Golden State Ale - Uncommon Brewers

Not Rated.
Golden State AleGolden State Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

90 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 90
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 3.6
pDev: 13.89%
Wants: 6
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Uncommon Brewers visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Pale Ale |  6.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: illidurit on 07-26-2008

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (12) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 90 | Reviews: 51
Reviews by FickleBeast:
Photo of FickleBeast
4.04/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange color with a giant billowing foamy head. Aroma is sweet, orange-like citrus.

First sip is sweet at first, with a surprisingly dry, tart finish. I get a lot of sweet citrus flavor, with a touch of phenolic yeast. Very refreshing.

All in all, a pretty solid beer that I'm enjoying. Maybe a tad simple, but I'd prefer it this way instead of being overwhelmed with spicy yeast and phenolic flavors.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
3.67/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16oz can with no freshness date. Not sure why this beer was first categorized as an APA ... Belgian yeast used so I have moved it to Belgian Pale Ale for now.

A: Quick to foam up, not a gusher though. Hazed but bubbly golden orange color.

S: I can smell the oddness of the toasted poppy seeds, a good oddness. Fruity and a bit phenolic as well.

T&M: Lots of crispness from this can, very smooth as well with a moderate sized body. Ripe fruit, hint of bubble gum and taffy, herbal tone with a hint of poppy. Solid malt foundation here with some breadiness, almost a cracker like graininess as well. Linger of ripe fruit and spice in the drying finish.

O: Complex, interesting ... easy words to use as that is what it is. the real question that matters. Is it good? Sure ... in a very complex interesting way. ;-) The brewers reached out on this one and it worked.

Photo of emsroth
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can. I love these cans.

App: Hazy golden with a light, frothy head. A touch of lace.

Smell: The wonderful smells of a belgian ale: white grape skin, apple, and pear. The hops are fruity and resinous with a touch of woodland forest in both taste and aroma.

Taste: Light pilsener malt with a honey sweetness. Woodland, herbal, floral, fruity, resinous hops in the middle. I am very impressed with the hop flavors in this beer. They are a blend of all the hop flavors (minus citrus) combined. Ends dry and sweet with some husk, chalky yeast, and higher alcohols. No notice of the poppy, but still delicious.

A medium-high level of tight, spritzy belgian-style carbonation. The can really holds it in. Medium body. Ends rather dry asking for more.

Photo of zaphodchak
3.78/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Uncontrollable soapy 5-finger white head, clear golden body. Laces a bit, retains well.

Nose is somewhat vinous, but has an unfortunate metallic tang that may well be a product of canning. Some faintly funky Belgian yeast.

Wow, the poppy is so present here. It sort of hits at the front with a 'thud', but balances out into something earthy. The lingering aftertaste is quite faint, but very pleasant poppy sweetness. Sweetness is of course not at all overbearing. Some crisp tart character (unfortunately metallic), and very faint spice alongside the poppy, but ultimately, it's another out-of-left-field hit for Uncommon. A bit of tart apple as well. The poppy taste fades as you continue to sip.

Mouthfeel is unfortunately foamy, possibly undercuts the poppy. But there's no such thing as can-conditioned beer, is there?

Overall another really neat beer. Unless you don't like poppy. Then avoid. Might benefit from aging, but not in a can.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Courtesy of EBF 2012. 16oz. can into a Southampton oversize snifter.

Coarse thin head with poor retention. Beer is clear bronze. Spotty lace, decent stick. Average.

Nose is caramel, spice, brown sugar, and that Belgian yeast soapiness. Nice but pretty par for the style.

Belgian spices invade the mouth. Very prominent. Sweet, herbal, and spicy. Fruity too. Finishes yeasty. Clean aftertaste. Pretty good.

Spicy in the mouth. Smooth going down. Clean finish, little aftertaste. Solid. Brings out the flavors nicely.

Solid offering for the style. Pretty clean, crisp, and drinkable. Worth visiting if you're into Belgians.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.32/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

The Belgian Pale Ale from Uncommon Brewers is decent. I am not a huge Belgian guy...but this is good. The beer pours a hazy yellow with thick white head that is leaving a nice lacing. The scent is acidic with that typical Belgian twang. The taste is sharp and definitely has Belgian yeast and sweet malt. The mouthfeel is lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall it is decent.

Photo of tempest
3.06/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a can at Abe's Cold Beer for $2.75 and the sticker on the bottom of the can says it was brewed on 3/9/11.

This was a bit of a disappointment, Ballantine's is a better pale ale than this. I might re-categorize it as a blond ale. The aroma has soapy hops and the flavor has an odd licorice note with green apple. The body is smooth and balanced, but there's not much to be positive about. The beer is largely inoffensive, but there's not much to be excited about. It almost comes off like a sweeter white wine.

