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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.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

9,512 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,512
Reviews: 2,757
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 169
Gots: 1,283 | FT: 3
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: 9,512 | Reviews: 2,757 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kristen56
3.84/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

The color is a dark, golden bronze-ish brown. It has a very light smell, not over powering at all. There are some fruit notes coming through. The citrus tones are definitely apparent. Definitely can taste the hops, and I'm surprised it doesn't smell a little more hoppy. Still isn't overbearing hop in the taste. It has a very clean finish. Easy to drink, and crisp. Very good!!

Photo of drums4matt
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up - as I often do - on a hot day after making some moves on a Summer-like day.

Poured almost totally clear (other than perhaps a little chill haze) from the bottle into a Scaldis tulip. Looks nice; it pours a typical, goldenrod ale color with a one-finger, white, slightly fizzy head that only remained for a moment. Minor, though quite pretty, lacing is left around the apex of the glass.

Smell has significantly less to offer than other "micros" right off the bat, but after sipping one slowly and allowing for some warming-up this beer really shows its colors. There's a sweet graininess right out front with some west-coast hops just peeking their way through the soft, fragrant bouquet. Mmm. That smell sits SO nice with a hot afternoon.

The taste is nice. It offers more than the aroma would let onto. There's some nice fruity flavors right out front - tastes like a combination of the malted grains and phenoly, almost vinous, flavors. Delicate hops leave a lasting impression of floral and slightly citrusy flavor with a palate-coating oiliness.

Sierra Nevada is one of the beers that turned me onto beer. It has such well-defined characteristics - it nearly defines (or possibly ACTUALLY defines) the style of American Pale Ale. The refreshing drinkability (and not in the Miller Lite sense, either) meshes so well with the malt and hop to yield something that has become a classic.

Photo of uconnalum2
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear amber color with a small white head which diminishes quickly. A pleasant, somewhat sweet smell. Taste is crisp with a slightly sweet malt flavor and hops bitterness throughout. Aftertaste disappears very quickly. Mouthfeel is dry and light to medium bodied. Drinkability is very good. No problem downing several of these. Overall, this is not an exciting beer but a good one to have when you want to have a few.

Photo of BenHesk12
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow! Decent beer in a can! Price goes down, value goes up, takes up less space and is lighter to carry. I thought I would hate good beer in a can but since pale ale has always been a "go to" decent beer for any occasion, it's fitting that it's now available in a can. And yes, I'm drinking it straight from the can. There is something about the hole in a can that aerates the beer and gives it a novel texture and taste which I must admit I enjoy. As long as these stay a good bit cheaper than the bottled Pale Ale I think I will buy these many times over. No need reviewing the flavor of one of america's most common "craft" ales.

Photo of 89Vision
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. This isn't what I usually drink, but I saw it in the grocery store and it made me thirsty, so I figured why not. I've had it before, though I didn't appreciate it then.

The appearance is a toasted golden color, with a very thin head. It has a bready pine scent that is pleasing, but subtle.

This beer is pretty damn tasty. While I'm not usually a fan of highly hopped beers, I enjoyed this one. It does have a fairly high bitterness, but its not unpleasant, and the hops give a nice pine, woody flavor, but doesn't become overpowering. I could see this beer being perfect for a camping or canoe trip.

Photo of RickS95
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this years ago, but didn't appreciate it. I just thought it was bitter. I'd like to think my taste buds have matured since then, and I tried this the other night with an open mind (and because they were giving away logo glasses if you bought one).

It poured a nice-sized white head. Dark caramel in color, filtered. Strong scent of hops in the nose, nothing unusual there.

Seemed highly carbonated and bitter in the mouth. Lacing was ok, I thought I remembered more.

Being a pale ale, it had the standard issue hoppy, bitter finish that lasted. But it was refreshing at the same time.

I had this while eating Mexican food. It really went well with the spice hot nachos. I enjoyed the beer this time, so much so that I had two El Gordo glasses (22-ounce) and got to take home to Sierra Nevada logo glasses.

Photo of lawlerj
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A - pours a hazy copper with a decent size head. Leaves speckled lacing on the glass. Appears to be moderately carbonated.

S - strong rich malty aroma on the nose. A bit of hops in the background but nothing crazy. Very rich.

T - buttery malt and rich hops - bitter hops in there and some citrus/floral hops in the mix as well, but doesn't overpower the malt base.

M - medium bodied, smooth nice mouthfeel.

O - overall, this is a solid beer. Deserves respects as one of the originals. I had it some years ago before my palate really developed and I didn't care for it, but it really sits well now.

Photo of HalfFull
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass, this beer pours a lovely opaque orange with a light carbonation that holds for quite some time. Lacing is light but ever present and renewed with each sip as the carbonation is released, as if on queue.

A light hoppy aroma with notable floral and citrus segues to a great taste and a very pleasant finish. This is one of the most consistent brews I've experienced, be it in the bottle or on tap. No more twist-offs though, as they went to pry off tops a year or so back. So don't forget the opener.

