Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

10,186 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,186
Reviews: 2,944
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 218
Gots: 2,026 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 10,186 | Reviews: 2,944
Photo of nomad
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a pale gold that was strongly orange-hued. Also had a huge frothy head, very little carbonation, and a lil' bit o' lace. Smelled of fresh hops and clean malt, but mostly hops oil. Also had some clean and easy scents of grapefruit, all faint and moderate though. Did I mention the hops. Taste is a pleasant refreshing bitter with a soft golden malt underneath. The yeast imparted an earthiness and combines with bitterness; the flipside is that the yeast creates not the best finish. With a smooth watery mouthfeel a touch viscuous from all those hops, this beer has great drinkability. In all a simple quality pale, in fact, the classic.

Photo of schmitter
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is the beer that started it all for me (and I'm sure many others). Before Sierra Nevada came into my life, it was all Busch Light and natty for me. But now I have seen the light and honestly opt for different (better)beers these days.
Anyway, it poured a nice reddish amber into a pint glass with only a slight head. The hops kick is nice, but not wuite enough for me. There is the regular citrus notes and the biting aftertaste associated with the style. I could (and have) drink a dozen. Basically, thank you Sierra Nevada for showing me the light.

Photo of 29mikoyan
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The classic American Pale Ale! A very solid ale with beautiful malt and hop background.

Photo of Cascadia
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a great every-day beer. Always worth the price to grab a half rack of Sierra Nevada for the weekend. Consistant and clean, nice and hoppy with good flavor balence and highly drinkable. Can't go wrong with this beer for a sessions beer. As close to a marco/micro beer as you'd wanna go.

Photo of perrymarcus
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a SA "perfect pint" glass.

pours a slightly cloudy amber/bronze tone with a little short of two fingers' light beige head; very impressive retention, some lacing... great looking beer.

nose is a bit underwhelming with light citrus hops and a bit of pine evident.

strong hoppy profile frames the taste; balanced to an extent by a caramel malty presence but clearly hops is the dominant character in this one. some hoppy bitterness to the finish. nothing crazy delicious here, but moderately tasty and refreshing.

medium-body/medium carbed mouthfeel... high drinkability score, easily a "session" type of brew.

Photo of Haydn-Juby
3.69/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Clear looking with some slight cloudiness approcing as the yeast from bottle conditioning was poured. Golden color with perhaps an extremely light amber hue. One finger of head with nice retention and lacing.

S: A good balance of sweet malt and citrusy hops.

T: A very balanced and evenly matched combination of sweet malts and bitter hops. Bitterness is good and not too overwhelming for a Pale. Some light citrus is made present and perhaps a touch of very slight piney flavor. Sweet slightly toasty malts make up the other half of the beer and make the beer more balanced.

O: A good drinkable beer. It would not be unsuitable to drink two or three of these at a BBQ or get together or any other social occasion but not really something I would be satisfied with during a massive hop craving. It was good and balanced as it should be.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Deciphered the bottle code to reveal this 6pack was bottled on August 9th...but eh well, such is the best you can find in a little hole-in-the-wall alcohol/fried things place in the middle of nowhere.
Poured into tulip; clear golden orange with a nice fluffy white head that leaves rocky, sticky lacing as it descends lazily.
Smells mostly of metallic malt, with a lingering hint of spicy hops. Not really any citrus to be found, sadly, in a bottle this old.
Taste isn't bad, although it's very obvious the hop flavors have faded greatly. Begins with a spike of herbal and spicy bitterness and some grassy flavors with the ghost of citrus that once was, then moves into very light, clean malt. Finishes wet, clean and a little bitter.
Mouthfeel is light and effervescent, very pleasing.
Overall, I picked this up because I had always skipped it over for something else, and I figured I should try SN's flagship, but I regret doing so with such an old 6-pack. I am loathe to associate myself with those who whip themselves into a righteous rage over the thought of a store that lets IPAs sit on shelves longer than a week, but it's nothing so ridiculous to acknowledge that 4 months is too old for this beer.

Photo of dafizzif
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours with 1 finger off-white head. Near transparent amber color. Laces nicely down the glass.
Smell: Not too strong, citrusy smell.
Taste: Up front it has hints of citrus, and while not too hoppy or bitter, the bitterness really lingers (nicely).
Mouthfeel: Very crisp and refreshing. Not overly carbonated. As said, hoppiness really stay in the mouth for a while.
Drinkability: Very drinkable. Could drink many in one sitting.
Very solid APA that is now a staple in my beer diet as it is a great value and easily available.

Photo of GimmeAles
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystal-clear gold, with russett highlights. 2-finger head receeds to a confident 1cm sheet which stays to the end. Collapsed head leaves nice lacing.

Floral, herbacious hops greet the nose with a slight citric prescence hinting at what's to come. Slight detection of toasted Malts.

A metallic-tinged, citric hop blast hits the tongue with some toasted malts racing in from behind. Like good lemon squares with a biscuit crust (minus the powdered sugar garnish), and hint of
toffee in the back provide some light sweetness.

