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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
91
outstanding
2,949 Reviews
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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:
2,949
Ratings:
10,954
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
22.47%
 
 
Wants:
285
Gots:
2,842
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,949 | Ratings: 10,954
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.

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

A - Pours a brilliant amber with 1.5 fingers of creamy head that retains well. Impressive lacing patterns.

S - A bouquet of fresh cascade hops provide a sweet citrusy aroma. Light grainy pale malt underneath.

T - A bouquet of citrus-grapefruit, orange, and some lemon. Bitter upfront but then a creamy sweetness comes through with a light caramel malt, grainy but very smooth and is slightly toasted. Finishes dry with a clean bitterness.

M - Lively carbonation, creamy medium body, dry finish.

To date I have consumed more of this beer than any other craft beer by a long shot. It's a simple go to beer that has stood the test of time. This beer is what really got me into craft beer. Still one of my favorite beers.

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

Dark golden color with marginal head and decent lacing. Very good fruity hoppy aroma that lasts. Flavor is deliciously hoppy with spicy note with a good malt balance. Quite smooth for a beer with such a high alcohol content. Good mouthfeel. Good for almost any occasion.

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

A pure bright amber color, with a thick and sturdy off-white head, that crackles as it crumbles. Aroma is bursting over with fruit, peaches, foremost, plus apricots, some citrus, melons, more? Great citrusy hop bite greets you on the palate,with a brief and sweetish finish soon after. Smooth texture, light body, but fully flavorful. Uncomplicated and refreshing. Bitterness is low, malt is firm. Perfectly balanced, and infinitely enjoyable!
In past years, I'd given this staple micro less credit than it deserves. I thought all pale ales were alike, and this one wasn't extraordinary to warrant the attention it receives. Just buy the local brew, and keep them in business, I thought. I still believe in that , of course, but I must accept that the flavor and quality in SN PA are really special and unique.

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Photo of CBOLAND17
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Theres nothing like a good pale ale. And i would consider this beer to be the original american pale ale. It has a deep golden amber color with great head retention and a very balanced hoppy kick. Also the malt comes through quite nicely and isnt overrun by the hops. a great session brew.

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Photo of jsanford
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass

A - Pours a beautiful orange with a 1-inch creamy white head. Very nice spotty lacing and retention.
S - Crisp with floral & citrus hops and sweet, bready malt. Very clean.
T - More citrus hops with a slight pine bitterness, backed up by more bready malts. Again, so crisp and clean tasting.
M - Smooth and creamy with a medium-light body and high, sharp carbonation.
D - Infinitely drinkable, absolutely delicious.

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Photo of Bananaman
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've always like this beer on bottle, but on-tap it's a quite different experience (maybe partly for the lower alcoholic content) and I like it!

The beer pours a bright amber color with a huge white head! Looks amazing, you just want to take a deep sip as soon as you have the pint in your hands.

Aroma holds lots of fresh hops! I mean, there is a huge difference between the smell of this one and the botteled one. They both smell good, but this one smells a lot fresher.

Taste is, as expected, very hoppy! Lots of hops, some slightly sweet malts and even more hops. Some slight hint of tropical fruits, probably from the Cascade(?) hops. The only problem I have is that the carbonation is a bit too high, but it doesn't matter when beer tastes this good!

This sure is one of my favourite session-beers!

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Photo of GreatPondBrewer
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is definitely one of the classic american ales on the market, and I was glad to find a six-pack hidden on the shelf of my local supermarket. The pour revealed a nice amber/dark golden color. There was a thin head that disappeared after about a minute, but a nice lace remained until the last sip. The smell was a crisp, sharp one with some nice fruity(citrus??) hops. The first taste revealed more of those hops and a pleasant bitter taste that receded quickly and left a nice dry aftertaste. Overall a very good brew that I would recommend to anyone!

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Photo of jczn
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Nice, clear medium gold with warmth. Thin white head that dissapates with time. Small amount of yeast at the bottom of the bottle does not seem to affect clarity.

S: Floral, fairly light American hop aroma. Could not detect much, if any, malt on the nose.

T: The hops are definately out in front, but not over-agressive. Nice citrus flavor and good bitterness. Has decent malt background, but it is definately overshadowed by the hops. Still, does not have the bitterness of an American IPA.

