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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale
11,371 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11,371 |  Reviews: 3,038
Photo of Morris729
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear medium amber color with a thin white head that quickly dissipates into a nice lace. Nose is composed of hay, grains, and bitter hops. Flavor is a malty bread-like sweetness with fruity notes of grapefruit and lemon and a pleasant bitter aftertaste. It feels crisp and creamy in the mouth and leaves you wanting another. A great pale ale!

 351 characters

Photo of rastaman
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Good stuff!!! Floral hoppyness on the nose, lots of fruit-lychees, passionfruit, grapefruit, with some tea like qualities. Quite bitter, nice round palate, with a very nice bitter hop finish, a great little quaffer, extreeeemley tasty, lots of hops, light to medium body, easy to get int to.

 291 characters

Photo of HossMcGraw
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not too shabby. Nice smooth piney flavor. Not quite as smooth as other pale ales I've tried but that's how it's unique and I like that. It's definitely got a very cool, raw edge to it out of the bottle that I don't encounter on draft. Everybody likes this.

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Photo of bditty187
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Transparent, copper hue with a white head that reached a solid finger, then laced nicely. The nose was soft yet inviting, the citrusiness of the hops is foremost, there are hints of caramely malt... this is a nice bouquet. For all intensive purposes, this Pale Ale is near flawless and worthy of its “classic beer status”. The palate has an absolute wonderful balance of hops and malt… the citrus & tanginess mesh with the caramely malt… there is no flavor “gaps.” The carbonation is near perfect. This is an outstanding beer and a must try for any beer drinker.

Note: This beer could realistically be rated with straight “5s”.

 638 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had the draught version at California Pizza Kitchen. Considering how widely available this beer is I'm surprised it took me this long to try it. Not the best APA I have had but still better than average. Good bitter hops flavor and somewhat dry. It is nice to know there are actually decent beers at the grocery store.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It has been warm today in Long Beach, and I found that by 6pm, I had imbibationally destroyed 50% of the Six Pack I bought a while ago. A solidly great drinking Pale Ale, and whilst I lived in UK, this was considered by many Limeys to be the best exponent of the APA style. As I worked my way through the bottles, I was amazed that I kept "finding" additional facets to this beer the more I drank it. I think its beauty is the way it can seem so simple, but yet retain such complexity under closer scrutiny, so much so that I find myself struggling to explain my tasting to be honest. On one front is a solid thirst quenching hoppy beer that has a lovely fruity hop-oil aroma with a lingering bitter finish. But in other dimensions, the more I concentrate it has a malty light biscuity oatmeal taste that really complements a citric hoppy bitter finish. A Marvellous Quaffable Beer, considered a standard fall-back beer in most bars in CA - but much, much more complex than people realize IMHO. Fantastic!!!!.
Hmm. Those remaining 3 bottles look really lonely.......

 1,067 characters

Photo of putnam
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Good, vigorous head. Simple yello-brown color. A big, sticky nose of broad, meaty herbs, like beet tops. The palate displays a mild, well tempoed segue of toasted malt to hop bitterness. There is an overall steamy quality to this beer, reminiscent of a hot tub in a pine forest. Rich, creamy and velvety, easily bearing elements of grain and flower. Alcohol driven but not out of balance.

 388 characters

Photo of hyuga
4.73/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale copper color and a large, impressive white head with great retention. Leaves a huge amount of beautiful lace. Refreshing hoppy aroma of citrus and a bit of pine. Characteristic pale ale malt aroma behind that, which I assume is from pale grain. Crisp citrus and pine-like hop character hits first. Specifically, the initial wave of hop bitterness reminds me of a Christmas tree. Not far behind is a grain-like maltiness, also very crisp. Just above medium-bodied, but good and complex. Hoppy, but still very well balanced. High drinkability, very refreshing. Wonderful pale ale that is worthy of being considered one of the nation's top microbrews.

 663 characters

Photo of BeerAngel
3.7/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light orange color with a 2 finger head that hangs in through half of my SNPA trip and leaves a lace all the way down. Smells of hops and a light woody smell that gets your mouth watering. The taste is initially crisp with a taste of bread and tons of hops that is characteristic of S.N. It has a light bodied mouthfeel and this is a beer that I could drink a few of these bad boys. Cheers!

 402 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.36/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright, clear golden amber in color with a 3/4" head that holds well, eventually dropping, but leaves a complete surface covering. Very nice.The aroma offers bright, fresh, floral & citrusy hops over a light maltiness. The body is medium-light with a fine, crisp carbonation. The flavor is a combination of tangy, fruity, citrusy hop flavors and a very lightly caramel & biscuit maltiness well backed by bitterness. It finishes dry with a short lingering hoppy bitterness and a bready/biscuity maltiness. Extremely well balanced. Very refined. Crisp & refreshing. Highly drinkable.

 581 characters

Photo of aaronh
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My favorite trait of this beer is the wonderful head atop the beautiful dark amber body when you pour it into a pint glass. I wish every beer could look this good. The aroma is a bit of a floral perfume aroma. You know this one is high on the aroma hops. Take a sip and you taste just a slight hint of sweetness, and then get more of a grapefruit and lime citrus sensation. The beer finishes very well. Bitterness is more prevalent on the finish as the beer warms, but it's not overpowering. This is a very well balanced beer that even some of my Silver Bullet and Corona drinking friends will finish. Possibly the best American Pale Ale (Great Lakes Burning River is close). Get some soon.

 699 characters

Photo of Jon
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer that essentially led me here. SNPA is perhaps my all-time favorite old standby, and for good reason... I just don't know why it's taken me so long to review it. The pour is a light copper with a nice sized bubbly off-white head. The smell is great and features lots of hops, citrus and some yeasty notes. The taste is huge on the hops at first, especially for an APA. This beer is fairly carbonated for the style, and it shows in the mouthfeel, which is rather prickly. To me, this is a very easy drinker and is the trendsetter in the APA style.

