Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,876 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,876
Hads: 10,530
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 22.22%
Wants: 246
Gots: 2,411 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,876 | Hads: 10,530
Photo of Airedoggie
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a coppery orange color, slightly hazy. Nice head dissipates fairly quickly, leaves nice lacing.

S: Hint of citrus and piney notes.

T: A piney hops taste is immediate on the tongue followed with a citrus bitterness. Not too brash, but a pleasing taste. Finishes with a light floral spiciness.

M: Lots of carbonation - crisp and refreshing but with enough body for a smooth swallow.

O: A classic. Great session beer. It's fairly well-balanced but with enough hoppy bitterness to make it complex and interesting. A very enjoyable drinking experience.

 561 characters

Photo of TtheGrey
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Finally tried this beer after years of hearing about it. I stayed away, cause I am not really a hops guy and I figured it would be really hoppy. Not the case. Very well balanced, I will be having this one again!!!

 217 characters

Photo of SteveoNY
4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

P - 25 Oz Bottle, day code stamped on front label.

A - Almost crystal clear golden honey color, huge off white frothy head with very sticky lacing.

S - Faint smell of malts & citrus to florals.

T - Theres nothing pale tasting about this ale! Instant rush of malty sweetness followed by a bitter finish.

M - smooth & creamy body with good balanced carbonation.

D - would create some mighty fine beer goggles..

 413 characters

Photo of OremLK
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass straight from the fridge. Nice and cold.

A: Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous. Dark golden, just slightly hazy. Just a hint of haze gives it the appearance of depth without looking dirty. Medium head which fades down to a slim foam coating on top and lingers and lingers throughout the entire glass, leaving beautiful lace along the sides.

S: Floral, pine, citrus, slightly sweet. Beer, beer, beer. Scent really jumps out and tickles the nose with anticipation and enhances the smell throughout the glass.

T: Follows the smell, but without the big bitter bite you might expect from the aroma. And that's just to my liking. Pine is probably the dominant flavor here, but there's plenty of citrus and floral flavor as well, and some notable malty sweetness especially as the beer warms up. Dances on the tongue. Delicious.

M: Light and drinkable, but enough malt backing not to feel watery at all. I've had a sore throat the past few days and this has done a nice job coating it with its foamy malt goodness. Moderate carbonation.

Overall, this is what a beer should be. I could easily see myself drinking two of these a day for the next month and not getting a bit tired of it. Moderation is difficult with beer this good! Midwest Supplies sells a clone homebrew kit for this and I'm very tempted to buy it and see how that goes.

 1,364 characters

Photo of Bernardkowalski
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Absolutely one of my favorite beers!! honestly can go good with anything, but you are better off enjoying this beer by itself. it has so much too offer, such great combination between the yeast and malt's making this an outstanding brew. you can put this on my list of top beers.

 279 characters

Photo of MikeyLegend
3.89/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Nice head with almost no lacing. First thing I noticed was the light copper color. She looks beautiful as the slight carbonation bubbles to the top. As with some of the lighter pale ales it's a little difficult to pick up a smell at first. Eventually you can pick up the citrusy yeast smell though its rather light. It's got great drinkability and at 7.99 is a great value.

 412 characters

Photo of psyco1
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I guess I'm more of a porter and brown ale guy, so this can be taken with a grain of salt.

It looks like a pale ale should, there's some yeast on the bottom of the bottle and the head stays for a bit.

The smell is hoppy, somewhat floral and citrusy.

Taste, that's where I just don't get along with this one all that well. I'd rather have a bit more malt presence, it's just too hoppy and bitter for me.

Drinkability, if I had to choose between this and a macro, I'd take this. But, if there was a SN Porter to be had, I'd be all over it.

edit on 10-3-04

I've raised my review score, since I've either started loving the hop, my tastes have changed or the fact that this is one of the few decent beers you can get around here on a night out and I've become more accoustomed to it.

