Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

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2,862 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,862
Hads: 10,438
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 11.6%
Wants: 237
Gots: 2,291 | 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: 2,862 | Hads: 10,438
Photo of Jesswellick
3.54/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Fruity and refreshing smell. Slightly piney hints. Very bitter hoppy beer but has a great mouth feel that is very refreshing. The bitter taste gives a slight bite that makes it enjoyable and leaves you wanting more. The slight fruitiness and bitter bite make it a great beer.

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Photo of jaycount
3.54/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I figured it's about time I reviewed this classic.

A - Light golden in color, looks like most pale ales... delicious!

S - Citrusy hops, only a slight bit of maltiness.

T - Alot of hops, especially sharp at the end of the swallow. I'm not sure if I drink mild IPAs or if this is a hoppy PA but this guy has quite a bit going for it.

M - Light, carbonated, refreshing.

This is a great drink for a hot, sunny Summer day.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.54/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Let me say first off that I think this is a great beer. I really think they should be applauded for their role in the craft brewed revolution in this country. I think many of their products are excellent, and the snpa is the flagship. This used to be my favorite session beer. Why do I say used to be? Two reasons: first, I think this beer is not quite the beer it used to be. This is true both because it has stood still while great hoppy beers grew around it, but also because I think it has lost a little of its unique flavoe over the years. Second, I think this beer has had freshness and consistency problems as it has grown larger. I've had way to many snpas that were stale tasting if not downright skunky. This is particularly true on tap, but I've had some bad bottles too. I think its the beer, not the storage, but as snpas presence has become more ubiquitous, I'm sure there are more places that don't treat it right. Also, I think the tap beer is not as good as the bottles (Except maybe at the brewery- where its wonderful). The krausening in the bottles lends the brew a fruity yeastiness that is part of its charm. This is really lacking on tap, where an earthier taste comes through. When you find it really fresh and well handled, this can still be a near perfect brew, but its getting harder to find that way imo.

The beer came from the tap a beautiful copper color with a good head and excellent lacing throughout.

The smell is pretty good- earthy hops, but maybe with a little bit of a stale aroma as well. The draft lacks some of the fruity esters of the bottled.

The taste is still solid, fairly soft up front with a good earthy piney hop bitterness. A little stale on the finish.

The mouthfeel is fairly thin, but there is some creaminess there as well. The hops are pretty clean, but not a hop explosion. The thinner body helps the beer remain balanced.

Very drinkable, but best when really fresh. My scores are for draft at an average place. They would be higher at the brewery or in bottles.

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Photo of 1Adam12
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is one of the first, if not THE first craft beers I ever tasted many years ago.

Pours an orangish golden color with a half in head. Smells very earthy. Has a bit of old sock smell about it. Hops are very noticeable as well as a bit of citrus. Taste is hoppy with a lot of earthiness. A tad bit of bitterness on the back end. Not a very complex brew, but good. This is a bit over carbonated for me, but very satisfying. Overall, this is a good everyday beer, or good session beer.

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Photo of hubsluvsbeer
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle. pours dark yellow with a solid white head. grassy and slight citrus aroma. taste is very bitter lots of fresh cut grass and some sweet sugar malt. had this on tap at the clarkston union and cant believe i have not rated it yet as it is a very true to style beer. it may not have the hop wallop that zombie dust has but the malt that is there plays a very nice roll in balancing out the hops.

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Photo of ImusBeer
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer of the Month this November at my local Taco Mac.

It arrived in my 20oz glass a light copper color, very clear with an off white head, very wispy. Small lacing appeared on the side of the glass as I drank.

The aroma of light pine hop with a clean grains dominated. The taste was mild with just a hint of pine and some sourness on the finish.

It had a light crisp medium bitterness with a light feel on the tongue. Nice drinkable beer, this one could carry you through the evening easily.

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is dominated by hops. Taste is hops, some bitterness, a bit of malts at the finish. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall I tried this before and was unimpressed but now I found it to be a pretty good beer.

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Photo of nocheinsbitte
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

purchased a 1/6 barrel from the local bier store for my kegerator.

A: Pours a rich, slightly dark, golden color with a good foam head that hangs around for a long time.
S: Pretty hoppy, acid like. Nothing great, but you can tell it is a pale ale.
T: A little bitter with a moderate after taste. Leaves your mouth dry.
D: Since I have it on tap, it will be easy to drink. However, I don't ever go out of my way to buy it at the store or in a bar.

Overall, a decent pale ale and one that I think everyone has had already. A recommend. Prosit.

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Photo of FriarPrickly
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Aggressive pour with < 1/2 foamy tan head that disappeared quickly (less than two minutes) with minimal lacing. Beautiful giold honey and clear appearance.
Smell of freshly cut grass after a spring shower. Some citrus noted.
Taste opened with a bubblegum that quickly moved to and remained lemony pepper.
Felt sandpaper on tongue with the carbonation being high and watery mouth. Finished slowly with bitter hop taste remaining.
Overall I was stepping outside my zone on this one. I am trying to be objective and keep my mental filters clean. OK.... I know others love this beer but for me it was average or slightly above at best. I bought a 12 pack but it will be a long time before I repeat the purchase. It is always quite possible my taste buds are burnt out.

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Photo of paulfear
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

it poured a nice deep golden almost copper color, the head was about 3/4 of an inch but the head disapated quickly.

it had a slight hoppy aroma. upon drinking, it had a nice sweet bite and not much of an aftertaste in my opinion. overall pretty pleasant with a nice light body.

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Photo of xzqrut
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer poured from the tap, a nice copper color, with excellend head, retention, and lacing. Gave a mild hop aroma and taste, but felt it lacked a little in the bitterness category compared to other pales. Gave a nice crisp mouthfeel, good drinkability. All in all an very good beer.

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Photo of rockdick
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was my first pale ale to try and it wasn't too bad. Had a good light copper color with a decent head. Taste and smell was a hint of spiciness, but mostly sweet. Went down pretty easily. I don't think it belongs in the Top 50, but it is worth have a 6 pack on hand for pale ale drinkers.

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Photo of Rabersutton
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A standard pale ale for craft beer, Sierra Nevada's pale ale is hoppy, yet with a juicy, citrusy sweetness that doesn't leave your mouth dry. Piney refreshing taste makes this classic a must have for hop heads.

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Photo of adammills
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this 12 ounce bottle in to a glass beer mug to see its straw yellow color and slight head. It is citrusy with a bit of bitterness to chase it. It has a nice hoppy flavor that is not overpowering. The mouthfeel is solid, making it a pretty drinkable beer. This is a solid choice.

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Photo of SpencerT
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
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

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Photo of Vancer
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
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).

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Photo of rapayn01
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

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Photo of FLima
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

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Photo of radshoesbro
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
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


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Photo of PSUDREW
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
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

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

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Photo of BFrost
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
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!

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Photo of merryjoulton
3.52/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,862 ratings.