Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

2,991 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

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Reviews: 2,991 | Ratings: 11,137
Photo of jasonpeckins32
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I cant believe its taken me this long to review this beer. One of my all-time favorites. I just absolutely love this brew. Also, one of the few brews that introduced me to the craft beer level.

Pours a hazy orange/amber in color with a nice head that sticks around as long as I could possibly want it to.

The nose is absolutely bursting of floral and citrus hops. Smells scrumptious and delicious. Just a beautiful smelling hoppy ale.

The taste is marvelous. If I had my eyes closed, I'd believe there was 1/2 a grapefruit sitting in the bottom of the glass. The excited citrus hop flavors graciously slide down the hatch. This one tastes almost rough and rugged at first swig, but after the first few sips, it eases up on you and becomes quite drinkable.

The mouthfeel is medium-bodied with perfect carbonation. Maybe even a touch bigger than medium-bodied.

Drinkability is great too. It gets mellower and mellower the more you drink.

Plain and simply a true american classic, and one of my favorites. If you havent tried it yet, I dont know what the hell you're waiting for!

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Photo of nicksta
3.48/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I remember reading somewhere on this website that this is a very popular converter of macro drinkers. Well for christmas I bought some of this stuff and my Dad really liked it. He wouldn't even try some of the macros in the fridge. So I think I might have converted him.

As for my notes(I say notes because I was to drunk to want to handle a computer) on the beer: It pours a great deep gold with a nice frothy head. The smell is fruity and and hoppy. The taste is pretty good, dry, good hops(almost to bitter), with a little kick of fruit, sweet. The mouthfeel is okay, a little thicker, but with carbonation that sticks slightly to your mouth. The stronger hops, and the overall taste lower the drinkablity.

It is a good beer that I will be coming back to, that is if my Dad hasn't already drank it all.

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Photo of doctorjoeyboey
3.44/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aroma is hoppy with a variety of fruity smells. It almost seems to smell like sparkling grape juice, although I doubt this is justified by its contents. Color is a little bit too orange for me to consider it amber or to find it truly attractive. Taste is full on the front palatte and tangy thin on the back palatte. Accordingly, the body feels medium on the front palatte and light on the back.

Technically this is a good pale ale and I could enjoy a few in a row but I have not yet acquired the taste for pale ales as a session beer and feel that ending a night on one, including a Sierra Nevada, is like ending a song off key and leaving the audience unsatisfied.

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Photo of metallistout
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I usually don't like to give fives, but this is one of my favorite beers.
Pours a light amber color with a nice thick head that will stick around.
Smells strong of hops.
Taste is a mild malt with a very dominate of citrus hops(this is what I love about this beer)

This is one of the best beers of its style and any time that I try an American Pale Ale, I always compare it to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Whenever I do this I notice that none of them are as good as this drink here.

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Photo of oggg
3.45/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Haven't had this one in a long time, but we had a department party and it was this or BMC.

Ruddy brown with unimpressive white head. I tried to hallucinate Cascade hops but only got a thin caramel nose. I tried to hallucinate Cascade hops on my tongue, but I got a brief semi-harsh bitterness with a mild caramel note before the slightly bitter lingering conclusion. Light to medium bodied. Not all that smooth.

Overall: Celebration is head over heels better. I can't really drink this brew anymore.

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Photo of Kookiekwan
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer pours a golden/orange amber color has a two finger frothy white head, OK retention and moderate lacing. The aroma is of citrusy hops and baked bread. The taste is just what you would want from a Pale Ale citrus/floral hops and pale malt perfectly balanced. This is one of the most drinkable beers out today.

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Photo of BamaScholar
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With nearly 700 reviews of this ubiquitous converter of macro-drinkers already here, there isn't too much more to say about this bad boy.

It's more amber in colour than one would expect.

Smell and taste are non-pretentious...good floral hop aroma with strong hop taste but not exclusively so. Lingering malt squeaks in with a caramel drizzle and homey bready finish.

It's hard to go wrong with this one, folks. Not perfect, by any stretch, but good for having just one or several, and a good balance of flavours.

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Photo of jslot38
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz Stubby Bottle.

Well, often times I've floated through the site and seen people get pumped up about their 100th, or 1,000th beer review... this is my 10th, and I choose one of my favorite kick back beers for it.

Appearance: Pours a clear copper with amber hues. Inch and 1/2 off white foamy head. Slowly disappates. Intermitant lacing.

Smell: Floral hops aroma power through your nostrils. A grained spiceness floats about. Lovely.

