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Pale Ale - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Pale AlePale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

170 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 170
Reviews: 122
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 11.75%

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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-03-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 170 | Reviews: 122 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jujubeast6000


1.65/5  rDev -52.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Reviewed 4/30/2007 (12oz bottle):

Pours an amber brown color, fizzy, slightly cloudy. Small head, whitish, diminishing. Good lacing. Somewhat hoppy bitter aroma, some malts. Bitter taste, sour, not a very clean aftertaste. Somewhat balancing of the sour with some malts. Letting warm up a bit...A little more mellow, but there goes the taste. Not that good of a pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2009 18:17:36 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of Beaver13


2.03/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The Santa Fe Pale Ale poured a copper-orange with an thick and creamy off-white head that laced the glass.

The aroma was faint grassy hops, some fruity esters, and a bit of DMS that became more pronounced as the beer warmed.

The flavor was sweet malt and DMS with a very faint bitterness. It was medium-bodied and creamy, kind of nitro-like.

Overall, I didn't care for it. It was a little too sweet, displayed too much DMS, and not enough bitterness. It was a pretty bland pale ale and not very pleasant.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2004 05:38:27 | More by Beaver13
Photo of Onslow


2.6/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bought at kroger's super-mart day the M.A got home... pours with very little aroma... lacing is decent ... a simple,little dull but an easy going beer, a starter/novice brewsters.. is there a word less than pale?.... definetly not The Cat's Pajamas!!

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2008 01:55:59 | More by Onslow
Photo of jpr022


2.65/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this beer at El Meson in Santa Fe, NM. Not good. This is one of those pale ales where they just chickened out. My fault for ordering it really. It was the only local beer they had so I should have taken the hint and stuck with the wine.

Taste was very plain. Appearance was good. Smell was fine too.it was drinkable and I still don't know what mouthfeel means.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2011 00:16:26 | More by jpr022
Photo of beeragent


2.68/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The beer poured a deep gold, forming a very thin head, that quickly faded, leaving medium rings of lace. The aroma is more malty than hoppy. Not what I expect a pale ale to smell like. Sweet smell, but not floral or fruity like the hops would give. The taste is also wrong for a pale ale. Very little hop presence, lacking in the sweet citrus flavor, and mostly dominated by a malty caramel taste. The mouthfeel is medium, being a little thicker for the style. Overall, I would have to say that this taste closer to a brown ale, than it does to a pale ale. Maybe I got a mislabeled bottle, but this is definitely not my idea of a pale ale. I guess I am more used to the style being more floral in aroma, and a heavier citrus flavor. This just may tell me, that I havent explored the whole spectrum of pale ales yet.

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2007 07:34:53 | More by beeragent
Photo of JDV


2.73/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light burnt orange, cloudy and unfiltered. Lasting creamy, wet offwhite head. Lemony malt smell mostly. Taste is more malty, light oddly metallic tart bitterness. Not a very nice clean hop flavor, but not terrible. Somewhat bland, stagnant flavor almost. A bit below average pale.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2008 22:16:36 | More by JDV
Photo of bditty187


2.98/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lightly hazy, coppery-gold in hue; there is a bronze highlight as well. The liquid looks good enough. The head was off-white. At the apex the foam was a healthy half finger in height. Head retention was decent. It was slow to fade to a soapy cap, thicker around the edge of the glass. The subsequent lacing was unorganized but fairly widespread. This beer is pleasant enough.

The nose lacks potency. I had to strain to detect a woody-orangey aroma. I found a kiss of caramel, toasted malt. The bouquet lacks depth and articulation. It is not inviting, regardless of style.

The palate isn’t too bad. The flavors a mild but there are a few layers of goodness. Bitterness is gentle but noticeable; it is mainly at the front. Woody. In the middle comes some peaches, oranges, and apricots. Nice. By the finish a smattering of malty goodness is detected, light caramel notes and some biscuit. In the aftertaste I could sense some pine. This is an APA? No. Is it English in nature? Not really. It is both and neither. It is simple but tasty. There isn’t much to this beer, I do like the fruitiness and I bet this beer would be tasty with nutty cheese.

Medium/medium-light in body. Low but natural carbonation; the mouthfeel is relaxing and pleasant. It fits this beer well.

Drinkable enough to finish my six-pack; I purchased it in Fort Collins. I never had a beer from New Mexico. Now I can say I have. There is little else about this beer that is noteworthy. It is not good or bad… just okay.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2005 01:54:05 | More by bditty187
Photo of denver10


2.98/5  rDev -14.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-16-2013 02:48:02 | More by denver10
Photo of Wasatch


3/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to slcbrewer for this brew.

