Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

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2,826 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,826
Hads: 10,271
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 224
Gots: 2,109 | 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
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Reviews: 2,826 | Hads: 10,271
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)

Photo of pseudo
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy amberyellow color. Not a giant head, not too much lacing. Looks pretty good though.
Smell is not terribly strong, but what is there is almost completely floral hoppiness. Malt is hinted at in the back end.
Taste is mostly of the hoppy floral variety, with a bready aftertaste. Taste is more similar to ipas ive had in comparison to other paleales.
Mouthfeel is slightly watery, not too carbonated. Clearly mass produced, could use more body.
Veryyy drinkable, probably the best popularity to greatness ratio in a beer. (540 characters)

Photo of JohnIrving
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

I struggle to rate this beer. If you go purely by taste.. then you basically have a showcase for cascade hops, which craft drinkers are familiar with and by now may find dull. But I can't drink it and not appreciate the contribution to craft beer history and the rise of good beer in America. This beer is a classic. I also give it points for being so highly available. (369 characters)

Photo of irishking1977
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this beer several times on draft, and it never really struck a chord with me. Friends that have tried it for the first time described it having a "celery and ashtray" taste to it. While I doubt they've ever chewed on a celery stalk and a cigarette butt at the same time, I can see what they mean, to a degree. Beer enthusiasts pretty much rave about this beer, so since I consider myself one as well, I thought I should give it an honest review:

A: Pours a translucent dull gold with a moderate head that doesn't stick around for long nor leave any signs of lacing. Decent and somewhat typical for a pale ale.

S: Floral hops aroma mixed in with some malt and citrus characteristics. Seems fairly balanced.

T: No sense of any celery stalks or cigarette butts, but I do get a sense of mild hops, with semi sweet malt and a slight bitter, citrus twang at the finish.

M: Good, solid carbonation; this is a relatively easy drinking beer. Slightly thicker and more robust than your average pale ale, but that's supposed to be a good thing.

D: A decent choice for a session beer; and a good choice for a keg during a summer cookout. I know I'll recommend this, to any casual beer drinker. Not something that amazes me by any means, but a solid pale ale, to be sure. (1,273 characters)

Photo of grindcore666
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at The Mucky Duck.

Pours dark copper. This one had a nice meak one-finger head. Sandy but everlasting lacing. Lemony citrus up front with some balanced carbonation and hops. Taste wasn't stunning but still good. Mouthfeel is comfortable and I have a feeling this one is quaffable, though I savored mine. Won't go out of my way for this one, but definitely won't turn it down. (394 characters)

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

Reviewed based on tasting notes from a blind pale ale tasting.

12 oz. bottle inside a paper bag poured into a plastic tasting cup.

A- clear amber.

S- Similar to taste.

T- Nice balance of subtle malts and subtle hops. All the flavors one would expect in an APA are there, but nothing really pops. Similar to the Abita Restoration Pale Ale, but with a bit more intensity overall.

M- No notes on mouthfeel.

O- American Pale Ale standard creator and bearer, and for good reason Out of a total of 14 pale ales in the blind tasting, this ale got 8th on my list, and ended up at 8th on the collaborative list. (609 characters)

Photo of wmtxbb
3.49/5  rDev -14%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into stein glass.

Appearance: Pale gold color, low level of carbonation visible. Decent head that fades into lacing around the top of the beer. Perfect for a pale ale.

Smell: Floral citrus hops scent. The smell is almost all hops.

Taste: Strong hop spice that presents itself as pine and citrus. I'm not sure if it is the hops or the malt but there is an off flavor that comes off as a pickle flavor.

Drinkability: I'm not a fan of this pale ale. The review for this beer has been done with the last beer from my six pack. Typically a six pack in my frige barely lasts four days but this beer has been in my fridge for over two weeks. The off flavor of the pickle is a huge turn off. This beer is also trying to be too much for a pale ale. (757 characters)

Photo of umfskibum
3.49/5  rDev -14%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: This is undoubtedly a perfect looking beer. Pours a gold/orange color with a little bit of haze. White, thick, tasty head that lasts for most of the beer. Great looking lacing. This beer is at the peak of APAs appearancewise.

