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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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,970 | Ratings: 11,043
Photo of roscoehnj
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The classic APA.

appearance: slightly darker than the typical APA, inviting.

smell: not as hoppy as the taste but nice nonetheless

taste: exactly what an APA should be - pronounced hoppiness but not as much as an IPA.

mouthfeel: medium body, again what you want in the style

drinkability: could drink this all night long with no palate fatigue

One to always have in the fridge. Also the perfect beer with which to turn macro drinkers on the the good stuff.

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Photo of danetrain0101
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is of a dark golden color. Foam is thick and lasts long. Thick and long.

Smells nice and hoppy with a light malt smell.

A light hop presence. Some malts can be tasted as well as some hints of alcohol.

Feels like a nice smooth pale ale with a medium body taste.

A nice drinkable pale ale to have on any occasion.

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Photo of Maninthearena
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance- Golden straw, crisp carbonation with a head that lasted a minute or two before settling down. A little bit of yeast settled eventually.

Nose- Herbal, grainy, some spiciness, and very fresh smelling. Like something was just harvested.

Taste- Deep earthy hops with some pepper in the beginning, almost grassy with some baked-goods notes of grain. Pretty dry finish. Extremely full flavored pale ale that doesn't hide behind anything sweet like some other brews. Hints of citrus characteristic of pale ales sneaks in once warmed a little. Clean yeast.

Mouthfeel-Pretty dry, very dense carbonation left me pretty filled up. Medium thickness that thinned with the finish, very zippy.

Overall- The sum of the parts come together to make a wonderful full APA. Hearkens to sitting on the porch of a farmhouse after dinner. Extremely clean beer.

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Photo of Curlybash
3.68/5  rDev -9.1%

Picked this up in SN's Snowpack 2014- never had SN Pale Ale before this, even though i see it everywhere. I've heard and read good things about it, so I'm gonna drink up.

Appearance:deep copper leaning towards a more brown hue. faintly off-white head, about 1/2 finger, which remains throughout. collars and sheets of thin lace throughout. 4

Aroma: floral, clean hops dominate the nose. vague malt background, although im bad at detecting malt in hops-dominated beers. Seems a little one note, but it could just be me. 3.3

Taste: Starts with an initial hops bite, finishes with brown bread crust. aftertaste is malty with a slight bitterness that grows between sips. 3.78

Mouthfeel: medium with moderate carbonation. nothing overpowering or distracting, or particularly interesting. 3.6

Overall: A well balanced pale ale. No overpowering hops and a pleasant, subdued malty finish. Very drinkable but still a quality beer. Cheers!

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Photo of zakery
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden color with a white fluffy head with medium sized bubbles. Laces down the glass.

The smell is hoppy, obviously, with a fresh citrus coming through the most. There is also a faint yeast smell lingering in the background.

It has a medium body with surprisingly high carbonation for the style. The hops hit you first and stay till the end. It is very fresh tasting with appetizing and slightly bitter citrus flavors. The cascade hops not being overly bitter leaves an opening for the malt to come through as well, and it is a balanced beer.

Very appetizing and drinkable. If you're planning to have more than one, be prepared to have food ready because your taste-buds and stomach will be turned on by this beer.

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Photo of futaboots
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Back again with another classic.

Back when I knew not much about good beer, drinking this was like getting a slap in the face. Drinking my first IPA, that was like getting punched in the face. This beer was a gentle slap to the cheek.

Instantly, when you take the first sip of this beer, you will notice flavor. A bitter, acidic citrusy, fruit punchy flavor. It is hoppy, that's for damn sure. There is also an underlying, rich caramel note, to this beer. Finishes dry, with that lingering bitterness from the hops.

Appearance. Clear as the glass I'm drinking out of. Copper colored, with a head that refuses to die.

Mouthfeel, carbonation is a bit high, but acceptable. There is a slight bit of a syrupy feel, but overall this is pretty crisp.

One of my favorite beers of all time, it is so versatile, and pairs well with a wide variety of foods. Can be enjoyed by itself, either in a pub with a large crowd of people, or as an after work relaxant. The amount of hop bitterness turns off some people though.

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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 RobertDwight
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perfectly clear golden color. Decent white head that laces a bit. Not that much going on with the smell. Taste is pretty good, lovely hops! At first glance you wouldnt suspect this brew to pack such a bitter punch but it does. I love how this beer is hopped. This is definitley a go to beer. I could have rather one too many of these!

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Photo of chuckpalka
4.34/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer many many times so what can be said about this classic outstanding brew that hasn't already been said expect that it is near perfect. The look is amber/copper with a nice white head. The smell is subtle with a nice balance of hop ,malty combo. The Taste is even better that starts very easy and finishes with a easy hop bitterness. Feel is again a great combination not thin and not strong.... just right Overall this well balanced pale ale is very hard to beat.

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Photo of honestdave
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 12oz bottle into an ale glass.

A: Appearance is gold to amber in color. Really nice thick creamy white head from a strong pour. Small carbonation bubbles rise into the creamy head. Good lacing down the glass.

S: Smell is more floral than citrus. Really fresh scent.

T: Slight malty flavor followed by a super satisfying bitterness from the Magnum, Perle and Cascade hops is a delight. Piney hop goodness!

M: Natural conditioning provides just enough carbonation to give this brew a refreshing medium mouthfeel.

