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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

438 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 438
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: 438 | Reviews: 127 | Show All Ratings:
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 pburland23


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

Big thanks to my kid sister for bringing a six pack up from Washington for me to enjoy.

I've drank several of these from the can already, but to review I poured the beer from the can into a snifter.

Appearance: Beer pours a hazy, rusty orange with a about two fingers of thick, resinous tan head. Very thick and pretty lacing.

Smell: Very hop forward smelling. Big citrus and piney notes with some strong malt backbone. It's a very balanced and nice smelling beer.

Taste: Maltier than I expected. Strong caramel malt flavors that work well with the big piney and citrus hops flavors. Moderate bitterness with a dry finish. This pale ale drinks like an IPA.

Mouthfeel: Resinous, on the thicker side of medium bodied. Nice level of carbonation. Creamy and drinkable.

Overall: This was my first DC Brau beer and I'm pretty impressed. I used to live in DC and it was a wasteland for craft beer in those days, so I'm happy to see a quality brewery in the District. As for The Public, it's a hop forward but well balanced APA. Very refreshing from the can which was my preferred method of drinking.

Serving type: can

07-16-2012 01:18:20 | More by pburland23
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
Photo of DefenCorps


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

Can from Chevy Chase.

A surprisingly dark amber with a dense, off-white head with good retention and nice lacing, this beer looks nice. It does have a moderate density of floaties, though. The nose is decent, and in many ways, what I'd expect of a flagship pale ale - moderately sweet and moderately hoppy with a pleasant enough aromatic hop character. The Vienna malt is a nice touch, rounding out the sweetness. The hop character is rather juicy, with a mild pine, a little citrus and some melon as well. Solid.

The palate is a lot hoppier than the nose would suggest. Quite aggressive in its bitterness, there's flavors of grapefruit (nicely done too), a sharp, mildly minty pine character flavor and bitterness. The malt character is moderate, lending sweetness (caramel, a little bit of a smooth and rounded bready Vienna malt flavor). Mildly resiny and moderately bitter on the finish with a hop pungency that's pretty intense, this beer is medium-light in body and moderately carbonated (a shade too high for me). This is where I apologize and say that this is anything but an expected flagship pale ale. I would drink this again.

Serving type: can

06-28-2012 04:21:21 | More by DefenCorps
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 trxxpaxxs

New York

4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to IrishColonial for this can...

A: Pours a deep orange, verging on amber, with yellows around the edges. There is about a finger of foam that settles quickly. Not a whole lot of lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is mainly malt, with some pine coming through as well. Yup, that about sums it up.

T: It's nice and juicy up front, lots of citrus notes. There is a sweetness in the middle that I'm enjoying. The finish is light, but piney. I'm actually a bit surprised how not-malty it is since the nose is pretty malt forward.

M: Medium bodied beer. Starts out wet and flavorful, the mild hop bitter linger to the end, but nothing overpowers. Great balance in this beer.

O: This is really nice. I didn't have a whole lot of expectations from DC Brau going into this beer, but I like this pale a lot. I'd pick up a bunch more if I ever head down to visit my relatives in DC.

Serving type: can

06-21-2012 23:28:21 | More by trxxpaxxs
Photo of C20Percent


4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a copper gold with a 1/3 fingers worth of eggshell white head into a pint glass. So much complexity in the color of the body. First, so much bubble action going on. And, little pieces of sediment are present, which I know isn't good for everyone, but I prefer an unfiltered brew. The colors are playing tricks in the brew. Good head retention so far. Great.

S: Outside of FFF DC Brau just might be making the best Pale Ale that I've had. This is super comparable to an Alpha King. The smell is a sweet malt and citrus aroma that is pretty addicting. It's like tangerines or fresh grapefruits or passion fruits or pineapple. The smell is somewhere between subtle and in-your-face, but it's just right for a Pale Ale.

T: A crisp and refreshing caramel and toffee malt which is followed by a slightly bitter taste, but only a flash of it. There is also a nice balance of a citrus and piney hop taste. But, the thing that really perseveres here is the refreshing taste. This is a summer beer. I find no faults with this.

M: A light-medium bodied brew with medium carbonation, but the best thing about it is the smooth buttery feel it has. A really smooth physical taste. I'm getting a little abrasiveness in my mouth, but that might just be me.

O: For a Pale Ale -- this is almost perfect. Yes, I'd prefer a really good IPA. But, on a hot summer day or after I'm come inside from doing some lawn work this is the beer I won't. Super refreshing. Really great taste. Looks beautiful. DC Brau is really growing on me, and I get the feeling this offering is probably improved on from there earlier PA.

Serving type: can

06-17-2012 22:25:15 | More by C20Percent
Photo of beergoot


3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Taken from notes during a recent visit to Washington DC. Enjoyed at the Capitol Hill Hyatt Regency...

- Orange body, thin head

- Sweet malt in nose; spicy, citrusy hops; some aroma may have been killed off since they poured it into an iced glass...

- Nice, soft malt flavors, good bitterness

- Clean taste, finishes dry, bright carbonation

- Good beer, but rough around the edges...

Serving type: can

06-17-2012 22:24:42 | More by beergoot
Photo of n2185

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange with two fingers of white head that fades into a dense cap with great lacing.

S: Some pineapple and grapefruit notes up front with pine bringing up the finish. The nose is a little muted, though.

T: Grapefruit and pine dominate up front with slight notes of pineapple. The finish is earthy and lightly bitter.

M: Medium body and carbonation, this beer is nice and lively feeling.

O: A pretty decent pale ale overall. The nose is a bit muted, but it's tasty and refreshing.

Serving type: can

06-15-2012 01:48:19 | More by n2185
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 bum732


4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: Fresh, grapefruit, some spiciness, leather, dankness, some bready/yeasty notes

L: Hazy amber orange, white creamy head with good retention.

T: Fresh, pungent hop taste with a soft bready maltiness. Medium high dank-like bitterness. Finishes fairly dry with a long hoppy finish.

M: Medium full body. Medium high carbonation, almost spritzy.

Just delicious. Definitely on the hoppy side, but not at IPA malt levels. Love the mouthfeel and carbonation, makes me want to drink more. Might be my new go-to pale ale.

Serving type: can

05-29-2012 02:52:11 | More by bum732
Photo of WoodBrew


3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

Serving type: can

05-05-2012 12:44:22 | More by WoodBrew
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 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 Arithmeticus


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

Poured chilled at the White house on Superbowl Sunday.

A: dark copper, thin but creamy head, cloudy
S: lovely--grapefruit, hops dominate
T: very flavorful, sweet APA; straw overtones within a hoppy framework; very broad flavor; tastes like it has a higher ABV than it does.

Really nice beer.

Serving type: growler

02-10-2012 17:05:19 | More by Arithmeticus
Photo of DapperGrowler

District of Columbia

4.55/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - cloudy and slightly orange in color. there was not much in the way of a head but there was some nice lacing along the sides of the glass

S- A very robust hop aroma. There is also a slight fruit/citrus smell to the beer

T- There are some biting hops at the front of the beer followed by a nice malt taste and a bitter end.

M - Medium bodied, good mouth feel.

This is a great beer. it is now one of my favorites as it stands out above the pack for its distinct flavor profile.

Serving type: can

02-07-2012 03:53:27 | More by DapperGrowler
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 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
The Public Ale from DC Brau Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 438 ratings.