Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
3,007 Reviews
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
sierranevada.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:
3,007
Ratings:
11,186
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
11.6%
 
 
Wants:
311
Gots:
3,056
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 3,007 | Ratings: 11,186
Photo of mash4077
4.67/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

From a bottle into your standard 16oz glass.

A- Pours a dull copper/orange, with spots of gold in the light. Translucent with mild cloudiness. About a finger of head which disipates relatively quickly.

S- Hops are the most noticeable smell, right up front, with an orange scent coming out strongly as well.

T- Strong hops taste for the style, almost imediately, with less of an orange presence than expected considering the smell. Finishes off with playful maltiness and definite spicy flavors. Well balanced, all in all, but the hops do stand out on their own (in a great way). The malts are much more noticeable as it warms.

M- Definitely creamy, but not too heavy for the style. Well carbonated, but not overly fizzy. More "relaxing" than "refreshing".

D- Very drinkable, a midpoint between a session and an IPA. I'd reccomend it to timid macro-drinkers and Pale Ale enthusiastes alike.

 895 characters

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

Appearance
Copper in color, slight head.

Smell
Lots of hops, tinge of citrus, malts.

Taste
Sharp and smooth.

Mouthfeel
Doesn't coat the mouth very well, but leaves a good after taste.

Overall
Excellent session brew, this is the brew that started my love for craft beer. So I have to give a big thank you for opening up my beer virginity and thrusting me into a world of delicious brews.

 394 characters

Photo of Andrew644
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- dark gold to a light amber in color with a a frothing white head.

S- very little malt smell but it has a fruity/woody hop aroma.

T- slightly bitter with woody/fruity hop flavor. It seems to be more woody than fruity which is the opposite from the aroma.

M- good carbonation and is light in the mouth.

D- very drinkable on any occasion.

 342 characters

Photo of Gbgbrouge
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle, hazy pale amber with medium head. Aroma with notes of caramel, hay, citrus and some pine. Taste is mildly bitter, well balanced with a medium malt body and some bitterness in the rather long after taste.

 223 characters

Photo of sejorules
4.71/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: cloudy, golden orange or amber color. With a big head that faxes away quickly.
S: Fruity, citrus and rose smell. Caramel, very sweet and slightly hoppy.
T: follows the smell. Fruity at the beginning, more like orange or grapefruit, bitter in the aftertaste. However, the taste is well balanced
F: The feeling is nice, full of flavours.
O: I can easily say one of the best beers I have tried.

 394 characters

Photo of ThemThangs
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Another very drinkable beer from this company, perfect for kicking back and watching a movie or whatever. A great flavor profile and just good all around.

 155 characters

Photo of soilguy
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a very good pale ale. The color is a straw-like orange with a white head that was dissapointingly short-lived. The layer of yeast sediment on the bottom of the bottle assures you that this is indeed a bottle conditioned ale - a definite plus in my scorebook. A strong hop aroma is dominated by the classic citrusy scents of american hop varieties. The floral-citrus flavors in the beer are more subtle, but the hop bitterness is unmistakable. A thin mouthfeel is appropriate in this beer, and makes it more drinkable. A great summer thirst quencher.

 557 characters

Photo of CVC
4.69/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Came in a dark brown 24 oz. (non-twist-off) bottle; served in a pint glass.

Pours a copper color with a two-finger white head. Dies somewhat slowly, and leaves some thin lace. Smells hoppy and herbal. Tastes really hoppy for a pale ale--also has a woody taste. Pretty carbonated. You know what SNPA tastes like. A balanced mouthfeel.

Ahh, the classic pale ale. The taste of this brings back good memories. This beer goes so well with any meal, especially pizza. Mmm. Anything by Sierra Nevada is always welcome in my pint glass.

 534 characters

Photo of Tim460
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

appearance: Golden-orange color with a small white head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: floral hops and citric as beer warmed a hint of grains appeared.

