Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

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9,540 Ratings

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Ratings: 9,540
Reviews: 2,761
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 173
Gots: 1,336 | 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:
Generous quantities of premium Cascade hops give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavor.

37 IBU

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 07-05-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 9,540 | Reviews: 2,761 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JMScowcroft
3.94/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look - Pours gold and settles dark copper amber in the glass. Heavily carbonated with lots of big bubbles. Clear and filtered with a nice frothy head that dissipates rather quickly and leaves decent lacing.

Smell - Aroma is roasted malts and subtle hop aroma, right in line with what it is supposed to be. Prefer the aroma slightly to DFH 60.

Taste - Roasted malts quite perfectly blended with the slight hop bitter. Nice.

Mouthfeel - Sits dry and super drinkable. Zero booziness. Carbonation level is just right. Light bodied but roasted malts provide some body.

Overall - This is a solid pale ale, probably the most solid of the "mainstream" offerings you can get.

Photo of giblet
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i have had this beer on and off over the past few years. very good and easy to find. pours your typical medium orange color. smells citrusy hops but mild. very pleasant flava and feel. this is a pale ale that should be tried!

suckem up and movem out.


Photo of rgb2807
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orange amber color. The smell is nice, but pretty tame, not very strong.

Taste is pretty exceptional, probably the best pale ale widely available. Nicely hopped, and citrusy flavors coming through.

This stuff is very drinkable, and I frequently pick this stuff up.

Photo of righlander
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ok, I drink this beer more than i drink any other so yeah, i could be considered a fan, but whatever. This beer is a staple in my fridge. and to me... this is the perfect beer for solidarity in a pale ale. Pours a light amber. Smell is citrus and floral...with pine. Man, does this beer taste good! It's perfect for a pale ale. the taste is a sweet-but not too sweet malt, but then the hops have their say. awesome hop bitter..The lacing is awesome.. it's like drooping rings.ABV is 5.6% so it's easy to slam a 6 pack. pretty much perfect for a pale ale on drinkability. i mean this beer is perfect for a pale ale in my opinion and it's really easy to find! they did some serious work on this recipe. An extremely awesome solid beer. In my opinion, if you don't like this pale ale...then you just don't like pale ale.

Photo of codyw
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of the best beers you can find at almost every gas station.

A: Nice medium amber color. Two finger head that quickly dissipates to lacing.

S: Nice floral and pine mix. The hops are definitely present, but not in an over bearing way.

T: Complex pine, citrus, and spice. The hops hit you at first, but then the malt character show you that the drink still has some body.

M: Not too dry, but has a fairly clean finish.

D: Definitely high. Not too expensive and easy to take down, with a great taste.

I like it with extra sharp cheddar cheese

Photo of PBBC
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Beer is arguably the best pale ale in America.

From the first pour, the appearance is excellent, tiny champagne-style bubbles foam to a nice aromatic head on top of a medium-amber beer.

The grassy, fruity, citrusy hoppiness of the aroma is present, but balanced.

The taste is really what distinguishes this beer from other pale ales. A good deal of pales lack a strong malt backing to the level of hops, however, this beer has a deliciously clean malt body and sweetness to it without being overpowering.

Overall, if I had to choose 3 beers to drink for the rest of my life, this could very well be one of them.

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

Short Version:
Solid all around textbook American Pale Ale. Dry and pleasantly bitter with a crisp bite and nice structure.

Seems like I take these things for granted any more. Fact of business, these are truly a gem of the mainstream beer world. I was desperate and had to buy beer at a backwoods grocery the other weekend. Choc full 'o Miller, Anheueser, and 40-dogs of malt liquor my options looked grim. But lo and behold at the end of the isle I found Sam Adams Lager and SN Pale Ale as the two token yankee beers in the whole store. Score!!! I took them both.

Got me to thinking how many times I've bought these and not rated them. Probably because I get busy, don't have time to rate, and always know there will be another sixer sometime in the future where I can knock out the review.

Enough jabbering, here goes with that thar review:

This is what I think of as a down-the-line America Pale Ale. They don't veer off the standard and try to get cute. It's a solid drink you can always count on.

Poured a medium golden amber color with a 2 finger rocky/sudsy off-white head. Clear as a bell. Light herbal and citrus on the nose. Lemongrass perhaps.

It's showing decent lace if you drink it quick. After a couple minutes the head drops to a thin film with splotchy white sidewalls. Carbonation is pretty busy. Vitals are good.

