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Pine Belt Pale Ale - Southern Star Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pine Belt Pale AlePine Belt Pale Ale

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very good

635 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 635
Reviews: 387
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 11.78%
Wants: 18
Gots: 70 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Southern Star Brewing Company visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BgThang on 04-09-2008

A deep copper colored ale with a substantial malt backbone accented with British crystal malts with aggressive hop bitterness and substantial American hop flavor and aroma. The yeast profile is neutral.

45 IBU

Malt: Rahr special pale, Simpsons 30-37, Crisp 45
Hops: Galena, CTZ, Nugget
Yeast: California Ale
View: Beers (28) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 635 | Reviews: 387
Photo of Atlas1
3.65/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sooo excited to discover a new beer. And a local Texas beer to boot! Giddyup.

Poured into a barrel pint glass, the Pine Belt Pale Ale is a nice looking copper-amber colored brew with a healthy soapy-looking head on top. Rich orange and red hues shine through. Lots of carbonation here too. The nose is very pleasant, with notes of caramel sweetness, light fruits (think apple, strawberry, pear) with a noticeable hop presence. So nice, coming out of a can. The taste is solid, but a bit funky. Some good hop character up front, with a musty malt sweetness that emerges and takes over before giving way in the end to a funky bitter aftertaste. Not bad, and certainly unique, but not overwhelmingly good either. Solid, but strangely dank for a pale ale. Still, a totally drinkable ale. Mouthfeel is crisp and very very dry.

I like this beer, but I don't love it. High marks for appearance and aroma, but the taste and aftertaste leave me wishing it was a bit maltier, or at least a bit more balanced. That said, I like it enough to revisit this later on. Plus, the proper pint can is a nice touch. I hope these guys come out with other new beers in the future.

Photo of srandycarter
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Beautiful dark amber with TONS of head - good 2 inches. Retention is pretty good over the course, lacing sudsy but thick and a little web like.

S - Deep malts are there. There is a bitterness to the nose, but I don't get pine or citrus with it.

T - Nice sweet center, bittered at the finish. Again, wish the hops had more flavor - bittering but not flavorful hops.

M - Med + carb (maybe too much carb for me), medium body, good coating.

D - Carb is a bit ramped for me and the bitterness without the taste and smell components of hops that I am accustomed to lowers drinkability.

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very unexpected and even more very appreciated extra from Mhewes.. Woo Hoo! Shared with Brenda, mine into my Boulevard Smokestack goblet.

2 Finger head... leaves sticky lacing and a beautiful collar.. hazy orange/amber red brew.

Nose is citric ... grapefruit and tangerines... bready malts with quite a bit of caramel but everything mixes surprisingly well in the bowl.

Flavor is more malty than the nose... toasted bread.. slightly carmalized sweet biscuits... citrus hops play more in the background .. mid palate is hoppy.. sorta oily.. but then the oils seep back into the malts.. finish is slightly toasty with a subtle floral mix.

Body is fairly full for the style.. carbonation is smooth as silk...

I am not sure what to make of this brew other than I really like it... sorta like a malty IPA with a caramel twist.. or maybe a bigger English ESB made with some prominent American hops in the final minutes of the kettle... whatever it is, I like it. If I had access, there is no doubt that it would be a pretty much year round staple... Michael, we must do this again.


Photo of everetends
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16 oz can thanks to the great hopsleeroy. Poured into a shaped pint.

A: This is light brown, caramel color. Serious, off white head that is huge and rocky. Retention is great and lacing is big and seriously soapy as it sticks to the glass. Clarity has just a bit of haze but pretty damned clear.

S: Smell is of some crazy pine notes. The pine really shines here and you can smell it right as you pop the can open. Citrus hops, sweet malt and bit of metallic can also be found in the nose.

T: Taste is a great combo of pine and hops. The pine actually adds to the bitterness and along with the hops creates a great bitterness to this brew. Sweet, bready malt tries to keep this baby balanced but bitterness shines. All of these flavors are very pleasant and make a fine flavor profile.