A nice refreshing and light mouthfeel which is a bit prickly at first (from the bottle conditioning, presumably), settles down to smooth-out the mouthfeel. Decanting into another vessel would help lessen the initial gassiness. A solid, session American-Pale which I'm glad to see hasn't changed over the years and is widely available.

Photo of cabsandking
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden/amber in color and a slim head that fades to a small pool of fine bubbles and a thin laced ring. Honey and toffee sweetness and some floral notes in the nose. Hops offers some grassy, yeasty characters followed by peppery dryness. Malt characters are simple notes of honey, toffee, a touch of oak, and really just enough to balance the brew nicely allowing the hops to take the main stage. Thin to medium body and a smooth mouthfeel with a touch of fizz at the end. Moderately carbonated. Woody, bisquity, and slight malt sweetness in the finish.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours an apricot honey color with a thin white head that left a nice frosting of lace. Smells of muddy oats, wheat, green grass and pine along with some musky lager-like tones. The malt base of this tastes like doughy wheat crackers of some sort, or perhaps rye crisps with a bit of straw. The hops bring out a definite grapefruit dryness but also lets in a little green grape and blueberries. The finish awkwardly transitions to a sterile dryness that almost mandates another sip. The mouth feel is light to medium bodied with lots of light carbonation that I found to be a bit distracting. This is a nice mellow blend of flavors that is a bit to dry in the end for my liking.

Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a six pack late night after work at the grocery store with very little craft available.

Pour into a pint glass. Very light head noticed that recedes relatively quick. Smells of citrus come in first, lemon and orange, followed by tangerine. Gulp. Easy on the hop, well balanced with the malt is the highlight. The citrus taste can be noticed a tad and that makes the hop pounce a touch. Very easy on the palate.

Drinkability, why not. This is my beer of choice when the taps have no other macros available, or micros for that matter. It's also the goto beer when all other stores are out of the loop. By all means, an overall a good beer.

Photo of BostonHops
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a SA "perfect pint" glass.

pours a slightly cloudy amber/bronze tone with a little short of two fingers' light beige head; very impressive retention, some lacing.

nose is a bit underwhelming with light citrus hops and a bit of pine evident. strong hoppy profile frames the taste; balanced to an extent by a caramel malty presence but clearly hops is the dominant character in this one. some hoppy bitterness to the finish. nothing crazy delicious here, but moderately tasty and refreshing.

medium-body/medium carbed mouthfeel... high drinkability score, easily a "session" type of brew and an approachable APA for newbies.

original review on: 10-19-2010

Photo of dpnelson1978
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into glass pint.
40°F

$9.99 / ea.

A: Bright straw body with an enormous rocky head of great retention. Wonderful lacing and a thick rocky head. Not quite perfect, but considering circulation it is a fantastic ambassador.

S: Grapefruit. The definition of citrus hops since well before I knew of craft beer. Personally, this is what all IPA's are compared against.

T: Right down to the aftertaste this is 100% grapefruit citrus. Biscuit malt backbone but takes a backseat to the hop goodness. Mild aftertaste, but pleasant and unobtrusive.

M: Medium body and low carbonation. Smooth, bordering on oily. Decent, but not great.

D: Easy sessioning selection. Goes down easy, doesn't overpower the palate, and goes great with food. Can't ask for much more.

O: It all started here for me, and it will always have a soft spot in my heart. Not perfect, but so inviting to a wide range of palates. There is a reason they are so highly regarded.

Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the now widely available classic and one of my first pale ales. this helped start me on my road to better beers. i managed to talk the manager of my local dive bar into getting this on tap so now i have something to drink when i'm at that shithole playing golden tee. pours a light amber with a small creamy head. light caramel malts and citric, floral hops in the nose. all of which are subtle aromas to me now, but they were huge some time ago. light caramel malt sweetness at the start well balanced out by a decent hop bitterness. slightly sour and crisp finish. light/medium in body and very sesionable. i'm glad this is now widely available but selling to the evil empire of retailers (walmart) scares me for some reason.

Photo of abcsofbeer
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nice medium amber color. I am editing my review about the head and lace. When poured properly there is a very nice 1/4 head that leaves a nice lace down through the glass. Aroma is fairly hoppy and pleasant. Taste is very smooth, but with a definite hop presence. Carbonation is noticeable but light. I have read mostly good reviews about this brew, never a bad one. This is a good standby favorite, one that will be one of my all around favorites.

Taste is moderately spicy, but smooth. I think that pale ales are my preference in beer.

Photo of jaluria
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A light brown color with a golden hue that has an off-white colored head that dissipates quickly. Aromas of grapefruit, pine, and hops seem to come out. The taste is typical for this style with a mildly astringent mouthfeel due to the hop bitterness. Nothing about this beer is overpowering which makes for a very good session beer or a relaxing beer. Good example of the style; perhaps a bit too sweet in the finish. A solid beer that is readily available in many areas.

Photo of Curlybash
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%

Picked this up in SN's Snowpack 2014- never had SN Pale Ale before this, even though i see it everywhere. I've heard and read good things about it, so I'm gonna drink up.

