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California Pale Ale - Bayhawk Ales

Not Rated.
California Pale AleCalifornia Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

43 Reviews
THE BROS
76
okay

(Read More)
Reviews: 43
Hads: 58
rAvg: 3.47
pDev: 17.58%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 43 | Hads: 58
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.34/5  rDev -3.7%
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 (583 characters)

Photo of Beerney
1.74/5  rDev -49.9%
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. (1,412 characters)

Photo of DoubleJ
3.24/5  rDev -6.6%
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. (1,298 characters)

Photo of austincsuf
3.46/5  rDev -0.3%
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 (306 characters)

Photo of DovaliHops
3.36/5  rDev -3.2%
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. (508 characters)

Photo of imagese
3.36/5  rDev -3.2%
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. (792 characters)

Photo of bs870621345
4.33/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this from my dad who bought it on a whim in CA. Cheap bomber and pretty good.

Pours a honey color with 2 inches of white head. Leaves a nice lacing down the glass.

Smells bready and slight citrus. Not a huge smell.

Tastes slightly bitter with a sweet bread to balence. A very well balanced beer and good tasting too.

Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and moderate body.

Drinkability is high. Bomber is not a problem and its low enough in alcohol to be easily drank. (471 characters)

Photo of chickencoop
3.51/5  rDev +1.2%
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. (392 characters)

Photo of beagle75
3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
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). (1,279 characters)

Photo of tyanow
1.19/5  rDev -65.7%
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 (433 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
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. (555 characters)

Photo of orangemoustache
1.67/5  rDev -51.9%
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. (1,024 characters)

Photo of Rustoleum
2.48/5  rDev -28.5%
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. (767 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.08/5  rDev -11.2%
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 (377 characters)

Photo of tgbljb
4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a pale medium amber color with moderate white puffy head. Good retention.

Smell presents initially with a nice hoppiness. A balancing caramel is also presnet.

Taste also shows some citrusy hops, without going too far. There is also a goodly amount of caramel malt present.

Finish shows some nice taste retention with a pleasant dryness.

Very nice to drink. Tasty and hoppy without going too far. (406 characters)

Photo of Beerbuddha
3.83/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a nice golden, copper color with a huge, white and fluffy head. The head looked like clouds perched on my beer. Best head I've ever gotten.;) The aroma was very floral with hints of sweet honey and citrus. The taste had a wonderful hoppy cirtrus taste going on with sweet malts. Had a nice sour grapefruit taste as well. The body was light wth medium carbonation. Overall a great beer. I really enjoyed this one. (429 characters)

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.75/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Having lived my childhood in Irvine California I felt obligated to buy this beer.

Pours a nice two finger head with decent retention. amber in color and mildly cloudy.

Citrusy hops on the nose with crystal and caramel malt backround. Somewhat bready smell Seems like this one will be a typical westcoast pale ale. Apple phenol appears as the beer warms.

Crystal malts provide a nice sweetness as well as some slightly weaker caramel malts. Some breadiness comes out as well. This is balanced with a nice citrusy hop bitterness and fruity esters, namely apple.

Mouthfeel is a little bit thin and a little watery.

Nicely done beer that is easily sessionable. (661 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured an effervescent bronze with 2 fingers of pearl-white head. Above average lacing & very good head retention

S: Slight floral & honey notes, a bit of lemon

T: Citrussy hops, grassyness & a bit of honey malts up front. Biscuitty malt & more grapefruit & lemony hops as this warms. Finishes juicy with plenty of citrussy hops, plus just a bit of grainyness.

MF: Light/medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Balanced pretty good.

Drank very easy, a pretty simple, but solid APA. Glad to see a step up in taste from their so-called Chocolate Porter (556 characters)

Photo of Overlord
3.1/5  rDev -10.7%
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. (573 characters)

Photo of Bobzilla13
4.01/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was down @ My local Lucky Liquor--they misprice all sorts of items--Sierra Nevada Porter 5 bones--same with some Samuel Adams Brews--Any who saw this BayHawk CPA with 2 Glasses for 9 bucks--gave it a shot---the pour was a bit scary, MASSIVE amounts of Head, I'm talking Porn Star Stuff--Large & White, had to shift to another glass---Pretty orange color---nice nose---slight bitter after taste--defineltly malty---
It's a beer that you can become accustomed to---light citrus taste combined with the bitter , comes out quite sweet. Not watery in the least , but a bit over the top on carbanation---Hence the large Head.Plesant overall--and mucho lacing upon the glass---looked just marvelous , and best of all was the buzz factor---nice little feeling after just a coupla of brews---went and bought a sixer after the Bomber---Nice domestic , great with steak or shrimp---not killer or snobby---just kinda there...Have fun (921 characters)

Photo of malibujohnny
2.25/5  rDev -35.2%
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. (402 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3/5  rDev -13.5%
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. (515 characters)

Photo of goschool
4.38/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Passover is over and I'm drinking my first beer in eight days!

Appearance: A massive white head forms a top the golden orange body and it sticks around for ever.

Smell: There are some hops in this pale ale. The grapefruit and floral hops fill the nose, but they're not quite in IPA land.

Taste: The flavor profile has plenty of pithy grapefruit, grassy, and floral hops in front of doughy malts, which pick up a bit of steam in the middle, but never hold a candle to the bitter hops. Plenty of BA's will complain about a lack of balance in this, but I like me some hops and this really hit the spot.

Mouthfeel: It's medium-bodied with soft carbonation. Very smooth.

Drinkability: This is a fantastic West Coast pale ale. I might have to buy this after Passover next year to see if I can repeat this experience. (817 characters)

Photo of uberabr
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
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." (1,344 characters)

Photo of Morris729
3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper amber color with a thin white head that quickly fades into a wispy lace. Nose of floral hops and fresh citrus is somewhat subdued at first but comes across much better after the beer has warmed a bit. Taste begins with a toasted malt sweetness followed by a good amount of piney hop resins. The hop bitterness picks up a bit of a spicy character towards the finish. Enjoyable though nothing special. (414 characters)

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California Pale Ale from Bayhawk Ales
80 out of 100 based on 43 ratings.