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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.

9,869 Ratings

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Ratings: 9,869
Reviews: 2,854
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 204
Gots: 1,693 | FT: 4
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,869 | Reviews: 2,854
Photo of SwiftyMcBeer
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A nice darker yellow with a head that retained nicely. The smell was just typical beer type smell nothing outstanding, nothing bad either, a pefect 3. Fortunately the taste was better then the smell. Piney hops, not overwhelming like a hop bomb, but certainly present. Pretty complex flavor profile for a pale ale, it wasn't a one-note hit as you could sense the malts and a fruityness of some sorts. Seemed like it was a little overcarbonated to me, maybe it was just the tap it poured from. Despite the extra bubbles, this was extremely drinkable and went extremely well with my wings.

Photo of hoplover82
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear deep golden color with a hint of amber in it. Fluffy to a little creamy medium white head that dissapates and leaves a little delicate lacing.

Aroma is soft with citrus hops and some pale and caramel malts.

Flavor is same as above with some soft bitterness the mild sweetness of the caramel.

Medium bodied and smooth.

Very drinkable. But not my favorites, not exactly what I call fuul flavored, kinda mild for me. But decent none the less.

Photo of welldigger888
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

OK poured from a 24 oz. bomber into an american shaker pint glass.Nice golden color for sure, white fluffy head and some lacing.
Smells of a well balanced beer,with an fruity yeast. Malty bread and a hint of hoppy bitterness.
Well balanced brew here,biscuity malt with a nice bite from the hop. The beer seems to meld the flavors into one nice even brew.
Just about right carbonation with a hint of creaminess.
Could drink this most of the night till I needed for flav.

Photo of mchegash
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%

Date: 8/26/2014
Other notes: Packaged 7/21/14

Appearance - 4/5
Deep orange in color. Extremely clear. Can see a few particles floating around in the beer, but not too many. Extremely minimal head retention. Can see a lot of carbonation floating up at a quick pace.

Smell - 3.5/5
Lots of piney hops smell. Perhaps a little citrus smell as well.

Taste - 4.25/5
Tastes of pine hops, but different from all other pine flavors I have tried. It's not as intense, but rather a little more subtle, like in the background...but yet still in the foreground. I like the pine taste in this beer better becaue I find the pine taste is usually overpowering in most piney beers. But here the pine taste is nicely balanced. There is a little sweetness, maybe some citrus flavors

Mouthfeel - 3.5/5
In between creamy and crisp. A nice carbonation kick, but not too overpowering. Medium body.

Overall - 4.25/5
This was a pretty good beer. I like the piney taste in moderation, but most beers with pine tastes have an overpowering pine taste. This beer had just the right amount of pine taste. I will definitely be turning to this beer if I want a piney beer.

Weighting: Appearance 15%, Smell 15%, Taste 35%, Mouthfeel 15%, Overall 20%

Photo of shadwow13
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of drums4matt
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up - as I often do - on a hot day after making some moves on a Summer-like day.

Poured almost totally clear (other than perhaps a little chill haze) from the bottle into a Scaldis tulip. Looks nice; it pours a typical, goldenrod ale color with a one-finger, white, slightly fizzy head that only remained for a moment. Minor, though quite pretty, lacing is left around the apex of the glass.

Smell has significantly less to offer than other "micros" right off the bat, but after sipping one slowly and allowing for some warming-up this beer really shows its colors. There's a sweet graininess right out front with some west-coast hops just peeking their way through the soft, fragrant bouquet. Mmm. That smell sits SO nice with a hot afternoon.

The taste is nice. It offers more than the aroma would let onto. There's some nice fruity flavors right out front - tastes like a combination of the malted grains and phenoly, almost vinous, flavors. Delicate hops leave a lasting impression of floral and slightly citrusy flavor with a palate-coating oiliness.

Sierra Nevada is one of the beers that turned me onto beer. It has such well-defined characteristics - it nearly defines (or possibly ACTUALLY defines) the style of American Pale Ale. The refreshing drinkability (and not in the Miller Lite sense, either) meshes so well with the malt and hop to yield something that has become a classic.

Photo of BenHesk12
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow! Decent beer in a can! Price goes down, value goes up, takes up less space and is lighter to carry. I thought I would hate good beer in a can but since pale ale has always been a "go to" decent beer for any occasion, it's fitting that it's now available in a can. And yes, I'm drinking it straight from the can. There is something about the hole in a can that aerates the beer and gives it a novel texture and taste which I must admit I enjoy. As long as these stay a good bit cheaper than the bottled Pale Ale I think I will buy these many times over. No need reviewing the flavor of one of america's most common "craft" ales.