Photo of Kegatron
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 oz can into a tulip glass.

Pours a crystal clear gold, with 1-2 fingers of thick looking bright-white colored head. This shrinks down to a thin foaminess that skims the surface, maintaining some rich edges, and dotting the sides of the glass with a good bit of spotty lace. The aroma is grassy feeling on the edges, which surround a fairly bold mix of spice and green ripe fruits. Sugary malt provides a sweet cushion underneath, helping prop the other flavors up a bit. Just a touch of light warmth starts to come out as this warms.

The taste has a LOT of spicy and ripe feeling sweetness to the profile, which mixes in with the breadiness of the grains and giving this a strong fruity tartness. This also has a prominent green and grassy bitterness that hangs in the backend of the profile, along with that tartness. There is also a gentle herbal texture to this that maybe appears to be the poppy flavor that is supposed to be present but I am unsure. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and chewier feeling up front, before spreading out into more of a crisp prickly carbonation prickles the mouth. Overall, this has some thickness to it that matches with the heft of the fruit and sweetness here. Alcohol is thankfully well hid.

This certainly wasn’t a bad beer and I found the flavors to be quite interesting at times, it’s just that the overall thickness of the feel and flavors were a far cry from the “crisp and light” descriptor that their website uses to convey what this beer is about. The depth of flavor and heft of the body made this more conducive to sipping than treating this as a refreshing quaff. I’m still glad I gave it try though. It was interesting.

Photo of tone77
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another canned beer courtesy of woodychandler. Poured from a 16 oz. can. Has a cloudy deep golden color, the head is very small. Smell has some malts and hops, a bit of spiceness. Taste is well balanced malt and hop, a bit of a tangy aftertaste. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

Photo of akorsak
3.68/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 16 oz can from The Andersons in Toledo. Poppy seeds and all.

A: The ale is golden, bright in my glass. Crystal clear too, a real beauty. The first pour generated a huge head, over 3 fingers that required decisive action on my part. A few patches of lace were left behind although not as much as I'd expect.

S: The nose is very sweet and yeasty. Pale biscuits, soft hops, flowers and light fruits. Very interesting aromas, far sweeter than I was expecting. And I'm not sure what to expect from the poppy seed addition.

T: Very sweet, spicy and bubbly. Flowers, both spicy and hoppy, come through over the pale biscuity base. A leafy flavor runs through the ale, masked by the sweetness but evident. The poppy flavors, I'm guessing are the grainy finishing aspect. An interesting ale that goes down very easily. Even with the graininess I like it.

M: Despite the ample carbonation, the ale doesn't have much bubblyness to it, rather subdued in that category.

Photo of emerge077
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Can from Maiden Publick House.

Sturdy tallboy can with nice botanical artwork depicting poppies. Bottom rim of can is inkjet dated 05/02/11... 5 months old, boo.

Glowing murky saturated orange, thin skim, chunky arcs of lace.

Smells like peanut butter and sunflower seeds, must be the toasted poppyseed. Unique, but nothing too extraordinary. Poppyseed ale, they nailed it.

Flavors are malt forward, slighty sweet with impressions of sunflower and poppyseed. Clean and lightly toasty, sweet, ale yeast notes. Simple but effective. Medium bodied, clean fruity finish, somewhat dry. It has a unique flavor from the poppyseed, but little in the way of hops or other distinguishing characteristics.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.92/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a hazy caramel amber with a one finger white head that dissipates to a film and thick ring around the glass. Aroma of caramel malt, Belgian yeast that is reminiscent of saison yeast, light fruit. Flavor follows with sweet caramel malt, light apple and stone fruit, nice Belgian yeast, a hint of Belgian spicing, slightly vinous. Light bodied, but pleasant mouth feel from active carbonation. A pleasant, somewhat sweet take on a Belgian pale. The poppy seed component is not obvious, but may add to the slightly floral fruit flavors. I enjoyed this as interesting change of pace.

