Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,828 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,828
Hads: 10,281
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 222
Gots: 2,115 | 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: 2,828 | Hads: 10,281
Photo of ccrida
4.77/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my favorite pale ale, because it's basically an IPA. Today I'm in vegas slurping these out of the 24 oz bottles, so no comments on the appearance, other then memory telling me that it looks fine, with tons of lacing from the hops.

Smell is good, bright cascades baby - there's a reason these are the classic west coast hop!

Taste is as good as it gets for an APA, nice crisp toasted malt with a huge hop backbone, but where it differentiates itself in my book is that it's not just a bitter bomb, but plenty of hop FLAVOR, with a clean finish.

Mouthfeel is crisp and snappy, this is a great hot weather beer, not to heavy in the stomach, I can and have drunk way to many of these in one sitting, very easy drinker - an exceptional world classic! (759 characters)

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.77/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, looked like a traditional pale ale, with not a very large head. It had a hoppy smell, that was pleasent. It had a very "dry" and hoppy taste, exactly what you would want out of a pale ale. It didnt leave much of an aftertaste and was easy to drink. Overall it was a great beer, deffently worth trying, and enjoying more then once. (354 characters)

Photo of dalimsta
4.76/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I LOVE THIS BEER.

Sorry about the caps, but this is worth it. One of the first craft brews I ever tried, this brought me into a whole new world of beer. I've had it on tap and bottled dozens of times, and it's never failed to please.

The flavor is incredibly rich and bready, slightly-sweet, slightly-hoppy. Extremely well-balanced, and easily one of the best beers readily available. Mouthfeel is just right.

I'd be seriously afraid to be left alone with a keg of this beer. (478 characters)

Photo of geckointhebox
4.76/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

What is to say?!? The more I write the more I want to run to fridge to get another (just to make sure I am reviewing it properly). If you like ales, this is a fine one. (169 characters)

Photo of sdj5
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Looks very nice. Slightly cloudy peachy-tan color.

Smells floral and welcoming.

The taste is very crisp and clean with the hops hitting you in the middle and most strongly in the aftertaste.

The hops give it a delicious bitter flavor but it's never overpowering or disgusting.

The carbonation hits your tongue and feels very good. The beer is otherwise of a very crisp mouthfeel.

I could drink this all night. It is a fantastic, high-quality brew. (455 characters)

Photo of thebrood1987
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very nice looking Pale Ale and has an excellent smell of clean hop orange fruitiness I'm guessing from the cascade hop and some fresh pine smells as well. This is a very smooth beer which has a slight crisp spicy bite with the rich bready caramel malt taste in the middle and then ending with that fruity orange/pine like bitterness from the hops. Perfect amount of bitterness for such a refreshing beer. The hop smell and taste reminds me of Oskar Blues Dale's Pale Ale.

As it warms I'm getting some more tastes from the hops other than just the orange fruitiness. I can taste some tea and herbal flavors as well which tastes excellent. Perfect craft session beer. This beer is a classic and you can definitely tell why just by the first sip of this incredible pale ale. (772 characters)

Photo of jazztoloc
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 OZ bottle poured into a pint. Love the colors on Sierra Nevada´s bottles and caps.

A: Light copper, nice head and lacing. This is a very nice looking beer. Love at first sight.

S: Hops, hints of manila mango, spicy herbs, lots of herbs.

T: Very smooth, some fruit. Love the the bitter mango finish, great!

M: Medium carbonation and body, nice balance.

D: The drinkability of this beer is very high for me. This was the first time I had this and it was a very nice surprise. I wish I coud get it in Mexico in a near future. (531 characters)

Photo of dopehousex3
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Has to be one of my favoret pale ale's I have ever drank. The taste is great you could really taste the hopps and taste so good nice and cold. This makes me want to go to 7/11 and buy a 6 pack lol. There's nothing like drinking a Sierra Nevada in a open glass just go pick on up you'll end up really liking them. (312 characters)

Photo of vicsju1991
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass
A - lively, pal amber, nice two finger head, dissipates a little quick, but good lacing
S - citrusy hops and bready malts
T - same as smell, very crisp and refreshing
M - smooth, thin, crisp and easy to drink
O - possible the best pale ale there is (285 characters)

Photo of WillWillows
4.75/5  rDev +17%

Wow. I went on a Pale Ale pilgrimage and think I found it. This had a very nice taste to open matching the initial smell. I bottle drank this and it was crisp with good hop taste mellowed by some slight piny taste. This won the pale ale competition hands down. Sad that I only drank two. Recommend this to anyone. (319 characters)

Photo of DrunkNFool
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I have been drinking this for ages now; since back when APA was the standard - not IPA. For me, this is THE benchmark to measure all other APA's. However, I recently picked up a 12-pack in the can variety and I must say that I am somewhat disappointed. The given scores are for the bottle variety; however, taste needs to include an asterisk for the canned variety. Everything looked good going in but it all fell apart at the taste; there is some off bitter taste - almost tinny. The taste shift drops the score by 1 point which makes it still a very good beer over-all. However, I recommend that you stick to the bottle - don't even try the can - unless you really need the convenience of a can - like "no glass allowed." (729 characters)

