1. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $14.99 (US/print only). Offer ends April 30. Subscribe now! (Because great beer deserves great stories AND readers.)

Millstream Iowa Pale Ale - Millstream Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Millstream Iowa Pale AleMillstream Iowa Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

228 Ratings
THE BROS
73
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 228
Reviews: 117
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 14.61%
Wants: 3
Gots: 19 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Millstream Brewing Company visit their website
Iowa, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 07-04-2004

Pale Ale's are turning into hoppy monsters, but our Iowa Pale Ale is more mild and about balance. It has enough bitterness to match the maltiness provided by the pale malt base. It gets its citrus zing from extensive dry-hopping with Cascade hops.

29 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 228 | Reviews: 117
Reviews by SurlyDuff:
Photo of SurlyDuff
3.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's been nearly half a year since I reviewed a beer. Lord knows I've been drinking plenty of them, including a dozen-strong brewery tour in the northeast and another through northern california.

The wife brought me a few rarities from Iowa though. While they really didn't hold up against my regulars like Deschutes, I couldn't help but sit down and share my thoughts on these few beers that never make it out west.

This pale ale pours a thick copper with a nice pearly head.
Thick malt and slight homebrewish wort aroma makes a presence without much hops.

Malt is chewy and prominent. Hops are there, sure, but this ones almost sticky with worty maltosity. Some tobacco and cooked veggie dms in there. Though bright, it has an unfiltered and muddled quality to the taste.

Like it for what it is, a midwest pale. Is it my favorite pale? not by a long shot. I'd say it's worthy though. If on tap side-by-side, I'd drink it against a sierra nevada or mirror pond. It's not as good as either staple, but a good change of pace.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It seems to me I liked this beer more than most of the others that have reviewed this it.Poured a slight hazed burnt orange with a tight well formed one finger head that left a ring of lace as it settled,well balanced aromas a nice hop profile somewhat grassy and citrusy melding nicely with a sweet dough malt character.Again the flavors are blanced with the hops getting the slight edge starting out a little sweet and biscuity with the fruity,piney hops coming thru late and lingering.I noticed a mineral note in there as well its something I have been keen to lately I find it a little odd I have been getting that lately.Anywas a nice well rounded APA I thinks its damn good.Thanks to hoppedup for this.

Photo of ROBORB
3.38/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into my trusty dogfish snifter. This produced a dark copper colored beer with a small, quickly dissipating 2 finger head. There was good lacing throughout the sampling. Aroma consisted of light citrus hops and a very strong malt. The taste was dominated by malts up front and then a very slight hop bitterness. This was an above average beer and great for sessions.

Photo of NWer
3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A gift from the Midwest.
Poured into my Great Lakes nonic.
Very abundant brown head fills glass. Retains well.
Brown cloudy appearance with a cloudy layering midway. Good marks for originality. Never seen one like this before.
Thick caramel notes belie the style. Nothing on the hop side to speak of.
It was good, just very confusing. Better to not think about it too much, just enjoy. It is enjoyable enough and I would definitely drink it again if I ever get the chance.

Photo of Jason
3.16/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 12 oz short brown twist off bottle with a bottling date.

Appearance: Superb lacing, color is copper going on garnet with a brilliant clarity.

Smell: Leathery tobacco hops are soft with a fruity and slightly caramel aroma in the mix.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Medium bodied with a light crispness, a tad slick in the mouth. Chicory and a touch of toffee come to mind, earth tree bark hop bitterness starts in the middle and gets stronger in the finish. Even in the end there is an underlying malt sweetness to hold things balanced.

Drinkability & Notes: A decent pale ale though I could not picture having more than one.

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to buckeyenation for this brew; cheers. Pours with thin head. Amber in color. Floral hops to the nose & taste. Pretty hoppy for a pale ale. Very drinkable and the mouthfeel is smooth. Nice example of the style. I would think this was a good session beer.

Cheers.

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +14.6%

Grass, resin, citrus, a touch of fruit and a suspicion of tartness on the nose. Pours copper amber with a slight chill haze under a 1” off-white foam cap. A dry, slightly astringent palate begins with malty graham cracker seasoned with a little fruit and finishes with a mild hop bitterness and a slight herbal taste. Medium body and carbonation.

