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The Public Ale - DC Brau Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
The Public AleThe Public Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

167 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 167
Hads: 795
Avg: 3.9
pDev: 22.82%
Wants: 39
Gots: 126 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of The Public Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 167 | Hads: 795
Photo of kevanb
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz can poured into a DC Brau can glass, no sign of a canning date.

The beer pours a murky copper color, hues of honey and light amber with a billowy 2 fingers of head that has excellent retention and leaves lots of spotted lace behind. The aroma is mild, light citrus and floral notes with some spicy and bitter hops before rich and sweet malts take over. Spicy hops that are fairly bitter leap out onto the tongue, touches of grapefruit and wildflower behind it with vienna and other sweet rich malt flavors quickly swallowing this beer. The balance is fine, but it's rather subdued and tame, nothing really shining here. The body is nice, smooth carbonation, moderately low, that coats the mouth well and finishes with a nice creamy touch.

Verdict: A decent Pale Ale from DC Brau, but one that is pretty forgettable really. Nothing really interesting, but nothing really offensive either, so it's rather sessionable, it's best quality.

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Photo of cw577enfield
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked up a six-pack on 05/18/13. Bottled on 4/30/13 and poured into a snifter.

A: Orange/Yellow color, insane head (3 fingers and a half), nice lacing.

S: Citrus-infused hops, notes of floral and malt, wonderful aroma.

T: A "hop-blast" flavor! Detected a strong taste of pine, bitterness, grapefruit, and oranges. Strong bitter at the beginning but carries out to a sweet malty taste at the end. Interesting.

M: Medium-bodied, good carbonation, yet very drinkable!

O: A beautifully-done APA. Will definitely be picking up another six-pack in the soon future but based on the price tag (depends on where you live), I doubt it'll be a regular thing for me. Another outstanding job by DC Brau!

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single can from Liquor Outlet

Bright hazy orange body, topped by three fingers of bone china white micro bubbles.

Inviting citrus aroma, heavy on oranges.

Big sweet thick foundation coats the tongue. Juicy fruits gushes throughout the mouth. Big, big bitter bite at the swallow that lingers on and on, entwined with the fruit in an aftertaste that's like the end of "A Day in the Life".

Sturdy medium mouthfeel.

This is their pale? What 's the IPA like? Find out tomorrow. A heck of a first impression. Highly recommended.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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. . Hop flavors are certainly present,but seem some what muted, along with some very bready and caramel malts. Overall I will have to find this more fresh and change my review someday because I am sure my can was over 2 months old. Hard to tell without a best by date...

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Photo of BrownAleMale
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into a Ommegang chalice glass

Appearance- An orangish yellow in color with 3 fingers of cloudy white head that hardly dissipates and leaves nice sticky lacing.

Smell- Citrus and pine are most prevalent with a little bit of earthy hop.

Taste- The front of the tounge is lead with a twinge of citrus which is followed by a malt and earthy hop backbone finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium body even hinging on full body. I would like to see a little more carbonation for easier drinkability.

Overall- Pretty solid well balance APA. My only criticism would be the need for a little more citrus in the flavor and some more carbonation for easier drinkability.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz can, pours a hazy dark orange with a solid, cream colored head of great retention. Exceptional lacing. Excellent hoppy aroma with floral and citrus notes and a light dry maltiness.

The flavor is definately at an IPA-level of hoppiness, with floral, citrus, and grass notes, but also a strong and slightly over-assertive bitterness that detracts a little from these tasty subtleties. Again the malt is of a dry and crackery nature.

Medium to slightly light bodied with strong carbonation. Not bad, but a smudge too close to fizzy for my taste. Very long and lingering, bitterly hoppy aftertaste remains.

Nice enough, just a little too bitter for a beer that's not even an Ipa. Super dry and a little unbalanced for me. Looking forward to trying more by this brewer, though.

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Photo of IrishHockey
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Crabbicus (awesome trader BTW) for this little doozie!
Poured from a can into my Founders snifter

The pour on this brew is magic. It's color is a burnt orange with 2 fingers of slightly off white head. The beer maintained the head for a while.

Smell was awesome. Slight citrus, malt, maybe some burnt toffee in there. Smells fantastic!

The taste was incredible! Latly on pale ales it seems the trend is going towards grapefruit. This had some citrus notes, but not front and center. I do love lots of grapefruit forward pale ales, but this one is refreshing. Balanced, and yet subtle in the taste. Nothing screamed that it was the star. Bravo DC Brau! This is a winner! When I think of how a beer should be, this is it. Not overly hopped, not to bitter, not to dry. A perfect drinking beer.

The mouthfeel on this is great. Very creamy (saying this makes me chuckle). It's light, but not watery. This is f'ing fantastic!

Overall: I'm a fan. What more can I say? This is superb. I can't recommend this beer enough! Go get some or trade for it. I think you'll enjoy it!


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Photo of JKuras
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark orange and _very_ ‘dirty’ from the unfiltered yeast residue. The yeast particles just float around and don’t seem to be in any hurry to settle at the bottom. Nice half inch of foamy head and some lacing present on the way down. I might have scored higher but that was a lot of residue and it kind of turned me off.

Smell: This might be the best smelling beer I’ve had all year. Wonderfully strong floral, fresh and fruity hops. Big clean scents of sweet apple pear, and pine. Fruity is the word that most comes to mind.

Taste: A very drinkable pale ale, not overly complex, starting off with a honey sweetness and following through with a well balanced dose of bitter, mild hops.

Mouthfeel: Moderate mouthfeel, good carbonation, goes down very smooth. This was a session beer for me.

Overall: I had a couple sixers of this throughout the year -- they were great for tailgating and beach trips. It kind of became my go-to pale ale. I thought they tasted just as good straight from the can, but I did my review proper from a beer glass.

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Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
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

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice and lasting head that stays after a while. The beer itself is a light amber orange that is clear.

A resinous and grapefruit smell from the hops. A hint of malt sweetness but ultimately overwhelmed.

The taste is extremely hoppy and bitter. The hops are a citrus and grapefruit taste. The beer has a slightly sweet malt backbone to that adds a nice compliment to all of the hops. The malts come out more in the aftertaste.

Biting carbonation. Smooth and medium bodied but feels much lighter. Finishes a little dry.

A very good APA and worth buying over and over again. Although, the hop content might be a little, I think it's pretty good.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber, no bottled-on date, poured into a nonic pint glass.

A- Pours a murky orange color, topped with a finger of creamy off-white head, leaves very nice lacing.

S- Very hoppy, notes of citrus, grapefruit and floral notes. There's also a nice amount of bready, slightly sweet malt.

T- Grassy, floral hops, the citrus is still there but is toned down a bit, there's also a bit of black pepperiness and herbal character. The malt is light and bready, some caramel.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth and creamy.

O-A really nice pale ale, it's really tasty and drinkable, I pounded a bomber of it pretty easily and quickly, this is not only a beer that actually belongs in a bomber but is also awesome for 6-packs, I'm definitely a fan.

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Photo of stakem
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of flexabull
3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
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.

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Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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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Photo of Durge
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.55/5  rDev -9%
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.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
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

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
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.


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Photo of jjboesen
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of pburland23
4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of largadeer
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

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The Public Ale from DC Brau Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 167 ratings.