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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.

9,785 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 9,785
Reviews: 2,830
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 190
Gots: 1,593 | 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: 9,785 | Reviews: 2,830 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of noknife83
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass, about an inch of of nice creamy foam, amber red color, earthy hop smell to it. Very nice bitter sweet contrast in favor. This is nice beer because is has a lot of flavor but the abv is low enough to where you can drink a fare amount and not get too buzzed.

Photo of penguinjive7
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber color with a creamy white head that has decent retention and lacing.

The smell is of citrus hops and a bit of breadyness.

The first taste to hit the tongue is the citrus hops which immediately mixes with a smooth, bready malt. The malt that blends with hops really makes for a nice dry, yet smooth finish.

This is definitely one of my favorite APAs. It is balanced nicely with the hops still maintaining the front seat. Having this on tap even makes it that much better.

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

Finally reviewing this beer after having it for years. Light amber color with some yeast particles sitting on the bottom. Patchy white head that settles to a decent thin collar of foam leaving fine lace down the glass. Smells like fresh hops with mild citrus notes and doughy yeast. Tastes mild and hoppy with a solid caramel malt backbone that smoothes it out nicely. Medium smooth mouthfeel. Very drinkable. This is go to beer when at normal bars and restaurant.

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

A- amber golden with a soft white head that leaves a thick lacing on the glass.

S- citrus fruits and hops. one of the better smelling APAs ive had.

T- again, citrus fruits and hops. the aroma tells of the taste, and it is more than satisfactory. a nice finish that leaves you reaching for more.

M- light to medium bodied. about exactly what an APA should be. extremely smooth.

D- i drink this all the time. it is my "go-to" beer after i have had my chosen beer of the night, and it never stops flowing. it will accompany you to bed, begging you to just take one more sip.

im not all that into APAs, but, aside from deschutes' "hop trip", this is my favorite pale ale. it is delicious and comes highly recommended if only for its drinkability.

Photo of medic25
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rich golden color, with a frothy white head that laces nicely. Great citrusy/ hoppy aroma. Taste is extremely well balanced. Good bite of hops, with a pine-like component, but not overpowering. The malt also makes an appearance in this beer. Very drinkable with a clean aftertaste; a great session beer.

Photo of rlparker3
3.34/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

1-Jan-2009 Nordstrom Cafe, Short Pump, VA

Served with a glass... nice touch. Poured golden, small bubbles throughout. Smelled slightly "off" but this could be environment. Flavor was not as intense as I recall but carried a nice, pleasant hop bitterness... otherwise balanced. Drank cleanly & easily; nice compliment for turkey sandwich.

Photo of brunop
3.32/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

i used to really like sierra nevada. it's still a good beer, no doubt. but either i've been drinking hoppier beers or it's less hoppy than i thought.

i had a bomber last night and followed it with an ipswich ipa (which may be unfair as it's my current favorite). the sierra just didn't stan up to the ipswich in any way. i kinda thought maybe i had a bad bottle. (there wasn't any way to tell how old it was, but i assume it was fresh as there's a lot of turnover for sierra, i would think).

it just tasted lightweight.

Photo of dakid618
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into chalice. Pours a clear caramel color with almost no head and no lacing. Smell is of citrus hops. Taste is a quick burst of citrus hops followed by biscuitlike malts. Mouthfeel is fairly light but dry. Definitely a sessionable beer as it's very drinkable. Surprisingly hoppy for an APA. More like an IPA in my opinion. A quality beer nonetheless.

Photo of beertunes
2.91/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into straight pint glass. Poured 1/2 inch of bright, white head that left a medium amount of lacing. Bright, light orange/deep yellow color. Not much malt in the nose, but solid hop presence. Flavor matches aroma closely. The lack of body is noticed right away. Very drinkable, but the flavors becomes unnoticeable quickly. This is a solid go-to beer that never lets you down, but rarely thrills the drinker. I have long maintained that, due to the prominence of hops and lack of malt body, this should be called an IPA, not a pale ale. I seem to be in a very small minority in this view.

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

A straw colored yellow. thick pillowy head with lacing streaming up and down the sides of the glass. smell is malty with a hint of hops. a less hoppy smell than i remember in past tastings. taste is quite crisp with a strong malt profile to balance the hops. The hops really give a good clean bitterness towards the end., but not overwhelming.

Photo of PhiloPsych
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What a great (everyday) beer! It's not extravagant as craft beers go, but it is fit for most any beer occasion--great by itself, great with pizza, great for me tonight with slightly upscale hotdogs, but could hold its own with a nice restaurant-style dinner, too.

