Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

11,276 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: 11,276 |  Reviews: 3,026
Photo of Jsalz21
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

The beer is a slightly orangeish color. It is just a hint cloudy. Fairly good nose of hops. Possibly a bit of pineyness on the aroma also. There is a well balanced taste here. Medium to full body, with a good balance of sweetness to the hops. Still the standard of all American Pale Ales.

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Photo of Star80
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a fresh 12-pack at the grocer store so felt was a fair time to finally review this ale. Definitely a classic beer which for me defines the pale ale style. The beer looks like a pale golden color, pours out with a lot of carbonation and effervescence. Nice thick head and clinging lace from the abundance of American hops. There is always some residual yeast in the bottom of the bottle from the bottle fermentation; I like this, and I try to swirl it into my glass. Smells like, well, hops and some biscuity maltiness, and despite the strong presence of hops I feel this beer is well balanced and very drinkable. This is a great beer to introduce the beer neophytes to the greatness of hops, and fortunately is widely available everywhere. God bless America.

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

Thin white head on an amber body, excellent white lacing remaining on the glass

Beautifully mellow malt aroma.

Malty, fresh made whole grain bread with wood pine on the finish

Medium body with a big feel to it what do I mean by that, I dunno.

Extremely easy to drink. Hey, where did it go?

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

Poured a rich orange into a Duvel tulip with an inch of clinging white head. Slightly sweet citrus aroma with a hint of caramel.

Moderate carbonation and a light mouthfeel. Sweet caramel malt flavor followed quickly by a mild grapefruit bitterness. Nothing too assertive, but well-balanced, light, and easy-drinking. The hop profile wasn't quite as lemony as Sierra's Summerfest, but this one was equally suited to a summer evening.

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

A- Slight chill haze in the golden body. Thin white head sticks well to the sides.

S- Some sweet malt undertones with some grassy, citric hop aromas on top.

T- Semi sweet, bready malt base holds everything together. Grassy and citrus notes from the hops jump in on the malt base. Finish is a touch dry with a some final sweet citrus coming in.

M- Smooth feel with a crisp finish and good carbonation level.

D- Really great session beer; goes down smooth and crisp. Would recommend this one for sure.

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

The beer pours a very nice orange-amber with lots of evident carbonation and a 1.5 finger frothy cap.

It smells resinous and hoppy with some florals and the aroma of clean laundry, peach notes, and some yeastiness.

The taste is clean with some hop bitterness, honey, sweet biscuits and florals.

The mouthfeel is fantastic! It's creamy and soft and full in the mouth with a lovely smoothness and a crisp finish.

Drinkability is also good, though I shared a large bottle with a friend.

An all-around winner pale ale!

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

Appearance: Ale poured to with a gold-white head that dissipated slowly leaving no lacing. Dark gold color with a slight touch of red.

Smell: Rich without being overpowering, well balanced notes of hops with a hint of yeast and fruit

Taste: Nice malt notes with a touch of hop bitterness at the finish. The taste, like the smell is "well rounded" without simple or overpowering notes.

Mouthfeel: Okay but nothing impressive. A bit on the watery side without the desired creamy notes. More like a lager than an ale.

Drinkability: Quite nice and dependable - an ale I'd go for if there wasn't something more exotic to offer. Good with meals because the taste doesn't compete with the food.

[Additional notes] This has become my "go-to" beer. Not being as big a drinker as most here on BA, I only drink five or six beers a week. Currently two or three of them are SNPA; I can understand why so many people consider this a gold standard to measure other beers against. While I'm not a "monster hop" fan, I've been very fond of the bold, clean hop flavor that's short of an IPA but unmistakably a west coast brew.

Considering how often I keep coming back to this beer, I've upgraded the 'drinkability' score significantly as well as the 'mouthfeel' (those fine bubbles are very lager-like and do a good job of refreshing the palate.)

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

The consummate APA, to which all other APAs have to be matched up against. It's so deeply ingrained into what my idea of a solid APA is, it's almost a chicken-egg conundrum. Was there an APA before Sierra Nevada Pale Ale? Was there Sierra Nevada before there was an APA? The answer is yes, of course, but I wouldn't know because I'm 24 years old.

