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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.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,847 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,847
Hads: 10,354
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 228
Gots: 2,200 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,847 | Hads: 10,354
Photo of ironlung
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap @ Amici's pizza on Lombard in S.F.

A: Light amber. No-head. Nice lacing.

S: Very faint (I'm in a place that cooks pizza's on the open flame so no suprise that's all I really smell)! Pine hops are all I can detect.

T: Crisp. Snappy. A great hoppy pale ale. Perfect bitterness for the style IMO.

M: Light. Palate cleansing. Great beer to enjoy with a meal because it's not overpowering.

D: Super high! My go-to beer, and breakfest drink of choice! (457 characters)

Photo of bum732
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a yellowish orange, nice creamy head with great retention. Smells of grapefruit rind, orange, other tropical fruits, light breadiness. Tastes of semi-bitter grapefruit rind with a nice subtle bready undertone. More citrus fruits in the finish ending fairly clean. Great carbonation cuts through the perfect medium mouthfeel.

The classic American pale ale, as great as its always been. (392 characters)

Photo of ZorPrime
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally could get some. Bought it in New York in June 2009. Brought back to Quebec, almost confiscated by the canadian customs (argh!!).

Tasted on June 5th, 2009.

A: Pours as a copper color with a good head. Nice cloudy looking foam forms the head. Slightly clings to the glass.
S: Average intensity of hops. I mainly get piny hops maybe some citrus but very light.
T: Piny hops
M: Very dry finish. Hops oil cover the inside of the mouth which makes it feel very good...
D: So easy to drink.

Wow, I'm glad I've tasted it. Next time I have to bring a 6-pack to Quebec. This pale ale is more hoppy than some IPA from down here. A saying on the west coast love for hops!! (671 characters)

Photo of jpeterman
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

--Poured from a 12 ounce, brown snub-nose bottle into a shaker pint glass. No drink-by date visible on bottle.--

Appearance- A hard pour yields a sizable, fluffy, off-white 2 finger head, likable to a pillow. Light golden-amber liquid, perfectly clear with no haze whatsoever. (I poured the sediment in, so it is visible, creating a bit of a blur at the bottom of the glass.) Head stays around for about 3 minutes, leaving a nice sticky web of lacing as it goes. A spectacular looking APA.

Smell- Floral hops and pine hit the nose hard at first. A fresh, sweet-yet-sharp grassy scent is dominant, also. Comparison: A perfect summer day. In the background are light malts, and a smidgen of sharp sourdough bread as it warms a bit. Yeast is also prevalent, and some fresh fruits come about with every other whiff or so. Overall an irresistible aroma.

Taste- Just as with the nose, the sharp hop bite comes first; piney and very crisp. A light, sweet malt catches the back of the tongue, along with the yeast. More malt comes in as it warms. A near perfect balance for an APA. Extremely well constructed. My only qualm is that the finish is a bit slick. However, it is by no means drastic.

Body/ Mouth-Feel- Light and crisp, with perfect carbonation and just enough weight on the tongue to keep me interested. Again, a bit slick, but nothing to really complain about.

Drinkability- Easily a session beer. A 6 pack on any evening would be an absolute treat. In my opinion, this is a perfect example of an APA, along with being a classic! (1,542 characters)

Photo of beyah
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 24 oz bottle to a US Tumbler , 1 finger of head.

Color - golden with a slight cloudiness, white lacing hangs in there for a long, long time.

Smell - Very nice hoppiness, slight maltiness in the background.

Taste - Smooth very drinkable, there is a slight citrus taste to the beer. Not too bitter just perfect in the hop department.

Mouthfeel. Perfect carbonation, for this style beer.

