Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
2,990 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:
2,990
Ratings:
11,131
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
11.6%
 
 
Wants:
306
Gots:
3,016
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,990 | Ratings: 11,131
Photo of akolb
4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A nice, classic beer. The aroma is subdued citrus, and the taste strikes the right balance between malty and bitter. A beer that goes great with food and sets the standard for the style.

 186 characters

Photo of cosmin
4.87/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I wish we had more of Sierra Nevada's product in Canada. I was never really a fan of pale ales until I tried this one on tap in the States. Wow. This is truly the bench mark for American style pale ales. Beautiful colour. Wonderful smell. Even better taste. Very refreshing and hoppy! At first I must admit I thought I was drinking an IPA. And at 5.6% ABV this is truly a remarkably balanced beer. I've been searching for similar products but cannot find anything comparable. A++ for this one.

We have this available in bottles in Canada (at the LCBO in Ontario) however it's pretty pricy at $15 for a 6 pack! None the less, I always keep a few in the fridge. I only wish they would bring Sierra Nevada's Torpedo IPA to the LCBO!

 730 characters

Photo of davidperez
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a nonic pint, it pours an ultra-clear orange amber color with a frothy one-inch head with good retention.

The aroma is of citric, piney notes, with malty sweetness, caramel.

Upfront you meet a high and pleasant carbonation. Malty sweetness, along with a hint of biscuit, citric and piney flavors, hoppy bitterness. A very balanced beer, all the flavors are blended in perfectly.
Long finish. Medium to light body, smooth. Very refreshing and fully flavored.

I could drink this any day of the week.
Awesome beer this classic of classics is.

 556 characters

Photo of Amateurbrewmaster
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Wanted to see what the hype was about. Definitely worth picking up again (or cloning yourself). From a can in to a pint glass. Nice light amber color with a decent white head. Smells absolutely amazing. Bold citrusy, pine, hints of malt. Taste follows smell to a T. Little bit of malt, punch in the face hoppiness, clean, bitter dry finish leaving me begging for more.

 368 characters

Photo of Mont14N
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This historical Beer deserve a max. rating. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. ( and Anchor Steam Br. ) started the craftBeer revolution in the USA. On every visit of me in the States I want to drink one SNPA. Ken Grossman and Steve Dresler started to brew hoppy Beers in the early '80-ties. Now you have a lot of well hopped Beers. This make the hopfarmers and our tastebuds happy. Every american Beerlover should be proud of the story of this Beer & Brewery.

 451 characters

Photo of jeffreywt
3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A standard offering and honestly a good benchmark for a quality IPA. If you drink a lot of "craft" brews with extreme hops then this will seem a bit watered down but not in a bad way. This is my go to beer and the one that really got me interested in all the rest.

 264 characters

Photo of THSdrummer
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a somewhat hazy golden hue, with a thick white foamy top and a good deal of lacing. The aroma has a pleasant mix of malts and hops, without much bite from either side. A hint of citrus is in there as well. It seems rather subdued, and standard. Taste is a range of slightly sweet malts, balanced out with some citrusy hops. Nice balance and contrast between the two. Mouth feel is nice and smooth. A little mouth coating, which is great. It really feels good. Overall, wow. A very good pale ale right here. I'll be returning to this one, I can tell. Highly recommended!

Served in a 12oz snifter.

 603 characters

Photo of NateDyk47
4.04/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into snifter.

Look: clear golden amber, thin white head, minimal lacing
Smell: hops & citrus
Taste: citrus, can taste orange, grapefruit, lemon; good hops flavor as well
Feel: medium bodied, medium to heavy carbonation

Overall: really good for a lighter IPA. Definitely prefer Torpedo DIPA, but this is good stuff too.

 328 characters

Photo of HotDogBikeRide
4.39/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle without a date. Very unfiltered look, so much sediment floating (maybe it's just my glass, damn that's a lot), gold color. White foamy head, rad lacing.

Taste is extremely refreshing and very middle of the road. Little bit of citrus and dry hop, but ultimately so easy to drink and simplified. Not watered down, but quite thirst quenching.

Would like to try one again on tap or something. Great beer, feel stood out so much, taste came out more as the beer warmed.

 488 characters

Photo of Pmicdee
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I don't know what all the hype is about. This is a good beer, don't get me wrong, but its not "outstanding". I was expecting more bitterness and frankly more of a stronger taste. Maybe its because of the long truck ride from California to Ontario. .... The date on the bottle is still good.

 290 characters

Photo of Hyptochrons
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Packaged 11/04/15 … not the freshest I guess.

pours clear orange/gold with lots of bubbles. Three fingers fluffy white head, fat and sticky lace clings to the glass

Smell is earth, malt, yeast, light floral and a citrusy lemon note. Its pretty strong and very pleasant.

Taste is earthy hops up front with some floral notes, balanced nicely by a sweetish malt backbone. Finishes with a light bitterness and an unpleasant metallic taste. . . have had this other times and came through really clean with some nice citrus zest and grassy pine notes. had to up the taste and overall to 4 as I think the original drinking wasnt too fresh.

 641 characters

Photo of JDaniel502
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured this beer into a clear pint glass and was impressed with the cloudy amber coloration. I sniffed and was hit with aroma of citrus rinds. I did taste the pine and citrus but feel that they were overpowered by the grassy & piney flavors. Be that as it may, I still got a great overall satisfaction out of this beer. It was very smooth and the pleasant flavors linger awhile after drinking.

