Pale Ale
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Pale AlePale Ale
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Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Pale Ale - American
Ranked #160
ABV:
5.6%
Score:
90
Ranked #5,408
Avg:
4.05 | pDev: 11.6%
Reviews:
3,232
Ratings:
12,112
From:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  364
Gots
  3,573
SCORE
90
Outstanding
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: 3,232 | Ratings: 12,112 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of ponypunk
ponypunk

3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours semi-clear amber color with a two finger foamy head with nice lacing. Smell of yeast, light hops, honey. Flavor notes of biscuit, berry with a light hop bitterness on the finish. Above average mouth feel with nice carbonation and dry finish. You can't go wrong with this Sierra Nevada work horse! This Pale Ale is a tried and true offering that delivers every time!

Monday at 12:56 AM
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ZebulonXZogg from Illinois

4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear golden color, frothy white head, spotty lacing. Pine, grapefruit and some caramel hit the nose, taste buds get that too. Medium bodied, carbonation is spot on. This really is a great beer!

Sep 13, 2021
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RedBalloon from Washington

4.49/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle dated 5/26/21 poured into a pint glass on 7/13/21.

Pours 1" of off-white, foamy head. Translucent golden-brown color.

Aromas of pine cones, caramel, and citrus.

Taste follows the nose with some drying and bittering in the finish. Mostly pine with some lemon notes.

Effervescent and slightly astringent mouthfeel. Crisp, refreshing, and medium-bodied.

Delicious with a clean and focused pine hop profile. Well-balanced malts and crisp body makes it an easy-drinking, flavorful beer.

Sep 12, 2021
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elnachooo from Spain

3.47/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cerveza de color ambar con una leve espuma de retención media. Cuerpo ligero y carbonatación media. Aroma a naranja, limón y mango. Sabor dulce afrutado con un leve amargor en su final.

Aug 30, 2021
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BillAfromSoCal from California

4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle bought from a room temp. shelf on 8/29, refrigerated then consumed from a tulip glass same day/ bottle date 6/11/21. Nice amber color, very clear/no haze. Off white head about 1 finger high. Reasonable longevity, some lacing. Smells maltier than I expected but taste is a very nice balance of malts and hops. Overall a nice Pale tha tis a good benchmark to revisit periodically to recalibrate my ratings of other similar beers.

Aug 29, 2021
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AmbroseBean

4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Very good beer. Especially nice for cold weather; wouldn't work on the beach. Strikes that rare balance between flavorful and palatable. One of the best widely-available beers on the market.

Aug 11, 2021
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BroBobby70 from Texas

3.39/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 Oz. bottle into pint glass.
Look: Amber color, 1 finger head that maintained some structure for most of the drinking session, good lacing
Smell: Bready with hints of grapefruit. Pleasant
Taste: Medium bitter hop flavor, some citrus in background.
Feel: A tongue tingler, flavor stays after swallowing.
Overall: A extremely enjoyable drink. I am not familiar with style but I would absolutely buy this one again.
Pairs best with meat pies and hamburgers, cheddar cheese. A banana pudding would be interesting.

Aug 02, 2021
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highdesertdrinker from Arizona

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

My turn to rate the old favorite and I can’t believe it either. Citrus, piney hops dominate the smell and it pours a rich, copper hue with some head. Tastes a lot like the aroma with the piney, fruity taste, a good little kick at 37 ibu’s, and a solid malt backbone. It works together in near perfect harmony and the mouthful is luxurious and somewhat creamy which is a characteristic I seem to like. One of the oldest but still one of the best Pale Ales you can get with a nice price and good availability, you literally can’t go wrong.

Jul 27, 2021
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KT3418 from Colorado

3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It's definitely not at all bad, even pretty good still but after having it again now I realize how completely fucking boring this beer truly is in 2021. Acclimated is way more flavorful. I suppose it could be argued it's a "boring" style even but idk. Still kind of a snoozefest, will look forward to seeing at ball games though

Jul 24, 2021
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oldmankoch from Tennessee

4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Can't believe its taken me so long to review this Bar Setting Classic! Honestly, I know I'm crazy but can't say I've had this more than a handful of times over the years either.

Gladly, I've waited as my palate has developed. Several years ago at the height of my haze craze I'd probably have unjustly given much lower marks....but today while drinking I thoroughly enjoy this beer and will be back for more.

Jul 20, 2021
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Aleforge from Missouri

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

Hazy golden with a strong lacy cream colored head. Light aroma with resin notes. Bright balanced IPA with smooth mouthfeel. Very above average and could be used as a session with a bit of a kick.

Jul 17, 2021
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German-Helles from Wisconsin

4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a 12oz bottle poured into a 20oz. weizen glass somewhat aggressively. The look is so perfect, an orange, clear ale with heavy carbonation and one finger of white foam that does not recede.
The aroma is sweet citrus, bitter pine, and a light malt presence.
The flavor is citrus and pine mostly with a light caramel malt presence.
The mouthfeel is a medium texture that is dry, crisp, with a light bitter hop finish.
There is a reason this is a classic, there is a nice balance in the flavors and the aroma making this pale ale very enjoyable. This was very refreshing after several hours of yard work today.

