Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
11,304 Ratings
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
11,304
Reviews:
3,028
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
11.6%
 
 
Wants:
315
Gots:
3,146
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 11,304 |  Reviews: 3,028
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.

 318 characters

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

Poured a 12oz bottle into an ale glass.

A: Appearance is gold to amber in color. Really nice thick creamy white head from a strong pour. Small carbonation bubbles rise into the creamy head. Good lacing down the glass.

S: Smell is more floral than citrus. Really fresh scent.

T: Slight malty flavor followed by a super satisfying bitterness from the Magnum, Perle and Cascade hops is a delight. Piney hop goodness!

M: Natural conditioning provides just enough carbonation to give this brew a refreshing medium mouthfeel.

D: Perfect session ale. I can drink several and still want more. Stays refreshing to the bottom of the ale glass.

Summary: This is the one beer that really got me into American craft beer. Absolutely one of my favorite ales. This beer provides really fine balance between the malts and ends with great hop bitterness. Everything one would want in an ale. Excellent!

 892 characters

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

A long time session beer of mine, as well as the first american pale i ever tried.

A: Pours a nice copper gold color with an off white head about an inch or so. crystal clear, nice bubbles. all around a good looking beer.

S: peppery and citrusy hops, a light malt bill, fairly sweet smelling, but hops dominate it, very nice.

T: clean hop tastes, a nice bitterness that lingers, the malt is caramelly and sweet. a little more towards the hoppy side, but that's exactly how i like it. the finish is very clean. pretty crisp up front. not too sticky, very balanced, all around excellent.

M: balanced, not too thick or thin, nice lingering bitterness, nicely carbonated. all in all great.

D: for a relatively higher hopped beer, this beer does alright as far as drinkability goes, i really like to drink a few when i choose to drink them. a great standby beer when i can't decide on anything.

 896 characters

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

Nice fluffy white head is strong and laces very nicely. Pours golden. Yeasty odor but the hops are present. Very mild and no bitterness -- fruity. Very dry beer -- not a complicated taste at all, basic but boring. Goes easy and has a malty aftertaste. Recommended, would be great on a hot summer day when you want that pale ale taste without the extra hops of an IPA.

 367 characters

Photo of beachbum1975
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With 2,026 review prior to me, there's not much I can possibly add.

I've had this beer many, many times and I consider this to be the flagship American Pale Ale of America.

In fact, I base all my other pale ale reviews off this beer! Consistently on this beer is always spot on. The availability of this beer (everywhere!) helps, as well.

It's my go to beer if all my other choices are BMC's...

 398 characters

Photo of jayfarley3
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass, it poured a nice amber color with a decent off white head. has a strong floral hoppy smell to it, it smells how i expect an apa so smell. the taste starts off with a piney taste and ends slightly bitter. mouthfeel is light compared to other pale ales that ive tried. this is a very drinkable beer, i could drink this all day long if i was back home in cali, but its pretty expensive out here in Guam.

 445 characters

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

Amber, frothy white head, which persists, nice bubbles from the bottle.
Aroma of grapefruit, caramel, marmalade.
Big malt hit initially, with citrus & lychee, followed by caramel, with the bitter finish. It's a like a parade in your mouth.
The overall effect is one of finely-tuned balance.
For me, this beer was becoming mythical.... so much good written about it, but I couldn't find it in Australia. Finally, I came across it, at the excellent Leura Cellars. One of the best Pale Ales I've ever had.

 502 characters

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

Poured from a can

A: Amber with a fluffy white head

S: Floral, spicy, piney

T: Citrus, pine, light malt sweetness, nice balance between the hops and malt

M: Smooth, nice well rounded finish

O: One of my go to beers. Now that Sierra is canning their beers I'll be drinking this at the beach all summer.

 306 characters

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

This is a favorite session beer. It's affordable, widely available and easy to drink. Sierra's a great fall back when nothing unique is on the docket.

Sierra pours a nice golden, almost wheaty brown that hints at bready notes with a finger and a half foamy head.

