1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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 sabrills70
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle with no apparant freshness date. Pours a medium gold/slight amber with a 1 finger head that faded rather quickly and just OK lace. Nice grassy hop aromas mixed with a good amount of malt smells as well. Not as hoppy as I thought. Again a good hoppy grassy flavor, a bit citric but not as prominant as I had thought. Perhaps a bit watery. Nicely balanced. A good solid pale ale - nothing special, but solid.

Photo of NHGrafx
3.84/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 24oz brown bottle.

Pours a copper color with a decent head, which does not last long at all and minimal lacing.

This one has a lovely aroma. There are some nice floral aromas mixed with a nice citrus aroma which smells like grapefruit and mandarin orange slices. As it warms, aromas of yeast come through as well. Very pleasant.

Taste starts off citrusy which then yields to the bitterness from the hops. There is also some malt flavors in there as well, but they seemed hidden to me. The finish has some nice bitterness to it and is also very dry. Mouthfeel is relatively smooth. Moderately drinkable, for me anyway.

Overall this is very nice example of an American Pale Ale.

Photo of guntherhophead
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clover honeyish amber. White head w/lacing, and light sediment dancing in the carbonation.
S-Sweet floral hops, citrus, honey, grain.
T-Clean and even--fresh grain, light citrus, flowery hops, and an excellent aftertaste.
M-Light-medium body w/good carbonation. Excellent harmony.
D-Sessionable and refreshing.

Photo of CloudStrife
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a mostly clear golden orange with a 1.5 finger white head. Head is quick to fade but leaves a thin covering, minimal lacing. Some small floaties in the glass.

S: Hops and sweet malts. A little hint of carmel. Not overpowering.

T: A wonderfully balanced brew. Has just enough hop to keep it interesting and enough malt to make it real drinkable.

M: Light on the palate with good carbonation. Certainly a session-able beer.

Overall a great standby that is widely distributed. The perfect intro to craft beer as I know it got me into them. Not sure if it has toned down since the days when there was sediment in the bottle, but isnt as impressive as it used to be.

Photo of appenzeller
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark gold, orange, good head that dissipates quickly. Smell is pungent with Cascade hops, I think, the taste follows as expected. Hops bite is moderate, not over the top, lingers through to the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is good, ample enough to be substantive but not overwhelming or heavy.

Obviously an American classic. Ironically not my favorite Sierra Nevada beer, but a very respectable brew.

Photo of wspscott
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle in sam adams glass

A: Crystal clear, dark golden color. Thin white head with a little lace.
S: Citrus hops dominate, there is a hint of pine in the background
T: Sharp hop bitterness, definitely a pale ale. The hops aren't obviously cascades, mostly just bitter. A little caramel sweetness to help balance things out.
M: More carbonation than I remembered, right on the edge (but not over) of too much. Crisp but not watery. A roundness on the tongue, mouth filling, tongue coating. Surprised that there is not more of a head given the mouthfeel.
D: It had been a while since I had had one of these. A great pale ale, but not as great as I remembered. I think that this is a perfect beer for a 4th of July picnic or a baseball game. Highly drinkable, well worth seeking out.

Photo of Kaiser777
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A thick golden hazle color with a off white foam that raised just a bit, but never the lest a good thick foam with a million little bubbles floating from the bottom of the glass to the top.

S- A semi sweet smell, very hoppy with a slight hint of citrus, maybe even a carmel like candy smell as well.

T- A little hoppy with an explosive after taste with a little splash of citrus and a twist of sweetness that leaves an amazing after taste.

MF- Coats the mouth well and like I said before it has a beautiful after taste with a splash of citrus that I have grown to love over the years.

D- Very drinkable one of my favorite pale ales, actually one of the first micro brews I have ever drank about a year ago, and oh what a journey it has been.

Photo of BeerSox
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with no date into a mug.

Pours clear dark gold with light head. Levels off into an off-white cap. Blotching lacing.

The aroma comes with leafy and flowery components. Hops dominate the aroma, no malts detectable.

Strong hop flavor with slight hints of fruit in the background. finish with a bit of lingering hoppiness. Slight grain is available as the beer warms.

Crisp and clear mouthfeel, but not too watery. Carbonation is on the lighter side.

A solid pale ale, more bitter than its English counterpart. Solid APA in my book.

