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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

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Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale
BA SCORE
4.03/5
Exceptional
11,405 Ratings
Sierra Nevada Pale AleSierra Nevada Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States
sierranevada.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
Ranking:
#3,007
Reviews:
3,045
Ratings:
11,405
pDev:
11.66%
Bros Score:
4.09
 
 
Wants:
317
Gots:
3,222
Trade:
2
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 11,405 |  Reviews: 3,045
Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hops and cream and noticeable creamy head. Taste with an offsetting bitterness that I didn't care for or expect. Strong bitter mouthfeel Citrus floral and pine aroma. Inexpensive.
Had this 3 years later on-tap and this review is based on that, at Pizza Port Solena Beach Lace, a serviceable pale. AFter so many good pales, Sierra finds its way among the pack, but was sure a revalation when I first had it.

 407 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I know many of us are beer "fanatics" but something is to be said of beers that can both please the Bud Light drinkers and the Beer snobs. This beer is not the best in its category but it is a staple amongst beer drinkers and is as good bottled as on draft which is not always the case. It has an initial sharp flavor that fades quickly so as too not be overly offensive. A solid overall beer.

 393 characters

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper orange color with a 1 inch off-white head that fades to a thin cap. Nice thick rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of sweet malt and citrus zest. Taste is of sweet malt and citrus zest hops. There is a slightly soapy taste I am getting as well. This beer has good carbonation and is crisp and clean in the mouth. Slight hop bitterness lingers on the palate after each sip. Overall, this is a good pale ale and pretty much available everywhere in a pinch when there are no other good beers on the menu.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

the sierra nevada flagship brew, more of an ipa than a straight pale ale, but a delicious beer nonetheless. a complex and robust hop nose is enticing, and the balanced flavor, medium body and effervescent carbonation make this a staple in most good bars. this is much hoppier than other american pale ales, but is not heavy as some can be. it is highly drinkable with a slightly bitter finish and an extraordinary crispness. the colder the better. a little less delicious when it warms up, so drink it swiftly for sure. one of the very first beers to define what cascade hops taste like, well ahead of its time, often copied but rarely equaled. the american craft standard.

 673 characters

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of kjkinsey
5/5  rDev +24.1%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The classic Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I remember sitting at the Keystone Pub when I ordered my first one back in 2007. It was probably one of my first pale ales. I can't recall having one prior to it. Anyway, it pours out as a lightly hazed yellowish gold color. The head is strong and leaves a good lacing on the glass. The smell of the beer has a really nice hop aroms on it mixed with some malts on the nose. The taste of the beer has a good bitterness to it with a dry hoppy aftertaste. When it comes to the mouthfeel it's a highly drinkable beer. It's got a good body to it and it's not overly heavy. Overall this beer is worth checking out if you haven't already, It's a pioneer pale ale, it really holds it's own again many competitors.

 741 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Took me a while to finally try this one but I did it and found a great, drinkable beer. Has a unique, characteristic taste to it that must be from different types of hops no usually used on the east coast. It's crisp, refreshing, very well balanced.. if aint broke dont fix it.

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Photo of t0rin0
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have had this many times in the bottle as well as on tap over the past couple of years.

It pours an appropriate color for a pale ale. I say that because many times beers without color are beers without flavor barring of course belgian golden ales and tripels and some weissbiers. The foam dies off quickly which is alright with me because it doesn't taste much like the beer (the hops seem to stick out in the foam).

It has probably the best pale ale flavor I've had. It has a good amount of bitterness for a pale ale but that bitterness disapears quickly and becomes sweet and malty. Very drinkable and is well balanced.

I have always enjoyed this beer and always will.

 682 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear dark golden yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense off white head that died down and consistently left a thin film covering the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderate aromas of citrusy hops in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the hops stand out in the overall taste, but these contribute a light to moderate amount of bitterness that is kept in check by the underlying malts, which also contribute some hints of toasted malt flavors.
M: It feels a bit shy of medium-bodied on the palate and somewhat crisp with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is very easy to drink, refreshing and is quite sessionable. I would have no problem drinking more than one of these at a time.

 802 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my all time favorites;
Aroma: Extremely floral and spicy, but not to overtake the malts. Complex and refreshing, even to the nose.
Appearance: Deep golden, excited from the carbonation. Nice white head, containing loosely laced bubbles.
Taste: Floral and spicy nose. High hop flavoring pronounced in the body. Medium bodied, cut nicely by bittering. Leaving mouth nicely coated. Finishes a bit dry, but not to offend. High bittering at the end.
Aftertaste: All the pleasantries of the taste without complete drying, tackiness, or metalics.
Impression: Absolutely refreshing, a bold and exciting beer. One that can be drank from sun-up to sun-down and any time of the year. One to stock the fridge with.

 715 characters

Photo of biboergosum
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle at Beer Bistro in the heart of downtown Toronto's suit-heavy, after market closing dining district.

