Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale
11,608 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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11,608 |  Reviews: 3,081
Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours well, keeps a white foamy head throughout, which is impressive. Has a yellow-orange appearance, and smells great. Has an earthy, fruity, all around awesome taste, extremely smooth. The slight bitterness is proven in the aftertaste, but this beer goes good with anything, or any scenario. Sad I didn't try this one this sooner. Awesome brew!

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Photo of cretemixer
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful deep golden hue with a thick off-white head. Head dissapates to a thin layer after a minute or so and leaves a fine white lace. Aroma is nicely balanced with a slight floral odor which is very pleasing. Really clean balanced taste as well with a slight spicy/sweet hop bitterness. Well carbonated and refreshing. A fine example of American pale ale.

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Photo of mickstepp
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's hard to believe that I'm just now getting around to reviewing this beer. This was the first American Pale Ale I ever tried and it was an epiphany. I still consider it one of the best and the benchmark for the style. Nice golden color and a decent head and lacing. That wonderful citric hop aroma and the crisp grapefruity taste. Just tart enough and with a nice supple mouthfeel. I could drink this stuff all day. There are hoppier pale ales and there are more complex ones but there are none that are consistently better.

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

Being my first time trying this brew or anything from Sierra Nevada I didnt know what to expect.The appearence didnt do much but the smell and flavor is what got me.A great hop and citrus taste accompanied this clear light yellowish orange Ale.It has a high drinkability percent ,but i'd wish it was ust a bit more maltier.

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Photo of purplehops
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

When I think of American Pale Ale this is the beer I think of. It is a brassy yellow-orange with a white head that clings to the glass as you drink. The aroma is very floral with notes of hop spiciness. The taste starts with a pleasant maltiness that is not over powering and just the right amount of carbonation to get your attention without taking away from the malt flavors. The finish is crisp and dry with plenty of hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is a pleasant medium full maltiness with well balanced carbonation and hop bitterness.
It has been a while since I have had a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. My loss! This is a good example of what an American Pale Ale should be. Well balanced with all of the ingredients evident in the aroma and taste without one or the other over powering each other. I think I will have another!

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Photo of Riggo
4.07/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A classic american west coast pale ale from Sierra Nevada, a brewery that oozes integrity.

This ale pours a beautiful honey-gold color with a rocky, off-white head and medium head-retention. The nose is a beautiful bouquet of grass, hops, and citrus with some later notes of yeast and wheat. At palate entry, spicy bitter hoppiness and leafy, floral notes. At mid-palate, yeasty, caramel malt notes appear. As it warms, notes of bread dough and cracker. The mouthfeel suffers from too much "spritzy-ness" and the overall flavor is too bright and citrusy. A very good APA, but would benefit from some more depth and earthy, malt balance. The Finish is crisp, clean and dry.

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

Great googily moogily!!! This is a very good beer out of the bottle. It is ranked in the Top 5 of best bottled beers I've ever had. I'm usually not this big of a fan of American brews persay, but this is up there with my favorite European beers. I know it may sound crazy, but it's true. I saw that Consumer Reports gave it a good review, so I thought I would try it, and I must say that they know what they are talking about. The taste is "wheaty" and has a smooth delivery. It doesn't have a harsh aftertaste and leaves light on the palate. This is a must for anyone who is into wheat ales.

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Photo of Shiloh
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew is a class act! The golden hue of this offering is very deep and mid dark. The body is medium plus, but, it is the taste that gets you and holds on...the taste is of a slight bitterness from the hops which fails to leave, but is more somehow, mellow, crisp. Very rewarding.

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Photo of alittlehazy
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Man, I can drink this beer all day! Nice citrusy taste, moderate carbonation and nice apperance coming out. Dry finish, very refreshing. I must say, if you want a good session beer this is pretty hard to beat.

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

This was my first pale ale to try and it wasn't too bad. Had a good light copper color with a decent head. Taste and smell was a hint of spiciness, but mostly sweet. Went down pretty easily. I don't think it belongs in the Top 50, but it is worth have a 6 pack on hand for pale ale drinkers.

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Photo of BeerBuilder
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This Pale Ale is a favorite of mine. It truely defines the American Pale Ale style. It pours to a beautiful copper color, with an off-white head that lasts. It forms a nice lace-work as it is sipped down. It has a bit of chill haze as well. The aroma is mainly of a citric, spicey hop nose. On first taste, one first noticies to floral, citrus hop flavors. The hop flavors are balanced out though by a biscuity malt flavor. This beer is light-medium bodied, and finishes with a dry hop bitterness that lingers. Overall, this is one tasty brew, with a exceptional hop and malt flavor.

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

Light amber color, lively carbonation, citrus hoppy aroma, balanced medium body west coast pale, gotta love them cascade hops, an enjoyable brew when you can't find anything else.

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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!

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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.

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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”.

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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.......

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 11,608 ratings