Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

2,828 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,828
Hads: 10,281
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 5.17%
Wants: 222
Gots: 2,114 | 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: 2,828 | Hads: 10,281
Photo of CraftDanny
2.3/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.25

I've seen this bottle coming in many pubs in London so I decided to try it. Looks great, shinny orange, nice bubbles. The taste is very strong, really bitter but fresh, fruity, there is ginger everywhere, smells acid, mouthtaste stays for few seconds. It took me long to finish the glass, not very used to this kind of flavor but was ok. (337 characters)

Photo of JohnIrving
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

I struggle to rate this beer. If you go purely by taste.. then you basically have a showcase for cascade hops, which craft drinkers are familiar with and by now may find dull. But I can't drink it and not appreciate the contribution to craft beer history and the rise of good beer in America. This beer is a classic. I also give it points for being so highly available. (369 characters)

Photo of TCJ0100
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Poured into Bloomington Brewing Company stange glass from a 12 oz. bottle from a fresh winter variety pack. Bottled on 9/1/14 which is about as fresh as I have ever had it. It pours clear with an orangish tinge probably due to the caramel malts. Had a decent head that quickly dissipated.

The smell is predominantly earthy hops with a distinct Cascade flavor showing through. I wouldn't really describe this beer as cirtrusy, but it has maybe a touch of grapefruit showing through.

The flavor is very balanced with malts at first, then a grapefruity finish afterwards. It is quite good, and it seems like a very modern sort of beer. Amazing that this was brewed in 1980.

This has changed my outlook on this beer. I drank a 12 pack of cans of this and was not impressed. It's either the freshness or the bottles that make this beer really shine. It is excellent, and it is a testament to how prevalent craft beer is becoming that I can buy this at my local grocery store for nearly the same price I would spend to buy Miller Lite. (1,034 characters)

Photo of MOFALLINGLEAF
3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a one finger head with little retention, and little lacing. Body is a light amber with medium clarity and no sediment. On the nose is citrus and piney, with slight boozy notes toward the end. On the palate is pine up front with some malt sweetness, followed with faint bitterness that rolls to the back of the palate. finishes crisp and semi-dry. Over all a good pale ale. (379 characters)

Photo of Webby64
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I will be honest, I can't tell the difference between this and Goose's "Honkers Ale". Smell (to me) is faint, I don't smell much. Color is clear light copper, no head to speak of. Taste has a touch of citrus, slight malt and a dry finish. Has a bit of a kick to it. Overall, a very good beer, one that I am really enjoying. I will buy again!

(346 characters)

Photo of Holyterror
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the few beers I drink that has a screw-on cap. It took me a while ot notice that. Go figure.

Sierra Nevada makes some of the best mass market beers you can buy, so my expectations were high. I was not disappointed. It poured a hazy golden orange, very appetizing color. The head was moderately thick, good for this style, and settled into a thin white cap and laced the glass pretty well. I lack the vocabulary to properly describe the aroma, but the hops became evident even before the first taste. It had a very grainy taste, heavy on the hop oil, which lingered on into the aftertaste. The hops are very prominent, a plus for me. It is still balanced, and washes down smoothly without leaving excess bitterness on the palate. Good mouthfeel, perfect for this kind of beer. About halfway through the frist glass, it becomes very drinkable. Definite candidate for a session beer, especially if you like the style (which I do).

Definitely recommended as an introduction to the American Pale Ales. Another widely available brew to fall back on as well. (1,072 characters)

Photo of ericsdawson
4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

wow. it's been a while since i had one of these and i forgot how much i liked them. a healthy 2 finger head that retains well. best i can describe the color is a hazy orangey gold. good lacing too. at first, the smell is primarily of hops and citrus, but as this delight warms a little, i pick up a toasted grain smell. the taste hits the tounge bitter and hoppy but finishes with a nice and balanced sweet malt flavor. this is the kind of beer to buy by the case. i have yet to meet someone who doesn't like this beer. (except my girlfriend who says all beer tastes the same) some of the other sierra nevada stuff is a little hoppy for my liking, but this one is scrumtrulecently balanced. (690 characters)

Photo of onthefarside
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've had this one on several occasions. When I was first getting into beers i thought it tasted a little funny, but now that my taste for beer has matured quite a bit, this beer is great for me when I run out of Dogfish head and can't get to the one place that sells it in Albany. There are two bars so far that I know of in the Albany area that have this on tap. (I dont go bar hopping too much, stick to the usual place) My Place in Delmar and Hollywood down on Lark St in Albany. about $4 for a 16oz draft. On to the beer.

Appearance is a nice dark brown that when held to the light is more of a dark caramel. Depending on the bar tender you either get about 1 in head to almost no head. Out of the bottle about 1in with an average pour.

Smell- Some floral hops, not as strong as IPA but enough to know its going to taste great. Some malts and general pleasantries with this beer.

