Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Alpha Pale Ale - Matilda Bay Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha Pale AleAlpha Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

36 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 36
Hads: 60
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 7.89%
Wants: 5
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Matilda Bay Brewing Co. visit their website
Australia

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: DaveFL1976 on 09-27-2005

Alpha Pale Ale derives its name from the alpha acids in hops which, added early in the boil, impart a distinctive bitterness. Cascade and Amarillo hops are used to make this beer. Hops are added early and late in the boil and then dry hopped in late fermentation. They contribute a wonderfully complex fruit and citrus aroma. Pale malts round off this beer with a fuller malt character.

55 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 36 | Hads: 60
Photo of Kulrak
4.42/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a deep amber color with about 1cm of chunky head that seems to be sticking around for a while. The smell, wow, that's a lot of citrusy hop smell, I love it. The taste, is moderately malty sweet, but there's a lot of citrusy hop flavor there, not too bitter, but a lot of hop flavor. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with foamy carbonation, very nice. Overall, it's a very drinkable beer, especially if you like cascade hops, and I do. (444 characters)

Photo of Lukie
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice golden marmalade with a throthy 2 inch head, which reduced into clinging lace. A very fresh Pale Ale.

A strong bark and grassy aroma gives way to some buscuity tones. There are hints of lemon zest, and the grapefruit aroma just seems to want to hurtle through, but won't.

A nice malty, honeyish start gives way to a very grassy, flowery and bark like flavour. This is quite similar to the Rogue Dry Hopped Red, except a bit more subtle. The fruitier aspects are kept to a minimum, giving this a key difference to other APA's I have had.

Overall, the best Matilda Bay beer by far, and very well crafted. I believe this is closer to what the Americans are doing then LCPA, but the fruitiness in LCPA gives that the edge in drinkability. Still very, very good, and worth buying on occassion. The price point is a bit steep though. (844 characters)

Photo of dgilks
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Alpha pours a beautiful copper colour with a tight, off-white head. Okay, head retention with the head dissipating to a thin film.

Lots of grapefruity hop character in the aroma. A hint of sweet malt as well. Good, not great.

This is really good. The balance between malt and hops is excellent and reminiscent of an English IPA but the flavour profile is that off an APA. Plenty of citrus and juicy hop with a solid, caramel malt backbone. A luscious, piney aftertaste is great.

Solid, medium body with lower than average carbonation. This is smooth, creamy and really easy to drink. Medium finish.

Alpha Pale Ale is a tasty, well structured beer with the great balance of an IPA but the wonderful flavours and level of bitterness of a great APA. A wonderfully drinkable beer and Matilda Bay's best. (803 characters)

Photo of ADZA
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a nice copper hue with decent carbonation that leaves a fast vanishing one finger head,it has a really nice piney hop aroma about it,it has a above average mouthfeel that starts out medium and finishes very light and crisp with a really nice citrusy,piney hop taste and suprisingly enough it doesnt finish bitter at all this is one well crafted APA a perfect balance out between malts and hops,im glad i revisted this beer quite a nice drop thats very easy to drink. (482 characters)

Photo of vancurly
4.16/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into James Squire half pint. BB 05/05/09

a) Rocky, foamy offwhite head, 1 inch thick. Haze-free, dark honey colour.

s) Superb late hop nose. Citrus, pine with good malt. Almost identical in aroma to marmelade on toast.

t) Malt complexity is first noticed - toasty, biscuity. Followed then by the hop flavours similar to aroma. Good bitterness at the back.

m) Initial impression of oiliness. Tingly, slightly astringent, yet quite crisp finish.

d) Needs to be savoured. Wouldn't have this as a session ale. But an excellent drink nonetheless. (553 characters)

Photo of foles
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on draught at the Brass Monkey in Perth.

Pours deep engaging amber with decent fluffy head. American hops on the nose - citrusy, earthy. Spicy hop presence on the tongue, again earthy and citrusy! A few IBUs to be had here.

Very nice, but not well known enough (real shame - everyone in the pub would rather drink something horrible like a pure blonde low carb beer).

