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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

7,336 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 7336
Reviews: 2623
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 11.6%

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
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Ratings: 7,336 | Reviews: 2,623 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Hahhbs


3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm pretty new to the APA side of things, more of a dark brew, stout, bock type o' goy. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this beer, I fully expected an extremely hoppy bitterness that wasn't really prodominant in this beer.
Definitely one to get again.
As far as individual aspect thoughts:

A: A nice clear amber body with swirling yeast and a nicee thick off white, creamy head, with a decent retention and amount of lacing. Darker than I expected.

S: I wasn't impressed with the smell. I expected at least a little aroma, but it was lacking heavily in that department. Most IPA's i can smell from top pop.. this APA however only had a sliggghttt hint of citrus and a slight malty hint. not much.

T: Very smooth, clean, lager type taste with a biscuity maltiness that i didn't expect at all. There were several hints of citrus notes and a woody floral taste, more-so pine esque hints. I was pleasantly surprised by the full yet lite flavor of this beer. Very warm clean finish.

M: A very smooth fluffy head and an even smoother body. It went down smooth and poured smooth. A beer that definitely belongs in the silkier side of the beer world.

D: I could definitely kill a sixer of this beer. I only had one, but a few additional bro's would've been nice to kick back on. A definite re-visit is in order, as my first APA, I'm certain it's found a long lasting place in my heart.

An overall B+

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2010 03:57:51 | More by Hahhbs
Photo of climbhighnz

New Zealand (Aotearoa)

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

I have heard and read that Sierra Nevada is regarded as such a wonderful brew. I'm from New Zealand, we don't get this beer anywhere in stores. I have been buying this and many others (1 beer at a time!) from a NZ website that imports beers from all over the world. I love APA's for their pleasant taste and easy drinkability, and this was no exception

A - Nice color to it, more orange than yellow.

S - Pleasant floral and citrus hop aroma. Doesn't jump out at you but it's subtle. Doesn't smell bitter on the nose, just smells fresh.

T - Such a smooth, easy drinking beer. Some hints of pine, and some bitters, with a gentle citrus hop finish. It has a taste that I immediately enjoy, and it doesn't overpower the pallete. The taste lingers. It stays with you the whole time, very flavorful.

M - Easy in the mouth, doesn't taste too bitter, has just the right amount of body to sip it slow or drink it fast to quench your thirst.

D - I can have one and be happy, or down a couple and savour the flavour. A great session brew

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2011 06:36:30 | More by climbhighnz
Photo of RIbeaz

Rhode Island

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

I managed to get my hands on a couple of bottles of this brew at a frat party. it was good break from the typical house party beers.

The smell was an inviting crisp hop aroma. the first sip was a clean, hop bittered taste. Very tasty. Good malt backbone and i caught slight citrus taste too. Very good feel to it and very drinkable.

This was may first american pale ale of of its style and i was not disappointed. i had heard good things about this brew before and it defiantly lived up to what ive heard.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2011 03:50:46 | More by RIbeaz
Photo of kjcourt


4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found a bottle in the back of my fridge about 2 months after I bought the twelver. Same great taste as that day, slightly bitter with the right amount of hops. Not a beer to have more than 3 or four at a time, but a nice change of pace when I'm relaxing with some friends. Definitely a go to.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2011 00:38:45 | More by kjcourt
Photo of bigwillystyle9


3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Amber gold with half centimeter of frothy head, leaves nice lace. Well carbonated with particulates.

S - Subtle smell, with hint of cedar wood.

T - Slightly bitter, stimulates the tip and front sides of the tongue. Leaves slight after taste of woody flavor.

M - Nicely smooth.

O - Enjoyable pale to heavy beer. Seems a little strong for a pale ale.

Summary: Reasonably priced with smooth and stimulating flavor and texture.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2011 01:57:17 | More by bigwillystyle9
Photo of juniorforce


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

A - Pours an orange amber with good head and lacing.

S - Citrus, pine. Great balance of hops and malt flavors.

T - Love the smell of this beer. Citrus and pine. Floral notes are also present.

M - Perfect carbonation with a medium mouth feel. Good crisp feel.

O - This is my favorite beer. Great anytime of the year.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2011 18:47:40 | More by juniorforce
Photo of Jetlichan


4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first review and here it goes:

Just bought a six pack of this fine beer. First time i had it and im happy i did.