 797 characters

Photo of boatyard
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

so yeah i eally enjoy seeing the little "floaters" hanging out in the bottom of this fine bottle conditioned ale. now i am not all that great about identifying the flavors i taste, so i will be simple here. it has this nice color about it when poured. looks like a penny to me. not a shiny penny but one thats been in your pocket a few times. and it has a nice white head that leaves a decent lacing. smells piney, citrusy and sweet, and it tastes just like it smells. not alot of carbonation that i can see, or taste, but what a fine beer. this beer is the one i would reccomend all people try who want to better there beer taste. simply put not too complex, but not simple at the same time. i love SNPA

 704 characters

Photo of mherring
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of those beers that you really have to fight yourself on as far as when to stop. I could easily kill a sixer of this without much thought. Pours a nice light brownish/red color with just a small bit of foam. The smell is very nice indeed, one of the best smelling beers I've ever had I think. It's got a very nice blend of hops and citrus, with the hops maybe taking a slight edge. Taste is also good, a bit citrusy at first and then very hoppy with a pretty smooth feel to it.

 489 characters

Photo of Bighead6365
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just a great overall beer. For 3 bucks for a 24 OZ it is such a solid session beer to enjoy after a long day. Great flavor, balance, just does what you would think an APA would. Something that I enjoy over and over, and definitely a beer that could introduce craft beer to someone else.

 286 characters

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

24 oz. bottle purchased 10/05/2010 in Easthampton, MA.

Appearance- N/A: Drank straight from the bottle over lunch (Complete faux pas, I know. My apologies to my brethren.)

Smell- Decent amount of potent hops, slight flowery notes, tinge of biscuity malts.

Taste- Sharply hopped. Hops predominate the flavor, good warmth for the fairly average ABV level. Good malt undertones. This is the brew that put Chico, California on the map. Flagship of Sierra Nevada, and always a good choice for a well-concocted pale ale.

Mouthfeel- Crisp. Hops linger around after the initial swallow. Very nice for the style.

Drinkability- Very good. I wouldn't drink more than a couple pints (24 oz. is perfect), but doesn't that often define a well crafted beverage? Very good pale ale.

 771 characters

Photo of BoSox5902
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

very strong hop flavor. a great ale. i got a six pack of this from my dad for my 21st birthday. up there with samuel adam's as one of the best american brewed beers. i usually like the european imports myself but this beer can give them competition.

 249 characters

Photo of Hopstamon
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big ups to the beer that introduced me to "real beer" as opposed to commercial rice beers that I was drinking in college.
"Fatty Sierra Nevada's...$2"... said the guy with a cooler perched on top of his skateboard...cruising the parking lot at a Dead show. I bought one...then another... it became a standard for what my tastebuds truly enjoyed.
Hops... It is crisp and refreshing.

I don't buy this as often as I used to, but always try and have some in the fridge.
Highly recommended for anyone trying to break into IPA's. The world of Cascade goodness...

 557 characters

Photo of BBMuffins
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a beer that I've gone back to again and again as a great, refreshing summer beer.

Appearance - It's a nice golden color with fizzy carbonation.

Smell - Smells almost exactly like it tastes, a nicely toned bitterness with some citrusy grapefruit and perhaps a bit of an apple or orange peel scent. I know those are two distinct smells, but it has a bit of both. Apples might just be me, though.

Taste - Taste is as described for smell, exactly like a nice, juicy grapefruit and some malty undertones. It's such a well balanced beer, the bitter and the malts blend perfectly to provide a nice solid beer, while not overwhelming to a standard non-IPA or DIPA craving palate.

Mouthfeel - A pretty dry, fizzy drink. One of the more crisply carbonated beers I've ever had. I love it. It's not overly carbonated, but it's dryness means the carbonation tingles and disappears at just the right time. Probably my favorite beer in this particular category.

Drinkability - This beer is an excellent example of an American Pale Ale, it's easy to drink, tastes great, feels great, and it's just a fantastic standard. I love this beer. When I go to the beer store to buy beer, and I can't make a decision, I always pick this. It does what I want in the right amounts.

 1,266 characters

Photo of CBOLAND17
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Theres nothing like a good pale ale. And i would consider this beer to be the original american pale ale. It has a deep golden amber color with great head retention and a very balanced hoppy kick. Also the malt comes through quite nicely and isnt overrun by the hops. a great session brew.

