1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
90
outstanding

9,066 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,066
Reviews: 2,719
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 151
Gots: 1,057 | 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:
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: 9,066 | Reviews: 2,719 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dbauer
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%

dbauer, Aug 24, 2014
Photo of ncstateplaya
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very nice looking pour, true amber with loads of carbonation visible within the colomn. Its sudsy head fills half of the glass with a moderate pour. It is crystal clear and almost as inviting as a spring day. There was heavy lacing left in the glass.

It smells crisp and slightly bitter with subtle hints of yeast. There is nothing overbearing or extremely impressive. Just a little hoppier than I have smelled in the past.

Tastes slightly hoppy with a metallic "ting" to it. Very mellow with semi-sweet malts...not quite caramelesque. I get flavors of buttered bread...actually pretty nice.

A great medium bodied beer that is both soothing and creamy with just a smidge of bitterness on the finish. The carbonation is very nice, going almost unnoticed until the end.

Very smooth and extremely easy drinking, without a doubt a great session beer. I have drank more of these than I care to count...still serves me well, almost like a safety blanket regardless of the occassion.

ncstateplaya, Feb 18, 2009
Photo of tgbljb
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a bright orange color with robust head that reduced to minimal white lacing. Has a nice hoppy smell without being overpowering. The taste has a pleasant hoppiness that fells great in the mouth. leaves a nice dryness that makes me want more. A very drinkable pale ale that would be a good session beer

tgbljb, Apr 21, 2005
Photo of John
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

An American classic. Good fall back beer, or one to enjoy when a less complex brew is desired.

John, Sep 19, 2001
Photo of Faune
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a amber orange with a head that turns to a thin lace.

Smell: Hops, citrus, fruits and grain. Medium bodied.

Tastes: Fruit, citrus, hops, malt.

Mouthfeel: Smooth medium bodied.

Overall a great Pale Ale. A classic, enjoyable beer.

Faune, Oct 16, 2009
Photo of jackorain
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally got around to reviewing this old standby

A-Straw gold with orange tinge liquid with a slight haze. This is topped with a stark white 1 1/2 inch high pillowy head that hangs around for a good long time. Leaves some decent lacing behind as the head recedes.

S-Biscuit and bready malts back-up with a sizable dose of citrus (mainly gapfruit) hop araoma.

T-Caramel amlt shows up initially but slips away to reveal biscuit malt and a bit of white bread. The middle brings grapefruit hops and a decent bitterness level.

M-nearly medium body with a craemuness to the carbonation with a late prickle.

D-Good, I could have several at which point I wold have to switch to something with more hops

jackorain, Dec 28, 2007
Photo of Wildman
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a golden amber color and formed a small white head that didn't hold and left little lace. Some carbonation present. If had an aroma of hops with a slight bit of citrus. The flavor was of hops with some malt. A bit of citrus aspect. The finish was slightly sweet/citrus with a bit of a bite. A good beer, but I find the local pale ales on tap to be better as well as some others I had.

Wildman, Jul 26, 2002
Photo of jgreenearrow
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a golden copper color with lighter golden tones around the edges of the glass. The beer is fairly translucent, as bubbles are easily visible as the cascade up to the top of the pour. A thin cream colored foam formed at the top of the pour with very little retention. Some slight lacing remains on the sides of the glass.

S: Caramel and biscuity malts dominate the nose. Some slight citrus is present as well, rounded out by some hop bitters.

T: Sweet malts and caramel flavor burst onto the tongue at the outset of the sip. Bread crust and biscuit meld into flavor profile in the middle followed by some citrus of orange peel and grapefruit and hop bitterness in the finish.

M: This is a light to medium bodied beer. Carbonation is pleasant and refreshing.

Overall, this is an excellent pale ale. The flavors are complex and well balanced. Neither malts nor hops dominate the flavor profile, as all of the flavors meld nicely to create a refreshing beer.

jgreenearrow, Aug 13, 2011
Photo of brureview
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a light honey color into a pint glass with a 2 finger head.

The aroma is light pine.

The mouth feel is lightly carbonated and well suited to the style. Often
Pale Ales are too carbonated and not well-balanced.

The taste is bready and piney, finishing with a hoppy fruity finish and a light bitterness.

The beer is a balanced, full flavored Pale Ale, and is unlike other beers in the style, which
are either too carbonated, hoppy and/or lack a pronounced taste.

brureview, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of PuckLSHS
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What can I say about Sierra Nevada that you can't read in the rest of the reviews? Pours a nice gold color, with a nice head and lacing. The beer is a classic pale ale with a slight citrus flavor to it. The mouthfeel is smooth and has that nice little bite of carbonation. This beer is completely drinkable, as I tend to have quite a few when I start on this beer.

The beer is great for summer and spring. Amazing bbq beer as it matches most food. Excellent beer to make a very excellent day...now where's my lawnchair?

