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Sierra Nevada Best Bitter Ale - Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sierra Nevada Best Bitter AleSierra Nevada Best Bitter Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

40 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 40
Reviews: 26
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 13.04%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
English Bitter |  4.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-20-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 40 | Reviews: 26 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of warmstorage
warmstorage

California

1.68/5  rDev -54.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Had on tap at the brewery in Chico last night. Quite disappointing: thin, light, pours a medium straw color. Minimal aroma, likely because it was poured at about 43 degrees. Slight aroma later, appropriate to style, but still limited. If I didn't have so much respect for Sierra Nevada's history and some of their other brews, I would have been pissed to bother driving all the way to Chico. (Other reviews forthcoming: the beer was almost uniformly disappointing, thin, and bland.)

Thin start, fairly high carbonation. Weak, thin, limited hop presence, and body is thin and bright. Only balanced in the sense that there is no significant hop or malt presence, so it's a balanced blandness. Mouthfeel is crisp and bright, notably carbonated. Finish has distinct hints of cheap grain/cheap adjuncts, like an American style lager.

I echo GreenWBush's sentiments in a prior review of this beer, to the extent that many of SN's brews seem to all be on the same base, and just have minimally varying flavors added. This beer varied MINIMALLY from the Blonde, the Pilsner, the Wheat, the Crystal Wheat, and the Extra Special Pale Ale.

I definitely wouldn't bother again, and barely finished this pint, even though I got it for free! (I ordered the Extra Special Pale Ale, and the bartender accidentally poured 3/4 of a pint of this, so when I asked if it would just go to waste anyway, she laughed/grimaced and gave it to me.)

Serving type: on-tap

03-21-2005 02:00:11 | More by warmstorage
Photo of washburnkid
washburnkid

New York

2.98/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewery. About 5.00%ABV

A: Clear golden and amber with a small white head that retains as a ring.
S: Nothing really overwhelming on the nose. It smelled like the rest of the brewery (a little yeasty and grainy). It had a mild cooked aroma, but it wasn't unpleasant.
T/M: Crisp and light, dry finish of bitter hops. Some honey sweetness somewhat discernible amongst the drab malts and hops. I really wish there were something more to this beer, though maybe it's meant to be very neutral!
D: This was okay. I wouldn't have another because there are so many solid SN brews to choose from.

Serving type: on-tap

04-12-2009 03:32:11 | More by washburnkid
Photo of Bieniek30
Bieniek30

New York

3/5  rDev -18.5%

11-03-2013 16:57:44 | More by Bieniek30
Photo of chefduff2
chefduff2

New York

3/5  rDev -18.5%

04-21-2013 16:24:11 | More by chefduff2
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

3/5  rDev -18.5%

04-29-2012 16:13:28 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
LilBeerDoctor

New York

3/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 9/3/08. On tap at BT. Pours a clear orange with a small white head. Aroma of sweet malt, flowery hops. Flavor is bitter initial with lots of wheat. Some flowery hops but quite bitter. Blandish. I'd pass on this next time.
6/3/6/3/13 (3.1/5)

Serving type: on-tap

12-23-2008 22:13:35 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of SamuelR
SamuelR

California

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

06-08-2014 22:08:04 | More by SamuelR
Photo of drewone
drewone

California

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

11-22-2012 06:28:44 | More by drewone
Photo of July2Nov
July2Nov

Hawaii

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

04-22-2013 02:26:12 | More by July2Nov
Photo of QuakeAttack
QuakeAttack

California

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

04-08-2013 23:17:20 | More by QuakeAttack
Photo of BrewCaveDweller
BrewCaveDweller

Nebraska

3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

02-14-2013 22:03:19 | More by BrewCaveDweller
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at churchkey

A clear, burnished copper with a dense white head with good retention and lacing, this looks great. The nose is decent. A moderate, earthy, leafy hop character is immediately noticeable, along with a light toast and toffee character. For a bitter, it's a little lacking. The palate opens with a nice bitterness, with the english hop character pleasant, along with a mineral character. Not really fruity. Malt character is not particularly true to style either, with insufficent depth, there's not enough nut, toffee , just some toast. The carbonation, while typical for a tap beer, is more than i like for a bitter. Light in body with a bitter, drying finish, this is decent.

Serving type: on-tap

06-05-2010 22:11:57 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of rlee1390
rlee1390

Indiana

3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Clear orange amber, two finger head, not much carbonation

S-Malt, some floral hops, not much else

T-Too much malt, floral notes are good, not much bitterness either.

