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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,862 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,862
Hads: 10,436
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 22.22%
Wants: 238
Gots: 2,288 | 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: 2,862 | Hads: 10,436
Photo of drinkofczars
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A- Very light copper color. One of the clearest Pale Ales I have ever seen. Great looking head on the pour, perfect amount.

S- Nice strong cascadian hop scent. Floral notes come through a lot on this brew.

T- I wish the hop flavor was a little more powerful. Perfect amount of citrus flavor. Though the scent had floral notes, i do not detect any in the taste of the beer.

M- Perfect. I wish more Pale Ales had this thinner type of feel. I find that IPA's and other Pale Ales seem too thick.

O- Perfect beer to start someone on who is not too fond of hops. The citrus flavor and the floral scents will please any type of preference.

Solid Beer.

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Photo of JJfreeou21
4.91/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the hop heads equivalent of bud light. An everyday beer bursting with flavor and quality. Extremely accessible. My go to beer. Wonderful for all occasions.

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Photo of mrcharlie
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is my all time favorite, the beer that weened me off of Budweiser. It still has an amazing taste and appearance. Nothing much to add, other than I prefer the cans over bottles for some reason, quite possibly the most attractive cans in the business. I stocked up while they were selling for $11.99 a twelve pack, it is back to $16.00 now. Great no nonsense, flavorful, and approachable pale ale.

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Photo of stevegamburg
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

There is no reason not to drink this pale ale. Very smooth flavor with a medium body. Nice hop bitterness, but not overpowering like some other pale ales.
A great value. They sell twelve packs of this stuff for the same price as Corona or Amstel which aren't even in the same category as Sierra's Pale Ale. Enjoy.

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Photo of beckscrusader420
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The Sierra Nevada beers are extremely good. I like this one as far as ales go but I prefer lagers/porter. Typical of Sierra Nevada is good lacing nice standing head and a damn good beer. Sierra Nevada is right up there with Sam Adams. Definately shouldn't be overlooked in a sea of beers at a huge liqour store.

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

Poured a beautiful clear rich golden color with a 1/4 inch off white head and frothy lacing down the glass as you drink. It has a real nice scent of grapefruit and floral hops. Tastes good. You get a real nice citrus flavor with barley malt and a floral hop finish. This beer is really light, smooth and very refreshing. This is a great beer for those beginning their hop journey. I think it would be great on a nice summer day.

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Photo of bcgoldtoe
2.56/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

As one of the highest rated pale ales, I looked forward to a great balanced beer. I was, however, disappointed to see that the complexity I seeked was sorely lacking.

A= Solid, beautiful golden color with hints of amber

S= Better than a macrobrew but this was the first hint something wasn't right

T= Way overhopped. Needs more malt and fewer hops. Bitterness does fade into slight sweetness but does it have to take so long?

M= Excellent, one of the better balanced mouthfeels. Not too thick, not too thin

D= It's ok, once you get past the overpowering hops.

If you're not a fan of strong hops, avoid this beer. I do agree with the comment about this being Budweiser with hops. If you want a great microbrew pale ale without huge amounts of hops, I recommend Dogfish Head amber ale or Fat Tire.

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Photo of AndySR15
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of southernbelle09
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heard a lot about this one so I finally decided to give it a try. Has a very nice, clear copper color with fluffy white head and some sediment at the bottom of the bottle. This one has a nice eartly hop aroma with not much malt. A really tastey pale, has a nice body and fruity/earthy hop notes. Overall a really good beer and one I wouldn't mind drinking a few of. I'll be sure to give this one a try next time I see it!

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

A - Poured into pint glass a pretty gold with two fingers of white, bubbly foam. Leaves quite a bit of lace.

S - Not a bad-smelling beer, but doesn't distinguish itself really. It IS an improvement over the smells in your average BMC creation. Very similar to SN Celebration, which I had first.

T - A bit lighter than Celebration (no surprise there), but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Still plenty of hops, but doesn't have the sweet finish that Celebration does. In the end the beer tilts toward the hoppy end of the spectrum.

M - Slick and light-bodied. Finish is bitter but clean. Can't detect any alcohol over the hops. Carbonation is just a touch weak but not enough to really matter.