Photo of far333
4.15/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper color with an off-white thin lid of foam that sinks quickly. Aroma is all malt, light but not too sweet. A little candy and a little hops, but mostly malt. Mouthfeel is smooth and even, perfect carbonation. Flavor is just damn good. Doesn't try to be over the top in any way, just does the style right. Light, biscuity malts, accompanied by just enough hops to let you know they're there without trying to curl your tongue. Nice hop pucker lingers. This is a great session beer, and a good example of what I consder to be an honest pale ale. Thanks to BuckeyeNation for sharing.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.56/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Light auburn colored beer, clear, minimal head.
More caramel aroma, lacking hop aroma.

Pretty bland taste, hop character lacking, easy enough to drink, but doesn't have any real characteristics to speak of, slight malt, earthy, leathery feel to it. Balanced I guess, if you're into that. Grainy, cereal like at times.

One of the beers I sampled in helping myself make a determination where in the Midwest I wanted to go to school.

Photo of OStrungT
4.25/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a clear, orangish brown color, with a thin white head. The head fades slowly, leaving a nice lacing.

This beer has a mild floral hop aroma. Some citrus mixes in, but only subtly. It has a slightly sweet malty aroma as well.

This beer tastes hoppier than it smells. Citrus, and some grass mix in. It has a slightly sweet flavor also. A slight grainy flavor is also present.

This beer is crisp and refreshing. It may just be a little overcarbonated though. It leaves a citrusy aftertaste.

This beer would probably make a good session beer. Nice, nonagressive flavor, and a low enough alcohol content make it easy.

Overall: A big thanks to BuckeyeNation for this beer. I liked it a lot. It isnt as boring as some Pale Ales. It is definately worth trying, and then rebuying again.

Photo of waitforit
3.37/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into conical pint glass.

A: Very nice reddish-orange. Thick off-white head which lingered for a long time.

S: Faint. Subtle hoppiness, with just a little sweetness too.

T: Hardly any hoppy bite the way I'd expect -- any initial hoppiness is quickly subsumed by the malty back. Some notes of pumpkin and caramel.

M: Smooth and satisfying, with just a little resiny raggedness.

O: Quite a drinkable pale ale, though some of the flavor notes aren't what I'm looking for in an APA.

Try it again? 3 - Eh, maybe.

Photo of jbphoto88
3.97/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dull amber in color with orange highlights, slightly hazed and with an off white colored head. Fluffy head with plenty of nice lacing sticking to the glass.

The smell is of hop infused malted milk balls. Very durable, sweet grain nose with a touch of toasty goodness. The hops presence eludes to a ripe amount of bitterness.

The taste consists of freshly crushed and steeped grains with a firm bitterness creeping in on the finish. Simple but very good. You can't really taste the hops in a way that lets you know what kind was used but there are floral hints. I feel that they are gently swept aside by the grain backbone.

A real clean easy to drink beer. Creamy feel with a kind peppery carbonation. It's got more taste then most APA's but it's still on the simple side of things. It doesn't try to be anything more then it is which happens to be a sturdy respectable brew.

Photo of LordofTime25
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer was clear golden color with a whit fluffy head that would last for about half the glass and left good lacing on the glass.

Had citrusy bitter sweet aroma.

Tastes like amny pales ales I have tasted, but leaves a bitter dry after taste.

Medium-light body with moderate carbonation.

A refreshing pale ale. That follows the Pale Ale guide lines. Not a regular puchase for me, but would get some if I was in the mood for a Pale Ale.

Photo of mdaschaf
2.96/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange color with a 1.5 finger white foamy head. By the time I got from the kitchen to my desk the head had reduced to a decent layer of foam on top. Left some impressive lacing actually.

S: Light citrus hops, notable orange and orange peel. A good bit of grainy malt that gets stronger as it warms. The hop/fruit aromas start to subside.

T: Very grainy with what tastes like wheat as well. Very slight floral/orange hop flavor, but overall very weak. Similar to the aroma, the graininess intensifies over time.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The biggest problem for me with this beer it the mouthfeel. There are no floaties or chunks in it all, but it feels like there is when i take a sip.

