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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

8,738 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,738
Reviews: 2,693
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 134
Gots: 920 | 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:
Generous quantities of premium Cascade hops give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavor.

37 IBU

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 07-05-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 8,738 | Reviews: 2,693 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mbunje
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ah...Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.... I lost my craft brew virginity to this green labeled beauty. Sampling this from a bottle.

Pours a crisp copper with a substantial 1"+ head on a rough pour. lots of lacing. gradually reduces to just a thing bone white film. Beautiful coloring.

Smell is mild and not tons of identity here. a bit of a metallic smell. hint of malt. nothing overpowering.

Taste is good. Mild hops with good malt balance. fruit in the aftertaste. A pleasant taste, mild character. Slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is very crisp and smooth

So easy to drink I could have this all day long. Love it. The original. I don't think I appreciate the hop character and bitterness as much as I used to when I was just a "virgin". But for some reason this is not as distinctive as it used to be, but still a very good brew. Like classic rock. You can do it over and over again and it is still great.

mbunje, Mar 22, 2008
Photo of Mongrel
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Here it is - the classic, original "hoppy" beer by which all others are judged. This brought me to craft beer, and years later it's still always refreshing and satisfying.

Beautiful, classic pale ale appearance. Clear, pale, golden orange. Always a little sudsy head on top and good lacing down the glass.

Smell brings lemony fruit and a little pine. Perhaps some toffee/caramel too?

Taste is immediately bright, floral and a little bitter, with hops delivering those lemon and orange notes. At the center is that classic, slightly herbal, caramel backbone.

Mouthfeel is prickly, but soft, if that makes sense. Ample carbonation. Coats the tongue for a good couple seconds and then leaves a dry finish. Lemony, herbal aftertaste, almost like tea.

Man, I can pound these back entirely too fast.

Mongrel, Oct 31, 2013
Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle at 42 degrees into a pint glass.

A: It pours a mostly transluscent golden-orange color with a finger and a half of white head that has decent retention and laces well.

S: It's quite hoppy for an APA; citrus, floral hops, caramel, and biscuit.

T: Floral hoppy bitterness up front with citrus, sweet malty flavors, and a dry, bready finish.

M: It has a medium to medium-light body with some foaminess and a crisp finish.

D: This is a decent go-to brew but it isn't great in quantity because it really seems to dry the palate quite a bit.

bucklemyshoe, Jan 13, 2011
Photo of Rutager
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Disneyland California Adventure park, served in a flourescent green plastic cup!

Appearance. Pours a nice amber-orange with a finger of creamy white head.

Smell. Toasty malts, citrusy hops and a little caramel.

Taste. Nice toasted grains, some citrus rinds and slightly grassy hops.

Mouthfeel. Medium-light body with medium carbonation.

Overall. A nice pale ale that I've drank many times before but somehow never reviewed.

Rutager, May 19, 2012
Photo of smakawhat
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had hundreds of these over the years, but never reviewed it until now..

Copper/yellow color of a nice clear. Decent head when poured on tap and lots of lacing.

Smell is kind of closed, not much going on, but nothing offensive either, faint bread and some chew.

Taste though is much improved with a very good bread finish that is subtle. Really good finish on this beer giving just enough hops and malt/bread/biscuity chew to feel decent. Easily drinkable, with a good mouthfeel that isn't too wet and is considerably better on tap than from the bottle.

smakawhat, Dec 19, 2010
Photo of RankRefugee88
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into my Sam Adams glass.

A - Light looking beer, but full of color. Pearly white head with decent carbonation in the golden body. Looks very drinkable.

S - More of a malty smell than what I would have expected. Hops & yeast are certainly there. Bready, with a drop of caramel. Appealing smell.

T - Very satisfying. Very good balance with the hops. It's slightly sweet and bready too, but I think the balance of the hops is what makes this beer taste so right. This pale ale definitely hits it's high notes. It knows it's job and delivers.

