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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.

8,469 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,469
Reviews: 2,677
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 117
Gots: 793 | 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: 8,469 | Reviews: 2,677 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of RedChrome


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

A crystal clear golden orange blend. One third of an inch white colored head retained about a minute. Only a handful of small carbonation bubbles. Thin sticky lacing ribbons.

A super sweet malt aroma lies right on top of the hops scents. Light citric blend of hops aromas comes and goes. A decent blend, with surprising grain scents in the style.

Strong hops right up front in the taste. A definite citrus sense to the hops with a faint pine note underneath. Malty sweet flavors of brown bread are subdued but noticeable.

An average thickness to the body which clings on the sides. Carbonation pop in the finish.

A very nice choice in the style. Great beer to go with a sandwich. A solid choice to always keep on hand. If you like your taste buds, treat them to one of these.

08-12-2007 05:56:37 | More by RedChrome
Photo of NoLeafClover44


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

12 oz. bottle poured into standard pint.

A - Pours a clear light orange with a small off-white head. Sporadic lacing.

S - Citrus, caramel malt, club soda, and some floral notes.

T - Starts a bit sweet with malt and grapefruit. Bittering hops follow, but the sweetness never gives way completely. Balanced and delicious pale ale.

M - Light-medium body with light, tingly carbonation.

O - Great citrus flavor with perfectly balanced sweet and bitter. This is one of my favorite session beers and I like to keep it in the fridge regularly.

05-24-2012 02:07:29 | More by NoLeafClover44
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a standard pint glass a crisp bubbly orange with a thin barely there head. Aroma was the same crisp citrus hops I expect in a Sierra Nevada brew along with some crisp sweet malts. The taste is a nice balance of citrus hops and sweet caramel malts. The beer is medium bodied with decent carbonation, smooth and refreshing. This one certainly lives up to its status as a textbook American pale ale.

08-31-2010 03:17:25 | More by atsprings
Photo of dankster


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

On tap at falling rock tap house denver.

Appearance is a great copper tone with two fingers of head. smells like west coast hops all the way. have always loved this beer in bottles but i think on tap is a new fav. lots of pine and grapefruit noted. mouth is dry and a easy drinker. slick and wet on the palate. Overall top five Pales in the american market IMO. if you have not hade this on tap i say try it to tell the difference between the bottle and the tap! Just fantastic cheers

11-04-2011 17:54:12 | More by dankster
Photo of PapaEugene


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

Bought this beer from Mitra van Bergen in Eindhoven, mainly because of my memories being in San Diego. Shared it with BA member rvdoorn.

A: Copper yellow color and a head not worth mentioning.

S: Grapefruit, floral honey and something grassy.

T: Grains, hops, grapefruit and some laurel hints.

M: Low carbonation and thin body.

D: A good beer and still a special one to me. At the time it was the most "unique" beer in the conference center that I stayed.

11-02-2009 20:37:09 | More by PapaEugene
Photo of paulginva


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

APPEARANCE: This beer, poured from a tap into a pint glass, produced a foamy off-white 1" head that dissipated quickly leaving good head lacing. Carbonation was soft in a hazy amber body.

AROMA: Moderately piney hops were quite prominent along with lighter resin and grapefruit. Also a light grainy malt aroma.

TASTE: Moderate pine and light grapefruit, lemon and orange hops, together with a bit of grainy malt and just a hint of yeast.

MOUTHFEEL: This beer had a medium body with a smooth texture, soft carbonation and good body lacing that dissipated quickly. The initial flavor was lightly bitter with a moderately bitter finish that lasted for a long time, leaving a slightly bitter aftertaste.

DRINKABILITY: Probably the best mass market APA that I've seen (don't get me wrong -- Zombie Dust is the best APA I've ever tasted, but it's not exactly mass market). Well balanced, but quite hop-forward. An excellent session beer that I'll drink and serve again and again. It has an excellent price point and it's easy to drink -- what's not to like?

03-13-2012 18:38:00 | More by paulginva
Photo of Tschnab

New York

3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

A- a golden color with a one inch head and some sticky lacing on the glass.

S- resiny cascade, grapefruit and pine, a touch of fruity malt.

T- grapefruit and orange rind, splash of lemon, and then mostly piney hops. The malt is there enough to give a bready background to this clearly hop-forward pale.

O- a really solid beer, there is a reason it is held in such a high regard. It is an incredible session beer, one of the best hop-forward session beers around for the price.

