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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

436 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 436
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: 436 | Reviews: 127 | Show All Ratings:
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 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 brentk56

North Carolina

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

Appearance: Pours a cloudy copper color capped by a couple of inches; very nice retention and impressive lacing action

Smell: Biscuit and caramel, with pithy hop aromatics

Taste: Opens biscuity, with caramel building underneath; by mid-palate, the hops add bitter and floral balance, with an additional bit of pithy citrus in the finish; the caramel tones linger in the aftertaste along with a touch of tobacco

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A very nice APA, with requisite balance and good hop flavor

Thanks, Dave_Treat, for the chance to re-visit

Serving type: can

12-18-2012 01:03:50 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Can: Poured a bright orangey/amber color ale with a nice big foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus and grapefruit notes with dry caramel notes. Taste is very refreshing with solid floral notes of citrus and grapefruit with limited bitterness and some dry caramel malt notes also perceptible. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Solid rendition of the style with great drinkability factor.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2013 19:51:42 | More by Phyl21ca
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 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 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 oberon

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Serving type: can

07-22-2013 22:07:41 | More by oberon
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 RblWthACoz


3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Glad I finally got hold of some single cans from DC Brau so I can try their standard lineup.

Clear amber on the pour with a creme head. Flavor has a nice bitterness that seems to lean into amber territory just a bit. At least that's my opinion. Pine and leafy tones are mostly there. Kind of a sipper really.

Serving type: can

12-30-2013 19:14:10 | More by RblWthACoz
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 mdfb79

New York

3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 04/30/11 notes. Thanks to ahalloin for sharing a growler of this one; thanks Tony. Poured into my SAVOR snifter.

a - Pours a hazy bright orange color with an inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hops, pine hops, and fruity malts. Lots of citrus hops up front.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, pine hops, fruity malts, and grapefruit. Light bitterness and citrus up front.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a very nice hoppy APA from a local brewery; I'm looking forward to trying more beers by them in the future. Lots of citrus hops, will certainly have it again.

Serving type: growler

05-07-2011 01:40:54 | More by mdfb79
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 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 corby112


3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Canned on 9/10.

Pours a slightly hazy, dark copper color with burnt orange edges and a two finger frothy white head that slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Not very " pale" but the head on this beer has great retention with streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Resinous, earthy aroma with subtle spice and grassy, earthy hop character countered by sweet malt notes. Malt sweetness is strong than expected in the nose with lots of caramel, toffee, biscuit and hazelnut. This takes away from the hops a bit but there's still a somewhat dank and oily hop presence.

Fuller bodied than expected with a crisp, dry and bitter hop presence up front that lingers over a sweet malt backbone into a sticky dry finish. Slightly floral but more dank and resinous with spicy grass, earthy pine needle and spruce tip flavor. This is countered by a sweet malt backbone with lots of caramel, toffee, dark fruit, bread and biscuit. Usually I don't prefer this much of a malt presence in a pale ale/hoppy beer, but it works here creating nice balance. Overall, not a great beer but flavorful, well balanced and very easy to drink.

Serving type: can

09-20-2013 02:23:38 | More by corby112
Photo of woodychandler


3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was initially going to trade for this beer and then a college buddy who was working in Baltimore asked me to come down and hang out for a few days. For me, any trip to BALTO needs to include a visit to my maternal aunt and uncle in DC and they made the mistake of asking what I would like to do on the Saturday of my visit. "Let's visit a brewery!" I exclaimed, and after some initial eye rolling, they flashed on the great times that they have had with me on other brewery tours and acquiesced. By the time the tour and tasting were over, their regrets had vanished and I was flush with beer.

From the CAN: "DC Statehood Facts [:] In November 2000, the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles began issuing license plates bearing the slogan: 'Taxation without representation'"; "Serve in a tulip, goblet or enjoy from the CAN".

The Crack & Glug produced three (!) fingers of dense tawny head with great retention. Color was an oh-so-slightly hazy orangish-amber. Nose was an interesting combination of a light citrusiness coupled with a slight malty sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium with a greater bitterness than I might have expected, based on the nose, but it did not really strike me as an APA, either. The finish was semi-dry, very pleasant, but still not my idea of an APA. Stylistically, it was not really making it, but in terms of hop presence and bitterness, I liked it. In fact, that was the consensus around the table after my maternal uncle came down to pick me up and run some errands. It certainly has a place in the cooler, but it should not supplant a more stylistically correct APA.

Serving type: can

10-09-2011 18:02:24 | More by woodychandler
Photo of stakem


4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cheers and thanks go to Kegatron for continuing to spoil me with seemingly 1 of every DC brau offering he can get his hands on and for being 90% responsible for every canned offering I have tried/reviewed. 12oz can into a standard pint. The brew appears a hazed color of copper with a finger of yellowish stained cap. As the cap fades, it leaves a thin film across the top and produces some webby pattern of lacing on the glass. A light swirl revives about a finger of yellowish stained froth and some chucks of yeast hang in suspension.

The aroma is pretty nice with a balance of caramel malt sweetness contrasted by a fruity to floral quality of hops. A mild tingle of estery alcohol is present along with a citrus to zesty pulp hop character that is mildly herbal and flirts into pine-like territory. As the brew warms up, this really draws focus towards floral with a bit of sweetness that gets progressively more candy-like instead of malty. Interesting and enjoyable.

