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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.

2,862 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,862
Hads: 10,436
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 22.22%
Wants: 238
Gots: 2,288 | 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: 2,862 | Hads: 10,436
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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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A CLASSIC, what can I say about this beer. Well, it pours a nice dark amber colour into my pint glass, with not that much of a head to be found. It smells of *raspberries*, fruity hops, and some nice background malts. It tastes more of the same, hoppy, malty, fruity, bitter, and dry...wonderful! This has a nice crisp, and full mouthfeel, like any APA should which lends to it's very high drinkability.
a beautiful beer!

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

A - Pours a bright golden orange with a mild haze. Thick white head that disperses quickly to light lacing.

S - Citrus hops, with some floral elements, over a general malty sweetness. A clean bright aroma.

T - Perfectly balanced. Hops are a bit spicier than the aroma suggests; earthy and floral. Malty dextrin sweetness pulls the flavor back towards a semi-sweet crispness. Truly refreshing.

M - Medium with perfectly accompanying carbonation.

D - Highly drinkable. This is what an American Pale Ale should be!

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Photo of TCJ0100
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Poured into Bloomington Brewing Company stange glass from a 12 oz. bottle from a fresh winter variety pack. Bottled on 9/1/14 which is about as fresh as I have ever had it. It pours clear with an orangish tinge probably due to the caramel malts. Had a decent head that quickly dissipated.

The smell is predominantly earthy hops with a distinct Cascade flavor showing through. I wouldn't really describe this beer as cirtrusy, but it has maybe a touch of grapefruit showing through.

The flavor is very balanced with malts at first, then a grapefruity finish afterwards. It is quite good, and it seems like a very modern sort of beer. Amazing that this was brewed in 1980.

This has changed my outlook on this beer. I drank a 12 pack of cans of this and was not impressed. It's either the freshness or the bottles that make this beer really shine. It is excellent, and it is a testament to how prevalent craft beer is becoming that I can buy this at my local grocery store for nearly the same price I would spend to buy Miller Lite.

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

Well, well, well...
It's been a long time since I had a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Four years, almost to the day.
So this review might be biased; actually it is.
And since I still have 4 bottles left of it waiting for me I'll rush this review.

Pours a nice orange, golden with a compact white head and beautiful lacing.

Citrusy hop smell surge from my glass, some malts too. Even some spicyness

Taste is amazingly crisp for an ale and medium bodied; I detect something that I haven't noticed before: Faint flavor of turpentine? Pine or Fir sap? Some sort of tree oil? But good.

Great bitter aftertaste that I missed so much (is quite an ordeal to get fine beers down here in México!)

Absolutely great drinkability. Actually I'm going after the remaining four.


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

After a break I have been drinking this beer quite a bit lately and must say that I am impressed with it all over again. It's a classic in the light caramel/ citrusy hops vein but what I am struck with is just how elegant this beer has become. Residual sweetness, bitterness, malt and hops in the nose- it's all in perfect proportion. This is a real quality APA.

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

My personal favourite of all time. The cascade hops are quite strong but not overbearing. Pours well, smells great, tastes better, feels smooth going down. This is the beer I try to clone whenever I make a batch of home brew. I wanted to rank it a 5, but Sierra Nevada might bring out a new version one day that's even better.

4.5 out of 5 swills, and that's not being generous.

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Strong, fluffy, off-white head; Clear amber color liquid with small bubbles. Great lacing.

S: Piney hops, some citrus.

T: Delicious hops of front; touch of malty aftertaste, followed by mouth-watering hoppy bitterness that lingers.

M: Good carbonation, small bubbles, medium fullness.

D: Not enough hops to completely destroy my palate. Balanced; I want more after every sip.

I really like this beer. Right now, if I was craving hops, but didn't want my mouth destroyed, this is what I'd turn to.

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Photo of turkishbacon
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Awesome brew. One of my favorite seasonal beers. The first time I purchased it, I bought a 12 pack after looking the reviews up on here and I was not disappointed. If you find it, buy it. If you enjoy great tasting IPA's, you won't regret it. Cheers, big ears!

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

A-Poured from a bottle with a light amber leaning slightly toward copper tones crowned with a creamy two inch head that laced the glass with a wintry pattern, and it continued to lace the glass until it was empty.

S- Nice mild bouquet with a hint of citrusy hops and yeast dominating its aroma.

T-The taste of hops is just a little out front but not overpowering (just where I like it in pale ale). The flavors lean away from sweetness toward dry, less malty, which again is a characteristic I highly favor in pale ale. A moderate citrus and pine flavor topped by a well pronounced hops clearly comes through on the back of the palate which complement its well-balanced flavors.

M-Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a nicely carbonated beer that feels almost creamy to the mouth right to the end. Great on a warm summer day!!

D-This is a great alternative for fans of IPA's who are also looking to lower their alcohol intake, carbohydrates, and calories while holding onto some of the attributes that make IPA's such flavorful beers. It's becoming increasingly easy to find across the country which makes it a beer staple for those living in fringe areas with limited choice or traveling by vehicle. I purchase a lot of different quality beers over the course of the year, but this has become in a sense my house beer. I would not only buy it again but have been doing so for some time.

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Photo of lazy8
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle in chilled pint glass

A - Amber/orange with a 1 inch head. Lacing throughout the glass

S - Malt more than hops but both are present

T - A fanstastic American Pale Ale. Malt includes dark, roasted flavors. Hops add bite, while not overpowering the flavor

M - Smooth with noticeable but nice aftertaste. Hop character shines through.

O - The best American Pale that is readily available both at home and in bars/restaurants.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,862 ratings.