Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
2,987 Reviews
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
sierra-nevada.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
Reviews:
2,987
Ratings:
11,108
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
11.6%
 
 
Wants:
300
Gots:
2,992
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,987 | Ratings: 11,108
Photo of mjtiernan
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz can poured into an oversized tulip

A: Fairly aggressive pour creates a nice fluffy white head. Color of the body is a hazy golden with slight copper hues. Average head retention and spotty lacing.

S: Generous citrus and floral character with hints of pine. Some tangy sweetness is a nice complement.

T: Taste has all the components of the aroma but the sweetness is muted and the hops really explode. The citrus provides a nice bite and then transitions to the floral flavor that I think is the real signature of this classic brew.

M: Body is light to medium. Texture is a little watery but the finish is dry. Carbonation is above average and those scrubbing bubbles do an excellent job of cleansing your palate with all sorts of foods.

O: My gateway craft beer. I’ve been drinking this on and off for about 15 years. A special beer with a classic flavor that is refreshing in the warm weather and satisfies completely.

 931 characters

Photo of WeissGary
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an exceptional beer! It features a fantastic amber colour, a somewhat grassy aroma, and complemented with a ’bitter but sweet’ taste. It feels like this has a lot going on in terms of its taste, body and aroma. In terms of drinking, this beer has sipping qualities; a very easy to drink yet rewarding and complex beer! I would absolutely suggest you pick this up if you get a chance, I know its quite well established in the USA but it seems to be picking up over in the UK today, if you spot it, give it a shot!

 524 characters

Photo of matdot
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap from Pastis in Dunwoody, Georgia. Accompanied by Filet Mignon and Truffle mashed potatoes.

Appearance: Golden orange with bubbles and a small one inch head. Bubbles filled the sides of the glass and were not trying to escape.

Smell: Sweet, caramel and butterscotch.

Taste: The taste of caramel and sweet malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, not heavy at all.

Drinkability: Great I drank three pints and it did not leave me bloated like other "filling" beers. Bring another!

 497 characters

Photo of BuckeyeOne
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the ultimate in West Coast session beers. Many a BA has drunk and reviewed this widely available beer. I especially like the hop bitterness this version of an APA brings. It's got a touch of malty sweetness, just the right amount of carbonation, and is consistently tasty bottle after bottle.

There is almost always at least a few bottles of SNPA in my fridge.

 369 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured a brilliantly clear orange with a soft, creamy 1 finger dirty white head that settled rather quickly to a thin, sparse covering. Visible carbonation was very light.

S: The nose started out with a dry grassiness at first before giving way to a sweet citrusy nature.

T: The initial flavor starts out with a great graininess with a citrusy and light pine hopping. Quenching citrusy bite. The crisp, pale malting truly stands out here is never overshadowed by the bright citrusy nature. Finishes with a touch of grassiness and dried grapefruit. There is a reason why this is considered the staple per style. To many modern pales have been bastardized by amercian's lust for hops while neglecting the true intended crisp pale nature of the drink. This one offers a great balance with a crisp malting with a touch of malt sweetness and hopping that is balanced perfectly.

M: medium, oily viscosity with a nice feel and light dried citrus hop fade.

D: By style one of the best. Crisp, refreshing with a great malting and true to style. Case worthy by all means a go to for that summer picnic to quench the thirst with a citrusy blast.

 1,145 characters

Photo of josiahschlender
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been a little disappointed with the last few APAs I have had recently, so let's see if this one does any better.

Pours an attractive clear golden color. The good, off-white head leaves quite a bit of light lace before gradually diminishing to a film of bubbles on the surface.

Lots of good aromas floating upward. It's very floral and sweetly citrus. I also notice some toasted grainy malts.

Taste is really well balanced. The malts and hops interact so well, both come on strong yet neither take the stage too much. This is a great tasting beer. The malts have a wholesome, grainy taste to it. Kind of like a perfect golden lightly buttered piece of toast. Long lasting aftertaste finishes clean.

The wholesome, balanced taste is well complimented by the smooth, medium body. Again, balance comes to mind. It's a pleasure to drink, I'm wishing I had another. Very refreshing, very versatile. I could see this beer pairing well with a lot of different kinds of foods.

 984 characters

Photo of RaulMondesi
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Out of tha bottle and into the nonic at my pad.