Ill go back for this on draught because its far too expensive in the bottle (455 characters)

Photo of joecast
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

best before 06/07. 5.2%abv. 345 ml brown bottle.

clear amber with a slight orange tinge. low to medium carbonation. just off white head starts out rather large, a good three fingers high, from a vigorous pour but settled nicely. good retention and lacing.

full hoppy aroma. sharp citrus, floral and some sweetness from the malt. all parts of the aroma seem almost concentrated so they are all pretty full on. a little bready yeast comes about as it warms.

light bready malt hits the tongue first and is followed quickly by some hop flavor. that is all quickly cleaned up by a strong dose of bitterness. ALPHA for sure!

mouth feel is a bit heavy, leaving the mouth with a slick feeling, and sweet taste. probably this brews only real drawback. however, this also harms the drinkability giving a fuller feeling in the tummy a bit quicker than i would like. though the bottle did go quickly. (901 characters)

Photo of juju7
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a really solid example of balance. Every part of this beer from the citrus-infused caramel malt nose to the medium carbonated full body bitterness. It all lines up in a way that is just lush. Good beer from a brewery that does some really good stuff when it wants to. (275 characters)

Photo of Macca
4.09/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a clear very dark golden colou with a small head that goes quickly a very light covering.

Some great hoppy aromas coming off this one. At the pine resin end of the spectrum.

Much better balanced on the palate than I expected given the big hop aromas. Nice malty sweetness.

Noticeable bitterness but not mouthpuckering.

A very well made APA. (355 characters)

Photo of DaveFL1976
4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Matilda Bay Alpha Pale Ale
Sherlock Holmes September 7 2005
A hard to find beer, I finally ran across Matilda Bay’s Alpha Ale on tap at Sherlock Holmes Bar on Colins Street. Alpha pours a nice golden colour with a bit of a carbonated head that settles down in relatively short order. The smell, as expected is heavy on the floral hops (just the way I like it). Upon first sip, the malt and hop combination is pretty well rounded. You’ll taste the sweetness of the malt, and then the hop bitterness hits the back of your tounge. This, in my opinion is a better beer than, say James Squire IPA. The mouthfeel is more full and flavourful. It seems to have a bit more body than Little Creatures Pale with about the same hoppyness. (not as well balanced, however)
Carbonation on this draft is near perfect for my tastes. My only complaint with this beer is the weak head and minimal lacing. All in all, I’m impressed with this beer, and will gladly order another.
Appearance: 3.0
Smell: 4.5
Taste: 4.0
Mouthfeel: 4.0
Drinkability: 4.0 (1,040 characters)

Photo of Finite
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark gold to red amber. A medium head which is a little thinner than one might expect from a high hopped beer.

S- Fresh Halletau hop. Great fruity characteristics come through and a reasonable malt toffee-ness. Says they use late hop additions and it shows but I wish they had gone even harder.

T- More of the toffee sweetness. Some beady dough-like malt flavors and that wonderful hop taste. Pine wood, bitter strawberry, honey drew. Fantastic balance. Really spot on.

M- strong upfront carbonation but fine needle-like biting on th palate. Fading it soothes and frames the great flavours and balance. Medium body. Also very fitting.

D- easy to drink, I don't know if you could session it but this is a really good attempt at an APA. They say on the bottle that the balance is spot on and for the first time the label doesnt lie. A great APA. The best ive had from Matilda bay so far. (894 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a globe glass)
A- This beer pours a warm deep orange body with a slight brown hint that is crystal clear. There is a sea of tiny bubbles that makes a fizzy white head that decomposes during the pour.
S- The juicy citrus hop aroma has a flora perfume quality that come through even during the pour. There are fruity notes with a sligh sweet fresh malt finish.
T- The flavor or caramel malt with a fruity berry quality that grows as the beer warms. There is a green hop flavor at a finish with a soft bitterness that lingers.
M- This beer has a medium -light mouthfeel with a tight fizz. D- There is a nice flavor to the malt but still has a strange berry quality to it with a soft hops that are just a tease. (722 characters)

Photo of Stavage
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured with a nice finger or two of head which settled down into quite a nice thick lacking. Deep copper coloured fluid.

