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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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2,970 Reviews
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 Reviews
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Reviews: 2,970 | Ratings: 11,042
Photo of Doctor_Bogenbroom
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Obviously I have had many SNPAs in the past, and in fact I would say Sierra Nevada was my gateway into craft beer, but I'm just now getting around to reviewing it myself. Sierra Nevada really fits the bill, setting the bar for other APAs with a beautiful, lustrous amber hue and two-finger, bubbly white head. The lacing sustains throughout. The aroma is floral and citrus with the hops coming through nicely, and the taste is not harsh at all, just enough bitterness to tease the tongue, and a nice hoppy finish (not overpowering). I've always admired the balance in this beer, and the carbonation is moderate but present. Overall, this is a standard for APAs, a really solid brew.

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Photo of KevinSku
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

One of the best beers that is consistently available wherever I find myself. This is in my rotation of twelve packs I pick up, and they don't last long. The short neck, colorful green, and mosaic of rolling hills makes it stand out from most other beers. Overall, a must get. Though their Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA is even better.

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Photo of jsprain1
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a copper-amber with a thin slick of a head. A wee bit of lacing, but not much.
S- Smell is pale malt and some hops, which manifest themselves in green apple, light citrus and pine aromas.
T- A good balance of pale malt and fruity hops. Good hop presence, somewhere between grapefruit and pine. I'm sticking to green apple peel as the primary flavor I'm picking up.
M- Medium body, medium-high carbonation.
D- The quintessential APA. Refreshing and easily drinkable.

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Photo of xybreeder
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've enjoyed this beer for years now, but thought it deserved a review regardless; should have done this a long time ago...

A: A beautiful golden orange, superb clarity, medium lacing and head retention.

S: Smells SO yummy, lots of hop aroma, citrus and pine dominate the nose, with a hint of earth on the back end.

T: Great hop flavor with not a lot of bitterness. Citrus/grapefruit tastes, along with a solid malt backbone, a perfectly balanced pale ale in my opinion.

M: Perfectly carbonated, medium to full body, wet.

O: One of my favorite, if not THE favorite "commercial" (larger brewery) pale ales, keep up the great work SN!!

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Photo of dedalus
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

coppery golden in the glass, swirled the last few drops in the bottle and poured it in the glass hefe-style, just in case any yeast was clinging to the bottom of the bottle. pillowy white head that could have stuck around a bit longer. bright clingy lacing.

aromas of fresh, grapefruity hops, orange/lemon peel, and an earthy, fruity, yeasty, damp soil scent lurking subtlely in the background.

mouthfeel is thin but not watery. very refreshing.

the flavors were all cascade hops up front: citrusy, juicy, and flowery. some malt came through in the middle but not enough to draw attention away from the hops. the almost wheaty malt and tangy, fruity yeast came back in the finish. loads of fresh hop flavor with enough bitterness to contrast the fruity, earthy, wheaty tastes.

a beautifully structured beer, perfect for the warmer weather. the bitterness here is only one of many flavor elements that build to achieve an effect greater than the sum of its parts. a true masterpiece that also happens to be widely available. i shied away from this beer in the past fearing that the bitterness would be overpowering and that the beer would lack character, but i am pleased to say my fears were unfounded. also great with a farmhouse cheddar and a loaf of real wheat bread.



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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass.
A darker golden color with nice foaming head that did lace.
Smell of hops and then some lemon and grass, maybe a pinch of ginger.
A good taste. Balanced (or should I say imbalanced) just right for a PA. Hops are the main note, with malt and lemon in the background for body. Nothing special on the mouthfeel, but that's good anyway.
Easy drinking, dangerous...can drink several without thinking of it.

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Photo of Stimack
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beer that I must say I really love. Pale Ales are one of my favorites and this one does not disappoint! Pours to a nice golden color with a small bubbly head. Small amount of lacing diminishes quite quickly and leaves you an excellent tasting brew! The smell is a somewhat strong hint of citrus and hops making you want to dive right in! The taste is dry and hoppy with a good deal of carbonation. One of my favorite beers of all time, one that I can drink regardless of the season!

