Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

11,296 Ratings
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Generous quantities of premium Cascade hops give the Pale Ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavor.

37 IBU

Added by kbub6f on 07-05-2001

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11,296 |  Reviews: 3,028
Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

A hazy orangish copper body holds up an eggshell colored head that recedes to a wisp. Lacing is foamy and imitates a world map.

Aroma is balanced with citrus, pine, and floral fruits.

The taste profile starts with a woody, cedar and pine note. This soon transitions into more grapefruit citrus and faint apricot sweetness.

Mouthfeel is a bit dry, but also pretty smooth.

Overall, very well balanced and tastes delicious.

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Photo of CajunCavern
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle - Nice golden, slightly orange color with white head. Citrus, particularly grapefruit and orange peel aroma. Loaded with fresh hops flavor, spicey, that good bitter smack finish. I used to prefer darker beers to American pale ales, but this beer is the one that changed my mind. This beer goes great with crawfish and pizza.

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Photo of feelmefoam
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice light amber color with about a 1 inch thick head that left nice lacing all down the glass.

Smells sweet, with pine, hops, and a little citrus coming through in the nose.

Taste is great, a little piney at first followed by the hops, but not finishing too bitter. Finished up with that citrus coming through again in the end.

This is a light beer, typical of a pale ale, not too heavy on the palate at all with a medium amount of carbonation. Very refreshing.

This is a great beer overall, I love how the hops counterbalance the slight sweetness the brew brings in the beginning. Very sessionable. I buy these in the 12 packs :)



After about a year of drinking better beers and appreciating flavors better, I can safely say that this is the definition of sessionable, and is probably the most solid beer that is readily available to me (like even at the corner gas station). Thus, I've bumped the ranking up from a B+ to an A-. I love this beer.

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Photo of kurp001
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle bought at Shawan Liquors

A moderate pour yields about one finger of off-white head that sticks around for quite a while. Body is a slightly-cloudy amber; pretty much classic pale ale appearance, here.

A grassy hop character is notable in the aroma, along with a mild malt presence.

Again, the hop character is the first thing that pulls through on the taste, while a full malt flavor rounds things out on the finish. Great balance, here.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and crisp; again, very much in line with the style.

In my opinion, this is one of the most drinkable beers ever, period. Yes, the 5.6% ABV technically disqualifies it from the session beer category, but I find myself making a session out of SNPA way too often. The flavors are just solid without being overpowering, making this a great beer to have a few of. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale pretty much has a permanent spot in my fridge, and likely always will.

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Photo of jmich24
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle

A: Golden and slightly orange hue. Quarter inch fluffy white head with nice lacing all the way down.
S: Very appealing floral/citrus hoppiness and sweet malts.
T: Perfection! Very balanced and nice hoppiness.
M: Crisp and smooth, great bitterness.
D: Nice body, Crisp, Smooth, Super refreshing. My go to beer!

Old Standby. Very reasonably priced and great taste. Will always have a spot in my fridge.

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Photo of stockingcpl
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: After seeing another cycler wearing a Sierra Nevada shirt, I thought I'd write a review of one of their selections. I was not let down. This brew pours a light/medium amber color with a thick light tan hear. Plentiful lacings were left. Carbonation threads were observed.

Smell: A light sprig pine essence was detected. The overall fullness was slight, but this is a pale ale, so nothing heavy is expected. Aromatic hops were also detected. The hops may be Cascade hops. I like.

Taste: There is on onset zip that embodies moderated hopiness. Grains were detected during the sustain. Quite pleasant. The flavor is just about right for strength. Very smooth. I'm impressed.

Mouthfeel: This brew displays crisp presence, yet there is no noasty aftertaste to ruin the next sip. Carbonation matches well with the overall presence of this brew. Another great job.

Drinkability: Great brew. Not overly opressive, yet the brew has a sufficiently strong presence to know that the brewers meant business on this recipe. This would be a GREAT selection for a backyard grill-out or an afternoon by the pool.


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Photo of hustlesworth
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

i can remember years ago when i had one of these and said "YUCK" haha oh how the times change...

A- poured a crystal clear topaz honey amber colorwith rising bubbles topped by 2in of dense soapy off-white head with medium retention leaving 1/8in ring and random fingers of lace stuck to the glass.

S- citrus, sourdough bread, yeast and malted milkshake, roasted nuts and grains, and spicy peppery herbal hops with a floral twang to it

T- orange, grapefruit, white wine, lightly caramelized malt, fruity powdery yeast in the middle. the sourness of the citrus and the herbal pine sap hop bitterness cuts all underlying sweetness down leaving a lingering spicy resinous woodsy leafy hop aftertaste with bread and biscuits way wayyy in the background.

MF- perfectly balanced in my opinion, resinous yet refreshing. finished nice and dry and went down like a silky champagne although unlike most champagne, the carbonation was at an ideal level.

D- uh yeah, i could drink this all the time and it's definitely my go to beer when i'm lookin for a bullseye, right up there with old speckled hen and sam adams boston lager.

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Photo of karst
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale's most popular beer is a delightful interpretation of a classic style. Pours deep amber color with a overly generous 3 finger frothy white head and long lasting lace. Cascade hops throw off fragrant orange bouquet and spicy flavor. Stong grapefruit crisp taste along with a full-body and complex character.
In their own words: “Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is the flagship beer, the one that made Chico famous. It is a flawless beer that opens with bright, perky high notes of maltiness and orange blossom and segues into a delectable hoppiness.”

Keep these around for session they are a sure hit!

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Photo of srrn
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden/copper color, thick head that reduces to lace.Smell is light to me, some piney hops and grass is all I detect. I taste citrus first, followed by malt sweetness then piney hops and a bit of bitterness in the finish. Nice oil to the mouthfeel. Nice and highly drinkable. A classic from a great brewery.

