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

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Reviews: 2,970 | Ratings: 11,040
Photo of nickthetick
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a clear golden orange into a DFH Off-Centered glass with a finger and a half of dirty khaki head that hangs around for a bit and is continuously replenishing itself.

S: wonderful dark citrus greats the nose with a burst of grapefruit, sweet oranges and lemon. There is a distinguishable malt aroma of biscuits, caramel and honey.

T: much the same as the nose the citrus is the most formidable taste on the palate but is not overbearing on the sweet malt notes that make up the backbone to the beer.

MF: a medium to light body with a great effervescence, crispness and very refreshing.

O: the quintessential pale ale, the one I bring to all the parties and enjoy quietly at home. The almost light body keeps it very drinkable and the malt qualities keep the palate fresh to taste the next one.

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Photo of Gusler
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

It's with a certain amount of shame that I must admit, that I rarely drink my favorite beers like SNPA, as I'm to busy with all the new beers, or some over the top beer that has caught my fancy, its a shame when we forget our "Old Friends", whether it be beer or people, something I plan on rectifying in both cases.

The beer disembogues the stubby brown 12-ounce bottle a slightly hazy amber color, the head portly and off white in color with the left over lace a fine velum like sheet, that obscures the glass. Oh what a wonderful nose, malt, citrus crisp, hop floral, and just plain sniffable, with the start rich in malt and somewhat sweet, top is middling in its feel. Finish has a determined acidity, the hops wonderfully spicy and the aftertaste desert bone dry. Sorry "Old Friend" if I have ignored you lately, it was not intentional.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Golden pour with white clingy head. Smells of fruit and slight pine. Crisp and slight bite initiallly with a smooth, semi-sweet (amazing) middle, and clean finish. Drinkable in quantity!

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Photo of joecast
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

re-review 11/5/06
ahh snpa. good to know its available down here. pretty surprising seeing it sitting next to mgd and bud ice, the only other us imports we get. (and its not out of date, score!!)
not much to say about the beer. ive probably changed a lot more than the beer since my first review, well, my tastes at least.
upped the drinkability .5, other than that, i hope it keeps coming.

wonderful copper in color with a thin layer of white foam for a head.
great nose filling hop aroma.

hmm. i think i can actually taste the hop oils in this. it must have been dry hopped with the stuff. really nice.

flavor and aroma compliment each other very well.
this beer is packed full of mouthwatering flavor. but i couldnt honestly call it a session beer, if only because my pallate isnt quite trained up to handling it long term in one sitting. seriously hop accented but enough malt to back it all up.

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Photo of BeerAficionadoMCMXC
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer many times in my life, but now I am tasting it professionally as an amateur. It is an incredibly balanced beer. No wonder SN has had such success with it. I hope they put out better seasonal beers though. This one gets an 9/10 in my book.

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Photo of Rainne
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got my start on APA's and this one is a classic. Had lots of bottles but dare I say I like it even better on tap.

A- Copper orange/red color. Nice head and less retention than the bottle and lacing is very nice. Pretty.

S- Something else comes out on tap. A little earthier maybe? Great balance of hops and orange as well.

T- Likewise. Hops up front and malt balanced with orange and earthy floral notes.

M- Medium body, smooth and dry. Crisper on tap?

D- Super drinkable.

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Photo of MACrist
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

LOOKS: Poured aggressively into a Nonic Pint glass. Nice 2 finger, off white, foamy head. Lots of small bubbles streaming up the glass. Color is a clear amber-orange. Leaves a fair lacing down the glass.
AROMA: Floral sweetness and honey right off the bat. Pine and citrus/mild grapefruit rind. Lots of floral/jasmine here.
TASTE: Sweet and bitterness are nicely balanced here. Mild citrus and pine notes, this beer came in a winter variety pack and the beer is exactly three months past the bottling date. Probably would be a bit more flavorful if newer, same with aroma. But that is what is available.
MOUTHFEEL: Medium light body, not overly dry, not overly the middle. Perfect carbonation to this beer, prickly on tongue.
OVERALL: I think a super fresh bottle would pop a bit more, but this is still a great tasting brew. An easy drinking, pleasant brew that would appeal to a wide audience.

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Photo of stimulus
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a deep amber / golden color with minor lacing and a very small head.