The smell is pleasant, though limited. Floral hops dominate the scent with a some citrus mixed in.

The taste is clean with hops as the dominant flavor. It's a classic, very pleasant and enjoyable American Pale Ale.

You can drink and enjoy Sierra forever. It's a wonderful, everyday brew.

 562 characters

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

Container Volume: 355ml

Container type: bottle

Fresh: y

Purchased @: sullivans

Cost: $8/6-pack

Head: dissapates entirely

Lace: good

Color:
Reflected- yellow
Transmitted- yellow

Aroma: like Bass but sweeter

Mouthfeel: light-medium

Palate: adjusts after 2

Taste:
Start- apple/cranberry
Middle- bitter
Finish- slight carmel

Comments: Taste is much like Bass, but going to the fruity/sweet side whereas Bass is perfectly balanced. Still very good once you get going on it...


Conditions:
Mowing/Working on car- n
With Friends- y
Sipping- y
Get my buzz on- y

 603 characters

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

THE fallback beer when i can't get anything else. i consider SNPA to be responsible for helping make me into the beer lover i am today. pours a crystal clear tan with an creamy white head. the taste is a lesson in balance....sweet carmel malts are in perfect balance with PNW hops. a sheer pleasure to quaff that gets even better as it warms. it may seem run of the mill, but is still the best all around semi-mass produced beer.

 429 characters

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

Poured into a pint.

Pours a translucent golden orange color with a generous amount of bubbling occurring throughout the glass, which forms a white head of extra fine bubbles forming and settling to a thin cap that moves away from the center of the glass and towards the perimeter. From a birds-eye view, it's appears to be a white ring with some thin patches of bubbles scattered in the middle. The smell is incredible with its floral bouquet of spicy hops, pine, citrus, honey and slight amounts of malt and yeast. Extra whiffs indicate that the aromas are more citrus-oriented than the pine, kinda like cutting into a fresh grapefruit. This is one damn good smelling beer.

The taste, at first, is very sweet from the malts and honey. Then, the pine and citrus come into play as they present themselves as a slight dry bitterness. And towards the end, I can taste the pith of grapefruit and a hoppy spiciness, which leaves a nice crisp and dry aftertaste. There is a definite earthy characteristic in the flavor profile - it's excellent.

This pale ale has a medium-bodied mouthfeel with adequate amount of carbonation in the mouth. And as aforementioned, a crisp and dry aftertaste remains on the tongue and inner linings of the cheeks, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Drinkability is very high. You won't notice how fast you'll be drinking it. It is remarkably sessionable, tasty and reliable. SNPA will always be one of my go-to beers.

 1,447 characters

Photo of qpHalcy0n
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served chilled into Pilsner glass.

Pours ambery/orange with perhaps some greenish hue at glancing angles with a 1 finger head. Moderate lacing.

Malt aroma hits first followed by hops and grapefruit and almost gingery smell.

Extremely earthy taste. Bitter citrus fruits like grapefruit hit first and finishes with a piney/gingery taste. A very refreshing beer, especially on a hot 100 degree Texas summer.

It's got a little bit more bite to it than I'd like, but the excellent taste/finish overcomes this for me. Moderate carbonation.

This is a very earthy beer that is very refreshing to drink. I haven't tried many Sierra Nevada beers but I'm looking forward to more. Makes for a wonderful summer beer.

 709 characters

Photo of bkatof78
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Tballz420
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer. It pours out with a nice white head, and lacing down the sides. The taste of hops is pretty apparent. I think as far as good beers go, this is a standard that everyone should have at some point. A nice session beer, maybe not the best pale ale in the world, but definately worth getting a 12er of if you havent had it.

