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Portland Ale - Portland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Portland AlePortland Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

29 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 29
Reviews: 27
rAvg: 3.12
pDev: 17.95%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Portland Brewing Company visit their website
Oregon, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  ABV ?

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mitchster on 03-02-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 29 | Reviews: 27 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Mustard:
Photo of Mustard

District of Columbia

3.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle; no "best by" or "bottled on" date; no ABV %; purchased as part of a ten beer "Summer Brews" sampler pack from Cost Plus for $7.99.

Appearance: Pours a bland, straw-gold hue; decent clarity, but not crystal clear; fat, off-white head; a good d-cup's worth of lace; very good head retention.

Aroma: Primarily of apricots and grapefruit; mild hints of grass and flowers.

Taste: Bready malts upfront with a mild, mild hop bitterness in the finish; lightly sweet with a subtle spiciness; grassy, floral hop flavors; hints of grain; light to medium bodied; somewhat creamy mouthfeel, I suspect, on account of the want of carbonation.

Notes: Bottle touts "original founders (sic) recipe"; original founders brewed a lack luster pale ale; let this one die.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2003 05:04:59 | More by Mustard
More User Reviews:
Photo of buzzy


3.25/5  rDev +4.2%

03-14-2014 00:24:39 | More by buzzy
Photo of cdwil


2.5/5  rDev -19.9%

12-27-2011 13:54:04 | More by cdwil
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Yellow pour, lots of clarity, white head, 1". Mild hop oil aroma, 2 row.

Taste, pedestrian, but not bad, solid hot weather beer, but the price for these seems high and does not need to be since there wouldn't be much in the way of ingredients for this one. Mild toastiness for the grain, lively carbonation makes the beer feel even lighter, slight bitter twang on the backend.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 23:01:52 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of mynie


2.88/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a pils gold, very light for an APA, with a decent head.

Smells like fruit--maybe a little bit old--along with very light hops. No real balance, no real hop presence.

Tastes a lot like it smells. Esters of fruit suggesting age, very weak dry hops, and then a watery finish.

Nothing going on here worth mentioning, let alone worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2006 22:03:58 | More by mynie
Photo of walleye


2.03/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

from the bottle. poured a yellow to golden with a white head that left some lacing. aroma, hops, grainy, musty, grass and not much else going on. flavor, weak hops, got some skunkyness, with a touch of citrus. will not get this one again, glad I only paid 1.25 for this

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2006 02:20:16 | More by walleye
Photo of beveragecaptain

New Jersey

2.55/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle. Portland ale pours out a clear, yellow color with a small, fizzy head. The aroma is pretty foul: corn, stale wheat, a little bit of malt sweetness. The flavor follows from the smell, though it's not quite as bad. Thankfully, the flavor is pretty light. I feared that it would have the cloying husk flavor found in so many bad pale ales. Light mouthfeel. Decent drinkability, I suppose. It's easy to drink, but I wouldn't really want to. Not terrible, but almost.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2005 02:03:12 | More by beveragecaptain
Photo of Gagnonsux


3.45/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The color is a pale shade of copper with a very high level of carbonation which creates a rather large head. The smell has a surprisingly fruity ale aroma with a rather mild citrus hop element. Everything about Portland Ale's flavor hang around the "just decent" level. The malt and hop flavors are okay, but need to be beefed up, other than the bitterness this beer seems a little watered down. This isn't bad at all, but there are too many better APAs available for there to be a reason for me to pick this up again.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2005 15:37:05 | More by Gagnonsux
Photo of beermanbrian


2.95/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pale yellow beer with thin white head that dissipates quickly. Moderate stream of carbonation bubbles. Smell is pale malt with just a hint of hops. Taste is light malt but not very strong. Very watery and not much to recomend it. Mouthfeeel is thin and watery. You could easily drink lots of this on a hot day mowing the lawn and I would recomend over bmc. If your looking for something with some character and depth to the taste this is not your beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2005 01:20:56 | More by beermanbrian
Photo of karst


3.23/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a watery clear copper with a 1 fingered head that had a 20 second life span.
Slight biscuit and faint hop aroma. Light body and thinish mouth feel in spite of the sweet malt flavors. The one thing that is right about this Ale is its hop bitterness, which salvages the taste. But hop flavors are still too weak to identify. Origional founder's recipe seems lacking for the APA style I expect. This APA is just drinkable but not especially desirable IMHO. I am sticking to their MacTarnahan's Black Watch Cream Porter.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2005 20:30:36 | More by karst
Photo of kbub6f

New York

3.95/5  rDev +26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A small, off-white head dies filmy over a clear, gold beer. Just a hint of amber. Hills of lacing. The nose is fruity, with some pine and flowers. Very fruity in the front. Hoppy. The middle is fullish, with foamy, sweet caramel. The finish is nutty, fruity, peppery, metallic and crackersy. It's nice. Fresh, light, nutty, sweet.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2005 03:00:48 | More by kbub6f
Photo of allengarvin


