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

10,171 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,171
Reviews: 2,938
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 218
Gots: 2,012 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 10,171 | Reviews: 2,938
Photo of JJfreeou21
4.91/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the hop heads equivalent of bud light. An everyday beer bursting with flavor and quality. Extremely accessible. My go to beer. Wonderful for all occasions.

Photo of BRB1978
4.9/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Perfect flavor and taste. Great beer!!!

Photo of alec24
4.9/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

My new go to beer!

Photo of MorgothBauglir
4.9/5  rDev +21.6%

THE quintessential APA & one of the best Pale Ales, PERIOD!!!

Photo of MadMike80
4.88/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Mildly sweet at start strong hops bitterness finish, enough malt keeps it creamy. Grapefruit-like aftertaste lingers, does not turn me off. Smells like the outdoors. I love seeing the sediment floating around in my glass.
Excellent brew.

This is probably my new favorite beer I can no longer go to the package store without picking up some sierra.

Photo of gusdabrew
4.88/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

For every great beer in America there are 1000 poor excuses for beer. SN Pale Ale is the perfect beer at the perfect price available everywhere. We all look at the lists of great beers and hope we can run across a few when we're lucky. SN Pale Ale is easy to find, easy to share and easy to enjoy. Kudos to Sierra Nevada for providing us with this America Classic.

Photo of gardengurl71
4.88/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

really good full balanced beer

Photo of Pete_IV
4.88/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Poura a crisp amber smells of pine. Still the classic piney ipa for me.

Photo of aficionado224
4.88/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many others rate this beer very highly, and I quite agree this is a great pale ale, or simply a great beverage of any type. It has plenty of flavor to savor, but not so much it needs to be chewed. I could sip this and luxuriate in each sip, or quaff this to quench my thirst from heat or exertion or both. I highly recommend this brew, and if you have never tried it, you gotta get your hands on one, soon.

Photo of NJBrewer
4.88/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of the best all-around beers I've had. It is the perfect representation of a pale ale: perfect malt/hop balance and an overall fantastic flavor. Not a weak ale, but not too strong either. This flagship of Sierra Nevada is everything an American craft brew should be. A go-to beer in my house.

Photo of lester619
4.87/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a twelve ounce mug it has a deep clear copper/amber color with a big three finger head. The head is still there after the beer is long gone. Great smell. I love that herbal pine and grapefruit west cost smell. This beer is a true masterpiece. I'm not going to waste time describing the taste other than to say it's as close to perfect beer flavor as humanly possible. All the flavors are absolutlely right on, balanced in exactly the right way. The mouthfeel is creamy enough to be satisfying, but not too heavy to fill you up. It is scary how drinkable this beer is. I could go on and on. To sum it up it's a once in a lifetime creation that actually surpasses the hype. I love it.

Photo of Ylenroc
4.87/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Excellent Pale Ale - a regular in the kegerator. Refreshing and not overly hoppy, all around great brew

Photo of orcsinspace
4.86/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The only pale ales that I have had that surpass Sierra Nevada Pale Ale have all been home brewed. The flavor is outstanding, and perfectly balanced. I have always found Pale Ale somewhat of a contradiction, because it has a simple, yet extremely complex taste at once. The mouthfeel is perfect as well, not too watery, not too much texture.

Just the right amount of lacing and the right amount of head. The color is a perfect golden color with little carbonation lingering. The smell of the beer is subtle, not too strong, not too weak--just right.

Photo of munchie101
4.85/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - light gold with with 1/2 inch head that disipates within about 5 minutes. beautiful for a PA.

S - Citrus bitters, hops, some sweetness I think too.

T - Initially light, the hop flavors take a moment to hit and do not overpower my taste buds, lots of other flavors I don't quite recognize but very enjoyable.

M - not too dry like some brews very pleasant, a little light perhaps, but I like that in an ale like this. Feels like carbonated spring water and hops flavors.

D - One of my favorite PAs now that I've been able to try it, not too hard hitting and but wonderfully flavorful.

Photo of SteveMcQueen36
4.85/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my favorite beer. SO much zing and flavor. Just the right amount of pop. If you want to start loving beers with more flavor then this is the St. Peter of beers, ushering you into a vast pasture of amazing taste. This beer gives you that ah-ha moment when you realize what people are talking about when they reference a drink as having hints of this and that.

Photo of Entaie
4.85/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

So reliably delicious, glad it's almost ubiquitous. Not much more to add other than it's just a very well balanced floral beer. Not quite hoppy enough to be an IPA but pretty darn close. Just a legit amazing beer. Can't believe I have to do 250 characters just to say how good this beer is.

Photo of snaotheus
4.85/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is one of my favorites. It's probably the single beer I drink most often.

The flavor is delicious and hoppy with crisp mouthfeel. Drink it very cold, and very often.

What else am I supposed to say to fill up 250 characters? The beer's great. Go try it!

Photo of Plattler01
4.84/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a strong copper color, with a good head. Head goes away quickly, but there is great lacing. The smell is wonderful, with notes of pine, citrus, and cascade hops. Very well balanced, pine and hops flavor, a sessionable go-to for any craft drinker.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.83/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So I never reviewed this? This is probably my "if you could only have one beer etc. . ." type choice. The world gold standard.

