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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.

9,790 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,790
Reviews: 2,831
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 190
Gots: 1,594 | 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
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Ratings: 9,790 | Reviews: 2,831 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TrappistFan
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: a golden orange / amber color, 3cm cream colored head that lasts until the end.

Smell: citrus and light hops, very well balanced.

Taste: has that very recognizable Sierra Nevada hops/yeast taste to it. Hops are definitely present but not at all overpowering. Leaves a nice, mild citrus aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light feel, but the carbonation makes it feel fuller without being too fizzy or gassy.

Drinkability: Superb drinkability, I could (and have) drink these all night.

This beer is one of my go-to beers, and I often use it to introduce "beer" drinkers to real craft beers, usually with great results! This beer rightfully deserves its status as one of America's craft beer "ambassadors".

Photo of beyah
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 24 oz bottle to a US Tumbler , 1 finger of head.

Color - golden with a slight cloudiness, white lacing hangs in there for a long, long time.

Smell - Very nice hoppiness, slight maltiness in the background.

Taste - Smooth very drinkable, there is a slight citrus taste to the beer. Not too bitter just perfect in the hop department.

Mouthfeel. Perfect carbonation, for this style beer.

I used to be a great fan of Bass Pale Ale, but now I have a new favorite Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

Photo of Jef59
4.01/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - bright amber with a cream colored head that clings with big rings and lasts till the last drop

S - wheat bread with some floral and citrus notes

Nice wheat flavor with some cherries. The citrus and floral hops in the nose are also represented nicely in the taste.

Really good apa

Photo of earthboundagain
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Ok this beer is the ambassador f the American Pale Ale, aka APA. This brew is a wonderful mix of malt and citrus hops. This brew is a good ice breaker for new craft drinkers and also goes well with many chicken dishes.

From Notes:

A: Bright straw color with a off white head. There is a lot of lacing.

S: Citrus hops and some bready malt in the background.

T: Ok we have citrus hops mixed with a malt backbone, some bitterness on the backend but not real harsh.

M: Oily mouthfeel with a lack of carbonation.

Photo of bradleyp
3.86/5  rDev -4.2%
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 dpnelson1978
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into glass pint.

$9.99 / ea.

A: Bright straw body with an enormous rocky head of great retention. Wonderful lacing and a thick rocky head. Not quite perfect, but considering circulation it is a fantastic ambassador.

S: Grapefruit. The definition of citrus hops since well before I knew of craft beer. Personally, this is what all IPA's are compared against.

T: Right down to the aftertaste this is 100% grapefruit citrus. Biscuit malt backbone but takes a backseat to the hop goodness. Mild aftertaste, but pleasant and unobtrusive.

M: Medium body and low carbonation. Smooth, bordering on oily. Decent, but not great.

D: Easy sessioning selection. Goes down easy, doesn't overpower the palate, and goes great with food. Can't ask for much more.

O: It all started here for me, and it will always have a soft spot in my heart. Not perfect, but so inviting to a wide range of palates. There is a reason they are so highly regarded.

Photo of NODAK
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma is mostly of citrusy/floral hops with perhaps a touch of toffee malt.

The predominant taste is, not surprisingly, citrus/floral hoppiness. However, they are not among the strongest I've tasted in this style of beer. They're at a pretty medium level of bitterness. Throughout the swallow, there's a creamy malt presence that sits under the hoppiness. The taste of this beer doesn't really change for me from initial taste to after the swallow. Citrus hops with an undercurrent of malt, and that's it. But it certainly works, it's drinkable, and that's part of why this beer is considered one of the best examples of APA's on the market.

Photo of hosehead83
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. "stubby" bottle into a standard pint glass
Bright, coppery-orange with a slight chill haze, nice two-inch head of eggshell-white foam. Nice looking beer.
Aroma-Citrussy hops
Taste-Sugared ruby red grapefruit, leafy hop bite, creamy, buttered biscuit and a pleasant hop bitterness that lingers to the finish. Very flavorful and well balanced pale that drinks like an IPA. The definitive American Pale Ale. A must for all craft beer lovers. A classic.

Photo of dopehousex3
4.75/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Has to be one of my favoret pale ale's I have ever drank. The taste is great you could really taste the hopps and taste so good nice and cold. This makes me want to go to 7/11 and buy a 6 pack lol. There's nothing like drinking a Sierra Nevada in a open glass just go pick on up you'll end up really liking them.

Photo of aranheaney
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright, floral notes, extremely drinkable and among micros, probably the "Cadillac" of its type. The taste and mouth are beyond compare. The folks at Sierra Nevada have this as their flagship brew for a reason. For anyone who has not experienced this, it is absolutely highly recommended....

