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Freshchester Pale Ale - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Freshchester Pale AleFreshchester Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

374 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 374
Reviews: 132
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 11.6%

Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. visit their website
New York, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Billolick on 02-12-2006)
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Ratings: 374 | Reviews: 132 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of FLima


3.39/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with a thick one finger head with good retention.
Aroma with lots of papaya, flowers and bread malt.
Flavor of earthy and herbal hops, minerals, although pale there is a bit of toasty going on, some pine and cooked vegetables. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Medium body with low carbonation.
I wouldn't classify it as an APA; it is more like an English Pale ale, though it uses American traditional hops. I simply didn't get it, maybe the yeast. It is just 3 months old, but it feels older.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2014 22:22:08 | More by FLima
Photo of danreitz

New York

2.45/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear gold color with a head that dissipates fairly quickly. Light yet complex taste with an acidic mouthfeel. Has a bit of that numbing brightness that I associate with the more drinkable macro lagers, but is thick and heavy on the tongue. Slightly metallic aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2014 04:09:24 | More by danreitz
Photo of ElijahRivera

New York

3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Reviewed based on tasting notes from a blind pale ale tasting.

12 oz. bottle inside a paper bag poured into a plastic tasting cup.

A- Nice foamy head; and cloudy, dark orange, amber body.

S- Bouquet reflected the taste.

T- Really nice earthy, nutty, almost candied malts up front with a piney hop finish that is just the right amount of bitterness.

M- I didn't make any notes on mouthfeel.

O- Nicely complex. I wasn't surprised to find out this was Captain Lawrence's Freshchester Pale Ale. I'll definitely be picking this up again. I like supporting New York breweries, especially if they are putting out high quality products like this.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2013 20:17:34 | More by ElijahRivera
Photo of fank2788


3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle served in a pint glass
Great caramel brown in the glass, very clear, with a finger and a half of frothy light tan bubbles and it laces nicely as most beers with a bunch of hops do. The smell is primarily of the hops. A lot of west coast aromas here but it is quite a broad mix, everything from the citrus grapefruit to the resiny pine and even a bit of the more grassy variety as well. I'm not hugely impressed with the taste of this one. Sure the hops are there, the bitterness is on the mark for an american pale ale but I'm thinking that this is a bit unbalanced. The caramel maltiness of a good pale ale isn't as assertive as I would like it to be. That said there is some caramel, biscuit behind the hop flavors that are all present in the nose. Nothing to complain about in the mouthfeel, it is pretty spot on medium body with moderate carbonation along with the good bitterness make it nicely tingly the finish is slightly sweet with a lingering hop presence. Overall I'm pretty satisfied it goes down easily and is complex and different enough to make it worth trying.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2013 23:19:15 | More by fank2788
Photo of Omnium


3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours a nice gold color one finger of fizzy head, little lacing.
S - Grassy, a little grainy, some lemon zest.
T - Crisp and refreshing, definitely some pilsener tastes in here, a little peppery, some bitterness, a little lemon.
M - Crisp, and bright, refreshing.
O - Decent pale, I'm not overly excited about some of the pilsener traits to it, but its still got good flavors.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2013 00:36:26 | More by Omnium
Photo of Givemebeer


3.61/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap in Brooklyn at some Mexican food joint.

A: Amber colored with a small head and minimal lacing

S: Floral citrusy piney

T: Possibly the most floral pale ale I've ever encountered. It's almost overwhelming but it is enjoyable. Some piney hops are in there too but I wish there was more of a malt backbone to balance this out.

M: Medium bodied with a dry finish

O: This is a hophead's pale ale. I enjoyed it but I don't think I'll be returning to this one again.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2013 14:33:19 | More by Givemebeer
Photo of micromaniac129


3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was disappointed with this beer. I heard talk that Captain L's had some good beers.
This beer was bottled 7?13 so I thought it would/should be fresher.
The color was hazy orange amber. A thin white head that seemed to never get started.
In the nose I detected sutle hints of floral and citrus hops. Malts and metal.
In the taste, it was all malts and barely any hops. Like in the nose the aftertaste had some metalic astringency.
For a two month old brew I was expecting more.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2013 13:12:12 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of Act25

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great east coast discovery. A creamy APA.
Fresh Chester pours a slight hazed orange-amber body with a creamy white head that lasts and laces. Always leaving a creamy film across the top all the way down.

S: The nose is citrus and floral, very original, and inviting. It's restrained from over use of hops; plus piney, grassy, earthy, fragrant in a good way.

T: Follows the aroma. Again sweet, floral, clean fresh fruit, on a malt backbone. Honey, lemon, spice, grass, pine, and floral hops. Really great the way it doesnt over do the hops. great finish. Great food beer in this case with spicy sauteed mushrooms and asparagus over rice.

