Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale
BA SCORE
4.03/5
Exceptional
11,466 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
Ranking:
#3,137
Reviews:
3,050
Ratings:
11,466
pDev:
11.66%
Bros Score:
4.09
 
 
Wants:
317
Gots:
3,273
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11,466 |  Reviews: 3,050
Photo of roadhouse
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of Evocatus
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of ectomorph
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of bonkers
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of cagocubs
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of beakerboy
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of Liquor Barn's Ultimate Brew Crew Nov '06 - Pale Ales

Poured a bottle into a certified british tulip pint glass. The cream colored head was two fingers high and slowly dissipated, leaving a significant amount of lace on the glass. The beer is quite clear and a dark amber in color. The aroma is strong hops and sweet malt. The flavor starts with floral notes, which fade to a medium bitterness. The bitterness is not so overwhelming, it's well balanced. The mouthfeel seems on the light side. A good beer all in all, more hops than many Pale Ales, but not as agressive as IPAs.

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Photo of woemad
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from a six-pack purchased for $5.99 (I think it was on sale)at the local Rosauer's. Poured a nice golden amber, with a decent amount of white head. Gave off a nice scent of floral hops with a sweet malt smell in the background. Starts off sweetly like some English bitters I've had, and then the hops kick in. Whoa! Big hop zap! The hops definitely win out over the malt in a big way, finishing off with a big, crisp citrusy note. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but compared to a macro pale, its like a stout. Definitely hits the spot on a warm day (like, say...today!), so long as you are not afraid of a little hoppiness - then again, who in their right mind gets a SN and DOESN'T expect hoppiness. What perplexes me is that my brother, who dislikes hoppiness (he won't even touch an IPA) loves this, and cites it as his favorite beer.

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Photo of gmfessen
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden-copper color, with a small amount of head and lacing. Immidiate taste is of a citrisy hops (which dominate almost to the point of an IPA) followed by a smooth light malt flavor that leaves a enjoyable slight aftertaste. The body is relativly light and combined with the flavor, makes for a very drinkable beer. An excellent example of an APA. Must try.

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Photo of Kremlock
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice 1/4 inch head and then settles to a thin layer on top. Colour is a orange or a very clean copper penny. Some residue, however it is bottle conditioned therefore to be expected.

S: Hints of sweet oranges, flowers, paired with hint of malt.

T: Oranges and citrus notes right off the bat with malt flavors following not far behind. The hops and the malt are basically side by side in your mouth but not competing.

M: low to medium bodied with a silky smooth feel in the mouth. The carbonation cleans up the palate well.

O: This is a great beer and a must have in any fridge. The balance of the hops and malt is right on, the flavours are very unique and well designed.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into the Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Have always loved this beer. Solid and accessible.

A - Pours a nice strong golden color with a nice white head that is about .5 inches and recedes to a nice thin film with a sticky ring.

S - Strong grain back bone that is accented by some nice faint pine character from the hops.

T - Starts of with a nice biscuity malt backbone. Some hints of walnuts and almonds. Nice and refreshing. Some faint citrus hop character that is well balanced with the malt. Piney resin as well coats the tongue.

M - Light, crisp and well balanced. A solid offering.

D - Refreshing and very very drinkable.

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Photo of Lacesoutcody
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: a beautiful golden brown.

S: Aromatic, with a spicy sweetness, and floral notes.

T: A great mix of bitterness with the fruit and hop notes. It is a wonderful balance, and very impressive for a bigger company such as Sierra Nevada.

M: Very nice, not too full, or imposing. Slightly malty, and compliments the slight bitterness that hits the pallet early in the taste.

D: As always, one of my favorite beers, and a great choice for most any occasion, a great pale ale, and deserves great recognition. Pick a case up.

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Photo of Jsalz21
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Boto
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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 +6.7%
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 +6.7%
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 +6.7%
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 +6.7%
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 +6.7%
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 +6.7%
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 +6.7%
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 +6.7%
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 +6.7%
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 +6.7%
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 +6.7%
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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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 11,466 ratings