Flavor is dry and bitter. It's sporting some citrus, mild spice, and has decent medium malt body. Dominant hop-bitter rather than sweet. It's not a thick chewy beer but there is plenty of meat to separate it from imposters. There's a little grain on the finish. Aftertaste is grainy, dry and pleasant. I could drink these all day long.

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The classic staple.

Pours a clear ambery orange with nice white frothy head. Smell is west coast hoppage with some spice. Taste is quite good with wonderful west coast hoppiness. I have some sorry ass IPAs (alaskan) with less hop flavor and bitterness than SNPA. Some good spice in the taste as well. Certainly a staple pale ale round these parts, and IMO one of the best in the country. This is always a go to, when you have to run in and run out of the store. Great beer.

Photo of jeremyd365
4.38/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had it from a 22oz bottle.

Poured a light copper with medium head. Felt pretty carbonated and smelled flowery. It tasted slightly hoppy and was quite smooth. No bite at the end and very drinkable.

Had never had anything from Sierra Nevada before although I've seen it often. This great pale makes me want to definitely check out some of their other styles.

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

On tap at Ruby Tuesdays in Mentor, Ohio

A one fingerhead, brown translucent tiny bubbles from below reach the top slowly.

S Mild hoppiness, pleasing

T Moderate hoppiness, pleasant amberlike taste.

M Just fine, nothing remarkable.

D Good, I can see having several of these.

Notes: this is my default beer if I find it on tap and the other choices are not satisfactory. It is very consistent and interesting.

Photo of jadpsu
3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light clear copper/amber with a good head and solid lacing.
Staying true to its style, hops pretty much dominate the aroma providing some hoppy bitterness. Definite citrus piney notes come through strong. Tart.
Moderate mouth feel and bready maltiness taste adding balance and enjoyment.

Photo of Spidey13
4.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is the beer that first turned me on to craft beer two years ago. I had it on tap last night and decided finally to try to write a review.

In the glass, it is a very pretty, clear golden/copper color with a fluffy white head. Lots of lacing is left on the glass. The nose is very bright and floral with hops. Some citrus in there too with a bit of caramel underneath. The taste starts off with sweet caramel up with and them the grapefruity hop flavor and bitterness shows up and is fantastic! There are also some bready flavors in there and, while the beer warmed up, I think I tasted a bit of the alcohol underneath. There is a nice, medium mouthfeel with a medium/high carbonation. As for drinkability, I could drink this beer all day long. Never get between me and a SNPA. Do you hear me? NEVER!

Photo of yelterdow
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The old standby... I can't believe after years on this site I've not yet taken a pen to paper with this guy. Bottled in mid-December 2007 and sampled on 3/24/08.

Served in a pint glass at just over fridge temperature.

Appearance- Pale orangey-gold, this offers a few floaties (looks like bits of hop leaves and yeast) with great action in the glass. The head crests at about three fingers, and remains puffy for several minutes after the pour. Excellent lacing that clings to the inside of my glass.

Smell- Sweet, juicy grapefruit exemplifies the nice Cascade hop aroma... a lemony twist appears at the end, it's all about the citrus here.

Taste- A perfectly balanced, mellow APA that is surely a great and consistent example of the style. The hops and malts are totally in sync, while the finishing bitterness dries the palate and leaves a refreshing taste.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Well carbonated but slick and smooth enough to really enjoy. The texture complements the bright hops and subtle malts, letting the flavors emerge fully. One of the most accessible, yet thoroughly satisfying beers with that beautiful West Coast hop kick.

Photo of kwm13
4.43/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a nice golden amber color with a decent head on it.

Without knowing the name of it, one might guess that this could be an IPA because of the strong hops smell. The scent also brings out citrus.

Tastes like a great Pale Ale, really hoppy, little carbonation. Crisp finish.

A great offering.

Photo of stephens101
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was one of the first craft brews I ever had. I remember thinking how strong it was at the time. Let's see how it treats me now. Pours a clear copper with an off white two-finger head that sticks around a bit. Smells of hops with a tinge of citrus and pine in the background. Doesn't taste as strong as I remember, which is not surprising. In fact, it's not strong at all, but very drinkable. The citrusy hops are mellowed out with the malts and a bit of biscuity goodness. There's a fruity essence apparent as well, and a subtle sweetness comes forth after a while. Very smooth with not much carbonation going on. Great balance of taste and drinkability. There's a reason this one is so popular.

Photo of AndySR15
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a light golden orange color with a nice light head that leaves minimal lacing on the glass.

S: Aromas of hops and citrus are most prominent but there is a definately some malt aromas that come through.