Photo of puboflyons
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on August 3, 2013.

The pour is a good looking medium amber-copper with a full off-white head that lingers for a time.

The aroma is grainy and bready with a dash of earthy hops that smell clean and crisp.

The body falls into the medium range and the texture is generally smooth.

As far as the taste there is a quick biscuit and grainy maltiness but then the hops explode but simmer down to a moderate dry finish. By today's standards this is a pretty basic pale ale but one cannot neglect Sierra Nevada's role in the history of the craft beer movement. I bet this was wonderful in the 1970's to early 1980's.

Photo of NiceGuyMike
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I find this to be a charming ale. I'm not a hop head at all, but I'm liking the brew. I has two treats; a nice bitter smell yet refreshing taste when cold, and a warmer maltier taste warmed up.

Appearance: dark amber with good head and lacing.
Smell: medium to strong hops with maltiness.
Taste: strong bitterness when cold. Sweet malts are present, but barely. Finishes with strong clean bitterness. As it warms, but bitterness fades and some of the deeper flavors sweet malts develope.
Mouthfeel: medium body with good carbonation.
Drinkability: great session beer.

Photo of atigerlife
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a wonderful golden orange color with a large two-finger white head. Lots of carbonation seen rising. Good lacing.

Aroma of orange, hops and a distinctive floral scent.

Taste is of citrus [orange] hops, wildflowers and grass. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel has a medium body and is spritzy and dry. Crisp.

Overall, a very good session beer. A good standard beer to have in the fridge. Very enjoyable. Great beer for burgers or munchies.

Photo of claspada
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is initially piney and floral hops with a slight citrus; a little pale and biscuity malt as well.

The taste begins with light breadiness, a hint of sweetness but gently dominated by the floral and piney hops. Lesser amounts of grapefruit bitterness with a hint of complex, ripe fruit left over in the finish. A pleasant bitterness and not too dry. Full almost chewy.

The mouthfeel is medium with average carbonation. Slight stickiness on the lips. Overall it's good but not what I would consider the be all and end all for APAs. I prefer Great Lakes Burning River and Deschutes Mirror Pond.

Photo of Hopstamon
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big ups to the beer that introduced me to "real beer" as opposed to commercial rice beers that I was drinking in college.
"Fatty Sierra Nevada's...$2"... said the guy with a cooler perched on top of his skateboard...cruising the parking lot at a Dead show. I bought one...then another... it became a standard for what my tastebuds truly enjoyed.
Hops... It is crisp and refreshing.

I don't buy this as often as I used to, but always try and have some in the fridge.
Highly recommended for anyone trying to break into IPA's. The world of Cascade goodness...

Photo of gatornation
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a nice light copper color with a good head and lacing ,,just right for a pale ale ..the smell is a hop/malt battle with malts at a slight edge..but ok/ good.. the taste is floral.citrus spice, grass .and hops,with sweet malt its all there but at a minimal level not a wow! pale ale just a quality brew not an over the top pale ale..the mouthfell is good its easy to drink and tasty..it tends to lean on the sweet malts to much and could use a tad more hops... but still a great macro cant go wrong pale ale and recommended

Photo of Indybeer
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Poured a golden amber color with a good head, that stuck around, leaving some lacing on the glass. Aroma is all hops, with maybe a hint of malt. The taste is malty and hoppy. Very smooth mouthfeel, and well balanced. I tried this beer once before quite a while ago, and didn't care for it. But after all this sampling, and being educated on good beers, I find that this is very enjoyable.

Photo of RoBotGod
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of the classic pale ales in my mind. Its almost a text book example of what a pale should be. The body is great with a good pale and amber malt. The citrus is right in the middle but not over powering. The hops take over in the end to give it an over all great fresh taste to it. The beer taste very fresh and is great in the summer time.

Photo of Spider889
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The benchmark with which all pales ought to be graded, this is a solid beer, and excellent at times. One of my gateways into hoppy beer, and certainly well worth the cost.

Lots of visible carbonation from my pour (bought this sixer at a gas station with my brother while out of town, gotta love seeing this no matter where you are). Very clear, a clean-looking bronzen beer. A tall frothy head is expected, and this beer easily delivers. The head is a white merangue - very resistant to my attempts to break through to the resinous nectar beneath. I am left looking a thick gooey lace after each sip. The appearance literally cannot be improved for this beer/style.

The smell seemed lacking, note to self: I need to tick this brew fresh off the tap. I got fresh wet hop leaves which create an earthy pine aroma. I have also always perceived a faint "lagery" smell from this beer, I assume that's just my brain associating like malt profiles with each other.

As for the flavor, there is an immediate perception of fresh winter pine needles. The hops are bitter and sticky.

The mouthfeel is quite resinous, and I'd pin SN Pale on the heaviest side of medium bodied. Crisp and refreshing nonetheless. Dry finish. The bitterness lingers and treads water very near that of many lesser IPA's. But then again, that's what SN is all about.

