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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.

9,795 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,795
Reviews: 2,833
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 193
Gots: 1,599 | 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: 9,795 | Reviews: 2,833 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ragingbull
3/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is another one that I would put on the "tough to review" list because of its familiarity. I had been drinking this long before a wide variety of microbrews became available likely due its wide distribution. Here is my attempt.

Rich roasted gold color with light head and some prickle. Mildly hoppy nose. Hops forward flavor and almost a hoppy attack. I am guessing the nose affects the initial attack as the smells from the glass impact the flavor. It stays hoppy through the finish but in a mild way. The aftertaste allows the hops to fade with a bubbly mouthfeel that dries and vanishes. My wife offered the comment that the aftertaste made her feel as if she had just licked an envelope. This beer is certainly one to throw in the cooler for a backyard BBQ, but it isn't likely one that I will keep on hand in my beer fridge. I think that I find myself lumping into the "old standards" by which everything else is judged and would have to call it average for that very purpose. There are going to be better beers and far worse beers. If you have nothing else to choose from you won't be disappointed, but if there is something else on the menu you haven't tried its probably worth trying the new beer.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Seems crazy that I haven't had this ubiquitous and well regarded beer until now.

4.0 A: Clear yellow orange color. Two inches of frothy head with above average retention and lots of lacing.

3.5 S: Citrusy hops, the cascade comes through. Some crystal maltiness. Good, but weaker than I'd like.

3.5 T: Pretty good. This was right on the verge of earning a 4.0. Again, there's a subtle though pleasant citrusy taste. A bit of spiciness to it as well. A well crafted pale ale.

4.0 M: Medium body. Creamy smooth with a slightly bitter finish.

4.5 D: Really tasty and goes down extremely well. This would be a great beer to cap a night off with.

Photo of rodney45
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I cant say anything better than everyone else hasnt already said. This beer is a very good beer, widely available, and the brewery from which it is birthed has never once disappointed me. It has a very nice craft feel, and is particularly well balanced for a beer this readily available. A point not a lot of people touched on is the bottle fermentation... and this adds a depth of carbonation that a lot of other mass produced beers dont have. A very nice example of the style. A great pale ale, and very nice to find in 24 oz bottles.

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

I have had this beer many times, but I guess I never reviewed it. Well here it goes.

Poured into Sam Adams Sensory Glass.

A slight aggressive pour creating a 2 finger slight off-white head. Leaves some thin splattered lacing. Color is a clear golden orange. You can see perfectly through this beer and the carbonation bubbles had my eyes mesmerized.

Aroma: first thing I thought of was fruity pebbles, but in a good way. Earthy hops. Bready malts. Not to much here, but really good for a pale ale (it has a better aroma then some IPAs).

Taste is hoppy of course. Very balanced with malts though (no types to distinguished for me). Has some citrus notes as well. Great pale ale!

Mouthfeel is bitter at first, but then becomes very enjoyable (not saying that the bitter isn't). Leaves a chewy, hoppy aftertaste.

This beer is definitely a classic and something I will always buy. It is by far one of the better tasting pale ales around. I highly recommend this beer if you haven't tried it yet. Great started beer for getting into hops.

Photo of projectflam86
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Pours a deep golden/copper color with a nice white foam that leaves decent lacing.

S- Big rich citrus spice nose with lots of hops and a bit of malt sweetness in the back. The nice piney hop scents dominate.

T- Much like the nose, citrus piney hops lead the way. A bit of a sweet honey malt flavor is detectable but hardly puts up much of a fight.

M- Crisp and light/medium bodied with a nice amount of carbonation.

D- Drinkable, reasonably priced, and an all around nice brew. Definitely one that I will keep around often.

Photo of michaelgrant1983
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours in good and has a thick head on it. Great smell and even better taste. I didn't know what to expect when I first tried this one, but I'm glad I dove in. It gave me my love of American Pale Ale's. I'm never tired of this brew and it is still one that is on my top 10 list.

Photo of Gosox8787
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared a 24 ounce bottle with a friend. Poured into a glass with a one finger head. Brew was golden brown with no haze. Smell is sweet, with hints of caramel from the malt. There is also a piney note from the hops. The taste is balanced with both the hops and malt coming through. The pine flavor from the hops definitely seems to be a signature of Sierra Nevada. The flavor is well balanced for a pale ale. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp for the slight carbonation. Drinkability is good as the ABV is low and flavors work well for a session brew.

Overall, a great mainstay that cna be found anywhere. A great option for a session brew.

Photo of mafiasentinel21
4.72/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Balanced, balanced, balanced...

A: This beer has a beautiful golden amber. The head is about a finger and a half that dies down to what looks like a crashed wave that sits beautifully on top of the brew.

S: Hops & fruit. Citrus. Faint malt.

T: What a refreshment. Sierra's trademark hoppiness definitely resonates in this beer as does some citric acid. Doesn't linger around a whole lot, and finishes crisp.

M: Medium, carbonation has an opening strength that backs off slowly and pleasantly.

D: Perhaps the scariest part of this beer, a sessionable for sure and one I would never turn down. This beer always makes its way to my fridge.

