Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Grateful Pale Ale - Starr Hill Brewery

Not Rated.
Grateful Pale AleGrateful Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
83
good

54 Reviews
THE BROS
89
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 54
Hads: 394
Avg: 3.64
pDev: 31.87%
Wants: 11
Gots: 93 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Starr Hill Brewery
Virginia, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) | 4.70% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheBigBoy on 04-10-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Grateful Pale Ale Alström Bros
firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 54 | Hads: 394
Photo of tone77
3.36/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A big thanks to the previous reviewer, woodychandler, for this beer. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of hops, a bit of mild citrus. Taste is kind of light, some hops, a touch of citrus, just a bitr on the bland side. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a sessionable beer, but just seemed to be lacking a bit.

 365 characters

Photo of ordybill
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Had a mix of hops and citrus, pretty good smelling.
Appearance- A clear yellow/orange with a small whitehead.
Taste- Has that citrus note mixed with hops, and a small biscuit flavor tossed in.
Palate- A light to medium bodied brew with medium carbonation.
Overall- A good beer, I enjoyed it and would drink it again.

 370 characters

Photo of woodychandler
3.5/5  rDev -3.8%

I was down in DC two weekends ago to partake of DC Beer Week, which is where I scored this and several other CANs in furtherance of The CANQuest ™.

From the CAN: “Founded in Charlottesville, VA.”; “The Gift of Great Beer. [undersigned] Mark A. Thompson Master Brewer”.

The Crack! was nice and loud so I celebrated with an inverted Glug, which I eventually had to back off of to avoid overflowing. It created two puffy fingers of dense, eggshell-white head with decent retention. Color was Yellow-Gold (SRM = 4 – 5) with NE-quality clarity and so my new friends, Mammon, Midas and Croesus came by for a taste. When it came to my turn, I took a sniff, noting a big grapefruit citrus presence. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was not as pronounced as its smell, but it still had a decent amount of bitterness. I have a feeling that all of the intense AIPAs of late may have dulled my taste buds, diminishing my enjoyment of an APA. I found myself wishing that there was a greater hops presence, but that would be stylistically incorrect. What a CANundrum! Good lacing appeared as I drank it. Finish was semi-dry and quite drinkable. I CAN see putting some in the cooler, but I would probably reach for something hoppier.

 1,237 characters

Photo of dacrza1
3.21/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

DATE REVIEWED: July 12, 2014... GLASSWARE: Brew at the Zoo pint... OCCASION: return from a great day at Point Pleasant--tired but thirsty...APPEARANCE: pours a bright, almost completely clear orange-yellow with crisscross effervescence; white head flames up the glass after thinning out efficiently; little lacing... AROMA: melon and bubblegum invade the nostrils; flowery hints of springtime and perfume--an attractive start... PALATE: a bit hard at the start, forcing expectations to more of an IPA--but thin at the end, with a lagerish aftertaste...in essence, a slightly uncomfortable mouthfeel... TASTE: dishwasher lemon zest comes through most prominently with some hay mown in; an odd, lagerish malty quality hovers at the edge of each sip; slightly sour ... OVERALLL: the "grateful" appellation suggests to me that something is owing to the Dead's legacy, musical or otherwise, but this ale offers a slightly disjointed flavor profile, with enough syrupy, candied sweetness to challenge the drinker towards the next sip--not the goal of a pale ale...

 1,058 characters

Photo of KTCamm
3.48/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours light gold with light white foam. Very mild beer smell. Bright. Taste is on the lighter side with a peppy hop bitter. Fast finish and a peppery leave behind. Mild mellow pale. Well named. Easy going and good for the season.

Poured from bottle into pint glass on 6/13

 273 characters

Photo of 57md
3.65/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is a straw color with a half finger of head that dissipates very quickly but leaves some thin lacing behind on the glass. The body is relatively light for the style. The malt in the flavor profile is quite light. The finish is pleasantly hoppy. This is a decent session beer but nothing more than that.

 313 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.59/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pgd. 2/19/14. consumed 6/6/14.

A: Soft glowing sunset orange coloring with a good clarity revealing a quick paced effervesce. Pie crust tinted head is bready in texture, slightly withstanding of average retention. Leaves with a washy lacing.

