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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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2,979 Reviews
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 Reviews
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Reviews: 2,979 | Ratings: 11,074
Photo of ifixufly
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured light golden amber color into a pint glass with 1" of head that disippated quickly into a tight white lace around the edges of the glass.
The aroma of the brew came across as hoppy with spicy and citrusy undertones when consumed. It has a smooth mouthfeel with very little aftertaste.
I would recommend this beer and seeing that it is one of my fave's, I drink this beer all the time. So bottoms up!

 409 characters

Photo of BeerBobber
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This had a very nice gold color poured from a 12 oz. can with a barely off white head rocky head that dropped off quickly. Also visible was a lot of of carbonation with bubbles just a popping.

The smell was just a real clean smell of hops, with a punch of lemony citrus.

The taste was a great balance of that punchy smell of hops with a nice balance of a back bite of malt notes.

Overall this beer really struck me as a high quality brew that has a lot of craftsmanship going into its production.

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Photo of JBuff41413
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite beers. I have to pick it up every so often. I'm finally getting around to reviewing it.

A- Clover honey color with a 3/4 inch creamy white head that falls to just a creamy glaze on the surface.

S- Very hoppy with grapefruit and honey.

T- Sweet caramel malts up front beautifully transitioning in to a quite bitter brew with lots of hops and grapefruit taking the forefront.

M- Medium-light mouthfeel, that finishes dry.

D- I love this beer and is one of my most popular session beers. 4 in a sitting is perfect.

This was one of my first beers and still one of my favorites. GREAT pale ale.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was an excellent ale that poured a clear deep yellow with a good head that dissolved to lace rings.

The aroma was beautiful, of tangy bitter hops and pine and cedar notes. It drew me toward the first taste.

The taste was very bitter, with pine and grapefruit overtones. There was no prominent maltiness. It was very dry and excellent.

I highly recommend this one.

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Photo of farHillsBrewer
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the standard by which all American Pale Ales are judged. Some may be better, but this is the best seller, the one that has penetrated markets and contends for the title of King of Beers. The slight chill haze is easily excusable since SNPA is bottle conditioned. The aroma provided by generous amounts of Cascade hops is a quite evident spicy-flowery-citrusy, that pleases throughout the lace coated glass. A hint of sweet malt covered by some underlying bitterness provides excellent balance. Each swallow finishes with a crisp hoppiness that begs for more.This is a great session beer, not that I'm inclined for excess, you understand, that works for picnics, parties, and for those of you who understand, crab feasts.

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Photo of zachary37
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Unreal golden color with a crisp white head.

S- Smells citrusy with a hint of hoppyness and caramel.

T- one of the best tastes delicious, citrus, caramel, hops, flowers, grass, very sweet with a almost sour but delicious after taste.

M- smooth mouth feel goes down smooth creamy to the tongue.

O- Overall one of my favorite beers from tap and bottle. I recommend this beer.

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Photo of chilly460
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a nice amber with fluffy white head, good lacing. Head simmers down to a frothy layer.

S - Nice combination of floral and piney hops, with a sweet biscuit background. Definitely makes you want to start drinking.

T - Quite a bit of clean floral hops up front, I'd say it's hop forward for the style. Clean malt background, somewhat sweet with a biscuit malt quality.

M - Very nice, solid medium body with tight carbonation.

D - It's my "go to" beer, always a 12pk available in the fridge. Good for spring and summer, or anytime really. Balanced and easy to drink.

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Photo of Falcynn
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Probably my favorite anytime beer. Poured from a bomber into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Beautiful. Pours out a rich slightly hazy gold/copper with an off-white head that holds up nicely and leaves a nice lacing.

Smell: Citrus, piney, floral hops, with just enough malt to balance it out.

Taste: Almost exactly like it smells with some notes of grapefruit and grassiness. The bitterness is very nicely balanced by the somewhat sweet maltiness in the background.

Mouthfeel: Very crisp and refreshing. Finishes clean.

Overall: Nothing about this beer really pops out and makes me go "wow", but by no means is that a bad thing. What I love about this beer is that everything is very balanced. It's a very easy to drink beer, but still has plenty going on to make for an enjoyable experience whether out with friends or just sitting down to a well prepared meal.

