Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
11,248 Ratings
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
sierranevada.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
Ratings:
11,248
Reviews:
3,017
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
11.6%
 
 
Wants:
311
Gots:
3,104
For Trade:
2
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11,248 |  Reviews: 3,017
Photo of ThatWineGuy
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gold with orange highlights, a touch hazy. Thin off-white head left a ring and a wispy centre with cloudy trails and some lacing. Lazy carbonation. Hoppy nose with light orange zest, a clean and inviting aroma. Citrus hops taste with wonderful bitter / malt balance and substantial body for the style. This beer simply tastes great. Among the finer pale ales that I've tried, tasty with a nicely blended barley malt finish and an aftertaste that pleases and lingers for quite a long while. I'm sure I've had this and other Sierra Nevada products a few years ago, before I became a BA, and this one is just as I remember all the Sierra Nevada products - far above the norm for quality, taste and cost. Keep up the good work, SN.

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

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

The color of this brew is a beautiful merger of gold and orange. The exuded scents are an aromatic bouquet of floral hops, lime, orange and pine needles. Carbonated and nimble on the palate, the presence of hops is noticeable throughout. A slight sweet and bready character provides a nice balance to the hops. The beer finishes with dry bitterness. This is a very drinkable, pleasing and enjoyable beer, one for any occasion.

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

This one came served to me from the bar in...a Mason jar? Yep, ah well, it's a treat to find some halfway decent draught offerings in my little town.Filled to the brim of a 16oz Mason jar so not much head to speak of, although there is a sturdy layer of foam on top of the ruby-hued amber body.The scent was a bit of caramel malt, with a hefty dollop of Cascade hops, piney and grapefruit. The taste was really nice, seemed to be really fresh, resinous hops with enough malt presence to back it adequately. Mouthfeel was about medium-light, and makes the beer really refreshing. This beer had more hop presence than a local IPA I was having afterwards, so I ended up returning to it. When I had it this time it just really seemed to be pushing Pale Ale into IPA territory. Delicious, and as ever a real go-to beer.

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

This has always been one of my favorite brews - a perfect balance between malts and hops, while still allowing the bitterness to dominate.

Pours a deep golden/copperish color with a nice one finger head.

Aroma is wonderful, like being inbetween a grapefruit orchard and a pine forest (is this possible?).

Mouthfeel is medium-light, not exceptional, but good.

Starts with piney flavors and finishes with citrus and a nice bittersweet end.

One of those beers where after you have had two, you just have to finish the whole six pack. As many have already said, it's a benchmark for the APA style.

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

Definitely one of the best APAs out there in terms of availability. Pretty common, so you'll find this relatively easily. Pours a nice golden color. Aroma is of hops and wheat with some light citrus. Taste matches aroma, also has a slightly stronger carbonation mouthfeel. Great beer to start someone off with.

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my pint glass from a 12 oz. bottle. SNPA is a deep gold, almost orange with a very slight haze. The head is off-white and quickly settles, with nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is very hoppy, with cedar and citrusy notes. Upon sipping, it's very balanced. Hoppy, yet evened out with a good amount of toasty malt. The beer is medium-bodied and very smooth. Extremely easy to drink, Sierra Nevada Pale is my standard session ale.

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

12 oz bottle decanted into a pint glass leaving the sediment behind.

A - Orange and amber in color with a Thin white head that remains intact.

S - Citrus and flowers balanced with malt crackers and bread.

T - Excellent balance between the hop citrus and the bread finish. The Pale Ale standard.

M - Moderate body and carbonation, nice and even.

D - Very high. All day with any food.

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

I poured a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. The beer pours a clear copper color with a pretty head-and leaves nice lacing. It has a pleasant hoppy aroma- like walking the smell of a christmas tree. The beer is crisp with mild pine accents. The finish is dry with a mild piney aftertaste. A medium bodied beer that I could drink all day. This is the APA all others should be compared to. Overall a very well rounded beer, and one of the ones that got me interested in craft brews.

