Columbus Pale Ale - Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
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Ratings: 17 | Reviews: 16 | Display Reviews Only:
4.2/5 rDev -4.5%
Got this growler from nursingbeer. Thanks, Molly! Psyched to try a new (for us) Town Hall beer.
A-Clear pale gold with a creamy white head and some good sticky lacing.
S-Strong blast of citrus hops (this is an APA?), floral hops and pungent parmesan cheese. Nice!
T-Strong citrus and floral hop bitterness from start to finish. As in the nose, way hoppy for an APA but quite tasty. A little light on the malt perhaps but quite flavorful and delicious,
M-Medium bodied, strong lingering bitterness. Thoroughly coats the tongue.
D-A unique but delicious beer. Lots of hoppy goodness and quite nicely bitter. Very happy to have had the chance to try this one.
09-20-2009 22:45:31 | More by sholland119
3.55/5 rDev -19.3%
This has to be the strangest beer I've ever had...and here is why.
Served in a standard pint glass, this brew is a nice shade of copper gold. Small white head with ok retention does leave some lacing around the glass.
The nose...wow. I get bubble gum and cotton candy, with a strong citrus and floral hop character. This smells fantastic...
EEEH!!(screeching breaks) This brew takes a 180 degree turn and heads the complete (h)opposite direction. See what I did there? The taste of this beer is not citrusy or fruity or floral at all, but is completely and utterly piney and earthy and resiny. I've never seen such difference from the nose to the taste in a beer in my life. It's not a bad thing, just strange. I think it's too aggressively hopped and unbalanced in the taste department for my tastes, but still damn good.
The mouthfeel is light and creamy. Leaves a strong bitter aftertaste that only motoroil can wash away. Great drinkability considering how strongly hopped this was.
Wow, such a strange but great experience. Columbus hops, by themselves, may not be for me, but this is still a good beer. I've enjoyed all the Single Hop Series beers I've had so far.
09-17-2009 04:08:48 | More by Mistofminn
4.15/5 rDev -5.7%
thanks to sean for hookin a BA up
growler made a nice loud pop however the pour was rather light with basically no head and what little there was, did retain. color was deep filthy murky funky copper and orange, more orange-ish. if this had some nice head, it would have scored higher. the color is magnificent.
kind of sweet, hints of citrus, pineapple, and booze.
quite bitter! very earthy and very bitter hop flavor. as i swirl this around a bit i get an earthy and funky flavor. very light malt presence, very. hops dominate. through the finish the bitterness REALLY comes out and there is a bit of funky sour flavor as well. pale ale? my ass... but in a good way!
quite full bodied even without carbonation. as this warmed to room temp, it REALLY has that cask ale feel and taste. i dig this, big time.
although i have no idea how this is a pale ale, this is pretty good stuff. VERY bitter and funky. i am glad i got to try this.
*5 minutes later*
the funky bitterness is still lingering and i like it
09-10-2009 22:10:09 | More by hooliganlife
3.53/5 rDev -19.8%
On tap at the brewpub.
Pours a lightly hazed copper/golden, medium size white head forms, settles down to a decent layer, leaves some lace chunks on the glass. Smell is intense, weed, floral, grapefruit, pine, very resiny, touch of caramel and honey maltiness, but its definitely dominated by the pungent hops. Taste is crazy too, all hops, pineapple and grapefruit, juice acidity, some floral, malt takes to the background, pretty rough and astringent bitterness in the finish, maybe too hoppy. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, definitely bitter in the finish, very rough. After your palette goes numb from the first few sips, its better. Maybe the most intensely hoppy beer I've ever had.
09-10-2009 17:32:34 | More by Viggo
4.22/5 rDev -4.1%
Had a friend pick me up a growler of this stuff. Finally got the chance to crack it open and have a couple of pints. Poured into imperial nonic.
A - Pours a hazy light copper color with a perfect one finger head. As it starts to die down, some nice lacing is left behind around the sides of the glass. A very nice-looking APA.
S - A good whiff is all I need to say "wow". A nice boquet of tropical fruit, hops, and citrus packaged all into one. I get a lot of pineapple, mango, and mandarin oranges as the sweet notes which is then followed up by the hops and citrus. A really nice combonation that makes this excellent on the nose.
T - The sweetness that's on the nose isn't really there on the palate. You pretty much get kicked in the face by the Columbus hoppy bitterness. If you aren't expecting it, this one will knock your ass out. I would say this is one of the hoppiest APA's I've ever had...more like an IPA. This could hang with Masala Mama toe to toe, no doubt. It has some of the tropical fruit notes but it's very faint in the beginning and also has a nice toasty/rye finish that's nice and bitter.
