ACME California IPA - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
ACME California IPAACME California IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

550 Reviews
very good

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Reviews: 550
Hads: 1,205
Avg: 3.66
pDev: 18.58%
Wants: 30
Gots: 87 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2000

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 550 | Hads: 1,205
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a hazy gold with a foamy beige head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest and herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice balance of citrus and herbal hop aspects all around.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am not sure how ive missed this beer before, didn't even know it has existed honestly, but as a big fan of north coast, I was stoked to see it on the menu at a champagne bar called pops in downtown Chicago. it pours a dense brass color, perhaps faintly tinted reddish underneath, with a foamy white head that's quite dense, and about an inch tall. it smells like west coast ipa, that's for sure. much more oily than bitter, with some pine notes and a sappy sort of sweetness. the flavor agrees with the nose, but this beer has achieved remarkable balance. the pale and caramel malts do provide a touch of sweetness, but more than that they contribute a hearty, muffin-like density and texture to this brew, which in collaboration with generous pine hop additions, amounts to a lively, drinkable, and very enjoyable ipa. I would be happy to engage this one again, should I be fortunate enough to stumble upon it like I did last night. a real good brew.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.62/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty good IPA here, It poured out as a golden yellow color with a white head on top that leaves a little lacing behind. The smell of the beer has a pretty good amount of hops on the nose along with some sweet malts to balance it out. The taste of the beer was pretty good, it had enough hops in there to classify it as an IPA and enough malts to give it a little sweetness. The mouthfeel was pretty light and refreshing. Overall this brew is pretty good for casual and social drinking for sure.

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Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy honey color with a fluffy head that sticks well and rings the pint glass with lace

Smell: Pineapple and grapefruit with some underlying caramel

Taste: Starts with a caramel flavor that is joined by some grassy elements at mid-palate; after the swallow the pineapple and pink grapefruit flavors kick in to make for a nice finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice middle of the road IPA

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

ACME IPA opidomizes the traditional identity of what west coast IPA's are. The crisp maltiness gives a modest and receeding caramel flavor without the cloying sweetness of caramel candies. Lightly bready and with a grahm cracker dry sweetness, the malts are ultimately clean and well attenuated.

But that's not why this beer is so good. It's all about the hops. Resiny and mouth coating with citrusy grapefruits, orange zest, and pineapple. Throw in shaddows of pine, lemon grass, and fresh cut herbs and we have a complex hop profile with refreshing and thirst quenching bitterness.

Because ACME IPA isn't larger than life, as are the Blind Pigs or the west coast, this one might share the same status as Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale: A basic error free beer that exemplifies the style to perfection but ultimately underminded because of it's moderate take on the style, and not the extreme. I beg to differ.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a dark golden color ale with a huge foamy head with above standard retention. Aroma of citrus hops and sweet malt is well balance and very pleasant. Taste is sweeter then expected but very well balance by citrus hops and a medium bitter finish. Not the most extreme IPA but a very well balance example that I enjoyed more then expected.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fuzzy, flaked, flecked apricot-amber. It looks like someone squeezed some variety of citrus fruit into the glass, pulp and all. The beer is capped with a nice looking head of lemony dark cream that is semi-firm, persistent and chiseled as it deflates. A good bit of chunky lace graces the glass in sputters and spatters.

After the underhopped ACME APA, it crossed my mind that this beer might suffer a similar fate. My fears were unfounded if the nose is any indication. Although it isn't nostril candy, it is plenty hoppy. Citrus zest is the focal point, with a musky, mid-frequency pungency... as opposed to a bright, high-frequency, bright citrus burst. Some variety of floral hops have been added to the 'one or more of the 4-Cs' hop bill if I'm not mistaken.

California IPA is lovely stuff. It's abundantly clear that my hop deficiency worries were misplaced. There's a more than competent, biscuity maltiness on hand to push back against the fruity, lip-smacking hops. The balance is still a bit askew in favor of hoppy and bitter, but then balanced IPAs have never seemed quite right to me. Although this is far from hop juice, hopheads will find a lot to like.

I'm still convinced that some other, non-routine hop variety is in use; the flavor has just enough 'otherness' to keep that notion in play. I'm a little surprised at the 52 IBUs; I'd have guessed a little higher.

The long finish is somewhat resiny with echoes of white grapefruit pith and pine needles. The mouthfeel has a lot to recommend it; it's medium-full and smooth. Lace update: I continue to be impressed since crusty sheets are adorning more than half the glass at present.

ACME (why the shouting?) California IPA is a pleasant surprise after the lackluster showing of its little brother APA. California is bursting at the seams with quality (indeed, mind-blowing) IPAs. This beer clearly doesn't deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the all-time greats, even within its own state, but it's a fine example of the style. If I had access, I'd reserve a spot for it in my fridge.

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Photo of zeff80
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an orange/amber color with a pillowy, off-white, 2+ finger head. Very nice lace.

S - It smelled of grasses and had floral notes.

T - It had a nice sweet flavor and maltiness. Good hop character and a hint of coriander or some citrus.

M - It was crisp and quite sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a good IPA. Good blend of hops and malt. Plus some nice sweetness.

