Pick Axe IPA - Tommyknocker Brewery

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Pick Axe IPAPick Axe IPA

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505 Ratings

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Ratings: 505
Reviews: 274
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 14.7%
Wants: 3
Gots: 17 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Tommyknocker Brewery visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Formerly called "Pick Axe Pale Ale".

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 12-14-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 505 | Reviews: 274 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Reagan1984
3.85/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange/Amber color with lots of visible carbonation. A two finger foamy head that showed some nice retention. Some spotty lacing

Aroma was very nice and surprisingly hoppy and fresh. Floral, citrus and grapefruit like.

Flavor was very nicely balanced and refreshing. An initial hit of malt and sweetness. Then a moment of bread flavor then right to a hop bitterness. Behind this is some fresh grapefruit notes again. Fairly light, but there. You do get a little sense of alcohol which was surprising.

Mouth feel was fairly light and the carbonation was noticeable on the tongue.

Yes, this is drinkable and a nice session beer.

Photo of Rayek
3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up as part of a sampler six-pack.

A: Amber with excellent clarity for a bottle conditioned beer. Very active carbonation. Soapy off-white head has amazing retention and leaves a very heavy lace. An really nice looking beer.

S: Mostly hoppy from a nice dose of grapefruit and pepper. Not much else going on sadly.

T: Dry toasted malt start things out. A mild grapefruit and pepper bitterness follows through and provides very nice balance. Finishes with a light bitterness going down.

M: Light and somewhat watery body feels a little slick. Carbonation level is right on the money.

D: If only this stuff tasted as good as it looked to me. A good session beer that has a pretty average flavor profile. It's not something I'd turn down, but I wouldn't necessarily seek it out.

Photo of eporter66
3.95/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. Poured into a pint glass

Appearance - Pours a hazy orange brown color, ½ inch head that quickly dissipates to a thin layer of foam. There is some lacing on the glass throughout.

Smell - Strong frangrance of citrus, reminding me of grapefruit

Taste - hint of citrus, but not as overpowering as the smell, a slight bitter hop aftertaste

Mouthfeel - slight carbonation (this is good), a good balance as it starts out smooth, with the bitter kick at the end. Medium bodied.

Drinkablitity - A very drinkable beer, smooth, a bit fruity, refreshing. I am always expecting Ale' to be bitter for my tastes, but this one goes down easy. There are a lot of flavors that come out as you drink this beer. This is a beer that I would buy if I saw it in a bar or store.

Photo of argock
3.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. Freshness date notched on back label.

A: Hazy mahogany-orange with 1-2 finger,s ticky, off-white head. Fine lace sheets the glass.

S: Highly potent citrus and leafy, tobacco aromas blend nicely with caramel and pale malt sweetness

T: A light smack of toffee is quickly swept away by spicy, leafy hops that have a faint hay-like quality in the finish. Plenty of hops that are quite complex but a little muddled and don't leave an especially clean flavor.

M: Solid medium-body with pretty good, coating quality for an APA. Carbonation is low (which is good) and the aftertaste is leafy and spicy with faint sweetness.

D: A very nice APA from Tommyknocker. A minor hit in a brewer's line-up that is a bit hit or miss, but tends to have more good brews than bad.

Photo of Tbn2
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy golden brown. A thin off white heads comes to the top and quickly dissipates. Not much by the way of lacing.

Smell= BIG Grapefruit. Hidden behind the grapefruit is some hints off caramel and toffee. I don't smell much else.

Taste just like it smells; great!. This beer taste like alcoholic grapefruit juice(in a good way). The sweetness of the malt works in good harmony with the taste of the hops. Only downside is the body of the beer is a little watery and the finish of the beer is somewhat bland.

I enjoyed this and many other offerings from the Tommyknocker Brewery around a campfire and I would encourage you to do that same. It doesn't knock your socks off, but you won't be disappointed.


Photo of micahgoldfus
3.13/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A great pour: a hazy, cloudy golden color. The head was big, fluffy, and caramel-colored. The lace never left the top of the beer, no matter how long it sat. There were rings of lace around the edge of the glass, marking how much beer was left after each sip. The smell was strong, it even hit me right as I opened it. It was earthy hops, with sweet undertones thanks to some citrus fruit, mostly grapefruit by what I could tell. The smell overall as stinging, in a pleasant way. I liked the taste, but was a little disappointed. There was the piny, earthy hops again, plus the tangy fruit flavors, but it came off as an displeasing combination of bitter and sour. As it warmed up, the sweet caramel malts came out, which helped balance the beer, which helped things. But all in all, I wasn't the biggest fan of this beer, and I feel like it's a one-and-done for me. The thin mouthfeel didn't help anything, either.

Photo of grs8313
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from my tasting notes, and the beer was from a birthday beer of the month 4 beer sampler.

Appearance: 12oz bottled that was bottled on 8/19/08. Pours a hazy copper color with loads of head. Lots of white lacing. (The first beer poured 3 fingers of head, without emptying the bottle, the second beer was a more normal finger and half for the full 12ozs.)

Smell: A great smell, very fruity, apples, pineapple, mango and carrot. It smells just like blended breakfast juice. Very sweet smelling.