Color is beautiful golden brown. Smells...hard to say so many different fragrances, really good ones. When it gets warm still very drinkable but when they are really cold is close to perfection. I hope Sierra Nevada other offerings are this good.

Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2011 02:56:01 | More by Jetlichan
Photo of briano81


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

This is a great go-to beer, especially because it is often the only decent beer on tap at bars where you would expect to only find Bud, Miller, and Coors.

For what its worth, it has a pretty nice grassy taste and smell. If you're a real hophead, this won't do the trick, but I personally like it when I'm looking for a lower alcohol beer without stepping all the way down to something like, God forbid, a light lager.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2012 02:24:37 | More by briano81
Photo of Nohurrie32

4.38/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

250 characters...really only need on word....perfection! Not sure what a five point beer is just know that this beer is pure nirvana, not the band, the search for...

My go to beer with the exact right body, this beer name invokes memories of camping in the freezing cold of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The crisp clean mountain air and matching stream waters...beer the essential ingredient to a persons life.

The body Is clean as is the finish, not one bad note!

Smell is fruity/earthy and wil never be off putting....

Simply a great example of pale ale as the world has known, or willl know!

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2012 00:36:15 | More by Nohurrie32
Photo of AllanJ

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

Discovered this at age 73 after my daughter left a bottle. I have never had a beer or ale anywhere as good as this!

I drink it with steamer clams and sauteed oysters. Heaven! Next will be sauteed scallops. I need 54 more characters to post, so "+++"

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2012 21:25:55 | More by AllanJ
Photo of mattknueven


4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had Sierra Nevada Pale out of the bottle and on draft plenty but from a can and poured into a glass is phenomenal. Even straight from the can is great! Everything about this experience is fantastic, from the lacing on the glass, to the creamier fuller bodied mouthful. This summer I will be drinking plenty of this!

Serving type: can

02-09-2013 06:39:39 | More by mattknueven
Photo of paymerick


3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

first review ever.. take it for what i...you get it...

12oz bottle, poured into pint glass

A: Half to 3/4 finger of head. Doesn't hang around too long. Darkish orangish color. Lacing is minimal.

S: Citrusy, piney. A little bit of grain and malt back there, but mostly citrus and pine

T: Again, citrusy and piney. There is a sweetness back there that i enjoy, kind of peaks out during the citrus and pine just long enough before the bitterness takes hold. Enjoy the bitterness. Not too harsh, but for sure not shy.

M: mouthfeel is what I'd call medium *leaning light, but medium. Tingly carb.

Overall: It's solid. Maybe not the best, but solid.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2013 03:04:09 | More by paymerick
Photo of Jafne


3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Poured a medium amber, well carbonated, decent head. Left a good amount of lacing. Poured clear till the bottom of the bottle, where some suspended particles and foginess entered the mix - my favorite part.

Smell- To my nose it smelled piney, resiny, and a bit citrusy.

Taste- Tasted much like it smelled; piney, citrusy, maybe a little grassy. I tend to like maltier brews. This Beer is not malty, caramely, nor sweet. I'd say more antiseptic, clean, and biting. Maybe it's just hoppier then malty. I did not review the beer till after my third time trying one. Third one was the charm, maybe an acquired taste for me. Definitely on the citrus side, pungent, with a bitter taste that lingers.

Mouth feel- Well carbonated. Smooth on the swallow, but a definite bite to the tongue.

Overall- This is my first review here. Overall it's a great beer. Has a nice bite. I personally like maltier brews and had to give this a few tries before really appreciating it. Right now, I'm thinking of having a second one. Plan on having some other pale ales, so I can compare.

Serving type: bottle

03-18-2013 20:47:55 | More by Jafne
Photo of andre_dufour


4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served from a 12 fl oz bottle into a pub glass.

Appearance: Murky and solid gold, with a mild but crisp carbonation. If you pour it with a half inch head, it'll stay with you to the bottom of the glass. The lacing is thick and obvious from start to finish.

Smell: The piney cascade hops will be the first thing to waft up from the glass, but you'll get a sense of the citrus in the background as well. You should also be able to get a brief whiff of the spicy undertones.

Taste: As with the smell, you'll notice pine first, citrus second, and a spicy undertone to compliment the finished flavor. As the beer warms, the spicy citrus aspect becomes much more prominent. The aggressiveness of the pine is tempered by attributes of dryness and graininess. The balance results in a strong and flavorful, yet tame and welcoming APA.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is perfectly balanced. The body is heavy enough to startle the palate, but smooth enough not overwhelm it. Very dry throughout, and a very brisk finish.

