Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Invasion Pale Ale | Cigar City Brewing

very good
163 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:
Invasion Pale AleInvasion Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Cigar City Brewing
Florida, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Rifugium on 12-27-2012

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 163 | Ratings: 1,415
Photo of 3sheets2wind
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Solid pale session ale. Beautiful gold pour from can into snifter. Lightly hazy with a thick white head. Smells of pineapple, lemon and mown grass. Crisp hop flavor and light malt. Dry, refreshing. No off flavors. Great example of style. High recommendation. Thanks to miamichael2 for the trade.

 295 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from the can into a snifter glass.

Slightly dull and murky brown, but a somewhat glowing lemon yellow body. Thick and creamy two finger white head that slowlt settles to a small collar.

Great hop aromatics that vary. First is a blast of dank and weedy smoke then turning to tropical warmth and aromatics. Nice pineapple and grapefruit action, large juicy and big. Clean.

Palate matches nicely as well. Mouthfeel is a little chalkybut emphasizes the dry earth qualities a little. Great pineapple and tropical warmth on the palate. Large smokey aftertaste and drying hop burn qualities

Great solid hop forward pale ale from these guys.

 644 characters

Photo of bsp77
4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving glass: Poured from can into pseudo-pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy honey-gold with moderate head and light lacing.

Smell: Strong citrusy aroma that lingers well. Mostly tart grapefruit.

Taste: Very hoppy with mostly grapefruit driving the taste. Some tropical and spicy notes as well. The malts are mostly kept in the background. Slightly bitter finish, with more of a lingering hop taste rather than lingering bitterness.

Feel: Light to medium body that is crisp, very dry and borderline tart. Carbonation is moderate.

Overall: Excellent Pale Ale that is very hoppy and flavorful. I may even like this better than Jai Alai. Very impressed.

 650 characters

Photo of stephens101
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A fluffy tan head rests atop this pale orange brew.

Subtle citrus hops to the nose. A bit of caramel and grass in the background.

Bright and citrusy on the tongue with bold grapefruit notes, lemon, grain, faint caramel and distant spice.

Fairly light in body with nice carbonation.

Invasion proves APA's can still be flavorful.

 333 characters

Photo of fmccormi
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straight pour from a 12oz can to a can-glass. Canning date of March 6, 2014 printed in black ink on the underside of the can (“CANNED 3/6/14”), making this can 11 days old at the time of consumption. Picked it up in the cooler and have kept it refrigerated since.

Appearance (4.5): The pour yields two full fingers of fluffy, cream-white head that caps a honey-amber body that’s lightly hazy. Retention is average at first, with the head dying down at a moderate pace, but turns out to be excellent later on, leaving a few splotches and clumps of webby lace here and there above a nearly unbroken wall of collared foam on the far side of the glass and leggy collars elsewhere.

Smell (4.0): This starts off with a beauuutiful sweet tangerine juice aroma, underpinned by some light caramel, honeyed biscuits, and some floral hops. Secondary hop characteristics include some papaya and a little mango. Smells really great for the style.

Taste (4.0): Following the aroma in some ways but not all, it’s hop-forward, with an easy, moderately bitter front and a smooth, lightly sweet, bready malt body behind it. Unlike the nose, the hops on the palate are floral first and citric second, with a soft, blossomy kind of floral tone followed by a quick shot of grapefruit peel bitterness. The malt holds up the hops, not allowing them to completely blast the palate, but it remains light and bready, in a dry and slightly biscuity way. It finishes with a really nice, light, floral bitterness. Neutral yeast and completely absent alcohol allow the beer to stay clean, crisp, and flavorful.

Mouthfeel (4.0): The body is just a bit on the light side of medium-weight, very pleasingly dry (quenching, not parching), and evenly carbonated with a smooth, evenly-distributed tingle all over before foaming moderately and washing out. It finishes easily and invites more and more from the glass.

Overall (4.0): Invasion is, in the end, a really nice, approachable, but still rich in character American Pale. Considering it comes around at about $9/sixer and is relatively easy to find (in Florida), this is a very solid buy if you can find it fresh. Definitely worth seeking out, especially if you want a legit session brew with a good hop character and an actual malt base that still doesn’t distract from the big picture. Excellent stuff.

 2,344 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A 12 fl oz aluminum can with fun label art was generously given to me as an extra by Hopzilla in a trade. Canned 02/12/14. Reviewed as a pale ale for obvious reasons. Reviewed live. Expectations are very high given the brewery not only for their high reputation but because the only (non-collaboration) beer I've tried from them - Marshal Zhukov - was fantastic.

