Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

11,249 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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11,249 |  Reviews: 3,017
Photo of Freeman132
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of UDbeernut
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

can't believe for how many times I had this I never reviewed. amber hue, nice foamy off white head, nose is full of cascade and caramel, balance a tad to the bitter side, tasteful citrus and caramel meld well. sure there are better apas, but none of them are the benchmark that Sierra nevada's is.

 297 characters

Photo of horndecker
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First words that come to mind are: well built, sturdy, balanced, and delicious. A fine, soft white head sits for a short time above a clear butterscotch amber. The smells are fresh, citric and piney hops and bakery. The taste has a wonderful smooth bitter start, a sweet malt follows, chewy and slightly nutty. Great balance. The finish is dry and long. The mouthfeel is buttery and full. Everything works. It's a hit. So, so drinkable and doesn't fade.

 453 characters

Photo of civilizedpsycho
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured bottle into mug.

Appearance: Golden with slightly amber hue. Nice one finger head with good lacing.

Smell: Very sweet smell with a bit of a fruity aroma which I can't quite identify at this time.

Taste: Starts sweet with a nice bitter kick at the end with a hint of fruit flavor. Very good.

Mouthfeel: A fair body for the style but not thin or anything.

Drinkability: Fantastic. Something I could definitely drink on a regular basis.

 449 characters

Photo of goblue3509
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden amber color. The aroma is of a malt backbone, smells of bread, and a citrus and floral hop over the top. The taste is of a good floral and citrus hop top coat, however, not overly bitter, with a malt bread backbone. The mouthfeel is moderate carbonation. Overall it is a good pale ale, the hop taste isn't as bitter as other pale ale's making it more drinkable than most.

 386 characters

Photo of seanyfo
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

35cl bottle poured into a Kolsch Stange

A - Deep amber/copper colouring, 3 finger head that dissapates quickly but leaves good lacing.

S- Sweet malts first, some caramel, faint floral hoppy notes, flowery

T- Floral notes come through first, nice caramel sweetness offsets this and finishes with a subtle hop sharpness.

M- Moderate carbonation, moderate to full body

D- Nice interplay of hop bite and sweetness. Flavours not overpowering and this makes for a sessionable yet interesting ale. A Winner!

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Photo of craigbelly
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of surcorx
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance--pours a copper golden amber with a slight foam that doesn't last. Nothing too interesting.

Aroma--Medium pine hops and more hops. Citrus notes. Slight grassy notes. Complex.

Taste--Clean, bright and refreshing. Mildly bitter and dry. Pine, citrus and very mild malt. An expected slight bitter aftertaste. More complex than most. A great beer.

Mouthfeel--Perfect for the American style if not somewhat light in body. Mild carbonation and crisp.

Drinkability--Highly drinkable. The classic step up beer for nubies.

This is clearly one of America's finest beers. Everyone should be able to find it and should drink it. In this category I also enjoy Goose Islands Honkers Ale which is slightly more popular in the midwest.

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Photo of ProChorus
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%

Photo of abedenbaugh
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A:Very clear amber color. Pale white head with a good amount of lace around the side.
S:A citrus hop aroma that is mild but still dominates over any malt aroma that is there.
T:A mild citrus hop flavor. The bitterness is low for a pale ale, but works great with the beer. A slight taste of malt in the middle of the palate. The flavor is also very smooth.
MF:A light to medium body. The goes down very smoothly.
D:Very easy to drink. Overall it's a great beer that is very well balanced. Also hops isn't too strong so most of my friends will drink it.

 551 characters

Photo of tronester
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden orange, with a great, white head. Smells of citrus hops. Taste is very well balanced, sweet malt, with a good use of bittering and aroma hops. One of the best interpretations of the American Pale Ale out there. The version on tap isn't quite as good, likely due to this version being bottle conditioned.

 318 characters

Photo of honestdave
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into an ale glass.

A: Appearance is gold to amber in color. Really nice thick creamy white head from a strong pour. Small carbonation bubbles rise into the creamy head. Good lacing down the glass.

S: Smell is more floral than citrus. Really fresh scent.

T: Slight malty flavor followed by a super satisfying bitterness from the Magnum, Perle and Cascade hops is a delight. Piney hop goodness!

M: Natural conditioning provides just enough carbonation to give this brew a refreshing medium mouthfeel.

D: Perfect session ale. I can drink several and still want more. Stays refreshing to the bottom of the ale glass.

Summary: This is the one beer that really got me into American craft beer. Absolutely one of my favorite ales. This beer provides really fine balance between the malts and ends with great hop bitterness. Everything one would want in an ale. Excellent!

 892 characters

Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A long time session beer of mine, as well as the first american pale i ever tried.

A: Pours a nice copper gold color with an off white head about an inch or so. crystal clear, nice bubbles. all around a good looking beer.

S: peppery and citrusy hops, a light malt bill, fairly sweet smelling, but hops dominate it, very nice.

T: clean hop tastes, a nice bitterness that lingers, the malt is caramelly and sweet. a little more towards the hoppy side, but that's exactly how i like it. the finish is very clean. pretty crisp up front. not too sticky, very balanced, all around excellent.

M: balanced, not too thick or thin, nice lingering bitterness, nicely carbonated. all in all great.

D: for a relatively higher hopped beer, this beer does alright as far as drinkability goes, i really like to drink a few when i choose to drink them. a great standby beer when i can't decide on anything.

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Photo of jkdrummer
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice fluffy white head is strong and laces very nicely. Pours golden. Yeasty odor but the hops are present. Very mild and no bitterness -- fruity. Very dry beer -- not a complicated taste at all, basic but boring. Goes easy and has a malty aftertaste. Recommended, would be great on a hot summer day when you want that pale ale taste without the extra hops of an IPA.

