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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
2,949 Reviews
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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:
2,949
Ratings:
10,953
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
22.47%
 
 
Wants:
285
Gots:
2,836
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,949 | Ratings: 10,953
Photo of WillWillows
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

Wow. I went on a Pale Ale pilgrimage and think I found it. This had a very nice taste to open matching the initial smell. I bottle drank this and it was crisp with good hop taste mellowed by some slight piny taste. This won the pale ale competition hands down. Sad that I only drank two. Recommend this to anyone.

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Photo of DrunkNFool
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I have been drinking this for ages now; since back when APA was the standard - not IPA. For me, this is THE benchmark to measure all other APA's. However, I recently picked up a 12-pack in the can variety and I must say that I am somewhat disappointed. The given scores are for the bottle variety; however, taste needs to include an asterisk for the canned variety. Everything looked good going in but it all fell apart at the taste; there is some off bitter taste - almost tinny. The taste shift drops the score by 1 point which makes it still a very good beer over-all. However, I recommend that you stick to the bottle - don't even try the can - unless you really need the convenience of a can - like "no glass allowed."

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Photo of Beerwolf666
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%

What a Gr8 Pale Ale...Just Amazing fresh flavors of Citrus,and nice Piney Notes,a stellar well crafted APA ,and @ a fantastic price point, 17 bucks a 12 pack! [eastern shore of Md] ,it is also a gr8 choice for those who perhaps want to venture into stronger APA's and IPA's down the road a bit...a gr8 stepping stone indeed~cheers!

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Photo of tbowersva
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I don't know if there is a perfect beer but this one is my favorite. I've tried many a beer to unseat the king! Color, aroma, taste - this one has it all. Great hoppy flavors that go with any foods that I want to pair with it. Of course my palette has refined from a Western Pennsylvania guy that grew up on Iron City, Rolling Rock, Schmidt's, Miller High LIfe, and Stroh's through college. Can't go wrong with a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale!

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Photo of mempath
4.74/5  rDev +17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

an old standby i haven't visited in years! let's see what i remember and see if my palate has refined due to being bush-hogged by barrel-proof bourbons this winter...

a-that deep golden color that suggests orangey-green. i love it. a beautiful head that diminishes a bit quickly, but not too much so...sporadic lacing that doesn't cling for long.

s-so fresh, crisp, better than i remember. i probably didn't if smell it on purpose last time (that was 1989, i think....). i catch a perfect whiff of malty-hoppiness. what schmaltzy-happiness!

t-my goodness, this is really a fundamentally premiere stellar top notch pedigree american pale ale...it has a nice bitter, but subtle fade out, but it's hard to get to that point due to taking another swallow before too much time passes...the hops are right up front, but there's an obvious depth to it as well as (is this oxymoronic?) being subtley assertive. i love the way the maltiness weaves and pirouettes on the margins.

m-as it should be. as you would expect from this classic. chew it, inhale, you catch ethereal textures, nice continued hopscotch play of hops and malt...even catching somthing herbal, a hint...not sure what that is, but it's a bonus.

d-very very quaffable. an ultimate session brew for me.

this simply blows the quite admirable SN ESB 2009 out of the water. and yes, that itself is a fine brew.

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Photo of Raidersox
4.74/5  rDev +17%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Packaged on 6/2/15, old I know but was in a hurry and grabbed a 12 pack of a trusted brew. Chilled to 38 degrees, poured into large wine glass.

Look: Hazy gold orange with 1/2 inch off white head that dissipated quickly leaving a ring of foam and light lacing. Good carbonation.

Smell: Overtones of citrus (orange and tangerine), spice and a light pine resin.

Taste: Citrus and pine hops balanced by a light malt sweetness. Spiced Dry finish. Lightly grassy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and well carbonated, sharp.

Overall: Despite the age of this sample I was pleasantly surprised. This is a very drinkable pale ale but I want to try a fresher bottle and compare this review to the new one. This deserves a second look to see if the legend of this brew holds up.

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Photo of AmyfaceNYC
4.74/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I love this beer. So crisp, clean, and refreshing. Citrus aromas and flavors, perfectly balanced with a moderately bitter and dry hop element. Pairs spectacularly with Mexican food. Also taste great after a day out in the woods. A true American classic.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.74/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer seems ubiquitous in America and the rest of the free world but believe it or not, its hard to come by in Ontario, Canada (thanks to our silly language laws with regards to product labels).
I was expecting a lot and was pleasantly surprised. All I can say is wow!

