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
91
outstanding

2,826 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,826
Hads: 10,267
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 223
Gots: 2,106 | 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: 2,826 | Hads: 10,267
Photo of JeffreyG
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is becomming an American Classic. This beer is solidly enjoyable, complex in flavor but clean enough to go well with a variety of foods and be refreshing. Also makes a good session brew. The hops in this beer are flowery and bright. The flavor is crisp and citrusy. There is just enough malt to balance the hop flavor and ease into the finish. A solid APA and probably the best made mass produced beer. (407 characters)

Photo of jimdkc
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly darker than I'd call amber, smallish head that dissipated quickly. Leaves a little bit of lacing on the glass. Smell is a mild hop scent, not too strong, but pleasant.

Mouthfeel was a bit thinner than I expected, but the carbonation was nice.

Good spicy hop taste with just enough malt for balance with a bit of yeast, too. To me, the bitterness was just the right amount. Crisp finish. Very drinkable

I liked this a lot. It will probably be one of my regulars! (479 characters)

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice copper with an off-white head. Lacy and a bit fizzy. Smell is grassy and hoppy. Floral hops and light citrus aromas.

Taste is just above average. Grassy and creamy pale malt. A nice hop profile and crsip. A bit fruity with a nice hoppy finish. Nicely balanced. A bit creamy and very very drinkable. Refreshing. The ultimate fallback beer and an old favorite of mine. (382 characters)

Photo of rkhaze
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a slightly hazy golden amber with a foamy off white head. Left ok lace. Aroma of sweet malt, citrusy hops and some fruit.
Tastes of sweet malt, caramel and tangy fruits segueing into
citrusy/spicy hops with a nod towards grapefruit and a bit of pepper.
Light to medium bodied but perhaps a wee heavy on the carbonation. Phenomenal drinkability as always.
This was the beer that opened my eyes to the potential of American microbrews over 20 years ago. I have a lot of respect for it, but also realize we've come a long way since then. While not the best one out there now, it's good to see it still holds up so well. Kudos to Sierra Nevada for this classic brew! (674 characters)

Photo of pezoids
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally – I come full circle and back to one of the early names from the beer revolution. It’s good to slow down and focus on a classic like this. Slightly hazy and golden orange in color. A lively and well carbonated beer with a large frothy head. The aroma gives off sweet fruity hops with cherry, apricot and some floral notes. The bitterness is pleasant and just perfect in this beer. Very natural tasting. Matches with a medium body of fruity and sweet malts. Still is the benchmark for the west coast pale style. A beautiful beer. (538 characters)

Photo of WetCoaster
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Ah, the classic micro. It’s funny; I drink this ALL the time, but I just realized I’ve never reviewed it.

Appearance: A moderate pour produces a quarter inch of smooth, off-white foam that lasts for a minute or so. It leaves a ring and some decent lacing. The body is a slightly hazy pale amber with extremely fine carbonation. Pretty, but not a prom queen.

Smell: A really nice balance of hop spice and unusually fruity yeast esters over a base of sweet malt. Mild, conventional, but quite pleasant.

Taste/Mouthfeel: If there’s such a thing as what pale ale “should” taste like, this is it. Starts out rich and malty, with a slightly tangy sweetness. As it moves to the back of your tongue, the bitterness and citrus flavors of the hops makes their presence known, and the finish is crisp and almost ESB bitter. The mouthfeel is smooth, soft and light/medium bodied, although the carbonation is a bit sharper up front than I'd like.

Drinkability: Second to none, IMHO. Probably the most “sessionable” pale out there; while it doesn’t have any strong/outstanding flavors, everything that should be there is there and works together seamlessly.

This beer is sort of like a great bicycle; you don’t think much about it because it always does exactly what it’s supposed to do. It’s easy to understand how this beer help launch the micro revolution—it never lets you down. (1,456 characters)

Photo of jwilli7122
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours gold/amber with a very nice looking medium-sized white head with great lacing. smell is simple citric hops. taste is simple but solid - smooth bready malt taste surrounded by citric hops. there is no hidden treasure - but there is no letdown either. I can see why this is considered by some to be the standard american pale ale. a good beer. (347 characters)

Photo of TinusTime
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a shade darker than amber with a whispy little head. Aroma is of Hops, nice citrus piney floral hops. Once you smell it you know what you are in for. Taste starts off with a little prickly hops on the tongue , melds into a bit of nice malt in the middle, then drys off strong with the Cascade hops. Mouthfeel is nice with great carbonation keeping the beer from being astringent on the tongue. Drinkability-- I could drink this all day no matter the season. One of the benchmarks for American Pale Ale. For a lot of people i know this is the when all else fails- beer , as it is widely available and often the only craft beer on tap.. This is not a knock because this is a very tasty beer (694 characters)

