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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.

2,876 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,876
Hads: 10,530
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 22.22%
Wants: 246
Gots: 2,412 | 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: 2,876 | Hads: 10,530
Photo of PhilHeinricke
4.79/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

The Wonderful Taste of Pale Ale in a Bottle

I'm new here. I don't know what I'm doing. All I know is what I like. I had been going to a local micro-brewery for about a year, and their beers had a very distinct taste, a wonderful taste, that I had never experienced anywhere else. I tried a variety of beers from that place, some were better than others, but I began to notice that beers described as IPA or pale ale had that wonderful awesome taste.

I had seen this in the supermarket for a while, but I was never particularly interested. I didn't know anyone who drank it. I had my favorites with which I was very content. But when I noticed that pale ales had that taste and smell that I had grown to love, I decided to try it.

The first thing you notice is the color as you're pouring it into your glass. It's a rich, beautiful golden brown with a tint of orange. Then the smell. It had that unmistakable pale ale smell, and I apologize that I'm not sophisticated enough to describe it better. I don't know hops from barley from wheat. But the taste. That's the taste. That's the taste I've been longing for. Men have died trying to get that taste. I'd be lying to you if I told you it was a good as the tap from the local micro-brewery, but it has that great pale ale taste, and it's in a bottle.

After I tasted this, I went back and got a case of this.

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Photo of golfbeerguy2
4.78/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A great hopped up copper beer. Fruity floral and flavourful. When I'm in the US I really enjoy this beverage. Perhaps my favourite pale ale of all time. (or at this time!)

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Photo of gmoneyproductions
4.78/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz can poured into pint glass
look is copper gold with decent white head
smell is complex started out just malty but as the beer warmed slightly i got piney, fruity citrusy notes that got stronger as the beer warmed
taste crisp and very easy to drink slightly fruity/citrusy very smooth!
aftertaste citrusy as well
love this beer first time reviewed but have been drinking them for years
tastes better from the can than the bottle fwiw

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Photo of Dithyramb
4.77/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my old standbys from way back when. SNPA is quite possibly one of the first micro-brews that started this long, strange trip for me. Had two bottles last night while at a very non-beer-knerd establishment.
Presentation: 12oz short brown twist cap bottle and the traditional green label that doesn’t appear to have changed much over the years.

Appearance: Decidedly orange, with a golden hint and a bit of chill haze. Doesn’t develop a long lasting head, but the white lace lays on top and clings all over the glass.

Smell: Raw hop leaves, grains, and a bit of something floral.

Taste: Extremely well balanced, yet tipped slightly into the hop bitterness category.
The hops are stinging when you first drink the brew, almost as if the beer is too cold and it is chilling your tongue. There is a very smooth, creamy, and bread laden malt undertone that holds up well. The hops tip the balance scale on the back end of the flavor profile. Citric floral hops finish, giving a slightly acidic and dry feeling. Very well crafted and worth a few. This beer is the standard of all other APA brews that have followed.

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Photo of hylton44
4.77/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

O-blessed king of the American pale ales!

You entice my tongue with your sharp, squeaky, citrusy scent. You sooth me with the promise of your rich, dark yellow hue. You brighten my day with a sparkling white, even head.

I love Sierra Nevada Pale Ale! I know countless beverages from pop to beer have promised "clear sparkling" water within their lists of ingredients, but in the S.N.P.A., I really find myself wondering if they have some secret fount that makes this brew as damned refreshing as it is. There's just something clean tasting about it. It carries also a sharp, bitter tang, but it finishes very clean and delicious

Pale Ale is a nice contrast to other styles in that I don't feel like I need to hang around and let it warm up in order to release hidden attributes. Like revenge, Sierra Nevada is sweet and best served cold. I drink it pretty fast and love every second of it. I cannot think of a more welcome Summer drink.

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Photo of manahansf
4.77/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear, light copper/blonde color with a light and lacy white head. Through the glass you can see the high carbonation levels as bubbles float to the surface and send out a noseful of citrus hops aroma. The drink is very smooth and well balanced. A generous helping of citrus hops overpower the slight hints of complementing malt. The body is very light, crisp, and refreshing. It finishes with a smooth reminder of the citrus bitterness and fades out slowly.

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Photo of shamus
4.77/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is probably my favourite session beer. Perhaps the fact that I can't get it in Ontario adds to it's allure. I had my first back in San Francisco in 97 and thought "Wow the Americans do make good beer". Canadian youth grow up with a lot of mythology about American beer based on things like Old Milwaukee and Coors.

I liked this so much I brought a few bottles home to Montreal with me. Fortunately it is widely distributed in the States so I always have some when I make a trip to Boston.

It's a beautiful copper colour, with a great head and the hops are very fragrant and well balanced. I love this beer.

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Photo of ccrida
4.77/5  rDev +17.8%
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!

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Photo of vette2006c5r
4.77/5  rDev +17.8%
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.

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Photo of dalimsta
4.76/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


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.

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Photo of geckointhebox
4.76/5  rDev +17.5%
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.

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Photo of sdj5
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

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Photo of thebrood1987
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

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Photo of crob3888
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours an orange-gold with a nice beige head. Some lacing. Aroma of biscuit, orange-citrus zest, lots of floral hops. Flavors of citrus, bready malt, and orange-zest and even a hint of caramelized sugar. Smooth mouthfeel. An excellent pale ale.

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Photo of jazztoloc
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

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Photo of dopehousex3
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

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Photo of vicsju1991
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
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

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Photo of mrcharlie
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is my all time favorite, the beer that weened me off of Budweiser. It still has an amazing taste and appearance. Nothing much to add, other than I prefer the cans over bottles for some reason, quite possibly the most attractive cans in the business. I stocked up while they were selling for $11.99 a twelve pack, it is back to $16.00 now. Great no nonsense, flavorful, and approachable pale ale.

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Photo of WillWillows
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

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.

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Photo of DrunkNFool
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
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."

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Photo of Beerwolf666
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

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!

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Photo of tbowersva
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
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!

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Photo of mempath
4.74/5  rDev +17%
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.

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Photo of AmyfaceNYC
4.74/5  rDev +17%
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.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.74/5  rDev +17%
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.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,876 ratings.