California Pale Ale - Bayhawk Ales

Not Rated.
California Pale AleCalifornia Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

58 Ratings
THE BROS
76
okay

(view ratings)
Ratings: 58
Reviews: 43
rAvg: 3.37
pDev: 21.66%
Wants: 0
Gots: 2 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bayhawk Ales visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 02-27-2003

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 | Reviews: 43
Photo of tyanow
1.19/5  rDev -64.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Do you like olive oil in your beer? If you do, bottoms up, you'll dig this stuff.

Had it at a beer tasting and I literally couldn't get myself to take a second sip. The bottle may have been rancid. I am not always a big fan of Bayhawk beers, but they are usually drinkable and at least somewhat enjoyable.

A - cloudy yellow/gold

S - olive oil and undercooked grains

T - olives

M - Oily, fatty, yuck

D - um... I'd say NOT AT ALL

Photo of orangemoustache
1.67/5  rDev -50.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This pours a coppery orange with a huge head that is so tall it's starting to piss me off. The head stands a good three inches over the one inch of beer in the bottom,it is creamy and looks pretty nice,I just wish it would go away so I can try to enjoy this offering. Seriously,does this have to be this carbonated? The nose is a little malty with sour notes,no hop is noticed,also smells like plastic. Okay,the head has finely receded to leave a huge glob of lacing on my snifter,it is seriously as big as Tom Sellecks moustache and in the same shape,wtf? This is not that good,the head is somewhat entertaining,though I would trade the laughs for a decent tasting beer right now. This is just kind of sour and under hopped. Maybe it has spoiled? Maybe this is how it's suppose to taste? Maybe they should have a date to drink by printed on the bottle,that would be nice. This has way to much carbonation anyway and not a good mouthfeel or drinking experience. If ya can't get this stuff to the Midwest fresh,don't send it.

Photo of Beerney
1.74/5  rDev -48.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

To start...a little about me to put this review in context. I am a homebrewer. I think that I'm a good home brewer. i read reviews on BA all the time, but this is only the second review that I've written. I like supporting small brewies. When I saw this beer I was excited because I had never heard of Bayhawk Ales. The reason that this beer moved me to write a review is beacuse it infuriates me when I pay a premium price for beers that are not as good as my homebrew. I paid $5 for a 22, which is pretty standard for a craft brew, but still expensive when you consider that it equates to about a $15 6-pack. Don't get me wrong, I will gladly pay $5 for a little strange.

This beer is cloyingly sweet, which is magnified by the very orangey Amarillo hop aroma. It tastes like a mixture of malt liquor and OJ. I think that I will save the rest for tomorrow to see if it tastes any better for breakfast.

To sum up my review, if I made this beer at home, I would not serve it to my friends. I would love to tell you that I'd dump it down the drain, but that might be a little strong given that I have cases and cases of home brew that i won't drink, but can't bring myself to pour down the drain.

This beer re-enforces everything that I know about the State of California. The bay area kicks ass. The central coast is great. Once you get south of Santa Barbara, everyting is shitty until you get to San Diego.

Photo of malibujohnny
2.25/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

When i poured this beer i received a dull penny color,which is ok by me.I thought this beer was highly carbonated,very tingley in the mouth.fairly decent head retention.The taste was mild citrus with a large piney taste,not very malty.I brewed a pale ale (my 2nd batch) that tasted almost identical to this.If i can brew this in my basement why can't i make dollars? Basically i expected a little more.

Photo of Rustoleum
2.48/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass.

When i opened this beer the carbonation was very evident by the sound and i could see foam rising in the neck of the bottle.

Carefully poured into a pint glass, i got about 2 oz of beer and the rest was a big, white foamy head. It took about 5 minutes just to pour a pint.

Smell - Not really much going on here. Some faint hops with a bit of malt in the background.

Taste - Very one dimensional with a grassy, lemon flavor. Nothing to set this apart from the average pale ale.

Mouthfeel - Very tingly mouthfeel. This beer is an overcarbonated mess. Did i get a bad bottle?

Drinkability - Not very drinkable. This might be a decent pale ale except for the carbonation which is way overdone. I won't buy this again.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a murky, light amber body with a thin, white head.

Smell: Caramel malts with a fruity peach character to it and a something odd and out of place that is still vaguely familiar that I can't place. One day I hope to unlock the Bayhawk CPA's secrets.

Taste: Lightly fruity with some measure of toffee sweetness. Light citrus notes lead up to the mildly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Just another shrug-inducing, run-of-the-mill pale ale.