D: Perfect session ale. I can drink several and still want more. Stays refreshing to the bottom of the ale glass.

Summary: This is the one beer that really got me into American craft beer. Absolutely one of my favorite ales. This beer provides really fine balance between the malts and ends with great hop bitterness. Everything one would want in an ale. Excellent!

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Photo of lazy8
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle in chilled pint glass

A - Amber/orange with a 1 inch head. Lacing throughout the glass

S - Malt more than hops but both are present

T - A fanstastic American Pale Ale. Malt includes dark, roasted flavors. Hops add bite, while not overpowering the flavor

M - Smooth with noticeable but nice aftertaste. Hop character shines through.

O - The best American Pale that is readily available both at home and in bars/restaurants.

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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 Slackerville
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Truly a legend in the pale ale realm. Brewed with strong hop character on the nose and palate with a balanced malt base well before the US IPA revolution. After a few decades still a great example of the style.

Probably everyone has had at least one of these so no need for a detailed review. Too sum it up, if I was stranded on a desert island and could drink as much beer as I wanted but only have one beer this would be it. Great balance, not overpoweringly strong, hoppy, or malty, just a solid dose of each. Keep them coming.

 532 characters

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 JeffreyG
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is becomming an American Classic. This beer is solidly enjoyable, complex in flavor but clean enough to go well with a variety of foods and be refreshing. Also makes a good session brew. The hops in this beer are flowery and bright. The flavor is crisp and citrusy. There is just enough malt to balance the hop flavor and ease into the finish. A solid APA and probably the best made mass produced beer.

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Photo of skittlebrau
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I can't believe I've waited so long to try this one considering how it is a staple of the American craft beer industry.

A: An attractive beer. Amber brown like apple juice. Tall head or maybe I just poured it too hard. There was good head retention.

S: Floral hops and toasty bready malt.

T: Hop character takes over here with lots of flowers again, but there is a respectable malt backbone. Flavor is just slightly dry.

M: Thin.

D: Drinkability is pretty good. I tend to go a little slower on hoppy styles of beer, but this one had me reaching for another.

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Photo of tctruffin
3.36/5  rDev -17%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a 24oz bottle with a twistie.

A--Crystal clear gold with a nice white head.

S--A very faint aroma that's hard for me to distinguish. Some malt, some bitter.

T--Clean crisp bitter balances almost perfectly with a simple malt. This bottle didn't display any particular hop distinctives.

M--medium to light body. The carbonation is perfect, washing the palette clean with every swallow.

D--Though not a knockout in flavor, the clean finish makes it easy to keep sipping. The brew blended well with my meal, and I had no problems downing 24oz in a sitting.

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

If you like a beer balanced with hops and malt and one that has alot of taste characteristics and enough hops to keep you interested then you I guess you really want the very best of a session beer. This is an exceptional beer that should be exported to other nations so that they will know we are more than Anheuser Busch and Miller Coors and even more than Sam Adams.

This beer holds up to the best of them and actually is in the winner's circle of the best of them

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Photo of MaltyHoppyGood
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Light light amber. Impressive head, recedes in a timely manner.

Smell: Smells like some fresh pale grain malts with a hint of hops.

Taste: The pale malt is pronounced enough to give a good counterpoint to the big hop flavor. It's somewhat bitter, and even better when it warms up a touch. Lot's of carbonation from unfiltered beer.

Mouthfeel: Clean! The beer practically begs to be held and sipped. Again, the light malt is big enough to hold the beer together.

Drinkability: This could easily be a session beer, that is if you like you pale ale a bit bitter. These go down especially well in the warmer months here in Wisconsin.

This beer is the money maker, with good reason.

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Photo of HiGravShawn
4.4/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Beautiful and coppery colored. This looks both delicious and refreshing.

S: Smells like most good pale ales. Good balance of hops and malt with no off smells.

T: Mmmm... my idea of what a pale ale should be. Great aroma from hops without being too bitter. Perfect malt balance. Nothing out of place.

M: Good. Medium bodied with good levels of carbonation for its weight.

D: Top flight here. I can drink 4-5 of these in a sitting without batting an eye.

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

Pours a clear golden brown color with a beautifully fluffy three finger head and good retention.

Smell is cascade hops with the malts showing through as well.

Taste is similar to the aroma, with malts up front and good cascades in the finish.

Good mouthfeel and great drinkability.

What can I say? This is the classic APA. It doesn't get much better than this.

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Photo of chicagoanbeerone
2.8/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Smell and taste of water and hops, I like it nice and bitter probley one of the most consistant pale ales around. very good and drinkable even for beginers It is close to a lager with hopier traits A nice beer that is enexpensive and to watch a football game with not so heavy just smooth and good

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Photo of Patrick2012
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in tulip glass

A: Copper with a small head. Not much lacing.

S: Hops and light citrus.

T: Light citrus and pine with hoppy bitterness. A very drinkable beer

M: Fruity aftertaste that is very nice and delicious. Bitterness at the back of my tongue

O: If you ever want to have a big party with good quality beer for a great price, this is it. It is a very delicious beer that I would like to see in my fridge often.

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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 rockdick
3.53/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was my first pale ale to try and it wasn't too bad. Had a good light copper color with a decent head. Taste and smell was a hint of spiciness, but mostly sweet. Went down pretty easily. I don't think it belongs in the Top 50, but it is worth have a 6 pack on hand for pale ale drinkers.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,043 ratings.
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