M - Carbonated, but very smooth. Places well in between 'too thick' and 'too light,' just a happy medium. Slightly chewy, but just enough to let a good aftertaste simmer on the taste buds.

D - Very good drinkability. It's light but very good for when you want to drink a few.

Pretty good beer, I've had this many times before but just decided to rate it while enjoying a 6-pack during a football game. Definitely a good beer for any sort of occasion.

RankRefugee88, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of MurphyMacManus
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber with big, creamy off-white head that sticks all the way down the sides of the glass. Very impressive.

Smell: Spicy and lemon-y hops. Light on the malt in aroma.

Taste: Very light bready malt, with spicy and bitter hops in the middle and the finish. Stood up well to my spicy sausage and double Glouscester cheese.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, for a pale ale. I'd expect this kind of mouthfeel with a stout or a porter, but in an APA this is a very pleasant surprise.

Drinkability: This would be an excellent session beer; I could drink it all day, even with all the hop flavor I'm picking up, due to the fact that the hops enhance the experience, rather than pummelling the tastebuds.

MurphyMacManus, Sep 14, 2005
Photo of FallinDeck
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I like the dark red/orange red color to it. The floral white head seems to be a little lacy.
The slight aroma leaves me wanting a little more. Feel is good and has a little tangy taste to it. I believe this is a good beer to have stocked in the home bar. I would defiantly buy again.

FallinDeck, Mar 20, 2009
Photo of nbrown
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

When I was in highschool I usually only drank the usual macros. Then I bought a few of these in a concert parking lot.This is pretty much the first good beer I began drinking on a regular basis. It is still my go to beer if I go to a store and they don't have a very good selection.

Good taste, color, smell and I could and have drank these all day long.

nbrown, Oct 12, 2007
Photo of titosupertramp
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Golden amber in color, crystal clear. Nice large, foamy white head. Leaves behind very thick film with great lacing. Near perfect for a pale ale.

S: Piney, floral hops with toasted malt.

T: Follows the nose to a tee. Taste has a floral/pine hops quality with the toasted malts balancing it out, but still pretty bitter as the hops win the war on this. I've been noticing a tea quality to hop forward pale ales lately and this has it.

M: For a pale ale, this has a thick quality to it. Bitter, dry finish.

O: This isn't the most drinkable pale ale you'll come across due to the dry bitterness, but it's still excellent. One of the seminal American Craft beers, Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale doesn't disappoint.

titosupertramp, May 06, 2011
Photo of chrishickman
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Having finished my Old Chicago World Beer Tour, I decided I was now to the point where I was going to drink beer I liked for the most part, and not be too adventurous. Sadly, I didn't take any notes so I have to rely on my feeble memory!

After having one of my favorite local beers, Millstream Schild Brau (Amber Ale), I decided I wanted something with some hoppy kick to it and saw the SNPA on tap. Boy, I got what I asked for and more! You can't ask for more hop flavor out of a "all year" beer, I mean there was not too much subtley to describe, just knock you on your ass hop clean and fresh hop flavor.1 This beer goes down easy and has a nice head for the style, great lacing. I have no idea why people would drink something like Bud (which laughably touts its high quality hops in their commercials) when stuff like this is available nationally. This will definitely be my "go to" beer when I want something hoppy, though usually I like something a little mellower in this area. Great beer though.

chrishickman, Feb 27, 2004
Photo of DaveGood
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a rich golden color with nice creamy head from a 12oz bottle. The aroma was a bit much from the hops. I have had this on tap previously as well and the odor is generally much more pleasant. The taste was extremely pleasant with a wheat-like malt flavor that is offset by citrus hops. The carbonation is moderate and the drinkability is very good. Overall, this beer goes down nice and smooth and has quickly become my favorite "normal bar" beer. It is definitely one of the best American Pale Ales that I have had to-date.

DaveGood, Apr 04, 2004
Photo of scottbrew4u
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A Classic!