A: Aroma of fresh wet lemons with a balance of lightly dry straw. Still fairly good natured and strong despite the 4 months layover. Some pine-orange mixture, fresh and wet.

T: The flavor was fresh and wet pine-orange hopping. Some wet citrus with some grassy undertones. Lightly dry hopping, dry grains with background nuances of tropical fruitiness. Flowery edge of grapefruit with a crisp malting.

M: Crisp mouthful, wet hopping quenches the tongue with a refreshing bite.

O: Overall nice and wet flavorful hops, crisp pale malt with a low amount of speciality grains keeping the pale in pale ale. Refreshing easy drinking multiple downer with a strong movement of hops that border on ipa standards.

 953 characters

Photo of oberon
3.74/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours into a nonic a clear medium golden with a thinner white head atop.Some nice floral hop notes in the nose with a bit of toasted grain and biscuit malt,light but pleasant.Citrusy hops with a bit of tangerine at the onset of the palate with sweet biscuit malts a smack of toasted grain in the finish.I don't think this beer is bad at all it's light and somewhat refreshing on a sweaty ass humid day like today.

 413 characters

Photo of Florida9
3.34/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: A lighter shade of yellow. Very clear. Forms a moderate sized, fluffy white head, but there is little retention as it quickly falls to a thin surface coating. Some light lacing.

S: Aroma is light. A blend of pale malts, biscuit, light citrus notes, and just a bit of pine.

T: Taste is also very light. Almost lager-like with a hint of that green-apple flavor I come to associate with lagers. Otherwise crisp pale malts, white bread, and some grassy-herbal hops on the back end.

M: Light body. Heavier carbonation. Crisp. Mild bitterness.

O: Well, if I can say one thing about this beer, it is quite drinkable. That said, this is not a bad beer. It's just not a very exciting one. It's an ever-so-slightly better than average pale ale in a market flooded with much-better-than-average pale ales, resulting in a beer that kind of falls flat.

 850 characters

Photo of MerkinMan
4.3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Light gold and exceedingly clear. White frothy head with some staying power.

S: Citrus hops up front with a light pine / minty quality as well. Light cracker-like malt aroma in the back that is slightly husky rustic grainy. Some very faint fruity (peachy) esters, but way in the back.

T: Citrus and other fruit hop flavors up front followed by great balance with bready malt flavors (bread crust). Finish is bitter -- more reminiscent of a British bitter than an American pale ale. Finish is quite long with lingering bitterness. Very well balanced with the slight tip (aftertaste) toward hop bitterness. Fruity esters are restrained, but there (peachy, slightly apple-like). No diacetyl or DMS in the flavor.

MF: Medium light bodied, medium carbonation. Somewhat creamy with no alcohol heat. Slightly prickly on the tongue, but nicely so. Refreshing / quenching.

O: A great example of a straightforward-not-trying-to-kick-your-ass-or-melt-your-damn-face-off-your-frickin-skull pale ale. There needs to be more beers like this on the market. Highly drinkable, flavorful, and refreshing. I will keep coming back.

 1,118 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.36/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle.
Pours pale golden in color with a decent head.

Has a fine hoppy aroma with a touch of sweet malts.

Flavor: A typcial APA with an average hop level.

Feel: thin body is too watery.

O: A disappointing offering from a brewery that has some much better beers.

 277 characters

Photo of Tucquan
3.68/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had this on 2013-09-27 and again on 2014-03-30 in Columbia, PA

A - Fairly clear, golden-yellow with a 3-finger white head and good lacing.

S - Orange, peach, hop floral, tea, very little malt. Mild but nice.

T - Orange tea, peach skin, aspirin, lemon zest and a bit of malt sweetness. Finishes very dry with some fruit and lasting bitterness.

M - Light body and medium carbonation. Crisp, lightly prickly.

O - This is a decent, sessionable brew. It's got a flavor unlike other sessionable pale ales. It's not as fragrant as Founder's All Day IPA and Stone's Go To IPA. Not as much caramel malt as 21st Amendment Bitter American.

 634 characters

Photo of godlessape
4.5/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into a Samuel Smith Nonic. The body is light gold--almost as light as your average American lager. The head is white and thin and simmers down to a wee skim.
The aroma is intense with a combo of lemon, peach, raw cigarette tobacco, and white sugar. Nice.
The taste is everything above, finishing with a not so subtle, tiger out of the cage, hop bite.
This is right up there with all the great APA's. I hope this brewery expands to the point that they can market this brew in 12 packs as soon as possible.

