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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.

479 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 479
Reviews: 282
rAvg: 3.45
pDev: 13.91%
Wants: 7
Gots: 14 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 479 | Reviews: 282 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of fropones
3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a nice clear straw yellow with minimal white head. Smell is kind of skunky with some malt and muscat notes as well. Vinousy aroma like a kölsch, but in the end just too skunky smelling. Taste has some crispyness up front with a nice malt backbone to it. More vinousy flavors as well. Thankfully less skunky than the smell, also. A nice effervescence and creaminess to the mouthfeel. Overall not great, but not terrible either. If I had a choice, however, I'd probably choose a different IPA.

fropones, Nov 12, 2009
Photo of flagmantho
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: slightly hazy yellow-golden color with a one-finger white head.

Smell: light malt aroma with light, citrusy, floral hops. Subtle but enticing ... something about its restraint edges up my score a little bit.

Taste: malty, quite citrusy, not too bitter. The hops continue to be floral but there is also a little bit of an earthy quality to them in the flavor. Quite good indeed.

Mouthfeel: light-to-medium body with a nice level of carbonation that yields a good creaminess.

Drinkability: quite nice. This might be one to keep around the house ... should have bought a whole sixpack.

flagmantho, Oct 27, 2009
Photo of TheHammer
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one from Ludachris, I never really heard of it, so lets get to it.

Appearance: A solid pour gives me a good solid thumb of head, off to a good start. The head laces and retains fairly well and the body boasts good carbonation. The color though is a bit odd as a somewhat cloudy and sickly orange and yellow appearance which isn't completely out of place given the style, but a bit odd.

Smell: Mild citrus hops that took a bit of warming to come out, merely nod to a backdrop of simpler malts. Certainly nothing bad in this department, although I've had beers with less of a hop presence turn out disastrous.

Taste: Wonderful stuff, it starts with a bit of mild malt that could be a little bit sweeter, which then shifts to an almost marmalade taste as the citrus, almost orange like hops take over which gradually turns to a nice light kick of a light grapefruit element.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation for this beer is perfect, it seems to flow fairly evenly throughout the beer and as a result very smooth transition between flavor. The hop aftertaste lingers a bit too long on the back of the tounge, but it doesn't leave the mouth too dry or too moist. I'd give it a 4.25 if I could, but I'm gonna go with the higher rank since I have to.

Drinkability: This stuff went down fast, and despite solid carbonation causes no gas issue and sits light on the gut. Tastes refreshing, even despite the slight hop dryness and goes down very smoothly. The hops at the end could use a slight reign in, but that is a minor complaint.

Final Thoughts: If you've read my reviews before, you know I'm not a big fan of beers that have a monstrous hop presence. This is the perfect hoppier beer for me. The hops are balanced with the malt to be dominant but not excessive. The carbonation however also play a huge factor in this beer. Best of all, perfect for any occasion save possibly at dinner. I highly recommend it, and would gladly pickup a 12 of it.

TheHammer, Oct 23, 2009
Photo of Tone
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, pale golden color. 1/2 inch head of a white color. Good retention and decent lacing. Smells of hops, slight sweet malt, slight pale malt, yeast, and some citrus. Fits the style of an American Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level; also slightly watery. Tastes of pale malt, slight sweet malt, yeast, and hops. Overall, decent aroma, but lacking in mouth feel and body.

Tone, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of mdwalsh
3.4/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A very airy head, lots of big bubbles without too much volume. Very fluffy and lots of texture on the top. Leaves a pretty good lave and has decent active carbonation. It has a little haze, but there's this odd flow of sediment sinking to the bottle. Rather noticable and very unattractive. The beer is a nice golden color though. Still, I gotta deduct points. Head retention was pretty bad anyway.

S: Citrus, particularly grapefruit and lemon. More like an IPA that a Pale Ale to me, but what should I have expected? Once the head is gone though, which is fast, the smell fades and a slight maltiness comes into my scent range. But still, not at all balanced. It's really like just a hop tea smell. Nothing even impressive about the hops.