Overall: Excellent and prominent flavor, while still remaining extremely drinkable. I would recommend this as an enjoyable summer ale to anyone.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2013 01:55:38 | More by andre_dufour
Photo of hubsluvsbeer


3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle. pours dark yellow with a solid white head. grassy and slight citrus aroma. taste is very bitter lots of fresh cut grass and some sweet sugar malt. had this on tap at the clarkston union and cant believe i have not rated it yet as it is a very true to style beer. it may not have the hop wallop that zombie dust has but the malt that is there plays a very nice roll in balancing out the hops.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2013 20:58:33 | More by hubsluvsbeer
Photo of charlescorley4


4.66/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This will always be my favorite Pale Ale. Absolutely lovely citrus and floral aroma, with one of the most perfectly balanced flavors. A biscuity undertone is countered by the flavor of magnum and cascade hops, giving it its piney, citrusy flavor. Not too overpowering of a hop aroma. As I said before, it is perfectly balanced. It is JUST RIGHT. Truly a classic. This will always be my go to when I'm in the liquor store and not quite sure what to get.

Serving type: can

08-07-2013 19:34:18 | More by charlescorley4
Photo of teron_reed


3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is my go to beer. I have six of them in my frig right now and will hopefully always. It has a mild flavor, not too overpowering and is perfect for any occasion. I prefer this beer in a bottle over tap or can.

This is my first review and will most likely be edited later.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2013 18:21:29 | More by teron_reed
Photo of Steveosupemeo


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

I don't know what the hell you all expect in a beer but this little mofo just rocked me! This beer is my new favorite! I just had one bottle from a sample case of many that I received for my birthday and DAMN! I just found my new favorite! My old favorite was Newcastle but now I think I found my true love! I haven't checked the price of this beer yet, but I hope I can afford it! The head stayed moderate throughout the enjoyment of this beer. It smelled a little piney and woodsy and I didn't want to drink the last damn drop knowing that this is the only bottle I had of it. What a teaser! It's kinda like the first good piece of a@@ you ever got. You feel like you want to savor the flavor but get greedy and say screw it, I'm going all the way....It's like that! Dudes, if you haven't tried SN, try it! You won't regret it! My fridge will forever be stocked with Sierra Nev. until my next love comes along...

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2013 05:30:27 | More by Steveosupemeo
Photo of rote


4.94/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I suppose I'm probably not an expert like some posters may be on this forum, but I have been drinking for nearly twenty years. I've tried all kinds of lagers, pilsners, mexican, ales, stouts, lights, etc. I tend to go in flavor-of-the-month phases for a few months or up to a couple years. Also, I don't travel, so my repertoire is limited to what's at the local supermarket in So Cal.

Anyhow, for a flavorful, 'strong' beer (ahem, ale), SN Pale Ale is a clear favorite. In addition to the flavor and quality, I think they have good quality control as I've yet to come across a bad batch at the local market. I don't know its availability outside CA, but if you see it and have not tried it, I highly recommend it.

I pretty much signed up for an account just to provide my 2 cents on this great ale while having a few of them.. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2013 02:38:25 | More by rote
Photo of baumaxx1


4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled beer served in a glass.

Appearance -
Golden/amber, hazy, with a fine suspended sediment. Very little effervescence. Moderate head, with moderate longevity.

Smell -
Fruity and refreshing aromas of pine, citrus, banana and honey.

Taste -
Overall a very bitter and hoppy beer. Sips reveal citrus and banana notes, with a dominant grapefruit flavour. Banana cake flavours become more prominent when swallowed. Finishes with a bitter, cut grass after-taste.

Mouthfeel -
A beer that feels clean and as light as air. The light carbonation provides a slight numbing tingle. A refreshing beer that goes down easily.

Overall -
A refreshing and fruity beer; an APA which ventures towards IPA territory being hop-rich. Full of flavour with a pleasant albeit slightly weak aroma, and plenty of complexity to enjoy. The bitter, grassy after-taste can linger and be a touch overpowering at times; it's best to let this one warm a bit to balance the flavours a bit more. One that's definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2014 14:20:27 | More by baumaxx1
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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 7,336 ratings.