Always a solid beer. However many more interesting beers are out there for the finding.

Photo of davidjphillips
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tumbler from a 12 oz brown bottle. It has a beautiful copper color with a nice head of creamy foam and a lacing that clung for some time.

Immediate citrus aromas, especially grapefruit. Also a floral (rose) scent with a hint of hops. Very pleasant smelling beer.

The immediate taste and mouthfeel of the beer is very smooth with enjoyable hops and citrus flavors. However, the end is a tad bitter and sharp.

Overall, this beer has a stunning appearance and a tempting scent, with a pleasant initial taste and mouthfeel. My only complaint would be the bitterness in the aftertaste, but nonetheless this is a great example of an APA.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. On tap into a pint glass. Copper in color with a bit of lace.

S. Floral hoppage and some malts in the distance.

T. A good grassy hopping of some caramel malt. A bit of floral hops. Biscuity malt. Balanced well and nothing out of place.

M. Medium bodied and crisp. Ample amount of carbonation. Finishes slightly dry.

D. A nice pale ale. Pretty much the definition of the style. Solid and a worthy of a staple.

Photo of LazyL
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an appealing amber/orange with a fluffy white head. Not alot of hop on the nose but a nice malty ale with a slightly bitter finish. The bitter level on the mouthfeel is good and makes this beer. The hops were used as a bittering agent here and I dont offer much on the nose or taste. Good balance between sweetness and bitterness making this a nice beer for the style and good for a couple cold ones.

Photo of ndekke39
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank this from a 12 oz. bottle with no bottling date. On a hard pour it has a nice white head. Clear golden-yellow color. Great retention. Soft aromas and tastes of lightly toasted malt and honey. Finishes cleanly with a brush of the hops. Tastes travel well. Light-bodied mouthfeel. Continuous carbonation adds to the head, although it doesn't bite the tongue. Not the most powerful flavors, but a well-balanced session beer. Great example of a Pale Ale!

Photo of harrymel
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled: 106310724; March 4, 2011

A: Pours a golden orange ale with brilliant clarity. Less than single finger of fine white foam falls to a medium sheet of the same. Spotty, but persistent lacing.

S: At two months old, the beer isn't nearly as nice smelling. I will give it a bit of leeway provided they at least give me a date (albeit annoyingly written), and allow for some deterioration. The beer is predominately malts at this point. Fairly sweet, with some piney hops in there still.

T: Sweet malts win this profile. Actually a hint of corn on this one. This has been a unique SNPA in my experience. Immediately reminds me of cap'n crunch (weird). I recall this beer having a bit more bite, and a little more bitter on the back end.

M: Medium to heavy mouthfeel with medium carbonation. A bit slicking on the palate.

O: This has always been a fantastic and historic beer, dunno why, but this one is a little off. Will admit to inflating the scores a hare based on my previous experiences with the beer.

Photo of BucBasil
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured from the 12oz bottle into a pint glass. The beer is a clear golden color ith hints of orange. Head was about 2 fingers thick and slightly off-white.

Smell: Clean aroma with a citrusy hop aroma that is also slightly floral with a hint of balancing malt underneath.

Taste: Very nicely balanced, starting out with a light, almost orangey hop character. Malt is always there, somewhat bready and adding some depth and substance to the beer. Finishes with a crisp drying hop.

Mouthfeel: a bit disappointing - smewhat flat, though this probably wouldn't be a problem from the tap.

Drinkability: One of those perfect chill-out, highly drinkable beers. Nothing you have to think about, but with plenty of taste and substance.

Photo of Stockfan42
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden orange body with a thin white head that seems to stick to the glass pretty well.

Smells of grapefruit and hops with a spicy kick.

Taste has a very sharp and bitter bite. Very crisp, very clean, hops and grapefruit again. Also got a nice spicy kick as detected in the aroma.

What I really enjoy about this beer is the mouthfeel. A very creamy body while still maintaning a very citrusy and bitter bite. Goes down easy and very drinkable.

Overall a solid pale ale. Never a let down.

Photo of Thickfreakness
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a golden honey amber into my DFH head signature glass. Nice creamy head that fades and leaves a decent amount of sticky lacing. Nice carbonation.

S- Nice hoppy bite! Decent citrus and pine upfront, but a nice malty backbone that holds everything together. Grassy, clean and fresh flavor. A really nice change of pace from all the IIPA's I've been drinking lately.

T- Nice citrus punch without being overly so. Nice piney, grassiness that's nicely balanced by the malty sweetness. Really well balanced. This could be a fantastic APA to keep in the fridge at all times.

M- Nothing overly impressive here, but nothing to say anything bad about either. Citrusy, piney and sweet. Nice blend between bitter and sweet.

O- I haven't had one of these in years... but damn I missed it!!! A seriously fine APA!!!

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 9,512 ratings.