M-Light, a little on the flat side, crisp though.

O-A little too much on the malt side, could have used some more bitterness.

Serving type: on-tap

05-20-2012 03:42:17 | More by rlee1390
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.64/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A dark golden color, fluffy head. Didn't really pick much up aroma wise.

Taste, not as bitter as I was expecting, this was definitely more traditional than was hoping. Pretty light but ample bitterness and light low alpha acid hop quotient to it. At times had the feel of a pale wheat. Light, but woody.

Anything drank at the bar there in Chico is always drinkable, cheap, just perfect ambiance.

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2010 01:42:23 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. On tap at Churchkey.

Pours a dark gold to light copper color with a nice white head and a bit of lacing. Nose is light bread and some floral, herbal hops. Light bitterness and bread in the taste with a bit of hop flavor. Fairly light but nice bitterness levels and quite drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

10-25-2010 22:14:29 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of Floydster
Floydster

California

3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1/2 pint at the Sierra Nevada Taproom for two dollars, consumed 8/11/08, reviewed from notes

A-Color was a mix between copper and medium brown, 1/2 inch foamy white head, some retention, nice lacing
S-English malt, lemons, grassy accents, strong hops, citrus, and roastiness
T-Hops are pretty powerful in this one, in other words the hoppiness outdoes the malt for once, bitter all the way through with some dried citrus in the finish, does not change much as it warms up other than becoming more subtle, liked the dryness in this one
M-Could use some more carbonation, bitter and dry mouthfeel, medium bodied, taste lingers a little bit
D-ABV seemed low and it was light on the stomach, went down easy and refreshing at times, taste is not complex enough to keep coming back to though

I enjoy English Bitters once in a while and this one did not measure up to the last one I drank, being the Surly brew, might drink again if I was at the brewery and in the mood for something along these lines, worth trying

Serving type: on-tap

08-28-2008 19:57:38 | More by Floydster
Photo of donniecuffs
donniecuffs

New Jersey

3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a sampling glass. Dark copper/caramel color, with no carbonation and very little head, which wasn't surprising given the style. The smell revealed very little in the way of typical bitter aromas like caramel, toffee, and biscuit, but did reveal more of these as the glass warmed towards room temperature. The flavor though was immediately more identifiable than the aroma, with some oakiness and vanilla in it as well. Thin-bodied and no carbonation as expected. This beer did reveal more nuances as the temperature went up, but I'd like it to be more evident at the getgo, if I'm going to session it.

Serving type: cask

10-02-2009 06:26:12 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of Spaz7
Spaz7

California

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

09-16-2013 17:34:34 | More by Spaz7
Photo of ac22rush
ac22rush

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

03-29-2013 03:55:21 | More by ac22rush
Photo of Vigilante
Vigilante

Nevada

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

03-27-2013 05:47:44 | More by Vigilante
Photo of jco3rd
jco3rd

California

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

12-22-2012 06:29:26 | More by jco3rd
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

3.75/5  rDev +1.9%

01-20-2013 02:14:23 | More by t0rin0
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on draft at the Blind Tiger ale house in NYC, Poured light amber, clear and low head/carbonation noted. This is Sierra Nevada's take on the classic and under appreciated Bitter style. Malty nose, mellow and mild. Malty base, very smooth and subtle. Understated, reserved and smooth. Fine sessioner. Give it a try if it makes it to your local.

Serving type: on-tap

04-12-2005 03:19:09 | More by Billolick
Photo of bigbelcher
bigbelcher

Arizona

3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Fathers Office. I am really surprised at Sierra Nevada for making this beer. While most breweries are coming out with big hoppy beers, Sierra Nevada has turned back the clock and made an English Style Bitter. The beer goes well with a Fathers Office burger but by itself it wasn't much to speak about. It was good for the style I guess but in this day and age I feel that bigger is better.

The beer had a nice light gold color with a white head. A light hoppiness was there but you had to dig a little for it. This would be a good begginers beer for those wanting to ween themselves off of Bud and Coors.

Serving type: on-tap

07-19-2005 22:29:18 | More by bigbelcher
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Lucky Baldwins Trappiste in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a murky light orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus fruit, citrus zest, and some tea-like aromas. Taste is much the same with a mild hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

09-22-2012 04:19:36 | More by UCLABrewN84
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Sierra Nevada Best Bitter Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.