Pale Ale
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Pale AlePale Ale
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Pale Ale - American
Ranked #156
Ranked #4,762
4.05 | pDev: 11.6%
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
Pale AlePale Ale
Notes: Our most popular beer, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a delightful interpretation of a classic style. It has a deep amber color and an exceptionally full-bodied, complex character. Generous quantities of premium Cascade hops give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavor.

38 IBU
Reviews: 3,186 | Ratings: 12,001 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of TedHead
TedHead from Illinois

4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark translucent golden with a white head that sticks around for about two minutes. It smells like biscuity caramel malts with a floral and spicy smell almost like cilantro. There's undertones of lemon orange and pine as it warms up. The taste has a breadier caramel malt flavor but its cut by an immediate spicy citrus line flavor with a nice herbal and slightly bitter finish. It's averagely carbonated and goes down very smoothly. Overall an awesome beer.

Oct 22, 2020
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brewme from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked-up as part of a mixed twelve pack at Bradford's in Plymouth for about fifteen dollars. I have had this beer many times, did not realize that I had not reviewed it. Haven't had one in a long time, but this is really good, & is a great price point.

Oct 19, 2020
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xolectic from Ohio

4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

L - Golden, pours a nice head. Pretty clear. Could be confused for a stronger lager.
S - Pine and citrus but not too strong. Fragrant and sweet aroma.
T - Moderately bitter, some of that citrus and pine hops flavor. Hops do not overpower the malt flavor.
F - Good mouthfeel, but has kind of a drying feeling in the mouth, kind of astringent.
O - A very nice, balanced beer. Has the classic pale ale flavor without being overly bitter or unbalanced. Very easy to find this beer too.

Oct 09, 2020
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TheBricenator from Oregon

4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: Clear burnt orange leaning red and an all-so-familiar off-white head forms nicely before settling down, leaving good lacing behind
Aroma: Citrus notes (orange, lemon, grapefruit), floral hop notes, sweet bready malt, and slight wafts of earthiness
Taste: Lemon, grapefruit, and flower petals start of strong and joined by layers of malt and some earthiness. These all blend in seamless harmony before a light hop note (I wouldn’t call it a ‘bite’) and some breadiness finish things out
Mouthfeel: Full, smooth, medium-high carbonation, and clean throughout with minimal dryness on the finish
Overall: Deliciously balanced and flavorful Pale Ale here and in my opinion, the standard bearer for the style. Cascade hops are fully showcased and a solid and tasty malt bill keep this beer extremely well-balanced. One of a few beers that really led to me getting into the world of microbrew (craft beer) 15 years ago and it still is a stellar beer

Sep 30, 2020
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BNSlums from Washington

3.62/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

L: very bubbly on the pour, liquid is a translucent red/orange very similar to apple juice. Dirty white head foams with big bubbles then vanished
S: Initial notes of orange juice and yeast. Reminiscent of a petting zoo- guinea pigs on vacation
T: Sweaty light orange taste quickly overcome by hops (not as bold as I predicted, however) The taste hits your buds quick then subsides to the bitters
F: Very thin on the tongue lacking any chew
O: This one appeared and smelled more promising than it was. It is definitely a solid beer, but I wouldn't write home to mother about it. A very balanced, classic pale ale style, no risks were taken. I could sip this one without too much further contemplation

Sep 29, 2020
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MrOH from Maryland

4.51/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Deep gold, white head, excellent retention and lace
Floral, grapefruit and pine hop aromas, a bit of caramel malt underneath
Nice grapefruit hop flavor on a solid caramel malt backbone
Medium bodied, clean, and properly carbonated.
A classic for a reason

Sep 23, 2020
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jmbrill81 from Virginia

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

Taste/Price this is like the beer. I know people out there who aren't crazy about this beer, and I wish I didn't know them. Their opinions are bad, and they are bad people. Sierra Nevada, for good people.

Sep 23, 2020
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ManlyWealth from Georgia

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

Classic go to pale ale. Poured Cold from the bottle, amber-gold, sparkling with tiny bubbles and a healthy white head. Refreshing malt-hoppy aroma and pine. Classic pale ale taste, crisp with a full-bodied mouth feel. This is a refreshing, delicious, easy drinking pale ale!

Sep 20, 2020
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RDWHAHB_Tom from Maryland

3.89/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Info: PCKGD 2/3/2020, 12 oz. glass bottle, served 50*F in a pint glass at sea level

L: Brilliant amber-gold. Clean, white head. Moderately persistent (5 mins.)
S: Toasted malt, resin, sweet citrus, melon.
T: Rounded malt, light bitterness, salt, sodabread, pine, melon.
F: Wet, medium body, lightly warming.

O: Tastes like the label looks. Don't know if it's just because of the packaging, but it just tastes "green" to me, as if someone juiced a pine forest. Refreshing, well-rounded: enjoyable!

