Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
2,926 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
2,926
Ratings:
10,856
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
22.47%
 
 
Wants:
274
Gots:
2,742
For Trade:
2
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Generous quantities of premium Cascade hops give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavor.

37 IBU

Added by kbub6f on 07-05-2001

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,926 | Ratings: 10,856
Photo of Enygma
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The bottle pours a nice amber color, with a nice frothy head that dissipates slowly into the beer as you drink it.

Smell: Strong citrusy hops with definite floral notes, the cascades come through quite strong and beautifully. the malt comes through very slightly, but is largely overpowered by the hops.

Taste: Slightly sweet malt tickles your taste buds and is quickly overpowered by the cascade hops, leaving a bitter and spicy finish to excellently balance the beer. The mouthfeel is medium and supplemented by a medium to strong carbonation.

Overall: Definitely solid beer. This one has long been one of my mainstay beers, I can find it almost anywhere I go, and pretty cheaply at that. Furthermore it's a great session brew, I can and have had many of these throughout the night, and I often feel like i just can't get enough of it.

 861 characters

Photo of tempo013
4.61/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Subs and Suds which is a six pack shop at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I purchased a six pack of twekve ounce bottles.
Apperance- the apperance is a warm amber color with a nice full thick head and the carbonation seemed full
Smell- the smaell of this ale was aggressive. it was full of aromaatic flavor
Taste- you can taste the fullness of this beer during every sip you woulld take
Mouthful- every mouthfeel had a pure taste to it
Drinkability- the dinkability of this beer was to say one could drink it over a nice dinner and understand its flavor.

 576 characters

Photo of Jangles
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 24 oz. bottle into a Guinness Imperial pint glass (anything else is such a travesty).

A: Golden amber color, very clear. Minimal head that disappears pretty quickly

S: Strong hop profile. Very "herbal".

T: Initially very heavy on the hops, butts right up against being too bitter and piney, but backs off, well, tapers off, at the finish without going too far. Just barely.

M: Crisp and consistent, start to finish.

D: Quite drinkable, but I feel like it needs food to accompany it. I just cannot see myself putting these away without a meal or a snack.

Overall, I would drink it if it was there, or in the absence of one of my favorites, but I am not going to seek it out. I suppose I am not quite as impressed as I should be, given its reputation.

 770 characters

Photo of iuhoosier336
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A great beer because a good amount of bars, even ones that aren't into craft brews, carry it at least in bottle if not on tap. A stand by.

Poured from a tap into a pint glass its a nice evenly colored beer with a good head. The smell is of citrus and slight pine, the taste is flowery with a finish of minor hops. A beer that goes down well and also is a nice spacer in between some big IPAs.

 394 characters

Photo of aletales
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale poured clear and golden from the bottle. The head was dense with lots of lacing on the glass. Crisp flavor similar to a lager with some citrus. Nice carbonation helps to assert itself in ways that its mild recipe might not without it.

 257 characters

Photo of vazy
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- This beer pours a good head that settles in. The color is a dark caramel color and the head is nice and frothy. Its clear and looks very inviting.

S- Has a good amount of hops and a decent balance with the malts. Its a bit piney and leafy. Smells like the mountain woods basically.

T- Its on the bitter side, but not too bitter. The malts are a bit nutty and the hops are florally. Really has a good bite to it. I love the last flavor of the sip because its somewhat buttery.

M- Its light and smooth and a crisp finish.

O- This was a pleasant beer to drink. They don't lie on the label when it says "purest ingredients" and "finest quality". A truly enjoyable beer to drink!

 681 characters

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

I've enjoyed this beer for years now, but thought it deserved a review regardless; should have done this a long time ago...

A: A beautiful golden orange, superb clarity, medium lacing and head retention.

S: Smells SO yummy, lots of hop aroma, citrus and pine dominate the nose, with a hint of earth on the back end.

T: Great hop flavor with not a lot of bitterness. Citrus/grapefruit tastes, along with a solid malt backbone, a perfectly balanced pale ale in my opinion.

