Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
3,000 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:
3,000
Ratings:
11,163
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
11.6%
 
 
Wants:
308
Gots:
3,050
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 3,000 | Ratings: 11,163
Photo of akorsak
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A pint glass served at Champion's in Highspire, PA.

A: The pint has a clear amber body, an orange-brown combination that 'copper' is properly affixed to. A half a finger of white head managed to lace nicely in the oft-rinsed tumbler glass.

S: The nose has a strong hop presence for a pale ale, offering pine and citrus in abundance. A strong caramel backbone provides balance.

T: The ale opens with a very oily hop presence, one that was strong and resiny enough that 'soapy' may be appropriate. Further sips reveal the citrus and pine from the nose. Caramel and biscuit flavors drive the malt profile that is strong enough to stand up to the hops. The malt and hop pairing leaves a nmice finish in the mouth.

M: The mouthfeel, especially when fresh, is tough to beat. The hops are vibrant and oily, coating the palate with each sip.

D: A pleasantly drinkable pale ale, one that doesn't skimp on the hops. SNPA is an ale best served fresh on-tap.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass

A clear golden orange with some tiny suspended particles and only a few bubbles but a long lasting thumbs width of head that leaves several rings of lace well down the glass

S some citric and floral hops with some caramel malt

T a little bready and lemon rind on top of what I smell, good example of the style

M much thicker then expected and much more bubbles then one would guess from so few visible bubbles in the glass, right on in this area

O no complaints with this one it would be in my regular rotation if I could get it around here

not a bad way to get a hop fix without getting smashed, this is about the best thing I could find on the Vegas Strip pretty solid stuff though

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Photo of Immortale25
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Florida Beer Co. tapered glass. Bottom of can says PKGD 051114

A- Pours a dark amber color with a 3/4 inch bubbly, bumpy head that retains decently before popping away to a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Non-resilient lacing leaves small clots behind.

S- Bready aroma with some faint hops and a twinge of alcohol.

T- Hop presence is more noticeable in the flavor as the grainy malt comes first and then the bitterness slides across the palate with just the right amount of slight citrus to complement the breadiness of the malt. In a word, balanced. Alcohol barely noticeable.

M- A bit tingly from the hops with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- A classic - or should I say the classic - pale ale with such high drinkability as well as great flavor.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Amber with a textbook head.

S-Citrus and pine hops combined with bready malts.

T-Nice citrus hopslap accompanied by some pine and a refreshing malt base. Just exactly how the style should taste. Perfect balance. Still quite hoppy too!

M-Medium and well carbonated.

D-Very, very easy to drink.

Forgot how awesome this guy was. A PA/IPA hybrid in my book. Haven't had one of these in a while but am very glad I went back for some more. Absolutely one of the most important beers period. Never a bad choice, never reluctant to drink it either.

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

What can you say: The Classic West-Coast Style American Pale Ale and the standard to introduce people to APA's.

Golden and unfiltered with a nice tight low ivory head. Strong citrusy (grapefruit) hop aroma. Big hoppy flavor without the annoying bitter bite. Decent balance but definitely leans hoppy. Light-medium bodied (leans light) with slight creaminess.

The bonus: Available virtually everywhere !!

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Photo of barczar
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brilliant caramel copper color with a dense, foamy half inch ivory head that slowly correlates, leaving solid lacing.

Pine, muted citrus, and lightly toasted malt form the initial aroma. There's a bit of fresh cut grass, resin, and light floral notes.

Flavor reveals underpinnings of grapefruit and orange pith, with slightly bready, toasted malt at the backbone, carrying into a somewhat bitter, lightly resiny finish. Tastes a little watery, perhaps oxidized. Could be the tap lines. Skunky and floral hops emerge as it warms.

Body is moderate to a touch watery, with moderate carbonation, a touch of warmth, and slight astringency.

Very sessionable brew. Fairly balanced, but leans slightly toward the bitter/hoppy side.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz cans crushed with a few buddies while moving a buddy's stuff out onto his moving truck a week ago, 6/1/2013. I've of course had this plenty of times before, but we finished the rest of the 12-pack today, 6/8/2013.

