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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.

1,096 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,096
Reviews: 541
rAvg: 3.63
pDev: 12.67%
Wants: 20
Gots: 42 | 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: 1,096 | Reviews: 541 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MuddyFeet
3.6/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is very hoppy. It seemed quite popular and I agree with the general consensus of other bar patrons. It poured with a thin head, but a thick lace formed on the sides of the glass. It was a pale brown-gold in color. the bitters were not overwhelmingly strong, but more of a pleasant addition to the overall taste of the beer's finish.

MuddyFeet, Jun 06, 2004
Photo of Tballz420
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew has a gold colored body, with a big bubbly white head. Good trail of lace left behind. The scent is a floral hop scent. The taste is mainly bitter hops with some floral elements as well. Farily full mouthfeel. A good west coast IPA, not quite as intense as some from the region.

Tballz420, Jun 02, 2004
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bizarre looking label with a psuedo St. Pauli Girl figure and obligatory government label jargon. No mind...Whoah! 7.1 % ABV. Sweet!

Gluggy pour into me pint, with a slightly hazy peachy pour and bubbles flowing with a craggy off white head that leaves both foamy lattice and stratus lace in me English pint.

Present aroma of grassy Cascade, maybe Champion hops and some pine resin in the nose which leads to tastes of sizzly hoppiness and apricot fruit. A bit of dry powdery straw notes. "Ba-ba-ba-ba bad to the bone" bonedry aftertaste with citrusy grapefruit rind hints in the long lasting finish. Solid feel that puts out some effort from start to finish. Highly swiggable IPA.

Last swigs: Powdery dry, dry mouth and fruity grapefruit rind taste West Coast style IPA in da house has delicate apricot notes followed by solid mouth sizzle. Yummy!

*** UPDATE *** Second review. Upgraded the smell to 3.5 from 2.5. That's ah-nice!

Beer is good. Happy (dry West Coast) beering.

blitheringidiot, May 19, 2004
Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A treat to try this one on tap at the Blind tiger NYC, poured, bronzed golden and cloudy, but a citrus nose. Crisp malt backbone, smooth and nicely rounded on the tongue. Hops appear quickly, with a nice grainyness and cirtus notes, nice long piney tastes on the palate. Finishes with a well balanced dance across the tongue. Nice IPA, wish we saw this on a regular basis in the NY area.

Billolick, May 13, 2004
Photo of FranklinPCombs
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light golden amber color, with a monstrous three-finger head which slowly begins to bubble and recede. There are tons of bubbles rushing up from the bottom of the glass, just like champagne. Lace is patchy and sticky, and the head ends in a kind of volcanic crater shape. The smell is straight traditional IPA (hoppy, piney, honey-y), and I admit it gave me such refreshment while I took a break from packing that I couldnt help but grin and think of more relaxing times. The taste was a bit disappointing however, as it seemed to be quite chalky and stale. There was a buttery flavor, and some bitterness, which was a bit metallic. There was a tiny hop presence but mostly an overriding chalky sour bitterness. The mouthfeel was medium in body, with a little sharp carbonation. However, I'm currently suspecting malfunction in the storage procedures of this beer, and am planning on looking into it again, to retest it, and see if my storage was a bungle.

FranklinPCombs, May 07, 2004
Photo of WesWes
3.68/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice golden color with a thick frothy white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice citrousy hop scent surrounded by a fine pale malt base. The taste is decent. It has a pale malt core with some light crystal malts to add character. The hops dominate the palate with an ultra citrousy flavor. It is quite bitter, but goes down smooth. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an interesting take on an IPA. It don't really care for the extreme citrous flavor. It must be a west coast thing.

