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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding
2,979 Reviews
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
sierra-nevada.com

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:
2,979
Ratings:
11,076
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
22.47%
 
 
Wants:
295
Gots:
2,955
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,979 | Ratings: 11,076
Photo of chOAKbarrell
5/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Ah, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. What else is there to say? You've had it, you know all about it. SNPA is the best American Pale Ale there is, hands down. The quality and consistency of this beer is impeccable.

Getting into the wonderful world of craft-beer, this was my first true love, and will always be one of my all-time favorites.

For anyone getting into micro brews, this beer is going to seem like a kick in the face, with its standout cascade hop character. It certainly was for me. Funny - after a while, and many other beers tried, the hops now seem finely tuned and very well balanced.

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is refreshing, vibrant, alive. Extremely recommended and fortunately available in almost as many places as Samuel Adams.

 745 characters

Photo of stof0048
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pale yellow with very thin head floating about, leaves little to no lacing.

S: Almost nothing but hops, maybe a touch of light spice... corriander?

T: Hops all the way. Bitter, but not overly so, balanced well. Has a slightly bready finish.

M: Medium body, flows over tongue easily, nice carbonation. Bitterness really hits at the back of the palate.

D: This is a pretty easy to drink brew. Could definitely fit this into the regular rotation when not drinking Belgians.

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Photo of stevegamburg
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

There is no reason not to drink this pale ale. Very smooth flavor with a medium body. Nice hop bitterness, but not overpowering like some other pale ales.
A great value. They sell twelve packs of this stuff for the same price as Corona or Amstel which aren't even in the same category as Sierra's Pale Ale. Enjoy.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz single

an old favorite...as is the norm, one of the first "micros" i ever had when i was 16ish, probably purchased off a hippie lot vender!

appearance: pours a hazy pale amber color with a slight beige head and spotted lacing

smell: floral hoppage, sweet malt, grainy, citrus fruit aromas, earthy and natural

taste: great balance...i haven't sat down and analyzed one of these probably ever. a nice floral hop profile matched by some solid sweet and toasty malts...a dry spicy finish and a sweet and bready taste overall

mouthfeel: bready medium body, dry and spicy finish

drinkability: webster defines session beer as SNPA

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Photo of Pepeton
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Well, well, well...
It's been a long time since I had a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Four years, almost to the day.
So this review might be biased; actually it is.
And since I still have 4 bottles left of it waiting for me I'll rush this review.

Pours a nice orange, golden with a compact white head and beautiful lacing.

Citrusy hop smell surge from my glass, some malts too. Even some spicyness

Taste is amazingly crisp for an ale and medium bodied; I detect something that I haven't noticed before: Faint flavor of turpentine? Pine or Fir sap? Some sort of tree oil? But good.

Great bitter aftertaste that I missed so much (is quite an ordeal to get fine beers down here in México!)

Absolutely great drinkability. Actually I'm going after the remaining four.

¡Salud!

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Photo of orfeu
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Golden amber with a creamy white head, lacing is somewhat sticky. Upfront hop aroma, floral, citric, etc. Great cascade hop wave at first with nice biscuity malt finish. Medium-bodied and satisfying mouthfeel. Absolutely incredible drinkability. I avoided this one for a while due to it's ubiquity. However, I would now advocate this beer any day of the week. Excellent pale ale.

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Photo of JasonCoop
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

one of my old favorites. pours a very pale yellowish amber color with big foamy head.

smells very citrusy and very hoppy with some subtle breadiness mixed in. very appetizing.

taste is a lot like the smell. nice citrusy hop taste. not an overly balanced beer because the hops dominate, but excellent nonetheless. not a complicated taste but it's just great.

mouthfeel is light and the hop bite is very pleasant. extremely drinkable brew, i just love this one. i'm a big fan of good pales or india pales with a strong hop presence and this is one of the old stand-bys.

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Photo of bighoppymonster
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, orangy straw colour with a nice foamy slightly offwhite head. Sharp hops in nose also with some grainy aspects as well. Smooth taste rolls down the throat with some nice hop bitterness on back of the palatte. Slighlty metallic aftertastes linger long after you swallow. Overall an excellent APA. Not a huge beer by any means, but definately worthwhile.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.57/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

All hail the king of pale ales! This is great stuff - hands down. Pours nicely, deep gold with a bit of copper in the color, and one of the best aromas I've ever smelled in a beer; very full and fruity. Head fluffed up nice and high, all the way to top of my pint glass. All this before the first sip!