Photo of blackie
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

single from WF Fairfax

a: served in a wide piraat chalice, golden state is a perfectly clear golden hay in color, topped with a thin white head and low retention

s: surprisingly nice nose - a full serving of pale malts brings a moderate sweetness level, mild banana esters and hints of clove, bubblegum, poppy seeds not really distinguishable, a pleasant mixing of clean malt character and Belgian yeast aromatics, grassy hops with touches of citrus

m: carbonation just over moderate, somewhat lively, with a body raging light but not thin

t: slightly sweet pale malts on the palate, estery banana and delicate yeast spice, some earthy notes suggest the toasted poppy seed - but again it's not really something I can pick out, starts to dry out about halfway through, towards mild grassy hop flavors with some lemon pith, lightly bitter with a clean finish and lingering notes of pale grain, I like the transition from start to finish but it seems to happen rather abruptly - not really a balance thing, hard to explain

o: for some reason had a little prejudice going in to this one, but it was surprisingly good, not gonna judge it by strict belgian golden standards as I don't think it was intended to be - a tasty, drinkable beer with some interesting things going on

Photo of metter98
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is relatively clear yellow in color and has a very high amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half white head that took a long time to start dying down and left lots of bubbles on the sides of the glass.
S: It smells a little like a Riesling wine and has aromas of white grapes as well as hints of yeast. Hints of the poppy seeds become noticeable as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and also has a light amount of sweetness, although this isn't cloying due to its bubbly nature. No flavors of spices are apparent. Flavors of green apples begin appearing after the beer warms up.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has an extremely high amount of carbonation.
O: Like its name, this beer is uncommon but I found its uniqueness to be in its simarities to a Riesling wine in the smell and taste and a champagne from its highly carbonated nature.

Photo of bigmike59
4.35/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500 ml can. Bought at wine works in Marlton, New Jersey. Crisp clean and well balanced. Nice replication of a trappist style. Slight poppy seed nose and taste. Straw color with a creamy head. Definitely would recommend. Look forward to other offerings.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Man do I hate the carbonation on this I get over two inches of rocky head that overflows the glass. Color is a bright yellow with a touch of orange.

S - Smells of a nice Belgium golden ale. Fruity yeasts, mild hops, and a touch of lemon. Not getting much poppy seed but it must be in there.

T - At first I really didn't like this. Cold the Poppy seeds gave it a bitter abrasive kind of medicinal taste but as it warmed it became a great beer with fruity yeasts, mild lemon and a good hoppy finish. Not bad.

M - Medium bodied yet the ABV is well concealed.

Overall I picked this one up at the House of 1,000 beers for a dollar and got well over the value of the beer. Not something I would pick up again but worth a try.

Photo of dbrauneis
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy medium golden yellow in color with moderate amounts of visible carbonation near the surface of the beer. The beer has a half finger tall light beige head that quickly reduces to a medium sized patch of extremely thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of pale malts, honey, Belgian yeast, and just a little hint of light fruits.

T: The flavor starts out with a pale malt body that includes some light honey sweetness. Additionally there are notes of light fruits, spices, pepper, and Belgian yeast.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth and kind of leaves a coating in your mouth.

O: This beer is pretty easy to drink though is a little too strong to be sessionable. An enjoyable beer and I love the fact that it comes in a can.

Photo of jlindros
3.55/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tall boy can, cause everybody likes it in the can.

Pours a ridiculous fizzy head of more than 3/4 of the glass, that fades at a med pace with a bit of soapy lacing, the beer is a hazy honey golden orange color.

Nose has light golden malts, light Belgian golden yeast as well as the malts, touch of grainy bready malts, hint of a light flowery like spice that I can only attribute to the poppy seeds or some interesting hops, and some light spices that bring an earthy saison like aroma, and hint of citrus.

Taste is pretty sweet, creamy sweet malts with a bready grainy malt taste, then some Belgian golden malt flavors and light Belgian yeast fruits (apple, pear, etc). Then an interesting spice kick, not only are there saison like spices, but a floral herbal spice, and a little bit of a heat like hot spicy spice taste, and a light tannic earthy seed like taste. Hints of zest and apricot like fruit. Finishes a bit drier with a faded spiced mouth taste late, more light saison spices and tannic seed like flavors, earthy, and more Belgian fruit as well.

Mouth is med bodied, lots of carbonation.

Overall not bad, nothing special, interesting spices and fruits though, and Belgian malts and fruits, drinkable, but kinda weird.

Photo of woodychandler
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I CANnot believe that a) these guys have expanded their CAN inventory and b) that they are now available here in PA! I CAN remember getting some of their Siamese Twin Ale a couple of years ago in SF and liking it, but I never envisioned them coming to me. Let The CANQuest (TM) move forward!

From the CAN: "Two signatures of our Golden State are the mountain quail and the poppy flower. We haven't figured out how to make beer with quail, so we settled upon the poppy. How better to enhance the flavor of a traditional Golden Ale than to include the tanginess of toasted poppy seeds? Our Golden State Ale blends the sweet bite of toasted poppy with the aromatics of a Belgian yeast. It's pale and crisp, but carries enough body for the self-respecting beer drinker to think, "This is an uncommon ale."; "Ale brewed with Poppy seeds"; " Our beers are unfiltered, unpasteurized and undoubtedly uncommon. They're designed to grow over time as they age. Store in a cool place and witness the change."; "Uncommon Brewers - In 2002 we set out to discover the forgotten potential of an ancient beverage all too often taken for granted. Uncommon Brewers was born out of that exploration. Our products are sourced whenever possible from local farms and growers. Some are even harvested by hand from the hills of Northern California."