Photo of Beerwolf666
4.75/5  rDev +17%

What a Gr8 Pale Ale...Just Amazing fresh flavors of Citrus,and nice Piney Notes,a stellar well crafted APA ,and @ a fantastic price point, 17 bucks a 12 pack! [eastern shore of Md] ,it is also a gr8 choice for those who perhaps want to venture into stronger APA's and IPA's down the road a bit...a gr8 stepping stone indeed~cheers! (331 characters)

Photo of tbowersva
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I don't know if there is a perfect beer but this one is my favorite. I've tried many a beer to unseat the king! Color, aroma, taste - this one has it all. Great hoppy flavors that go with any foods that I want to pair with it. Of course my palette has refined from a Western Pennsylvania guy that grew up on Iron City, Rolling Rock, Schmidt's, Miller High LIfe, and Stroh's through college. Can't go wrong with a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale! (436 characters)

Photo of mempath
4.74/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

an old standby i haven't visited in years! let's see what i remember and see if my palate has refined due to being bush-hogged by barrel-proof bourbons this winter...

a-that deep golden color that suggests orangey-green. i love it. a beautiful head that diminishes a bit quickly, but not too much so...sporadic lacing that doesn't cling for long.

s-so fresh, crisp, better than i remember. i probably didn't if smell it on purpose last time (that was 1989, i think....). i catch a perfect whiff of malty-hoppiness. what schmaltzy-happiness!

t-my goodness, this is really a fundamentally premiere stellar top notch pedigree american pale ale...it has a nice bitter, but subtle fade out, but it's hard to get to that point due to taking another swallow before too much time passes...the hops are right up front, but there's an obvious depth to it as well as (is this oxymoronic?) being subtley assertive. i love the way the maltiness weaves and pirouettes on the margins.

m-as it should be. as you would expect from this classic. chew it, inhale, you catch ethereal textures, nice continued hopscotch play of hops and malt...even catching somthing herbal, a hint...not sure what that is, but it's a bonus.

d-very very quaffable. an ultimate session brew for me.

this simply blows the quite admirable SN ESB 2009 out of the water. and yes, that itself is a fine brew. (1,370 characters)

Photo of AmyfaceNYC
4.74/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I love this beer. So crisp, clean, and refreshing. Citrus aromas and flavors, perfectly balanced with a moderately bitter and dry hop element. Pairs spectacularly with Mexican food. Also taste great after a day out in the woods. A true American classic. (253 characters)

Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.74/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer seems ubiquitous in America and the rest of the free world but believe it or not, its hard to come by in Ontario, Canada (thanks to our silly language laws with regards to product labels).
I was expecting a lot and was pleasantly surprised. All I can say is wow!

Pours a light bronze color with a small wispy head and minimal lacing. The aroma is amazing. A flawless boquet of aroma and bittering hops with a solid bready malt background. Lots of cedary and citrusy hops without being too harsh. The taste is very hoppy but a bit more restrained than Liberty Ale. Along with hop and malt flavors there's fruits like melon and grapes evident. Incredibly Complex and well rounded with hops clearly up front.

The mouthfeel is exceptional with subtle carbonation (thanks to the bottle conditioning I suppose). This beer is excessively drinkable and as good as I imagined. Thank god they sell it in western Canada. (926 characters)

Photo of hyuga
4.73/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale copper color and a large, impressive white head with great retention. Leaves a huge amount of beautiful lace. Refreshing hoppy aroma of citrus and a bit of pine. Characteristic pale ale malt aroma behind that, which I assume is from pale grain. Crisp citrus and pine-like hop character hits first. Specifically, the initial wave of hop bitterness reminds me of a Christmas tree. Not far behind is a grain-like maltiness, also very crisp. Just above medium-bodied, but good and complex. Hoppy, but still very well balanced. High drinkability, very refreshing. Wonderful pale ale that is worthy of being considered one of the nation's top microbrews. (663 characters)

Photo of Pballa4lyfe
4.73/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- terrific amber/copper color, light head

S- nice hoppy aroma

T- hops hops hops, delicious..can taste a bit of fruityness

M- yummy, nicely carbonated, full

D- nice beer, could drink a few of these in a night, my safe beer choice

Overall, my favorite beer hand down...i try to drink this beer as much as possible...absolutely love it (339 characters)

Photo of BrewBoone
4.73/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma- grapefruit hop. slight maltiness reminds me of carmel corn. maybe a touch of DMS.

appearance- straw clear. low head retention. light head that clear to white. no lacing on glass.

flavor- light malt sweetness. strong american hop bitterness. balance definitely towards hops. after taste bitter. no warming from alcohol.

mouthfeel- high carbonation. light body. no warmth. no creaminess. slight carbonic bite due to high carbonation with little malt. (459 characters)

Photo of orcasteve
4.73/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this is a beautifal song to the hop, i cracked the top and the hops jumped from the bottel to my nose, i poured into a glass and was happy to see the purfict hue for a pale, ther was a great start to the beer, kind of sweet and lightley carobanated, then the hops overpower the grain, thay hit hard and after you swallo, the bitterness fades to a fregrant spring day flavor. start to finish, the purfict after work take into the shower with you beer (449 characters)

Photo of CptAubrey
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Thin white head and yellow-amber beer. A fine-looking beer.

