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ACME California Pale Ale - North Coast Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
ACME California Pale AleACME California Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

288 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 288
Hads: 530
Avg: 3.45
pDev: 18.55%
Wants: 9
Gots: 33 | 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.
View: Beers (26) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of ACME California Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 288 | Hads: 530
Photo of Duster72
2.94/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy orangey amber with minimal head and no lacing. Very pretty looking beer! Aroma is biscuts, floral hops, and some fruits -- perhaps strawberry or apricot. Taste is sour frutiness with some floral hops and mild sweet maltiness. Mouthfeel is very thin. Doesn't really taste good, and I would not drink another. Very disappointing.

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Photo of beeritron
2.94/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours out of the bottle a very nice amber color with a full cream colored head that lasts through out the glass. However there is minimal lacing. The smell is very weak, with more of a yeast presence than hops. The taste is pretty average with not much bitterness and no hop flavors after the swallow. There is a bit of fruity aftertaste similar to apples. The malt flavor is ok, with the body being a little thin for the style. Really not much to this beer.

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Photo of mschofield
2.94/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear light ambered gold, two finger off-white head that leaves small bits of lace, light carbonation/
Has a flowery hop aroma, butterscotch, and an unpleasant note of wet dog.
Butterscotch again in the taste, accompanied by apple, honey and apricot. A sweet fruity taste as well - could be passionfruit.
Medium feel, smooth, would be a good drinking beer if the taste was better and stronger.

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Photo of droomyster
2.93/5  rDev -15.1%
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.

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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.

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


Pours a hazy dark amber color with an average rocky white head that was lasting with fair lacing. Moderate hoppy citrus aroma. Medium body with a thin texture. Moderate sweet small bitter flavor with a light sweet finish of short duration.

Average brew.

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Photo of aquaderek
2.91/5  rDev -15.7%
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

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Photo of skybluewater
2.88/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

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Photo of shand
2.88/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a nonic.

This is a beautiful looking brew. Pours with a healthy two and a half fingers of head over a hazy straw body. Retention and lacing are excellent. The smell on this is also quite nice. It's fruity with a touch of floral hops and a bit of grapefruit. A little touch of graininess drags it down a touch. The taste isn't quite as good as the nose though. Grainy malts are really the star of the show, along with some cloying sweetness that unfortunately pairs with some bitterness on the backend. There's just a touch of hop character. Just not the best taste character.

The mouthfeel is pretty good, it's decently carbonated. This beer's saving grace is probably it's drinkability, which is enough to drag up the average half a point or so. It's a decent brew that might be marred by the lack of freshness dates. Date your beers!

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Photo of SupaCelt
2.88/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

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Photo of jarmby1711
2.86/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ah , a chance to sample another American craft ? beer.
No expectations , no background knowledge to influence one.
Verdict , a beer of moderate enjoyability.
It looked the part , nice darkish hue , 1-2 finger head with some no tracing bubbles , but there was an underlying kerosene/creosote taste that was a bit off putting .
As Jim Carey so famously said in Liar Liar , " I've had better"

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Photo of TheJudge
2.85/5  rDev -17.4%
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

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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.


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Photo of mentor
2.81/5  rDev -18.6%
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.

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

Appearance: Poured a moderately cloudy brownish amber, with some odd suspended sediment. 1.5 finger white bubbly head that lasts for about 30 seconds. Visible carbonation. No lacing at all. Seems pretty lifeless.

Smell: Toasted and biscuity malts. Similar to an adjunct lager in that respect. Some apple juice flavors as well. Slightly sour.

Taste: A darker roasted malt flavor, again similar to an adjunct lager. Mild sweetness and not many other flavors.

Mouthfeel: Thin to medium bodied. Not much else that stands out.

Drinkability: Easy to drink, but not that appealing. The flavor and nose are a bit grainy and sour. Definitely not a pale ale in my book. Way too malty and not in a good way.

Buy Again? No

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Photo of surfmeister
2.75/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: orange/bronze with a sturdy head that resembled most of the other pale ales I have tried
Smell: very fruity and herbal, quite pleasant again nothing special
Taste: bummer man, fill a glass approximately 2/3 full of SNPA then add water until the glass is full, that's the best description I can give...watered down
Mouthfeel: thin
Drinkability: yeah, sure on a hot day, nothing evil about this beer, but who cares?

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Photo of argock
2.73/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on-tap in a clear pint glass

A: Golden color with thin off-white head than disappears quickly and leaves minimal lacing

S: Muted earthy hops presence with pale malts

T: Earthy hops flavors and subtle pale malts are there, but they are muted and a little on the watery and weak side. Not unpleasant, but not enough on the ball.

M: Smooth but thin feel. Pleasant aftertaste and even carbonation.

D: Not one of Northcoast's best efforts and it pales in comparison to their red ale, IPA and Old Rasputin RIS.

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Photo of Enola
2.72/5  rDev -21.2%
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.

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

Not one of North Coast's better efforts. The hopping was in the right range for a pale ale, but is was bland and one-dimensional. Sort of "Hi, I'm just here for the bittering, don't mind me, I'm just passing through." Malt was a bit sweet and bready, and not of much interest, either.

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Photo of joekfsu
2.68/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours cloudy orange with 2 cm of nearly white foamy head that is mostly diminishing. Aroma of citrus and bread. Initial taste is sweet with malt and citrus, but changes to a more balanced flavor with hops and bread flavors. Light body, not particularly having an alcohol presence, moderate lacing, and some aftertaste. Overall, doesn't compare to the other beers in this category.

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Photo of garymuchow
2.68/5  rDev -22.3%
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.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
2.68/5  rDev -22.3%
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.

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Photo of adamette
2.68/5  rDev -22.3%
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.

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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.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.62/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

As much as I've enjoyed some other North Coast products, I'm really disappointed with this one.

Appearance was a clear, dull amber. Aroma was lightly sweet and hoppy. Taste was weak and thin. Mouthfeel was similarly thin and not good. I'm not too impressed with this beer.

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ACME California Pale Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
79 out of 100 based on 288 ratings.