M: Mouthfeel is enhanced by healthy carbonation, but is not overwhelming.

D: The beer's greatest quality is its drinkability. It maintains enough of a malt base to be well balanced while showcasing classic American hops. A great example of an American Pale Ale, it's an easy beer to drink and appreciate every day.

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Photo of thasnazzle
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - slightly cloudy deep amber with a small head that sticks around the glass

S - Sweet citrusy notes with just a hint of pine.

T - citrus pine-y floral hoppiness in abundance with what I have always thought is a smidgen of blueberry in the background, a tiny bit of malt, finishes with a dry bitterness.

M - At once crisp and refreshing, goes down smooth and finishes dry.

D - I could drink these all day and all night.

Everything in this brew is fine-tuned to perfection. There is definitely a reason it's so widely seen as the standard-bearer for pale ales.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip pint: Light, golden amber, clear, with three fingers' rocky, sticky, glistening head. Very good-looking brew. Thick lacing sticks around the crown.

Grapefruit, both flesh & zest, a little sulfur, not enough to be off-putting, some fresh-cut grass, & a small crackery grain presence. Nice.

Lightly sweet lemon-tea-ish flavor up front, quickly followed by a bracing, assertive bitterness like citrus zest & pine. Full-flavored but not heavy, very refreshing.

Medium-light-bodied, a little resinous quality in the aftertaste, good, crisp finish.

Overall, great. Very drinkable, refreshing, flavorful, exactly what I want from a sessionable pale ale. This, along with Anchor Steam, is a no-brainer as far as quality, widely accessible brews that exemplifies American craft brewing. Beautiful.

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Photo of MrHolland
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Well this is my first review..

Appearance - Nice, bright, golden yellow, color when held up to some light. Nice lacing head but it does die down quickly

Smell - Floral and hoppy aroma which really helps create the beers taste

Taste - Very clean at first then a total blast of hops for the after taste. No real alcohol hints.

Mouthfeel - carbonation was normal but it does feel nice on the tongue.

One of my favorite session brews and a great example of the APA style.
Drink up!

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Photo of xare
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Easily one of my favorite beers and a reliable standard that I can use as a benchmark to measure other pale ales and even other beers against. If I'd drink them in equal measure to this, it's a good beer. If I'd reach for them instead of this on a consistent basis, it's an outstanding and truly exceptional beer. But on to the review.

Pours as a hazy somewhat white/golden/orangeish blend with nice head and excellent retention. Smells very hoppy with a nice blend of aromas. Taste is of clean, crisp water with great flavor and hoppiness. Mouthfeel is clean, crisp, and excellent. Always a nice wallop from the hops (although sometimes the stinginess detracts from the mouthfeel as an aftertaste effect).

Drinkability is outstanding. I often find myself drinking more Sierra Nevadas just so that I can go out and buy more Sierra Nevadas.

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Photo of eberkman
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful reddish gold with a nice, white head that leaves some lacing and sticks around for a bit. The smell is of citrusy hops and some sweet malt. The taste is very well-balanced -- the same malty sweetness balanced out by a pungent but not overpowering sour-citrusy hop bite. Nice, crisp mouthfeel with good carbonation. Extremely drinkable.

I really can't find any flaws -- the perfect session beer and the perfect beer to keep around to go with absolutely anything. I love this beer. A true classic.

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Photo of PhiloPsych
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What a great (everyday) beer! It's not extravagant as craft beers go, but it is fit for most any beer occasion--great by itself, great with pizza, great for me tonight with slightly upscale hotdogs, but could hold its own with a nice restaurant-style dinner, too.

Light, clear orange pouring from the bottle and in the glass. Fizzy appearance with a light head. No haze at all. Piney hops in the nose. Crisp, clean mouthfeel with just a bit of a sticky finish. This is just what a pale ale should be. Definitely the standard by which pale ales should be judged.

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Photo of AlesRTasty
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This brew is reliable. It's always good and easy to find. Sometimes when I go out this is the only thing I will drink.
A - Deep golden yellow. Small amount of head atop.
S - citrus hoppiness. very inviting.
T - Again citrus and hops. Not overpoweringly hopped, just the right amount.
M - crisp and refreshing. very nice. Light bodied and great carbonation
D - delicious, I drink this beer the most and it never lets me down. I am so amazed at how consistent Sierra Nevada can make this brew. Definitly a personal favourite.

