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California Ale - Telegraph Brewing Company

California AleCalifornia Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

96 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 96
Reviews: 60
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 17.65%


Brewed by:
Telegraph Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
California Common / Steam Beer |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: SBPCGuru on 03-15-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 96 | Reviews: 60 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
BattleRoadBrewer

Massachusetts

3.1/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served cold on tap in 23 oz shaker.

Appearance: Dark amber and slightly hazy. No appreciable head and little lace.

Nose: Yeasty and grainy, more like a fermentation than finished beer. Also plenty of juicyfruit.

Taste: Malty, consistent with the color and fruity.

Mouthfeel, nice and filling with reasonable bitterness.

Overall: Maybe an attempt to brew an American amber ale with weissbier yeast?

Serving type: on-tap

03-19-2014 00:36:14 | More by BattleRoadBrewer
Photo of megahurts4
megahurts4

Louisiana

3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Telegraph California Ale

Appearance: amber, huge head, some nice lacing.

Smell: yeast, grain, and malty hop.

Taste: mild yeast, a maltiness, mineral water, and a light sweetness.

Mouthfeel: medium-light and smooth.

Overall:
This is a decent brew. It is nicely crafted but has a potent mineral water flavor. It seems to mask most of the other nice flavors unfortunately.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2013 03:55:50 | More by megahurts4
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Field Of Drafts held at The Hanger in Lancaster, CA.

Pours a clear orange with a foamy beige head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, yeast, and caramel aromas. Taste is much the same with malt and caramel flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2013 02:10:44 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Samuel906
Samuel906

California

2.9/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance:

Light reddish brown with a ton of carbonation and head up front that leaves very light lacing. Very high clarity. A pretty nice color actually; looks more like iced tea than beer to be honest.

Aroma:

I'm can't really put my finger on it, but I do not like the smell of this beer, and for someone who likes gettin my nose up in that, it is a turnoff. And reading some of the other reviews, it sounds like this can be hit and miss. It was very muted, some yeast and citrus, green apples spices and cloves.

Palate:

Pretty light, and super high carbonation. Refreshing, crisp, good very cold. The sweet leaves you feeling a little sticky.

Taste:

Citrus... Yeast... Malt... Spices... Pretty simple but it works; clean, tasty and refreshing.

Overall:

I'm honestly having a hard time calling this one... Very drinkable but very simple. Not an adventure for your taste-buds and it's not gonna get you very drunk. I liked it, something a little different, but I can't see myself every buying it again.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2012 04:27:22 | More by Samuel906
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie

California

3.1/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap in Lodi.

Deep lightly cloudy golden iced-tea color with a half inch of dense head. Great film retention, wispy lace. Surprising amount of sugar and fruit, with a little bit of yeast and peppery spices coming through. The nose is a lighter version of this, and a bit grainy. Thicker mouthfeel than I was expecting with a creamy body and ample, fuzzy and frothy carbonation. Tingly at times. Not terrible but I didn’t really dig it.

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2012 04:25:43 | More by scottfrie
Photo of BeerManDan
BeerManDan

California

3.4/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When poured in the glass, the color was a reddish brown with a load of foam and a fair amount of lace. The smell citrus and hops was sort of weak and not impressive. The taste of hops, citrus and a yeasty carbonation. As this ale warmed up the carbonation and flavors became more softer and not as bitter as when first poured.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2012 05:29:49 | More by BeerManDan
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is light amber in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a two-finger high off white head that died down but consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are aromas of citrusy hops and fruity yeast in the nose.
T: The taste has earthy flavors with hints of spices towards the finish and is accompanied by a very light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a high amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite tasty and is a good representation of the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 03:42:24 | More by metter98
Photo of BucannonXC5
BucannonXC5

California

3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 1 pint, 9.4 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Color was caramel coppery. Lots of head, thanks in part to a bad pour by me. That probably also contributed to the frothy film on the sides and the frothy lacing on the top that stayed throughout the pour.

Smelled of sweet floral notes up front. Seems to be lots of sugar in the nose as well. Could almost smell the stickiness. Citrus hops in the nose, too, led by tangerine and lemon zest.

