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Pale Ale - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pale AlePale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

192 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 192
Reviews: 123
rAvg: 3.48
pDev: 12.36%
Wants: 1
Gots: 5 | 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: 192 | Reviews: 123 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mebuzzard
3.78/5  rDev +8.6%
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

Mebuzzard, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of CBlack85
3.65/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

CBlack85, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of soju6
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

soju6, Dec 10, 2010
Photo of jacobseyb
3.73/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

jacobseyb, Oct 11, 2010
Photo of Spider889
3.93/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

Spider889, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
3.63/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

TMoney2591, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of twiggamortis420
3.3/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

twiggamortis420, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.24/5  rDev -6.9%
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.

Beerandraiderfan, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of EgadBananas
3.28/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

EgadBananas, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of eclaycamp
3.2/5  rDev -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.

eclaycamp, Jun 26, 2010
Photo of aval89
3.68/5  rDev +5.7%
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

aval89, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of Bizz88
3.8/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

Bizz88, May 19, 2010
Photo of Haybeerman
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

Haybeerman, May 15, 2010
Photo of climax
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
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.

climax, May 05, 2010
Photo of brentk56
3.7/5  rDev +6.3%
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

brentk56, Oct 30, 2009
Photo of BEERchitect
3.25/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A simple Pale Ale that balances well the elements of hops, esters, and soft caramel flavors.

The beer pours with a bright copper-golden color, mild haze (typical of dry-hopping) and soft carbonation that forms a medium but firm head that remains the session while leaving light hints of lacing behind.

Sweet aromas of caramel are backed by more fruity esters that normally found in an American Pale. Citrus and floral hops provide a delicate blend to accompany the esters and caramel. Peaches, appricots, and apples give a hint to the fruits while honeysuckle and nectar give light to the floral character.

The estery and caramel mix keeps the beer a bit sweeter and lingering a bit longer than drier, crisper versions. A mild slickness forms making me think buttery compounds. Hop bitterness provides a nice balanced compliment to the sweeter notes. Otherwise, the beer is medium weighted and moderately full.

As the beer warms, I notice more and more apple flavor comming from the esters and yeast. Though a nice Pale, I do prefer them drier and crisper.

Thanks again BlueOkie!

BEERchitect, Oct 28, 2009
Photo of Spineypanda
3.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

To me this is a strange pale ale. It has all the characteristics of maybe Sierra Nevada, but the taste is different.

Has a darker golden color to it, a little cloudy. A head that dissipates quickly but leaves considerable lacing.

Smells of hops and a little sweetness, but not a whole lot.
Tastes like I ate a hop! Not as bitter as some of the most hoppy beers, but definitely the taste of what I imagined a hop to taste like. Refreshing but leaves just enough of that taste in my mouth that I would not mind having another.

Spineypanda, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of elniko
3.5/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass. No date markings on bottle.

A: Glowing light amber coloring with with decent head and lacing. Almost a little hazy which I found a little strange for a pale ale.

S: Nose definitely was more along the lines of an EPA, had that musty wet dog characteristic along with some slightly fruity tones.

T & M: A very curious pale ale, the tones that I get from the nose do not really come through in the taste. Taste follows along the line of a mild APA. Hops are definitely apparent along with a sweetness from the malt and an almost musty finish. Medium bodied.

D: An interesting pale ale but one I wasn't really overwhelmed with.

elniko, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of mooseisloose
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Still catching up on BOTMC offerings. Pours to a nice yellowish gold with a big foamy two finger head. Head lingers and laces nicely, good structure. Smell is malty sweet some honey. Taste has good malt backbone, very even bitterness. Good balance. Head still holds up like a champ. Very earthy hoppiness more earthy than fruity although there are hints of citrus, mostly orange tang. Mouthfeel is just right. A very delicious Pale Ale. A good sessioner without a doubt.

mooseisloose, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.7/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A capped 12 ounce bottle poured into my shaker glass. The ale appears a clear copper color with about two fingers of lingering off white foam. No lacing to speak of. Nose and flavor consist of medium toasted grain, earthy citrus hops, caramel malt, lemon peel, some pine. A notch better than medium bodied with ample carbonation. A decent drinker.

ClockworkOrange, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of prsguitarsr4me
4.6/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Man I love this beer -- one of my all time favorite session beers. I've been in Santa Fe all summer drinking this stuff (and some other very good Santa Fe Brewing ales), and I just opened up a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale: I prefer the Santa Fe -- more interesting character and much more flavor. Sierra Nevada is another one of my favorites, but the Santa Fe is awesome! I'm buying a few cases ($20 a case) and driving them back to NY and I can't wait to show more people this beer.

prsguitarsr4me, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of smanders
3.53/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed from the tap at The Shed in Santa Fe.

Appearance - golden orange with a thin head. Not much lacing.

Smell - citrus hops and sweet honey.

Taste - citrus (lemons), pine (a little bit) and a touch of sweet malt.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied.

Drinkability - Although not as much bite as some APAs, this beer is very palatable. I'd compare it to a Fat Tire mixed with a SN Torpedo. Goes well with food or on it's own. Too bad we can't get it in the East.

smanders, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of Dibujob
3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Hazy copper with a thick, white head of foam.

S-very weak smell, I could barely detect any aroma at all.

T-Despite the complete lack of aroma, the taste was surprisingly delicious. Citrus hoppy notes nicely balance the hops. Definitely surpassed my expectations.

M-Pretty heavily carbed, but not unpleasant

D-Not too shabby. I could go through a few of these without complaint.

All in all I would buy this again.

Dibujob, Jun 26, 2009
Photo of cdkrenz
3.75/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My thanks to WJVII. I appreciate the brew my friend.

A - Amber-hazy body with an inch and a half of thick foamy head. Nice head retention.

S - Great sweet hoppy aroma. No bitter scent here. The thoughts of apricots and honey come to mind.

T - Mild hops here. There's a firm flavor consisting of oranges and plums. There is a hinting at bitterness near the end but nothing substantial.

M - Smooth throughout with slight scattered texture.

~ This is a tasty brew. It is mild for a pale ale but for some reason I can see this being a winner.

cdkrenz, Jun 17, 2009
Photo of WJVII
3.6/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From BOM May shipment- This brew poured into a pint glass has an orange color with a huge tan head that left sticky lacing goodness all down the glass leaving a 1/4 thick cap (bigger than some aggressive poured heads on some beers). The aroma is of sweet hops, orange peels, and some faint floral spices. The taste is quite mild. It has some of the orange flavor that the noise senses. The hop taste is more sweet than bitter. Mild bitter aftertaste, but not what I want in a pale ale. OK brew, but not much to write home about.

WJVII, May 27, 2009
Pale Ale from Santa Fe Brewing Company
79 out of 100 based on 192 ratings.