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Pale Ale - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pale AlePale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

129 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 129
Hads: 242
Avg: 3.48
pDev: 16.09%
Wants: 2
Gots: 21 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Santa Fe Brewing Company visit their website
New Mexico, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-03-2002

Anything but a typical American Pale, Santa Fe Pale Ale is as full bodied as its most robust English counterparts, while asserting its American origin with a healthy nose resplendent with Cascade and Willamette hops. It finishes with a well-balanced combination of the subtle, almost Pilsner-like maltiness accentuated by the German yeast used to brew this Santa Fe classic, and a hop bite sufficient to leave a lingering smile on the face of any fan of American Pale Ales.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 129 | Hads: 242
Photo of metter98
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear light amber in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short white head that died down rather quickly, leaving waves of lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of biscuit and toasted malts are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of biscuit and toasted malts along with some slight hints of sweetness. No hops are detectable, but they seem to mask just about all of the sweetness.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is rather full in body compared to other pale ales—it's more like what you would expect from an Oktoberfest beer.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of HopsAreDaMan
2.97/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Good carbonation when opened; poured a nice golden color, with small amount of whitish head; mild aroma; good flavor, and nice body. Pale ales are not my favorite style, but this was smooth, easy to drink, and I would gladly drink it again.

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Photo of OKbrew89
3.34/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pale yellow color with a small head that leaves a thin ring of lacing. Good carbonation on the pour. Aroma of cascade hops and yeast. Taste is hop dominant with the front end hops being more aggressive and back end hops being smooth. The malt is undistinguishable and the finish is just a touch bitter. Medium body with medium carbonation. Even with the hops, there's enough carbonation to make it a crisp beer.
Taste is a bit unbalanced and could use more malt. Good hop profile. Not a bad APA, but it is kinda one dimensional.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.06/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A- Light golden-copper body, one finger white head, fair amount of retention time, solid lacing remains on the pint glass at the end.

S- Clean crackers, grainy malt, caramel, a bit of mineral spice (that honestly reminds me a bit of hefeweizen yeast), faint pine aromas. This smelled like a macro at first, to be honest due to the crackeriness and sweetness of the smell. As it warms up, the hop contribution comes up a little bit more, but this still smells quite sweet.

F- Crackers, pale malt caramel, grains, minerals, mild pine bitterness on the backend that attempts to balance things out. I think it's missing a bit more hop balance, whether it's bittering or aromatic hops. Tastes like a macro most of the way through, but with more body and bitterness.

M- Thin-medium bodied, good carbonation, mildly dry and refreshing.

O- Eh, I've had many better pale ales than this one. This is pretty average and quite boring to be honest.

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Photo of 28cammies
2.57/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

At first try it's really only "okay." Not special. It is clean and refreshing but just doesn't stand out. Made with fresh ingredients including "well water." Slightly sweet for a pale ale the bite and finish is subtle.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.29/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a murky dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, earth, and slight herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, earth, and slight herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of earth and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is definitely more on the malty side of things with only a subtle amount of hop qualities in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle.

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Photo of Gabriel_Vaughn
3.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

review is an edit, formerly received a poor score
It is an orange-gold dark amber, darker than most pales.
smell: 3 .5

taste: 3.75 bold
overall 3.75, decent pale ale, not as weak as many I have tried before

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.45/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Undated bottle at 45 degrees into standard pint
Faint aroma of hops and malt
Head average (4 cm) creamy, light brown, slowly diminishing to 2 mm layer
Lacing good, forming wide rings with various size bubbles
Body clear, medium amber
Flavor begins with a malty sweetness which quickly fades. No alcohol, no hops, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, soft carbonation

A very attractive beer leaning more to malt than hops; seems more of an amber ale.

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Photo of weltywm
3.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle.

Appearance: Light yellow with about 1/2 finger of white head. Good retention and lacing.

Smell: Biscuit and light citrus. Maybe banana or some other faint fruit.

Taste: Very grainy and biscuit-y, with a slight hint of banana, or maybe even bubblegum? It reminds me a bit of a hefeweizen. All balanced out by some yeast and spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light body, crisp finish, and actually a fairly long finish.

Overall: This really doesn't drink like a Pale Ale to me; more like a Belgian ale. But, that being said, it's still pretty darn good, and seems sessionable.

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Photo of John_M
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A friend from work brought home a bottle the other day.

The beer pours an orange amber color with fairly decent head retention and light lacing. The nose is attractive as well, as I pick some light brown sugar from the malt base, and then a decent about of dry citrus and pepper as well. The flavor profile replicates the nose fairly closely in this nicely crafted pale ale, and while certainly nothing mind blowing, this is a fairly tasty APA. Mouthfeel is medium bodied at most, and the beer finishes cleanly with a kiss of hoppy bitterness. The one dimensional aspect of the flavor profile wore on me a bit after a while (in other words, it's not the most exciting beer to drink), but that's really the only criticism I would make of this beer.

Shrug. I thought this a solid, easy to appreciate and enjoy APA. Give me a sierra nevada pale ale every time over this beer, but that being said, I thought this a solid offering from the folks at Santa Fe Brewing.

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Photo of LXIXME
3.49/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big off white head that just sort of sits above a clear to cloudy rich honey golden colored beer.

Very light aroma of citrus and pine style hops.

Light citrus and pine to almost fresh grass style hops taste.

This medium bodied beer mellow to a slight bittering dry aftertaste with just a bit of the beers tastes sticking around.

An OK beer, a little week or bland but not bad either, just want a bit more from a pale ale.

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Photo of mjurney
3.79/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Light amber color, hazy. Fairly good amount of carbonation rising up. Thick rocky head.

Bready, some citrus, earthy.