Surprisingly the taste was a bit different than the nose. It’s almost like the makers forgot to finish the beer. Tastes include sugar, spices (cloves, pepper?), caramel, light citrus.

Medium body. Thin texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, watery finish. Clean and refreshing.

Nothing too exceptional about this beer except for the smell.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2011 07:28:15 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of JustinOSU99
JustinOSU99

Massachusetts

3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Yellowish - Amber, small light brown lacing, good carbonation
S: Yeast, Light cream, orange peel, lemon zest, barley, creamy malt
T: Grass clippings, yeast, grain, orange, lemon
M: Creamy yet carbonated. Starts out sweet, ends tart.
D: One and done, but a nice change of pace for me.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2011 02:32:06 | More by JustinOSU99
Photo of micromaniac129
micromaniac129

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours quite clear and has a amber hue. A super tall white head sits atop a massively carbonated brew. The white foamy cap doesn't fade but instead grows, now thats a carbonated beer.
Aroma is malty with a tad of spice and yeast.
Taste is dry with some caramel malts. Hop profile here is low with not much flavor although there is some bitterness. Towards the end I can pick p some grains or bread and biscuits. I found this beer to be extremly over carbonated, perhaps to much sugar, that produced way too much foam. There was an easy three fingers worth the whole time. I think it taste good on the whole and by reading other reviews I'll put this in the rereview list and check at a latter date.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 12:32:05 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.18/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with a cork and screwcap top served into a N'ice Chouffe stem-goblet in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

A: Pours a one and a half finger head of slight cream, good thickness, and decent retention. Colour is a semitransparent light copper.

Sm: Light cream and barley. Some light raw or candied sugar. A bit yeasty. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Candy sugar, barley, light malt, and yeast. Pleasant but simple. Nicely balanced, but a bit edgy on the yeast end. Strangely built for the style. My main problem is its simplicity.

Mf: Smooth, wet, and sharp. Too thick for the lack of flavours and relatively low abv. Doesn't really suit the flavours.

Dr: Drinkable but forgettable. Pretty mediocre. If you're a hardcore fan of the style (if those exist!) you might like it, otherwise steer clear.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2011 06:49:17 | More by kojevergas
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What is California Ale? Like the state itself, it's a diversity of colours that all sort of just come together. The glass is brimming with orange and reddish highlights awash against a tarnished golden backdrop. Ironically enough, it seems to appear darker when held into the light. Its head has great big bubbles in it that sit like giant boulders.

The beer may be called California Ale but it definitely smells more like it's Belgian - a peppery, effervescent bouquet let's known that this Golden State brew has implemented a little help from an old-world strain of yeast, one that surely speaks French or Flemish, but Spanish probably not. It has soft notes of bruised fruits and an overtly phenolic persona.

The zesty yeast keeps things interesting and lively on the palate. Alongside a bubbly, bottle-conditioned carbonation notes of apple and bruised fruit dance the Charleston, meanwhile subtle but peppery phenols poke away at your tongue little by little. Fortunately there's sweet, caramelly malts to keep them both in check, especially on the finish.

A beer like this, which has a lot of character packed into a relatively modest frame, is quite easy to drink. The malts are assertive with some toffee and bready notes, but they are by no means heavy. The spiciness you become immune to, a tolerance is built up over the course of the 750 ml. It's pleasant and while more flavourful, still has mainstream appeal.

California Ale is a nice, albeit everyday kind of beer. While nothing extraordinary, it is, like a good brand of table wine, something worth stocking the house with if only to be enjoyed casually and often, best amongst a group and over a nice meal. Beer culture would be much improved if this (and not light lagers) were found in the fridges of average Americans.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 19:42:36 | More by biegaman
Photo of weazal
weazal

California

3.85/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

SMELL: Overwhelmingly bright, pretty sweet tangerine aroma. Reminds me of a Belgium Triple.

