Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale
11,344 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11,344 |  Reviews: 3,034
Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear amber with a one-finger creamy white head. The head disapates leaving some light soapy lacing.

S - Aroma of sweet malts and hops.

T - Flavor starts with some sweets malts. The sweetness fades into some nice citrus and earthy hop bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Crisp mouthfeel with a smooth finish.

O - An American classic and the gold standard pale ale. Just as good as ever.

 421 characters

Photo of Spaceman_Jer
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: I pour a 24 oz. bomber of Sierra Nevada Pale ale, the old stalwart of American craft beer intro a shaker pint glass. It's a mellow 57 degrees out,a little chilly for a July night in California so I think this beer is a perfect choice. The beer arrives in the glass as a consistent medium amber with light yellow undertones. The opacity of the beer is medium. It looks a tad watery and bubbles rise throughout the glass for a long while. The head comes in at a nice full foamy inch. It's very light tan in color. Eventually the head diminishes and then retains at 1/4 inches, thinning in the center and leaving a ring of light clinging lacing.

Smell: The malt presence is upfront. The blend of pale and crystal malts works well to create an aroma of toasted biscuit with a definite sugar presence. However, this beer isn't sickeningly sweet, a quality I usually dislike. There are aromas of dried fruit, tannins, raisins and caramelized sugar. Perhaps it isn't far fetched to also appreciate a leafy quality in this beer. I think this would be a great autumn beer. The cascade hops are piney and citrus. Floral and spicy flavors emerge in the background. A highly present flavor is grapefruit. The bitterness isn't appreciable until sipping.

Taste: Upon sipping this beer I find that the taste profile is fleeting. The malts come quick and then disintegrate into a nice but depreciating slight bitterness. It isn't a huge mouthfeel of flavor but it does hit all the fine points of the style. In addition to the usually citrus flavors, a grassy presence is detectable when tasting the beer. There is a emergent flavor of cocoa. The bitterness is mild, but becomes cloying when the beer warms. Pale Ale should be served at it's proper temperature. Since this beer is relatively low ABV it lends itself towards being sessionable.

Mouthfeel: The water base seems to be distilled. The ingredients are good but lack subtlety. The balance is fine, albeit it does lean bitter. With time the beer develops a slight chalky texture. The finish is clean and sharp.

Overall: This is the archetypal APA. I will always pick this beer up when it it the best possible choice, but because of it's lack of distinguishing characteristics will lean towards more interesting options if they are available. A great beer to introduce to craft beer novices if they are bold and want to try something with notable bitterness. A legend for it's consistency.

Mouthfeel: A medium bodied sticky chewiness that fizzes in the mouth. Finishes bitter. Refreshing.

Overall: I find it hard to knock this beer. It may not be the most interesting beer ever AKA the next best thing but it is a great introduction to high quality craft beer. I will definitely be using Pale Ale to introduce my friends to craft brew. Everyone had had this beer which validates it's reputation. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is one if the best APA's.

 2,903 characters

Photo of Colt4540
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pour from a 12oz bottle into a pint mug.

A- Pours a deep golden copper color with a thin off white head that leaves pretty good lacing.

S- Has hoppy citrusy smell. For some reason I want to say that there is a smell of carrots, but maybe thats just me.

T- Maybe a grapefruit sort of citrus taste with nice hop bitterness, and a little bit of malt sandwhiched in the middle.

M- Feels crisp and clean and finishes smooth.

D- A very drinkable beer, I could drink this beer all night.

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Photo of sbleibtrey
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of JISurfer
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great googily moogily!!! This is a very good beer out of the bottle. It is ranked in the Top 5 of best bottled beers I've ever had. I'm usually not this big of a fan of American brews persay, but this is up there with my favorite European beers. I know it may sound crazy, but it's true. I saw that Consumer Reports gave it a good review, so I thought I would try it, and I must say that they know what they are talking about. The taste is "wheaty" and has a smooth delivery. It doesn't have a harsh aftertaste and leaves light on the palate. This is a must for anyone who is into wheat ales.

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Photo of macrosmatic
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. can into a pint glass.