 343 characters

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

Gold with orange highlights, a touch hazy. Thin off-white head left a ring and a wispy centre with cloudy trails and some lacing. Lazy carbonation. Hoppy nose with light orange zest, a clean and inviting aroma. Citrus hops taste with wonderful bitter / malt balance and substantial body for the style. This beer simply tastes great. Among the finer pale ales that I've tried, tasty with a nicely blended barley malt finish and an aftertaste that pleases and lingers for quite a long while. I'm sure I've had this and other Sierra Nevada products a few years ago, before I became a BA, and this one is just as I remember all the Sierra Nevada products - far above the norm for quality, taste and cost. Keep up the good work, SN.

 727 characters

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

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

The color of this brew is a beautiful merger of gold and orange. The exuded scents are an aromatic bouquet of floral hops, lime, orange and pine needles. Carbonated and nimble on the palate, the presence of hops is noticeable throughout. A slight sweet and bready character provides a nice balance to the hops. The beer finishes with dry bitterness. This is a very drinkable, pleasing and enjoyable beer, one for any occasion.

 426 characters

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

This one came served to me from the bar in...a Mason jar? Yep, ah well, it's a treat to find some halfway decent draught offerings in my little town.Filled to the brim of a 16oz Mason jar so not much head to speak of, although there is a sturdy layer of foam on top of the ruby-hued amber body.The scent was a bit of caramel malt, with a hefty dollop of Cascade hops, piney and grapefruit. The taste was really nice, seemed to be really fresh, resinous hops with enough malt presence to back it adequately. Mouthfeel was about medium-light, and makes the beer really refreshing. This beer had more hop presence than a local IPA I was having afterwards, so I ended up returning to it. When I had it this time it just really seemed to be pushing Pale Ale into IPA territory. Delicious, and as ever a real go-to beer.

 814 characters

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

This has always been one of my favorite brews - a perfect balance between malts and hops, while still allowing the bitterness to dominate.

Pours a deep golden/copperish color with a nice one finger head.

Aroma is wonderful, like being inbetween a grapefruit orchard and a pine forest (is this possible?).

Mouthfeel is medium-light, not exceptional, but good.

Starts with piney flavors and finishes with citrus and a nice bittersweet end.

One of those beers where after you have had two, you just have to finish the whole six pack. As many have already said, it's a benchmark for the APA style.

 602 characters

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

Definitely one of the best APAs out there in terms of availability. Pretty common, so you'll find this relatively easily. Pours a nice golden color. Aroma is of hops and wheat with some light citrus. Taste matches aroma, also has a slightly stronger carbonation mouthfeel. Great beer to start someone off with.

 310 characters

Photo of WYVYRN527
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle. SNPA is a deep gold, almost orange with a very slight haze. The head is off-white and quickly settles, with nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is very hoppy, with cedar and citrusy notes. Upon sipping, it's very balanced. Hoppy, yet evened out with a good amount of toasty malt. The beer is medium-bodied and very smooth. Extremely easy to drink, Sierra Nevada Pale is my standard session ale.

 442 characters

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

12 oz bottle decanted into a pint glass leaving the sediment behind.

A - Orange and amber in color with a Thin white head that remains intact.

S - Citrus and flowers balanced with malt crackers and bread.

T - Excellent balance between the hop citrus and the bread finish. The Pale Ale standard.

M - Moderate body and carbonation, nice and even.

D - Very high. All day with any food.

 387 characters

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

I poured a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. The beer pours a clear copper color with a pretty head-and leaves nice lacing. It has a pleasant hoppy aroma- like walking the smell of a christmas tree. The beer is crisp with mild pine accents. The finish is dry with a mild piney aftertaste. A medium bodied beer that I could drink all day. This is the APA all others should be compared to. Overall a very well rounded beer, and one of the ones that got me interested in craft brews.

 490 characters

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

Purs a clear amber/cider with nice big 2 finger white foamy head. Smells of earthy hops with a caramel sweetness. Picked up a citrus and evergreen scent as well. Love this taste, crisp citrus mixed with a great hoppy taste. Maltiness flows through at end with nice aftertaste. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth. Very crisp and light bodied. This is very drinkable. I can't believe I have waited this long to try SN PA, I will be drinking this a lot more.

 449 characters

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,304 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.