Pale Ale - John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House

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Pale Ale
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74 Ratings

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Ratings: 74
Reviews: 48
rAvg: 3.65
pDev: 11.78%
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 74 | Reviews: 48
Reviews by aorloski:
More User Reviews:
Photo of ddean
2.95/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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.

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.

Photo of Jason
4.35/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: On tap.

Appearance: Light copper in colour with a beautiful Brusselles lace.

Smell: Some malt sweetness, light fruit, pinch of caramel and a mild floral hop.

Taste: Malty up front, medium body, some rounded grain and a touch of caramel. An evening somewhat aggressive and clean hop bitterness helps to balance. A touch of biscuity grain and fading citrus hop linger into the after taste.

Notes: A more than decent Pale Ale to be had here ... becoming a classic in the area. Great finish.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pittsburgh location,

Appears ruby copper light cream head speckled lacing, aromatics are crich malts blended in a great dose of hops floral cascades definitely arise from the pack. Great balanced flavor of hops and full malty backbone perfect pale ale doesn't miss a beat. Mouthfeel contains a medium body slight hop silkiness. Drinkability is excellent across the board one of the better pale ales I've had at a brewpub.

Photo of Stingray5
4.16/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Confession: My very first cask-conditioned ale. Pint arrived with no head, glass filled to the very top. Copper in color with some orange hues. Cloudy. Not too much happening in the aroma to my surprise. Taste was a different story though. A nice mouthful with almost no carbonation led to an incredibly smooth hoppiness like I've never experienced. Cascades all around, the balance with the malt was as good as I've tasted. Finished dry with lasting bitter hops.

All the time I was drinking this, I kept thinking about how smooth this was. All the tastes were more subtle. It was as if this beer was somehow more mature than it's co2 infused counterparts. Took a little getting used to the low carbonation. Overall a great experience and a great beer.

Photo of fitzy84
3/5  rDev -17.8%
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.

Photo of foggymountainman
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of StevieW
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

64 oz . Growler from the Long Island, NY location. Transported in a cooler to Florida and consumed 5 days after bottling.
Medium copper color, thin fizzy, off-white head. Traditional American Pale Ale smells. Nice sharp hop presence. Biscuit malt and snappy hop kick, very traditional and expected flavors, which is a good thing. Despite my best efforts, the carbonation seemed to fade fast on this one. It was going quick as I drank it. Although it was a very good compliment to a July 4th Barbecue. I think if I had it fresh at the Brewpub it would be very, very good.

Photo of plaid75
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

Photo of marc77
3.34/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy light orange. Spotty head leaves sparse lace. Tangerine citrus w/ a hint of mango - like fruitiness. Trace caramel sweetness in aroma. Moderate hop bitterness. Bready malt presence. Citrus hop flavor. Moderate body. Almost dead flat. Near complete dearth of carbonation lends an artifically smooth mouthfeel. A bit lacking in malt character. Slight residual sweetness. Finishes slightly toasty, w/ light hop bitterness lingering on the back of the palate. A decent pale, but lacking in malt backbone. It's main strength is its hop nose and hop flavor. Decent drinkability... perhaps on the last legs of the cask?

Photo of BBM
3.69/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Photo of jlindros
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Photo of maddogruss
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
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.

Photo of jdhilt
2.76/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

John Harvard's - Cambridge. Nice copper color, could not detect any nose??? Good body and carbonation, clean hops, nice lace. The ABV is low for a pale at 3 - 3.3%. O.G. is 12-13.

Photo of Gavage
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear orange in color with a nice 2" head. Some light lacing develops during the drink. The nose is floral and slighty citrus. The flavor is of caramel, orange citrus, and has a pleasant mild bitterness level.

Very crisp mouthfeel and the citrus lingers into the finish. Pleasantly drinkable. A pretty decent pale ale that is decently balanced and probably pairs well with most of the food in the pub.

Photo of donniecuffs
3.26/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

Photo of IrishRedRock
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Mmmmm...cask conditioned ale. So similar to so many beers I enjoyed in London's pubs. The appearance is a nice golden color with a thin white head that lasts throughout and sticks everywhere down the glass. Aroma of Cascades is prevalent, though it got a bit difficult to pick up in the bar.

Smooth and delicious, with a nice bitter hop flavor and some sweet malt notes as well. A nicely balanced brew, and a joy to sample as a cask-conditioned beer.

Photo of WesWes
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of necoadam
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Came in a pint glass. A nice copper color with a good fluffy head that laces around the glass nicely.

Smell consisted of malts mostly with an undertone of caramel and toasted aromas. A good dose of hops are also in there. A tad on the sweet side, but nothing to complain about.

Taste was good. Malts hit upfront with a slight dose of caramel and then a big hop burst towards the middle and lasts until the aftertaste. Some citrus flavors also blend in and an undertone of malts ride at the end. A nice balance of hops and malts. I was a little bit surprised with the amount of hops considering it was a little weak in the nose.

Mouthfeel was mediumish although it was at 4.7%. Lots of flavors going on in this beer.

A nice balanced brew that I wouldn't mind having any time of the year.

Photo of pezoids
4.01/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served as part of a sampler tray at their brewpub. Poured a clear and bright copper color. I really like this pale ale. It has the nice aroma of citrus fruits and the taste can be described as lemon-crisp and flowery. Leaves a nice lingering bitterness on the tongue with a clean citrus bite in the finish. Very nice.

Photo of Tank880
3/5  rDev -17.8%

No head. Nice color. Good taste but does not blow me away.

Photo of Beeeeeerman
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice from Providence location of John Harvard.

Photo of JamesS
4.09/5  rDev +12.1%
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.)

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Pale Ale from John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House
83 out of 100 based on 74 ratings.