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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: 10,438
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 22.22%
Wants: 238
Gots: 2,289 | 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: 10,438
Photo of Dukeofearl
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Oh, boy, where to start... This is a very good hoppy beer for someone who is not partial to hoppy beers- that's how good it is. Pours a nice dark golden color with a small off-white head. Aroma is floral, slight citrus, and nice hops. The flavor is its best aspect (that's a good thing) and very enjoyable. The smooth flavors follow through with pine and herbal-oily notes. The hops are present throughout the taste, but end very nicely. Moderate clean mouthfeel with some creaminess, but not as much as some others I have had. Leaves a bitter aftertaste that just begs to be covered up by some more SNPA. This is my first 5.0 on drinkability

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Photo of LarryKemp
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It has been a long time since I have tried this pale ale. I had forgotten what a well made beer it really is. The beer poured a deep golden with a firm tan head. The head faded fast and is probably the least impressive aspect of this beer. The aroma of hops comes through but with each sip the smell of the malt gets stronger. What a joy. The hops on the tongue are not overpowering and the chocolaty, malty taste comes through very strong. The mouthfeel is medium with a tingle of carbonation that lasts throughout the beer. This is a delightful beer that is a joy to drink. No aspect of it rules which makes it a pleasure to sip with a meal or while typing a review. I will most certainly be buying more of these for the fridge.

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Photo of joecast
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

re-review 11/5/06
ahh snpa. good to know its available down here. pretty surprising seeing it sitting next to mgd and bud ice, the only other us imports we get. (and its not out of date, score!!)
not much to say about the beer. ive probably changed a lot more than the beer since my first review, well, my tastes at least.
upped the drinkability .5, other than that, i hope it keeps coming.

wonderful copper in color with a thin layer of white foam for a head.
great nose filling hop aroma.

hmm. i think i can actually taste the hop oils in this. it must have been dry hopped with the stuff. really nice.

flavor and aroma compliment each other very well.
this beer is packed full of mouthwatering flavor. but i couldnt honestly call it a session beer, if only because my pallate isnt quite trained up to handling it long term in one sitting. seriously hop accented but enough malt to back it all up.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Innsbrook Capital Ale House.

Clear and golden in color. Thick white lace persists for awhile, leaving a splash of lace on the glass. Aromas are crisp, with citrus and floral notes dominating. Flavor starts with a malty sweetness that is quickly usurped by the cascade of hoppy bitterness. Quite well-balanced and a brisk and short finish that satisfies and keeps you wanting more. A beer that I have no reservations about ordering, as I know this will always please.

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Photo of BadBadger
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A very pleasant pale ale. Pours a very nice amber color. A nice white foamy head arises at initial pouring, though this decreases to about a quarter of an inch rather quickly. The smell is pleasant, which hints of the hops and malt contained within. The taste is nice on both the palate and tongue: both bitter and sweet. A nice crisp finish. Seek this one out and enjoy!

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Photo of cypressbob
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

350ml screw top bottle

Pours with a murky amber body, thick foamy head with good retention and lacing

Smell is hoppy, lavender and summer fruits, tons of cascade hop aroma

Taste is full of hops, nothing too powerful and mabye a little bland, limited, bit one dimensional compare to anchor liberty ale for example, but goes down well, great use of cascade hops. very cascady, very little else but still fantastic, some lemony bitterness

A great and refreshing session ale, very drinkable, fresh tasting even over here in ireland

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Photo of Holyterror
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the few beers I drink that has a screw-on cap. It took me a while ot notice that. Go figure.

Sierra Nevada makes some of the best mass market beers you can buy, so my expectations were high. I was not disappointed. It poured a hazy golden orange, very appetizing color. The head was moderately thick, good for this style, and settled into a thin white cap and laced the glass pretty well. I lack the vocabulary to properly describe the aroma, but the hops became evident even before the first taste. It had a very grainy taste, heavy on the hop oil, which lingered on into the aftertaste. The hops are very prominent, a plus for me. It is still balanced, and washes down smoothly without leaving excess bitterness on the palate. Good mouthfeel, perfect for this kind of beer. About halfway through the frist glass, it becomes very drinkable. Definite candidate for a session beer, especially if you like the style (which I do).

Definitely recommended as an introduction to the American Pale Ales. Another widely available brew to fall back on as well.

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Photo of irishmoss
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a light golden to slightly amber color that's crystal clear. It has a one-finger head that dissipates to a nice rocky covering and a white ring around the edge.
The aroma is light floral hops and a bit of citrus hops as well
The taste is just a well-blended balance of hops and malt, which is as smooth as can be. Finishes crisp and at this low ABV, can be enjoyed for the entire night, and I have done that plenty of times.
There just isn't much to say about this American staple that hasen't been said already....

