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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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

9,804 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,804
Reviews: 2,833
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 194
Gots: 1,607 | 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:
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 9,804 | Reviews: 2,833 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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

Big ups to the beer that introduced me to "real beer" as opposed to commercial rice beers that I was drinking in college.
"Fatty Sierra Nevada's...$2"... said the guy with a cooler perched on top of his skateboard...cruising the parking lot at a Dead show. I bought one...then another... it became a standard for what my tastebuds truly enjoyed.
Hops... It is crisp and refreshing.

I don't buy this as often as I used to, but always try and have some in the fridge.
Highly recommended for anyone trying to break into IPA's. The world of Cascade goodness...

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

pours a nice light copper color with a good head and lacing ,,just right for a pale ale ..the smell is a hop/malt battle with malts at a slight edge..but ok/ good.. the taste is floral.citrus spice, grass .and hops,with sweet malt its all there but at a minimal level not a wow! pale ale just a quality brew not an over the top pale ale..the mouthfell is good its easy to drink and tasty..it tends to lean on the sweet malts to much and could use a tad more hops... but still a great macro cant go wrong pale ale and recommended

Photo of daveosf
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

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

12 oz bottle. Poured a golden amber color with a good head, that stuck around, leaving some lacing on the glass. Aroma is all hops, with maybe a hint of malt. The taste is malty and hoppy. Very smooth mouthfeel, and well balanced. I tried this beer once before quite a while ago, and didn't care for it. But after all this sampling, and being educated on good beers, I find that this is very enjoyable.

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

One of the classic pale ales in my mind. Its almost a text book example of what a pale should be. The body is great with a good pale and amber malt. The citrus is right in the middle but not over powering. The hops take over in the end to give it an over all great fresh taste to it. The beer taste very fresh and is great in the summer time.

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

A. On tap into a pint glass. Copper in color with a bit of lace.

S. Floral hoppage and some malts in the distance.

T. A good grassy hopping of some caramel malt. A bit of floral hops. Biscuity malt. Balanced well and nothing out of place.

M. Medium bodied and crisp. Ample amount of carbonation. Finishes slightly dry.

D. A nice pale ale. Pretty much the definition of the style. Solid and a worthy of a staple.

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

Pours an appealing amber/orange with a fluffy white head. Not alot of hop on the nose but a nice malty ale with a slightly bitter finish. The bitter level on the mouthfeel is good and makes this beer. The hops were used as a bittering agent here and I dont offer much on the nose or taste. Good balance between sweetness and bitterness making this a nice beer for the style and good for a couple cold ones.

Photo of ndekke39
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank this from a 12 oz. bottle with no bottling date. On a hard pour it has a nice white head. Clear golden-yellow color. Great retention. Soft aromas and tastes of lightly toasted malt and honey. Finishes cleanly with a brush of the hops. Tastes travel well. Light-bodied mouthfeel. Continuous carbonation adds to the head, although it doesn't bite the tongue. Not the most powerful flavors, but a well-balanced session beer. Great example of a Pale Ale!

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

Bottled: 106310724; March 4, 2011

A: Pours a golden orange ale with brilliant clarity. Less than single finger of fine white foam falls to a medium sheet of the same. Spotty, but persistent lacing.

S: At two months old, the beer isn't nearly as nice smelling. I will give it a bit of leeway provided they at least give me a date (albeit annoyingly written), and allow for some deterioration. The beer is predominately malts at this point. Fairly sweet, with some piney hops in there still.

T: Sweet malts win this profile. Actually a hint of corn on this one. This has been a unique SNPA in my experience. Immediately reminds me of cap'n crunch (weird). I recall this beer having a bit more bite, and a little more bitter on the back end.

M: Medium to heavy mouthfeel with medium carbonation. A bit slicking on the palate.

O: This has always been a fantastic and historic beer, dunno why, but this one is a little off. Will admit to inflating the scores a hare based on my previous experiences with the beer.

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

A- Pours a golden honey amber into my DFH head signature glass. Nice creamy head that fades and leaves a decent amount of sticky lacing. Nice carbonation.

S- Nice hoppy bite! Decent citrus and pine upfront, but a nice malty backbone that holds everything together. Grassy, clean and fresh flavor. A really nice change of pace from all the IIPA's I've been drinking lately.

T- Nice citrus punch without being overly so. Nice piney, grassiness that's nicely balanced by the malty sweetness. Really well balanced. This could be a fantastic APA to keep in the fridge at all times.

M- Nothing overly impressive here, but nothing to say anything bad about either. Citrusy, piney and sweet. Nice blend between bitter and sweet.

O- I haven't had one of these in years... but damn I missed it!!! A seriously fine APA!!!

Photo of Gbgbrouge
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle, hazy pale amber with medium head. Aroma with notes of caramel, hay, citrus and some pine. Taste is mildly bitter, well balanced with a medium malt body and some bitterness in the rather long after taste.

Photo of mjw06
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden color with a light amber hue, small, white, light head that leaves quickly and gives little to no lacing.

S - Light smell with light hoppiness, some elements of sweet corn and florals.

T - Simple clean taste, that finishes sweet with elements of rose and a little citrus as well. Also finishes with a slight bitterness that is pleasant.

M - Crisp mouthfeel with carbonation that compliments taste perfectly. Medium bodied and slightly creamy feel. Great mouthfeel.

D - A refreshing brew that is delightfully simple. As stated earlier the bitterness is initially pleasant, however it seemed to wear on me after awhile. Nonetheless the taste was still pleasing. Very drinkable and would definitely have another to refresh.

Photo of Rob6852
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer came in a 12 oz. brown twist top bottle.
Poured a Golden-amber hue with minimal head and lacing.
This beers' dominant smell is of citric and hops .
For a person used to drinking stouts this was a refreshing turnabout. The taste of this beer is hoppy but not overly dominated by them. The malts even things out but the hops definatly dominate this fine brew. Leaves the mouth dry at the end waiting for the next drink.
I'm not really big on hops but am learning to enjoy them. This beer
may make a hop lover out of me yet.
I can drink several of these in a sitting and not feel overpowered by
them.
A damn fine beer.

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

Had to revisit this one as it had been a few years since my last one. I never thought it was particularly remarkable, but it gets so much praise on the forums here that it was time for another shot. A nice golden orange color with a small head, not much retention a tad of lacing. Smells not overly exciting, but its good, a little citrus and pine and some bready malt. Taste follows the smell with a very mild hoppy bitterness and a hint of citrus. Pretty carbonated and a nice light mouthfeel. Very easy drinking beer, a great intro to craft, and unlikely to offend anyone. Not my favorite APA, but certainly one I'll keep buying for a long time.

One note the first bottle I had I drank pretty quickly on a hot day and wasn't impressed at all, the next one was allowed to warm up a tad and the aroma and flavors were dramatically improved. Don't drink your pale ales straight out of the fridge or you wont taste anything.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,804 ratings.