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Freshchester Pale Ale - Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Freshchester Pale AleFreshchester Pale Ale

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

461 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 461
Reviews: 140
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 15
Gots: 33 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Billolick on 02-12-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 461 | Reviews: 140 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of koopa
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler purchased from Bierkraft in Brooklyn.

Appearance: Clear honey orange pour with a nice finger of creamy off white head. Decent retention and some lacing.

Smell: I mainly get sweet grain and caramel malts on this one. Neither very hoppy, nor much to ponder in my humble opinion.

Taste: Extremely smooth well balanced ale. No bitterness, not much after taste, but not true to the APA style in my opinion. This one taste more like an english ale to me. Slightly bready, buttery, caramel like, etc.

Mouthfeel: I would have rated Fresh Chester higher in this category if it wasn't a touch thin. However its quite creamy and worthy of the 4.0 rating.

Drinkability: Can you say session beer?

koopa, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a growler into an American pint glass.

A--Pours up copper brownish, a little darker than I expected, with almost no head. What's there is fizzy and off-white and doesn't last.

S--A decent nose, with some floral notes from what I think are Cascade hops, along with an undertone of honeyed malt.

T--Follows the nose for the most part. More of a malt presence than many APAs I've had (and as the color would suggest), with caramel and toffee biscuit up front providing a great balance to the milder than most American recipe's bitter hops on the back end. Enough dry to keep you wanting more, but nott so much that you get worn out. The word that leaps to my mind with this beer is balance. Almost perfect malt and hop spectrum, much more so than other APAs I've had (Switchback, Sierra Nevada, Tuckerman's, Smutty). Not really a hophead's APA. Reminded me a great deal of Great Lakes' Burning River, if you've had that.

M&D--Both were fine--mouthfeel was pitch perfect, a little chewy with even pleasant carbonation--though I gotta bitch a little about the ABV. It's low for an American session beer, but geez, a beer this straightforward in England would be at or below 4 percent! It would be great if American brewers could get flavor while backing off on the booziness a tad. Can't complain about the Captain overall, though, as all of Mr. Vaccaro's beers start at a baseline of excellent, it seems, and go up from there.

TheycallmeTim, Nov 28, 2008
Photo of kasper
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A golden orange with an off-white head leaving nice lacing patterns around the glass.

S: Matly and bready with some faint piney hops.

T: Bready and malty up front with bitter hoppy lingering finish.

M: Medium body, lots of tingly carbonation.

D: Nice malty session beer.

kasper, Oct 22, 2008
Photo of mrbeery
4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

rich copper color,smells like it tastes. love the tickly bubbles and just the right amount of bitter that hits the back sides of your tongue.made for dudes that like a good session and guys that like to sell it to them.the low abv make the brew perfect for the boys that like to earn there buzz

mrbeery, Oct 10, 2008
Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Served into a pint glass...

Impressive offering from a brewery that IMO, will soon be gaining plenty of notariety. Well-balanced, flavorful, drinkable, hoppy, tasty IPA? Oh yes.

A- Dark golden color with a lot of orange and brown hues. Spiderweb lacing, creamy head, beautiful!

S- Smell was really hoppy and citrusy. Reminded me of a west coast style APA in the nose.

T- Taste was of caramel, sugars, citrus hops (grapefruit). Bready and bitter towards the back end.

M- Medium bodied- creamy- there is a lot to this beer.

D- Sessionable APA, one of my favorites to date. Give it a try!

DavidSeanNJ, Aug 03, 2008
Photo of marcpal
4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Sampled first at brewery and polished off a growler last night. Poured generously into imperial pint glass.

Prior to visit to brewery, only had the bigger beers they offered- crap, was I impressed with their take on smaller ones as well.

A: Straw yellow pale ale color. Moderate head, little lacing.

S: Citrus hops smoothly balanced with fruit sweetness and sugars of the malts.

T: Balanced to perfection- the more I drink of this the more I like it. Great Pale Ale. Piney, grassy, malty all tied into one smooth tasting beer.

