Pale Ale - BrickStone Restaurant & Brewery

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Pale Ale
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130 Ratings
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Ratings: 130
Reviews: 16
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 9.86%
Wants: 8
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
BrickStone Restaurant & Brewery visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.25% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-27-2009

Deep golden in color, made with light caramel malts, hopped with loads of Amarillo hops with a slight citrus flavor, then dry hopped for 4 days for a plentiful aroma.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 130 | Reviews: 16
Reviews by 312HopBomb:
Photo of 312HopBomb
4.82/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler poured into a Brickstone pint glass.

Moderate pour produces a frothy head and ringed lacing. The brew is clear and glowing apriciot. Very appealing.

Smell has nice mango, guava, orange and grapefruit and light honey malt.

Taste has a less tropical but still full fruit flavor mixed with some pine. These are balanced against a slightly sweet malt flavor. Low bitterness in the finish. Each burst of fruity hop flavor encourages another taste.

Mouthfeel is smooth and oily with flavor that coats the palate. Low/medium carbonation.

This is a top notch APA. We met owner/brewmasters George and Tommy and chef Dino who were very generous with their time and "samples". They run a great establishment that is well worth the scenic drive from Chicagoland. Congrats on your medals as this is a very worthy example of the APA style.

More User Reviews:
Photo of mdaschaf
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had at Brickstone. The keg had kicked, but they were nice enough to open a bottle for me.

A: Pours a clear orange/golden color with a foamy white head on top with great retention and sticky lacing forming all the way down the glass.

S: Very fruity and tropical, plenty of grapefruit, mango, pineapple, and guava. Very faint grainy malt, but the fruit aromas dominate.

T: Similar to the aroma, more grapefruit, pineapple, and tropical fruits. A little bit of grassy and a touch of pine to top it off.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Extremely easy drinking with very light bitterness.

O: Very happy to have gotten to try this beer, it was great. Truly a beer I would be thrilled to drink all the time and keep stocked in my fridge.

Photo of nicnut45
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Brickstone APA bomber served in a pint glass. No best by or bottled on date. I'm sure it's pretty fresh as the store owner said they had just got this in.

Appearance-dark honey colored, almost no head on the pour. Settles to a wispy laciness. She is very clear. No floaties and no chill haze to speak of.

Aroma- the aroma isn't very powerful. What is there is pleasent and very fresh smelling. I think maybe a bit more carbonation would push those scents out a bit more. If you've ever crushed fresh quality hops in your hand, then you have a pretty good idea what this beer smells like.

Taste-it's delicious. No flaws or off flavors to speak of. This bottle is extremely fresh as well. The bitterness is not cloying or powerful but pleasant and it stays with you just long enough. The malts blend nicely with the hops. I definitely didn't expect this beer to be as malty as she is but it's not a bad thing. The balance is strong on both sides. Although from the hops I would say the finer qualities of the hops are strong in this beer and not harsh bitterness.

Drink- I would say anything more then 2 bombers of this would be too much as this beer has such a big body to it. Not a knock on the beer because its wonderful to drink, but she is a bit heavy.

Overall- I was surprised by this beer. I would drink a lot more if it was available in six packs. I'm not going to keep spending 8.99 a bomber though. A lot of people compare this to Zombie dust. And to tell you the truth, I would have a hard time deciding which one to buy if they were both side by side. Zombie is a bit drier. But I like the smoother bitterness of this beer.
This is a very good beer and I may get it once in a while. If Brickstone wants my money consistently though, they need to put it in 6 packs and charge a more reasonable price.

Photo of emerge077
4.12/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Headquarters, served in a footed tulip glass. Had this before at Fountainhead, and wasn't compelled to review. Seeing as this won GABF gold recently, had to try again and reassess.

Bright orange with a thin skim and larger bubbles on the surface, nice saturated color, not much head unfortunately but it's minor in the scheme of things.

Big citrus aroma, some marmalade and light apricot fruitiness.

First sips are a little thin and light, malt comes through in a big way, though there's more orange rind and citrus notes in the flavor, just more subdued than the nose. A light level of hop bitterness, bready middle, dry finish. Light bodied and smooth, very sessionable, though ultimately not earth-shattering. Just a well put together, balanced APA. Zombie Dust is still the #1 APA in my eyes...

Photo of AleWatcher
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Light golden body with a 2 finger white head.

Lightly sweet malt touch with a decent Amarillo hop bite.
Honey touched golden bready malts with some nice citrusy hop notes.

Pretty light feeling body with plenty of carbonation.

Overall-- quite decent little pale ale. Nothin special, but I easily enjoyed a 23 oz draft. This seems to be the best beer here.

Photo of TMoney2591
4.42/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tumbler.

Lot o' fanfare surrounding this brew...not sure if I should gird myself for disappointment for rapture. Maybe both, hoping the two will cancel out... Anyway, this stuff pours an ever-so-slightly-hazy sunrise golden-amber topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises bright grapefruit zest, light white grape, light peach, light pineapple, soft pine needle, light honey, a hint of sweet biscuit, and a twist of lemon. The fruit potpourri is intoxicating enough on its own... The taste brings in more of the same, with the pine taking a slightly stronger leadership position vis-a-vis the fruit salad, but not by very much. Still plenty of tropical fruit accents, a UNGA meeting of citrus and whatnot. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, a damn fine pale ale, something I may have to grab more of in the near future to show people that more, indeed, exists beyond Daisy Cutter and Zombie Dust. Get some.

