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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: 11,046
Photo of GweedoeBRew
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is what I think of as the benchmark for all "west coast" pale ales. I used to be a homebrewer with a 12pack of Sam Adams always in the fridge. Now I have become a homebrewer with a 12-pack of SNPA in the fridge

Great aroma, great taste... great!

 251 characters

Photo of Rsobotka
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: Strong Foamy head with deep amber copper color

s: nice and hoppy...a little fruity with a bitter aroma

t. its a bitter hoppy taste thats scares you but finishes so pleasant that you just cant help but drink more

m: plenty of bubbles but very smooth as its reaches your belly

d: This is one of those classic beers that cant be duplicated and will forever mesmerize drinkers because of its great nature and pleasing taste

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

It seems that with Sierra Nevada, you really can not go wrong. The same can be said for their Pale Ale. Clear, no sedament (not that I mind that) and good taste. This is definatley one of my fall back beers on Sunday night at 11 pm when I need to travel to Balto. County to get beer. In MD we call the "Blue Laws", the county I live in just allowed stores to be open until 4 or 6 pm, but there are times when living on a county line has its benifits.

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

Pours a cloudy golden color with a thick, head that lingers around a bit and forms a nice lacing on the glass. The aroma is fruity and citrus consistent with Cascade hops. The taste is an excellent balance of citrusy hops and sweet malts. Mouthfeel is medium with good amount of carbonation. Easy drinking PA.

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Photo of schmoyer1
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Nice amber color, half assed head and a nice hoppy smell.

This is a good, drinkable beer any season and seems to show up at a lot of places as the "fancy" beer so you can avoid drinking crap, water beer.

Definitely a keeper.

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Photo of BoilerMo
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

This is the standard American Pale Ale and am glad it is widely available. It is correct to form in everyway with bite of hops and strong finish nice hoppy aroma. I ahev had better American Pale Ales but they are all much harder to find and only marginally better. Great fridge beer.

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Photo of gogreen99
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Dark caramel in appearance almost orangish red. Very light carbonation with a minimal yeasty aftertaste. Definitely has nice aromatics, very thick head. Minimal lacing on this beer. Head had a little bit of clumping. Found this beer to be surprisingly mellow.

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Photo of 1angrydwarf
4/5  rDev -1.2%

If you are a big fan of american style pale ales then this is going to hit the spot for you. I gave this a 4 just because it is a great example of the style of beer but my personal tastes have changed and I no longer crave pale ales.

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Photo of RedLion
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap. Medium amber color, head quickly disappeared. No lacing on the glass. Smelled slightly malty to me. Taste was very good. I liked the bite on the tip on my tongue, and very nice bitterness on the back. Kinda like grapefruit. Very ful feeling in my mouth. Great drinkability! I'll buy again.

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

I liked this beer when I first started exploring more exotic beers, and I'm never disappointed when I return to it. The price, availability, and complexity (almost perfumy) aspects are a win-win combination and help to explain why it has steadily been growing in marketshare. It is the quintissential citrucy APA that all must be compared to. My overall favorite every day beer, although Dale's is starting to give it some competition.

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Photo of nosbocaj
4.42/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours dark golden/amber color. Thick off-white head stays and holds well.
S: Smells of sweet malt and fragrant hops
T: A nice balance between the sweet malt and the bitterness of the hops. Tasted hints of citrus hops as well.
M: Medium body with a perfect amount of carbonation.
D: An excellent APA that I will definitely buy again.

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Photo of tsbuttry
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

One of the standard bearers of the craft beer movement, Sierra Nevada is a solid Pale Ale that is always enjoyable.

Appearance: Excellent amber color and head that retains well while leaving a nice lacing down the side of your glass.

Smell: Do I detect some cascade hops? (Intentional understatement) There's also an unappreciated malt aroma to this beer, picking up a lot of caramel malts on this one.

