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Pale Ale - Napa Smith Brewery

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Pale AlePale Ale

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81 Ratings
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 81
Reviews: 53
rAvg: 3.25
pDev: 15.08%
Wants: 0
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Napa Smith Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.25% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: aforbes10 on 11-29-2008

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 81 | Reviews: 53 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - This is a majestic hazy orange in color with a nice, white head that fluffed up beautifully.

Smell - The grain bill comes over immaculately at the nose. It is rich and shows great depth without being overly sweet or corny. The hops are mild and almost European. I enjoyed the delicate take on the hops but oh my God this grainy malt base is amazing and probably one of the best that I've ever smelled.

Taste - This grain takes everything that I've ever complained about American grain and turned it around. It is rich, luscious, sharp grain without being harsh, and shows a depth of flavor that I've never tasted before. This truly is an amazing ale.

Mouthfeel - This is in between light and medium-bodied with very mild carbonation and no bitter bite. If you're looking for a classic baby IPA from this pale ale then you will be sorely disappointed, but if you want balance, creaminess, and a terrific mouthfeel than this can't be beat.

Drinkability - This beer really defines this category. You just can't stop drinking it until it's gone.

Photo of Imaster
4.25/5  rDev +30.8%

Photo of endincolorado
4.17/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy, pale amber color with a foamy white head and decent lace.

Fragrant, crisp, floral hoppy aromas that remind me of fresh apples. Pale malt is also evident.

Refreshing balance of crackery pale malt, crisp grain, and a focused hop character.

Light-medium body. Satisfying, with nice carbonation.

A fine drinker all around. Fairly impressed by my first sample of Napa Smith's beers.

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +23.1%

Photo of rarbring
3.97/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The brew is foggy light amber, an off-white head leaving little lacing and rather small curtains.

Very malt dominated smells, porridge, bread, nuts, grain, honey and apricots.

Sweet honey, brown hard bread, apricots and some grape peel.

Medium high carbonation, a good body, soft and smooth, a light dry long finish.

A very good APA that nicely uses the malt.

Photo of ReDave
3.95/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found this in a "leftover" ice chest, not sure who bought it but thanks!

Light gold straw appearance, some haziness.

Aroma, grassy with some malt, pretty light
thin head that fades fast, little to no apparent lacing.

Taste, pretty standard for a American Pale Ale,
not one of the hoppier ones, but adequate.
Fairly light bodied, probably within standards.

Adequate, drinkable, I wouldn't go out of my way for it, SNPA wins that. But pretty OK

Photo of stewart124
3.92/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden yellow with little bits of white lacing around the glass.

The smell is of subtle fruits and a grassy/earthy aroma. There is not quite the hop presence that I had anticipated. The smell is pleasant but just not exactly what I expected out of California.

Taste is sweet with a slight biscuity note. It has a medium mouthfeel and is on the chewy side. Leaves a nice malty character on the palate. Quite tasty. I'm almost thinking that this brewer went with just 2-row malt for the grain bill. Maybe a little Munich but the caramel seems to be omitted.

I could put down a number of these. It is quite drinkable and leaves a nice bit of citrus on the tongue. Very, very subtle but it's there.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale tangerine with pale amber highlights and one especially vigorous bubble stream in the exact center of the glass. The alabaster colored crown has plenty of character. It's firmly creamy, a bit rocky, and is doing a fine job laying down lace. A solid start.

The aroma is pleasant enough, though it could be bolder. Pale Ale doesn't smell much like the stated style thanks to the use of European hops. Grassy and spicy don't work as well as citrus fruity when it comes to APAs. To be fair, a modest amount of citrus zestiness is noted.

Napa Smith Pale Ale is not a classic American pale ale circa 2009-2010. It takes more of an old school approach and tastes like the style might have tasted years ago. It doesn't use the usual hop varieties and it isn't anywhere close to over-the-top. Oh yeah, it's pretty good beer and is obviously well-crafted.

The malt side of the seesaw tastes exactly like the malt bill says it will... almost exclusively pale with a hint of caramel. The hoppiness (est. 30 IBUs) tastes fresh and bright and tight. The key to the whole shootin' match is a perfect combination of grassy-herbal-spicy Euro nobles and white grapefruit zesty Americans. There's excellent sweet-bitter balance as well.