Photo of AllThingsNinja
3.91/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, this is a beautiful beer. The perfect white head floats atop a beautiful amber brew that is brimming with hoppy goodness. As I come back to the beer, I'm always impressed by the malty nose that so pleasantly contrasts the intense hop finish. It is a wonderful beer, but it requires a true appreciation of cascade hops to enjoy. (353 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Quintessential amber with a blizzard of fine yeast suspended within. The beer is topped by a bone white crown that is rocky and pitting as it melts. Unfortunately, the lid didn't last very long. There's a decent amount of lace, though nothing too special. The nose is of average intensity and is primarily of citrusy hops.

The flavor profile is on the simple and straightforward side; not that that's a bad thing. Each mouthful starts out with a gently spicy-bitter push, backed by a solid underlay of malt. Things don't really change in character from start to finish or with warming.

Although SNBC uses Cascade hops (along with Magnum and Perle), grapefruit zest isn't bursting across the tongue. The mouthfeel is slightly more full than medium and has no rough edges whatsoever.

I expected very good things from Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and was just a little let down in the end. It's not that it's bad beer, not by a long shot, but there are better versions out there. I'm sure I'll come back to it again since it's so widely available (and since my local hoppy options are so limited). (1,094 characters)

Photo of WOLFGANG
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Deep amber color with perfect clarity. Billowy long-withstanding white head leaves plenty of lace. Quite appealing in appearance.

Mixture of citrus and floral hops and a nutty aroma lingers. Hints of pine as it warms a bit.

Taste starts tangy with a lemony bite on the palate. Then a slight touch of sweetness ( like nut and honey) is present, but finishes well with slight bitter hop.

A lighter mouthfeel I guess is to be expected.

Built for Summertime enjoyment (IMO). Not hard to drink this throughout the day I imagine. (535 characters)

Photo of flaminghomer
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this wasn't as bitter as i remember. maybe my palate has grown more loving of pale ales. i don't know.

i noticed that there was sediment at the bottom of the bottle so i gave it a healthy swirl to help make it a bit better looking. i thought that this would make it a bit cloudy but instead it was pretty clear with a bunch of little floaties hoppin about. i guess it's yeast?

taste was very crisp and clean. the hops were not as strong as i remember but they were there. i found it to be very drinkable and good. i'll buy it again. (538 characters)

Photo of RocketWidget
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not a bad beer at all. Currently enjoying this brew while waiting for my homebrew wort to chill, so really in the beer mood!
Pours a true gold color, with lots of sediment and average head. Smell is crisp and hoppy but not overpowering. Taste sets a very good standard, hoppy and sweet and just enough bitter flavor. A very drinkable brew. Overall recommended. (361 characters)

Photo of BeefyMee
3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Orangey-yellow with a pillowy head that left nice lacing.

Smell: Very hoppy for a pale ale. The hop aroma isn't all that strong but it is the only thing I can smell.

Taste: Interesting. The hops hit upfront but are not abrasive and even less powerful than the smell. A subtle bready malt flavor follows in the aftertaste. Gets addicting.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly substantial. Those little bubbles tingle on your tongue so nicely.

Drinkability: I wish I bought a sixer.

Beef Notes: I like this beer more and more every time I drink it. It's quickly becoming a favorite as I develop a taste for hops. I will be buying more. (647 characters)

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

Pours a cloudy, amber color (due to the yeast used in the natural carbonation). The color "seeps" a bit into the plentiful head, giving it a not quite white color. The hoppiness is present in the nose, and the taste. I originally didn't like this beer, but after drinking it nearly everyday when I was California, it turned me into a hophead. The bitter-sweet balance is nearly perfect here. I can easily drink a six-pack of this, although the flavor can get harsh towards the end. (481 characters)

Photo of jtfest
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Somewhat hazy, more orange than yellow, with a smallish off-white head. Light, pleasant, sorta' floral aroma. The mouthfeel was full and consistent. The taste begins very smooth and almost sweet, then blends into a nice mellow hoppy finish for a drinking experience that was far more enjoyable than the appearance promised. I would enjoy this for a session. (357 characters)