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Photo of abcsofbeer
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours nice medium amber color. I am editing my review about the head and lace. When poured properly there is a very nice 1/4 head that leaves a nice lace down through the glass. Aroma is fairly hoppy and pleasant. Taste is very smooth, but with a definite hop presence. Carbonation is noticeable but light. I have read mostly good reviews about this brew, never a bad one. This is a good standby favorite, one that will be one of my all around favorites.

Taste is moderately spicy, but smooth. I think that pale ales are my preference in beer.

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Photo of andyo
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer has become a standard at my house. My wife loves it, so, it's usually what we get.

What else can I add to the reviews? This one poured really nice, an orange/copper color, with a nice, thick slightly orange head.

This pale ale has a slight bittersweet taste, with grass and citrus notes. Definate hoppy taste, yet not over powering this beer. Very crisp, and very refreshing. A good American Pale Ale- a standard for this style.

After a few years of drinking this beer, and trying many others, the "specialness" of this beer is sort of lost for me. Still a good beer, but it just doesn't "wow" me anymore.

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Photo of TagoMago
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz. short bottle.

Appearance: Pours a rich golden orange color with some haziness. Nice head and lacing.

Aroma: Very earthy with zesty lemon and slightly grassy herbal notes.

Taste: Nicely sharp citric hop bitterness up front, with some bready malt. The mouthfeel is quite smooth and balanced.

Overall: This is the classic American pale ale. It's one of those beers that is good any time of the year. I always have a case of this stuff on hand. This is also a very good beer for those just breaking through into the world of craft beers. It is a very accessible, drinkable beer.

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Photo of HochFliegen
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

What a great beer. It pours a nice clear golden color with a good head. The smell is very strong of hops. Very floral and powerful. The taste it really dominated by hops and the bitterness at the end is quite nice. Its not too rough but does have a nice bite to it. Its a very smooth beer that is a joy to drink.

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Photo of sprackops
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours gold with a nice white head which sticks around for quite a while, leaving lace when it dissipates.

Smell: Beautiful grapefruit hops and gentle honey-like malt aroma with additional grainy notes.

Taste: Slightly bitter on the first sip leading to a full grapefruit/lemon taste provided by the cascade hops and an underlying malty sweetness perfectly complimenting one another. Some biscuity and fruity notes round out the taste nicely. Dries nicely on the finish. The most balanced beer I've had in which cascade hops are generally thought to take center stage.

Mouthfeel: Creamy and medium bodied with good carbonation feeling slightly prickly on the tongue.

Drinkability: A great session beer for all the right reasons.

The quintessential APA.

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Photo of chriscolby
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep golden color, clear and with a moderate, lasting head. The first thing I notice in the aroma is the Cascade hops with an almost tobacco-like edge to them. The sweet, crystal-malty aroma follows immediately. It's flavor is moderately malty with a hint of sweetness balanced with a clean bitterness and just enough hop flavor to tilt the malt/hop balance slightly to the hop side. Moderately full mouthfeel. Malt flavors quickly dissipate, leaving a nice hop flavor in the aftertaste.

There are many beers I used to enjoy that no longer taste that good to me. In contrast, every time I grab a six-pack of SNPA, I am pleasantly surprised all over again at what a great beer it is. Yummy.

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Photo of 99bottles
3.72/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had one of these the other night and I can't believe that I never bothered to review this beer that I drink pretty frequently.

Apperance: SNPA pours a golden-amber color and had a nice inch of white sticky head that laces the glass. What I think of when I think pale ale.

Smell: This guy smell like he tastes. Hoppy and slick, with some small malt footing.

Taste: Mmm, mmm. Good old SNPA. This has a ton of Cascade hops pushing a tangy bitterness. They hit hard at first sip, but then they settle down and stop attacking your tastebuds. A good malt base of sweet biscuits balances this over time.

Mouthfeel: Slippery hop oil is the most dominant factor and gives this beer a somewhat heavier mouthfeel than most pale ales.

Drinkability: Yes please. This beer has such a wide distribution, I find myself getting it a lot at restaurants and bars that whose selections are only American macros and this. I could drink these for awhile, but if I had other more exotic beers to choose from this would easily be passed over. The classic American micro to whom we are all indebted.

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Photo of mrpicklerelish
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Apperance - Pours a very nice brownish copper color, very nice to look at. Nice size head that leaves behind some nice tight lacing.

Smell - A small hint of bread aroma followed by some citrus.

Taste - A nice hop kick with a nice side of citrus taste to it. Not an overly hoppy brew but very nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel - A very smooth pale ale, very crisp in the mouth.

Drinkability - Very easy to drink. A great beer to just sit back and enjoy a few. Also a great starter beer to the land of craft brew.

