Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

2,990 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: 2,990 | Ratings: 11,132
Photo of Boneswally
4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look...if you can't give this beer its props, stop reviewing. This beer is the original groundbreaker of microbrews and continues to be the most solid choice you can make... anytime. Heineken and Corona can suck it...I will kiss anyone right on the mouth like Lydia Loveless who brings this classic to my party. Sierra for President!

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Photo of shiu-chan
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour in beer glass, slight cloudy amber gold, with short foamy head. Floral hop and pine bouquet. Nutty and subtle caramel on palate. Smooth and light bubbly mouthful. Overall, a naunce of well-balanced malty & light bitterness.

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

I am really pleased to get this - from what I understand this is the original American Pale Ale, a style which is making something of an impression over here in the UK, it's path having been laid by the popularity of the Golden Summer Ales which have a similar hop profile, though are softer and cleaner in the palate. The aroma is quite heavenly - delicate, floral and spicily citric, though that does die down after a while into something more grassy and rain like, even a touch metallic. When worked slightly the pale malt aroma does rise, but doesn't last long against the hops. The taste is surprisingly clean up front, but the sweet malt soon makes an appearance, slightly sticky but with a rounded body - a satisfying base from which the citric hops do their work, gradually taking over from the sweetness to emerge dark and tangy in the finish. A very pleasant beer.

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Photo of stuckonhops
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-- deep orange surounded by golden hues...light haziness because i turned the bottle to mix up the yeast on bottom..great sticky lacing..

S--musky dank hops...centenial smells on forefront...grassy, earthy, almost im in a forest in spring..

T--slightly bitter...very balanced carmel flavors..grassy hops...citrusy hops in aftertaste..delish

M--quite smooth...carbonation is tingly...not to sticky..

D-- one of my favs to drink all day...not to high in alcohol either...about to become the new staple in my fridge..

i have had this beer many times before but never reviewed that its been a while since i last had it i figured i'd get to i remember why i used to buy it all the time...time to get more...another great job from sierra nevada...i have never had a bad beer by these guys...all are solid...get some if you never had it..

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

appearance: light brownish with a small hint of red. head quickly disappears. good lacing around the pint glass

smell: the wonderful smell of cascade hops tingles the nose the nose

taste: hop forward with a nice balance of malt. the aftertaste stays on the palate. not too bitter, not too sweet. this is the pale ale in which i grade all other pale ales against.

mouthfeel: just enough carbonation to ensure a good drink, but not too much to ruin the brew

drinkability: thank you sir, can i have another?

This is a beer that never disappoints. i often look over this beer at the store while searching for something else. but then once i get home a pour this beautiful concoction into a welcoming glass i realize the reliable snpa will always be inviting when i call her name!

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

Pours a Crystal clear golden, almost apple juice in color.
Clean scent of peach and piney hops. Good balance of hop and the sweetness of malt. A hint of citrus comes to you as the pint warms a bit.
Clean and refreshing with very distinct flavors.
This ale has good drinkability and could go well with seafood or other light tasting dishes.

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Photo of guntherhophead
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clover honeyish amber. White head w/lacing, and light sediment dancing in the carbonation.
S-Sweet floral hops, citrus, honey, grain.
T-Clean and even--fresh grain, light citrus, flowery hops, and an excellent aftertaste.
M-Light-medium body w/good carbonation. Excellent harmony.
D-Sessionable and refreshing.

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Photo of mckeowbc
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is my all time favorite session beer. It has a nice punch of Cascade hops that give it a nice floral bouquet and clean almost grassy taste without being overbearing. The moderate alcohol content and light malt flavor makes this a beer that is easy to drink and doesn't wear on the palate like heavier or hoppier beers. Also this beer pairs well with almost any food, but beef or spicy barbecue seem the most appropriate.

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Photo of Kaiser777
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A thick golden hazle color with a off white foam that raised just a bit, but never the lest a good thick foam with a million little bubbles floating from the bottom of the glass to the top.

S- A semi sweet smell, very hoppy with a slight hint of citrus, maybe even a carmel like candy smell as well.

