Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
2,999 Reviews
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
sierra-nevada.com

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:
2,999
Ratings:
11,162
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
11.6%
 
 
Wants:
309
Gots:
3,047
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,999 | Ratings: 11,162
Photo of PartyBear
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Warming amber colour, with a nice white fluffy head. Seems highly carbonic.

S - Rich hoppiness, with earthy tones. There is also a hint of sweet malts on the nose.

T - Dry, refreshing and bitter from the get go. The flavours are clearly controlled by the hops, which delivers a grassy bitterness. There are slight citrus flavours towards the end, along with what tastes like apples.

M - Quite light on the palete, with a dry feel.

D - A nice beer, and very drinkable. Light and refreshing enough to be a solid summer beer.

 533 characters

Photo of Jdbateman83
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I have a love hate with this beer, as I do with Sierra Nevada as a company. They make some of my all time favorite top 3 beers (Ovila Golden Ale, and the other 2 Ovila's). This a great pale ale, hoppy, slight bitter, but I don't like the lingering bitterness. I have toured Sierra Nevada's Chico plant, and they put every other brewery I have been to to shame when it comes to facilities, and tours. Part of that is the lack of corporate bureaucracy, since it is still a private brewery, and hopefully will remain so forever. If anyone goes through Chico,CA I would highly recommend this tour. At the end of ours, we tried 10 beers in their tasting room, it was awesome. They have a great pubhouse to great food.

 712 characters

Photo of danetrain0101
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is of a dark golden color. Foam is thick and lasts long. Thick and long.

Smells nice and hoppy with a light malt smell.

A light hop presence. Some malts can be tasted as well as some hints of alcohol.

Feels like a nice smooth pale ale with a medium body taste.

A nice drinkable pale ale to have on any occasion.

 326 characters

Photo of beerkittycat
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a sparkling clear orange color with a white head that faded a bit too quickly. Not much hops in the nose but smells of apricot, peach, and cereal which matches the sweet, malty taste. Oooo, an assertive hoppy bitterness in the finish that lingers and prickles the tongue. This is an awesome American Pale Ale that paved the way for the rest. Thanks, Sierra Nevada, for showing us the light.

 397 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hops and cream and noticeable creamy head. Taste with an offsetting bitterness that I didn't care for or expect. Strong bitter mouthfeel Citrus floral and pine aroma. Inexpensive.
Had this 3 years later on-tap and this review is based on that, at Pizza Port Solena Beach Lace, a serviceable pale. AFter so many good pales, Sierra finds its way among the pack, but was sure a revalation when I first had it.

 407 characters

Photo of ordybill
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has a big hop aroma with some additional grain as a backdrop.
Appearance- This is a clear golden amber colored beer with a small white head.
Taste- Has that nice APA hop bite.
Palate- A medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation, has a nice hop dry finish.
Overall- A solid beer that I rank above average, I personally prefer other Sierra Nevada brews better than this, but I would drink this again.

 454 characters

Photo of beveritt
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this beer on tap, poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Golden amber in color with very little head. The head settled into a small amount of white bubbles on the surface.

Smell: Smells strongly of hops. Bitternes, grass , and floral aromas.

Taste: Sligthly sweet, but balanced well by the bitterness of the hops. Not a lot of malt flavor. A nice floral aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to low level of carbonation. Not watery, yet not overly thick and clinging.

Drinkability: A good example of the American Pael Ale. Nice level of bitterness withou being a hop bomb. Seems to be on the acidic side, which may detract from its drinkability a little.

 673 characters

Photo of hdofu
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a good beer if pale ale is your thing. It has a heck of a white foamy head on top of a knox blocks colored liquid. It smells heavily of hops. It's taste is of malt with a hint of grapefruit. The feel is a bit oily and a medium bodied beer. I'm not big on pale ales but this isn't bad and I would drink it again.

 319 characters

Photo of vandemonian
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale tastes like hop water to me. There isn't enough malt character for balance. It also has a weak flavour that tastes almost like... chlorine.