S: Smells very hoppy, like other pale ales and IPAs I've tried. Also catch a whiff of citrus a bit later.

T: It tastes very much as it smells, with hops dominating the flavor profile, along with a faint hint of citrus at the end.

M: Quite light with some carbonation. Goes down very smoothly.

D: At 5.6%, there is very little alcohol burn as it goes down.

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Photo of bkeach
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S.N.P.A: My go to low abv summer day drinker. In my opinion this is the best representation of a basic pale ale. So consistent on the balanced hop flavor, mouthfeel crisp and refreshing, very drinkable and just plain delicious. SN has been the most consistent brewery from my experience in the profiles of their beers. SNPA is always a safe bet, and goes well with many types of food.

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Photo of MrNuggets
4.44/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big white head with good retention. Leaves me with strong lace. The light with a mix of grain and hops. Mmmm... balance, I like balance in my pale ales. Expecially in something I will be drinking alot of. Which this one is good for. Easy on the carbonation and about as drinkable as it gets.

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Photo of mjtiernan
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz can poured into an oversized tulip

A: Fairly aggressive pour creates a nice fluffy white head. Color of the body is a hazy golden with slight copper hues. Average head retention and spotty lacing.

S: Generous citrus and floral character with hints of pine. Some tangy sweetness is a nice complement.

T: Taste has all the components of the aroma but the sweetness is muted and the hops really explode. The citrus provides a nice bite and then transitions to the floral flavor that I think is the real signature of this classic brew.

M: Body is light to medium. Texture is a little watery but the finish is dry. Carbonation is above average and those scrubbing bubbles do an excellent job of cleansing your palate with all sorts of foods.

O: My gateway craft beer. I’ve been drinking this on and off for about 15 years. A special beer with a classic flavor that is refreshing in the warm weather and satisfies completely.

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Photo of WeissGary
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an exceptional beer! It features a fantastic amber colour, a somewhat grassy aroma, and complemented with a ’bitter but sweet’ taste. It feels like this has a lot going on in terms of its taste, body and aroma. In terms of drinking, this beer has sipping qualities; a very easy to drink yet rewarding and complex beer! I would absolutely suggest you pick this up if you get a chance, I know its quite well established in the USA but it seems to be picking up over in the UK today, if you spot it, give it a shot!

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Photo of matdot
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap from Pastis in Dunwoody, Georgia. Accompanied by Filet Mignon and Truffle mashed potatoes.

Appearance: Golden orange with bubbles and a small one inch head. Bubbles filled the sides of the glass and were not trying to escape.

Smell: Sweet, caramel and butterscotch.

Taste: The taste of caramel and sweet malt.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, not heavy at all.

Drinkability: Great I drank three pints and it did not leave me bloated like other "filling" beers. Bring another!

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Photo of BuckeyeOne
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the ultimate in West Coast session beers. Many a BA has drunk and reviewed this widely available beer. I especially like the hop bitterness this version of an APA brings. It's got a touch of malty sweetness, just the right amount of carbonation, and is consistently tasty bottle after bottle.

There is almost always at least a few bottles of SNPA in my fridge.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured a brilliantly clear orange with a soft, creamy 1 finger dirty white head that settled rather quickly to a thin, sparse covering. Visible carbonation was very light.

S: The nose started out with a dry grassiness at first before giving way to a sweet citrusy nature.

T: The initial flavor starts out with a great graininess with a citrusy and light pine hopping. Quenching citrusy bite. The crisp, pale malting truly stands out here is never overshadowed by the bright citrusy nature. Finishes with a touch of grassiness and dried grapefruit. There is a reason why this is considered the staple per style. To many modern pales have been bastardized by amercian's lust for hops while neglecting the true intended crisp pale nature of the drink. This one offers a great balance with a crisp malting with a touch of malt sweetness and hopping that is balanced perfectly.

M: medium, oily viscosity with a nice feel and light dried citrus hop fade.

D: By style one of the best. Crisp, refreshing with a great malting and true to style. Case worthy by all means a go to for that summer picnic to quench the thirst with a citrusy blast.

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Photo of josiahschlender
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've been a little disappointed with the last few APAs I have had recently, so let's see if this one does any better.

Pours an attractive clear golden color. The good, off-white head leaves quite a bit of light lace before gradually diminishing to a film of bubbles on the surface.