MF: It's medium bodied, crisp, satisfying with a creamy feel and medium carbonation.

One of my favorite APAs, the creamiest of the lot. Up there with Dales Pale Ale as a great APA.

I retried this on 12/11/13 and proclaim it a great APA! A creamsicle of an APA!

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2013 22:50:56 | More by Act25
Photo of Hendry


3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Amber with a two finger tan head,lacing average.

Aroma takes on a breadiness/maltiness with some grapefruit rind mixed in.

Taste is pretty close to the nose, decent balance of malt & hops, some bitterness in there that isn't the overly palatable type.

Mouthfeel is heavy medium for the style, too much carbonation.

This hybrid American/English pale ale is pretty average overall, not bad yet nothing I would revisit.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2013 05:02:47 | More by Hendry
Photo of argock


4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. No freshness date evident. Single purchased at Oliver's Beverage (Albany, NY).]

A: Slightly hazy copper with 1-finger cap of small-bubbled light beige head with decent retention but no real lacing to speak of.

S: Great aroma with grapefruit, pine, and honeysuckle leading the way. There is a substantial caramel-toffee sweet note from the malt with a lot of biscuit as well. A fair amount of darker caramel malt aromas are present too. No yeast aromas that I could detect.

T: THe flavor is a tad too bitter but really is a nice cohesive beer otherwise with a solid caramel, bready note with even more maltiness but maybe a hint of diacetyl, although I think they are going for an English/American Pale Ale hybrid it seems with the liberal use of darker caramel malts. The hops flavors are really outstanding though with pine resin, grapefruit and orange citrus, mild floral, and honeysuckle/herbal flavors with a light grassy note. Bitterness is moderate to high for the style and a bit harsh at times. Maybe some mild fruity yeast esters, which do give it a more English finish.

M: A bit prickly at first with a bit too much carbonation but this calms to leave a medium bodied beer with a slick overall feel and with a nice dry finish despite the heftier body.

O: An interesting take on the pale ale style as it blends features of American and English pale ales. I would really upgrade this one if they decreased the bitterness by 7-10 IBU, eliminated the diacetyl altogether, and decreased the carbonation a hair. All in all though a nice pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2013 03:25:34 | More by argock
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead


4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle; clear golden with a thin tight white head and some faint sediment suspended in the beer. Smells malty and a bit yeasty (that old "beer" smell) with some fainter hops rounding it out. Taste is surprisingly hoppy; bit bitter and juicy hops hit the tongue first, with lots of herbal and bitter flavors, even a rye-like taste before a hefty malt flavor takes over and smooths things out. Nice clean mouthfeel, finishes with lingering bitterness. This is an IPA-lover's APA.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2013 21:56:15 | More by BurgeoningBrewhead
Photo of utopiajane

New York

3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy copper with a mere finger of foam that fell very fast. Left only a thin ring and thin soapy lace. Nose is soft orange,weedy mild grass and earth. Muted. Some floral and light tropical perfume. Catty but not offensively. Malt is sweet caramel and biscuit with a breath of honey. Nice on the palate with grain and pale malt kissed by tropical fruits. Refreshing grapefruit and pine. Hops leave a little earthy and oily bitter on the back palate. Body is thin and carbonation was moderate. Very mild and it drank a little too easy. This was a very easy going pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2013 10:43:10 | More by utopiajane
Photo of dar482

New York

4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I had this at Spitzer's in NYC.

It comes in an amber color.

The aroma has grapefruit, pale ale malt.

The taste is quite complex. There is grapefruit, sweet pineapple, and then some pine and grassiness. The finish has a really wonderful medium grapefruit bitterness that almost makes it an IPA. Instead of a fruity flavor like some pale ales, it has a West Coast IPA pine and grapefruit punch.

A really well crafted "pale ale," though I would more call it a calmer IPA. It is a fantastic beer. One of my favorite pale ales. So hoppy and delicious.

Serving type: on-tap

05-12-2013 06:13:32 | More by dar482
Photo of JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up at Stew Leonard's in Clifton last week, having never seen this for sale around here before. Even though there are so many beers of this style available, I thought that this held up well against others that I've had and the relatively low alcoholic content of this made it easy to enjoy, since the hops and flavors came out stronger than I anticipated.

No doubt that the pour was the best aspect to this, as it had a almond hue that shone nicely in the light since it wasn't 100% clear by any means. The head was solid and somewhat long-lasting while the lacing was the best I've seen in my pint glass in a very, very long time. Lots of rings that had lots of thickness to them, as they never fell down the sides of the glass. The mouthfeel was quite earthy to this with a hint of metallic and dry-hopped notes thrown in for good measure with a somewhat grassy undertone with a hint of caramel malt as well. Not a lot of of a burning sensation here but there was just enough of a citrus and pine feel to remind me of exactly what kind of beer this was!