 289 characters

Photo of SouthFLBeerLover
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my "every day-beer" because the price ($10.99 to $12.99 for a 12 bottle box) is more than right for what you're getting. I've also enjoyed this beer on-tap, but will submit a review for a bottled beer at this time.

A: Amber color with nice big white head. Medium lacing.

S: Very aromatic, with lots of hops, some pine and a hint of citrus.

T: Excellent taste, where whole hops and malt are in perfect harmony coupled with a hint of pine flavor. This is a great beer for almost any occasion, and that's why it is my so-called "every day-beer".

M: Medium-body with moderate carbonation. Right kind of slight bitterness due to whole hops.

O: This is an example of a solid American Pale Ale that has everything nicely balanced. One can't go wrong buying this truly excellent beer.

 789 characters

Photo of rlcoffey
3.08/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a gold to amber color. Virtually no head despite noticeable carbonation. Very slight lacing. Floral aroma that isnt overpowering and wasnt that pleasant. Taste is very average for an APA. The hops are there, and leave a pleasant aftertaste, but they dont stand out like in many APAs. Good "structure" to the beer, the mouthfeel is there, but the taste is nothing special. Above average drinkability, I may have another despite being unimpressed. Its been a while since I have had an SNPA and I didnt remember it being anything special - and it wasnt.

Its a slightly above average APA.

 593 characters

Photo of jnelson54
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours with fine wite head and golden amber hue. This is a beautiful everyday drinker. I love pale ales and this is a standard of mine. Spicy malt gives way to a nice cascade hop bite. I highly recommend this for anyone who has not had it. Just grap a clean pint glass and enjoy

 277 characters

Photo of dojobrewco
3.4/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is my go to brew. Being from AL where the beer selection is ass, I can usually muster up a six pack of good ole Sierra Nevada Pale Ale almost everywhere. I love everything about this beer. From its amber pour, hoppy aroma and taste, to its crip finish this beer never disappoints. I am reviewing it from a 12oz. bottle serving but I will say that it is even more glorious on draft.

 386 characters

Photo of GweedoeBRew
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is what I think of as the benchmark for all "west coast" pale ales. I used to be a homebrewer with a 12pack of Sam Adams always in the fridge. Now I have become a homebrewer with a 12-pack of SNPA in the fridge

Great aroma, great taste... great!

 251 characters

Photo of Adam2200
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A.very clear light white head with steady retention on the head

S. smell is light hop aroma not as strong as most pales that I am used to

T.the taste is nice light with small after taste of hops it is good for a light pale drinker

M. there is no bad taste in my mouth just pale ale

D.Very nice beer with any type of food or company good for a new beer drinker for ales

 372 characters

Photo of Rsobotka
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: Strong Foamy head with deep amber copper color

s: nice and hoppy...a little fruity with a bitter aroma

t. its a bitter hoppy taste thats scares you but finishes so pleasant that you just cant help but drink more

m: plenty of bubbles but very smooth as its reaches your belly

d: This is one of those classic beers that cant be duplicated and will forever mesmerize drinkers because of its great nature and pleasing taste

 426 characters

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

It seems that with Sierra Nevada, you really can not go wrong. The same can be said for their Pale Ale. Clear, no sedament (not that I mind that) and good taste. This is definatley one of my fall back beers on Sunday night at 11 pm when I need to travel to Balto. County to get beer. In MD we call the "Blue Laws", the county I live in just allowed stores to be open until 4 or 6 pm, but there are times when living on a county line has its benifits.

 450 characters

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

Pours a cloudy golden color with a thick, head that lingers around a bit and forms a nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is fruity and citrus consistent with Cascade hops. The taste is an excellent balance of citrusy hops and sweet malts. Mouthfeel is medium with good amount of carbonation. Easy drinking PA.

 309 characters

Photo of BoilerMo
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

This is the standard American Pale Ale and am glad it is widely available. It is correct to form in everyway with bite of hops and strong finish nice hoppy aroma. I ahev had better American Pale Ales but they are all much harder to find and only marginally better. Great fridge beer.

 286 characters

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,876 ratings.