-It was the brew that got me into any and all craft brews. A great, great beer that deserves all of the acclaim it has received. If you want to try to get a friend off of Coors, Bud, or Miller serve one of these quaffable beauties.

Photo of donmonkey1
4.8/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Beautiful amber with inviting bubbles dancing around. The head is a healthy two fingers deep and hangs around for a long time, with excellent lacing.

Smell: The piney, citrus hop smell lets me know that this beer is the real deal. I'm aching to taste it.

Taste: Outstanding. The hop taste is perfection. It's a lot stronger than most beers with a noticeable hop flavor, but it's not anything like a super crazy IPA.

Drinkability: I can't get enough.

This beer is great. It's one of my favorites and I plan on drinking many of them.

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

A: Pours a nice gold almost amber color. Decent white head that didn't stick around too long.

S: Good smell with some citrus notes

T: There is a nice hoppy flavor, but i definetly think that it could use a stonger hop flavor. Im not saying to make it and IPA or anything I just think that a little more hops would improve the taste. Also has nice citrus notes.

M: Medium bodied and crisp is how I would describe the mouthfeel of this one.

D: Like i said i like something a bit more hoppy, but I could see myself drinking quite a few of these on a nice hot summer day.

Photo of youngblood
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice amber/gold with nice white head. Head hangs around for a few minutes before fading adn lacing the glass.
S - Smells strongly of hop oil, mainly citric and bit of sweetness.
T - Again, the hops are the dominant flavor, strong citrus with some fruitiness also. Leaves the mouth with a bit of honey sweetness.
M - Nicely carbonated, leaves mouth slightly dry, very smooth.
D - Easy to drink many of these.

Photo of brfbeerdrinker
3.77/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Appearance]: Very dark gold, almost brown.

[Smell]: Smells delightful of hops and honey, both very strong.

[Foretaste]: Strong yet sweet hops, very floral.

[Midflavor]: High carbonation drowns out the superb honey flavor but its still there slightly.

[Aftertaste]: Nothing but honey and sugar very nice aftertaste indeed.

[Overall Flavor]: Pretty good if your into strong hops flavors.

[Mouthfeel]: Thick, which is fine cuz that just adds to the honey flavors.

[Drinkability]: Nice, it's a very delicious honey experience a little strong on the hops tho.

[Personal Recomendation]: Give it a try it's kind of an acquired taste for me, but others could enjoy greatly.

Photo of jmfc8237
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Has a nice golden brown hue with a touch of cloudyness. Almost caramel in color. Good carbonation and a nice white head boasting a large amount of tiny bubbles. Quick head discipation with moderate lacing.

S- Bright floral accents and citrus aroma. Very well rounded hoppy nose.

T- Lovely bright but not over bearing bitter taste. Gives a flowering aftertaste that lasts and lasts. The alcohol is very understated and has a great transition between the malt and hops.

M/D- A wonderful beer to sip on with dinner. Has a nice silky texture with bright carbonation. I love the price and it goes great with most any meal.

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

On-tap at Bourbon blue.

A- SNPA is a nice bright bronze color. Some spots of orange as well. A good sized sturdy head with white bubbles throughout stayed afloat. Some light lace stuck on the glass but barely.

S- A nice hop aroma from various strains giving off a floral aroma. I can smell a citrus a roma plus some malt leading its way to slight caramel. Very nice and pungent.

T- Was not expecting all the hops plus bitterness for a pale ale but this does fit the style. It's not overdone, it's just balanced. The malt gives off caramel at just the right time without interfering. In the finish is some toasted grain plus a bit of spice.

M- A step above medium bodied and oily. The bitterness is there but does not overcome. The malt addition works well in this nicely hopped pale ale. Creamy going down and a nice finish.

D- Good stuff, drinkable plus affordable, this one is a good package. Better off of the tap but fresh bottles are good as well. Low alcohol too which is also a plus. The balance is what sets this one off.

Photo of schuim
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This orange colored beer has a nice head with a fine lace of foam. the aroma of the beer is hoppy with some pine aromas. There are some small particels in the beer.
The taste is very fruity bitter of grapefruit combined with malt. The bitterness goes into a more hoppy bitterness in the afterness.
A very nice drinkable beer.

Photo of wheatyweiss
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been drinking this for years when I realized I'd never formally reviewed it. Bought a the local grocery and poured into a shaker pint.

Pours a medium honey with a soapy one finger head that dissipates quickly and laces the sides of the glass. Clarity is impressive given that there is supposed to be sediment in there.

Aroma is soapy hops and light malt. Hop aroma is slightly astringent and mild. Smallish caramel aroma is barely detectable.

Taste is lightly roasted malt on the front. Sweet and smooth the malt is good but could stand up a bit more. Hops in the middle are soapy and astringent. Bright flavors from the hops mute the malt slightly. Finishes dry and slightly bitter with a smallish piney note.

Mputhfeel is thin to medium and crisp. Refreshing beer for a hot day in the yard.

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

Poured with a 1.5 finger off head head that dissipated at a medium rate. Color of the beer is a deep golden color.

Smells of hops and malt. I pick up some subtle citrus aromas as well.