Smell is big spicy citrus hops, with some bready malts and a fruity aroma besides.

Taste doesn't dissapoint. At first sip theres a sweet malt mixing with a strong bitter bite. The complex bitterness continues as the malt character turns to a more toasty flavour, but its the big spicy hops bitterness that lingers til the end.

Mouthfeel is in my opinion right for the style. Carbonated enough to keep things refreshing without getting in the way of the taste buds. On the lighter side of things and leaves a nice refreshing dryness.

Overall I found this very enjoyable as a meal beer and I'm reviewing it as such. A very capable alternative to LCPA for when you're not in the mood for a lot of floralness. (832 characters)

Photo of mulder1010
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

345 ML poured into a my Great Divide glass

A-- Poured a deep copper color, with bits of gold in the glass and pour. Off white one finger head. Lacing is good, leaving decent sized traces through. Good head retention and shows medium carbonation.

S-- Big grapefruit hops, followed by a sweet carmel biscuit smell. Very nice aroma, though a bit on the sweet side.

T-- Carmel malt kick, followed by a lot of grapefruit. Very oily taste and stays quite oily throughout.

M-- Sweetness and oiliness has a lot of dominance in this. Grapefruit is very evident, but more secondary in this. Medium carbonation, medium feel and creamy. Pine and lemon do come in very late in the mouth and really takes away the sweetness of the malt. Still leaves the oiliness of it though.

D-- Holds its own quite well. Matilda Bay does not make a lot of good beers but this is good. A little sweet but a good beer. Very sessionable at 5.2 % and does a good job of replication of a US PA. While at it this throws in some of the English PA aspects of the sweetness. Could just be a tad bit less sweet though. (1,085 characters)

Photo of Breeza
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear dark honey colour, beige head has very large bubbles throughout. Head lingers and leaves a light lacing. Moderate carbonation.

S: Floral and herbal, bit of citrus, hops. Mouthwatering.

T: Very rich with hops, herbs, toffee, yeasty, and very bitter. Very strong bitter aftertaste too.

M: Excellent balance.

O: Matilda Bay has some nice beers but think this is one of their stand out ones. I find it really complex in taste and smell and will probably come back to it not just because I love it but to see if I pick up different things each time. (557 characters)

Photo of Cs1987
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Amber, with 2 fingers of head that reduced.

Smell - Probably even stronger than Little Creatures Pale Ale, but not quite as fruity. Passionfruit mixed with grains.

Taste - Bitterness and other flavours are a little too strong compared with the wonderful passionfruit and kiwi-fruit flavours. This definitely improved as it warmed, though.

Mouthfeel - Texture and carbonation both very good.

Drinkability - Would make a good session drink, despite the bitterness.

Overall - A very good American Pale Ale all round, but doesn't quite match the pure fruitiness of LCPA. (584 characters)

Photo of jarmby1711
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep tan to amber in colour Good white head and a small amount of carbomnation Essentially clear.
Plenty of fruity hops to smell , exactly what I was expecting.
The label promises alpha bitterness and a bitter finish It also promises citrus tones and a malt balance.
It delivers it all The label was accurate.
I think that this is a seriously good beer
It maybe lacks a touch of complexity if inevitably compared to LCPA , but a great companion to it (456 characters)

Photo of LittleCreature
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4.0
Poured a finger of off-white head that steadily reduced to a thin layer over a bright amber body.

Smell - 4.0
A lovely hop-driven aroma that is best before the head disappears. Some sweet malt, honey, fruity hop smells are citrus (orange) and floral.

Taste - 4.0
Is it too hoppy? Nah! This is a fine APA. Sweet biscuity malt, strongly hopped bitter finish, grapefruit, honey and a little grass. Finishes quite dry.

Mouthfeel - 4.0
Just lovely, moderately weighted, light to moderate carbonation. Perhaps a little more lively would be an improvement.

Drinkability - 4.0
Definitely sessionable, definitely worth coming back to.