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Photo of stoutman
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slight citrus note to the mainly hoppy aroma. Excellent balance between the hops and malt with a subtle but present caramel flavor. Hazy, golden color, short-lasting head. Lighter color and greater hoppiness distinguish this from English-style pale ales

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Photo of dalepryor
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

all i can say is wow! i've been drinkin many different beers for the past few years, i havn't settled on one yet, but then i come across this masterpiece. starting with the first popping of the cap the smell overwhelmes my senses, then i pour slowly into a pint glass, the color is an off-balanced orange and the carbonation going straight to the top, i'm watching as i'm typing and the head still seems to be growing. one sip, two sip. it's a wonderful brew. my top 3 for sure. one i'll be running to for years to come. excellent!

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Photo of Mistofminn
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this at Noodles and Company in Minneapolis of all places. I was rather shocked at their beer selection. Coors Light and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale! HA! What an easy choice! I can understand only having 2 beers on hand. But Coors Light and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale? Really? Anyways I just thought that was odd.

What a great Pale Ale. Perfect balance. Perfect balance of malts and hops, body and carbonation, aroma and taste. Everything. Just great. One I will hopefully be drinking for years. I really don't have anything bad to say about this brew.

So remember, next time your at Noodles, choose a Sierra Nevada!

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Photo of uhhhaaron
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

consumed 03-03-2009, 12oz bottle into pint glass

appearance: pours a golden honey color with a fluffy 1.5 finger head.

smell: pines, citrus, caramel/sweet malts, & a toasty biscuits. good balance.

taste: upfront is the citrus flavors, some bready notes, sweetness from the malt & caramel. then the piney hop bit for the finish. nicely balanced with a smooth finish.

mouthfeel: smooth, somewhat creamy. ideal carbonation with a light to medium body.

drinkability: Very drinkable and a great session brew.

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Photo of Redemption10
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A classic American pale ale and one of my standards. Still better than many of the new to market American pale ales. Solid in appearance, nose and taste. One of the best "gateway" beers for those trying to get off of bland and boring adjunct beers...

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Photo of jedtheavenger
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What can I say about Sierra Pale Ale that hasn't already been said? I'm not going to bother with a formal review of the nuances in sensory characteristics. Pretty much everyone who bothers drinking craft beer is fairly familiar with it.

Allow me to touch on its redeeming qualities (beyond the standard appearance/taste/smell/mouthfeel):
1. It's just about as ubiquitous as craft beer can get. If you are in unfamiliar territory and can't find anything new that catches your eye, a sixer of Sierra Pale is probably waiting for you in the store.

2. Hot damn, it's cheap....as in "I'm basically the same price as Miller Lite" cheap. The only decent beer at my store that is cheaper is Top Sail Session, so it really comes down to whether I want an ale or a lager.

3. Sometimes, you just want a beer that doesn't require a high-maintenance analysis of its flavor profile, but doesn't taste like a shitty macro. Sierra Pale is your answer. Tasty enough to be appreciated; humble enough to have three or four in a row.

 1,016 characters

Photo of usualpulp
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice amber color with a small white head, which leaves laces down the glass.

Most noteable smells to this beer are hops hope and hops, though there are some great floral undertones, but the number one thing that sticks out is the cascade hops.

The taste of this beer is just great, it starts fruity and flowery with a slight bitterness, then ends with a whallop of hops that hit nice and clean.

This is one refreshing beer, that is one of my standbys and which I almost always seem to have around. This is truely the beer that sets the standard for american pale ales.

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Photo of ckimchi
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle poured into a Pint Glass

Beautiful amber color. Clear as glass. Pours into a nice 1 1/2 finger head that has good retention throughout. Nice lacing throughout the whole drinking session.

Citrus (mostly grapefruit) and pine are the dominating smells. Smells refreshing and gets my mouth watering in sheer anticipation of the glorious hops to hit my palate.

Hop citrus dominate the flavor (but do not overwhelm) backed by a nice malt that is not sweet nor overly dry. Well balanced and not too bitter. Enough complexity to keep it interesting but not extraordinary Most macro drinkers cannot take the bitterness down although I feel it's not that strong. Finish is medium and doesn't stick around too long.

Nice body without being heavy. Great for the style. Goes in and out very easily.

This is my favorite session beer. Not too heavy and it's crisp and refreshing properties makes this a dangerous beer to have around in cases. They just keep going down and down.

 1,038 characters

Photo of kwm13
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a nice golden amber color with a decent head on it.

Without knowing the name of it, one might guess that this could be an IPA because of the strong hops smell. The scent also brings out citrus.

Tastes like a great Pale Ale, really hoppy, little carbonation. Crisp finish.

A great offering.