Taste: Quite good. The malts don't quite stand up to the hopiness, but it's not overwhelming. It has a good, clean finish, too.

Mouthfeel: No aftertaste, washes clean over the palate and nice heavy, but not too heavy carbonation.

Drinkability: If you have too many of these, it sits like a rock in your digestive tract. However, it's dry profile lets it go well with many foods and it's always fun to enjoy one or two during a ballgame.

 844 characters

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

A - a pale golden color, with a tint of orange. has a thin white head that clings to the glass

S - fresh pine, citrus and floral. bitter hops and sweet malt

T - crisp hoppy bite just like the smell, refreshing

M - sharp hop presence with a med carbonation and body

D - great drinkable allround american pale ale

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Photo of mdale13
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Dark orange/yellow color. One finger white head.

S- Pine, some citrus. Hops evident. Perhaps a grassy touch, earthy even.

T- Nice balance of malts and hops. Bitter and sweet at the same time. Very nice.

M- Carbonation and the bitterness of the hops is an enjoyable experience. Feels light, but substantial enough for the style.

D- Very drinkable. The right mix of hops and malt, allowing many of these to be put away in a single sitting.

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

Appearance: a nice rustic gold, light pour very slight head that dissipates quickly but the carbonation forces a continual layer. Very clear, but not as light colored as I as expecting.

Smell: swirled in the glass, noticeable florals, and well pronounced hops, a bit of sweetness with a very light malt. This is a very good smelling brew that stings the nostrils slightly, a well balanced aroma with little to no astringency.

Taste: mild bitterness from beginning to end, but nothing offensive. You can taste the hops flowery taste, but the bitterness is about the only consistent taste. The taste is not overly complex, but still enough to keep your tongue working throughout each mouthful.

Mouthfeel: light bodied dry brew that leaves your mouth very clean. The carbonation is apparent, but it's not so heavy that you end up with puffy cheeks when rolling the brew on your tongue. The feel is quite refreshing, with no alcohol burn.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, not a heavy brew, refreshing. I could imagine drinking this around a campfire or while watching a football game.

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Photo of stxp
3.57/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance: light amber hues, orangy in light, large head, some lacing

smell: cascade, pac-northwest style, floral, slightly fruity, slight toast

taste: pine, very floral, citrus, grapefruit, slightly bitter but balanced, fast, clean, estery

mouthfeel: carbonated, slightly foamy, medium filling, hidden alcohol, hearty

overall: refreshing summer beer, great citrus hops balanced

 383 characters

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

Appearance - Beautiful, deep amber color, pours a nice head, with good retention and an off-white color. Lacing lasts a long time.
S - Very prominent hops smell, citrusy. There's a nice balance between that and sweet caramel malt.
T - Delivers on what the nose promises. Hoppy, with lots of citrus, and a very nice malt taste to balance it.
M - Very nice carbonation, right where it needs to be.
O - Sure, other's might do it better, but this is still a classic, very drinkable, and an example of what a pale ale should be.

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Photo of Vinegarroon
3.4/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

The pale ale I grew up with. It always reminds me of Mom.
This is a classic to me. It is the benchmark of American Pale Ales. It's not outstanding compared to some of it's successors, but over the past 30-some years it remains good. A pioneer of the American microbrew. If you've never had one, this is where the magic began. Have one just to pay homage to our microbrew forebarers.

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Photo of Webby64
4.06/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I will be honest, I can't tell the difference between this and Goose's "Honkers Ale". Smell (to me) is faint, I don't smell much. Color is clear light copper, no head to speak of. Taste has a touch of citrus, slight malt and a dry finish. Has a bit of a kick to it. Overall, a very good beer, one that I am really enjoying. I will buy again!