Hops very apparent at first with bitter taste. As beer began to warm a malty taste kicked in that balanced out the beer nicely. Medium body that goes down smooth. This is a very drinkable APA and one of my favorites that is readily available.

 401 characters

Photo of pojo41
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a reddish amber color with a thin head that didn’t last. Had a fruity, citrus aroma. Good flavor of biscut and malt with citrus coming through from the cascade hops. Very good mouthfeel and carbonation.
Have really come to enjoy this style of beer in recent months. One of the best I have access to.

 309 characters

Photo of oldpinecone
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

This is my go to beer and still in my top 5.

Pours a really nice golden copper color with decent clarity. Lots of bubbles stuck to the glass raising up to the finger and a half white head which leaves messy broken lacing.

Citrus is apparent in the nose upfront and a tad bit of earth. Nothing special.

First sip is always a "man this is a good beer" taste. Yes thats a taste characteristic now. Really hoppy for a simple Pale Ale. Almost a lemony hop with an earthy backbone...really nice flavor here. The citrus works so well. Really well balanced.

Mouthfeel is great. Nice and crisp with perfect carbonation.

This beer goes great with everything from mowing the lawn, to drinking at the beach, to camping, to partying with. Best session beer.

 776 characters

Photo of jaycount
3.54/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I figured it's about time I reviewed this classic.

A - Light golden in color, looks like most pale ales... delicious!

S - Citrusy hops, only a slight bit of maltiness.

T - Alot of hops, especially sharp at the end of the swallow. I'm not sure if I drink mild IPAs or if this is a hoppy PA but this guy has quite a bit going for it.

M - Light, carbonated, refreshing.

This is a great drink for a hot, sunny Summer day.

 422 characters

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

I can't believe I haven't reviewed this one yet!

Pours a beautiful golden amber with just a bit of sediment that sinks to the bottom of the glass. Generous 3 finger head with lots of sticky white lacing. The smell consists of malty sweetness and hoppy bitterness. Very balanced! Some biscuit and grassy floral notes. The taste is very smooth with the hops flavor topping the malt (as it should). Grassy and floral taste without having too much bitterness. This brew is the perfect example of a balanced pale ale. Medium mouthfeel with just a touch of chewiness. Very drinkable, good session beer.

 597 characters

Photo of websherpa
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A hopped up pale ale. Through and through. Nothing remarkable on any front except that it borders at least in taste on the mild side of IPA. I get very limited malts from this. If I'm in the mood for hops and need something light, this is a no brainer. More often than not when I look to a pale ale however, I want something a little more balanced.

 348 characters

Photo of Boneswally
4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look...if you can't give this beer its props, stop reviewing. This beer is the original groundbreaker of microbrews and continues to be the most solid choice you can make... anytime. Heineken and Corona can suck it...I will kiss anyone right on the mouth like Lydia Loveless who brings this classic to my party. Sierra for President!

 333 characters

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

Pour in beer glass, slight cloudy amber gold, with short foamy head. Floral hop and pine bouquet. Nutty and subtle caramel on palate. Smooth and light bubbly mouthful. Overall, a naunce of well-balanced malty & light bitterness.

 228 characters

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

I am really pleased to get this - from what I understand this is the original American Pale Ale, a style which is making something of an impression over here in the UK, it's path having been laid by the popularity of the Golden Summer Ales which have a similar hop profile, though are softer and cleaner in the palate. The aroma is quite heavenly - delicate, floral and spicily citric, though that does die down after a while into something more grassy and rain like, even a touch metallic. When worked slightly the pale malt aroma does rise, but doesn't last long against the hops. The taste is surprisingly clean up front, but the sweet malt soon makes an appearance, slightly sticky but with a rounded body - a satisfying base from which the citric hops do their work, gradually taking over from the sweetness to emerge dark and tangy in the finish. A very pleasant beer.

 874 characters

Photo of stuckonhops
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-- deep orange surounded by golden hues...light haziness because i turned the bottle to mix up the yeast on bottom..great sticky lacing..

