Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

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2,827 Reviews

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Reviews: 2,827
Hads: 10,273
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 9.85%
Wants: 224
Gots: 2,111 | 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
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Reviews: 2,827 | Hads: 10,273
Photo of ogasnor
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A - Clear and amber gold, with about a finger's worth of head that had all but disappeared by the time I turned around from throwing away the cap. Leaves a thin, swirling foam, almost like soap bubbles. Laces decently as I drink it.

S - A light, pleasing smell of floral and piney hops, with just a hint of biscuity malt. Nothing really stands out in the aroma.

T - Starts with some spicy, piney hops, which then gives way to the floral that is in the smell. Finishes with the biscuit malt, and a clean bitterness. At 5.6%, it certainly isn't a "big" beer, but there is no taste of alcohol at all.

M - Very mild carbonation leads to the impression that this beer is watery, but combined with a dry, clean finish, it is very refreshing.

O - If I had to describe this beer in one word, it would be "inoffensive." Which makes it, I suppose, a good example of a Pale Ale, not as hop forward as an IPA, which is the point. I always say "This is my least favorite Sierra Nevada beer," but despite that, this is not a bad beer. It would make an excellent "Gateway to Craft Beer" beer. (1,128 characters)

Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear amber with a one-finger creamy white head. The head disapates leaving some light soapy lacing.

S - Aroma of sweet malts and hops.

T - Flavor starts with some sweets malts. The sweetness fades into some nice citrus and earthy hop bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Crisp mouthfeel with a smooth finish.

O - An American classic and the gold standard pale ale. Just as good as ever. (421 characters)

Photo of 1angrydwarf
4/5  rDev -1.5%

If you are a big fan of american style pale ales then this is going to hit the spot for you. I gave this a 4 just because it is a great example of the style of beer but my personal tastes have changed and I no longer crave pale ales. (233 characters)

Photo of NHPC
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

You won't go wrong but its not that special. beats lots of craft beers but you don't feel like you found a gem. Easy go to beer cause you see it everywhere. (156 characters)

Photo of mikeborglum
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Excellent hop aroma of citrus, caramel, color of light amber, hazy, white foamy head; taste is medium bitterness, with nice full body, creamy, soft carbonation, bitter dry finish. Excellent brew that I keep a regular supply on hand. (232 characters)

Photo of schmoyer1
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Nice amber color, half assed head and a nice hoppy smell.

This is a good, drinkable beer any season and seems to show up at a lot of places as the "fancy" beer so you can avoid drinking crap, water beer.

Definitely a keeper. (230 characters)

Photo of DaveBar
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Purchased at The Token Lounge in Levoina MI. Served at 6deg C in a water glass

A- Opens well and pours a high head. Dark gold.

S- Pretty good hop base. Nice malt

T- Good blend but a bit turned down. Nice balance between hops and malt. Obvious winner

M- Pretty much the expected dry tongue

O- Nice beer. I always buy when it's on the menu and not much else

Food Pairing

Sorry didn't eat at the bar so no pairing

Enjoy (424 characters)

Photo of the_awesometeer
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%

Appearance - It has a great golden color and a very thin foamy head. Despite the thin head the beer laces the glass well. There is some minor carbonation.

Smell - The beer has a nice hop smell and smells sweet at the same time.

Mouthfeel - Smooth and medium bodies. Nothing to really note other than it is refreshing

Taste - Nice flavor of fresh hops with a nice fruit after taste. As some one who is not always a fan of bitter beers I felt this had great flavor and was well balanced. (493 characters)

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

12 ounce bottle into signature pint glass, bottled on 9/10/2014. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy golden orange color with a 1-2 finger dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a light amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon zest, orange peel, grapefruit, caramel, bread, light honey, floral, grass, pine, and floral/grassy earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of juicy citrus/floral hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with good strength. Taste of lemon zest, orange peel, grapefruit, caramel, bread, light honey, floral, grass, pine, and floral/grassy earthiness. Fair amount of pine/grassy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon zest, orange peel, grapefruit, caramel, bread, light honey, pine, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice balance, robustness, and complexity of juicy citrus/floral hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; with a great malt/bitterness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately crisp, and fairly creamy/sticky mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent pale ale. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/floral hops and moderate dark/bready malt sweetness; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A very enjoyable offering. (1,519 characters)

Photo of buzzarooski
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

LOOK: Perfect Golden Amber Ale with a 3/4 inch Foamy White Head that only Decreases Slightly as you drink, Excellent Lacing of the Entire Glass that remains Through-Out.

SMELL: Nice Blend of High Grade Hops, Pine, Bready Malts, and Citrus Aromas

TASTE: Smooth Refreshing Taste, Malty Grains, Spices and a Faint Bitterness with Every Sip.