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

Purs a clear amber/cider with nice big 2 finger white foamy head. Smells of earthy hops with a caramel sweetness. Picked up a citrus and evergreen scent as well. Love this taste, crisp citrus mixed with a great hoppy taste. Maltiness flows through at end with nice aftertaste. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth. Very crisp and light bodied. This is very drinkable. I can't believe I have waited this long to try SN PA, I will be drinking this a lot more.

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Photo of beakerboy
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of Liquor Barn's Ultimate Brew Crew Nov '06 - Pale Ales

Poured a bottle into a certified british tulip pint glass. The cream colored head was two fingers high and slowly dissipated, leaving a significant amount of lace on the glass. The beer is quite clear and a dark amber in color. The aroma is strong hops and sweet malt. The flavor starts with floral notes, which fade to a medium bitterness. The bitterness is not so overwhelming, it's well balanced. The mouthfeel seems on the light side. A good beer all in all, more hops than many Pale Ales, but not as agressive as IPAs.

 587 characters

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

Bottle from a six-pack purchased for $5.99 (I think it was on sale)at the local Rosauer's. Poured a nice golden amber, with a decent amount of white head. Gave off a nice scent of floral hops with a sweet malt smell in the background. Starts off sweetly like some English bitters I've had, and then the hops kick in. Whoa! Big hop zap! The hops definitely win out over the malt in a big way, finishing off with a big, crisp citrusy note. Mouthfeel is a little thin, but compared to a macro pale, its like a stout. Definitely hits the spot on a warm day (like, say...today!), so long as you are not afraid of a little hoppiness - then again, who in their right mind gets a SN and DOESN'T expect hoppiness. What perplexes me is that my brother, who dislikes hoppiness (he won't even touch an IPA) loves this, and cites it as his favorite beer.

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

Pours a golden-copper color, with a small amount of head and lacing. Immidiate taste is of a citrisy hops (which dominate almost to the point of an IPA) followed by a smooth light malt flavor that leaves a enjoyable slight aftertaste. The body is relativly light and combined with the flavor, makes for a very drinkable beer. An excellent example of an APA. Must try.

 367 characters

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

A: Pours a nice 1/4 inch head and then settles to a thin layer on top. Colour is a orange or a very clean copper penny. Some residue, however it is bottle conditioned therefore to be expected.

S: Hints of sweet oranges, flowers, paired with hint of malt.

T: Oranges and citrus notes right off the bat with malt flavors following not far behind. The hops and the malt are basically side by side in your mouth but not competing.

M: low to medium bodied with a silky smooth feel in the mouth. The carbonation cleans up the palate well.

O: This is a great beer and a must have in any fridge. The balance of the hops and malt is right on, the flavours are very unique and well designed.

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

Poured into the Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Have always loved this beer. Solid and accessible.

A - Pours a nice strong golden color with a nice white head that is about .5 inches and recedes to a nice thin film with a sticky ring.

S - Strong grain back bone that is accented by some nice faint pine character from the hops.

T - Starts of with a nice biscuity malt backbone. Some hints of walnuts and almonds. Nice and refreshing. Some faint citrus hop character that is well balanced with the malt. Piney resin as well coats the tongue.

M - Light, crisp and well balanced. A solid offering.

D - Refreshing and very very drinkable.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: a beautiful golden brown.

S: Aromatic, with a spicy sweetness, and floral notes.

T: A great mix of bitterness with the fruit and hop notes. It is a wonderful balance, and very impressive for a bigger company such as Sierra Nevada.

M: Very nice, not too full, or imposing. Slightly malty, and compliments the slight bitterness that hits the pallet early in the taste.

D: As always, one of my favorite beers, and a great choice for most any occasion, a great pale ale, and deserves great recognition. Pick a case up.

 570 characters

Photo of Jsalz21
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

The beer is a slightly orangeish color. It is just a hint cloudy. Fairly good nose of hops. Possibly a bit of pineyness on the aroma also. There is a well balanced taste here. Medium to full body, with a good balance of sweetness to the hops. Still the standard of all American Pale Ales.