Taste: Such a great use of hops. This is one where you don't feel as if the hops have you by the neck (although I appreciate those at times), and yet remindes you of its style. Lovely esters and floral notes linger right on through a slightly biscut malt background. However, the whole hops are certainly the primary flavour, and are done to near perfection.

Mouthfeel: Although the hop rush up front might make you wonder to the mouthfeel of this beer, its level of carbonation and malt background, and the nature of the hops allow for a great mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Not filling, not too alcoholic, not too too hoppy, not too malty, a perfect mix which adds to a great drinkability. This is one that I'd pair with Dogfish Head's 60 minute that goes as a great 'session' Pale Ale.

Notes: One of the first craft beers I ever had, and while that night I was turned away, I've grown to love this beer, a great introduction to a great style.

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Photo of bosco7
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle to a pint glass

A-Has a beautiful golden pale color with plenty of carbonation giving it a shimering quality.

S-Citrus and spicy notes.

T- Overall the ale expresses balance between hops and malt and is refreshing. Finishes smooth , mild and slightly sweet.

M- Really nice mouthfeel, carbonation is balanced.

D- Extremely drinkable!

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Photo of jaluria
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A light brown color with a golden hue that has an off-white colored head that dissipates quickly. Aromas of grapefruit, pine, and hops seem to come out. The taste is typical for this style with a mildly astringent mouthfeel due to the hop bitterness. Nothing about this beer is overpowering which makes for a very good session beer or a relaxing beer. Good example of the style; perhaps a bit too sweet in the finish. A solid beer that is readily available in many areas.

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Photo of leadguit1
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tastes "rosey" , a very important attribute of a fine pale ale.

The hoppiness is just right, if you aren't looking for I.P.A. bite.

perfect bitterness.

This ale will please in almost any occasion or situation.

It is also good for introducing people to what "pale ale" is about.

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Photo of maddamish
3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

AP: This is a very good pale ale. Amber in color. Almost no head to speak of. Even with an aggressive pour this was no lacing to speak of.

Smell: Orange pulp and hops

Taste: This beer is one big hop bomb with a hint of orange peel. This is a very complex beer.

Mouth Feel: Very smooth. A bit watery but nothing to complain about.

Drinkability: Nice starter beer.

Notes: I heard a lot of good things about this beer so I went and picked up a 12 pack. Boy am I glad I did.

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

Ah, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. What else is there to say? You've had it, you know all about it. SNPA is the best American Pale Ale there is, hands down. The quality and consistency of this beer is impeccable.

Getting into the wonderful world of craft-beer, this was my first true love, and will always be one of my all-time favorites.

For anyone getting into micro brews, this beer is going to seem like a kick in the face, with its standout cascade hop character. It certainly was for me. Funny - after a while, and many other beers tried, the hops now seem finely tuned and very well balanced.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is refreshing, vibrant, alive. Extremely recommended and fortunately available in almost as many places as Samuel Adams.

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Photo of stof0048
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pale yellow with very thin head floating about, leaves little to no lacing.

S: Almost nothing but hops, maybe a touch of light spice... corriander?

T: Hops all the way. Bitter, but not overly so, balanced well. Has a slightly bready finish.

M: Medium body, flows over tongue easily, nice carbonation. Bitterness really hits at the back of the palate.

D: This is a pretty easy to drink brew. Could definitely fit this into the regular rotation when not drinking Belgians.

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Photo of stevegamburg
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

There is no reason not to drink this pale ale. Very smooth flavor with a medium body. Nice hop bitterness, but not overpowering like some other pale ales.
A great value. They sell twelve packs of this stuff for the same price as Corona or Amstel which aren't even in the same category as Sierra's Pale Ale. Enjoy.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz single

an old is the norm, one of the first "micros" i ever had when i was 16ish, probably purchased off a hippie lot vender!

appearance: pours a hazy pale amber color with a slight beige head and spotted lacing

smell: floral hoppage, sweet malt, grainy, citrus fruit aromas, earthy and natural

taste: great balance...i haven't sat down and analyzed one of these probably ever. a nice floral hop profile matched by some solid sweet and toasty malts...a dry spicy finish and a sweet and bready taste overall

mouthfeel: bready medium body, dry and spicy finish

drinkability: webster defines session beer as SNPA

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Photo of Pepeton
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, well, well...
It's been a long time since I had a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Four years, almost to the day.
So this review might be biased; actually it is.
And since I still have 4 bottles left of it waiting for me I'll rush this review.