Taste- where to begin, a great almost sweet malt taste that makes the perfect transition to a slightly bitter hops. Mixed with wings and other typical bar foods, it can mix with other flavours to please your pallete. There are so many other flavours in here that i just can't pull out at the moment.

mouthfeel- when cold it has the perfect effect on your tounge, a perfect amount of carbonation, more than a usual IPA but less than a crappy macro. Good for drinking at a bar with freinds or for washing down a meal.

Drinkability- Definately my session beer at the bar. with 5.6 alcohol cont, it's rather high for a beer you can easily find in a grocery store. For a college party, get something cheaper, at 7-9 dollars around here it can be pricey for those of us in a pinch, but when i want something good and can't get my ass to the bev cent. This is my choice. Can't go wrong with Sierra Nevada! (1,797 characters)

Photo of kwm13
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
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. (307 characters)

Photo of bcolflesh
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drank 2 bottles at Zendcon 2008.

Someone came from the free bar with one of these and I asked him how it was - he shook his head, "not so good, dude" - I saw him later enjoying a Corona.

This is really good - hints of many flavors, and a really slight bitterness, which I normally would not like - but it's almost nothing and disappears immediately.

I was eating various cheese cubes and mashed potatoes - but this would have been good on it's own I think - good beer. (471 characters)

Photo of TonyVic
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

The appearance is clear and pale gold. When poured it has a nice creamy, long lasting head. The aroma is citrusy and piney. It also has some lingering herbal notes that add to the complexity. The mouthfeel is full, creamy and smooth. Hss great taste and easy drinkability. (272 characters)

Photo of morehoppps
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-Tap, Served in classic Bar Pint Glass.

A: Nice, thick, two-finger head. Red-Amber in color, with lots of carbonation. This beer looks magnificent in the light, even better in the sun.

S: Piney hops, and a tinge of some floral in there, pretty light aroma.

T: Piney and Citrus somewhat subtle hops with a nice malt balance. Very good balance of hop and malt.

M: Nice and carbonated. Just how a Pale Ale should be. Crisp Mouthfeel, Light to Medium Bodied. Drinkable? Yes.

O: Great craft beer that is readily available. Highly Recommended. (548 characters)

Photo of gilman
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite staples, even brewed a copy of this and it was great also(maybe a little better but just cause fresh and on tap).
Pours dark orange with 2 fingers of white head
smells fresh, with strong citrus hops Very nice
Tastes very crisp, lot of hops with some light citrus and pine
body is little thick, not too thin perfect
Over all a very drinkable beer (365 characters)

Photo of Shamgar
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a main stay for me.

appearance: Pale orangy (if that's a word) color. Nice head, Nice retention, average lacing

smell: citrisy pine. hint a lemon peel. Hops are definetly up front. Faint malt in the background.

taste: Hops a prevelent. Great citris characteristics. Slight bitterness in the finish that is attributed to those wonderful cascade hops. Very flavoful Pale Ale and well balanced

mouthfeel: light/medium bodied. Good carbination, smooth and clean in the finish.

drinkability: yes! Could stay with this all night. (555 characters)

Photo of joozyboozy
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

this beer is a very clear golden orange color. the smell consists of fruit with a bit of a pine twist. the taste is great. it starts off very fruity with a hint of malts but mostly hops hops hops. i love it! the mouthfeel is smooth, lightly carbonated and a bit buttery. since it has a light alcohol rating a could drink a good amout of these before i get too buzzed (366 characters)

Photo of djohnse
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had the Pale Ale before this but time to sit down and really think about it.

Appearance - Light amber color with a very light haze of what appears to be carbonation bubbles. Light head formed, dissipating fairly quickly.

Smell - Hints of citrus fruit aroma with malt thrown in.

Taste - Really upfront fruit at the start followed by a mellower bitter taste and finally finishing with the fruit and malt.

Mouthfeel - very light, only coats the mouth for a second then goes away.

Having it again reminded me to keep having more, I have a hard time really finding anything wrong with it. (593 characters)

Photo of swede96
3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had one of these years ago in Reno straight out of the bottle. Tried another out of a pint beer glass. The head was just off white and about 1 finger with good lacing. I was surprised to see the beer was almost orange in color. The smell was very good with the hops and citrus coming through, tasted a lot like the smell, very good. Medium mouthfeel and drinkability was good, enjoyed this brew and will go for it again.
Went great with the burger.... (451 characters)

Photo of Melikeydahop
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Let me start by saying that I am a big fan of this beer. I especially love it after having put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes before drinking it. If you haven't had this one ultra ice cold, you are missing out.

I like to drink SNPA right out of the bottle..it has near perfect mouthfeel which I think can be attributed to the bottle conditioning. I feel like it loses something when you pour it into a glass.

