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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

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,847
Hads: 10,361
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 230
Gots: 2,214 | 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: 10,361
Photo of SpencerT
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a Crystal clear golden, almost apple juice in color.
Clean scent of peach and piney hops. Good balance of hop and the sweetness of malt. A hint of citrus comes to you as the pint warms a bit.
Clean and refreshing with very distinct flavors.
This ale has good drinkability and could go well with seafood or other light tasting dishes. (340 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy dark golden body with a fluffy white head that displays good retention and lacing

Smell: Some grapefruit aroma, but not particularly overwhelming; slightly skunky with a touch of oxidation (may not be the freshest bottle)

Taste: Starts out with a nice bready taste that transforms, mid-palate, into a nice bitter citrusy flavor; well-balanced

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation

Drinkability: The go-to beer at so many bars; always a good choice but I'll need to take another look from time to time as this bottle wasn't tasting fresh (596 characters)

Photo of Vancer
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this before, of course, but never *rated* it. Read a lot of other reviews, kinda surprised by my appraisal of it: Perfect amber orange pour, head and lacing somewhat poor (old beer?). Many people wrote of the hop intensity, but I didn’t notice that much – my notes say a lite hop tang with nice dry aftertaste. Lite & spicy thoughout. Very good overall taste – will have to find it on tap and have another glass (or two). (428 characters)

Photo of rapayn01
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a perfectly serviceable pale ale, though not nearly as hoppy or bitter as the same brewery's excellent Torpedo. I much prefer the latter, though this beer is much easier to find in bars, stores, and restaurants across the land. It is almost always my go-to fallback beer at chain restaurants when the rest of their beer list is limited to a variety of low-quality American beers from the large breweries.

It has a nice tan-orange coloring, but a mild (and pleasant) taste and smell. You really cannot go wrong drinking this beer and I loved it years ago when it was more difficult to find better alternatives. It is better than most of the competition, but ale lovers will want to explore other offerings if available. (727 characters)

Photo of FLima
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with a thin head with medium retention.
Light fruity aroma with notes of papaya, caramel and a maybe hint of red fruits after warming up.
Citrusy flavor with notes of papaya, mild grapefruit, tea leaves, light spices and some earthiness. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Light body with appropriate carbonation.
Classic milder tangy APA, definitely American, but closer to the British-US transition compared to younger generation. (436 characters)

Photo of radshoesbro
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

24 oz brown bottle with no freshness date to be found. blurb about how it's brewed.

a - golden amber with a frothy head (head could be better) but the lacing is quite good.

s - hops. mild dough and floral smell. dry sort of smell.

t - this is interesting. it really really reminds me of JW Dundee's Amber Lager if that had more hops in it. this has an evenly balanced hop flavor. very smooth.

m - fairly light bodied with a good hop finish.

d - because it's fairly light i would recommend this as a summer brew. even though i didn't have it with any food i can see this going fairly well with lobster or perhaps a blue fish steak.

notes: i honestly would just skip this and go straight to Anchor Liberty Ale. it's much better. (745 characters)

Photo of Bierman9
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Considering what I had heard/read about SNPA, I was a bit dissapointed by my glass of SNPA (on tap). Clear, medium copper color, with a small fine head. Bitter hoppy nose. Medium-rough on the tongue, with medium body, at best. I tasted lotsa hops, but more on the bitter side....not smooth enough for me. Was it even a bit citrusy, or sour? I could drink a few, but not as good as expected.... may have to try the bottle-version of this and re-review....we'll see...

overall: 3.6
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 3.5 | drinkability: 3.5

42 (561 characters)

Photo of PSUDREW
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think this is, if nothing else, a standard to measure if Pale ales are poor, or, if they are elite. Drink When it's Hot, Drink it when it's cold. Drink the damn thing if it's 20 years old. It is a delight. Hoppy, but not overpowering. Sweet enough to make it that year round treat. Dry aftertaste indeed. But it has that pale ale citrus flavor that everyone loves. So drinkable, it is a shame more people do not love it. If it takes you more then a day to finish (given that you are one to finish a 6er in a day, extenouating circumstance not standing) you got some problems, cause even the "Bud-Light Boys" are down with this delight. Go, buy this and run to the hills and sign it's praises. You are dismissed (712 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had the draught version at California Pizza Kitchen. Considering how widely available this beer is I'm surprised it took me this long to try it. Not the best APA I have had but still better than average. Good bitter hops flavor and somewhat dry. It is nice to know there are actually decent beers at the grocery store. (318 characters)

Photo of BFrost
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured with two fingers of a dense, off-white head with a lace that sticks quite nicely. The color is a translucent amber that looks nice under light as the carbonation rises to the head.

