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Pier Pale Ale - Chicago Beer Company

Not Rated.
Pier Pale AlePier Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

17 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 17
Hads: 78
Avg: 3.08
pDev: 39.29%
Wants: 2
Gots: 10 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Chicago Beer Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: emerge077 on 06-20-2011

Chi-Town Destination...The Pier. Pier Pale Ale has been carefully formulated and zealously taste-tested to surpass even the highest of expectations.

30 IBU
View: Beers (7) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 17 | Hads: 78
Photo of glassbrass440
2.32/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aroma: Not much to the hops. Some light citrus and dark fruit. Maybe some honey from the malts.

Appearance. I love the color! Light copper and crystal clear. Slow bubbles raise to the top of the glass. I only give Appearance a 4 because there is little to no head even with a rough pour.

Taste: Hops seem to be mostly for bittering rather than flavoring. Medium sweetness and slightly sour. Not totally digging it, but it’s ok.

Palate: Medium bodied. Some cloying in the very back of my mouth. Not much of a linger.

Overall: Not bad, not great. Much more malt-centric than I would expect from a pale ale. Probably wouldn’t get it again, but also wouldn’t turn it down if offered. Generic pale ale that would be good for the uninitiated.

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Photo of homebrew311
2.61/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Picked this up from a mixed sixer. Poured into pint glass. Appearance is pale gold and clear, minimal head upon pour, no retention, no lacing. The nose has vegetable like hop characted with a noticeable astringency. Not getting much in the way of malts. The taste starts off thin with a touch of sweet malt character. This is followed by and earthy/herbal hop profile that has an off taste... almost like a homebrewed IPA gone wrong. Not much enjoyable going on here. The mouthfeel is thin and well carbonated. Overall, not very enjoyable.

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Photo of emerge077
2.65/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Single 12 oz. bottle, "2101" julian date on the neck... 210th day of 2011 would be in July, so relatively fresh.

Into a tulip it pours a high clarity orange with a couple slow trails of carbonation. Thin layer of foam that disappears quickly, not much lace to speak of. The bright filtered look doesn't really suit the pale ale style, looks more like a bock or some similar type of lager.

Aroma is sweet, notes of ale yeast and fruity hawaiian punch.

Tastes vaguely citrusy, sort of artificially sweet like cotton candy. Flaccid, watery body, mild astringency, little to no bitterness or perceptible hop character. Orange slice candy and saltine crackers. This is pretty dull overall, with not much going on. Local brewers run circles around this stuff, they need to step it up if they don't want to fade into oblivion.

Still can't figure out if there are legitimate brewers behind this "project" or if it's all just marketing bullshit. Lack of concrete info points toward the latter... could be a distributor vanity label, due to its ubiquitous corner store presence in the city.

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Photo of JAYAR1
2.65/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

crystal clear reddish orange with light colored weak head, aroma is fabulous. I wish the taste would be as good as the smell. weak carbonation with a drier mouth feel...not much in the alcohol realm...won't drink again unless it's free and thay's mean

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Photo of jbphoto88
2.97/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

American pale ale? This beer looks more like a pilsner then any pale ale I've seen. It's clear and golden like a lager with not much character and a sudsy white head. A weak start if you ask me to an APA.

The nose is weak like the appearance but does have the pale ale balance between malt and hops you'd expect form the style. Mild and not very discernible, these scents are barely there.

Like the nose, taste leaves little to be desired. Muted and diminished hops with a malt equally as tame. The flavors could be bolder and have more character but that's not to say that they're bad. It's very drinkable, mild, session beer.

Mouthfeel is flat like the flavor. The carbonation is weak for my taste and the finish is not very memorable. All in all an average beer that isn't the best APA but isn't the worst either. It could be better but I have enjoyed it so that's a plus.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.03/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Like the pale lager, this has a thin layer of foam at the rim. Definitely thicker though and a bit darker.

Smell: Some pine hops and minerals.

Taste/Mouthfeel: More pine hops and minerals. Mouthfeel starts nice and flattens at the end.