T: Thin and mostly unbalanced, though better than the smell. It seems though the big head sucked most the carbonation out of the bottle. Tastes kinda flat. There is some malt, though I wouldn't call it sweet, the hops really still dominate. I gotta find out what kinda hops this is, it's the one I like least.

M: Like I said, flat. ish. Not that awful, but noticable. Other than that, extremely light but pretty smooth. Still, nothing to write home about.

D: For me, no, for a hophead who doesn't like carbonation, yes.

mdwalsh, Oct 01, 2009
Photo of adamette
2.65/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. single that I bought at Cost Plus World Market in Mentor, Ohio a few weeks ago before they decided to close into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass.

A 4 to 5 inch generous head, very light brown in color is the head and it is over a nice, light brown/orange translucent body that has a bit of cloudiness to it. Appropriate to style. I like the head and the moderate lacing. 3.0

S Surprisingly minimal smell of barley, not much hops at all. 2.5

T Yeah, the barley follows right into the taste without too many hops at all. This beer has a lot less taste than I thought it might (the whole west coast and Pale Ale huge beer connection). There is not even too much of a malt presence. I appreciate that this pale ale is not a pseudo DIPA (like I find sometimes) in that the hops are very muted but if I am only left with a barley taste then that is not very good. Actually, repeated tastes reveal that this reminds me of a hearty iced tea, it has that same earthy tea leaf feel. This is my lowest taste rating for a beer coming out of North Coast Brewing Company out of Fort Bragg. 2.0

M Light, with a bit of smoothness. 3.0

D Very good since it is low ABV and tastes like a heavy iced tea. 4.0

Notes: Strange brew from North Coast, clearly made to be a session beer but it will not be part of any session in my near future. By the way, the label on my 12 oz. bottle is superior to the one pictured here but retains that classic advertising look. There is a "Lady in Red" with red hair swinging from left to right with a pint of beer in her right hand. Very cool. Lastly, for a Pale Ale session I would clearly choose SNPA over this one.

adamette, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of donniecuffs
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a 4oz sample glass at a North Coast promo.

A: Amber/copper, with a thin head that surprisingly laced.

S: Very, very subtle nose, with only a hint of sweet maltiness and biscuit.

T: Creamy biscuit dissolves to woodiness and then to a bitter finish. Impressive progression.

M: Very thick mouthfeel for a pale ale, with subtle carbo.

D: Too thick of a pale ale to session effectively.

donniecuffs, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of ludachris
3.38/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the second of the ACME beers I purchased and for some reason I was expecting a little more. Review from notes:

Pours deep gold in colour with a one finger quickly dissipating white head. Weak retention and no lacing.

First thing that came to mind was MGD upon first sniff. Strong floral hop presence, clean biscuity malts and some light lemon.

Floral hops some light citrus and a clean buttery malt finish. That to me was the highlight of this beer.

Fairly light bodied and somewhat watery but very crisp and clean. Seemed a little too bland to make me want to drink another but can see this one being easily sessionable and very refreshing.

Overall, a mediocre APA at best in my opinion. For a beer that's named ACME (pinnacle of a mountain, probably refrencing the pinnacle of beer) I expected a lot more.

ludachris, Sep 01, 2009
Photo of Clydesdale
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a somewhat hazy orange-amber color. The off-white head is tall, somewhat dense, and frothy, with nice retention and some attractive rings of lacing.

S: Mild biscuity and pale malt aromas. Some mildly subdued citric (orange) and floral hop character. Slightly fruity and mineral notes are also present.

T: Fairly firm pale malts lend a slight biscuity note to the flavor. The hops add a gentle citric and floral taste, with mild bitterness. A bit fruity, again with some vague mineral qualities as well.

M: Light-bodied and smooth, with mild carbonation. Finishes rather dry overall.