Photo of brentk56
3.08/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Slightly hazy dull golden color with a fluffy snow white head that lasts and last and leaves lots of lace

Smell: Lemoney citrus with a crackery malt underneath

Taste: It's like sucking on a lemon from the very start; nothing but lemoney tartness that overwhelms all

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: One dimensional and way too tart

Photo of Overlord
3.1/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was the last Bayhawk beer (the closest independent brewery to my home) I had yet to try. It certainly didn't supplant the Amber ale as my favorite of their beers.

Pours a dull yellow color ... almost more copper than gold. Tastes lightly of orange and lemon ... maybe some hops in there. Truly not much going on. Not a great deal of head either, and the mouthfeel is thin (which has become a common complaint in regards to Bayhawk beers).

With so many beers to choose from, Bayhawk is having a tough time beating out the horde of awesome San Diego breweries nearby.

Photo of goochpunch
3.18/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a honey-toned copper/amber with a white, frothed milk head that settles to a miniscule foam while leaving sheets of lace blotted with bubbles. Nose is sweet pale malts and citrus. Pretty standard. Malts come out a lot more in the flavor. Hops have that citrus flavor, but also tastes like some floral notes as well. The toastiness of the malts is a bit overdone. Mouthfeel could be seen as more flat than smooth and just a tad bit syrupy. A decent drinker.

Being that this is on sale for about $3 a bomber, which is a steal of a deal in the Denton area, I would probably buy this again. Once it goes off sale, I'm not so sure. The quality really surprised me after having tried their awful chocolate porter. Pretty much a run of the mill APA.

Photo of DoubleJ
3.24/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

When I think Bayhawk, I think of a brewer who produces "house beers" for restaurants like Lazy Dog, Claim Jumper, and Lucille's, not the one who brews and bottles under their name. Going down the road of pale ale, and 22 ounces is a good quantity to drink. On to the beer:

The color could be confused of the amber ale style, as its a light copperish and orange color. The head forms an inch thick, leaving a few strings of lace. It has a fair nose, no confusion of what it's trying to be. There's a lemon and leafy hop note, and also a kiss of honey. Could score higher if the intensity weren't so soft.

Clean character. Kiss of crisp hops and crisp carbonation. These are things that I appreciate in a pale ale, and are found in Bayhawk's California Pale Ale. Its biggest flaw is that the flavor's intensity is relatively weak, but that's better than having a bunch of off-flavors. A gentle snap of citrus hops hit first, followed by a slight lemon flavor. Minerals add an interesting layer to this pale ale. Easy drinking overall, which keeps this beer flowing into my mouth and not down the drain.

In a market filled of pale ales, this one finishes just below the middle, which is not to say you won't enjoy this brew. This pale ale's approach is clean, easy to drink, with a kiss of flavor.

Photo of jwc215
3.28/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle:

Pours hazed golden with a nice fluffy head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of light citrus and a touch of sour fruit and a bit bready.

The taste is of a light citric and herbal/metallic bitterness mixing with a sweet pale maltiness. A bit bready. A lemony tart touch.

It's light-bodied, pretty thin.

Not what I expected for a pale ale from California. It's pretty thin with a slightly metallic touch and a general blandness. The tart/sour touch doesn't excite me, either. Still-in-all the mildness/lightness makes it pretty easy to drink.

Photo of DogFood11
3.32/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

where the rubber hits the road this brew is just OK but I give it some extra points for being unique.

It is fairly balanced and a bit maltier than most pale's I've had. Hops aren't that strong in the smell but become active in the flavor and mouthfeel profile. Spicey and zippy at times really gives this a nice kick. Bready malts lead the way followed by a meaty body that is kicked to the curb by the whack job of hops and peppered finish. Lingering aftertaste could be cleaned up a bit better.

best offering from this brewery to date and for the price it is worthy of a corner fridge docking point.

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.33/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have tried this and other Bayhawk beers at a variety of local brewfests around the southern California region over the years, but this is my first review version. 22 oz bottle purchased at La Bodega in Riverside, CA. in July 2006 for $2.99.

Pours a pretty light orange with a very nicely sized fluffy white head.

The aroma is of light sweet citrus (orange-tangerine) but not very powerful. The flavor is also generally light- citrus and flowery hops. But it hits a snag with a metallic back end that affects the flavor and mouthfeel (which is on the thin side, but OK).