I used to be a great fan of Bass Pale Ale, but now I have a new favorite Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. (500 characters)

Photo of BeerMusketeer
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Im have always lov ed this beer but hadn't had one in ages. Just picked up a sixer and am remembering why I am so fond of sierra nevada. Nice orange/tan body with a decent head. The aroma and taste are a wondeful balance of gentle hops and solid malts. This is still the best APA for me. (287 characters)

Photo of thecarster1
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a- bottle poured into a pint, one finger bubbly head, nice retention, good bit of carbonation, nice orangey brown color, great lacing.

s- bright, floral hops, sweet caramel malt.

t- wonderful balance, sweet and floral, tang of lemony, grapefruity hops, more hoppy than most apas almost ipa territory, little bit of dryness on the finish, mmm.

m- nice medium body.

d- wonderful, sessionable, one of the best apas i've had, when people talk about apa balance, this is what their talking about, this is my go to case of pale ale, so tasty. (540 characters)

Photo of onthefarside
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this one on several occasions. When I was first getting into beers i thought it tasted a little funny, but now that my taste for beer has matured quite a bit, this beer is great for me when I run out of Dogfish head and can't get to the one place that sells it in Albany. There are two bars so far that I know of in the Albany area that have this on tap. (I dont go bar hopping too much, stick to the usual place) My Place in Delmar and Hollywood down on Lark St in Albany. about $4 for a 16oz draft. On to the beer.

Appearance is a nice dark brown that when held to the light is more of a dark caramel. Depending on the bar tender you either get about 1 in head to almost no head. Out of the bottle about 1in with an average pour.

Smell- Some floral hops, not as strong as IPA but enough to know its going to taste great. Some malts and general pleasantries with this beer.

Taste- where to begin, a great almost sweet malt taste that makes the perfect transition to a slightly bitter hops. Mixed with wings and other typical bar foods, it can mix with other flavours to please your pallete. There are so many other flavours in here that i just can't pull out at the moment.

mouthfeel- when cold it has the perfect effect on your tounge, a perfect amount of carbonation, more than a usual IPA but less than a crappy macro. Good for drinking at a bar with freinds or for washing down a meal.

Drinkability- Definately my session beer at the bar. with 5.6 alcohol cont, it's rather high for a beer you can easily find in a grocery store. For a college party, get something cheaper, at 7-9 dollars around here it can be pricey for those of us in a pinch, but when i want something good and can't get my ass to the bev cent. This is my choice. Can't go wrong with Sierra Nevada! (1,797 characters)

Photo of wolfinthemirror
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just had my first pint of SN Pale Ale on tap, I was impressed.

A - Nice golden straw color, a fingers worth of foamy white head. beautiful looking beer in the glass!

S - I get grassy hops right up front. has a sweet fragrance to it.

T - Extremely refreshing. hops are present, some citrus notes. nothing over bearing, just an extremely well balanced flavor.

M - light bodied and very crisp. great amount of carbonation.

D- I could drink glass after glass if my wallet would let me. It goes down easy and is a great accompaniment with meals. It paired well with the nachos I had for dinner.

Deliciously refreshing Pale Ale, perfect beer for warming weather. You really can't go wrong with one of these. (707 characters)

Photo of chaduvel
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Golden copper in color rocky head. Aromas of sweet malts and spicy hops. Taste is fresh and piney, but perfect balanced between a mellow sweet malt backbone and cascading sapy hops. One of the most drinkable beers in existence and a fantastic gateway to good beer. (264 characters)

Photo of legalpete19340
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a nice bright orangish gold with a thick two finger head that stuck to the glass and laced perfectly.

S: Piney hops push forward with citrus notes in the back, dry herbal scent with crispy pale malt. Smells like a dry forest.

T: Bitterness hits upfront with loads of pine and herbal spiciness. A solid pale malt backbone holds everything up and swings into the mid swig with a crispness and caramel sweetness then backs off again and lets the hops finish things up with a slap of bitterness.

M: Medium and surprisingly foamy/creamy with perfect carbonation.

O: Just a great beer IMO. Perfect example of the APA style. I keep coming back to this beer and am impressed by how enjoyable and interesting it is. Made better because I can find it anywhere. (764 characters)

Photo of BillyBrew
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What else can I say about The Sierra Nevada...hre are a few... The most idealistic golden brown/orange colour. A fantastic, sticky, chunky, creamy head that keeps full coverage the whole way through while leaving rings in its wake. Scents have heavy hops and fruits, a pleaseantly soft mixture. My palate held a perfectly balanced malt base with a less bitter, more complex hop profile. A fantastic, velvety smooth, medium body. This brew drinks the best so far! This beer nearly shoots through my ratings roof, held back only by my imagination's ideal of unrealized brews to come (or, sadly, never). My best so far. Cheers! (632 characters)

Photo of wahhmaster
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Fist review...here goes...

