn't cloud the beer which is nice.
S: very woody presence, a sweet floral aroma like a sweet pastry
T: Fantastically hoppy with a good kick, sweetens as the flavor matures.
M: highly carbonated, I forced a good head to bring the carbonation down, but not too low.
D: This is very drinkable, but on a happy stomach, this could cause problems if you haven't eaten.

Photo of tjkurz
4.28/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Smells of floral hops the head caps off the beautiful deep bronze orange hue body perfectly. Great hoppy floral and grapefruit citrus. This beer welcomes spring perfectly. Substantial mouthfeel creamy carbed goodness.

Drinkability - hops are a bit much for a session beer, but two will do you just fine.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 9,507 ratings.