Light, clear orange pouring from the bottle and in the glass. Fizzy appearance with a light head. No haze at all. Piney hops in the nose. Crisp, clean mouthfeel with just a bit of a sticky finish. This is just what a pale ale should be. Definitely the standard by which pale ales should be judged.

Photo of bvburnes
2.2/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

It may be I'm a beer philistine, but this beer was so bitter that my mouth and ass simultaneously pucked so badly that they met each other someplace in my body. Seriously, I couldn't taste anything but the bitter.

Liked everything about this beer except the flavor. And it goes without saying, I wouldn't, or couldn't attempt this ever again.

Photo of mirish72
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is my favorite beer to always have in the fridge and it is one that you really can't go wrong with year round. I find that is is very drinkable, especially if you're planning on having a few.

It definitely isn't as exciting and hoppy as some other pale ales, but it is always consistent and that counts for something.

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

I should preface this review by saying that I'm not a big fan of pale ales or hoppy beers in general.

The appearance was good, a medium gold. Poured with very little head, but a lacing remained through the whole thing.

Smelled of hops and malts, possibly a bit sweeter and more fruity than most APAs I've had before.

The taste was surprisingly good for me. This one is less hoppy than some pale ales I've had in the past so it was easier for me to warm up to. Somewhat crisp and very very clean and fresh tasting. The aftertaste was of hops and otherwise clean.

The mouthfeel was average. Appropriately smooth. Compliments the beer just fine but nothing special.

Overall, as far as APAs go, this is one I could sit down with more so than the others I've had. Not too bitter but represents the style well.

Photo of mjw06
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Golden color with a light amber hue, small, white, light head that leaves quickly and gives little to no lacing.

S - Light smell with light hoppiness, some elements of sweet corn and florals.

T - Simple clean taste, that finishes sweet with elements of rose and a little citrus as well. Also finishes with a slight bitterness that is pleasant.

M - Crisp mouthfeel with carbonation that compliments taste perfectly. Medium bodied and slightly creamy feel. Great mouthfeel.

D - A refreshing brew that is delightfully simple. As stated earlier the bitterness is initially pleasant, however it seemed to wear on me after awhile. Nonetheless the taste was still pleasing. Very drinkable and would definitely have another to refresh.

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.36/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big white head. Fruity aroma evident during pour. Perfectly clear toffee/amber hue. Lots of fine carbonation. Leaves loads of lacing all the way down the glass. Sweet grapefruit aroma, presumably from cascade or similar hops. Strong malty smell.
Nice cascade hop hit, but would have expected more hoppiness from an APA. Nice malty bite, but next to no bitterness.
Rather thin, but nice carbonation.
Would have liked something a bit more interesting, but overall very drinkable.

Photo of magikbaker
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Here goes my first beer review ever. I am more nervous than expected. Please send me messages and let me know how I did, Thanks:

Bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Golden base with an orangish tint, slightly cloudy. Poured with a white head that formed to about a half-inch on the initial pour and quickly dissipated to a thin halo. There appears to be a few bubbles streams now and again. Overall a decent looking beer. Nothing too exciting.

S: Initial smell revealed a strong scent of hops with a moderate sweet scent. This beer is fairly aromatic. Hops are on the side of bitter and giving off a purely herbel scent. The beer has a good balance in my preference with bitterness overpowering the sweets, but also keeping a balance in check. There is little to no lacing which surprises me considering the hoppy smell. I am very excited to try this beer.

T: Just as suspected the bitterness slightly over powers the malt creating an incredible sensation. Almost a perfect balance in my opinion. I am a beginner brewer and am having trouble putting my finger on the tastes. It comes off as being a very simple taste with maybe a very very small fruity taste. Their is also evidence of yeast from taste and appearance. This beer is exactly what I imagine when I think of an American Pale Ale. Only complaint on taste is that it could definitely be bolder/stronger.

M: The beer is moderately carbonated and is of a medium build but nothing extreme. The fruity flavor only lasts for a split second and the rest of the flavor to a point. There is a excellent flavor that looms well after swallowing. It is def not strong enough to not make me want to get my mouth back on the glass.

D: I loved this beer and I cant believe I only have one. I am drinking it at a fairly warm temperate of 55 and it is going down way to fast. Still maybe a little too light. This beer would still be incredible to drink for taste as well as quenching my thirst after a strenuous activity. Like I said before this beer could be stronger. I feel as though I could drink it in 3 sips and not be satisfied after just one. That being said I wish I could drink 3 more right now. I love this beer!