O: Didn't have high hopes, and without the strange mouthfeel, it would be slightly better than average.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.19/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

They let the grain steep awhile here, because it pours into my (very clean) glass a dark reddish copper/brown, a bit darker than your usual APA. Head is thin and gets thinner. No lace buildup.

Aroma throws off some serious hops for a regular pale ale. There's a bristly pine in there, with sweet malt that resembles pineapple. Or is that the hops still talking? Either way, it's fragrant and spicy and so nice that I kept huffing while nearly forgetting about drinking.

A big hearty maltiness hits first during the sip, bready and robust, with some seemingly very fresh and boisterous hops mingling in nicely. A nip of cinnamon in the finish. Very good balance here. Mouthfeel lends a nice tingle, it feels more carbonated than it looks (lack of bubble activity, poor head retention).

Smells awesome, tastes very good, and provides excellent drinkability. The label is very cool too...the ultimate anti-bimbo. Macro lovers wouldn't approve of the label, but this would be a great gateway to real-beerland for them...

Photo of cokes
3.06/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smoggy amber with a low-clug, off-white head.
The nose is remarkable, at first, for being void of nearly any discernable aroma. Meek pine needles arrise as it warms.
Begins with a doughy maltiness, coupled eventually with traces of vanilla, and caramel, creating something akin to sugar cookies. Hopping, as the nose foretold, is meager. Whispers of pine, with little associated bitterness.
Low in body and structure. This is a drinkable, bland pale ale that comes up short in most areas.

Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Above average American pale ale. Pours orange fruity colour with fast disapearing white head. Aroma is a mixture of malt, hops and a bit of socks. Medium mouthfeel, even a bit light, but flavourful and smooth drinking, to the end. Fruity taste, understated C-hop, udnerstated carbonation. Works.

Photo of dancinwillie
3.1/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My 50th review on BA, and I decided to go with a beer from my home state of Iowa.

Poured a dark coppery color, almost looked red coming out of the bottle. Thin, white head just covers the beer. Pale in name only.

Aroma is very faint, but some floral and citrus comes out. Also smells syrupy sweet too.

Very much a herbal and spicy hop flavor. Also pretty decent amount of malt coming through. Some pine flavors hit me at the end of the swallow, and the herbal flavors keep on coming as well. This is not a cookie cutter pale ale, but instead goes it's own direction. And it is a good direction. The road less traveled and so on.

Full bodied, slightly chewy, and a little creamy.

Drinkability is medium for me, this is a decent offering from a brewery I've never tried before. I would drink a couple of these in a sitting, more if someone else is buying! Good APA.

Photo of msjacilynn
2.54/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: pours clean amber. good solid lacing throughout.

S: nothing. maybe a bit of malts, corn but very little hops on the nose.

T: it was ok...hops were present, sweet toffee malts and again with the corn. otherwise, pretty bland.

M: little carbonation, light watery feel.

D: not something I would seek out, but also not something I would turn away.

Photo of bditty187
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Great name! Phonetically correct spelling for the word “wash,” if you like in the Midwest that is!

Review from notes…

Basically clear, tawny-brownish bronze in hue, it is a darker than normal for a Pale Ale, I like it. The head was beige in color; at the apex the head was little over one finger in height. Then the foam collapsed to a fizzy cap. Subsequent lacing was spotty. I like the look of this beer, eye-candy. My first ale from Millstream seems to smell a lot like their lagers. I’m confused. I always thought it was the strain of lager yeast they used but that must not be solely it. The malt is, frankly, unoriginal and not Pale Ale-like. The aromas are caramely and toasty but not sharp enough, somewhat dull. The hops come off earthy but there is a noticeable secondary aroma of citrus and spruce. There is nothing extraordinary about the beer’s nose. Modest potency. The bouquet is nice… above average. Inviting. The palate is good, nothing more. This is not an APA but it’s not really an EPA either. It is a mix of the two with a unique Millstream twist; I swear there is some odd German influence. I do like the raw bitterness; it stands above the other flavors. The malt is much like the nose; it is earthy and caramel with some toastiness too. Wide taste and kind of dull, I want some biscuit taste to emerge but none develop. The hops do offer some citrus and spruce but the flowery-earthiness doesn’t quite jive. Healthy, raw, citrusy aftertaste. I also detect a grainy-cereal tang that I find in all Millstream beers. This Pale Ale is good to a point, is it worth me buying again next summer? Maybe. In some ways this is the best Millstream beer I’ve had yet it doesn’t really “wow” me. I guess this would make a good BBQ/grill type of beer. Medium in body, the carbonation is on the low side of modest, workable, the mouthfeel is decent. This beer has grown on me a little. I can see a time and a place for it. I might have to give it a try again next year. I purchased on 12-ounce bottle in Brookfield, WI. (Why can’t I buy Millstream beers in Western Iowa or Nebraska!?)