Served cold, at fridge temp. Side-poured gently per the label's instructions.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a 2 finger wide head of white colour. Decent thickness and creaminess. Nice frothiness. Head retention is good - about 6-7 minutes. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a transparent translucent pale copper of average vibrance and excellent clarity. It's clean looking; no floating yeast particles, hop sediment or anything else problematic is visible. Appears well-carbonated.

It's a good looking pale ale, sure, but it doesn't stand out amidst other beers in the style. I'm looking forward to trying it, but it's not a unique or special appearance for a pale. That said, there are no obvious flaws.

Sm: I expected just a pale malt body, but I'm finding faint hints of bready malts and caramalts as well. Hopwise, it's got a pronounced tropical fruit character alongside the more standard floral hop profile. Mango, papaya, guava, watermelon. Thankfully, there isn't any boozy pineapple (a la The Bruery). I would like more of a citrusy, nectary, oily, or dank hop profile, but I can respect where this is going, and it's got a definite focus. The sweetness/bitterness balance seems apt and the malts seem to suit the hops well. I'm looking forward to the first sip.

A pleasant, clean, and enjoyable aroma of above average strength.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes are detectable.

T: Wow, that's refreshing. It's loaded with hop flavours - mango, watermelon, papaya, melon, fruity esters, floral character, and hints of oily character. The fruity hop notes in particular are great, and reveal a depth of flavour usually unseen in pale ales. The malty core complements the hop notes well - mostly by staying out of the way. Contrary to what I found on the aroma, the flavour profile features just plain ole pale malts, and they don't call attention to themselves, instead letting the hops take the limelight.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off flavours are detectable.

Average duration and intensity of flavour.

I'm really liking this even though the hop profile isn't what usually appeals to my personal tastes. Very refreshing and enjoyable stuff. It's reasonably complex and subtle for a pale ale, with the hop character lending it some nuance. I wouldn't say it's intricate, nor is it quite gestalt per se, but it's a really lovable pale ale. What really works here - and what I think other reviewers may be missing - is how carefully this is balanced and how seemingly effortlessly it goes down. There's no overt hop bitterness and there's not too much malty sweetness; they found the middle ground - something so few breweries seem able to do.

And this isn't following the West coast way of doing things; the emphasis is on tropical fruits, not on overwhelming biting grapefruit.

Mf: Smooth, wet, refreshing, smacky, crisp, and clean. A touch oily - I could go for more. A biteen overcarbonated. Medium-bodied, with light weight on the palate. Overall, this texture complements the taste very well. Great presence on the palate. Good execution across the board.

Not boozy, hot, gushed, astringent, harsh, or chewy.

Dr: Extraordinarily drinkable - even for a pale ale. I'm inhaling this can and already want another. Definitely up there with some of the best pale ales I've had. A great extra from Hopzilla. Cigar City continues to impress me. Can all their offerings be this good?

High B

 3,851 characters

Photo of Shaw
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Canned less than a month ago.

I've been hearing raves about this beer from other beer geeks so I'm excited to try it.

Pours a light amber/orange in color with a frothy white head that quickly reduces to a thin layer in my glass.

Big citrus and tropical fruit hop aromas.

Citrus aromas carry over to similar hop flavors that mix with a metallic sharpness. Quite bitter. Bready flavors too.

Nice body.

Overall a nice pale ale. I feel I don't like it as much as others. But this is a nice hop bomb with a bit less alcohol than an IPA.

 544 characters

Photo of T-34-85
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a can to a tulip glass with a "canned on" date of 1-27-2014.

This is a really solid pale ale. It is not overly aromatic, but does have a subtle hop aroma. The beer has a great flavor with a mild to moderate level of bitterness, and a balance level of malt sweetness. The mouthfeel is pleasant, with a good level of carbonation. The beer also has a nice appearance that is slightly cloudy with good color and head level.

 432 characters

Photo of Kendo
4.16/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from the can into a pint glass. Body is mildly hazy, dark golden in color with a half-finger whitish head.

S: Nice citrus - grapefruit especially - over sweetish malt. Good strong citrusy hop nose.

T: Grapefruity hops. Modest crackery malt foundation. Generic fruitiness. More bitter than expected at first, but after a couple sips it becomes smoother. Still, there is a nice lemony bitterness that lingers on the palate.

M: Medium in heft, decent creamy feel.

O: Good stuff. Enjoyable and an easy drinker.

 521 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The invasion ipa is a good beer. It poured a slightly hazy orangish with white head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent carries pine with citrus notes. The taste is balanced quite nice....just enough bitterness to let you know that you're drinking a pale ale. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall this is a solid beer.