Photo of AdmiralDiaz
3.62/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a pint glass. Light copper color with a single finger off-white head made from large bubbled carbonation. Head fades quickly but leaves a nice lacing.
Smells of orange with other citrus and hops.
Hops are the upfront taste along with a bitter aftertaste. Semi-malty along with the taste of orange peel that plays nicely with the hops and bitterness.
Pretty bitter on the tongue but not overpowering. It's not as carbonated as it looked
Overall it's quite drinkable and goes down easy. It's worth trying out if you don't have any craft beer.

Photo of BrewBoone
4.73/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma- grapefruit hop. slight maltiness reminds me of carmel corn. maybe a touch of DMS.

appearance- straw clear. low head retention. light head that clear to white. no lacing on glass.

flavor- light malt sweetness. strong american hop bitterness. balance definitely towards hops. after taste bitter. no warming from alcohol.

mouthfeel- high carbonation. light body. no warmth. no creaminess. slight carbonic bite due to high carbonation with little malt.

Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a six pack late night after work at the grocery store with very little craft available.

Pour into a pint glass. Very light head noticed that recedes relatively quick. Smells of citrus come in first, lemon and orange, followed by tangerine. Gulp. Easy on the hop, well balanced with the malt is the highlight. The citrus taste can be noticed a tad and that makes the hop pounce a touch. Very easy on the palate.

Drinkability, why not. This is my beer of choice when the taps have no other macros available, or micros for that matter. It's also the goto beer when all other stores are out of the loop. By all means, an overall a good beer.

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

appearance: light brownish with a small hint of red. head quickly disappears. good lacing around the pint glass

smell: the wonderful smell of cascade hops tingles the nose the nose

taste: hop forward with a nice balance of malt. the aftertaste stays on the palate. not too bitter, not too sweet. this is the pale ale in which i grade all other pale ales against.

mouthfeel: just enough carbonation to ensure a good drink, but not too much to ruin the brew

drinkability: thank you sir, can i have another?

This is a beer that never disappoints. i often look over this beer at the store while searching for something else. but then once i get home a pour this beautiful concoction into a welcoming glass i realize the reliable snpa will always be inviting when i call her name!

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

Poured into a pint.

A: Dark golden. Heavy carbonation pours into a half finger, off-white, bubbly head. Settles into a sparse smattering of carbonation on the surface. Bubbles stick to the sides of the glass at first, and light carbonation continues to rise throughout. Carbonation eventually completely dissipates. No lacing to speak of.

S: Wheat, hops, hint of orange.

T: Sharp hops on a wheaty foundation, a touch of citrus.

M: Carbonated. Light and bitter. Hops assault the tastebuds. A bit of metallic aftertaste.

D: Good drinkability. Easy drinkin'. A certain refreshing quality.

Really solid pale ale. Decent atmosphere, not a very complex flavor but good for hopheads. Does have a bit of a metallic feel, but good drinkability.

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

Pours a deep golden colour, with nice 1/2" head that retains.

Smell is of grapefruit, citrus, lemon, some pale malt.

Taste is a smack in the face of fresh hops, as it moves along the palate the flavours subtly change and blend, joining in a symphony of refreshment. Starts out fruity, and move along to a pleasant flowery taste, with a little bite.

Mouthfeel is right where it should be for a sessionable pale ale.

Highly Drinkable. Refreshing. Tasty.

Photo of thekanna
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had a decently old bottle of this, which is probably why it tasted different to my palate as opposed to the other reviews here.

Appearance: Pours clear brown from the bottle with not much head; the consistency of light coffee.

Smell: Very sweet. Burnt caramels and molasses. A bit like crème brûlée, but made into an essence.

Taste: Wow. Sweetness that's very fully caramel, cream, and toffee... kind of like drinking a Werther's candy. Saccarine is inundating and just the slightest artificial, but the overall smoothness and creaminess mellows it out.

Overall: Why have I not picked this up before? I guess because of its widespread availability, I didn't take it to be a good craft brew. At a price that's only slightly higher than BMCs for a sixer, this is one deal that's hard to give up.

Photo of BierFan
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a short 12 ounce bottle into a Samuel Smith pint glass.

Appearance: Sizeable off-white head and a honey colored clear body. Thick globs of lacing.

Smell: Mostly grapefruit in the smell with a little bit of pine aroma.

Taste: Thin juicy mouthfeel with caramel malt sweetness and some grapefruit and citrus peel from the hops.

Very solid beer.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,785 ratings.