Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

11,222 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 11,222 |  Reviews: 3,013
Photo of ZebraCakez
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Not much to say about this that hasn't been said, this is a timeless classic. Super well rounded, clean finish, and the Sierra Nevada hoppy twist that is to be expected from them. Always has a place in my fridge.

 212 characters

Photo of Pete_Ale-man
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Probably one of the best Pale ales I've had. Great taste, nice bite to it and smoother than other pale ales I've had. This is the type of beer other pale ales should strive to be.

 179 characters

Photo of davidsumner
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Preamble - Pale Ale or IPA ? Hmmmm.... doesn't really matter to me; at the end of the day, it's good no matter how you name it. I prefer this over Torpedo; as Torpedo is a tad too heavy for me. Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale is world class and a mainstay in my beer fridge.

Poor - Good frothy poor leaving a generous two finger head. Decent lacing. The color is a warm amber; carbonation is great and because it's bottle conditioned, there is of course sediment resulting in a slight haze.

Nose - Nice light pine/resin hops with a light sweet malt backbone. Pine,citrus,floral.

Taste - Hop forward; piney, resiny, faint of citrus, biscuit and tea. Just how I like it; I'm a hop head and I prefer heavier hops, lighter malt. All and all, very nice, light quaffable beer.

This is a great sessionable, all times of day beer. It goes with almost any meal, but has enough to be an after dinner Ale as well. One of my goto beers and usually at a great price.

 954 characters

Photo of twage04
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Great flavor and balance. Subtle grapefruit and breadyness, hard to beat how refreshing and delicious this beer is.

115 characters

Photo of Curt3
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of milkbaby9
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into Samuel Adams sensory glass. 2 finger off-white foam head settles down to almost nothing and no lacing. Slightly hazy gold color looks nice.

Aroma is a bit hit of malt with slightly citric, grassy, cat pee, and piney hops. Upon tasting, the entry is lightly malty then immediately followed by a grassy strong pine and slightly oily bitter astringency. Then a big dose of sweet malt and fresh baked bread comes through in the aftertaste. As it warms up, a stronger sweetness starts to reveal on the finish through the aftertaste which turns it almost too sweet.

Very nice balancing act between the hops and malt. Carbonation is light, enough to tickle the tongue, with mouthfeel being medium light bodied. Fairly crisp finish.

Drinkability is fairly high -- feel this is a pretty nicely balanced brew. The further down the glass it gets, the better I think this beer tastes!

 892 characters

Photo of FickleBeast
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Smuttynose pint glass

A - pours pale amber with only a slight ring of foam

S - wonderful aroma of citrus hops

T - classic. Balanced pale ale with just the right amout of hop flavor explosion at the end to satisfy my inner hop lover.

M - medium bodied with a good amout of carbonation that tickles the tongue

D - I love this beer. Great price, great flavor, I can drink this all night an be happy.

 429 characters

Photo of Nightwish1094
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of buzzarooski
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

LOOK: Perfect Golden Amber Ale with a 3/4 inch Foamy White Head that only Decreases Slightly as you drink, Excellent Lacing of the Entire Glass that remains Through-Out.

SMELL: Nice Blend of High Grade Hops, Pine, Bready Malts, and Citrus Aromas

TASTE: Smooth Refreshing Taste, Malty Grains, Spices and a Faint Bitterness with Every Sip.

FEEL: Refreshing and Smooth for the Pallet, Great Balance of Carbonation.

OVERALL: Quality Medium Bodied Ale that has an Easy "Drinkability" about it....Makes for an Excellent "SESSION BEER"... I Highly Recommend and Enjoyed this Delicious Pale Ale which is Widely Distributed, Affordable, and Readily Available in the United States.

 680 characters

Photo of bdifulvio
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of HarrySTruman
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear gold. Nice finger and a half head. Head retention was good, cap maintained for a while. Minimal lacing.

The smell is fantastic. Citrus and floral nodes. Smells more of apples than anything.

Tastes of apples, oranges, malts and spice. Very complex and well balanced.

Well carbonated and smooth. Finishes a bit sweet.

Great price, great taste. A great American Pale Ale. The best example of the style I've ever had.

