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

9,887 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,887
Reviews: 2,858
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 204
Gots: 1,703 | FT: 4
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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 9,887 | Reviews: 2,858
Photo of bondjedi
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap. This is my Dad's favorite beer.

Doesn't foam up on the initial pour. Nice - I won't half to waste half a keg getting the CO2 pressure right. Buying a keg of this is like getting a German shepherd that's already housebroken.

Well-laced, and a dainty light copper color. I think of a riverboat gambler who is a bit of a dandy.

Smooth pour down the throat. I would hope for a more gravelly note, that which usually accompanies a PA.

Great beer.

Photo of BB1313
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a honey color w/ great white head and sticky lacing.. very nice looking beer. Nice nose, but the aromas are faint. Slightly bready w/ bitter hops and some fruit notes. Tastes like somethings missing, not as bold as I'd like it to be; very subtle. The hops are not harsh, making it very drinkable. SNPA is a clean and refreshing beer.

SNPA is classic, I used to drink it all of the time, but there are still a number of Pale Ales I perfer. Still, this is a beer that EVERYONE must try at least once.

Photo of wrb357
4.72/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

For awhile I had no idea that Sierra Nevada was regarded as such a wonderful brew. Being in Nor Cal, we get this beer EVERYWHERE. I have always enjoyed its pleasant taste and easy drinkability, but I guess I took it for granted because many are not as familiar.

I've drank this beer in every way imaginable, but best is out of a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Nice pale color to it, more orange than yellow. Always give a nice head.

S - Nice floral and citrus hop aroma. Doesn't smell bitter in the nose, just smells fresh.

T - Such a smooth, easy drinking beer. Some hints of pine, and some bitters, with a citrus hop finish. It has a taste that you will immediately enjoy, and it won't kick you in the mouth. However, the taste doesn't go away. It stays with you the whole time, very flavorful.

M - Easy in the mouth, doesn't taste watery or too bitter, has just the right amount of body to sip it slow or drink it very very fast.

D - It's everywhere for me, and it always pleases. It is so smooth yet flavorful, I can have one and be happy, or down a sixer and not fall flat on my face. Just a superb session drink, one of the best pales to drink a lot of.

To all my Nor Cal friends, be thankful for this amazingly cheap, satisfying beer! To everyone who has to stretch to find it, do it and enjoy.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Golden to orange and clear, nice head, good lacing, plenty of rising bubbles.

Smelled a bit grainy with a hop overtone and some biscuit malt, plus floral and citrus accents.

Tastes a mix of floral hops, bready malts, and a little sweet citrus.

Moderate bitterness lingers a bit long. Plenty of carbonation. Medium body.

It's a good go-to pale ale, but isn't my favorite. However, quality wise it's right up there and quite worthy.

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

12oz bottle. Pours a slightly cloudy medium orange color with a thin head. Good amount of lacing. Aromas of hops, malt, cereal and a slight citrus. Taste is a crisp hop taste with a nice amount of grains to it. Good amount of malt flavor as well. Orange peel finish. This is one of the most flavorful drinkable beers around.

Photo of sixerofelixir
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle. Paired with a good burger.

Decided to order an old reliable and try this one for the first time in a long time. Pours a beautiful, super-clear, deep gold, with a thick, very sticky off-white head. Smells like hoppy and malty goodness. Excellent malt on this one, tight and sweet. Suitable for the moderate and excellent hop bitterness. Very good balance. Easy to drink, and one of the important & best American beers.

Photo of ivanwatling
2.45/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Wonderful rich, deep amber. No head whatsoever which is a negative for me.

Smell: Delicate floral notes with undertones of citrus fruit.

Taste: First taste is fruity, a bit like a soft drink. Biterness then takes over and becomes almost too much.

Mouthfeel: Dry, sharp bitter aftertaste like lemon rind. Carbonation feels like very small bubbles, akin to pop.

Drinkability: Too bitter for me, not balanced. Will not try again, might not even finish the whole bottle.

Photo of sluggermatt15
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a yellow-orange color with a hazy appearance. Has a nice look to it. Foam head has short retention time.

S- Hops, not too overwhelming. Above average.

T- Clean and crisp. You can definitely taste the hops. Not as much wateriness as I had expected. A little bitterness to it. Above average.

