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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

9,299 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,299
Reviews: 2,733
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 158
Gots: 1,167 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,299 | Reviews: 2,733 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of iuhoosier336
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A great beer because a good amount of bars, even ones that aren't into craft brews, carry it at least in bottle if not on tap. A stand by.

Poured from a tap into a pint glass its a nice evenly colored beer with a good head. The smell is of citrus and slight pine, the taste is flowery with a finish of minor hops. A beer that goes down well and also is a nice spacer in between some big IPAs.

iuhoosier336, Aug 14, 2009
Photo of Cozzatoad
3.86/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, as required in Italy it states a best before 13 march 2013, which should probably be one year after bottling date

A- Nice amber/copper colour, perfectly transparent. 2 fingers white head, decent retention and nice amounts of lacing on the sides of the glass. Very attractive

S- Grainy malts aroma with some caramel notes. A delicate, refreshing herbal touch on the back of things, with some citric notes also showing up

T- Delicately crisp grainy/bready malts, with notes of caramel as the smell suggested. Not your face but still pretty distinct, clean, bitter feel shows up in both taste and aftertaste, bringing notes of mild citrus (lemon, orange peel) and pine. The slightest spicy hint brings a bit of life

M- Medium to light body, Average carbonation. Overall a nice, delicate crispy feel while still being quite smooth and easy

O- This beer has absolutely perfect balance as well as awesome drinkability. Highly enjoyable, still i was perhaps expecting something more impressive from a beer that is famous as a benchmark for it's style

Cozzatoad, Jul 21, 2012
Photo of Huffs
3.86/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Sam Adams glass, developed a nice off white head which dissipated surprisingly quickly and had only some lacing. Appearance was a light amber with a slight haze. Aroma was light and of malt and grain. Taste had hints of caramel, grain and a sweetness on the finish. Mouthfeel was very full and nice with a clean, slightly sweet aftertaste.

Huffs, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of guntherhophead
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clover honeyish amber. White head w/lacing, and light sediment dancing in the carbonation.
S-Sweet floral hops, citrus, honey, grain.
T-Clean and even--fresh grain, light citrus, flowery hops, and an excellent aftertaste.
M-Light-medium body w/good carbonation. Excellent harmony.
D-Sessionable and refreshing.

guntherhophead, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of CloudStrife
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a mostly clear golden orange with a 1.5 finger white head. Head is quick to fade but leaves a thin covering, minimal lacing. Some small floaties in the glass.

S: Hops and sweet malts. A little hint of carmel. Not overpowering.

T: A wonderfully balanced brew. Has just enough hop to keep it interesting and enough malt to make it real drinkable.

M: Light on the palate with good carbonation. Certainly a session-able beer.

Overall a great standby that is widely distributed. The perfect intro to craft beer as I know it got me into them. Not sure if it has toned down since the days when there was sediment in the bottle, but isnt as impressive as it used to be.

CloudStrife, Jun 26, 2012
Photo of appenzeller
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark gold, orange, good head that dissipates quickly. Smell is pungent with Cascade hops, I think, the taste follows as expected. Hops bite is moderate, not over the top, lingers through to the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is good, ample enough to be substantive but not overwhelming or heavy.

Obviously an American classic. Ironically not my favorite Sierra Nevada beer, but a very respectable brew.

appenzeller, Jun 07, 2010
Photo of Blupoet03
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My favorite "every day" beer...

It pours golden amber into a pint glass with little head. The nose is hoppy with a hint of sweetness. Taste is sharp, bitter, and hops all the way. Carbonation is pleasant and not overpowering, it leaves a bitter aftertaste that makes you want more without taking away from the thirst quenching attributes of this beer.

This is a great summer and fall beer and cheap enough to have on a regular basis if you're on a budget. I've also heard it mentioned that this beer brought the pale ale style to America and shows off the Cascade hop variety beautifully.

Blupoet03, Jul 17, 2007
Photo of matsputis
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden amber with some orange

It smells like a big grapefruit. Also has bready-biscuit aroma - a nice balance of hops and malts.

A strong citrus taste with bitterness starts it off, followed by the malty presence and a nice crisp aftertaste. The bitterness stays for a little bit.

It has a very nice crispness to it. Clean flavors

I especially like the aftertaste, and the bitterness gives it a nice kick. The grapefruit flavor I can deal with, but it's a bit strong. I'm fine with just one.

matsputis, Apr 11, 2007
Photo of Kaiser777
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A thick golden hazle color with a off white foam that raised just a bit, but never the lest a good thick foam with a million little bubbles floating from the bottom of the glass to the top.