 431 characters

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

Photo of BBQWhisperer
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Bonzo
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Retroman40
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a tulip glass slightly chilled (50F)

A - Light copper color with some haziness. Rich long lasting head and generous lacing.

S - A blast of pine and citrus.

T - Outstanding balance between the high hop rate and rich malt flavors.

M - Almost tangy with and excellent level of natural carbonation.

O - A well hopped (but not too much) ale. I suspect some of the haze was due to the natural conditioning. No matter what this is an outstanding beer that I have to spring for more often.

 506 characters

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of those beers you never think to review.

Pours a golden clear. Very nice white lacing and head.

Little bit of hoppy aroma with a nice malt backbone. Not super aromatic.

Taste is classic. This is the pale ale everyone bases their pales around. Solid good taste. A bit hoppy with a nice maltiness.

Mouthfeel is great. Smooth and crisp.

Overall this is mine and most people who like good beers go to beer when we can't find anything else at a bar. You can almost guarantee they will have SNPA. Even when their are other beers I'll get this one. It's also the beer you can buy a case of year round and relax to at home after a hard day at work. Thank you SNPA

 665 characters

Photo of Shumista
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

SNPA was one of the beers that got me into craft beer and away from the light beers my buddies so enjoy. To this day whenever I'm not quite sure what I feel like on a friday or saturday night I know I can go with a sixer of this and be happy. Funny that I've never reviewed it.

A- I'm reviewing on my blackberry watching a game of beer pong with no glass around. That's ok with me though, SNPA is one of the few craft beers I don't hesitate to enjoy straight from the bottle. Besides the other 1600+ reviews probably do a good enough job of describing how this one looks.

S- The aroma is muted because it's still in the bottle but is still pretty good. Citrusy hops dominate the nose but do not overpower.

T- Wonderful, everything an APA should be. Citrusy hops are balanced perfectly with bready malt. I can't say enough about how perfectly balanced this beer is.

M- Medium bodied, crisp, good carbonation. Very refreshing beer.

D- Give me a twelve pack of this and a hot summer day and I will be happy long after the sun sets. One of the most drinkable craft beers I've had.

 1,085 characters

Photo of PierceTheElder
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Neptune
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Hesperus
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Light, perfectly translucent amber with a solid two fingers of well-retained head, active carbonation, and decent lacing.

Smell: Piney hops with strong notes of grapefruit upfront, with pleasing malt and biscuit behind the scenes.

Taste: Piney bitter hops with with some grapefruit upfront, this is somewhat compensated for by an undertone of bisctuity maltiness. Very pleasing to my palate.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated, somewhat dry, still refreshing. It has enough body to be very satisfying while still being highly drinkable for those with a taste for hops.

Overall: This is one of the best and most common examples of an American Pale Ale, and while it is certainly not the end-all-be-all APA, it is an immensely satisfying beer in every respect. It's a good entry beer for those wanting to get their hop on, and a highly-available standby for visitations to establishments with limited selection. It's very hard to go wrong with one of these.

 965 characters

Photo of MikeDL
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The first thing I did on my 21st birthday was skateboard down to the store and buy a 12 pack of these. Sipped on them the whole day, these beers taste great. You have to try them!

 179 characters

Photo of k22c4
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of ClePaul
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mtnman6288
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of mullenite
4.28/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a clear orange with a two finger frothy white head that stuck to the glass like nothing else and left a nice cap on the top of the beer and a thicker ring around the glass.

Smell is a combination of grapefruit and fresh cut grass with grapefruit winning out overall. The scent is not overly bitter however, compared to some other hoppy pale ales and balanced ipas this is subdued.

Right off the bat and on the tip of the tongue is an excellent biscuit malt flavor followed immediately by the citrus hops. Towards the back of the tongue the biscuit shows itself again this time with a much more pine flavored bitterness that lingers for some time.

A solid medium body with a great cleansing carbonation that keeps the long finish from being too sticky.

This one is very easy for ME to drink, for a beginner it might be too much but probably a great introduction to hops.

This has been a bar standard for me for a while, bottle or tap it's a great go-to beer.

 969 characters

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,222 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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