Photo of BeerSingh
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

By the time I got the glass, the head was very thin, which was a disappointment. The body was brownish orange with a lot of playful bubbliness. Nice nose - a lot of grape and citrus notes, with a little bit of grain and yeast. ah, the taste was multi dimensional, with a sharp zesty bite, sweet fruitiness and a robust hop bitterness, more than average for a pale ale. A lot of carbonation there with a light palate. A very drinkable session beer.

Photo of mwilbur
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a pale gold yellow with a hint of white head that quickly dissipates. Hint of lacing.
S: Nice and fresh aroma. Citrus, apple, and some spice.
T: Citrus (esp orange) hops, sweet yet bitter apple, toasted grains, spice and black pepper...with a hint of caramel malt holding it all together.
M: Smooth and oily feel. Sweet up front turning bitter in the finish.
D: Solid for style. One of the classics. Nice summer session brew.

Photo of zacharius
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a light amber that is something slightly less than brillantly clear. White head sits on top. Smell is of citrusy hops. Taste of beer is of Cascade hops with a slight malt background, finish is all hops. Slight hint of mineraly water. Very drinkable and smooth beer with a nice body. Definatley a session beer.

Photo of mooseo
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Golden copper, looks a bit cloudy. Has a decent, foamy white head with average retention.

S - Big floral hop aroma mixed with citrus and sweet malts.

T - Roasted, bready malts up front, followed by grassy, floral hops. While well balanced, the hops are plentiful and provide a mild hop bite. The finish is rather dry with some bitterness, leaving a lingering citrus/malt flavor.

M - Crisp and smooth. Light-medium bodied.

D - Highly drinkable, making this an extremely sessionable ale. Bold, robust flavors for a pale ale. Everything seems to work well together. An all around great beer.

Photo of eporter66
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle (I like the SN stubby bottles) into a pint glass.

A - Golden amber color, poured to a 1/2 finger head that quickly dissapates to a ring. No real lacing left on glass.

S - Citrus and hoppy - pleasant but fairly mild smell overall.

T - Good fruit flavor on tongue, the hop bites and lives a bitter fruity laced aftertaste, and stays in the back of your throat.

M - Crisp, good carbonation tingle, medium bodied

D - I do not think of myself as a hophead, and read that this is a good introduction to IPA's. I certainly get the bitter flavor, but enjoyed the fruitiness. I assume the bitter aftertaste is what the hopheads enjoy. This was a an enjoyable beer, and certainly can be followed by a few more. I can see this one catching up to you after a few.

Photo of bunnyhustle
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally reviewing after several tastings, both in bottle and on tap. Pours a nice golden amber with thick, almost rocky head. Nice smell of hops and a hint of pine. Taste is good, not great though. A good balance of malt and hops leaning towards the hop side. Moderate carbonation leaves a crisp and light feeling in the mouth with a dry and bitter aftertaste. Easily drinkable and has a good flavor do to the hop presence. Overall this is a very good beer, not an amazing one. Due to its availability definitely worth drinking over most other beers commonly found on tap.

Photo of JamesMN
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy golden/caramel color with a thin off-white head.

Aroma: Bready malt and a hint of earthy hops.

Taste: I remember drinking this when I first got into craft beer and thinking it was a bitter hop bomb. It's actually a very well balanced Pale Ale. Lots of biscuity malt and some nice earthy and citrus hop flavors. Both malt and hops share the palate and make for a very good APA. Smooth throughout and tasty without being too complex.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with medium body and good effervescence. Above average drinkability.

Final Thoughts: No complaints here. A standard in APAs. Would I drink it again? Most likely, although I rarely seek out APAs.

Photo of AleWatcher
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured into standard pint...

I've been drinking this for a few years, so I figured now that is in the Top 100 list (context: minimum reviews was changed to 1000 in order to be considered a top 100 in the world beer), I felt it was time to review it!

This brew pours a coppery color with orange hues and an off-white head of three fingers that had respectable retention. Thick glaciers of lace cling in huge slow moving masses of micro bubbles.

Smells of a sweet malt-- like a Hawaiian bread and sweet caramel note. The hops come across as mostly citrus and floral. The nose translates well on the taste with a good upfront sweetness that gives way to a grapefruit and citrus hip note with a slightly spicy floral note towards the finish. The finish is clean and pleasant.

Nothing rough or uneven about this beer-- very well balanced and easy to drink. There is probably a reason that this is one of the biggest gateway beers into the world of craft-- it is a mighty fine beer.