Taste: Hops, and alcohol, the head got in the way of tasting the first beer. Hops, alcohol and hints of carrot juice from the second beer. Slight hops in the aftertaste with hints of lemon. Disappointing, this beer did not have a lot of flavor.

Mouthfeel: Carbonated and a little thin. The beer leaves the mouth feeling a little dry.

Drinkability: A great smelling beer, but the extreme head of the first beer and the sub-par taste makes the beer a bit of a chore to drink.

Photo of Pencible
3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This poured a hazy light copper with light tan head. It smelled like sweet citrus hops and caramel malt, with a bit of honey wheat. It tasted like orange hops with caramel and honey malts. It was watery with a bit of carbonation, and had a bitter aftertaste. Overall this was a clean but very simple beer. It had a good but basic taste, and an OK body. It was drinkable but not notable in any way.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.05/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had this on-tap at the brewery in Idaho Springs a couple months ago.

a: light gold body.

s: Grapefruit marinated hops.

t: Sweet maltiness with notes of pine and citrus hop oil.

m: Thin, seemed to be common with the samples I had.

d: An ok pale ale. Nothing offensive, nothing eye-opening.

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The best beer of the Tommyknocker series in my opinion. A very hoppy Pale Ale for sure, they could call this an IPA and get away with it. It's well balanced and has a nice hop kick to it. You can tell it isn't an IPA, almost a light version of one, but it's still good none the less. If you're gonna try something from this brewery, try this one.

Photo of beerphan
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle -> american pint

Pours a hazed burnt copper with some orange tones. Small white head, leaves respectable lace, carbonation appears slight to medium.

Nose: Some fruity hops and caramel malt, nice balanced nose.

Sweet and malty with a stingy bitterness. Mild hops flavor, as the one is defined by a sweet maltyness that is overpowering at times. More balanced as it warms. Mouthfeel is fine and crisp, could of used a bit more body.

Well balanced, definitley more the English style of Pale Ale, than the American advertised on the bottle

Photo of mooseisloose
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another BOTMC brew for my quaffing pleasure. Smell is well... cascades and more cascades.. and that is a good thing. Pours to a deep golden, ever so slightly cloudy, with a medium size bubble head that stays a little while. Mouthfeel is syrupy thick like a good ale should be. Carbonation seems a little light but that's ok, better for the flavor to stand out. Taste is classic ale. Well hopped throughout from start to finish. Lacing on the glass is excellent. Good hopping, not all fruity cascades but also tastes like a good bullion base on the bittering. Again, lacing unlike that of which I have seen for a while. I think it would lace a yard top to bottom. Thins a little on the finish, doesn't remain steadfast throughout. However, does have a silky smoothness all the way though. This is a good Pale Ale, not my # 1 but could stand in when the need arises.

Photo of stumac
4.18/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours up a murky rust color with a nice fluffy ivory head. good lacing.the nose is buttery, floral hops, slight banana notes, caramel dipped apple, yeasty. the taste is the same as the nose but also has bready english malts and subtle lemon. pretty full bodied for an APA. super carbo. similar mouthfeel to that of a Belgium Pale. sweet finish.

My favorite beer from this brewery is their Imperial Maple but this is definately following close behind as second place. Why can't all of their beers be this big and complex? Shame....

Photo of clayrock81
3.15/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A light brown color with a two-finger head that leaves good lacings. Smell is malty, a lot of bread malt with some minor floral hops. Again, a chewy body due to the bread malt and some hop bitterness with minor citric and dark fruit tastes. Not mixed that well, unfortunately, as it gets really slick and juicey/watery on the backbite. Not a bad beer but not one that I can stand behind.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3.13/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tommyknocker- Pick Axe Pale Ale

A- Hazy golden orange with a small thick foamy head.
S- Sweet caramel malt with an overlaying dose of pine hops.
T- Very mild caramel malt up front followed by a light oily pine hop body. Finishes watery but a good blend of the caramel malt and hops come together.
M- Watery with the malt and hops dominating in the tail end. Good natural carbonation.

Overall- Not bad, more of an gateway English Pale Ale.

Photo of elniko
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Golden amber with huge foamy head that did not dissipate and left heavy lacing. Very nice looking brew.

S: Tone of fruitiness, I get some apple smelling esters. Different than what I would expect from pale ale but still nice nose.

T & M: I think that this is somewhere between an English pale ale and APA. The hop profile is definitely apparent but there are some definite fruity apple textures that I picked up as well similar to what I noted in the nose.

D: Drinkable, but I did found the balance on this beer to be somewhat off. I can't quite my finger on it however.

Photo of Seanibus
3.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours amber with decent head and lacing. The aroma strongly suggests fresh tobacco leaf, a character that follows through the flavor. The flavor shows some light malt and some slight floral hops, but a slight volatile, buttery flavor distracts from the quality. The mouthfeel is clingy and leaves a slightly sour aftertaste.

Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into a Ten Penny Ale pint glass.

A: Pours a clean looking amber orange with a two-finger head of soapy foam which left behind some nice lacing.

