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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.

2,876 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,876
Hads: 10,532
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 22.22%
Wants: 246
Gots: 2,412 | 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: 2,876 | Hads: 10,532
Photo of hyuga
4.73/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale copper color and a large, impressive white head with great retention. Leaves a huge amount of beautiful lace. Refreshing hoppy aroma of citrus and a bit of pine. Characteristic pale ale malt aroma behind that, which I assume is from pale grain. Crisp citrus and pine-like hop character hits first. Specifically, the initial wave of hop bitterness reminds me of a Christmas tree. Not far behind is a grain-like maltiness, also very crisp. Just above medium-bodied, but good and complex. Hoppy, but still very well balanced. High drinkability, very refreshing. Wonderful pale ale that is worthy of being considered one of the nation's top microbrews.

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Photo of Pballa4lyfe
4.73/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- terrific amber/copper color, light head

S- nice hoppy aroma

T- hops hops hops, delicious..can taste a bit of fruityness

M- yummy, nicely carbonated, full

D- nice beer, could drink a few of these in a night, my safe beer choice

Overall, my favorite beer hand down...i try to drink this beer as much as possible...absolutely love it

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Photo of BrewBoone
4.73/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma- grapefruit hop. slight maltiness reminds me of carmel corn. maybe a touch of DMS.

appearance- straw clear. low head retention. light head that clear to white. no lacing on glass.

flavor- light malt sweetness. strong american hop bitterness. balance definitely towards hops. after taste bitter. no warming from alcohol.

mouthfeel- high carbonation. light body. no warmth. no creaminess. slight carbonic bite due to high carbonation with little malt.

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Photo of orcasteve
4.73/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this is a beautifal song to the hop, i cracked the top and the hops jumped from the bottel to my nose, i poured into a glass and was happy to see the purfict hue for a pale, ther was a great start to the beer, kind of sweet and lightley carobanated, then the hops overpower the grain, thay hit hard and after you swallo, the bitterness fades to a fregrant spring day flavor. start to finish, the purfict after work take into the shower with you beer

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Photo of CptAubrey
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Thin white head and yellow-amber beer. A fine-looking beer.

S: Citrusy hops, caramel, and malt. Smells delicious and fresh. Makes one salivate.

T: Sweet, caramelly malt up front followed by citrusy, herbal hops. Moderate hop bitterness. Touch of grain adds depth. Every flavor is lively and fresh and the beer is well-balanced overall.

M: Fine carbonation and light-medium body with an oily finish.

D: Extremely drinkable with perfect balance and surprising depth. One of the most flavorful American pale ales I've had.

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Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Grew up on this stuff and figured I should finally make a formal review!

A- Great light copper Color, slightly hazy from bottle conditioning and dry hopping but still very clear, nice one inch head that dissipates a little too quickly but great lacing and a tad bit of white head remaining.

S- Grapefruit, pine, sweet malt, floral. awesome pale nose

T-Bitterness hits right up front with great grapefruit, pine, citrus notes supported by a great dry malt backbone, lingering bitterness is great, much hoppier than I remember, and so tasty.

M- nice carbonation (perhaps a bit low but good) and alcohol level is unnoticeable, medium bodied.

O- there is a reason this is one of the top selling beers in the US. It was the first American Pale Ale in the world and is still a fantastic beer, I don't drink this as often as a should and it is so good out of the bottle (Kegs are CO2 conditioned). Best pale hands down.

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Photo of wrb357
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

For awhile I had no idea that Sierra Nevada was regarded as such a wonderful brew. Being in Nor Cal, we get this beer EVERYWHERE. I have always enjoyed its pleasant taste and easy drinkability, but I guess I took it for granted because many are not as familiar.

I've drank this beer in every way imaginable, but best is out of a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Nice pale color to it, more orange than yellow. Always give a nice head.

S - Nice floral and citrus hop aroma. Doesn't smell bitter in the nose, just smells fresh.

T - Such a smooth, easy drinking beer. Some hints of pine, and some bitters, with a citrus hop finish. It has a taste that you will immediately enjoy, and it won't kick you in the mouth. However, the taste doesn't go away. It stays with you the whole time, very flavorful.

M - Easy in the mouth, doesn't taste watery or too bitter, has just the right amount of body to sip it slow or drink it very very fast.

D - It's everywhere for me, and it always pleases. It is so smooth yet flavorful, I can have one and be happy, or down a sixer and not fall flat on my face. Just a superb session drink, one of the best pales to drink a lot of.

To all my Nor Cal friends, be thankful for this amazingly cheap, satisfying beer! To everyone who has to stretch to find it, do it and enjoy.

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Photo of freed
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I consider this the benchmark. The continental divide. Beer flowing to the east should go back to the drawing board. Beer flowing to the west is how life should be. And those beers are tributaries that flow into the great standard. I don't mean to make SNPA sound like an amalgamation of beers, but its really just one of those great confluences of smell, appearance, taste, and enjoyment.

It pours a rich golden color. As the pour slows, the head billows up with a turbulent cap that settles with a nice crisp rim of foam. The aroma is of ample fresh hops, bursting is bright green flavors. The first sip is crisp, malty, and satisfying. Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, its always the same taste. With a nice malt background the hops are a wonderful compliment. The biscuit and the citrus are a wonderful mix.

Maybe its the years of practice, but when in doubt, pick up a sixer and you'll be set.

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Photo of mafiasentinel21
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
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.

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Photo of Napone
4.71/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

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Photo of lweaver18240
4.71/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

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Photo of sejorules
4.71/5  rDev +16.3%
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.

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Photo of Frosthazard
4.7/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of breakofdawn
4.7/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of hunthearin
4.7/5  rDev +16%
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

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Photo of danreitz
4.7/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of cameraman
4.7/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of jhartley
4.7/5  rDev +16%
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!

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Photo of heath1agnew
4.7/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of sierratwohearted
4.7/5  rDev +16%

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.

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Photo of gilman
4.7/5  rDev +16%
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

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Photo of frank4sail
4.69/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

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Photo of CVC
4.69/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

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Photo of rbettis
4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,876 ratings.