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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.

9,865 Ratings

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Ratings: 9,865
Reviews: 2,854
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 202
Gots: 1,681 | FT: 4
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: 9,865 | Reviews: 2,854
Photo of thedrewski86
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, orangy golden color with a white bubbly head. Light mango smell, not much in the way of lacing. Taste is crisp and refreshing, fairly light body. Citrusy with a light piney hop. Awesome example of an ultra-drinkable pale ale.

Photo of Kylito87
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This has always been my go to beer when the wallet is tight. I can't believe I have never actually sat down to review it.

Appearance- Hazy amberish gold. Offwhite cap of head. spotty lacing.

Smell- Citrus hop kick with some earthy grass and pine resin notes. Some sweet malt in the background.

Taste- Nice clean hop kick at first and a dry bready malt. Not overly complex but that is part of the charm of this beer.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with moderate carbonation.

Overall- This is one of my all time go to beers. Is it mind blowing no but is it delicious absolutly. It is a good beer at a good price.

Photo of neenerzig
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear, dark golden/orangish color. Mine had almost no head. Decent lacing. Aromas of citrus and hops with a bit of spice as well. Tastes of sweet malt and hops are both present upfront, followed by some citrus and a touch of spice. The taste is nicely balanced. Has a medium body with a crisp and smooth mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation. Easy to drink. A little weak in some aspects, but this is a good beginner APA for someone who has never had a beer of this style before.


Photo of Swim424
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am pouring from a 12oz bottle into a freezable beer mug.

A-pours a dark orange. looks nice. small head. fizzed down fairly quick.

S-smells of some fruit. maybe grapefruit apricot and slight mango. definitely smells of some malt. not getting much hops.

T- I definitely taste more hops then I could smell. Not as good as I was hoping. Not bad but not very impressive. I feel like the flavor is lacking for the amount of hops present. Slight fruit upfront like I described in the smell along with hops. finishing mostly with hops.

MF-Not bad. Some hop aftertaste. Leaves sort of a residue but not a bad feel or taste at all.

Overall this isn't bad. Nothing I would be excited to drink again but definitely not something i would ever turn down. Nothing great but pretty good.

Photo of OleKingCole
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Wrex68
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of dhd1491
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Throwing horseshoes over at my neighbors' I was able to sample three beers one right after the other. Good opportunity for comparison, as horseshoes is always a multiple beer event. Anyway, the three included my old stand by, Sweetwater 420, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and Sweetwater IPA. In my estimation, the Sweetwater IPA was the far superior of the three. Better flavor and drinkability. I was struck by how similar the 420 and the Sierra Nevada tasted. However, I think I would slightly give the nod to the Sierra Nevada. Its taste is better than average, with hoppiness and sweet malt balanced. Some cloying straw taste that is also in the 420, but not so much. Interesting that before I started sampling widely from other beers recently, I didn't notice the straw flavor in 420. It was my favorite beer. Now, I would be pretty loathe to go back to it. Luckily, Sweetwater's IPA is so good that I can still give my business to that local brewery.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Golden to orange and clear, nice head, good lacing, plenty of rising bubbles.

Smelled a bit grainy with a hop overtone and some biscuit malt, plus floral and citrus accents.

Tastes a mix of floral hops, bready malts, and a little sweet citrus.

Moderate bitterness lingers a bit long. Plenty of carbonation. Medium body.

It's a good go-to pale ale, but isn't my favorite. However, quality wise it's right up there and quite worthy.

Photo of BeerFiend2002
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into draft glass

A- Dark gold body with a two finger pillowy off-white head. Good amount of carbonation with the small bubbles screaming up to support the head. Retained the head for quite some time.

S- Piney and grassy hops are prominent in the nose. I also am getting faint notes of dank grapefruit. Very earthy nose on this one.

T- Piney and grassy hops are noticeable, but are also mixed in with a sweetness from the malt and I do notice a little bit of the yeast. It finishes with a light, but noticable bitterness from the hops that doesnt really linger.

M- Body is medium-light. Juicy feel but finishes dry. About what you would expect from a standard pale.

O- I have been on an imperial beer kick, so this was a big switchup for me. It doesnt have the big aromatics and robust flavor of the IPAs that I like, but it is a solid Pale Ale with a fresh, clean flavor. I tried my best to judge it by the style and not so much my preference. It wasnt a mind-blowing experience, but it didnt suck. I would drink it again.

Photo of avalon07
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a clear texture. There was a decent amount of foamy head and OK lacing.

S: Had a fruity, malty aroma.

T: Tasted of citrus, malt and hops (a little hoppier than you'd expect from a pale ale, but it still had a nice flavor).

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a very dry finish. Light-bodied.

D: One of the more drinkable mass-produced beers out there. Goes down easy and has a decent taste.

Photo of tem3175
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of carsonplunkett
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Yuengling pint glass that my roommate took from her job. Haha.

A: Pours a deep amber color with an inch or so of tan, off-white head. Very nice lacing.

S: Lots of hops and grass. Smells pretty average for a pale ale.

T: This pale ale really stands out in my opinon. Has a bitter taste with the perfect balance of hops and a smooth finish.