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Photo of Budro
4.92/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pure copper, burnished like fine cookware, nearly transparent in its glassy clarity. On top of this, a full two-finger head, foamy and creamy in appearance. (Note: Every SN I've ever poured has been perfectly clear, in spite of the label's warning that you might see some yeast from the bottle conditioning in your glass. I'd love to see some yeast in there.)
S: The nose: Sweet mist rising from rain-splashed stone. Seriously. The hops' pine and ctirus notes are squarely in the background, lurking like a distant fog. The overall impression is one of mineral purity.
T: The suprisingly thin head, lightly flavored, tastes pleasantly of sour yeast. The beer proper boasts a bitter front and lingering sour back in perfect balance; as the latter fades from the palate, it complements the hop attack of the former. The finish is mineral-dry initially, but as the beer warms, the dryness of the finish becomes reminiscent of a sourdough roll. Nice transition. Furthermore, the beer yields underlying apple notes as it warms. No real sweetness, but allusions to sweetness in every swallow. It's subtle and complex.
M: The thin head disappoints; it appears creamier than it is. The tingle of carbonation is bracing but not overwhelming; it doesn't burn with the first swallow, and it mellows agreeably as the beer warms. Don't let it sit too long, though; when the beer gets too warm, the last couple of swallows are stripped of good flavor and feel almost tepid on the palate. That's just nit-picking, though. This is an exquisitely crafted brew.
D: I could drink this all day.

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Photo of Leebo2007
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great beer...it is good on draft or in the bottle. It is better cold. It loses some of its kick when it gets warmer. I can really taste the hoppy flavor come through in the draft. It has a citrus flavor that blends to a barky/nutty taste. Try it on draft!

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Photo of nbrown
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

When I was in highschool I usually only drank the usual macros. Then I bought a few of these in a concert parking lot.This is pretty much the first good beer I began drinking on a regular basis. It is still my go to beer if I go to a store and they don't have a very good selection.

Good taste, color, smell and I could and have drank these all day long.

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Photo of 89Vision
3.82/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. This isn't what I usually drink, but I saw it in the grocery store and it made me thirsty, so I figured why not. I've had it before, though I didn't appreciate it then.

The appearance is a toasted golden color, with a very thin head. It has a bready pine scent that is pleasing, but subtle.

This beer is pretty damn tasty. While I'm not usually a fan of highly hopped beers, I enjoyed this one. It does have a fairly high bitterness, but its not unpleasant, and the hops give a nice pine, woody flavor, but doesn't become overpowering. I could see this beer being perfect for a camping or canoe trip.

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Photo of mafiasentinel21
4.72/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Balanced, balanced, balanced...

A: This beer has a beautiful golden amber. The head is about a finger and a half that dies down to what looks like a crashed wave that sits beautifully on top of the brew.

S: Hops & fruit. Citrus. Faint malt.

T: What a refreshment. Sierra's trademark hoppiness definitely resonates in this beer as does some citric acid. Doesn't linger around a whole lot, and finishes crisp.

M: Medium, carbonation has an opening strength that backs off slowly and pleasantly.

D: Perhaps the scariest part of this beer, a sessionable for sure and one I would never turn down. This beer always makes its way to my fridge.

-It was the brew that got me into any and all craft brews. A great, great beer that deserves all of the acclaim it has received. If you want to try to get a friend off of Coors, Bud, or Miller serve one of these quaffable beauties.

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Photo of jerskine
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: nice golden color with thick foam and lots of lacing

S: the aroma of this beer wasn't anything special, but I wasn't expecting much for a pale ale that uses the basic ingredients

T: this beer claims to use the finest malted barley and hops to give it its crisp light hoppy flavor; it definitely proves its claim when the beer hits your taste buds

M: not sure if their "fresh seal cap" had anything to do with this, but the carbonation and freshness of this beer was excellent

O: Sierra Nevada is one of my go to beers when I'm not looking to spend too much. This beer doesn't try to be something it isn't... make sure to look at the date if you're buying a 12 or 24 pack; the fresher the better

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Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
4.05 out of 5 based on 11,046 ratings.
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