1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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)
View: Beers (23) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of ACME California Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 466 | Reviews: 282 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wavz


2.13/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

First impression is everything. And everything I got from my first impression is a weak one. Poured and right away not much head that stuck around. A light orange pale copper hue. Aroma is not of a great malt or hop, but otherwise reminds me of a sam adams in flavor. Out of all of the Pale Ales I have tried this has to be one of the weakest ones. Try it out, but you will be disapointed. I know that I wont be fooled twice.


Serving type: bottle

08-24-2006 04:25:37 | More by wavz
Photo of Graebner


2.48/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pale yellow, reminiscent of Bud or something equally ghastly. No head.

Smells of peaches, blood, wet dog, light hops and some biscuit.

Tastes thinly of biscuit, light hoppy finish, little else.

Well balanced carbonation, thin feel, hops and alcohol in the finish. For a beer of this abv, the alcohol is undesirable and inexcusable.

Not terrible, not much good. Would likely sour in your stomach after a while. Will not buy again, and glad I only bought one this time.

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2006 19:24:47 | More by Graebner
Photo of Gueuzedude


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

Pours with a hazy, orangish copper color and is topped by a thin pale tan colored head that quickly becomes patchy. The aroma is a nice mix of citrus-like bergamot notes, a touch of pine, toasted grain, a touch of caramelized malt sugars, a nice biscuit-like notes. While nothing is wow about this aroma, it is really nicely integrated and strikes quite a refreshing balance of hop and malt aromatics.

Sharp, and nicely bitter from the get go, the hop bitterness is found throughout the flavor profile of this beer, it even lingers on in the finish. A touch of bergamot, combines with a very light resinous note and a more evident hop astringency that melds with the perception of bitterness. There is a nice clean malt character here as well, it provides a light palate to this beer that keeps it nice and quaffable. A touch of malty grain sweetness, and even a light caramelized malt character (from a light crystal malt perhaps) helps to just balance the hops. Actually balance is the wrong word, as this is certainly a hop focused beer; it is not as hoppy as some of the more extreme versions now a days, but it is nicely hoppy with just enough malt to round things out. There is nothing in this beer that is out of the ordinary, nothing to satisfy the extremes of the palate, but it is just so well balanced, tasty and quaffable. A thoroughly solid example of a Pale Ale and a perfect first beer of the evening.

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2006 01:16:27 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of acrawf6


3.25/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours out a nice hazy orange hue with a small white head

Smell. A small orange citrus aroma from the hops come out and has a sugary sweetness of like a snowball (snowcone for ya yanks). Also has a medicinal aroma and a bit bandaid like aroma. ehh

Taste. The hops kinda leave after the aroma. Not to say it doenst have any bitterness, it is just a very mild hop character. A very neutral taste that doesnt make it good or bad. A small bit of hop bitterness comes out in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is ok. Right amount of carbonation, balance is decent. Body is about medium

Overall, i could see buying this beer on a pinch, but not if any other north coast beers are offered (ie. their ipa). I could drink this for a session beer, and it wouldnt be bad, but i wouldnt choose this to be my first choice.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2006 21:11:48 | More by acrawf6
Photo of Enola

North Carolina

2.7/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer has more macro qualities than micro's. The color is a light straw and there was almost no head. The smell is of a light beer with a small amount of hops. The taste is pretty watered down. Not a powerfull beer. There may be a slight vanilla finish. The mouthfeel is not very good. Just a bland lasting aftertaste. Not a beer I will buy again. This would be a crossover type beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2006 22:16:51 | More by Enola
Photo of poluti


3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It appeared to be a nice orange-gold. Nice bubbly white head. Thick with foam but didn't last. A good looking beer.
The smell was somewhat hoppy but the malt content was typical Acme and I wasn't too impressed. It sensed some floral.
There was a very imposing malt profile for the little bitterness that was in the beer. The balance errors on the side of sweet malt, and I wasn't that impressed for a CA PA, then again it wasn't bad.
It coats the mouth fairly well, however, I felt there wasn't enough carbonation to justify the taste.
I would pick this beer up again if there is a good deal on a six pack.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2006 21:17:19 | More by poluti
Photo of whynot44


3.33/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very slightly hazy coppery gold color with a decent white head momentarily (look away and it disappears). Almost no lacing left behind.

The aroma is mildly bready, maybe a bit of caramel.

The taste is also mild, slightly grainy malt with some caramel and citrus notes. The finish is still slightly fruity and sweet with, at last, a hint of hops but no real bite.

Fairly refreshing and easy to drink but pretty mild for a west cost pale ale.