OVERALL - 4.0
I'd call this the second best Western Australian APA behind Little Creatures. I feel like it deserves a little higher than a 4, but it is really a very good all-rounder without being exceptional in any criteria. I will be visiting the Sail and Anchor to drink this again rather soon!
NOTE: Recently tried on-tap, was possibly a little better, fruitier. (1,015 characters)

Photo of mykie73
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Friend brought this back from a recent trip to Australia as she knew I enjoyed NorthWest IPA's and PAs.

Was very excited to try this.

A-Nice amberish gold..quite transparent.

S Hoppy citrisness goodness. cascade hops perhaps?

T quite hoppy...well balanced...delicious bitter after taste that stays with you. Really enjoying the bitterness. Great full Pale Ale Flavor.

M thin as a Pale Ale should be.

D great. could drink this all night. bitterness stays there way afterwards...which is enjoyable.

All in all, a great Pale Ale! Matilda Bay has done this NorthWest style proud and making it quite unique as well. (617 characters)

Photo of SleepyMonk
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Chilled bottle poued into a pilsner glass

Pours with 2 fingers of creamy head and displays a deep reddish brown body that hints towards a cross between rust and mahogany.

The aroma is strong with saturated hops and a moderate twist of fruits getting involved.

The taste too is driven by hops with a complex malt spectrum moving about in the background. In the mouth the beer has a certain syrup like character and there is a slow interchange from hops mixed with malt to just straight dry hops.

Bit of a one trick pony but a good brew none the less. (553 characters)

Photo of soju6
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a copper color with a decent head that fades slowly to nice lacing.

S: Aroma of citrus, fruit, some grain and a bit of malt sweetness in the background.

T: Taste of citrus, a mild malt sweetness and a bit of grain. Mild bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Fairly medium body, crisp and quite smooth. Nicely balanced.

O: Very pleasant beer, that goes down easy. Good for a few. (387 characters)

Photo of SmashPants
3.73/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Format: an embossed light brown 330mL bottle with a reasonable semi-boutique label.

Appearance: deep amber in colour with reasonable visible carbonation. A small white head drops quickly to a thin cap. Good lace down the glass.

Aroma: those normal APA aromas of grapefruit and lemon citrus with biscuit malt backing. There is also something sweet behind, which is a really nice addition.

Taste: again the grapefruit and citrus flavours, along with some honey, which I think was the added sweet aroma. Really rather nice.

Aftertaste: a nice, lingering finish with sweet honey and only a touch of the hop bitterness.

Mouth feel: a medium body with moderate carbonation. Brings the flavours through nicely.

Overall: this is definitely one of Matilda Bay's best beers, and probably in the top five APAs I have had to date. Very easy-drinking and well-rounded. The honey flavour really adds something to it too. The only problem is that it's AU$94 a case, which is a lot for an APA. I'd pay $70, but not that. A pity, really. (1,027 characters)

Photo of Mosant
3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had a 330ml bottle bottle.
Appearance: pours golden and clear with 1cm White head. Looks very approachable as a session able beer.
Aroma: floral and citrus aromas present, not over powering.
Flavour: great clean refreshing to drink, good carbonation and well balanced hop bitterness on the finish.
Overall: very enjoyable beer. Not as heavy on the hops aroma and bitterness as some in its category but that makes it eminently drinkable and a beer you can have a few of in a session. It hold its at a 5.2% ABV. Recommended. (527 characters)

Photo of ohitsbrad
3.67/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

19 November 2005, Best Before Jan 06

Appears clear golden-brown with a small head and a little lacing. Medium mostly hoppy aroma and the typical grapefruit smell of some pale ales, some other fruity aromas too. Taste is obviously hoppy and fruity with a light malt flavour, but has a more honeyish, nectary, flowery, and quite bitter finish. Overall very easy to drink and I'm glad it's bottled. (398 characters)

Photo of eric5bellies
3.66/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Drank from my Duvel Tulip

A - Pours a nice clear deep copper colour, with an off White head that reduces slowly to a film.

S - Nice pine aromas with some mandarin

T - Up front some malts and yeast then followed by some nioce sweetish hops, with bitter finish.

M - Light to medium body with medium carbonation.

O - An above average APA, that is quite sessionable. (367 characters)

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Alpha Pale Ale from Matilda Bay Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 36 ratings.