M- Moderately bodied beer, not too overwhelming as far as carbonation goes.

D- Possible to drink multiple. I had this at a bar so I could have had probably 2 or 3, yet only settled for 1.

This is comparable to the other exceptional pale ales out there. Highly recommended if you are a fan of these ales.

Photo of IronLover
4.56/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had countless bottles of SNPA in the past, but never did a review of it. Bought a case of it shortly after trying it for the first time. I guess I can call this beer my "gateway" craft beer. It opened my eyes to how good beer could really be. So after getting a kegerator, and finding out the local distributor carries an awesome variety of sixtels, I had to christen my kegerator with SNPA.

Pours a crystal clear deep yellow with a hint of orange. Big foamy white head that takes until the last few mouthfuls to disappear. Lots of sticky lacings. Taste and aroma is a perfect balance of sweet malt and citrus hops. Creamy smooth with perfect carbonation. This 5 gallon keg is not gonna last long. Thanks Sierra Nevada!

Photo of DovaliHops
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Never bothered to review this beer considering every place everywhere has it, so I always just tell myself I'll do it next time...Well it's finally "next time." Pours a hazy golden-orange color with medium-large white head that slowly gets smaller, but hangs around for a while. Smell is a mellow, well-balanced citrus hop scent with a tad bit of yeast and sweet malt. Taste is just as well balanced with a nice balancing of the hops and malts. This beer is definitely my go-to beer at restaurants, simply because every place has it. One tasty brew! Mouthfeel is crisp with a nice bitter bite to it, but nothing even close to the bite an IPA should have. Good representation of an american pale ale. Drinkability is VERY high!

Photo of mbusster88
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass.

A: Pours orange in color, with off white head. Very fluffy head that sticks around well. Tons of carbonation and lots of sediment, not sure if that is typical for this particular beer, but doesn't effect it.

S: Very west coast hop smell. Astringent in smell with great profile. Nose is attractive and definitely taunts the taste. Great fresh character with good balance.

T/M: Very smooth mouth feel. Crisp and refreshing. Lots of hops in terms of flavors, but not real drying or bitter. Some good balance here with decent notes of malts in the background. Really cleans the palate with the carbonation!

D: Really, really easy drinker. Definitely a good to staple beer here!

Photo of searsclone
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint glass. Copper gold color with good head. The hop etching in the bottom of the glass is attacked by the carbonation causing a steady stream of bubbles up the center of the beer.

Smells of fruit and bread

Tastes citrus, bread, and hops. Finish is super clean and leaves a bit of a grapefruit aftertaste. Alcohol is really well hidden.

Crisp and clean mouthfeel, extremely drinkable.

In my opinion, one of the best pale ales out there and it is easy to find.

Photo of smakawhat
3.91/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had hundreds of these over the years, but never reviewed it until now..

Copper/yellow color of a nice clear. Decent head when poured on tap and lots of lacing.

Smell is kind of closed, not much going on, but nothing offensive either, faint bread and some chew.

Taste though is much improved with a very good bread finish that is subtle. Really good finish on this beer giving just enough hops and malt/bread/biscuity chew to feel decent. Easily drinkable, with a good mouthfeel that isn't too wet and is considerably better on tap than from the bottle.

Photo of DannyDan
3.44/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours into a golden colored brew that has a white head with excellent retention, decent carbonation and very very good lacing that clings nicely to the side of my beer mug. The smell is of citrus, yeast and hops. The taste is a citrus taste at first followed by some malts and hops. It has a citrus after taste to it. the mouthfeel is a nice creamy smooth medium bodied beer with a nice crisp clean finish. This crisp clean finish also makes the beer a nice drinkable beer. I'm not a huge fan of the taste of this beer, but it does have a nice hoppy finish to it and it is worth trying for those that like this style of beer. However, a better beer to try in this style is Michigan Brewing's Mackinac Pale Ale.

Photo of mikeg67
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12 Oz bottle. Pours a nice golden amber hue with a nice, foamy, long lasting, white head. Aroma is of citrusy hops with some sweet malt. Flavor is grapefruit, spicy hops with a long dry pleasant finish. Medium, crisp body. Just great, everywhere available Pale Ale.

Photo of Cannoneer
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Classic of the genre. Accessible, affordable and very, very appetizing.