D - Given my choice I'll take the Celebration Ale over the Pale Ale when it's available but Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a quality beer. Easily sessionable.

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Photo of michaelgrant1983
4.53/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours in good and has a thick head on it. Great smell and even better taste. I didn't know what to expect when I first tried this one, but I'm glad I dove in. It gave me my love of American Pale Ale's. I'm never tired of this brew and it is still one that is on my top 10 list.

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Photo of Bravo4
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this straight from the bottle into a German seidel.

A- It has a rich golden, amber color to it with a 1-finger white head that disipates quickly. It leaves a nice ring of head around the glass and slight lacing. The lacing annd head seems to have a gritty texture.

S- My sense of smell isn't all that good but it definately has some citrus scent to it with a slight floral hops aroma. I also detect a minute amout of pine.

T- Like the smell it has a citrus/pine flavor with a slight hops bitterness. The bitterness of the hops isn't too agressive but it isn't overly lacking either.

M- It has decent carbonation and a creamy but not heavy feel.

D- It's definately a very drinkable beer. It would be one of my choices for a session. I would recommend this to someone who isn't familiar with pale ales or is used to American macros but it's also enjoyable for a seasoned pale ale vet.

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Photo of wvu9787
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my 22oz Fear and Loathing beer mug, bought at local beer store a 24oz. bottle at $2.69, 5.6 ABv.

A: Dark yellow, maybe a bright gold color, Very carbonated, bubbles rising off the off white head.

S: Hops, pine with a citrus smell, very little smell overall,but then again my nose is a little stoped up.

T: Citrus, very grapefruit to me, lemon/lime, not really too hoppy for a pale ale but is there, it does taste good and is very refreshing, makes me think of summer, a good beer to drink when riding the ol' lawn mower.

M: Carbonated, however very thirst quenching, somewhat dry in the finish over all not bad and is a little bitter.

D: Very drinkable, i am not a "Hop Head" by any means and dont usualy drink PA/IPAs but i do enjoy this one its not over the top with hops and is very refreshing, love the grapefruit taste to it.

I do enjoy this beer, its a ideal summer beer IMO
even though is pretty cold out and is in mid OCT. its still a good choice if your looking for a light tasting pale ale, not bad at all.

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

It has been some time since Sierra Nevada's pale ale has graced by taste buds, but I wanted to be sure to give it a shout out on BA.

This was probably one of the first craft beers I ever had and my love for the whole category took off after that.

Among the pale ales I have had, I would say it's the best one. In fairness, I do not drink a lot of pale ale.

Among my non-craft drinking friends, this seems to be a favorite just the same, so the beer is really offering something for everyone.

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Photo of isaacpopp
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: yellowish orange pours with a 1 to 2 finger head that dissipates fairly quickly with little lacing.

S: a nice hoppy citrus aroma with some grassy notes as well

T: hop bitterness with some but definitely on the bitter side

M: light carbonation that is pleasant and leaves just a bit of a tingle on the taste buds in combination with the bittering hops. Thin mouthfeel otherwise.

O: Overall this is a really solid beer and one that you could drink as a session if not for the 5.6% ABV. A good bet if you are in the mood for a pale ale. Good quality to price ratio too!

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Photo of danreitz
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Mona's in New York City. Pours golden amber with a floral aroma. The taste is marvelously balanced; there is just enough of that piney, slightly bitter cascade hop flavor is to counter the thick sweetness of the malt. Crisp, slightly citrus aftertaste.

A fantastic beer. Perfect yet unassuming, like a Fender Stratocaster. Refreshing and bold-flavored. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Hesperus
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Light, perfectly translucent amber with a solid two fingers of well-retained head, active carbonation, and decent lacing.

Smell: Piney hops with strong notes of grapefruit upfront, with pleasing malt and biscuit behind the scenes.

Taste: Piney bitter hops with with some grapefruit upfront, this is somewhat compensated for by an undertone of bisctuity maltiness. Very pleasing to my palate.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated, somewhat dry, still refreshing. It has enough body to be very satisfying while still being highly drinkable for those with a taste for hops.

Overall: This is one of the best and most common examples of an American Pale Ale, and while it is certainly not the end-all-be-all APA, it is an immensely satisfying beer in every respect. It's a good entry beer for those wanting to get their hop on, and a highly-available standby for visitations to establishments with limited selection. It's very hard to go wrong with one of these.

