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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.

2,876 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,876
Hads: 10,531
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 22.22%
Wants: 246
Gots: 2,412 | 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: 2,876 | Hads: 10,531
Photo of shand
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint bottle

Appearance: A nice orange-amber with three fingers of head. The head retains pretty well, and is a great beer.

Smell: Smells great, floral hops and citrus dominate.

Taste: Tastes amazing. Hops are the star of the show here for sure, but they're perfectly balanced for an APA. The malts do a great job at keeping them in line. Just a great tasting pale ale, no gimmicks.

Mouthfeel: Super smooth and feels really good.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, very good.

This is probably the best widely available pale ale. A great introduction to the style that can be found just about anywhere. Highly recommended.

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Photo of AleWerks
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah SN pale ale. What can you say? Aroma is nicely balanced between hops and caramel. Appearance is light copper with a white head. Flavor is hoppy and balanced. Mouthfeel is bright and hoppy, finishing clean. Overall, this beer is the epitome of the American Pale Ale style. I drink this beer every chance I get.

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Photo of abgba121
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a golden color, slightly hazy with about an inch or so of head that dissipates fairly quickly and leaves behind a thin lingering lace.

S: great hoppy smell, nice and floral with a little citrus

T: beginning sweetness with light hop flavor and a lingering very light hoppiness on the finish, not much for bitterness

M: medium texture, good carbonation

O: great beer, a definite regular in the lineup

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Photo of Megahertz
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dated March 22, consumed on Aug 16.

A - Brilliantly clear bright amber with a large, frothy head and medium carbonation. Lots of lacing in a clean glass.

S - Aroma hits from arm's length - citrus and slight pine. Super fresh aroma evan at almost five months old.

T - Initial slightly sweet caramel and moderate carbonation hit the palate. Mid is slightly bready, slightly toasty, slightly caramel. Finishing is bitterness and bone dryness.

M - Medium to light body with good carbonation.

O - The classic, quintessential american pale ale - the inventor of the style.

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Photo of BoilerMo
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

This is the standard American Pale Ale and am glad it is widely available. It is correct to form in everyway with bite of hops and strong finish nice hoppy aroma. I ahev had better American Pale Ales but they are all much harder to find and only marginally better. Great fridge beer.

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Photo of rhollman
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Deep amber

Smell - Floral hops

Taste - Crisp with a faint bitterness

Mouth Feel - Smooth

Drinkability - This is a great beer. Nice to gulp down when you are hot & sweaty. Perfect with a variety of foods as it compliments but does not over power your food. Crisp, flavorful, then a wonderful faint bitterness on the finish - Cheers!

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Photo of PaulietheBrit
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

My dear wife picked this up for me on a whim, noticing, as she was, that I was drinking some good pale ales of late.
It poured a beautiful clear amber with medium fizz building a great finger of white tight head, which subsequently fell quickly to leave its lacy story on my goblet wall.
The aroma of pine and citrus notes first caressed my olfactory organ, then dominated with a malty caramel segue.
Its flavors wash my tongue with hoppy grapefruit, leaving my taste buds awash with a dry bitter finish.
I really enjoyed this APA and could keep drinking them, they don't over do any aspect, keeping a balance that keeps you wanting another mouthful.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Original review (10/10/02)
What can I say? This beer is well known by anyone who has been bold enough to venture outside the confines of American megabrewers. A wonderful teasing light aroma that gets the mouth watering *right now*. Initial taste sends the citrusy components evenly across the palate. The hop bitterness patiently waits its turn, then smoothly transitions the mouth experience, allowing one to easily pick up the full hop flavor. Outstanding. Once it all subsides, there is just enough trace bitterness residue in the mouth that it begins to act like a magnet to whatever vessel currently holds the remainder of the brew. I can't explain it, kinda like the commercial says, 'It's like (beer) science, you can't mess with science".
An experimental beer aged for 3+ years...

