The Public Ale - DC Brau Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
The Public AleThe Public Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

742 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 742
Reviews: 167
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 10.59%
Wants: 37
Gots: 108 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
DC Brau Brewing Co. visit their website
District of Columbia, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: drabmuh on 04-15-2011

The Public Pale Ale is brewed in the classic American Pale Ale style. Assertive bitterness backed by C-60 and Vienna malts which lend notes of rich, yet semi-dry caramel. Then followed up with a nice white grapefruit and citrus aroma that begs for a follow up sip.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 742 | Reviews: 167
Reviews by MaxSpang:
Photo of MaxSpang
3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass.

APPEARANCE

The beer pours a hazy yellowish-orange. The head was about 1-2 fingers and disappeared fairly quickly, leaving some very nice lazing along the side of the glass. The color makes the beer very inviting and mouth watering.

SMELL

The beer has some nice American hop aroma. I am getting orange juice and citrus zest, as well as a dry malt backbone (is that an oxymoron?). There is even some spice notes in there, almost like coriander. Overall, the smell is fairly light but pleasant.

TASTE

This beer has a nice crisp flavor. Very clean malt character with a fairly high bitterness - not as much as an IPA, but still fairly high. The hop character from the nose comes through on the tongue, bringing some nice citrus and orange zest flavors. There appears to be a wheat-like flavor in here, reminding me of cereal. The beer also has some tasty sweetness that lingers after the swallow. This is a nice blend of having a full flavor while still being nice and refreshing.

MOUTHFEEL

This is a very easy drinking beer. It's got a decent amount of body with a clean, dry finish. The carbonation is almost perfect, but it could be perhaps a tiny bit more. It's almost perfect in terms of mouthfeel.

OVERALL

This is a super solid beer. This could easily be an every day beer, lawnmower beer, or a fine craft beer worthy of a place at a good tasting. The can features some really nice artwork and typeface, but that's just coming from a guy who works at an advertising agency. I would definitely recommend seeking out this beer and enjoying it after a long day's work.

Cheers.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #62 (Mar 2012):

LOOK: Dull copper

SMELL: Caramel, ruby red grapefruit juice, spicy, pine, fresh-cut hay

TASTE: Semi-crisp, thick caramel, pulling citric hop, spicy, nutty, mild esters, earthy, bitter, herbal tea, dirty mint, fallen nectarines, grainy finish

This beer speaks balance fluently. It is one serious APA, as the hops and malt battle it out and our palate was the collateral damage—thankfully, we can take a beating. Anyone who has reservations about canned craft beer needs to grab a six-pack of this.

Photo of hagbergl
4.19/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. can into my Dogfish Head signature snifter.

Appearance (4.25/5): Burnt Orange, cloudy, semi-opaque, thick three-finger head. Some soapy white lacing lines the side of the glass. Looks beautiful.

Smell (4/5): A malt forward nose; bread, caramel; orange, pink grapefruit, some spicy hop scent worked in there.

Taste (4.25/5): very good balance of bread malt to piney and citrusy hops. Front of the tongue, malty; middle of the tongue, the hops come through with a significant piney prickliness and spiciness; and at the back I get a lot of light bread and caramel flavor, reminiscent of Victory Headwaters Pale Ale. I would say there's definitely more bitterness in the taste than was evident in the nose. Excellent, solid flavor profile. Like the Brothers say in their review of the beer, the brewers set this beer up to be a battlefield between malt and hops. And work it does.

Mouthfeel (4.25/5): Smooth, medium carbonation. This is a very easy drinker. The hop bitterness doesn’t linger too long or coat the palate in the way that an IPA often does. The hops prickle the tongue and help to cut the sweetness of the malt.

Overall (4.25/5): This is easily going to become a regular in my fridge. It has a wonderful blend of citric and piney hops and sweet malt; pretty much ideal for an American Pale Ale. And it drinks like a dream. The boldness of flavor is certainly impressive for a beer less than 7% ABV (it's a 6 percenter). DC Brau has really dialed the balance in nicely. This little brewery's onto something serious.

