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
90
outstanding

10,192 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 10,192
Reviews: 2,945
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 219
Gots: 2,042 | 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
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Ratings: 10,192 | Reviews: 2,945
Photo of jczn
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Nice, clear medium gold with warmth. Thin white head that dissapates with time. Small amount of yeast at the bottom of the bottle does not seem to affect clarity.

S: Floral, fairly light American hop aroma. Could not detect much, if any, malt on the nose.

T: The hops are definately out in front, but not over-agressive. Nice citrus flavor and good bitterness. Has decent malt background, but it is definately overshadowed by the hops. Still, does not have the bitterness of an American IPA.

M: Mouthfeel is enhanced by healthy carbonation, but is not overwhelming.

D: The beer's greatest quality is its drinkability. It maintains enough of a malt base to be well balanced while showcasing classic American hops. A great example of an American Pale Ale, it's an easy beer to drink and appreciate every day.

Photo of thasnazzle
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - slightly cloudy deep amber with a small head that sticks around the glass

S - Sweet citrusy notes with just a hint of pine.

T - citrus pine-y floral hoppiness in abundance with what I have always thought is a smidgen of blueberry in the background, a tiny bit of malt, finishes with a dry bitterness.

M - At once crisp and refreshing, goes down smooth and finishes dry.

D - I could drink these all day and all night.

Everything in this brew is fine-tuned to perfection. There is definitely a reason it's so widely seen as the standard-bearer for pale ales.

Photo of OneDropSoup
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip pint: Light, golden amber, clear, with three fingers' rocky, sticky, glistening head. Very good-looking brew. Thick lacing sticks around the crown.

Grapefruit, both flesh & zest, a little sulfur, not enough to be off-putting, some fresh-cut grass, & a small crackery grain presence. Nice.

Lightly sweet lemon-tea-ish flavor up front, quickly followed by a bracing, assertive bitterness like citrus zest & pine. Full-flavored but not heavy, very refreshing.

Medium-light-bodied, a little resinous quality in the aftertaste, good, crisp finish.

Overall, great. Very drinkable, refreshing, flavorful, exactly what I want from a sessionable pale ale. This, along with Anchor Steam, is a no-brainer as far as quality, widely accessible brews that exemplifies American craft brewing. Beautiful.

Photo of MrHolland
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Well this is my first review..

Appearance - Nice, bright, golden yellow, color when held up to some light. Nice lacing head but it does die down quickly

Smell - Floral and hoppy aroma which really helps create the beers taste

Taste - Very clean at first then a total blast of hops for the after taste. No real alcohol hints.

Mouthfeel - carbonation was normal but it does feel nice on the tongue.

One of my favorite session brews and a great example of the APA style.
Drink up!

Photo of xare
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Easily one of my favorite beers and a reliable standard that I can use as a benchmark to measure other pale ales and even other beers against. If I'd drink them in equal measure to this, it's a good beer. If I'd reach for them instead of this on a consistent basis, it's an outstanding and truly exceptional beer. But on to the review.

Pours as a hazy somewhat white/golden/orangeish blend with nice head and excellent retention. Smells very hoppy with a nice blend of aromas. Taste is of clean, crisp water with great flavor and hoppiness. Mouthfeel is clean, crisp, and excellent. Always a nice wallop from the hops (although sometimes the stinginess detracts from the mouthfeel as an aftertaste effect).

Drinkability is outstanding. I often find myself drinking more Sierra Nevadas just so that I can go out and buy more Sierra Nevadas.

Photo of eberkman
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful reddish gold with a nice, white head that leaves some lacing and sticks around for a bit. The smell is of citrusy hops and some sweet malt. The taste is very well-balanced -- the same malty sweetness balanced out by a pungent but not overpowering sour-citrusy hop bite. Nice, crisp mouthfeel with good carbonation. Extremely drinkable.

I really can't find any flaws -- the perfect session beer and the perfect beer to keep around to go with absolutely anything. I love this beer. A true classic.

Photo of PhiloPsych
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What a great (everyday) beer! It's not extravagant as craft beers go, but it is fit for most any beer occasion--great by itself, great with pizza, great for me tonight with slightly upscale hotdogs, but could hold its own with a nice restaurant-style dinner, too.

Light, clear orange pouring from the bottle and in the glass. Fizzy appearance with a light head. No haze at all. Piney hops in the nose. Crisp, clean mouthfeel with just a bit of a sticky finish. This is just what a pale ale should be. Definitely the standard by which pale ales should be judged.

Photo of AlesRTasty
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This brew is reliable. It's always good and easy to find. Sometimes when I go out this is the only thing I will drink.
A - Deep golden yellow. Small amount of head atop.
S - citrus hoppiness. very inviting.
T - Again citrus and hops. Not overpoweringly hopped, just the right amount.
M - crisp and refreshing. very nice. Light bodied and great carbonation
D - delicious, I drink this beer the most and it never lets me down. I am so amazed at how consistent Sierra Nevada can make this brew. Definitly a personal favourite.

