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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.

9,515 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,515
Reviews: 2,756
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 168
Gots: 1,290 | 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: 9,515 | Reviews: 2,756 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Jsteez
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer from a bottle and on-tap.

A-Copper and dark orange hue with slight light brown. Medium-high carbonation, very refreshing. White-tan head and creamy lacy sides around the glass.

S-Fresh hops, caramel, a little malty, sweet and citrus. Notes of pine.

T-Sweet and citrus going in. Aftertaste is dry and slightly bitter. Notes of hops, grapefruit, and caramel linger on the palate.

M-Carbonation is moderate. A little wet, which provides this brew with the refreshing quality it holds on a consistent basis. Lovely aftertaste.

O-This is a great beer to have on tap, from a bottle, in a glass, now in a can. I have not tried it from a can yet, but I will soon. This was one of the first brews that introduced me to the microbeer world years ago. It complements any type of food you want! Drink it! Cheers!

Photo of Mdog
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Gold, good carbonation bubbles, ok head.

Smell: Piney, citrus.

Taste: Nicely balanced between caramel sweetness and piney/citrus bitterness.

Drinkability: I could have a few in a sitting.

Finally got around to reviewing SNPA. I don't drink it much since we have a good local APA in Summit but the 6er was on sale so I picked up some. Nicely balanced, nothing too exciting these days, but would have been amazing 20+ years ago.

Photo of RichPettie
3.88/5  rDev -4%

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One good Pale ..Poured a orange color with a finger-width, creamy white head that leaves lots of lacing as you drink. Scent is surprisingly not as hoppy as I would have thought. Lots of fruit and a woody/grassy aroma I couldn't place. Palate is crisp, clean and very dry. Not as hoppy as a lot of Pales and IPAs. You get a slight hop burn on the tongue, but it's balanced enough to let the grapefruit and spices come through.

Photo of TheHopMonster
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada has some very respectable beers that they produce and their Pale Ale is probably their most famous.

The appearance is a darkish amber with 2 fingers of foam that surprisingly stayed around for a while. The retention was lacking though maybe it was the pint glass I was using.

I definitely noticed pine and citrus aromas most likely from cascade hops. I definitely enjoyed the overall aroma of this beer.

Taste was what I expected, but I thought it was lacking in the hop bitterness category. I'm definitely a hop head so pleasing my hop craving is kinda hard to do. But it was overall a very enjoyable drinking beer.

An average Pale Ale I know there are better ones out there.

Serving type: bottle

Photo of zhanson88
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Copper colored, one finger of eggshell white head with a medium amount of lacing.

Smell: Fairly heavy on pine and hops. Underlying caramel malt backbone.l

T: Pine and citrus up front with a hint of malt, and a pleasant amount of hops at the finish. Classic taste, and still a solid APA.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Slightly-heavier-than-light body with nice carbonation. Drinkable beer that has more flavor than a lot of the crap you will find. This beer is a classic and one of the founding American craft beers.

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great beer, although I have to admit I expected a little more when I heard this was the prototypical APA. I guess I was expected the best APA ever, but I've had a few I liked better. Taste is nicely hopped, very full and complete. Citric hop tastes finish the sip appropriately. This is a perfect beer for slow sipping at a bar or at home, thankfully this is available almost everywhere. I have nothing more to add that hasn't been said numerous times already.

Photo of kevinjosephlee
3.88/5  rDev -4%
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 Mit
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A pours a nice golden colour with a rapidly dissapating head.

S subtle grapefruit and piney notes. Very mild malt character.

T light hoppy bitterness, finishing off with a spicyness and very slight malt flavour at end.

Mouthfeel is very typical of a 5% beer

D very drinkable-could have serveral in a session

Photo of B33R501
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

friday night sierra tasting craft beer outlet ne philly, the hop flavor just popped, so i finally sat down and tried this, new cans, just one. easily best in class of the pales ive had.

pretty amber beer, good head, retension, lace. fresh hoppy aroma and taste, nice pale malt background. finish is clean and dry, balanced, refreshing, very smooth and drinkable.

Photo of kinger
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely a nice surprise, I had a feeling this ale would be good but not this good! Pours a nice copper color with decent creamy head and an abundance of lacing. The aroma is highly hopped with a nice malt scent. Mouthfeel is thick and filling with an unbelievably smooth crisp finish. The flavor is the perfect balance of bittering hops and malts for a pale ale. This is a great standard for the pale ale style and an exceptional example.