A: Pours a golden-orange color with great clarity and a white bubbly head that hangs around a bit before settling back.

S: Citrus! Fresh grapefruit and some orange and a bit of peppery hop spiciness. Nice toasted malt aroma underlying and slight toffee sweetness in the end.

T: Fresh herbal and citrus hop flavors with some red grapefruit bitterness. Malt profile is of fresh baked bread and some toffee flavors. Hops keep coming with some herbal and fresh grass flavors.

M: Medium bodied with crisp carbonation and a slight alcohol presence at the end.

D: It doesn't get much more drinkable then this. Hop heads appreciate it and even those just starting to get into hops can find it flavorful. Good to introduce to friends thta don't regularly get good beer.

scottbrew4u, Aug 04, 2008
Photo of kguyty
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally had my first Sierra Nevada. I had been wanting to try one, and now I know why.

The PA ours a nice golden and amber color with a nice head. There is a decent smell of hops and sweetness. The taste is fairly hoppy, but not overly hoppy. The carbonation was just right which added to the drinkability of this beer.

A good beer from a company that I look forward to trying more of.

kguyty, Nov 05, 2007
Photo of DeaconBluez
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

to tell the truth. ten years ago, before i started liking craft beer, i thought this beer was down right vile. but i kept drinking it, and the more i drank it , the more i liked micro brews. i know this is not your typical ba review (taste, appearance, smell, etc), but it is more of a testamonial of how this beer made a macro swilling college boy to micro sippin fool. thanks sierra nevada. you may not be the best ipa i have ever had, but....wait a minute i am getting to sappy here...anyway, this beer is an awesome gateway beer for those on the edge between crap and micro brews....cheers sierra nevada

DeaconBluez, Feb 17, 2006
Photo of exonthebottle
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

nice pale not as good as Mirror Pond Pale Ale or Dale's but decent and worthy of a pint at ed's.

standard mainstream ale with a hop kick darkish pale hue nice head not much lacing, hops and light malt taste
okay mouthfeel with smooth drinkability

exonthebottle, Jun 03, 2010
Photo of SilentCharlie
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A, Bright golden with a good haze to it but not too merky. Large bubbles coming up ti a fine white head that is hanging around.

S, Citrus with some pine, but mainly grapefruit on the nose. Little to no malt, this is all Hops!

T, Sits well in the IBUs, not too bitter but has a nice hit. again strong on the citrus but the pine comes through more in the middle of the draw with a slight sweet honeyness towards the end. Then in more with the bitter.

Some Alcohol on the Buuurp.

Very Dry! Very IPA, Very Hoppy!

M, Big bubbles, Medium/ light mouth feel. Standard for the style but perhaps more heavily carbonates than some.

O, A very nice beer of the style. A classic for a reason with some lovely flavours and aromas. Easy drinking and doesnt try to be anything it is not.

Great beer

SilentCharlie, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of thechaacster
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazed amber with a modest head that recedes to leave a nice lacing that lasts through the glass. Mild but slightly raw hop aroma. Flavor is highly hopped, floral with citric overtones. Hop bitterness is definitely up there, but a nice doughy malt backbone keeps it all together. Super smooth mouthfeel, and easily drinkable. Being one of the very few truly well known craft beers, it commands respect from American BAs.

thechaacster, Aug 02, 2005
Photo of archyquaffer
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the oversize bomber into a shaker. A moderate pour produces about 1.5 inches of creamy, off-white head that's plenty sticky. The beer is hazy, with a deep straw color.

Sweet malt and mild floral hops are apparent on the nose and palate. I detect undertones of a sweetness suggestive of honey sweetened tea. The hops assert themselves, but do not overpower, and blend with the fruitiness of the malt to produce a mild and sweet citrus taste similar to a tangerine. A mild bitterness lingers on the tongue, with fruity aftertastes wafting from the burps...