Photo of Pukstopper
4.16/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep golden color with a nice head that fades but leaves Good lacing nice balanced hop tasters well. Subtle citrus notes that blend well with the hops.
A very drinkable APA

Photo of MrMcGibblets
4.37/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

3 day old growler.
a: clear golden to copper amber. minimal head. undercarbed.
s: sweet honeyed light caramel and vague fruity hops. quite nice in sum.
t: this shines here. on the sweet side but i can tell this would be very well balanced w/more co2.
m: again, undercarbed.
o: i thought the cap was tight...would like to try this ontap.

Photo of evilhorse
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

An amazingly hoppy APA. This beer tips towards the top end of the style at 6.25% but it's hoppy magic in a glass!

Photo of PBIU
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Huge fan of this brewery out of all places, Bourbounnais, IL. For those not familiar with that location, it is southwest of Chicago by about 60 miles. It is currently the summer training camp home of the Chicago Bears.

These guys, have their beer down and the two GABF gold medals against the heavy weights in some of the most popular categories (American Pale Ale) and (Belgo-American Pale Ale) should give them some street cred. The brewmasters and owners (who are cousins) Tom and George do a fantastic job creating some great brews at an affordable price.

So as for the Brickstone APA, it is one of their flagships and year-round brews. I have had it in bomber form and draft form. This is my review of the draft version.

Appearance is a slightly honey orange with an eggshell pillowy two finger head. Great lacing on this one.

Smell is a hop blast. Similar to Zombie Dust in this matter, except the hop used for bittering and aroma here is Amarillo.

Taste is hop focused with citrus and juicy fruit notes up front that linger on the tounge. As far as balance between the hops and malt, it is definitely more on the hop end. But with the recent trend of APA's pushing the boundaries , this strategy works extremely well with this beer.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied as a pale ale should be and finishes dry with a sweetness that leaves you craving that next sip.

Overall just a great pale ale with tremendous flavor. For the ABV they have packed as much as they could into this beer. One can see why it beat out Zombie Dust for a gold medal in the 2012 GABF.

They will be breaking ground in the spring of 2014 on a brewing facility, so keep an eye out for this beer as it expands into other states.


Photo of brewcrew76
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy orange, copper with a creamy white head and thick walled lacing.

S - Honeyed caramel, apricot, tangerine and orange marmalade.

T - Subdued compared to aroma. Honeyed caramel, orange marmalade and light apricot.

M - Light bodied and very creamy.

D - Very well balanced and goes down way too easy but I was expecting a little more hops. Not sure i would pay $9 again for a 22.

Photo of kawilliams81
4.27/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 64 oz Brickstone growler into a Jester King pint. Thanks mom & dad!

A- pours a dark caramel with a 1 finger off-white head. Small bubbles of lacing linger on the glass.

S- nice caramel, big citrus aromas, some spice and pine in there as well.

T- nice caramel, biscuit, some spice almost rye like?, some citrus but more pine from the hops than citrus.

M- medium body and carbonation. Big malt body, slick and smooth.

O- #1 Pale at GABF 2012. Not better than ZD in my book but not far behind either. ZD has more citrus flavor. Opened growler after about 48 hours and not a very crisp feel, but not sure if this is from that or just how this beer is.

Photo of eclosson22
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This one smells amazing, big citrus, grapefruit notes. Decent malt backbone so that the hops aren't overly bitter, making this very easy to drink. There is a reason this won gold at GABF in 2012, very happy to see bottles readily available in Chicagoland.

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There has been a lot of buzz about this one since winning the gold metal. Some would suggest it is on comparable footing to Zombie Dust. Gasp!

Appearance - The beer was a light coppery color with a bubbly white head.

Smell - The citrus in the aroma is very apparent. I detect fresh oranges, resiny hops, and a certain measure of Earthiness.

Taste - On the initial taste, I detect grassy grapefruit, lemon, pepper, and orange rind. It is a bright example of the style, and is mellow enough to be a pale ale. The aftertaste is resiny, with the hops growing progressively more bitter and perhaps dry.

Mouthfeel - The carbonation was modest, brushing the tastes off of the tongue nicely.

Overall - It is worth noting that I gave this beer a higher score than Zombie Dust.

Photo of CraftyFellow
4.86/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Apparently the gold medal winning APA at the 2012 GABF and bronze at the World Beer Cup (posted all over Restaurant/Brewery and on the pint glass). Let's just say I have not had a more pleasant aroma from an APA. Carmel Honey Floral Hop Aroma. Poured beautifully in a tall 23 oz glass. Slighlty darkened golden with an off white thick but small head with lingering lacing- depending on the day it can sometimes have a slight haze. I love the flavor of this beer, leaving me to give it a top rating. As of now, I have yet to try a more pleasing tasting APA (but I will keep trying). Perfect blend of light carmel spice flora hops sweetness and malt. I had been trying to place the slight spice flavor for awhile and a fellow beer advocate brother and I have decided on a faint spicy cinamon aftertaste. Carbonated on the lighter side, but that's perfect for me. So if you have it in a growler I can see how you may feel it is undercarbonated. Currently my favorite APA, but I sure will enjoy trying to find a better. A great beer from the Brickstone Brewers!

4.5/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really great beer. If you love a great IPA you'll love this brew even though they call it an American Pale Ale Ale or APA. Nice hoppy aroma and taste, great citrus notes. Very clean finish with less bitterness than you get from a traditional IPA. Pairs great with the amazing burgers.

Pale Ale from BrickStone Restaurant & Brewery
92 out of 100 based on 130 ratings.