M - Fits right into the style: light, crisp, refreshing, with an oily feel for the finish. The carbonation is right-on perfect as well. Some nice bubbles but nothing that takes away from the flavors.
D - Although this is an awesome APA, I would have to put this in IPA territory. I couldn't drink as much of this with the huge hoppy notes, but it's sure delicious! Town Hall does it again!
09-09-2009 20:22:19 | More by Sean9689
4/5 rDev -9.1%
Shared a pint with the wife at another good Town Hall dinner. Never had the Chicken Penne before - if you like pasta that's a bit warm, try it. It's reallly good.
Anyways. Pale ale, hazed, unclear, looked to be unfiltered. Smell was immediate hops. Funny, when my wife ordered it the waitress said, "Just so you know, Columbus is really hoppy!" I bet there have been more than a few pints sent back.
Taste is as advertised, pure Columbus hops, & guess what? I find I like them somewhat less than some other varieties I've had straight up (Simcoe, Centennial, etc.). The hops are aggressive & pleasantly biting, with an orange edge to it. But it left me wanting. What? I'm not sure. But I had another fantastically hoppped beer this weekend, & this, while just as hoppy, wasn't nearly as good. I can only attribute that to the hop choice.
Nonetheless, a very good beer that I'd be happy to have again. Saying Columbus hops aren't quite up to Simcoe hops is like saying I think Shania Twain is hotter than Janet Jackson (yes, my age is showing). A very aggressive pale that for it's ABV it a great find.
09-08-2009 01:32:56 | More by maximum12
4.18/5 rDev -5%
Thanks to the man, Alex, for sharing this growler the other night! Columbus Pale Ale has a light golden body with zero haziness and good clarity. The clean white head rose to three fingers without a problem and as it slooowly settled took on that meringue-like look with tall sticky peaks. Even when the glass was finished there was a dollop of head left at the bottom of the glass. Sticky lacing clings all down the walls. This is an impressive looking pale ale.
I tasted this at a recent beer fest and each smell I took I was immediately hit with the aroma of freshly grated parmesan. This growler was no different, there's a ton of cheesy parmesan that segues into an herbal dankiness with underlying hints of orange oils and soft tropical fruitiness. The pale malt base is tough to pull out but shows the characteristics of light sugar cookies. This is one hell of a complex and deep smelling pale ale.
If there was ever nose that perfectly mimicked the flavor, this is it. Parmesan cheesy hoppiness leads into the dense herbal dankiness. The hop onslaught is relentless and right up my alley. Soft orange oil and tropical fruitiness stick around in the back and have a hard time showing themselves more thanks to the huge hop bitterness. The pale malt is nowhere to be found. The first half glass I drank of this was a 4.5, no problem. As I kept drinking the cheesiness started to drag on me a little bit.
The body is moderate with a moderate carbonation that has a soft feel on the tongue. The hops are absolutely tongue numbing, enamel eating, slap in the gums bitter. This is one of the bitterest beers I have had in awhile and the slightly dry finish keeps the bitterness going.
This beer flows fast but the sheer tastebud sheering bitterness makes tasting anything afterwards a chore. The cheesiness wore on me a little as well but not near enough for me to discount the sheer drinkability.
Columbus Pale Ale is one hop monster of a beer; the hop profile is super complex as well. I really was blown away by the immense, but easy drinking, hoppiness. I'd love to come across another growler of this down the road. Thanks again for taste, Alex!
08-25-2009 18:59:47 | More by joe1510
4.75/5 rDev +8%
Had on tap at Town Hall Monday August 3. Figured I would get my review up now that this is no longer listed as retired.
A: A good-sized white head with plenty of lacing as it goes down, although given how good this was, that didn't take very long. Color was a pale orange that was transparent with some apparent carbonation.
S: One of the best-smelling brews that I have ever encountered. If you want to get a feel for Columbus hops, simply take a single whiff of this one. Plenty of citrus/orange smell going on, with a little bit of a tropical vibe as well.
T: Lots and lots of Columbus hops with the taste much like the nose--lots of citrus with mainly orange and grapefruit. Slightly bitter, more so than your typical APA but not as much as the Masala.
M: Fantastic. Very clean with the perfect amount of carbonation. No alcohol feel and it goes down quite cleanly. Overall, the body is thinnish--though not too thin, as the body is perfect for enhancing this ones drinkability.