Photo of sammy44
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A deep copper to amber color. Nice white head that hung around until the end. Tried two of these, one pouring the yeast into the glass and one without. I couldn't tell much difference except a liitle bit of cloudiness.

Smelled strongly of hops. A little citrusy and piney. A little more unbalanced toward the hops than what I think a pale ale should be. Almost into the IPA range. Nice full mouthfeel and fairly drinkable. All around a good beer.

Photo of 89Vision
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. This isn't what I usually drink, but I saw it in the grocery store and it made me thirsty, so I figured why not. I've had it before, though I didn't appreciate it then.

The appearance is a toasted golden color, with a very thin head. It has a bready pine scent that is pleasing, but subtle.

This beer is pretty damn tasty. While I'm not usually a fan of highly hopped beers, I enjoyed this one. It does have a fairly high bitterness, but its not unpleasant, and the hops give a nice pine, woody flavor, but doesn't become overpowering. I could see this beer being perfect for a camping or canoe trip.

Photo of benmiliron
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Paid $1.29 for a single bottle.

This is the classic pale ale. The quaffer/session beer for the rest of us. Good price, good brew, I'd keep this around if you're looking to get a bit tipsy for less than $7.00.

Other than that, it's really nothing special. Nice hops, but not fantastic. Not something to go for if you're looking for the unique brew. It's good, but nothing spectacular.

Photo of MTNboy
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- This beer is a very nice gold amber color. A little more foamy than I would like but still a nice looking beer.

Smell- Very floral with a good hops presents.

Taste- Not as bitter as I thought it would be. There are some great citrus tones in the flavor but balanced with the malt.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Smooth but bitter and light and refreshing.

Drinkability- A nice dinner or stay home and chill beer.

Photo of Spider889
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The benchmark with which all pales ought to be graded, this is a solid beer, and excellent at times. One of my gateways into hoppy beer, and certainly well worth the cost.

Lots of visible carbonation from my pour (bought this sixer at a gas station with my brother while out of town, gotta love seeing this no matter where you are). Very clear, a clean-looking bronzen beer. A tall frothy head is expected, and this beer easily delivers. The head is a white merangue - very resistant to my attempts to break through to the resinous nectar beneath. I am left looking a thick gooey lace after each sip. The appearance literally cannot be improved for this beer/style.

The smell seemed lacking, note to self: I need to tick this brew fresh off the tap. I got fresh wet hop leaves which create an earthy pine aroma. I have also always perceived a faint "lagery" smell from this beer, I assume that's just my brain associating like malt profiles with each other.

As for the flavor, there is an immediate perception of fresh winter pine needles. The hops are bitter and sticky.

The mouthfeel is quite resinous, and I'd pin SN Pale on the heaviest side of medium bodied. Crisp and refreshing nonetheless. Dry finish. The bitterness lingers and treads water very near that of many lesser IPA's. But then again, that's what SN is all about.

Always a solid beer. However many more interesting beers are out there for the finding.

Photo of heygeebee
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Nearly 2500 reviews and someone really wants to read what some Aussie thinks about a sample which is as fresh as we can get, but that's not saying a lot in the grand scheme of things?

In short, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Not a WOW beer, but one you could drink all night. Not many pales you can say that about I suspect, most are too heavily hopped.

Photo of pvsob
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-A- Crystal clear, gold with a one finger head that fades slowly leaving a thin film and little lacing.

-S- The main aroma is that of citrus with hints of pine and just enough sweet malt to balance things out.

-T- It starts off with some sweetness, but this is quickly overpowered by the hop bitterness. This beer also has a very clean finish. There’s nothing much more to add about the taste, except that this brew is very balanced.

-M- Medium feel with some carbonation.

-D- The classic APA this is solid in every aspect of the style. I've been drinking this one for years and will continue to do so. Cheers!

Photo of kevinjosephlee
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a glass.

A: An amber color with a whitish head; the beer appears to have small (perhaps proteinaceous) particles floating throughout the beer. good lacing and moderate head retention.

S: A citrusy hop nose

T: Moderately high hop bitterness and piney notes. Very subdued malt character makes a brief appearance before being struck down by the overtly hoppy bitterness in the finish.

M: Light-medium body with good carbonation.

Notes: For some reason, I remember that this same exact beer tasted a lot less hoppy and bitter when I had it this past weekend. One big difference is that I did not pour it into a glass last time, but this time I did. It is amazing how much the drinking receptacle can change the experience of the beer. I much preferred this beer IN the bottle. The bitter hops were more balanced by the malts.