Poured from a 24 oz. bottle into a Guinness branded tulip pint glass (I really need to get better glassware; this shit is ridiculous).

Appearance: Fuckin' epic. Nice straw color with a decent head that dissapates quickly but leaves average lacing.

Smell: Hoppy aroma with grassy hints. Pretty good but nothing to write a sonnet about.

Taste: Why haven't I had this beer before?!? This is amazing. Nice hop taste that comes on strong upfront. Basically tastes like it smells: hoppy and delicious. Leaves a nice aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Kind of thin. Nothing special here...

Drinkability: A solid pale ale by Sierra Nevada. Highly recommended for fans of the style, beer noobs, or beer advocates in general. Peace out... (749 characters)

Photo of julian
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just bought a kegerator and my first keg is a 1/6bbl SN Pale Ale. w00t!

This stuff is seriously delicious from a keg. I don't think I've ever tried it on draught, and I gotta say...wow. This is a whole different beast. It's smooth, delicious and everything I'd expect from a world class pale ale. Wow. No comparison. I'll definitely be buying kegs of this stuff from now on, possibly as a regular rotation.

A: Absolutely crisp copper color with perfect clarity. Generous off white FLUFFY head, with the most decorative lacing I've seen in awhile. Beautiful.

S: Has that distinct Sierra Nevada earthy yeast aroma. Cascade hops mixed with an earthy mild citrus.

T: Mild bitterness from the perle and magnum, but leveled out nicely with some cascade in the finish, perfectly balanced malt bill. This isn't in your face like some pale ales that border on IPAs, it packs enough floral and mild earthy citrus flavor to quench your thirst and leave you wanting more.

M: Perfectly carbonated, great balanced mouthfeel all around, goes down really smooth...too smooth almost.

D: I'm not sure you can get much more drinkable than this. This is THE quintessential American pale ale. It's delicious, smooth and highly drinkable. Perfect session ale. (1,244 characters)

Photo of SpencerSauce
4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

i love just chilling out with a nice sixer of this on the boat, or on the couch, or wherever.

Pours amber with what looks to be slight sediment. From yeast and protein coagulations consisting of B12 vitamins. This is normal because its a bottle conditioned beer usuing the purest ingredients.

The smell is more hoppy than i expected. Pine and slight citrus. Not a grapefruit type of citrus though. But at the same time lots of caramel.

Taste floral and piney hops, balanced well with malts. Lip smacking good. Honestly Smack them lips.

Easy drinking and leaves me wanting more. CLean and crisp mouthfeel with a slightly bitter aftertaste. Its a hoppy devil of a pale ale. (676 characters)

Photo of mvanaskie13
4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tall glass: color is copper, with golden edges and frothy head with mixture of bubble sizes, head color is light tan, head dissipates to bubbles and light froth with some lacing.

Aroma is pleasant, simple: clean malt, light biscuit and malty aromas; hops are grassy, earthy. Combination is simple but very enticing.

Taste is where this beer comes through to define american pale ales: clean malt flavors, not sweet, light biscuit and subtle caramel malts, some bread like flavors; hops are grassy, earthy, simple and easy.

Mouthfeel is on the bitter side with some good lingering hop bite while the malt flavors, presence and life enhance as the beer warms.

Overall, simply one of the best pale ales ever, flavors are simple, clean and enticing; great beer to turn you away from lagers and something you can drink all day. (840 characters)

Photo of forsakenpariah
4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first beer review.

Serving type - 12oz. bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Pours an orange-golden color with a fluffly, off-white, roughly one-inch head with good retention and moderate lacing.

S - The nose is dominated by bold, crisp, citrusy hops. A hint of floral and sweet scents are present as well.

T - The first sip is like a sucker punch of sharp, bitter hoppy glory. Lots of citrusy and floral hop flavor. There is a bit of caramel malty sweetness. Some hints of biscuit and earthy flavors as well. The flavor tends to sweeten and mellow as you drink.

M - Light body with moderate carbonation. The hops leave a lasting refreshing impression on the palate.