Appearance - pours a honeyed orange/gold color, quite nice. A quick life to the head, it leaves a few nice ropes of lace but quickly ends up a loose cover. 3.5

Aroma - a rather average hop aroma, mildy citric, decidedly underwhelming.2.5

Taste - ahhhh, that's more like it. A brief play of sweet malts, swept over by the appropriate wave of piny hops, enough to keep this beer fresh for quite a long boat ride. Ends with a strong grapefruit rind finish which become more prominent as the beer warms. All the requisite elements of the long program have been met with minimal deduction (my ode to the '06 Olympics). Yum. 4.5

Mouthfeel - hefty carbonation, sturdy body. 4.5

Drinkability - my palate tends to tire of IPA after a while but this is one I could drink several of. 4.0

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Photo of Spineypanda
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

By far one of my favorite beers.

This is the beer that got me started on the path of the hop.
It has a great light amber color and smells of citrus and delicious hops.
It is bitter, but a wonderful bitter, with a hint of citrus flavor but mostly the hoppy wonder that I have come to love.

One of the few beers I actually buy often!

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Photo of warbird07
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in my New Belgium globe...thanks to the Kroger around the corner for providing this to me for 2.99..

amber pour, nice white head, quick lacing..looks like a pale should..

deep piney hops hit the nose, fresh smelling, malt as well..

taste is nice, crisp hoppyness, lingers a bit..

smooth mouthfeel..the malt backbone provides a nice bed for the hop character..

this is one of my favorite, drinkable pale ales..

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Photo of Zimbo
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been drinking this for years and have always marvelled at how such a widely available beer can be so consistently tasty. But it is the mouthfeel and taste which really capture me. That citrus chewy oily hoppy quality once the beer hits the tongue never fails to activate even the most stubborn taste buds. Sure it isn't a 240 hour IPA but the balanced lingering bitterness and reasonable alcohol gives the brewer no where to hide faults. Just as well that I've never found any worth mentioning apart from the fact that it is hard to have just one. So easy to find and enjoy and so rewarding. The consensus is growing but I still don't think it gets the respect it deserves.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow, shocked not to have a review of this one on the books. brew pours a classic transparent orange with a few fingers of foamy head and chunky lacing. smells of a hoppy pale ale borderline ipa. nice malt balance. flavor follows suit. this beer is the gold standard for pale sle in my opinion. you can funds it just about everywhere and even BMC drinkers are usually excited when this one appears in the cooler. drinks like a gem. always a pleasure and never a let down, SNPA sets the bar high.

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Photo of JackTheRipper
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly amber golden color, the yeast in the bottle forms a slight haze in my glass. Thin head, no real lacing.

Smell: Citrus, hops, not too punchy.

Taste: Well balanced, the hops definitely stand out most, but there's a good amount of sweetness underneath.

Mouthfeel: Full, good amount of carbonation. Finish is a bit oily. This beer is more warming than I would have expected from a 5.6% ABV beer.

Drinkability: This is a very nice ale, I look forward to my next one. Goes down very well, not too demanding on the taster. Kudos.

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Photo of orfeu
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Golden amber with a creamy white head, lacing is somewhat sticky. Upfront hop aroma, floral, citric, etc. Great cascade hop wave at first with nice biscuity malt finish. Medium-bodied and satisfying mouthfeel. Absolutely incredible drinkability. I avoided this one for a while due to it's ubiquity. However, I would now advocate this beer any day of the week. Excellent pale ale.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a pale shade of bronze, clouded by the yeast pour. Three-finger head is dense, and slowly settles to a thin but hardy cap and leaves spotty lace. The nose has a good american barley scent, the hops are floral, and the faintest fruit ester appears in the background. Earthy malt flavor, almost green and not sweet in the least. Afteratste is dry, with a healthy dose of citrusy hops that provide a good balance of bitter and sweet. The mouthfeel is the perfect combination of low carbonation and a solid medium body. Session level drinkability; even the hint of diacetyl that shows up in the finish is appropriate for the style. This is the benchmark APA to judge all others against.