 870 characters

Photo of NOOGIE
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the staple of the frisbee cricut, always availabe. Once I showed up to a tournament this weekend my friend had one right away for me. I would always take a 6 pack of Sierra Nevada when I would go on the road to a tournament. Anyways the look of the beer has a dark amber color, little foam that disappears quickly. Smells of hops and some fruit good smell overall. The taste is very hoppy and fruity, excellent taste. The feel is smooth with carbonation, good wetness. The drinkability is very good, with an extra sweetness at the end.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my all time favorites;
Aroma: Extremely floral and spicy, but not to overtake the malts. Complex and refreshing, even to the nose.
Appearance: Deep golden, excited from the carbonation. Nice white head, containing loosely laced bubbles.
Taste: Floral and spicy nose. High hop flavoring pronounced in the body. Medium bodied, cut nicely by bittering. Leaving mouth nicely coated. Finishes a bit dry, but not to offend. High bittering at the end.
Aftertaste: All the pleasantries of the taste without complete drying, tackiness, or metalics.
Impression: Absolutely refreshing, a bold and exciting beer. One that can be drank from sun-up to sun-down and any time of the year. One to stock the fridge with.

 715 characters

Photo of Doctor_Bogenbroom
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Obviously I have had many SNPAs in the past, and in fact I would say Sierra Nevada was my gateway into craft beer, but I'm just now getting around to reviewing it myself. Sierra Nevada really fits the bill, setting the bar for other APAs with a beautiful, lustrous amber hue and two-finger, bubbly white head. The lacing sustains throughout. The aroma is floral and citrus with the hops coming through nicely, and the taste is not harsh at all, just enough bitterness to tease the tongue, and a nice hoppy finish (not overpowering). I've always admired the balance in this beer, and the carbonation is moderate but present. Overall, this is a standard for APAs, a really solid brew.

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Photo of KevinSku
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

One of the best beers that is consistently available wherever I find myself. This is in my rotation of twelve packs I pick up, and they don't last long. The short neck, colorful green, and mosaic of rolling hills makes it stand out from most other beers. Overall, a must get. Though their Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA is even better.

 330 characters

Photo of jsprain1
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a copper-amber with a thin slick of a head. A wee bit of lacing, but not much.
S- Smell is pale malt and some hops, which manifest themselves in green apple, light citrus and pine aromas.
T- A good balance of pale malt and fruity hops. Good hop presence, somewhere between grapefruit and pine. I'm sticking to green apple peel as the primary flavor I'm picking up.
M- Medium body, medium-high carbonation.
D- The quintessential APA. Refreshing and easily drinkable.

 475 characters

Photo of xybreeder
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've enjoyed this beer for years now, but thought it deserved a review regardless; should have done this a long time ago...

A: A beautiful golden orange, superb clarity, medium lacing and head retention.

S: Smells SO yummy, lots of hop aroma, citrus and pine dominate the nose, with a hint of earth on the back end.

T: Great hop flavor with not a lot of bitterness. Citrus/grapefruit tastes, along with a solid malt backbone, a perfectly balanced pale ale in my opinion.

M: Perfectly carbonated, medium to full body, wet.

O: One of my favorite, if not THE favorite "commercial" (larger brewery) pale ales, keep up the great work SN!!

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Photo of dedalus
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

coppery golden in the glass, swirled the last few drops in the bottle and poured it in the glass hefe-style, just in case any yeast was clinging to the bottom of the bottle. pillowy white head that could have stuck around a bit longer. bright clingy lacing.

aromas of fresh, grapefruity hops, orange/lemon peel, and an earthy, fruity, yeasty, damp soil scent lurking subtlely in the background.

mouthfeel is thin but not watery. very refreshing.

the flavors were all cascade hops up front: citrusy, juicy, and flowery. some malt came through in the middle but not enough to draw attention away from the hops. the almost wheaty malt and tangy, fruity yeast came back in the finish. loads of fresh hop flavor with enough bitterness to contrast the fruity, earthy, wheaty tastes.

a beautifully structured beer, perfect for the warmer weather. the bitterness here is only one of many flavor elements that build to achieve an effect greater than the sum of its parts. a true masterpiece that also happens to be widely available. i shied away from this beer in the past fearing that the bitterness would be overpowering and that the beer would lack character, but i am pleased to say my fears were unfounded. also great with a farmhouse cheddar and a loaf of real wheat bread.



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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass.
A darker golden color with nice foaming head that did lace.
Smell of hops and then some lemon and grass, maybe a pinch of ginger.
A good taste. Balanced (or should I say imbalanced) just right for a PA. Hops are the main note, with malt and lemon in the background for body. Nothing special on the mouthfeel, but that's good anyway.
Easy drinking, dangerous...can drink several without thinking of it.

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Photo of Stimack
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beer that I must say I really love. Pale Ales are one of my favorites and this one does not disappoint! Pours to a nice golden color with a small bubbly head. Small amount of lacing diminishes quite quickly and leaves you an excellent tasting brew! The smell is a somewhat strong hint of citrus and hops making you want to dive right in! The taste is dry and hoppy with a good deal of carbonation. One of my favorite beers of all time, one that I can drink regardless of the season!

