Sierra Nevada Pale Ale | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
91
outstanding
2,987 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:
2,987
Ratings:
11,109
Avg:
4.05
pDev:
11.6%
 
 
Wants:
300
Gots:
2,994
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,987 | Ratings: 11,109
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 Belekinbeer
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful amber color with a nice amount of head.
Has a nice lite citrus and pine smell with some sweetness. Mouth feel is lite with good carbonation.
Crisp hoppy taste with an excellent finish.
This American pale ale is great and I have made it my go to pale. It really is a simple great tasting pale ale.
For me, Sierra Nevada has yet to brew a bad beer. Cant wait till they open their Asheville brewery. Closer to home!!

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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 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.

 407 characters

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.

 562 characters

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.

 561 characters

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.

 364 characters

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

 297 characters

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Golden amber color, very clear. Light head that disappears pretty quickly

S: Citrus and pine hop profile. Very fresh and not terribly strong.

T: Starts off heavy on the hops, nice citrus crispness with a pine finish. More malt balance than I would have expected - this really isn't a bitter pale ale like you may expect from the smell or the initial bite. Finishes very clean.

M: Nothing special, very crisp and a pretty even feel start to finish. Little to no aftertaste.

D: For 5.6abv, this is a drinkable brew. It's light for a pale ale so you can easily put away a few of them, and it's appropriate for any season or food pairing really.

Overall a solid standby beer, one I don't mind having around at all times.

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Photo of mike130
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got on-tap at the Rake.

Nice pour, nice head that stays for a while but then fades into a small layer on top of the beer. Straw yellow colour, looks ok but nothing special.

Smells very nice - loads of American hops. A bit of malt as well.

Tastes quite hoppy, but very well balanced. Nice bit of malt a then a small hop kick, makes it very drinkable and not unlike a milder IPA. Nicely balanced.

Good carbonated mouthfeel, very drinkable. Probably falls within your definition of session beer (if not, don't nag), and is easy to drink.

 538 characters

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

Finally tried this beer after years of hearing about it. I stayed away, cause I am not really a hops guy and I figured it would be really hoppy. Not the case. Very well balanced, I will be having this one again!!!

Update, after having this one again and again it is now my favorite and I will give it a 5 across the board! Only problem I am having is finding it on tap at my local drinking establishments.

 411 characters

Photo of gboy515duo
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Copper Colored ale that is very clear and glossy

S: A very natural smell, overpowered by a grassy aroma unfortunately.

T: Overhaul of hops that isn't brought down by the abundance of malty flavor. Had a sweet aftertaste, rather than a bitter one.

M: an extremely smooth ale that sat well on the palate without any trouble

D: such a smooth malty beverage, you can pound these all night long

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

A-orange and bright very bubbly with a big white fluffy head that last for the entire brew.
S-very nice floral and citrusy with pine and every thing you would expect this is the standard pale ale
T.Very hop focused and well balanced all the flavors froms the nose combine into a bitterly refreshing experence.
M. creamy and thick goes down well
D. I like this beer and its widely stocked so its easy to get so you don't have to settle for one of the big boys

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

Appearance: A vigorous pour into a pint glass leaves a 3/4" creamy head that dissipates slowly. Settles gold and clear with suitable carbonation evident.

Smell: Slightly malty with pleasant piney aroma.

Taste: Initial hop bitterness with floral overtones balances well to offset any malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Delivers a pleasing balance between crispness and creaminess in the mouth. Some lingering bitterness is present.

Overall: This is the APA I use as a yardstick to measure all others. SNPA is an excellent example of an American Pale Ale and this sample did not disappoint.

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Photo of Jdbateman83
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I have a love hate with this beer, as I do with Sierra Nevada as a company. They make some of my all time favorite top 3 beers (Ovila Golden Ale, and the other 2 Ovila's). This a great pale ale, hoppy, slight bitter, but I don't like the lingering bitterness. I have toured Sierra Nevada's Chico plant, and they put every other brewery I have been to to shame when it comes to facilities, and tours. Part of that is the lack of corporate bureaucracy, since it is still a private brewery, and hopefully will remain so forever. If anyone goes through Chico,CA I would highly recommend this tour. At the end of ours, we tried 10 beers in their tasting room, it was awesome. They have a great pubhouse to great food.

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,109 ratings.
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