1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Essential Pale Ale - Port City Brewing

Not Rated.
Essential Pale AleEssential Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

142 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 142
Reviews: 51
rAvg: 3.56
pDev: 15.17%
Wants: 3
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Port City Brewing visit their website
Virginia, United States

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

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ahalloin on 02-04-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 142 | Reviews: 51 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by KTCamm:
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev -0.3%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Pours medium copper with light white foam. Laces. Nose is grassy pine, citrussy. Mellow malt, pushy hop, latent bitter. Easy drinker with enough hop to make its presence felt but not overpower. Straightforward pale but certainly good.

12-16-2012 15:55:52 | More by KTCamm
More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -15.7%

Poured into a standard pint a dull medium golden with almost no head to speak of,what there was of one was gone quickly.Very light floral hops in the nose along with faint caramel malt,very underwhelming.Leafy hops on the palate and they are light,some earthy tones as well,more of a dryer crisp malt base.Average in all aspects,a no brainer that lacks fullness in just about everything.

05-24-2012 21:16:47 | More by oberon
Photo of SmellsofMahagony


3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

06-25-2013 03:19:33 | More by SmellsofMahagony
Photo of Jason


3.88/5  rDev +9%

12oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

LOOK: Nearly clear pale golden color, ample stickage of lacing

SMELL: Clean, bready, macadamia nuts, clementines, piney hops, ripe passion fruit, faint spice

TASTE: Very smooth, fresh grain, dried grass, citric peel, mint, biscuity, nutty yeast, faint ripe fruit, spicy dry finish

Very well balanced with a good use of hops, this pale ale is a step or two ahead of the pack and is something I'd go for on the regular basis.

03-15-2012 03:15:33 | More by Jason
Photo of IrishGermanAmerican


3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

11-17-2013 05:31:20 | More by IrishGermanAmerican
Photo of Bike2work

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

06-25-2012 18:30:21 | More by Bike2work
Photo of richkrull


3.25/5  rDev -8.7%

05-05-2012 00:01:12 | More by richkrull
Photo of dcbeers

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

06-10-2013 19:50:14 | More by dcbeers
Photo of Jeffreysan


2.86/5  rDev -19.7%

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a pretty golden color with a half of a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that covered the top of the beer in wispy clouds.

Aroma: Not much of an aroma at all, either that or I’m congested. I get some faint hints of biscuits and honey and clover, but not much else.

Taste: Not much in the flavor department either. Again, some malty biscuit notes with a nicely balanced hop bitterness. There is a just a hint of sweetness, but overall it’s a very underwhelming flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin, but with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 5.5%, there’s no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This is a decent pale ale, but not really memorable either. There are better pale ales out there and there are certainly better Port City beers out there as well, especially, Port City’s Porter and Oktoberfest.

10-30-2013 00:58:14 | More by Jeffreysan
Photo of KenC

New Jersey

2.5/5  rDev -29.8%

06-24-2012 15:50:37 | More by KenC
Photo of Psberrier


3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

08-10-2014 21:06:49 | More by Psberrier
Photo of tanner1980

4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

08-31-2012 01:21:28 | More by tanner1980
Photo of DOCRW


4.25/5  rDev +19.4%

04-25-2014 23:05:39 | More by DOCRW
Photo of hophugger


3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

Ok, a beer brewed in my state and it did not disappoint. Head and color and lacing aside(they were ok), the aroma and flavor of this beer were very nice. There was a good amount of citrus that was balanced out well at the end with a nice amount of hops. Pale Ale??. Yes it was!!. A touch of malt helped bring this beer to the great balance that it is. Good Job !!

08-18-2014 04:15:32 | More by hophugger
Photo of Hesperus


3.6/5  rDev +1.1%

Appearance: Cloudy and golden with a two finger white head with decent retention, leaving behind a layer of residual foam. Fairly good lacing.

Smell: Piney hops with some resin, grapefruit, some herbal notes and perhaps a little bit of spiciness.

Taste: Similar to nose, pine and grapefruit make up the bulk of the flavor profile, with some herbal and malt notes in the background.

Mouthfeel: Wet with middling carbonation. Highly drinkable and moderately refreshing.

Overall: A very serviceable pale ale that is certainly on the hoppier side of the spectrum. That being said, this is far from the best I've had.

08-09-2013 22:59:55 | More by Hesperus
Photo of Swift989

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +12.4%

10-19-2013 03:59:47 | More by Swift989
Photo of dexterk1


3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

12-01-2012 00:30:18 | More by dexterk1
Photo of johnpdennis

2.75/5  rDev -22.8%

08-18-2012 19:18:48 | More by johnpdennis
Photo of apasternak

District of Columbia

3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

06-17-2014 22:47:22 | More by apasternak
Photo of Hockey_Fan


3.75/5  rDev +5.3%

09-21-2013 21:52:40 | More by Hockey_Fan
Photo of zp6167a

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +12.4%

04-20-2014 03:55:31 | More by zp6167a
Photo of akorsak


3.28/5  rDev -7.9%

A bottle at RFD, poured into a glass.

A: The pale ale is a darker amber color, closer to nut brown than pale. Paired with the darker appearance is an off-white head that leaves a few layers of lacing behind.

S: The aromas are caramel and grains, a little biscuity, with a small hop afterthought. The hoppiness isn't a big feature of the beer, instead it opts for subtlety.

T: More grainy chewiness. Caramel and biscuit together with darker breads. Hops aren't that strong, more of a balancing aspect. Overall, the flavor is solid but doesn't come with any frills. Content in what it is, an accessible pale ale. Although, truth be told, a few more hops wouldn't hurt.

M: The mouthfeel is malty, very little in the way of citrusy hops. Too bad too, there are few things like a nice well-balanced pale ale.

05-21-2011 01:49:29 | More by akorsak
Photo of BeerFMAndy


3.13/5  rDev -12.1%

12 oz bottle poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.
5.5% ABV, no date.

Thanks to Thorpe429 for sending this brew my way!

A - Lightly cloudy pale golden yellow in color and topped by a long-lasting white head, Essential looks good but is missing an essential piece; lacing.

S - Faint hops leave much to be desired from this pale. Light lemongrass notes come before an also faint pale malt base. This brew needs more potency.

T - Surprisingly sweet at first, it takes a few sips for the pils malt to give way to bitter, resiny hops. Much more in flavor than aroma, these buds give off faint lemony notes.

M - Medium in body and sweet starting with a sharp dry, biting bitter finish. Balance seems conflicted. Instead of complimenting each other, the delayed bitterness ends up harsh.

O - A great pale is hard to nail down. Port City is on the right track with this one but the hop additions during the boil need tweaking, especially adding an addition of finishing aroma hops/ dry hopping. The nose on this could stand much improvement.

08-22-2011 11:58:08 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of GrantBrennan


4/5  rDev +12.4%

08-23-2012 02:07:55 | More by GrantBrennan
Photo of DavidHume


3.5/5  rDev -1.7%

03-31-2014 04:30:31 | More by DavidHume
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Essential Pale Ale from Port City Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 142 ratings.