Photo of abeeronthebeach
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A - A copper-gold liquid fills the glass. You expect this beer to have some flavour and it does. Lacing is generous and sticks around.

S - Grapefruit, a modicum of sweet malt. Hop bitterness.

T - Clean, very crisp due to the hop character. Opens with a little sweetness before the main citrus-hops arrives ending nice and dryly. Hoppiness is definitely at the citrus rather than the pine end of the spectrum. Surprisingly strong-flavoured and has that more-ishness which keeps you sipping

M - Satisfying, well-balanced. I thought the mouthfeel was pretty much spot on with this one.

O - I enjoyed this a lot more on tap than I remember enjoying it from the bottle. It's nice to have a widely available beer of such solid quality to fall back on. A fine beer.

Photo of colts9016
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The pour is amber hue, with carbonation. The nose is citrus, yeast and hints of malt. Taste is citrus and floral, with hints of yeast and malt. Finish is bitter and dry. Overall very good pale ale... Although I will have to say that is pale ale has an assault on your palate.

Photo of charlatan
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a simple, but good beer. There are no frills. The appearance (amber, medium head, a little lacing) is nothing special, and the smell is rather clean and slightly herbal. Hops are the focus here, and while the initial flavour may seem one dimensional, I have rarely found a better hop flavour (again it is very clean, herbal and fresh). The carbonation is good and the finish is pleasantly creamy with a hint of raisins coming through.

This is what run of the mill pale ales should be imitating. Good stuff!

Photo of Tdenham
3.82/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of RickS95
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this years ago, but didn't appreciate it. I just thought it was bitter. I'd like to think my taste buds have matured since then, and I tried this the other night with an open mind (and because they were giving away logo glasses if you bought one).

It poured a nice-sized white head. Dark caramel in color, filtered. Strong scent of hops in the nose, nothing unusual there.

Seemed highly carbonated and bitter in the mouth. Lacing was ok, I thought I remembered more.

Being a pale ale, it had the standard issue hoppy, bitter finish that lasted. But it was refreshing at the same time.

I had this while eating Mexican food. It really went well with the spice hot nachos. I enjoyed the beer this time, so much so that I had two El Gordo glasses (22-ounce) and got to take home to Sierra Nevada logo glasses.

Photo of lawlerj
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A - pours a hazy copper with a decent size head. Leaves speckled lacing on the glass. Appears to be moderately carbonated.

S - strong rich malty aroma on the nose. A bit of hops in the background but nothing crazy. Very rich.

T - buttery malt and rich hops - bitter hops in there and some citrus/floral hops in the mix as well, but doesn't overpower the malt base.

M - medium bodied, smooth nice mouthfeel.

O - overall, this is a solid beer. Deserves respects as one of the originals. I had it some years ago before my palate really developed and I didn't care for it, but it really sits well now.

Photo of HalfFull
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a 12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass, this beer pours a lovely opaque orange with a light carbonation that holds for quite some time. Lacing is light but ever present and renewed with each sip as the carbonation is released, as if on queue.

A light hoppy aroma with notable floral and citrus segues to a great taste and a very pleasant finish. This is one of the most consistent brews I've experienced, be it in the bottle or on tap. No more twist-offs though, as they went to pry off tops a year or so back. So don't forget the opener.

Photo of Erish
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I poured this bottle into a large wine glass.

A; cloudy honey-amber color, eggshell-colored head quickly falls into a gorgeous cap with very good lacing.

S: honey, bread-like sweet malt, slight citrus aroma, some floral/ester yeast funk.

T: sweet bread, earthy yeast funk, and citrus up front, the middle has a sweet honey, nutty core, and some of the juniper, floral, and orange flavors wake up, the finish starts with a vanilla/oak flavor, then moves to lemon and pepper, and then a grassy and juniper tinge. As it warms I find that the spicy notes become a distraction rather than a compliment.

M: medium-bodied, silky, moderate carbonation, the finish is somewhat chalky and mineral-like.

D: Distinctive, American, refreshing, and complex enough to spark your interest.

Photo of Fenris244
3.83/5  rDev -5%
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

Photo of claspada
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma is initially piney and floral hops with a slight citrus; a little pale and biscuity malt as well.

The taste begins with light breadiness, a hint of sweetness but gently dominated by the floral and piney hops. Lesser amounts of grapefruit bitterness with a hint of complex, ripe fruit left over in the finish. A pleasant bitterness and not too dry. Full almost chewy.

The mouthfeel is medium with average carbonation. Slight stickiness on the lips. Overall it's good but not what I would consider the be all and end all for APAs. I prefer Great Lakes Burning River and Deschutes Mirror Pond.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,869 ratings.