The alcohol was present here but not that potent in terms of taste or strength. Those who love the West Coast Pale Ales that exemplify this style will find this to be a bit different, as the oily base is not to be found here. I haven't had too many beers with Columbus and Palisade hops in them and they certainly gave this a mild bitterness with just a hint of warming to them as well. While not my favorite Pale Ale, there's enough to like here and this stood out just a bit that I was glad I gave it a go, even though I wish that this was just a bit more full in the mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2013 12:03:09 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of donkeyrunner


3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chrystalline clear gold with a lager-like tight white head. Crescent moon retention leaves one fingerprint of lace on my glass.

Smells mildly like grass, orange pulp and pizza dough. Tastes the similar with more of a peppery hop and toastier malt. I've ready a lot of hoptastic reviews and my beer is missing that aspect. Could be an old 6 pack? I got it at Port Jeff Beverage Center and they seem like they reputable.

The bottle says this was inspired on the west coast and I do indeed feel like Doc on Cannery Row sitting and drinking my glass of beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2013 22:42:50 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle received in trade with iguenard - thanks!

Appearance - Slightly hazy amber/copper with an average size fizzy off-white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts grassy, earthy notes

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel, malts, and hops. There is also some grass and light citrus. It ends with a malty earthy and hoppy bitter aftertaste.

Overall – A nice drinkable east coast tasting APA. If you're in the mood for an earthy/malty/hoppy beer, give this a try.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2013 00:15:17 | More by spinrsx
Photo of farrago

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

You get a decent finger plus off-white foam, lots of larger bubbles forming islands across the surface, retention is a little below average, the lacing accords itself better, nice thick streaks encircle the glass and they pretty much stay there. The liquid is a spotless and transparent coppery orange, more reddish at its core and yellow around the rims, few but very strong bubble beads, high level of activity. Quite hoppy nose with spotlight on orange to grapefruit citrus, black pepper, green straw, peat and earth, coal tar and baked country bread, the fruit is mostly pineapple, nectarine but held in check, same for any cocoa or malty notes. Medium-bodied, amply prickle and activity from the carbonation, has a slight gluey texture otherwise, sticks to the palate. The pink grapefruit, tangerine citrus sweeter here, elevates with it the milk chocolate. Still, the peach, pineapple, green apple fruit struggles some to enunciate. Becomes more floral and less peppery the more you sip it and it warms. It’s an even draw on yeasts versus cooked bread accents. The herbal bite lessened although there’s more than enough bitterness at the end. Well thought out and as fun as it is interesting to dissect.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2013 00:21:09 | More by farrago
Photo of ThickNStout


3.49/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from chefjack428 (thanks!). No bottling info. Served in a Boulevard tulip snifter.

Pours deep orange with two fingers of fluffy head that leaves a fair amount of lacing.

Smells of sugared citrus and crackers.

Taste combines mild oranges, biscuit and muted caramel.

Medium but almost heavy feel with mild carbonation. Lingering citrus finish.

An interesting pale ale. I like the orange notes but it never seems to take off. I'm not sure where this would fit in my drinking. It's too heavy for me to call refreshing but too mild too mild to deliver the intense flavor I crave. Still, it's a solid brew that I'd have no problems drinking again sometime.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2013 08:11:56 | More by ThickNStout
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Freshchester Pale Ale is an iridescent display of yellow, gold and amber tones and looks good from every and any angle. Its head generates enough fluffy foam to make a comfortable duvet stuffing. It sports bubbles like freckles and has a shimmer so bright as to almost induce squinting. It looks fab-u-lous!

The bouquet is a sleeping beast and swirling the glass is like poking it with a stick; oxygen invokes big tropical and resiny aromatics (as well as a good amount of toasted malt). It's well poised but definitely not undersized. The citrus notes are tied together by a string of leafy vine.

The flavour offers bitter orange peel, apricot and toffee-apple notes and an oily, grapefruit-flavoured finish. Despite providing ample toastiness, there is minimal restraint from the malt as far as the earthy/floral taste is concerned. Though richer for that sturdy caramel malt base, it wouldn't have been much poorer without it - the hops know what they're doing.

I always prefer my pale ales to come with a heavy side of hops. For some breweries, however, it's as if they have to rummage around a dusty attack to find them. Not Captain Lawrence. Though the IBUs are tempered slightly, the citric and floral hop flavours are unambiguous - this is nearly as intense and juicy as an IPA.