Overall, this one is one of those "good enough" beers that I would happily drink, but would also just as happily try something else instead.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.34/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #75 (April 2013):

Yeast character gets in the way and takes away from its drinkability a bit. Waiting a few sips in hoping it would pop … no pop. In the world of Pale Ales, this one is struggling to stay in the middle of the herd.


STYLE: American Pale Ale
ABV: 4.8%
AVAILABILITY: Year-round

LOOK: Clear brassy hue, great lacing

SMELL: Spicy hop, citrus rind, yeast, cracker graininess, pineapple skin

TASTE: Crisp, lighter bodied, orangey, balanced hop bitterness, bread crust, yeast, dry, pith, orange rind, herbal, salty, dried grass, dry finish

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.35/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Smoky dark orange with a huge amount of carbonation; a characteristic that resulted in Mount Vesuvius when the cap was removed. Luckily, there was enough of a delay that I was able to catch the rapidly oozing foam with the glass. The resulting cap is none the worse for wear and actually looks pretty nice. It's rich cream in color, thick and bubbly, with a 'scoop of ice cream' look by the several minute mark.

It's hard to go wrong with a Cascade and Centennial-hopped APA. This one contains a fair amount of sweetish pale malt (if the nose is a reliable guide) and hops that are mid-range in terms of their intensity and personality. Rather than a sunshine bright, citric zest snappiness, they're more sweetly fruity. Peach and orange especially.

Something is amiss when it comes to the actual drinking, though, and I find myself not liking the flavor as much as the aroma. There isn't a huge amount of malt, but it manages to provide a considerable sweetness. The bitterness is harsh (borderline astringent) and the hop flavor doesn't overly impress.

The fruitiness is now white grapefruit, orange and unripe peach. There's an underlying tartness that is an interesting complement to sweet and bitter. However, it seems as though the beer doesn't know which section of the tongue it wants to concentrate on. The strength of the hop flavor leads me to think that this bottle is pretty fresh, so age is unlikely to be the problem.

I'm also picking up an annoying metallic quality on the finish. It fades with time, but gains in strength each time the glass is filled from the bottle. The mouthfeel is standard issue pale ale. That is, light-medium with a breezy carbonation that makes drinking a cinch... if one likes the way the beer tastes.

I haven't been thrilled with any Bayhawk beer to date. This one falls somewhere between the pretty good Foothill Route 66 Pale Ale and the abysmal Foothill Route 66 Hefeweizen Wheat. In fact, after drinking the hefe weizen, my impression was that Bayhawk is to quality beer what Baywatch was to quality television. In any case, considering the hundreds of good, drinkable APAs that are available from every corner of the country, California Pale Ale fails to make the grade.

Photo of imagese
3.36/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

This is my 2nd go around on tasting this brew, and my 1st review on BA. Going to take some time to really convey my thoughts... Gotta love A.D.D.!!!

Appearance: A nice cloudy orange. Very little head, even with a hard pour.

Smell: Very citrusy nose. A little earthy hop

Taste: Very nice citrus splash with a nice bitter rind and a little hop bitterness kick in the aftertaste. Notes from 1st bottle had a very strong citrus presence

Mouthfeel: This bottle was very low on carbonation. Had more of a watery feel than the 1st bottle.

Drinkability: This is a very sessionable beer. Bitter enough to please hopheads in a pinch (or on a budget), and smooth enough to enjoy all night

Serving type: bottle ($2.99 bomber from Hi-Time)

Overall, this is a decent beer, especially for the price.

Photo of DovaliHops
3.36/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly cloudy, golden orange color with a medium white head that disappears quickly. Scent is lightly hopped with some grain and subtle malt aromas. A little bit of earthiness as well. Taste is a nice balance of malt and hops with faint grapefruit and citrus flavors. Finishes with light bitterness and lemon. Mouthfeel is light bodied with interesting (off-putting?) finish. Drinkability is fair. Overall, this is not a bad pale ale. It is by far not one of the best, but it is a descent offering.

Photo of weeare138
3.41/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a straw yellow color with a 2 inch white head. This brew is mildly carbonated with some decent lacing made during the enjoyment.
Smells slightly skunky with some pale caramel malts coming through and a mild hop aroma.
Tastes ok. I taste caramel malt with a light hop taste on the back of the tongue. I can't say that it's entirely balanced though.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied but slightly watery with mild carbonation.
Drinkability is iffy. Maybe it was just the bottle I got but I'd like to give this a second go around to make sure.

It's ok, dog.

