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Pale Ale - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pale AlePale Ale

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202 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 202
Reviews: 124
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 12.39%
Wants: 1
Gots: 7 | 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:
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: 202 | Reviews: 124 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Treebs
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

Photo of Coplains
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear with moderate carbonation.

Medium body with good flavor hoppy notes but not overwhelming.

Definitely a very drinkable pale ale that would pair well with a variety of food from pizza to summertime backyard barbecue. Have only seen in Santa Fe and would pick up again on our next trip.

Photo of endincolorado
3.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, amber with two fingers of fizzy, off-white head that settles quickly. Lots of lacing left behind.

Hoppy fruitiness up front with some citrus and a pale malt to balance.

Flavor is an excellent balance of pale malt, some caramel, and a more-than-adequate hop presence with sweet-orangey fruit.

Medium-bodied with adequate carbonation.

A very drinkable beer- pairs well with barbecue and salad. Refreshing and satisfying.

Photo of jpr022
2.65/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

Photo of mdunman
3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy amber-yellow with a big head and plenty of linger

S: Slightly malty with good hops and some citrus

T: Very malty, a little musky and a finishes with some sour hops

M: Medium body, plenty of carbonation and a hard finish

Interesting beer. Original yet simple styling, distinct if nothing else. I probably wouldn't come back for another 6 pack of this, but if it was on tap somewhere I would give it another shot.

Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
3.4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The light reddish to orange pale ale was my first beer from the Santa Fe brewery.

The aroma is rather fruity and light.

A light body and brilliant clarity make this beer look beautiful in the glass.

The taste is pleasantly bitter but is lacking.

This would be a great beer to sit back and have a few of, but it is certainly not something I would want to warm up in my glass or sip on at length.

Photo of mwa423
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a reasonably nice clear dark straw color with a finger of head with a thick soapy lacing.

S - A very interesting aroma that has lots of citrus and pine (for a pale ale) but also a dried fruity bitter smell.

T - Very well balanced malty sweetness and dried fruit up front follow by a bitter and citrus hop bite and a an interesting ginger orange flavor in the aftertaste.

M/D - Mouthfeel is very rich and thick with a slight bite and twang. Reasonably drinkable though on the heavy side for a pale ale.

Photo of BeardedRiker
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When poured it looks decent enough. It's a light amber color and has an appetizing frothy-smooth head, but it dissipates quickly.

It smells like a hoppy Budweiser...maybe. I haven't had a Budweiser in awhile, but for some reason that's what my nose tells me.

As for taste, it's pretty bland in character. It's not interesting, even with the slight hoppiness, although it does go down smooth. The finish is a bit wheaty with a noticeable alcohol tang. Bottom line is, if you want a pale ale, stick with your Sierra Nevada. It's decent, but it's definitely forgettable.

Photo of mmciz
3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had some great samples from Sante Fe at Phoenix's Strong Beer Festival so figured I pull this bottle out of the fridge where it'd been for a month or so...

As another reviewer says, it's almost more like an English Pale Ale than an APA which did not bother me at all. Nice malts for a Mountain timezone zone beer.

A: Pours a hazy copper with nearly an inch of soft foam. Left impressive lacing in the glass, too.

S: Strong citrus (orange, specifically) with a little pine.

T: Less aggressively hoppy than I was expecting -- not really a bad thing. Very balanced, actually, with a candy corn sweetness, especially on the finish.

M: Very full-bodied for an APA -- almost drinks like a milk stout. Could use just a tad more carbonation.

D: Satisfying but not filling with a pleasant, though definitely lasting, aftertaste.

Photo of chickencoop
3.83/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light frothy pour and light amber color. Aroma was more pilsner than pale ale in my opinion. Very light and very drinkable in the AZ sun. Considering it's 5.5%, it's got a very light profile. Looking for a little more malt backbone, but not missing it, good solid brew from NM.

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Listed as an APA, but it seems more like an English pale. The malt backbone is nice and earthy, semi-sweet and not intrusive.

It's a bit hazy, copper in the pour. Head is medium and retains well. Pretty good lacing.

Aroma is the first clue that the malt and earthiness is the focal point. Some 'musty fruit' is all I can explain. Maybe stone fruit or something.

Hops in the flavor are minimal, but provide a nice counterbalance to the malt. Somewhat sharp bite, perhaps metallic.

Very nice drinking. good beer

Photo of CBlack85
3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to knm for this one

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a nice light copper, orangish color with a small off white head that recedes quickly and leaves behind lots of sticky lacing

Fruity aroma with lots of earthy undertones. There is a small malt backbone, not quite enough to balance the beer, but enough to be noticable.

The flavor is much like the aroma with lots of fruity notes along with a small malt presence. There is also a soapy flavor that dominates the aftertaste. Medium/thin body with moderate carbonation.

All in all, this is a decent beer. the only issue I have with it is the soapy flavor.

Photo of soju6
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark golden color with an off-white head that fades to dnice lacing.

S: Aroma is of fresh grain with hints of fruit.

T: starts with a citrus and light grain fklavor with a nice touch of sweetness. Countinues with a hint of malt and some bitterness with a dry finish.

F: Fairly medium body, quite clean & refreshing.

D: Easy drinker, reached for a second one with no hesitation. Worth checking out. Nice for the style.

Photo of jacobseyb
3.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter a rusty orange color with little head though the crown laced some. Some citrus with a grainy presence as well. Taste is rather unremarkable with the citrus and grains present along with some remote pine bitterness. Feels good and smooth along with some oiliness from hops. Overall a drinkable pale ale.