M: If anything, not as light bodied as I expected but the thicker mouthfeel was actually pleasant in this.

D: A truly well rounded beer that got better as I went through the growler. I really would wish they would bottle these and the other session beers they have put together.

marcpal, Jun 24, 2008
Photo of MrMonkey
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes to gpcollen1 for hooking me up with this growler! Thanks George!

Pours an orangey amber with a slow stream of bubbles rising up and a one-finger off-white head that fades slowly to a thin cap. Decent amount of sticky lacing.

Smell is toasted bread and fresh biscuits with floral and citrus hops. There's some fresh cut grass and a bit of grapefruit and orange peel.

Taste starts of with some light bready malts and toasted bread/biscuits before a mild hop bitterness with some herbal/floral hop flavors. Finishes dry with a fading bitterness.

Medium-bodied, smooth mouthfeel.

A great Pale Ale. Very enjoyable and very drinkable.

MrMonkey, Jun 23, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Office in Montclair...

Arrived in the serving glass with a nice fluffy, foamy head... Appearance was a ruddy, amber, copper-brown color...
Enticing aroma replete with caramel, grains, and a hint of vanilla...
Very crisp, refreshing bread and butter flavor along with hints of light caramel and earthiness...
Hands down, one of the best American Pale Ales I've ever sampled...
Nice, crisp, clean mouthfeel along with an excellent level of drinkability...

dsa7783, May 16, 2008
Photo of Avryle
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Lionheart (from notes 5/5/08)

A- Rich golden, fluffy white one-finger head. Solid lacing.

S- Malt & hops

T- Sweet light malts & crisp bitter sweetness

M- Medium bodied, medium carbonation. Lingering bitterness

D- Excellent Spring/Summer beer

Avryle, May 08, 2008
Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler 24 hours after being filled.

I'm not often impressed by pale ales, but this beer got me. All the flavors were familiar, but it was like they were turned up to 11. The malts are a big bready mix of biscuit, toast, and all-grain crust. Pizza and sandwiches need to be paired with this beer.

Then there's the hops. A great profile of American citrusy hops with grapefruit and a harsher fruit zest finish. All very tasty and in a nice balance to the malts.

Basically this pale ale is big on flavor and bitterness while still maintaining bitterness. A must-try for pale ale fans.

tempest, Apr 27, 2008
Photo of kkosmoski
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this on tap at the Lazy Boy in White Plains. My first experience with the highly-praised Captain Lawrence beers, and my expectations were high.

Appeared light amber/orangish in color with a good-sized and lasting white head. Beer had a noticible haze to it, which caught my attention, as I was expecting it to be clearly translucent. Aroma was a very pleasant, citrusy slap in the face-exactly what I was looking for. Flavor was dominated by a solid, piney bitterness throughout. I didn't taste as much citrus as I got in the aroma, mostly pine. Hops are supported by bready/toasted malt in the background, followed by a lingering bitter finish that sticks right on the depths of my tongue. Mouthfeel had a light-medium feel. I thought the drinkability of this beer was very good. Very interesting hop flavors supported by some bready malt and a lingering bitterness that makes you want to keep drinking.

Very impressed with my first try at the Captain's beer. A solid American Pale obviously crafted with a great deal of passion and skill. Looking forward to trying more.

kkosmoski, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of aerozeppl
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at the brewery.

A: Typical APA amber color with minimal white head. No lacing.

S: Fruiter than I expected. Also could not single out and specific fruit. Hops were there and added a nice citrus smell that added to the fruity smell. Malt was there but not very pronounced

T: Crisp tasting. Super balanced. The thing I like about CL beers is that they basically tone down a beer and bring it back to what makes that style great.

M: Creamy and well carbonated

D:The brewer used to work at Sierra Nevada. It is almost like all the things I like about that beer without all the things I do not (which are many). They don't really taste similar but some little things here and there made me think about it. Super easy drinking. I had had this at the lazy boy a few times so I am glad I finally got to review it.

aerozeppl, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of Sammy
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Barcade. Dark sun colour, decent head. Floral citrus aroma, hoppy and IPAish. Three C-hops.Well malted. An American take on an English IPA this one is. Good medium mouthfeel, active carbonation. An easy drinker. Not the best pale, more or less average nice beer.