Photo of goldbot
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clear, copper to amber pour with plenty of lacy, foamy off-white head and plenty of carbonation and lacing. Strong hoppy smell with lots of grapefruit as well as some pine. Malt is there but definitely well covered up. The flavor is strongly hoppy as well, with more grapefruit and pine. Refreshing citrus notes with a good bit of malty sweetness. This beer has a rather heavy body (for an APA at least) and also lots of bitterness. Honestly it drank more like an American IPA to me than an APA. Still, a great beer that I am quite proud to show off as a local.

Photo of enoisone
4.19/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought it at WFM in Arlington.
First tasted this PA on tap and then in a can.I prefer the can.

A little darker then most pale ales.

Nice fragrant hops on opening the can.

Very nice hops up front,a mix of grapefruit and other citrus.I believe it contains 3 different hops.

Loved the mouthfeel and bitter aftertaste.

Overall a very good Pale Ale that i hope to keep stocked in my fridge.

Love the cans.

Photo of GJ40
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampled from a can purchased at Chevy Chase Beer & Wine.

Golden with good clarity and a thick off-white white head. There's a suspension of very fine particles but no ill effects. Aroma is citrusy hops with a hint of pine. Flavors follow closely with a nice citrusy bitterness and flavor. The bitterness lingers forever. A moderate level of toasted malt supports it well with a hint of sweetness throughout. Good depth. There's a moderate carbonation of very fine bubbles that give it an airy, creamy feel.

A solid west coast pale ale. I'll be back for more!

Photo of sommersb
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 06-23-2014
Freshness: Canned on 02-26-2014
Packaging: 12 oz. can
Glassware: Tulip pint
Purchased: Received in a trade

A hazy, dark amber beer with a cream-colored head. Head retention is wonderful and a nice lacing is left behind.

Aromas are a very pleasant blanket of pine and citrus hops, with some bready malt undertones.

Sharp hop bitterness in the taste, but it's not overdone. The citrus and pine are the highlights as was in the nose. All-around a great tasting pale ale that could also be called an IPA.

Mouthfeel has a body I'd call medium. The finish is pretty dry and also hoppy, but has enough malt presence to keep the bitterness from being overbearing.

Overall a fine product that be suitable by itself or paired with a meal. Call me impressed!

Thanks go to Treyliff for the beer!

Photo of mikereaser
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy rusty orange with a nice foamy cap that left some decent lacing
S - wonderful grapefruit aroma with just a hint of the maltiness behind it
T - You're hit with a big grapefruit rind bitterness upfront that slowly fades along with a wonderful juicy flavor, the bitterness hits you again in the finish
M - medium bodied with good carbonation
D - very easy to drink and really nice flavor. i'm looking for more already.

Photo of benloho
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Cloudy copper color. Finger and a half of head that is fading. There's a lot of particulates floating around in this one, and while that doesn't really bother me overall its not too appealing. Beautiful lacing on the glass.
S: Immediate piney hop presence with some caramel sweetness and biscuity malts.
T: Very pleasant on my palate. Piney and earthy hop presence up front blended with the caramel malt. A bit of citrus or grapefruit bitterness on the back end. Really enjoying this one.
MF: Super easy drinking. Awesomely balanced with a nice crisp, dry finish that sends me straight back to the glass for another swig.
O: This is a great beer. DC Brau continues to impress me whenever I get my hands on their stuff. This is definitely right where I like my pale ales. In the same crowd as Dale's and Sierra Nevada for me.

Photo of siege06nd
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Sam Adams perfect pint...

A: For an APA, this looks fantastic. Gorgeous, glowing orange copper color. A half finger eggshell white head quickly dissipates to a ring around the glass. Beautiful, gobs of sticky lacing mark my progress as I sip this one. Truly a beautiful APA.

S: Mmmm, orange zest, grapefruit, piney hops. Light, sweet, and inviting.

T: Tangerine, orange flavor on the front and mid gives way to a grassy hop presence. Slightly bitter finish as the hop oils take hold. For an APA, this is hoppy, relatively complex, and very quaffable.

M: Lingering bitterness on the finish detracts a bit from what is otherwise a very good APA. Carbonation is just fine.