The taste is no surprise when considering the aroma. Caramel malt is present with a bit of residual sweetness blending into almost a candy appeal. Hops provide seemingly more flavor than bitterness. Flavors of citrus and zest like grapefruit initially blend into a bit of mango and hints of tropical quality. The tropical aspect gets really exaggerated by the residual candy sweetness and really plays a part inside the mouth tasting like ripe tropical fruit before the onset of rindy and herbal bitterness come into focus. Once the bitterness latches hold of your tongue, flavors of herbs, pine and a bit of catty quality emerge.

This is a medium bodied brew with a moderate amount of carbonation. It is light in body with a moderate amount of carbonation that is perfect for the style. I think the contrasting sweetness was a bit much at times but it really made the brew effortlessly drinkable. I would have preferred the flavor of the residual sugar to be more malt based in character instead of candy-like with a sugary aspect. Regardless this was solid and I finished my glass at an alarming rate. I would drink this again.

Serving type: can

11-14-2012 02:30:01 | More by stakem
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.

Serving type: can

10-24-2012 17:11:56 | More by Kegatron
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Bright orange pour from the can produces a spongy textured surface head that was slight in size and small on the hold. There is a good deal of softly floating particulate matter suspended within, while the carbonation appears to be soft and sporadic at best. Minimal lace details the glass.

S: Soft herbal notes overlay some pine and semi-dry lemon. There is a hint of semi-dry orange with a soft dried toasted peel and grain scent. Lightly dry citric zest appears late. Good aromatic strength.

T: Citric lemon and orange delivered with a high rational dose of bitterness. Dry grassy-lemon hops blend with pine, toasted bread crust with a lingering dry finish. Dry herbal, parsely, grassy notes with brief interluding moments of troasted grain sweetness.

M: lively, snap worthy pop of carbonation, that is crisp on the tongue with a light to medium body weight.

O: Overall a pale with more then its fair share of hops and bitterness. The hops over-ride the malt sweetness but only slightly, still maintaining a good sense of balance between the two. The abv% at 6.0 feels about right making for good drinkability. The ibus are strong, and this is worthy of multiples.

Serving type: can

01-01-2014 18:46:20 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer is slightly hazy, appearing copper orange in color. The off white head is an inch thick, and leaves substantial lacing on the pint glass. The aroma offers citrus and malt, with a nice hop character. The flavor brings balance, slightly in favor of hops. The feel is medium bodied, with appropriate carbonation. Personally, I prefer less balance and more of a hop forward pale ale. That said, this is well done. I look forward to more tasty beers from this new local brewery.

Serving type: can

07-25-2011 01:25:45 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of JohnGalt1


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

Awesome... The elusive DC tick!! Received this in a great trade with Kmccabe33.. Thanks a ton Korey!!

Poured into my slim tulip... light khaki head sticks around for quite a while leaving good lacing... the brew sorta looks chill hazed, but is a deep golden.

Big ole mash-up of hops ... plenty of citrus, but floral and piney undertones are also present... some background maltiness... caramel malt probably..

Fairly balanced brew with all the above aromas translated onto the palate, but with a little bit of toastiness... Nice hoppiness.. very drinkable.

good body and carbonation... but somehow sorta a creaminess makes me want another sip.

Thanks Korey for a great trade.. let me know if you want to do another.


Serving type: can

08-16-2012 04:25:34 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of smakawhat


3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally get a chance to try this in the can, pouring into a tulip glass as recommended by instructions on said can. Brought right from the brewery premises.

Tight creamy foam comes right out of the can, not gushing, but ready to play. Hits the glass nicely and forms very evenly with the tiniest of bubbles. Body is a great orb cloudy but not as dull on tap opaqueness orange amber. A great glowing orange orb beauty. In my opinion this looks better than on tap.

Bouquet is virtually identical, but there's a little bit more bread punch, to go along with the wet minor hop bent and maltyness.

Taste is a carbon copy of it's on tap brother, orange citrus, hop bent, light malt feel is a bit more wet though and feels considerably more light bodied. A little steely also, perhaps a hint of ferrousness, but nothing extremely noticeable or off putting.

Overall still a great beer to be had for people of DC.

Serving type: can

07-15-2011 20:23:40 | More by smakawhat
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

Serving type: can

08-27-2012 01:34:32 | More by dirtylou
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 largadeer


3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Appearance: Dark muddy amber body capped by a big frothy head. Doesn't look like a pale ale at all, more like an amber/red.

Smell: Nose is hop forward, yeasty, estery. Toasted malt, pine, citrus and floral notes. This brewery seems to have a strong house character - their IPA had a very similar yeast character.

Palate: Bready toasted malt, citrusy/floral hops. Touch of stonefruit from the yeast. Spicy, floral. Firm bitterness that doesn't overwhelm. Body is curiously big for a supposed pale ale. Finishes bready and yeasty with a mild hop bite. Pretty damn good, this stuff.

Serving type: can

06-30-2012 08:20:41 | More by largadeer
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The Public Ale from DC Brau Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 436 ratings.