Appearance:deep copper leaning towards a more brown hue. faintly off-white head, about 1/2 finger, which remains throughout. collars and sheets of thin lace throughout. 4

Aroma: floral, clean hops dominate the nose. vague malt background, although im bad at detecting malt in hops-dominated beers. Seems a little one note, but it could just be me. 3.3

Taste: Starts with an initial hops bite, finishes with brown bread crust. aftertaste is malty with a slight bitterness that grows between sips. 3.78

Mouthfeel: medium with moderate carbonation. nothing overpowering or distracting, or particularly interesting. 3.6

Overall: A well balanced pale ale. No overpowering hops and a pleasant, subdued malty finish. Very drinkable but still a quality beer. Cheers!
3.68/5

Photo of Holyterror
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the few beers I drink that has a screw-on cap. It took me a while ot notice that. Go figure.

Sierra Nevada makes some of the best mass market beers you can buy, so my expectations were high. I was not disappointed. It poured a hazy golden orange, very appetizing color. The head was moderately thick, good for this style, and settled into a thin white cap and laced the glass pretty well. I lack the vocabulary to properly describe the aroma, but the hops became evident even before the first taste. It had a very grainy taste, heavy on the hop oil, which lingered on into the aftertaste. The hops are very prominent, a plus for me. It is still balanced, and washes down smoothly without leaving excess bitterness on the palate. Good mouthfeel, perfect for this kind of beer. About halfway through the frist glass, it becomes very drinkable. Definite candidate for a session beer, especially if you like the style (which I do).

Definitely recommended as an introduction to the American Pale Ales. Another widely available brew to fall back on as well.

Photo of strattor
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served to me in a pint glass a slightly cloudy golden-red with a white head.

Smell of citrus hops dominates.

Taste is of citrusy hops, but without much bitterness. There is also a slight biscuity flavor.

Light body with nice effervesence.

Very easy drinking. It would be easy to down a few of these without any problem.

Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The classic Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I remember sitting at the Keystone Pub when I ordered my first one back in 2007. It was probably one of my first pale ales. I can't recall having one prior to it. Anyway, it pours out as a lightly hazed yellowish gold color. The head is strong and leaves a good lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer has a really nice hop aroms on it mixed with some malts on the nose. The taste of the beer has a good bitterness to it with a dry hoppy aftertaste. When it comes to the mouthfeel it's a highly drinkable beer. It's got a good body to it and it's not overly heavy. Overall this beer is worth checking out if you haven't already, It's a pioneer pale ale, it really holds it's own again many competitors.

Photo of Dave1999
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Looks decent enough in the glass a dark amber with a white head.

The smell is floral hops and grass.

Tastes is much the same as the smells. It's hopy with very slighty sweet finish.

The mouthfeel is light and well carbonated.

A decent beer at a decent price.

Photo of mwa423
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Upon realizing that out of the many beers I have rated, I have never looked critically upon the famed SNPA. So, picked up a bomber from the store around the corner.

A - Poured a good two fingers of frothy white head, the beer as it is poured looks like it is out of a beer commercial, lots of bubbles floating to the top, hazy straw color and the perfect mix of clear and watery.

S - Crisp slight hops, little else, very easy on the nose.

T - Very slight citrusy hops hit the tongue immediately. Not like the grapefruit type of citrus but more of a lemon/lime zest from the hops. It is followed quickly by malty sweetness, when you swallow another burst of the limey hops hit the tongue.

This is a real easy drinker and with its wide distribution it is a go to for when the options are this and BMC. If this is what defines and APA, I'm ok with it.

Photo of everetends
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle I got out of sixer that is available everywhere, sad that this is my first sixer of SNPA. I just never got around to it and was overly critical SN for quite a while.

A: Poured a golden almost amber color. Had a decent amount of carbonation activity. Poured a fluffy white head that was a bit suprising as it had good retention. Pretty good looking brew.

S: Smell is of pine, citrus hops and touch of sweetness coming from the malt.

T: Taste is also of a touch of pine, a good amount of hops (a bit more than I was expecting), and is rounded off with the sweetness of some good malt.

M: Light to medium in body, good carbonation for the style. The slight creaminess of this brew really allows some sticky hops to hang around. Pretty crisp and refreshing.

D: Really good brew for a majorly produced micro. It really does deliver and really impressed me for the amount of beer they pump out. Sierra Nevada is about 10 bucks a sixer here and I tend to stay away from it because I can get some good brews for about 2 bucks less around here. Sill this is a good beer and my opinions are changing.

Photo of Maestro
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is available all over the place, so that shows progress as a culture. It has a nice golden/orange color. The nose is a nice balance of hops and malts. Very clean smelling. There is little to no head, but I think the bartender poured it incorrectly. The beer has good carbonation. The hops selection gives the beer a good overall bitterness that combines well with the plentiful malts. This beer is quite consistent throughout and is quite refreshing. Finishes clean and smooth.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 10,186 ratings.