O: This would be a standard IPA for most breweries, but not for the guys at the Brau. This is very very good, an APA that is sessionable but has a depth and complexity atypical of the style. It's a quality brew, even if the dry finish more closely resembles an IPA. This guy's not complaining. Great job, DC Brau!

M:

Photo of indiapaleale
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

POUR: dark auburn in color with some lighter hues when held to the light. Great looking carbonation level leading to almost an inch of off-white head. Some lacing left inside the glass.

AROMA: cotton candy, lemon peel, grapefruit juice, powdered sugar and lemon-lime Slurpee. Lots of hops coming from this Pale Ale...certainly leaning towards the IPA category it seems.

TASTE: one sip and I'm left thinking IPA. Lots of bitter, resiny hops hit the tongue and dry my mouth out. The palate is bombarded by citrus fruits and backed by light toffee and caramel flavors. As it warms a bit the floral flavors come out and mesh nicely with the sweetness that accompanies them. A very well rounded pale ale with a ton of great flavor and somehow it comes in at just 6%. Wow.

OVERALL: I'm left wondering one thing...what is DC Brau's IPA like? This is a pretty hop forward American Pale Ale that hits the higher gears when it comes to lupulin goodness. The tongue takes a good lashing but not one that will leave you moving on to something else. Nope, this is a beer you could make a night of that is for sure. Very well done. I look forward to their future canned releases!

Photo of oberon
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This the first beer from the District of Columbia I have had...I think.Poured into a standard pint glass a deep copper color with a half finger white head atop that never really settled completely,a nice rich color.Wow a blast of citric and resiny hops really hit ya,it seems more like an IPA,there is some caramel sweetness in there as well.Caramel biscuit malts on the palate up front with a wave of citric hops taking over and making this beer hop tilted.A very good hopped up APA,it just seems like a standard canned 6% APA, but it's damn good.

Photo of Jcorn
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Really good. Not amazing but really good. Smooth & drinkable.

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +3.4%

Really citrusy and juicy apa. The malts balance the hops perfectly, so overall the beer appears slightly bitter. If I wanted an APA, I would get a 6 of this.

Photo of ehammond1
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can

Thanks for sharing MrHirschybar!

Deep and dark clear amber with a thin white head. Nice lacing down the glass.

Very balanced aroma consisting of lots of bready malt character and a touch of caramel. Some pine hop presence balances the aroma nicely.

Hop flavors are certainly present, nice accompanying bitterness, along with some very bready and caramel malts. Incredibly easy to drink.

Medium to thick body.

A pleasant and flavorful, balanced and simple pale ale.

Photo of chinchill
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can in Wash., D.C. - May 2015 canning.
Looks great, with a slightly hazy, dark copper body topped by a durable, creamy tan head.
Bold for style; as hoppy as many IPAs but with more balancing malt than they usually have. Moderate bitterness. Nice fruity and slightly floral aroma.

Photo of Jeffreysan
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

12 oz can, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, cloudy, almost opaque, deep, dark, amber color, speckled with some orange highlights and a full finger of white-head that slowly dissolved away into a lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic, with strong, floral, aromas of grassy, piney, citrusy, hops up front, followed by some bready, toasted malt, which imparts some faint notes of biscuits and pretzels, and some faint notes of caramel. However, the predominate aroma is the floral aromas of grassy, piney, citrusy, hops.

Taste: Pretty much exactly like the aroma, but maybe with a little more caramel in the flavor, than in present in the aroma. That being said, the predominate flavor is the floral, slightly bitter flavors of grassy, piney, resiny, citrusy, hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and very effervescent as there is quite a bit of carbonation. With an ABV of 6.0%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: This beer is certainly an American-style pale ale. Hoppy, and…more hoppy. I’m not really a fan, as it’s too hoppy for my taste. I don’t get much in the way of malty flavors at all or any sweetness, rather, pretty much all I get is floral, slightly bitter flavors of grassy, piney, resiny, citrusy, hops. If I’m going to drink a beer from DC Brau, I’d much, much rather have a Tradition or a Porter, both of which are incredibly awesome beers, and both of which I’d happily drink all day!