Photo of JustinBathurst
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured clear orange-copper with 1 cm white crown. Good lacing.

Smells of citrus, red licorice, and dry cereal (think Cheerios).

The mouthfeel is crisp, with good carbonation.

The taste is hoppy and floral, with a nice malty sweetness, grapefruit, and a slight sourness. The aftertaste is nicely sour and bitter. A good brew.

Photo of titty_mcbitty
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Golden orange. Not very yellow like some other IPAs (an unattractive color in my opinion). Not much lacing.

S: This beer has a very fresh aroma to it. It's nice. Floral wet hops!

T: I love the earthiness to this beer. The hops are fresh and the citrus tones dance around your mouth nicely. There's a very slight malt backbone.

M: Medium to heavy side of light. Very refreshing. It's got kind of a crunchy feel to it, if that makes sense.

O: Always a classic. This beer is fortunately sold just about everywhere over here in Texas, and it's always a treat to have.

Photo of dar482
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer comes in a clear light ruby amber.

The aroma has sweet candied grapefruit and orange peel, floral, lots of malt, a big candy sweetness.

The taste goes the same with lemon, grapefruit peel, a medium bready malt in the middle, a punch of potpourri, spicy on the back, a hint of dry grainy quality in the back.

A light hoppy pale ale with a substantial yet relatively clean malt profile. Incredible that this recipe is almost 35 years old! Obviously it has been outshined by many world class brews, but this still stands on its own hoppy feet.

Photo of silverevo9
3.89/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First time i drank this brew I was put off a little by the spike in carbonation from the aftertaste. Had the opportunity to drink this on tap in San Luis Obispo. Had a much better experience with it there, much smoother. But, I have the bottle again and reviewing from that. This beer is really great due to the bottle conditioning. The carbonation spike is probably due to the conditioning of the brew, which I've come to like. It does offer a different flavor profile from it. The carbonation being one. The second, being a thicker flavor profile. Citrus and pine flavors persist. On the nose and mouth it feels like I'm getting the raw form of all the ingredients put into this brew. Although I do prefer the Torpedo IPA, i would have no problem purchasing this beer again, if on tap. But as long as the Torpedo exists, i will not purchase the bottle version again. Lacing is sticky and has a nice hue to the head. Flavors get more intense as it warms. 5.6% alcohol keeps you stable for the long haul. Overall a awesome brew!

Photo of Jason
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz short brown twist cap bottle. Thin layer of sediment from bottle conditioning.

Appearance: Rich golden orange in colour with a slight chill haze, a white lace lays on top and clings all over the glass.

Smell: Slightly rustic, raw and mildly pungent hop aroma of leaves, flowers and heavy on the citric fruit. An undertone of grain is in the background also.

Taste: Creamy smooth with a soft malt crispness that cradles a bready malt flavour. Hop bitterness is more than ample and shows off a bit yet there is an underlying sweetness that seems to put everything back together. Esters through a shadow of alcohol down which make a potential heady night. In the finish is a citric hop flavour with a touch more sweetness from the residual sugars, though this brew seems to dry up a little in the end.

Notes: The typical American Pale Ale ... The classic American Pale Ale basically as far as what people know. A good and solid ale for what I think.

Photo of Kraken
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes from my rainy South Caka-Lacka (SC) adventure.

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Firm pour yields a 2 finger head that diminishes quickly. No lace to speak of. Beer pours a nice orange/golden amber.

Nose- Citric hops, not over whelming, but strong enough to let you know what you are in for.

Taste- Muted citric sweetness, followed by tart and tangy citric hops. Carmel malts rear their head. Nicely balanced, dry and bitter finish. Very nice.

Mouthfeel- Tart and tangy, highly carbonated.

Drinkability- Very high. An easy drinking pale ale. My go to at bars with a dubious beer menu.

Photo of mattffrost
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into glass.

Appearance beer is a clear light amber color. The white head does not last long. Some lacing.

Smell I hardly smell anything at all. Some grassy floral hops smell.

Taste Nice mellow Pale Ale. Nothing over the top. Some piney taste that finishes a hint bitter. Good quality beer. Not an abundance of flavers but sometimes simple is better.

Mouthfeel: Very clean and tasty on the palete. Light bodied.

Drinkability: Very Very Drinkable beer that is clean and refreshing.