While the mouthfeel could be a little bigger, there's no faulting its light creaminess or its exceptionally well-calibrated carbonation. This brewer knows his stuff, there's no doubt about that.

If you have any interest whatsoever in a well-crafted Anglo-American pale ale that won't blow your head off with alpha acids, but delivers excellent flavor and drinkability, then locate a bottle of Napa Smith Pale Ale, crack the crown and enjoy.

Photo of chickencoop
3.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

These guys are pioneers of the micro beers so they get some added props for that. The American Pale Ale style that this is a part of has changed a ton since these guys began, so putting it in that context.... This is a much lighter hoppier style compared to the big hops, big malts of a Sierra. The beer is crisp and refreshing, more on the hops end of the scale. Clean and crisp, very drinkable.

Photo of maximum12
3.81/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to chickencoop who dropped this in a massive atom bomb box of beer that stressed the concrete of my porch last week. An extra I haven't tried from a brewery I hadn't heard of. Perfect.

Pours an off orangish that isn't terribly clear without appearing unfiltered. The pale malts leap out of the nose along with the mown remnants of a local ditch. Almost hefe-level grassy.

This pale is nice! The pale malts are very forward, but lack the grainy, acidic bite that I find unappealing in most pale ales. Instead, the grains are white-glove refined, & along with the very restrained use of hops, gives the beer a smooth, easy-drinking quality that you'd expect from a macro (except it tastes good).

Very good pale, one of the favorites I can recall off hand. This is a classic lunch beer, or a brew that you can have one (maybe two) of if there's an hour's drive home in your future. If there were more tasty, low ABV brews like this in the States, I'd happily seek them out more often.

Photo of Brad007
3.8/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale, golden color with a one-finger head into my glass. Never seen this brewery before. Regardless, it looks about right for the style.

Grassy hops followed by sweet malt with a buttery touch. Hops aren't overpowering. Very basic.

Drinks very good with a crisp hop bite followed by malt that isn't as sweet as I thought. Again, a beer that is elegant in its' simplicity.

The malt finishes sweet with just a bit of grassy hop character. Not bad. A little dry.

Well, it's simple, it's drinkable and the ABV isn't too shabby either. Sounds like a good beer for a midsummer's lazy afternoon.

Photo of aforbes10
3.77/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I saw a PBS show about beer in California a couple of nights ago and they did a feature on this new brewery. The brewmaster is formerly from New Albion and Mendecino, so that's quite a pedigree. We went out and bought the Pale Ale and Amber today, but the wheat was sold out so ill try that later.

Pours a golden orange, clear with a short head that falls off fast. Laces spottily. Mild grassy hop and green apple nose. Smells quite mild, sweet and fresh, citrusy hops. Flavor is a bit watery at first, with only a hint of apple sweetness and nondescript malt, but quickly a nice fresh hop builds, along with a refreshing bitterness. Hop flavor sticks around well, and is a nice orange-y citrus hop with just a touch of spice. Mouthfeel is appropriate for the style. Drinks well, refreshing and tasty without being too aggressive. This would be a good session beer. I don't like the label, too anonymous amongst the myriad craft beers available, but thats a complaint others may debate. Not bad.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - $2.09 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, burnished orange body with a goodly-sized, white head. Pleasant-looking laceworks on the way down.

Smell: Sweetish, caramel-scented nose with some pale malts yielding minor hints of bread and even less toast. Mild earthen hop note throughout.

Taste: Pale and sweet caramel maltiness with a scant toasty breadiness. Lightly earthy, very lightly citrusy hops with a somewhat restrained bitterness to it. Spreading, but still fairly mild graininess on the latter half. Sweetish, somewhat fruity finish hinting at dried apricot.

Mouthfeel: Falls just ever so shy of being medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: A basic, light, easy-drinking American Pale Ale. Not particularly memorable (except for being the first Napa Smith beer that didn't want me to race towards the nearest sink), but it works.

Photo of beer2day
3.67/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium gold pour with hints of yellow. 1-finger head gives way to a light topping of foam fairly quickly. Moderately active carbonation. Not much in the way of lace.

Decent nose for a pale ale. Moderate herbal hops with whiffs of caramel and faint butterscotch.