 353 characters

Photo of Brenden
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

One of 6 samples at the tasting room 1/29/14

Invasion is a crystal-clear orange-gold that shines brightly through its transparent body. The off-white head is small but solid, with pretty good retention and some spotty lacing left in its wake.
There's lots to the aroma, and it's a well-hopped pale ale. The bouquet is of tropical fruits and citrus with a bit of zest with something paler and softer, like melon flesh, and a bit of a peppery note. The hops blend nicely with just enough caramel for balance.
There's more citrus, bringing in a little more pith and pine than the aroma, and a little sapling-like raw/earthy something. It's resinous, more bitter than the nose, and a touch sour as well. It is juicy, and some woody/pithy dryness sets into the finish after caramel comes out and the dryness is added to by more dryness in the malts as well.
The feel ultimately ends up being on the dryer side almost all the way through. The body sits at about medium, though the brightness and crispness makes it seem a little lighter. It's pretty smooth, but the slightest hint of astringency pulls through at the back of the throat just toward the end.

 1,151 characters

Photo of gueuzedreg
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz can into a CS snifter.

A- Foggy golden color. This beer poured lots of head with pretty good retention.

S- I get some grapefruit, citrus, mile hops

T- Very tame, and very sessionable. Great APA. Citrus comes out upfront, mild hoppy background.

M- Probably the worst part of this beer. But this is a damn good APA. Pretty light on the M.

O- My second favorite APA behind ZD. Cigar City crushes everything. Well done

 426 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a shaker pint, the beer is a hazy, pale, golden coloring with some suspended proteins and a frothy, chunky, fluffy, off-white head that slowly settles out into a sparse surface coating. Aromas of citrus and melon hops forward, with a pungent bitterness and some subtle spicing. Smells big. Flavors are spice forward, with pepper and pine tassel blending well with the quickly following citrus and tropical fruit notes. Remains light throughout, despite the heavier characteristics, and you start to get a heavier roast quality towards the end of the palate, which highlights the tropical notes. Light, effervesced body keeps the beer moving all over your taste buds. A sweet and spiced blend of pineapple and melon in the aftertaste, with a quick, roasted lingering finish. Easy drinker, and this would be a great hot summer beer.

 853 characters

Photo of GallowsThief
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Out of a can into a pint glass.

A – Slightly cloudy straw yellow with a two finger stark white and very fluffy head.

S – Smells like a strong IPA with a huge amount of grapefruit in the nose. Piney and floral.

T – Light grapefruit but very hoppy taste out of the gate. Smooth hoppy. Lot of fruit flavor here though with orange, lemon and melon. Very light bitterness. Nice finish with a touch of sweetness.

M – Very light with low to medium carbonation. Crisp and refreshing on the palate.

O – Very good beer. Smells much stronger then you would think but the flavors really come through. Not your typical session beer but it would do you for a good night putting these away. I can see fishing in the Keys with a 6 pack of these bad boys.

 758 characters

Photo of Pintofbrown
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Had this offering in a becker pint. Reviewed from notes.

Pours with about a finger of white foam, only a ring left around the cap quickly after the pour. Spotty lacing. The body is a copper color with golden highlights.

The nose is standard IPA fare with some pine, herbal iced tea notes, and a bit earthy.

The flavors are big on that iced tea earthiness, a noticeable wheat malt base that was not as noticeable on the nose. The light bitterness comes across as piney. Again, not much going on here, but solid.

A little watery and a medium-light body. More slick over the tongue.

Just an easy drinking IPA from Cigar City. It does not try to blow your socks off, but it is a good beer I would have again if I was looking to take it easy. Plus, have to love the buccaneer on the can, yar!

 793 characters

Photo of tbeckett
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got a can of this from my Girlfriend's Mom who lives in Florida. Canned November 18, 2013 and consumed on Christmas Day 2013. From notes.

A - Slightly dark golden pour and bright. Good carbonation, two fingers of nice white head on top. Good lace rings and a finger of retention.

S - Rasta man on the can leads to a very weedy hop aroma. Hop pellets, floral, a little vegetal.

T - Weed again, straight hops, hop pellets. Citrus and pineapple come out later. A little biscuity malt.

M - Good carbonation, medium body, nice bitterness.

O/D - Not a bad pale ale. The weed/hop pellet element isn't the best, but it's light and easy drinking with a good enough hop flavour. Went down easy.

 689 characters

Photo of tharper178
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Hazy orange gold. Beautiful lacing. Sticks to the snifter glass nicely

S- Hoppy tropical fruit. More mango and pineapple than your standard citrusy APA.