Photo of John_M
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't want to even speculate how much of this I've drunk over the years. A considerable lake of it at the very least.

As others have noted, this really is the quintessential American Pale Ale. I know whenever I think of a pale ale, this is the beer that comes immediately to mind.

The beer pours an impressive copper orange amber color, with very decent head retention and good lacing. On the nose.... mmm.... the sierra nevada pale aroma. There's nothing quite like it. Noticeable hops and malt perfectly intermixed on the nose, with a hint of orange/citrus and ginger. The beer is mouth watering, and as always, I can't wait to take the first sip. On the palate this beer is just delicious. Again, it seems to have the perfect intermix of hops and malt, with just enough hops to keep the beer refreshing and not too sweet. In combination there is a very forward fruitiness to this beer, a mix of orange, cherry and apple I think. The beer finishes very crisply, and always leaves me wanting to take the next sip. I find this beer to be amazingly drinkable for a beer with so much flavor, and I'm not afraid to admit that at one time I could go through an entire 6 pack by myself, or would pound down 4 or 5 pints at my favorite sports bar.

I still remember the first time I encountered this beer (many, many years ago in California). I knew right then that my days of drinking miller, coors and AB products were over forever. For that I will always be grateful. Just an excellent beer. Cheers!

Photo of Corman00
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The gold standard of pale ales!

Photo of Crotor
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours crystal clear light amber with two fingers of off-white head that lingers, laces, and threatend to dimple. An ideal appearance for an APA.

Smells of bready malt and slight, citrus hops. No esters. Nice and *clean.*

Tastes crisp, with prominent, bready malt. Expertly balanced with the grapefruit rind hop flavor of Cascade hops. No yeast esters thanks to the 1056... Just clean, bready malt and citric hops in perfect balance. A simple and impressive profile.

The mouthfeel is fairly light, and slightly creamy. Entirely pleasant.

The drinkability is top-notch. This'd be a hard beer to grow tired of. Leaves me wanting more. Compliments a wide range of food, and does little damage to the palate. A hell of a session beer.

Goddamn. I'm damned impressed with SNPA this time around. For about the past two years I've only had it as my "fallback beer" when at restaurants, and it's usually been served way too cold, usually in one of those frosted tulip-pilsner glasses. Drinking it now, at the proper temperature (so that I can actually *taste* it) it's way more nuanced than I'd thought. When ice cold, all that I was able to taste were prominent, citrus hops. Now that it's warmed up, I can taste the depth of bready malt, and the hops seem to be in perfect, complimenting balance. This beer must've blow people's minds when it hit the market back in the 80s...

Photo of doho95fu
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is the beer I drink most consistently and that is due to its own consistency. Sierra is always good - never had a bad bottle. The appearance in amber and clear, the smell is good but doesn't really hit me with anything. The taste is great, with the right amount of hoppiness, doesn't blow you out with hops. Nice head and lacing.

Photo of THoff94
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very refreshing PA. Not too light on hops.

Photo of BigRedN
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured from the 12 oz stubby twistoff bottel into a standard pint glass. Color of the beer is an orangish/copper hue with a 1/2 inch white head. Dissipated to a thin covering left good lacing down the glass. Clear with some carbonation evident.

Smell: Hoppy, mostly citrus fruit with some floral notes. There is also a hint of sweet caramel malt, but I notice mostly the hops.

Taste: Outstanding. Hoppy on the outset, balanced by a firm maltflavor in the middle. It finishes hoppy. What I want in an APA, very well balance and not too strong in any diredtion (although it maybe leans a little towards the hoppy side which for me is good for the style).

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, lightly carbonated. Smooth and well balanced beer.

Drinkability: I believe this is the first 5 I have ever given. Just a perfect beer to drink. I was wrong in a previous review. This is the APA by which to judge all other APA's. Helping this beer out is that it is available practically all over (I have seen it in gas stations) . Purchased a six for $5.99, practically a steal.

Photo of ArrogantB
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle of a classic beer which I poured into a standard pint glass. The color is a light orange yellow and clear. The head is a frothy white cloud. The smell is hoppy and I also detect a perfume quality. The taste is crisp and also has elements of perfume. Very balanced and the drinkability is awesome. I could easily put down a sixer.

Photo of Lothore
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Long time standby, first time getting around to reviewing it.

A- Pours a deep rusty copper hue with a foamy, 2 finger off white head that leaves lacing on the way down.

S- Grainy, lots of floral hops.

T- Bready with deep grainy undertones leading into a nice hop bite.

M- Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- This is the quintessential american pale ale. In my opinion the best widely available beer on the market

Photo of MSchae1017
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from a bottle.