Very smooth mouthfeel, almost buttery with just a touch of lemon. The right amount of hops counterbalances a wonderful base almost perfectly. Slight amount of haze even a few minutes after the pour from the yeast that was on the bottom of the bottle. Very simple, and yet very complex at the same time. Smooth, hoppy, and a flagship for pale ales. Simply amazing!

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Photo of christmasg
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sierra Nevada is one of my favorite micro brews. They have obviously become the standard to which a lot of people / brewers compare themselves. I think the S-N I get here is not as good as 5 years ago. Still a great beer, just does not have the hop aroma and flavor it used to and seems a bit thinner.

 301 characters

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

Hops? Sierra Nevada has them. Granted this and the bigfoot ale are the only two from these guys I ever drank, but they are hoppy. But not overly hoppy to being undrinkable. Very nice flavor and mouthfeel, nice finish, and a real enjoyable beer. My local grocer had it on sale for $6.99 a sixer and it's been a while since I had it. Very nice!!

 343 characters

Photo of pweis909
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Translucent amber,1/2 inch foam dissipated quickly
S-Grapefruit rind hoppy, but malt is evident.
T-Toasty malt sweet, hoppy bitterness asserts but is not aggressive. When swished around the mouth, alcohol becomes noticeable.
M-smooth buttery.
D-Although not overly complex, this is nicely balanced. A great all-purpose, highly quaffable ale.

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Photo of FirstMan
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When you are on a business trip in Washington D.C., it can sometimes be hard to stick to your mantra of drinking local. Especially when you're trapped in a hotel near the mall in McLean, Virginia. I spent probably a good hour trying to find a bar that had anything other than the regular macro selection. I wonder what the wait-people must have thought of me when I came up, asked what their draft list was, and then had my face glaze over as they went through the list - Bud, Bud Light, Coors, Bass, Harp, ...

At any rate, I finally found a place that ended the list with "...Sierra Nevada, Guinness", so I sat down.

I was served the Sierra Nevada in a frozen glass, which just isn't classy, but I tried really hard to see beyond that. Once the condensation was wiped off, I could see that this was nice and clear.

This is a pale on the darker side - slight pumpkin and amberish tones. Nice head stayed around for a quite a while and left little tracings along the edge as it went down.

Nose is full of aroma hops, with slight toasty grain essence in the back.

Taste is clean and light with a really nice citris hop bitterness that is slightly unbalanced when it's below temperature, but evens out as it warms up. I kept thinking "fresh" while I was drinking this - whatever that means (no, I am not an early 90s rap star).

Mouthfeel is slightly creamy with sharp tingle of carbination evening it out.

Overall this is a great stand-by beer. If you can find it in the wasteland of beer that exists below the Mason-Dixon line, I advise you drink it.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.28/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed this today at Traxx bar in Penn Station after a day of hanging out in the city and watching my girlfriend run the NYC marathon. We had a few minutes before catching the train back to suburbia and her brother was buying so I figured I'd give this original microbrewer a shot.
This pale ale features an attractive golden/copper color and only a trace of head. The nose is very mild, with hints of hops and a fresh characteristic but mostly a mystery.
The flavor is full bodied and rolls nicely across the tongue. It's not bad at all but not very special either. It's hoppy and crisp and tasty but still tastes somewhat generic. The taste is also marred by far too much carbonation in the mouthfeel.
This is not a bad beer, but for the price and the brewer's reputation I'd like to see a more individual taste. I hate to to mention it but I wonder if Sierra Nevada is still at the top of their game..

 911 characters

Photo of kbnooshay
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Simply stunning. Cool green label in a short bottle. This pours a great golden-orange color with a tiny head and awesome clinging action. The floral hops are pungently awesome. Citric smells also. Great hoppy taste with malts that don't quite balance. Awesome light sweetness. Mouthfeel is creamy yet carbonated.
This is very drinkable but a few will do for a night.

 367 characters

Photo of hopsaplenty
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely burnished copper, pushing up a modest dense white head, that leaves moderate lacing. Nice fruity hops, think grapefruit, in the nose and some slight roasty malt as well. Nice and hoppy in the mouth, grapefruit and other citrus in the finish, with touches of malt. This is a wonderful beer and well representative for the style. Thoroughly enjoyable and a good session beer.