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Photo of PollardsVision
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into pint glass.

Like so many others, this is the beer that convinced me there was no need to drink American Adjunct Lagers.

Pours a brilliant amber (not very "pale" for the classic APA). Incredibly balanced taste and highly drinkable. The citrusy sweetness and bitter hops seem to balance each other perfectly. So much going on, flavor-wise, yet nothing overpowers.

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Photo of GJ40
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer. It's been my standard for several years now. My wife also loves it. It's one of the few bottled beers that really retain it's hop flavor and aroma. And if that's not enough, I can get it at my local Target for $11.99 / 12 pack. It's cheaper than most of the crap beers they sell. Go figure.

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Photo of Belekinbeer
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful amber color with a nice amount of head.
Has a nice lite citrus and pine smell with some sweetness. Mouth feel is lite with good carbonation.
Crisp hoppy taste with an excellent finish.
This American pale ale is great and I have made it my go to pale. It really is a simple great tasting pale ale.
For me, Sierra Nevada has yet to brew a bad beer. Cant wait till they open their Asheville brewery. Closer to home!!

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Photo of leadguit1
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tastes "rosey" , a very important attribute of a fine pale ale.

The hoppiness is just right, if you aren't looking for I.P.A. bite.

perfect bitterness.

This ale will please in almost any occasion or situation.

It is also good for introducing people to what "pale ale" is about.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This Pale Ale is a favorite of mine. It truely defines the American Pale Ale style. It pours to a beautiful copper color, with an off-white head that lasts. It forms a nice lace-work as it is sipped down. It has a bit of chill haze as well. The aroma is mainly of a citric, spicey hop nose. On first taste, one first noticies to floral, citrus hop flavors. The hop flavors are balanced out though by a biscuity malt flavor. This beer is light-medium bodied, and finishes with a dry hop bitterness that lingers. Overall, this is one tasty brew, with a exceptional hop and malt flavor.

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Photo of hsvhughes
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am 54 years old, and live in Alabama. All of my life I have been limited to the BMC beers, with their limited, blah, mass-market taste profile. This Sierra Nevada Pale ale introduced me to what beer really can be. I am now an APA/IPA fan, and I have Sierra Nevada to thank for the awakening.
Appearance --> Marvelous
Smell --> riveting, hoppy but balanced
taste --> well-rounded, with the nice hop hit at the finish I need.
mouthfeel --> "always leaves me wanting more"
Overall --> Bud used to be my "go to" beer. SNPA is my new steady.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah, this is the classic pale ale. What can I add to what’s already been written?

This pours a tan golden color with light foam. Aroma has orange and orange zest in waves atop of it. The flavor is lightly piney and citrusy, and finishes dry. An easy drinker and a delicious one at that.

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Photo of bmeehan
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

The only reason I don't rank this higher is because sometimes, I'll get a particularly bitter one. But I've had enough outstanding ones to know that this is a really good beer.

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Photo of Denali
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a bottle of this at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, TN. I was there to cheer on my Titans. The Titans won. On to the beer...

Clear Orange amber with beautiful, lucious, foamy, yellow-tan head. Sweet aroma of caramel and bready malt. Very nice array of interchanging flavors of sweet malt, caramel and citrusy hops, with a bitter and nutty aftertaste. Wonderful malt backing - a nice quality like other Sierra Nevada beers I've had. Medium carbonation. Extremely drinkable - I had a few of these. Very nice brew.

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Photo of dataskatt
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I can't believe I haven't reviewed this one yet!

Pours a beautiful golden amber with just a bit of sediment that sinks to the bottom of the glass. Generous 3 finger head with lots of sticky white lacing. The smell consists of malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness. Very balanced! Some biscuit and grassy floral notes. The taste is very smooth with the hops flavor topping the malt (as it should). Grassy and floral taste without having too much bitterness. This brew is the perfect example of a balanced pale ale. Medium mouthfeel with just a touch of chewiness. Very drinkable, good session beer.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,876 ratings.