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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale
11,403 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
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Ratings: 11,403 |  Reviews: 3,045
Photo of hustlesworth
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

i can remember years ago when i had one of these and said "YUCK" haha oh how the times change...

A- poured a crystal clear topaz honey amber colorwith rising bubbles topped by 2in of dense soapy off-white head with medium retention leaving 1/8in ring and random fingers of lace stuck to the glass.

S- citrus, sourdough bread, yeast and malted milkshake, roasted nuts and grains, and spicy peppery herbal hops with a floral twang to it

T- orange, grapefruit, white wine, lightly caramelized malt, fruity powdery yeast in the middle. the sourness of the citrus and the herbal pine sap hop bitterness cuts all underlying sweetness down leaving a lingering spicy resinous woodsy leafy hop aftertaste with bread and biscuits way wayyy in the background.

MF- perfectly balanced in my opinion, resinous yet refreshing. finished nice and dry and went down like a silky champagne although unlike most champagne, the carbonation was at an ideal level.

D- uh yeah, i could drink this all the time and it's definitely my go to beer when i'm lookin for a bullseye, right up there with old speckled hen and sam adams boston lager.

 1,123 characters

Photo of Johnnyrafer
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale's most popular beer is a delightful interpretation of a classic style. Pours deep amber color with a overly generous 3 finger frothy white head and long lasting lace. Cascade hops throw off fragrant orange bouquet and spicy flavor. Stong grapefruit crisp taste along with a full-body and complex character.
In their own words: “Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is the flagship beer, the one that made Chico famous. It is a flawless beer that opens with bright, perky high notes of maltiness and orange blossom and segues into a delectable hoppiness.”

Keep these around for session they are a sure hit!

 621 characters

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

Pours a golden/copper color, thick head that reduces to lace.Smell is light to me, some piney hops and grass is all I detect. I taste citrus first, followed by malt sweetness then piney hops and a bit of bitterness in the finish. Nice oil to the mouthfeel. Nice and highly drinkable. A classic from a great brewery.

 315 characters

Photo of berley31
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured with a large, white, frothy head that had good lasting appeal. Body is clear and sparkling, and a dark-yellow (almost orange) color.

S: The aroma is high on citrus (especially lemon and orange), with a definite presence of hops as well.

T: Very nice. Citrusy, almost sweet at first, with a moderately bitter finish. Smooth and balanced perfectly.

M: Light-bodied and creamy, with average-to-lively carbonation.

D: It bears repeating: very nicely balanced. This is a standard in so many bars in the US, and there's a reason why... almost anyone could drink this and enjoy it. And enjoy five of them in one sitting.

 628 characters

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

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Mostly clear copper color with a golden hue. Thin, patchy head with lace.

S: Light piney hops and grapefruit peel, biscuity grains that round out a nice, funky malt scent...lingering notes of honey and caramel.

T: A slightly sour, carbonated front leads to a perfectly balanced presence of malt and hops. Traces of fresh baked whole wheat bread and caramel. Finishes extremely well with a lingering, earthy fade with plenty of wheat.

D: This is definitely a good go-to pale ale for a summer evening.

Value: Considering you can get this beer at most fern bars and lots of gas stations, this widely available brew is hard to deny as being a serious bargain at under ten bucks a six pack.

 729 characters

Photo of gianluca88
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of DubC14
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%

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

A: Pours a beautiful gold/amber with about a half inch of head that dissipates quickly. Moderate carbonation and decent lacing.

N: Caramel, orange zest and pine.

T: Orange and lemon citrus upfront backed by excellent caramel malts. The citrus is then swapped out for pine and a crisp grassiness. Finishes with lingering pine, citrus and caramel.

M: Medium bodied, crisp, clean and dry.

O: This is THEE American Pale Ale with good reason. Easy drinking, juicy and refreshing. Hop forward yet incredibly balanced. This has always been a great go-to-beer. This is the best example of what an APA SHOULD taste like.

 615 characters

Photo of Freeman132
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of UDbeernut
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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 +6.7%
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 +6.7%
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 +6.7%
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 +6.7%
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!

 505 characters

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

Photo of surcorx
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

 738 characters

Photo of ProChorus
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%

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

Photo of honestdave
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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 +6.7%
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.

 896 characters

Photo of jkdrummer
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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 +6.7%
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

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 11,403 ratings
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