Pours a light bronze color with a small wispy head and minimal lacing. The aroma is amazing. A flawless boquet of aroma and bittering hops with a solid bready malt background. Lots of cedary and citrusy hops without being too harsh. The taste is very hoppy but a bit more restrained than Liberty Ale. Along with hop and malt flavors there's fruits like melon and grapes evident. Incredibly Complex and well rounded with hops clearly up front.

The mouthfeel is exceptional with subtle carbonation (thanks to the bottle conditioning I suppose). This beer is excessively drinkable and as good as I imagined. Thank god they sell it in western Canada.

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Photo of hyuga
4.73/5  rDev +16.8%
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 Pballa4lyfe
4.73/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- terrific amber/copper color, light head

S- nice hoppy aroma

T- hops hops hops, delicious..can taste a bit of fruityness

M- yummy, nicely carbonated, full

D- nice beer, could drink a few of these in a night, my safe beer choice

Overall, my favorite beer hand down...i try to drink this beer as much as possible...absolutely love it

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Photo of BrewBoone
4.73/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma- grapefruit hop. slight maltiness reminds me of carmel corn. maybe a touch of DMS.

appearance- straw clear. low head retention. light head that clear to white. no lacing on glass.

flavor- light malt sweetness. strong american hop bitterness. balance definitely towards hops. after taste bitter. no warming from alcohol.

mouthfeel- high carbonation. light body. no warmth. no creaminess. slight carbonic bite due to high carbonation with little malt.

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Photo of orcasteve
4.73/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this is a beautifal song to the hop, i cracked the top and the hops jumped from the bottel to my nose, i poured into a glass and was happy to see the purfict hue for a pale, ther was a great start to the beer, kind of sweet and lightley carobanated, then the hops overpower the grain, thay hit hard and after you swallo, the bitterness fades to a fregrant spring day flavor. start to finish, the purfict after work take into the shower with you beer

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Photo of CptAubrey
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Thin white head and yellow-amber beer. A fine-looking beer.

S: Citrusy hops, caramel, and malt. Smells delicious and fresh. Makes one salivate.

T: Sweet, caramelly malt up front followed by citrusy, herbal hops. Moderate hop bitterness. Touch of grain adds depth. Every flavor is lively and fresh and the beer is well-balanced overall.

M: Fine carbonation and light-medium body with an oily finish.

D: Extremely drinkable with perfect balance and surprising depth. One of the most flavorful American pale ales I've had.

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Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Grew up on this stuff and figured I should finally make a formal review!

A- Great light copper Color, slightly hazy from bottle conditioning and dry hopping but still very clear, nice one inch head that dissipates a little too quickly but great lacing and a tad bit of white head remaining.

S- Grapefruit, pine, sweet malt, floral. awesome pale nose

T-Bitterness hits right up front with great grapefruit, pine, citrus notes supported by a great dry malt backbone, lingering bitterness is great, much hoppier than I remember, and so tasty.

M- nice carbonation (perhaps a bit low but good) and alcohol level is unnoticeable, medium bodied.

O- there is a reason this is one of the top selling beers in the US. It was the first American Pale Ale in the world and is still a fantastic beer, I don't drink this as often as a should and it is so good out of the bottle (Kegs are CO2 conditioned). Best pale hands down.

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Photo of wrb357
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

For awhile I had no idea that Sierra Nevada was regarded as such a wonderful brew. Being in Nor Cal, we get this beer EVERYWHERE. I have always enjoyed its pleasant taste and easy drinkability, but I guess I took it for granted because many are not as familiar.

I've drank this beer in every way imaginable, but best is out of a bottle into a pint glass.

A - Nice pale color to it, more orange than yellow. Always give a nice head.

S - Nice floral and citrus hop aroma. Doesn't smell bitter in the nose, just smells fresh.

T - Such a smooth, easy drinking beer. Some hints of pine, and some bitters, with a citrus hop finish. It has a taste that you will immediately enjoy, and it won't kick you in the mouth. However, the taste doesn't go away. It stays with you the whole time, very flavorful.

M - Easy in the mouth, doesn't taste watery or too bitter, has just the right amount of body to sip it slow or drink it very very fast.

D - It's everywhere for me, and it always pleases. It is so smooth yet flavorful, I can have one and be happy, or down a sixer and not fall flat on my face. Just a superb session drink, one of the best pales to drink a lot of.

To all my Nor Cal friends, be thankful for this amazingly cheap, satisfying beer! To everyone who has to stretch to find it, do it and enjoy.

 1,307 characters

Photo of freed
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I consider this the benchmark. The continental divide. Beer flowing to the east should go back to the drawing board. Beer flowing to the west is how life should be. And those beers are tributaries that flow into the great standard. I don't mean to make SNPA sound like an amalgamation of beers, but its really just one of those great confluences of smell, appearance, taste, and enjoyment.