PuckLSHS, May 21, 2006
Photo of jt31914
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: about 1-1 1/2 fingers head; darker yellow and very carbonated. Head retention is very long lasting.

S: Clove and hop smell - pretty weak but nice.

T: Weak clove and hop taste, this beer isn't very bitter and is quite mild; however, it is still good and there is a nice noticeable barley flavor in the beer.

M/D: Very drinkable with nice smooth mouthfeel. For a beer that you can get pretty much anywhere this was pleasant.

jt31914, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of filabrazilia
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark golden with a thin white head. Good lace left on the glass.

There is a sweet malt aroma that is the most memorable smell. I was wondering where the hops were. I could not detect the trademark floral hops that I come to expect with this beer. Despite that, the sweet malts were nice.

The hops were in the taste and they were a nice match to the carmel sweetness.

This beer was a little thin but still smooth and easy on the mouth. A very silky smooth offering from SN.

This is a very drinkable beer that I want to have again. Perhaps my bottle had been on the shelf a little longer than it should have been.

filabrazilia, Mar 14, 2004
Photo of Shultzerdugen
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured golden-orange with a large frothy head.

Smelled of pine, grapefruit, with an underlying sweetness.

Assertive hops give a citrus bite at the top, creamy sweetness in the middle, then a long malty finish.

Smooth and creamy on the palette, little bit of carbon dioxide sting as well.

Nothing shabby about this beer, a great example of an APA, and one I look forward to having again, regardless of the time of year.

Shultzerdugen, Feb 25, 2005
Photo of MDekker
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours out with a golden brown hue, some head (not a hard pour) and pretty continuous bubbling. The aroma is dominated by pine and hops. It's somewhat floral, too, with a slight fruity sweetness. The taste starts bitter and ends bitter, with a little sweetness in between. After a while it makes me think of apples a little bit. It feels fresh and clean, with a mild lingering aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fine; nothing offensive. In the end, this is a "good" pale ale, although every time I've had it I've never been as excited as some be are about it. I'm not yearning for more when I'm done.

MDekker, Jan 08, 2008
Photo of andrewmartin
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a bright gold with a 2 finder off white head

S: Plenty of piney hope aromas with some clean malt notes

T: Initial taste of hops, but enough malt in the background to balance out the hop profile. Hopes linger on.

M: Clean and quite dry

D: Nicely balanced pale ale, quite drinkable

Not the hoppiest pale ale out there, but a good example of the style

andrewmartin, Sep 10, 2006
Photo of JohnWaynes44
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a golden orange in to a pint glass. The head is nice, with considerable lacing.

Smell is subtle, slight hint of floral.

Fresh and bright taste. Hops are there but not overwhelming. Malts try to peak through the dry finish.

Mouth is pretty light for the style.

I could and will drink this all day. It is refined enough to compliment fine cuisine and simple enough to drink all day at a ballgame.

I love this beer. It is always consistent. You know you're going to get a good head and it's always fresh. Good value and easy to find (even in rural Indiana). This beer is solid and so is the brewery. Thanks.

JohnWaynes44, Feb 12, 2009
Photo of nezelrac
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of those beers I have frequently as it is one of three offerings worth drinking at the convenience store nearest my house - for some reason I never stopped to take notes...

poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass
initially a little too cold, but I gave it time to warm up

A - nice copper-orange capped by a good two fingers of just off-white foam; good retention - slowly fades to a half-finger of small bubbles with a dense island of larger and smaller bubbles; nice lacing on the glass

S - bready malt and mildly citrus/pine hops; nothing too complex

T - initially hops and malt wound together, followed by a hop bite, then a touch of sweet caramel-inflected malt; finishes spicy and a little citric with a decent backbone of malt

M - good medium weight; CO2 is just enough to keep it moving, with a good lingering effervescence carrying the hops through the finish

D - highly drinkable; easy and enjoyable

nezelrac, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of DaveBlack
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

*I was shocked to discover today that I had never done a review of this beer, which gave me the perfect excuse to run out and immediately buy a six-pack. Research purposes and all...

A: Dark, golden beer with a finger's width of head that has a decent retention time and leaves a fair amount of lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: You can smell the cascade hops as soon as you pour it. Closer inspection yields a sweet malty backbone and a touch of grains, but not a whole lot else.

T: Sweet, grainy malts up front would would be potentially cloying if not for the solid thump of bitter hops with floral and grapefruit notes. The finish is quite dry, but the sweetness is still present on the back of the throat.

M: Moderately heavy body, almost chewy, with quite a bit of carbonation.

O: It's hard to be objective at this point, having had it so many times, and having tasted this exact same flavor profile in every Sierra Nevada brew. That being said, there's a reason that it's a classic. It brings big flavors, but keeps them balanced. The hops are tasty, and it goes down smooth.

