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Pisgah Pale Ale - Pisgah Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pisgah Pale AlePisgah Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

81 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 81
Hads: 223
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 20.84%
Wants: 5
Gots: 28 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Pisgah Brewing Co. visit their website
North Carolina, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brentk56 on 08-01-2005

Formerly known as Pisgah American Style Pale Ale.

Pisgah Pale is a perfect blend of rich organic malts with whole-leaf Chinook and Nugget hops. A crisp, clean profile makes this, our flagship beer, distinct. 31 I.B.U.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 81 | Hads: 223
Photo of brentk56
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Arrives at the table with a hazy light copper color and a decent head that leaves good lacing

Smell: Vaguely hoppy aroma, almost woody

Taste: Starts out with a caramel malt base but after the swallow it moves in a grainy direction; not as much citrus as I would like; in fact it is dry and woody

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: While this is drinkable, I would like to see a lot more fruit in the flavor

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another enjoyable beer found at Jack of the Wood. Quite typical of fine American micro-breweries, in that it's a well-balanced (malt / hop) beer that leaves you wanting more intensity in both, better body, and a little more complexity. The malts come across with a mild caramel flavor with fruity, citrusy, spicy esters and phenols. Hops contribute a citrus / grassy blend that doesn't take a back seat to the malts, but does not dominate either. Waters a bit in the body, but hangs onto a spicy, floral, hop note and a bite-y metalic taste well into the aftertaste. A fine beer, but after one, I'm ready to move on to other flavors.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fuzzy orange rind with banana peel highlights. A louder than usual escape of CO2 was followed by the creation of four fingers of eggshell colored foam that is on the stiff and rocky side. The glass isn't covered with fine lace so much as small chunklets of suds.

American pale ales (incidently, the brewery dropped the words 'American Style' when they bottled this brew) need to be hoppy for me to enjoy them. Unfortunately, the Chinook and Mt. Hood whole hop flowers don't come through in the aroma like they should. If the flavor follows suit, my first Pisgah brew might be a letdown.

Pale Ale is an okay version of the style that barely squeaks out an above-average score. I'd hate to the think that organic ingredients have anything to do with the lack of 'palate pop', but I've tasted it too many times before. More (and better) hop flavor would have gone a long way toward covering up an off-flavor that is best described as woody.

As far as I can tell, this beer was released in April, so it should be fresh. The malt tastes mostly pale, though there's a lightly toasted grain-like earthiness that is probably coming from a small percentage of Munich. The hops are moderately bitter and are only mild to moderately flavorful (citrus zest primarily). There's no flavor hook here at all.

The mouthfeel is bordering on too light and is slightly too harshly bubbled. With less and higher quality carbonation, I see no reason why this attribute couldn't keep pace with all the others.

Pisgah has a reputation as being one of the South's finest craft breweries. One beer isn't enough of a sample to make me lower my expectations, but Pale Ale could use some major renovations. Suggestions: forget the organic ingredients, find a way to unlock better hop flavor, add more hops, and get the kinks out of the carbonation. I didn't say it would be easy.

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Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had on tap at a few different locations around Asheville last weekend.Poures a somewhat hazy burnt orange with a well defined white head,aromas of light floral hop and toasty grain mainly.Well balanced flavors with a somewhat sweetish caramel/biscuit malt base holding up well to a hefty does of citric/piney hops.Pretty clean and crisp in the finish makes it pretty sociable,a nice all around APA.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.57/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Mellow Mushroom this past weeked..Poured a nice copper amber with a thick head which faded a bit quickly and some very nice lace throughout. Smell was richly hopped. Predominant orange smell with a bit of pine, but citrus all the way. Taste was grand. Very smooth, and little carbonation. But a wonderful piney hop, with a dry finish. Only thing that could have improved was it felt a bit thin, but this was a very nice brew and would buy it anytime.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Vaguely hazy ambery body with a foamy, white head.