The body is medium with decent carbonation. I'd actually prefer a little more carbonation, but this is certainly respectable.

Photo of martino_cappachino
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz pottle into a pint glass.

Fingertip and half worth of fuzzy head. Head was slighlty yellow in color, and slowly diminished.

A full-colored golden wheat amber in appearance, like a lightly varnished deck. Sweet and hoppy in aroma

Very clean tasting, excellently carbonated and slightly spicy. Hoppy-tasting, but wasn't overwhelmed. Pine flavors with hints of lemon, grapefruit and a soapy astringency. Slightly bitter aftertaste. Bready and biscuit malts present.

An excellent brew for pairing with food I must say. Thoroughly enjoyed with some home-prepared belgian endive smoked salmon boats.

Photo of soju6
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a clear copper color with a full head and good carbonation. The aroma seems to hint of herbal with citrus. The taste is crisp and bitter up front with a trace of citrus. The feel is creamy, quite smooth and refreshing and finishes dry. This is a nice drinkable brew and one of my default brews when I want something comfortable, not overpowering.

Photo of FosterJM
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16th review on BA
Bottle poured into a pint glass.

App- Has the color of an orange sunset with a high carbonation level in the glass, poured a 1/4 in white head with good retention and some nice lacing.

Smell- Yeasty with the spicy hops and a bit of pine.

Taste-Very crips and gentle pale ale. Was one of the 1st craft beers I had a long time ago. It was nice to grab a bottle last night from my brother in law at a family party. The right taste to help people get into beer. One of the best Pales out there.

Mouth- Its up there with the better pales, even though people consider this one of the run of the mill beers for people to try.

Drink- Could have had more than 1 I tell you that. Too bad for the 1hr half drive home and the fact there was none left. May have to run to the store to pick one up.

Photo of Tom_O
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Doiv
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought in London.

Brief off-white head with the hazy coppery amber appearance. I get the feeling I may have used a slightly wet glass.

Aromas are a little weak, but hops are noticeable. Malts and citric notes are apparent after a good inhale.

Taste of floral hops, then somewhat biscuity malts, caramel and citrus fruits, with a spicy hoppy end.

The mouthfeel was nice and it is easy to drink.

Photo of zeledonia
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2 July 2012. Tasted 14 August 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours a very clear medium golden orange color. One finger of whitish head, relaxing fairly quickly to a thin cap, and leaving some nice little patches of lacing.

Smell is warm, malty, and crisp. "Buttery" comes to mind. Nice light piney-resiny hops (like those freshly grown, light-green spring needles) overlay that and add a nice bundle of variety to the basket.

Taste is a pleasant, crisp balance of malts and mildly bitter hops. This beer is definitely not over-hopped. Perhaps a little under-hopped, even for my tastes. But mellow, smooth, and tasty. Light grainy malts, some herbal hops. But pretty tasty.

Light-bodied, a little low on the carbonation. Finish is fairly dry. Good enough.

I can see why so many people point to this as an intro craft beer. It has lots of the elements of more extreme beers, but all in moderation and gently executed. A very restrained beer, and that's what makes it so good. I was prepared to be underwhelmed, but I wasn't.

Photo of
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle

Clear, deep gold. Medium to large, rocky, off-white head.

Scents of bread dough and lemon. Pine popped in. Pretty straightforward.

Nice hops - grapefruit. Biscuity. Bit of sweetness - caramel. Hint of pine. Pepper at finish.

Light in body. Medium + carbonation. Dry.

A nice pale. Very well hopped. May have to start keeping this in the fridge!

Photo of Anthony1
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a perfect pint

pours a nice amber color with a creamy head. Smells very hopsy as wall as a strong hops taste. was a strong taste, but not overwhelming. almost like a mild IPA. medium feel with lots of carbonation, good feel.

Liked this beer, reminded me of a mild IPA

Photo of mjohn27603
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours yellow golden from a 24 fluid ounce bottle. Aroma is of piney hops with with some sweetness. Head develops into 1 head and then goes away within a minute or two. Sip reveals a piney hops flavor with some bitterness if held in the mouth for a while. Hops seems to dominate here. A very solid beer that you can find in many run of the mill places. Not citrusy hops flavor. Still a pale ale without running into the IPA category. Some slight sweetness too.

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