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California Pale Ale - Bayhawk Ales

Not Rated.
California Pale AleCalifornia Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

56 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 56
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.36
pDev: 22.02%
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 02-27-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 56 | Reviews: 42 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%

t0rin0, Nov 08, 2012
Photo of brentk56
3/5  rDev -10.7%
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

brentk56, Jul 07, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.3/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 16, 2006
Photo of jaydoc
3.25/5  rDev -3.3%

jaydoc, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3/5  rDev -10.7%
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.

ChainGangGuy, Jul 27, 2007
Photo of largadeer
1/5  rDev -70.2%

largadeer, Nov 01, 2013
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.38/5  rDev +30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle-conditioned ale pours a slightly hazy orange-amber body beneath a creamy head of white. Very fine bubbles can be seen rising steadily. The creamy cap holds fairly well initially but drops to an average collar after a few sips; and it leaves only minor lacing about the glass. Sweetish, doughy malt and resinous, grassy/leafy and floral hops greet you in the nose. Once the initial zest of it's natural carbonation brushes across the tongue, it becomes smoother and somewhat creamy in the mouth due to its solidly medium body. Hops dominate up-front in the flavor, but its slightly cookie-dough-ish malt becomes apparent across the middle and makes a great showing in the finish. Hop bitterness anchors it, but it's far from harsh; leaving this as a very well-rounded and drinkable ale. Some spicy hops appear in the aftertaste along with a burst of sweetish, almost wort-like malt that fades to leave a lingering, dull bitterness. A full flavored and rich pale ale that's sure to please.

NeroFiddled, Jul 05, 2004
Photo of russpowell
3.73/5  rDev +11%
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

russpowell, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of jwc215
3.25/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

jwc215, Mar 18, 2009
Photo of weeare138
3.43/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

weeare138, May 11, 2005
Photo of DoubleJ
3.23/5  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.

DoubleJ, Feb 04, 2013
Photo of wrightst
3/5  rDev -10.7%

wrightst, Oct 18, 2013
Photo of harpus
2.75/5  rDev -18.2%

harpus, Oct 16, 2012
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.43/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, after the disappointing Chocolate Porter from Bayhawk Ales, this is more like it.

Pours with a lovely clear, golden body that a slight milky amber haze. Inherent carbonation props up a stiff white head in the beginning, but the gases evolve from solution quickly and the head soon dies completely. Sadly this detracts from the overall appearance.

Aromas and Tastes are immediately hoppy, but not overwhelming, though the strength appears to build up as you work your way through this beer. The strong hops are very evident, in the beginning, middle, the finish and beyond. Leaves a nice fresh hoppy residue on the tongue as the bitterness lingers, and it hangs around for quite some time after the beer has gone. What else? Well erm…. not much else going on here apart from the Hops, but hey who cares? A true California Pale Ale, that is not in question and is for definite.

Hopheads will love it. Rare, but well worth seeking out.

Cost me $2.95, Worlds apart and much better than its stable-mate the Chocolate Porter. I will definitely buy this one again – well that’s if I can find it !!!

TheLongBeachBum, Feb 27, 2003
Photo of Suds
3.63/5  rDev +8%
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.

Suds, Feb 04, 2006
Photo of tgbljb
4/5  rDev +19%
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.

tgbljb, Jun 18, 2008
Photo of jenray
3/5  rDev -10.7%

jenray, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of allengarvin
4.05/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, served into a pint glass. Pours out a light coppery-orange color, with swirling bubbles and a light head, enough to leave some fine lacing. Nose is full of citrusy hops, a touch of malt sweetness and some light fruity esters. First taste is quite malty and sweet, with a lightly toasted bread character. Hops kick in strongly in the middle, drying out the malt and providing pleasantly high bitterness. Lots of hop flavor as well: though seem more grassy, maybe piney, than the citrus of the nose. Finishes balanced, somewhat dry, and leaves a lingering aftertaste of hops. Pretty full-bodied for the strength, with a soft and creamy texture.

Very well-done beer. Of course, there are hundreds of beers of this type available in the US, and it doesn't stand out in any special way, but it's quite drinkable and has no obvious flaws.

allengarvin, Nov 18, 2005
Photo of Overlord
3.1/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Overlord, Dec 22, 2007
Photo of beerpadawan
3.25/5  rDev -3.3%

beerpadawan, Aug 27, 2012
Photo of 2beerdogs
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%

2beerdogs, Jul 24, 2013
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.65/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

blitheringidiot, Aug 09, 2004
Photo of DogFood11
3.33/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

DogFood11, Jul 31, 2005
Photo of IntriqKen
4.22/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden orange that is slightly cloudy with a half finger white head that disappears far too quickly leaving nothing behind.
Aroma is dough-like sweet malt and light green hops.
Taste is impressive with the hop bite coming on the tongue immediately, followed with a sweet dough-like malt that is followed again with a fairly aggressive hop bite
Aftertaste is still about hops but creamy mouthfeel leaves you at least remembering the sweetness of the pale malt.
Clean citrus finish.
This is an extremely flavorful APA with no cheating on the hops.

IntriqKen, Aug 05, 2006
Photo of beagle75
3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
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).

beagle75, Dec 07, 2009
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California Pale Ale from Bayhawk Ales
78 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.