Nice Label.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2006 03:00:20 | More by whynot44
Photo of IntriqKen


3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale golden amber with a small white head that melts to fine lacing ringing the glass.
Aroma is sweet malts and bready yeast.
Taste is sweet pale malt with a slight crisp orange citrus hops at the end but not enough, IMHO
Aftertaste is sort of sticky rather than drying.
Drinkabiliity is ok, but i like more inspiration frm my brews. Probably good for the newbie to craft beers, but I expect more hops from an APA..especially one born in the west

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2006 20:02:59 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of wcudwight

North Carolina

3.68/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a reddish gold with a highly carbonated head. At first this is one of the best looking pale ale's I've seen. It quickly becomes ordinary as the massive head recedes to a light lace crowning the beverage. Smell is more malty than most PA's, lot's of caramel in the nose. Taste is of caramel and some spice. Clove maybe. Where's the hops? Light hoppy finish. It's missing the hops normally found in pale ales, but that doesn't make it a bad beer. The mouthfeel is thin and watery. Overall it's a decent beer for the hot summer months and a different take on a pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2006 02:48:35 | More by wcudwight
Photo of bditty187


3.03/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy, tawny-gold in hue with a lovely peachy influence; it has a typical APA color. White head, at the apex the foam was a half finger tall. Good head retention but after a few moments all that remained was a soapy cap. There was minimal spotty subsequent lacing. Overall, this is a decent looking beer.

The nose is muted citrus infused with caramelized grains, vaguely fruity. For some reason it doesn’t smell malty, it smells “grainy” (which is a cheap smell, BTW). I guess, blindly, I’d call this a Pale Ale but the nose is far from noteworthy. There is almost no complexity here. It is boring… but somewhat inviting, I suppose (but no really). Yawn.

The palate has almost no hop bite and the bitterness is minimal. For an APA, the lack of hops is a major flaw. I detect some flowery-citrus notes. Dull caramel grains, it is hard to call it malty. It is weakly fruity as well. The aftertaste is sweet and clunking with no bitterness. I want hop bitterness to linger in my APAs. Overall, this a very boring Pale Ale. What is the point of this?

Medium-light in body, low but natural carbonation, the mouthfeel is ordinary.

There are hundreds of better APAs on the market. Sure, this beer is easy to drink but I get no pleasure in doing so. As such, this beer is not drinkable. I could drink it again but most likely I won’t. There just isn’t a need. I purchased my bottle in Council Bluffs, IA. Skip it.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2006 14:57:04 | More by bditty187
Photo of mynie


3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pretty bottle, prettier pour. More orange than red with a very large, strong head that sticks around until the glass is finished.

Smells like dullish malt and memories of hops. Those memories are good, yes, but far too weak.

Tastes like fruit, caramel, and subdued hops. A little old, maybe? The malt is still present, and it's nicely sweet, but the hops are almost all dead.

I'll have to see if I can find a fresher one of these. Might be very good.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2006 18:48:20 | More by mynie
Photo of DogFood11


2.35/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shiney light copper, lots of fine carbonation support a pillowy white head, lacing is ring style and sliding, oily.

Really tough to pick out much of anything obvious in the smell, although it has a healthy grain smell, and very mild hops

Really laid back not only for a west coast pale but for any pale ale. The malts are earthy, Hop bill comes up short and is really non existent for the most part. There is a fruity element to it that lends to more of a citrus finish than anything else. Crisp and light its easy to drink but doesn't bring much power to the table

I'm a huge fan of this brewery and they make outstanding products up and down their line. The Acme Pale is what it is, a product that the masses could turn to and enjoy because there's nothing there that could offend one's palate. For me ....I'm out.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2006 01:32:00 | More by DogFood11
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acme- California Pale Ale

Appearance- hazy orange with a thick head. very little lacing more of a soapy trail.
Smell- very light, almost non existent lemon/ pineapple hops.
Taste- light peach/ pear with a few other fruits thrown in. A light bubbly fruit cocktail beer. not bad though.
Mouthfeel- not as sweet as you'd expect with a slight dryness in the end.

Overall- not bad at all, but a definite summer beer. The beer is half empty before you really detect the flavor. An easy drinking beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2006 20:34:07 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of Byeast


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

A-darker Amber orange , slighly hazy , thin head

S- citrusy/sweet fruit , slight pear , some grain , nothing very strong

T- a little fruity-citrusy , crisp , mild bread , small hop bitterness

m- crisp and carbonated

D- flavors are not really strong , but pleasant and drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2006 23:50:01 | More by Byeast
Photo of Bcant


3.05/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Straw color; nice fluffy head that leaves some lacing.
S: Mild; strawberries and lemons.
T: Pretty straightforward; toasty and doughy, a little bit tart. Hops are present but not used very well.
M/D: Tart mouthfeel reduced drinkability; feels slightly metallic.

Not a bad brew, but not a great example of an APA especially whith so many versions of the style that are easy to get.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2006 06:51:16 | More by Bcant
Photo of Naes

New York

3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pale ale is golden brown with a small white head.
The aroma is of mild hops; nothing spectacular.
The flavor has a malty base with a grassy and slight hop presence.
The mouth feel is medium bodied and lightly carbonated.