Photo of mdaschaf
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to smakawhat for sending this one my way!

A: Pours a slightly hazy deep copper color with a massive off white head on top. Upon pouring it was at least two fingers in height with nice retention, finally reducing to a 1/2 finger of foam on top. Nice foamy/sticky lacing on the sides.

S: A surprisingly hoppy aroma (of which I am a fan). Some citrus (mostly orange and orange zest) and a little bit of pine. Some light caramel and a bit of graham cracker malt.

T: A burst of orange and orange zest upfront with some biscuity malt to back it up. There is a little bit of grainy malt and a touch of caramel as well. Has a bitter finish.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Was a bit surprised it was 6%, doesn't really show it at all. Slightly bitter/dry finish.

O: A very nice APA. Nice aroma and flavor profile, on the hoppy side for style, of which I am a huge fan. If this is an indication of what is to come from DC Brau, I look forward to the next beer I try from them.

Photo of Roguer
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Outstanding APA; tons of caramel malt balanced by a healthy dose of citrus and pine hops.

Photo of dirtylou
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz CAN, provided by "blackie" on his latest seattle residency

appearance: served in a hilliards can-pint pale orange body, nice 1/3" white froth, good lace

smell: toasted malt, tangerine, light citrus

taste: good flavor profile, but a little unadventurous. bready malts, a light citrus hop profile, tangerine

mouthfeel: light slick body, light bitterness

overall: good, but pretty pedestrian

Photo of WoodBrew
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A clear, copper to amber pour with plenty of lacy, foamy off-white head and plenty of carbonation and lacing. Strong hoppy smell with lots of grapefruit as well as some pine. Malt is there but definitely well covered up. The flavor is strongly hoppy as well, with more grapefruit and pine. Refreshing citrus notes with a good bit of malty sweetness. This beer has a rather heavy body (for an APA at least) and also lots of bitterness. Honestly it drank more like an American IPA to me than an APA. Still, a great beer that I am quite proud to show off as a local.

Photo of ordybill
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can into a pint glass.
Aroma- Nice blend of citrus and malt
Appearance- A murky copper colored beer with a thick white head
Taste- Malt, bread and citrus. Has a slight bitter taste. Real good.
Palate- A medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation.
Overall- An excellent American Pale Ale, highly recommended

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. can poured into an Allagash chalice.

Appearance - Deep orange. Hazy. Nice white head. Clings to the glass and leaves a chunky collar.

Smell - Pale and caramel malt with a dose of grain. Grapefruit hop. Not assertive in its hop character, but well balanced with the malt for a pale.

Taste - Again, well balanced hop and malt profile. Grapefruit with brighter orange citrus notes. Pale malts and some caramel malts farther back. Bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation. Drinkable but not what I'd called a light body. The hops are most prevalent in the bitterness it leaves.

Overall - I've enjoyed this significantly more than their IPA. This is nice without being over the top in any category.

Photo of HGildemeister
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like this beer. Though I've had some disparate taste experiences with it in different bars. It's best cold as hell out of a can in my opinion

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with 2 fingers of thick slightly off looking white head. This retains with a ½ finger of creamy froth, leaving back sudsy lacing that sticks to the sides of the glass. The aroma smells floral and piney in the nose, with an underlying mix of zesty grapefruit and more herbal feeling tones. A soft sweet graininess sits along the back. This has a nice fresh power to it in the nostrils.

The taste has a bright zesty citric bitterness to it, which is just cut short by a lightly toasted grainy sweetness from the malts. This does have a strong resinous presence to it though that lingers fairly aggressively in a dry and pithy feeling finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp feeling on the tongue with more of a firm bubbly creaminess to the carbonation as it spreads out into the rest of the mouth. There is a LOT of slick oiliness here from those hops that really keep this smooth in the mouth.

This is a very solid take on an American APA with a good bit of aggressive hop character. Almost too much in spots (especially the pine) but I think that the overall balance and ease of the body are able to dial this back just enough and keep this solidly drinkable. I see many more cans of this in my future.

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The Public Ale from DC Brau Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 742 ratings.