Citrus hops, a little earthy-leafy. Malt background, bready, slight caramel. Yeasty finish, very dry. Body is medium, dry, smooth.

It's a very good beer.

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Photo of TAMU99
3.4/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Had this good beer in an airport...who knew! Tasty American pale with some chops. Pour is a dark yellow, clear with nice lace but not a significant head. Smell is (dunno...I have a cold). Taste is bold. Hoppy, lots of good flavor, bitter where it should be, doesn't coat your tongue in grapefruit flavor (yay!). Malty but not cloying. Feels smooth and not too carbonated. Pretty good beer. I'd get a 6-pack. Would like to try when I can smell...(May even taste better!)

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Photo of denver10
2.98/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a golden orange with a white hea. Aroma is bready and doughy, citrus and its rind. Flavor followed suit, only mild bitterness. A fuller mouthfeel, some activity. A bit too heavy. Overall, a bit generic of a pale ale. Drinkable, but nothing to seek out.

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Photo of HerdNo1
3.58/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Received in a BOMC package.

A: Pours a nice copper color. Head is a bit disappointing as a vigorous pour gets only a couple of fingers of head that quickly dissipates to a thin ring and zero lacing.

S: Not a whole lot going on. Hops are more subdued than I'd expect from an American Pale Ale.

T: Nice balance. The hops were dominant but there was enough malt that they didn't overwhelm.

M: Probably my favorite part of this beer. Mouthfeel was medium with a nice creaminess and the finish wasn't quite as dry as most Pale Ales.

O: I thought this was a fairly good brew. Nothing outstanding but it was well balanced and easy to drink. Not one I'd go out of my way for but a good beer to drink while watching a football game (which is precisely what I'm doing).

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Photo of fatmusic14
3.71/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a GD pint glass

A - pours really well. Minimal head, decent lacing, colors of gold, very very subtle hint of haze, about 99% transparent

S - smells of citrus and pine. pretty generic for a PA, hints of sweetness

T - terrific. great flavors of honey and lime juice, with a hint of lemon zest. balanced bitterness, really substantial flavor. Very happy with how this turned out.

M - nothing to write home about

O - bought 1 in a make your own 6 pack, and I'm glad I did. Worth it.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.88/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a way underrated pale ale. pours clear but thick, polleny honey colored with an average white head. the nose is a balanced beer, caramunich malt smell, and west coast hops. the flavor is more hoppy than the nose, with plenty of fruity esters as well. a floral hop profile and a touch of orange. mouthfeel is good, maybe a little heavy in the summer, but this is mid october and its full body is just right. good carbonation keeps it moving, and this is an easy sixpack. one of the better main line beers from santa fe.

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Photo of willmc
3.43/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

love this pale ale, full of character, aroma and color. with hints of fruit and hops in the nose. flavors of malt sweetness, nutty spiciness, and floral hops to balance it all out on the finish. i really dont see how you can go wrong with a Santa Fe Pale Ale. cheers!

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pale yellow ale with good carbonation and a great head. Lacing is also pretty good. A solid-looking ale.

Smell: Some nice sweetness of honey with a solid dry malt background.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Honey and melon sweetness with nice dryness. Similar to smell. A wish it were a bit bolder. Fairly decent mouthfeel, but maybe a bit thin.

Overall Drinkability: A good western ale.

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Photo of iSip
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Santa Fe Pale Ale: I have been taste testing a selection of high end Imperial Stouts & IPA’s, so a change of pace to something more “normal” was good. I was not expecting much out of the Santa Fe Pale Ale, and was pleasantly surprised. First off, it’s not pale, but a dark honey in color with very little carbonation. A generous head of high quality forms on top, and this brew delivers a big aroma for a pale ale. The mellow malt goodness is augmented with just the right amount of fruity hops. Notes of apricot are distinct. Very good beer that I enjoyed greatly. Recommended.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.36/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a weizen glass. Cause I do whatever I want. No date. Not even a batch number as far as I can tell.

Appearance - Pours two finger offwhite head with decent to good retention and low stick. Cloudy amber body.

Smell - Low moderate hop. Musky. Dry hay.

Taste - Grassy. Thinly alcoholic. Some light honey sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Dry astringent bitterness in the body. Fades to a balanced finish.

Overall Drinkability - Middle of the road. No major flaws, but nothing to write home about.

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Photo of Tone
3.61/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, copper/gold color. 6/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of citrus concentrate (kiwi?), earthy malt, wheat, hint of sweet malt, and a hint of pine. Fits the style of an American Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, hint of wheat, yeast, citrus hops, and a hint of pale malt. Overall, great appearance, good aroma, feel, and blend.

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Photo of dankster
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance is slighty burnt orange with good amount of head and some sticky lace.

Smell is clean hops with some tropical fruit like smells and i pick up some apple as well

Taste is defiantly more apple than citrus. solid pale ale

Mouth is a medium body with dry finish

Overall a good offering from santa fe brew's and the price is right at 7.50 a sixer. nothing special but glad i tried it.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.62/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

medium to light amber color with a thick head of white that sat on top throughout the entire session, nice lacing down the glass.

aroma is light, nice little notes of citrus, hints of apple, pears, light grasses and a smooth, even flavor or light fruity yeast. as i take the first sip i get the clean, crisp flavor right off the bat. really nicely done. clean and light hops,

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Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a clear orange color with a white head. The aroma is a mix of biscuit and toffee malt with a little bit of orange citrus notes mixed in. The flavor is similar. Other than the orange citrus notes - and a little bit of grass from the hops - I get some biscuit and toffee malt and not too much else. The bitterness is pretty low and the beer is very drinkable. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Pale Ale from Santa Fe Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.