S- A semi sweet smell, very hoppy with a slight hint of citrus, maybe even a carmel like candy smell as well.

T- A little hoppy with an explosive after taste with a little splash of citrus and a twist of sweetness that leaves an amazing after taste.

MF- Coats the mouth well and like I said before it has a beautiful after taste with a splash of citrus that I have grown to love over the years.

D- Very drinkable one of my favorite pale ales, actually one of the first micro brews I have ever drank about a year ago, and oh what a journey it has been.

Kaiser777, May 25, 2010
Photo of SirBentham
3.88/5  rDev -4%

SirBentham, Nov 14, 2014
Photo of thebarnesbomb
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into glass with a great 1 1/2 inch head (a great pour if I can congratulate myself for a second) with a nice golden yellow color with a slight amber hue to it. A really perfect color, what a beer should look like. The smell was slightly citrus, but mostly of the hop and malt combination. The taste would be just as you would imagine from its scent, mostly the great combination of the malt and hops, with some bitter citrus to it. This leaves the most prominent element to the aftertaste- bitter, but in the good way, lingering on the tongue. As I continued the head disapated to a quater inch head leaving some lacing as it went. A decent amount of carbonation, not enough to take away from the taste, and also a good mouthfeel to it, not watery at all.

Overall, I think this would be a great beer to drink as an all around refreshing beer. Pleanty of taste to keep you drinking, with a good amount of carbonation and a crisp taste to the finish. A wonderful pale ale.

thebarnesbomb, Jan 29, 2006
Photo of BeerSox
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with no date into a mug.

Pours clear dark gold with light head. Levels off into an off-white cap. Blotching lacing.

The aroma comes with leafy and flowery components. Hops dominate the aroma, no malts detectable.

Strong hop flavor with slight hints of fruit in the background. finish with a bit of lingering hoppiness. Slight grain is available as the beer warms.

Crisp and clear mouthfeel, but not too watery. Carbonation is on the lighter side.

A solid pale ale, more bitter than its English counterpart. Solid APA in my book.

BeerSox, Aug 21, 2006
Photo of BeerSingh
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

By the time I got the glass, the head was very thin, which was a disappointment. The body was brownish orange with a lot of playful bubbliness. Nice nose - a lot of grape and citrus notes, with a little bit of grain and yeast. ah, the taste was multi dimensional, with a sharp zesty bite, sweet fruitiness and a robust hop bitterness, more than average for a pale ale. A lot of carbonation there with a light palate. A very drinkable session beer.

BeerSingh, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of Faroveryonder
3.88/5  rDev -4%

Faroveryonder, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of AndreasDif
3.88/5  rDev -4%

AndreasDif, Oct 18, 2014
Photo of mwilbur
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a pale gold yellow with a hint of white head that quickly dissipates. Hint of lacing.
S: Nice and fresh aroma. Citrus, apple, and some spice.
T: Citrus (esp orange) hops, sweet yet bitter apple, toasted grains, spice and black pepper...with a hint of caramel malt holding it all together.
M: Smooth and oily feel. Sweet up front turning bitter in the finish.
D: Solid for style. One of the classics. Nice summer session brew.

mwilbur, Jun 12, 2012
Photo of zacharius
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a light amber that is something slightly less than brillantly clear. White head sits on top. Smell is of citrusy hops. Taste of beer is of Cascade hops with a slight malt background, finish is all hops. Slight hint of mineraly water. Very drinkable and smooth beer with a nice body. Definatley a session beer.

zacharius, Oct 31, 2004
Photo of Fenris244
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper in color, .5 finger head, decent retention leaves a thin lace on the surface of the beer, thin lines of bubbles are seen in the glass

Not much in the nose some hop character and some malt maybe but that's about it

Very hoppy up front, terrific malt character following it up, the grainy bread like sweetness is a perfect balance to the hops. The hops give the beer some of the usual ipa flavors but the great malt backbone is the star of this beer for me

Light in body and very crisp, the medium carbonation helps out in the mouth feel. The alcohol isn't to high and the flavor is just right to make this a damn drinkable brew

Fenris244, Feb 28, 2011
Photo of mooseo
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Golden copper, looks a bit cloudy. Has a decent, foamy white head with average retention.

S - Big floral hop aroma mixed with citrus and sweet malts.