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Photo of oberon
4.27/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lighter shade of copper with a thin white head,very well balanced aromas piney hop over top of sweet caramel malt makes this appetizing to the nose for sure.I have to say that this IPA is much more balanced than I expected sure the healthy dose of piney/citrusy,resiny hop is there but its held up niely to a lightly swwet caramel backbone that makes for a nice finish and aftertaste.This beer is alot more balanced than I had expected California IPA to be means tongue curling hop monster but this has the hops with the malt and I liked it,I would definently buy again.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.51/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass

A - Poured a very clear amber with a decent sized frothy white head on top and a good two inches of lace. There was some nice streams of carbonation coming up from the bottom. Decent retention left behind some nice side glass lace.

S - Aroma was kinda light. Light floral hops dominating, but nothing really standing out or pungent about it. Seemed to be a bit weak here. Light grapefruit and pineapple with a bit of a grass like thrown in as well.

T - The flavor was decent, nothing really standig out here again. Lots of grapefruit like hop flavors, very sharp and crisp without the really sugary deep resin notes. Light grain and grass like finish to it.

M - Very light bodied with a good amount of carbonation. This was definitly one that was easy to drink and I had no issue really with the feel of it.

D - Very nice session ale, albeit somewhat bland and the profile was light enough that you could easily put down more then a few in a sitting.

Overall this was an ok IPA. Nothing really special here and I probably wouldnt pick one up again. Dont get me wrong there was nothing terrible about it, just to me seemed really to be about average. In a pinch not too bad but would not seek this one out for any real reason.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.86/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Light copper-colored body with a small, foamy white head.

Smell: Faint lemony citrus aroma with lesser notes of apricots and pale malts.

Taste: Starts with a faint, remote sweetness then moves to a grapefruit twang. Finishes lightly bitter, lighty metallic.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Sharp carbonation.

Drinkability: Little malt, hop, or yeast character. Entirely underwhelming.

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Photo of nickfl
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - One and a half fingers of white head on top of a reddish-copper colored body with good clarity. The foam sticks around for a while before leaving thick rings of lace on the glass.

S - Toasty caramel malt with some mild pine hops and an odd note of licorice.

T - Dry toasted malt with just a bit of caramel thickness, followed by musty pine and cedar hops. Moderate, soapy bitterness kicks in towards the finish with more bready, toasted malt notes and a little fruity yeast. Some lingering notes of caramel and spicy, licorice hop notes.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Pretty good, this could be sessonable if you are into it. The hop character is a bit musty and English in flavor for my taste and the bitterness is a bit harsh, but it is still a good, drinkable IPA.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Well, I didn't get the coyote treatment last time, so I'm gonna press my luck... This stuff pours a lightly-hazy brass-amber topped by a finger of cream-white foam. The nose comprises grass, light grapefruit zest, and rice cake. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a generous dose of orange rind and a soft backbone of toffee. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a generally solid IPA, nothing overtly special, but an enjoyable enough option.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.37/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Solid. A perfectly balanced, sharp triangle of hops, yeast, and bitterness with malt at the center.

It pours a hazy deep golden/amber body beneath a frothy head of bright white that holds exceptionally well and leaves some really nice, thin rings of lace about the glass.

The nose expresses sharply citrusy, piney, and grassy hops over a caramel tinged, biscuity maltiness.

The natural, bottle-conditioned carbonation leaves its medium body gently zesty across the palate.

The flavor delivers all of the promised citrusy (grapefruit, pineapple) and piney hops, along with some more juicy, yeasty fruitiness (apple, red berry, papaya) and a touch more toffee in the malt. It's well balanced by a solid springboard of bitterness that allows the malt and hop to toss and tumble without ever getting out of line; and the grassy and juicy citrus flavors linger long into the aftertaste.

Really nicely done! Full flavored and satiating.

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Photo of jlindros
4.17/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into oversized snifter

A: Hazy amber golden orange color with large 2 finger head that stays for a while

N: Light amber malt nose with touch of spice and very light hop, some earthy malts that is reminiscent of a dark amber or red ale

T: Starts with a nice malt malts flavor, earthy malts and lots of light malts, again reminds me of a dark amber or red ale, some nice spicey hops come though and it gets pretty bitter, some juicy and fruity hops starts to shine through as well, some nice noble hops perhaps Centennial, Amarillo, Cascade

M: Semi thick with malty and frothy feel with lots of carbonation

F: Finishes pretty bitter and dry, more juicy and spicey hops that stick around for a while and make your mouth water and leaves a slight fruity hop flavor as well as some pine and citrus anticipating the next sip

Final thoughts: I actually thought this was a great IPA. It starts with a nice amber and red ale malt flavor, and lots of juicy, fruity and spicey hops that tend to hit pretty late but pack a nice punch, I'm surprised it gets such a low rating, but probably because its a California IPA thats not a super hop bomb and has too much malt for the Cali style.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.3/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color with a medium white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is full of fruity citrus and caramelized malt, with a good compliment of hops.

