Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

3,006 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: 3,006 | Ratings: 11,180
Photo of tucson_brewson
4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into English pint glass.

L - Pours a clear, copper-amber color with a dense, creamy white head that remains throughout. Nice lacing sticks to the sides. Bubbly and effervescent. It just looks like a nice beer from a nicely-designed bottle.

S - In putting my nose to the glass, it's not as strong, or overpowering, as I'd expected. Slight piney hop, grainy malt, citrus rind. Typical of most pale ales I've drank.

T - Very balanced between hops and malts, just the right amount of bittersweet. Starts out with a strong citrus/pine hop bite. Malty biscuit sweetness and citrus fruit follows. A nice, dry finish that's very pleasant.

F - Light-to-medium bodied, moderate carbonation, almost drinks like a light beer but very smooth and drinkable.

O - Have had this on tap and in bottles and cans. Still one of my favorites, just now having one and rating it in honor of late musician Elliott Smith's birthday (he drank it/liked it). It's definitely a very well-balanced, solid representation of an American pale ale. Bitter and hoppy but also sweet and smooth, great for summer and year-round. Cheers.

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Photo of thebeers
4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Drank this one (okay, two) from the bottle. Smells and tastes of nice piney, orange citrusy hops, with a solid malt backbone and moderately strong hop bitterness on the backend. Medium bodied with strong carbonation. This is a classic for a reason. Always enjoyable.

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Photo of Equin
3.11/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Nicely crisp beer with piney scent; balanced towards malt, toasty, with hoppy bitter coming in the end.
The head is stable and creamy. Color copper towards brown.

Overall, it is not my favorite beer or style, but quite a good representative of the genre.

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Photo of Bulabeers
4.71/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Looks great in the glass small white head modest lacing smells of citrus and pine hops tastes is much like the nose but balanced with a decent malt backbone that is not overpowering. Perfectly carbonated perfectly executed enjoy anytime.

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Photo of YoungMtn52
4.21/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Smooth and dry but with a slightly bitter, hoppy finish that that adds a little kick and gives it a great overall taste....I like this one and I'll be buying some more...

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Photo of Nismo2
4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is my first review. So, I've been having some Pale & India Pale Ales lately, and I can say that I like the style quite a bit. A pefrect example of this style is of course the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.
Look: Pouring it in a Nonic glass, it has a dark orange, amber, kinda coppery color. Very pale and "dirty" with some low carbonation and a 1/2 finger white foamy head.
Aroma: Mild aroma, very citrusy (smells like pine) with hints of caramel and tones of bitter fruits and roast malt.
Taste: Smooth & dry feel, and bitter from the hops with some standard carbonation
Overall, is a great American handcrafted beer and a classic example of the American Pale Ale style. Very drinkable and affordable. A must try. Cheers

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Photo of J_T_Arlington
4.24/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber-yellow with a faint yellow-white head.

Smells descent, kinda dirty. Dirty like the forest, mind you.

Tastes kind of woody, mild pine-grass profile.

Feels great, very carbonated.

Overall, pretty good. Not an IPA, but a pale ale; understand and respect that, and you'll love this beer.

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Photo of EMH73
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very slightly cloudy golden color with a poorly retained half inch head. Smell is very mild, slight citrus aroma. Taste starts with slightly bitter citrus hops, followed by some sweet fruit flavors and a very nice malt presence and some spices to balance the beer out excellently. Moderately carbonated with a smooth mouthfeel. One of the best mass produced beers out there.

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Photo of ThemThangs
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Another very drinkable beer from this company, perfect for kicking back and watching a movie or whatever. A great flavor profile and just good all around.

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Photo of Kubishark
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A dark golden, orange, coppery color of a beer with a big head. Smells piney and sweet, citrus. Tastes delicious, hops at first, like an IPA, and then strongly malty. So many flavors for such an affordable, available beer. Feels medium bodied, pretty carbonated. A classic for a reason.

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Photo of jranson82
4.54/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great session pale ale. Clean malt character, prominent hop presence without a bitterness lingering on the palate. Citrus and other hop characteristics are pleasant and foreward but not completely one dimensional. Unexpectedly low on fragrance/nose. Refreshing overall. Has a slight haze. Drank immediately before one of the newly popular low abv session IPAs(blue point). This blows that beer away in terms of hop character, body and overall drinkability.

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Photo of Texter
4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

One of the original "craft" beers and it never fails to deliver. Not too hoppy and not to much ABV it is the perfect beer for a BBQ or relaxing with friends. The beer is truly the classic American Pale Ale.

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Photo of TripleSun
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My 2nd Sierra Nevada to date

L - Dark blonde/orange
S - Not too much on the smell but it smells of a clean sweetness
T - Some bitterness but not overpowering, has pine and a sort of soft woody flavor.
F - Feels like a light beer, kind of thin but refreshing.

After Hoptimum I wanted to try their flagship beer and it delivers on all fronts, a great drink!

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Photo of joaopmgoncalves
4.61/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drank at Catraio, Porto.

A: The body is crisply crystalline with a one-finger thick white head. There's lot of lacing and retention. Going back to the body, it's yellow perfect appearing to be almost a pilsner.
S: The aroma has hints of banana and citrusy profiles. It's very soft.
T & M: Can you imagine an awesome IPA with citrusy, kind of hoppy and mostly tropical flavors? Basically it's that but it lacks the bitterness in the end. It's soo great, it seems a beer made in heaven.
O: It's my first Sierra Nevada and I'm totally stoked. It's now clear to me why this beer is classical, it's really a higher product.

