Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale
11,441 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 11,441 |  Reviews: 3,047
Photo of Stubbie1
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark golden color with a tight off white head on top. Great head retention turning to a nice lace until the bottom of my glass. The aroma is all hops with hints of malt in the back round, very nice. The taste is all out hops with a hint of citrus and a nice mix with the malt. This is a crisp, refreshing beer. Very enjoyable and easy to drink. Now I understand all the hype of Sierra Nevada brews, cant wait to try the others!

 440 characters

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

This beer is good even at room temperature. There it brings out fruity berry flavors.

A- Poured into a into a pint glass at a local establishment. 1.5 finger head, falls a bit, laces well. Clear Golden hue. Looks good.

S- Just enough hops to satisfy me. Citrusy, bit of pine.

T- Very well rounded pale ale. Good balance of hops and pale malt.

M- Carbonation. Finishes dry on the palette.

O- This is a good go to beer where faced with a limited selection. This is a perfect beer for Friday night pizza.

 510 characters

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

Figured I would have this on tap one last time before Fat Tire was put on in its place.

A- Pours a good slight haze golden copper color. Nice two finger eggshell white head leaves after a short period but leaves behind lacing on the sides of the glass which doesn't really impress but is big in number which is impressive.

S- Big citrus upfront to this with some bitter hops present. Sweet underlying malt backbone make this beer a little more balanced then what it would be if the malts weren't so apparent. Some earthy underlying hints to this beer as well that I catch from time to time while drinking this.

T- Bitter hops in the front of this beer. Nice kick also right from the get go. Some malts come through in the middle but are quickly tackled by some citrus hops keeping it down. Middle of this beer has a weird earthy grassy taste to it. Nothing bad but it gives it a little more of unique taste to it. Ends on a bitter bite which leaves you wanting to sip on more and more.

M- Light- medium mouthfeel to this beer. Carbonation is dead on and helps lighten up the beer I think. Hops left everywhere on the palate with the aftertaste being bitter and making you yearn for more. The only knock I have on this beer is it seems to be a little on the dry side.

D- This beer is my go to Pale and well my go to beer if nothing else is around. I always come back to this beer even after I drink myself to death on hopbombs or extreme maltbombs. This beer is refreshing and always does the trick. would recommend to everyone. Great gateway beer into the craft world.

 1,575 characters

Photo of SierraStonePoint
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

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

On tap (at Pub 71, Atlanta, GA) - It had a very nice clear yellow/golden color to it with a pretty big white head, that was pretty light or not dense. It was well retained. For a pale ale, I thought that the aroma was really good, light malt and hops aroma with a very light hint of sweetness. Taste was hoppy with some pine, malt and that light hint of sweetness. The flavor was really good, way better than expected. The body was light and the beer was very refreshing. Maybe slightly over carbonated, but not really to the determent to the beer. This one is a keeper. Highly enjoyed it. This one will be a staple once summer rolls around.

 641 characters

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

A pint glass served at Champion's in Highspire, PA.

A: The pint has a clear amber body, an orange-brown combination that 'copper' is properly affixed to. A half a finger of white head managed to lace nicely in the oft-rinsed tumbler glass.

S: The nose has a strong hop presence for a pale ale, offering pine and citrus in abundance. A strong caramel backbone provides balance.

T: The ale opens with a very oily hop presence, one that was strong and resiny enough that 'soapy' may be appropriate. Further sips reveal the citrus and pine from the nose. Caramel and biscuit flavors drive the malt profile that is strong enough to stand up to the hops. The malt and hop pairing leaves a nmice finish in the mouth.

M: The mouthfeel, especially when fresh, is tough to beat. The hops are vibrant and oily, coating the palate with each sip.

D: A pleasantly drinkable pale ale, one that doesn't skimp on the hops. SNPA is an ale best served fresh on-tap.

 952 characters

Photo of DrewKid4
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber with mild carbonation and small but creamy white head with good lacing.

S: Slight hops with some roasted malt smells. Refreshing.

T: Hop kick at first, finished with roasted malts.

M: Good mouthfeel. Many hoppy brews leave the mouth rather dry but with a good balance with the malts, it leaves a neutral finish that begs for more.

D: One of the most drinkable APAs and great for being available anywhere.

 422 characters

Photo of ocelot2500
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper color with a nice white head. More than enough lacing on the glass.

