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ACME California Pale Ale - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
ACME California Pale AleACME California Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

466 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 466
Reviews: 282
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 13.62%
Wants: 7
Gots: 13 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 10-29-2001)
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Ratings: 466 | Reviews: 282 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer arrived on the bar in a plastic cup due to Bele Chere. It was crystal clear pale golden amber with a low white head that just barely laced the glass.

The aroma was low caramel with a light citrus noote and a slightly earthy presence.

The flavor was strong caramel, and overly sweet. The crystal malts were a bit overdone. The flavor was very fruity and estery with a very low bittering and a very low hop character.

The finish contained a light caramel sweetness that lasted a bit too long into the finish. The body was medium, but the beer was not very exciting and was very ordinary and overly sweet.

Pint at the Bier Garden in Asheville, NC.

Serving type: on-tap

08-02-2005 18:37:29 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of Dukeofearl


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

Moderate golden, slightly hazy with virtually no head.

Aroma is very faint, not unpleasant- slight hops, maybe a touch of sweetness. Malt is there, but not much to it.

Flavor is a reasonable blend and balance of malt and hops- generally a decent drinker, but nothing to stand out from the pack.

Mouthfeel is decent, and this is easy drinking. Ironically enough, though, I think it's mostly the lack of interesting flavors and complexity that make this slide down the throat easily on a hot day.

EDIT: as a follow up, this one actually might be a good candidate for a "from-the-bottle lawn beer"- it was pretty drinkable sliding down my throat out in the hot weather, straight from the bottle!

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2005 20:37:15 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of tgbljb


3.13/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured a hazy medium copper color with slight white head that feel to a thin coating. Smell is unremakable with a slight sweetness and no hops. Tste is somewhate bland with a moderate dryness. Mouthfeel leaves a slight dry bitterness. An average beer at best.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2005 23:56:03 | More by tgbljb
Photo of alexgash


2.2/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Tawny, copperish orange body with a finger of filmy, off-cream head. Nose is...odd. Whiskeyish malts, some butter, alcohol (whiskey), and faint, herbal hops. Hmmm...doesn't smell like a pale ale. Taste lightly astringent whiskey-like malt. This might be phenolics, since it is a little medicinal too. Light biscuit flavor in there too. Hops are very modest to barely detectable. I hope something is askew with my particular bottle or else this is a bad beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2005 02:42:52 | More by alexgash
Photo of blitheringidiot


2.65/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Stubby 12 oz’er pours into a pint with light yellow straw hues topped off with an ivory frothy cap coating that quickly settles to a collar.

Delicate grassy hops nose with some earthy notes.

First swigs: Grainy organic leafy ale with a dry clean aftertaste of apples. Vegetal and bland. Reminds me of a carrot flavor of malts.

Crisp feel. Light to medium bodied.

Last swigs: Diluted cider ale. Quite benign. Not a beer I would seek out again. The ACME IPA is usually reallt crisp and hoppy. I was expecting more. Just a dust cutter for the beer seeker.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2005 10:05:05 | More by blitheringidiot
Photo of TheJudge

New York

2.8/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A cloudy light brown with a small white head, this has a sweet smell, some hops to offset, but not as much as expected. This follows in the taste. Very sweet, especially for a Pale Ale, a banana flavor dominates the mild hops. not as carbonated as i like, and a little thick on the tongue, this is not an impressive beer. I would rather have a sierra nevada

Serving type: on-tap

05-19-2005 16:18:09 | More by TheJudge
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.23/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bright tangerine with a fluffy, frothy head of lightest beige. The lazily pitting surface develops a crenelated edge as it falls, leaving very little lace in its wake. Not a bad pale ale look, but the rest of the attributes will need to put forth a little more effort.

It's apparent after the sniff test that this is a pale ale, but it most certainly isn't a highly hopped one. Soft, rounded, muted, orange citrusy hops are dominant. I'm not at all keen to see how it tastes after smelling it, because I have a sneaking suspicion that it'll be just as lackluster on the palate.

