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ACME California IPA - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
ACME California IPAACME California IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,081 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,081
Reviews: 540
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 12.67%
Wants: 16
Gots: 38 | FT: 1
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2000)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,081 | Reviews: 540 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of avylover
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Coyote's IPA of choice apparently. 12 oz bottle. Paid around $7.50 for a six pack. Pours a slightly hazy orange with a straw tinge to it. There is a small white head on top, nothing too incredible to look at.Smell is of floral hops with some citrous overtones. Some bready malt detectable in the background as well. Taste is crisp & hoppy, both floral & citrous, but not a massive amount of either taste..more just bitter.Some nice grainy notes come through as well, and they linger in the aftertaste. Nice crisp mouthfeel. This is quite drinkable but I don't think the taste is big enough to warrant the high ABV and price. Not much better than your average IPA and at 7.1% give me an alpha king instead.

summary: A good, crisp, clean IPA with a high ABV and high price

avylover, Oct 26, 2003
Photo of oldgrowth
3.4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange yellow clear color, well carbonated, decent head that stayed on sides of glass. Sour smelling citrus rind. Grapefruit & orange. Big hop bitterness, no malt presence. Clean Very drinkable. Very one sided. Would like more malt back bone, but enjoyable on the bitter side.

oldgrowth, Sep 27, 2003
Photo of Mustard
3.43/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle; no "bottled on" or "best before" warning; purchased as a stray single for $1.39 from the West LA Whole Foods on National and Barrington.

Appearance: Pours a hazy mix of dull gold and orange; pillowy, three-fingered head; very good retention; intricate lacing.

Aroma: Primarily of oranges, grass and caramel malt, albeit faintly so (at least for the style).

Taste: Not much in the way of sweetness; light, toasted malts upfront; moderate-to-heavy hop bitterness in the finish; strong notes of grass and pine; hints of mint and grapefruit; medium bodied; slightly resinous mouthfeel.

Notes: Derivative "west coast" IPA; reasonably tasty, if a bit unbalanced.

Mustard, Sep 13, 2003
Photo of elmocoso
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A hazy burnt gold with a decent head on pour but soon just a thin wispy skin with scattered large bubbles and a clinging collar.

Bitter sweet nose - caramel with candied citrus.

Sweetness is not as apparent in the smell as in the taste.

Full bodied mouthfeel with a puckering bitterness that leaves the tongue wanting sweet relief.

Warms well.

elmocoso, Sep 11, 2003
Photo of Rumrunner
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle.

A good looking lable with a 'full bodied' lass holding plenty of pints on it. I'll take this lady over the cat fight girls anyday.

Pours a transparent golden color with a touch of orange mixed in. A decent head with a little retention and good lacing. The scents are grass and hops. A slight musty smell and even an altoid peppermint smell is present. Very crisp on the nose.

The flavor is a west coast IPA from the start. Medium bitter bite. Nice and hoppy. Citrus is mild with crisp grassy notes. The malts are somewhat burnt and they balance out the hops for a nice finish. A dry peppery aftertaste is enjoyable.

A very easy drinking IPA. A nice carbonation poppy feel in the mouth. A very easy drinking IPA. Medium bodied and an IPA I will add to the fridge more often.

Rumrunner, Sep 10, 2003
Photo of hungryghost
3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a orange-yellow color, tiny haze in the glass. Nice small, white head that last a few minutes.
Pleasant smell of hops, not too strong, a slight citrus scent as the beer warms.
The hops stand out to the taste buds, yet are not overpowering. A nice amount of bittering hops give this beer a good mouthfeel. The hops do not linger in your mouth, but a clean flavor does.
Altogether a pleasant experience, this Acme is worth having more than one of.

hungryghost, Aug 31, 2003
Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This IPA poured a nice yellow colour, with a modestly sized, white head. The aromas were heavy on the hops and light on the malts with some good balancing between the two. The taste is hoppy and slightly bitter. This is like a cheap SNPA clone that is almost as good as SNPA. The mouthfeel is good, as is the drinkability.


francisweizen, Aug 26, 2003
Photo of edchicma
4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For a brew with a 7.1 ABV, this was very crisp and smooth. Nice hoppy aroma, with a nice tart taste. This taste hits the upper palate nicely and is dissipated in the swallow, leaving a nice crisp aftertaste. Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing. Small head with a bit of clinging lace. Bubbles are varied in size and color is a nice medium gold. Very easy to drink, especially for a brew with this high an alcohol content. Nice IPA. WIll try other ACME offerings to see if they measure up.

edchicma, Aug 13, 2003
Photo of nomad
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a glowing translucent orange, like a ruddish apricot skin color. Lace was uneven and chunky, leaving lots of lattice shaped stain. Head was bubbly and pocky foam, receding. Smelled of a rosy fruit scent that faded, a small pine scent, but more raw humulus/cannabis scents and strong hay funk as well. In all, smelled like a full, raw hop plant, but not the best pure hop smell I've encounted. Taste was of a strong bitter, an earthy and harsh flavor though a decent malt holds. Had tiny peach flavors here and there. Had a great body – sliding smooth, but full. Good beer.

nomad, Aug 08, 2003
Photo of Jason
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

Jason, Aug 08, 2003
Photo of IrishRedRock
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ooh a tasty hoppy IPA indeed!

