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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.

8,464 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,464
Reviews: 2,677
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 117
Gots: 792 | 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: 8,464 | Reviews: 2,677 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 57md


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

Pours copper in color with a half finger of head that dissipates quickly. Nose is pleasantly hoppy. Malt and hops are well-balanced in this offering. The finish is dry and mildly bitter. The quintessential West Coast Pale Ale - a classic that is always a solid, if not extraordinary, choice.

09-05-2012 21:20:47 | More by 57md
Photo of aggiearcher13


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

A: Deep golden yellow, leaves about a half inch or so of head that doesn't hang around too long.

S: Hops. I'm glad to have a relatively fresh one to review, as the last one of these I had was really lacking in hop aroma. A little malty sweetness is in there, but for the most part it's just nice clean, citrusy, American hops.

T: Slightly bitter, great hop flavor, lots of grapefruit. Kind of a bready malt note to it.

M: Excellent carbonation, medium body.

D: I'd say it's pretty good, very well balanced, I would consider this to be a shining example of the style.

06-23-2009 20:45:33 | More by aggiearcher13
Photo of DrWho


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

Nice clear golden color just a hint of haze. Nice hints of citrus, maybe lemon. Somewhat light taste. Hoppiness is subtle, not alot of carbonation, just like I like it. It's a really good pale ale. I thought it was pretty smooth. Not much of a aftertaste.

06-29-2007 20:53:08 | More by DrWho
Photo of FlyingBull


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

I've had this on tap and in a bottle. Had to get the cans to try them. So, this one is out of a can; and I drank it from the can!

appearance: I don't know - it was in a can! But most of us know what SNPA looks like. If not, check out another review. Or better yet, get some and enjoy!

smell: Wonderful hop and malt aroma. This has a nice malty nose for a plae ale follwed by a nice hop aroma.

taste: Nice sweet malt quickly followed by strong hops leading to a balanced hop bitterness that makes this beer stand out from most pale ales. This one has got some taste!

mouthfeel: Medium body, medium carbonation that is style-appropriate.

overall: To me, this is one of the best American pale ale examples out there. It has a beautiful clear amber apperance, a nice malty hoppy nose, and a wonderful sweet maltly hoppy flavor that is quickly balanced by a wonderful hop bitterness.

comments: I think this is a great American pale ale - one of the best. I first had this back in the early 90's and I'll give credit to it for getting me started and hooked on craft beer.

09-26-2012 00:14:57 | More by FlyingBull
Photo of NiceTaps

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

bottle poured into a glass

A- clear orange ale color with a small head that stays.

S- a real pale ale. citrus..grapefriut, orange, hoppy.

T-_it tastes like it smells. so good. Not too sweet .

M-full body and nice carbonation.

O- very easy drinking. time for another.

01-22-2012 04:15:11 | More by NiceTaps
Photo of IrishRedRock


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

I expected this to be extremely hoppy from some of the reviews I read, but found it to be less hoppy than many other brews. The hop flavor is definitely present, but certainly not overpowering. Very smooth and flavorful. Golden amber color with lots of bubbles. A quality beer, and for some odd reason I like the bottle.

08-03-2002 20:55:42 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of jadpsu


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

Pours a light clear copper/amber with a good head and solid lacing.
Staying true to its style, hops pretty much dominate the aroma providing some hoppy bitterness. Definite citrus piney notes come through strong. Tart.
Moderate mouth feel and bready maltiness taste adding balance and enjoyment.

03-29-2008 03:08:04 | More by jadpsu
Photo of BurnsTau


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

Pours a deep amber with minimal head, small amount of lacing.

Hops are immediately recognized in the aroma, this beer has an incredible smell that just builds anticipation. First taste and the hop bitterness is immediately recognizable. There is definitely a strong hop profile in this beer that is more apparent than the malts. Malty sweetness is faint but there, but that isn't what this beer is about.

Great, great beer for hop lovers, and beer lovers of all kinds need to try this one.

04-11-2006 22:10:47 | More by BurnsTau
Photo of GRPunk


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

24 oz. bottle in an imperial pint glass.

A- Pours a deep amber color with a medium off-white head. It had medium carbonation and decent lacing.

S- Lots of floral and piney hops with some sweeter malt tones to bring it a little closer to balance.

T- Definite hop flavor is present, but it doesn't overpower the bready tones. More in balance than the aroma lets on.

M- There's a bit of a bite and tingle from the carbonation and hop flavor.

D- I could definitely drink more than one of these in a sitting. I had a 24 oz. bottle and wouldn't mind putting back another 12oz.

Overall- I consider this a good representation of the style. With the availability as it is, it isn't something I need to seek out, but it's a good "go-to" beer especially when options may run thin.

09-01-2007 02:56:14 | More by GRPunk
Photo of janubio


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

330 ml bottle, copper-amber colour with a thin head with not much retention and not much lace. Smell of hops, something like cheese rind and pine. Medium boyd, it holds well in the mouth, where I feel hops, citrus, spices (pepper?) and caramel. It's the first Sierra Nevada I have a chance to taste and I can say I'm not dissappointed at all, I wouldn't mind to drink some of them any day.

