Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

2,990 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

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,990 | Ratings: 11,134
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 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.

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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.

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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 CNoj012
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a transparent golden orange with a dense 2 finger off white head. Retention is excellent and there are sticky, hanging rings and spotted chunks of lacing left all over the grass.

Smell is a wonderful boquet of floral notes that combine with citrus, pine, peppery spice and bready biscuit malt backbone.

Taste is the same. Very well balanced while still being hop forward. There is a mild bitterness on the finish.

Feel is light, crisp and dry on the finish. So drinkable.

Overall a great beer, one of the classics. Defines the American Pale Ale style for me.

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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.


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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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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,134 ratings.
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