T- A little hoppy with an explosive after taste with a little splash of citrus and a twist of sweetness that leaves an amazing after taste.

MF- Coats the mouth well and like I said before it has a beautiful after taste with a splash of citrus that I have grown to love over the years.

D- Very drinkable one of my favorite pale ales, actually one of the first micro brews I have ever drank about a year ago, and oh what a journey it has been.

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Photo of DanL133
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1st ever review.
Poured from a undated 24 oz bottle into pint glass.

Color is bright honey with a slight bit of haze. Nice white cap the dissipates but remains present & good lacing down the glass.
Smells like beer - Nothing overpowering. The taste is clean and balanced with Med to higher carbonation and good mouth-feel with a bit of a bitter hop lingering. This beer is easy to find and a solid option for any occasion. I will continue buy and enjoy this offering as you can't go wrong with this one!

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Photo of ctxfenris
4.99/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.
Amber in color, fair amount of head and carbonation. There's sediment floating around in there!
Smells of pale malts and hops, and tastes that way as well.
Delicious, my go to beer for some time now.
Leaves lacing all over the glass. A classic.

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

Serving Type: Bottle Poured into glass. I thought I would try it at room temperature for something different. (Although it was very good as always, I would recommend it moderately chilled to 40-45 F)

Appearance: A moderate to hefty pour produces a one finger, soapy white head with lively carbonation and decent retention that settles down to a small cap. Good lacing as well, but I'm not that serious about these kinds of things. Color is a nice copper-orange hue standard for a pale ale.

Smell: Sweet malts, with some citrus hops, floral and a bit of pine. Overall, what you would expect in a cascade-based pale ale, but it's executed very well. Normally I can get more out of this beer, but my smell isn't as sensitive today.

Taste: My taste is not so sharp right now either, but I'll give it my best. Starts pretty plain, but finishes with clean, moderate bitterness and a very noticeable (and delicious) citrus/orange flavor. Possibly some pine there too, but it could just be the bitterness.

Addendum: had SNPA again today after a bit of a hiatus and found that there was a lot more grapefruit in both smell and taste than I originally put in this review.

Feel: Medium, not too interesting, but pale ales aren't known for mouthfeel. There is a decent amount of carbonation that makes it nice and lively, and adds a little bit of crispness that works well with the hops. Dry, dry finish.

Overall: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is a well established benchmark for the American Pale Ale, and for good reasons. Everything is well-balanced, and you can kick back a few of them without hop overload. Someone with an IPA-warped palate will barely be able to notice the bitterness, but that makes it more approachable for non-BA's just starting out in craft beer. It's a solid, everyday pale ale at an affordable price.

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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 BigPapaLager
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This has go to be my favorite pale ale I always go back to this beer. A beer for all tastes if ever there was one. It poured a medium amber, not very pale, with a steady white head. The hoppy aroma was strong but not overpowering. Wish I had more of this right now...

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Photo of Juggernaut
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This one was excellent, a very nice gold amber color, with a white head, with good retention. Smelled of slite malt with a good hop aroma, that was very inviting.

The taste was great, very well balanced with a good bitterness that hits you and then slowly fades into some maltiness, with a possible hint of citrus. The smoothness and body of this beer is incredible, and it has a very light carbonation, all making for a beer that could be enjoyed for hours.

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Photo of lokicat444
4.6/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The distinctive bright green label and short stumpy bottle design is inviting; it contrasts well with the vibrant orange brew as it pours into a pint glass. The foam lasts for awhile and the buble quality is high- the small bubbles make for a very creamy head. Smell is very refreshing, an enticing blend of citrusy fruit, with perhaps a hint of yeast. Taste follows through with the smell, refreshing notes of citrus. The malts are good, something about this beer reminds me of bread. Mouthfeel is excellent; it's thick, rich, and satisfying. Later into the sip the hops really kick in, with a bitterness that challenges the senses but doesn't repel. Quite drinkable, this beer can be effortly paired with basically anything. Not exactly a session beer though, as you really want to take the time to enjoy each bottle.
I love this beer; excellent both in both in bottles and on-tap.