Aroma: Nice and citrus + earthy hoppiness, not a whole lot else going on besides a little bit of malt sweetness. Thick nose but lighter on the actual aroma. (3.75)

Colour: Poured this out into a glass to assess- pours a light amber body with a nice fluffy 2cm white head that dissipates fairly quickly into a medium-thick film on top of the beer. Lacing isn't too bad. (3.75)

Flavour: It's great- very hoppy and citrusy with some earthiness in there. There's a good presence of malt sweetness in terms of honey although its predominantly hoppy. Very tasty and easy to drink- not a complicated pale ale by any means. I give it points for pretty much inventing the APA style. (4)

Mouthfeel: So easy to drink and refreshing. Beats any of the canned AALs out there- I'll drink it anytime. Crisp, thinner bodied with great carbonation out of the can that finishes refreshingly wet. Aftertaste is hoppy earthiness. (4)

Overall: A classic that still drinks great ouf of the can. If I want to go out to a place where canned beers are the main show, this is one of the first canned beers I'll go to. (4)

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Photo of pat61
4.56/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: hops and malt, slight resin, earth and citrus, hop aroma moderate, moderate malt. Appearance: gold, slight haze, 1” head dissipates to a hick film, actually fairly clear as it warms, off white to light tan head, good lace. Flavor: slight fruit backed by medium malt, no carmel, hops linger into the finish. Mouthfeel: medium body, medium carbonation, a little astringency on the finish, lingering bitterness, creamy smooth. Overall Impression: balance tilts towards the hops, refreshingly hoppy but well balanced by he malt.

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Photo of tigg924
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 1/3 inch head, clear, gold in color, high carbonation

Smell: citrus hops, toasted malt, and honey

Taste: Smell: citrus hops, toasted malt, and honey

Mouthfeel: light bodied, high carbonation, sweet start with a bitter backbone that lingers

Drinkability: An American classic that I could session. A nice and light beer that is perfect for outdoorsy activities.

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Photo of avalon07
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a clear texture. There was a decent amount of foamy head and OK lacing.

S: Had a fruity, malty aroma.

T: Tasted of citrus, malt and hops (a little hoppier than you'd expect from a pale ale, but it still had a nice flavor).

M: A decent amount of carbonation with a very dry finish. Light-bodied.

D: One of the more drinkable mass-produced beers out there. Goes down easy and has a decent taste.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can you believe after 1400 beers I haven't had this one yet? Facepalm!

A - A nice hard pour scored me a 1/2 inch of sticky white head. Lacing is pretty nice. Color is a bright orange yellow tint.

S - Nothing offensive good amount of citrus hops twang with a decent pale malt profile.

T - Well I could see why Daisy Cutter is the new edge pale this one is somewhat boring with mild piney hops (they do stick to the palate for quite a bit) then malts.

M - Goes down easy enough. It's more drinkable than Daisy cutter with more ABV. Plus hella cheaper.

Overall I was going to bash the guy below for giving this a lower score but it's kind of true. It's a beginner IPA that plays off like a pale ale. Damn tasty regardless.

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

Enjoyed on tap at The Pub, Amherst, MA.

16oz pint glass presentation. Hardly a head, but what was present was a white film over a dark amber brew, with no lacing. Light pale malt aroma coupled with a bit of hops, with the flavor carrying on where the nose left off, and an overall acceptable feel. Mouthfeel and drinkability excellent.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a supplement to my recent review of it in a bottle...

Differences to note:
- brighter and cleaner looking
- much fuller, fresher hop flavor and smell
- carbonation much more balanced

As close as an APA can come to IPA in hop smell, flavor and bitterness. Overall, the draft version exceededs the bottle by a mile.

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

A - Fluffy, eggshell white head of about two fingers. Going down slow but leaving nice lacing. Golden colour with carbonation towards the heavy end of the spectrum.

S - Nice aromatic hops. Piney.

T - Lot's of hop bitterness up front mixed with a little bit of maltiness and decent bitterness lingering. Yummy. Not as well balanced as I'd expect but the presence of the malts is good. Finishes really piney but starts with a really nice, mellow hop flavour.

M - Light to medium body. Can't feel any carbonation in the mouth.

D - This is a good hop fix. Really nice and piney. I like some more citrusy hops but I could drink a few of these.

There's a reason this beer is the benchmark for the style. Totally smashes the Old World definition of pale ale.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap, served in a pint glass

Pours a bright amber color with a two finger, sturdy cream colored cap. Small streams of bubbles and good retention. Head eventually recedes in a rain drop type of pattern to form a thin layer of foam. Aroma is of grapefruit, peaches and apricots with a sturdy caramel malt backbone. The flavor is almost identical to the aroma. Grapefruit up front with soft peach and apricot as the caramel malt comes through in the middle before a moderately bitter finish. Medium body with a creamy mouthfeel. Carbonation is spot on. This is highly drinkable. A nice balance with just the right amount of hops winning out to not overly assault the palate. A staple in the beer landscape.

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Photo of bark
3.89/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The colour is brown-copper-red. The liquid is a bit cloudy, as the beer is bottle fermented. The pale yellow foam quickly dissolves into thin air.