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Photo of ClarkWoods555
4.94/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, this is my favorite drink. I love the beer in all of its good quality. The flavor is rich with bitter (but good) tang and the smoothness is amazing. I love this beer so much. The other stuff they release is meh, I only care about this beer though. Highly recommended if you like a wonderful Ale with a nice bitter crispness and a sweet mouthfeel.

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Photo of Kobold
3.84/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Fast fading foam and scent one must persevere to unfold. Once done it's not unpleasant just a generic tamed hoppiness between the citrus fruit (lemon-grapefruit) and pine needle domains. After a few minutes a quizzically alluring rotten smell seeps into the hop fumes.

The taste is overwhelmingly that of gritty, chewy pilsner, even slightly candied, grains and almost absent of what was expected in the aroma. The late aftertaste does harken back, however, to those lemon-like, bitter fruit hops. But it is the mouth-filling bread crust malt character which dominates.

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Photo of sjdevel
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Look: 4
Pours a crisp and clear golden color. Quite frothy at first, but the head recedes fairly quickly. Doesn’t go flat as lacing continues.

Smell: 3.75
Not very aromatic, but you can make out malt, hops, slightly tart fruit, citrus.

Taste: 4.5
Slight hop bitterness at first. Almost to an IPA level of hop bitterness. Quickly kicks into savory spices, citrus, peach, and mango. Its slightly sweet, but then dries out abruptly. Maltier and darker than expected (for something listed as a pale ale). Goes a bit to the bitter side on the tail end and hop flavors turn up the intensity.

Feel: 4
Right on the edge of light, but teetering on the medium bodied side. Feels a bit thin when the carbonation dies out.

Overall: 4.25
Great beer. Better than I expected. I have heard about S.N.’s Pale Ale and, since listed as a Pale Ale, I had stayed away from it. I tend to not like light Pilsners or Pale Ales, but this brew is better than a lot of IPAs that I have had. It is hoppier and maltier than I expected and very flavorful. I am pleasantly surprised with this one.

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Photo of OrestesMethuon
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A real classic—and still well-rated, despite its ubiquity, for good reason.

Good, if moderate, visible effervescence; nice golden-brown limpidity; solid head and superb lacing. Spicy notes of green-peppercorn and wet thyme floating upon an undercurrent of grapefruit juice and orange-rind; the malt expresses subtle sweet aromas, as well, but in the hopped mix these are transmuted to impressions of sticky citric sugars, like some sort of lemon-infused rock-candy. Refreshing flavors, never overwhelmed by this pale ale's medium-plus mouthfeel: more juiciness, with notes of grapefruit, lemon, d'Anjou pear, and pineapple, all of which is underwritten by a smooth, golden-malty texture, and all of which gives way to some malt-husk and herbaceous, thyme-hop bite.

A great sessionable ale that is, justifiably, the template on which so many subsequent APAs have innovated.

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Photo of Skrumpy
3.67/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I have been drinking this beer since the 90s and have have always considered it to be decent. It may not be a favorite, but I can remember so many occasions in which it was the best beer available, and I was truly grateful. The color is a nice amber color, and the smell is caramel malt and some grain. The flavor is malty, a bit sweet, with a bitter aftertaste. A bit watery on the finish. A solid beer though overall.

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Photo of Rock_Glenn
2.98/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

The Budweisser of Pale Ales? Maybe that's a bit harsh. The carbonation reminds me of a mass-produced American Lager, the malts seem non-existent, and the hops are an ugly mix of pine sap and bitterness. When I see this at a gas station, I grab it, because it's usually the best option you'll find there. Unfortunately it fits the mold of a gas station beer.

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Photo of Mitchmoore12
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks a wonderful pale gold color with a great off white head. Left some nice lacing on the side of the glass. Smells of some citus hops but not enough to over power the sweet malt aroma. Tastes of citrus and pine but not overpowering. Leaves a nice bitter taste at the end. Apparent malt character. Feels smooth with medium carbonation. Overall an awesome pale ale, have had it many times and it never fails to be one of the best beers in the session.

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Photo of Kinger22
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark Amber with a very small head. The smell is subtle and balanced. The taste follows the smell, with no over powering hop profile. Overall it's one of the best national crafts.

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Photo of Squire123
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, amber gold color with white cap and good lacing.

Aroma of malt sweetness followed by floral, spicy, piney citrus hops.

Flavor is malt forward with bright hops counter balancing the malt sweetness. Very likable, very approachable, rich without being heavy, spicy without being too spicy, just a beautifully balanced group of flavors which manage to be complex yet simple at the same time. Lingering aftertaste with just a bit of hop bite inviting another drink.

I would say full texture which strikes me as solid yet not weighty.

Ole Reliable here, as good now as when I first tasted it years ago. Like a timeworn mile marker on a less traveled road it's somehow reassuring to still see it there when my path travels that way. The grey flannel suit of Pale Ales acceptable anywhere the occasion calls for a beer.

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Photo of Riff
4.59/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into a shaker glass. Nice, dark, caramel coloring to the beer with a white foam head. Smell is mild and hoppy, lemon and a bit of pine. Good balance of flavors, a little bit of pine and some bread. A little lingering bitterness that doesn't last too long. Very drinkable, good all around beer. Certainly a summer time staple.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well here we go, review #1801. . . and we have our second perfect 5 score.

Comes across an amazing beauty full of dark gold, caramel and amber appearance with just under 1" of white head. Aroma smacks of old school dry hopping with Cascades. Caramel notes from the malt.

Taste, just heaven, hoppy, yet a sturdy malt bill providing caramel backbone. Hop flavor is plenty of forest, grapefruit. A delicious bitter edge remains through the entire mouthfeel. A darker citrus edge throughout. Barely sweet malt presence that is smooth while the hops provide bitterness, and an almost Magnum hop like spice edge to it.

The absolute classic American pale ale.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,180 ratings.
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