Photo of johnrobe
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A true modern classic and one that started me on the path to better beer. Others have improved on the original, IMHO, but as the trend has been "bigger is better" in craft brewing, SNPA retains high marks for drinkability; simply one of the finest session pale ales around. Once I began stockpiling Celebration every year I stopped buying this beer, so this is a homecoming of sorts. It pours a light orange amber with a frothy white head that leaves rings. The aroma is light but dominated by citric hops. The taste is mostly citrus with some pine and is pleasantly bitter. A simple sugar, candy-like sweetness makes a brief appearance on the palate but the malt doesn't develop like some of the bigger PAs. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied and slightly creamy but not heavy, an excellent lunchtime brew. (805 characters)

Photo of MobBarley
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A classic. I simply have nothing bad to say about this beer. Deep amber color with some yeasty clouding. Skunky hops aroma with a grainy malt backbone. Assertive hops flavor that balances well with a substantial maltiness. A syrupy bitterness lingers. Mouthfeel is great...tremendously refreshing yet chewy. Drinkability is legend. My "go to" beer. (348 characters)

Photo of Zorro
3.06/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I have a love/hate relationship with this brew. Some of the best and worst beers I have ever had were this brew. I believe that this is one beer that is very temperamental about how it is transported and stored.

Pours a clear orangish gold color.

Smell is malt, vanilla and hops smells bitterer than it tastes.

Taste is very mild yet full. This has a floral hop taste with a bit of oak flavor to it. A dry ale, I remember this being a bit sweeter in its draft form.

Mouthfeel is thicker than you would think.

Drinkability is good, but I prefer a Fuller's to this. (578 characters)

Photo of palma
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Sweet-ass looking foggy gold body with some yeast sediment due to the traditional bottle conditioning as it explains on the label. Not much of a head developed on the pour and whatever did faded rather quickly.

Smell: Not very impressed with the smell which had a fruity aroma but also was very leafy and earthy. Smelled kind of like moss...yes, moss. Not what I was expecting but I guess that plant-like aroma was what they were going for.

Taste: Almost a 4.5. Great hop bitterness throughout with strong fruity flavors. At first there is a noticeably sharp hop bite to the beer, but then the malt comes through just enough to give it a perfect amount of sweetness to compensate. Then after a few more sips the bitterness and the sweetness really start to begin to mingle together very well and the brew just gets more enjoyable. I love the lingering aftertaste of this beer which is very dry with an awesome bready flavor.

Mouthfeel is extremely smooth. Has a great light carbonation that gives it a nice crisp and smooth finish. (1,055 characters)

Photo of coasterfreak75
4.67/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I was really impressed by this beer from the start, my wife purchased it for me as a Christmas present. When I read the label and saw it was bottle conditioned, being a homebrewer, I was excited. The color, a nice copper, was very impressive. The fruity aroma was the next hint I was in for a great drink. The only fault I find is the head retension, there was none. But overall I was greatly impressed with this pour. (418 characters)

Photo of RootedFool
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorites. Purchased a case for the weekend (edit: my roommate purchased it, because I'm a bum; but I'll drink most of it).

Pours deep yellow, more like gold, and leaves a nice airy tan head that left thick sheets of lace on the glass.

Scent is an earthy, rainy plume of grassy hops. A subtle malt sweetness lies in the background, balancing it all out.

The taste is a glorious flow of bitter-sweet, almost toasty hops. The sweet coming in with the mild malts mixing it up. Aftertaste is rich, earthy, pleasantly gritty (if you can imagine that). Goes down, on the whole, smooth as bitter silk.

Mouthfeel is perfect -- not too thin, not too thick.

An incredibly drinkable beer. (710 characters)

Photo of Stimack
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beer that I must say I really love. Pale Ales are one of my favorites and this one does not disappoint! Pours to a nice golden color with a small bubbly head. Small amount of lacing diminishes quite quickly and leaves you an excellent tasting brew! The smell is a somewhat strong hint of citrus and hops making you want to dive right in! The taste is dry and hoppy with a good deal of carbonation. One of my favorite beers of all time, one that I can drink regardless of the season! (484 characters)

Photo of Charthepirate
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep golden, with a well maintained head and a thick lacing. Small carbonation and layer of sediment. Very nice looking beer, no doubt.

A nice, biscuity, hoppy smell.

Flavor has a nice bready biscuity maltiness. Flavor is followed by a big citrussy hop bite. Nice, bitterness, but it's a bit unbalanced for my tastes.

Great beer, not above amazing, but I could be happy with a case of it.

Char (416 characters)

Photo of WesWes
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pure gold color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is great. It has all the right stuff; hops, pale and carapils malts, and a floral nose. The taste is great. Again, it has a nice malt palate with a floral hop flavor that really makes this beer. The mouthfeel is good. This is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a beautiful beer that drinks very well; an excellent pale ale. (409 characters)

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,826 ratings.