This is an average pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2006 01:42:56 | More by Naes
Photo of drugsbunny


2.4/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

No freshness dating I could find. The bottle art is nice. This ale is average at best, with a decent aroma. Slightly hazy, not a lot of carbonation and a weak mouthfeel. Perhaps because of the beers dull taste. I heard good things about this brewery, and its other available beers, but this one is unimpressive. So many other good beers to choose and a heck of a lot cheaper on the East Coast that $10 a sixpack. Don't bother with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2006 17:14:39 | More by drugsbunny
Photo of NEhophead


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

Foamy white head with decent retention a top a weakened copper in color with a slight, chill haze. Thin, hanging lace with decent strength.

Floral hop aroma; perfume-like. Musty apricot with a touch of pine. Hints of lime and orange peel.

Powdery and musty floral hop character that encompasses the palate. Dried tropical fruit: pineapple, peach, honeydew. The carbonation and mid-sip bitterness leads to a full and dry finish. Almost bland beyond the initial floral hop profile.

Medium bodied; dry on the palate. Musty and gritty.

Annoying film-like floral hojp profile with not enough additional flavors to convince me to have another one.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2006 13:29:47 | More by NEhophead
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS


3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good, average, non-offensive, here sweetie try this pale.

A. Small head, hazy, unfilterness, bits of sediment.

S. A bit lacking.

TM&D. A very drinkable offering from this brewery. I necessarily wouldn’t consider this a true Pale Ale, but more along the lines of an Extra Pale Ale. Drinakbility is very high. I think it is generously rated at 5%.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2005 01:12:24 | More by FLAbeergutinMASS
Photo of SupaCelt


2.85/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This bottle purged itself to reveal an orange honey coloured brew with a small fleeting head and scant carbonation. The nose was heavy on malt and something strange that reminded me of pumpkin. Weird. I guess it could have been honey and some other component. I did not feel any hop aromatics hitting my snout. The flavour was pretty weak. It had a sourness and I swear it had pumpkin too. Very little hop bitterness, but it was there to some extent. The mouthfeel was a non issue after the flavour turned out to be some sort of wuzzle. Drinkability? I might drink this over something else, but I would have to be in dire straights. I am not sure what was happening with this brew. I had expected another decent Northcoast Acme product after being pleasantly surprised by the IPA, but this pale ale was just busted. Sad.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2005 21:39:03 | More by SupaCelt
Photo of aquaderek


2.9/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Looks pretty good, it has a nice golden orangy(?) color with a thin head which diminishes quickly. The nose cabbage, little bit of hops, some hints of caramel. Taste: some malt with a little hops and leaves a little to be desired. Mouthfeel is nice bubbles with a somewhat creamy finish. I could drink a couple. not the best, not the worst an OK beer

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2005 03:20:21 | More by aquaderek
Photo of grindcore666


3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance is golden orange and bubbly. Head retention sucked. Oh well. Smells like apple juice from concentrate with a tiny hint of apricots and spice. Medium carbonated, shy and pleasant hops with a base of honey and (still) apricots. Reminds me of Great White, but the sweetness is a lot more subdued and carbonation less aggressive. Nice buttery finish. Mouthfeel is a little light, which bumps up the drinkability; however, I'd prefer this one take some chances - it's just a play-it-safe Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2005 02:09:36 | More by grindcore666
Photo of Illinick


2.63/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pale-ish, golden-amber color with orange hues. Small, white, fizzy head that dissipates to very small ring quickly. Slight lacing, but not much.
S: Bland. Floral and green hop scent with hints of honey and a few sour-fruit notes. Also some grassy scents coming through. Watered down, not a lot of distinct flavors are present.
T: Again, bland and watered down. Floral and green hops here too with an herbal and grassy taste present. Noticeable honey and some bitter and sour fruit. Hint of malt sweetness in the background. Again, nothing too distinct.
MF: watery and light, lack of good carbonation.
Overall: I truly wanted to like this APA, I really like North Coast and their line of brews, but this was a huge disappointment for me. I'm wondering (and hoping) I got a bad bottle. It was bland throughout with a lack of distinct flavors anywhere. I'll give it another try to see if I got a bad bottle.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2005 17:10:20 | More by Illinick
Photo of Bighuge


2.93/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Glowing orange-amber brew. Hazy and well carbonated. Thin cream colored head. Lacing is moderate. Light aroma. Piney and citric in nature. This beer lacks a lot of substance. Very, very average overall. Malts are muted and dull. Slight caramelish notes. Hops are one dimensional...piney. Body is about medium. There's a little spritziness to the mouthfeel. This is one I'm not in a hurry to return to.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2005 03:58:28 | More by Bighuge
Photo of Gusler


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

The beer disembarks the 12-ounce brown stubby bottle a cloudless gold with a diminutive white frothy head that vanishes quickly leaving a thin veil of lace to cover the glass. Nose has nice fresh malt sweetness, very slight hint of hops and the start sweet with a pleasant grain profile, the top is light to moderate in feel. Finish is light to medium in acidity, the hops delightfully spicy and the aftertaste quite dry, a fine drinking beer, and the ACME line-up of beers all are worthy of a sample IMHO.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2005 23:19:53 | More by Gusler
ACME California Pale Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
79 out of 100 based on 466 ratings.