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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.

9,803 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,803
Reviews: 2,833
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 194
Gots: 1,605 | 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: 9,803 | Reviews: 2,833 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of surfer4life
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

A - Transparent, shining golden color with a fat two finger head, great lacing.

S - I can smell it from two feet away once it's poured. Wonderful floral hop boquet with a deliciously sweet smelling malt. Good amount of lemon and honey in the nose.

T - The front is a charcoal/hop bitterness, not for long, but it's there. Soon after is the sweet caramel taste followed by some lemony citrus.

M - It's a bit syryupy but drys in the end leaving the mouth a tad bit coated, but eventually drys out, either way the taste lingers a bit.

D - Very drinkable. The price is great and the taste is very good making this THE session beer.

Photo of dmfrench
3.03/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

An average and forgettable APA.

A: Nice golden color, but the head is tiny and fleeting.

S: Not much there, save for a bit of citrus hops.

T: Fairly strong citrus hops with a creaminess underneath. The flavors are not well separated, and the overall presentation is somewhat cloudy like a wheatale and not very crisp like an APA, IMHO, should be.

M: OK, if not a bit grainy

D: Average

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

Enjoyed on 04.26.09 from a 12oz bottle. Poured into a 14 oz. pint glass.

A: Golden yellow pour. One finger head that left quickly. smelled of clean hops, and citrus.

T: The brew that put Sierra on the map (remember when nobody knew of them? Crazy.). Perfect example of an APA. Just the right amount of hopiness around the back. Woodsy up front.

M: Very well done. The citrusy pine rolls around the tongue nicely.

D: I'm always happy to see Sierra on the tap line (I'll always go for the crafty one I've never heard of before of course...), but when all around me are BudMillerCoors'ing it - Sierra is a might fine choice.

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Beautiful golden orange in color. Pours with a thick full 1" frothy lasting head. Great lacing stays a while.

S: Malty and hoppy with a good amount of citrus and spice. I detect an essence of caramel malt.

T: Hoppy with hints of citrus spice and a slight maltiness. Slightly sweet finish that turns to a light bitter dryness.

M: Medium body smooth feel turns dry in the after taste.

D: Very drinkable. Definitely will keep this one in the fridge on a regular basis.

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

Appearance: An inch of head with a somewhat orange and very yellow color. Definitely a little cloudy.

Smell: The smell is not very strong with a little bit of citrus and some malt smell.

Taste: This is a very well balanced beer with a somewhat hoppy taste followed by malt and really is similar to the smell. It does have a slightly bitter after taste

Mouthfeel: This has some light carbonation, however it is a very smooth beer. It really coats the mouth nicely creating a somewhat chewy feel. It is not really thin bodied but is a little less than medium bodied.

Drinkability: Its light-medium body gives it a lot of drinkability and its none massive abv makes a session beer in my book. It is not a special beer, due to it being so common, but I it is one of my go to beers and is typically in my fridge.

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

Was at Harry's Bar in SF today and noticed they had it on tap, so I gave it a try.

It's definitely better on tap than from a bottle. It has a darker amber color to it, which was a little unexpected. And per previous reviews, it does have a malty feel to it, certain to produce a bit of phlegm at the back of the throat.

It's not a beer I get too often, because of the maltiness and lack of refreshment I get from it. But I do enjoy the taste and prefer the local stuff when I'm out drinking with the boys.

Photo of wiseguy142
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pops open a little forcefully.. not sure about the carbonation on this one. Pours a slightly off mandarin orange and gold, sort of like a dortmunder. Nice frothy white head with lots of bubbles errupting up top. Diagonal bubbles floating off the sides of the glass. Some lacing and the head dies down after a little bit. Lookin good.

Nose of sweet cascade and vienna malt. Sort of a pilsner like, clean aroma. Slightly soapy, but I'm going to go ahead and blame my glass on that one.

Taste is a lot maltier than I remember.. hints at oktoberfests or vienna lagers. I almost wish there was more of a cascade bite to it to balance out the malt, but it's otherwise perfect.

Very smooth mouthfeel. I have close to no problems with it whatsoever. Carbonation is prickly and pleasant. I can see why this beer has been around for so long and enjoyed by so many people. A staple and a damn good one.

Photo of TheTrevor
3.87/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a light copper color with a big beige head and lots of visible carbonation. The smell is mostly floral and citrusy hops, very pleasant. The taste starts off with some sweet bready malt that gives way to some floral spicy hops and some malt comes back for the finish. The mouthfeel is slightly thick with some moderate carbonation. This is a very drinkable beer, and probably one of the most popular beers in the style for a reason.

Photo of Ragingbull
3/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is another one that I would put on the "tough to review" list because of its familiarity. I had been drinking this long before a wide variety of microbrews became available likely due its wide distribution. Here is my attempt.