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Photo of rashley
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I decided to try this one since I had heard about it from some friends.

This one came from a bottle and when I poured it up in my favorite glass:

A: Pored with a nice head of about 2 fingers. Head retention was great and was an off white color. Lacing lasted a long time on the sides of the glass. Color was a deep amber color and it was clear, with no chill haze or sediment.

S: The smell had a very pronounced hops aroma which I find appealing. It was not overpowering but just begged for me to taste and see if the hops flavor would be pronounced also.

T: My first drink proved that the hop aroma was just a hint of what was to come, as the hops stood out. The carbonation left a little bite on the tongue and the hops left a bitter taste on the back of the tongue. Not too much bitter, but enough to balance the beer. I might detect citrus in there also. I am a novice beer taster so sorry I cant be detailed enough. Just know I liked the hoppy flavor.

M: I would call this a medium body beer as it did not feel watery, but did not feel thick either. Just a nice medium body feel on the tongue and mouth. Very nice.

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Photo of DownSouthGeorgiaBrew
3/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

World Class....Well, not in my world. LOOK: Honey colored with 1inch of bubble bath-like foam, and there was decent lacing. Smell: very mellow aroma of hops and piney. Taste: A malt presence up front, followed by a very mild hops and mellow bitterness. Feel: Mild carbonation and smooth...very drinkable. Overall, it was ok.

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

My personal favourite of all time. The cascade hops are quite strong but not overbearing. Pours well, smells great, tastes better, feels smooth going down. This is the beer I try to clone whenever I make a batch of home brew. I wanted to rank it a 5, but Sierra Nevada might bring out a new version one day that's even better.

4.5 out of 5 swills, and that's not being generous.

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Photo of stevef
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving style bottle at about 40 degrees from the refrigerator.
Pours a nice slightly off white head.
Pretty amber color.
Very slight smell of malt and a light hop aroma.
The taste is spicy and slightly peppery with a very pleasant hop bitterness at the finish. The malt is hardly noticeable at the beginning but as it begins to warm it becomes more apparent and a slight sweetness is detectable. The spiciness and peppery taste grows slightly as it warms too and I detect a very faint hint of clove toward the end.
This is the beer that got me started on my quest for better beer and still one of my favorites. It's only fitting that it would be my first one to review.

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Photo of ArcTeryx
4.62/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden-orange hue. There is a small white fizzy head present. An absolutely delicious citrusy (mostly grapefruit) smell. The aroma is evident even without putting your nose too close to the glass, and it's one that makes me salivate.

There is a hoppy, citrusy taste throughout, but the aftertaste is where this beer really shines. It is oh so crisp, and very hoppy and dry. Makes you want to smack your lips. This beer has a great mouthfeel as well, and you can tell that this beer has substance.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has recently grown to be my favorite all-around beer. It is well-priced, available most anywhere across the states, has highly drinkable session-like qualities, and it just plain tastes good.

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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.

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Photo of Yooperduder
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Head is light, lingers slightly but is not overpowering. No foam mustache from this beer.

Smells wonderful, slight citrus smell with some cascade hints.

Very crisp, effervescent mouthfeel, a definite hoppiness with some crisp citrus.

Overall a great drinking beer with some extraordinary drinkability. One of those beers that you can drink mowing the lawn or out on the town. Nothing complex or mysterious, just a good honest pale ale.

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

Appearance: Into a nonic pint, pours a huge 3 finger, creamy, off white head that leaves nice sheets of lace along the sides of the glass as it eventually settles down into a thin cap. A a radiant, deep golden hue glow when held up to the light.

Smell: Nice, aromatic, floral hoppiness: the standard grapefruit rind and pine aromas, along with hints of apricot and pineapple.

Taste: SNPA is a flavorful ale with more than adequate hop presence and a perfectly modest malt backbone. Mild pine, apricot, and grapefruit balanced with subtle but present malt notes, reminiscent of brown bread baked with honey.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-thin body. Perfectly carbonated, like all Sierra Nevada offerings. I find it awesome that they bottle condition all of their beers, even in the 12oz bottles.

Notes: A full flavored session beer. The quintessential American Pale Ale.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,862 ratings.