Fairly sharp bite right up front. Creamy, with carbonation creeping through. Good malt profile with bread, biscuit, a bit of yeast. Light caramel malt flavor present, but faint.

Nice appropriate body matches the flavors and good for the style.

Moderately good drinker. Would drink a second if offered, but probably wouldn't order another.

Photo of nick76
3.66/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The aroma is a bit like freshly cut carrots, celery, and lettuce with hops and malt. Weird. The appearance is light amber gold with a foamy head. The taste is like the aroma but the metallic vegetables are definitely faint. The palate is typical for the style. Overall a really good beer despite some serious flaws.The finish is buttery. Yum.

Photo of MammothBrew
3.63/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into my trusty tulip.

A: Pours a clear light orange color with an eggshell white head that measures one finger. It quickly subsides into spotty bubbly patches.

S: Seems faint to me. I pretty much get notes of citrus, grassy hops, and light malt.

T: Better than I had expected, yet somewhat subtle. Citrusy and grassy with light malt.

M: Light body with low carbonation, pretty watery. VERY light resin coats the mouth. That's the best thing about the mouthfeel and still pretty weak.

O: This isn't wonderful or exceptional but I don't think this is a drainpour like someone had stated. I'd have no problem drinking this on a hot summer day or at a cookout. It's actually somewhat quenching. Also, I have no regrets paying $1 for this bottle.

Photo of soju6
3.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a copper color with a decent head that fades slowly with nice lacing.

S: Aroma of some citrus, mild caramel sweetness with a hint of spice.

T: Taste of mild caramel msweetness,some fruit and bit of spice. mild bitterness and a dry finish.

F: fairly medium body, mild crispness and smooth.

O: nothing fancy just a nice easy drinker.

Photo of kimcgolf
3.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought this on a whim while in Napa Valley. Pours to a slightly hazy, very pale yellow, with thin white head that lingers tio mid-glass. Aroma is hoppy fruit (apples, lemons and grapes) mixed with a floral bouquet and a hint of malt. Actually a nice full mouthfeel that led into a taste that accented the fruits of the nose. FInished off pleasantly. This wouldn't be a bad session beer.

Photo of zeff80
3.55/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a one-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left some minimal lacing on the glass.

S - It smelled floral with citrus and pine notes. Some caramel sweetness in the nose, too

T - It tasted fairly spicy with sweet caramel flavor. There was a nice maltiness, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a pretty nice APA. Solid but not spectacular.

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.52/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is a slightly hazy, pale golden coloring with a rosey tint to it. Pours with a considerably thick, dense, white, bubbly head. Aromas of hops and citrus, but both mild and balanced. Also some juniper essence to the nose. The beer has an initial bouquet of flowery flavors riding lightly on the hoppy foundation. On subsequent tasting, the hops continue to reveal themselves, as well as a light peppery spicing and some citrus highlights. The beer is extremely light bodied, with a medium feel to it. The aftertaste is the slightest hint of hops and a little bit of citrus. Slightly lingering finish, but very pleasant to drink. Weak on the hops flavors when compared to other Pales, but being not overpowering makes this an easy beer to pair with almost anything.

Photo of bcm119
3.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pilsner colored with a fine white head that leaves a slight lace. Metallic, lemony aroma. Tight, minerally pale malt flavors, with a hint of crisp hop bitterness for balance. Finishes clean and leaves a nice grassy bitterness. More reminiscent of a pils than an American pale. Some pleasant malt flavors, but overall lacking much character, and under-hopped for the style. Nevertheless this is refreshing and wouldn't make a bad summer lawn mowing beer.

Photo of cdog707yo
3.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of jtd335
3.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of sevenshubby
3.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of litheum94
3.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: Golden body with a small pillow of a dirty white head that settles to a minimal covering that leaves a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Honey malts and citrus hops.

Taste: A nice, sweet, honey coasting with caramel malts. Nice dose of citrus hops mid-palate leading into a dry, hoppy finish.

I admit that this isn't that different from any other pale ale I've ever had, but it's well made and very enjoyable. This is a fairly citrus hop forward beer with a good dose of honey flavor to balance it out. Nothing special, but it certainly won't disappoint.

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Pale Ale from Napa Smith Brewery
76 out of 100 based on 81 ratings.