Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

Pine Belt Pale Ale - Southern Star Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pine Belt Pale AlePine Belt Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

387 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 387
Hads: 645
Avg: 3.83
pDev: 15.4%
Wants: 20
Gots: 81 | FT: 0
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 (29) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 387 | Hads: 645
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to mhewes for this one!

This beer pours a slightly foggy amber with an irregular film of dirty white on top. Lots of bubbles here floating up from the bottom and from the sides.

Smells of rye crisp and a potent caramel with a little touch of grass and a whiff of a hoppy sting slips through. Over all, it has a general glassy smoothness to it.

The flavor is centered around a similar grainy caramel but is bound to a zesty snap of piny hops that initially focuses on an astringent orange rind sharpness that takes on more balance as the beer finishes. A tasty beer, but the change-up and the balance here is a little odd.

Feels rather dense and meaty, but it works well with the grainy emphasis. The carbonation is slow to leak out, adding to it's chewability.

A tasty and fun beer. I'd like a sixer of these sitting next to me on an autumn evening when I'm sitting next to a camp fire.

 898 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can into the Southern Star 20 oz glass that BgThang included as an extra in our trade. Thanks again Ken!

Pours a clear amber with a big 3 fingers of foamy off-white head. Retention is very good, with a solid finger of foam that sticks around for a while and leaves big, sticky lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is a pleasant mix of nose tingling herbal hops, citrus notes, and sweet crystal malts.

The taste is similar to the aroma, with a subtle earthy and herbal hop bitterness that is well balanced with zesty citrus character and silky caramel malts. The mouthfeel has a light medium body with smooth carbonation and an easy feel.

Very nice. It's awesome to see not only another Texas brewery start up but they are also starting off right by putting their flagship beer in cans! Fresh tasting, with an easy earthy feel, and smooth drinking body. I'm glad I've got a few more of these left to enjoy this summer.

 938 characters

Photo of timbro81
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Wolfmann17 for the opportunity. Pours a lovely light copper color that, despite the fact that the can says "clarity is overrated", is somewhat clear. Nice semi lumpy head that is fed by a decent amount of carbonation. Nose is predominately of pine and citrus, however some sweet malts manages to sneek out. Light mouth feel considering the style. Hops prance all over the tongue and invade all parts of the mouth. The hops are bitter but hard to decifer the style, unlike the nose. Some carmel malts are detectable on the palate as well. Finish is long and plentiful. Very good beer, keep up the good work.

 616 characters

Photo of HoustonTX
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Picked up this beauty at my local Spec's the other day.
Always exciting to see a new beer, especially a canned one on these sometimes lonely Texas shelves. Also considering I live very close to Conroe, I will definitely had to try it out and think it's awesome to have a brewery so close.

Poured into my glass with an explosion of carbonation. Mass amounts of bubbles, with a thick frothy head on top.

Smells very nice overall. Lots of caramel maltiness, some dense dank hops, along with a clean herbaceous laying and some light fragrant florals.

Now onto the flavor... Dense maltiness upfront - small waves of caramel and and semi-sweet sugar cubes. Which is soon followed, by a clean and fragrant herbal/flowery note. A very short hop note comes in towards the middles and rides it out till the end. Overall the flavors come together nicely without becoming to agressive, yet still maintaing a good amount of complexity without losing drinkability.

The only thing that could be improved on this beer is the mouthfeel. A bit light for my tastes, but like I said it has incredible drinkability without making you get too full too quick. Saying that, it's not a deal breaker and it's still a great beer to have on our shelves.

Anyways, big ups to Southern Star and their 3 man wrecking crew. Glad to have you guys aboard, and look forward to all your future endevours. Keep it up guys, and rock it!

 1,403 characters

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
2.86/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Initial Notes:
Tall tan, looks nice and Southern.. whatever that means.

Malt-driven aroma lands somewhere in between perceived sweetness (almost cotton candy, maybe more root-beer float) and toasty biscuit maltiness. Grapefruit citric zest. Not very balanced, and something about it is slightly unappetizing.

Copper color, good clarity, nice head. Good bit of lace and retention.

Biscuit and nut malt step out first onto the palate, followed by a slight unpleasantness. I can't say DMS for sure, but it does have a 'cooked' feeling that reminds me of Shiner Bock. Bitterness grows, growing towards astringent. More roasted malt flavors, some caramel-like sweetness. Mild hop flavor is tart and nebulous. Suddenly I get cake-like flavors that are pretty tasty. Along with that I now detect some vanilla and contrasting citric zesty flavors.

Medium-to-medium light bodied. Good bit of malty gravity. Mild bitter/astringentness.