 516 characters

Photo of Mantooth
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a cask at Duckworth's, Huntersville, NC, into an American pint glass.

Pours cloudy and golden with a viscous head and thick sticky lacing. There's a lot to like here, loads of piney citrus notes from the hops please both the nose and the mouth. There are also notes of bread, green tea and hints of onion. No idea how this compares to the kegged version, but this is a damn nice and creamy brew I could drink all day. I highly recommend you try this if you see it.

 477 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.96/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #77 (June 2013):

LOOK: Bright clear gold, excellent head

SMELL: Piney, orange peel, blond tobacco, parsley, faint green onion, light resin, crackers

TASTE: Very crisp, hop resin, bread crust, hop oil, herbal, earthy, minty, lighter bodied, dry, ample hop bitterness, lychee fruit, green tea, faintly spicy, long-lasting hop finish

Hopping ranges from old school to popular, far-away to the usual, with the additions of Chinook, Centennial, Topaz and Cascade. A very sessionable APA for the hopheads; a whole lot of fun knocking this one back. Starr Hill should think about making this a year-round option.

 642 characters

Photo of obywan59
3.61/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle dated 7/01/13

Light orange in color and nearly clear with a 1 finger white head that leaves almost no lacing.

Thick and fruity aroma of ripe citrus and tropical fruits, pineapple especially. Warm yeasty dough.

The taste is more subdued. Some lightly sweet malts upfront, but mostly dry, then fruity in the middle with some citric tartness before the bitter hops come to dominate in the end.

Prickly at first, with some light syrup, but drying and astringent. Slightly warming.

Last of the mixed 12 pack, and the best of the bunch as was rated. The Love was the only failure, I'll have to try it again and hope for a fresher sampling. Grateful was very fresh in aroma and taste. While not as complex as some, there was enough going on to make a very satisfying session.

 780 characters

Photo of dgherm
3.59/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice quaffable pale ale here. Not super hoppy not too watery goes down smooth. Poured a bright orange with the slightest bit of haze. Nice white bubbly foamy head that dissapears after a few minutes. Sparse lacing gripping the glass. Citrusy, slightly medicinal in odor. Hoppy up front, some medicinal, bready on the back end. Nice mouthfeel. Overall a good easy drinking pale ale.

 381 characters

Photo of hopsolutely
3.47/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light and clear golden colour with a burst of white head that disappears quickly. Has a muted aroma of bready malts with minimal yet faded hops . Bottle is not super-fresh (dated 4 months ago), but I expected more of a hop focus. Taste is also lacking the citrus or tropical fruit "APA" tones for which I'd hoped. It has a rather flat transition from crystal malts into bittering hops, with little flavour depth. Perhaps this will act as a gateway beer to get some people further into the micro realm, but it is not as well balanced or hop-centric an APA as I'd hoped.

 576 characters

Photo of MusicaleMike
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled on 3/19/13. Printed very boldly and clearly on the neck, so kudos to them for that. I always appreciate knowing the freshness of the beer I'm drinking. Also, it's a twist off! Not that that means anything. Poured into a tasting glass.

Grateful Pale Ale appears to have a pale gold body with decent clarity. The head is white and does an excellent job of leaving a trail of lacing all over the glass.

I can smell the hops from a mile away, and this beer is what? Five months old? Pretty amazed by this aroma. Notes of dank weed, pine sap, and bitter grapefruit all come to mind. Pretty dry underneath all that, so I'm not sure what to expect on the malt front. Appetizing hop aroma for sure though, and really fits the style profile.

Taste wise, it is very much in line with the aroma. Nothing too strong, as the body is light and dry, and the malts are extremely light, so the hops are allowed to steal the show. However, the bitterness is moderate for a beer that leans so much on its hops for its character. The flavor is also of piney hops, and the finish is a wonderfully balanced, smooth and dry hoppy end to this beer.

Very refreshing, and quite a treat for the hop lover. A nice departure from what I feel is the norm for APA's, and I would definitely recommend this beer to anyone as a great, cheap option for a quick, delicious hop fix. Love this!