Photo of Spider889
3.93/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First beer I had when I made my trip out to NM earlier this year. A classic pale ale with some West Coast influence.

Nice golden color, very clear and well carbonated.

Smells of crisp, clean hops. not much malt in the nose.
The taste is much the same. Reminds me of the hoppy, light bodied west coast IPA's. Lots of dry piney bitterness.

Easy drinking, this one is very sessionable, even if not particularly unique or captivating. In the heat of the desert, I'd be drinking this frequently.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a flared glass mug.

Thanks to papollo for this bottle!

Shared this bottle with my brother, who seemed to really enjoy it. It pours a mostly clear golden straw (touches of amber here and there, as though Rembrandt painted it near the end of his career, when all of the paint was troweled on) topped by a finger of white foam. The nose is straight pale ale: caramel trunking some branches of floral and citrus hops. The taste has the same overtly simple design, though both the hops and the caramel are enhanced a bit, the former a bit bitterer and the latter a bit sweeter. The body is on the heavier side of light, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta crisp finish. Overall, though I wasn't as impressed with this as my brother was, I still found it rather nice.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.3/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Brought to me in a pseudo-pint glass a mostly clear, dark gold/light copper color.

Nose is caramel malts with a bit of cotton candy sweetness and mild grassy hops. Bit of taffy in here too.

Taste is rather sweet and fruity with a saltwater taffy flavor. Different for a pale ale, for sure. Has a passable amount of grassy hop flavor and bitterness but does not quite come together. Earthy and sweet, my palate goes back and forth on this one - maybe it is the fruitiness, kind of a green grape vinous acidity. It's ok at best, probably wont buy again...seems to be a common theme for SFBC beers.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.24/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A darker yellow color, minimal head, but the lace did stick.

A sweeter pale ale, definitely in check, hopping came off more like a good pilsner. Maybe it was the light roast/malt bill. This was definitely a mild, but appreciable beer. Not much bitterness, a good pale for a hot day. Price was more than you'd think $8.

After having had these a few times, I notice wide variation, even within the same 6 pack of these beers. They're pretty much an English style ipa, but with Cascade hops as well.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark copper in color, dingy white head, spurts of lacing. Not a bad sight.

Smells more malty than my preferred pale, but it's still nice though. A tad biscuity, faintly sweet, but with a hint of hoppiness in the back.

Taste is most of the same; slight bready, sweet and malty, but some nice finishing hop characteristics on the finish. Not fantastic, but its good.

The feel is good and medium. Smooth with a bit of crispness.

This is a solid, drinkable pale. Nothing fantastic, but It's still fairly tasty.

Photo of eclaycamp
3.2/5  rDev -7.8%
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.

Photo of aval89
3.68/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a copper color with a bright white 1.5 finger head.. Typical APA appearance

Smell: picking up caramel, toasted malts, little bready.. Just a bit of citrus notes showcasing the hop presence..

Taste: again more on the malty side.. Lots of caramel sweetness, burnt sugars, bit grainy. Finishes with a citrus hop finish. Bitter but just enough to call it bitter. As I keep sipping I'm picking up a pear flavor.. Quite interesting.

MF is light to medium bodied with good carbonation for the style..

This brew is quite easy to drink and can easily be a gateway into pale ales.
Sessionable as well

Photo of Bizz88
3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- hazy amber with a nice cloud like two finger head. Nice lacing.

S- nice malty fragrance with a citrus hint.

T- a citrus hops with hint of pine. Easy on the palette for the most part.

M- medium bodied with nice carbonation thru and thru.

D- Oh yes! A nice refreshing brew.

Photo of Haybeerman
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear copper-amber color. Poured a 2 finger fluffy white head with fair retention to a thick skim. Lightly decanted. Laced in patches.

S: Some floral citrusy hops. A little sweet malt.

T: Sweet malt; but very muted. Some resiny floral hops make a brief appearance. A musty finish into a light bitter.

M: Medium to light body. Moderate carbonation. Smooth and little resiny coating. Mild bitter finish.

D: A pale ale more like what's expected in an English Ale. Nothing wrong with the beer.

Photo of climax
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pale ale poured a pale orange with good clarity and a good sized head that faded to a sink hole depression in the middle. Retention was very nice.

There was a nice spiciness in the nose to compliment a typical yet good malt/hop balance. Gingerbread, and some lemon zest accompanied a citrus hop profile and a toasty/biscuit malt bakcbone. Apricot and caramel were prominent.

The flavor was a bit dissapointing, considering a good start. The hop profile was relatively weak, the the nice flavors picked up in the nose were dulled down in the mouth. The malt pretty much took over, and didn't have enough spunk to make me forget about what it lacked.

The body was on the medium side. The feel was cottony and frothy, the carbonation left a good lingering sharpness.

Refreshing on this hot spring Oklahoma evening, but lacking in the flavor department. This is an acceptable brew.

Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a thick, sturdy head that leaves a prodigious amount of lacing swirling the pint glass

Smell: Stone fruit aroma with an underlying toffee character

Taste: Opens with a finely balanced toffee and stone fruit flavor that bends toward the sweeter side; by mid-palate, a metallic element arrives as well; after the swallow, the flavors blend nicely, but the hop character is somewhat restrained

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not among the great pale ales, this is a rather enjoyable mainstream example of the style; easy to drink and to like

Pale Ale from Santa Fe Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 202 ratings.