M: Sticky, icky. This brew sticks to your mouth and really lets the hps and pine flavors linger on your tongue. Carbonation is perfect and the beer is on the light side of medium bodied. So good.

D: This beer is great. Not exacty a beer you want to pound but excellent. I could definitely keep this brew in stock in the fridge if it was around my area. Next time I am in Texas, a case is coming home with me.

Photo of mentor
3.35/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to TexasStout for the opportunity. Just over a finger of oranged-tan head over a murky red-orange liquid. Smells oranges, lemon, cream. Pine? Yeah, with searching some clean (non-resiny) pine/winterfresh. The pine become dominant as the beer warms.

Tastes strong hop flavor and decent hop bitter. over a tame and dusty malt presence. Hop flavor is oranges, tangerine, mild grapefruit, and some resiny pine (chinook hops?). Hop bitter is predominantly grassy rough cohumulone. Malt is lost under the hops. Aftertaste is earthy rising up retronasal with a persistent grassy rough on the flat of the tongue. Esters are missing or swamped out by the hop rough, but a slight creaminess is present. Unbalanced for the APA style (not enough malt and no esters), this is more of an IPA. Light body and strong carbonation. Meh.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A 16 oz. can poured to my 'Abita' pint glass. Thanks to biergut for bringing this to Portland and swapping right before OBF.

On the back of the can: "Clarity is overrated".

A: Darker than copper, really more like a 'maple syrup' light brown. First pour is mildly clear; it's the last few ounces that really turn this cloudy. Good carbonation cuts through the haze, rising to a frothy, light tan head that exceeds 2-fingers. Nice lace in jagged bands.

S: Malty aroma of baked bread. Modest whiffs of pine and grass. Faint mineral/metal twang.

T: Living in the Northwest, I've grown accustomed to APAs with big 'green' hop profiles. This one is different: big (Crystal) maltiness exudes a dark, toasted wheat breadcrust. Light honey/floral sweetness. Hopping is bitter and drying.

M: Somewhat crisp and rather refreshing, though a little thin. Body is medium.

D: Tasty brew, easy to drink. One I'd gladly have again.

Photo of random
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Was visiting my parents and found out that a brewery had sprung up in their town...and they were holding a tour the same weekend. So, had a pint of this in their brewery/warehouse, sitting on a bench with their vats directly behind me. The brewery "tour" was more of a locals' happy hour.

A - Pours a lovely copper color. Good medium-sized head that lasts a while before fizzling to a lacy edge around the glass. I noticed a few specks of sediment. Clarity is overrated, indeed.

S - I thought the Pine Belt Pale was just a reference to the area (Conroe being in the Piney Woods) but this beer had a definite piney aroma with hints of citrus.

T - The sweet malt hit my tongue before I noticed the hops. Fruity, but nicely bitter.

M - Medium-bodied and very smooth.

D - Easy drinker. This would make a good session beer.

Now I have to figure out where to find this in Austin. A very well-rounded beer and a fabulous start for their brewery. I hope they put their second beer, Logger Lager, into cans soon.

Photo of julian
4.52/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Received in a LIF win from rsawyer!

A: color is a nice hazy amber color with a decent off white creamy head that quickly disappears leaving little but a ring of lacing around the edges.

S: smell is of pretty strong fruit, bubble gum, citrus hops and minimal alcoholic presence. it fills the room as soon as it's poured.

T: One of my favorite APAs so far since my craft beer adventure began just over 2 months ago. Great combination of fruity citrus flavors, with a upfront maltier backbone and pine like hoppy edge. Very nice.

M: medium to high carbonation, great balance of bitter/sweet flavors. On the sweeter side mid palate but then tapers off leading to a nice hoppier bite in the finish.

D: One word, excellent!

Photo of wagenvolks
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to RickSawyer for the LIF!
16 oz. can into a Duvel Chalice.