This is one of my "go to" beers- it's refreshing and epitomizes a west coast pale ale without going overboard on the hops. The 24 ounce bombers can often be had in my town for around $2.99 on special (cheap!), and the larger size bottles are also great for filling with homebrew.

archyquaffer, Aug 15, 2013
Photo of haz77
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A – Pours a light copper with a half in of head which dissipates to a thin layer. Looks to have high carbonation.

S – Grapefruit and other citrus, pine-like hops

T – Initial sweet malts are quickly swept aside by the pine-like hops. Citrus runs through the spine of the drink. Restrained bitter finish.

M – Thin to medium and smooth. Moderate carbonation

D – Easy to drink and an all-round good beer.

haz77, Jun 04, 2006
Photo of schlimenhaumer
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 fl. oz. bottle into a Samuel Smith nonic pint glass at low altitude. I've had this beer several times before -- a bit surprised I haven't reviewed it by now.

A: Pours a translucent golden hue slightly lighter than honey. Thick and creamy 3- to 4-finger head of good retention and very nice lacing. Carbonation bubbles drift slowly toward the top of the glass.

S: The smell is relatively subtle overall, with piney hops dominating and caramel malt notes in the background.

T: Starts off with a long buildup of sweet malt notes, followed by a long, resinous hoppy finish that lingers on the palate. The flavors here are very straightforward, but they complement each other well.

M: Light- to medium-bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. Finish is slightly dry. Stands up nicely to the flavors and easy to drink.

O: I can't think of many NYC bodegas that don't stock Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Coupled with the quality of the beer, that makes it one of my go-tos.

schlimenhaumer, Jul 26, 2012
Photo of crookedhalo
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden amber colored with a thin off-white head. Cascade hop aroma and some muted caramelly malt notes, too. Not particularly bad in any sense, but nothing to email home about, either. I feel this brew shines in its drinkability. It's been a while since I had this beer, and maybe I'm being a little sentimental, but it's good. It's good so revisit some old stand-bys every now and then. Good carbonation. Lacking a bit in malt complexity, and thin in the middle, but Cascades are good...

crookedhalo, Aug 10, 2004
Photo of Insomnicat
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A really beautiful pale ale. The glass really showed off the carbonation and a good 2 fingers of fluffy white head

S - Smells flowery and hoppy

T - I'm only now starting to open up my tastes to beer, so it could have been that this beer was too hoppy for my tastes. It could be that my tastes are more malty than hoppy. All that I know is that it tasted hoppy like a kick in the teeth.

M - surprisingly crisp and refreshing! Definitely a superb mouthfeel.

D - I didn't have enough to really tell on drinkability, but I do know that it didnt fill me at all. That combined with 5.6% ABV and I would imagine this is a great session beer if you're used to the hops.

Insomnicat, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of flagmantho
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich but light orange color with two fingers of ivory head. Nice lacing as the head dissipates.

Smell: nice collection of hop aromas. I get earthy, herby, a little citrusy and a little funky. A very nice balance; I like it.

Taste: smooth flavor if a little on the hoppy-bitter side. Malt is slightly sweet and caramel-flavored; hops tend more toward the earthy, funky and floral in the flavor than was the case in the aroma. Bitterness is quite high. Quite tasty.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good level of carbonation for the style. It works, though it doesn't blow me away.

Drinkability: pretty drinkable. Tried this out at band practice last week and it seemed to go down pretty well. It is probably even better with a burger outdoors in the summer.

flagmantho, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of GoalieRon33
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Amber, with a hazy orange. Not a ton of head to speak of, but sufficient

S- Noticiable hoppiness. Fresh smell.

T- Bitter, with fruity undertones. I'm not the biggest fan of pale ale's, but this is a good one.

M- cool, crisp, and refreshing. Great carbonation.

D- Easy to drink...The hoppiness might offend the palates of some people, but those who appreciate the taste will love this beer.

GoalieRon33, Nov 07, 2009
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,738 ratings.