Good call. The flavor is as simple and as blunted as the nose. C'mon North Coast, you brew on the hop-centric West coast, so act like it. The malt backbone is on the skimpy side, but it really doesn't need to be all that big given the relative lack of a counterweight. As in the nose, it's orangey with a dash of grapefruit juice struggling to be noticed.

This APA falls on the dry side of the sweet-dry continuum and finishes spotlessly clean due to the lack of sugar and the light, wispy body. I keep waiting for the flavor to hit with each and every mouthful, but it disappears nearly simultaneously with the beer and I'm left hanging. It's pretty drinkable if you care more about ease of consumption and sessionability than flavor.

ACME California Pale Ale is a disappointment. An underhopped, exceptionally light-bodied APA has its place I suppose, but not in my beer fridge it doesn't.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2005 23:26:04 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.35/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a rich golden with a pretty fizzy head that really is non-existent,seems to be pretty carbonated though.Aromas are nicely mixed though nutty malt mixed with some piney hop that lingers nicely.Wow very subdued flavors here some toasted malt and caramel malt but very light the toasted aftertaste seems to be the most dominat aspect of this beer.The aromas only set me up for a let down of this beer,now not horrible by any means maybe like a lighter English "pale" but not what I expected from Cali.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2005 19:27:24 | More by oberon
Photo of rhoadsrage


3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)
A- deep golden color with a clear body and a good carbonation. The head is thin smooth creamy white.

S- strong malt aroma mostly pale malt with a bit of crystal malt. no hint of hops.

T- nice hop spiciness at the front with a honey malt taste to follow. It has a bitterness from the hops that balances the sweetness at the finish.

M- medium-light mouthfeel with some fizzy carbonation to give it a little more body.

D- This is not an IPA. It has a great balance of hops and malt and they work well together. A very mild enjoyable beer for a session or a meal.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2005 23:50:33 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of ADR


3.9/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Medium amber color, clear in the glass. Head of pale color, fluffy and of average height. Laces in simple vertical strings. Fruity aroma, lightly floral and apple-ish. Body is light and the carbonation is lively, a bit too much for my preferences. Subdued but noticeable maltiness, bready with some jam elements. Hops are more subtle than many, dialed down and peppery, pollen-like with a gentle snap. Easy-to-take profile, there's good drinkability here and its nice to run across an Amercan Pale with a more easy-going hop profile.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2005 14:31:43 | More by ADR
Photo of ctdfalconer


4.03/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I was pleasantly surprised byt his beer. I was expecting the usual west coast pale ale Sierra Nevada clone, but this was only similar in color (a tad darker) and not much else. It did not have the overt, assertive hop character that one generally comes to expect in west coast pales, but rather it was a very malt--oriented brew. I quite enjoyed the lightly toasty-bready character that dominated the palate. It carries just enough hoppiness to dry out the finish so it doesn't remain cloying. If I lived near this brewery, I would seek out and frequent tap houses that carried it.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2005 04:37:56 | More by ctdfalconer
Photo of droomyster


2.95/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly cloudy orange with a small, shortlasting white head. The color is nice but the appearance is not very remarkable. Active carbonation. Aroma is not very strong but overall citrusy. Taste is initially pleasantly bitter, notes of apricots, but then it declines into skunkiness. Some lemon citrus and pine hoppiness to it, but not much. Tingly carbonation gives it something a lively feel: in light of its yucky finish, I call it a dead man walking. Gotta love that bottle art, but I'll never buy this brew again.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2005 00:53:09 | More by droomyster
Photo of GClarkage


3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

03/15/05- Purchased at Trader Joe's in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- 12 oz bottle with no best by dates to be found. Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance- Amber-brown color pour with a nice inch white head and decent lacing.