Jul 13, 2021
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BerkeleyBeerSleuth from California

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

Light transparent amber color with a bouncy off-white head. Mild notes of pine and citrus on the nose. Malts are very mellow and approachable. Great classic malt flavor with just a touch of bitter hops. Slightly fruity, slightly piney. One of the most refreshing and quaffable pale ales i've had.

Jul 09, 2021
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Rug from Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 4/29/21

Man, it's a shock to me that I've never actually reviewed this legendary brew. One of my gateway beers into craft in 2018, which despite not being very long ago feels like a lifetime ago for a younger person such as myself. So given the site-wide tasting today, it's time to give this old classic/consistent go-to beer at restaurants a proper review

Pours a slightly cloudy amber gold with 2 fingers of white head that fades to a thin cap and leaves minimal lacing

For me personally, the nose is always the star of the show for this beer, really tying it all together with an exceptional balance of malt and hops. I'm picking up on aromas of piney hops, caramel malt, pithy grapefruit, orange zest, and light lemon

Oh man, what an iconic tasting beer. As I said, not quite as incredible as the aroma, but still nicely balanced. On the front end of the sip I'm tasting fresh piney hops, lemon peel, orange zest, bready malt, and light caramel. The swallow brings notes of pithy grapefruit, bready malt, toasted grain, floral peppery hops, and orange zest

A light medium body pairs with gentle tingling carbonation, resulting in a crisp yet full beer. Finishes mostly dry with a light spice to offset the malt

A beer more than the sum of its parts, an institution even. It's a classic for a reason, and I'm glad we have a day to celebrate it. Cheers!

Jul 06, 2021
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sulldaddy from Connecticut

4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Sampling a chilled 12 oz bottle poured into my snifter. The beer is packaged 5/2021.
The beer pours a clear amber to copper color with an eggshell white fluffy head of 3 cm that fades slowly to a rocky surface layer and some clingy lattice. The foam sticks around as a sturdy surface layer throughout the tasting. Some very fine lazy streams of carbonation are rising to the surface.
The aroma is some pine notes and a bit of grapefruit rind dominate, but I do get a little caramel and grainy bread note coming through the nose.
First sip reveals a medium body and very fine gentle rolling carbonation. Fairly soft texture and very easy drinking.
Flavor is some crisp hop bite of pine sap and grapefruit rind which rolls to some milder caramel notes in the background.
Finish is pretty clean but a lingering hop bite leaves a bitter note across my palate. Also a very drying finish.
No hint of any ABV and the beer is very easy to drink. Glad to try this one again, AND finally review this beer. Will remember this one as an option when I want some dry hop bite in a beer.

Jul 06, 2021
Photo of Jaycase
Jaycase from Illinois

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

12 oz can. Packaged in Mills River on June 04, 2021

L: Amber in color, fluffy white head. Noticed (transfixed by) two small streams of bubbles flowing in parallel from the bottom of the glass to the surface. Left a moderate level of lacing.
S: Primarily piney resin intertwined with a slight citrus presence. Caramel malt combines with those characteristics to give a nice, pleasant aroma.
T: Mostly getting a piney, resinous character giving off a slight bitterness. Perhaps some citrus as a secondary characteristic but it's light to me and seems to give clear deference to the piney resinous aspect. Malt presence is perfect for this beer imo.
F: A creamy feel gives way to a slight oily finish. moderate carbonation.
O: SNPA is considered a classic for good reason. It's a delicious beer even to this day.

Jul 06, 2021
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DIM from Pennsylvania

4.46/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 5/07

Finally getting around to trying this. First off, this is a beautiful beer. Crystal clear with a big rocky head that leaves lots of sticky lace in its wake. And damned if it isn't tasty as hell! Clean with no off flavors. Prickly citrus rind and a nice lingering tingly pine note. Love the stiff caramel backbone. Very easy to drink too fast. This must have been absolutely revelatory back in the day and it's damn good today.

Jul 05, 2021
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LesDewitt4beer from Minnesota

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

12oz bottle regular pour into a 120z mug.
L: Pours a light amber gold with an off-white medium foamy and lightly creamy head that recedes to thin. Some lacing. Good carbonation.
S: Malts, hint of bread, caramel.
T: A crisp hop bite then caramel, malt, slight amount of bread yeast. It is not hop forward. The hops deliver some citrus, light melon, pine and some grass. It is semi-sweet. Also tea. The light pine shines through a bit at the finish.
F: Medium bodied, lightly rich, smooth feel and has a medium long finish. Lightly sticky or tacky.
O: Sierra Nevada Brewing are pioneers in the American craft beer industry. They are tried-and-true. This pale ale is their sound, sailing and seaworthy flagship beer and it's drinkability is amazing. It has a very distinctive caramelized malt characteristic that makes it a bit like candy. It's taste does not change throughout the 12oz drink. It has a stable, poetic and unwavering centralized flavor. Sierra Nevada beers have a stated central, fluid and uniform taste profile. Excellent!