Freshchester Pale Ale is a beer that colours inside the lines but does a fine job at it (and having won my share of colouring contests, I consider myself an authority on the matter). It is arguably the archetype of the style and when something like this is a year-round standard, flagship offering, we can say with confidence that these are indeed the glory days of beer in America.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2013 22:27:59 | More by biegaman
Photo of mikeg67

New Jersey

3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Pours copper with a short lived white head and some lacing. Aroma is of bready malt, piney hops and hints of orange.
Body is medium and very crisp. Taste is caramel, bready malt, piney, citrusy hops and ripe fruit. Finish is long and very bitter. Excellent PA.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2013 16:54:52 | More by mikeg67
Photo of CloudStrife

New York

3.96/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Pours a clear dark golden amber with a 3 finger dense white head. Lots of visible carbonation in the body. Real good lacing.

S: Mild hopping with a biscuity malt background. Some spiciness to it and pale malts.

T: Starts off with a malty bready flavor that is quickly over powered by earthy hops. A good fruitiness to it from the yeast and hops. Pretty mild but a good balance. Good freshness to this bottle.

M: Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Slightly sticky from the hops.

Overall a tasty brew that is a welcome addition to my area. Would be great for sipping on a warm sunny day. Recommended to any hophead as a warmup for the night

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2013 20:40:58 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of fmccormi

New York

4.06/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Straight pour from a 12oz pry-off bottle to a tall Ommegang flute (same type of glass as the Capt. Lawrence stem); no freshness or bottling date evident, but this was purchased just a couple of days after Capt. Lawrence’s first-ever shipment to this distribution area arrived.

Appearance (4.25): Very nice looking beer—pours with almost three fingers of custard-colored foam that dies down slowly, leaving a thick, fluffy cap of rocky head as it recedes. The body is a rich, deep golden-amber color with reddish hues. Perfectly clear. There are fat, spotty suds all around the glass, merging into short, leggy swaths of lace all over the place.

Smell (4.0): Lots of that leafy, resinous, kind of dank hop character you get from Cascade and Columbus hops—citrusy, with some pineapple and grapefruit scents, but with a leafy, green character that almost smells weedy. There are some warm, moderately sweet notes underneath that come across like oatmeal cookies and caramel corn. Very nice aroma for the style.

Taste (4.0): First thing to come across is that green leafiness from the hops, which segues nicely into an herbal bitterness that sticks around for the duration, with some grapefruit rind bitterness and citrusy flavor (like candied lemon peel) bouncing around above it. The malt body is restrained, offering a grainy, bready body that’s easy to overlook underneath the hops. But it’s there, with a whole-grain toast kind of richness with a nutty finish. Very nice.

Mouthfeel (4.5): Great feel: just barely on the light- side of medium-bodied, with an active carbonation that tingles lightly and foams moderately on the way down. Mildly astringent hop oils dry out the finish, but not too much—this beer goes down very easily without challenging the drinker, like IPAs can. Finally, there was enough residual head left that you could feel a clump of foam passing your lips.

Overall (4.0): This is a very, very solid APA. To me, this is one of those things like the way you judge a restaurant by their soup: if they do the most basic and frequently overlooked part of their menu well, then you can tell they put a lot of effort into the whole thing. This is an example of that: Freshchester Pale Ale is very solid, thoroughly enjoyable, and it’s clear that even in this beer, the brewers paid attention to all the little things. Very nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2013 05:20:49 | More by fmccormi
Photo of Zach136


4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a CL tulip/snifter thing. No bottle date.

A - Burnt orange, nice thick white head. Excellent lacing.

S - Light citrus, lemon peel and tangerine mostly.

T - Touch of toasted orange and lemon, balanced out with a bready malt backbone. Hop profile is fairly bitter.

M - Drying, dissipating mouthfeel. Excellent carbonation.

Great beer, but wish it had a date.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2012 01:35:50 | More by Zach136
Photo of tigg924


4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: 3/4 inch head, high carbonation, orange-brown in color, clear

Smell: pale malt and citrus hops

Taste: citrus hops, grapefruit, caramel, and a granola taste

Mouthfeel: bitter with sweetness in the background and a bitter end, high carbonation, light bodied

Overall: I am not a huge fan of this style, but I would be if more were made like this. This is about the juiciest APA I have had. Grapefruit just bursts...There is sweetness that mixes well. This one never gets mouth puckeringly bitter but never lets on it is a sweet beer either...This is what I would get if I wanted an APA...If not to style, this would come in still about a 4

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2012 15:02:42 | More by tigg924
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an orange tinged lighter golden with a thin white head atop.Aromas of apricots and mild citric hops,more fruity than bitter,a sweet biscuit malt base is there as well.Again more fruitiness imparted from the hops than bitterness,apricots again show thru as as a light herbal/grassiness,a firm biscuit maltiness lingers in the finish.A solid APA and I like the fruitiness from the hops.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2012 22:43:40 | More by oberon
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Freshchester Pale Ale from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 374 ratings.