Lots of good aromas floating upward. It's very floral and sweetly citrus. I also notice some toasted grainy malts.

Taste is really well balanced. The malts and hops interact so well, both come on strong yet neither take the stage too much. This is a great tasting beer. The malts have a wholesome, grainy taste to it. Kind of like a perfect golden lightly buttered piece of toast. Long lasting aftertaste finishes clean.

The wholesome, balanced taste is well complimented by the smooth, medium body. Again, balance comes to mind. It's a pleasure to drink, I'm wishing I had another. Very refreshing, very versatile. I could see this beer pairing well with a lot of different kinds of foods.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Out of tha bottle and into the nonic at my pad.

I call dis da king kong of beers. Straight up, tha best big micro y'all can get. No explanation. Raul almost feel ineffable. But nah, I got it.

Darn thing smell like a sack of Jedi Cush straight out of Humboldt. Ya'll can't tell me there is not a better smell than a fresh poured Pale Ale than this.

Taste? Like Mount Pompei busted an explosion all up in my mouth (in a good way). Crazy like, flavor on all cylinders n hittin' every stride.

I like this cuz it smell good, taste good, it git u faded, n tha wanksterz choke when they take a sip.


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Photo of Labeerfinder
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Classic american pale ale. Huge cascade aroma and flavoring hops of cascade and perle blended perfectly to make this citrusy/flowery beer melt wonderfully with slighly more hop bitternes than usually found in similar type ales. Overall a very solid pale ale and easy drinkability.

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Photo of
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My go-to affordable Pale Ale. Great for any time of the year. Great color, near perfect mouthfeel. It just tastes so clean and crisp. The citrus comes out just enough.

If I had to pick one beer to drink for the rest of my life, this might possibly be it.

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Photo of Adam5150
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice deep honey color with very thick and lasting head. High carbonation is present at first but dissipates fairly quickly. Nice smooth taste with a light hint of apple. Ends with slightly bitter taste on tongue and back of throat. Very good and high drinkability.

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Photo of pops28078
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glass used tulip

Pours amber on the light side. Head is 2 finger off-white mostly dissolves after 2-3 minutes yet thin head remains to the end. Medium lacing.

Aroma is balanced between hops, citrus and baked bread (malt) and not overpowering.

Taste begins and finishes with hops (medium bitterness). In the middle comes citrus (light lemon, orange and others I couldn't identify), hint of pine and malt. Not too sweet yet not too bitter.

Mouthful is medium and very refreshing.

Overall this is what I call my "go to" IPA even though the I is missing in the name. Ample availability. Its characteristics are just slightly below World Class IPAs (Pliny the Elder for example). Great drinkability. A little short on balance and feel. At 5.6 ABV, I enjoy this one again and again.

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Photo of jonnylieberman
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a staple. Bread, water, salt, butter and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Nothing wrong with this beer at all.

I can drink it all day and all night and sometimes do.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a brillant clear red color with a touch of bronze to it. The head is massive for a pale ale, creamy yet fluffy. The aroma is full of pine resin with a hint of orange underneath. The taste is more than I have grown to expect from a pale ale, and is more than the aroma lets on. It is full of pine, and has a nice lingering bitterness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, I have been a BA living in America for almost a year now, and have to say that my biggest mistake in that year is not having tried this sooner. It might not be the best pale ale out there, but it is close to it. I will certainly buy this beer again.

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Photo of rpardon7
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 Oz bottle with a nice foamy rocky thick white head, that slowly receded and left nice lacing the length of the beer. The color is a nice clean light amber with small trace of yeasty sediment. Smellis of toasty biscuity malt with a strong citrusy grass like hop ovetone. Taste is sweet biscuit malt up front with clean citrus hop and fuit with a nice clean dry finish of hops. The mouthfeel is light and clean and very smooth. Drinikability is very high on this beer. This is my go to beer during the summer months, great APA very nicely balanced beer.

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Photo of Daybis
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Deep gold appearance. Very frothy and creamy head that lasted a long time. Lacing clings all the way down the glass as the beer is drank.

S - Hoppy and kind of sweet.

T - Sweet upfront with the perfect amount of hop flavor.

M - Medium body without a whole lot of carbonation.

D - This beer is great. It is very drinkable.

Overall, this beer is great. Great aroma, head retention, and taste.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,040 ratings.
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