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

Serving type - on tap

A - Pours an slightly orange, light amber, with moderate off-white head and lacing.

S - Smell is of citrusy hops, with pine, and a caramel malt base to help balance things out. Classic American pale ale scents here!

T - Classic Sierra Nevada flavor here! (were you expecting something else?). That signature citrus/piney hop flavor is there on the forefront, but comes with a hint of caramel-ish, almost bready malts later on that keep things pretty well balanced. Perfect if you're looking for a basic, balanced ale leaning a bit more towards the hoppy side.

M - Medium body and mild carbonation throughout. Nothing over the top, and nothing offensive at all here.

D - A great pale ale to session! Whether it's just one, or a few of these, they hit the spot for sure!

Overall - A classic go-to American pale ale, often considered the archetype of APA's. While it's definitely not the only good APA out there, it's still one of the better ones, and one of many great offerings from SN. If you like this one, try SN Torpedo too!

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada appears transparent yellowish orange with a thick white head that completely coats the glass in lacing. A well balanced brew, with hop flavors in the forefront. Really drinkable, this is a refreshing beer. The carbonation level is spot on. The flavor is simple, but well done. I have has this beer all over the country, and found it to be very consistent. This is a great beer to have around when you want something light and don't want to pillage your cellar.

Photo of milkbaby9
4.29/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into Samuel Adams sensory glass. 2 finger off-white foam head settles down to almost nothing and no lacing. Slightly hazy gold color looks nice.

Aroma is a bit hit of malt with slightly citric, grassy, cat pee, and piney hops. Upon tasting, the entry is lightly malty then immediately followed by a grassy strong pine and slightly oily bitter astringency. Then a big dose of sweet malt and fresh baked bread comes through in the aftertaste. As it warms up, a stronger sweetness starts to reveal on the finish through the aftertaste which turns it almost too sweet.

Very nice balancing act between the hops and malt. Carbonation is light, enough to tickle the tongue, with mouthfeel being medium light bodied. Fairly crisp finish.

Drinkability is fairly high -- feel this is a pretty nicely balanced brew. The further down the glass it gets, the better I think this beer tastes!

Photo of atsprings
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a standard pint glass a crisp bubbly orange with a thin barely there head. Aroma was the same crisp citrus hops I expect in a Sierra Nevada brew along with some crisp sweet malts. The taste is a nice balance of citrus hops and sweet caramel malts. The beer is medium bodied with decent carbonation, smooth and refreshing. This one certainly lives up to its status as a textbook American pale ale.

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Amber with a textbook head.

S-Citrus and pine hops combined with bready malts.

T-Nice citrus hopslap accompanied by some pine and a refreshing malt base. Just exactly how the style should taste. Perfect balance. Still quite hoppy too!

M-Medium and well carbonated.

D-Very, very easy to drink.

Forgot how awesome this guy was. A PA/IPA hybrid in my book. Haven't had one of these in a while but am very glad I went back for some more. Absolutely one of the most important beers period. Never a bad choice, never reluctant to drink it either.

Photo of ibbjamin
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is THE staple beer in my fridge and I am a little disappointed in myself that it has taken me so long to review this one. A 12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Nice pillowy white head of about an inch. A welcomed layer of white retention and great lacing. Transparent light copper color with some visible rising carbonation bubbles from the bottom of the glass.

Sierra Nevada classic hop profile. You can almost use this as an adjective these days as it has become a cornerstone in hoppy beer. Citrus, floral, pine, dank, etc...this one brings forth all of the best adjectives in such great harmony and balance. Quite hoppy for an APA, but don't get me wrong, there is still great balance from some caramel malt.

The taste is so good and so Sierra Nevada. They are the brewery that set the benchmark on pale ales and here is your flagship. Similar characteristic to what I described in taste.

The mouthfeel is perfect. Nice carbonation and easy drinking with a light to medium body. The pleasant Sierra Nevada hop profile lingers making you back for more and more.

This is the pale ale that all other pale ales are graded against. I have yet to find one better.

Photo of Thrill62
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice copper/amber slightly hazy clear color.

S: Light grapefruit and obvious hoppiness.

T: Strong hoppiness for a mid price pale ale. Mostly bitter with a grapefruit finish.

M: Fairly acidic bite, which I don't mind, also light and bubbly with a crisp and almost dry finish.

D: Good session beer. One of the only decent beers I can find on draft in a couple (non-beer loving) bars in South Florida.

Also good when I don't want to break the bank, but want something consistently tasty.

