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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.

2,877 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 2,877
Hads: 10,547
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 22.22%
Wants: 248
Gots: 2,417 | 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: 2,877 | Hads: 10,547
Photo of Michaelcbyrnes
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - golden orange with slight haze, nice lacing.

Aroma - clean citric dominate aroma with some sweet floral aroma underneath both of which are layered over a malty grain base.

Taste - clean hop bitterness balanced against a malty grain sweetness. With a dry finish which verges near to being harsh, but instead manages to get your attention without overwhelming you.

Mouthfeel - clean and sharp, there is not really any of the round feel that one would expect from the aroma. Dry finish.

Overall - hop forward, classic APA, smartly balanced against a strong grainy malt base. Very very good APA.

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Photo of Augusta3
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark blonde/golden with about a 1 inch head
Aroma: citrus fruity smell with a slight hop
Taste: somewhat bitter malt but overall pretty well balanced- not too hoppy

Overall: I personally prefer pale ales that have more hop and are a little less bitter... but you can never go wrong with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale!

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Photo of ZachMcGinn
3.03/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Golden amber color. Very little head. Aroma brings out pine needles and caramel. Heavy hops makes for a bitter flavor and biting after taste. Sierra Nevada Pale ale has long been one of America's favorite pale ales. As someone who does not like IPA's, this one is bearable.

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Photo of FrostyStephen15
4.86/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Somehow, I've never had a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Finally, after months of skipping it over at the store, I bought a pint can at the local liquor store for review. I hate IPA's, and so I was hesitant to try a Pale Ale by a brewery famous for its' IPA's. Good god, I was wrong.

The beer pours a beautiful dark golden color, and smells very citrusy and piney. The taste is floral hops up front with a delicious crackery malt backbone. It has a lingering bitter aftertaste, which I like much more now than I used to.

I don't know how I went this long without a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but it just became one of my favorite beers.

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Photo of DCP
4.41/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Much better from a bottle than a keg on my palate.
My fishing companion.
Great heavy end all day beer.
I don't really order it on tap though.
It's less bitter and usually less fresh for me due to less hop and about the same body, maybe something else.
I've heard there are different recipes used for the bottles and kegs.
So I'm rating from the one I like better.

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Photo of mozart4898
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured to pint glass. Had it many times before, first time reviewing.

L - Deep golden color. Aggressive pour yields a 2 finger head which fades quickly to a ring around the pint glass. Slightly less than perfect clarity from a tiny bit of yeast from bottle conditioning.
S - Bit of caramel sweetness with floral hops in the background. Not overly distinctive in any one aroma.
T - Balance between malt and gentle hop bitterness with neither dominating. Again, hops show as more floral and possibly somewhat piney than the citrus usually associated with Cascade hops.
F - Mouthfeel is spot on for my expectation of the style - perfect moderate carbonation, not too thin yet refreshing.
O - SNPA probably seems underhopped to many hopheads today (myself included) but I can't fault a beer that's been around since I was born for staying true to its roots. Still a great choice for sessions as well as a great beer with many different types of food. Also doesn't hurt that you can find it pretty much anywhere. My go-to when I can't decide on something else or when choice is limited.

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

Apperance - Pours a very nice brownish copper color, very nice to look at. Nice size head that leaves behind some nice tight lacing.

Smell - A small hint of bread aroma followed by some citrus.

Taste - A nice hop kick with a nice side of citrus taste to it. Not an overly hoppy brew but very nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel - A very smooth pale ale, very crisp in the mouth.

Drinkability - Very easy to drink. A great beer to just sit back and enjoy a few. Also a great starter beer to the land of craft brew.

Comments - This is one of my all time favorites. One that I am constantly going back to at least once a month for a revisit. Very accessable in my next of the woods as it is with most palces now and I take full advantage of it.

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

Ah, the sweet nector of a west coast pale ale. The cascade hops with their citrus/floral aroma, the nice bitterness, and the wonderful mouthfeel of this beer it very nice. One of the best of its style.

It is nice golden color with 2 finger head. The foam disapate slowly and nice lacy foam clings to the glass as you drink it. It is bottle conditioned, so don't pour the sentement at the bottom of the bottle (dead yeast). It won't hurt, but just a little too bitter and off flavor as the rest is intended.

I love the history of this bewery and how they were pioneers in developing and marketing the APA style. One of the first and few true west coast micros to be sold in Pennsylvania.

Half of my homebrews are APA style because I liked it so much. SN APA is one of the reasons why. I love the floral cascade hops (and plenty of them).

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Photo of bigchris1313
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden yellow, with a white head.