Smells of some floral hops and malt. Nothing overwhelming, but everything balanced.

Tastes of the floral hops with the malt backbone. The malt provides a slightly sweet counterpoint to the hops and makes for one really balanced brew.

The mouthfeel is nice and crisp. There is an appropriate amount of carbonation.

This is very drinkable. No wonder this is the flagship brew for Sierra Nevada.

 486 characters

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

12oz bottle.

Appearance: Amber color with plenty of head.

Smell: Citrusy hops slightly malty aroma.

Taste: Sweet malty taste balances the hoppiness, perfectly in my opinion.

Mouthfeel: Medium body that is fairly creamy.

Drinkability: Excellent beer and makes for a good session.

Overall I really enjoy this beer. I find it a good purchase since it is so widely available in my area at every grocery store. There is no other grocery store beer here that I would like to have, a very good APA.

 515 characters

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

quite simply a great american brew. when i lived in boston this was always my fall-back beer as you could seemingly get it everywhere. now that i'm back home in nj, it's a little harder to come by but appears to be more and more available at bars as time goes by. pours an awesome amber colour with a moderate head that is not very long lasting but leaves you with a nice lacing. smells of hops and wheat and adds hints of fruit and earthiness, all of which can be found in the flavour. quite along going on here for a standard pale ale. carbonation is just right. this is a perfect session beer and is quite often just that for me. a classic.

 643 characters

Photo of CBlack85
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

The beer pours a ever so slightly hazy copper/light amber color. An aggressive pour produces about three fingers worth of creamy white-ish head that slowly recedes leaving behind sheets of lacing that nearly cover the glass.

The aroma is of grassy piney hops, followed by the light scent of orange zest and lemons. The malt is moderately noticable, giving off a biscuity and grainy character.

Lots of citrusy hops, with the piney/grassy hops taking a backseat. Quite well balanced with the biscuity/bready malt backbone always being present but never outdoing the hops. Slightly sweet. The carbination give it a sharp quality on the tounge. Medium bodied and finishes relatively dry. Very drinkable

In many ways this was one of the beers that turned me on to craft beer, and I always seem to have some in my beer fridge. Just a terrific go to beer. I pulled some out today to watch the Colts game and figured that I would check out how I reviewed it to see how my opinion of it had changed; and to my surprise I had never taken the time to review this great beer. Can't go wrong with SNPA

 1,138 characters

Photo of JesseMurdock
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is a great all-around beer. It's sweet malty taste combined with the floral and citrus hop character makes this an easily drinkable beer for even those unacquainted with craft beer. While lacking the bitterness and complexity of an IPA, this is an easy-going, yet delicious brew.

 284 characters

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

If you're in need of a delicious beer that will rock your socks but not your wallet, Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale should be your beer of choice. It is the American Pale Ale in its near-perfect form. My favorite beer to bring to parties.

A- Quintessential golden amber with a beautiful head

S- Very floral and slightly citrus

T- Very smooth and not too hoppy. Enough hops to make you realize it is a pale ale but not too much to make it bitter. There is a certain sweetness behind the hops that just pulls the overall taste together beautifully. Absolutely delicious.

M- A nice crispness and carbonation

D- Very drinkable, especially in the summer. It always seems to leave me feeling refreshed but then reels me back in for a sip seconds later.

 746 characters

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

Poured a warm, peachy orange colour, with an creamy white head. Retention was average, lacing was decent.

As expected, huge floral aromas. Fruity and zesty.

Taste was citrus, tangy and reminiscent of mangos. Very sweet but balanced with a good amount of hop bitterness. Left an astringent feel on the palate in a good way. Very tasty. A classic APA. Finishes dry. Smooth, moderate mouthfeel. Quaffable as hell.

 416 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 TetonMike
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Ha! not sure how I managed to never review this one. It's a real go-to beer, and is available ontap more places than I can think of.

For rating purposes I am basing it off the 24oz botttle (which I found for $1.99).

Big creamy/foamy head and amber hue.

Smooth hop aroma, piney and freshcut. Floral and a tad acidic.

Nice clean sharp hop bitterness at first, then a malt smoothness takes over, and then it goes dry and sharp hop bitterness for the finish. An exceptional APA, in fact I think it to be the quintesential APA in every respect. For a big-quasi-regional-semi-craft brewery, I love the consisitance in the quality, fair pricing/value, and good flavors!