M: Perfectly carbonated, medium to full body, wet.

O: One of my favorite, if not THE favorite "commercial" (larger brewery) pale ales, keep up the great work SN!!

 638 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 SiriusBock
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: good golden color with a decent head and good lacing.
S: smelled like pine, grapefruit, and barley
T: tasted sharp and acidic. It matched well with my garlicy pizza. It cut through the taste and left a pleasant pineyness on my palette
M: had good effervescence but knew when to quit aka had good level of carbonation. I can appreciate the bottle conditioned style. Impressive for a bigger microbrewery.

 406 characters

Photo of martino_cappachino
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz pottle into a pint glass.

Fingertip and half worth of fuzzy head. Head was slighlty yellow in color, and slowly diminished.

A full-colored golden wheat amber in appearance, like a lightly varnished deck. Sweet and hoppy in aroma

Very clean tasting, excellently carbonated and slightly spicy. Hoppy-tasting, but wasn't overwhelmed. Pine flavors with hints of lemon, grapefruit and a soapy astringency. Slightly bitter aftertaste. Bready and biscuit malts present.

An excellent brew for pairing with food I must say. Thoroughly enjoyed with some home-prepared belgian endive smoked salmon boats.

 617 characters

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

Aroma:  Mild pine and citrus hop aroma.

Appearance:  Golden honey color.  Clear bright.  Two fingers of head with good lacing.

Flavor:  Medium hop bitterness with some malt sweetness.  Hop flavors are pine with some citrus notes.  Overall this is a crisp beer that finishes dry.  Little to no hop bitterness lingers.

Mouthfeel:   A light bodied beer that finishes dry.  Well carbonated.

Overall:  Well balanced, with moderate hop flavor and bitterness.  A great session beer at 5.6 ABV.  This is not a west coast IPA, but it is a classic to be enjoyed on a hot summer day.

 589 characters

Photo of orcsinspace
4.86/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

The only pale ales that I have had that surpass Sierra Nevada Pale Ale have all been home brewed. The flavor is outstanding, and perfectly balanced. I have always found Pale Ale somewhat of a contradiction, because it has a simple, yet extremely complex taste at once. The mouthfeel is perfect as well, not too watery, not too much texture.

Just the right amount of lacing and the right amount of head. The color is a perfect golden color with little carbonation lingering. The smell of the beer is subtle, not too strong, not too weak--just right.

 550 characters

Photo of NickT2121
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - a golden Amber honey color, beautiful color with a lot of bubbles. A fat 1 finger head with good amount of lacing going on.

S - a sweet malty, and citrus flavor. A bit of tangerine in the end. Hops are bursting out I love this Smell.

T - at the beginning I get a sweet citrus and at the end a dry bitter taste with lingering tangerine, the bitterness is just right. Very smooth and complex.

M - just the right amount of carbonation and a light feel on the palate with a smooth bitter end.

O - this beer is very very good i now see why this beer has been around for so long. The flavors work perfectly together and after finishing my beer I had an immediate thirst for another. This is my go to beer now. Great work Sierra Nevada

Enjoy

 748 characters

Photo of pseudo
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy amberyellow color. Not a giant head, not too much lacing. Looks pretty good though.
Smell is not terribly strong, but what is there is almost completely floral hoppiness. Malt is hinted at in the back end.
Taste is mostly of the hoppy floral variety, with a bready aftertaste. Taste is more similar to ipas ive had in comparison to other paleales.
Mouthfeel is slightly watery, not too carbonated. Clearly mass produced, could use more body.
Veryyy drinkable, probably the best popularity to greatness ratio in a beer.

 540 characters

Photo of irishman06
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass from a 12 oz. brown bottle.

Nice thick head with thin lacing that lasted for the duration of the drinking.