FEEL: Refreshing and Smooth for the Pallet, Great Balance of Carbonation.

OVERALL: Quality Medium Bodied Ale that has an Easy "Drinkability" about it....Makes for an Excellent "SESSION BEER"... I Highly Recommend and Enjoyed this Delicious Pale Ale which is Widely Distributed, Affordable, and Readily Available in the United States. (680 characters)

Photo of FLima
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with a thin head with medium retention.
Light fruity aroma with notes of papaya, caramel and a maybe hint of red fruits after warming up.
Citrusy flavor with notes of papaya, mild grapefruit, tea leaves, light spices and some earthiness. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Light body with appropriate carbonation.
Classic milder tangy APA, definitely American, but closer to the British-US transition compared to younger generation. (436 characters)

Photo of Brewndruid
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Clearly one of the bestpale ales out there! This one is the standard by which most, if not all, others are judged. The only reason I didn't give this A perfect five was because I don't think any beer can be perfect, where does that leave room for improvement, there's always room for improvement and a beer. (307 characters)

Photo of HamdenHector
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: crystal clear; copper colored; 1 finger off white head that receded slowly to a very thick cap; nice lacing;

S: nice balance between malt and hops;

T: malt sweetness up front; hop - earthy with a little grapefruit - come in mid-palate; bitterness builds from mid-palate through the finish; bitterness is a little astringent;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: the standard bearer; never disappoints; (414 characters)

Photo of Ag-Hag
5/5  rDev +23.2%

The king!

Taking the best of the craft/micro breweries, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has achieved an APA that is supreme in flavor, mouth feel, and finish.

A marvelous color and body greet you at the tap or glass-pour. Beautiful staunch head and matching foam greets your lips as you sink into one outstandingly smooth and full-featured beers.

I knew it as soon as I tasted this. You cannot get a better beer. You can pay more, but you can't get a better one. Absolutely solid, glass after glass. MOST impressive. Exactly what this kind of beer should be.

Sam Adams introduced the American Micro Brew style into mainstream acceptance over 20 years ago, and Sierra Nevada has taken it to it's next step. A truly masterful brew in every respect. Absolutely my favorite for excellent reasons. (787 characters)

Photo of mchegash
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%

Date: 8/26/2014
Other notes: Packaged 7/21/14

Appearance - 4/5
Deep orange in color. Extremely clear. Can see a few particles floating around in the beer, but not too many. Extremely minimal head retention. Can see a lot of carbonation floating up at a quick pace.

Smell - 3.5/5
Lots of piney hops smell. Perhaps a little citrus smell as well.

Taste - 4.25/5
Tastes of pine hops, but different from all other pine flavors I have tried. It's not as intense, but rather a little more subtle, like in the background...but yet still in the foreground. I like the pine taste in this beer better becaue I find the pine taste is usually overpowering in most piney beers. But here the pine taste is nicely balanced. There is a little sweetness, maybe some citrus flavors

Mouthfeel - 3.5/5
In between creamy and crisp. A nice carbonation kick, but not too overpowering. Medium body.

Overall - 4.25/5
This was a pretty good beer. I like the piney taste in moderation, but most beers with pine tastes have an overpowering pine taste. This beer had just the right amount of pine taste. I will definitely be turning to this beer if I want a piney beer.

Weighting: Appearance 15%, Smell 15%, Taste 35%, Mouthfeel 15%, Overall 20% (1,221 characters)

Photo of timontheroad
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear deep golden/yellow with a nice two fingers of thick white foam that lasted for quite a long time before fading away, with some nice lacing down the entire glass. Aroma is of citrus and floral hops, with just a touch of bready malt. Taste has a lot of floral hops with a bit of orange notes and just a touch sweetness from the malt, very well balanced. Mouthfeel is somewhat light and crisp, with a nice dry finish. I can see why this beer has kinda been somewhat of a standard to which all other Pale Ales are measured. (534 characters)

Photo of aleigator
3.25/5  rDev -20%

Nice white head, with an amber orange color.

Pleasant orange, grapefruit, pineapple and water melon aromas, perfect matching to the color of the beer.