Photo of niknar
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a amber/copper color with a pretty decent off-white head. Strong lacing down the side of the glass, and much better than average head retention put this beer among the top. Smell is a category I always struggle with. Having said that, I do detect some hops and citrus notes... possibly some malt in there as well. Overall a pleasant smell. Taste is well above average. Strong hop bitterness balanced by a sweet maltiness and some citrus flavors. Though not overly complex, I feel this is still a very delicate balance that makes it a very good beer. True to the style, it finishes with strong hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is excellent as well. Light and crisp without being over carbonated or too thin. I consider this a very strong offering worthy of a special occasion or everyday consumption alike. Definitely a beer that any craft beer lover should try. Maybe a good beer for someone who was recently converted from macros, but I wouldn't make this one part of such a program too early due to the bitterness!

Photo of BranfordBound
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear copper with an almost two finger white head that recedes to a covering. Pretty good carbonation with decent lacing.

The smell is interesting, I'm hit with a caramel sweetness at first, which gives way to the typical hoppy smell - bitter and floral with citrus.

The taste is similiar to the smell, but the sweetness is missing. The rest of the taste is typical IPA - bitter at the end and hoppy and citrusy at the front. The beer isn't overly bitter, though, pretty decent for the style.

The mouthfeel is light and refreshing, the bitterness clings a little bit, though.

Drinkability is fairly decent, IPA is probably my least liked beer style (Gasp!), however, the not-overly bitter nature of SN Pale Alr made it fairly drinkable for me, especially in these hot summer days. This is a staple of the IPA style, nothing bland, but nothing over the top. I most likely won't buy it again (Due to my style preferences) but I won't turn one down.

Photo of bradleyp
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

6 pack for $6.99 at the local gas station. A golden amber color with a thick foamy head. smells of hops and some citrus. Very nice lacing throughout the glass. aste is very complex with some bittering, but not extremly hoppy. You don't realize how strong this beer is until you've had 2-3. I've been drinking this beer for years, but finally decided to review it. SN Pale Ale is usually the go to beer when I go to said gas station. The only other good beer they offer is Bridgeport Hop Czar.

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - crystal clear copper golden, solid off white head retained very well with a steady stream of bubbles from the bottom, traces of random lacing
S - generally mild odours of herbs, grass, pineapple, and grains
T - crisp pilsner like hop freshness, herbal and grassy with some metallic, light bready malt, with a peppery finish
M - medium to light body with great carbonation, juicy through the middle and moving to a medium dry finish
O - a very tasty and sessionable pale, but I do have to say that the Torpedo blows this out of the water

Photo of psyco1
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I guess I'm more of a porter and brown ale guy, so this can be taken with a grain of salt.

It looks like a pale ale should, there's some yeast on the bottom of the bottle and the head stays for a bit.

The smell is hoppy, somewhat floral and citrusy.

Taste, that's where I just don't get along with this one all that well. I'd rather have a bit more malt presence, it's just too hoppy and bitter for me.

Drinkability, if I had to choose between this and a macro, I'd take this. But, if there was a SN Porter to be had, I'd be all over it.

edit on 10-3-04

I've raised my review score, since I've either started loving the hop, my tastes have changed or the fact that this is one of the few decent beers you can get around here on a night out and I've become more accoustomed to it.

Photo of quikfish13
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have drank these for many years and have now just gotten around to actually reviewing one. So lets begin.

A: Poured a clear dull orange color with an off white head. A perfect pour lead to a very nice and not too foamy head.

S: Not much in the ways of smell, a few hoppy citrusy notes but nothing to brag about.

T: A nice orange and malty taste. The almost bread like quality comes through in the middle followed with lemon like bitterness aftertaste.

M:Nice and smooth. Definitely good enough to keep you drinking.

D: A very nice beer and something you could start someone down the path to good beer with. Not all that expensive either. Me however, I would rather be drinking Great Lakes burning river if I'm looking for a well priced pale ale.

Photo of LacquerHead
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into a Sam Adams pint glass.

It pours a nice amber color with a very slight haze. The brew produces a white foamy head that never dissipated. (The foam clung to the sides of the glass very nicely.)

The hops was the first thing I detected along with a slight citrus along with grain.

The taste was very smooth and the bitterness of the hops was not overly aggressive. There was a slight citrus, but for me straw and grain came through the most. The overall flavor reminded me of autumn. This was easy to drink.

This is the beer I would recommend to anyone who wanted to try a pale ale for the first time. The hops is a little mild for my taste, however, the smoothness and quality keeps me going back. This is just a well put together beer.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 9,515 ratings.