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Photo of berley31
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured with a large, white, frothy head that had good lasting appeal. Body is clear and sparkling, and a dark-yellow (almost orange) color.

S: The aroma is high on citrus (especially lemon and orange), with a definite presence of hops as well.

T: Very nice. Citrusy, almost sweet at first, with a moderately bitter finish. Smooth and balanced perfectly.

M: Light-bodied and creamy, with average-to-lively carbonation.

D: It bears repeating: very nicely balanced. This is a standard in so many bars in the US, and there's a reason why... almost anyone could drink this and enjoy it. And enjoy five of them in one sitting.

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Photo of WeezyBoPeep
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Mostly clear copper color with a golden hue. Thin, patchy head with lace.

S: Light piney hops and grapefruit peel, biscuity grains that round out a nice, funky malt scent...lingering notes of honey and caramel.

T: A slightly sour, carbonated front leads to a perfectly balanced presence of malt and hops. Traces of fresh baked whole wheat bread and caramel. Finishes extremely well with a lingering, earthy fade with plenty of wheat.

D: This is definitely a good go-to pale ale for a summer evening.

Value: Considering you can get this beer at most fern bars and lots of gas stations, this widely available brew is hard to deny as being a serious bargain at under ten bucks a six pack.

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Photo of gianluca88
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DubC14
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of justintcoons
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a beautiful gold/amber with about a half inch of head that dissipates quickly. Moderate carbonation and decent lacing.

N: Caramel, orange zest and pine.

T: Orange and lemon citrus upfront backed by excellent caramel malts. The citrus is then swapped out for pine and a crisp grassiness. Finishes with lingering pine, citrus and caramel.

M: Medium bodied, crisp, clean and dry.

O: This is THEE American Pale Ale with good reason. Easy drinking, juicy and refreshing. Hop forward yet incredibly balanced. This has always been a great go-to-beer. This is the best example of what an APA SHOULD taste like.

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Photo of Freeman132
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of UDbeernut
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

can't believe for how many times I had this I never reviewed. amber hue, nice foamy off white head, nose is full of cascade and caramel, balance a tad to the bitter side, tasteful citrus and caramel meld well. sure there are better apas, but none of them are the benchmark that Sierra nevada's is.

 297 characters

Photo of horndecker
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First words that come to mind are: well built, sturdy, balanced, and delicious. A fine, soft white head sits for a short time above a clear butterscotch amber. The smells are fresh, citric and piney hops and bakery. The taste has a wonderful smooth bitter start, a sweet malt follows, chewy and slightly nutty. Great balance. The finish is dry and long. The mouthfeel is buttery and full. Everything works. It's a hit. So, so drinkable and doesn't fade.

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Photo of civilizedpsycho
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured bottle into mug.

Appearance: Golden with slightly amber hue. Nice one finger head with good lacing.

Smell: Very sweet smell with a bit of a fruity aroma which I can't quite identify at this time.

Taste: Starts sweet with a nice bitter kick at the end with a hint of fruit flavor. Very good.

Mouthfeel: A fair body for the style but not thin or anything.

Drinkability: Fantastic. Something I could definitely drink on a regular basis.

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Photo of goblue3509
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden amber color. The aroma is of a malt backbone, smells of bread, and a citrus and floral hop over the top. The taste is of a good floral and citrus hop top coat, however, not overly bitter, with a malt bread backbone. The mouthfeel is moderate carbonation. Overall it is a good pale ale, the hop taste isn't as bitter as other pale ale's making it more drinkable than most.

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Photo of seanyfo
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

35cl bottle poured into a Kolsch Stange

A - Deep amber/copper colouring, 3 finger head that dissapates quickly but leaves good lacing.

S- Sweet malts first, some caramel, faint floral hoppy notes, flowery

T- Floral notes come through first, nice caramel sweetness offsets this and finishes with a subtle hop sharpness.

M- Moderate carbonation, moderate to full body

D- Nice interplay of hop bite and sweetness. Flavours not overpowering and this makes for a sessionable yet interesting ale. A Winner!

 505 characters

Photo of craigbelly
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of surcorx
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance--pours a copper golden amber with a slight foam that doesn't last. Nothing too interesting.

Aroma--Medium pine hops and more hops. Citrus notes. Slight grassy notes. Complex.

Taste--Clean, bright and refreshing. Mildly bitter and dry. Pine, citrus and very mild malt. An expected slight bitter aftertaste. More complex than most. A great beer.

Mouthfeel--Perfect for the American style if not somewhat light in body. Mild carbonation and crisp.

Drinkability--Highly drinkable. The classic step up beer for nubies.

This is clearly one of America's finest beers. Everyone should be able to find it and should drink it. In this category I also enjoy Goose Islands Honkers Ale which is slightly more popular in the midwest.

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Photo of ProChorus
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of abedenbaugh
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A:Very clear amber color. Pale white head with a good amount of lace around the side.
S:A citrus hop aroma that is mild but still dominates over any malt aroma that is there.
T:A mild citrus hop flavor. The bitterness is low for a pale ale, but works great with the beer. A slight taste of malt in the middle of the palate. The flavor is also very smooth.
MF:A light to medium body. The goes down very smoothly.
D:Very easy to drink. Overall it's a great beer that is very well balanced. Also hops isn't too strong so most of my friends will drink it.

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Photo of tronester
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden orange, with a great, white head. Smells of citrus hops. Taste is very well balanced, sweet malt, with a good use of bittering and aroma hops. One of the best interpretations of the American Pale Ale out there. The version on tap isn't quite as good, likely due to this version being bottle conditioned.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,296 ratings.
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