D: Hands down the best APA that I have ever encountered, putting al others in the style to shame. And, at least for this sitting, I thought Columbus Pale Ale had also upstaged Masala, which should be quite the endorsement.
08-24-2009 14:27:58 | More by Thorpe429
4.65/5 rDev +5.7%
Big thanks to younger35 for sending this growler down our way. Shared with Dave, Joe, and Bryna. Served in a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.
A - Great looking brew. Three fingers of off-white foam that slowly dissipates and leave tons of sticky lacing. Transparent orange-yellow color with bubbles slowly rising upwards. Could maybe a little darker and more intense in the color department.
S - Super dank-ass weed and slight cheesy flavor - full Columbus hops in effect here. The smell is huge and erupted from the growler as soon as we unscrewed the cap. There's a light dough and candy malt backbone that keeps things from spiraling totally out of control, but this beer is all about the hops. There's also some nice citrus lemon flavors in there well.
T - The taste is full of punishing bitterness that complements strong lemon zest and grapefruit flavors. Again, this beer is all about the hops, and the malt contribution is a light sweet doughy flavors. The only real knock on this is that the bitterness overwhelms the complexity found in the smell.
M - Mouthfeel is perfect for a pale ale. Light-medium refreshing body, crisp dry finish, and some nice oily hop resins that linger for a while. Carbonation is medium-low and imparts a soft velvety texture to the brew.
D - Even as I've mentioned the punishing bitterness it doesn't really impact the drinkability. This stuff is even more drinkable than Masala. Low ABV, amazing texture, spot-on carbonation, huge flavor - not sure what else I could ask for here?
Small edit - after the third pour the bitterness has gotten slightly overwhelming. Gonna have to bump it down by .5
Highly recommended for all lovers of anything hoppy.
08-22-2009 00:58:45 | More by MasterSki
4.78/5 rDev +8.6%
Hand-bottled 1L swingtop.
Bright, blurry brass with healthy, sculptable white head that sticks all the way down.
Explosive orange nose. Equal parts pulp and bitter peel. Backed up with bitter, bitter leafy herbs.
Malt is dispensed first, but not simply tossed out. Dryish beginnings. Biscuit fullness. Put an exclaimation mark on that. Traces of brittle toffee and, again, orange pulp. The orange rinds, however, exist in much more than trace quantities. It's very much akin to biting through the skins of several citrus fruits in succession. Lemon, orange, and grapefruit. Put another exclaimation mark on that. Maybe two or three. This is monster bitter. Acrid florals seep in next. This really shows how dynamic and powerful the Columbus hop can be. The lingering mouth-numbing bitterness is quelled by a (partially) offsetting sugared citric notation.
As this warms honeyed peaches appear along with some caramel notes. Hopping remains unchanged, though perhaps countered more effectively.
For a Pale Ale, this has girth to spare. It's simultaneously bursting out and contained by its structure. Firm and plenty carbonated. There's no logic or explanation as to how this is pulled off. This is alchemy, plain and simple. Forget the 5.2%, this is a huge, huge beer. I've had beers twice the size with less than a quarter of its characteristics...and I enjoyed those beers.
As this warms and anesthetizes the mouth, it gets better and better and better.
This isn't beer, this is narcotic.
Big thanks 'monk.
06-05-2004 13:27:41 | More by cokes
4.97/5 rDev +13%
This is from the second-to-last growler of Columbus Pale Ale in existence (feloniousmonk nabbed the last one and sent it to cokes). I had the on-tap version and the cask version several nights ago on my trip up to Town Hall. I preferred the on-tap version and this growler was filled from the tap. 'Best by' date of June 8.
Very slightly hazed, orange-accented amber. Fine, lazy carbonation rises to the medium-sized, cream colored head. The cap of foam appears dense and sticky, falls over time to a thick film and leaves broken sheets of lace. The nose was nice on my pint at the brewpub, but it's even more impressive now that there are no sensory distractions. A wonderously fruity hoppiness is bursting from the glass with very little else to clutter things up. Just as it should be. One of the best noses on any pale ale that I've ever had. In fact, it rivals many of the great IPAs.
It's as good as I remember (perhaps even better) with loads of citrusy hoppy goodness front and center. Just as in the nose, there's very little else--malt for instance--to get in the way of this liquid paean to the Columbus hop. The beer tastes amazingly like sweetened grapefruit, lemon and orange zest. The bittering is near perfect, lending just enough bite to the pungeant, citrus fruity flavor.