Citrusy aroma, with some slight hop bitterness. Taste is similar. Crisp and refreshing, with slightly sweet citrus notes, ending with alcohol warmth and hop bitterness. Nicely balanced between malt and hops, as it should be. A wonderful APA, however I don't if it is the best, although it may be considered a classic.

 452 characters

Photo of rgb2807
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

 280 characters

Photo of DeutscheJeff
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was my introduction to Sierra Nevada, and I have to say despite the overall lackluster taste I have been introduced to a brewery that has much better beers. I just wish I had bought Torpedo first, as this to me is far too similar to the standard macro-brews available. Perhaps if I ever have friends who need a beer to drink while over at my house this will be my choice brew, but otherwise this one won't be gracing my fridge again.

 438 characters

Photo of wesclaypool
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Luna Loca...and a billion other restaurants, at least in this region.

a - Great color, very deep amber. Not a whole lot of head, but stays pretty much until the glass is empty.

s - I would say this is the weakest aspect of the beer in my opinion. I don't really get much out of the smell, but you can certainly tell the hops are there.

t - This is where the hops really come out. If you like a bitter beer, but still smooth, this is the one that's readily available.

m - Very smooth with a biting aftertaste.

d - Again, great, smooth beer that's readily available on tap and in the bottle.

 604 characters

Photo of rhollman
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Deep amber

Smell - Floral hops

Taste - Crisp with a faint bitterness

Mouth Feel - Smooth

Drinkability - This is a great beer. Nice to gulp down when you are hot & sweaty. Perfect with a variety of foods as it compliments but does not over power your food. Crisp, flavorful, then a wonderful faint bitterness on the finish - Cheers!

 348 characters

Photo of newcastleme
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was an excellent ale. The only problem is that it may be too sweet of an ale.

Appearance was a pale standard ale.

The smell was moderately sweet.

Taste was the most appealing factor of this beer. It was strong with nice hints of fruit.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied and not to strong.

I would drink this beer again and feel it has incredible potential for food pairings. I would pair this with seafood and some chicken dishes.

 438 characters

Photo of Dadoftwogirls
3.27/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had in bottle, and maybe it's just me, but it was much more bitter than I expected. The bite didn't seem to be as balanced as others here have mentioned. I tried three to be sure but on my palate it was less than satisfactory. Pours great, looks great, but reminds me too much of Heineken. Maybe I got a bad batch? Would try again or maybe I can find it on draft to be sure.

 374 characters

Photo of aficionado224
4.88/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many others rate this beer very highly, and I quite agree this is a great pale ale, or simply a great beverage of any type. It has plenty of flavor to savor, but not so much it needs to be chewed. I could sip this and luxuriate in each sip, or quaff this to quench my thirst from heat or exertion or both. I highly recommend this brew, and if you have never tried it, you gotta get your hands on one, soon.

 406 characters

Photo of Ilovesuds
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a 12 pack and popped open a bottle. My initial reaction was that it had no nose and tasted like a watered down IPA. The second bottle I let sit in the glass and warm up a bit. What a difference. Nice understated citric nose. Inviting amber gold color with a nice head and lace. Taste is grapefruit and pine. Not too "in your face" but that was expected with an ABV of 5.6%. The only thing I didn't like was the carbonation. I thought it was a bit harsh and over bubbly. That said I still would enjoy this again and again.

 533 characters

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

Dark golden color with marginal head and decent lacing. Very good fruity hoppy aroma that lasts. Flavor is deliciously hoppy with spicy note with a good malt balance. Quite smooth for a beer with such a high alcohol content. Good mouthfeel. Good for almost any occasion.

 270 characters

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

Pours a clear gold color with a thick, foamy white head, good retention and decent lacing. Aroma is mostly of piney, citrusy hops with a bit of caramel malt undertone. Taste is initially faintly sweet, biscuit-like maltiness upfront; crisp, piney, grapefruit-like hop bitterness in the finish. Medium bodied with a somehwat chewy mouthfeel. Good amount of carbonation.

 368 characters

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,926 ratings.