 367 characters

Photo of beachbum1975
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

With 2,026 review prior to me, there's not much I can possibly add.

I've had this beer many, many times and I consider this to be the flagship American Pale Ale of America.

In fact, I base all my other pale ale reviews off this beer! Consistently on this beer is always spot on. The availability of this beer (everywhere!) helps, as well.

It's my go to beer if all my other choices are BMC's...

 398 characters

Photo of jayfarley3
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass, it poured a nice amber color with a decent off white head. has a strong floral hoppy smell to it, it smells how i expect an apa so smell. the taste starts off with a piney taste and ends slightly bitter. mouthfeel is light compared to other pale ales that ive tried. this is a very drinkable beer, i could drink this all day long if i was back home in cali, but its pretty expensive out here in Guam.

 445 characters

Photo of vancurly
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber, frothy white head, which persists, nice bubbles from the bottle.
Aroma of grapefruit, caramel, marmalade.
Big malt hit initially, with citrus & lychee, followed by caramel, with the bitter finish. It's a like a parade in your mouth.
The overall effect is one of finely-tuned balance.
For me, this beer was becoming mythical.... so much good written about it, but I couldn't find it in Australia. Finally, I came across it, at the excellent Leura Cellars. One of the best Pale Ales I've ever had.

 502 characters

Photo of Streetcore
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can

A: Amber with a fluffy white head

S: Floral, spicy, piney

T: Citrus, pine, light malt sweetness, nice balance between the hops and malt

M: Smooth, nice well rounded finish

O: One of my go to beers. Now that Sierra is canning their beers I'll be drinking this at the beach all summer.

 306 characters

Photo of devo
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a favorite session beer. It's affordable, widely available and easy to drink. Sierra's a great fall back when nothing unique is on the docket.

Sierra pours a nice golden, almost wheaty brown that hints at bready notes with a finger and a half foamy head.

The smell is pleasant, though limited. Floral hops dominate the scent with a some citrus mixed in.

The taste is clean with hops as the dominant flavor. It's a classic, very pleasant and enjoyable American Pale Ale.

You can drink and enjoy Sierra forever. It's a wonderful, everyday brew.

 562 characters

Photo of TechMyst
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Container Volume: 355ml

Container type: bottle

Fresh: y

Purchased @: sullivans

Cost: $8/6-pack

Head: dissapates entirely

Lace: good

Reflected- yellow
Transmitted- yellow

Aroma: like Bass but sweeter

Mouthfeel: light-medium

Palate: adjusts after 2

Start- apple/cranberry
Middle- bitter
Finish- slight carmel

Comments: Taste is much like Bass, but going to the fruity/sweet side whereas Bass is perfectly balanced. Still very good once you get going on it...

Mowing/Working on car- n
With Friends- y
Sipping- y
Get my buzz on- y

 603 characters

Photo of pheurton
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

THE fallback beer when i can't get anything else. i consider SNPA to be responsible for helping make me into the beer lover i am today. pours a crystal clear tan with an creamy white head. the taste is a lesson in balance....sweet carmel malts are in perfect balance with PNW hops. a sheer pleasure to quaff that gets even better as it warms. it may seem run of the mill, but is still the best all around semi-mass produced beer.

 429 characters

Photo of infi
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint.

Pours a translucent golden orange color with a generous amount of bubbling occurring throughout the glass, which forms a white head of extra fine bubbles forming and settling to a thin cap that moves away from the center of the glass and towards the perimeter. From a birds-eye view, it's appears to be a white ring with some thin patches of bubbles scattered in the middle. The smell is incredible with its floral bouquet of spicy hops, pine, citrus, honey and slight amounts of malt and yeast. Extra whiffs indicate that the aromas are more citrus-oriented than the pine, kinda like cutting into a fresh grapefruit. This is one damn good smelling beer.

The taste, at first, is very sweet from the malts and honey. Then, the pine and citrus come into play as they present themselves as a slight dry bitterness. And towards the end, I can taste the pith of grapefruit and a hoppy spiciness, which leaves a nice crisp and dry aftertaste. There is a definite earthy characteristic in the flavor profile - it's excellent.

This pale ale has a medium-bodied mouthfeel with adequate amount of carbonation in the mouth. And as aforementioned, a crisp and dry aftertaste remains on the tongue and inner linings of the cheeks, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Drinkability is very high. You won't notice how fast you'll be drinking it. It is remarkably sessionable, tasty and reliable. SNPA will always be one of my go-to beers.

 1,447 characters

Photo of qpHalcy0n
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served chilled into Pilsner glass.

Pours ambery/orange with perhaps some greenish hue at glancing angles with a 1 finger head. Moderate lacing.

Malt aroma hits first followed by hops and grapefruit and almost gingery smell.

Extremely earthy taste. Bitter citrus fruits like grapefruit hit first and finishes with a piney/gingery taste. A very refreshing beer, especially on a hot 100 degree Texas summer.

It's got a little bit more bite to it than I'd like, but the excellent taste/finish overcomes this for me. Moderate carbonation.

This is a very earthy beer that is very refreshing to drink. I haven't tried many Sierra Nevada beers but I'm looking forward to more. Makes for a wonderful summer beer.

 709 characters

Photo of bkatof78
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Tballz420
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer. It pours out with a nice white head, and lacing down the sides. The taste of hops is pretty apparent. I think as far as good beers go, this is a standard that everyone should have at some point. A nice session beer, maybe not the best pale ale in the world, but definately worth getting a 12er of if you havent had it.

 343 characters

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,249 ratings.
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