The smell is very nice with a dominating sourish note. But there are also some fragrances like coffee, diacetyl, white bread and aroma hops.

The carbonation is quite strong, but not sharp.

The taste starts off with a mild malty taste, but that is soon replaced with a growing, fruity bitterness. The body is liberal with notes of bread, herbs and diacetyl. The finish and aftertaste is a mixture of mild hops (cascade?) and a sweet-sour note that reminds me of lemon curd.

A nice “micro” pale ale from a not-so-micro American brewer. On the whole, one may call this a nice beer.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle

light copper in color, thin bright white head. decent head retention. slightly hoppy aroma - a bit spicy and herbal, a little fruity. well balanced taste. some biscuity malt flavor and slightly bitter finish. medium body, higher carbonation. drinks easy.

the classic for the style.

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Photo of DrJay
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very clear amber colour topped by a thin lace of white head. Moderate retention and stickage. The aroma consists of floral, citrus and spicy hops with a bit of biscuit and grain. The flavour is balanced on the hoppy, bitter side. Mild sweetness with some maltiness, but mostly citrus and spicy hops with a dominating bitterness. Dry finish with a firm bitterness. Medium body and carbonation. Slightly crisp and acidic from the carbonation, but without having a coarse texture. This is a great session beer -- clean and full of flavour.

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Photo of Brad007
3.2/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a light amber color. There's a faint aroma of hops and not much else. The beer tastes kind of hoppy at first but then fades into a sweet malty backbone. From what I gather about pale ales, they should never be too hoppy or too malty.This one is well balanced but I would think that it would taste better straight from a tap.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This light amber brew throws out dense white head that clings nicely to the glass as I drink. Wonderful blast of hops on the nose. Tasting this is a treat. Great hop character. And great understated bitterness. Underlying malt is sufficient. Pretty clean tasting for an ale. A very quaffable brew. One of my favorite Pale Ales.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle served at 53 degrees in a standard pint glass. Pours a bright, translucent copper with a half inch, loose, creamy, bone white head. Head disperses into a broken slick. Nose is very subdued but expresses a light caramel malt character as well as an earthy hops presence. Taste follows nose with that addition of a mild citrus character that intersperses itself through the flavor profile. Moutfeel is light in body with an assertive carbonation that lightly burns the back of the throat. This is my go to beer when I'm out and the beer list is limited. Solid and quite drinkable; definitely a classic.

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

Pours pale amber-gold with a thin sticky crust of white foam that leaves cathedral lace. Nose is honey grahams and pine resin. Toast, orange marmalade and light mango with snappy spruce and pink grapefruit hops. Fruity twinkle to end and assertively dry linger. Medium, good amounts of stick and chew.

Easy to forget how good this beer actually is. Superbly balanced, but hopped enough to shame some lesser IPAs. Glad this is in all 50 states and around the world.

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Photo of maximum12
3.4/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well, I think enough virtual ink has been spilled over this beer. The basics have been covered about 1,500 times.

For me, this is certainly a beer worth trying. While not one of my favorite styles, it has the misfortune of following Alpha King by a short time span, & suffers by comparison to that proof of God.

It has the requisite bite, pale color, low ABV, but it's a bit more obvious & less refined that the class of the APA field. But a good beer to go & sip around a bonfire on a warm fall night, which is what I will be doing in roughly five minutes.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.83/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

So I never reviewed this? This is probably my "if you could only have one beer etc. . ." type choice. The world gold standard.

Pours a great dark yellow and amber hue, minimal head, not much lacing. Aromatic whole flower hops. The three C's.

Taste, unlike anything else. The most mass produced hoppy bitter beer out there. Pine and citrus. Tastes like Chico. Great throughout. Drinkable for days, great price. And unmistakable mouthfeel of bitter hops and unique as hell tree/pine kind of flavor going for it. So much caramel and yet the bottle conditioning keeps the carbonation peppy and perfect so that the caramel is never heavy.

The first time I drank this beer (UC Davis keg party in '93) I was a senior in high school, and I hated it. I asked the party host if he washed his cups because the beer tasted like it had soap in it. What a noob. . .

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Photo of barnzy78
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, PKGD 03/17/15. I've had this dozens of times & I was shocked to see that I had never reviewed it!
A - amber colored ale with a creamy ivory head that slowly fades to a foam
S - caramel malt with pine and grapefruity citrus, faint fruit and yeast
T - well balanced with caramel, bready malt, pine, grapefruit, and yeast
M - creamy but resinous on the piny & spicy hop finish
O - classic American Pale Ale. I drink this often and love it every time!

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,163 ratings.
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