This beer pours a clear, medium bronzed amber colour, with two chubby fingers of puffy, somewhat bubbly, but eventually creamy off-white head, which leaves a consistent wall of broken webbed lace around the glass in its slow and meandering wake.

It smells of biscuity caramel malt, grapefruit, blood orange, and lemon citrus rind, and mildly dank spicy, earthy piney, and grassy hops. The taste is predominantly citrus forward (orange and overripe lemon, mostly), with a sort of white pepper spicy character, more leafy, weedy, and pine hop notes, and a lightly bready caramel malt backbone.

The carbonation is moderate in its well supportive and generally playful frothiness, the body a solid-ass middleweight, and smooth, with a mild creamy slickness. It finishes more than a bit off-dry, the green and citrus hoppiness still in an agreeable detente with the lingering caramel malt.

SNPA is obviously common as water Stateside, but for some retarded reason very difficult to come by on this side of the border. Overall it tastes pretty much like my favourite local hopped-up pale ale (Alley Kat Full Moon, for the record, which was apparently heavily influenced by it), so, yeah, I can't help but like this one a lot.

 1,339 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

2000 reviews and I somehow haven't done this one yet. Go figure. Bottled February 1st according to the bottle code. 5.6% ABV confirmed. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard ("Use Bottle Opener"!) pressure cap acquired at a local Trader Joe's and served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I'm rarely impressed with Sierra Nevada, but this is indisputably a classic craft beer which did a lot historically. Regardless of what I may or may not think about the beer after enjoying it, I do respect it.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Not paired with food.

A: Pours a four finger beige colour head of nice cream and thickness, and good (~5 minute) retention. Little lacing as the head recedes. Body colour is a fairly vibrant pale copper; transparent and translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. It's generally appealing and is typical of the style. There's nothing unique or special here, but there are no overt flaws.

Sm: Floral hops, ejected shell casings (seriously), artificial pine, soap, and pale malts. The soapiness is bothersome, and becomes more reminiscent of detergent the more I smell the beer. Bubblegum. Yeah, this spent too long in primary. An average strength aroma that isn't particularly appealing.

T: Okay. Muted citrus, dominant soapy character, light artificial pine, and some mild floral hops. Bland pale malts form the foundation. There's not a whole lot going on here, and I'm none too keen on what is. Imbalanced and badly built for the style. A bit too bitter for the style as well, but it's also too sweet up front.

Mf: Way too dry on the finish, eradicating any refreshing feel that it might have had prior. Smooth and wet up front. Too thick all around. Overcarbonated, to boot. Weak. Doesn't suit the flavour all that well. Palate presence is okay.

Dr: I'll finish this bottle, but it's really not that drinkable for a pale ale. I'm shocked at how underwhelming this beer is given its influence on the style. I'll try to revisit this on-draught; maybe this was just an off bottle arbitrarily. As it stands, this is rather pedestrian and I see no reason to get it again. Hides its ABV well. Another disappointment from Sierra Nevada.

C-

---
After the bottle review above, I tried it on-draught when it was the only decent option at a bar in Las Vegas. I actually found it to be much better on-draught, and would have given it a high C+ but wasn't in a reviewing mood at the time. I'll plan on revisiting this beer; it's so ubiquitous it'd be criminal not to.

---
11.10.14:

B-

***
04/12/17 impression from a can from the North Carolina facility (courtesy of Schlimenhaumer):

Definitely different than California-brewed Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Hop pungency is lacking, the body is lighter, water chemistry seems different, the balance isn't as dialed in.

Call me crazy, but this doesn't hold up to the original.

C+ / ABOVE AVERAGE

***
11.11.17 rating (California-brewed version):

High B- / WORTHY

 3,161 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of brentk56
3.79/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy dark golden body with a fluffy white head that displays good retention and lacing

Smell: Some citrus in the aroma, but not particularly overwhelming

Taste: Starts out with a nice bready taste that transforms, mid-palate, as the tangerine and pine flavors arrive; well-balanced through the finish, but rather malty

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation

Drinkability: The go-to beer at so many bars long ago

 457 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draft: Poured a medium amber color ale with a medium size foamy head. Aroma of citrus and piney hops is well balanced against some lightly sweet caramel malt base. Taste is also a wonderfully mix of floral hops notes from West Coast hops with nice line and citrus notes though they are never overwhelming. Malt base is not too sweet and well balanced against the hops. Body is about average with good carbonation. This si one staple that I will never get tired of.

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Photo of zeff80
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a deep copper/amber color with a tan, foamy, three-finger head. It left thick rings of lace.

S - It smelled of grass, grains and malt.

T - It had a nice hoppy/grassy quality. It also has a good bready roasted malt taste.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good APA. It almost has the hop power of an IPA. Great malt flavor, too.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 4.03 out of 5 with 11,405 ratings
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