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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.

2,847 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,847
Hads: 10,358
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 229
Gots: 2,208 | FT: 2
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,847 | Hads: 10,358
Photo of mafiasentinel21
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
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. (874 characters)

Photo of Napone
4.71/5  rDev +16%
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. (348 characters)

Photo of lweaver18240
4.71/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, this may be my favorite beer.

A- Amber, yet clear enough that you can read through it. Pours with a light head that maintains with each mouthful.

S- Smells like high quality hops to me, not much else prominent.

T- Tastes like heaven. Starts off sweet and hoppy, simplistic and perfect. Then the flavor of hops rolls along the tongue and lingers for a bit, but not overly intense.

M- Lightly carbonated and incredibly smooth leading to a high level of drinkability.

D- Very sessionable. Drank a sixer before bed and it went down easier than water. Woke up and drank one at room temperature, and it was equally delicious. Not many beers can pull that off.

A very well done ale that isn't overly bitter, nor is it overly complex. A great beer to enjoy casually and often. (782 characters)

Photo of sejorules
4.71/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: cloudy, golden orange or amber color. With a big head that faxes away quickly.
S: Fruity, citrus and rose smell. Caramel, very sweet and slightly hoppy.
T: follows the smell. Fruity at the beginning, more like orange or grapefruit, bitter in the aftertaste. However, the taste is well balanced
F: The feeling is nice, full of flavours.
O: I can easily say one of the best beers I have tried. (394 characters)

Photo of Frosthazard
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nice tall "beer mug"

A- Clear with tiny particles after pour, beautiful amber color. Medium head that dissipates quickly. Nice lacing. Very enticing.

S- Nutty malt and piney hops, just what I would expect from a good American Pale Ale. Slightly citrusy and yeasty. Very well rounded.

T- Slightly piney, but it a very good way. Hoppy, a little bitter, but well balanced. one word-delicious.

M- Nice carbonation, has a little bite, which I like, lets you know your drinking it. Medium body.

D- Very drinkable, wish the alcohol content were slightly higher, but this is definitely one of my favorite beers. (623 characters)

Photo of breakofdawn
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm going to be a bit biased here: this is my all-time favorite beer. But to be honest, the first time I tried SN Pale Ale...I hated it!

Beer pours a golden/orange color. Some lacing left on the side. Smell of hops and pine notes.
More hops upon tasting, not overwhelming, but enough to get the point across. More pine notes, maybe a hint of citrus (almost grapefruit-esque). Some malt and barley mixed in as well.

Dry mouthfeel, definitely has you wanting more!

Overall, an impressive 4.5/5. Highly recommended, and a fine beer to enjoy year round. (552 characters)

Photo of hunthearin
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P - 12oz Brown Bottle, Colorful Green label with a Nature Scene
A - Reddish, Copper color that looks nice in the glass
S - Hoppy and Sweet Smell
T - Knockout! Quite refreshing with hues of grapefruit and other assorted citrus flavors
M - Refreshing with a bite to the tongue
D - A beer to savor, a six pack would do me just fine (328 characters)

Photo of danreitz
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Mona's in New York City. Pours golden amber with a floral aroma. The taste is marvelously balanced; there is just enough of that piney, slightly bitter cascade hop flavor is to counter the thick sweetness of the malt. Crisp, slightly citrus aftertaste.

A fantastic beer. Perfect yet unassuming, like a Fender Stratocaster. Refreshing and bold-flavored. Highly recommended. (391 characters)

Photo of cameraman
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An amber/copper color, with a nice white susatining head. A wonderful aroma of flowers and citrus comes through on the first scent. Feels slightly watery in the mouth, the hop flavor comes through from start to finish, with hints of malt and barley. The hops dominate the palate. This is the standard for all other pale ales, intense hop flavor, but not to overwhelming. This is a beer I can never get enough of, truely an excellent beer. (438 characters)

Photo of jhartley
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint tumbler.

A-Great looking bottle in the SN fashion. Pours a nice hazy golden/orange color. Thick 1 finger head that leaves nice lacing in the glass.

S-Citrus, pine, hops up front with malts right behind it.

T-Malt leading into immediate hops.

M-Right amount of carbonation, bottle conditioned of course. Goes down nice and smooth.

O-Great lasting hop flavor. Just a great APA from a great American brewery. Go and buy this right now! (474 characters)

Photo of heath1agnew
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
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. (544 characters)

Photo of sierratwohearted
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%

appearance - pale golden-yellow, not too hazy. nice finger or two of head.
aroma - floral, slightly piney.
taste - balanced. taste very similar to the smell- floral hops up front, a little piney. solid malt backbone to make this such a well-balanced pale ale.
mouth feel - medium body, smooth.
overall impression - this is my staple pale ale, i've been drinking it for years, but just kinda started reviewing beer. its a classic and i compare many pale ales against this one - which i think says a lot. (502 characters)

Photo of gilman
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite staples, even brewed a copy of this and it was great also(maybe a little better but just cause fresh and on tap).
Pours dark orange with 2 fingers of white head
smells fresh, with strong citrus hops Very nice
Tastes very crisp, lot of hops with some light citrus and pine
body is little thick, not too thin perfect
Over all a very drinkable beer (365 characters)

Photo of frank4sail
4.69/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 Fl Oz Bottle. Golden color with a slight tint of amber. Not huge head retention but, a constantly laced glass. The smell of hop mflowers fill your head. Thick malty mouth feel and taste followed by hoppy bitterness. The finish mellows into a grassy/flowery/malty feeling of taste bud satisfaction. I can't think of a better mass produced American macro-brew product. (375 characters)

Photo of CVC
4.69/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Came in a dark brown 24 oz. (non-twist-off) bottle; served in a pint glass.