Overall Drinkability: This probably is better than the pale lager, but overall it's more generic to the style.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.03/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

I was wondering if I'd ever see anything else from this brewer... This offering pours a clear brass topped by a finger of white foam. The nose comprises light lemon peel, light white bread, a few drops of honey, and a few blades of grass. The taste brings in some more breadiness and increases the citrus presence (primarily in the form of lemon zest), but beyond that stays pretty true to the smell. The body is a hefty light, with a moderate carbonation, a slightly grainy feel, and a decidedly dry finish. Overall, a pretty limp pale ale, one that just doesn't do much for me at all. Nothing's offensive about it, but it doesn't do itself any favors, either.

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Photo of StoutHunter
3.11/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I picked up a bottle of Chicago Beer Company's Pier Pale Ale a couple weeks ago for $1.75 at Boyne Country Provisions. This is the other Chi Town beer I picked up while I was up north, their Lake Shore Lager was a decent beer and I'm curious to see how this one is, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks nice, it's not the most eye catching, but it has a nice clean look to it with the Chicago skyline in the background, I like it. It poured a fairly clear yellow color that took on more of a golden color when held to the light with a finger and a half worth of creamy white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some spotty lacing behind. This was an ok looking beer, I think it's pretty average looking..

S- The aroma starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by a nice fruity aroma that I think is a combination of citrus and fruity hops with some fruity ale yeast, it makes for a nice fruity aroma that isn't distinctly hoppy or yeasty, its a nice mixture. Up next comes the malts which impart a grainy, pale malt and lightly bready aroma. The aroma was decent, the fruity aroma was nice and little unique, I didn't mind it.

T- The taste seems to be somewhat similar to the aroma but much lighter and it starts off with a medium amount of sweetness followed by some malts that impart a grainy and pale malt like flavor with a real slight bready flavor in the aroma. Up next comes that fruity aspect that I got in the aroma, it seems that the citrus hops stick out a little more than the yeast and they impart a citrus rind and lemon like flavor with a little bit of piney hops in the background. On the finish there's a fairly light amount of bitterness with a grainy and citrus zest like aftertaste. The taste is ok, I think it's pretty average for the style.

M- Smooth, clean, crisp, slightly refreshing, on the lighter side of being medium bodied with medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was nice and it worked well with this beer.

Overall I thought this beer was just ok and I thought it was a pretty average example of the style, nothing really stuck out as being very well done with this beer, it just felt a little bland. This beer has decent drinkability, it's smooth, clean, not filling, and the taste did an ok job at holding my attention, I think I could drink a couple of these but I might start to get bored with it. What I liked the most about this beer was the mouthfeel, it was pretty true to style and it worked well with this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was the taste, it wasn't bad, but it was a little bland and one noted. I don't think I would buy this beer again, I might order a glass of it at a bar if I wanted something light to go with a meal but it isn't something I would search out and I don't think I would recommend it as a good American Pale Ale. All in all I wasn't really impressed with this beer, I thought it was pretty average almost all the way around and there wasn't anything that made this beer stick out from all the average American Pale Ales. Better luck next time guys, this Pale Ale just wasn't that memorable.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.15/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This a decent but not spectacular beer. It poured pale yellow with thin white head that is not leaving much of a lace. Thye scent is mostly sweet malt with faint bitter hops. The taste is a decent balance between malt and bitter hops....more English leaning than west coast. The mouthfeel is light to medium in body with decent carbonation. Overall its ok...I would not go out of my way to find it.

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Photo of chinchill
3.2/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle served in a pint glass.
Small but durable head over a pale amber body. Loads of visible carbonation accurately signals a rather high carbonation level.

Aroma: plenty of hops with citrus and floral tones.

Flavor: Appropriately hoppy and biller for style. Mildly bitter aftertaste.

Feel: crisp and tingly carbonation in a rather light body that is a tad watery.

