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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.

1,126 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,126
Reviews: 541
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 12.71%
Wants: 22
Gots: 49 | 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)
View: Beers (21) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,126 | Reviews: 541 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of SupaCelt
4.18/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Honey coloured and hazy. Small head of off white appearance. Not much resiliency to the head. Sluggish bubbles embark on their quest to join the ring that forms around the edge of my glass. A weird piece of debris just drifted into my view. What the hell is that? I hope that didn't fall out of my nose. Lacing is manifested but not very pronounced.

Smell: The smell gives off a very enticing hop boquet. A bizarre, restrained smell of vibrantly fresh hops. Despite being quite subdued, this scent seems to be the only perceptable scent present. Weird. Low odour, but still so inviting. Beer pheromones!

Taste: This brew has the most unique "homegrown" flavour I have ever run across in an IPA. The taste is so natural and raw. A fantastic grassy character jives with spruce and raw grain to produce a splendid result. Super earthy and wildly wild.

Mouthfeel: Not heavy, but moderate. Nicely carbonated and pleasing to the palate. Natural feeling.

Drinkability: Good. No problems foreseeable with dropping these into the abyss. The taste lends heavily to the urge for repetition. Nice.

Photo of woemad
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle purchased at Jim's Homebrew for $1.75. First time I've seen it around here. Label is different, as is abv on the label - 6.5%, as opposed to BA's listing of 7.1%.

Poured a cloudy amber/gold color, with a big white head. Head took a couple of minutes to drop. Lots of lace.

Smell was of bittering hops and more mild, grassy hops. Not much malt to notice here.

The taste here is sharp citrus, like grapefruit. Strong bitterness to this one - let the IPA neophyte beware. Again, there is no maltiness to speak of. Just hops. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

This seems a little too thin for an IPA. Definitely at the trailing edge of medium bodied. Carbonation is moderate for the style.

This is a decent session IPA, but nothing to seek out. I like there to be a tiny bit of maltiness held at bay, but it just didn't seem to be there at all. Still, its quaffable. Just not that remarkable.

Photo of garymuchow
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is grassy and sweet with a nice malt base. Good subtle aroma.
Cloudy gold/yellow with a bit of amber. Smallish head that leaves spotty white bubbles and a thin film. Some lacing.
I like the balance of this beer. Bitterness stands out but it's not excessive and a firmness in the malt supports the beer well. Grassy hops.
At times a little thin and watery. Nice softness.
Overall a solid drinkable version of style.

Photo of ADR
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium sub amber color, good golden luminosity and clear in presentation. Pale head is medium bubbled, holds some bumps, and rises to just under 1/2 an inch in height. Nice lacing, some thin and complex spider web patterns stick to the far side of the glass. Nose is nicely hoppy but fairly straightforward, grapefruit pithiness with some unripe currant characteristics. The mouthfeel is adequate, the carbonation is a bit on the high side for me. A fairly solid biscuity malt is quickly overtaken by the hops, which are solid but not overwhelming. A clean but somewhat metallic close marks the end of the berrs flavor profile. Respectably solid, middle-of-the-road for west coast IPAs in many categories.

Photo of Chadbrew
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big fluffy white head - stays big!
Nice light golden honey color.
Good hoppy smell, nothing huge though. Good mix of other stuff but nothing else jumps out at me. Perhaps as I get a little better at this I'll be able to differentiate.
Tastes like it smells... hoppy. Faint alcohol tingle and a mild bitterness right off the bat. Leaves a nice citrus taste on my tongue.
Medium to heavy mouthfeel that is gone immediately after the swallow in a nice clean finish.

My favorite beer store just got this in and I'm becoming such a fan of the west coast IPA's I had to try it. The aftertaste is very similar to Bigfoot, could be Cascade or Chinook..? Really impressive head retention and pretty amazing lacing down the side of the glass. I feel the alcohol in this one immediately after finishing.

Photo of droomyster
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange with a bright white head one finger tall that last and lasts. Lively carbonation shooting upwards. Amazing lacing of heavy rocky rings after every sip. Smell of peaches and apples, plenty of melon. Also aroma and taste of lychee. Medium hops in this guy - well pronounced lemon citrus and pine. Light to medium body. A dry bitter finish.

Photo of donnebaby
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lasting bubble cream top with solid retention covers the thick-looking, light gold body. Somewhat hazy. Nose is rich guava flavor and sweetness with only a push of hops in the background. Nicely done.

Yummy guava taste greets in the mouth, followed by a hearty combo bitter and weed hop taste in the aftertaste. Mildy sour and salty. Nice combo of flavors. Alcohol is unfelt.

Carbonation is strong, but went nicely with the fruity flavor and relative thickness of the body. Very drinkable low impact IPA.

Photo of rastaman
2.85/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Tap@North Coast. Hoppy, as usual, but a lot more subtle than other Californian IPA’s. Lychee and pine, with more malty/grainyness. Drinkable, yes, but a bit on the boring side. Still, it has a taste that will probably appeal to a wider audience, drinakble.

Photo of Dmann
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very sessionable IPA but not a standout at all. The beer poured a light amber color with a nice white head that left great lace on the glass. The smell was lightly hopped for a AIPA but still inviting with light citrus and hop scents. The taste was nothing outstanding with an over emphasis on the malts in my opinion. There was a touch of dry hop bitterness but this was definantly a more balanced IPA that would work as a good transition beer for people. Recommended but only if you are new to IPA's.

Photo of HappyHourHero
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is very light, a bit grapefruity and kind of stinky like wet clothes that have been laying around for a while. Hazy golden beer with a storm of carbonation brewing inside. Solid, cream colored, meringue looking head leaves a sheet of lace. Orange and lightly bitter grapefruit flavor up front. There's a bit of pale malt hovering underneath, but mainly the flavors fade out towards the end letting the bitterness take over. Body is thick enough, mouthfeel is light and soft until the bitterness coats your tongue. Mild flavor and aroma had me thinking mass appeal beer until the bitterness kicked in. There are some good aspects of this beer, but the bad ones just kill it for me.

Photo of RedwoodGeorge
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

North Coast quite accurately labels this as their "California IPA" with the traditional West Coast hop notes you'd expect of an IPA from this region...

The beer pours to a rather uninspiring straw yellow with a thin head and light carbonation. On first glance you'd be more likely to think this is a lager of some sort rather than an IPA. The smell corrects any mistakes - there are plenty of strong, citrus and pine hops notes to let you know this is going to be a bitter beer.

The taste starts out all hops - mainly grapefruit and pine with a light floral note but there's a very strong malt backbone to keep this a balanced taste. There's a distinct bread note to counter the bitterness of the hops. The mouthfeel is a bit light - there's not much carbonation. While there's plenty of hops to make this a dry beer there's no real body to balance it out. On a positive note, you'd never guess this was a 7% ABV brew; there's no alcohol notes or 'burn' to be found...

Drinkable? Sure, it's a very tasty brew. I'm sure I'll be drinking plenty more of these in the future as I'm quite fond of most of North Coast's offerings. Am I impressed with this as an IPA? Not really. The hop notes aren't terribly bold and I'd be more likely to compare this to some of the better known California American Pale Ales rather than an IPA. As a matter of fact, North Coast's Red Seal Ale shares quite a few of the same notes as this beer (no surprise) but comes across as much hoppier and stronger tasting.

Photo of tavernjef
4.28/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Musty clouded peachy yellow color, steady bubbles within, a very appetizing appearance to it, with a fine off-white medium sized froth that sits a good while before settling to a solid skim. Lacing sticks in some ink blobby sheeting.

Aroma is of a nice hop medley of woody, citrus mint, sweetly resinous with a nice pale malt of stale crisp bread.

Flavors are good in both the hop profile and malt backing, hops are slightly popping with a good zip of citrus, but maintains a mild front, more eager as it rides through to the finish where it gets a nice complex woody hop and bitterness clinging onto a very crisp pale malting. It takes awhile for the finish to render its full potential, but if your patient it makes a very welcome bite and squeeze of hops. Nice left over citrus pith and sourness brings an almost ghostly finish very late. Nice, quite nice. If it weren't for a mediocre start this would get a better number in the taste dept, but where it lacks in the front well makes up for it in the finish.

Feel is just right for an IPA, frothy yet slick and calming with a creamy front, gains an excellent hopping in the finish of bittering bite and dryness all maintained in a well balanced nearly full body. Well balanced throughout with a slight sweet front, malt stays firm yet crispy adding a grainier build towards the finish where the hops get fun and helps add a nice bite late.

This was gone in no time. Super drinkable and an outstandingly handled IPA. The west coast, or in this case, North Coast, has a yummy little drinker here. Solid offering!

Photo of granger10
3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a clear bronze color with a very small light head. Lack of carbonation seems apparent as does oxidation. Smell is of tarty lemon and pine cones. The piney flavor comes out in the taste and maybe there's some floral hops in there as well. Eventually it just settles into this grassy flavor. Finish is dry but there are definite signs of oxidation. Lack of malt really hurt this beer, it just wasn't that flavorful to me. I still am really surprised that it is 7.1% abv because I was thinking like 4%, so I guess that's a compliment but otherwise, pass.

Photo of RoyalT
4.13/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one poured a beautiful, pure orange in color with some lively carbonation and a bit of sediment on the bottom of the glass. The head was puffy and showed a lot of retention. It was so fluffy that I had to touch it and, yes indeed, it is soft to the touch.

Smell – There is a wonderful mix of hops in this nose. I can pick up some good citrus and a bit of pine. There are some light fruity notes that excel. The malt base is here – actually it’s very thick – but this is just a supporting cast to this hop bomb.

Taste – Oh, yeah. This is East Coast meets West Coast. The big West Coat hop flavors are out in spades here. I can also pick up those light, fruity “back East” hops. The malt backbone is large and in charge.

Mouthfeel – This very balanced medium to full-bodied IPA is a mouthfull to say the least. It is big and malty and really gets the gums working.

Drinkability – This reminds me of Brutal Bitter. It’s big with some good sweetness and offers a lot to the drinker/taster. Maybe it has crystal hops?

Photo of Troyone
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased in a 12oz bottle, poured a light copper iced tea color has lot of carbonation movement and the head is about an inch and a half.
The smell is not significant but malty sweet with some hint of hops.
The taste is a light to moderate bitter with a resin hops flavor and a hint of tea with a toasted malt character. The finish has an aroma of hops and the aftertaste lightly lingers the same.
Mouthfeel is light to medium with a dry feel and soft carbonation.
The drinkability is great could be a session beer.

Photo of farHillsBrewer
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I wonder if the ACME label is ruse to fool unsuspecting buyers of beers like Re,White, and Blue or other "generic" beers.
This poured golden pale with a frothy head that lasted, and left considerable lace. A nice Cascade hop aroma that accompanies the intense bitterness. The malt character is understated but fine, while I was thrown off by the busy tiny bubbles buzzing around my tongue. It has a citrus nose but an extended crisp aftertaste that was enjoyed, but not yearned for.
I'd like to try another, perhaps on draft.
Middle of the road for an American IPA.

Photo of necoadam
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a cloudy golden orange color with thin lacing of carbonation on the top.

Smell consisted of lots of hops, but also a lot of citrus aromas. Some malts are in there, but it's quite difficult to get them because of the hops. But this is an IPA, so no complaints here.

Taste was good. A nice amount of hops, nothing overboard, with a good malt backbone which was a little surprising because of how light the malts where in the nose. It does have a nice hop bite to it and finishes a little bitter.

Mouthfeel was good. Medium body considering it's 7.1%, but it does go down rather smooth and easy. A decent IPA that doesn't go overboard.

Photo of Mark
4.47/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A decent beer from a brewery that is gaining a lot of respect from yours truly. this offering is a bit paler than other IPA'S. I find it quite comparable to Anchor Liberty in taste and appearance for that matter. not a bad beer to be compared too. The Acme name was purchased by north Coast and they produce a few beers under that name. Lightish amber with a nice head that retains wee, good lace. Despite the moniker of California IPA, it is not agressively hopped. Still very drinkable and refreshing when not in the mood for a hop monster. The last few bottles I have had of this fine underrated beer have been better in a few areas. First the lacing is vastly improved being vast. One time it's in solid sheets, the next in beautiful rings. Hoppiness seems a bit ramped up. Easily one of if not my favorite "mellow" IPA's.

Photo of TinusTime
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber with a slightly copper hue. HUGE white fluffy head that leaves sticky lace all the way down the glass. I mean you can stick a finger inside the glass and lift the empty glass up its so sticky. Smell is piney with a bit of sweetness in the nose. Taste is very hoppy with a odd bit of sweetness. Almost like a watered down 120 min kind of sweetness. Balanced, but no flavours to make you go SHAZAM. Well carbonated and a bit of a gusher when poured. Drinkability is very high as it is a very smooth easy drinking beer. I agree with Avylover, this doesnt feel like a 7.10 % alcohol. Overall I would recommend it as a fine session IPA. Its not gonna wow you, but It is a tasty brew. Especially at the nice price of 1.50 a sixer. Gotta love it when distributors lose a court case and have to sell off the stock cheap.

Photo of Globetrotter
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes in a brown almost stubby 12oz bottle with a red, white and blue label featuring a well-endowed blonde woman holding a plate of beer mugs in one hand and a couple more mugs in the other. No information about content or freshness. Picked up at Total Wine in Northern Virginia.

Pours a slightly hazy copper under a 1.5 finger off-white head that lingers fairly long and leaves some decent lace strands. The nose has flowery hops, but there's an excessive sweetness here, almost like molasses. The mouth is prickly but slightly heavy, practically coating the mouth with goodness. Lots of hops in the taste, with a bit of sweet malt backbone. The hops are mostly pine, with espresso dryness and a touch of dry port in the finish. Aftertaste, which lasts forever, reminds me of pine needles. Great? No, but a good drinking brew.

Photo of putnam
4.22/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I guess I expected this to be light in color, but this is as pale as Summer Lightning, or Stella Artois. It's beginning to dawn on me what this Acme brand is all about : drier, more traditionally European in build, yet lashed with west coast herbs and spices.
Aromas of candy corn, sticky mint, rancid pine nuts and grapefruit peels. On the palate it is very supple and silky, with beautiful integration of aggressive ruby red grapefruit flesh flavors with dry impressions of honey. It is cascading, dry and very grapefruit-infused tonic (a quality I usually despise in beer). The finish is sunny and carefree. A beautiful sequence of spice, honey and grapefruit in a very dry, mouthmelting texture package.

Photo of TheLiterati
2.55/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours gold with a hint of amber. Substantial frothy head lasted a good while before giving way to a nice lace. Found the scent to be a little sour and off-putting at first, but it mellowed after being in the glass for a while.

Tasted of bitter hops as expected, but mostly a one-note wonder. Missing are the undertones of other subtle flavors usually found in an IPA, that, when brewed right, give this style a nice balance.

Crisp mouthfeel with a dry finish and somewhat sour aftertaste.

Drinkable, but would not be my first choice for this style.

Photo of sideshowrob
3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Acme - Good name for a generic, unoffensive IPA.

Beer poured cleanly into a standard DFH pint glass. Brew was almost the exact color of coors, not an encouraging sign. Brew appeared to have been filtered within an inch of its life - absolutely clean and sickly yellow.

Hops aroma was present, and it imparted a slight citrusy note when sniffed. Very subdubed. Taste was more of the same - An IPA by the books only. Nothing at all to make it easy or hard to drink from the mouthfeel or drinkability side of the house, nothing really to encourage you to do so either.

I had higher expectations from this beer, I assumed that North Coast bought Acme to serve as a niche brewery for speciality beers, guess I got it backward, NC is the beer-geek brewery, Acme is the mass-market brand.

Still though, Very nice bottle design! My IPA has a bikini-clad lass on it!

Photo of Suds
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have generally good impressions of this flowery, sweet and orange liquid, served from a large tulip glass. It has a decent head with, leaving islands of lace about he glass. The aroma is seriously hoppy, leaning toward the fresh, flowery side of life. The foretaste is sweet, fruity, and malty, but is balanced with a large dose of bitterness. This is a very nicely balanced IPA, which makes it quite drinkable. It probably lacks the power that hopheads want, but I’d be pleased to have a few of these.

Photo of 99bottles
2.93/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: A light lemony-tan color with some haze, and an active inch of dense white head. A little lighter than some IPAs, but not the lightest I’ve ever seen either.

Smell: Wow. If dry hopping is to impart hop scent, this thing must have been dry hopped, stomped, pummeled, squeezed and choked. An intensely raw hop prescence in the nose; pine scents predominate some little floral character.

Taste: Whoa. This is bad ass. This isn’t even listed as a double IPA, but it should be. This is the most raw, unrefined hop monster I have ever tasted. The malts, who knows? My tastebuds were gone after the first sip. I guess there was some dry biscuit flavor, but mostly just wild hops. This makes Stone’s Ruination seem mild by comparison. The ending is sharply bitter, more strong pine flavor and acidic fruit. This is something else. I want to know the IBUs in this. I’d guess 100+, easy. No more fresh kegs of this please.

Mouthfeel: Ok, I suppose. Not too heavy, but with so much on the bittering side, this could stand up to tons more malt.

Drinkability: I couldn’t have another if I tried. Too much. So overly hopped, this has lost sight of the fact that IPAs, no matter what the style was intended to preserve, were still meant to be consumed at some point. This sort of misses that fact. Send one to India and back (or stick it in the cellar for 2 or 3 years) and I suspect you’ll have something special on hand. Fresh, and you’ll just wonder what happened to your mouth.

ACME California IPA from North Coast Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 1,126 ratings.