1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Alpha Pale Ale - Matilda Bay Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Alpha Pale AleAlpha Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 57 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
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 DrNo
4/5  rDev +7%

DrNo, Jan 13, 2012
Photo of MenInVen
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

MenInVen, Dec 27, 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 Stew41
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dull copper (or maybe light tan?) with a very thin creamy head. Highly aromatic nose of fruity, herbal resiny hops. Slightly more pedestrian to taste; resiny hops remain and infact they are a touch aggressive, but regardless they define the palate structure well. A touch too fizzy perhaps? This beer is in the next ball park when compared to the ’just going’ stablemates Beez Neez and Redback.

Stew41, Jul 03, 2011
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 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 Finite
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

Finite, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of Macca
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Macca, Nov 08, 2010
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 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 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 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 juju7
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

juju7, Sep 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 SleepyMonk
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

SleepyMonk, Jun 25, 2009
Photo of Stavage
4/5  rDev +7%
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.

Stavage, Jun 19, 2009
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 Kulrak
4.43/5  rDev +18.4%
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.

Kulrak, Mar 08, 2009
Photo of Lukie
4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
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.

Lukie, Feb 25, 2009
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 mykie73
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

mykie73, Dec 15, 2008
Photo of foles
4.15/5  rDev +11%
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

foles, Aug 15, 2008
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 Cs1987
4/5  rDev +7%
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.

Cs1987, Mar 27, 2008
Alpha Pale Ale from Matilda Bay Brewing Co.
84 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.