Pale Ale - John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House

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Pale Ale
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BA SCORE
84
good

46 Reviews
THE BROS
97
world-class

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Reviews: 46
Hads: 74
rAvg: 3.75
pDev: 7.2%
Wants: 1
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-26-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 46 | Hads: 74
Photo of Beric
3.72/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Serving: On draft into an imperial pint
Served: 25 October 2014

Appearance: A somewhat hazy, soft yellow color with a soapy, bright white head. The head does collapse relatively fast, but leaves some light lacing.

Smell: Doesn't smell like much, but there is a soft hoppiness in the nose along with some sweet malts.

Taste: A nice well-balanced beer between malts and hops. The hops are soft and not very assertive, while the malts provide some decent white-bread sweetness almost. Significantly less hoppy than most pale ales, though I attribute this to the style (English vs. American). Malts do provide a hint of strange astringency.

Feel: Great carbonation and medium body.

Overall: A good beer and one I could drink in quantity here. It's nothing that'll blow your world, but is a serviceable beer. (808 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tap at Framingham Brew Pub

Light fizzy 1/4 finger head as its filled to the brim with beer, pretty clear orange honey color slight reddish hue.

Nose light pale malts in there, fresh aromatic malty aroma, then light grassy and spicy hops, a hint of grapefruit.

Taste starts with centennial hops, gritty grassy spicy and slightly floral hops, little earthy even. Then malts kick in with a touch of sweetness and reddish gritty malts, and a bit of a yeast flavor. It has a fresh wort taste. Bitterness is fairly mild but enough to let you know its there, and then ramps up on the finish to a decent spicy hop kick, bit more light earthy grassy hop, hint of fruity hop.mostly dry on the finish as well but slightly sticky.

Mouth is med to a bit lighter bodied, good carb.

Overall decent, light drinkable pale doesn't go overboard, nice centennial and cascades hop showing, the only nitpick I have is the yeasty taste, and the nose could stand to bring a bit more of the hops. (976 characters)

Photo of Brad007
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on 3/12/11.

Pours a mild amber color with a thin head into my glass. Looks decent for the style.

Buttery malt and a pronounced bitterness from the hops. Nothing unusual for sure.

Mellow with crisp, buttery malt and a decent hop bite that doesn't go overboard.

Lingering buttery malt and hops for a mouthfeel.

Very drinkable example. Not spectacular. Just solid. (372 characters)

Photo of ddean
2.95/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance:
Has a pretty, slightly hazy, amber-orange color. Medium head with good lacing.

Smell:
Pretty much no smell at all, except for a very subtle sweet malt.

Taste:
Not bad, but I could take or leave. I agree with some reviews about it being one dimensional. I got mostly malt and no interesting aftertaste. I don't get any of the hops or citrus notes that others noticed.

Mouthfeel/drinkability:
That said, the flavor lingers nicely and has a crisp finish that keeps the experience from feeling overpowering. It goes down easy and could make a good crowdpleaser at a big gathering of non-beer snobs. But if you like big beers with interesting dimensions in their flavors, this one will not be a memorable one for you. (728 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. On tap at the Harvard location.

Pours a moderate golden-orange color with a white head and a bit of lacing. The nose brings some nice orange and citrus hops with a bit of bready malt. The taste is slightly hoppy with a bit of bread, though there's not too much going on there. The feel is slightly bitter and pretty good overall. This drinks quite well and a was a nice, quaffable beer. (408 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
3.23/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I drank this on tap into a tasting glass at Harvard.

The beer pours a very dark gold with lots of orange highlights. The head is white with lots of retention and good lacing.

The aroma is light mostly sweet citrus but not very complex.

The taste is ok, a little blah. It starts a little sweet with some bitter notes but finishes with a little skunk.

The feel is ok with a dry finish.

Overall, ok, nothing special. (419 characters)

Photo of donniecuffs
3.26/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured copper/amber into a pint glass, with a finger of white, and decent lacing. The smell was extremely malty, with very little hint of fruitiness or hops for that matter. The latter didn't surprise me, given the English style, but I was certainly disappointed by the lack of fruitiness. The taste confirmed the lack of fruitiness; very one-dimensionally leaned towards maltiness. The mouthfeel however was nicely creamy, with a very good carbonation balance. However the one-dimensional aspect of this brew didn't have me wanting to session it. (547 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a pretty nice malt scent that consists mainly of pale and Carapils malts along with Centennial and Cascade hops. The taste is decent also. It has a smooth, pale malt flavor that goes down easy with a mild bitterness. It's got excellent mouthfeel. It's medium bodied with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinker. It's pretty standard as far as pale ales are concerned, but if it's not broke, don't fix it. (530 characters)

Photo of Bagman007
4.23/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap poured into a pint glass.