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Photo of Star80
3.21/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a copper color, darker than most pale ale's I've had. Has a frothy creme colored head. Some decent lacing on the side of my glass. The smells is toasty, some caramel malts, maybe some sweet bread in the background, not much citrus or hops in the nose. Trust me, nothing here "screaming floral aromatics". The taste is somewhat subdued, actually reminds me more of a english pale ale than an american one. Or maybe a lager? I am detecting some slight puckering hops in the aftertaste, but they have no nose to them really and are more herbal, tea like than your typical high alpha acid american hops. This beer is very off-putting. I am looking at their website and baffled why this beer has such a low hop profile especially after having so many bold delicious beers made with Centennials and Warrior hops. Anyway, the mouthfeel is a bit thin and actually a bit prickly. Overall, a pretty boring beer made in Wisconsin calling itself a Chicago product.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

meh, a totally irrelevant pale ale here, nothing new to contribute and nothing special on the whole. its almost flat in the glass, has a nose of sweet malt, even pale malt extract, and doesnt have much of a hop profile to it at all. i can see the appeal to those who dont quite like the hoppiness of the american pale, but for a craft beer and pale ale drinker, this is a frustratingly underwhelming beer. paid something like eight bucks for a bottle of this at the top of the hancock building, and while you pay for the views and dont mind doing so, the beer in the bottle should be a whole lot better than this at that price. one of those real forgettable generic beers that doesnt seem craft at all aside from its label. a real let down, super sweet, flat, and lacking any distinguishing element. will have to get my hands on some more beer from these guys to give them a second chance...

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.3/5  rDev +7.1%

12 ounce bottle - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear, yellow-orange body with a pint-sized, white head. Near nil lacing.

Smell: Malty notes of biscuit and toffee co-mingling with hoppy hints of lemon, orange and spice.

Taste: Biscuity malt, a hint of toasted grain and a reasonably light sweetness. Spicy, citrusy hops with a light (but ample) bitterness and a thin measure of grassiness. Crisp, clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: Runs light and crisp. This one's leaning towards simple refreshment as opposed to a pale ale bursting with flavor and complexities, so many heading to this Chi-Town will end at the last stop in Snoozeville.

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Photo of Zach136
3.62/5  rDev +17.5%

Appearance: Clear light straw, one finger head, solid lacing (4.00)

Aroma: Light pine, citrus, notes with a hint of apple. Little to no yeast, malt character (3.6)

Flavor: Sweet caramel malts, light pine hop character, medium level of bitterness/astringency. (3.6)

Mouthfeel: Medium body/carb. Light lingering hop astringency (3.6)

Overall: 3.62

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Photo of Lemke10
3.68/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this as part of an M&M 6pk from Everett's in South Beloit, IL for $9.99 in Summer 2011.

Pours a beautiful copper orange color with a pillow head of carbonation and leaves some very nice lacing around the glass. Scent is of bitter hops is very evident with some lesser hints of wheat and citrus. The taste is only semi-bitter. I was expecting a huge burst of bitter hop flavors but instead had a drastic drop-off that finished more like a light beer. Is refreshing and crisp but pretty much a run of the mill basic APA. If your not one for bitter beers, or want to try a weak bitter beer, this is a good starting point.

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Photo of nathanielyuppyupp
4.06/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 5

Very very good..whoever gave this a low score does not need to be judging beers.smells great feels great. Expensive but worth it..wouldent give a friend one if they asked, all mine..the other versions are great to.when I first seen it the bottles had dust on them so I'm guessing nobody drinks them that often. Def worth a try.

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Photo of SCOTT1974
4.39/5  rDev +42.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I had the APA at home last night after a hard day at work. I looked in my fridge and found this Pier Pale Ale. I didn't want the heavy Pale Ales that I always have. This was a light easy drinking American Pale Ale, it was light on the smell and look. It was not to over hoppy, which is getting out of control. It was smooth and easy going down. I would BBQ with this beer all day long. I could drink more than two and not feel too full or bloated. I highly recommend this for someone looking for and easy drinking beer.

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Pier Pale Ale from Chicago Beer Company
76 out of 100 based on 17 ratings.