Aromas smell of citrus, grain, and hops with a fair amount of yeast. Those same aromas are present on the tongue as well as the carbonation which presents a cool fizzing sensation on the taste buds.

Pale Ales are not my preference, but from an objective point of view, I can say this is one of the better pale ales. It is not overly hoppy or bitter as many others tend to be. I wouldn't go out of my way for it, but I'd certainly have another! (634 characters)

Photo of merryjoulton
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean cut golden amber dark rosy color that is very inviting and crispy. Head is off white and sticks and laces and emits aromas of sticky hops, roasty and clean malts, pine trees, nectarines, and ripe plums. Taste is balanced and fair, honest and fairly bitter. Mouthfeel and drinkability are alright as well. (318 characters)

Photo of LennyOvies
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L- Golden orange clear body, white creamy head
S- Bold malt, earthy, citrus (orange, lemon), slight hops
T- Malts, bread, orange, lemon, slight hops.
F- Medium, dry, full.
O- Good pale ale, missed the hops. They were overpowered. (229 characters)

Photo of aquaderek
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%

I love Chico, a fun school and a awesome beer. This beer can be found almost anywhere, and it never fails to come correct. It is much better on tap, on tap I would have given it all 5s. Lets get to the beer, pours a nice amber color, the nose is complex, pretty hoppy. The mouthfeel is great hoppy and spicy taste. Cannot go wrong with this beer. This beer will be around for a long time. I really like it with spicy food and pizza. (432 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear copper body with a small, fizzy off-white head.

Smell: Grainy aroma with a small measure of caramel and a moderate citrus hop presence.

Taste: Sweet caramel maltiness mingles with the taste of toasted grains. Predominately citrus hops, but there is a pinch of pine in there, too. Medium bitterness leads into a bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Overall, a solid pale ale that's readily available and generally easy on the wallet. (508 characters)

Photo of BigDaddyBlues
3.51/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was really looking forward to this beer after seeing the ratings and that it was readily available at a good price in my area. I am sorry to say I was disappointed. Maybe my expectations were too high. It was a good beer. Crisp and clean but there was nothing special about it. I smelled some hops but not what I would have expected, and I tasted hops but nothing like I would expect from something with the words pale and ale in the name. I would but it again only for a social gathering. The Budweiser crowd would not be put off but the beer drinkers would find something drinkable in the refrigerator. (606 characters)

Photo of cadizkyguy
3.51/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is my second Sierra Nevada beer (had a so-so first impression of Torpedo IPA). Appearance and drinkability are the best things about this beer, I found. Definitely, a nice refreshing brew out of California. Smell is somewhat lacking for an american pale ale, but I guess I was spoiled by Three Floyds Alpha King (my go-to american pale ale). I had heard and read great things about this Sierra Nevada offering, but I don't find it lives up to the hype, though still a very good beer. (488 characters)

Photo of ThePaintedGrey
3.51/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into standard bar glass. Reviewed from notes.

A: A rich amber color, with some haziness throughout from the yeast sediment. A lustrous cream-colored head eventually deflates to a very respectable frothy cap that retains quite nicely. Sticky lace is found all over the glass. I was quite surprised, to be honest, in this department.

S: Lots of hop and citrus aroma, with bits of pine and yeast. Not detecting much of a malt sweetness here at all. A little underwhelming throughout.

T: A sharp hop bitterness up front, with the typical hoppy/citric flavor overall, with some flowery, grassy, and pine undertones. A very weak malty backbone struggles to contain the bitterness, but does manage to round it all off in the finish. I did notice a refreshing bit of spice in the finish, with a very slight hint of alcohol warmth as it goes down.

M: Medium-bodied throughout with a nice creamy texture and mild carbonation. Very solid in the mouth and drinks really well.