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Photo of Star80
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a fresh 12-pack at the grocer store so felt was a fair time to finally review this ale. Definitely a classic beer which for me defines the pale ale style. The beer looks like a pale golden color, pours out with a lot of carbonation and effervescence. Nice thick head and clinging lace from the abundance of American hops. There is always some residual yeast in the bottom of the bottle from the bottle fermentation; I like this, and I try to swirl it into my glass. Smells like, well, hops and some biscuity maltiness, and despite the strong presence of hops I feel this beer is well balanced and very drinkable. This is a great beer to introduce the beer neophytes to the greatness of hops, and fortunately is widely available everywhere. God bless America.

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

Thin white head on an amber body, excellent white lacing remaining on the glass

Beautifully mellow malt aroma.

Malty, fresh made whole grain bread with wood pine on the finish

Medium body with a big feel to it what do I mean by that, I dunno.

Extremely easy to drink. Hey, where did it go?

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

Poured a rich orange into a Duvel tulip with an inch of clinging white head. Slightly sweet citrus aroma with a hint of caramel.

Moderate carbonation and a light mouthfeel. Sweet caramel malt flavor followed quickly by a mild grapefruit bitterness. Nothing too assertive, but well-balanced, light, and easy-drinking. The hop profile wasn't quite as lemony as Sierra's Summerfest, but this one was equally suited to a summer evening.

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

A- Slight chill haze in the golden body. Thin white head sticks well to the sides.

S- Some sweet malt undertones with some grassy, citric hop aromas on top.

T- Semi sweet, bready malt base holds everything together. Grassy and citrus notes from the hops jump in on the malt base. Finish is a touch dry with a some final sweet citrus coming in.

M- Smooth feel with a crisp finish and good carbonation level.

D- Really great session beer; goes down smooth and crisp. Would recommend this one for sure.

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

The beer pours a very nice orange-amber with lots of evident carbonation and a 1.5 finger frothy cap.

It smells resinous and hoppy with some florals and the aroma of clean laundry, peach notes, and some yeastiness.

The taste is clean with some hop bitterness, honey, sweet biscuits and florals.

The mouthfeel is fantastic! It's creamy and soft and full in the mouth with a lovely smoothness and a crisp finish.

Drinkability is also good, though I shared a large bottle with a friend.

An all-around winner pale ale!

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

Appearance: Ale poured to with a gold-white head that dissipated slowly leaving no lacing. Dark gold color with a slight touch of red.

Smell: Rich without being overpowering, well balanced notes of hops with a hint of yeast and fruit

Taste: Nice malt notes with a touch of hop bitterness at the finish. The taste, like the smell is "well rounded" without simple or overpowering notes.

Mouthfeel: Okay but nothing impressive. A bit on the watery side without the desired creamy notes. More like a lager than an ale.

Drinkability: Quite nice and dependable - an ale I'd go for if there wasn't something more exotic to offer. Good with meals because the taste doesn't compete with the food.

[Additional notes] This has become my "go-to" beer. Not being as big a drinker as most here on BA, I only drink five or six beers a week. Currently two or three of them are SNPA; I can understand why so many people consider this a gold standard to measure other beers against. While I'm not a "monster hop" fan, I've been very fond of the bold, clean hop flavor that's short of an IPA but unmistakably a west coast brew.

Considering how often I keep coming back to this beer, I've upgraded the 'drinkability' score significantly as well as the 'mouthfeel' (those fine bubbles are very lager-like and do a good job of refreshing the palate.)

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

The consummate APA, to which all other APAs have to be matched up against. It's so deeply ingrained into what my idea of a solid APA is, it's almost a chicken-egg conundrum. Was there an APA before Sierra Nevada Pale Ale? Was there Sierra Nevada before there was an APA? The answer is yes, of course, but I wouldn't know because I'm 24 years old.


So what up-makes this APA? The answer seems obvious; all them west coast hops. That's the flavor, primarily, and the malt could only get in the way if it were to present itself any more strongly. We don't want any of those stinky esthery sweet flavors coming through to ruin our nice green, resiny American hop experience.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,248 ratings.
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