Dark amber in color, very bitter, very appetite-inducing, very flavorful. Best goes with strongly aromatic foods, from robust spicy grilled sausage to smoked almonds.

My default choice for a refreshing bitter ale when I'm not inclined to experiment.

Photo of Andrew644
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- dark gold to a light amber in color with a a frothing white head.

S- very little malt smell but it has a fruity/woody hop aroma.

T- slightly bitter with woody/fruity hop flavor. It seems to be more woody than fruity which is the opposite from the aroma.

M- good carbonation and is light in the mouth.

D- very drinkable on any occasion.

Photo of bboelens
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A- Pours a nice copper color with large white head, medium retention and plenty of lacing.

S-Hops, slight malt and sweetness, yeasty notes as well

T-Almost identical with the smell, a very delicious beverage

M-Left a slight odd taste but an overall great feel

D-Easily a session beer that goes well with every situation. Most certainly will buy again.

Photo of TangTKE402
3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the signature snub-nosed bottle into a standard-issue pint glass. A nice 1.5 finger ecru head appeared. Not much in the way of lacing. Crystal clear and a light tan/straw color.

Smell is mostly of malts and yeast; almost lager-esque. Slightly bready, largely nondescript.

Taste is fairly even-keeled: non-too hoppy, nor too malty. Flavors of caramel malt hit up-front with some light dryness in the cheeks. A little tinny in the mouth, but the finish is smooth with an aftertaste of freshly baked dough.

Mouthfeel is decent, but not astounding. You know its there, but overall it feels fairly macro.

Drinkability is fairly high. This beer tastes better than your average macrobrew, but it's not a knock-out punch. Overall, a definite session beer, but one that might not be worth sessioning due to the general lack of character.

Photo of slowbie
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden brown color with a beautifully fluffy three finger head and good retention.

Smell is cascade hops with the malts showing through as well.

Taste is similar to the aroma, with malts up front and good cascades in the finish.

Good mouthfeel and great drinkability.

What can I say? This is the classic APA. It doesn't get much better than this.

Photo of Estocker
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah, the classic Pale Ale.

Pours a nice light amber color. Almost like a dark, nutrient-rich urine color.

Smells like someone cleaned a forest with lemon Pine-Sol. There are also some bready notes in there as well. Hop-forward.

Tastes of light citrus and pine hops. The bready flavor is more apparent in the taste, although not as much as it is in the draught style.

Easily one of the most drinkable beers I've ever had.

Photo of PDXHops
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. See-thru golden orange body with the typical SN long-lasting fluffy head and loads of clumpy lace. (Do these guys make any beer that's not great-looking?)

Smells and tastes like the classic brew that it is. Loads of pine and grapefruit with a dry malt profile that threatens to run away and hide altogether before returning with some light sweetness mid-swallow. A hefty bitterness that really makes this a borderline IPA (and the hoppy superior of many brews labeled as such). Finishes a little juicy, a little sticky, and with a distinct longing for another sip. Great beer.

Photo of TheHopMonster
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
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 jlandis
4.16/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An aggressive pour sometimes produces 4 or 5 fingers of white head, so I poured it nice and easy this time so it was only about 1 fingers worth. The beer is a crystal clear deep golden yellow. Nice bright yet subtle grapefruit aroma with a sweet malty backbone. A solid bitterness hits the palate right away with a blast of grapefruit and malt sweetness. The body is light and refreshing with solid carbonation.

In my book this is one of the classic American Craft beers. Simple enough to be enjoyed by the masses, yet creative enough to stay interesting. This was one of my early craft beers, and still one of my favorites.

Photo of JayS2629
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

While this is not my favorite style I have to give high points because I believe this beer sets the bar on what this style should taste like.

A- Nothing exceptional on its looks. Transparant amber color. It does have a nice foamy head and great rentention and lacing though.

S- Floral and citrus, orange peel, hops, sweet grasses, and pine.

T- Mellow bitter hops on the front. Hints of pine and honey with a sweet undertone.

M- The balance is what perfects this beer. Slightly on the hoppy side, but very well balanced out. Slightly thin, but nice crisp and refreshing with a small hops bite.

D- Very drinkable. This is a favorite for hoppy beer lovers and still drinkable for those that are malt fans. Very well balance makes this beer top notch.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,887 ratings.