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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

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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 prsguitarsr4me

New York

4.6/5  rDev +31.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-01-2009 01:27:28 | More by prsguitarsr4me
Photo of smanders


3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-06-2009 20:22:18 | More by smanders
Photo of Dibujob


3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2009 00:18:58 | More by Dibujob
Photo of cdkrenz


3.75/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2009 00:59:36 | More by cdkrenz
Photo of WJVII


3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2009 23:26:57 | More by WJVII
Photo of bonkers

New Jersey

3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as part of a BOTMC. It pours a pale gold with a thick, long lasting white head. The aroma is malt dominant with a hint of citrus. The flavor is malt dominant also, a bit bready. As it warms a nice piney flavor can be detected. The beer has average carbonation, is medium to light bodied. The beer is easy drinking and a solid apa.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2009 01:56:37 | More by bonkers
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Santa Fe- Pale Ale

A- Good deep golden orange/ brown with a thick frothy heavy lacing head.
S- Light citrusy hops and a creamy caramel and bready maltiness.
T- Sweet malty crusty bread and caramel malt with a light touch of citrus (orange, lemon, grapefruit,) hops. Hops are light and the malt is dominant.
M- Thick malt throughout with a mildly crisp hop touch.

Overall- An easy drinker but not overwhelming.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2009 20:45:59 | More by NJpadreFan
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 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
Photo of HoustonTX


3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A bit lighter than a normal amber pale ale, a bit more yellowish in tint. Extremely frothy large white head, lots of lacing.

Smells good, quite grassy and a touch of earthiness.

This beer has a really nice solid earthy backbone, semi-dry, chalky and dusty, like the New Mexico deserts. Subtle balancing notes of a nice mix of florals. Black pepper, and spicy grass. Hops are subtle, yet nice and juicy, like sweet oranges. Finishes decently with a semi-metallic note noted.

A good basic earthy Pale Ale. Nice and approachable, and still quite a bit to offer.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2009 23:07:31 | More by HoustonTX
Photo of wagenvolks


3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Pretty standard "Pale Ale" look, with a well-retained veil of eggshell foam atop a burnt copper body. A fair amount of haze from the yeast keeps this beer from a truly "pale" look, and the carbonation is lackluster. Aroma is subtle, but appealing, with layers of pale & biscuit malt balanced by a soft floral hoppiness. Some tropical fruit notes (banana, mango, citrus, pear) from the yeast chime in as well.

Pretty good flavor to this beer, as it starts out with biscuity, nutty malts that give way to yeasty tropical fruits (peach, pineapple, citrus, mango) and a crisp hop bite on the finish. Body is on the thicker side of medium, and the increased viscosity (plus the low carbonation level) makes it feel a bit like watered-down syrup. Still, it's a refreshing beer that suits the style well. I'd probably have this again if I were in a pinch for a Pale ale, but better, more readily-available choices might get my dollar first.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2009 03:32:01 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of Fnord


3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Cloudy orange-yellow with a large amount of effervescence, and the large body of foam to match. Decent retention.

Smell - Mostly smells like lemon. Some floral hops, a little grapefruit.

Taste - Sweeter than I expected. The hops try to make themselves heard at the start, but are quickly drowned out by the caramel. The hops last into the finish, though, providing a refreshing aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, high carbonation. The large, frothy head seems to add to the body.

Drinkability - Pretty darn sessionable.

Notes - This wasn't what I was expecting, but that may be a good thing. It's nice to be surprised every once in a while. I don't remember having an APA this sweet before. Still, it's a good beer. I'm normally not a fan of highly carbonated beers, but it seems to work OK in this one.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2009 03:43:39 | More by Fnord
Photo of Proteus93


3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pale amber, a slight bit of chill haze. Head is slightly fizzly, though retention is alright.

S + T: Hops are almost an after-thought to a grainy maltiness. That is the verdict on both the scent and the flavour. Touches of butterscotch. Slightly grassy, Almost seems like there are some strange adjuncts going on, but that's a bit strange.

M + D: Body is just slightly creamy, giving it a bit of a medium body, plus. It's a nice feeling body, but it seems a little odd for the style. I like that aspect of it, so it's a plus... goes down fairly easily. I'd be willing to revisit it, especially since this one seemed to be perhaps a little bit oxidized.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2009 01:39:07 | More by Proteus93
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 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 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 Bagman007


3.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a copper color with an orange tint. Just a little bit of head.

S- Moderate scent of sweet hops with just a slight hint of caramel.

T- Not as flavorful or hoppy as one would think after smelling the beer. Somewhat bland, but still a little hoppy.

M- The blandness comes out in the feel as the hoppiness is not very pronounced.

D- Fairly smooth, fairly drinkable.

Overall I had fairly high hopes for this beer after smelling it, but it disappointed me a little bit. It is still a fairly solid beer, but it ended up being more bland than I feel it should have been. Very drinkable and a decent effort from Santa Fe Brewing Company.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2009 05:35:02 | More by Bagman007
Photo of skeetermoses


3.4/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Overall this one was a pretty good beer, It was pretty satisfying overall, I was pretty impressed with this beer, I have never had anything from this brewer over all, but I really was impressed with how well I liked the pale ale, I think I may try the other beers, This beer would go great with other foods.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2008 04:24:55 | More by skeetermoses
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 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 thekevlarkid


3.78/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the one this brewery is most famous for. The liquid was a copper color with some orange highlights when held to light and a khaki colored head. Lots of visible carbonation rising in it. The aroma was herbal and hoppy with hints of mint and sweetness. The flavors were at first sweet, caramel malt and some fruit followed by some green hops and citrus hops. Very little bitterness for a Pale Ale. The mouthfeel was average, slightly creamy and the carbonation on par with a clean finish. Sessionable to be certain but by no means remarkable.

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2008 03:10:59 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of orcasteve

North Carolina

3.45/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

not a bad pale ale, but not much more than avrage, this is a very dry pale who's malt fights aganst its hops, as far as the malt it is very week almost watery, the hops finish to bitter if that is posable. ther is just somthing that i dont like in the bitter finish, ther are a lot of outher apa's that are much better and this one is middle of the road, but this still blows crap beer out of the water

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2008 13:08:39 | More by orcasteve
Photo of rhoadsrage


4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a very hazy dark copper brown body with an orange glow of light at the base of the glass. There is a light tan head that is lumpy with some brown spots, possibly trub, floating on top. There is a strong carbonation of bubbles supporting it.

S- The green grassy smell of herbal hops is mixed in with a lightly toasted malt aroma that has a slight sweetness. There is a soft mint quality to the hops which is nice.

T- The sweetness of caramel has hints of biscuit malt in the background. There is a green grassy hop finish with some orange hard candy notes to it. Not much bitterness at all.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slightly creamy texture and a clean finish.

D- The malt flavors are stronger than the hops flavors but they both have good flavor. This beer has some nice subtle twist to the hops but they are still pretty muted.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2008 21:21:39 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of RblWthACoz


3.63/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clouded amber brown with a crème head. Nose is sticky sweet and floral hops. Flavor is smooth and sweet. A bit too sweet really as it crosses into territory that seems not pale ale-ish. A bit salty. A touch of fruit. Kind of a mish mash and it doesn't really seem to carry balance. Seems like it was thrown together. Feel is okay. Liquid is fine and the carbonation is okay. Easily drinkable, but nothing of note really. Put this in a cask and have someone tap it at the right time and it would be interesting I bet.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2008 17:11:23 | More by RblWthACoz
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
Pale Ale from Santa Fe Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 170 ratings.