Pours a rich orangey amber color, with an amazingly retentive head. Its a huge white pillow atop the beer, and it lasted to the bottom of the glass where it remained until I poured the next bottle. A solid whiff of floral hops in the nose, with a slight touch of fresh fruit. Flavor is very nicely hopped, but a dry malt middle balances out the hop bitterness. I also seemed to pick up a slight caramel flavor in there as well...quite subtle. And I had NO idea this was 7.1%! Extremely well hidden...I was very very surprised to see that once I came online here. This is a very good IPA...definitely recommended.

IrishRedRock, Aug 05, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium gold color, medium head. A medium bodied IPA. Crisp and hoppy and slightly bitter. Typical of an IPA. Nice malt flavor. Malt sweetness is overbalanced by hop bitterness. Yet, the hoppyness is very fairly mild, not too bitter. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is crisp. Aftertaste is bitter. Very nice IPA.

beerguy101, Jun 09, 2003
Photo of drewbage
2.23/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Judged at the 2003 Lucky Baldwin's IPA Festival. (Blind Taste)

pale orange with a good clarity and minimal haze.

Dry woody and grassy nose with a sharp rubbery nose and strong phenolics.

Initially the flavor is of acidy hops with a followup of a strong corny flavor.

Body is thin and quickly disappears behind a bitter finish.

drewbage, Jun 09, 2003
Photo of pheurton
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a slightly hazy, very light tan. nice off white head that manages to stick around. not too much in the way of the aroma department, kind of dissapointing. quick burst of hoppy? fruitiness followed by a citrusy bitter finish. a nice ipa, not over the top and a quite a good session brew. interesting flavor...not a carbon copy of the standard west coast ipa. worthy.

pheurton, May 23, 2003
Photo of BeerResearcher
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cloudy Goldish copper with a nice fading white head and trailing fingers of lace. Hoppy aroma with some alcohol fumes rising. The medium, lightly sweet malt is no match for the abundance of complex grapefruit-like and citrusy hops. A tad metallic with noticeable alcohol. This IPA is sharp and edgy from beginning to end.

BeerResearcher, May 07, 2003
Photo of goz
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium golden pour, creamy white head mostly diminishes to ok lacing. Aroma is light, mildly hoppy, some caramel, and some rice krispie cereal, too. Flavor starts with the caramel, some of the cereal sneaks in, middle and end has medium hoppiness to it, and then some metallic tang comes into play. Light-medium body, long lasting bitter end, but the metallic tang is also sticking around.

goz, May 06, 2003
Photo of Greenlabel
4.33/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Although IPA is my favorite style, I haven't had a lot of the West Coast brands. Thus, I was very pleased to see that the Acme version is now available in Mass. If this is indicative of West Coast IPA"s, I'm a big fan of them. Seems like a hoppier Sierra Nevada Pale Ale but not so hoppy it wouldn't make a great session beer , a comment which I wouldn't make about some IPA's. I was a bit surprised by the light golden color and lack of aftertaste but not by the overall flavor. At $8.99 a 6-pack, this is a pricey item here in the northeast but I'll be back for more

Greenlabel, Apr 28, 2003
Photo of scottum
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at sunset.

Redish amber with a nice head. Very nice smooth hop flavors. Balanced by a bunch of toasty malt sweetness. A very flavorful brew. The hops are quite lovely. Sooooo smooooooooth with a nice dry finish. A charming IPA. Worth a sample if you can get it.

scottum, Apr 14, 2003
Photo of marcobrau
4.25/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This wonderfully hoppy brew pours golden with a slight haze but nothing on the label seems to indicate bottle-conditioning. Behind the label and inside the bottle is a wonderful array of hop flavors. A crisp, honeyish malt character provides the stage for spicy and citrusy hops that tease in the aroma and excite the palate.This is a hoppy IPA and not so much as a bitter one, as the hops are detected more in the forefront of this ale as opposed to the finish. A very drinkable IPA with a medium bitterness.

marcobrau, Apr 03, 2003
Photo of RonfromJersey
4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright shiny gold body, topped by a massive, foamy, pearl-white head rising above the glass. Some visible carbonation floating to the top. Some lacing. Huge nose of a grapefruit orchard. Taste wise, there is a sweet base, more like a sub-sub-sub-basement than a ground floor, and there the hops, the hops, and the hops. Has North Coast hijacked a hop delivery for Stone or Sierra Nevada? The hop barrage calms down as the beer warms, but the initial burst was surprising. After the other two Acme beers, well crafted but not overpowering, I was expecting something like Harpoon or Brooklyn's IPAs. This is a step or two more in the Stone direction. Sufficiently creamy to balance the hop tingles. Easily drinkable when a little warm. Exceeded expectations and recommended.