A- Clear orange pale coloring with not a whole lot of head.

S- Very crisp hoppy scent, but not too strong or overpowering.

T- Excellent pale ale. Great balance. Hoppy without being too bitter. Somewhat sweet. Really enjoyable.

M- Slightly bitter and dry but not too hoppy at all.

D- Very drinkable, very good beer. (359 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.83/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 7/17/08. On tap at JH in Lake Grove, NY. Pours a clear copper with a small head. Aroma of sweet malt and flowery hops. Flavor of nice flowery hops, slight bitterness, wheat. Very tasty and so far my favorite beer from John Harvards. Nice and crisp.
7/4/8/4/14 (3.7/5)

Reviewed on 9/28/08. On tap at JH in Manchester, CT. Pours a clear orange with a small white head. Aroma of bitter piney hips and some citrus. Flavor is mostly bitter and grassy hops with a slight tinge of light flowery hops. Weakish palate but drinkable. Decent beer.
7/4/7/3/13 (3.4/5) (568 characters)

Photo of foggymountainman
3.68/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

on Tap in Cambridge. no head or lacing, but lighly hazed throughout. this batch was dry-hopped with cascade hops... Big plus for me. good color, dark environment so hard to tell. good amber tone. nice bitter taste or hops, not overwhelming.. nice pale ale. tastes slightly thin... but good after taste. burps are divine. the feel is not the best. kind of sizzles on the palate. not it a bad way necessarily, but definitely something. decent pale ale, enjoyable. (461 characters)

Photo of fitzy84
3/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Had in their sampler at the restaurant. The drink had a clear, amber-gold look with some minor lacing. Nothing too spectacular. Typical pale aromas permeated from the drink. Not that they were bad, just typical. The taste had a sweetness to it wrapped around the spiced flavoring. However, the mouthfeel hindered any solid punch this drink could have had with its extremely watery and light feel. Overall, an ok pale. (417 characters)

Photo of allergictomacros
3.35/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Clear dark gold, with a small head that sticks around some. More of a pouring problem than the beer methinks.

S - Bready malt and some grapefruit.

T - Grapefruit and grass hops. Bitterness is strong, but fades quickly. Very clean flavour - very little fruitiness but with a little bit of nut.

M - Too fizzy.

D - Not bad, but boring. Too clean, and the hops are too bitterness oriented. (393 characters)

Photo of JamesS
4.09/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

JH's cask conditioned at the time, their PA came to the table a nice light copper color. It has an awesome crisp, hoppy scent. The taste is also great, a wonderful hoppiness with an excellent bitter aftertaste. It goes down very smoothly and is a wonderful beer to try.

(Note: I've had the non-cask conditioned version, too. It's not quite as smooth, but is still very much worth getting if you like APAs.) (407 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 10/25/07 at the brewpub in Manchester, CT served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light orange/brown, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malt, pale hops, tea and a little citrus.

T: The taste is well-balanced with flavors of caramel and citrus but it’s not too sweet, despite having a decently hearty malt character. There’s also a mild bitterness coming from the pale hops. The after-taste is slightly sweet with some smokiness.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easy, not too filling, decent kick, very good representation of style, this is a beer worth drinking for a while if you’re in the mood for a mild beer with a good amount of substance to it. (836 characters)

Photo of maddogruss
3.55/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer was one of the better ones I've had here. A solid, orange-amber color with a small white head. Unfortunately, the head had almost no retention at all, but it reduced to a nice lacing that stuck with the beer. The smell was very nice: both malts and hops were prevalent. The taste was a nice, mild hoppy taste with good malts to balance it off. The malrty aftertaste was smooth and welcoming. The mouthfeel was pretty good, although nothing worth bragging about. Nice really thin like others I've had here, but it was pretty solid. The fact that it goes down and drinks smooth makes it a very drinkable beer. Overall, I'd say a pretty good APA. (653 characters)

Photo of beerphan
3.98/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler -> mug

Pours a dark copper with a respectable white head that settles down to a puddle of soap suds.