Yes, as you've heard a thousand times before, this is the beer that got me, and almost everyone else into craft beer. So it holds a special place in my heart and fridge. Since I first tried SNPA many beers have came in went in my fridge yet SNPA remains eternal. It's hard to describe the taste except to say it's just straight goodness. To be a bit more specific, it's a little dry, a little floral, a little citrusy, a little bitter, and not very malty/sweet, but it has just enough of a malt backbone..exactly what an APA should be. There may be a handful of better APA's out there, but chances are you can only find them in like 3-5 states, or they're only availabe once a year when the moon is full, and jupiter and saturn have aligned. SNPA can be found at almost every single liquor/grocery store. Many times when I try a 6er of something new I wish I just bought the SNPA. Which is why before I venture out into the great unknown of craft beer, I make sure I have some SNPA in the fridge just in case the next beer is better suited for the bottom of my drain than the bottom of my stomach.

Also...the perfect beer for a BBQ. (1,554 characters)

Photo of SteadySippin
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to a chilled glass.

A - Golden, slightly bronze color. Minimal lacing on the glass. Pours with a nice thick white head about three or four fingers. Once it settles, it leaves a nice thin white head. I noticed some small particles floating around after I poured, no big deal.

S - Very subtle scent on this beer. Slightly sweet with a hint of citrus. I also pick up a very subtle bready scent.

T - This is where this beer really shines. It is ever so slightly bitter, yet it yields a nice citrus flavor that covers the whole pallet. The bitterness really shines through just after you swallow the beer. It quickly fades and you find your mouth begging for another gulp. It really delivers in this category.

M - Medium bodied, perfect carbonation in my opinion.

O - I am pleasantly surprised by this beer. It is my first brew by Sierra Nevada and definitely not my last. At 5.6% ABV I could drink this beer all day. Easy beer to drink, but really delivers in the taste department. This is probably my favorite pale ale that I've tried. I definitely recommend picking this one up if you have the opportunity, no regrets on this one. (1,158 characters)

Photo of chrishickman
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Having finished my Old Chicago World Beer Tour, I decided I was now to the point where I was going to drink beer I liked for the most part, and not be too adventurous. Sadly, I didn't take any notes so I have to rely on my feeble memory!

After having one of my favorite local beers, Millstream Schild Brau (Amber Ale), I decided I wanted something with some hoppy kick to it and saw the SNPA on tap. Boy, I got what I asked for and more! You can't ask for more hop flavor out of a "all year" beer, I mean there was not too much subtley to describe, just knock you on your ass hop clean and fresh hop flavor.1 This beer goes down easy and has a nice head for the style, great lacing. I have no idea why people would drink something like Bud (which laughably touts its high quality hops in their commercials) when stuff like this is available nationally. This will definitely be my "go to" beer when I want something hoppy, though usually I like something a little mellower in this area. Great beer though. (1,007 characters)

Photo of thepitch
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A special beer to me. The first craft brew I ever had, this beer cultivated my taste for hoppy brews. If I could rate this beer based on memory alone, it would be straight 5's all the way. But, let's get on with it.

Presentation is awesome. I love the fresh-looking green label.

Poured the beer into a pint glass. It formed a small, white head that faded relatively quickly. It has a nice, but not robust, clear, copper color.

Initially, it smells great. A spicy, floral bouquet of hops. The beer tastes good, but not as good as I remember; maybe my tastes are changing, or maybe this is from a bad batch. Hoppy, spicy, floral, bitter but lacking in overall body with a quickly diminishing aftertaste. It tastes like an awesome beer, but maybe a bit watered down.

Sierra Nevada Pale will always be my first beer love, but I am anxious to find out what else is out there. (884 characters)

Photo of rlparker3
3.34/5  rDev -17.7%
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. (338 characters)

Photo of codyw
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
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 (556 characters)

Photo of Insomnicat
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A really beautiful pale ale. The glass really showed off the carbonation and a good 2 fingers of fluffy white head

S - Smells flowery and hoppy

T - I'm only now starting to open up my tastes to beer, so it could have been that this beer was too hoppy for my tastes. It could be that my tastes are more malty than hoppy. All that I know is that it tasted hoppy like a kick in the teeth.

M - surprisingly crisp and refreshing! Definitely a superb mouthfeel.

D - I didn't have enough to really tell on drinkability, but I do know that it didnt fill me at all. That combined with 5.6% ABV and I would imagine this is a great session beer if you're used to the hops. (669 characters)

Photo of BrewitYerself
2.86/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a frosted glass before I could stop the bartender.

Pours a clear dark copper, thick dense head, some lacing.

Smells of bready/slightly sweet malt with fruity/floral hops and mild esters.

Taste is pungently bitter and sour upfront. Pithy and herbal, almost vegetal. Finishes pretty clean with a moderate lingering pithy sour-bitterness. Not much malt on the palate - just a touch of breadiness and very slight sweetness.

Mouthfeel is very thin, overcarbonated.

Overall it's too bitter and sour, and not enough malt to balance. Hop aroma and flavor are a bit lacking. The flavors it does have taste stale. As it warms it releases more of a malty-sweet aroma, but there still isn't much more than bitterness on the palate. If someone offered me another, I'd take it, but I wouldn't order it. (805 characters)

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,828 ratings.