Pours beautifully into the glass, leaving a tall, pillowy custard head that retains well and leaves behind sticky clumps of lacing. The body is a hazy, copper-orange hue with a stream of carbonation rising from the etching at the chalice's base. "Clarity is overrated", says the label, and as a homebrewer I have to agree. The aroma is a fantastic blend of caramel malts and piney, resinous hop notes. Slight hints of mango, grapefruit, and apricot in there as well. Pine Belt perhaps fits more appropriately in the IPA category when it comes to aroma, but nevertheless it's an impressive boquet.

Caramel and pale malts hit the tongue first, along with some spicy hops that coat the sides of the palate. The middle, however, feels a bit hollow, a phenomenon I've noticed with other hoppy, canned craft beers (Ram's Head IPA, Dale's Pale Ale). Overall the mouthfeel is good, with a medium-thin body and a decent carbonation level. Despite the lack of "oomph" in the middle, Pine Belt delivers an excellent, piney hop bite that rides out to a lengthy finish. All in all, this is a nice offering from a Texan brewery that seems to have the right ideas. Coming from a beer enthusiast about to move from NC (home of Foothills, Duck Rabbit, Big Boss, and Pisgah) to Texas, beers like this will certainly make my new residence feel more like home.

Photo of allengarvin
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a wide-mouthed chalice, this beer is reddish-amber with a good initial head that fades quickly. However, the lacing is excellent. Very nice bready malt aroma with a dusting of resinous hops. Flavor is a very good blend of malt, very lightly toasted (nice melanoidins for an American microbrew), and grassy, resin hops. Bitterness is moderately high but not off the scale. Except for a clean yeast profile, this reminds me more of an English ESB than an APA.

A good "quaffing" beer, quite solid.

Photo of grs8313
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 16oz can with no canning date pours an amber color with mostly small bubbles, but some big fish eyes pop up. Head is 1 finger and sticks around, leaving lacing as the beer is drunk. A thin white head stays on the top of the beer throughout.

Smell: Pine, hop, and yeast scents. Very fragrant with the pine scent dominating.

Taste: Lots of malt flavor. Also has hints of yeast and coffee. I was expecting hop flavors, and this beer certainly delivers.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy and carbonated on the tongue, slightly syrupy.

Drinkability: A good beer, made even better because it is brewed down the road. A great micro brew that anyone should try if given the chance. This would be a standard in my fridge.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - pours a foggy tangerine color into a pint glass. Pale orange foam churns up to about two fingers and despite a thick and creamy-looking cover, it is sinking fast. It goes to a thin cover before too long but puts up some impressive lace-drapes.

Aroma - a piny hop aroma is picked up right away. It doesn't develop a whole lot beyond that, but it stays around without much fade.

Taste - light grain in front, a bit thin. The hops easily make their way to the fore, starting with a light citrusy presence before turning to a grapefruit rind bitterness. The swallow goes dry into the aftertaste and goes a touch medicinal on the finish.

Mouthfeel - plenty of carbonation, this one'll have you burping hops. Even-bodied makes for a refreshing feel.

Drinkability - I'd like to get a little more of the citrusy side of the hops in there. I had to save up this last can of my stash for the review. Hopefully I'll get a chance to try this on tap on my next trip to Austin.

Photo of corey0212
4.72/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got this from RickSawyer in a trade!

Pours a hazed amber color, big fluffy tan head hanging in there for the duration, plenty of lacing. Smells way hoppy! Piney hops hit you hard, big sweet malt backbone, some citrus fruit in there too. Taste comes off very balanced, bready/doughy maltiness, bitter piney hops, and a big citrus hit at the end. Actively carbonated, refreshing, powerful lingering hop bitterness. If I had easy access to this beer, it would be in the house year-round. An excellent APA, big thanks to Rick for the opportunity!

Also, 16oz. cans? Absolutely!

Photo of Viggo
3.01/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to GregMcQ for sending this one my way in a recent trade.