3.7/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Crystal clear apple-juice-amber color with not even the slightest hint of foam atop it. Looks like apple juice, in fact. Nose is a bit nicer, though, with a pleasant floral hop aroma and some malt. Taste has some nice biscuit-like maltness, a tad sweet, balanced well by medium bitterness and flowery hop flavor. Lightly fruity, vaguely apple-like. Finishes clean. A little undercarbonated with a light body. Not a bad beer, but not a very interesting beer either.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2005 03:22:32 | More by allengarvin
Photo of Pegasus


3.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy medium golden color with a moderate white head, this soon fades to a collar and a paper-thin layer of foam. The carbonation is slight.

Aroma: Sweet malt and honey note, very little hop presence.

Taste: Opens with a light caramel note, midway through the taste this turns to a herbal/medicinal bitterness, which lingers on well past the dry finish.

Mouth feel: Fairly full bodied, with some slight carbonation at the tip of the tongue.

Drinkability/notes: A pleasant and nondescript beer, of good quality, but lacking in any notable distinction. Very decent as a hot weather beer, or as a gateway beer for macro drinkers.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve ounce brown glass longneck with a pop off crown. Served in a standard pint tap glass.

Thanks to HardTarget for this bottle.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2005 03:13:47 | More by Pegasus
Photo of woemad


2.53/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $1.19

Poured very pale clear gold color, with a big fizzy white head that dropped very quickly. Very minor amount of lace.

Despite beiing called Portland ALE and coming in a brown bottle, this smells like a skunked lager, but with some floral hops in the background. I had to wonder if it really was an ale at all.

Not as skunked as the smell when tasted, but there ain't much else to reccomend it. If you enjoy the sensation of very mildly sweet maltiness and a slight taste of hops to your beer (in other words if you are weaning yourself from an exclusively macro beer diet), this is for you. Otherwise, pass.

Thin and watery in the mouthfeel dept.

This is moderately more drinkable than some of the better macro options out there. That's pretty much the best you can say about it. Regardless of it's storied past, today the city of Portland should have an ale with more character named after it.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2005 07:10:12 | More by woemad
Photo of HardTarget


3.1/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle Inspection: Uninformative label, no date, abv% nothing.

Aroma: Very light floral hop on a mild malt base. A slight off smell as well, somewhat papery.

Appearance: Bright yellow glass with active carbonation streams feeding a centimeter head of small bubbled off white. Very clear

Flavor: Wow that’s mild. Bland, plain, ordinary, average, you get the idea. Ok, it has taste, it just took me about a quarter of the glass to find it. Malt lends a slight sweetness to a mildly fruity citric floral hop. I get hints of orange and lemon. As it comes to room temp a weak tea flavor come out.

Mouthfeel: Light medium body, a touch heavy in carbonation but not bad, and a slight numbing/puckering feeling in the finish. It has a fairly soft feel.

Overall Impression: This beer was brewed in Neutropolis on the Homeworld of the Neutrals. While this makes for MASSIVE drinkability, it does nothing for my beer itch. No really flaws noted in the taste, there’s nothing wrong here, and for a pale ale, it’s well within style. I just had very little impact. Serve it to the macro crowd.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2005 06:44:27 | More by HardTarget
Photo of RedDiamond


2.98/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Another beer expressing MacTarnahan’s penchant for intense clarity. Portland Ale is light gold, though several shades darker than their honey beer. It is headless, laceless, and proffers a dilute, watery aroma. Its taste is simple and drinkable though not especially noteworthy. I would describe it as clean and refreshing but also rudimentary and routine. Think: lawnmower.

I imagine that, at its genesis, this recipe was a radical departure from the commercially produced beers commonly available in the mid-1980’s. Today, it embodies my definition of average. I am however, somewhat nostalgic for its original marketing slogan: “When you’re out of Portland Ale, you’re out of Portland.”

Serving type: on-tap

03-27-2005 00:15:46 | More by RedDiamond
Photo of beerluvr

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a pure white head over very slightly hazy light amber liquid tinged with gold. Nice malty nose with underlying subtle fruitiness, very nice. The taste is sweet and predominately malty with a cookie-like note as well. Not a whole hell of a lot of hop presence to speak of. Finishes lightly honeyed with a clean aftertaste. Nice but a bit too restrained.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2005 01:12:12 | More by beerluvr
Photo of Mitchster


3.88/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out to a slightly hazy copper goldenw ith orange highlights, forming a modest white rocky white head with average to poor retention and sparse lacing. Aroma is delicately fruity with floral hops, a very subtle hint of diacetyl and corn, a touch of dying grass and light apricots. Carbonation is moderate. Mouthfeel is pleasantly spritzy with a medium-light body and very snappy finish. Taste is a recapitulation of the aroma, however the bitterness is more herbaceous and moderate in intensity. The bitterness is augmented by very hard water. There is a slight wave of peppery alcohol towards the very dry finish. Otherwise, cleanly fermented.