A hoppy freshness in it, grassy and lime undertones. Floral hop aromas of orange, lime and grapefruits, followed by a decent, slightly underwhelming bitterness. Malt character is present but gently hiding behind the hops, adding a necessary body to the beer. Watery ending with only small hints of hops, which lingers long on the tongue. Carbonation adding a freshness to the beer, without being too present, well balanced. This ale does deliver as being an every-day IPA, without trying to offend in any way, by being to extreme on any of its ingredients. (710 characters)

Photo of Urk1127
3.18/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I do not remember this as it has been a while and would review it again at a later time. From memory. Orange color half finger head. Piney hops. Taste is same as smell. Lower carbonation. I liked it more than other IPAs but can't give it a correct review just off memory and will re do this at a later time (307 characters)

Photo of SoulFroosh
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Great beer.
Kind of like a session IPA. You get all the hops, blended well with the malts, but sessionable.
Great balance. For some reason the hops really start to flourish (esp the bitters) the more you drink.
By the 3rd bottle it seemed like I was drinking an IPA.
Cheers. (274 characters)

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 091114 at 40 degrees into shaker
Aroma weak, citrusy
Head large (7 cm), off white, creamy, slowly diminishing to 3 mm ring and layer
Lacing fair - complete wide rings of tiny bubbles
Body medium orange, clear, continualy rising bubbles
Flavor starts slightly bitter, flavor of less conspicuous citrus fruits like clemantines; no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate light to medium, watery, lively carbonation

Appearance 4, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4.25, Overall 4.25 (481 characters)

Photo of dmgeng
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

One of the flagships of the entire craft beer industry but I thought I would review it after having it again for the first time since 2012.

A - Crystal clear pale orange color with great white head. Perfect lacing. One of the most aesthetically pleasing beers I've ever seen.

S - Very nice hop nose with citrus notes, light pine, and a light floral character. Some caramel and malt along with some yeast fruitiness after the hops.

T - Similar to the smell but with more of the cascade hops shinning through. The definite grapefruit quality that is always mentioned with this beer and type of hops really comes through. However, this is definitely a pale ale and not an IPA since there is great balance with the malt profile and the caramel flavors that mingle with the hops. I would say that the flavors are perfect for a middle of the road type of beer.

M - Lighter-medium mouth-feel. Has some bitterness but mostly clean on the finish. Low-medium carbonation.

Overall, the hallmark of an APA style of beer. The balance, flavor impact, and drinkability make this beer great for any time and any place. Not my favorite beer or favorite style because I usually prefer big Imperial beers with more flavor impact but if you're looking for a beer to just drink with some buddies this is never a bad decision.

Glass- shaker pint (1,330 characters)

Photo of JohnIrving
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

I struggle to rate this beer. If you go purely by taste.. then you basically have a showcase for cascade hops, which craft drinkers are familiar with and by now may find dull. But I can't drink it and not appreciate the contribution to craft beer history and the rise of good beer in America. This beer is a classic. I also give it points for being so highly available. (369 characters)

Photo of RyanK252
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Bottle poured into Sierra Nevada pint glass

A: Pours lightly hazy deep golden amber with a frothy off white head that laces very nicely.

S: Citrus and pine hops, light floral notes, followed by light sweet malt.

T: Big pine and citrus hops, some orange and grapefruit, some very light pineapple, a bit spicy, with sweet bready/biscuit malt behind it.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: This bottle isn't as strong as I remember this brew being. I think I'm gonna have to retry this one. For now though, not bad.

Edit: Retried out of a 16oz can into a Sierra Nevada pint glass

This is more like it. Pretty strong pine and citrus throughout with some spiciness, though not as bitter on the finish as I recall from earlier times drinking this, in a good way. Big bold APA for hop heads. (799 characters)

Photo of Curlybash
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%

Picked this up in SN's Snowpack 2014- never had SN Pale Ale before this, even though i see it everywhere. I've heard and read good things about it, so I'm gonna drink up.

Appearance:deep copper leaning towards a more brown hue. faintly off-white head, about 1/2 finger, which remains throughout. collars and sheets of thin lace throughout. 4

Aroma: floral, clean hops dominate the nose. vague malt background, although im bad at detecting malt in hops-dominated beers. Seems a little one note, but it could just be me. 3.3

Taste: Starts with an initial hops bite, finishes with brown bread crust. aftertaste is malty with a slight bitterness that grows between sips. 3.78

Mouthfeel: medium with moderate carbonation. nothing overpowering or distracting, or particularly interesting. 3.6

Overall: A well balanced pale ale. No overpowering hops and a pleasant, subdued malty finish. Very drinkable but still a quality beer. Cheers!
3.68/5 (941 characters)

Photo of RobbDogg
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Poured into a pint glass, orange and clear with an attractive thin head. The thin head lingered and there was some lacing. Smells OK, but honestly not much on the nose. A light feeling beer with a little to offer everyone. Light hop presence, a little bready malt, a touch of fruit and a subdued bitterness. I get a spicy, peppery finish more than bitter. An overall well crafted, balanced ale with not much in the way of wow factor. Solid, but nothing special, so I can't approach the 4.0 it is currently getting. To me a 4 is a beer I will seek out again, and this I probably won't. (584 characters)

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,827 ratings.