A toast to Chuck Jones, super genius.

RonfromJersey, Mar 14, 2003
Photo of Brent
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As a huge fan of North Coast's Red Seal Ale, I thought this might be a similar beer, under a different label. Quite a different beer, however, and, although the "California IPA" calls up a picture of a massively hopped APA, this was much more toned down than I expected. Nice solid malt profile, with well balanced hopping. Pleasant grapefruit notes with a soft, lingering bittering finish. Quite drinkable.

Brent, Mar 08, 2003
Photo of yen157
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Honey colored with some chill haze. It had a cream colored, pillowy head. A tiny bit of grapefruit in the nose, but it consisted mainly of spicy hops with some malt. I didn’t find this beer to be too carbonated which normally is a plus for me, but not in this case. It had a pleasant pale malt flavor with some supporting boring toastiness. There was a bigtime, complex, lingering bitterness that pleased this hop lover. Although it was not as over the top as some American IPAs, it was still very tasty. The only thing that I thought was a problem about this beer was that the alcohol seemed to cut through the flavors too much. Oh well…

yen157, Feb 20, 2003
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spied this in Trader Joes, and after high-level recommendation “tip-off” from fellow BA, StoutLove77, I decided a purchase was on the Cards.
It comes in a short stubby 12 fl.oz bottle. The label has a rather attractive looking blond haired women stood amongst hops, holding a tray of beers aloft, she is wearing a tight red top and has a great pair of….. oops, sorry.
It pours with a huge crusty looking frothy head. Holds well and leaves great lace rings as the beer is consumed. The body of the beer is a lovely golden color, totally clear, looks very refreshing I have to say. Nose is of Hops but somewhat restrained for an IPA, mind you as the beer warmed, it did develop further strength in the aromas as well as a feint herbal spiciness. Swirling the beer reveals that it is highly carbonated, which probably aids the good head retention.
Tastes initially are dominated by a fresh hop-bitterness with a citric-lemony aspect, it is very crisp, very clean and very focused. Middle is of hop oils, and it has an astringent, bitter finish, a bit short lived for me though. A clean tasting bitterness comes through in the end quite well.
Some will expect more from this IPA, especially as it is Californian, and has an ABV of 7.1% - but for me I am perfectly happy with the hoppiness of this beer exactly as it is. Sometimes, mega-hopped IPA’s, whilst a favorite of mine, can be a little OTT, and for once we have a “nicely” hopped, bitter IPA. I really associate with this beer perhaps because it is more akin to the stronger English IPA’s that I have drunk in the UK.

I like this beer, and I will be lifting a few more "Value for Money" 6-Pack’s in Trader Joe’s later this weekend that’s for sure. Beware the "hoppy burps" though after a few Bottles!!!!.

Cheers to StoutLove77 for the recommendation.

TheLongBeachBum, Dec 18, 2002
Photo of cokes
2.58/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bad news. I was hoping for more out of an IPA from North Coast. However, this bottle is clearly past its prime.
Golden bodied with a thin, fizzy, white head. No lacing.
Spicy hop aroma. Reminds me mostly of a euro-pils. Not as expected. Some bready notes. Signs of age here too.
Decent variety of hop flavors. Primarily floral, with spicy jabs and hidden citrus. I am not sure what the deal is, but this seems to have some sort of German pedigree and ends up tasting pilsneresque. I can't believe (and don't believe) that this is what it is supposed to taste like. Anyhow, the malt backbone does not hold up. Present only in a paper-like, bready, chalky sense.
Unpleasant residuals.
Light bodied, but not very drinkable. I'd hope an IPA would hold up better than this.

cokes, Dec 18, 2002
Photo of purplehops
4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This ale pours a nice cloudy straw yellow/orange with a nice bubbly head. The aroma is fresh hops with a hint of pale malt and spicy yeast. The taste is a clean crisp ale as one would expect from the West Coast with a strong hop presence. This ale is inviting and refreshing and a good example of a West Coast IPA.

purplehops, Nov 19, 2002
ACME California IPA from North Coast Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 1,081 ratings.