Sep 05, 2020
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1009 from Massachusetts

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

Last time I was in California, I was, admittedly, a fetus. But, just because I have not experienced California physically, does not mean I haven’t done so spiritually: People fail to recognize that The Golden State is so much more than beaches and Hollywood. It is pine, it is Earth, it is rustic, it is mountainous, and it is eye-opening. Such is the experience elucidated from the Sierra Nevada Pale. It pours a beautiful amber reflecting the Somerville sky, and at 5.6%, I was just about ready to head over to Encore and gamble away my tuition after a few of em. Highly recommend!

Sep 02, 2020
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OldmanCothran from California

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

A California classic, saw it on menus many years before I could drink it, once I could it has been enjoyed in bottles and on tap all over the state.
L: A hop green label with a mountain/hop/wheat painting, pours golden with sturdy head if you want
S: Hoppy, boozy
T: No frills pale ale, you get what you expect, the colder the smoother, nice balance between the hops, wheatyness and booziness. Delicious fresh on tap, but reliable in the bottle (to a point with age)
F: Bready, hoppy, sweeter as it warms.
O: A delicious classic.

Sep 02, 2020
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eppCOS from Colorado

4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L - Frothy, golden, see-through, with enough lacing and head for enjoying several minutes worth.
S - Great pine, citrus, forest floor scents, and some good malt whiff in balance here.
T - Classic light-bitter and forest malt tastes here, still the one.
F - Great mouthfeel, balance, never out of whack and USUALLY fresh at local stores. Has the same palate impact of old school IPAs back in the day, but with a brightness the latter could not match.
O - still a great drinking pale ale, after all these years.

Aug 17, 2020
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Steve_Studnuts from Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 3/23/20
Consumed 8/11/20

This isn't exactly peak freshness, but is a pretty good example of what generally happens when I'm in a hurry at the build-your-own-six-pack cooler. Clear golden honey body with a fingers worth of head that quickly fades to a ribbon. Smells clean and grainy with some bitter hops mixed in. Tastes fairly bitter too, but it's well balanced with the malt. Clean, lager-esque finish. I need to return to this when I get my hands on a fresher sample and have more time for an in-depth review.

Aug 12, 2020
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JoKo from Connecticut

3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, copper color with an inch thick white head that dissipated in about a minute, high amount of carbonation. The smell is sweet, malts up front. The taste is very balanced between malts and hops, bread notes up front followed by a piney hop bitterness. This beer is very crisp, clean on the mouthfeel. It’s light bodied and highly drinkable, yet it’s got a lot of flavor. Overall, great job from one of the country’s original craft breweries. Classic beer that doesn’t get old, and one I like to come back to when I get tired of over the top big beers.

Aug 10, 2020
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Sabtos from Ohio

4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I've had this many times, but never as a side by side with the other coast's storied Pale Ale, Hill Farmstead Edward, which many know as having taken its inspiration from SNPA. Actually having the opportunity to do this head to head with Hill finally canning Edward is a blessing in the middle of a pandemic, but finding that it only elevated both beers in unique ways was even more pleasant of a surprise, so I couldn't help but completely delete and redo my old review of this reliable standby, as the comparisons and contrasts are very enjoyable to take note of.

While Edward is a hazy, nearly fully opaque pale amber-orange with a moderate, creamy khaki head, SNPA is sparkling clear darker amber with a slightly taller, slightly darker khaki foam head that collapses under large airy bubbles.

The similarities are present, yes. Edward is a little more bitter and a little more maltier than most of Hill's hoppy brews, or many other NEPAs/IPAs, which is in line with elements of SNPA, itself further diverging by being toastier and adding very mild notes of caramel and pine resinous aftershave.

However, the differences are stark. Drastically stark.

Edward is creamier, fuller, and juicier. It almost has a vanilla cream quality by comparison, with that Hill yeast and shortbread-like malt combination. It even has a hint of that bubblegum character to it that I always get in Tree House brews, and rarely get elsewhere, which is the biggest surprise to me here.

Either way, none of that takes away from SNPA, which is a high quality beer that's immensely crushable for a relatively bitter ale with a respectable complexity and insane shelf life. It may even be the preferred option for some, such as my old lady, who enjoyed SNPA more for it's drinkability in this head to head. With that in mind, Edward does feel heavier, but it's so delicious I wouldn't change a thing about it either. SNPA's signature but measured and crisp West Coast bitterness clearly sets it apart, and its reliability for when you need a quality "beer flavored beer" that has that nice mild bite to it is unmatched.

Aug 08, 2020
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IPAs_for_days_13 from Texas

3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a beautiful opaque amber color that has a glow to it, tops off with a nice 1/2 inch white head. Picking up a lot of floral, earthy & pine notes in the aroma. Taste pretty much follows the nose, the bitterness of this beer is very balanced. Medium carbonation with a raw feeling to it. Can't go wrong with this classic beer, it's widely available & easily crushable.

