1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Square Nail Pale Ale - Publican House Brewery

Not Rated.
Square Nail Pale AleSquare Nail Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

48 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 48
Reviews: 25
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 12.43%
Wants: 2
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Publican House Brewery visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: grub on 10-15-2008

Square Nail Pale Ale, a west coast style pale ale that finishes off with a gentle bitterness. At 5.6% alcohol it is a full flavoured ale brewed with Saskatchewan malted barley and Crystal malts along with several large additions of Cascade hops to give the beer an assertive bitterness and Aroma. It is named after the hundreds and hundreds of square nails that we found during the first phase of the building renovation. No doubt these nails were hand crafted by many of the local blacksmiths in Peterborough in the mid-1800's.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 48 | Reviews: 25
Reviews by slitherySOB:
Photo of slitherySOB
4.17/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pale amber in colour. Nice, thick head that slowly dissipates to a thin film. Very hoppy nose. Plenty of citrus, with some peaches and pear. Tastes delicious. Nice cracker maltiness, followed by a sour/bitter citrus. Plenty of orange. Medium/light carbonation. Nicely carbonated and highly drinkable. A great session ale.

More User Reviews:
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Volo.

Poured into a nonic. Pale amber-golden, nice and bright, steady thin head, clouds of lacing. Nice lookin brew.

Nose is caramel, mild hops, a bit of orange or peach.

Solid APA, mild citrussy hop finish with a bit of grain. Caramel, peach, some other fruit notes, some grapefruit.

Medium-light bodied, really nice feel, good carbonation for a light zip at the finish.

Good APA - been happy with my recent experiences with new Ontario breweries and their pale ales, and this is no exception.

Photo of Tuckersmth
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of Sammy
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear C hop aroma. Citrus taste, understated carbonation like a cask ale. Grapefruit, like great IPA.Reinforcing his is the Mahogoney brown colour and the slightest crown of a head. Some dot lace. Good bitternss, an American IPA in older times. Medium mouthfeel.

Photo of DaveBar
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Purchased at the LCBO for around $2.50 for a 473ml can. Served at 4deg C in a draught glass

A- Opens well and pours a nice white head that lasts. Super dark gold.

S- Ok hops for a pale ale. Not dry hopped much at all

T- Good hops. Nice malt. Good balance. Not a bad beer

M- Dry yet creamy. Tart aftertaste

O- Pretty good IPA Will buy again

Food Pairing

This nice beer went well with...... Fish and chips.


Photo of Phyl21ca
3.16/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Can: Poured a light copper color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light citrusy notes with grainy malt notes. Taste is also dominated by light citrusy notes with grainy malt bill and some light bitter finish. Body is about average with good carbonation. I thought the hops profile fell short for the style.

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Volo. Served in a pint glass.

A - Light amber with a nice yellow glow.

S - Slight citrus hops with some sweet malts balancing them out.

T - Some floral and citrus hops up front balanced by a sweet malt back. A nice hop kick for a pale ale. A bitter floral hop finish that lingers.

M - Light body, lightly carbonated.

D - A very good beer; one that I would definitely buy again.

Photo of WillAndSarah
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of ssmack
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Clear dark amber colour. One and a half inches of white head made up of large bubbles. Medium carbonation. Good lacing and retention.

Sweet, angelfood cake malty aroma with the tiniest hint of hops.

Complex taste. Caramel malt. Then herby bitter hops comes over the caramel and makes a cardboard taste that fades to a strong bitterness in the back of the mouth.

Medium feel with bite.

Good west coast IPA. Not true citrus hops. A generic bitterness. Weak aroma.

Photo of mrnobody
4.52/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

1.9 liter growler poured into a Duvel tulip. One of two growlers of this received from my 4 year old nieces for xmas!

A: Pours a clear bright orange with one finger of white head. Little retention but nice lacing.

S: A nice amount of Cascade hops, not overpowering but like sticking your nose in a bag of hop pellets.