Smell: Hops. And a smidgen of malt. But most importantly, hops, which for me is the selling point because I love hops.

Taste: What can I say, other than it is the epitome of the Pale Ale. More hops than a pilsner, with a tidbit more malt. Almost grassy.

Mouthfeel: Like a macro with more body and somehow "more solid" carbonation.

Drinkability: It gets a 4.5 because it's a solid beer that isn't very powerful.

Notes: What can I say about this beer? It's the beer that brought me into the realm of Beer Advocacy. This is the gateway drug of good beer. Furthermore, it's an incredible fall-back beer. If you're at a a moderate to nice bar in California, chances are they have this beer in bottles, so even if they fail to have anything incredible, you can usually get this beer. It's akin to having to drive your Cadillac while your Mercedes is in the shop.

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Photo of matsputis
3.87/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden amber with some orange

It smells like a big grapefruit. Also has bready-biscuit aroma - a nice balance of hops and malts.

A strong citrus taste with bitterness starts it off, followed by the malty presence and a nice crisp aftertaste. The bitterness stays for a little bit.

It has a very nice crispness to it. Clean flavors

I especially like the aftertaste, and the bitterness gives it a nice kick. The grapefruit flavor I can deal with, but it's a bit strong. I'm fine with just one.

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Photo of Daybis
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Deep gold appearance. Very frothy and creamy head that lasted a long time. Lacing clings all the way down the glass as the beer is drank.

S - Hoppy and kind of sweet.

T - Sweet upfront with the perfect amount of hop flavor.

M - Medium body without a whole lot of carbonation.

D - This beer is great. It is very drinkable.

Overall, this beer is great. Great aroma, head retention, and taste.

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Photo of mrhiccups
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice APA, not overly hoppy, balanced with taste of some pine, some citrus. Flavor is not overpowering like some in this class. Cascade hops add some "distinction" to the taste. Am waiting to go to my local watering hole to try this on tap, as they just started serving this beer! Overall, very drinkable indeed.

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Photo of Dusty8807
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Well, this is my first review attempt and I figured this was a pretty good beer to start with. A friend of mine in Minnesota has been pointing me to it's reviews here and raving about it lately.

My first thought upon pouring it out into my glass is the look. I love the crystal clear Amber color this beer has, and the nice white/light brownish colored head it produces, which seems to last for a good few minutes.
I'm not too great on getting the scent of a beer, but I would say this had a nice almost flowery aroma to it.
The taste is good, a slight bread flavored bitterness followed by a very slight tangy taste that I can only describe as fruity, almost apple and citrus flavored.
I'd say this beer is quite drinkable, this being my second one tonight actually. It goes down smooth and tasty. Friends of mine all found it to their liking when I let them taste it as well.

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

I'm going to be a bit biased here: this is my all-time favorite beer. But to be honest, the first time I tried SN Pale Ale...I hated it!

Beer pours a golden/orange color. Some lacing left on the side. Smell of hops and pine notes.
More hops upon tasting, not overwhelming, but enough to get the point across. More pine notes, maybe a hint of citrus (almost grapefruit-esque). Some malt and barley mixed in as well.

Dry mouthfeel, definitely has you wanting more!

Overall, an impressive 4.5/5. Highly recommended, and a fine beer to enjoy year round.

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

Look: Poured from bottle into tulip glass. Orange gold, slightly cloudy
Smell: Citrus, piney hops
Taste. Very hop forward. The citrus and piney bitterness that I love about IPAs and pale ales, with a malty biscuity finish. Amazing
Feel: medium body, very drinkable.

Overall: this may be the perfect pale ale. I love the hop forwardness followed by the malty sweetness at the finish.

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Photo of KevCan
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Got a 12 oz. bottle as part of a Trader Joe's mystery bag given to us as a gift from our friend Alice. Bottled-on date is 8/3/15. Poured into my trusty tulip glass. Paired with last night's Mexican leftovers.

Look: Pours a nice medium copper color with some haze. Large bubbles in the head, but it quickly dissipated, leaving just a few bubbles hanging out around the edges.

Smell: Strong bready malt notes, with a honey explosion. I'm not getting much hoppiness, maybe it's a bit too old (almost 4 months since bottling). The smell isn't that enticing.

Taste: While the hops were lacking in the smell, they show up in the taste, lending a noticeable bitterness to balace and offset the sweet honey smell.

Feel: Medium carbonation, a little watery but also sticky at the same time.

Overall: Given its legacy and reputation, I can't knock this beer too much. It still stands up well to the legion beers that derived from its template. Quite drinkable; this would be a solid choice for having a few in a row.

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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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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,877 ratings.