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Photo of John_M
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I don't want to even speculate how much of this I've drunk over the years. A considerable lake of it at the very least.

As others have noted, this really is the quintessential American Pale Ale. I know whenever I think of a pale ale, this is the beer that comes immediately to mind.

The beer pours an impressive copper orange amber color, with very decent head retention and good lacing. On the nose.... mmm.... the sierra nevada pale aroma. There's nothing quite like it. Noticeable hops and malt perfectly intermixed on the nose, with a hint of orange/citrus and ginger. The beer is mouth watering, and as always, I can't wait to take the first sip. On the palate this beer is just delicious. Again, it seems to have the perfect intermix of hops and malt, with just enough hops to keep the beer refreshing and not too sweet. In combination there is a very forward fruitiness to this beer, a mix of orange, cherry and apple I think. The beer finishes very crisply, and always leaves me wanting to take the next sip. I find this beer to be amazingly drinkable for a beer with so much flavor, and I'm not afraid to admit that at one time I could go through an entire 6 pack by myself, or would pound down 4 or 5 pints at my favorite sports bar.

I still remember the first time I encountered this beer (many, many years ago in California). I knew right then that my days of drinking miller, coors and AB products were over forever. For that I will always be grateful. Just an excellent beer. Cheers!

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Photo of Crotor
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours crystal clear light amber with two fingers of off-white head that lingers, laces, and threatend to dimple. An ideal appearance for an APA.

Smells of bready malt and slight, citrus hops. No esters. Nice and *clean.*

Tastes crisp, with prominent, bready malt. Expertly balanced with the grapefruit rind hop flavor of Cascade hops. No yeast esters thanks to the 1056... Just clean, bready malt and citric hops in perfect balance. A simple and impressive profile.

The mouthfeel is fairly light, and slightly creamy. Entirely pleasant.

The drinkability is top-notch. This'd be a hard beer to grow tired of. Leaves me wanting more. Compliments a wide range of food, and does little damage to the palate. A hell of a session beer.

Goddamn. I'm damned impressed with SNPA this time around. For about the past two years I've only had it as my "fallback beer" when at restaurants, and it's usually been served way too cold, usually in one of those frosted tulip-pilsner glasses. Drinking it now, at the proper temperature (so that I can actually *taste* it) it's way more nuanced than I'd thought. When ice cold, all that I was able to taste were prominent, citrus hops. Now that it's warmed up, I can taste the depth of bready malt, and the hops seem to be in perfect, complimenting balance. This beer must've blow people's minds when it hit the market back in the 80s...

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Photo of doho95fu
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is the beer I drink most consistently and that is due to its own consistency. Sierra is always good - never had a bad bottle. The appearance in amber and clear, the smell is good but doesn't really hit me with anything. The taste is great, with the right amount of hoppiness, doesn't blow you out with hops. Nice head and lacing.

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Photo of BigRedN
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Poured from the 12 oz stubby twistoff bottel into a standard pint glass. Color of the beer is an orangish/copper hue with a 1/2 inch white head. Dissipated to a thin covering left good lacing down the glass. Clear with some carbonation evident.

Smell: Hoppy, mostly citrus fruit with some floral notes. There is also a hint of sweet caramel malt, but I notice mostly the hops.

Taste: Outstanding. Hoppy on the outset, balanced by a firm maltflavor in the middle. It finishes hoppy. What I want in an APA, very well balance and not too strong in any diredtion (although it maybe leans a little towards the hoppy side which for me is good for the style).

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, lightly carbonated. Smooth and well balanced beer.

Drinkability: I believe this is the first 5 I have ever given. Just a perfect beer to drink. I was wrong in a previous review. This is the APA by which to judge all other APA's. Helping this beer out is that it is available practically all over (I have seen it in gas stations) . Purchased a six for $5.99, practically a steal.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle of a classic beer which I poured into a standard pint glass. The color is a light orange yellow and clear. The head is a frothy white cloud. The smell is hoppy and I also detect a perfume quality. The taste is crisp and also has elements of perfume. Very balanced and the drinkability is awesome. I could easily put down a sixer.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
91 out of 100 based on 2,949 ratings.
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