The Verdict:
Huzzah for Texas Breweries! I will support them until my dieing day. Sadly the best word I can think of to describe this beer is 'uninspiring'. It is so close to being pretty good, it just falls short on too many fronts (most notably the astringent bitterness that doesn't taste like hops or malt). It is much more enjoyable when I just kick it back without thinking about the flavor, and focus on how cool it is to support my new local brewery. I look forward to seeing this on tap somewhere.

 1,470 characters

Photo of RickSawyer
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber gold with ruby red highlights. Pillowy white head climbs the glass and holds tight to the walls. Smells great! Balance of carmel, tangerine, grapefruit, floral grassy hops. Taste follows. Begins with carmel, light maple, and baguette. Next walks in the hops, not overbearing, not yelling at the top of their lungs hops... balanced hops, supporting hops, wonderful hops. Citrus, grapefruit and orange predominantly, hops. Grassy, refreshing, bitter and balanced to the malt. Mouthfeel is spot on for the style, moderately carbonated, not to heavy, but still complex enough to have you reaching for more. Great! No brainer for me from now on.

 655 characters

Photo of Ibanez
4.6/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purchased at Specs in the Houston area. Can is unusual for a craft beer, but the 16 oz serving is welcome.

A:Mostly orange color, pours with a nice controllable creamy not-quite-white head that leaves an attractive lace. Head lingers until you finish.

S: Pine start, malt finish. Not exactly hoppy in the nose, in the usual sense, but makes a statement.

T: Very citrus-y and piney at first. Lots of grapefruit note. Malt sweetness kicks in as a taste crosses your palate, but does not overpower. Afternotes reprise the citrus and pine theme, and cleanses the palate for the next mouthfull.

M: Right for an APA, not too heavy or watery.

D: Drinking one makes me want another. What else can you ask for?

 706 characters

Photo of jordoo
3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Received as a great extra in a trade with mhewes, thanks!

16oz can poored into a pint glass.

This beer displayed a huge airy off white head with great retention that lasted until the finish, It was amber colored. The smell of pine and tropical fruits hits the nose first followed by a nice sweet malt characteristic. It goes from a piney/grassy hitting flavor right into an over ripe pineapple fruity type of taste and is well ballancd throughout by the carmalized malts. Finishes with an excellent bitter tone that lasts. Mouth feel is a little lighter than I'd like in an APA but this pint of beer did disappear quite quickly.

 630 characters

Photo of Tilley4
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this fro£ hopsleeroy in the Instant Gratification BIF. Thanks, Lee!!

Really attractive glowing amber, almost orangish... Very nice persistent head and sticky spotty lacing...

Big aroma of pine at first, then followed by a nice maltiness... Damn, this smells piney!

Hmmmm... Not as piney as I thought it might be but still very good... The pine is definitely there but it is muted somewhat by the breadiness of the malt... Its actually balanced quite nicely...there is a nice breadiness that seems to slowly blend into that piney bitterness right at the end...

Very nice little session brew, this one is... This would be delicious with some good ol barbecue..

 672 characters

Photo of mhewes
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A : Pours a nice golden color with a thick white head.

S : A strong pine aroma, perfect for east Texas. A good amount of citrus hops are also present

T : It's got a good piney hop bitterness. There's a good malt backbone to it to help balance out the flavor

M : Medium bodied with a nice feel

D : I would definitely have this one as often as I can get it.

 360 characters

Photo of nrbw23
4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a murky, cloudy copper color with a nice thick tannish colored head that left spotty lacing.

S- Alot of hops in this one also some sweet malts here.

T- Very well balanced between the hops and malts. Maybe even a little bready.

M- Medium in body with good carbonation.

D- A wonderful brew, great balance and goes down smooth and easy.

Thanks to JonathanL7890 for this one!

 386 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the can into my Tripel Karmeliet glass with a three-finger plus, frothy, light tan colored head. The head is quite creamy textured, leaves some nice lace on the sides of my glass and never entirely dissipates; just about perfect for a pale ale. The beer is a clear, ruddy amber color that shows a lightly hazed, fully red stained, copper color when held up to the light. The aroma is juicy with hop aromas of ruby red grapefruit, tangelo and a bit of lychee. Substantial malt aromas influence the finish with notes of caramelized malt sugars, biscuit aromatics, . While quite hoppy, I really like the substantial malt character in the nose, it makes this beer all that more complex.