Pours a nice orange, golden with a compact white head and beautiful lacing.

Citrusy hop smell surge from my glass, some malts too. Even some spicyness

Taste is amazingly crisp for an ale and medium bodied; I detect something that I haven't noticed before: Faint flavor of turpentine? Pine or Fir sap? Some sort of tree oil? But good.

Great bitter aftertaste that I missed so much (is quite an ordeal to get fine beers down here in México!)

Absolutely great drinkability. Actually I'm going after the remaining four.


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Photo of orfeu
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Golden amber with a creamy white head, lacing is somewhat sticky. Upfront hop aroma, floral, citric, etc. Great cascade hop wave at first with nice biscuity malt finish. Medium-bodied and satisfying mouthfeel. Absolutely incredible drinkability. I avoided this one for a while due to it's ubiquity. However, I would now advocate this beer any day of the week. Excellent pale ale.

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Photo of JasonCoop
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

one of my old favorites. pours a very pale yellowish amber color with big foamy head.

smells very citrusy and very hoppy with some subtle breadiness mixed in. very appetizing.

taste is a lot like the smell. nice citrusy hop taste. not an overly balanced beer because the hops dominate, but excellent nonetheless. not a complicated taste but it's just great.

mouthfeel is light and the hop bite is very pleasant. extremely drinkable brew, i just love this one. i'm a big fan of good pales or india pales with a strong hop presence and this is one of the old stand-bys.

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Photo of bighoppymonster
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, orangy straw colour with a nice foamy slightly offwhite head. Sharp hops in nose also with some grainy aspects as well. Smooth taste rolls down the throat with some nice hop bitterness on back of the palatte. Slighlty metallic aftertastes linger long after you swallow. Overall an excellent APA. Not a huge beer by any means, but definately worthwhile.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

All hail the king of pale ales! This is great stuff - hands down. Pours nicely, deep gold with a bit of copper in the color, and one of the best aromas I've ever smelled in a beer; very full and fruity. Head fluffed up nice and high, all the way to top of my pint glass. All this before the first sip!

Very smooth mouthfeel, almost buttery with just a touch of lemon. The right amount of hops counterbalances a wonderful base almost perfectly. Slight amount of haze even a few minutes after the pour from the yeast that was on the bottom of the bottle. Very simple, and yet very complex at the same time. Smooth, hoppy, and a flagship for pale ales. Simply amazing!

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Photo of christmasg
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada is one of my favorite micro brews. They have obviously become the standard to which a lot of people / brewers compare themselves. I think the S-N I get here is not as good as 5 years ago. Still a great beer, just does not have the hop aroma and flavor it used to and seems a bit thinner.

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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!!

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Photo of pweis909
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Translucent amber,1/2 inch foam dissipated quickly
S-Grapefruit rind hoppy, but malt is evident.
T-Toasty malt sweet, hoppy bitterness asserts but is not aggressive. When swished around the mouth, alcohol becomes noticeable.
M-smooth buttery.
D-Although not overly complex, this is nicely balanced. A great all-purpose, highly quaffable ale.

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

When you are on a business trip in Washington D.C., it can sometimes be hard to stick to your mantra of drinking local. Especially when you're trapped in a hotel near the mall in McLean, Virginia. I spent probably a good hour trying to find a bar that had anything other than the regular macro selection. I wonder what the wait-people must have thought of me when I came up, asked what their draft list was, and then had my face glaze over as they went through the list - Bud, Bud Light, Coors, Bass, Harp, ...

At any rate, I finally found a place that ended the list with "...Sierra Nevada, Guinness", so I sat down.

I was served the Sierra Nevada in a frozen glass, which just isn't classy, but I tried really hard to see beyond that. Once the condensation was wiped off, I could see that this was nice and clear.

This is a pale on the darker side - slight pumpkin and amberish tones. Nice head stayed around for a quite a while and left little tracings along the edge as it went down.

Nose is full of aroma hops, with slight toasty grain essence in the back.

Taste is clean and light with a really nice citris hop bitterness that is slightly unbalanced when it's below temperature, but evens out as it warms up. I kept thinking "fresh" while I was drinking this - whatever that means (no, I am not an early 90s rap star).

Mouthfeel is slightly creamy with sharp tingle of carbination evening it out.

Overall this is a great stand-by beer. If you can find it in the wasteland of beer that exists below the Mason-Dixon line, I advise you drink it.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,137 ratings.
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