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Freshchester Pale Ale - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Freshchester Pale AleFreshchester Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

149 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 149
Hads: 558
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 22.51%
Wants: 21
Gots: 79 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: Billolick on 02-12-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 149 | Hads: 558
Photo of Hendry
3.83/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of argock
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.63/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

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Photo of dar482
4.36/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3/5  rDev -23.3%
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.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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Photo of farrago
4.34/5  rDev +11%
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.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.49/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

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Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
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

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Photo of fmccormi
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of Zach136
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of tigg924
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
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

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Photo of oberon
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of Kendo
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from the growler into a pint glass on Thanksgiving Day 2012 - pairing it with appetizers (cheese & crackers, shrimp cocktail). Body is clear orangey amber with a half-finger off-white head and decent splotches of lace.

S: Nose is somewhat muted - I was expecting more hoppiness, to be honest, and was surprised by the toasty malt and caramel malt sweetness. Hops are there, however - a bit of citrus - grapefruit and lemon.

T: Nicely balanced APA with a caramel malt and toasted bread foundation and a lightly citrusy (think grapefruit) hoppiness. Finish is clean with a touch of grainy cracker, bitter lemon and grapefruit pith. Unlike an IPA, however, this is balanced and not a hop assault - though there is a solid lingering bitterness that at times seems piney in addition to the citrus bitterness. . . .

M: Call it medium in heft. Carbonation is appropriate - cleaning the palate and providing a solid brightness.

O: Good stuff. On par with SNPA and the other top-notch APAs. My first pint glass from the growler is quickly empty.

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Photo of Willytee3
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle fresh from the brewery into a Captain Lawrence Tulip.

Pours and orange color with slight yellow tinge. Good cream color head which retains a thin layer on top. Average lacing for the style.

Smells of malt with touch of apricot happiness, carmel notes and juicy grapefruit.

Tastes of malt with ripe grapefruit followed by a pleasant bitter. Nice touch of tropical fruit balances with the malt. Good mouthfeel with light carbonation that fades away for a perfect sip that lets the malt and fruits mainly slight grapefruit bitterness linger on the palate.

Great Session beer.

In my opinion this compares to a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale but is more fruity and less dry with less of that west coast bitter hop bite. More balanced with malt and and fruit.

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Photo of JRed
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Transparent amber in body with white head that leaves lacing. Aroma of lemon, dish soap, pine, caramel. Tastes of lemon skins, grass, dish soap, a welcomed citrus sweetness towards the finish, mild caramel, and a dry finish. Light in body with medium carbonation.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2012)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, cosmicevan!

Classic, clear dark orange in color with a moderately-sized near-white head, eventually leaving spotted lacing down the glass.

Bready aroma along with a bit of caramel and mild citrus/floral notes. Very appropriate, though not particularly powerful.

A classic pale ale: bread and biscuit, a bit of sweetness, floral and earthy hops, moderate bitterness. Classic and very much to-style; very drinkable.

Medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation.

A classic.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Captain Lawrence, Elmsford, NY

Poured a hazy amber color with a minimal white head that retained as a ringlet and laced the glass a bit. I didn't get much from the aroma actually, distant fruity hops, grass, light and grainy. Taste was better and more pronounced, sweet biscuit malt backbone overlaid with fresh fruity hop goodness, citrus zest, pine, and a bit of underripe pineapple, bitter and drying finish. Medium body, moderate carbonation. Quite the easy drinker, and not too deviant from "typical" for the style overall.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.02/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a nonic tumbler- pours a clear golden orange color, with one finger of off-white head, modest retention, no lacing.

Smell is pretty nice- nice fresh hop smell. Crisp citrus notes, some lemon and grapefruit, a little bit of pale malt.

Taste is very good also- citrus hops up front, followed by pale malt sweetness, then hop bitterness mixed in with a nice grainy flavor.

Mouthfeel is great- medium light body, moderate and prickly carbonation, a little bit of residual sweetness and resin. This is a very good pale ale- if you live in New York, it's well worth trying.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a very deep amber pour with 3 fingers of detergent-like head
smells soapy, piney, caramel... grapefruit..?? is this an ipa?

this is a very subtle crossover of apa to ipa.. a very mellow blend of hops, malty sweetness, and citrus flavors rise up front. i gotta admit, this reminds me a lot of dfh 60min as far as flavor goes, just a little less hoppy.

medium body, creamy on the lips, nicely carbonated. overall this is an excellent go-to. we need more captain lawrence in my area, it's getting expensive to mail order!

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Photo of claspada
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours light amber colored body with a creamy head that descends to a lasting thin cover. Some traces of lacing stick to the glass.

Aromas begin with of citrus hops, highlighted by grapefruit and orange with balancing sweet pale maltiness and a hint of caramel.

The tastes follow the nose with citrusy, piney hops followied by a balancing pale malt sweetness. As it warms you get hints of caramel maltiness. Fairly balanced overall.

The mouthfeel is medium-light bodied with medium carbonation. Finish isn't much of anything either; mild lingering bitterness if anything.

Overall this is an easy, flavorful "session" ale but by no means my favorite. Fairly one noted and you forget what you are drinking as it the flavor profile just isn't too exciting.

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Freshchester Pale Ale from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
88 out of 100 based on 149 ratings.