Smell- Not much of a smelling beer. Maybe some sweet malt and a bit of orange or lemon?

Taste- Decent mixture of malt and hops. The sweetness of the malt and the slight bitterness of the hops works very well together.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability- An excellent session beer IMO. A great balanced brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2005 18:29:11 | More by GClarkage
Photo of donnebaby

North Carolina

3.43/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Hazy -- but not so much in a good way -- amber bronze color body. Uneven, but scant haze. Rich looks, but lacking. Nose is appley sweet mixed with grainy dust and the suggestion that there might be hops in the background.

Taste is subdued. Mild sweet malts and smooth notes of dusty grains, akin to those in the nose. Lightly fruity and refreshing.

Carbonation is light but feels a little forced. Medium body seems thicker than other pales I'm used to. Enjoyed drinking this pale, but nothing too exciting.

Serving type: bottle

03-14-2005 08:22:21 | More by donnebaby
Photo of rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

1.95/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Tap@North Coast. Pretty bland pale ale, grainy, malty and tinny, some lemony hops in the finish, but hard to write too much about it. Probably one of the blander Pale Ales i had on my US trip, some slight aromatic hops in the finish, but not really, not much happening.

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2005 11:25:24 | More by rastaman
Photo of MobBarley


3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Another solid beer from my hometown's best known brewery. Pours a rusty orange with an armada of tiny bubbles ascending to form a small, yet stubborn white head...some minor lacing is apparent til' the (not so bitter) end. The smell is grassy and summery with complex malty sweetness laying down the bassline...funky in a good way. The taste is sadly average. Maltier than most Pale Ales and with a mediocre gnash of hops for balance. The mouthfeel is tremendously refreshing and perhaps a little light: it's there and then it isn't. Drinkability is quite good. The mild yet complex flavors and refreshing nature make this a good session beer. I just wish I had something more bitter to go with the Palak Paneer on my plate. Well above average despite my nitpicking.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2005 04:31:49 | More by MobBarley
Photo of HappyHourHero


3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy, glowing, pale copper colored beer filled with streams of carbonation. Small off-white colored head faded to a film in a matter of seconds. Very mild sugary grapefruit hop aroma. Nice flavor, a mix of grapefruit and a pinch of apricot up front. There's a mild maltiness that is noticeable midway through, and a little bitterness. Finish is of citrus hops and definitely keeps me coming back for more. A tasty beer I could drink a bunch of.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2005 20:09:16 | More by HappyHourHero
Photo of hero27


3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Love the old-fashioned style bottle. I had high hopes for this one...unfortunately, they weren't reached...but what the hell, at least the bottle will look good in my collection. Pours a clear, golden/copper color into the glass. Head is better than average and leaves lacing in sheets on the glass.

Smell: Dominant grassy aroma, grains noted as well. Could pick up a hint of fruits but nothing spectacular.

Taste: Crisp, refreshing PA. I love a good American PA but this one hovers around average for me because it's not near bitter enough. Needs more hops. A little too mild for my taste, but this might be a great conversion beer for someone who is stuck in BMC land.

Mouthfeel: Light body with decent carbonation but too thin for my taste. I like light, refreshing beers for the most part, but they do need to have some substance too..

Drinkability: Decent price + light body = good drinkability. Not nearly as good as some of North Coast's other offerings, but an average PA to try and not something that'll knock you on your ass, that's for sure.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2005 00:58:26 | More by hero27
Photo of BCMan


4.03/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer is deep honey in color. White, frothy head that faded fast. Mild hop nose with hints of citrus. Light and refreshing flavor with mild hints of hop. Taste doesn't linger. Very wet on the palet, mouth watering. I think this beer was very good...perhaps one of the best I've had. I would definetly recomend it.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2005 01:31:18 | More by BCMan
Photo of tavernjef


3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dull golden honey orange color, sparce but compacted and finely bubbled whitish cap slips away quickly. Keeps a whispy skim and thin collar; lacing is glaring and clear with some small globby spots sticking.

