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Alpha Pale Ale - Matilda Bay Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha Pale AleAlpha Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

57 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 57
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 11.23%
Wants: 4
Gots: 2 | 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:
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 added by: DaveFL1976 on 09-27-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 57 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

spycow, Mar 15, 2014
Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.6/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled this at The Australian Beer Fest in The Rocks 07.

Standard APA looking orange gold colour, with a filmy white head. Lacing is good. Oh, and cheers for filling this one right to the rim of the tasting glass =)

Slightly sweet citrus on the nose, otherwise a bit weak. Bit of pepper character there. It's a nice nose, but not an amazing one.

Nicely balanced hop bitterness on the palate, with a bit of body and malty sweetness to carry it. Quite drying on the aftertaste, but overall it's pretty decent. Good body in the mouth.

This is nice, and would make a great sessioner, if you could track it down. One of Matilda Bay's best, and I'm glad I took dwarbi's advice and tried this one on tap.

lacqueredmouse, Nov 01, 2007
Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +7%
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.

rhoadsrage, Nov 10, 2009
Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%

dmorgan310, Aug 02, 2014
Photo of dgilks
4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

dgilks, Oct 17, 2009
Photo of tbeckett
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle from Beer Deluxe. From notes.

A - Poured copper with a one finger beige head. Bright. Good carbonation, thick lace rings and a finger of retention.

S - Grass, pineapple. Mild.

T - Nice juicy hop. Pineapple, resin, some mildly offensive hop. Honey. Caramel.

M - Good carbonation, light medium body and a nice bitterness.

O/D - A little rough around the edges. A good mass produced and hopped up pale ale. Nothing too crazy just flavourful, yet lacking in some ways.

tbeckett, May 07, 2012
Photo of francisweizen
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

francisweizen, Oct 01, 2013
Photo of CrazyDavros
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber, like tea. Nice off-white head fades to a thin layer, leaving lots of lacing. Initially quite floral, and VERY sweet. Smells like hopped malt extract, molasses, with a fair whack of resin. Taste is a bit better, initial sweet toffee malt, then some resiny hops, then a big bitter finish. Unfortunately the bitterness is metallic and slightly astringent. A little too watery. And that aforementioned astringency. Dunno what's going on here, way too sweet and malt dominated for an American pale ale.

CrazyDavros, Apr 02, 2009
Photo of ADZA
4.15/5  rDev +11%
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.

ADZA, Aug 19, 2009
Photo of soju6
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

soju6, Aug 26, 2012
Photo of heygeebee
2.88/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a one finger head, light copper, and quite transparent.

Initial strongish-ish aromas of passionfruit are overtaken by grapefruit.

Very hop driven and quite dry. No middle palate, so to speak. Grapefruit up front and hops to finish, with nothing to balance it out. Big big dry flavour lingers.

Carobonation is quite high, and fizzes a bit on the tongue. Mouthfeel is overall thin.

Not as good as I thought it would be given the BA ratings - a tad one-dimensional.

Disappointed.

heygeebee, May 20, 2011
Photo of pin
2.5/5  rDev -33.2%

pin, Aug 15, 2012
Photo of brendan13
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Orange amber with a few centimetres of head that falls away quite quickly.
S - Citrus hops with a floral soap hint.
T - The hops are there along with some sweet maltiness.
M - Medium carbonation with a slick, resiny mouthfeel.
D - Nothing too bad about this beer but I know there are others out there that are similar yet better.

brendan13, Jul 25, 2007
Photo of eric5bellies
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
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.

eric5bellies, May 07, 2011
Photo of dansmcd
3.33/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Small, fizzy head with OK retention. Eventually receds to a thin collar. Coppery golden amber colour. Minimal lacing.

S - Mostly grapefruit, with a honey and biscuity malt backing.

T - Follows on with the grapefruit and honey, with a slight hop bitterness and a faint but unfortunate metallicness.

M - Smooth moderate body, moderate carbonation.

