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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.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

9,880 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,880
Reviews: 2,855
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 204
Gots: 1,700 | 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: 9,880 | Reviews: 2,855
Photo of Jaisell
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of puftdank
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Reckage
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a really nice light copper, about three finger head that dwindles to about a cm. Has some relaxed lacing going on.
Smells herbal and citrus, slight piney and maybe a breadiness.
Taste is top notch, very much like the smell. Really well balanced here and leaves a great after taste imo.
Carbonation is good and medium plus body, goes down too easy.
Delicious brew here, looking forward to throwing a couple of these back come summertime!

Photo of AGorman
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Bigluv
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

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

Photo of gwydno
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sporklift87
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours two fingers of light tan fluffy head with good retention and some spotty lacing. Clear, light amber and orange. Some small particles floating around. Zesty, spicy smell of pine. Floral background with citrus notes from Cascade hops. Semi-sour citrus flavors, like lemon, with pine lingering more on finish. Bitterness is right about what I would expect in a pale. Straightforward and not too complex, but quite refreshing. Good carbonation, and stays on front and middle of tongue for half a minute or so. Acidity seems slightly off balance compared to lighter side of a medium body feel, but thats not a bad thing. Foam expands and dances around mouth, even with a small sip. Overall, a great example of a pale ale, perhaps not the pinnacle, but a highly recommended go-to. Easy drinking and easy to find at a good price (about $1 per beer, even in a six pack).

Photo of Kelby777
3.17/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Ok, so I am a pale ale virgin and my views are entirely unbiased. I recognize that the ratings for this beer on Beer Advocate are high, but I will tell you what I honestly think.

Poured delicately out of a 12 oz. bottle into a dimpled beer stein at about 36 degrees.

Appearance - It has a beautiful caramel color with particles floating in the beer. It looks highly carbonated. It has almost a one finger head. It retains most of its head all the way through.

Smell - Has a nice fruity and floral scent to it. Floral hops and citrusy.

Taste - Fruity and citrusy carbonated taste with a strong bitterness from the hops afterward. The hoppy taste lingers for a while on the tongue. They really do use some superb hops, but the taste gets annoying after a while. The first beer was definitely good, but the beers after that are way too bitter.

Mouth feel - Watery and spritzee mouth feel.

Overall, I think this beer is refreshing. However, for me personally, this is NOT the beer I'd want to consume everyday OR in large quantities. The taste really subtracts from the drinkability and I really do enjoy DRINKING my beer.

Photo of cyclone
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

Photo of DrunkEnTraining
3.37/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Whenever I think of Pale Ale I think of this. Great beer for any occasion.

Photo of homebrew_69
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The Gold Standard for APA...

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

Photo of DaverCS
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can poured deep orange in color with a nice fluffy white 2 finger head.

Aroma is of citrus and real nice pine. I get a good kick of lemon but the pine is the star.

Taste is a real nice refreshing beer. It's like one step away from an ipa, but it's a little lighter and crispier with less malt sweetness. Immediately get a nice prickle of carbonation up front. I get mild citrus followed by that classic Sierra Nevada piney hop flavor. However, rather than a lingering bitterness, a nice biscuity malt flavor takes over to finish the sip.

Overall super refreshing beer. One of the best sessionable beers I have tried. However, it's obviously not as flavorful of a beer as an ipa and feels a bit watery on the palate. This is expected for the style. I would pair this with a nice juicy slice of watermelon on a hot summer day. It gets a 92.5/100.

Photo of Pantalones
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Third bottle of this from the six-pack I picked up in February; bottling date is December 29th, 2014.

Pours pretty light in color, but once in the glass it's more of a dark gold/light orange sort of color. Almost coppery, now that I think about it. Mostly clear, with just a hint of haziness, and lots of little bubbles rising up from the bottom. Head is just slightly off-white and starts out fairly big, slowly shrinking away into a still-fairly-thick cap on the surface of the beer after a few minutes, leaving many trails behind on the sides of the glass as it goes. And of course, there's the neat little short stubby bottle with the "green with yellow banner" label that I've been able to recognize on sight since LONG before I ever actually drank beer. A very nice-looking beer in every category.