DaveBlack, Oct 01, 2012
Photo of scotorum
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled April 9th 2013 if my code deciphering is correct. So a bit old, which might have affected the review.

Poured into an Innis & Gunn flute from the 24 oz. bottle.

a: A clear amber formed a two inch tall white head which disspiated slowly to a heavy surface foam film and fancy lacing. Evidently highly carbonated.

s: Hint of pine.

t: Nicely balanced as a pale ale should be. Easy drinking. Apparently mine was not as hopped-up as other reviews have suggested this ale usually is, possibly due to its being about four months old.

m: Silky smooth almost to a fault, in fact curiously slick, almost like you were drinking hoppy light lubricating oil.

o: A different Pale Ale due to the unusually smooth mouthfeel. On the low side of hoppiness for modern American pale ales. A good one.

scotorum, Aug 07, 2013
Photo of beerNdarts
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love 'nevada. Currently one of my house beers, this stuff goes great with just about anything and is one of my house brews...

A- Who cares, its in the bottle. Label is attractive, no freshness date but I like that SN has kept the "micro-brew" look despite being the second-best selling craft beer, behind Sams. From draft it's a darker amber, but thats for another review.

S- Cascade hops and citrusey, that about all I can make out. My sense of smell is kind of shot.

T- Mmmm. I'll admit, when I first tried this stuff I was put off by its citrusey and almost piney taste. Now I'm hooked, although I would say that its definitely best between the time you take it out of the fridge and 20 mins thereafter. Sorry I don't have a thermo.

M/D- Yummy? Mouthfeel is pretty light, and I consider it highly drinkable stuff. Put it this way, I gave it a 4. I rate PBR as a 5 on M and 4.5 on D. Guinness is a 4.0 on M and 5 on D. Take it for what its worth.

Is it beer thirty yet?

beerNdarts, Sep 06, 2007
Photo of thierrynantes
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (350 ml.), tasted in 2011.

Appearance : amber color, with white foamy head.
Smell : fruity and citrus hop aromas.
Taste and mouthfeel : sustained bitterness is confirmed in the mouth, fruity and hops finish.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style Pale Ale.

thierrynantes, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of benclimbs
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden orange with a sizable head and ample lacing

smell is citrustastic but nothing other than that lemon and orange peel

taste is also quite tart, not like a sour but just dominated by citrus hops, a nice buiscuit like finish

mouthfeel is smooth

A very drinkable, classic tasting American pale ale a wonderful staple session beer. One of the first craft beers i ever had years ago and Its still a very nice brew

benclimbs, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of vazy
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- This beer pours a good head that settles in. The color is a dark caramel color and the head is nice and frothy. Its clear and looks very inviting.

S- Has a good amount of hops and a decent balance with the malts. Its a bit piney and leafy. Smells like the mountain woods basically.

T- Its on the bitter side, but not too bitter. The malts are a bit nutty and the hops are florally. Really has a good bite to it. I love the last flavor of the sip because its somewhat buttery.

M- Its light and smooth and a crisp finish.

O- This was a pleasant beer to drink. They don't lie on the label when it says "purest ingredients" and "finest quality". A truly enjoyable beer to drink!

vazy, May 01, 2010
Photo of AltBock
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. stubby bottle with just a simple green label with a small picture of a mountain stream running through some trees. The neck label had all the information about the beer, except for a date. Above the barcode is a bottle number that would no use to the average consumer. The bottle was sealed with a twist off cap.
After drink craft beer for well over a year, this is actually the first time I got to try this readily available beer.

Appearance: When poured into a mug, the beer was a nice golden copper color with an less than 1 inch head of fizzy white foam. The head of foam dissipated away not too fast leaving behind some fizzy rings and very little fizzy white lace.

Smell: I didn't get much of an aroma from this beer as I would have liked. All I got was an average smell of little citrus fruits with just a hint of bitter hops behind that. That's it, nothing more.

Taste: For such a highly produced beer, it had an excellent taste. The taste was that of citrus fruits in the beginning, then little toasted malt, and then finishes with a dry bitter hoppy taste. I was actually quite surprised that the taste would be this good.

Mouthfeel: It was light, not watery, smooth, carbonated, and with an aftertaste of dry bitter hops. What more can I ask for from this beer?

Drinkabaility: A great beer that's a must try and it wouldn't be hard to find it, it's almost everywhere in the US and at a good price too. Something that I will have again!

AltBock, Jun 05, 2006
Photo of Baileyuk
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly darker Amber color. Had a perfect head and a good level of carbonation. The smell was great with a lot of hops and citrus. I was expecting a little more hops but I have been on quite an IPA binge recently so maybe I was affected by this. That said the general taste was pleasant and the beer was very drinkable.

Baileyuk, Mar 13, 2008
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,066 ratings.