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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

437 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 437
Reviews: 127
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 11.11%

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: 437 | Reviews: 127 | Show All Ratings:
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 1sophrosyne1


3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tasted at the brewery on tap and from a growler a couple of hours later in a pilsner glass.

Pours an orange-tinged amber with nice read-through clarity. A lightly puffy white head leaves good patches of lacing, but falls fast.

Scents of citrus (largely grapefruit with a touch of lime) , nicely malty with a whiff of grass, and clean pine.

The flavor is grassy and funky with bitterness that comes up in the middle, dripping in orange, grapefruit and apricot. Those fruits fold into cracker-chewy sweetness. It tastes of brewed black tea sucked off a metal spoon on the back half with nice length. Just a touch too angular.

It's both astringent and almost meaty with a moderate amount of carbonation slicing through a medium body. Just enough oil makes for the lingering finish--could be smoother overall.

Overall, this brew is quite good, with a balance of easy drinkability and length and complexity that make it worth attention.

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2013 00:01:40 | More by 1sophrosyne1
Photo of VelvetExtract


3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a copper color with some haze.

S-Pretty straightforward. Piney hops and a bunch of biscuit and caramel. Moderate intensity. Its nice but very status quo.

T-Balancing act between biscuits and caramel with pine and flowery hops.

M-A bit creamy with a decently bitter finish.

O/D-A solid APA. Balanced and drinkable but gets lost in the crowd to some extent.

Serving type: on-tap

06-15-2013 19:25:25 | More by VelvetExtract
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 jjboesen


4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Public comes across as the quintessential pale ale: translucent copper body topped with a shimmering finger of marshmellow foam with consistent lace splotching.

The nose is good; there is the requisite floral notes - with a whiff of Lemon Pledge, grapes, grass and honey. Not bad in any case. The palate receives a repeat of the grass (tastewise in this case) and lemon with a harsh chalky finish.

At least, this one had a nice balance in establishing a non-confrontational meeting of mild hoppiness and subtle maltiness, which forms the backbone.

A highly quaffable session beer madeby this small brewer from our Nations' Capital.

Serving type: on-tap

08-06-2012 01:05:07 | More by jjboesen
Photo of kylehay2004


4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: two finger head with excellent retention and lacing on a murky amber brown body with slight crimson hue.

S: mid range degree of floral and citrus hop aroma. Lighter on the breads and malts.

T: Very well balanced pale ale. Caramel malts form a nice body with well represented earthy, metallic and citrus hops with slight grassy bittering in the finish.

M: medium body and moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: my first from this brewery. I am impressed with this one. I m usually either disappointed in pale ales out there because the lack flavor or are hopped more like an IPA. This represents the genre very well.

Serving type: on-tap

07-22-2012 22:46:34 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of estlinska


3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap, poured into a shaker. Deep ruby red in color, small rim of pearly head with fair lacing. Citrus fruit and grassy hops on the nose, minimal clean malts as well. The taste had a touch more spiciness to it along with the grass and citrus I smelled. Malt backbone is present, but barely accounted for. Medium body with lasting hops finish. Overall, very enjoyable, sessionable beer for a hot day wandering the museums.

Serving type: on-tap

06-27-2012 00:13:18 | More by estlinska
Photo of mchodge13


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

One of my go-to beers around DC. The Public Ale acts more like an IPA than an APA. Hop aroma and amber hue make the beer very enticing. Good flavor, but hoppier and more bitter than most pale ales. Not a bad thing if you're a hop head but perhaps makes it a little untrue to the style.

Serving type: on-tap

11-05-2011 21:19:25 | More by mchodge13
Photo of pixieskid


3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma was of citrus and floral hops, a bit on the sweet side.

Taste matched the nose with the citrus and floral hops, nice bit of caramel and grains. Finishes with a mild bitterness and lingering caramel sweetness.

Overall; tasted super fresh and accompanied the Fish Burger well. Will be on the look out for some cans of DC Brau stuff today!

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2011 14:28:56 | More by pixieskid
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Smith Commons.

