1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

8,988 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 8,988
Reviews: 2,713
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.88%
Wants: 150
Gots: 1,034 | 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:
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 8,988 | Reviews: 2,713 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MaxPowers
4/5  rDev -1%

MaxPowers, Aug 02, 2014
Photo of Sipchue
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Sipchue, Dec 31, 2012
Photo of greenmonstah
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into DFH snifter

A - Pours a pale copper with a finger of off-white head.

S - Smells hoppy and a bit grainy. Citrus and pine hops are present.

T - Plenty of hop bitterness and a bit of grainy dryness. A little bit of grassyness and some underlying sweetness.

M - Just right. Medium body, just enough carbonation. A little bit dry in the finish and a bit cloying in the back of the throat, keeping this from getting highest marks.

D - Incredibly drinkable. Goes down easy and refreshing. Very tasty. Perhaps the best widely available beer around.

greenmonstah, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of NCbeerpirate
4/5  rDev -1%

NCbeerpirate, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of frankthetank86
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

frankthetank86, Jul 02, 2013
Photo of baiser
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a warm, peachy orange colour, with an creamy white head. Retention was average, lacing was decent.

As expected, huge floral aromas. Fruity and zesty.

Taste was citrus, tangy and reminiscent of mangos. Very sweet but balanced with a good amount of hop bitterness. Left an astringent feel on the palate in a good way. Very tasty. A classic APA. Finishes dry. Smooth, moderate mouthfeel. Quaffable as hell.

baiser, Oct 11, 2004
Photo of ibbjamin
4.63/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is THE staple beer in my fridge and I am a little disappointed in myself that it has taken me so long to review this one. A 12oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

Nice pillowy white head of about an inch. A welcomed layer of white retention and great lacing. Transparent light copper color with some visible rising carbonation bubbles from the bottom of the glass.

Sierra Nevada classic hop profile. You can almost use this as an adjective these days as it has become a cornerstone in hoppy beer. Citrus, floral, pine, dank, etc...this one brings forth all of the best adjectives in such great harmony and balance. Quite hoppy for an APA, but don't get me wrong, there is still great balance from some caramel malt.

The taste is so good and so Sierra Nevada. They are the brewery that set the benchmark on pale ales and here is your flagship. Similar characteristic to what I described in taste.

The mouthfeel is perfect. Nice carbonation and easy drinking with a light to medium body. The pleasant Sierra Nevada hop profile lingers making you back for more and more.

This is the pale ale that all other pale ales are graded against. I have yet to find one better.

ibbjamin, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of alkemy
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear and copper pour with a fluffy white head. Hops are certainly apparent, but pretty tame. Scent mostly dominated by citrus, specifically orange peel. You also get some sweet caramel malt aromas. It's pretty refreshing. A nice session beer for sure. The citrus hops are most noticeable just as in the scent. Caramel, bready malts come in toward the back. Finish is crisp and clean.

alkemy, Apr 03, 2010
Photo of jamescain
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Duvel tulip glass

Appearance: Light brown with a white head about two fingers thick that slowly fades into a thin lacing over the top of the beer

Aroma: Slight hint of piney and citrus hops breaking through the malty background.

Taste: Moderate hopping provides a hint of citrus and a bitter finish, but the taste is mostly malty and toffee like.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation dry finish and easy to drink. Enjoyable and refreshing.

Overall: It’s a good beer. It’s affordable, available, and tasty. This is my go too beer if we’re having people over for a party because I can grab a bunch for guest and myself. It’s also often the only craft beer at a BMC bar besides SA and I don’t always want a lager.

jamescain, Jun 20, 2011
Photo of SamN
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Slightly hazy light golden color, great thick bubbly head. Lots of active carbonation. Good looking beer, but the head is the crown here. Just crazy bubbly and rich and foamy.

S- No doubt about it, this is a pale ale. Effective hop aroma, but backed with a crisp sweetness. Weak aroma, could've been stronger.