T: A great balance of hops and malt. Starts out with a nice hop bite and finishes with a bit of malty sweetness and hops.

M: Great! Light, crisp and clean with the perfect amount of carbonation.

D: A great Pale and a great session beer. Nothing betther than having a case of this stuff while you are tending to the BBQ. You can easily drink quite a few.

Photo of mbunje
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ah...Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.... I lost my craft brew virginity to this green labeled beauty. Sampling this from a bottle.

Pours a crisp copper with a substantial 1"+ head on a rough pour. lots of lacing. gradually reduces to just a thing bone white film. Beautiful coloring.

Smell is mild and not tons of identity here. a bit of a metallic smell. hint of malt. nothing overpowering.

Taste is good. Mild hops with good malt balance. fruit in the aftertaste. A pleasant taste, mild character. Slightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is very crisp and smooth

So easy to drink I could have this all day long. Love it. The original. I don't think I appreciate the hop character and bitterness as much as I used to when I was just a "virgin". But for some reason this is not as distinctive as it used to be, but still a very good brew. Like classic rock. You can do it over and over again and it is still great.

Photo of Lukie
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a nice dull orange, with a soft smooth head. It's different to other pale ales I have seen.

Mmm... Grassy overtones, with green apple, and citrus fruits.

Hoppy characters of course, with grassy notes, citrus bitterness, and some fruity malts in the back. Almost a tanderine and grapefruit punch in the beginning.

Incredibly smooth, with low carbonation. Almost creamy. It's a fantastic drinking beer, and could easily become a great session beer here in Oz if the price was a bit cheaper.

Photo of spfldcardinalfan
4.83/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What else can one say but almost true perfection? Not too much carbonation, excellent aroma, color threw me off at first but love is blind. The citrusy notes finishes clean off the palate. Beer not quite the same in the bottle. I would strongly urge everyone to try this at least once, or twice, oh why stop there, comes in kegs too!

Photo of Hokies
4.97/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A nice pale red color with decent lacing

S: Very nice with a citrus note with an excellent hop aroma.

T: Probably one of the best Pale Ales I have tasted, with a nice citrus taste that finishes with a decent hop flavor

M: Nice carbonation that does not overpower.

D: Excellent example of a Pale Ale.

Photo of Baileyuk
3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly darker Amber color. Had a perfect head and a good level of carbonation. The smell was great with a lot of hops and citrus. I was expecting a little more hops but I have been on quite an IPA binge recently so maybe I was affected by this. That said the general taste was pleasant and the beer was very drinkable.

Photo of riboflavin88
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really liked this Pale Ale, it poured a brownish-orange color with a medium-sized white head. Descent lacing down the glass. Its nose was full of esters, a flowery citrus scent with grassy undertones. Its taste was mild, which made for a very drinkable Pale Ale. Taste is much like its nose, primarily floral up front with some spicy and citrus flavors in back. Hops were definitely present, but not overpowering, very crisp and drinkable. I will definitely have this beer in my fridge on a regular basis.

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

Pours a copper in color with a thick white head. Smells of hops and standard grains. A familiar flavor. The hops come to the forefront of this really balanced beer. Has a sweet finish. This was one of my first micros. Early 90's when I found Guinness. First introduction to hops. Definately gets a bump in review from nostalgia. A highly drinkable beer.

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

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A = Nice clear amber, white to light off white head, fair retention, good lacing, medium carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S = Heavy scent of piney hops, with a good syrupy malt backbone, well balanced.

T = As with the smell, good piney and citrus hops flavors, good bitterness level, with a smooth fresh grain, fresh baked white bread malty balance, nice bitter finish.

M = Medium bodied, good level of carbonation, good mouthcoating.

D = This was my standby beer for at least a couple years running, but it's been a year or so since I've had it and I remember why I liked it. Just an excellent American Pale Ale. Definitely recommend it.

Photo of BMoney575
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled on 3-7-08

Pours a very clear orange/yellow, with a foamy white head that lingers forever. Big lacing clings to the glass.

Smell is earthy, resiny hops. Very subtle, but at the same time very fragrant. Sweet and bitter and everything you look for in a pale ale.

Taste is sweet at first, but in a hop way. The malt adds an unbelievable balance, and the hops add a very nice kick. Fantastic.

Mouthfeel is great, just enough carbonation to keep things tart.

Drinkability is astoundingly good, this beer is anytime, anywhere.

Overall, an absolute staple in my fridge. Beer the way beer should be, easy and flavorful. Highly recommended.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 9,540 ratings.