Pours a dark copper with a thick whitish head, great lacing and retention. Big pine and floral hop nose with a malt presence. Malt doesn't do much in the flavor as the bitter pine hops dominate throughout and into the bitter finish. A very aggressive, hoppy pale ale. A promising start for a new brewery.

Serving type: on-tap

08-15-2011 00:22:47 | More by yourefragile
Photo of ferrari29


3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer served at Churchkey in 4oz. nonic pint glass

A - Beer had a reddish-brown colored clear body; beer was served with a one finger white colored head; not much carbonation formed in the beer; lots of lacing stuck on the side of the glass

S - Citrus and hop notes; some pine notes; grass; mostly fresh citrus; caramel malt

T - Caramel malt back-end; hop and citrus notes; pine; some lemon-zest; smooth and crisp flavor; quick hard bite of pine

M - Beer has a bitter aftertaste that lingers for a while; good flavor; soft medium body and bubbly

D - Good solid drink; glad to DC has a real contender in its own backyard; immediately becoming my local favorite

Serving type: on-tap

06-27-2011 01:16:48 | More by ferrari29
Photo of Olive


4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's nice to have a solid local brewery in the DC Metro area. This is one of the first beers I've seen from DC Brau on-tap in Northern Virginia and I was very happy with it.

Had it on-tap from Colombia Firehouse in Alexandria, VA. Very amber in color and had a nice head. Had a very aromatic, hoppy smell to it just as you'd expect from a good APA. Excellent taste, not too bitter, not too weak but just right. It did however, leave a small after taste. Overall, I'm very happy with DC Brau's first offering and I hope to sample more.

Serving type: on-tap

06-10-2011 15:38:59 | More by Olive
Photo of mi6234

District of Columbia

4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally a brewery in this town.

Appearance is dark for a pale, burnt orange, almost copper.

Smell is extremely hoppy. Citrus all the way with little malt coming through.

Tastes like an IPA if you ask me, a really awesome one. Strong citrus hop flavor and serious bitterness. Well balanced, at least for someone who likes hop/bitter bombs. Malt matched appearance with some mild crystal sweetness in the middle. Hops rule the beginning and though the end.

Carbonation is moderate to high with medium body. Pretty much to style though maybe a little chewy.

This beer is awesome and since it's brewed like 5 miles from my house it will always be fresh. I love that I can get it in a can to. It will be great for music festivals. I plan on drinking a number of these in the hot summer sun.

Serving type: on-tap

06-08-2011 21:00:45 | More by mi6234
Photo of metter98

New York

3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear dark copper in color and does not have any visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that left lacing running down the edges of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of citrusy hops in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is rather citrusy and has flavors of grapefruit and orange along with some hints of caramel malts.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is rather hoppy for the style, but is still easy to drink and has a good taste.

Serving type: on-tap

06-06-2011 02:44:41 | More by metter98
Photo of akorsak


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

On-tap at ChurchKey.

A: The pale ale is dark, darker than the Corruption that preceded it with a full ambery copper tone that retains its translucence. A white head, thin, comes with the pour but doesn't last long.

S: The nose has more malts than hops, caramel and biscuit aromas paired with a citrus hop profile. Grapefruit stands out but remains balanced.

T: A nice pale ale; I'm grooving to DC Brau's beers so far. Caramel and biscuit lead off, very bready with a flavor that seems to be in charge. Behind the malts, citrusy hops add spiciness without taking over. A very drinkable pale ale, hoppy enough to keep me happy.

M: The chewiness tends to push the hops to the side, but there are enough bitter moments to reel me back in. Seems sessionable, but that could be me drinking to ignore the pups in tow.

Serving type: on-tap

05-21-2011 01:23:58 | More by akorsak
Photo of TurdFurgison


3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Rustico in Alexandria VA, thanks to a solid recommendation from Mike. The beer is a pale golden orange color with very little haze and a tightly celled foam. A nice hoppy aroma as befits the best APAs, pine needles and citrus, a little malt character beneath but this leans comfortably towards the hops.

