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The Public Ale - DC Brau Brewing Co.

The Public AleThe Public Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

440 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 440
Reviews: 127
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 10.85%

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:
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 added by: drabmuh on 04-15-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 440 | Reviews: 127 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ShogoKawada

Rhode Island

2.88/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz into tulip.

A- Orangey glow to the body and a creamy, sticky, 4-finger head. Looks like orange meringue. Really nice lacing.

S- Very fruity, orange and mango in the nose.

T- Spicy pine resin and caramel/toffee malt. Fruit peeks through too. A bit muddled. Sweet and bitter finish that's not the best. Almost minty, like mouthwash. Not bad, just weird.

M- Heavy for the ABV, strong bitterness. Thick, almost chewy.

O- A little odd for the style, expected something a bit lighter and drier.

Serving type: can

09-22-2011 22:16:39 | More by ShogoKawada
Photo of harrymel


2.91/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Canned earlier

Pours a hazed red copper ale with an etched surface of lighter cream foam. Smells of english tea, some caramel malts, some resiny hops and a hint of grapefruit. Flavor is malts, some pekoe, some wood and fruity english yeast. Medium bodied with a low on moderate carb and a wet finish. Quaffable, but not special for me.

Serving type: can

06-15-2013 08:23:10 | More by harrymel
Photo of AshleyMiller


3.18/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanks to yourefragile for this extra.

a - pours a finger and a half head over a cloudy lighter brown though not completely opaque, leaves noticeable lacing

s - slight honey over piney hops

t - bitter hops, slight lemon, lasting bitterness.

m - lighter bodied with decent carbonation, finishes dry

o - not a bad pale ale for the commoner, hence the namesake.

Serving type: can

12-07-2011 01:10:16 | More by AshleyMiller
Photo of jpmclaug

South Carolina

3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Bottle courtesy of drabmuh. Thank you.

orange brown on top gives way to a golden color, pretty prominent off white head. kind of dark for the style. caramel and biscuity malt sweetness mingle with a light citrus hop aroma. Pretty sweet for the style. the malt seems to overtake the light hop presence. Reminds me a bit more of an amber ale. Still this beer is decently drinkable and there isn't anything offensive about it. medium bodied with a good deal of carbonation.

Overall a decent beer but nothing too memorable. I'm glad to have tried it though. Pretty cool looking can with an interesting fact about voting in DC.

Serving type: can

09-11-2011 23:04:02 | More by jpmclaug
Photo of BEERchitect


3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Searching for new ways to reinvent "Pale", I like DC Brau's take- not to temper the hop character to bring it within balance for the malt; But to bulk up the malt component to balance out the hops.

Its maltier underpinnings are even evident to the eye- medium bronze with dark gold threads running through. Its significant haze shows that the flavors haven't been stripped out via filtration. This also facilitates its head character that is firmly withstanding even as the head reduces to an ivory-stained sheet to skirt the glass. Decorative lacing trails on the glass with each sip taken.

Malty and spicy to the nose- its true balance results from light toast, light caramel, grain and nuts. Citrus, pine stems and a whack of rust-like mineral properties gives offers the counterpart to malts and keeps the aromas in check throughout.

Its flavors fare similarly as a heartier-than-usual- toasty, grainy sweetness offers a glimpse of caramel and pecan but without the caramel sweetness that normally accompanies those tastes. Its dry malt taste is exacerbated by acute bitterness from citrus piths, sawn pine, and minerally crispness.

Its dry textures are a strong asset while the carbonation keeps things creamy and rounded early on. But as the bubbles dissipate, it leaves an extended void in the center that's arid and a little thin. Its clean and dry finish exposes some grain-derived astringency that bites at the throat lightly. It also allows for a slight metallic taste to stem from its minerally nature.

I really like the use of Vienna malt to give the ale a bit of heft to balance the American hops. But its grainy and stemmy taste limits its success to a large degree.