The mouthfeel is absolutely perfect for a pale ale: medium-full, lightly creamy and exquisitely silky. Words that spring to mind are 'clean', 'pure' and 'bright'. In fact, when steorn and I were talking beer at the brewpub, he mentioned, after taking a sip of this very beer, that it seemed exceptionally clean. The tasting notes in my pocket at that very moment contained the word 'clean' in capital letters.
I feel that I need to take a moment here to apologize to the Columbus hop. I have previously denigrated it, largely as a result of my experience with another Columbus-exclusive beer, Anderson Valley's Hop Ottin'. I now admit that I couldn't have been more wrong. The Columbus, which is displayed with such brilliance in this beer, can stand toe-to-toe with some of my very favorites such as Cascade, Centennial and Amarillo.
The brewer at Town Hall has fashioned a masterful single-hopped pale ale that puts the strengths of its hop on display for all to see (er...taste). As I said above, this is a liquid paean to the Columbus hop and is a pale ale that has rocketed to the top of my list of all-time greats for that style.
As the saying goes, 'all great things must come to an end'. Perhaps, in the end, that makes them all the more desirable. This is the bottom line: if this beer makes a return visit to Town Hall, so will I. Immediately.
05-28-2004 18:53:58 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.93/5 rDev +12%
Presentation: A brown Grolsch like, flip top, EZ Cap brown glass bottle. Simply has the letter C in black pen scrawled on the white ceramic top. A present all the way from Minneapolis. After the earlier Masala Mama, its like Xmas in Chateau Bum tonight. Double Hell Yeah!!
Appearance: A very light phruprr.r.rr.rrrrsst escapes the flip top and a small amount of lightly tanned bubbling froth accompanies the aural treat. Immense clarity allows the light to deeply penetrate, irradiate this one. Like Sir Isaac Newtons prism, my Pint Glass full of CPA allowed the homogenous light from my desk lamp to spread out and form a spectrum of colors. As Sir Isaac would have said, the CPA has remarkable Refrangibility for it creates a range of hues all of differing wavelengths; light copper, peach, apricot, toasted marmalade and dark golds. A beautiful smooth white ¾ thick small bubbled collar remains throughout. What a fantastic appearance, I am simply gob-smacked to think that this was rebottled also, for it has survived the journey West in remarkably tip-top condition.
Nose: Just like the Masala Mama I had previously, this has lots of oranges, sharp pink grapefruits and oily hops in the nose, piney at times yet not as much as the MM, for this is nicely balanced by some biscuit, dry Edinburgh shortcake and light caramel. Citric fruits, lots of freshness and a real zest for life in the aromas, all makes for an exciting drink before this even touches my lips. It smells orgasmic. Be-er-otica at its best.
Taste: Wow! Pale Ale or India Pale Ale? I wondered at first. The lingering grapefruit bitterness, mandarin orange and Satsuma hoppiness makes me wonder! Am I alone in thinking this? The biscuit and caramel malts are there, discernable, just, with some effort. Massive puckering orange bitterness on the cheeks, whilst the tongue gets its fair share of the bitterness. A dry hopped monster for sure. A very hoppy self-deprecating Pale Ale indeed, this is bordering on understatement. Who cares about styles anyway, this is quite simply very impressive whether you call it a PA or IPA! Oranges and Lemons say the Bells of St. Clemence; the CPA has a Nursery Rhyme finish.
Mouthfeel: Balanced to perfection, great taste, a definitive feel, smooth, nicely carbonated, inviting, drinkable yet not under whelming, fruity, sharp, hoppy, bitter and dry. Keeping all these aspects in perfect balance is no mean feat, but it is done exceptionally well here. I bet the Brewer at MTHB can juggle!!!
Drinkability: This one did not last long at all. Quite simply, A Whyie FIVE O!!! This really does epitomize the perfect Drinkability that Pales Ales (IPAs?) can offer the Imbiber. This would make for a truly marvelous Session beer. Ah, but if only I got the chance to test this theory! I would imagine that it would also accompany & stand up to many tasty foods effortlessly as well also.
Overall: After the Masala Mama, I thought things couldnt get any better. How wrong could I be!? I have to own up to being incredibly biased here: Pale Ales and IPAs are my favorite draft beer styles, preferably Cask-Conditioned. For me, Pale Ales embody and encapsulate all of the perfect qualities of a great Session Ale, and hence my perfect beer. But I dearly love the hoppy kick from many West Coast IPAs This has BOTH qualities somehow and as such, for me, it most certainly borders on an Ali.G Pale Ale, or as he would say, an Aye P.A. Respeckt!