S: Strong citrus hop and bready malt scents. Really crisp, clean and balanced smell.

T: The citrus hops shine through without being too bitter on the tongue. Nice bready malt in the background as well. Really a pleasant flavor.

M: Really crisp and refreshing. Nice light carbonation. Goes down really smooth and a bit slick.

D: A good, drinkable beer, and a great example of an American Pale Ale. Not a beer I would ever turn down, and something I really see as a good bridge into the craft beer world from the macros. (759 characters)

Photo of D11
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

from bottle into pilsner

A- a golden yellow with slight copper color, decent white head that lasts.

S- hops, and some caramel maltiness

T- i tasted mainly hops. seems like you get 'everything all at once' when u taste it.

M- has a good mouthfeel. maybe a tad thin at the end of the drink though.

O- great beer, also easy to find. could drink this regularly. (362 characters)

Photo of TangTKE402
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the signature snub-nosed bottle into a standard-issue pint glass. A nice 1.5 finger ecru head appeared. Not much in the way of lacing. Crystal clear and a light tan/straw color.

Smell is mostly of malts and yeast; almost lager-esque. Slightly bready, largely nondescript.

Taste is fairly even-keeled: non-too hoppy, nor too malty. Flavors of caramel malt hit up-front with some light dryness in the cheeks. A little tinny in the mouth, but the finish is smooth with an aftertaste of freshly baked dough.

Mouthfeel is decent, but not astounding. You know its there, but overall it feels fairly macro.

Drinkability is fairly high. This beer tastes better than your average macrobrew, but it's not a knock-out punch. Overall, a definite session beer, but one that might not be worth sessioning due to the general lack of character. (844 characters)

Photo of nicksta
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I remember reading somewhere on this website that this is a very popular converter of macro drinkers. Well for christmas I bought some of this stuff and my Dad really liked it. He wouldn't even try some of the macros in the fridge. So I think I might have converted him.

As for my notes(I say notes because I was to drunk to want to handle a computer) on the beer: It pours a great deep gold with a nice frothy head. The smell is fruity and and hoppy. The taste is pretty good, dry, good hops(almost to bitter), with a little kick of fruit, sweet. The mouthfeel is okay, a little thicker, but with carbonation that sticks slightly to your mouth. The stronger hops, and the overall taste lower the drinkablity.

It is a good beer that I will be coming back to, that is if my Dad hasn't already drank it all. (815 characters)

Photo of Gaisgeil
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark gold with a thin wispy white head. Nose smells strongly of hops with notes of grass and citrus, very "summer" like. The taste is similar, though a bit more grainy and heavier tasting than I expected. Quite hoppy but a decent amount of malt character to match and balance.

Nice APA, but honestly, this is a pretty standard brew within the constraints of the style, very drinkable however. (404 characters)

Photo of ogasnor
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A - Clear and amber gold, with about a finger's worth of head that had all but disappeared by the time I turned around from throwing away the cap. Leaves a thin, swirling foam, almost like soap bubbles. Laces decently as I drink it.

S - A light, pleasing smell of floral and piney hops, with just a hint of biscuity malt. Nothing really stands out in the aroma.

T - Starts with some spicy, piney hops, which then gives way to the floral that is in the smell. Finishes with the biscuit malt, and a clean bitterness. At 5.6%, it certainly isn't a "big" beer, but there is no taste of alcohol at all.

M - Very mild carbonation leads to the impression that this beer is watery, but combined with a dry, clean finish, it is very refreshing.