So what up-makes this APA? The answer seems obvious; all them west coast hops. That's the flavor, primarily, and the malt could only get in the way if it were to present itself any more strongly. We don't want any of those stinky esthery sweet flavors coming through to ruin our nice green, resiny American hop experience.

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Photo of ajmoody76
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bought at local grocery. 12 oz. (355ml) bottle into a pint glass. a shade lighter than copper with a nearly white head. head was a finger width with nice retention.

nose was fruity with citrus fruits. nice hoppy bouquet. not a lot of malt presence. no off odors identified.

great taste. a little hop bitterness but more fruit. the malt does have a place in this beer but takes a backseat to the hops. not a lot of sweetness in this beer.

good amount of carbonation. nice brussels lace. meduim-fullness mouthfeel. grapefruit on the aftertaste.

nice example of the apa style. the hops are a little out front. very drinkale beer. actually have had many sessions with this beer. have not had this in awhile. wonderful beer!

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

Poured into a beer glass which produced a nice foamy nice head and a nice nutty brown colour. It had a nice hoppy aroma about it, which did not disappoint as I drank it. A balanced hoppyness lingers nicely on the palate. A beer I could drink over and over, and makes me wish I could get a beer this good, this cheap in Canada. Sigh.

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Photo of mwagner1018
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Large frothy heavy body 3 fingers of head following brisk, but steady pour. Light copper, with yellow golden undertones in the color. Sporadic larger bubbles rising, definitely due to the natural bottle carbonation. Takes a couple of minutes for the head to settle down to a nice blanket on the beer. Steady lacing down glass.

S- Nice release of floral citrus hops, notes of grapefruit, lemon zest, and mild pepper, classic west coast.

T/M- Crisp fresh bitterness up front, followed by a nice creamy bourbon vanilla infused malt character, finished by a really nice grassy, grapefruity, acidic and oily, mouth coating bitterness. Slight creamy butter texture, very well balanced, but certainly hop forward. Nice dry finish.

D- A great "go to" west coast style APA, done as right as you can get, crisp, refreshing, but with enough kick, and caramel malt to balance it all out. Every time I have one...I want another one, that certainly defines drinkability...Between this and Anchor Liberty...they really IMO set the standard for what an APA should be...

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

Nice clear pale golden brew with a big head as a result of an aggressive pour. Thin head remains on top and lots of sticky lacing clings to the glass. Wonderful smell of spicy hops and malt. Starts out strong and bitter from the hops and then smooths out with some maltiness and finishes very dry and hoppy. What a wonderful brew. Hard to say american pale ale and not think of this beer.

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Photo of jmfc8237
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Has a nice golden brown hue with a touch of cloudyness. Almost caramel in color. Good carbonation and a nice white head boasting a large amount of tiny bubbles. Quick head discipation with moderate lacing.

S- Bright floral accents and citrus aroma. Very well rounded hoppy nose.

T- Lovely bright but not over bearing bitter taste. Gives a flowering aftertaste that lasts and lasts. The alcohol is very understated and has a great transition between the malt and hops.

M/D- A wonderful beer to sip on with dinner. Has a nice silky texture with bright carbonation. I love the price and it goes great with most any meal.

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Photo of 3rdRowTailgater
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an American pint glass. It pours a copper color with a nice, big thick head that lasts.

A very nice citrus hoppiness balanced with pale malt. Not too hoppy, not too malty. Great blend.

The taste is pure APA. It's got citrus and piney hop notes along with malt and ends with a slight bread taste. Really nice balance.

It's not too viscous and not too thin and the taste lingers just long enough. I could drink this all night and I have many times. It's a classic for a reason.

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Photo of brewdoc75
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I decided I'd go with one of my all-time favorites for my first review on this site. I've had it bottled and on tap and it is better on tap, however I'm rating the bottled version here.

Appearance: Clear orange in color. 1/2 to 3/4 inch head w/ lively carbonation eminating from below. Quite inviting indeed.

Smell: A nice clean citrusy perfume. Doesn't scream of hops, but lets you know there's some good ones in there. There is a faint sense of malt as well, but not overly present.

Taste: Outstanding. This is what does it for me. The beer has a signature hoppy bite with a pleasantly clean citrus flavor that follows. A touch of light sweetness from the malt that brings you towards the end of the drink. The finale is a enjoyable bitterness which slowly fades until the next drink.