Nose: Caramel malts, light earthy hops

A good balance of malt and hops. Sweet caramel malts with some earthy bitterness. Most likely english hops here as the smell and flavor are more earthy. Bitterness is tame but balancing.

The mouth is a little watery but is holding up well even after being opened for about 4 hours.

A real drinkable APA. Balance make it extremely sessionable. (508 characters)

Photo of BBM
3.69/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A John Harvard's staple, it seems to always be available. The beer pours a standard orange/amber color, transparent, with a minimal white head. No real lacing to speak of. The smell is of big hops and oranges. Nice.

The taste is of a nicely hopped pale ale. Good amounts of centennial and cascade form most of the flavor, and just a hint of malt backbone rounds it out. Mouthfeel is a bit thin. This is highly drinkable, and as is standard with APAs, great for hop lovers. Solid, tasty, no frills APA. (504 characters)

Photo of Sycodrummer
3.63/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presented from the tap after my first choice (the Bitter) had run dry. The beer was a shade on the darker side of amber with one-finger of head that reduced to nothing in quick time leaving no lacing and few signs of outright carbonation.

A mild hoppy and flowery estery aroma. Firm malt smell with some a baked bread aroma and some traces of fresh grain.

The beer has a fluctuating hop character that seems to be there, then not there. This is mixed with faint floral notes and a sturdy malty base. A little bland and a blanket maltiness that does not really provide all that much flavor.

Medium body and carbonation.

On the whole a fairly average and mundane beer. A little less hoppy than some others of the style and good for sessioning. Nothing too special here, a little "boring" if you will, but I don't think it was trying to be anything special. It would not be my first choice (in fact it actually wasnt even this time) when back. (952 characters)

Photo of plaid75
3.5/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger foamy head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell was a spicy oily hop with a mild malt graininess.

There was a spicy citris hop taste with a good malt backbone.

The mouthfeel was good. Dry finish and good carbonation.

A nice drinkable example of the style. Middle of the road. (343 characters)

Photo of shamus
4.06/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An excellent plae ale. It had a nice enough colour although it was too dark in the establishment to really judge. The head was also good with some nice lacing.

It didn't offer much for the nose but the taste was an exceptionally well hopped beer. I would definetley recommend a trip to John Harvard if you like Pale Ales. (324 characters)

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.8/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew pours a copperish red delicious color. With a thin dissipating head.

Though this beer has the typical pale ale aromas, there isnt much else. A great malty aorma is present, but the complex aromas arent there.

It does have a great smooth taste that is refreshingly bitter, with hints of citrus at the very end.

The bitterness gives this brew a great mouthfeel and makes it easily drinkable. (411 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.18/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer arrived on the table slightly hazy medium amber golden(copper) with a white low, yet persistent head which lasted well to coat the glass with Belgian lace from top to bottom.

The aroma was fruity and slightly grassy with a nice caramel aroma and a very floral hop aromatic.

The flavor was floral and fruity with a nice bittering that was grassy and slightly resinous. The beer also contained a nice caramel aspect with the malt flavor.

The finish was even with a nice lasting bitterness which was grassy and resinous into the aftertaste. The body was medium with a nicely accomplished lower level of carbonation that was quite creamy in texture. A quite nice cask ale.

Pint and sample glass at the brewpub. (727 characters)

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.1/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a clear amber ale with a low head, but a fair amount of lacing.

The aroma was slightly nutty, to my surprise. The hop character was light.

But not in the taste! The taste was loaded with grapefruit and alpha acids, with a nice malt support. Well balanced and tasty.

Mouthfeel was a little puckering, and quite good for a pale ale. Definitely one to go back to. (379 characters)

Photo of Truh
3.97/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

More cowbells with this one on 4/27/2005. 16-oz. pint at the Harvard Square location.

Flat-top of shiny head, with a Friar Tuck on top. Fairly light mahogany hue with just a hint of haze, maybe due to chill, and some good action burbling about. Light toffee, wood, and a good malt presence on nose. Nice mix of hop and malt, hints if butter, and a weird, though tasty, touch of pecan.

I would say that this is a quality standard offering from the folks at JHBH, and a pretty good gateway to the higher end stuff that will surely put people on the path to beer advocacy. (575 characters)

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Pale Ale from John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House
84 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.