Comments - This is one of my all time favorites. One that I am constantly going back to at least once a month for a revisit. Very accessable in my next of the woods as it is with most palces now and I take full advantage of it.

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Photo of dedalus
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

coppery golden in the glass, swirled the last few drops in the bottle and poured it in the glass hefe-style, just in case any yeast was clinging to the bottom of the bottle. pillowy white head that could have stuck around a bit longer. bright clingy lacing.

aromas of fresh, grapefruity hops, orange/lemon peel, and an earthy, fruity, yeasty, damp soil scent lurking subtlely in the background.

mouthfeel is thin but not watery. very refreshing.

the flavors were all cascade hops up front: citrusy, juicy, and flowery. some malt came through in the middle but not enough to draw attention away from the hops. the almost wheaty malt and tangy, fruity yeast came back in the finish. loads of fresh hop flavor with enough bitterness to contrast the fruity, earthy, wheaty tastes.

a beautifully structured beer, perfect for the warmer weather. the bitterness here is only one of many flavor elements that build to achieve an effect greater than the sum of its parts. a true masterpiece that also happens to be widely available. i shied away from this beer in the past fearing that the bitterness would be overpowering and that the beer would lack character, but i am pleased to say my fears were unfounded. also great with a farmhouse cheddar and a loaf of real wheat bread.



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Photo of gentlebubbles
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Looks just like a beer ought to: a clear and golden with a nice white head. The enticing orangey fragrance drifts from the glass and hangs in there. Crisp malt. Bracing bitterness, if a bit sour from time to time. Surprisingly fizzy and sharp for a bottle-conditioned. I could have a few of these.

This one just does the right thing.

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Photo of Billolick
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

24 ounce bomber bottle, ( a nice touch) no freshness dating to be found. Not much I can add to the other 400 or so reviews. This is the classic pale ale, so good it defines the style. One of the first micros to be had back in the day. If you havent sampled this tasty quaffer, you are missing alot. Goes great with spicy BBQ. Cheers!

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Photo of yeagerbm
4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic beer. Haven't had this one in a while so I thought it was time to review it.
Appearance- Bright orange with a smooth white head.
Smell- Hops and malt. The kind of smell that lets you know this beer was dry-hopped and will be delicious.
Taste- I had this beer before and knew that it was good. Now I come back to it after trying hundreds of good beers and I see that it is nearly perfect. A delicious aromatic hop experience which is balanced by a great malt flavor. This beer is not extreme. It is wonderfuly flavorful and easy to drink. I don't know if I'll ever give a beer all 5's or if that beer even exists but I don't know if a pale ale can get a better taste than this.

A+ with a smiley face!

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Photo of psyco1
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
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.

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Photo of DPMomutant
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A medium-amber body sits below a nice finger-thick head that lasts a bit before settling to the sides.

A mild smell of fruity hops. Not bad but not quite as lively as some other pales I've had.

The taste starts with a citrus and slightly malty taste with a decent hop bitterness at the end.

This has a mostly lively mouthfeel, but isn't harsh. The bitterness that helps the taste takes a tiny bit from the mouthfeel.

This is drinkable as most decent American pales are. I have no problem having a few of these.

Overall it's a good beer, but there's at least a couple of local pales that are at least just as good (and possibly better) and I usually go local when I have a choice.

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Photo of soper2000
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was on of my first microbrews so i decided to revisit it for the purpose of this review. It pours a nice golden orange color with a smooth white head. A standard looking pale ale i might say. Smell is big on hops and citrus as is the taste. Big hoppy notes are present, I wish there was a little more malt flavor in this as the citrus and hops aren't balanced that perfectly to my palate. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both decent. This isn't my favorite pale ale but it'll always do in a pinch.

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Photo of DaveGood
3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a rich golden color with nice creamy head from a 12oz bottle. The aroma was a bit much from the hops. I have had this on tap previously as well and the odor is generally much more pleasant. The taste was extremely pleasant with a wheat-like malt flavor that is offset by citrus hops. The carbonation is moderate and the drinkability is very good. Overall, this beer goes down nice and smooth and has quickly become my favorite "normal bar" beer. It is definitely one of the best American Pale Ales that I have had to-date.

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Photo of Joey7F
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am very impressed with Sierra Nevada after trying their pale ale. I had some of this at a barbeque where we had some spicy indian chicken. The floral hoppy quality of the beer was refreshing and complimented the spicy food. It is very drinkable and is slightly creamy. The tingling after taste is one of the better ones from any beer I can think of. Apparently their other offerings are equally impressive. I can't wait until I can try the Celebration Ale (I just turned 21 so I could get it back when the stores had it) Highly recommended.


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