Rich roasted gold color with light head and some prickle. Mildly hoppy nose. Hops forward flavor and almost a hoppy attack. I am guessing the nose affects the initial attack as the smells from the glass impact the flavor. It stays hoppy through the finish but in a mild way. The aftertaste allows the hops to fade with a bubbly mouthfeel that dries and vanishes. My wife offered the comment that the aftertaste made her feel as if she had just licked an envelope. This beer is certainly one to throw in the cooler for a backyard BBQ, but it isn't likely one that I will keep on hand in my beer fridge. I think that I find myself lumping into the "old standards" by which everything else is judged and would have to call it average for that very purpose. There are going to be better beers and far worse beers. If you have nothing else to choose from you won't be disappointed, but if there is something else on the menu you haven't tried its probably worth trying the new beer.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Seems crazy that I haven't had this ubiquitous and well regarded beer until now.

4.0 A: Clear yellow orange color. Two inches of frothy head with above average retention and lots of lacing.

3.5 S: Citrusy hops, the cascade comes through. Some crystal maltiness. Good, but weaker than I'd like.

3.5 T: Pretty good. This was right on the verge of earning a 4.0. Again, there's a subtle though pleasant citrusy taste. A bit of spiciness to it as well. A well crafted pale ale.

4.0 M: Medium body. Creamy smooth with a slightly bitter finish.

4.5 D: Really tasty and goes down extremely well. This would be a great beer to cap a night off with.

Photo of rodney45
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I cant say anything better than everyone else hasnt already said. This beer is a very good beer, widely available, and the brewery from which it is birthed has never once disappointed me. It has a very nice craft feel, and is particularly well balanced for a beer this readily available. A point not a lot of people touched on is the bottle fermentation... and this adds a depth of carbonation that a lot of other mass produced beers dont have. A very nice example of the style. A great pale ale, and very nice to find in 24 oz bottles.

Photo of mothman
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have had this beer many times, but I guess I never reviewed it. Well here it goes.

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass.

A slight aggressive pour creating a 2 finger slight off-white head. Leaves some thin splattered lacing. Color is a clear golden orange. You can see perfectly through this beer and the carbonation bubbles had my eyes mesmerized.

Aroma: first thing I thought of was fruity pebbles, but in a good way. Earthy hops. Bready malts. Not to much here, but really good for a pale ale (it has a better aroma then some IPAs).

Taste is hoppy of course. Very balanced with malts though (no types to distinguished for me). Has some citrus notes as well. Great pale ale!

Mouthfeel is bitter at first, but then becomes very enjoyable (not saying that the bitter isn't). Leaves a chewy, hoppy aftertaste.

This beer is definitely a classic and something I will always buy. It is by far one of the better tasting pale ales around. I highly recommend this beer if you haven't tried it yet. Great started beer for getting into hops.

Photo of projectflam86
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Pours a deep golden/copper color with a nice white foam that leaves decent lacing.

S- Big rich citrus spice nose with lots of hops and a bit of malt sweetness in the back. The nice piney hop scents dominate.

T- Much like the nose, citrus piney hops lead the way. A bit of a sweet honey malt flavor is detectable but hardly puts up much of a fight.

M- Crisp and light/medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation.

D- Drinkable, reasonably priced, and an all around nice brew. Definitely one that I will keep around often.

Photo of michaelgrant1983
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours in good and has a thick head on it. Great smell and even better taste. I didn't know what to expect when I first tried this one, but I'm glad I dove in. It gave me my love of American Pale Ale's. I'm never tired of this brew and it is still one that is on my top 10 list.

Photo of Gosox8787
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared a 24 ounce bottle with a friend. Poured into a glass with a one finger head. Brew was golden brown with no haze. Smell is sweet, with hints of caramel from the malt. There is also a piney note from the hops. The taste is balanced with both the hops and malt coming through. The pine flavor from the hops definitely seems to be a signature of Sierra Nevada. The flavor is well balanced for a pale ale. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp for the slight carbonation. Drinkability is good as the ABV is low and flavors work well for a session brew.

Overall, a great mainstay that cna be found anywhere. A great option for a session brew.

Photo of mafiasentinel21
4.72/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Balanced, balanced, balanced...

A: This beer has a beautiful golden amber. The head is about a finger and a half that dies down to what looks like a crashed wave that sits beautifully on top of the brew.

S: Hops & fruit. Citrus. Faint malt.

T: What a refreshment. Sierra's trademark hoppiness definitely resonates in this beer as does some citric acid. Doesn't linger around a whole lot, and finishes crisp.

M: Medium, carbonation has an opening strength that backs off slowly and pleasantly.

D: Perhaps the scariest part of this beer, a sessionable for sure and one I would never turn down. This beer always makes its way to my fridge.

-It was the brew that got me into any and all craft brews. A great, great beer that deserves all of the acclaim it has received. If you want to try to get a friend off of Coors, Bud, or Miller serve one of these quaffable beauties.

Photo of donmonkey1
4.8/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Beautiful amber with inviting bubbles dancing around. The head is a healthy two fingers deep and hangs around for a long time, with excellent lacing.