Aroma has a toasty caramel, crispy biscuit malt, light floral hop notes with a very slight herbal edge. Clean but restrained a bit.

Taste has a creamy malt in the front, baring a caramel smoothness, medium built toastyness that gains more crispness and grainy edge as it finishes off. Hops are slightly noted with a small herbalness and faint fruityness bordering citrus. There seems to be a bit of lingering nuttyness under the grains. Not bad, but could be better as like em more hoppy. This is closer, if not the same, as something I would expect from an English Pale. And there's nothin' wrong with that when done right, which this is.

Feel is quite smooth and creamy, lighter medium body with a nice toasted finish and malt gain across the palate.

This is a fine pale, more along the lines of a sweeter/maltier pale then hoppy. Very reminescent of a Vienna.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2005 01:57:31 | More by tavernjef
Photo of TinusTime


3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber colour with a fairly competent white head. Aroma is a bit of butterscotch with hop notes.. The taste is sweet with a bit of dry finishing.. The ACME IPA is much hoppier and is a much better beer. That said this is more of an british pale ale style is drinkable as a session brew.. All said I would rather have the ACME IPA over the pale, but the pale is a very drinkable decent brew at well at the price I got it I will welcome it back

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2005 04:37:16 | More by TinusTime
Photo of mentor


2.8/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle obtained from "To Your Health" in Iowa City and consumed later that evening. Poured a one-finger head that was very faintly orangish. Crystal clear and very faintly orange colored. Smelled faintly of malt and fruit (apples?). Tastes primarily of malt. Where's the hops in this pale ale...I get more bitter from the carbonation than the hops. This is very sweet and somewhat fruity. Medium mouthfeel. How many times did I say 'faint' in this review. My review is 'faint' because there is little to say.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2005 06:04:47 | More by mentor
Photo of skybluewater


2.9/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a peachy orange color. Smell's nearly non-existent. Taste is average. Nothing really jumps out at me, perhaps a little peach and grapefruit, but overall this is really pretty weak.

This is a servicable pale, nothing more than drinkable, and I say that only because there's nothing truly awful about this beer. But the price alone ($8.50 for a sixer) would prevent me from buying again (or at least often), as there are better tasting pales (Summit, Goose Island, Full Sail, etc.) available around here for $1-$2 less.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2004 00:08:00 | More by skybluewater
Photo of garymuchow


2.6/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to my brother John from bringing me this one.
Aroma is a pretty much straight malt character. In time picks up some mild hop spiciness. Somewhat sweet. MIld and mildly complex.
Orangish gold. Clear. Bright white head with a creamy character. Lacing.
Flavor has a weak quality to it, even a bit watery. Also carries a soft quality too. What taste is there is a mix of a light malt with a mildly spicy hops. Hops present with bitterness mid to somewhat long finish, but it's not all that pleasing.
Soft and thorough carbonation. A bit too thin with a real watery quality.
Average or below for style. I tend to be a generous scorer, especially with this style, but it's just not there. Flavors improve a little with warmth, but not enough to make a difference.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2004 03:49:13 | More by garymuchow
Photo of necoadam


3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a hazy golden/orange color with a nice head that thinned out eventually.

Smell consisted of a fruity/grainy aroma. Some light hops also meddle around. Malts also appear, but not as strong. Slighty on the sweet side, but wasn't a problem.

Taste was good. Malts show up along with some grain and fruit flavors. Towards the middle the hop bite shows up, but was quite tamed. The hops were there, but there weren't big or small. Basically, they'er were just..there. Moutfeel was good. Finished with a grainy taste along with a little hop bitterness, but overall the finish was on the dry side.

Not bad. It's nothing to write home about, but a good beer to wash down food.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2004 19:17:26 | More by necoadam
ACME California Pale Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
79 out of 100 based on 466 ratings.