S: Smells of oily hop resins and some lighter citrus fruits coupled with toasted grains.

T: The taste was surprisingly hoppy, as the brew wasn't billed as an IPA, but an APA. Works for me. Some sweet grain and doughy bread flavors near the front, but all sharp, fresh hop leaf flavor form there. Finishes with a nice level of bitterness.

M: Mouthfeel is medium bodied and very clean tasting.

D: I was pleasantly surprised by the level of hopping here and the overall clarity of the brew and it's flavors. For that, I think it'd make a fine session brew.

A surprise for hop heads not expecting this brew's hop profile. Not the best pale ale around, but it was my surprise goodie of the mix pack.

Photo of Bierguy5
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle. Cloudy amber/orange color. White rocky head holds together well. A few nice spots of lace.

A bit of citrusy, floral hops in the nose. Some caramel covered fruit in the background.

Lots of fruity, esthery flavors up front. A good amount of sweetness. Some earthy hops balance things out. Lingering apple and lemon peel flavor.

Light body, with an adequate amount of carbonation. Pretty easy to drink. Simple, yet refreshing fruity flavors. Enjoyable.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Beer is a about 14 months old, which is 10 months longer than Tommyknocker suggests.

3.0 A: Murky orange amber (probably from age). Decent head retention and lots of lacing.

3.5 S: Biscuity foremost. Some citrus and floral hops.

3.5 T: Very yeasty and grainy. A citrus bitterness pokes through. Floral in every sip. This tastes very good for how old it is. I had it fresh, but can't recall if it was better or not.

3.0 M: Not this beer's best quality. A big watery, while still managing to be stingy.

3.5 D: This would make a decent session beer.

Unlike the Butthead Dopplebock, this beer is not the best at aging. Oh well, win some lost some. It's how it goes. I look forward to reviewing a fresh one.

Photo of Haybeerman
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear amber/yellow. Poured a rocky off-white head that dissipated slowly. Ample lacing. Continued to decant slowly.

S: Citrussy hops then malts and toasted nuts.

T: Nuts and bisuity grains balanced with pleasantly bitter hop finish.

M: Medium body. Crisp and clean bitter finish. Nicely carbonated.

D: Pleasing to drink and not overbearing. Solid, I'd drink more though nothing real special for an APA.

Photo of ralree
4.68/5  rDev +34.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Extremely cloudy red, off-white head of 2-fingers, solid retention, great lacing. This is a winner.

S: Smells glorious. The grapefruit overtones go wonderfully with the hops, which have a nice balanced presence. Alcohol is apparent and welcome.

T: A pleasant grapefruit kick, but not too sweet - very bitter. The hops come through nicely, rounding out the flavor. A slightly toasty flavor comes in after swallowing, leaving a hint of satisfying flavor in the mouth while cleaning up nicely. The alcohol is present and noticeable, but definitely not annoying.

M: Medium-bodied, clean, dry, slightly astringent. Carbonation great. Very smooth.

D: This drinks wonderfully. This definitely goes on the buy list. It goes down easy, and is a joy to drink.

Photo of altgeeky1
2.98/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours golden with a strong orange hints, wheat cloudy and with little head, but maintains a decent lace afterwards. Beer shares the bottle with yeast (nice). Smells of pine, grapefruit and a little grass, without much malt coming through. Tastes interesting -- sharp, lots of hop oil, and strong grapefruit and pine due to the interesting mixture of hops. In fact hops tend to dominate the taste - the body is relatively weak. This could be mistaken for an IPA... but one your hophead friends either love or hate for the unusual taste. The beer is very crisp, and would be a good session beer if not for the overabundance of hops and grapefruit notes. Worth trying for sure.

Photo of sevopie
3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Wheaty golden with a light cream colored head. Dissipates quickly

Smell - It has a hoppy smell, but it smells slightly off.

Taste - Caramel and hops at the same time. Slightly bitter in an off way, almost tastes dusty... Hard to define.

Mouthfeel - Oily and refreshing.

Drinkability - It drinks easy, but the taste is a little off. Overall, I'm left unimpressed with almost all of the Tommyknocker offerings.

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.1/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice 1 finger head with a semi-cloudy orange color. It is slightly more amber than many pale ales, which is a hint to the type of malting used and how much it is used.

Smell is very nice with a piney/citrusy hoppiness with some lemony citrusyness. Very nice and strong and pleasant. It seems that more than one hop variety is used as I do smell a very citrusy hop and then a little bit of a perfumy and slightly piney hop.

Nice pale and a little caramel malts combine with a citrusy slightly perfumy hop bitterness. Malts are big enough in front to provide a nice balance with slightly agressive hop bitterness which makes for a very cohesive beer. Slight astringency on the end, but it's still very good.

Semi crisp mouthfeel with adequate carbonation and fullness on the palate.

This is a very nice pale ale that I could easily make a session out of. I'll have to buy more.

I haven't been impressed with tommy knocker for the most part until now. Most of their beers are just slightly better than average, but this one is very solid and somehwat unique for an american pale ale.

Give this one a try.

Pick Axe IPA from Tommyknocker Brewery
79 out of 100 based on 505 ratings.