Smell: The piney, citrus hop smell lets me know that this beer is the real deal. I'm aching to taste it.

Taste: Outstanding. The hop taste is perfection. It's a lot stronger than most beers with a noticeable hop flavor, but it's not anything like a super crazy IPA.

Drinkability: I can't get enough.

This beer is great. It's one of my favorites and I plan on drinking many of them.

Photo of JizackFH
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice gold almost amber color. Decent white head that didn't stick around too long.

S: Good smell with some citrus notes

T: There is a nice hoppy flavor, but i definetly think that it could use a stonger hop flavor. Im not saying to make it and IPA or anything I just think that a little more hops would improve the taste. Also has nice citrus notes.

M: Medium bodied and crisp is how I would describe the mouthfeel of this one.

D: Like i said i like something a bit more hoppy, but I could see myself drinking quite a few of these on a nice hot summer day.

Photo of youngblood
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice amber/gold with nice white head. Head hangs around for a few minutes before fading adn lacing the glass.
S - Smells strongly of hop oil, mainly citric and bit of sweetness.
T - Again, the hops are the dominant flavor, strong citrus with some fruitiness also. Leaves the mouth with a bit of honey sweetness.
M - Nicely carbonated, leaves mouth slightly dry, very smooth.
D - Easy to drink many of these.

Photo of brfbeerdrinker
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Appearance]: Very dark gold, almost brown.

[Smell]: Smells delightful of hops and honey, both very strong.

[Foretaste]: Strong yet sweet hops, very floral.

[Midflavor]: High carbonation drowns out the superb honey flavor but its still there slightly.

[Aftertaste]: Nothing but honey and sugar very nice aftertaste indeed.

[Overall Flavor]: Pretty good if your into strong hops flavors.

[Mouthfeel]: Thick, which is fine cuz that just adds to the honey flavors.

[Drinkability]: Nice, it's a very delicious honey experience a little strong on the hops tho.

[Personal Recomendation]: Give it a try it's kind of an acquired taste for me, but others could enjoy greatly.

Photo of jmfc8237
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Has a nice golden brown hue with a touch of cloudyness. Almost caramel in color. Good carbonation and a nice white head boasting a large amount of tiny bubbles. Quick head discipation with moderate lacing.

S- Bright floral accents and citrus aroma. Very well rounded hoppy nose.

T- Lovely bright but not over bearing bitter taste. Gives a flowering aftertaste that lasts and lasts. The alcohol is very understated and has a great transition between the malt and hops.

M/D- A wonderful beer to sip on with dinner. Has a nice silky texture with bright carbonation. I love the price and it goes great with most any meal.

Photo of BARFLYB
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Bourbon blue.

A- SNPA is a nice bright bronze color. Some spots of orange as well. A good sized sturdy head with white bubbles throughout stayed afloat. Some light lace stuck on the glass but barely.

S- A nice hop aroma from various strains giving off a floral aroma. I can smell a citrus a roma plus some malt leading its way to slight caramel. Very nice and pungent.

T- Was not expecting all the hops plus bitterness for a pale ale but this does fit the style. It's not overdone, it's just balanced. The malt gives off caramel at just the right time without interfering. In the finish is some toasted grain plus a bit of spice.

M- A step above medium bodied and oily. The bitterness is there but does not overcome. The malt addition works well in this nicely hopped pale ale. Creamy going down and a nice finish.

D- Good stuff, drinkable plus affordable, this one is a good package. Better off of the tap but fresh bottles are good as well. Low alcohol too which is also a plus. The balance is what sets this one off.

Photo of schuim
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This orange colored beer has a nice head with a fine lace of foam. the aroma of the beer is hoppy with some pine aromas. There are some small particels in the beer.
The taste is very fruity bitter of grapefruit combined with malt. The bitterness goes into a more hoppy bitterness in the afterness.
A very nice drinkable beer.

Photo of wheatyweiss
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been drinking this for years when I realized I'd never formally reviewed it. Bought a the local grocery and poured into a shaker pint.

Pours a medium honey with a soapy one finger head that dissipates quickly and laces the sides of the glass. Clarity is impressive given that there is supposed to be sediment in there.

Aroma is soapy hops and light malt. Hop aroma is slightly astringent and mild. Smallish caramel aroma is barely detectable.

Taste is lightly roasted malt on the front. Sweet and smooth the malt is good but could stand up a bit more. Hops in the middle are soapy and astringent. Bright flavors from the hops mute the malt slightly. Finishes dry and slightly bitter with a smallish piney note.

Mputhfeel is thin to medium and crisp. Refreshing beer for a hot day in the yard.

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

Poured with a 1.5 finger off head head that dissipated at a medium rate. Color of the beer is a deep golden color.

Smells of hops and malt. I pick up some subtle citrus aromas as well.

Tastes bitter and hoppy initially, then the malts set in towards the end.

Mouthfeel is crisp. The beer has a good carbonation to it. Clean finish.

Very drinkable beer, goes down smooth. Very sessionable.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,803 ratings.