Smell: Caramel malt mixed with fruity notes of grapefruit and melon. Somewhat woody.

Taste: Though the hops lead the way in the aroma, they're mostly mild and light in the taste, with the caramel malt sweetness picking up the slack. Still, the hops bring flavors of grapefruit and citrus. Again, there's that forest-like woodsiness. The sweetness and bitterness cancel each other out for a fairly light, neutral finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Mild carbonation.

Drinkability: A solid, delightful, easy-drinking APA.

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Photo of nickfl
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One finger of white head on a slightly hazy, copper-orange body. The head settles slowly and leaves little lace.

S - Light aroma of citrus hops with a bit of pine. Some caramel malt and bready notes.

T - Sugary malt up front with some sweet orange flavors. Bready malt in the middle with some toasted notes. Citrus hop flavors in the finish with some pine and moderate bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - A nice drinkable pale ale. Not much to write about, but it is a good sessionable beer.

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Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a coppery gold and initially has a pretty foamy pour to it. It takes a bit (but not too long) to get a good amount in the glass and settles into several fingers of poofy eggshell colored white head. Retains with a robust finger or so that leaves thick patches of foamy lacing back. The aroma is deeply floral, herbal, and citric. Underlying nots of spice and Pale malt gives the bouquet an extra layer that nicely compliments the herbal and fruity sweetness of this. The aroma just has an all around crisp freshness to it that I'm really digging.

The taste also possesses that nice crisp quality to it. Leafy hop bitterness and fresh citrus character with just the right amount of bready tasting lightly toasted malts. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a smooth and creamy carbonation and also an all around crispness to the feel as well that lends this some good drinkibility.

Very nice, this was one of the better American Pale Ales that I've had in a while. Great fresh quality to this that made the flavors pop. I shudder to think how this is on draft. Tasty!

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Photo of russpowell
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured golden/bronze with 1" of white head. Above average lacing & head retention

S: Lemony & earthy hops

T: Biscuitty malt & citrus hops up front. Finished with a pretty good hop snap

MF: Medium bodied with good balance & good carbonation

Drank easy, a nice APA

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Photo of chinchill
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed at the May 2011 LEAF Festival, about 1 mile from the brewery. {Description tweaked following Fall 2011 tasting at the brewery.)

A - Amber. Clear. Nice bone head is creamy and has very good retention.

S - Pleasant but rather unremarkable aroma that is typical for style.

T - Well balanced with toasted malt flavor that allowed the hops to shine. Hops eventually dominate, leaving a distinct bitter finish and lingering bitter grapefruit peel aftertaste.

M - Smooth with excellent (moderate) carbonation. Some dryness in the finish

O- Very good pale ale with a bonus: it's certified organic.

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Photo of jwc215
4.14/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to jcwattsrugger for sharing a growler from his trip to the South:

Pours a murky amber with a swirling patch that almost covers the top.

The smell is lemony, tea-leafy and herbal. Some citrus.

The taste is of lemon/orange citrus. Amazingly hoppy - almost an IPA, but a sweet brown-sugar-like malt supports it and brings it all together. It's hoppy, but balanced in the finish.

Medium-bodied with just the right amount of carbonation.

This is a nice APA that comes close to an IPA, but the balance in the finish keeps it in style. Nice brew here!

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Photo of drabmuh
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Random beer gift from a friend, served in a snifter. Beer is amber and clear with a nice off white head of small bubbles, some lacing, moderate retention.

Aroma is a little hoppy, earthy, floral, nice.

Beer is medium in body and a little buttery, slightly creamy in the mouthfeel, decent but not great, not a repeat for me.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a very lightly hazy medium amber in color with light amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and some faint copper highlights. The beer has a half finger tall foamy beige head that reduces to a mottled very thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of citrus/grapefruit hops, citrus/orange hops, and light amounts of caramel malts.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of slightly sweet caramel malts which is quickly overtaken by moderate flavors of citrus/grapefruit and citrus/orange hops. Light amounts of bitterness are present but fade pretty quickly.