Pours a cloudy ruddy orange, a bit rusty, medium sized off white head forms, lots of bubbles rise to the surface, head is a bit rocky and slowly settles to a thin ring, some lacing. Smell is decent, grapefruit, pine, caramel malts, biscuits, apricots and tangerine, alcohol, solid. Taste is not so great, very watery and weak, bit of bready malt, alcohol, some light floral, spicy bitterness, thats it. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation, feels pretty thin. Not sure if I got a bad can or what, but this stuff is weak. Thanks Greg!

Photo of rsawyer
4.6/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the 16 oz. can into a pint glass.

A- Clear dark amber with copper tones. Off-white head billows up and creates a foamy pillowy head across the top of the brew. Carbonation is small and tightly packed. Lacing on the glass is thick. What a beautifully looking beer!

S- Hops jump right out at first. The hops smell lovely- floraly and earthy. The malt profile is also evident and smells sweet with hints of brown sugar.

T- The hops hit first in a fruity / floral bitterness. I am getting hints of orange juice, perhaps some lemon zest, and certianly an earthy biscuity bitter which is really nice. The malt balances the sweet bitter hops right away and creates one hell of a APA taste! I love it!

M- Mouthfeel is excellent. Carbonation is felt, but not overpowering. The body is light.

D- This brew is ALWAYS on hand in my house. Amazing beer.

Photo of naterock
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up while in Conroe this spring, thanks to the suggestion of the store clerk.
C: pours a copper color with a thin yet consistent head,
S: smells sweet with a floral hop aroma also a slight nose of apricot or peach.
T: very different taste, earthy with the sweetness right in the middle. very nice bitterness.
M: a big bodied beer
D: I would keep this in the fridge all the time if I could. A very BIG APA can't wait for a nother offering from the boys at southern star.

Photo of beachbum1975
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to brewdlyhooked13 for this in person trade!!!

A: Unique, pint sized can with no freshness date - "Clarity is overrated" written on the side of the can - I like it... I saw a LIF posting on this beer sometime and have wanted to try in since. Pours a slightly cloudy, rich orange to amber with a gorgeously, chunky off-white head that sticks around for some time. I noticed a lingering chip of sediment in the pour, but it may have come off the top of the can. Either way, it's going to get drunk. I can already tell I am going to enjoy this one.

S: Pine, oranges, pineapples all dancing around trailed by some sweet malts.

T: Wow, this is better than I expected! Very exciting blend of sweet tea and hoppy sour flavors including what I mentioned in the nose - orange, pine, pineapple followed by super sweet malts on the front of the tasting. I think there's a whole lot of Centennial hops in this mix. Very floral and aromatic throughout. Suprisingly, the taste disappears quickly leaving a nice dry finish.

M: Full-bodied with little fizz after the initial pour but plenty of carbonation in your mouth. Overall, I am very impressed with their initial offering. I bet this would be amazing in a cask format. I could put this sucker back all night if they sold it in my area.

Photo of csmiley
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to hopsleeroy for this extra

A - Pours a nice amber / orange in color. The off-white head topped out at one inch and stuck around for a while. Lacing is very good. All the characteristics of a nice looking brew.

S - Lots of pine and possibly cedar hit the nose first. Some citrus follows but not much and leans heavily toward orange. The malt steps in afterward but can only muster a few hints of presence on the tail end. Mainly sticks with caramel and biscuit.

T - More pine and other wood accents in the flavor. Fruitiness backs them up but isn't as strong as the smell would suggest. Could be kiwi and orange that I'm picking up. The malt does have a nice showing in the flavor with caramel, biscuit, and what seems to be like candied sugar. Some alcohol is present but not enough to detract from the overall flavor.

M - Medium bodied with good carbonation. Finish is bitter with some dryness and does not stick around for too long.

D - Drinkability is good. I really liked the way the pine aspect is showcased in this particular beer. I must admit that Southern Starr did a good job with the Pine Belt. I would have more of these if they were distributed to my area. The alcohol is hardly noticeable which makes it a little dangerous. Recommemded.