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Photo of zakery
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden color with a white fluffy head with medium sized bubbles. Laces down the glass.

The smell is hoppy, obviously, with a fresh citrus coming through the most. There is also a faint yeast smell lingering in the background.

It has a medium body with surprisingly high carbonation for the style. The hops hit you first and stay till the end. It is very fresh tasting with appetizing and slightly bitter citrus flavors. The cascade hops not being overly bitter leaves an opening for the malt to come through as well, and it is a balanced beer.

Very appetizing and drinkable. If you're planning to have more than one, be prepared to have food ready because your taste-buds and stomach will be turned on by this beer.

 739 characters

Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light golden amber color with a thick and dense head that a pint glass will barely contain. The substantial remnants of the head linger to the bootom of the glass; lots of stickly lace, good carbonation. Strong aroma of grapefruit rind as well as hints of sweet malt. Begins with sweet malty flavors which are soon overlaid by sharp grapefruit flavors from the hops, finishes with slightly oily hop bitterness, excellent mouthfeel. A superb pale ale, nothing less.

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Photo of theman336
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'd never had this until recently, when a six pack was given to me as a gift. I wil forever be greatfull to Tess, as her present turned me on to a top quality brew. The hops jump in from the get go and don't leave until the bottle is empty. There is less sweetness than you expect, but there are hints of it which help to balance out the bitterness of the hops, which is definately present from the beginning of the sip until the beer is swalowed. The hops aren't overpowering, just up front and even. It's beer the way it was meant to be. Absolutely fantastic stuff.

 574 characters

Photo of Todd
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright, clear golden amber with a healthy looking head that settles into a lasting white lace.

Biscuit, grain and loads of spicy hops in the nose with a dose of floral / citrus. Esters. Touch of earthy leaf.

Smooth, even mouthfeel. Body is medium. Sharp, tangy, fruity, citrus bitterness starts things off ... with rind, salt and a leafy feel on the palate -- near puckering. Lightly floral and spicy. Some mineral flavours. A malty dextrin flavour hides behind the hops, acting as its backbone and providing a bit of needed balance. Hop oils cling to the palate and merge with a bready/biscuity flavour in the finish.

One of the quintessential American Pale Ales. Simply a classic among American beers.

 712 characters

Photo of doho95fu
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is the beer I drink most consistently and that is due to its own consistency. Sierra is always good - never had a bad bottle. The appearance in amber and clear, the smell is good but doesn't really hit me with anything. The taste is great, with the right amount of hoppiness, doesn't blow you out with hops. Nice head and lacing.

 337 characters

Photo of BeerManDan
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So much better than "on-tap". Not as bitter in the aftertaste and while drinking it. Although the flavor is not as intense as "on-tap". With the bottle, it has a balance flavor without the big bite!

 198 characters

Photo of shirfan
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark golden color, long-lasting and just slightly off-white head. Above average lacing. A touch of yeast clouds the glass when swirled and poured into a pint glass once the head recedes far enough.

Malty sweet, but balanced by the grapefruit zing of Cascade hops. Not as bitter as other APA's I've tasted.

Very drinkable, the hoppy but fairly sweet taste and classic ale mouthfeel bring the bottom of the glass all too quickly.

Although I'll remain a Saranac Pale Ale customer due to significantly lower price, this beer was exceedingly good for the style.

 570 characters

Photo of zerk
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer that created the APA style. Hazy peach color with a persistant lace, slightly sweet cascade hop aroma, and a crisp sweet / bitter balance. I love that I can find this beer just about anywhere... a wonderful, refreshing ale, and a true classic!

 252 characters

Photo of BrewAskew
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Everyone's "benchmark" American pale ale is well deserving of its reputation. The pale, hazy complexion, the clean malt and Cascades hop flavors and aromas and the tangy finish is always welcome. A very well-crafted brew. If you can make a beer this good, then you are doing just fine.

 285 characters

Photo of Lupe
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep clear amber color, large light beige head, and wonerful lace down the entire glass. Malts and hop floral scents dominate. Start is malt sweet, the middle moderate as with the carbonation, just the right amount of bite leading to a spectacular finish which is clean, crisp, dry. An excellent brew.

 301 characters

Photo of cokes
3.29/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Obviously, an archetype for most APA's.
Pours a yeast-filled golden amber. Thinnish white head with some stick.
Nose is inviting with floral and citric notes. Malt is noticed with some faintly carmel/bready aromas.
Hops jump forward in the taste dept. But not in a huge way. Maltiness provides some support by adding bready and biscuity hues along with some faint nondescript sweetness. Yeast pops ups here and there with some unwelcome mustiness.
Decent in the mouth. Creamy, and smooth. Medium bodied.
A good standby, as it is available almost everywhere. But there are much better APAs out there.

 617 characters

Photo of IrishRedRock
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I expected this to be extremely hoppy from some of the reviews I read, but found it to be less hoppy than many other brews. The hop flavor is definitely present, but certainly not overpowering. Very smooth and flavorful. Golden amber color with lots of bubbles. A quality beer, and for some odd reason I like the bottle.

 320 characters

Photo of Wildman
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a golden amber color and formed a small white head that didn't hold and left little lace. Some carbonation present. If had an aroma of hops with a slight bit of citrus. The flavor was of hops with some malt. A bit of citrus aspect. The finish was slightly sweet/citrus with a bit of a bite. A good beer, but I find the local pale ales on tap to be better as well as some others I had.

 401 characters

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 11,371 ratings
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