01-23-2012 20:59:59 | More by Tschnab
Photo of jtfest


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

Somewhat hazy, more orange than yellow, with a smallish off-white head. Light, pleasant, sorta' floral aroma. The mouthfeel was full and consistent. The taste begins very smooth and almost sweet, then blends into a nice mellow hoppy finish for a drinking experience that was far more enjoyable than the appearance promised. I would enjoy this for a session.

02-03-2004 04:29:45 | More by jtfest
Photo of usmittymc


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Dark, clear golden liquid with a white head that reduces to a sticky lacing.

S: Dominant piney and citrusy hops. Faint malt in the background.

T: The hops dominate the flavor profile of this beer. Clean and fresh citrus flavors on the front. The pine flavor hits on the back.

M: This beer is very well carbonated and almost alive on the tongue.

D: This one is a classic and with is relatively easy to find at most bars and some restaurants (even in Mississippi). I always have a few of these either in the cabinet or in the fridge.

12-17-2008 02:40:03 | More by usmittymc
Photo of IgnatiusReilly

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

On-tap to pint glass at PJW's.

Pours a nice clear golden orange. Thin head leaves a light lace on the pint. The nose has the expected floral hop aroma for a pale, albeit mild. Hint of grain. The hop bitterness hits the palate immediately, balanced with a grainy/bready malt flavoring. Faint taste of alcohol combined with dry taste of hops leaves a crisp aftertaste. Texture of the ale comes off more thin than chewy.

A very easily drinkable pale ale. Reliable stand-by to have at any bar.

01-24-2007 18:20:37 | More by IgnatiusReilly
Photo of pittvkyle7


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

light amber, small head that doesn't last and just a trace of lacing.

lemon and hopy smell.

again the lemon comes through with some grapefruit. The malts taste likte biscut or crakers. The pine hops balance this drink nicely.

light and crabonated, hop finish.

very drinkable.

06-05-2007 01:46:05 | More by pittvkyle7
Photo of redblacks75


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

A: Exactly what I want from a pale ale. A copper hue best describes the color on this. There is a thin head to it I can best describe as off-white. No lacing to report.

S: Caramel, pine, malt, dough. It's appropriate for this style.

T: Bitter, balanced between the hops, and malt. Slightly acidic.

M: Thin, dry, the fizz is noticeable.

O: It's very hard to argue the quality of this with the price point. When people ask about the first craft beer they should try, I usually steer them towards this. It's not extreme by any means, yet is solid. It's a well constructed ale.

10-16-2011 21:24:03 | More by redblacks75
Photo of RedLion


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

Served on tap. Medium amber color, head quickly disappeared. No lacing on the glass. Smelled slightly malty to me. Taste was very good. I liked the bite on the tip on my tongue, and very nice bitterness on the back. Kinda like grapefruit. Very ful feeling in my mouth. Great drinkability! I'll buy again.

05-05-2005 00:46:14 | More by RedLion
Photo of bighoppymonster


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%

Pours a dark, orangy straw colour with a nice foamy slightly offwhite head. Sharp hops in nose also with some grainy aspects as well. Smooth taste rolls down the throat with some nice hop bitterness on back of the palatte. Slighlty metallic aftertastes linger long after you swallow. Overall an excellent APA. Not a huge beer by any means, but definately worthwhile.

11-11-2005 23:43:24 | More by bighoppymonster
Photo of screamking


3.99/5  rDev -1.2%

12 oz can poured into snifter.

Appearance-pours a nice apricot color, white foam head that doesn't linger long. 3.75

Aroma-grapefruit right up front, orange, lemon zest, some lite floral notes. 4

Taste-bitter citrus mostly grapefruit, apricot, hint of pine, honey. 4

Feel-leaves mouth feeling bitter, light bodied easy to drink, but overly bitter and dry in my mind. 3.5

Overall-for a beer that everyone can get just about anywhere this is a no brainer. One of the first craft beers I ever had still lives up to what it was 10 years ago. Price is among the cheapest for any craft offering. If you have few options in beer this is the one to get. 4.25

02-17-2013 20:43:39 | More by screamking
Photo of alankwak


3.99/5  rDev -1.2%

A: Golden clear with medium carbonation and good lacing. Good head retention.

S: Wonderful hop aroma(cascade).

