Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale
11,651 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: 11,651 |  Reviews: 3,086
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of DarthMalt
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

UPDATE - 11/18/02:

Thanks to the recommendations of all you beer dudes on hoppy beers:

a six-pack of Hop Ottin', one Brutal Bitter, and an Old Crusty here and there, I am happy to say, "I have seen the light!" and am now ready to give SNPA its proper place in my heirarchy of brews.
Beautiful yellow amber, with ample hop head (ha! ha! get it?). Scent of hops is obvious, but also a prevailing lager-sulphur snort (could be the hops) pervades. Smooth malt body with a noticeable alcohol puff on the front bumper leads in malty and very fruity on the mid section. Finish bites out with a little hop scrape, but, overall, malt fruits predominate and demand another!
[How could I have been so jaded?]


Egad! What's wrong with me?

I read all these glimmering reviews, and I wonder why I can't be a part of the experience. I don't think I'm a slouch when it comes to puttin' out for a righteous brew, but man, beers like this just rip my tongue off and throw it down the drain. In all honesty, it tastes like I'm eating grapefruit skin extract when I drink a beer like this--and I love grapefruit juice!

Of course it's the hops that do it, but Lordy, can't they put a warning label on there or something?

WARNING: This beer may cause they eyebrows of malt lovers to blow off like firecrackers upon the first sip!

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Photo of BeerBob
4.57/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

All aboard for the hops flavor train!

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is exuding floral hops form the nose, from the palate, and after taste, and maybe into the after life.

Pours a golden amber from a 12oz bottle. Carbonation is fair, and leaves one to wonder what it would be like if the cap weren't a twist off.

The next time I drink this Beer, I’m going to do a roast duck with an orange sauce, the two should pair up eminently.

Aromatics abound from Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and you will be bound to try this marvelous brew again.

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Photo of BillyBrew
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

What else can I say about The Sierra Nevada...hre are a few... The most idealistic golden brown/orange colour. A fantastic, sticky, chunky, creamy head that keeps full coverage the whole way through while leaving rings in its wake. Scents have heavy hops and fruits, a pleaseantly soft mixture. My palate held a perfectly balanced malt base with a less bitter, more complex hop profile. A fantastic, velvety smooth, medium body. This brew drinks the best so far! This beer nearly shoots through my ratings roof, held back only by my imagination's ideal of unrealized brews to come (or, sadly, never). My best so far. Cheers!

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

Nice, lacy head and effervescence that remains to the bitter (and fruity) end. Pleasant and well-integrated mix of flavors and good mouthfeel make this a versatile, very drinkable beer.

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Photo of ElGuapo
2.97/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

drank a few at work on a hot summer day with the wind at my back and the sun in my face. it was a special day, and this was not quite a special beer. i am not a huge fan of pale ales, but it was pretty good. i won't be a return customer, but it was good for a day

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

This is a real staple when it comes to pale ales. This brew is crisp and clean, with a mild hop aroma. This was the first pale ale I got into when I started drinking beer. From the initial sip to the bottom of the glass, it is clean and refreshing with a very balanced amount of hoppy flavor and aroma. A solid brew for any HopHead starting out.

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Photo of tigerpaws
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is one of the better Pale Ales I have tried. The color is very pleasing and pairs well with almost any food or alone. Not much aroma here but very easy to drink and would recommend it highly...........CHEERS

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Photo of Mark
3.66/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm sorry to all the fans of this brew but I find it overated. I just don't buy it Prefer the smoother british beers. As for American Ales, I'll take Anderson Valley and North Coast. I realize I had underated this brew quite seriously. While I have upped it's numbers I still feel it is a vastly overated beer. I'll jump over this beer to get at Bear Republic, North Coast, and English ale without hesitation.

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

Light amber color. Thick white head that sticks around. Hops in the nose, with some citrusy notes and slight soapy smell.
I found it hoppy enough to be just barely this side of an IPA, although still nicely balanced by a pleasant malt flavor. I realize now what all the fuss about Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is about.

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Photo of beerluvr
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the original micro-American Pale Ales, I remember scoring a sixer of this way back in 1984 (I'm on the East Coast) Seems to me to have become a little sweeter, a little more tame since I first discovered it. Pours nicely into the glass with a tight white head, with a golden color after things settle down. Nose is a bit yeast/fruity, with mellow hoppiness detected. Taste is sweetly malty, fruity with oh-so-sublte Cascade hops leaving their mark. Smooth, medium-bodied, and a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Rocky, white head that rises above the glass. Golden orange body revealing nice carbonation. Yeast particles floating down against the bubbles. Excellent lacing. Bracing floral and citric hop nose. Plenty of malt backbone to hang the hops on. This beer has balance, though it definitely leans to the hop side. Some grapefruit, but not enough for puckering. A beer I could (and have) drank all night. Not an example of an American Pale Ale, but the beer which defined the style. We must be careful not to take a craft brew cornerstone like this for granted. I am a grateful man that my favorite restaurant has this on tap.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
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 CharlesRiver
4.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Crisp and hoppy with a light amber color. Not much of a head to start with but still very refreshing. Kind of jumps in your mouth. There is a slight floral and fruity smell that isn't over powering. Great on a hot day.

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Photo of ebraun
4.58/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My new favorite pale ale. The perfect balance of hops, sweetness and citrus. The rust colored brew seemed a little weak on the nose... but it's Texas in Spring so it could be my nose that's the problem. The beer itself was pleasantly herbal and peppery. For me the finish on the beer seemed to mimic a big slice of grapefruit, it was really wonderful.

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

Another one of my favorites, revisited it recently. I think it is the standard for American Pale Ales. Looks very inviting with orange/yellow color and off white head. Perfect hoppy smell matched with the fruit and florals. The taste is maybe on the hop side for some, but I find it perfectly balanced, flavorful, and refreshing. SN always produces a quality product, and this one is readily available. This matches well with all foods, and I recommend it to newbies like me.

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Photo of psugrad98
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light golden orance in color with a hint of cloudiness. Smells like orange blossoms and somewhat fruity. Slightly hoppy with a nice malt sweetness, kinda has a fruit taste to it. Very refreshing.

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Photo of Suds
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a resolutely enjoyable beer. Appears as a very pale, clear, burnt-golden color with small wisps of yeast swirling beneath the head. Crisp hops aroma and bitterness. This beer deserves praise as an example of rock-solid craft brewing consistency.

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Photo of jackndan
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Sierra Pale Ale: Good looking beer, cloudy caramel, had a big white head that disappeared in a few minutes. Wonderful aroma, sweet, with a little hoppiness. Hits the tongue with a little sweetness, and then a nice bitter hop bite. Several sips later, it seems the hops dominate. I can tell this is a fine beer, but the bitterness is a touch to much for me.

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Photo of John1985
4.26/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful gold color, fresh hop taste, malt tries a bit in the middle but gives up to the hops for the finish. Very refreshing and unique. As the beer warms the malt does come out a bit more to make the beer balanced. A take-no-prisioner pale ale!

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Photo of packetknife
3.25/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I grabbed this with huge expectations. I heard all this wonderful stuff but I was sorely dissapointed. It doesn't have a lot of character. It's rather run-of-the-mill. The exception being it didn't leave any aftertaste so it was readily drinkable with a meal. I feel like I should be at a farm when I have any pale.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 11,651 ratings