Tastes bitter and hoppy initially, then the malts set in towards the end.

Mouthfeel is crisp. The beer has a good carbonation to it. Clean finish.

Very drinkable beer, goes down smooth. Very sessionable.

Photo of Jimbo87
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In a U.S. pint glass.

Clear yellow orange amber, offwhite head.

Smell: Malt, sweetness, but some hops too. Pine boards.

Taste: Barley, grapefruit, lemon. Kind of bitter. Again, a freshly cut pine board.

MF is good. Pretty carbonated. Sort of foams in your mouth at the end.

D: very drinkable. A very good/excellent beer, for the style at least. I don't tend to be blown away by pale ales, but I do like to drink this one.

Photo of ocelot2500
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper color with a nice white head. More than enough lacing on the glass.

Smells of some floral hops and malt. Nothing overwhelming, but everything balanced.

Tastes of the floral hops with the malt backbone. The malt provides a slightly sweet counterpoint to the hops and makes for one really balanced brew.

The mouthfeel is nice and crisp. There is an appropriate amount of carbonation.

This is very drinkable. No wonder this is the flagship brew for Sierra Nevada.

Photo of WalrusJockey
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

A- clear, bright, sunset golden-orange. Light, though, not dark. Head is slightly sandy off-white, and about a finger tall, after settling in.

S- American hops, with a backing of malt, pretty much exactly what you would expect. Emphasis is on the hops, but it is fairly balanced aroma. Nice, but unexceptional.

T- sweet malt flows in and settles around the place, to be followed by a savory, fruity hops flavor, which is much more fruity than bitter. Swallow is hoppy, but still fruity, and the combined grassy-bitter-fruity flavor persists a short time as a mild aftertaste. Very solid, exactly what you picture with an APA.

M- light, crisp, but fruity and smooth. Not watery at all, just enough body to be present, without being heavy, cloying, or thin.

D- good. Very good. Great with almost any food type, or almost any occasion. All around a drinkable beer.

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.11/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into Sam Adams lager glass.

Pours a clear coppery gold, effervescent, with a nice one finger white head that slowly settles into a creamy white cap. Some beautiful lacing as well. Nothing spectacular, but it does all the little things just right.

Nose is nicely floral, with some soft, biscuity malt behind.

Taste follows suit - perfectly balanced, with a floral hop presence, plenty of nice citrus, and a beautiful, biscuity, lightly sweet pale malt body. Finish is nice and very lightly bitter, with a strong lingering biscuity malt exhale.

Mouthfeel is moderate in all respects - just feels right. Very nicely done.

Photo of laituegonflable
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slightly copper-tinged brown colour, very thin bead of carbonation occurring at 90° intervals around the glass. Very thin head when poured, none now. Leaves a thin web of lacing. Not bad but not GREAT.

Smells, yup, like Little Creatures. Dominant hoppiness with a generous sherbety pineapple character to it. Might need warming up but anyhow it's a pleasant, fresh kind of nose.

Isn't that interesting. Good complex flowering palate. Fairly strong hit of hops on the front, settles out into a sweet malty but subtle back palate with blended elements of guava and pineapple, with the slightest caramel hit. There are very nice flavours but it's dominated by the hoppy front palate which is the standout flavour.

I'm told that when Americans taste Little Creatures they say it's like Sierra Nevada but not as good. I have to say that cuts both ways. This is a very pleasant drop, but I do think Little Creatures has a bit more character and more complex flavours. If I were born across the Pacific though I'd be perfectly prepared to say the opposite :)

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

Poured a 12 oz. bottle bottle into a standard pint glass.

The beer pours a nice golden orange color. Light carbonation rises into the glass to a nice 1 finger white head.

The aroma is strong with hops. For a pale ale, we see lots of wonderful hop aroma.

The taste is definitely a decent pale ale. A great hop flavor for the hop head who wants a lighter brew.

The mouth feel was decent. Beer is a little on the dry side, but certainly nothing that affects it from being enjoyable.

The drinkability is definitely there. This is one of the better hop brews to session with. After trying this one, you will probably start working this one into your rotation of usual suspects.

Final Thoughts - Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a popular brew. If you haven't tried it, do it! Its an easy drinking American Pale Ale with a good amount of hops, and the ability to session.

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

Serving notes - Legal Seafood, Boston airport. Shaker glass, cool.
A - bright floral hops (but not overpowering), some malt in the background.
A - inch of white head, clear amber.
M - medium body and carbonation
T - hops forward but well balanced by the malt. Very bright flavor. No aftertaste.
D - Very sessionable beer.

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

Poured a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. A very gentle pour left a minimal fizzy head that left a small ring behind. A beautiful hazy, cloudy orange color. Darker than other pale ales I've had. The aroma is mildly hoppy and sweet with some citrus in there as well. Not an overpowering aroma but nicely balanced. The taste is well balanced and follows the nose: Mildly hoppy and citrusy. I taste orange and pine, but it's a gentle taste. A little bitterness comes through after swallowing. Mouthfeel is somewhat dry and light/medium bodied. This could be my favorite session beer. Very drinkable and I could drink them all day. So, so good.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,795 ratings.