Photo of orcasteve
3.98/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured from the can into my new saint aronold pint glass, this one was good, nice head on the beer, purfict color and bitterness and flavor, just a wee bit to carobanated but went down smooth. aperantly thay know pale ale in texas, thay say everything is bigger in texas and when it comes to flavor, thay are right, loved this one

Photo of paulthebeerguru
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

nice extra aquired in a trade with rsawyer.

A: snifter. pours a gorgeous, hazy mostly red, amber color. nice off-white, almost tan head. good head retention and very nice lacing.

S: I now know why they call it "pine belt", huge aromas of pine overtake this beer. Some citrus hops as well, along with some really sweet malts.

T: Really nice crystal malts in there, make this very well balanced with the pine and citrus hop flavors. Very earthy. Finish is a little rough with the acidity, but other than that, its a tasty brew. Best from texas thus far for me.

M: Very smooth, minus the finish. Good carbonation.

D: very nice aroma on this one and the taste is just a little bit behind. I enjoyed this brew and will gladly drink it again. I wish there were more beers from these guys.

Photo of Rustoleum
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from the 16oz can into a Guinness pint glass.

Pours a nice, cloudy copper color with a 2 finger off white head. Head sticks around for a while.

Smell is mostly piney hops with a hint of grapefruit and sweet malts.

Taste is very much inline with the nose. Very piney.

Drinkability is exceptional. This a very good session beer and great to drink while grilling on a hot summer day or relaxing by the pool. This beer is quickly becoming one of my favorites.

Photo of BryanCarey
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pine Belt Pale Ale is orange/copper in color and a good pour from the can results in a nice, sturdy head of foam that holds its own for a few minutes. The nose on this beer is one of pine cones combined with citrus. The carbonation is rather light, but the head of foam still manages to maintain at least a thin coating as you imbibe.

Pine Belt Pale Ale offers a nicely balanced taste for the pale ale style. Up front, this ale offers the tastes of caramel malt sweetness, bread notes, and a touch of citrus. There is a nutty character as well, and the beer finishes bitter with an aftertaste that is well- balanced, representing all of the flavors initially tasted.

Southern Star Brewing Company is a new brewery, and Pine Belt Pale Ale is its first product. The brewer's at Southern Star made a very good choice when they formulated the recipe for Pine Belt Pale Ale. This product is an American version of the pale ale style and I like the way it combines citrus hops with a solid malt backbone to create a well- balanced taste. It's a tasty ale that delivers on most every count; an easy- drinking pale ale that aims to please, and succeeds in most every way.

Photo of throwitallaway
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to thickerfreakness for this sweet extra! Decanted from the can into a pint glass. Pours a pleasant golden color, with a nice, finger thick head that sticks around. Aroma of big resiny and floral hops, with a little malt sweetness underneath. Taste starts with resiny hops, then transitions to biscuity malts. Mouthfeel is great, with a medium body and a nice creaminess. Drinkability is sky high, as is the case with most pale ales. Overall this is a good session beer, that's slightly lacking in the taste department.

Photo of ppoitras
4.62/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz can from mhewes via trade extra. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 2" beige head above the slightly cloudy orangey amber brew. Frothy head recedes slowly, with sporadic hunky lacing. Aroma is pervasive fresh green hops. Taste is sweet upfront, dominantly hoppy in the middle, and then leans back somewhat sweet for the close. Mouthfeel is soft and smooth, and drinkability is excellent. Another stunner extra from this trade!

Photo of DIM
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: This was a slightly hazy coppery amber color. It poured with a one inch, uneven, craggy head. Decent lace and retention.

s: Strong piny hops with a hint of lemon. Some toffee caramel backbone as well.

t: Pleasantly sweet upfront with toffee and a bit of vanilla. Rough, piny hop finish. Big flavors overall for an APA.

m: Nice body and decent carbonation.

d: Thanks to mhewes for the tasty extra. This borders on an imperial APA. (jk)

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Pine Belt Pale Ale from Southern Star Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 635 ratings.