O - A better than average, nicely balanced APA. I could happily revisit in the near future.

dansmcd, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of mulder1010
4/5  rDev +7%
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.

mulder1010, May 23, 2010
Photo of joecast
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

joecast, Oct 30, 2006
Photo of csmartin6
4/5  rDev +7%

csmartin6, Sep 10, 2012
Photo of vancurly
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

vancurly, Feb 01, 2009
Photo of vacax
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Jeremy for bringing this to me from Sydney. Alpha Pale Ale pours golden amber with a smallish tightly beaded head, good retention, a bit of lacing. Aroma of honey, worty, caramel, maybe a hint of hoppy freshness. The flavor starts similar to a blonde ale, light, fresh malts, low level hop bitterness, bit of a grainy finish that is quite dry with biscuit notes. Medium to thinnish body with a natural feeling nice carbonation. Not a bad beer, but being familiar with Northwest Style Pale Ales, this one is highly deficient in aroma hops (and yes, this bottle is well within the "drink by" date). I might drink this if I was in Australia with limited options. I appreciate the budding craft beer movement in Oz, but maybe this beer is indicative of playing it a little too safe.

vacax, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of LittleCreature
4/5  rDev +7%
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.

LittleCreature, May 17, 2008
Photo of doktorhops
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Yes, yes, yes, one of the few beers I've yet to review by Matilda Bay, who I still think are alright chums, even if they have lost their way a little in recent times. Alpha Pale Ale is one of the few beers Matilda Bay has made that hasn't been a bit pandering-to-the-masses, i.e. a real beer for real craft beer drinkers, that and Dogbolter - which I have tried but am yet to review.

Poured from a 345ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Clear copper body with an off-white lace on top. Appealing? A bit, I'm not fussed about head on my beers.

S: Some nice bold citrus and pine hops, plenty of bite in the aroma, with a toasted biscuit base. Quite your typical APA fragrance here, but then that's kinda the point, to which it succeeds.

T: Not as much hops as expected, and I've had this beer before, either it has changed or my memory of it has. I suspect it's got much less hopping than the original Alpha Pale Ale. It tastes almost like Fat Yak, but the last time I had it (years ago) the hops were more pronounced. Citrus/pine hops and toasted biscuit base as expected, no surprises there. Long dry finish with some faint bitters lingering in the after-taste.

M: Watery, for an ale, body with fizzy carbonation, more like a soft drink than a beer.

D: I don't like what's happened with Matilda Bay, their beers have become tamer as a result of cost cutting or appealing to a mass audience, either way my respect for them has dropped significantly and whereas a Little Creatures brew still tastes the same today as it did five years ago the same cannot be said for any of the Matilda Bay brews. Sorry Matilda Bay, you guys are the new macro craft brewer.

Food match: Beef vindaloo or a chicken tikka masala with basmati rice and a paratha.

doktorhops, Feb 27, 2014
Photo of magpieken
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

345ml bottle. BB 12 Aug 14. Poured a mid amber colour with a billowing, light beige head which lasted very well. Full, pine, hop aroma. So far, so good for an American Pale Ale. Initial whack of hop bitterness on tasting it and with a mildly bitter aftertaste. But it also has a pretty thin body and no complexity. Smells good, looks enticing and very easy to drink but in an unsatisfying way. This could have been a cracker.

magpieken, Jul 21, 2014
Photo of jarmby1711
4/5  rDev +7%
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

jarmby1711, Oct 27, 2006
Photo of diablo14
3.03/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

ill say this much for alpha pale. there are far far worse beers getting around out there. but really, its mutton dressed as lamb. a beer that for all the world wants to be a real APA, but doesnt get within an elephants trumpet of it. the sierra nevada pale ale i had when i got home put it well and truly in perspective.

the color is of a deep golden hue, lots of fizz, and a repectable head which does maintain. the smell was indeed hoppy, but not necessarily top shelf hops. was back with a slightly adjunctly smell and the barest trace of malt. not a lot to the taste. again the barest trace of malt, hints of citrus, and also some floral tones. the finish was passable but not outstanding. above average level of bitterness on the back palate, but nearly gets that raspy dryness at the end that i totally despise. just manages to hold off enuff for me not to slam it. all that said, it does have a certain crispness which is a redeeming feature. i could drink this if there was nothing else around, but i wouldnt keep going if i didnt have to.

alpha is defiantely better now than when it first came out by a long way, but its still only so so at best. at no stage would i be breaking my neck to have a pint of this. just sits on the fence a bit too much for my liking.

diablo14, Nov 30, 2005
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Alpha Pale Ale from Matilda Bay Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.