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Church-Key West Coast Pale Ale - Church-Key Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Church-Key West Coast Pale AleChurch-Key West Coast Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

40 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 40
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 11.63%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Church-Key Brewing Company visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Viggo on 08-14-2006

West Coast Pale Ale is our interpretation of a double hoppy American Pale Ale. Indian Pale Ales – IPA’s were first made as robust Ale for export from Britain by Ship to India dating from 1835, in order that the beer kept well additional hops (a natural preservative) were added to the brewing ingredients. American Pale Ale – APA ‘s date from the 1980s and generally use stronger fruitier hops. We mash using Canadian two row barley and brew with a very liberal helping of Chinook hops at beginning middle and end to create this youthful contemporary aromatic and bitter ale.

40-70 IBU
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 40 | Reviews: 28 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CRObighit2
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of thehyperduck
3.76/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

341 mL bottle from a six-pack picked up at the LCBO; coded A061416:30 (I'm guessing January 6 2014 at 4:30 PM). Served slightly chilled.

This pale ale pours a lovely amber-blonde clour, clear as day and topped with one finger of frothy, off-white head. It recedes gradually over a period of minutes, leaving behind a soapy film on the surface, a generous collar around the edge, and a loose draping of lace on the glass. A beautiful-looking beer. The aroma ain't half-bad either, with notes of brown sugar, bready malts, lemony-pine notes and a touch of grapefruit.

It didn't take long for my palate to give this one a hearty thumbs-up. A sturdy backbone of pale, bready malts and caramel sweetness soon gives way to some citrusy grapefruit and resiny pine notes. The finish is pithy and bitter, with a lingering, astringent aftertaste. On the light side of medium-bodied, with middling carbonation levels appropriate for the style. Fairly refreshing, with a reasonably hoppy kick to it - definitely session-worthy.

Final Grade: 3.76, a B+. Church Key's West Coast Pale Ale is a very respectable APA - one that I'd have purchased months ago if I'd realized that earlier. There are too many other quality APAs available (in more convenient formats) for this to be a regular purchase for me, but I am more than willing to give kudos where it is warranted - this makes for an enjoyable glass, and one that I'd definitely recommend to those in the market for a mildly hoppy, balanced pale ale.

Photo of HATS4BATS
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of boszormeny
2.5/5  rDev -30.7%

Photo of mdillon86
2.5/5  rDev -30.7%

Photo of DenisKolkin
3.25/5  rDev -10%

Photo of NV9
3.42/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

very deep orange-gold colour with some head and retention.

Citrus smell immediately hits you, hops present in the nose as well.

Taste is similar to the smell, lots of hops and some citrus as well.

Medium in carbonation and body, it's a very drinkable IPA, but not a session beer.

Photo of BigGruntyThirst
3.5/5  rDev -3%

Photo of KrisDLSmith
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

Photo of cfalovo97
3/5  rDev -16.9%

Photo of Molson2000
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%

Photo of beerhunter13
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of hopsolutely
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pleasant surprise, on tap at the Manx Pub in Ottawa. A much hoppier batch than the last time I stopped at Church Key - 2009ish?

Colour is a bright and clear orange amber with impressive lacing from a limited head. Aroma is a mild and malt-forward with tropical fruit undertones. Well balanced flavour has a caramelized malt sweetness with a lingering bitter finish afterwards. Nice citrus and mango hop notes.

Very glad to have tried this beer again and would recommend others give it another shot!

Photo of spinrsx
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle from the LCBO for 2$

Appearance - Clear copper colour with a small size frothy off white coloured head. There is a low level of carbonation and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for only a few minutes.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops, grains, herbal/straw/grass

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste hops, caramel, and malts. There is only a hint of grapefruit and lots of herbal/grainy/straw flavours. It ends with a grainy/malty aftertaste with a medium amount of lingering hop bitterness.

Overall - I wasn't a big fan of this one. It tasted way too much like home brew and was no where near an american IPA taste wise. If anything it was more of an English IPA. It does have some good bitterness from the hops, but it tastes like it was made with cheap ingredients.

Photo of kelvarnsen
3.25/5  rDev -10%

Photo of virinow
4/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of bryehn
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Listed at 5% ABV on the bottle, no freshness dating or info at all, but I've liked what I've had from Church-Key so far.

Pours a clear golden-amber colour with a medium-sized tan head that's quite frothy and leaves a nice bit of lace before it settles as a collared film.

Very fresh smelling aroma of grains and floral hops. There's an earthy tone, a bright citrus bite and a honey-like sweetness to be found as well.

Fresh, toasted grains and a yeast-like flavour dominate the taste before a solid bitterness takes hold. Tangerine-like citrus pop on the tongue that lingers in the finish.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin with a moderate carbonation level. Slight creaminess and a nice oily character on the tongue. The aftertaste is bitter, bready and earthy.