Pours a copper color with a two-finger white head. Dies somewhat slowly, and leaves some thin lace. Smells hoppy and herbal. Tastes really hoppy for a pale ale--also has a woody taste. Pretty carbonated. You know what SNPA tastes like. A balanced mouthfeel.

Ahh, the classic pale ale. The taste of this brings back good memories. This beer goes so well with any meal, especially pizza. Mmm. Anything by Sierra Nevada is always welcome in my pint glass. (534 characters)

Photo of rbettis
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My Favorite Beer
I have been drinking this for 20 years. I have tried so many other beers all over the spectrum all over the world. I always can't wait to get back to my home in N. California to have a couple. Contrary to the beer tasting advice I like them iced. Since I met my wife ten years ago, there has only been a couple of times we have been without. (358 characters)

Photo of jeffthecheff
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
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. (854 characters)

Photo of dstrand
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Medium gold/amber color. Had a pretty good foamy head with noticable lacing.

S - FLoral notes, malt, with a bit of citrus. Hoppy, but not too much. Also smelled a little piney.

M - Medium body, good carbonation.

D - Great drinkability. A good summer beer, I enjoy all year round. One of my favorite brews, as well as anything from SN. (381 characters)

Photo of SteveoNY
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

P - 25 Oz Bottle, day code stamped on front label.

A - Almost crystal clear golden honey color, huge off white frothy head with very sticky lacing.

S - Faint smell of malts & citrus to florals.

T - Theres nothing pale tasting about this ale! Instant rush of malty sweetness followed by a bitter finish.

M - smooth & creamy body with good balanced carbonation.

D - would create some mighty fine beer goggles.. (413 characters)

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rocky, white head that rises above the glass. Golden orange body revealing nice carbonation. Yeast particles floating down against the bubbles. Excellent lacing. Bracing floral and citric hop nose. Plenty of malt backbone to hang the hops on. This beer has balance, though it definitely leans to the hop side. Some grapefruit, but not enough for puckering. A beer I could (and have) drank all night. Not an example of an American Pale Ale, but the beer which defined the style. We must be careful not to take a craft brew cornerstone like this for granted. I am a grateful man that my favorite restaurant has this on tap. (621 characters)

Photo of DoctorEvil
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A nicely done pale ale...just bitter enough and trends more toward the traditional IPA profile. Great drink-ability and a California standard. Balanced...tasty... (163 characters)

Photo of Marty
4.67/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nothing makes me happier to see this beer on tap next to Bud, Guinness and the like at a bar. I consider it the finest mass produced pale ale in the United States. Consistently crisp and refreshingly hopped, with great big lingering head. When I need to stock my refrigerator, in the event that I'm having company or that I just need a reasonably priced drinkin' beer on hand, this is the stuff... that is, unless Celebration Ale is in season. (443 characters)

Photo of MLucky
4.67/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just a classic. If you don't like this beer, you don't like American pale ale.

Poured from a 12ozer, a nice amber color, persisent head, nice lacing.

Excellent aroma. Citrusy hop, a bit of esters, biscuit malt.

The taste is the very definition of this style. A firm balance of citrus and sweetness, greapefuit aftertaste.

Frighteningly drinkable. Goes down so easily you have to watch yourself.

This is just a tremendous American pale ale. The beer world has changed a lot since it was introduced back in the early '80s, and I suppose I can understand it if some people feel that SNPA has been surpassed by hoppier, more sensationalistic brews. But damn... this tastes amazing. Sierra Nevada changed the brewing world, and this is the beer that did it. If you can't dig it, it's your loss. (794 characters)

Photo of CHickman
4.67/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear yellow gold in color with a massive 2 finger foamy off white head that fades very slowly and leaves great foamy lacing sticking to the glass; the beer leaves foam rings after each sip.

Smells of floral hops, flowers, piney hops, sweet malt, brown sugar, grains, biscuit, grapefruit, citrus hops, herbs, light lemon, wheat or light yeast; the hops really take over most of the aroma, and allow just enough malt and grains to come through for a perfect balance.

Tastes of floral hops, flowers, piney hops, sweet malt, brown sugar, grapefruit, orange peel, citrus hops, herbs, light lemon, biscuit, wheat, grass, hay, light yeast and tea or some chewy hops floating in the mix; this is a pale ale that always borders on an IPA, and I love it.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, with a zesty tingle on the tongue, a medium body, light carbonation and a slight bitter finish.

This has been my favorite beer since 1994, and is the reason I started exploring craft beers. A very high recommendation, as this beer is consistently good and always enjoyable. (1,067 characters)

Photo of coasterfreak75
4.67/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I was really impressed by this beer from the start, my wife purchased it for me as a Christmas present. When I read the label and saw it was bottle conditioned, being a homebrewer, I was excited. The color, a nice copper, was very impressive. The fruity aroma was the next hint I was in for a great drink. The only fault I find is the head retension, there was none. But overall I was greatly impressed with this pour. (418 characters)

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,847 ratings.