M: Just shy of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drink and enjoyable - definitely a sessionable brew (and great that it is now available in cans). Well balanced.

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Photo of tdm168
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Barley's Taproom in Asheville.

A - amber with a hazy orangish hue; soft white head; great retention

S - earthy, piny, floral - decent hop character

T - toasty, burnt malt character; floral, faint grapefruit

M - medium bodied, light carbonation, smooth

This one has an odd malt character. The toasted malt is off putting. The hop character is good but doesn't redeem this one. I'll probably avoid this in the future.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%

One of the overlooked CANtributors to The CANQuest ™ is one of my local beer people, soon (eventually) to be a “Character” in my column – Justin C. He does a good job of looking out for new and different CANs for me in his travels and this is one with which he recently returned.

From the CAN: “We All Drink Downstream”; “Respect Tradition[,]Love Beer[,]Treat Yourself ™”; “Reuse[,]Reduce[,]Recycle”; “CANs: Infinitely Recyclable”; “Support Sustainable Brewing Culture”; “Adhering to the strict philosophy of the Pisgah brewers this Pale Ale is crafted just miles downstream from America’s most precious watershed using the finest malts and whole hops packaged for your portable potable pleasure. Whether camping, canoeing, swimming, or disc golfing, enjoy the whole outdoors never leaving your favorite craft brew behind.”; “Ingredients: Water[,] Organic Malt[,]Whole Hops[,]Yeast 69% Organic Ingredients”.

The Crack! gained me access to yet another brimful CAN and I celebrated with an inverted Glug. Following the pseudo-cascade, I simply sat back and watched and waited as it settled into two-plus fingers of tawny head with great retention. The grapefruit citrus of the nose smelled like I had been spraying air freshener, if such a scent existed. Color was a slightly hazy Amber to Deep Amber (SRM = > 9, < 13). Leaning in for a whiff, I also got some pine and caramel. Wow! I have AIPAs that did not smell this good and this was labeled as an APA. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was nowhere near as intense as the nose had led me to expect or hope for. It was more towards pine, although the grapefruit made an appearance and the malts seemed to have disappeared. Finish was semi-dry with the grapefruit taste really lingering, but offset by an indistinguishable sweetness from the malt. Would I take this on any of the activities listed on the CAN? Sure, but I’d also like to taste anything else that they CAN first to see what else might be good. I CANnot see an entire cooler full of this one.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I love Pisgah's high gravity products, can't say I'm as fond of their session brews. This poured a slightly cloudy golden with not much head. The smell was grainy and even slightly sour- not a good sign, and it was poured for me straight from a keg being served by someone from the brewery. The taste was slightly better, but an initial sweetness seemed a little out of place. This was followed by some decent mild hoppiness and some light graininess. Mouthfeel was medium bodied and right for the beer. Okay, but there are plenty of other apas around that I enjoy more. Dissapointing in that many of their high gravs are outta this world.

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Photo of plaid75
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at the brewery.

Poured a hazy orange hue with a half finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

See my review of the IPA and know that the profile is essentially the same except that the pale ale is cleaner with a touch less sweetness (duh).

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a tasty hop driven pale ale.

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Photo of Axnjxn
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on draft at beer study in chapel hill. tulip.

pours a copper color with a half inch white head. smell is very malty with some lemon zest and citrus. the taste is also extremely malty, not much hops at all. its okay, just too malty. decent drinkability.

overall its decent.

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Photo of beertunes
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jpwv for this. Poured into 10oz glass. Poured an attractive orange color with less than 1 finger of slightly off-white head that dissipated quickly and left moderate lacing.

The aroma was pleasantly balanced, with nice floral hop notes blending with a solid, but not thick, malt foundation. The flavors were, as well, nicely blended. Nice hops and smooth maltiness combined for a tasty brew indeed.