TASTE: Mmm, nice full soft mouthfeel with a tangy, bright nature. A bit dry finish makes for a clean, yet not to quick tasting. Fun and a bit sour. Easy, flavorful, and drinkable. A good introductory "good" beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2011 03:18:40 | More by weazal
Photo of jwinship83
jwinship83

Illinois

3/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

750ml corked and caged bottle that i picked up at the naperville whole foods. i didnt know that this brand was sold in illinois and havnt seen it anywhere else. batch 72. drank out of my samuel adams perfect pint glass.

A- this one pours out a translucent light copper colored body with a small off-white head made up of very tightly knit bubbles. the head has above average retention and leaves behind a nice wall of lacing.

S- the first thing i notice about the nose is yeast. very spicy smelling with plenty of fresh cracked pepper. theres also almost a brett like odor. toasted bread malts. earthy and spicy hops at the end.

T- the spice that i could smell comes back in force in the taste. very spicy and peppery. after that i get some toasted bread malts and a slight nuttiness. earthy hops and more spice at the end.

M- the body is on the lower side of medium. the carbonation is very high.

O- overall i think they need to tone the spices down in this one. theyre very strong and make this seem pretty one dimensional. the price isnt bad (i think i paid around $9 for this bottle which is cheaper than most 750s) but i still dont see myself picking this up again.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2011 02:54:40 | More by jwinship83
Photo of BucBasil
BucBasil

South Carolina

3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured on tap into a pint glass at a restaurant in Malibu. Reviewed from some quick notes jotted down on a receipt.

S: slight fruit hint, especially citrus. Bready balance.

T: Some pine, more fruit - not just citrus but a full array, incl. apple. Finishes with some spice and bread. Gingerbread in the finish.

A little thin, but tasty. Good beer, if a little hard to pin down. Went well with my meal.

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2011 23:45:50 | More by BucBasil
Photo of bbb099
bbb099

California

4.22/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shared w/ mjyoung

A - Cloudy copper color with foamy, white colored head.

S - Dominated by fruity aroma with citrus hops and toasted grains smell on the side.

T - Mild flavors of yeast, cereal, and sweet malt. Ends on a slightly hoppy note. More flavorful than the well known Anchor Steam.

M - High amount of carbonation. Medium bodied. Not bad at all.

O - One of the better California commons out there. Definitely recommend a try.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2011 02:50:37 | More by bbb099
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

2.8/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: It's a looker, with a huge head sitting atop the clear amber liquid; great retention and lacing

Smell: Toast, Granny Smith apples, horseblanket and a flinty aspect

Taste: The carbonation is so high that it is hard to discern the flavor elements up front, but once the bubbles settle down, the Brett and Granny Smith apple flavors take over; the lemony tartness builds, after the swallow and the finish is chalky

Mouthfeel: Overcarbonated, with a medium body

Drinkability: At first I thought that perhaps I had a bad bottle, but then I read a number of other reviews; I wasn't expecting a sour but this beer is way out there; the label says that it is subtly tart but there is nothing subtle about this one; I have had a number of sours and keep trying to like this one in that context but I am afraid I cannot

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2011 23:38:52 | More by brentk56
Photo of ELDAVIS69
ELDAVIS69

California

4.8/5  rDev +34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is probably one of my favorite Telegraph beers. 750ml poured into my super classy HOTD tulip, the beer pours an intense amber hue with great head retention. Smell is that of yeast & honey with a dash of farm animal. Taste is superb I'm diggin the yeasty spiciness/funk, overall a damn good beer from an under appreciated local brewery.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2011 03:02:56 | More by ELDAVIS69
Photo of Kc12349
Kc12349

Illinois

2.28/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: average looking, amber, slightly cloudy
Smell: sweet and acidic
Taste: again acidic overtones are a bit overwhelminh
Mouthfeel: thin with little head
Drinkability: a struggle to continue after half a glass

I gave this a try because the label looked respectable enough and on the whim that it was named after the state of my youth. It took me a couple sips to decide on it, but it grew quickly tiresome. I regretting buying the wine size bottle I had purchased. I am unsure in retrospect if the beer had gone bad or if it was intended to taste as acidic as it did. Regrettably I lean towards the later.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2011 23:19:51 | More by Kc12349
Photo of 55bob
55bob

California

1.68/5  rDev -52.9%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Bought a 750ml bottle. Really nice label and bottle with corkage. Store presentation is very inviting. My compliments to the label artists and sales team.