I call dis da king kong of beers. Straight up, tha best big micro y'all can get. No explanation. Raul almost feel ineffable. But nah, I got it.

Darn thing smell like a sack of Jedi Cush straight out of Humboldt. Ya'll can't tell me there is not a better smell than a fresh poured Pale Ale than this.

Taste? Like Mount Pompei busted an explosion all up in my mouth (in a good way). Crazy like, flavor on all cylinders n hittin' every stride.

I like this cuz it smell good, taste good, it git u faded, n tha wanksterz choke when they take a sip.

Yeeep!

 604 characters

Photo of Labeerfinder
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Classic american pale ale. Huge cascade aroma and flavoring hops of cascade and perle blended perfectly to make this citrusy/flowery beer melt wonderfully with slighly more hop bitternes than usually found in similar type ales. Overall a very solid pale ale and easy drinkability.

 280 characters

Photo of
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My go-to affordable Pale Ale. Great for any time of the year. Great color, near perfect mouthfeel. It just tastes so clean and crisp. The citrus comes out just enough.

If I had to pick one beer to drink for the rest of my life, this might possibly be it.

 256 characters

Photo of Adam5150
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice deep honey color with very thick and lasting head. High carbonation is present at first but dissipates fairly quickly. Nice smooth taste with a light hint of apple. Ends with slightly bitter taste on tongue and back of throat. Very good and high drinkability.

 272 characters

Photo of pops28078
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glass used tulip

Pours amber on the light side. Head is 2 finger off-white mostly dissolves after 2-3 minutes yet thin head remains to the end. Medium lacing.

Aroma is balanced between hops, citrus and baked bread (malt) and not overpowering.

Taste begins and finishes with hops (medium bitterness). In the middle comes citrus (light lemon, orange and others I couldn't identify), hint of pine and malt. Not too sweet yet not too bitter.

Mouthful is medium and very refreshing.

Overall this is what I call my "go to" IPA even though the I is missing in the name. Ample availability. Its characteristics are just slightly below World Class IPAs (Pliny the Elder for example). Great drinkability. A little short on balance and feel. At 5.6 ABV, I enjoy this one again and again.

 783 characters

Photo of jonnylieberman
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a staple. Bread, water, salt, butter and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Nothing wrong with this beer at all.

I can drink it all day and all night and sometimes do.

 172 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a brillant clear red color with a touch of bronze to it. The head is massive for a pale ale, creamy yet fluffy. The aroma is full of pine resin with a hint of orange underneath. The taste is more than I have grown to expect from a pale ale, and is more than the aroma lets on. It is full of pine, and has a nice lingering bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, I have been a BA living in America for almost a year now, and have to say that my biggest mistake in that year is not having tried this sooner. It might not be the best pale ale out there, but it is close to it. I will certainly buy this beer again.

 662 characters

Photo of rpardon7
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 Oz bottle with a nice foamy rocky thick white head, that slowly receded and left nice lacing the length of the beer. The color is a nice clean light amber with small trace of yeasty sediment. Smellis of toasty biscuity malt with a strong citrusy grass like hop ovetone. Taste is sweet biscuit malt up front with clean citrus hop and fuit with a nice clean dry finish of hops. The mouthfeel is light and clean and very smooth. Drinikability is very high on this beer. This is my go to beer during the summer months, great APA very nicely balanced beer.

 566 characters

Photo of Daybis
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Deep gold appearance. Very frothy and creamy head that lasted a long time. Lacing clings all the way down the glass as the beer is drank.

S - Hoppy and kind of sweet.

T - Sweet upfront with the perfect amount of hop flavor.

M - Medium body without a whole lot of carbonation.

D - This beer is great. It is very drinkable.

Overall, this beer is great. Great aroma, head retention, and taste.

 426 characters

Photo of Manosbeeroffate
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hops? Sierra Nevada has them. Granted this and the bigfoot ale are the only two from these guys I ever drank, but they are hoppy. But not overly hoppy to being undrinkable. Very nice flavor and mouthfeel, nice finish, and a real enjoyable beer. My local grocer had it on sale for $6.99 a sixer and it's been a while since I had it. Very nice!!