Pours a cloudy dark orange color, some carbonation, tiny fizzy head, no lacing at all. The nose is malty, slightly hoppy, and some caramel. The taste is malty, hoppy, and some caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, not bad, but would not seek out again.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2007 02:52:22 | More by Wasatch
Photo of Beerbuddha


3/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a hazy orange color with a nice white head which stuck arund for the party a bit. Not a very hoppy smell at all. Maybe a hint of breadiness but overall not much aroma to speak of. The taste was a bit lackig as well. A weak taste of hops with a tin taste as well. Slight bitterness present. The mouthfeel was medium body but a little watery. Carbonation was not all that high. Overall an average beer. Not bad but not great.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2008 14:24:49 | More by Beerbuddha
Photo of heath1agnew


3/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance- ok i thought this brew looked great got a fluffy head the retained great. lacing stuck to the glass, with a somewhat great golden color.

smell- smelled a little bit of hops and a touch of citrus.

taste and mouthfeel- ....fell short for me...although i got hops in the smell i didn't really get it in the taste very much but i did pick up a little bit of citrus. mouthfeel wasn't too bad.

drinkability- descent drinkability.

this is just not what i expected from a pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2009 14:51:15 | More by heath1agnew
Photo of paulthebeerguru


3.03/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: snifter. nice rich copper color, mostly reddish hues. slight off-white head. good lacing and a rather nice retention.

S: i get tons of crystal malts in this. light hop aroma. tons of caramel. some fruit tons, mostly apples.

T: nice caramel malts with some apple flavors. very light citrus flavors form the hops. a little on the sweet side.

M: medium bodied. decent carbonation. a little bland, but its not too weak on the palate.

D: not a bad APA, but it could be better. more malt flavors than hops which turned me off a little bit. its OK but nothing special.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2008 05:25:20 | More by paulthebeerguru
Photo of kmeves


3.05/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy amber with a lasting frothy tan head. Aroma is lightly sweet, very faint citrus and caramel. Flavor is much more pronounced with nice grapefruit and caramel up front and a more floral finsh. Medium bodied, big carbonation brings out a prickliness that is undesireable in the style. Finishes short, dry and somewhat bitter.

Serving type: bottle

10-30-2008 14:23:37 | More by kmeves
Photo of lordofthewiens


3.05/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Waiting for my daughter to arrive in Terminal B at the Albuquerque airport, figured I should drink some local beers. This one wasn't bad.

In a pint glass the beer was copper-colored with a medium-sized white head that left a lot of lace.

Average aroma. Sweet malt and a tiny bit of citrus.

Taste similar to the aroma. Some sweet malt and a tiny late hit of citrus.

A bit on the timid side, but still pretty drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2011 21:04:05 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of goochpunch


3.08/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a slightly orange-tinged golden color with a moderately sized white head that thins out. Smells of regular old pale base malt with some slightly citric hops and some earthy aromas from the hops. Flavor is overly sweet from the malt with a slight hop kick toward the end. What makes this interesting is the earthy hop flavors I get from this, whereas I'm so used to the typical citrus hop overload. Mouthfeel is a little syrupy but overall decent. Carbonation is nice. It pricks slightly, but still manages to please. The sweetness kills this for me drinkability-wise. Overall it has an interesting flavor, though.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2006 05:22:03 | More by goochpunch
Photo of champ103


3.08/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy golden/orange color. A small white head forms. Light lace.
S: Musky floral hops. A large grain and cereal aroma. Really not much here.
T: Metallic and copper taste. Cereal and grain again. Just a touch of hop bitterness as the taste lingers.
M/D: A light to medium body. Way over carbonated for my tastes. Not hard to drink, but the prickly carbonation takes away a little from the drinkability.

This is not a bad APA. I have had much better, though I could quaff some of these at a bbq with friends. A no frills beer that has its place.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2008 20:13:12 | More by champ103
Photo of Treebs


3.1/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on draft in Taos, NM at KTAO radio station bar. Poured into pint.

A: Pours a nice copper with firm white head. Great retention and solid lace down the glass.

S: Malt with some lager-like qualities to it. There are some bitter hops on the back end of the nose but nothing special.

T: Some bland citrus and a little malt, but nothing else in terms of flavor profile.

M: Light bodied with a crisp, clean and dry finish. No real discerning flavors left on the palate to entice me back for more though.

O: Pretty straight forward and average for the style. No real concrete flavors to separate it from any other pale ale.