Sammy, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours amber brown. Minimal head. Nose is mild. Slight pine tones. Flavor is unbelievably smooth. Move aside hop bombs. Smooth hearty and meaty tones of hops. Feel is nice and thick on liquid with a good carbonation. Oh so drinkable. I feel like this is what an APA should be. Stellar.

RblWthACoz, Jan 01, 2008
Photo of brentk56
4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a cloudy amber color and a sturdy head that sheets the pint glass with lace

Smell: Fruity aroma with grapefruit and a hint of pineapple

Taste: Biscuity up front, but that is quickly surpassed by a piney bitterness that abounds; after the swallow, the bitter flavors become more fruity with the grapefruit and pineapple joining the fray and persisting through a long-lasting finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate but prickly carbonation

Drinkability: Refreshing and aggressively bitter for an APA; nicely balanced by the malt

brentk56, Nov 14, 2007
Photo of brantadid
3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer 2 days after having Smoke from Oak for the first time and was disappointed. That isn't to say this is a bad beer, quite to the contrary, it is really good. But next to his porter, it pales in comparison.

Poured a ver light brwon color with little head. The head was very white. Moderate lacing.

Some toasted malt in the nose but mostly hops.

Tastes of dry hops. There is a sharpness to the flavor. Slightly bitter on the far palate, but in a refreshing sort of way.

High carbonation made this beer a little difficult to drink.

brantadid, Oct 23, 2007
Photo of KenOnBass
4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was presented to me by my dear friend Paul. He was once a hippy, but has now relocated to South Salem. Don't ask. Nearby is the Captain Lawrence Brewery. Nearby is a good reason to live in South Salem.

The appearance is excellent. Good head. Good fizz. Good color. This beer sticks to the glass. Smell is fruity and refreshing. Has that apricot smell. May be one of the best tasting beers I've tasted. It's sweet, and refreshing once again. It's similar to the Magic Hat #9, which I also love, but this is far better. It's a lite beer that pairs with anything. I would gladly drink or order this in any situation.

I believe Paul needs to come over more often bearing growlers filled w/ this beer.

KenOnBass, Oct 13, 2007
Photo of Amalak
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Out of the Growler this is amazing. A thick, three inch head. Dissipates steadily, and leaves a decent lace. Semi-dark orange/brown in color.

S: Very nice, nutty smell.

T: It is a little bitter, but in that good kind of Pale Ale kind of way. Nutty, with a very rich body.

M: Lots of flavor, the mouthfeel is good, but I can't explain why.

D: Very smooth with a nice kick.

One of the best Pale Ales I have ever had. For such a little brewery in Westchester, this is an awesome beer.

Amalak, Oct 13, 2007
Photo of jjayjaye
4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery and from a growler...
Pours a clear light amber color with a full finger yellow tinted white head that fades quickly. A decent amount of lacing generated. Not much visible effervescence after the pour. The smell is sweet and floral, with grassy hop undertones. Medium bodied with initially creamy texture, the mouth feel is lightly carbonated yet complemented by a tangy grassy hoppiness. Full flavored, the taste is far less sweeter than the nose leads on to be. A fairly sharp bitterness from a grassy pine hop flavor lingers. There is nice amount of character to be considered with this one. Quite drinkable. At 5.6% ABV, its a real session beer.

jjayjaye, Sep 24, 2007
Photo of Longstaff
3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Growler was obtained by a good friend just a couple of days before sampling. Poured with a nice two finger head that held its own on top of a clear garnet colored malt. Biscuity malt aroma couple with earthy, grassy, and that candyish Cascade fruitiness coming from the hops. Medium mouthfeel with some light chocolate flavors makes the malt side quite interesting - finishes with earthy and grassy hop flavors that clean out the sweet malt- decent bitterness for a pale ale. A good drinkable beer when cold - somewhere between SN pale ale and Celebration - but as it warms I started to notice some phenolics that were previously hidden by malt and hops. hmmm - wonder if this is trend with CL beers. A little cleaner alcohol profile would make this a really tasty pale ale.