Pours a great dark yellow and amber hue, minimal head, not much lacing. Aromatic whole flower hops. The three C's.

Taste, unlike anything else. The most mass produced hoppy bitter beer out there. Pine and citrus. Tastes like Chico. Great throughout. Drinkable for days, great price. And unmistakable mouthfeel of bitter hops and unique as hell tree/pine kind of flavor going for it. So much caramel and yet the bottle conditioning keeps the carbonation peppy and perfect so that the caramel is never heavy.

The first time I drank this beer (UC Davis keg party in '93) I was a senior in high school, and I hated it. I asked the party host if he washed his cups because the beer tasted like it had soap in it. What a noob. . .

Photo of rabsten
4.83/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sierra Nevada sets the bar for me. While I use Sam Adams Boston Lager as my benchmark, SNPA is probably the one I SHOULD be using.

Poured from a 24 oz bottle into an Imperial pint glass. Fluffy, khaki head on top of a copper body. The lacing is absolutely spectacular. Way back in 1987 or '88 I read the William Least Heat Moon essay on craft beer, "A Glass of Handmade," wherein he pointed out how good beer leaves lines on the glass. He was talking about Seirra Navada products. Nice.

The hops in the brew are evergreen-y. Balsam more than pine. Citrus in there, too.

Taste. One of my favorite beers. Hard hop hit up front, mellowing into a malty middle, with a yeasty finish. Floral undertone. A total taste experince.

Feels light and crisp up front, and rounds out near the end without ever becoming heavy.

Drinkability. Well, lets say I've had several evenings lost when I've gone into a bar to get "just one beer," only to find they have SNPA on tap or on special. I can drink this all weekend long.

Bottom line: If you're on this site, you already know how good this brew is. If it's not "the best" APA available, then it's sure damn near the top. Occasionally, I'll want someting different, APA-wise, like the excellent Great Lakes Burning River. But this beer Kicks Ass. And as a bonus, it's available everywhere!

Bob says go get some.

Photo of thetros
4.83/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a jewel within a strong line-up of beers from this respected West Coast brewer.

Consistency comes to mind when I consider this beer as a top 100 contender. The smooth malt and sweet bouquet of hops has a consistent freshness that makes this a beer drinker's staple. For a beer to earn its rank, I believe it must taste good this year and next, rather than just have a fine batch or season.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is appropriate for all seasons as it is heavily hopped and malty enough to stand up to a hearty meal, though fresh and crisp enough to accompany your picnic or ballgame. Medium carmel color and a tamed head make this pale ale a charming pint, indeed.

Photo of jsawicki603
4.82/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What new can I say about one of the best pale ales on the market? Well not a whole lot. It pours a nice coppery reddish brown. Light lace hangs on for while. Good citrus hop flavor with a light malt for balance.
One of the best, well balanced, drinkable ales on the market. Perfect for getting that friend into craft beer.

Photo of redfire89
4.82/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- A dark golden color, with a little bit of head.
S- Citrus, hops, and some piney notes.
T- Wow!!! Very spicy, lots of hops and citrus, but not overpowering at all.
M- A little heavier than others that I've had, but it's light for 5.6%.
O- This knocked out Yuengling as my go-to beer, an instant favorite.

Photo of CSAsylum
4.82/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was a particpant in drug and alcohol study several years ago and the doctor, who was testing brain activity in drinkers after they smelled certain liquors, asked me what my favorite hard liquor was and what my favorite beer was. To the first I answered Makers Mark. To the second, I answered Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. It took me two years to fully appreciate Sierra Nevada Pale Ale again after my two stints in an MRI chamber, smelling various things and thumbing a button whenever I did so.

Nevertheless, I thought then, and still think today, that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale represents the quintessence of American beer. It is, as far as I'm concerned, the beer that comes to mind when people say "beer."

A: Pours a bright,clear copper-orange with a full finger of tawny head which dimishes quickly to something less than 1/4 finger and then after the first drink disappears completely.

S: Wonderful aromatic citrusy and floral hops aroma arrives immediately and dominates the nose.

T: Hops and malt dance together here. Hops first as you take it in, probably a leftover from smelling them as you bring the glass to your mouth but then a mild malty sweetness. The leave has a touch of bitterness from the hops and the whole thing makes sense like an EB White essay that ends where it begins but you're better off for having read it.

M: I think the mouthfeel is soft, not creamy but full and sweet. I think it leans on the heavy side of light but because of the hop brightness the slight heaviness of the body is a perfect balance.

Overall: I can barely add to the introduction, this is American Pale Ale as far as I'm concerned and that makes it the Americeyness of all American beers. Superb always, all the time.

If I could improve this beer, and I wouldn't really try, I would like the head to last longer and lace better. I would prefer a more robust color. But, aren't those incredibly minor wishes? Taste, Aroma, Mouthfeel, that's where the action's at, and that's where this beer excels.

Photo of jermar
4.82/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My steady bitter companion. Very consistent and reasonably priced for such a classic. I love the yeast sediment and floral hoppiness!

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 10,171 ratings.