Damn, thats it!!! Its no good, I really must look at getting to Minneapolis sooner rather than later, and sharing a brew or two at the Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery with some local BAs. In fact, fuck the local BAs, I wouldnt mind if no-one at all turned up, because I could quite happily sup this one all afternoon on my own and talk to myself quite easily.
Since I joined BeerAdvocate, it has never ceased to amaze me how generous fellow BAs can be, and to what lengths they will go to, to share great beer with fellow BAs, who are so often, essentially, complete strangers of sorts. The generosity, kindness and levels of trust experienced between some BAs is simply amazing, being as it is so rare in society at large these days. BigHuge is one such BA.
Another Big, neigh Massive, Cheers Mate. We WILL get to share a beer this year I am sure, hopefully it will be in July damn, after the Masala Mama and Columbus Pale Ale, how could I miss that gathering! Well, that and the fact that JohnnyP needs someone responsible to look after him ;-))
05-20-2004 05:35:21 | More by TheLongBeachBum
4.5/5 rDev +2.3%
Pale peach/ apricottish hue, with a good, 1/4 " white head.
Aroma, soft and spare, bright, and just a bit of fruit showing off.
Mild at first, on the palate, but flowering and flourishing with a quickness! Light in body, but possessing extraordinary smoothness and drinkability. Full and persistent, bouyantly hoppy flavor, with a long, sweet finish.
This excellent one-hop pale ale had a brief stay at the pub in mid-August, early September, and was soon gone, due to popularity, then spent a tiny bit of time on cask, where it was a dream in a pint glass. TH and head brewmaster Hoops have designs to continue in the series of single-hop ales, and if they're this delicious, keep 'em coming, guys!
10-20-2003 04:57:06 | More by feloniousmonk
4.85/5 rDev +10.2%
Semi hazy golden...nice pillowy white head...awesome citrus nose...grapefruit/oranges..also a sweeter floral note too...taste is like drinking fresh squeezed grapefruit juice...west coast all the way and done right..starts very citric but also piney..a great bitter bite at first floowed by a very enjoyable biscuity maltiness...that mingles nicely with the hops..for as hopped up as this is, it is very balanced...finishes on an almost floral note..body is just a tich too light to be exceptional in mouthfeel..
This is a heck of a pale ale....There are IPA's with less impressive hopping than this one...this would compete with any pale ale on the west coast...outstanding flavor and nose...maybe the most flavorful pale ale I've had...if you love hops you must get your hands on some of this...top notch...
09-02-2003 04:22:53 | More by ZAP
4.58/5 rDev +4.1%
Color is clear yellow with a light coppery tone to its body. Solid off-white head, tall, sticky and steady, fades slowly to a skim always present and lots of sticky strings and little blobs of lace that glues to the glass. Aroma is a nice mellow dry hoppy pine, nice grapefruity sweetness, fresh and blooming strong. Nice dry sense of bread as well in the backing. Solid hop nose. Wonderful taste of easy mellowing piney dried hops, solid woodish pine sense, a touch of citrusy grapefruit and soft bready malts with super mild but favorable bitterness coming through late in the finish, nice and easy going effect. Fresh, clean, and very smooth. It really seems to mellow me out as I drink it, something of the character of this beer rubs off on me; makes me slow down to appreciate its balance. Feel is a solid mellow medium body, super clean with a silky smooth start and a hoppy lingering finish. Goes down real easy. Have to agree with Bighuge on the close to an IPA theory, even as an IPA this would be considered pretty respectable. So as a Pale this is a definate winner!
08-24-2003 00:22:42 | More by tavernjef
4.93/5 rDev +12%
The beer is a clear light copper color. A nice sized bone white head graces the surface and laces abundantly the whole way down. The aroma is heavenly. Like walking through a hop garden. The notes touched upon the heaviest are pungent, resiny and canibis-like. It almost smells like a nicely dry hopped Imperial IPA, but it is not quite that abrasive. I'll still guess that the dry hop was quite hefty. On the palate, the hop flavors dance atop a sturdy foundation of carmelized malt. This is quite bitter for a pale ale. Just taking a stab, I'd guess around 50 IBUs. But the bitterness is clean and quite enjoyable. The hops add flavors of pine needles, citrus, resin and pungent oil. Damn I love this one. This is one of those Pale Ales that teeters on the brink of IPA. Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and body would go about medium-full. It's refreshing and drinkable enough that I will have not the slightest bit of trouble taking on this growler tonight.
I try not to say things like this much, but this could one of the best, if not THE best, pale ales I've had the pleasure of consuming.
08-20-2003 02:12:23 | More by Bighuge
Columbus Pale Ale from Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 17 ratings.