S: Citrusy hops, caramel, and malt. Smells delicious and fresh. Makes one salivate.

T: Sweet, caramelly malt up front followed by citrusy, herbal hops. Moderate hop bitterness. Touch of grain adds depth. Every flavor is lively and fresh and the beer is well-balanced overall.

M: Fine carbonation and light-medium body with an oily finish.

D: Extremely drinkable with perfect balance and surprising depth. One of the most flavorful American pale ales I've had. (526 characters)

Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Grew up on this stuff and figured I should finally make a formal review!

A- Great light copper Color, slightly hazy from bottle conditioning and dry hopping but still very clear, nice one inch head that dissipates a little too quickly but great lacing and a tad bit of white head remaining.

S- Grapefruit, pine, sweet malt, floral. awesome pale nose

T-Bitterness hits right up front with great grapefruit, pine, citrus notes supported by a great dry malt backbone, lingering bitterness is great, much hoppier than I remember, and so tasty.

M- nice carbonation (perhaps a bit low but good) and alcohol level is unnoticeable, medium bodied.

O- there is a reason this is one of the top selling beers in the US. It was the first American Pale Ale in the world and is still a fantastic beer, I don't drink this as often as a should and it is so good out of the bottle (Kegs are CO2 conditioned). Best pale hands down. (917 characters)

Photo of wrb357
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

For awhile I had no idea that Sierra Nevada was regarded as such a wonderful brew. Being in Nor Cal, we get this beer EVERYWHERE. I have always enjoyed its pleasant taste and easy drinkability, but I guess I took it for granted because many are not as familiar.

I've drank this beer in every way imaginable, but best is out of a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Nice pale color to it, more orange than yellow. Always give a nice head.

S - Nice floral and citrus hop aroma. Doesn't smell bitter in the nose, just smells fresh.

T - Such a smooth, easy drinking beer. Some hints of pine, and some bitters, with a citrus hop finish. It has a taste that you will immediately enjoy, and it won't kick you in the mouth. However, the taste doesn't go away. It stays with you the whole time, very flavorful.

M - Easy in the mouth, doesn't taste watery or too bitter, has just the right amount of body to sip it slow or drink it very very fast.

D - It's everywhere for me, and it always pleases. It is so smooth yet flavorful, I can have one and be happy, or down a sixer and not fall flat on my face. Just a superb session drink, one of the best pales to drink a lot of.

To all my Nor Cal friends, be thankful for this amazingly cheap, satisfying beer! To everyone who has to stretch to find it, do it and enjoy. (1,307 characters)

Photo of freed
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I consider this the benchmark. The continental divide. Beer flowing to the east should go back to the drawing board. Beer flowing to the west is how life should be. And those beers are tributaries that flow into the great standard. I don't mean to make SNPA sound like an amalgamation of beers, but its really just one of those great confluences of smell, appearance, taste, and enjoyment.

It pours a rich golden color. As the pour slows, the head billows up with a turbulent cap that settles with a nice crisp rim of foam. The aroma is of ample fresh hops, bursting is bright green flavors. The first sip is crisp, malty, and satisfying. Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, its always the same taste. With a nice malt background the hops are a wonderful compliment. The biscuit and the citrus are a wonderful mix.

Maybe its the years of practice, but when in doubt, pick up a sixer and you'll be set. (906 characters)

Photo of mafiasentinel21
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Balanced, balanced, balanced...

A: This beer has a beautiful golden amber. The head is about a finger and a half that dies down to what looks like a crashed wave that sits beautifully on top of the brew.

S: Hops & fruit. Citrus. Faint malt.

T: What a refreshment. Sierra's trademark hoppiness definitely resonates in this beer as does some citric acid. Doesn't linger around a whole lot, and finishes crisp.

M: Medium, carbonation has an opening strength that backs off slowly and pleasantly.

D: Perhaps the scariest part of this beer, a sessionable for sure and one I would never turn down. This beer always makes its way to my fridge.

-It was the brew that got me into any and all craft brews. A great, great beer that deserves all of the acclaim it has received. If you want to try to get a friend off of Coors, Bud, or Miller serve one of these quaffable beauties. (874 characters)

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,828 ratings.