T - Roasted, bready malts up front, followed by grassy, floral hops. While well balanced, the hops are plentiful and provide a mild hop bite. The finish is rather dry with some bitterness, leaving a lingering citrus/malt flavor.

M - Crisp and smooth. Light-medium bodied.

D - Highly drinkable, making this an extremely sessionable ale. Bold, robust flavors for a pale ale. Everything seems to work well together. An all around great beer.

mooseo, Sep 08, 2011
Photo of johnrobe
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A true modern classic and one that started me on the path to better beer. Others have improved on the original, IMHO, but as the trend has been "bigger is better" in craft brewing, SNPA retains high marks for drinkability; simply one of the finest session pale ales around. Once I began stockpiling Celebration every year I stopped buying this beer, so this is a homecoming of sorts. It pours a light orange amber with a frothy white head that leaves rings. The aroma is light but dominated by citric hops. The taste is mostly citrus with some pine and is pleasantly bitter. A simple sugar, candy-like sweetness makes a brief appearance on the palate but the malt doesn't develop like some of the bigger PAs. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied and slightly creamy but not heavy, an excellent lunchtime brew.

johnrobe, Feb 02, 2004
Photo of hermit990
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had on-tap, served in a pint glass.

Appearance: Orange/light amber color, mostly clear with a slight haze. About a finger of white head, leaving a great lacing down the side of the glass. Moderate carbonation bubbles rising through the beer.

Smell: Some slight pine and citrus hop aromas start those nose. A bit of underlying, bready malt character follows. Finishes with some subtle spiciness.

Taste: Citrus bitterness at the front of the tongue, flavors of grapefruit and orange rind. This is followed up nicely by some big pine flavor and a little bit of malt sweetness, providing a decent balance. Finishes with some light floral, spicy notes and a parting bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Good body to this one, gains a bit of an oily, resinous feel as it warms up a bit. Light carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: This is a classic pale ale that still holds up today. Readily available and affordable, and quite easy to drink. Always a solid choice to have on hand.

hermit990, Mar 28, 2013
Photo of eporter66
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle (I like the SN stubby bottles) into a pint glass.

A - Golden amber color, poured to a 1/2 finger head that quickly dissapates to a ring. No real lacing left on glass.

S - Citrus and hoppy - pleasant but fairly mild smell overall.

T - Good fruit flavor on tongue, the hop bites and lives a bitter fruity laced aftertaste, and stays in the back of your throat.

M - Crisp, good carbonation tingle, medium bodied

D - I do not think of myself as a hophead, and read that this is a good introduction to IPA's. I certainly get the bitter flavor, but enjoyed the fruitiness. I assume the bitter aftertaste is what the hopheads enjoy. This was a an enjoyable beer, and certainly can be followed by a few more. I can see this one catching up to you after a few.

eporter66, Dec 03, 2008
Photo of JamesMN
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy golden/caramel color with a thin off-white head.

Aroma: Bready malt and a hint of earthy hops.

Taste: I remember drinking this when I first got into craft beer and thinking it was a bitter hop bomb. It's actually a very well balanced Pale Ale. Lots of biscuity malt and some nice earthy and citrus hop flavors. Both malt and hops share the palate and make for a very good APA. Smooth throughout and tasty without being too complex.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with medium body and good effervescence. Above average drinkability.

Final Thoughts: No complaints here. A standard in APAs. Would I drink it again? Most likely, although I rarely seek out APAs.

JamesMN, Oct 20, 2012
Photo of AleWatcher
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into standard pint...

I've been drinking this for a few years, so I figured now that is in the Top 100 list (context: minimum reviews was changed to 1000 in order to be considered a top 100 in the world beer), I felt it was time to review it!

This brew pours a coppery color with orange hues and an off-white head of three fingers that had respectable retention. Thick glaciers of lace cling in huge slow moving masses of micro bubbles.

Smells of a sweet malt-- like a Hawaiian bread and sweet caramel note. The hops come across as mostly citrus and floral. The nose translates well on the taste with a good upfront sweetness that gives way to a grapefruit and citrus hip note with a slightly spicy floral note towards the finish. The finish is clean and pleasant.

Nothing rough or uneven about this beer-- very well balanced and easy to drink. There is probably a reason that this is one of the biggest gateway beers into the world of craft-- it is a mighty fine beer.

The body is medium with decent carbonation. I'd actually prefer a little more carbonation, but this is certainly respectable.

AleWatcher, Aug 10, 2010
Photo of BBS323
3.88/5  rDev -4%

BBS323, Oct 11, 2014
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 9,299 ratings.