Serving type: can

08-22-2013 05:15:41 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of KeefD


3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Woohoo! Another tick! CAN courtesy of woodychandler in the Nice Cans BIF. Glad to tick off another "state". I'll be up to 51 in no time!

EDIT: Awww.... This doesn't count as a state. Booo-urns!

Pours is fantastic. Slight chill haze permeates the solid orange/rust colored body with a two finger head that fell slowly, leaving sticky lace all over the glass. Aroma has a nice piney/citrusy element, a bit of doughy malt in the background, and a touch of herbs. Taste is pretty good! Nothing really stands out, not overly hoppy, but has a good bitterness. Hops bring a decent pine and grapefruit flavor, but it's rather subdued, a brief candy-like sweetness midway through, and finishes dry with a cracker/bread like maltiness. Body is medium, good carbonation. Overall, a rather easy to drink pale ale that's not offensive in any way, but could use a bit more hop flavor rather than just the mellow bitterness. An easy drinker. Tasty burps.

Serving type: can

09-06-2011 15:30:28 | More by KeefD
Photo of jodybrutal

New Jersey

3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Found a can of this in a mystery 12 pack I picked up at Victor's Liquors in Lawnside, NJ. No date on the can. Poured into pint glass.

a - Pours a dark, cloudy orange, big white fluffy head, sporadic lacing.

s - Aroma is straight forward hops, very piney, but dank and malty. Sweet candy scents as well.

t - Bitter right away, but malty even more so than the smell. Definitely a little more malty that I would prefer for an APA, but the Hops definitely shine through and balance this beer quite well.

m - Medium carbonation. Medium body. Goes down smooth, but leaves an almost sour kind of taste lingering on the tongue, which I'm actually starting to get tired of as I've finished 3/4 of this beer.

o - I poured about 3/4 into the glass, and had the rest straight from the can. The finish was actually much crisper and enjoyable from the can than out of the glass. Overall, I enjoyed this beer but would not seek it out.

Serving type: can

04-06-2014 20:08:26 | More by jodybrutal
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

crystal clear pale amber with a white head that cleared quickly leaving just a tad of lace. Smell was slight earthy, grass malts, with a hop hint. The taste was light and highly carbonated, but this is to be expected from an Extra Pale. This would make a good summer beer as it essentially goes down like water

Serving type: can

10-22-2011 01:16:47 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of oline73


3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy orangish amber with a finger of off white head. The head fades to a small layer on top of the pour and leaves some mild lacing.

Smell: Mild smell, some malt and fruity hop notes. Light and crisp.

Taste: Stronger than the smell. The hop bitterness covers up the malt a bit. Lots of citrus peel hops. The finish is quite bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: This is a nice beer to sit and sip. I would have another.

Serving type: can

01-27-2012 18:07:36 | More by oline73
Photo of Roser


3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A- cloudy, amber, copper hue. Bone white head/foam, disappears pretty quick, but leaves a nice lace.

S- caramel, sugar, malt. The nose suggests a heavier taste is to follow, but that is not the case.

T- bitter right out of the gate, moved to some sour notes in the middle, then finished with more of the bitterness on the back end. Had trouble defining the favors that stood out, other than an overwhelming malt backbone with some citrus lurking.

M- medium, unassuming.

O- I'm a big fan of this beer. Might come as a little bit of a surprise, given the less than stellar review. It's the kind of beer I could easily see someone else snubbing completely, but that's the beauty of adhering to the bottom line: it's a good beer if it tastes good to you. Drink it if you can, as it's a local offering here in the DC/VA/MD metro area.

Serving type: can

03-30-2014 21:41:22 | More by Roser
Photo of ThisWangsChung


3.41/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz can into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy copper color. There's a nice three finger pale yellow head here, however it doesn't retain itself that well. Lacing, on the other hand, is good.

S: Pretty typical of the style: grapefruit, pine resin, and floral notes come from the hops, while there are touches of biscuity malt. Key word being 'touches' - this isn't over-malted, thankfully.

