Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

2,990 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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,990 | Ratings: 11,133
Photo of ClarkWoods555
4.94/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, this is my favorite drink. I love the beer in all of its good quality. The flavor is rich with bitter (but good) tang and the smoothness is amazing. I love this beer so much. The other stuff they release is meh, I only care about this beer though. Highly recommended if you like a wonderful Ale with a nice bitter crispness and a sweet mouthfeel.

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Photo of Kobold
3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Fast fading foam and scent one must persevere to unfold. Once done it's not unpleasant just a generic tamed hoppiness between the citrus fruit (lemon-grapefruit) and pine needle domains. After a few minutes a quizzically alluring rotten smell seeps into the hop fumes.

The taste is overwhelmingly that of gritty, chewy pilsner, even slightly candied, grains and almost absent of what was expected in the aroma. The late aftertaste does harken back, however, to those lemon-like, bitter fruit hops. But it is the mouth-filling bread crust malt character which dominates.

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Photo of sjdevel
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: 4
Pours a crisp and clear golden color. Quite frothy at first, but the head recedes fairly quickly. Doesn’t go flat as lacing continues.

Smell: 3.75
Not very aromatic, but you can make out malt, hops, slightly tart fruit, citrus.

Taste: 4.5
Slight hop bitterness at first. Almost to an IPA level of hop bitterness. Quickly kicks into savory spices, citrus, peach, and mango. Its slightly sweet, but then dries out abruptly. Maltier and darker than expected (for something listed as a pale ale). Goes a bit to the bitter side on the tail end and hop flavors turn up the intensity.

Feel: 4
Right on the edge of light, but teetering on the medium bodied side. Feels a bit thin when the carbonation dies out.

Overall: 4.25
Great beer. Better than I expected. I have heard about S.N.’s Pale Ale and, since listed as a Pale Ale, I had stayed away from it. I tend to not like light Pilsners or Pale Ales, but this brew is better than a lot of IPAs that I have had. It is hoppier and maltier than I expected and very flavorful. I am pleasantly surprised with this one.

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Photo of OrestesMethuon
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A real classic—and still well-rated, despite its ubiquity, for good reason.

Good, if moderate, visible effervescence; nice golden-brown limpidity; solid head and superb lacing. Spicy notes of green-peppercorn and wet thyme floating upon an undercurrent of grapefruit juice and orange-rind; the malt expresses subtle sweet aromas, as well, but in the hopped mix these are transmuted to impressions of sticky citric sugars, like some sort of lemon-infused rock-candy. Refreshing flavors, never overwhelmed by this pale ale's medium-plus mouthfeel: more juiciness, with notes of grapefruit, lemon, d'Anjou pear, and pineapple, all of which is underwritten by a smooth, golden-malty texture, and all of which gives way to some malt-husk and herbaceous, thyme-hop bite.

A great sessionable ale that is, justifiably, the template on which so many subsequent APAs have innovated.

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Photo of Skrumpy
3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I have been drinking this beer since the 90s and have have always considered it to be decent. It may not be a favorite, but I can remember so many occasions in which it was the best beer available, and I was truly grateful. The color is a nice amber color, and the smell is caramel malt and some grain. The flavor is malty, a bit sweet, with a bitter aftertaste. A bit watery on the finish. A solid beer though overall.

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Photo of Rock_Glenn
2.98/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

The Budweisser of Pale Ales? Maybe that's a bit harsh. The carbonation reminds me of a mass-produced American Lager, the malts seem non-existent, and the hops are an ugly mix of pine sap and bitterness. When I see this at a gas station, I grab it, because it's usually the best option you'll find there. Unfortunately it fits the mold of a gas station beer.

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Photo of Mitchmoore12
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks a wonderful pale gold color with a great off white head. Left some nice lacing on the side of the glass. Smells of some citus hops but not enough to over power the sweet malt aroma. Tastes of citrus and pine but not overpowering. Leaves a nice bitter taste at the end. Apparent malt character. Feels smooth with medium carbonation. Overall an awesome pale ale, have had it many times and it never fails to be one of the best beers in the session.

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Photo of Kinger22
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark Amber with a very small head. The smell is subtle and balanced. The taste follows the smell, with no over powering hop profile. Overall it's one of the best national crafts.

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Photo of Riff
4.59/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a shaker glass. Nice, dark, caramel coloring to the beer with a white foam head. Smell is mild and hoppy, lemon and a bit of pine. Good balance of flavors, a little bit of pine and some bread. A little lingering bitterness that doesn't last too long. Very drinkable, good all around beer. Certainly a summer time staple.

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

Well here we go, review #1801. . . and we have our second perfect 5 score.

Comes across an amazing beauty full of dark gold, caramel and amber appearance with just under 1" of white head. Aroma smacks of old school dry hopping with Cascades. Caramel notes from the malt.

Taste, just heaven, hoppy, yet a sturdy malt bill providing caramel backbone. Hop flavor is plenty of forest, grapefruit. A delicious bitter edge remains through the entire mouthfeel. A darker citrus edge throughout. Barely sweet malt presence that is smooth while the hops provide bitterness, and an almost Magnum hop like spice edge to it.

The absolute classic American pale ale.

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Photo of EnzoDamario
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm a big fan of happy beers. Aroma instantly got my attention. Cascades hops do their Job. Not impressed by the appearance, looks like a standard APA. Tastes just as it smells, great happy sensation but not over bitter. Carbonated to the right point, it produces a nice mouthfell. Nor dense neither watery.... nice bubbling. Very drinkable and refreshing. Aftertaste is asome. An excellent beer.

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Photo of MusaJames
3.56/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Right away I like the look. Much darker than I had expected doesn't develop a giant head. Hops are the only thing I notice when I smell as my nose isn't the best at these things. Once I start drinking it starts really refreshing with a lingering bitterness. I'm not a giant fan of hoppy beers but this one manages to win me over. The only thing that I don't care for is the lingering bitterness. Having said that it isn't a big deal. Sierra Nevada Pale ale is a beer I've seen all over the place and haven't given its day in court for some time. I now understand its popularity is well earned.

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Photo of Mikefilmerca
4.51/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This used to be my favorite beer. However I've been consuming local micro brews lately. . It was so refreshing to drink another one of these today after several years away. I'm going to start drinking it again! Not overly hoppy.

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

Copper gold in color with a small beige/white head. Lots of bubbles going up the side of the glass. Smell is hops, bread, lots of pine, and some light fruit. Taste follows the nose.More pine. Great balance with the hops. Good carb, dry finish, and refreshing. Classic beer representing this style. Always available, and is also in many of the sports bars in my area.

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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.

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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.

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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 do not 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 this Pale Ale's offering a tasty alternative so early and making so much of the craft market.
Reviewed also and favorably in Roger Protz' CAMRA classic "300 Beers To Try Before You Die!"

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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.

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Photo of JakeScully
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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,133 ratings.
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