 1,370 characters

Photo of jmdrpi
3.08/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, dated 11/17/15

clear golden color, thin white head, decent lacing. earthy hop aroma. same with the taste, some pine and grass hop flavor, slightly bitter. some bready malt. thin body.

 203 characters

Photo of smakawhat
3.94/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Deep brass to bronze color, sparkling and crystal clear with some fast rising thin carbonation. Head is fluffy white bleach and bright, with some little bit of peak and valley retention. Settles slowly to an easy half finger tall head.

Good solid nose. Some hints of crispness, but some sweet faint caramel and lots of light toasty brown sugar. Very nice hop angle on this, hinting of citrus and a nice oily sensation. There's a little bit of muddy character though, but it doesn't detract too badly.

Palate hits the right notes. Very nice balanced between sweet malt and citrus hops. There's a tight palate to this on the feel with some sharp carbonation but it's not distracting. Giant minty hop finish and aftertaste mixing with some pine like bitterness. Good malt sweet backbone compliments nicely on the swallow bringing the brown sugar sensations.

Overall this is probably the most pleasant beer I've had from this brewery.

 982 characters

Photo of themind
3.25/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Beer pours a deep golden color with a nice small head. The aroma quickly identifies itself as a pale ale. The taste is hops with bitterness. I enjoyed this brew, it has crisp carbonation giving a good mouth feel. Thanks to a buddy who traveled more then 600 miles with gaseous fumes and sludge pouring from his body from food poisoning to bring me a bottle of this stuff. As I drink this I can only picture him roaring into the nearest rest stop to blast out another throne and leave his mark.

Here's to you beer man who sh%! his way up the Eastern seaboard to deliver this badboy!

Cheers!

 591 characters

Photo of argock
3.83/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Bottled on 04/26/13 emblazoned cleared on neck above label. 6-pack purchased at Market Street WIneshop (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Very light golden, excellent clarity, with 1-finger off-white frothy head with decent retention and a moderate cuff of lace.

S: American hops with a lot of lemon, grapefruit, orange, and melon with some pine resin dominate. THe malt component of the aroma is small with a little graininess but otherwise not a while lot else going on.

T: Very good delivery vehicle for citrus, pine, and honeysuckle hops flavors. They come through with a nice light malt base, just a touch of light caramel and a little more roasted grain, almost like they used pale ale malt rather than 2-row. Moderate bitterness but well-balanced for the light nature of this session beer. No significant yeast esters -- clean and drinkable.

M: The body is appropriately light-medium with a little too much carbonation for my taste but not way off either. Good solid dry finish helps keep this very drinkable.

O: A really nice summer session APA with a manageable ABV and a good splash of fruity American hoppiness. Definitely is one of the more solid beers from Starr Hill -- is a nice cousin to Northern LIghts and I think I enjoy Grateful a little more due to the more subdued caramel malt sweetness.

 1,380 characters

Photo of ElderBeagle
3.79/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From the sampler pack - date 5-9-13

Pours a nice clear yellow with a bit of amber color.

Smells really fresh, citrus, earthy, and just really clean

The taste on this beer matches the smell. Im not sure how else to describe it, it justs tastes very fresh. Nice citrus, piny hops, with a bit of sweet malt to keep it from becoming too bitter. Really smooth drinking beer

Mouthfeel is light to medium and really smooth

Overall this is the best beer I tasted from Starr Hill. Very clean, fresh, and flavorful APA. I could quaff these all day on a nice hot summer day.

 568 characters

Photo of Jimmys
3.4/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into tulip. dated 05/09/13.

A: pours pretty blond. great clarity. head is frothy and bright white. good retention and lacing.

S: herbal while still being a little bit floral. this thing even smells bitter. very bitter, but resinous. not getting a lot of grist. manages to be inviting through all of this.

T: similar to the nose, very herbal hop flavor. bitterness is strong. mild bubblegum flavor in the middle. grist is really minimal as this thing is either herbal or bitter. finish continues to be bitter and dries out quickly.

M: average carb on a light body.

D: lacking complexity while taking it down the herbal/bitter road of the hop highway makes me desire a bit more. a good summer thirst quencher, yes, something ill be seeking out on the regular, probably not.

 794 characters

firstprev| 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Grateful Pale Ale from Starr Hill Brewery
83 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.