01-25-2011 22:28:22 | More by janubio
Photo of DarrellK66


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

This beer would be better named Centennial IPA light. Not as heavy, piney, florally, oily, or fruity as Founders Centennial IPA, therefore making it an excellent everyday drinker. This beer was available years before most other crafts available today yet still one of the best. Kinda like the Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin of beers, it's old, it's stinky but will hold with the new stuff and whoop your butt!

06-11-2014 00:47:09 | More by DarrellK66
Photo of CRichardsMN


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

Pours out a clear amber orange body with a light though creamy off-white head. Retains head for a short while then falls to more of a film and ring which leaves lots of lace behind. Don't know if it is the norm, but there are a few floaters which eventually settle to the bottom (really the only visual detraction IMO).

Light maltiness and a nose full of hops. Much more hops than I would have expected from a straight up PA, more like a EPA or IPA.

Again, light maltiness or biscuit and mostly citrusy hops. Finishes cleanly with a moderate amount of bitterness.

Medium bodied with a crisp carbonation. Smooth and dry finish.

Not typically into pale ales (or higher) but this one is very well done. If it fit my palate, I'm sure I'd have multiples of this one around.

This is only my second brew from SN and I was a bit gun-shy (so shy in fact that not until a neighbor gave me this one did I venture forth...). The first was Bigfoot, which was not a welcome brew as it was more like biting into a grapefruit rind then getting punched in the back of the head. This beer is much more reasonable and I'm now willing to try more from SN.

01-24-2010 23:07:37 | More by CRichardsMN
Photo of thegodfather2701

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

A- pours a hazy gold/orange with a white head that slowly dissipates leaving some lacing. Tons of floaties, which I don't ever remember really seeing in the bottle.

S-Citrussy hows, some malt, and alcohol sweetness

T-Nice sharp hop bitterness and a strong malt back bone. Malts seem pretty prevalent.

M-very carbonated. If you drink this straight from the can its extremely carbonated.

D-through the roof. I could drink this all day long. Great taste and smooth!

Overall, one of my favorite go to beers. I will never, ever in my life turn down a SNPA.

04-18-2012 02:19:16 | More by thegodfather2701
Photo of rodrot

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

This beer, along with Sam Adams lager, has been my old standby for many years when the pickings were slim at a bar or restaurant.
That's exactly what happened last night when I visited one of the many boring sports bars in Charlotte where the number of TV's outnumbers the selection of beers. The beer pours a slightly hazy, dark golden color with a pillowy one inch head. Aroma is hoppy and fruity with plenty of citrusy smells too. The taste is that wonderful flavor of Cascade hops, grapefruity and lemony, with a nice thirstquenching bitterness backed up with the solid sweetness of malt. This beer has never disappointed me and I have never had a bad bottle or a bad pint of this stuff. I'll take this any day over most macros.

02-19-2006 14:47:13 | More by rodrot
Photo of Merkur


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

Beer pours a nice amber color with a bit of off white foamy head.

Beer smells very hoppy. Slightly grassy and very citrusy in nose.

Beer tastes very crisp and refreshing. The initial taste is sweet citrus hops, followed by quite a bit of bitterness. Very nicely balanced.

Beer is slightly carbonated but very balanced and drinkable.

Very solid Pale Ale.

02-25-2012 15:35:19 | More by Merkur
Photo of wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

12oz bottle poured into pint glass

A clear golden orange with some tiny suspended particles and only a few bubbles but a long lasting thumbs width of head that leaves several rings of lace well down the glass

S some citric and floral hops with some caramel malt

T a little bready and lemon rind on top of what I smell, good example of the style

M much thicker then expected and much more bubbles then one would guess from so few visible bubbles in the glass, right on in this area

O no complaints with this one it would be in my regular rotation if I could get it around here

not a bad way to get a hop fix without getting smashed, this is about the best thing I could find on the Vegas Strip pretty solid stuff though

10-06-2011 21:46:27 | More by wordemupg
Photo of cretemixer


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

Pours a beautiful deep golden hue with a thick off-white head. Head dissapates to a thin layer after a minute or so and leaves a fine white lace. Aroma is nicely balanced with a slight floral odor which is very pleasing. Really clean balanced taste as well with a slight spicy/sweet hop bitterness. Well carbonated and refreshing. A fine example of American pale ale.

01-03-2003 05:01:27 | More by cretemixer
Photo of tsbuttry

District of Columbia

3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

One of the standard bearers of the craft beer movement, Sierra Nevada is a solid Pale Ale that is always enjoyable.

Appearance: Excellent amber color and head that retains well while leaving a nice lacing down the side of your glass.

Smell: Do I detect some cascade hops? (Intentional understatement) There's also an unappreciated malt aroma to this beer, picking up a lot of caramel malts on this one.

Taste: Quite good. The malts don't quite stand up to the hopiness, but it's not overwhelming. It has a good, clean finish, too.

Mouthfeel: No aftertaste, washes clean over the palate and nice heavy, but not too heavy carbonation.