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Photo of grindcore666
3.5/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at The Mucky Duck.

Pours dark copper. This one had a nice meak one-finger head. Sandy but everlasting lacing. Lemony citrus up front with some balanced carbonation and hops. Taste wasn't stunning but still good. Mouthfeel is comfortable and I have a feeling this one is quaffable, though I savored mine. Won't go out of my way for this one, but definitely won't turn it down.

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Photo of mcnut
3.6/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Sierra Nevada makes a good beer, sometimes the problem is that all of their beers taste remarkably similar.

Now its not fair for me to say all of them, as I've only tried their porter and the pale ale. Other than color, the taste was shockingly similar, well lets get to that.

The pale ale is just that, a pale golden beer with a soft lacing of head. The smell of hops and some citrusy notes comes out in the first whafting, with more hops to follow.

The taste is very strong of hops and a mild alchohol aftertaste. Not a beer I could personally session, your mileage may vary, especially if you like a very hopped beer.

 630 characters

Photo of Derek
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Pacific Northwest Pale Ale that defined the style. Certainly more subtle than newly developed products.

A: Golden bronze with a little head, no lace.

S: Nice American hop citrous.

T: Citrousy, biscuity malt.

M: Light-to-moderate body, fairly high carbonation.

D: Suitable for a wide range of beer drinkers.

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Photo of russpowell
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Simply put, this ale enlightened me that we (USA) could make great ales. This my take on this bottle (know I've had better on draft & bottle)

Appearance: OK white heat that falls off, bur leaves A pleasing lace all the way down

Smell: Lemony hops & a hint of bread

Taste: Grapefruity hops on the toung gives way to biscuit & lemony hops on the back of the throat.

MF: Just a little under carbonated, otherwise yum..

Drinkability: Perfect balance, but I gravitate to stronger hoppie beers than I used to, still a classic!!


.

 543 characters

Photo of jarmby1711
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A magnificent deep rusty red colour , that had a rush of hop aroma that seemed to fade rather quickly.
The hope smell was evident on the initial palate that transcended to a bitter finish that had a fruity /citrus undertone.
The carbonation was fine and it was smooth in the mouth.
There is something restrained about this beer,the expectation of a more varied finish is not there , but I think this makes this very drinkableand would be a fantastic beer to sit down and get right into a whole lot of it.

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Photo of NiceGuyMike
3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I find this to be a charming ale. I'm not a hop head at all, but I'm liking the brew. I has two treats; a nice bitter smell yet refreshing taste when cold, and a warmer maltier taste warmed up.

Appearance: dark amber with good head and lacing.
Smell: medium to strong hops with maltiness.
Taste: strong bitterness when cold. Sweet malts are present, but barely. Finishes with strong clean bitterness. As it warms, but bitterness fades and some of the deeper flavors sweet malts develope.
Mouthfeel: medium body with good carbonation.
Drinkability: great session beer.

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Photo of beermanbrian
4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Haven't had this one in a long time and figured it was time to give it a try again.

Pours a nice copper color with a thin head that dissipates quickly. Not lacing to speak of. Smell of piney hop oils with a hint of malty sweetness. Taste has just enough piney hops to give it a little bite but is not overpowering. Nice malt balance with a bitter aftertaste that is enjoyable. Just a very nice smooth pale ale that goes down incredible easy. Don't know why i haven't had this one in so long but i will be sure to not let that happen again.

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Photo of alysmith4
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A classic for it's kind, and what I call the "gateway beer." It's a one of the few microbews available in most bars on-tap, usually sandwitched between two major macros. If you can get your BCM friends to try it, they will probably like it. And if they do like it, they may enter the gates of micro-heaven and never go back!

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Photo of kwalters
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Simply a classic. This brew is one most of your non-BA friends will even know about and have probably tried. To many, it's the quientisential "micro"brew.

The appearance is copper heaven. There's a light/small white head that doesn't seem to last all that long. The smell is slightly metallic but more "beery" and floral. I can taste the hops before they hit my palate.

The taste is smooth, vibrant, and refreshing. There's just enough hop bite to make you go "Ahhh!". Drinkability is a bit of an issue as my mouth becomes increasingly dry and by tastebuds ever spent after each bottle.

This is a must try, no matter what your tastes are! (This is as much because of the taste as it is because of the noteriety).

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,076 ratings.
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