O: I don't hold this in high regard as some seem to, but this is a solid brew in its own right. It's not my first choice by any means, but with its popularity and thus wide-availability, I could see myself ordering this at a restaurant or pub if there's no other solid choices. (1,266 characters)

Photo of RonnieBear
3.51/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at the liquor store due to its reputation. I've tried around 25 craft beers now, and this seemed like one I had to at least try before I went too much further down the rabbit hole. Really like the label design and color scheme for some reason. Just looks like it's going to be good.

Pours with a nice foamy head. Amber color, can see right through it. Can't really smell much of it at all.

Tastes like a good, basic, beer, which is what I was expecting. Figured it would be a decent, unoffensive crowd pleaser, but girlfriend and roommate both really did not like it, and they are fairly into craft brewing as well. Kinda weird. I thought it went down easy, and I drank mine quite fast.

Overall, much more refreshing than I was expecting. This beer seems like it would be best outside on a hot day or after a long day of work. A solid offering that I would buy again. (885 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
3.51/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a beer mug.

Pours a clear, copper-gold hue with a generous portion of cream head. Looks bubbly and enticing. The aroma is really weak on this beer...not sure why so many people bust a nut over it. Some foresty hops and nutty malt notes, but nothing special.

Taste has some hops, wheaty bread notes, and a bit of sour mash and metal. Not amazingly good by any means, but a cut above most grocery store beers. Feels a bit too dry, but leaves a good bubbly bite along with a decent, lingering aftertaste of hops. It drinks well enough, but doesn't have enough hops or depth for me. (604 characters)

Photo of dasenebler
3.51/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz, canned on 2/15/2012.

Pours a crystal-clear light amber with a tight, half-finger head. Retention is very good, decent lacing.

The aroma is oddly yeasty, with an almost sulfur-lager character to it. Some hops, but not much.

The flavor is nice, very clean. Crusty, bready malts are balanced by a hefty bitterness for a Pale. Some hop flavor, but not nearly as much as I remember with this beer. Subtle grapefruit and Cascade character. The mouthfeel is very nice, with creamy yet spritzy medium carbonation. Can-conditioning worked out well.

This is about as fresh as I've ever had SNPA, and yet I remember the bottles I've had in the past having a more robust hop flavor. Will have to do a side by side comparison, bottle vs. can. (739 characters)

Photo of Rootdog316
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was a great pale ale as far as I'm concerned. I had it straight off the tap in a pint glass. Had a little bit of an amberish color to it. Although I thought it was a great beer, it tastes very similar to the Rock Bottom Brewery's Potomac Pale Ale (my last review). Sierra Nevada however is definitely in my top five of favorite pale ales. (343 characters)

Photo of CDBeerDisappear
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured orange amber with a half inch head. Decent lacing and plenty of visible carbonation. Aroma was hoppy but not overly so, just right for a pale ale. Nice balance between malt and hops with a clean dry finish. Good mouthfeel, carbonation was bright and sparkling. Very drinkable, a good pairing with bar food. (313 characters)

Photo of logicalparadox
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

I like this better than Torpedo. Less bitter. Grainy. Medium to lighter in body. A bit thin. Bitterness is mild, with a good balance of hoppy aroma.

A classic? Maybe. If you revere a beer for its history to the craft movement then, sure. Flavor-wise, I'm underwhelmed and not likely to crave this any time soon--though, it's worth another try if nothing more interesting is on tap.I can see how in an earlier age if might have made waves; nice, but it's not rocking my boat. (476 characters)

Photo of Andreji
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

#6 in the all american spree.

I guess I was much so eager to try it that it was a bit disappointing.

Pours a clear, translucent orange with a medium head that fades and leaves some lacing and a thin coat atop the liquid.

The smell is very fruity and sharp with a good presence of hops in it. Very malty as well.

The taste, puh, very malty with lots of orange presence complimented with a back-of-the-throat bitterness, very strong. Perhaps a bit too sweet. Not very carbonated either.

An OK beer, made too much of it before trying it, but it's worth having more than once. (589 characters)

Photo of claytri
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Well after I finished my Newcastle Brown I finally got the Sierra Pale that I had ordered. Maybe the knockout I got from the Newcastle caused my Sierra impressions to suffer, but this was purely slightly above average across the board.

It poured clear gold with a white head. It smelled of hops and malt. It's taste was clean and sharp with a malt start and a hop finish. It was light and dry in the mouth. A decent beer, but not one I'll be searching for. (460 characters)

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