Jul 05, 2021
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beergoot from Colorado

4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excellent amber body; very clear; plenty of lively carbonation; thick head, dense and creamy. Enticing smell; pine, citrus, floral; low-key sweet malt notes in the background. Nice, balanced flavors; big pine resin note; fresh orange; light and bright malt taste; mild sweetness throughout; moderate to bold hop bitterness. Medium body; crisp with a mild prickliness on the palate; some stickiness overall yet also has a rather dry mouthfeel throughout.

This is not my first SN pale ale, but it has been years since I last had one. I love the balance between the malt bill and hop bill. One finds some interesting depth and complexity in the beer. At nearly three months of age, this beer is quite enjoyable.

Served at 52 F; bottle label data: PKGD 04/16/21

Jul 05, 2021
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bbtkd from South Dakota

3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, 5.6% ABV. Pours clear orange with a two finger white head that left some lacing. Nose is citrus, malt, and pine. Taste is citrus and pine, slight sweetness, moderate to heavy bitterness. Excellent mouthfeel, overall excellent.

Jul 05, 2021
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HopHunterCL from Ohio

4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color with a thick cap of off white head.
Aroma of citrus peel and pine with a little bit of caramel malt.
Slightly sweet caramel note with a bold citrus flavor. Finishes dry with a nice resinous pine bitterness. A flavorful well balanced brew.
Medium body with lively carbonation.
Overall this is a delicious beer that has stood the test of time. I’m always happy with SNPA in my glass.

Jul 05, 2021
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Jack_14 from Italy

3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Just uncorked immediately citrus notes (especially grapefruit) and pine needles and woody hints and citrus notes (especially grapefruit).
When poured, the perfume explodes even more and a caramel note also emerges in the background of the herbaceous ones always predominant.
"Deep gold" color. Abundant, soft and tasty foam that does not fade and remains a hat to the beer, therefore excellent persistence.
In the mouth, body characterized by the classic smoothness of this beer which, if on the one hand is similar to an English Pale Ale, on the other hand releases hints that are markedly more malty (caramel, biscuit), more fruity (grapefruit, the white orange skin ) and ends with a decidedly more important amaro.
The drink is short, refreshing (thanks to a pleasantly lively carbonation), pleasantly tasty and bitter.
On the finish and as soon as the beer rests a little in the glass, a final cereal note emerges that tries to rebalance the bitter taste that remains in the mouth.
No-frills beer , always at the top in the quality / price / risk ratio (given its constancy over time, at least in my opinion).

Jul 05, 2021
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FBarber from Illinois

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

SN Pale Ale is one of the first "IPA" I ever drank when I first got into craft beer. At that time I didn't like any IPAs and petty much avoided them completely. I actually didn't like SNPA the first time I had it, but after having a couple more I came to appreciate the balance this beer provides. It was definitely one of the "gateway" "IPAs" that eventually got me to like these hoppier beers. Its funny though, because as the style changes and shifts, I find myself often craving a SNPA as what I really want from an IPA. (And yea, I know its a pale ale, not an IPA, but its easiest to refer to the general category).

This bottle I am drinking today was packaged on 5/21/21. It pours a lovely burnished orange color. Mostly clear, but there are some yeast particulates creating a slight cloudiness. A thick frothy buff head forms on the beer, lingers momentarily, then dissipates leaving just a ring of foam along the outside of the top of the beer. Aroma has light nots of citrus, orange and grapefruit. There is a certain maltiness to the nose, but its quite balanced. Whisps of honey tinge the aroma providing a light sweetness.

Taste has notes of citrus up front - orange and grapefruit - transitioning into some pine and green hop notes. The bitterness is there, but pretty mild - again tit comes across as balanced. Notes of lightly toasted biscuit malts provide the back bone to the beer. Feel is light, smooth and easy drinking. Moderate, but very smooth, carbonation.

Overall this is the classic pale ale. I was drinking this one this morning and kept thinking to myself "why don't I drink this more often?" its better than the vast majority of high priced IPAs I buy. If anything this tasting was a good reminder to me to drink this more often than I do.

Jul 05, 2021
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tjhuot from Maryland

3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's a good ale, but in my opinion inferior to the Torpedo IPA. I used to drink this regularly. My taste has changed over the years and I like a beer with a fuller body. This is a very good beer, but it is a bit lacking in that area for me now. One good thing about it though is that the alcohol level at 5.6% is a bit better for me than most of the IPAs brewed these days. It is also not overly citrusy tasting.

Jul 03, 2021
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Troy-Hawaii from Hawaii

3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Added picture you see
Part of a variety 24-pack $26.99 Costco
92 days old
Smells bready, pine
Amber color
Medium mouthfeel
Medium carbonation
Taste of pine, citrus, some bitterness finish.
Overall a good beer. I probably would have rated it higher 20 years ago as I remember being much more impressed with it, but now after having had so many craft beers it doesn't wow me as much. Still a solid beer.

Jun 30, 2021
Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 12112 ratings