T: This one is pretty floral in terms of hoppiness. Only a touch of citrusy character comes through near the back end, along side a minor surge of caramel maltiness. I'd reckon the general bitterness is moderate; there's just enough malt here to balance out any annoying harshness without coming off excessively sugary.

M: The feel has a decent crispness to it, but is perhaps a touch too astringent finishing. Still, I can't complain about its drinkability or carbonation levels.

O: A well made, easy drinking pale, just one that isn't particularly remarkable or exciting. To be fair, though, floral, piny pale ales don't really excite me in the first place. Worth a try.

Serving type: can

06-06-2013 19:59:51 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of beerwolf77


3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks goes to Thorpe429 for sending a cans of this to Andy. I've been itching to tick a DC beer ever since they announced plans to can.

A: Slightly cloudy orange amber hue. Two fingers of thick creamy beige head. Good retention. Thick sticky lace clings to the glass.

S: The citrus hops give off a pungent, juicy aroma. Moderate caramel malt backs up the hops keeping things balanced.

T: Heavy citrus bitterness bites my tongue. Bordering on acrid. A bit resiny and medicinal. A touch of caramel malt comes out in the finish with each swallow. A bit out of balance for me.

M: Creamy medium body with a good amount of carbonation.

O: Not bad but nowhere near some of the best APA's I've had. Happy to have the tick nonetheless.

Serving type: can

08-31-2011 22:29:02 | More by beerwolf77
Photo of CaptCleveland


3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can (no dating) poured into Bruery tulip.

Thin, white head settles to a ring of tiny bubbles over opaque red-orange elixir. Small amount of lacing.

Hops, orange rind, malt.

Floral, hop bitterness, caramel, biscuit malt.

Medium-light body, crisp, well carbonated.

Good APA. Would like to have fresh.

Serving type: can

04-20-2012 02:00:20 | More by CaptCleveland
Photo of Rifugium


3.51/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Pin's.

Hazy coppery pour, with a fuzzy white head that held at a thin layer, leaving streaks of lacing on the glass. In the nose, pithy citrus, toasted grains, lightly sweet caramel malts. In the taste, citrus pith and piney bitterness, dominating over dry crackery malts, husky grains, with a slight mineral element persisting throughout. Body was on the lighter side of medium, with a crisp, dry mouthfeel. Went down easily enough, but there was nothing that screamed at me to get another pour. An average but solid APA overall.

Serving type: on-tap

02-05-2014 01:09:17 | More by Rifugium
Photo of THECPJ


3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: copper orange with a 1 finger off white head

smell: grass, pine, hops, caramel, malts,

taste: grass, hops, malts, bitter finish

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: decent pale ale. glad I got to try this new brewery out of Washington DC.


Serving type: can

08-14-2011 00:08:36 | More by THECPJ
Photo of Durge


3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another new brew for me to try at The Carpool bar in Herndon, VA. This one shows hazy amber colors with a decent sized frothy off-white cover and complete lacing! The aroma offers a simple pleasant citrus hop and biscuit tea, somewhat herbal. Subtle, nothing to wow you but fairly decent. The flavor brings a bright grapefruit biscuit with slight herbal tea caramel ideas. This is on the light side in body with an effective, tingly carbonation. It eases in a bready caramel flavor that blends naturally with the citrus bite. A very drinkable brew with good hop character. Light but legitimate for sure. Drink many.

Serving type: on-tap

09-12-2012 17:44:07 | More by Durge
Photo of mactrail


3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Attractive amber in the glass, nice and sudsy. A lovely whiff of hops. The aroma is the best thing about this. Light body. Nice mouthfeel with a fine carbonation.

Very hoppy, after a brief flirtation with the malt. Some biscuit flavors, a little bit of honeydew melon in the aftertaste. Quite bitter. A slight flowery hint to the hops, but more about the grapefruit.

Not my favorite style, but a promising introduction to this brewery. A good quaff, if you're in the mood for the hoppy aggression. From the 12 oz can.

