Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has an alcohol content of 5.6% by volume and an original gravity of about 1.052. It is fermented with a yeast strain that is favored by many brewers for its consistent results. Top quality two-row malt is used with a little Caramel malt thrown in to add body and flavor. Perle hops are used for bittering, while Cascades are used for flavor. They do add some spiciness to the beer, but are rather restrained. Compare this ale to a bottle of dry-hopped Anchor Liberty Ale to see what I’m talking about.
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale pours to a light golden color with a crisp malty nose. The palate is packed with fresh biscuity malt notes and fruity yeast character. The brew is delicate but complex, with a slightly citric, slightly bitter minty hop buzz in the finish. This is truly an excellent pint. It goes great with old memories and fond remembrances. Oh and it's great with just about any dish as well.
Update: August 1st, 2013: I wasn't at Kroger to buy beer, at least, that's not why I went there. No, I went there for groceries, but when I saw a glistening 24 ounce bottle of this classic American ale before me, could I resist? And for a mere $2.99 at that? Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has been one of my most beloved brews for 30 years now. It is arguably one of the best beers on the planet. I say it is, anyway, and if you argue the point with me, you will lose.
Deliciously malty up front with chewy caramel and galore, quickly followed by piney-citrus Cascade hop aroma and finally, at the last, a minty hop buzz and lingering light bitter dryness. It's amazing to me that my bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale tastes so much like my sample 12 years ago, and costs about the same too. Come to think of it, it tastes just like it did 30 years ago, too. But there I go again, an old beer geek waxing sentimental again. Better watch out for that, but don't let it stop you from trying this absolutely wonderful brew.
Update April 1st, 2015: Snuck into Taco Mac today for a beer and enjoyed a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, a beer I had had here a few times before but this was offered as a new credit again as part of their "Credit Madness" event. Basically 15 beers you've probably had before get you a new credit in your studies. I love that they do this, and I love that they included one of my very favorite beers ever. Just a beautiful dance between moderate caramel malt and Cascade hop aroma and flavor. Beautiful beer, and my first draft brewed at the new Mill River facility in North Carolina. Tastes like Chico to me......
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.