 669 characters

Photo of jjh19
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden yellow.

Smell: Grassy and earthy.

Taste: Nice balance. Crisp hops. Mid-tone malts. Nothing overwhelms anything else. The model of what a Pale Ale should be.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and light body.

Drinkability: A pale ale that aims for and hits the straight-down-the-middle pale ale target. Bullseye. A Classic for a reason.

 341 characters

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

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper color with a nice initial head. No lasting lace though.

Smell is floral and juicy. Citrus and flowers at the same time.

Taste is a nice balance between some very juicy hops (Cascade?) and sweet malts.

Oveall, this is a great beer. One I consider the measuring stick for American Pale Ales. Highly flavorful and highly drinkable.

 392 characters

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

Pours a golden, all clear beer with a quite thick foam. It is somewhat orange in colour and has a nice carbonation.

Smell is malts, an orange sweetness. There are heavy traces of citrus in there and a flowery character to wrap up the sweetness, like the nectar of this beer :)

Taste is.. great. Its tihck and bready with a caramel like sweetness thats balanced with the bitterness. Butter and flowers flow throughout the sips.
Bitter and sweet blend perfectly and then comes the somewhat prickly alcohol and a large bitterness in the aftetaste together with spicy traces.

 578 characters

Photo of DaveFL1976
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a classic American brew. SNPA pours a golden honey colour with a fluffy white head that sticks to the side of the glass. The nose is sweet but citrusy and spicy with hops. The taste is bigger than most any widely available brew. Plenty of bittering hops, plenty of aroma hops, and plenty of malt to balance it all out.

 323 characters

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

This is an excellent example of an American pale ale. Nice appearance, slight chill haze, small head, nice lacing as the head dissipates. The smell is hoppy/citrusy slightly alcohol like. The taste is in my opinion outstanding for the style. Hops are apparent as is a slight citrus taste. Something vegetive also in the background, but in a good way. Mouthfeel was good also. I found it to be very smooth. Extremely drinkable. I could drink this all night at a pub on tap.

A great beer in my opinion, worth a try if you haven't already. You'll find it to be one you come back to again.

 589 characters

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

Bottle poured into New Belgium globe.

A- Bright golden, with a tinge of orange. Lively carbonation leads to a couple fingers of barely off white head. A lovely looking beer.

S- That piney hop smell that dominates many of the SN hoppy beers, but not without a malt backbone to stand up to it to keep it in check. Barely. Slight citrus notes lurk behind, but you have to bury your face in there to make them peek from behind the pine. A superbly hoppy smell for an APA.

T- Piney hops again dominate, in a way I always expect from SN pale/IPAs. As with the smell, the hops are backed by a nice amount of maltiness, but not too much.

M- Medium bodied, perfectly carbonate.

O- SNPA is the quintessential American pale ale, the forerunner of the style. Is the absolute best? No. But after years of challengers coming forward, SNPA still stands its ground, refusing to budge an inch. That this is so affordable and so easily attainable makes it easy to forget how good of a beer this really is.

 992 characters

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

This is a solid beer. Actually it seems to serve sometimes as a crossover beer; it's widely available, a lot of people know about it, but yet it's very good, unlike a lot of popular brews. Appears a vibrant orangy amber color with a typical head and lacing for a pale ale. Fruity hops abound in the nose. Taste is of course hoppy, which is good. A bit citrusy and tangy, but what makes this beer great is that there's an excellent balance of sweet malts in there as well. Feels smooth and creamy, a super-easy beer to drink. Bueno.

 531 characters

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

I last had this beer before last night approx a year ago..before I was a BA and absolutely hated it..I thought it was so overly bitter and unpleasant...what a difference a year makes

A - Poured a golden yellow to soft amber color with a nice fluffy white head that fell moderately and left a nice bit of lace

S - Very citric with a hint of the bready malted flavors in there

T - A nice sharp citric hit up front that mellows out and gives a nice full flavor of bread and grains and then finishes with a re-awakening of the citric hop bite that finishes a little dry and crisp

M - Nice crisp and clean flavor with a little drying at the bad aftertaste

D - This may be the epitome of the APA...and is a great example for the style

 743 characters

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 11,441 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.