D - Good drinkability; this is an excellent session beer. This is overall the best pale ale I've had by far. I'll definitely be drinking it again. (821 characters)

Photo of KroMagnon
4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Clear, color is a light reddish-golden (on tap it seems darker to me though). The head is white and dissipates a bit rapidly. The aroma is clean with a bit of maltiness and a nice citrusy hop smell. The flavor is crisp, clean, with a slightly sweet malty base followed by a piney, resinous hop note and a solid bitterness. Several years ago this was the hoppiest beer I had regularly; since then its hoppiness has been surpassed by others, but I don't think any beer is as well balanced and compliemented as this one. This is a great beer and delicious. (553 characters)

Photo of ExtraStout
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this brew many times. Luckily, when most places stock only the standard crap, I am fortunate to find this lone beacon of quality due to SN's great distibution system. Although I am a bigger fan of their Torpedo Extra IPA, I have no issues with this Pale Ale.

Dark golden color, long-lasting and just slightly off-white head. Above average lacing. A touch of yeast clouds the glass when swirled and poured into a pint glass once the head recedes far enough.

Malty sweet, but balanced by the grapefruit zing of Cascade hops. Not as bitter as other APA's I've tasted.

Very drinkable, the hoppy but fairly sweet taste and classic ale mouthfeel bring the bottom of the glass all too quickly, this beer was exceedingly good for the style. (746 characters)

Photo of Troyone
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an apple juice color with a copper hue, three inch head that dissipated within minutes, and some carb action.

Smells like a light/moderate toasted caramel malt with grass/resin grapefruit/orange hops and hints of honey.

Taste has a light sweet acidic toasted caramel malt with the same hoppy taste as the smell and the background may have a slight licorice and cola flavor.

Has a medium body, dry slightly syrupy texture, soft and lively carbonation, and a slight metallic finish.

My choice of beer when at a bar with mostly a commercial beer selection, perfect session beer. (585 characters)

Photo of FrankWBurnsIII
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It has been some time since Sierra Nevada's pale ale has graced by taste buds, but I wanted to be sure to give it a shout out on BA.

This was probably one of the first craft beers I ever had and my love for the whole category took off after that.

Among the pale ales I have had, I would say it's the best one. In fairness, I do not drink a lot of pale ale.

Among my non-craft drinking friends, this seems to be a favorite just the same, so the beer is really offering something for everyone. (494 characters)

Photo of goochpunch
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours out an apple juice color with a fluffy white head and a hazy body containing moderate carbonation. Citrus rind hops and bready malt fill the nose. Close to perfect, but I've had pales with a bit of a stronger presence in the nose. Malts are sweet but not cloyingly so. There isn't as much of the brightness I tend to associate with American pales. From the hops I get mostly citrus flavors with some floral notes. Perfect mouthfeel from a pale. Enough carbonation to keep it from being a still beverage, but it's not intrusive, on the other hand. Moderate body. Perfect "session" beer.

Although not as over the top as some American pales, this one is textbook. (669 characters)

Photo of Spikester
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A 24 ounce bottle about 55 deg. F. Aroma is grassy some breadiness.

Finally a pale ale with perfect balance between hops and malt. I hate to rate a California brew above the Northwest micros but I must.

The pour yielded a huge head. The lacing was plentiful completely covering the glass. Good level of carbonation. Nice light amber color. Nicely hopped with a somewhat bitter taste but due to sweet maltiness the hops don't overwhelm. The aftertaste is just slightly bitter.

As far as drinkabilty is concerned this one could be habit forming. Am very much looking forward to trying the draft version. One of the very best of the style.

Another plus is the consistency. Always good and an excellent value as well.

My favorite Pale Ale at this time. If I were only allowed one beer for all time I guess this would be it. For an everyday craft beer it is at the top of the pedestal of APAs. (895 characters)

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a very fine bottled beer. The appearance is beautiful, with a nice head and a good, brown color. Aroma is pleasant, taste is excellent and just bitter enough, and mouth feel is good, with wonderful body. Overall, this is an exceptional product.

RJT (275 characters)

Photo of Brewndruid
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Clearly one of the bestpale ales out there! This one is the standard by which most, if not all, others are judged. The only reason I didn't give this A perfect five was because I don't think any beer can be perfect, where does that leave room for improvement, there's always room for improvement and a beer. (307 characters)

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,847 ratings.