T: The taste is much hoppier than the smell leads you to expect. The grassy hops presence hits hard which is exactly what you want from this type of beer. Flavors of sweet citrus and caramelized malt come in and create a very good balance. The after-taste strong with hops bitterness.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not very filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this is a very nice IPA and has all the right qualities to make it a beer that you can drink for a whole evening.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.11/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a yellowish-orange color. A thin wisp of head to it but some nic lacing down the glass. Smell is nice and hoppy.. good start. Taste is bitter.. and very citrus like. This is probably the most citrus tasting IPA I've ever had and I must say, it's a good change up to the usual IPA. Drinkability is great as this is one of the highest ABV's I've encountered in an IPA.. it's stepping into DIPA boundaries with its 7.2% alcohol. Goes down almost too easy.. great beer, would try again.

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Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz short brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: The shaded golden colour shows a good clarity, a healthy looking foamy head draws attention as it sticks to the glass.

Smell: Citrus and mild minty hops in the nose, light esters and pale malt character as well.

Taste & Mouthfeel: The semi-aggressive hop character brands a citric piney and almost minty bitter flavour from start to finish. Alcoholic esters are mild yet quite warming. The solid foundation of malt does not build any higher but holds together well. Finishes with a steely grain and raw hop bitterness.

Notes: This is the typical west coast IPA … love it or hate. I for one love it and will come back to it for sure.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.82/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: bottle traded with a coworker

Poured into a pint glass, a hazy copper-brown with a small, fizzy, white head that dissipated quite a bit, leaving a little soapy lacing on the glass. Sweet aroma, quite nice, biscuity, caramel, and opposed to some reviews I've seen, the hops are more in the distance it seems; I get caramel predominantly. Taste is pretty good as well, very bitter up front, woody, leafy, then heavy with caramel sweetness, malty, with pithy citrus bitterness, and some herbal and piney hop qualities leaving a very dry and bitter finish. Medium body, pretty interesting overall, and decently drinkable.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clouded orange with a crème head that leaves a decent amount of lacing. Nose seemed like there more than a minor amount of alcohol there. Citrus and wood is there as well. The flavor exhibits much of the same qualities with a touch of salt on the side. Seems a bit bright and unbalanced. A bit too much citric oomph. Feel is okay, as is this beer overall IMO. A bit too bright and unbalanced, especially with so much else out there.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.08/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Advised to me by fellow BA...xlperro,

Appearance: Pours a pleasant true honey like golden with a nice fluffy vibrant white head, leaves great amount of speckled disparsed lacing. Aroma: Citrus tone hopping with hints of clove and some other herbal quality to be balanced by a nice sweet biscuit malt presence. Taste: Rich spritzy sugary sweetness upfront balanced by a haunting dose of bittering hops that morph throughout each sip of the brew, honey and biscuit tones blended with the hoppy earthy tones and citric piney characteristics each does their duty but in the end the word to describe this IPA is balance. Mouthfeel: Medium body smooth spritzy carbonation and a slighty chewy mouthfeel to it. Drinkability: Interesting brew glad I gave it a shot I could definitely enjoy this one I would love to see it on tap, maybe one day I will meet up with this brew at the North Coast taproom.

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Photo of smcolw
3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Extraordinary rocky head that has great lasting power with generous sticky lace. This is a very cloudy beer with a light golden color.

Very mild aroma; far more malty than most IPA's. The little hop I can detect reminds me of freezer burn. Very un-IPA like.

The flavor offers a huge improvement to the smell. The hop is now very pronounced. Yet, the malt is still present. Good full body with a too-high carbonation.

This is a potent and heavily-hopped IPA with some balance.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, deep orange hue, with a full, frothy white head.
Aroma: big hops, grapefruit, pineapple, orange, large fruit in the nose, very enticing and inviting.
On the palate, smooth, and very mellow, without too much tumult on the tongue. Solid body, excellent balance, and possessing a very nice flavor which lasts and lasts, persisting on the palate. Yum, yum.
I was hoping for a hoppier bite, and had to realize that a good IPA doesn't have to be a Ruination or Dreadnaught. Sometimes, they can "just" be smooth and delcious, like this one.
Thanks to elmocoso!

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

12 oz undated bottle served in a Samuel Smith becker.

pours a clear amber with a large off-white head. The head settles fairly quickly but leaves an exceptional coating on the glass. A small amount of sediment lines the bottom of the bottle.

A fine aroma of citrus hops with a touch of earthy and herbal elements. The herbal part is more prominent in tasting. The flavor is juicy but becomes more earthy by the aftertaste. Medium bitterness and hop flavor.

O: A good if not particularly distinguished IPA.

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Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden amber with a off-white head that stays, leaving some lacing.

The smell is resiny and floral with some citrus and caramel.

The taste is of bitter citric and floral notes. Caramelish sweetness soon catches up, but stays behind the hops to give a firm malt support. Finishes bittersweet.

Medium bodied and smooth.

Another nice IPA from California. Not a hop-bomb, but has that West Coast hoppy flavor while keeping relatively balanced. A good choice for a more balanced West Coast IPA!

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ACME California IPA from North Coast Brewing Co.
83 out of 100 based on 550 ratings.