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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: 10,542
Avg: 4.05
pDev: 22.22%
Wants: 248
Gots: 2,418 | 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: 10,542
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 JacobusFavier23
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L-Pours a very nice amber, solid finger and a half foamy head that dissipates fairly quickly.
S-Citrusy hop smell, I love it. Very appealing and floral aroma.
T-Super mellow with notes of pine and slight citrus. Theres a great hoppy flavor too. Yet above all, not harsh.
F-Strong carbonation but super drinkable.
O-This is such a GOOD beer. Its everything you'd want in a pale ale. Citrusy, floral and hoppy yet it is still so drinkable. This beer is so easy to get too. Try it, you'll like it.

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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 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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Photo of Keblar
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Only thing I don't care for in this beer is the hoppiness, enough that it could be an IPA rather than a PA.

Slightly cloudy bright golden orange. Good head in the glass. Nice carbonation balance. Decent head that lingers well.

Clean feel, not too bitter. Floral of course. Citrus-y. Someone described it as a grassy tone, and I think fits it pretty well.

Excellent beer, but not my style.

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Photo of emmasrue1
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Love this beer anytime but particularly on a nice warm Summer day. It won't knock your socks off and it sure is refreshing. I like the can so that we can take it on the boat. This beer and Torpedo are two of my top 10 favorites. You can drink more than 2 of these and still feel in control. Nice smooth taste.

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Photo of 7thInningSuds
3.3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Looks good

S - Smells good

T - Okay. Hop presence is definitely there, but not overly so.

M - Okay.

D - Not something I'll have every day, but the not bad for a pale ale. Wanted to try this since it got such a high average review on here, but not a beer I'll keep stocked in the beer fridge.

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

Serving type: bottle poured into a tulip glass
First kind of pale ale i have ever drank.

Appearance: Yellowish/orange with a white head, no lacing

Smell: very floral due to the amount of hops in it.

Taste: yet again you can taste the hops. there was another taste in there but i could not put my finger on it, it may have been a bit of pepper but couldn't really tell.

Mouthfeel: it has a great mouthfeel with a little bit of carbonation. the more i drank it the drier it felt. it was crisp also

Drinkability: a very drinkable beer. This may become my new regular beer. it went great with the pizza i had while watching the football game.

Will definitively get it again.

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Photo of Kestrel452
2.2/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

If you're relatively new to beer, I would highly recommend you steer clear of this brew. You will most likely find it way too bitter to drink, and maybe even so much so that you cannot even take another sip. Before you venture out into the realm that is known as pale ales, try some more balanced/milder beers like Honker's Ale before going for this. The beer was great except for the flavor, it was just sickeningly bitter.

I realize this is widely regarded as an excellent beer, but it is NOT something a beginner should drink. Pale ales are inherently pretty bitter, but this one is extra hoppy/bitter. You'll end up turning yourself off to pale ales and possibly ales in general by making this your first go at an ale.

If you want to get used to beer that employs a good amount of hops, drink Sam Adams Boston Lager. It's well balanced, but it also does have a substantial enough hop character to fit the bill. It's about as bitter of a beer that's enjoyable to me.

In time, you may develop a palate for extra bitter beers like SNPA. However, let me reiterate that this beer should be avoided when you're starting to try out different varieties of beer. Happy Drinking!

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Photo of zachary37
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Unreal golden color with a crisp white head.

S- Smells citrusy with a hint of hoppyness and caramel.

T- one of the best tastes delicious, citrus, caramel, hops, flowers, grass, very sweet with a almost sour but delicious after taste.

M- smooth mouth feel goes down smooth creamy to the tongue.

O- Overall one of my favorite beers from tap and bottle. I recommend this beer.

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

Poured from bottle into pint glass. Aggressive pour with < 1/2 foamy tan head that disappeared quickly (less than two minutes) with minimal lacing. Beautiful giold honey and clear appearance.
Smell of freshly cut grass after a spring shower. Some citrus noted.
Taste opened with a bubblegum that quickly moved to and remained lemony pepper.
Felt sandpaper on tongue with the carbonation being high and watery mouth. Finished slowly with bitter hop taste remaining.
Overall I was stepping outside my zone on this one. I am trying to be objective and keep my mental filters clean. OK.... I know others love this beer but for me it was average or slightly above at best. I bought a 12 pack but it will be a long time before I repeat the purchase. It is always quite possible my taste buds are burnt out.

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Photo of beerman1
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark copper color with large white head, and good lacing. Aroma is of caramel malts and a touch of citrus smell. The taste is similiar to the nose with sweet malts up front. There is a little bit of hops bitterness in the middle and it finishes with a bit of citrus.
Mouthfeel is on the lighter side.

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

This is an exceptional beer! It features a fantastic amber colour, a somewhat grassy aroma, and complemented with a ’bitter but sweet’ taste. It feels like this has a lot going on in terms of its taste, body and aroma. In terms of drinking, this beer has sipping qualities; a very easy to drink yet rewarding and complex beer! I would absolutely suggest you pick this up if you get a chance, I know its quite well established in the USA but it seems to be picking up over in the UK today, if you spot it, give it a shot!

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