More balanced in taste, still the hops take the lead but the malts give some sweet counterplay. Good carbonation, no flaws to be found anywhere. A solid if not entirely remarkable representation of the APA style, definitely an easy choice to make again in the future.

Serving type: on-tap

05-18-2011 19:34:32 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of goldbot

District of Columbia

4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-17-2011 21:46:25 | More by goldbot
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 petacutlasaurus


3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this one at Pizzeria Paradiso the Monday after their Friday release party. Sat down at the bar next to some other sap, and after grabbing one of these, saw that we were both drinking the same thing. Since there's so much buzz about the beer, we started talking about it.

All the while, our glasses slowly shrunk and before we could order more, the keg was tapped. I feel like this is a perfect anecdote to describe DC Brau. Just as easy to enjoy as it is easy to slip into the background. It won't jump out of the glass and bite ya, but it's not dishwater either. Nice healthy hop character with a bit of citrus. Just enough to keep you interested long enough to find the kegs of it are all tapped out. I think this'll be the case as long as this beer establishing itself. Establish away, sirs. Can't wait to drink it from the can.

Serving type: on-tap

04-28-2011 22:00:10 | More by petacutlasaurus
Photo of Thorpe429


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

On tap at Rustico in Alexandria. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a nice orange color with a thick white head and some good spotty lacing as it makes its way down the glass. The nose is pretty hoppy with a bit of a malt undertone, though not too much of the latter. A good bit of pine, floral, and citrus hops. Cornucopia of possibilities right there, my friend. The flavor is along the same lines. Not too hoppy, but not too much malt, either. Really nice and drinkable. "Balanced" in the sense that it contained hops and malt, but the latter was more just a base helping out the mouthfeel than providing much flavor or sweetness. Good bitterness in the finish. Fairly light body. Really solid; can't wait for the cans of this to hit the market.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2011 01:03:21 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of Jaynuze

District of Columbia

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

Also tried a pint at Meridian Pint on 04/15/11. Poured nicely with a nice thick head. Head retention was pretty good, which allowed a nice belgian lace to form along the side of my shaker pint.
S: Aroma was pleasant though did wane after a few sips
T: Solid PA with a nice hop kick to it
M: very well balanced malt and hop ratio (though it was a bit hop heavy for a Pale)
O: A very good beer for their inaugural. Very exciting to have a local DC brewery that will distribute ... interested in seeing the rest of DCB's portfolio over the next few months. Also looking forward to see how this tastes from the can as the draft is unfiltered while the cans will not be.

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2011 16:16:36 | More by Jaynuze
Photo of Lunch


3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on-tap at Meridian Pint during opening night of DC Brau's release. The name of this brewery give me a good laugh as I picture some jackass wearing a straw trucker hat and the required pastel polo shirt and plaid shorts...but let's give their beer a try.

Served in a pint glass this one appears just like any standard APA as it is a golden light amber with a decent frothy off-white head. Smells fresh and quite hoppy with some citrus notes and pine. Not terribly complex, but nice. Taste is identical, but some malt shows itself. Body is thinner than I imagined and this is a very drinkable beverage.

An above average APA that I could certainly drink a lot of, but nothing special.

Serving type: on-tap

04-17-2011 22:38:48 | More by Lunch
Photo of drabmuh


3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer is amber with some haze, low carbonation some lacing thin head.

Aroma fades quickly but initially it is quite hoppy, piny.

Beer is medium to thin bodies on the front with a strong hop finish. Pretty bitter. Dry on the end, lingering bitterness. Decent apa, I would have it again. There is a slight solvency to the finish that comes more obvious the more you drink of it or as it warms. Overall it's a good beer though.

Serving type: on-tap

04-15-2011 23:58:17 | More by drabmuh
Photo of 57md


4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear copper with well over a finger of healthy head that lingers for a long time. The nose is earthy with a touch of hops. This offering is light-bodied and the flavor profile is nicely balanced between malt and hops. The finish is almost as bitter as some single IPAs. This is an exceptional pale ale.

Serving type: can

04-12-2014 06:44:04 | More by 57md
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
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The Public Ale from DC Brau Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 437 ratings.