T- Same as smell. Hoppy tropical fruit. This is exceptional. The flavors all meld perfectly together.

m- smooth, nice caramel malt backbone holding it together.

Another exceptional cigar city beer! I want more. Please continue to ship to florida's east coast!

 422 characters

Photo of mikeg67
3.47/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can. Pours hazy golden with a long lasting, foamy, white head. Aroma is of citrusy hops, orange marmalade and caramel malt. Body is full and tangy. Taste is of citrusy hops, pumpkin seeds, caramel and bready malt, ripe fruit. Finish is long, grapefruity. I expected more of this brew.

 290 characters

Photo of CaptCleveland
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can dated 12/29/2013 poured into pint glass.

Light yellow/orange elixir, thin rim of tight, white bubbles, few wisps of lacing.

Citrus, spice, rind.

Smooth hops predominate. Lemon rind, pine, earth tones.

Crisp, mild, light.

Like with all sessionable hoppy brews, you sacrifice the full flavor of the hops for lower alcohol.

 334 characters

Photo of Benish
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into 7th Sun snifter glass.

Appearance: A very thick white foamy head built up while pouring. Golden hay in color and plenty of lacings around the glass.

Smell: a very nice fruity aroma; very tropical with a bit of nice malt presence.

Taste: Its similar to the aroma, slightly sweet and not overly bitter; its very balance between the sweet and bitterness. Picked up tropical fruits with a bit of tart from the hops.

Mouthfeel: very light bodied and perfectly carbonated. Like drinking a refreshment.

Overall: this is similar to Moon Man Pale ale made by New Glarus. Both Invasion and Moon Man are outstanding pale ales. Received this as an extra and very happy to have another. In fact, just opened the second can. Very sessionable!

 750 characters

Photo of cbutova
4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to my generous cousin sonnysideup for giving me a can of this.

A- Poured from the can to a snifter for the review, also had it on-tap at the brewery while in Tampa but didn't take notes. Slightly hazy dark orange bodied with a one finger, frothy white head. Retention of the foam is decent and it falls to a bubbly ring. Lace is spotty but there are large numbers of those spots.

S- As hoppy as I remember it being from the taps with juicy mango, pineapple and peachy stone fruit hops leading the way. Some citrus and floral hints above a light malty pale ale base.

T- Opens up quite a bit with a light caramel sweetness and doughy cracked grain base providing support for the leading act of hops. Hops are once again on the tropical side and like a juicy nectar. Melon also big for me. Hints of flowers, citrus resin, pine and grapefruit support that.

MF- Light bodied and super crisp with the higher end carbonation that it brings. Just on the creamier side of things when agitated. Light sweetness and bitterness linger on the palate in the finish.

Loads of tropical fruit hints lead the way from the hops here but without the huge bitterness of IPAs. A super hoppy flavored pale ale but one I would gladly buy a six pack of cans from time to time.

 1,265 characters

Photo of TheChef18
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

My favorite pale ale that I have had. Cannot wait until this one is canned. Hops come through great but don't kill it, and malt is nicely balanced. Sometimes prefer drinking this over Jai Alai if I don't want the hop bomb. Don't short yourself and make sure to give this a try if you make it to the brewery.

 307 characters

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a snifter from growler. Clear body, golden in color, thin head, low retention, I'm sure because of the growler. Clear, sticky lacing. Aroma includes citrusy, piney, grapefruity hop punch. Taste follows suit with crisp hops, mild sweetness in the background, very light in body. More like a light, more approachable IPA, but packed with flavor.

 355 characters

Photo of da_beers
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - light copper, finger of head, almost no carbonation coming up.

S - sweet malts, not alot of hops here. Not overly appealing on the nose to be honest, a little bland.

T - nice citrus and tropical notes here. Nice amount of hops without beig out of balance. Some earthy/piney notes too that make it very nice.

M - a light body ( somewhat typical pale ale) with low carbonation across palate. Sits nicely and finishes crisp.

O - good beer, had it in a flight sample at the tasting room. Any go wrong with anything really.

 531 characters

Photo of babaracas
4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear light amber, two fingers thick soapy white head, settles to a thin but dense cap, a few rings of lace down the glass. Smell: mango, rindy, passion fruit note, honey-ish. Taste: mango, soft fruit... more papaya than melon, citrus rind. Light-medium body, dries out a bit at the end of the sip, finishing a bit sticky. Extremely sessionable tropical fruit bomb, excellent! Canned 12/23/13.

 401 characters

Invasion Pale Ale from Cigar City Brewing
88 out of 100 based on 163 ratings.