Longstaff, Sep 19, 2007
Photo of mcallister
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice amber colored pale ale, crisp and clear with tine carbo bubbles making the journey up the glass. A small slightly off white head is full and thick and fades into a cap with some thin lacing left in it's wake.

Sweet toffee, and cereal grain malt aromas. A nutmeg aroma shows through and some light stone fruit qualities of peach, tangerine and a bit of pine as well as floral aromas. Nice.

I bought this growler at the brewery as they were out of the Captain's reserve for growlering (did get to try it however and damn tasty it was). I wasn't crazy about this there but I did try out of order as I did the Cap's Reserve first. Well I can now say this is a damn tasty pale ale. Very malt driven with the same malty characteristics as the aroma. Full of semi sweet toffee and cereal bready malts. Nice tingly carbonation really enhances the mouthfeel and makes the mouthfeel very attractive and pleasant. Very floral in hop variety with a nectarine fruit profile and hints of peach. Mouth if full and hop bitterness is moderate and balances the sweet malt nearly perfectly. I can say this growler is going down!

mcallister, Jun 10, 2007
Photo of sleazo
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Captain lawrence pale ale. Mark bar happy hour

darkish umber hue with a pillowy head. Lovely sticky lace clings to the side of the glass as I drink this down.

S-toasted biscuits and bread with a nice ammount of citrus hops.

T-clean tasting. The toasted malt provides the canvas and the hops the paint. The taste is similar to the smell. This is another well balanced pale ale

M-rich and creamy with a refreshing carbonation.

D- another winner from the Captain. This is becoming one of my favourites. I am lucky to be in the distribution zone.

sleazo, Jun 07, 2007
Photo of Gavage
4.58/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: clear orange in color with a nice two finger head that lingers awhile. Thick lacing paints the glass.

Smell: floral and piney bitterness along with some orange citrus is bold an easy to detect.

Taste: pine, oranges, lemon zest, and caramel candy sweetness make up a very well balanced and impressive pale ale.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start and finish with a bit of dryness at the end. Short aftertaste is dominates by the pleasant bitterness. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: since this was a newly tapped keg, the freshness and simple flavors were exciting for the tastebuds. This is a great session pale ale.

Gavage, Apr 07, 2007
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh Chester pours a clear orange-amber body beneath a creamy head of white that holds well and leaves some thin-but-nice lacing about the glass.

The nose is welcomely restrained in its use of over-the-top, juicy/citrusy Pacific northwest hops; and it's softly citrusy (expressing mainly lemons and dull grapefruit), as well as lightly piney, grassy, and gently floral aroma is quite seductive.

The flavor is malty and sweetish, lightly honeyish and caramelish, and balanced by lemony, spicy, grassy, softly piney, and floral hops. The bitterness is solid, but sublime, and acts as ballast so that the malt and hops can shine without shakles... very nicely balanced and well-rounded! It finishes dry, but with a short-lingering note of sweetish malt, and then more long-lingering notes of spicy/piney, and citrusy and grassy hops.

In the mouth it's medium bodied and gently crisp with a fine-bubbled median carbonation.

Very easy to drink! Quite possibly the most refined and balanced beer to come out of Captain Lawrence so far. Very nice indeed!!!

NeroFiddled, Mar 20, 2007
Photo of plaid75
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

The smell featured a good oily hop with excellent peppery and piney characteristics. There was a good light caramel malt as well.

The taste consisted of a strong peppery and citrus hop and a very good soft grain bill.

The mouthfeel was full and crisp with a dry finish.

Overall a very good IPA.

plaid75, Mar 16, 2007
Freshchester Pale Ale from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 461 ratings.