Biting hops are noticeable from the first, the bitterness and pine-like hop notes scrub the tongue as the beer slides down my throat and the bitterness lingers on as it clings to my palate. My second sip is balanced a bit more by the malt character that adds more balancing sweetness and a slight viscous heft to the body that helps to balance the hop onslaught. This is a hop focused beer though and the hop notes clearly dominate the flavor profile. Flavors of sweetened grapefruit, lychee, bergamot and tangelo are joined by more aggressive herbal, but secondary, notes of pine, light hemp oil and a touch of menthol. The malt character gets a touch astringent towards the finish (some of the hop notes accentuate this) though mostly has a toasted, bread crust like, interesting malt character to it. Perhaps a touch heavy for a Pale Ale, but it still is fairly quaffable.

This is quite big for a Pale Ale, the alcohol bears this out, but having said that it is still quite tasty. I definitely like the mix of dominant hop notes that are balanced quite well by a noticeable malt presence.

 1,787 characters

Photo of turbine2475
3.31/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to Mhewes for this beer:

A - Slightly murky copper with a large white head that dissipated slowly leaving a mild lace.

S - Grainy sweet malts and earthy hops....not much here.

T - Semi bitter pine hop with a heavy caramel/toffee malt.

M - Almost milky mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation.

D - Not a bad brew. A decent balance of malt and hops. Would like to try on tap sometime.

 398 characters

Photo of brandoneast
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Slightly hazy-copper color with a light beige meringue head that has good staying power. Syrupy grapefruit and fresh, floral pine oil control the nose along with some slight toasted malt. The body is medium with a fine carbonation, giving a zesty mouthfeel that becomes creamy as it warms. Fresh cut grass and the oily Columbus hop character quickly take over the palate to provide a clean bite of citric, grapefruit character and juicy fruit gum, which yields a crisp fresh taste. Malty undertones of crust and caramel help to balance Pine Belt's flavor while the hop bitterness progressively increases and loiters on the tongue after each sip. I found this local gem at Spec's in Houston and I look forward to when this beer is available in Beaumont.

 752 characters

Photo of AChamberlain
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16oz can. It is great to have another new brewery in TX! And released in a can no less.

As I popped the can open, a quick smell of hops is shot into the air. Poured with a big, thick, frothing head. Amber in color. Not bad, strong head retention. Too strong? Wet hop aroma....almost a vegetable smell if that makes sense. And then out of nowhere the strong malt flavor. The aroma and flavor are totally different. It tastes fine, just not what I was expecting or looking for. The mouthfeel is great, nice and lush, smooth. High drinkability, I will be going back to this one definitely TX beer in a can for sure...

 629 characters

Photo of scootny
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can into my Brooklyn tulip tumbler. Wow! A beautiful copper fluid with a thick resinous head that tops two fingers and maybe three forms as I pour. Lots of lacing and a fine and gentle carbonation is visible. My beautiful head eventually dissipates to a wispy topping. Pretty in the glass.

Smell is piney and a trace of caramel. Mostly hops. There is malt sweetness to be sniffed out though.

Taste is almost the reverse . A big malty caramel palate quickly eclipsed by a generous hop component. Great balance! Clean dry finish and a neutral mouth. Maybe a touch of whole grain biscuit in the back of my palate.

Mouthfeel is superb. Medium light with a gentle scrub of the tongue and palate by the spot on carbonation.

Drinkability is first rate. I would but this for every BBQ I have if I could. A great all around beer.

Why drink Bud in cans when you have this? Texas is lucky to have this native son to turn to when in need of refreshment. The equivalent of Brooklyn lager around here. Many thanks to Jonathan 7890 for this one. Proud to have you as a trading partner!

 1,083 characters

Photo of aerozeppl
4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to JonathanL7890 for this one.

A: Really nice cloudy copper color. One of the better looking pales I have seen as of late. 1/2 finger of white head with tons of lacing.

S: Very dominant hop presence in the nose. The malt is there though as well. Slightly sweet smell.

T: One of the most balanced APAs I have had. It is very hoppy but very sweet from the malt as well. Not a lot of complexity but just a really nice and balanced beer.

M: Really nice medium body. Carbonation is just right and it does have that IPA esque feeling to it.

D: Beer geeks in Texas rejoice here is your new session beer. Really wonderful APA. Well balanced and flavorful. Now that I said that it is going to turn out to be 8% ABV.

 725 characters

Photo of Avryle
4.31/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Props to Jonathanl7890 for including this in a trade with aerozeppl...

A- Very excellent appearance for a pale. Light copper in color. Very slight haziness. Small whitish head.

S- Pine hops- its right in the name.

T- Light, sweet malt profile that transitions into a smooth pine-y finish. Lingering pine-hop finish. Very enjoyable.

M- Light bodied. Medium carbonation.