D: This works pretty well as a mild, sessionable pale ale. However, it toes the line between timid and drinkable at times. Pleasant but not especially exciting.

Clydesdale, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of maleman
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - deep opaque caramel color. one finger head that quickly transformed to about half of that. above average carbonation. nice full lacing.

S - a distinct malty, yeasty frangrance. A bit of grass and resin.

T - bready. some citrus in there somewhere. nothing that really made a statement to me.

M - again, you could sense the above average carbonation. it leaned toward the watery side. tasted it in the back roof of my mouth.

D - better than a Bud Light, but not by much. probably won't buy it again.

maleman, Aug 22, 2009
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.13/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a copper color ale with a medium foamy head with good retention and average lacing. Aroma of light bitter hops with some subtle floral undertones. Taste is a well balanced mix between some lightly bitter hops with some notes of caramel malt. Body is about average with good carbonation. Not bad but lacking character and additional hops presence would have been great.

Phyl21ca, Aug 22, 2009
Photo of scooter231
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy, very cloudy golden orange, with a tannish head and decent lacing. Can't see through it at all. Kinda looks like a wheaty bear, actually.

Nose is lightly floral, lightly grassy. A little lemon comes through. Not very potent. There's far more to the taste than the nose- more hops, a decent punch of bready maltyness, and more lemon flavors come through. It's light and simple, nothing unexpected.

Mouthfeel is a little thin, but still has some sudsy punch. Very slick, too. Overall, this would probably make a good session beer. It's refreshing and light, easy to drink.

scooter231, Aug 21, 2009
Photo of wnh
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a bright golden amber with a finger's worth of fizzy white head that diminishes to a thin fizzy film. Not so great.

Aromas of lemon citrus, tropical fruit, and pine resin, all quite subdued and blended. Caramel malt comes through on the palate, joined by the hop blend, with a lightly bitter, earthy, almost cellar-like quality on the finish. Lingering mild earthiness that leaves something to be desired. Light bodied, so it's drinkable enough, but the overall flavor impression leaves me wanting. Not a bad beer, but one I won't be trying again.

wnh, Aug 17, 2009
Photo of SurlyDuff
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazy orange copper brew with a nice puffy white head.

Aroma starts with a light toasty grain and spicy biscuits. I had this along with their ipa, and it's not just a ramped-down version of the ipa. It's a unique beer on its own.
It is well balanced beer.
A good full mouthfeel for a pale ale, not watery and good carbonation. Its low enough alcohol to really be a good daytime drinker, not one to sit and ponder over.

SurlyDuff, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of DV8HARD
4.33/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I served a bottle into a Pilsener glass. The head was frothy and large with a hint of amber. The most prominant smell is that of honey.

The appearance is cloudy and an amber color.

I'm very impressed with the taste. It's clean, which I like. I can taste honey, hops, and an above average alcohol taste. It's not very carbonated.

I would recommend this beer.

DV8HARD, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of rfgetz
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy copper tones with a whispy head.

S: Light citrusy hops with slight pney scent.

T: Like the scent, a very light citrusy hop taste. Lacking much hop charachter.

M: Light-Medium body.

D: Above average pale ale, but works as a session beer with light citrusy flavor.

rfgetz, Jul 30, 2009
Photo of blingice
3.63/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Honey colored, paler yellow and orange, poured into a mug with a nice fluffy white head.

S - Fairly weak, smells decently fruity, lively, and crisp.

T - A fairly average beer, it seems. Not particularly bitter (there's no reason why it should be), but very smooth and refreshing nonetheless.

M - Lots of nice carbonation and balance here.

D - I probably wouldn't buy it again (since it's fairly average) but this isn't difficult to drink at all.

blingice, Jul 03, 2009
Photo of OlRasputin989
3.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: hazy copper colored brew with a decent head and lacing on the glass

S: oarnge peel and biscuit.