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Photo of stoutman
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slight citrus note to the mainly hoppy aroma. Excellent balance between the hops and malt with a subtle but present caramel flavor. Hazy, golden color, short-lasting head. Lighter color and greater hoppiness distinguish this from English-style pale ales

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Photo of dalepryor
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

all i can say is wow! i've been drinkin many different beers for the past few years, i havn't settled on one yet, but then i come across this masterpiece. starting with the first popping of the cap the smell overwhelmes my senses, then i pour slowly into a pint glass, the color is an off-balanced orange and the carbonation going straight to the top, i'm watching as i'm typing and the head still seems to be growing. one sip, two sip. it's a wonderful brew. my top 3 for sure. one i'll be running to for years to come. excellent!

 531 characters

Photo of Mistofminn
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this at Noodles and Company in Minneapolis of all places. I was rather shocked at their beer selection. Coors Light and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale! HA! What an easy choice! I can understand only having 2 beers on hand. But Coors Light and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale? Really? Anyways I just thought that was odd.

What a great Pale Ale. Perfect balance. Perfect balance of malts and hops, body and carbonation, aroma and taste. Everything. Just great. One I will hopefully be drinking for years. I really don't have anything bad to say about this brew.

So remember, next time your at Noodles, choose a Sierra Nevada!

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Photo of uhhhaaron
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

consumed 03-03-2009, 12oz bottle into pint glass

appearance: pours a golden honey color with a fluffy 1.5 finger head.

smell: pines, citrus, caramel/sweet malts, & a toasty biscuits. good balance.

taste: upfront is the citrus flavors, some bready notes, sweetness from the malt & caramel. then the piney hop bit for the finish. nicely balanced with a smooth finish.

mouthfeel: smooth, somewhat creamy. ideal carbonation with a light to medium body.

drinkability: Very drinkable and a great session brew.

 508 characters

Photo of Redemption10
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A classic American pale ale and one of my standards. Still better than many of the new to market American pale ales. Solid in appearance, nose and taste. One of the best "gateway" beers for those trying to get off of bland and boring adjunct beers...

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Photo of jedtheavenger
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What can I say about Sierra Pale Ale that hasn't already been said? I'm not going to bother with a formal review of the nuances in sensory characteristics. Pretty much everyone who bothers drinking craft beer is fairly familiar with it.

Allow me to touch on its redeeming qualities (beyond the standard appearance/taste/smell/mouthfeel):
1. It's just about as ubiquitous as craft beer can get. If you are in unfamiliar territory and can't find anything new that catches your eye, a sixer of Sierra Pale is probably waiting for you in the store.

2. Hot damn, it's cheap....as in "I'm basically the same price as Miller Lite" cheap. The only decent beer at my store that is cheaper is Top Sail Session, so it really comes down to whether I want an ale or a lager.

3. Sometimes, you just want a beer that doesn't require a high-maintenance analysis of its flavor profile, but doesn't taste like a shitty macro. Sierra Pale is your answer. Tasty enough to be appreciated; humble enough to have three or four in a row.

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Photo of usualpulp
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber color with a small white head, which leaves laces down the glass.

Most noteable smells to this beer are hops hope and hops, though there are some great floral undertones, but the number one thing that sticks out is the cascade hops.

The taste of this beer is just great, it starts fruity and flowery with a slight bitterness, then ends with a whallop of hops that hit nice and clean.

This is one refreshing beer, that is one of my standbys and which I almost always seem to have around. This is truely the beer that sets the standard for american pale ales.

 586 characters

Photo of ckimchi
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle poured into a Pint Glass

Beautiful amber color. Clear as glass. Pours into a nice 1 1/2 finger head that has good retention throughout. Nice lacing throughout the whole drinking session.

Citrus (mostly grapefruit) and pine are the dominating smells. Smells refreshing and gets my mouth watering in sheer anticipation of the glorious hops to hit my palate.

Hop citrus dominate the flavor (but do not overwhelm) backed by a nice malt that is not sweet nor overly dry. Well balanced and not too bitter. Enough complexity to keep it interesting but not extraordinary Most macro drinkers cannot take the bitterness down although I feel it's not that strong. Finish is medium and doesn't stick around too long.

Nice body without being heavy. Great for the style. Goes in and out very easily.

This is my favorite session beer. Not too heavy and it's crisp and refreshing properties makes this a dangerous beer to have around in cases. They just keep going down and down.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,074 ratings.
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