It pours a rich golden color. As the pour slows, the head billows up with a turbulent cap that settles with a nice crisp rim of foam. The aroma is of ample fresh hops, bursting is bright green flavors. The first sip is crisp, malty, and satisfying. Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter, its always the same taste. With a nice malt background the hops are a wonderful compliment. The biscuit and the citrus are a wonderful mix.

Maybe its the years of practice, but when in doubt, pick up a sixer and you'll be set.

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Photo of mafiasentinel21
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Balanced, balanced, balanced...

A: This beer has a beautiful golden amber. The head is about a finger and a half that dies down to what looks like a crashed wave that sits beautifully on top of the brew.

S: Hops & fruit. Citrus. Faint malt.

T: What a refreshment. Sierra's trademark hoppiness definitely resonates in this beer as does some citric acid. Doesn't linger around a whole lot, and finishes crisp.

M: Medium, carbonation has an opening strength that backs off slowly and pleasantly.

D: Perhaps the scariest part of this beer, a sessionable for sure and one I would never turn down. This beer always makes its way to my fridge.

-It was the brew that got me into any and all craft brews. A great, great beer that deserves all of the acclaim it has received. If you want to try to get a friend off of Coors, Bud, or Miller serve one of these quaffable beauties.

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Photo of Napone
4.71/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance - golden amber with a nice head. Not 'orangish' like some Pale Ales.

Smell - mild to moderate aroma, not too intense

Taste - great going down with a complex finish

Drinkability - a very drinkable beer, similar to some of the India Pale Ales I've had in the past

Sorry about that lack of technical terms, this is my first ever review.

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Photo of lweaver18240
4.71/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow, this may be my favorite beer.

A- Amber, yet clear enough that you can read through it. Pours with a light head that maintains with each mouthful.

S- Smells like high quality hops to me, not much else prominent.

T- Tastes like heaven. Starts off sweet and hoppy, simplistic and perfect. Then the flavor of hops rolls along the tongue and lingers for a bit, but not overly intense.

M- Lightly carbonated and incredibly smooth leading to a high level of drinkability.

D- Very sessionable. Drank a sixer before bed and it went down easier than water. Woke up and drank one at room temperature, and it was equally delicious. Not many beers can pull that off.

A very well done ale that isn't overly bitter, nor is it overly complex. A great beer to enjoy casually and often.

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Photo of Bulabeers
4.71/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Looks great in the glass small white head modest lacing smells of citrus and pine hops tastes is much like the nose but balanced with a decent malt backbone that is not overpowering. Perfectly carbonated perfectly executed enjoy anytime.

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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.

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Photo of Frosthazard
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nice tall "beer mug"

A- Clear with tiny particles after pour, beautiful amber color. Medium head that dissipates quickly. Nice lacing. Very enticing.

S- Nutty malt and piney hops, just what I would expect from a good American Pale Ale. Slightly citrusy and yeasty. Very well rounded.

T- Slightly piney, but it a very good way. Hoppy, a little bitter, but well balanced. one word-delicious.

M- Nice carbonation, has a little bite, which I like, lets you know your drinking it. Medium body.

D- Very drinkable, wish the alcohol content were slightly higher, but this is definitely one of my favorite beers.

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Photo of breakofdawn
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm going to be a bit biased here: this is my all-time favorite beer. But to be honest, the first time I tried SN Pale Ale...I hated it!

Beer pours a golden/orange color. Some lacing left on the side. Smell of hops and pine notes.
More hops upon tasting, not overwhelming, but enough to get the point across. More pine notes, maybe a hint of citrus (almost grapefruit-esque). Some malt and barley mixed in as well.

Dry mouthfeel, definitely has you wanting more!

Overall, an impressive 4.5/5. Highly recommended, and a fine beer to enjoy year round.

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Photo of hunthearin
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

P - 12oz Brown Bottle, Colorful Green label with a Nature Scene
A - Reddish, Copper color that looks nice in the glass
S - Hoppy and Sweet Smell
T - Knockout! Quite refreshing with hues of grapefruit and other assorted citrus flavors
M - Refreshing with a bite to the tongue
D - A beer to savor, a six pack would do me just fine

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Photo of danreitz
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Mona's in New York City. Pours golden amber with a floral aroma. The taste is marvelously balanced; there is just enough of that piney, slightly bitter cascade hop flavor is to counter the thick sweetness of the malt. Crisp, slightly citrus aftertaste.

A fantastic beer. Perfect yet unassuming, like a Fender Stratocaster. Refreshing and bold-flavored. Highly recommended.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,949 ratings.
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