A: Clear yellow/orange colour and a 8 mm head that lasts reasonably well. 4

S: Floral, grassy hops. Pretty strong. 4

T: Grassy hops with a noticeably chlorine-like flavour. Not a strong malty base. Fairly bitter. 3.5

M: Foamy. 4.5

O: 3.5

 405 characters

Photo of Arknot
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The ulitmate "beer".
A nice balance of hops and malt, this pale ale fits my standard for a basicly perfect everyday beer.

Appearance is light copper with a thick white head.

Smell is hops and watery freshness, with a slight biscuity breadyness.

Taste is slightly bitter hops, with a nice biscuity bready malty body.

Mouthfeel is nothing heavy, very crisp, and very easy going.

Overall, If you enjoy american hops, and a want a solid beer to have with a meal, out in the sun, or hanging out with friends Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is the ticket. I'll also say this is a fairly nice session beer, if only a little strong.
Cheers.

 628 characters

Photo of headlessparrot
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Fragrant, but not bitter. Not much to look at in the glass (not much head, what is there recedes, a hazy orange gold with big bubbles), and it's not setting the world on fire, but it's easy to overlook how good and how reliable this is. Perfumy but also a decent crisp malt base, light cracker, grass, hay.

 306 characters

Photo of bigwillystyle9
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Amber gold with half centimeter of frothy head, leaves nice lace. Well carbonated with particulates.

S - Subtle smell, with hint of cedar wood.

T - Slightly bitter, stimulates the tip and front sides of the tongue. Leaves slight after taste of woody flavor.

M - Nicely smooth.

O - Enjoyable pale to heavy beer. Seems a little strong for a pale ale.

Summary: Reasonably priced with smooth and stimulating flavor and texture.

 434 characters

Photo of niklas0770
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The hazy light coppery color with the one finger head looks very inviting i must say. After a couple of sips it leaves a thin lace.

The smell is very hopy with some kind of flower sweetness added to it. I also get some kind of crispiness, almost like an wisebeer.

The taste is still very hopy with that crispiness I mentioned earlier. There is also that sweetness I can't seem to put my finger on.

The mouthfeel is quite dry but yet refreshing. The carboration is not as aggressive as I expected, but that's not a bad thing.

Drinkability - I want an other one!

 564 characters

Photo of Slar211
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from the B-Side Liquor Lounge on Coventry, Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Appearance: Pours dark golden, almost amber, into a pint glass. Thick ivory head stays and clings well.

Smell: Sweet malt and fragrant hops, an inviting nose.

Taste: Zesty hops reveal herbal and even fruity notes, very complex.

Mouthfeel: Medium body that finishes dry on the palate.

Drinkability: A solid ale, could have this again.

 430 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A classic and pioneer in craft beer! Usually poured out of 12oz bottle into pint glass or on tap. Pours a nice deep golden color with a little bit of cloudiness. Aroma has the cascade hops up front bringing out that nice floral undertone. There also seems to be a little orange present in this also. The flavor is what I would consider to be probably the true American Pale Ale. The malts are present up front along with their counterpart, hops. Nice and refreshing. Following behind these two ingredients would have to be that orange I smelled earlier. There is also a little pepper and floral in the back end. Leaves a bitter and refreshing taste in the end. Good classic beer again.

 685 characters

Photo of NHPC
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

You won't go wrong but its not that special. beats lots of craft beers but you don't feel like you found a gem. Easy go to beer cause you see it everywhere.

 156 characters

Photo of eanmcnulty
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark golden, beautiful white lacing.

Smell: citrus, floral, and fruity. light malt.

Taste: fairly bitter, sweet earthy malt.

Mouthfeel: medium-bodied without being too light.

Overall: This is the beer that started it for me. I don't even know when I had my first SNPA. It must have been in the late 80's. SNPA has become more bitter than I care for these days. I tend toward the pale ales that are highly hopped in flavor and aroma.

Serving type: bottle

 472 characters

Photo of notchucknorris
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice golden color with a lasting cream colored head and nice lacing.

S: Floral hops and a little bit of caramel. The hops always seem to smell fresh.

T: Citrus hops and a lot of biscuity malt. A little lemon and grapefruit in there. This is a good pale ale, just not my favorite.