 343 characters

Photo of PintOHops
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears a perfect clear copper color with medium-high carbonation. Thin head with beautiful lacing. Looks fresh and inviting! Smells of slightly sweet raisins, with dry citrus hops & pine that dominates. Again very fresh & inviting. A little malt as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tastes of very dry hops with citrus and pine notes. Good strong hop bitterness that lingers on the palate well. Some caramel notes, and some malt as well. Not much change as it warms. Mouthfeel has lively carbonation on the palate, and is a little chewy. Goes down smoothly and easily. Medium bodied.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - I could find myself enjoying 3-5 of these on any occasion. I can't get over those dry citrus/pine notes, and that dominate hop bitterness! Nice and rich, the flavors marry so well together. Very decently priced, I absolutely love this beer. Everyone must try this, even if you must seek to find. Believe me, its worth it. Cheers!

 1,001 characters

Photo of noknife83
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass, about an inch of of nice creamy foam, amber red color, earthy hop smell to it. Very nice bitter sweet contrast in favor. This is nice beer because is has a lot of flavor but the abv is low enough to where you can drink a fare amount and not get too buzzed.

 294 characters

Photo of jonsvws
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

nice crisp hoppy smell. taste nice and bitter but with a woody hint . very drinkable and very bubbly the whole time. head retention is not the best, legs stream long for awhile though. taste very smooth, bitter, and woody eceptional beer, would be able to drink all day long and have

 283 characters

Photo of billzee
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On of my favorite Pale Ales. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into chilled pint glass. Pours a dark yellow color with ample off-white head. Malt, citrus notes. Super refreshing beer. Robust grassy hop taste with hints of citrus. A solid malt backbone evens things out and gives this a medium body. A classic.

 301 characters

Photo of Blitzstyle
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottel into a pint glass. A nice golden copper color pours a 1/2in head. Looks very refreshing head disapates after a min or 2.

Smells awesome not over powering not weak perfect in a way. Mostly citrus notes and can pick up Cascade hops.

Taste great just like it smells actually not to bubbley going down. Nice hop aftertase that lingers for just a min.

Gave it a 5 on drinkability. Could and have made this beer a all night session beer. Love it!!

 465 characters

Photo of hobbes2112
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle

This was one of my first good beers back in the day and it is still with me today. Don't know why I haven't ever reviewed it until now.

Pours gold with a large white head, lots of lace. Aroma is citrus hop, a little bread, and a sedate malt. Taste follows along with quite balanced hop and malt (hop in the front malt in the rear.) Clean and crisp feel, every drink is great.

This is a wonder beer that is available all over, frequently quite cheaply (I got my current 12pk for $7.99)

 507 characters

Photo of djohnse
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had the Pale Ale before this but time to sit down and really think about it.

Appearance - Light amber color with a very light haze of what appears to be carbonation bubbles. Light head formed, dissipating fairly quickly.

Smell - Hints of citrus fruit aroma with malt thrown in.

Taste - Really upfront fruit at the start followed by a mellower bitter taste and finally finishing with the fruit and malt.

Mouthfeel - very light, only coats the mouth for a second then goes away.

Having it again reminded me to keep having more, I have a hard time really finding anything wrong with it.

 593 characters

Photo of leokbelo
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Clear golden, copperish poured into a pint glass. Head retention is minimal, very carbonated, nice lacing afterwards.
Cascade on the nose, right away. Crisp, citrusy piney. Sweet on the tongue, with a nice bitter kick, not too strong. Great balance of malts and hops. Highly drinkable, always makes me ask for more. Great session beer.
One of my favourite American Pale Ales. Highly recommended.

 395 characters

Photo of nickapalooza86
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear orange color, got a little of the yeast from the bottom in the pour floating around in there. Canned 5/2/13, half finger of white head

Smell is pine, citrus(lemon), bready malt

Taste is complex, yet simple. Starts with a bitter pine, floral like hops, spicy citrus, lemon zest, backed well with a nice malt presence.

Mouthfeel is spot on for a APA, clean and refreshing, slightly dry, but not at an IPA level. Zestful carbonation gives it a very clean finish.

Well this is a classic and the number 1 selling craft beer in the country for a reason, a lot of flavor, sessionable, approachable, drinkable and did I mention very affordable. If you call your self a beer drinker and have not tried this one stop reading and go grab a six, or even better a 12!

 772 characters

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,108 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

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.

    Subscribe