T: Great quality grainy flavor from the barley perfectly balanced with the bitterness from the hops. Seems high quality ingredients are used. Finish is dominated by the hops flavor and aroma. Great.

M: medium/full mouthfeel. Nice.

O: I was pleased and surprised by this fine ale. Tasted, smelled and looked great. Great Ale. I will be drinking more soon .

12-14-2013 01:47:30 | More by alankwak
Photo of fdig23


3.99/5  rDev -1.2%

From a bottle. A re-review after a few years without having one.

Appearance: Nice dull gold with a white head.

Nose: Very floral pine notes with sweet candied lemons and caramel.

Taste: Very clean and straightforward flavors. Crisp juicy citrus first with perfectly balanced malts. The finish is floral and sweet.

Mouthfeel: Nice, but I'd like a bit more body.

Overall: It's a classic and something you can always rely on.

03-15-2012 18:02:40 | More by fdig23
Photo of RoyalT


4/5  rDev -1%

Appearance – Nice, light orange body with an OK head.

Smell – Sensuous hops aroma consistant with the style and the very slightest hint of pine tells us that this one is serious.

Taste – It tastes like a lot of different hops in there. I get a little citrus, but not quite like an orange, and a lemon without the sourness (if that makes any sense). Some hops seem to have a strong floral taste, whereas others are a little bit more crisp. This is a hop-lover’s delight.

Mouthfeel – This feels great in the mouth. The carbonation is small, of course. The brew has a consistancy that just glides along the cheeks and gums. Nice job, SN.

Drinkability – This one has it all. It’s complex yet purposeful. There is an abundance of flavors in there, yet we know right away that it’s an American Pale Ale. In fact, this one would be a great reference taste for other pale ales.

Comments – I have been very impressed with the offerings from this brewery thus far (this is my fourth SN review).

Update – I first reviewed this beer the same month that I joined the site, so I thought it would be fun to revisit it with the 2004 vintage now that I have 1,000+ reviews under my belt.

This really is an understated but incredible Pale Ale. The nose is big on the hops and very complex, but the taste is expertly balanced. It’s everything good in a mild sort of way. I think this is the most often named beer when folks ask the perennial BA question in the forum, “What’s the best beer to introduce a macro drinker to craft beers.” I’m upping my Drinkability rating from 4.0 to 5.0 while bowing in the general direction of Chico, CA.

Update – I had a few bottles of 2006 and thought it was grainier since I last remember. It is a terrific beer but just seemed so ordinary this time around. It’s a definite 4.0 across the board at this point.

08-27-2003 02:37:12 | More by RoyalT
Photo of cam477

Newfoundland (Canada)

4/5  rDev -1%

10-23-2013 00:33:17 | More by cam477
Photo of DanGeo


4/5  rDev -1%

05-28-2013 00:35:01 | More by DanGeo
Photo of Turbo


4/5  rDev -1%

12-08-2013 14:33:37 | More by Turbo
Photo of tectactoe


4/5  rDev -1%

Pours a brilliant golden color, nearly amber; white head with some heft to it, simmers down quick but lasts in the form of lacing on the glass. Aroma is strong and solid; nice dose of American-style hops, leafy and earthy with a hint of citrus, on top of a huge malt canvas, full of some sweetness and bread-like yeast attributes. The taste is spot on for the style - west coast APA full force, leafy and earthy hop presence, mild bitterness which is both the king of the forefront yet overall mild at the same time. Mild citrus flavor in the form of orange peels and grapefruit - it's there, but not in large amounts. You'd swear the malt is given in nearly equal parts, as it cuts in about halfway through to give a nice sweetness full of rich barley and slightly toasted grains, with a finish that turns to the caramel aftertaste of the malt and the biscuity character of the yeast. Some lasting bitterness resides on the tongue, but it's relatively low and easily accessible, once again - great for this style. Tight, abundant carbonation and a medium body.

This is certainly a "go-to" APA when you're looking for something to sit back, relax, and drink a bunch of. You can certainly toss these back all day - great drinkability, tons of flavor. Also a great beer for introducing people to the world of craft beer, namely hop-forward beers, as it has a large hop presence but is relatively mild and far from overpowering, especially to a new palate. This is APA done simple, and done right.

11-29-2012 12:40:59 | More by tectactoe
Photo of OhioBobcat


4/5  rDev -1%

09-26-2013 01:02:19 | More by OhioBobcat
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,469 ratings.