This beer pours an amber gold with a frothy white head that dissipates in to a thick film that lasts and laces the whole way down the beer. The smell hits you initially with the aroma of the hops. First of all the distict floral and citrus flavors that are so common. There is also a hint of some lightly toasted pale malts. The taste is also fantastic. The hops are obviously the focus of the beer but this does not prevent the beer from preventing some delightful sweet and toasted malts. Again the normal floral/citrus hops are most prevalent but once the beer is tasted the citrus flavor seems to dominate. The mouthfeel is carbonated well with some nice thickness. There is also a welcome dimension of bitterness associated with this beer. Overall I really enjoy this one and have to give it a 5 on drinkability. This is one I will come back to again and again.

Photo of SargeC
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Deep golden color with an almost perfect, off-white head. Carbonation lazily flows.

Smell: Crisp hops, sweet malt.

Taste: Beautifully balanced to highlight the ingredients. Good initial hop flavor that evolves into hearty malt flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium body. Nice staying power with a semi-dry finish.

Drinkability: Classic American ale. Great session choice. Very refreshing and goes with everything.

Photo of Mikeyr89
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Golden in color with a nice two finger head, the beer poured perfectly and probably had the best mouthfeel of any beer I've ever had. (Granted that number is nothing compared to most on here) This was the first time I've ever had a beer and enjoyed the hop flavor! (Again I'm new) but I do hold this beer high among those I've had for it was wonderful. I have to add it in there too, that at this price (7.99/six) it's certainly hard to beat. Full of flavor and not at all too powerful!

Very great!

Photo of nickthetick
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a clear golden orange into a DFH Off-Centered glass with a finger and a half of dirty khaki head that hangs around for a bit and is continuously replenishing itself.

S: wonderful dark citrus greats the nose with a burst of grapefruit, sweet oranges and lemon. There is a distinguishable malt aroma of biscuits, caramel and honey.

T: much the same as the nose the citrus is the most formidable taste on the palate but is not overbearing on the sweet malt notes that make up the backbone to the beer.

MF: a medium to light body with a great effervescence, crispness and very refreshing.

O: the quintessential pale ale, the one I bring to all the parties and enjoy quietly at home. The almost light body keeps it very drinkable and the malt qualities keep the palate fresh to taste the next one.

Photo of Gusler
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

It's with a certain amount of shame that I must admit, that I rarely drink my favorite beers like SNPA, as I'm to busy with all the new beers, or some over the top beer that has caught my fancy, its a shame when we forget our "Old Friends", whether it be beer or people, something I plan on rectifying in both cases.

The beer disembogues the stubby brown 12-ounce bottle a slightly hazy amber color, the head portly and off white in color with the left over lace a fine velum like sheet, that obscures the glass. Oh what a wonderful nose, malt, citrus crisp, hop floral, and just plain sniffable, with the start rich in malt and somewhat sweet, top is middling in its feel. Finish has a determined acidity, the hops wonderfully spicy and the aftertaste desert bone dry. Sorry "Old Friend" if I have ignored you lately, it was not intentional.

Photo of tekstr1der
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Golden pour with white clingy head. Smells of fruit and slight pine. Crisp and slight bite initiallly with a smooth, semi-sweet (amazing) middle, and clean finish. Drinkable in quantity!

Photo of joecast
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

re-review 11/5/06
ahh snpa. good to know its available down here. pretty surprising seeing it sitting next to mgd and bud ice, the only other us imports we get. (and its not out of date, score!!)
not much to say about the beer. ive probably changed a lot more than the beer since my first review, well, my tastes at least.
upped the drinkability .5, other than that, i hope it keeps coming.
---

wonderful copper in color with a thin layer of white foam for a head.
great nose filling hop aroma.

hmm. i think i can actually taste the hop oils in this. it must have been dry hopped with the stuff. really nice.

flavor and aroma compliment each other very well.
this beer is packed full of mouthwatering flavor. but i couldnt honestly call it a session beer, if only because my pallate isnt quite trained up to handling it long term in one sitting. seriously hop accented but enough malt to back it all up.

Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer many times in my life, but now I am tasting it professionally as an amateur. It is an incredibly balanced beer. No wonder SN has had such success with it. I hope they put out better seasonal beers though. This one gets an 9/10 in my book.

Photo of Rainne
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got my start on APA's and this one is a classic. Had lots of bottles but dare I say I like it even better on tap.

A- Copper orange/red color. Nice head and less retention than the bottle and lacing is very nice. Pretty.

S- Something else comes out on tap. A little earthier maybe? Great balance of hops and orange as well.

T- Likewise. Hops up front and malt balanced with orange and earthy floral notes.

M- Medium body, smooth and dry. Crisper on tap?

D- Super drinkable.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 10,192 ratings.