Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings!

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
2,949 Reviews
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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:
2,949
Ratings:
10,956
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
22.47%
 
 
Wants:
284
Gots:
2,845
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,949 | Ratings: 10,956
Photo of FBarber
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With almost 3,000 reviews there is not much to add here. This is a classic beer from Sierra Nevada - Always easy drinking, flavorful and well crafted. In the realm of APAs this is more earthy, bitter, and a touch spicy thanks to the cascade hops. Great balance between the hops and the malt here as this is a very balanced beer.

 328 characters

Photo of Sheppard
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a caramel reddish brown. Transparent, but not the color I would expect. Piney aroma that translates through to the flavor. There is a good amount of caramel malt sweetness. This is a solid and old reliable beer, but there are so many pale ales that I'd rather drink if in my fridge.

 288 characters

Photo of Beginner2
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A well put-together ale.
But take it from me, take it from the experts.

MJ's 1999 "Guide" gave it 4 of 4 stars (very rare) and said "it has a teasing balance between the piney Juniper-tasting Cascade hops and the fruitiness of the top-fermenting yeast."
Listed in the "1001", this classic deserves to be there and craft brewing would be different today were it not for Sierra Nevada.
Reviewed also and favorably in Roger Protz' CAMRA classic "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"

 477 characters

Photo of 88caprice
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A few suspended particles away from crystal clear. Brilliant orange honey color, active bubbles, and decent foam retention along the top. Smells like a walk through a cool pine forest. Tastes piney and citrusy with a malty, biscuity finish. A biting mouth feel from all those bubbles. A quality, well-made APA that does it right.

 329 characters

Photo of Shanex
4.01/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Have to say i had the first time being a European this year and let me say it was excellent and very tast. The poster boy for the American Pale Ale style. Will have this again for sure!

 185 characters

Photo of beerbaron1967
4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Finally get a chance to try this beer. Heard good things-now my turn to try.
The colour is almost see thru-very light amber. You can smell the light aroma of the hops.Not pungent at all.
The taste is amazing---so glad i tried this beer.
Mild carbonation-which of course means you don't feel bloated after drinking this ale.
Overall very impressed

 346 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle.

Pours light copper with a white, tight head. Nice lacing and a solid skim coat throughout the glass. Light hops in the nose. Orange citrus, pine, and light grapefruit. On the light side of medium bodied. Crisp but smooth. Light malt lays down the base on the palate with a balancing bitterness and pine-rubbed orange. Finishes fairly dry and quick with fading citrus.

The first I had this beer I was blown away by it's bright citrus and solid bitterness but after years of palate shift, it just comes off mild and average.

 538 characters

Photo of Raidersox
4.74/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Packaged on 6/2/15, old I know but was in a hurry and grabbed a 12 pack of a trusted brew. Chilled to 38 degrees, poured into large wine glass.

Look: Hazy gold orange with 1/2 inch off white head that dissipated quickly leaving a ring of foam and light lacing. Good carbonation.

Smell: Overtones of citrus (orange and tangerine), spice and a light pine resin.

Taste: Citrus and pine hops balanced by a light malt sweetness. Spiced Dry finish. Lightly grassy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and well carbonated, sharp.

Overall: Despite the age of this sample I was pleasantly surprised. This is a very drinkable pale ale but I want to try a fresher bottle and compare this review to the new one. This deserves a second look to see if the legend of this brew holds up.

 781 characters

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

I have had this beer many many times so what can be said about this classic outstanding brew that hasn't already been said expect that it is near perfect. The look is amber/copper with a nice white head. The smell is subtle with a nice balance of hop ,malty combo. The Taste is even better that starts very easy and finishes with a easy hop bitterness. Feel is again a great combination not thin and not strong.... just right Overall this well balanced pale ale is very hard to beat.

 485 characters

Photo of mgwagman
4.85/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of the first "micro brews" I started with 20 or so years ago. Strong pale ale with lots of hops. Balanced but very piney. One beer is almost enough, but two usually are the limit for me.

 193 characters

Photo of BierRunner
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After all this IPA, it's nice to return to a traditional style. A dry but refreshing beer you crave walking off the 18th hole after a sweltering round. Nice balance, pleasant taste and an effervescent finish. No wonder it's been popular for so long.

 249 characters

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 Sconnie25
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I purchased a bottle of this from a Trader Joe's in St. Paul, MN. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale pours an orange hue with a moderate head that leaves behind a nice lacing. The scent has a bit of a sweet breaded malt with a bit of hops as well. The taste is malt forward at first and then finishes with a slight spicy hop bitterness. This is very refreshing and I would definitely have this again.

 388 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
3.99/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

Overall im not sure what to think. It wasnt anything special, but it also wasnt very fresh. at the same time it does have quite a bit of flavor going on for 5.6%. gonna have to try a younger bottle.

 645 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

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,949 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe