ACME California Pale Ale - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
ACME California Pale AleACME California Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

515 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 515
Reviews: 288
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 9
Gots: 27 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 10-29-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 515 | Reviews: 288
Photo of RyanK252
3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into a BarrelHouse Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours golden amber with a frothy off white head that settles and laces lightly.

S: Floral, grainy, and a little light citrus.

T: Floral, light citrus, orange and lemon, fruity notes, grainy, a little grassy, and a hint of malt sweetness.

M: Light to medium body, moderate carbonation, crisp and easy drinking.

O: Nothing spectacular here especially for a pale ale. Drinkable, but I don't think I'll be picking up any more of this any time soon.

Photo of AgentMunky
3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Oddly sour flavor throughout, but it's malty and robust and overall pleasant.

Photo of jeranbrews
3.11/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Cloudy amber orange. Low white clingy head. 4

Mild taffy with faint citrus notes. 3

Mildly hoppy with sweet aftertastes. 3

Good smooth texture 3

Overall simple, a tad sweet, but pleasant 3.25

Photo of SBrouse90
2.94/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

I was disappointed. A mediocre pale ale that I would not recommend.

Photo of moundbz
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

smooth good bitter avg beer

Photo of WAbeerfiend
4.75/5  rDev +37.7%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tumbler on 04.17.14.

A: Somewhat opaque red/orange. No head with aggressive pour.

S: Spices, sweet malt, grape.

T: Grape, caramel dominate. Tangy citrus is more subtle.

M: Crisp. It felt very carbonated.

O: The lack of a head was probably because this was an old bottle. The taste was great, though. Sweet grape came on first, followed by caramel, and then a tangy citrus finish lingered. I loved it.

Rating: A

Photo of ONUMello
3.37/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with no freshness date poured into a pint glass
A: Light orange with a 1/2-finger head that settles quickly; pretty bubbles
S: Quite muted; some grain & citrus
T: Grain, citrus, a bit of lemongrass & herbs
M: Medium-bodied, crisp but a short finish
O: No flaws, worth a try but buy a single not a six pack

Photo of StJamesGate
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Sauce, San Francisco
Pale gold, white film.
Grain sack, hint of lemon.
Breadstick malts, lemon slushy and a hint of evergreen.
Vague lemon zest to end.
Thin, slightly clingy.

Watery and barely hopped. Nice on a hot summer eve, but doesn’t rep California very well.

Photo of FLima
3.59/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bright orange golden color with a thin aired head with short retention but leaving some laces.
Nice aroma of a light tangy citrusy with notes of lemon, tangerines, caramels and fresh tea leaves.
Taste follows nose, flavor of lemon, tangerines, spices, biscuit and slightly toasted malts, mild pine and a light digestive papaya.
Dry aftertaste with a medium bitterness.
Light body with good carbonation with tiny bubbles.
Very refreshing and easy to drink APA, not bold nor complex, but very sessionable.

Photo of mrfrancis
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden amber with a fluffy, thick, slowly receding whitish head.

S: Mild, somewhat muted aromas of bitter orange, herbs, grass, lemon, lime, crackers, and biscuits are present on the nose, but become a bit more pronounced as the beer warms a bit.

T: Subtle notes of caramel, minerals, biscuits, crackers, lemon, lime, bitter orange, grass, and herbs flit across the palate. The finish is clipped with muted notes of herbs, grass, caramel, and biscuit.

M: Medium in body and quite smooth. Carbonation is just crisp and prickly enough to render this ale effortlessly drinkable.

O: This one is kind of a timid pale ale, but I have had far worse. If it allowed for a greater separation of flavors, not only would this ale be more complex, but it would be a much better beer all around. In the end, I feel that there is a truly great pale ale in here somewhere, but the brewers just do not really succeed in pulling it together. As is, this is a simple, enjoyable enough brew that would be perfect on a hot day, but unfortunately, it could be so much more than it is.

Photo of BeerWithMike
3.02/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled back on 10/30/13. Chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into one of my Vikings glasses.

Pours a hazy darker-gold with a 2-finger white fizzy head. Some spotty lacing was seen with each sip. The aroma was of some grain with a hint of citrus. Moderate carbonation. The taste was of some grains with a drier slightly bitter finish. Nothing really special. Maybe a hint of lemon.

Photo of MoorBeerPlz
2.96/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass...

A: Hazy gold color with light carbonation. Had to pour a little aggressive to develop a head, which eventually evened out at about a finger and a half of white foam. Head faded quickly to lacing around the inside of the glass.

S: Not much of note, light hops, grains, maybe some citrus...

T: Light hop bitterness that leaves quickly, citrus, a little pine and then the malts step in to finish the taste.

M. Light bodied with with dry finish, some mild bitterness, little residual citrus and pine in the background. Nicely carbonated.

O: A decent, drinkable pale. I'm sure there's other PA's that are better, but this one is decent, right in the middle with all the other decent beers of this style. I would consider this sessionable, especially in the summer and wouldn't be offended if someone offered me one.


Photo of Fatehunter
3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured no head on a clear amber colored body.
The aroma is wet grain with some fruitiness: apple and pear.
The taste is lemon bitterness with some pear sweetness.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
Nothing special but good enough for a couple rounds.

Photo of kojevergas
2.84/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle acquired as part of a 6 pack at the Cap N Cork in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high given the brewery, which I'm a fan of. Label art is as generic as they come; you could easily mistake this for a World Brews offering.

Served cold - straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger wide head of beige/light khaki colour. Decent frothiness. Okay creaminess and thickness. Retention is nice - about 3-4 minutes. Inconsistent lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a vibrant orange-copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Overall, it's pretty standard fare for a pale ale. No overt flaws are obvious. It's not unique or special.

Sm: British malts are evident. I get toffee, caramel, biscuit, a bit of nutty digestive, pale malts, and floral hops. A simple aroma of mild strength. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Pale malts are overtaken by the British malts - including the aforementioned toffee, biscuit, caramel, and digestive notes. Too bready and grainy for the style. Hop character is reticent - a crime in a pale ale. What little I do pick up is generic and floral in character. Some toasted grain. Almost a light butterscotch (diacetyl) note. Balance is okay, but the build is all wrong for the style. Not very pleasant as a result. A simple brew without much subtlety. I'm not a huge fan.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Overcarbonated. Thickness suits the style. Fairly full-bodied. Suits the flavour profile generally well, but it doesn't feel custom-tailored to it. Decent execution.

Dr: Ultimately, it's a disappointing attempt at a pale ale from a brewery that should know better. I definitely wouldn't buy this again, but I'm glad I got the chance to try it. Downable stuff, but by no means high quality. I expected better from North Coast.


Photo of metter98
3.46/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellowish amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacy rings of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: Light aromas of toasted malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, but has slightly stronger flavors of pale and toasted malts along with hints of fruity yeast and slight bits of citrusy hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and isn't a bad choice if you are a fan of maltier pale ales.

Photo of doktorhops
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After enjoying several of the North Coast brews, including most recently the Red Seal Ale, and noticing ACME California Pale Ale in The Archive cellars I immediately saw it as sign from Brewdha (the Buddha of beer) that this would be my next review. Thank you Brewdha!

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: The body is a nice hazy light amber, with a fluffy white head that dissipates to patches of lace.

S: Mild citrus hops with a pine presence, toasted malt grain base and a hint of yeast funk. A very even balanced aroma - as the label describes this is in the style of early California Pale Ales which aren't the fervently hopped beverages of today.

T: Bold toffee malts upfront with sugar, this is followed by a hint of funky yeast and ends with hops best described as a lemon zest and pine flavoured. Big sweet malts and light hops make this a fairly unique Pale Ale, a touch off-balance because the malt is much bigger than the hop presence. After-taste is a lingering toffee flavour, with low bitterness.

M: Mid to light body and medium carbonation.

D: As mentioned above this is a unique brew. It is easy to drink and a tad sweet - but this is to be expected as the hop bitterness is mild. Overall a solid, easy, malt-driven Pale Ale that I would session with and certainly buy again in future. Nice work NC!

Food match: This easy to please brew will wash down almost anything. In my mind though a wood-fired Pizza (any toppings) would be a winner with this.

Photo of KYGunner
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark golden coloring this poured magnificent bright white head. Cloud like billowing and frothy thickness this scores points for its brilliant structure.

The scent is malty of course, but it has a light lemony citrus backdrop. Weak piney hops are not quite as strong as it should.

What a great smooth, crisp taste and feel. Strong barley malt flavor with hints of tea leaves and pine. This just rolls across the palate with utter ease and holds a biscuity aftertaste.

Overall, what a pleasant surprise. I'm a fan of North Coast but this really helps solidify my love.

Photo of Minkybut
3.47/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was a nice golden color slightly cloudy and poured a most impressive big white head. The smell was malty and sweet. The taste was a bit bitter in the finish but not bad. Taste was a little watery but still a refreshing beer. I would buy this beer again. Bet would be great on tap.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.34/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Pours a hazy light orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Broken rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. There is a bit of sediment that sinks to the bottom of the glass after the pour. Smell is of malt and some subdued citrus zest aromas. Taste is much the same with a malty flavor on the finish. There is a very mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable but nothing too exciting going on here.

Photo of schoolboy
4.03/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This seems like an innocuous little ale that would simply be very nice to drink, and that's exactly what it turns out it is.

California looks outstanding in the glass. The color is beer yellow with moderate bit persistent head. It is very clear.

taste is moderate paddle ale. Nothing is out of place. It stays nice and well mannered, but the aftertaste is more boozy than the lower alcohol would seem it should taste. I would buy and recommend this the future.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Hopefully this goes well...I mean, look what always happened to Wile E. Coyote... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear amber-brass topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises lemon peel, funky grass, very light orange zest, and some mild toffee tossed in for good measure. The taste brings in more of the same, though the lemon is now just as funky as the grass. Luckily, this ain't entirely detrimental to the proceedings. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda dry finish. Overall, a decent little pale ale, nothing really all that special, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Photo of patpbr
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Acme Pale Ale poured golden with steady carbonation and a nice head that fills out the glass. The smell is mostly malty. I taste some citrus, some sweet malt character, honey and some hop bitterness, its subtle and pleasant. The mouth feel has a bit of bitterness. A crisp easy drinker.

Photo of barnzy78
2.96/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, pours a hazy peach color with a tall, frothy, white head that fades fast leaving some chunky lacing at the top of the glass. Aromas seem muted with some earthiness, maybe caramel malt, but not much else. Tastes are earthy, bready malt, nice balance, peppery, slight frutiness - apple or grape, maybe apricot also. Body is thin-to-medium, modest carbonation, finishes nice and clean. Overall, pretty middle of the road here, definitely no wows, but drinkable and sessionable.

Photo of BucannonXC5
3.15/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12-oz. bottle into a pint glass at my house on Sept. 7, 2012 (purchased at Cost Plus World Market in Grossmont (San Diego, Calif.) for a solo price of $1.99 on Sept. 6, 2012). Two fingers of head. Poured a caramel orange with off-white lacing. Below average cretention on the top and average on the sides.

Smelled light citrus hoops, seemed to be orange more than anything else. Caramel malts, lemon, wheat and honey.

Tasted similar to the nose. Malty. Light citrus (orange), iced tea and slightly bitter.

Light body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, bitter finish.

Pretty average beer overall.

Photo of BeerKangaroo
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Into a pint glass:

A: golden colored body that leaves a one finger white head that dies with a moderate pace to a thin coat of foamy head. Some light fast carbonation is seen rising. Barely any lacing is seen.

S: centers around some English malts and light citrusy hops come in.

T: citrus coming in a bit stronger. It has a slightly clean hop bite.

M: light to medium with nothing harsh on the tongue.

O: this is not a bad brew. I like this enough to have it again.

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ACME California Pale Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
79 out of 100 based on 515 ratings.