M: Perfect amount of carbonation. Great mouthfeel.

D: Decent drinkability. A little too expensive to be a session beer for me though.

I've had this pale ale on tap and out of a bottle and must say it's a little bit better on tap.

Photo of FirstMan
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When you are on a business trip in Washington D.C., it can sometimes be hard to stick to your mantra of drinking local. Especially when you're trapped in a hotel near the mall in McLean, Virginia. I spent probably a good hour trying to find a bar that had anything other than the regular macro selection. I wonder what the wait-people must have thought of me when I came up, asked what their draft list was, and then had my face glaze over as they went through the list - Bud, Bud Light, Coors, Bass, Harp, ...

At any rate, I finally found a place that ended the list with "...Sierra Nevada, Guinness", so I sat down.

I was served the Sierra Nevada in a frozen glass, which just isn't classy, but I tried really hard to see beyond that. Once the condensation was wiped off, I could see that this was nice and clear.

This is a pale on the darker side - slight pumpkin and amberish tones. Nice head stayed around for a quite a while and left little tracings along the edge as it went down.

Nose is full of aroma hops, with slight toasty grain essence in the back.

Taste is clean and light with a really nice citris hop bitterness that is slightly unbalanced when it's below temperature, but evens out as it warms up. I kept thinking "fresh" while I was drinking this - whatever that means (no, I am not an early 90s rap star).

Mouthfeel is slightly creamy with sharp tingle of carbination evening it out.

Overall this is a great stand-by beer. If you can find it in the wasteland of beer that exists below the Mason-Dixon line, I advise you drink it.

Photo of Raymond855
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of beerbiatchMD
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into wine glass.

A: golden bronzy in colour. Minimal white head's lacing clings to glass with some difficultly.

S: definite hops but not overpowering. I get some bready tones as well. Nose is simple but good.

T: Moderate hops up front with a nice mildly sweet malty finish. Certainly some hints of caramel but these pale in comparison to the hoppy bitterness.

M: Nice. Mild carbonation, smooth, refreshing.

O: A great beer, easy to drink. It is not complex, but is very good. Would certainly recommend.

Photo of Stockfan42
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
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 utopiajane
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours gold with an orange hue. Good hops nose with a bit of fruit and plenty of malt character. Nice retention and lacing. Medium body and carbonation. Finishes dry with good balance but a little extra emphasis on the grain. Understated and classic in it’s approach.

Photo of Deutschetaters
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of beerguy101
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium gold color, medium head. Mild malts and hops. A hoppy, slightly malty pale ale. Full flavor. Good balance of hops to malts. Mouthfeel is smooth. Finish is crisp and clean. Aftertaste is bitter. The classic Pale ale. This is an excellent beer to drink ICE COLD on a hot summer day.

Photo of Radome
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a wide glass.

A - Beer is a deep golden color and very clear. The head is not overly big or long lasting, but is made up of tiny white bubbles.

S - The aroma is big and sharp. Green, citrusy, fresh hops. There is just a hint of bready malt in the background, but it is certainly secondary.

T - The taste is dominated by fresh hops emphasizing citrus and grapefruit. There is just a bit of nutty, grainy malt in the background. Not much complexity.

M - The bitterness is sharp but not mouth-puckering. A bit of carbonation fizz. Body is moderate, as fits the strong hops flavor. No alcohol noticeable.

D - The beer is very drinkable and enjoyable. It holds up well despite being such an early example of craft brewing. My only complaint is a lack of complexity with the hops so dominant.

Photo of mjw3180
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of danielocean03
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a rich orange-hued amber into a pint glass. Short fizzy head fell quickly to light lacing. Smells of fresh, fruity hops, somewhat citrusy. Taste is slightly masked by heavy carbonation at the start, opens quickly to the hops and sweetly marked of citrus, tastes very fresh, crisp and clean. Mouthfeel is sharp, light, bubbly, finished clean and dry, somewhat like champagne will. Nice and complex blend of citrus and hops, excellent brew, would purchase again, drinkability high, nice introduction to someone new to APA's.

Photo of beerdown77
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale is an old stand by. It's on-tap everywhere, so the "ace in the hole" factor is a plus. I like that it is well rounded, medium bodied, and easy to have a few of. This time around I poured it into a pint glass with two fingers of head. The retention isn't as good as Celebration, but still pretty good. The color is orange/copper. I smell hops, malt and citrus. The taste is a little on the sweet side, but there is a good amount of hop presence for a Pale Ale.

Photo of tlema1
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of DoubleJ
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the three major craft beers you'll find at many establishments on draft (the others being Fat Tire and Boston Lager), I got this at Famous Dave's BBQ when I was in Fresno this weekend. Paired with BBQ beef tips, on to the beer:

What's to say that hasn't been said? It's a west-coast classic with it's own unique beat. Typical of American styles, it leans towards the hoppy profile, with a grapefruit/citrus aroma. From draft, it has a creamy feel that's good to the last drop. I'm glad to hear from casual beer drinkers that this is on thier list for thier favorite beers, so it has appeal for everyone.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,865 ratings.