Mouthfeel: Light, refreshing, and always making my mouth crave more.

Drinkability: I usually have the option to buy this in 6 or 12 packs. I can never bring myself to by only 6 as I know that I'll end up going back to the store.

Overall, this beer is the reason why I am now an aspiring beer geek. It made me cross-over from the mass-produced garbage I used to drink so much in college. Now, as I try a multitude of other great craft brews, this beer is still there. I compare it to the original 3 episodes of Star Wars. I can experience it over and over again and never be let down. In the end, it will always bring me happiness.

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

Appearance is a cloudy orange with white foam and clinging lace. Aroma is floral hops, green leaves and lemon blossoms. There are some barley and malt notes, too. Initial taste caresses the tongue with silky smooth crackers and malt, balanced by dry hoppiness. Ethanol fumes work through the sweet grapefruit hops and brown sugar. Good beer!

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

Pours a deep golden yellow color. A nice 3 finger off white head. The head starts out very bubbly at first and then creams up to a good 1/2 inch thickness. Pretty good lace on the way down. A ton of bubbles riding the entire perimeter of the glass.

A very nice, crisp, hoppy, pine scent to this that leaves a nice citrus aroma on the back end.

This has a nice grapefruit/citrus flavor with some delicious bitter hop, that never overpowers the whole beer. A great balance of malt detected throughout.

This beer is an excellent example of this style. Easily sessionable, refreshing, very nice carbonation and a very nice piney aftertaste. Due to the overall availability of this beer, it has become my session beer of choice as of late. I can get it at any liquor/grocery store and a good majority of bars around here carry it as well.

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

I would be OK I think if I could only drink from one brewery and that brewery was Sierra Nevada.
Pours out a honey colored slightly hazy beer with mild carbonation and little to no head.
Definitely some hops in this beer, you can smell them first and then some sweet malt.
The taste is a quick bitter-sweet that lends way to a nice malty flavor. Then there is a wash of floral hop aroma followed by a bitter-dry finish and a lingering citrus taste.
Mouthfeel is very good for this style. I expected a thinner beer but this has decent body.
A very drinkable beer. I had a couple with dinner and I think a couple more are on deck for the evening at least.

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

This is a real staple when it comes to pale ales. This brew is crisp and clean, with a mild hop aroma. This was the first pale ale I got into when I started drinking beer. From the initial sip to the bottom of the glass, it is clean and refreshing with a very balanced amount of hoppy flavor and aroma. A solid brew for any HopHead starting out.

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

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

poured from a 12 oz into a pint glass. pours a clear yellow/amberish with alot of white head that disappears quickly and leaves almost no lacing.

smell is mostly just piney hops. a good amount of the malts are there but the hops are the star of the aroma.

love the taste of this beer!!! its amazing its taken me this long to get around to reveiwing. to date i cannot think of a better american pale ale thats better for the price. an almost perfect balance of sweet and bitter. its popular for a reason.

mouthfeel: doesnt leave a hoppy dry mouth and doesnt leave a sticky mouth. all i can really say is that for seasoned beer drinkers and beer noobies this one should go down fairly easily.

drinkability: 5 for five reasons:
2:available most everywhere
3:ridiculously sessionable
4:great beginner beer
5:i enjoy it and im god

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

Reposting review from hacked account (jmkratt) :(

I don't know how many SNPA's I've had through the years, time for a review. The beer when poured from bottle to a pint glass pours a golden color with a bit of haze and a nice 2 finger slightly off-white head. Good retention and some lacing. The aroma is an earthy hop pine and grass with some fruity esters in the malty sweetness. It's well balanced between the malt and hops in flavor with a medium body and solid carbonation. A nice subtle lingering hop flavor on the tongue. Pleasant. One of the APA's to beat, standard setter.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Christoffer91
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

I must say this is one of my favorite beers. Has a very hazy orange color to it. You can see the particals of yeast from the bottle conditioning. The head is fairly large and settles to a sticky lace around the glass. Smells hoppy with a little grain. Bitter spice, citrus,malts, and pine dominate the flavor. A very drinkable pale ale! I think it is the perfect session beer! In my opinion, Sierra Nevada Pale ale is truely a classic American beer!

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,276 ratings.
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