Serving type: can

06-04-2012 01:19:15 | More by mactrail
Photo of FosterJM


3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1476th Review on BA
Can to Goblet

No canning date

Thanks to my brother in law for this one.

App- Copper, bronze, gold and yellow all mixed and inter twined. A small 1/4" off white head that left a couple dors and a small ring of bubbles.

Smell- Its a very large caramel malt aroma with slight slight citrus and tinge of hops. Imagine a Devil Dancer just reduced in a pale ale form. One sided lacks depth.

Taste- Its a okay pale ale. Lots of caramel malts and thats about it. Maybe a trace of hops with a thick zest flavor. Like the nose a bit one sided. Not a pale profile I enjoy really.

Mouth- A thicker medium body with a thicker medium carbonation even for a small abv pale ale. Just okay.

Drink- Its okay. I am not the biggest fan of Vienna malts so this was just an affirmation of that. Decent pale ale. Just not my style.

Serving type: can

08-29-2012 14:14:44 | More by FosterJM
Photo of CuriousMonk


3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this special brew on tap from several places. Poured from a growler into a pint class. Pours a beautiful hazy amber/golden body along with a thick head that retains its lacing throughout the session well. Aroma is moderately sweet, pine, some lemon/grapefruit, and orange zest. Taste is medium sweet, somewhat malty, pine/grapefruit, some lemon. I am also picking up some sticky hop pellets throughout. Overall light-medium body, resiny. A very nice introduction to DC Brau Brewing after 60 years in Washington, D.C.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2011 17:09:21 | More by CuriousMonk
Photo of MaxSpang


3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint glass.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Serving type: can

02-02-2012 00:25:30 | More by MaxSpang
Photo of UCLABrewN84


3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to drabmuh for sending me this one!

Pours a slightly hazy dark orange with a 2 inch foamy off-white head that settles to a large craggy cap on top of the beer. A latticework of lace forms around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt and some herbal and hops. Taste is of herbal hops up front with the malt coming through on the finish. There is a medium level of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeeel. Overall, this is a pretty good but basic pale ale.

Serving type: can

04-12-2012 03:16:03 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of garuda


3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazed copper body, white head has good retention and lace.

Hop forward, with mostly grapefruit flesh and pine. Caramel, bready malt sweetness, but stays bitter through the finish. Sturdy medium body and medium carbonation. Smooth consistency, a little prickly across the palate.

O - Almost IPA-like. A little out of balance to the bitter side which keeps it from being an easy drinker. Not bad though, I'd get it again when I'm in the DC area.

Serving type: can

06-16-2013 22:05:58 | More by garuda
Photo of Florida9


3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Very cloudy orange in color. Forms a very large, very rocky, light tannish colored head. Excellent retention and copious amounts of lacing.

S: Smells of malts and grains, then a mix of orangey citrus and herbaceous hops. Kind of dirty smelling.

T: More grainy malts. A light pine quality. Seltzer. Cracker.

M: Medium bodied and thicker than one would expect for an APA. Good carbonation. Mild-to-moderate bitterness.

O: Rather one dimensional and not overly exciting, but still a decent, drinkable, pale ale.

Serving type: can

11-09-2011 03:14:30 | More by Florida9
Photo of flexabull


3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can courtesy of joshdykema, thanks again!

Pours a hazy gold color with a pretty nice white head.

Aromas are hand candies, grains, light grapefruit, and pine. Smells pretty good.

Taste has some caramel notes up front. Slightly creamy and sweet. Finish is crisp, grainy, with some mild pine and grapefruit hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is a bit too thin for my liking, carbonation is decent though.

Overall, a simple but drinkable pale ale. Another pretty solid offering from DC Brau.

Serving type: can

11-11-2012 22:04:16 | More by flexabull
Photo of tone77


3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to woodychandler for his surprise visit to my job with this and other beers for me. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a cloudy caramel color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of citrus and hops. Taste is the same, lots of hops up front, some citrus flavors. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer.

Serving type: can

08-20-2011 14:24:47 | More by tone77
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The Public Ale from DC Brau Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 440 ratings.