Photo of austincsuf
3.46/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pretty decent beer although not overly impressed, would drink again however because the taste is smooth and refreshing and definitely easy to drink..wasn't really knowing what to expect with a CPA, definitely lighter than your regular IPA but at the same time the CPA had fruity notes and a smoother finish

Photo of uberabr
3.48/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip. A slightly murky orange-yellow and moderate one finger head that doesn't really stick around. Smells light and of citrus; nothing to write home about.

Taste is bitter but not the typical California cascade grapefruit hop. It's got some citrus and a woodsy pine, a hint of malt but nothing extreme. I'de guess this one was hopped early with some simcoe or chinook, as most of the hops come through in the bitterness and not in the aroma or flavor of late additions. Mouthfeel is light and a tad watery, but the bitter quality adds some body. All in all a pleasant brew. I'd drink it again but it's not spectacular.

I really like the name, as I've long felt that most California pale ales and IPA's really deserve a category of their own, but ironically, this beer does not really embody any of those unique Cali IPA-isms, and while it' catchy, the name is actually this beer's downfall. In fact, I'de liken this one more to an English pale ale, although the hops are obviously of a Western heritage. The low ABV, mild, even refined flavor, and close to edgy bitterness make this one a solid choice for novice hopheads, with some session potential as well for those with a bitter palate. Again though, I wouldn't exactly run to the shelf for this one if I was looking for a token "California Pale Ale."

Photo of chickencoop
3.51/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Boy the reviews are all over the board, pretty rough sometimes, i guess i got lucky and got a good bottle. I picked this up at the Whole Foods/ Tustin, awesome selection of beers. I liked the cloudy pour, chunky bit's at the bottom, smell was average, taste and drinkability was great, just a smooth, lightly malted pale ale, I would more than likeley buy this again and be happy, keep it up.

Photo of beagle75
3.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber tasted the day after receipt from the hands of the Bayhawk bottle rep. and poured into a pint glass.

A: Hazy deep golden color, with a 1.5-finger head and slight lacing.

S: Weak to moderate, delicate malt and floral hops.

T: Begins with a gentle malty sweetness, then the hops (simcoe, centennial, and amarillo) emerge. According to the Bayhawk rep., IBUs on this beer are 40-50, which seems accurate. The sweetness of the malt re-emerges at the end, with minimal bitterness in the finish.

M: Wet and light-bodied with moderate carbonation.

D: Good drinkability and low-moderate abv makes this a likely session-beer candidate. The delicate aromas and flavors of this pale ale ally it with others such as Mirror Pond and Mt. Tam, although it falls just short of equaling either. Bayhawk aims to produce "easy-drinking" beers and that term can be used to accurately describe this beer.

It has come to my attention that bottled Bayhawk beers frequently suffer from a bad reputation due to old, mishandled stock. Although I cannot speak for all of their styles, this beer--when fresh--is worthy of better. You may think twice about purchasing Bayhawk beers from retail outlets that keep it at ambient temperature (or at least inquire about the age of the bottle).

Photo of jhammerly
3.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This easy drinking beer was sent to me by IntriqKen (Thanks!). A pale yellow pour with an extremelylarge head, about three fingers wide, which steadily reduced in size to a thin strip.

The smell of light citrus and semi-sweet malt. The taste is balanced between the two, but the grapefruit taste lingers subtly showing its hop presence. A little thin body wise, but isn't really a negative for some reason. A nice drinkable brew that would make an excellent session beer.

Photo of Suds
3.65/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this brew on tap, with dinner, on a recent trip to California. It’s a nice, deep orange color with an appropriately frothy head: a fine looking brew. It sure smells like a west coast pale ale…plenty of western hops – pine and citrus, and fairly herbal. There’s a little fruit and malt in the aroma. The initial taste is sweet, quickly followed by a solid hop bitterness that lasts well beyond the finish. It’s a well-hopped, drinkable pale ale. The beer is not exactly a stand out, but it made a nice accompaniment to the meal, and I wouldn’t have minded drinking a few more.

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Slightly cloudy lemon and orange light hue. No freshness info on the calander that was stamped to the label.

Bighops blast with grassy grapefruit slices nose.

Sweet powdery pale with hops over malts. Tastes like maybe fuggles or willamette? Dry aftertaste.

Light to medium body which lends to a high drinkability with an easy taste.

Last swigs: Reminds me of Speakeasy Prohibition Ale in that the Californis aroma is welcoming, but the tonge leaves me flat.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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California Pale Ale from Bayhawk Ales
78 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.