Serving type: on-tap

07-04-2011 23:25:00 | More by Treebs
Photo of htomsirveaux


3.13/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle.

Pours with a medium parchment colored head. Bubbly amber color. Aroma of citrus, caramel, grapefriut and rye. Starts sweet and tingly, like club soda. Medium body. Some quinine and lemon in finish, leaves a sweet aftertaste. Average pale ale, not bad but would not seek out again, minimal citrus, pine or resin.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2009 04:39:18 | More by htomsirveaux
Photo of flexabull


3.2/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one pours an orange cloudy color with a decent head.

Aromas are malty, tea like, sour and dusty. Not quite what I expect from a Pale, but not bad.

Surprisingly, I thought this was a lager when I first sipped it. It reminds me a lot of an Alt. Malty, slightly sweet, and crisp. Not much hops here.

Mouthfeel is quite nice. A full flavored and well rounded beer.

All in all? This is decent. Not unpleasant, but not all that interesting either.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2007 04:23:18 | More by flexabull
Photo of OKCNittany


3.2/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a two finger off white head with incredible retention leaving loads of lacing. Hazed orange body.

S: Not a lot of hops present in the aroma - maybe some lemon. More notable were some malt & some earthiness - but nothing too enjoyable.

T: On the tongue, a little hop bite up front followed by a boring maltiness in the middle, finishing with a lemony hop bitterness.

M: Medium-light body with soft carbonation. A bit watery, but still smooth. Dry finish.

D: I'm sure this would be drinkable - even sessionalbe - for those that like the taste more than I did.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2008 03:43:23 | More by OKCNittany
Photo of djeucalyptus


3.2/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a golden caramel orange hue, crystal clear with a two-finger bright white heavily-carbonated soda-like head. despite looks, impressive retention and decent frothy lacing to the bottom.

aroma is citrusy, a bit bready, and a bit of light yeast. relatively subtle. a bit of herbal/medicinal hops. not bad. not memorable.

bready, doughy, and yeasty with some green veggie hops, a bit of herbal hops, and a citrusy grapefruit finish. nothing unique but certainly nothing off here. an average solid, clean, fairly west-coast-ish ipa flavor wise.

carbonation seems a tad high, but not way over the top. smooth and a bit creamy, just a bit slick... fairly full for a pale, but certainly palatable.

All in all, not a bad brew. if this was all I had, I'd be happy. nothing astounding, nothing terribly unique, but definitely drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

04-07-2009 22:14:18 | More by djeucalyptus
Photo of eclaycamp


3.2/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Pours a golden copper color with a fizzy quarter inch head with no real lace to speak of. Light pine and some citrus on the nose, as the aroma is all hops. Taste is of some caramel malts with citrus hops and a pleasing finish. No real mouthfeel in this beer, unfortunately, and it reminds me a little bit of a carbonated water - San Pelligrino for example. Second taste yields some mineral and alcohol notes. Decent pale ale, though it could benefit from a stronger malt prescence I think.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2010 20:56:09 | More by eclaycamp
Photo of alexgash


3.23/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy, dark apricot with a sturdy light sandy brown head. Bottle conditioned methinks. Nice.
Smells of lightly sweet fruity malt, perhaps a little sweetbread. Modest hops – grapefruit and lime.
Taste starts off with tangy, fruity malt with a touch of toasted caramel. Hops are underwhelming. Kind of a sticky pineapple-citrus quality. The vegetal bitterness struggles to take hold.
Medium-bodied, sticky finish.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2004 21:49:48 | More by alexgash
Photo of ckeegan04


3.23/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Golden borwn in color with foamy white head. Excellent retention and lacing.

S - Citrusy hop aroma dominates the nose. Also a faint toasted bread aroma.

T - Sweet caramel malt taste initially followed by an unbalanced hop bitterness. Citrusy in taste but also something funky, almost metallic in the taste.

M/D - Medium boided and very carbonated. A drinkable pale ale but the taste is a little too funky.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2008 20:49:09 | More by ckeegan04
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.23/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a hazy orange color with a thick 2" fluffy head that lasts a while.

Smell: loads of orange citrus, some softer lemon zest, and some grassiness is detected.

Taste: a bready malt profile here with caramel, strong orange flavors, and a mild bitterness makes up a standard fare pale ale.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Lightly crisp to start, smoother and breadiness lingers at the finish.

Drinkability: so-so pale ale that one may grow a bit bored of after one or two. Overall a bit too bready for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2009 22:58:50 | More by Gavage
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Pale Ale from Santa Fe Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 170 ratings.