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Photo of mickeymac
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

SN Pale Ale is an American classic: full of hops and topped with a beautiful white head. Out here on the west coast, it can be found in just about any drinking establishment, even those that stock primarily macrobrewed lagers. I've never had a bad one.

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Photo of greengorilla
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

The beer is an amber color with a decent white head that dissipated slowly. There wasn't much lacing to speak of.

The smell is mostly of hops, not overpowering but nice.

The taste is a spice and hop bitterness. It is really quite tasty.

The mouthfeel is good.

The beer is very drinkable. I have had this beer many times and I seem to always go back to it when I am out, due to its wide availability and overall good quality.

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Photo of Spica66
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this was the first "really hoppy" beer I ever tried back in the late 1980s. At first, I didn't know what to think of something that tasted like this, but I learned what to do. Drink it!!

A: Very clear beer, gold in color, with lots of carbonation.

S: Love those hops, hops and slight maltiness.

T: Wow, I love hops.

M: Fine, smooth

D: 6 of these will not make it through the night in my fridge!

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Photo of BeerLover99
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: cloudy peach body, finger head, fine lacing

S: peach, mango, pine aroma

T: sweet peach, lemon grass, malt, oily pine slow bitter finish

M: med body, oily/sticky mouth

O: WOW! Nothing like a lighter (ABV) beer that can
also pack a flavor punch to your palate. How
did I miss this gem for so many years? Perhaps,
this will convert me to finally be a fan of Sierra Nevada?
Highly available, world class session brew.


 442 characters

Photo of FacistCannonBall
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was actually one of my first beers in the craft brew realm some 15 years ago. I saw it on tap a local hangout and decided to give it a shot. I've been drinking it ever since, so I figured I might as well put in my two cents. It's a great looking beer with a good sized head that laces down the glass, as the beer is finished. What I love most is the smell of this pale ale with its piny/citrusy hop aroma balanced with malt goodness. This taste is usually great though there are times where I noticed pronounced differences in the beer from batch to batch. I've found that this beer can be quite variable in aroma and taste. Usually, it hits the spot perfectly. I had it with sliced BBQ beef brisket at Joey's in Pomona and it complimented and held up quite nicely the smokiness and tangy sweetness of the BBQ sauce.

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Photo of thespaceman
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz stubby bottle into my Otter Creek pint glass

Appearance: A nice gold hue, a nice head that entered into a small wisp of lacing, nice retention and good glass lacing.

Smell: Citrus fruit pop out in a big hop profile, passion fruit, grapfruit, pear and a tinge of esters make this one a nice beer to smell. A nice floral aroma takes over.

Taste: Good blend of hoppy flavors to an excellent carmelized profile. This beer has a mellow alcohol backdrop that is muted yet begging to pop out. Citrus notes from the nose play a big part in this finish.

Mouthfeel: Decently carbonated to make the hops nice and bitter in the finish, keeps a nice balance and doesn't lose it's body on the tongue.

Drinkability: An excellent beer from SN that will continue to get praise. Behind Celebration Ale, this is the best dose of good hops I've had in a while. A creeper beer that is highly recommended in my book.

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Photo of OhSoHoppy
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From Bottle to glass
Looks like a deep golden straw. the head is very light if not white colored but has very even consistency that hangs around for a decent amount of time.
Smells slightly grassy and clean, hints of citrus fruit.
Tastes Very similar to smell, grassy lean and quite crisp. The overall taste is just very natural. light citrus. decent aftertaste (Almost seems to cleanse the palate)
Feel has the perfect amount of carbonation for this beer, crisp and has a great ease about it. light to medium bodied.

Pretty much this beer is Classy. Please try it if you haven't yet. you might finish it quicker then you think. I could drink this nonstop.

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Photo of clemtig76
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

APA lovers - It just don't get much better than this folks. Beautiful golden amber color with a nice fluffy head. Wonderful piney, citrusy grapefruit aroma. Taste is much lighter than you would expect from a dark beer. Well balanced between the biscuity malts and the sharp hop bite. A true American classic.

 308 characters

Photo of Rsobotka
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: Strong Foamy head with deep amber copper color

s: nice and hoppy...a little fruity with a bitter aroma

t. its a bitter hoppy taste thats scares you but finishes so pleasant that you just cant help but drink more

m: plenty of bubbles but very smooth as its reaches your belly

d: This is one of those classic beers that cant be duplicated and will forever mesmerize drinkers because of its great nature and pleasing taste

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,042 ratings.
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