Drinkability: If you have too many of these, it sits like a rock in your digestive tract. However, it's dry profile lets it go well with many foods and it's always fun to enjoy one or two during a ballgame.

01-17-2008 21:12:19 | More by tsbuttry
Photo of BeefyMee


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

Appearance: Orangey-yellow with a pillowy head that left nice lacing.

Smell: Very hoppy for a pale ale. The hop aroma isn't all that strong but it is the only thing I can smell.

Taste: Interesting. The hops hit upfront but are not abrasive and even less powerful than the smell. A subtle bready malt flavor follows in the aftertaste. Gets addicting.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly substantial. Those little bubbles tingle on your tongue so nicely.

Drinkability: I wish I bought a sixer.

Beef Notes: I like this beer more and more every time I drink it. It's quickly becoming a favorite as I develop a taste for hops. I will be buying more.

02-07-2004 03:48:18 | More by BeefyMee
Photo of Roman5150


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

can into tulip

appearance: orange/amber, unfiltered with some particles, thick and bubbly 1 finger white head, not much lacing

smell: piney, floral, bready notes, apple, citrus

taste: very floral and pine oriented, sweet and sharp herbal bitterness that coats your tongue with a sweet malt presence. Also getting some bready notes on the forefront, with some citrus and lemon and apple notes as well. Easy to session, satisfies your thirst very well.

mouthfeel: average carbonation, medium to full bodied for a pale ale

overall: A great benchmark Pale Ale, although not my favorite, I typically find myself comparing most pale ales I drink to this classic brew. Everything is greatly balanced, not too much of any one thing, very refreshing. I personally think it tastes better in a can, but that's just me.

06-18-2013 05:42:03 | More by Roman5150
Photo of cbl2

New York

3.98/5  rDev -1.5%


A slightly hazy peach/yellow with about a quarter inch of white head.


Cascade hops prevail, but there is the promise of some hops lurking beneath. Promises to be hoppy, but balanced.


As the nose indicated, this is mostly hops. Nice and fresh, strong floral/herbal quality, but malts are there. Very well balanced, and thoroughly enjoyable. Easy to see why this is considered by many to be the gateway beer into craft beverages.

06-22-2004 19:33:05 | More by cbl2
Photo of kelticblood


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

Being my first time trying this brew or anything from Sierra Nevada I didnt know what to expect.The appearence didnt do much but the smell and flavor is what got me.A great hop and citrus taste accompanied this clear light yellowish orange Ale.It has a high drinkability percent ,but i'd wish it was ust a bit more maltier.

12-21-2002 10:09:10 | More by kelticblood
Photo of tavernjef


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

This a standard pale that gets alot of praise and comparison. I was impressed with it, but I have to go with a paler pale for this style. This was a little to hoppy, but overall this is a great taster. Good balanced fresh hops with a bit of citrus and finishes dry and piney. This was actually hard to pin down as far as taste for me due to the finish happened to fast and I was feeling and wanting more. I still thought it was good but something was missing for me on the overall taste. Malt was present. Color was fine for a pale, kinda coppery yellow, with a nice floral aroma with good strong hop presence. I almost liked the smell more then the taste by just a bit. Solid pale, I can see why alot of folks like this stuff. This is a drinkable pale, very good, but needed something for me to really enjoy it fully. I kept a puzzled look on my face after every sip. Why? I'm not sure. Good to great, but not awesome.

03-17-2003 10:12:31 | More by tavernjef
Photo of msubulldog25


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

This isn't a regular beer for me, despite it being readily available. On this occasion, the office picked up a few 6-packs for an after-work party so I grabbed an extra 12oz. (brought it home to drink/review...). Coded "7082X", but no visible expiration/best by date.

A: Warm golden-yellow & crystal clear. A little rising carbonation but mostly still. Poured with a huge 3-finger head, slightly off-white. Its consistency was crackling and rocky, finally settling to about 1/4" of bubbly cream. Nice sticky splotches of lace and rings down the glass.

S: Pleasantly malty, a little biscuity, a touch sourdough. Hops are clean and grassy/citrusy.

T: Grain maltiness is blanketed in spicy & lemony hops. Very well-balanced flavors, melding sourdough bread maltiness with zesty bittering hops. A well done APA...

M: Found this to be just a little thin and lacking in carbonation in the mouth. Perhaps its a freshness issue or perhaps that's just how this beer is made (I really can't remember the last time I had a SNPA). Crisp and finishes dry and clean...

D: Very drinkable, understandable why this has the reputation it does and is a staple in so many beer fridges. I really enjoyed rediscovering it and will make it a point to drink more often. Recommended as a solid, flavorful & sessionable 'everyday' beer. Thanks, Elizabeth, for picking it up...

05-10-2007 04:08:55 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of hermesch


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

This is a highly respectable beer. You find it everywhere, and while it's not going to blow your socks off, it's going to go down crisp and appreciated each time.

It's a pale ale bordering on India, and finds a nice balance between malt and hops. Drink this one frosty cold, as for when it warms it tends to taste a little stale.

This beer is perrenial. Enjoy!

09-15-2006 20:34:44 | More by hermesch
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,464 ratings.