D- If this were readily available, this is an ultimate summer session beer. Again, thanks to Jonathanl7890 for sending this up to NY

 508 characters

Photo of stumac
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours up orangish cranberry color with a longlasting off-white head. completely retentive, sticky ass head! aromas of spicy hops, orangy citrus. taste of spicy hops, a little floral hop hidden amongst the masses, grapefruit fo sho. even a pine cone taste! and i love munchin on some pine cones! medium to full body, medium carbo. good pale ale out of a can! the brewery is currently brewing this beer one can at a time! crazy....

 429 characters

Photo of goochpunch
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a hazy marmalade with no bubble action and a very thin white head made out of non-uniform bubbles. Nose is kind of weak, but I get some caramel malts, and piney/citrusy hops. Flavor is real nice. The caramel isn't overboard in the sweetness and offers a solid backbone. Hops come in with lots of pine and some orange peel. Finishes mildly bitter but works to balance the mild sweet. My only real complaint is how the flavor thins out towards the finish. Almost tastes as if it were SLIGHTLY watered down. Mouthfeel is thin to moderate in weight. There could definitely be more carbonation in this. Really great drinker. Somehow its slight fault of tasting a little seltzery in the finish works to boost the drinkability tremendously. This is a good start for this brewery.

 782 characters

Photo of Onslow
4.24/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Are f*ckin kidding me, this beer ROCKS!!

... Lots of lacing and the head level is off the chain! ...

it was a rock lobster!!

.. colour is of late autumn pine cones ...

.... Taste is wonderful! ... of fresh hops and roasted caramel and pine... ..

... What a wonderful surprise coming from this new Texas brewer!!...

..i will be making a brewery visit later for sure!!! ... can't wait to see more from these guys!!!

...this beer marks my 900th beer reviewed!! .. and it is a worthy and enjoyable one at that!!!

 515 characters

Photo of JDV
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Can courtesy of BgThang. Thanks man!

Pours a rich, thick amber with a reddish tint and nice head.
Smell is big and fruity hoppiness with loads of grapefruit in the nose too. Taste is fruity, caramelly smooth maltiness, and nice citrusy hop flavor and a solid, but mildish bitterness that works great for a pale ale. Less hoppy tasting than the nose might indicate, but still pretty nice and clean. Drinkability is awesome, and this is a great, refreshing sessionable pale that I'd be happy to have again.

 506 characters

Photo of armock
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a nice amber color with an off white head that leaves lacing behind

S - Nice citrus hops upfront followed my some caramel malt

T - A good amount of hops to start with on a good malt backbone a well balanced taste

M - Has a medium body with a medium amount of carbonation

D - This is an awesome APA I'll now judge all the the other APAs that I drink and use this as the benchmark a great beer its worth hunting this one down

 438 characters

Photo of MiguelMandingo
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Shared a sample of this one with BeerZack, JonathanL7890, and BgThang. Thanks for scoring this can, Ken. If Southern Stars other brews measure up to this one, they will certainly have a lot of staying power.

Poured part of a tall boy into a tulip.

Appearance - It pours a hazy amber color and produces a pretty solid 1 finger head. It slowly dissipated to a thin crown. The head retention was fair.

Smell - This is one of the best smelling pale ales I have ever come across. Wow. Tons of grapefruit and hint of pineapple. Thin laced caramel scent makes an appearance as well. It has a scent that rivals some of the IPAs I have come across.

Taste - Agghhh. Somehow I knew that the flavor wasn't going to be able to compete with the scent. That is kind of a letdown. The flavor has a caramel component, and some light citrus, which gives the beer as slightly lingering bitter finish. It has a great initial flavor, and then runs kind of flat - it almost tastes like aged hops.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied. It has a lower carbonation level than I would like. It lacks some liveliness that would have kept the brew feeling interesting. It feels a little thin.

Drinkability - This is a really easy drinking APA. Man, the scent is amazing - I could just sit and smell this for hours. The flavor is pretty decent, it is just a letdown in comparison to the nose.

Southern Star, you are off to a great start. I will definitely be drinking more of your brews. It is great to see more beer coming from Texas. A great beer in a can.

 1,525 characters

Photo of BeerZack
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale amber color thats slightly cloudy crowned by a spotty head that does leave some lace.

Whoa, the smell jumps right out at you. Smell is excellent. Big grapefruit impression with sweet light caramalts, woodsy hops and a bit of a weird, but nice, aged hop quality.

Sweet lightly toasted malts with a good balance of citrusy-flavored hops. Pretty fruity, grapefruit, orange with some graininess, especially on the finish.

This medium-light bodied APA is smooth and drinkable. The flavor doesn't quite live up to the outstanding aroma, but this is good Texas beer... and it comes in a 16oz can!

 605 characters

Pine Belt Pale Ale from Southern Star Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 387 ratings.