A: Clear, medium gold, good-sized white head, and medium visible carbonation.

S: Cracker malt, light citrus, pine and grass hops. Clean and fresh.

T: Follows the nose well. Lightly hoppy, and balanced with the cracker malt's sweetness.

M: Light body, no alcohol to speak of, and a good amount of carbonation sensation.

O: This is solid. Nothing that you'd go far out of your way to seek out...but a sixer of cans watching the water for dolphins...can't be beat.

 529 characters

Photo of okono
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Crundy
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: clear golden honey color, light beige head about half a finger

smell: citrus, slight malt, pretty feint aroma

taste: quite bitter, malt flavor, very slight alcohol flavor, a dry cirtus taste remains in the mouth

mouth feel: smooth, very bitter taste, good carbonation, medium body taste

overall: Good beer, more on the bitter side, I probably wouldn't buy it for myself but wouldn't turn it down if it was offered to me.

 437 characters

Photo of ghostmech007
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A copper color with a lace that hugs the bottle like there is no freakin tommorow.

The smell is all hops which blends into a malt sorta of blend and a bit of fruit smell as well.

Smooth body but full of flavor which helps.. Simple straight forward beer, which is good in my opinion. A good hop.

All in all, I have this in my fridge at all times. No matter how much my friends make fun of me. This is a good beer.

 421 characters

Photo of BlackBearForge
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle data indicates a bottling date of 1-31-07.

Pours a crystal clear golden amber with a nice two finger creamy slightly orange head which subsides quickly to just a thin surface cover with minimal lacing.

The smell is a bit yeasty with a nice floral orange-citrus note. Nice actually.

The taste is sweet biscuity malt with a big bitter component, the two being nicely balanced. Hoppy but not to an extreme, with a touch of fruit sour orange-citrus component and perhaps a tad of caramel. As noted, nicely balanced with just a touch of alcohol warmth on the tongue.

Mouthfeel seems medium to me with just the right touch of carbonation.

Drinkability is quite good, it goes well with most foods and is one of my standard everyday beers. Might be a bit more bitter than batches I've had in the past, still very good and easy to drink.

 840 characters

Photo of mmthompson33
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has established itself as a 'staple beer' of those in America who take their beers at least a little bit seriously. It's right up there with Anchor Steam, although they taste quite different. Definitely a bitter hoppy beer. When I started moving past Bud Light, this was the beer that tempted me away.

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Photo of sommersb
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 05-06-2012
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 12 oz. brown bottle
Glassware: Signature glass
Purchased: 6-pack from Kroger

A: Head is white and creamy, one and a half fingers high on a bright, copper-colored and clear beer. Head retention is good with a very nice amount of lacing.

S: Aromas are clean and hoppy, with citrus, pine and floral qualities.

T/M: First taste is of hop bitterness, plus citrus and orange zest. After that comes the caramel malts. Crisp feeling, with a bitter and spicy finish. Body is medium with carbonation in the medium to high range.

O: Nicely balanced beer, with an obvious lean towards the bitterness. Very good American pale ale.

 679 characters

Photo of AaronSprouse
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of iSip
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale: Got my hands on one. Usually I like to have a few before I do a review, but one will have to do. The Sierra Nevada has a deep copper color with aggressive carbonation. The slightly off-white head is thick, even and lasts to the end without a lot of lasing of the glass. Flowery hops are big in the aroma and in the flavor. Under the hop flavor there a subtle undertones of malt, and the finish has a bitter aftertaste, but in a good way. The Sierra Nevada is a solid offering that a beer drinker or any style will appreciate.

 549 characters

Photo of audiodav
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pilsner glass

A - Nice, transparent medium copper/amber color. Approx. finger sized off-white head after pour. Decent lacing.

S - A citrus/fruity smell with a decent aroma of caramel/malt.

T - The hops get you right at the top with definite tastes of citrus but clears quickly to reveal the malts.

M - This is a fairly dry ale, but not too dry. Carbonation is pretty low. On a scale of 1-10, carbonation is probably about a 3.