The smell seems to have a lot going on. There's some breadiness, almost a yeasty uncooked bread dough sort of thing to be specific, and of course the hops (which are piney and citrusy, leaning more toward the citrus side than most of the hoppy beers I've had so far.) The hops don't blast you in the face from a foot away in this one, but I do sometimes get faint little whiffs of citrus even at a distance, which really made me want to go ahead and drink some while I was writing the "looks" section of this review! The one downside: sometimes there's a bit of a funky smell that's a little offputting; I'm not really sure what this is, as it's hard to really pinpoint it even when it's present. In one of the earlier bottles it came across as "orange and BO," and in this one it's sort of reminding me of a blend of bread and dirty clothes that have been sitting in the "wash me" pile for a bit too long. I don't always get this from the smell, though--sometimes I pick up the funkiness, other times it's just a pleasant yeasty-bread-and-hops smell. I'm going to sort of give the smell score something between the score I want to give it when it smells funky (probably a 3 or slightly below) and the score I want to give it when it smells more "breadiness+orange/pine hops"-ish (upper 3s range, pushing 4)... leaning toward the higher scores a bit since the smell isn't really impacting my enjoyment of the beer, and I don't *always* pick up the funky bits.

Taste is more consistently good than the smell. I've had this at nearly a year after the bottling date and it was still not bad (the hops had faded for sure, but even then I could tell there was some citrusy type flavor in there along with the malts), and it's even better when it's fresh of course. There's yeasty bread-like flavors, slightly sweet (more so when it's older), and there's faintly bitter hop flavors too, citrusy and piney. As with the smell, the citrus stands out more in this one than in most of the other hoppy beers I've had--it's more clearly "citrus+pine" here rather than "PINE!... and maybe some citrusiness too." Sometimes I'm even getting a little bit of an herbal/spicy sort of flavor mingled in, but orange and pine are definitely the ones that stand out here. A citrusy flavor and just a bit of the accompanying bitterness hang around afterward. What bitterness is present is very mild and definitely blended with the flavors rather than standing out as its own harsh thing off to the side. Overall, it's really nice, and seems like it's more complex than the other pale ales I've tried rather than having one overwhelming flavor and only hints of the others.

Feel is also pretty nice. Not too fizzy, not too flat/watery, easy to drink but at the same time feels substantial enough to let you know this is definitely a beer, not some kind of flavored water drink. A bit of an oily/sticky thing going on, but not so strongly that it stands out a lot if you don't think about it.

Overall... this is a really nice beer. There's basically nothing below-average here, or even anything *average* for that matter--with the exception of the sometimes-funky smell, I have nothing but good things to say about this one. Even the smell isn't that much of a downside, which is saying a lot considering just how sensitive I am to bad smells (as in "if something smells really bad to me, I can't bring myself to eat it.") I can see how this was so many people's "wow, beer can taste like THIS?" beer way back in the day when craft beer was a much smaller chunk of the market than it is today. I'm glad I decided to pick up a fresher six-pack of this one after trying an old one in a restaurant once... although I don't mind the old version either, it is definitely better with only 2 or 3 months of age on it rather than 10 or 11! XD

Photo of paranormal_swagtivity
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of mageek52
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent, balanced pale ale. Not too this, not too that. Just right. My favorite pale ale.

Photo of StevenMilligan
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of vikinggary28
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a perfect amber colour with a white head and a little lacing. Smell is not overly strong. Hops with a pine aroma, maybe a hint of citrus. Taste is above average for a west coast American pale ale, not over powering hops and maybe a little citrus spiciness to go with it. Great malt balance. Aftertaste may be a little grassy. Great mouthfeel. If you want to introduce someone for the first time to a great APA, this would be a great beer to start.

Photo of Waldo1
4.69/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of jharmon
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Norvelljeff
4.74/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is my old friend. Very very good go to PA. Always taste good.

Photo of Bhamlinmd
4.74/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,880 ratings.