The body was full and crisp, while remaining manageable. Drinkability was very good, I could see an afternoon of these with no trouble.

Overall, a very good example of the style, if it were local for me, it would be in my regular rotation. Try it when you can.

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Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Decade's in Asheville, NC.

Pours a hazy copper color with a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer of bubbles on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with hints of citrus. There's also a husky, earthy hop aroma.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Caramel malt flavors up front with light amounts of citrus hops. The earthy hops come in right before the mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got good thickness with solid carbonation that makes this go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass fairly quickly and could have a few more of these.

Overall this is a solid pale ale that doesn't try and do too much. The flavors all work well together - worth a shot.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Fiddlin' Pig in Asheville last night

A mildly hazy orange with a dense, off-white head with good retention and decent lacing. The nose is classic East Coast pale ale. Moderately sweet with caramel and honey, there's a prominent hoppiness as well, aggressive and bitter. Bitter pine and grapefruit pith are present, and there's not much by way of floral or a more delicate fruity nature. This is also reflected on the palate. Moderately sweet with a mildly husky component to go with the caramel, the bitterness is rather potent. Juicy grapefruit with an aggressive, zesty hop character. Bitter and moderately resiny on the finish, this could use more flavor hops to balance out the bittering hops. Solid

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle split and poured into a Central Waters tulip.
31.8 IBU, Organic, no date.

Thanks to Beerwolf for giving me my first Pisgah. Boy that sounds awkward.

A - Pale golden yellow and hazed over with a low but dense cream-colored head. Good retention with an arch of lace reaching skyward.

S - Almost wheat-like pale malt behind a good floral hop nose, mild notes of resin underline the citrusy aroma hops. A bit average though.

T - Toasty caramel malt underlines the subtle hop flavor. Faint floral aspects pop out with a dab of honey and a pinch of lemongrass on top.

M - Malt balanced, hops don't add much more than dryness to the feel. Medium-light bodied and grainy-finishing.

O - Bland but not entirely without flavor, Pisgah's Pale is understated. The one-dimensional hop profile could use quite a bit of tweaking and additional dry-hopping. This one's an easy drinker though!

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy amber with a thin, creamy white mousse.

S: Faint aromas of ripe peach, nectarine, tangerine, caramel, cream, mandarin orange, and biscuits are present on the nose. Not nearly as assertive as I would like, but still very pleasant.

T: Notes of caramel, cream, vanilla, biscuits, nectarine, peach, tangerine, mandarin orange, lemon, and lime wash across the palate. The finish is gentle and fruity with a wealth of peach, nectarine, orange, and tangerine flavors.

M: Medium in body, smooth, and much creamier than I would expect from a beer of this style. Not all that crisp or dry. Very easy to drink.

O: This is a highly unusual APA, but is very appealing in its own way. The flavor profile is intriguing. I would love to sample this again, either out of the bottle or on-tap.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my bro in law for nabbing a growler of this for my visit. I am assuming this is the same as their pale ale currently on tap. Enjoyed from a pint glass.

a - brew poured a soft brown orange that was semi transparent when held to the light. Head was thin and fizzy.

s - nice pale malts, some earthiness, but very appetizing.

t - extremely balanced pale ale. Not hoppy at all, just a classic American pale. Fresh and crisp. Clean and malty. A bit grainy, but nice overall.

m - crisp and light bodied. Could toss them back all day.

o - overall a really nice American pale ale. Malt forward and not hoppy. Classic. Solid.

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Photo of blackie
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: Served in a pint. The beer is amber in color with a decent white head.

smell and taste: Hops come through pretty nicely on the nose, but they seem to lack a bit in flavor...still, above average. The hops are, largely, of the floral/tropical variety. Good caramel malt character. Moderate bitterness.

m: medium carbonation and body

d: pretty good

on-tap at the Bier Garden

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Pisgah Pale Ale from Pisgah Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.