Glad I took a chance on this instead of going with an old standby, it turned out to be a pleasant, unassuming beer that's a bit mild for the style, but very drinkable and refreshing.

Photo of
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Volo, Toronto.

Appearance - dark golden with a thinnish, persistent head.

Smell - Starts with typical West Coast hoppy aromas of pine and grapfruit, but also has an herbal/spicy smell. I couldn't quite place it, but it was almost savoury. (sage?)

Taste - Bread and a touch of biscuit, and a return of the hops profile from the aroma. That herbal/spicy note again, along with citrus and pine. It was odd, but kept me sipping, wondering, and untimately really enjoying it.

Photo of tbeckett
3.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Glad to see this in the LCBO. ABV on bottle is 5%

A - Pours golden blonde. Bright. Good carbonation. Soapy one finger white head. Thin rings of minor lace and a film of retention.

S - Soapy. Some pine. Good citrus. Fairly muted. Citrus comes out more as it opens up as opposed to the initial pine. Bread or crackers. Kinda tame.

T - Intial hops and soapiness. Some citrus and resins. Quite hoppy with the citrus and an apple juice note?

M - Nice carbonation, medium body and a nice bitterness lingering and drying out the tongue. Maybe that's why I pounded half the bottle in a few sips.

O/D - Not a bad one at all. Fresh is probably best for smaller brews of questionable quality control standards here in Ontario. Easy to drink but not overly complex or structured. That said, an average IPA.

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

Poured in to pint glass.

A - Light amber/yellow colour, translucent, with a small amount of white head that quickly disappeared.

S - Sweet bready malts noticeable initially. A mils citrus hop aroma is present as well, but is definitely in the background. Not the nose I expected for a west coast pale ale.

T - A good hop bitterness up front with some pine notes. A slight sweet caramel malt backbone makes this a somewhat balanced pale ale. Overall, the crisp, bitter citrus hop bite is the dominant flavour, as expected for the style.

M - Medium body, light to moderate carbonation.

Photo of jrenihan
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Beer is caramel in colour. Fairly translucent. It has a thin white head that has lots of staying power.

Smell is rather faint, but unmistakably of hops. Nice but not striking.

The hops come through very strongly in the taste as well. Hop profile is dominated by pine, rather than the grapefruit citrus flavours of some IPAs. Almost woody in flavour. Tastes a bit spicy as well. Very enjoyable.

Beer has a very nice medium body, almost full. Slightly too carbonated for my tastes, but quite good.

I really enjoyed this beer. The pine focus is a nice change from most IPAs out there, and really made it stick out. Very tasty and I definitely wanted more once I was finished my pint.

Photo of kwjd
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had a pint at Volo. Pours a deep orange colour with a finger of white head with nice lacing and retention. Some citrus and piney hop aroma with a mild caramel sweetness. Flavour has bitterness, but fairly understated with a sweet malt balance. Nice carbonation level. Just an average IPA, but that is pretty good for an Ontario brewer it seems.

Photo of atomicbolt
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Picked up a case at the brewery in Campbellford - I recommend visiting the brewery!

I poured one into a glass after drinking one from the bottle, and it was darker than I expected, a dark gold-amber with a small fluffy head. Serious hops smell, with a whole lot of pine, some fruitiness, alcohol, almost a gin smell I'd say.

A big kick of hops dominates the taste, leaving little room for anything else, which I suppose was their intention. The malt comes through with some citrus, grapefruit notes, but everything gets knocked aside when the big bitter hops hit you. Long-lasting bitterly clean finish, again with the pine taste. Not exactly well-balanced, but hey, that's the style.

Nice smooth mouthfeel, with active, buzzing carbonation to try to keep up with the hoppiness. Drinkable for the beer geeks like us, but the average Joe might prefer something more neutral.

Note: BA lists this as 6.5%, but my bottle says 5% - not sure which one to believe

Photo of mrmanning
3.15/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the winking judge, in Hamilton, Ontario. Pours sparkling gold, putting forth a frothy white cap. Tropical fruits in the aroma, fresh leafy hops, some pine. Sweet fruity flavours are the star of the show. Pomello and lemon. Again, fresh hops with a good bite. Finishes clean, hoppy, very fruity. and better than expected. What's with all the low scores? C'mon guys...

Photo of Derek
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this a few times... I'll finally review it.

A: Bronze with a white head, some retention & lacing.

S: Good citrus hop aroma with some underlying grainy biscuit.

T: Not an in-your-face/hop-attack IPA like a true west-coaster, but quite good none-the-less. Nice grassy citrus, biscuity grain, decent bitterness, hints of fruity esters.

M: Well-attenuated moderate body is smooth.

D: A good drinker.

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Church-Key West Coast Pale Ale from Church-Key Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 40 ratings.