O - This is a great tasting Pale Ale, one of my favorites. Not too hoppy and with a nice blend of malts. A great 'go to' beer if Ale's are your thing.

 597 characters

Photo of palma
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Sweet-ass looking foggy gold body with some yeast sediment due to the traditional bottle conditioning as it explains on the label. Not much of a head developed on the pour and whatever did faded rather quickly.

Smell: Not very impressed with the smell which had a fruity aroma but also was very leafy and earthy. Smelled kind of like moss...yes, moss. Not what I was expecting but I guess that plant-like aroma was what they were going for.

Taste: Almost a 4.5. Great hop bitterness throughout with strong fruity flavors. At first there is a noticeably sharp hop bite to the beer, but then the malt comes through just enough to give it a perfect amount of sweetness to compensate. Then after a few more sips the bitterness and the sweetness really start to begin to mingle together very well and the brew just gets more enjoyable. I love the lingering aftertaste of this beer which is very dry with an awesome bready flavor.

Mouthfeel is extremely smooth. Has a great light carbonation that gives it a nice crisp and smooth finish.

 1,055 characters

Photo of PappaT
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer being the classic example is still a very good session beer.
The Aroma is slightly flowery with some hints of 'green'.

The Taste is pleasant and almost balanced between the citrus hop flavours and the sweet malt.

Mouth-feel: Carbonation is at a level where is helps bring out the hops without being pushy or prickly on the tongue.
The beer's viscosity is slightly on the light side, which means it is very easy to drink and does not make much of it self while in the mouth. There is enough support to make me feel I am drinking a high quality product.

 566 characters

Photo of zerk
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer that created the APA style. Hazy peach color with a persistant lace, slightly sweet cascade hop aroma, and a crisp sweet / bitter balance. I love that I can find this beer just about anywhere... a wonderful, refreshing ale, and a true classic!

 252 characters

Photo of MemphisSooner
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the perfect session Pale Ale. Every other beer in this style should be judged against this beer. It is the standard of what a pale ale in America should be.

 164 characters

Photo of hoppheadIPA
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A "staple" craft brew in my fridge. Pours out of the bottle a rich amber with excellent head and retention. Leave thick lacing as I drink the glass.
Smell is hoppy and caramel malt. Great combo with just the right amounts of each.
Taste is what I expected, hoppy with a malty backround. Excellent drinkability for me.
Not really an aftertaste with perfect carbonation.

 368 characters

Photo of yourefragile
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Clear, slightly hazed bright golden amber color with slow carbonation and a fluffy off white head that dissipates to a thick ring with lots of webbed lacing.
S: Floral hops, a little citrus and strong background of grain. Earthy and slightly pungent. Not spectacular, but adequate.
T: Smooth, medium bodied. Malty, biscuit body with a earthy flavor, grain, and floral hops, citrus rind finish. Amazingly refreshing and drinkable.

 473 characters

Photo of afksports
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada helped make craft beer what it is with their excellent production of this Pale Ale. Their flagjip brew. And the A- rating it has on BeerAdvocate is well-deserved. Had on tap when it wasn't the most fresh, I'm still enjoying it, an still remembering the time when it was fresh an I enjouued it more.

Copper, decent head, resin pine smell of hops paired withal biscuity malt. SN PA has a hoppy aroma for an APA. Andt it's pleasant. The taste is hops first, paired with water thorughout and biscuit toast in the middle, a touch of caramel, hops bitter, and water in the back end.

Supremely drinkable and resolutely tasty, this pale ale is one for the ages and one for every day at the same time.


 718 characters

Photo of StoutSnob40
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Anchor Liberty Ale.

A: Clear orange-gold with two-finger, white and creamy head that lasted a couple of minutes. Pretty good lacing.

S: Pine and citrus hops. Caramel malt notes.

T: More toasted, bready malt up front. Herbal and grassy hop bitterness. Toasted and bitter finish.

M: Light to medium bodied. Fizzy carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.

O: The highlight for me was the floral and grassy hops. They smell and taste great. This beer also looks very nice in the glass. I thought it was a little less smooth than Anchor Liberty Ale.

 587 characters

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 11,344 ratings
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