Photo of studentofbeer
3.7/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

darker than some pale ales, a nice orange/amber with a dense off-white head that capped the brew all thee way down.

aroma mingled fresh baked bread, yeast, melon, tangerine, earth and flowers.

taste was surprisingly more hoppy than expected in terms of bitterness, but with a nice balance overall. hops are spicy and citrusy, that finish with a bit of pine and earth taste that seems to almost freshen your breath. tangerine fruit in the malt as well as unfinished bread (yeasty) and more earthy, chicory characteristics. hops a little rough in the back of the mouth. dry finish, with a bit of earthiness at the end.

a tasty pale ale with some darker flavor undertones--in some ways closer to an amber. not as bright as something like snpa, but a welcome drink with some more herbal characterstics. great with a salad with some bitter greens and balsamic vinager.

Photo of bashiba
3.03/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a nice slightly hazy shade of copper with a light white head with good retention and decent lacing.

Smell is slightly earthy with a bit of floral hops.

Taste has a nice bit of earthy malt backbone with a bit of slightly sweet and floral hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel is slightly creamy with a touch of slickness.

Overall easy enough to drink, but not worth searching out.

Photo of morimech
3.16/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber with a massive head that had good retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left on the glass.

Very malty aroma. I pick up a lot of caramel and toffee. Any citrus from the hops are well hidden by the malt.

Flavor is likewise malty with a heavy dose of caramel. With a modest 29 IBUs the hop flavor and bitterness don't so much balance as get overpowered. The citrus is there near the finish but not like the typical APA. A little bit of a cleaning agent flavor in the finish.

Solid body that feels quite large. Probably one good aspect of the malt bill used in this beer. Nicely carbonated.

I think the brewer would be better off calling this an Amber Ale. Just not enough from the hops to challenge the standards of the style.

Photo of alleykatking
3.98/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Thanks goes out to drhinehart for putting this bottle in the Local BIF package to me.

A- Pours a nice darker copper color with light golden highlights in the light. One finger fluffy white head comes and goes leaving a wisp of foam on the top of the beer. Light lacing on the sides of the glass while I drink away.

S- Citrus hops with a little earthy hops in the front of this. Caramel bready malts in the backing of the beer which makes up most of the aroma profile. Everything else is muted if there is anything at all in here.

T- Nice caramel malts in the front end of this. Light roasted malts in this as well which I didn't expect. Light bitter hops come into play in the middle of the beer which puts this back into pale ale territory. Light malts in the back end of this beer finishes it off.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Caramel malts left on the palate with some light hops in the aftertaste. Flavors were well balanced in the beer.

D- This was a refreshing pale that I was glad to have had. There was nothing over the top about this which to me made this beer work as well as I think it did.

Photo of hoppymcgee
3.62/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle marked 9/2009 into a Ten Penny Ale pint glass.

A: The best feature of this beer. The beer pours a golden color with a picture perfect head. The topography of this beer is just tremendous.

S: Nothing spectacular. Some apricots, a little lemon, and a teeny bit of hops.

T: Mellow wheat, light coriander, and "spotty" hops. Subtle flavors that come together and create something enjoyable to the palate.

M: Great carbonation level and not too thick. Meshes well with the ABV and style.

D: Refreshing and easy to finish.

Overall, a good beer that I wish was a little bit fresher so I could have more of a pronounced hop aroma/flavor.

to view more.
Millstream Iowa Pale Ale from Millstream Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 228 ratings.