I made sure to agitate the CAN before undertaking the Crack & Glug, given their pride in a lack of filtration and the use of Belgian yeast. As a result, I got a finger of off-white head that disappeared pretty quickly. Color was a very hazy orangish-yellow. Nose had a musty banana odor, no doubt from the yeast. Mouthfeel was medium with a musty spiciness on the tongue that I might have attributed to black pepper as the result of the yeast, but I will give to the poppy seeds. Finish was semi-sweet with faint banana esters overlain by the poppy seed spiciness. No way was this an APA! Possibly a Belgian Pale Ale, in which case a change needs to be submitted. I would put some, but not a whole lot, into my cooler. It is one of those beers that a little will go a long way.

Photo of Rifugium
3.38/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Pinocchio's, Media, PA

Interesting. A golden ale brewed with toasted poppy seeds. Served in a nondescript pint glass, a clear golden yellow with a foamy white head that dissipated pretty much completely after a minute or so. Pale malts on the nose, light hops, bready, slightly fruity, with a distinctness that I suppose must be caused by the poppies. That distinctness carried over into the taste; you could definitely notice the poppy presence, and it was strange and interestingly good. Otherwise, bready, pithy, pale malts, light, crisp hops, for a herbal balance. A bit metallic in the aftertaste. Light body, a bit unusual, but still pretty drinkable.

Photo of LambicPentameter
3.71/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed out of a tallboy marked with a fading bottling date. I could make out the month and year--08/12, so almost a full year on this bad boy. Maybe someday I'll get to try it fresh.

Appearance - Healthy pour yields a reluctant finger-and-a-half head that peaks for a moment before shrinking away to a rim of delicate foam and an ethereal lacing of suds across the top of the liquid. Lacing is like the head, apparent, but then it slinks away. Body is a deep golden orange with a cloudy haze and a twinge of reddish coloring.

Smell - Fruity phenols, reminiscent of but different than banana--soft and creamy. Coriander and gentle spice, with a tiny bit of bready yeast.

Taste - Now the spice takes a more prominant role, with a wheaty roundness and again elements of nectarine and floral overtones.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied and creamy, with a silky, lingering finish. Light carbonation that fades quickly.

Overall, a quite taste beer. Not as funky as some others I've had in the style, but definitely carries the distinctive Belgian aromatics and overtones of flavor. Would definitely buy again if it was readily available.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.03/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

Any beer named for a Bush album is alright in my book. ... This stuff pours a clear brass topped by a finger of lightly dirty white foam. The nose comprises poppy seed bagels, light banana peel, and a kiss of mild, dry toffee. The taste holds notes of lemon rind, banana peel, light caramel, poppy seeds, toasted rye bread, and a vague sense of what may or may not be clove. The body is a light medium, with a moderate carbonation and a decidedly dry finish. Overall, an alright brew, but I guess I'm just not a fan of the poppy-heavy recipe.

Photo of smcolw
3.32/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The liquid is golden color. Crystal clear. Thin layer of bubbles represent the head, disappointing. No lace.

Interesting combination of a mild sourness and a peppery hop nose. Not much yeast aroma typical of this style.

The flavor more closely follows the Belgian style with a bit of a yeast bite. The initial taste is lightly grainy. The swallow is far more sour than bitter. High level of carbonation; the body is thin.

Photo of flagmantho
3.76/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 16oz tall can into a pint glass.

Appearance: murky golden hue with a strong effervescence and a thin finger of creamy ivory foam. Not too bad.

Smell: lightly funky farmhouse aroma on top of rich, sweet malt. The hop component is green and noble in character. I like it!

Taste: like the aroma -- a bit of funk, a bit of green-tasting hops, and a bit of malt. Well-enough balanced; it's good, but lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. It feels young, perhaps?

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good carbonation and a satisfying creaminess. Great!

Overall: tasty, drinkable and satisfying. I still feel like it's missing something, but for the most part this is definitely a beer worth trying.

Photo of Wildman
3.58/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a cloudy yellow color and formed a foamy snow white head that left latticed lace as it subsided. A heavy amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of poppy seeds, citrus elements like lemon and orange and a hint of pepper. The flavor was of wheat, grains, citrus and hint of anise. The body was fairly light and the finish rather sprite.

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Golden State Ale from Uncommon Brewers
82 out of 100 based on 90 ratings.