T- Mmm, so freakin' tasty. So balanced you don't expect the pronounced hops finish. Not overpowering, but it's noticeable. Stout malt backbone provides a solid foundation for the playful hops. Florals, sweet breads, herbal bitterness, very slightly dry finish. Solid taste, a very well made beer here.

M- Crisp tiny bubbles, nothing too much, it's all nicely played down to let the flavors do their thing. Medium light body with a pleasent mellowness. Not sticky bitterness left over.

D- Very high. It's great, had this with a spicy lobster cayenne bisque, and it was the perfect pair. A pale ale that I can session with without getting worn out on hops overload.

Great beer, another hit from Sierra Nevada.

SamN, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of grubefresh
5/5  rDev +23.8%

grubefresh, Dec 31, 2011
Photo of Allurex
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Allurex, Aug 28, 2014
Photo of Lelampp
4/5  rDev -1%

Lelampp, Aug 19, 2013
Photo of Dapper_Dan_Man
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Dapper_Dan_Man, Aug 04, 2013
Photo of Ajmorriso1
4/5  rDev -1%

Ajmorriso1, Jul 04, 2014
Photo of Redwood21
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this is a great beer, its very smooth, and goes down smooth. there is a definate taste of hops with a finish of hop/bitterness. However the bitter finish is by no means overpowering. There is a semi complex flavor profile, but still simple enough for someone new to pale ales. A great first pale ale, but one that you will come back to. Great pale ale and great beer. Must try.

Redwood21, Mar 22, 2007
Photo of KGarrett
5/5  rDev +23.8%

KGarrett, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of mostpoetsdo
3.85/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Light copper coloring, with a decent head and nice lacing.

S: Citrus and hoppy.

T: Incredible amount of hops up front, especially for a pale ale. Strong floral and citrus taste as well.

M: Light to medium body with a nice crisp feel to it.

D: Easy to drink, and a great pale ale.

mostpoetsdo, Jan 07, 2010
Photo of core42
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

core42, Jul 15, 2014
Photo of ScubaSteve00
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

ScubaSteve00, Jul 05, 2013
Photo of genog
3.55/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this the other night for the first time in a long while. One of the first craft beers I ever tried a few years ago.

Pours a rich golden color that leaves a white head for a short time.

Smell is floral and some fruit

Taste is a nice blend of bitter with the bite of strong hops. Very rich in flavor.

Leaves a nice carbonated feeling on the tongue. I enjoy this beer.

Smooth pale ale, that can be enjoyed over the evening in several bottles.

genog, May 24, 2007
Photo of rtratzlaff
4.63/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22oz bottle 20 oz glass 2 oz. poured after first sip

Decent white head on a clear amber beer with bubbles continuously flowing to the top.
Hops dominate smell, but some malt sweetness is there as well.
Taste is exactly what I love in a pale ale: plenty of hops and yet a good malt body. Mouthfeel is lighter than the eastcoast (dogfish) stuff that I'm used to, but I still love this beer. Drinkability is great due to the lighter mouthfeel. This beer is the trademark entry into craft brewed beer. Sierra Nevada has yet to upset me.

rtratzlaff, Jul 17, 2006
Photo of wspscott
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle in sam adams glass

A: Crystal clear, dark golden color. Thin white head with a little lace.
S: Citrus hops dominate, there is a hint of pine in the background
T: Sharp hop bitterness, definitely a pale ale. The hops aren't obviously cascades, mostly just bitter. A little caramel sweetness to help balance things out.
M: More carbonation than I remembered, right on the edge (but not over) of too much. Crisp but not watery. A roundness on the tongue, mouth filling, tongue coating. Surprised that there is not more of a head given the mouthfeel.
D: It had been a while since I had had one of these. A great pale ale, but not as great as I remembered. I think that this is a perfect beer for a 4th of July picnic or a baseball game. Highly drinkable, well worth seeking out.

wspscott, Aug 12, 2008
Photo of Brown120
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Brown120, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of AaronBurr
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

AaronBurr, Jan 01, 2012
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
90 out of 100 based on 8,988 ratings.