 395 characters

Photo of SheaDawg
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Don't drink it "ice" cold. That's not the way to enjoy it. It should be really cold, but not as cold as you can possibly get it. To bring out the light citrus taste and basic (as apposed to acidic) taste, you need to drink it at the right temperature. It has a very light feel to what many would believe to be a heavy beer. I don't understand the poor reviews. I know this company. They do it the right way. No after brew additives. Pure and clean ingredients and procedures from people who take serious pride in the method as well as the product.

 556 characters

Photo of johnnyd10vt
3.39/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I remember the first time I had one many many years ago and how blown away I was by how insanely hoppy it was. Today, by 2016 standards it's not that hoppy after all.

Halfway between a lager and a brown in color, the flavor balances quite a bit more to bitter than malt. Other than the bitterness, I don't get much flavor from the hops. I guess that's my burned out palate. Not my favorite style, but not a bad beer.

 417 characters

Photo of nicholas2121
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale brewed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., with an ABV of 5.60% This brew pour out a nice deep golden amber color wit a nice white head. I really like the color of this brew. The smell of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is rich with hops , grains and malts. Just the smell of this brew is really inviteing. You really pick up on the hops , in the smell of this brew. To me the hops is just right, for this brew . Now for the taste, it is bold with flavors. You pick up the hops at first the the smoothness of grains and malts. I like how this brew is bitter at first the smooth at the end. There is a lot going on in Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. This brew has a nice balance to it, there is nothing overpowering about it. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has a nice smoothness to it. This is on of the more bolder but smoother, tasting pale ale's I have had. The mouthfeel of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, is rich, bold , clean, smooth and refreshing. This is a brew that I would buy if I was looking for a pale ale to drink. Overall I'm giving Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, a 4.25 out of 5. I would buy this brew again. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., did a nice job with this one.

 1,167 characters

Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.56/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I had this beer tonight on draught in a large frozen goblet (too cold).

(L) Light amber a bit hazy/frozen, thick frozen head.

(A) Aroma subdued because it is frozen, but sweet, bread, caramel.

(T) Sweet, some caramel, piney, citrus.

(F) Medium body, nice carbonation, well balanced.

I thought it was very nice

 314 characters

Photo of AleMan66
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look: hazy, good head, the sufficient carbonation makes it more attractive
Smell: sweet, nice
Taste: bitter, robust, bad after taste
Feel: nicely carbonated, too heavy
Overall: The fact that it's too bitter and has a bad after taste ruins it for me. What saves it a bit is the carbonation.

 295 characters

Photo of Beglane
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I can't believe I've neglected to review this ale. This is the beer that, 4 years ago, finally got me to give up Bud and experience the world of outside of the big 3 breweries. That said, Sierra Nevada widespread availability makes this a go to beer no matter where I'm traveling. A constantly good beer, so get the fuck out budwieser your time has passed!

 356 characters

Photo of StoutElk_92
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours golden yellow orange with a fluffy, frothy off-white head. Smells like caramely malt, melons, light tropical citrus, and pine. Taste is malty, with light bread and caramel notes, hints of citrus and honeydew melon, with a bitter and piney herb note to wash it away. Feels light-medium bodied, slightly creamy with moderate carbonation. Overall a nice malty and hoppy pale ale.

 382 characters

Photo of BrokenEdge
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

So far, my favorite SN beer and one of my favorite pale ales. The color is a deep copper with a thick, frothy head that left a ring of foam and a good amount of lacing. Smell was lemony, faint sweetness like honey, and a little bit of something pepper-y/spicy. The taste was similar with a refreshing finish, overall really balanced between malt and hop with neither dominating. I did find it a tad bit too carbonated for my taste (lots of beer burps with this one) but that's really my only complaint.

 502 characters

Photo of FCox143
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Aroma: citrus, floral and pine from the hops over notes of caramel.
Appearance: clear light orange colour with a thin off-white head.
Taste: strong citrus (orange and grapefruit) with bread-like feel.
Highly recommended.

 220 characters

Photo of PnwJimmies
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The color of this beer was a vibrant copper color with a 2 finger white head which receded to a thin layer of foam. A little lacing down the glass.
Right off the bat i smelt honey and sweet malts with a hint of grapefruit sitting behind it, No real noticeable hoppy smell.
The taste was well balanced with a semi sweet malty back bone with a pleasant bitterness that rolled with beer as it went down.
The feel of this beer was quite a light body with decent amount of carbonation.

 481 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.

 499 characters

Photo of Sabtos
3.16/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark orange with a uniform thin head that recedes to a nice thin film.

Orange rind with overpoweing nutty cracker and toast, and some light toffee in the finish.

Medium, well carbonated body.

 193 characters

Photo of abrdnck
4.63/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look: Clear, light amber in colour with a white head that lasts all the way to the end. Nice lacing on the glass.

Smell: Citrus and piney hops, beautifully balanced with the bready malt. I remember the first time I tried this beer, it seemed overwhelming to me. Times have changed, and there are many beers out there more intense, but this is still amazing.

Taste: Just like the smell. Excellent balance of malt and hops. Significant hop flavour with pine and citrus in the foreground.

Feel: Medium body, enough to grab on to but light enough to enjoy many of them.

Overall: There is a reason this is a classic. I like pale ales in general, but this stands out in the field.

 695 characters

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,131 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