Nothing surprising here. I like the crisp mouthfeel and dry finish and this would make an excellent summer beer to be consumed in mass quantities, but it's quite average as far as pale ales go.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2004 22:52:28 | More by Mitchster
Photo of zacharius


2.63/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

If this is the founders ale I hope they are long dead. This beer might of been great back in 1986 but now it is mediocre at best. This beer pours a pale golden color with a white head that hangs around at least long enough to notice. Smell is of grain with a slight unpleasant note to it. There is a malt taste that was in the smell which had that same unpleasant note to it. It is balanced with hops so is slightly less unpleasant but the hops are nothing to write home about. Beer tastes watery. Hey maybe they bottled portland city water and all this color is just rust from the pipes.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2004 05:59:03 | More by zacharius
Photo of beertaster13


2.08/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Come on what is this? Pours a dingy orange gold with a little white head, lacing is average at best. The smell is very grainy and dingy, hints of metallic, the malts seem lackluster and dull, no hop presence in the nose or the taste, the tase is of grain, hints of caramel but very dull. Light bodeid and just not what I wanted in this, go elsewhere for a pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2004 21:17:50 | More by beertaster13
Photo of ZAP


2.95/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is an average run of the mill APA...nothing I'd turn down and I'd certainly order it over macros for dinner but nothing too intriguing with this...the nose is very perfumy....floral..just a hint of caramel...body is too light...cloudy golden color...a nice little malt backbone and some floral hop flavors...really expected a little bit more hops to this...up here Summit Pale Ale is the standard and this is nowhere close to that....and Summit is not an elite beer...this is average....if that..

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2004 05:23:30 | More by ZAP
Photo of Bighuge


3.1/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale and hazy sun yellow. A one finger white head dissipates quickly to a thin film and slight rimming. Carbonation looks to be lacking. Slight caramel malt and a rush of piney/grapefruity/cascade-like hop aroma. The mouthfeel is lacking in CO2. Body is about medium. A little oily. Taste is biscuity malts and muted west coast hops. Quite muted. Pretty bland for an APA. Not one that I'd return too unless no other options were present.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2004 03:17:29 | More by Bighuge
Photo of Thrasher


3.55/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A faithful reproduction of Portland's first brew from 1986, your basic light golden ale without any surprises. Pours crystal clear platinum with thin head and better lace than you'd expect. Subdued aroma of basic malts and hops, light buttery yeast. The malts are decent, with some sweetness, but aren't anything more than you'd find in a typical mass-produced American beer. The hops are lightly crisp and give the beer what little character it has. Some buttery flavors, an ale yeast fruitiness which sticks out a little too much due to the lightness of the brew. Crisp, refreshing, and not at all exciting. This is basically like Full Sail's Pale Ale, with less character. To be drunk cold and in high quantities. I'd guess that if I came across this beer in 1986, when it first came out, I'd be thrilled to have an alternative to the big macros, but as things stand now in 2004, this isn't much more than a pleasant piece of nostalgia.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2004 02:15:38 | More by Thrasher
Photo of StevieW


3.88/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Blue label with large white lettering. . One of the several "American Beers" showing up here from the west, in a mixed pack and combined display at the stores. Looked very much light a macro lager. Poured a golden straw color, much lighter than your typical copper colored pale ale. Tasted very much like a west coast hoppy pale ale though. Nice fresh hop aromas. Lots of citrus and grapefruit. Tart, fresh tasting beer. Very crisp, hop presence. Cascades maybe. Lots of malt undertones, give the beer ample body. Very crisp and refreshing, moderatly carbonated. A very good thirst quencher after 18 holes in the Florida sun. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2003 23:23:07 | More by StevieW
Photo of Rumrunner


2.75/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle.

This is perhaps the lightest ale I have ever had. I cannot remember a lighter ale.

It pours a transparent yellow. Weak head and no lacing. Boring to look at. The scents are weak. Some grain and hay. A slight malt back bone but not much else.

The taste is okay. A crisp grassy flavor. Grain and a hint of rye. Some malt for balance. This one is weak on the hops though. The strongest flavor is some pepper.

A crisp and refreshing mouthfeel. Very smooth and easy to drink down. Too easy. There just is not much to this ale. Overall it is boring.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2003 06:17:51 | More by Rumrunner
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Portland Ale from Portland Brewing Company
75 out of 100 based on 29 ratings.