Aug 02, 2020
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Steve555 from Wales

4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Colour is amber/orange with a cream head that fades but leaves a ring of froth throughout. Aroma is quite floral and earthy. The taste is of burnt quite sweet malts and a piney hop taste that is pleasant and not overpowering. Medium bodied. Mouthfeel is a lingering sweet and bitter with some carbonation on the palate.

Has a piney kick that gives it character yet it's reigned in by some sweetness in the malts to balance things out. Really smooth, balanced and tasty. It's probably not at its freshest by the time it gets to this country but it's still very good.

Jul 24, 2020
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kevanb from Illinois

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

12oz bottle, dated 05.06.2020, poured into a stemless wine glass.

The beer pours a very nice amber color, copper and orange hues, slight chill haze and some bubbles racing around the beer with about a finger and a half of white frothy head that has good retention and excellent lacing. The aroma is very nice, pine, orange peel, grapefruit juice, a bit grassy with a nice assertive amber malt character. The flavors are good, strong grains lead the way, pale dough and amber cereal grains with a nice crisp grapefruit character, some soft floral and fruitiness comes out before the bitter pine and grapefruit peel start to take over, earthy and grassy at the finish. The mouthfeel is very good, coating with a lively medium body that finishes with a crisp and dry bite.

Verdict: The quintessential west coast style pale ale. After years of experimentation and evolution within the industry, this might seem boring or pedestrian but it's certainly one of the most sessionable and flavorful pale ales and there is good reason why this is the standard to which so many beers get compared.

Jul 11, 2020
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EternalDank from Michigan

4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Only thing I can say about this one is if your buying beer from a gas station more than likely this will be the best one you can find in the cooler. The OG craft beer.

Jul 04, 2020
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JustinTheJuice from Wisconsin

3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada's head has a great look with tons of lasting foam. I can tell this is an incredibly made beer but the taste specifically didn't seem all there. I have to try this beer again because maybe I just tasted less than perfect batch.

Jun 30, 2020
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Sharkbite20 from Philippines

4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L - Beautiful dark gold almost copper, looks appetizing. Moderate carbonation that pours to a 3 finger head that quickly dissipates to a thin cap with a thicker ring. Light lacing

S - Citrus, Peach and some Berries. Like some mix fruit juices in our ref!

T - Follows the nose. Refreshing citrus, herns, and bitter hops up front, but as stated by a reviewer, balanced by sweet bready malt and a light toast that follows and lingers.

F - Bold but refreshing and easy. Moderate carbonation gives a crisp feel that lightens an otherwise filling drink. Warm of the alcohol all through the drink

O - my first craft beer and now i finally see what they are all about. Honestly i may not appreciate a grocery pilsner anymore after this. Such a welcome complex drink. Watch the alcohol it is there.

Jun 26, 2020
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kjensen42 from California

4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer hails from my home town so I am probably biased but its a good beer if you like ales. Slightly sour tasting but not heavy or too filling. Easy to drink on those hot summer days that Chico, CA is renown for. Beware that the alcohol can sneak up on you though if you have more then a couple in one sitting.

Jun 24, 2020
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John123will from Indiana

3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L- Very clear burnt orange color. with a big white head that dissipates quickly. It has some pretty visible legs.
S- Can pick up some mild earthy hop aroma and can smell a faint sweet and citrusy aroma as well.
T- Initially taste the pale malt sweetness with an ever so slight roasted taste as well. Then there is the hop presence that brings a light citrus note with some earthy bitterness left in the mouth.
F-Nice medium bodied and light prickliness from the carbonation.
O- A solid pale ale that doesn't go overboard with the hops. It lets the malt be present but also lets there be a pleasant hop taste. Its also at a good price point which is great.

Jun 17, 2020
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Yaroslav from New York

4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is my style of choice for summer days. Only recently have I tried this brew. I love it for all of the reasons that it is ranked "outstanding" on this forum.

I remember the dark days of macro-brewery dominance. I cannot believe that one time in my life I'd have expressed the same appreciation for Budweiser. On special occasion a skunky green bottled import like Heineken or Becks.

I was screwed out of a proper childhood in NYC without a decent local brew!

Jun 10, 2020
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NatetheGreat from Nevada

4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep golden orange with strong head. Aroma of fresh cut grass, pine needles, and lemon. Sweet candy like lemon flavor, like a lemon loaf cake, warms and develops into grapefruit rind bitterness. Fresh refreshing and balanced. Feel is sturdy with moderate bubbles.

It really is such a well done beer. If I had only one particular beer to drink for rest of life I'd be happy with this.

Jun 07, 2020
Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 12001 ratings