O - If I had to describe this beer in one word, it would be "inoffensive." Which makes it, I suppose, a good example of a Pale Ale, not as hop forward as an IPA, which is the point. I always say "This is my least favorite Sierra Nevada beer," but despite that, this is not a bad beer. It would make an excellent "Gateway to Craft Beer" beer. (1,128 characters)

Photo of mmmbeer89
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

there's nothing special about the look or the smell, but it's one of the smoother and better tasting pale ales out there. sierra nevada knows how to make 'em. (158 characters)

Photo of Titans77
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pretty standard golden bronze or orange color with about half a finger of eggshell head that dissipates rather quickly. Not too much alcohol lacing on this one, as expected for 5.6%

S- As it continues to warm up, I can pick up a little bit more from this pale ale. Hops and malt/caramel malt to start. Then increasingly more citrus or pine from the hops as it nears drinking temps.

T- Taste quite like it smells, which is both good and mildly disappointing. The taste is an amped up version of the smell, pine and citrus with caramel malts. Mildly bitter from the hops. Pretty standard for a pale ale.

M- Light to medium bodied. It is surprisingly refreshing and easy to drink with a finish that is somewhat on the dryer side. Really enjoy the mouthfeel of this brew.

O- Above average pale ale from Sierra Nevada. It seems like it is lacking in the smell department. The crisp finish and great mouthfeel of this beer make it a decent beer and coupled with relatively low ABV, it is a good session-able craft brew. (1,020 characters)

Photo of cproioi
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a glass.
A: Golden in color with a white head that produced decent lacing.

S: Smelled of citrus hops not a bad smell rather enjoyable.

T: When I have an American Pale Ale I wanted it to have alittle more hop's bitterness to it then this beer had. My findings is that American Pale Ales normally have a more hoppy bite to them then other types from around the world. However, not with this beer. It was just kind of there in taste. Nothing really stood out to me at all.

M: It was fine nothing thick at all but never once did I think of it as watery.

D: Relatively high. I would drink this again after doing work outside but other then that I can't see myself buying a bottle just for the hell of it.

End notes: I've heard a lot of people talking about how great this beer was. I guess I had my hopes up to high because it really didn't bring to me what I was hoping for. It's not bad by any means but more of it's not my favorite. I would never think of trying to talk somebody out of buying this. (1,044 characters)

Photo of skeetermoses
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I liked this one, of course beer always tastes better when you finish skiing, I did have this beer with rocklette when I was in Utah, it happens to be my 3rd favorite beer behind the Heffe and the Bass that I drank. But I always have enjoyed SN beers in the past so I could not go wrong. (287 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 4/5/08. Bottle. Pours amber with a small white head. Smells of flowery soap (not that it smells like soap, just the flowery notes of some soaps). Taste of flowery hops, some spices. An excellent pale ale, hoppier than some. 7/4/6/4/13 (3.4/5) (254 characters)

Photo of jmz62565
3.47/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A full coppery color,but the head was a little small and disapears a little too fast.The taste is a little weak at first,but once the spices,hops,and barley hit all of your tongue you will enjoy this ale.This is a good ale for parties and tailgating,not too dark or light.This isn't the best ale I ever tried,but it's pretty good. (330 characters)

Photo of mdm46410
3.47/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. This pale ale poured a clear golden/orange color with a 1/2 inch thick foamy beige head that slowy fades away, leaving some good lace behind. The aroma is full of orange and citrus hops, along with some light caramel notes. The flavor is a very crisp gragefruit and orange that bites your tounge on impact. The bitterness is very quick and agreeable. Excellent balance between the bitterness and flavor. The body is light to medium with a light dose of carbonation. This is a very well done pale ale that is widely available in most restaurants and bars. If the beer list is limited, you can’t go wrong choosing this one. (660 characters)

Photo of mtstatebeer
3.47/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle. Pours a medium yellow-orange color with a small creamy off-white head. Aroma is almost all hops with some pine and citrus. Flavor is of sweet caramel malts and bitter spicy hops. Very well balanced, good pale ale. Finishes astringent and dry on tongue. An easy 'go-to' beer when the best beer you can get within an hour drive is SN or Rogue. (356 characters)

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,826 ratings.