First I could barely open this bottle. The cork was fit so tightly. I actually looked for a pair of pliers for assistence. The cork gave way to a loud pop---over carbonated I thought and I was right.

Pourd into a pint glass about 1/2 full becasue the rest was light fizzy head whcih settled quite quickly. Aroma was of yeast and also sour. Not just yeast but really off. Taste was off also. Tasted like spoiled homebrew. I only had a home brew taste this bad once and I dumped the entire batch which is alos what I did with this bottle.

To give the benefit of doubt to the brewery this could have been a older bottle from a single batch that suffered quality control issues. I'll try more of thier beers before passing judgement on the entire brewery.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2011 17:54:44 | More by 55bob
Photo of Hojaminbag
Hojaminbag

Colorado

3.9/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Telegraph California Ale has a hazy gold to yellow body with a small white head. Retention and lacing are both ok.

Interesting aroma. Some citrus hops, pale malt and a little bit of brett.

I've heard of Telegraph brewing before, but I knew nothing about this beer when I ordered it at a small beach-side bar. Based on the name I assumed it was a steam beer, and it had some steam characteristics, but it also has similarities to a Belgian Saison. The strongest flavor is the musty, horsey flavor of brett, which also makes this beer extremely dry. I like the brett, it was a pleasant surprise, and it is there in just the right dose. Besides the brett there is a little bit of lightly tart fruit, a light, pale malt backbone and just a little nip of citrus and bitterness from the hops.

Bone dry with fairly active carbonation.

This beer doesn't really fit into any style guidelines, but it was definitely enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2011 16:18:10 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of ibbjamin
ibbjamin

California

2/5  rDev -44%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A workmate gave me this 750ml bottle to try and get back to him on its quality. Apparently the brewer is a friend of his mother. I told him I'd give my honest opinion. Poured into a pils glass.

Pours leaving a standard sized fizzy off white head. Transparent and golden yellow in color. Minimal head retention.

I detect a lot of Belgian yeast and bready hints in the nose. Banana peel, clove, grassy hops and white grape as well. Reminds me more of a tripel than anything.

Taste is off to me. Hard for me to describe, I mean some of the characteristics I noted in the nose, but much more confused.

Mouth is lighter body with a somewhat watery medium finish. A bit funky, but to me, this is not the good kind of funk I have become fond of.

I will gladly try another of their beers, maybe even this one again. I am hoping this may just be a bad batch or something because this one just can't be right.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2010 03:06:05 | More by ibbjamin
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

1.98/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

On draft at Toronado, San Francisco, CA.

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

The smell featured doughy malts and bret.

The taste consisted of an unpleasant tartness.

The mouthfeel was average for the style with a moderate astringency.

Overall a confused steam beer. Not very good.

Serving type: on-tap

10-16-2010 21:04:55 | More by plaid75
Photo of wedgie9
wedgie9

Tennessee

3.15/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tasted from bottle at Lush West Town. Pours clear amber with a medium off-white head that leaves heavy lace. Nose is fairly light with some caramel malt and a bit of non-descript fruitiness, black licorice, and something metallic. Flavor is slightly tart up front with the malt and yeast kicking in heavily on the middle and finishing with solid bitterness, and the metallic flavor comes through as well. The body is medium with lively carbonation and a long, bitter finish.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2010 20:14:10 | More by wedgie9
Photo of Halcyondays
Halcyondays

California

4.2/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle,

A: Pours amber with a frothy almost gushing white head, fair retention.

S: Yeasty white pepper, almost Bretty, hay.

T: Candied oranges, rum, tangerine. Yeasty, rustic flavour. Saison like for sure.

M: Nice full carbonation, but not over the top. Full-bodied, crisp.

D: An intriguing beer. Very tasty, another winner from Telegraph. I don't know why it is listed as a Common, it's an ale and Telegraph says it's in the farmhouse style. Whatever its true style it's good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2010 03:05:05 | More by Halcyondays
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California Ale from Telegraph Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 96 ratings.