T: Again, this is all about the hops. Sports an impressive bitterness and drinks more like an IPA than an APA.

M: This is the light side of medium, the carbonation is the perfect level.

D: The drinkability is fantastic. Ontario's best APA.

I just brewed an attempt to copy this beer, can't wait to see how it turns out.

Photo of Canada_Dan
3.08/5  rDev -18.5%

Photo of patre_tim
3.14/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A: Copper unfiltered with no bubbles, 2 fingers of off white creamy head resembling foam on the ocean, honey comb lacing.

S: Apples, peaches, fruity, tea, apple candy, light musty scent, malt, dough.

T: Sweet, very hoppy. Seems to be two hop editions evident. One is big and spicy but dull and bitter, not fruity, the other is fruity like peaches and apples.

M: Medium syrupy resinous body, little carbonation.

O: Not bad. Flavours are a little separate and slightly incongruent in my opinion, but it’s a nice brew. Drank in Uxbridge June 1st, 2014.

Photo of spinrsx
3.44/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz Can from the Ottawa LCBO for $2.75

Appearance - Copper colour with an average size off-white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hops, caramel

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caraamel, and hops. There is also a slight apricot sweetness.

Overall - What the.. I got thrown off by the 'West Coast' text on the can. Nothing west coast about this one, just a regular english style pale ale.

Photo of Mr_Rocca
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of liamt07
4.04/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Volo, served in a pint glass.

Poured gold with a finger of off-white head. Moderate lacing is left on the glass, but only a touch of head retention. Nose is fairly fresh and hoppy; some pine and more subdued citrus hops are employed quite nicely. Some light orange and clementine as well. Light breadiness/grain comes with the malt, but not a lot otherwise. Taste is relatively straight forward, yet well excuted. Nice pale malt base with similar hopping to the nose, a bit more pine and citrus also. Medium length finish, with a medium carbonation. Good drinkability and well done. One of the best pale ales from these parts.

Photo of grub
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

64oz growler purchased at the brewery oct 11/08 and sampled oct 12/08.

pours crystal clear deep reddish copper colour. the small dense whate head drops fast and leaves spotty lace behind.

aroma is good. toasted multi-grain bread. biscuit. bit of pine. touch of fruity esters. bit of alcohol. really like the light toasty component.

taste is good. medium bitterness level. toasted multi-grain bread. bit of biscuit. touch of pine. bit of orange rind. tangerine. light alcohol. touch of nutty character. just a hint of fruit, mostly in the citrusy hop component.

mouthfeel is good. just under medium carbonation level. medium body.

drinkability is great. very good balance. nice light nutty and toasty character that i liked. a solid apa that i'd happily drink on a regular basis.

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of Hoppy_McGee
4.25/5  rDev +12.4%

Photo of soju6
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Served a nice copper color with a head that fades very slowly.

S: Mild citrus & malt aroma.

T: Nice light citrus taste with malt. Nice bitterness. A lot going on here.

F: Medium body. Well balanced. Smooth and goes down easy.

D: Ordered a second one without hesitation. Beer hits the spot. Not what I expected, well worth the stop. Best pale ale I have had while in Ontario.

Photo of JohnKenn
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Yesdog
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of ajzy
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of MasterOfArgos39
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%

Photo of DamoTO700
4/5  rDev +5.8%

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

Big thanks to grub for bringing this growler back for Thanksgiving dinner!

Pours a clear dark orange/golden brown, thin white head forms, settles to a thin ring, drops a few lace spots, maybe looks a touch dark for an APA. Smell is very nice, pine and grapefruit, biscuits, caramel, lots of fruitiness, oranges and lemony citrus, very hoppy aroma, very nice. Taste is malty up front, caramel and biscuits, bready, pine and grapefruit hops, light bit of fruit, strawberries, pineapple, solid bitterness in the finish, very balanced. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, very smooth and drinkable. A very nice pale ale especially coming from Ontario, I wish I could get this more often, very nice. Thanks Russ!

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Square Nail Pale Ale from Publican House Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.