 284 characters

Photo of Beerma
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I do not know why it took me so long to try this! I totally am enjoying all their beers! I am a fan for sure now. It was light and smooth yet had some flavor. REFRESHING!

 170 characters

Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pale, golden yellow; clear; medium, frothy head, off white, long lasting

Aroma: Malty; slightly hoppy; slight grapefruit, grass and caramel

Taste: Malty, juicy and slightly bitter on start; finishes semi-sweet and hoppy with lingering nutty bitterness

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

 340 characters

Photo of treque
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: between a deep gold colour and an orange, semi traslucent, lots of carb, very persistent, long lasting off-white head,

S: some orange peel, citrics, pine, grass, american hops

T: medium body, balanced flavour, good bitternes on the aftertaste, long lasting end

 266 characters

Photo of Beastdog75
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is truly one of the beers that helped kick start the micro revolution in America. This was also one of the first "good" beers I ever had back in junior year of high school. I remember enjoying it, but being shocked at what I perceived to be just "dryness." Obviously, with a much maturing of the palette, I can now fully appreciate this beer.

SN Pale Ale pours an amber-like gold color with a nice foamy white head that retains well, but thins out in about 2 minutes and leaves minimal lace. The smell is truly hoppy, with citric and pine notes being the dominating aromas. Quite clean. The mouthfeel is smooth and lightly carbonated. Very quenching. There is a light maltiness in the flavor that gives an illusion of sweetness, but the hop presence nullifies it and takes over from there. The piney and citric notes return, with a healthy dose of woodiness as well. This beer is slightly drying on the way down. Very crisp, sharp and quenching. The Cascade hop flavors linger for quite some time after the beer is done with, and there is some warmth to finish out this beer.

This beer certainly did not seem as bitter or dry as when I first tried it back when I was 17, but it did have a good, slightly strong hoppiness to it that really makes this beer one of a kind. Adding the yeast sediment contributes some cloudiness to the beer, but I didn't recognize any immediate changes in the flavor. This would be good with some bbq ribs. A good beer if you're trying to slowly convert someone into a hophead, and it is so very easy to quaff a few of these down.

 1,588 characters

Photo of Lordhelmit
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Keep in mind that I am more of a stout/porter/dark brew fan than I am of ales and lagers.

Still thought this was great. The appearance was beautiful - poured a deep golden amber but did not have a very thick head, thin and white with no lacing at all. Would have rated Appearance at least 4 if it had more persistent head/more lacing. We'll see if the next bottle is any different. Smelled kind of. piney in a way. Smells hoppy. Spice-y. Smells good. The taste is one of my favorites for a pale ale. Absolutely perfect blend of hops and malt. Got a hoppy flavor which transitions into a bready spiced barley kind of flavor. Finishes a bit dry. Light-medium bodied, closer to the light side. Slightly above average carbonation. Overall I'd say a 3.75. High drinkability, might purchase again if I'm ever in an ale mood.

 819 characters

Photo of Cylinsier
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I should preface this review by saying that I'm not a big fan of pale ales or hoppy beers in general.

The appearance was good, a medium gold. Poured with very little head, but a lacing remained through the whole thing.

Smelled of hops and malts, possibly a bit sweeter and more fruity than most APAs I've had before.

The taste was surprisingly good for me. This one is less hoppy than some pale ales I've had in the past so it was easier for me to warm up to. Somewhat crisp and very very clean and fresh tasting. The aftertaste was of hops and otherwise clean.

The mouthfeel was average. Appropriately smooth. Compliments the beer just fine but nothing special.

Overall, as far as APAs go, this is one I could sit down with more so than the others I've had. Not too bitter but represents the style well.

 812 characters

Photo of Duff27
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a one fingered head on top of a dark orange/light red beer. Below average head retention and no lacing.

S- Smell is of faint oranges

T- Follows the smell with floral hops added, Light on the palate but very flavorful.

M- Good carbonation, feels nice in my mouth.

D/O- Drinkability on this is awesome...right up there with the best flavor&drinkability ratio there is. A gateway drug is there ever was one.

 417 characters

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,162 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

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

    Subscribe