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Photo of gus
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very strong hop aroma, very pale to golden hue (rust?), moderate in carbonation and body. Somewhat bubbly with a large white head. Very clean in apparance. Very high in hop flavor. Smooth going down, a slight hop bitterness noted with a slight aftertaste, but good. A very refreshing beer, just tastes good a beer you can drink for all occaisions.

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Photo of goatherder
3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden in colour, great clarity for a bottle conditioned beer and an ample white head. Big hop aroma up front, tangerines and rockmelons with the malt peeking through as the beer warmed up. A firm hop slap up front with all the fruitiness of the aroma which gives way to a wonderfully round, bready malt flavour. The bitterness is well balanced and gives a crisp end to the maltiness. The mouthfeel is middle to thin with the carbonation just a bit high for my liking. This combines with the relatively high abv to inhibit the drinkability for me. This beer comes with quite a reputation and I'm happy to say it lives up to it. A great example of an APA, able to showcase the hops whilst allowing the malt to shine through too.

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

It's hard to say anything that hasn't already been said of this excellent beer!
From a 12oz bottle poured into a bar glass.

A - Poured a polished golden copper color with a fizzy head that made a quick exit. Very little lacing once the head was gone. Pretty lively carbonation.

S - Classic pale ale, with floral notes of tea rose, honeysuckle, and malty sweetness.

T - Never disappoints, with a nice balance between the sweetness of the malt and the bitterness of the hops.

M - Nice to roll around on the tongue, medium body with a little bite from the carbonation.

D - This ale is so balanced between sweet and bitter that I could drink it all day and night. Definitely a session beer for me.

Thank goodness that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is so readily available in bottles and on tap! It is often the only beer that interests me in places where most patrons want the 'usual suspects' (i.e. Bud, Bud Light, Miller Lite, etc etc). Thanks to Sierra Nevada for making an excellent and accessible beer!

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Photo of friendofthedevil
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite standby beers. A hoppy taste with a clean, clear finish, not to mention being everywhere in California, has made me sample this beer a great many times. Both in the bottle and on tap Sierra Nevada delivers with their Pale Ale. While not a "special" beer, nor one to be saved for that "special occasion," it is a great brew to drink with friends in any situation. Receives a strong recommendation from me!

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

The beer poured nice with a decent but thin head that lingered a bit and finally stayed as a nice ring throughout the entire drink. Was a brown-orange color that was very nice to look at. unfortunately it smelt somewhat skunky, not very pleasing. The taste however made up for the smell. it had a full taste with a hint of bitter and rich aftertaste common in ales. The drink is heavily carbonated but feels nice overall. this beer is clean and crisp enough to drink several in a row but tasty enough to enjoy while doing it.

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Photo of jwheeler85
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip glass:

A- Had a nice medium amber color with a little bit of head

S- Interesting aroma in the sense that I could really smell the hop bitterness and some floral qualities reminiscent of cascade hops. Not sure if that was the type used, it just really reminded me of smelling cascade hops at the homebrew store. Excellent job of showcasing hop potential.

T- Starts of with some hopiness (go figure), then some mild sweetness from the light malts, and then some hop bitterness as a clean finisher.

M- Medium carbonation with a light mouthfeel

D- This has become one of my favorite summertime beers. Not quite as refreshing as some hefewiezens that I've had, gut it's definitely high on the list of thirst quenchers (gatorade is for pussies!). Probably the best pale ale I've had... and they sell cases of it at Trader Joes!

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Photo of quikfish13
3.86/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have drank these for many years and have now just gotten around to actually reviewing one. So lets begin.

A: Poured a clear dull orange color with an off white head. A perfect pour lead to a very nice and not too foamy head.

S: Not much in the ways of smell, a few hoppy citrusy notes but nothing to brag about.

T: A nice orange and malty taste. The almost bread like quality comes through in the middle followed with lemon like bitterness aftertaste.

M:Nice and smooth. Definitely good enough to keep you drinking.

D: A very nice beer and something you could start someone down the path to good beer with. Not all that expensive either. Me however, I would rather be drinking Great Lakes burning river if I'm looking for a well priced pale ale.

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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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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,132 ratings.
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