Photo of ATSJer
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: a nice rustic gold, light pour very slight head that dissipates quickly but the carbonation forces a continual layer. Very clear, but not as light colored as I as expecting.

Smell: swirled in the glass, noticeable florals, and well pronounced hops, a bit of sweetness with a very light malt. This is a very good smelling brew that stings the nostrils slightly, a well balanced aroma with little to no astringency.

Taste: mild bitterness from beginning to end, but nothing offensive. You can taste the hops flowery taste, but the bitterness is about the only consistent taste. The taste is not overly complex, but still enough to keep your tongue working throughout each mouthful.

Mouthfeel: light bodied dry brew that leaves your mouth very clean. The carbonation is apparent, but it's not so heavy that you end up with puffy cheeks when rolling the brew on your tongue. The feel is quite refreshing, with no alcohol burn.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, not a heavy brew, refreshing. I could imagine drinking this around a campfire or while watching a football game.

Photo of tubacharlie
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh, fruity hop aroma. Pours with light to medium head. Medium-fine bubbles with very little lacing, stickiness or retention.

Nice golden color with unfiltered haziness, lots of particulate matter in suspension.

Well balanced between hops and malt, with a little bitterness in the middle of the palate and a fresh grass aftertaste. Bottle conditioning gives a smooth, integrated carbonation.

Good example of an American unfiltered pale ale. Very drinkable.

Photo of andrenaline
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared a monster bottle of this with my old man on the beach.

A - Pours a nice copper orange colour, thin film of head which holds throughout, some fine peppered lacing and little visible carbonation.

S - Scent is quite sweet and fruity, with pineapple, citrus, pine and cedar hop scents all coming through. Sweet caramel apple malts complement the finish.

T - Taste is mild, but very refreshing. Citrus and pineapple hops come off the top, with a bitter cedar hop finish. A bit of peach is also detectable and lingers on the tongue.

M - At first I thought it was watery, but the carbonation explodes in your mouth giving it a nice light feel. It finishes incredibly smooth and is not overly dry on the palette. Very nice.

D - I'd buy 6-ers of this stuff every weekend if it were available. I'll be sure to keep an eye out for it, because I found it to be very enjoyable. Nicely balanced hop / malt combination, and very smooth.

Photo of dcook11
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An orange to amber coloring with a light to medium carbonation and a two finger off-white head. Very nice lacing.

Hops, malt, a rustic metal tinge as well

T- Hops at the start with a mettalic bite that fades into malt.

M-Medium bodied. Feels great on the tongue as the carbonation provides some pleasent bubbles.

D- Very nice. Could drink these all day.

Photo of Chizoad
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I think I'm spoiled by Sierra Nevada's Torpedo offering.

Pretty dark amber in a tall flute of a glass with a nice off-white cap of foam. Kind of mellow smell. I could detect decent hops but only the bitter kind, not particularly floral.

Similar taste. Kind of bland really.

Good body with good medium carbonation, and a relatively drinkable beer. At places without great selection of brews, this and Blue Moon are the standouts of the widely available beers.

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

This beer pours copper with a white head.

The smell is of grape fruity hops and some maltiness comes out more and more as it warms.

Great caramel sweetness almost masked by the bitterness. Grape fruit hop flavor and of course he Sierra Nevada house flavor.

The mouthfeel is smooth with the sweetness and sourness almost perfectly matched.

Very drinkable beer. Perfect for a hot summer day when you just want a nice flavorful beer.

Photo of Phelps
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Looks: like apple juice. Perfectly clear pale almond with a one-finger head of sticky seafoam white that grips the sides of the glass in full sheets. The head chills atop the glass for a few good minutes before receding to become a thick layer.

Smells: classic. Nicely hoppy, with citrusy flavors of sweet oranges and lemon peel.

Tastes: nice bready malt and a subtler backbone of sweet caramel. A blast of zesty citrus peel hits, with lots of orange and a bit of grapefruit. Lightly bitter acrid orange peel in the back. Straightforward and solid.

Feels: soft and just a tad watery. Medium-light body and a medium carbonation.

Drinks: like a standby. To this long-time drinker, first-time reviewer, SNPA is a classic that's dependable when craft beer is scarce.

Photo of joeland
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - it's copper/ golden color with a thin head just covering the beer.

Smell - a malt smell that is followed by a mix of flora hops and citrus hop smells.

Taste - it starts with a very good balance of sweet and bitter, then it fades of to only bitter. the aftertaste is a dry bittrness.

Mouthfeel - it's very dry with high carbnation and a medium body.

Drinkability - a very easy drinking beer that i can drink many off.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,790 ratings.