T: sweet, grapefruit up front with a toasty and moderately bitter

M: light-medium body, good carbonation leaving the mouth just a little dry

Overall, I like the fruity sweetness of this beer and its balance.

OlRasputin989, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of Ell
3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a half gallon milk jug (Alabama is learning...) into my pint glass.

Very good color - deep amber. Good head, despite being poured from said milk jug.

The smell was hoppy, with a touch of floral notes. Very pleasing.

The taste was very hoppy and nicely bitter on aftertaste. Hoppier than most standard IPAs.

The mouthfeel was relatively light for a beer with this much hops.

It was, despite the hoppiness, quite light and drinkable. I had one at the end of a long day, and then started back for a second...

Ell, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of vikingloki
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours into a pint glass, 1" foam head quickly which disapates into lacing on top of an orangey amber not entirely clear ale.

Smells of slightly citrus hops and unbaked bread, biscuit? a touch of yeast.

Nice lush mouthfeel, due in part to carbonation. Seems very balanced, not hoppy like some pale ales,yep, very even. Just a tiny smack of bite at the end. As a homebrewer, I know it's hard to make a nicely balanced beer that will appeal to many, so I have appreciation for what they are doing here.

I think this is a good gateway ale for someone who isn't familiar with craft brew, it's very neutral and drinkable. I'd been wanting to try it and glad I did. I like the label, probably more than the ale!

vikingloki, Jun 06, 2009
Photo of teejay76
4.33/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy copper color with a fluffy off-white head that rapidly dissipated.

Smell: Wonderful malty citrus aroma

Taste: Delicious! Tastes how it smells with great aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Great balance between hops and carbonation.

Drinkability: I really like this beer. It will definitely enter the rotation.

teejay76, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of Bitterbill
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle courtesy of Wasatch. Thanks John!

It pours a clear bright medium gold colour with a 2 finger head of foam. Lots of bubbles!

The smell is citrus hop bitter with some light notes of malt and maybe some grain. Not that inspiring.

The taste is more balanced...the hop bitterness is subdued compared to the nose and the malt brings a nice sweet aspect to the table and that's what I called nicely balanced. A "simple" brew that works well to my palette.

Light mouthfeel with medium carbonation and the head retention, well, it just won't go away.

Drinkabilty? I like what's going on here so, it's defintely very good. More than 1 bottle at a sitting would be a piece of cake.

Bitterbill, May 22, 2009
Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice orange to amber color with a strong white head that disipates about 1/3 of the way down. It is very easy to drink due to its nearly perfect mouthfeel. The lacing follows the brew all of the way to the bottom of the glass. The mild hops make this a pretty weak APA but that's not a slight in this case. If I were to name any faults I would say that toward the end of the pint there was the slightest hint of metal almost a tap water after taste, though not strong and not lingering. This is a mild APA perfect for the guzzle.

ArrogantDeadGuy, May 01, 2009
Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought as a single, served into a pint glass. Dark shade of a somewhat hazy orange in color. A nice head that sticks around for awhile and some slight lacing on the glass. Smells are grainy, some malt first then some hops afterward, slight hint of lemon zest. Taste is smooth and refreshing, balanced well with the malt getting the upper edge. The mouthfeel is thin with some nice carbonation and the alcohol is not noticed at all. Drinkability would be higher, but nothing really shouts out at you while consuming. A good impression of the style, so if APA is your thing I will recommend. Other than that, I may have to move on up to their IPA to be fully satisfied.

BuffaloTapHugger, Apr 30, 2009
Photo of kellywilson50
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy golden appearance, and not much head retention. Aroma is very faint, but pleasant. First flavor is of the hops, which gives some citrus character and a light bitterness, then followed by a sweet maltiness. A little suprised it doesn't have more mouthfeel, but could be due to CO2 burn. Not a bad pale ale, but not one of my favorites. Given the choice between this or a Red Seal, I'd take their Red Seal.

kellywilson50, Apr 27, 2009
ACME California Pale Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
79 out of 100 based on 479 ratings.