WesWes, May 06, 2004
Photo of zerk
3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy light copper, with a thin white head. Has good retentin and leaves some patchy lace. Aroma is a bit perfumy, with some sweet citric and floral notes. Flavor begins sweet and grainy, then becomes somewhat acidic and bitter with notes of grapefruit and earthy hops. Alcohol presence is quite pronounced. Has a smooth and oily mouthfeel with a medium body. A tasty west coast IPA.

zerk, Mar 24, 2004
Photo of Boilermaker88
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A really attractive looking IPA. Even with a non-aggressive even pour this lightly hazed orange brew churned out a large, firm, never-say-die off-white head that dropped off bits and pieces of splotchy lace along the way.
The nose had three very distinct components; nice earthy malts, caramel, and a formidable grapefruit and pine hops aroma. I was surprised at how each aroma was so separate from the others. This same thing was noted in the taste. The malts were easily picked out, as were the lighter but still detectable caramel and toffee flavors. The robust citrus taste with a touch of pine needles embedded were the most prominant and left their bitter mark on the palate long after each taste. The thing was, the tastes were so distinct and separate that they never really mixed well together. In fact, the flavors clashed and fought like the palate was some turf to fight over. The feel was medium and a bit thin.
Overall, I'm still on the fence about this IPA. It's almost like they couldn't decide to go for a big, massively-hopped West Coast styled version or a smoother English example so they blended the two. Not bad, but could be so much more.

Boilermaker88, Mar 21, 2004
Photo of longpondbeerman
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got to love the name. Appropriately, it pours out of a squat utilitarian Acme bottle to a slighly cloudy gold (with an orange tint) and a medium thick off-white head. A little linear lacing (like the alliteration?) as I quaff. The ale is initially sharp to the nose, with potent citrusy hops dominating the aroma and not much by way of sweetness. This promises to be a bitter brew. Good. So, here goes. A bit of a disappointment, really; its tart all right, but there's a metallic aftertaste that I find slightly annoying. Fortunately, it is good and bitter, but not very complex and a little thin on the mouthfeel. A couple of sips into it and it settles nicely, so I'll up the drinkability. Watch out for the alcohol content; it's close to a double IPA, so it's not a session beer.

longpondbeerman, Mar 18, 2004
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one in a self-mixed six pack.
This beer poured a thin white head that stayed around for about 2 minutes, and then gave a thin lace thereafter.
The smell was a crisp, hoppy smell with a citrus quality.
The taste corresponded to the smell...big hops, with citrus and pine both prevalent flavors. There was a surprising amount of carbonation, and after it gave way, there was an oily, bitter, all hop finish that stuck around for quite some time. The pine notes get stronger and stronger. Some would probably argue that the malts in this beer can't quite back up the hops. I would say that overall North Coast has made a very solid, respectable IPA. I'm sure I'll be picking up a sixer of this sometime soon.

Photo of dpend
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a golden amber with an impressive whipped like head. Left a milky lace around the top of the glass and along the sides. Aroma was of faint citrus and the hopping smelled suprisingly mild. The taste of hops throughout. The finish was citrusy and spicy hops with a sharp dryness that grew more intense though the tasting. Almost a crunchy carbonation over the mild smoothness of the overall feel. I like IPA's and this is a very good one, but the drinkability is a little low for me.The bitter hopping at the end of the taste became a bit too much after awhile.

dpend, Dec 04, 2003
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
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!

feloniousmonk, Nov 11, 2003
Photo of Gavage
4.38/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy gold / orange color. A thick bubbly and foamy head was present for most of the drink. The aroma was good showing some floral, sweet, and citrus tones. The taste was even better, as the sweet malt and hops were nicely balanced, and some citrus tones were present. Mellow on the mouthfeel, but also crisp. The bitterness lasted very long after swallowing. I was surprised at how good this was.

Gavage, Nov 08, 2003
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.13/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

WVbeergeek, Nov 04, 2003
Photo of TripelJ
4.4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now Quaffing: ACME California IPA

Pours a nice clear golden-yellow with a thick cloud of a head. This beer smells so good I'm considering replacing my current cologne selection. Sweet, floral, hoppy delightfulness with a touch of pine entices the olfactory system into taking a sip from one of the best IPAs I've had to date. Taste is surprising. I was expecting a horribly imbalanced and extra-hopped concoction of bitterness--what I got instead was a lesson alchemy. Initially sweet turns suddenly bitter with an amazingly smooth hop profile that gets a little piney at times. Overall it is incredibly smooth, and definitely hides the ABV very well. A great example of an IPA that is both big and balanced.

TripelJ, Oct 29, 2003
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
ACME California IPA from North Coast Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 1,096 ratings.