S--musky dank hops...centenial smells on forefront...grassy, earthy, almost woody...like im in a forest in spring..

T--slightly bitter...very balanced carmel flavors..grassy hops...citrusy hops in aftertaste..delish

M--quite smooth...carbonation is tingly...not to sticky..

D-- one of my favs to drink all day...not to high in alcohol either...about to become the new staple in my fridge..

i have had this beer many times before but never reviewed it...now that its been a while since i last had it i figured i'd get to reviewing...now i remember why i used to buy it all the time...time to get more...another great job from sierra nevada...i have never had a bad beer by these guys...all are solid...get some if you never had it..

 875 characters

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

appearance: light brownish with a small hint of red. head quickly disappears. good lacing around the pint glass

smell: the wonderful smell of cascade hops tingles the nose the nose

taste: hop forward with a nice balance of malt. the aftertaste stays on the palate. not too bitter, not too sweet. this is the pale ale in which i grade all other pale ales against.

mouthfeel: just enough carbonation to ensure a good drink, but not too much to ruin the brew

drinkability: thank you sir, can i have another?

This is a beer that never disappoints. i often look over this beer at the store while searching for something else. but then once i get home a pour this beautiful concoction into a welcoming glass i realize the reliable snpa will always be inviting when i call her name!

 781 characters

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

Pours a Crystal clear golden, almost apple juice in color.
Clean scent of peach and piney hops. Good balance of hop and the sweetness of malt. A hint of citrus comes to you as the pint warms a bit.
Clean and refreshing with very distinct flavors.
This ale has good drinkability and could go well with seafood or other light tasting dishes.

 340 characters

Photo of guntherhophead
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clover honeyish amber. White head w/lacing, and light sediment dancing in the carbonation.
S-Sweet floral hops, citrus, honey, grain.
T-Clean and even--fresh grain, light citrus, flowery hops, and an excellent aftertaste.
M-Light-medium body w/good carbonation. Excellent harmony.
D-Sessionable and refreshing.

 313 characters

Photo of mckeowbc
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is my all time favorite session beer. It has a nice punch of Cascade hops that give it a nice floral bouquet and clean almost grassy taste without being overbearing. The moderate alcohol content and light malt flavor makes this a beer that is easy to drink and doesn't wear on the palate like heavier or hoppier beers. Also this beer pairs well with almost any food, but beef or spicy barbecue seem the most appropriate.

 425 characters

Photo of Kaiser777
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A thick golden hazle color with a off white foam that raised just a bit, but never the lest a good thick foam with a million little bubbles floating from the bottom of the glass to the top.

S- A semi sweet smell, very hoppy with a slight hint of citrus, maybe even a carmel like candy smell as well.

T- A little hoppy with an explosive after taste with a little splash of citrus and a twist of sweetness that leaves an amazing after taste.

MF- Coats the mouth well and like I said before it has a beautiful after taste with a splash of citrus that I have grown to love over the years.

D- Very drinkable one of my favorite pale ales, actually one of the first micro brews I have ever drank about a year ago, and oh what a journey it has been.

 748 characters

Photo of DanL133
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1st ever review.
Poured from a undated 24 oz bottle into pint glass.

Color is bright honey with a slight bit of haze. Nice white cap the dissipates but remains present & good lacing down the glass.
Smells like beer - Nothing overpowering. The taste is clean and balanced with Med to higher carbonation and good mouth-feel with a bit of a bitter hop lingering. This beer is easy to find and a solid option for any occasion. I will continue buy and enjoy this offering as you can't go wrong with this one!

 505 characters

Photo of ctxfenris
4.99/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.
Amber in color, fair amount of head and carbonation. There's sediment floating around in there!
Smells of pale malts and hops, and tastes that way as well.
Delicious, my go to beer for some time now.
Leaves lacing all over the glass. A classic.

 270 characters

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,186 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

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe