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California Pale Ale - Bayhawk Ales

Not Rated.
California Pale AleCalifornia Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

45 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 45
Hads: 60
Avg: 3.43
pDev: 24.2%
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.
View: Beers (19) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of California Pale Ale Alström Bros
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Reviews: 45 | Hads: 60
Photo of uberabr
3.48/5  rDev +1.5%
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."

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Photo of Morris729
3.7/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.18/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of jhammerly
3.63/5  rDev +5.8%
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.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.33/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.17/5  rDev +21.6%
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.

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Photo of Suds
3.65/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.35/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.8/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Looks pretty good, a translucent orange-amber color just a touch darker than Johnny Walker Red Label. Lousy head, but otherwise an attractive brew.

Smell: Caramel malts and citric hops. Leaves and pine cones are detectable. Smells like a well-rounded, eager-to-please ale.

Taste: Very woody and a little herbal. Good hop profile that blossoms in your mouth. Pronounced smack of Spanish peanuts and just a drop of coffee. I like it!

Mouthfeel: A little flat; this could use some work, but it's still good.

Drinkability: Very flavorful, quite drinkable. Who'd have thought such an appealing brew could emerge from the vast blandness of Orange County? :)

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Photo of allengarvin
4.05/5  rDev +18.1%
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.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.32/5  rDev -3.2%
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.

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Photo of weeare138
3.41/5  rDev -0.6%
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.

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Photo of rowew
4/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz bomber. Label stating that Bayhawk is "Orange County's Oldest Brewery". Spot for date info, but not marked.

Appearance: Pours orange colored with a bubbly white head. Slight haze. Decent lacing stayed.

Smell: Aroma is mainly of hops - nice crisp smell.

Taste: Just like the aroma - mainly hops. Hoppy finish as well with a nice bitterness. Hops, hops, and more hops.

Overall impression: Nice and hoppy - just as you would expect from a west coast Pale. Got this one on sale for $1.39 for the bomber at Liquor Warehouse .. what a deal!

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.67/5  rDev +7%
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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Photo of BierReise
3.75/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber Date not marked. Pours a medium gold which is only slightly cloudy. Head is thick and retaining well. Nice aroma of pale malt and a citrus hoppiness. Some yeast and lemon also noticable in aroma. Body is medium and crisp with carbonation. Flavor is bitter with hops that linger long afterward. Nice blend of malts give a grainy flavor. Overall a decent pale that could use a bit more flavor but refreshing none the less.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.8/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Quite a hop presence jumps out (it almost popped like a cork when I pulled the cap off). Smells and taste is hops all the way. Fruity and nice tasting, but a little too thin and harsh to be considered with the best of style. Hoppy enough to be an IPA, but not enough weight behind it. I enjoyed drinking this one (thanks, Ron), but not enough balance for my tastes.

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Photo of shapudding
4.39/5  rDev +28%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Medium golden and slightly cloudy, with a white creamy head that left quickly leaving only a thin ring around the edges.

Scents of champagne, grapefruit rind, hoppiness... Smooth mouthfeel. Tastes of grapefruit rind and hops, good bitterness. Light/medium body with a very good drinkability.

Nice session beer, very good hot day beer!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +26.8%
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.

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.89/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper color with even carbonation and lots of it. Huge foamy head that sticks around and leaves its mark down the side of your glass. Aroma is dominated by a grassy/herbal hop scent, from behind which a biscuity malt can only just barley make itself noticed. Flavor is bitter bitter bitter. And what’s this? Slightly sour? I noticed this same sourness in Bayhawk’s chocolate porter there, and found it extremely off-putting. Here it seems again a bit out of place, but not quite as distracting. Indeed, as you work your way down the glass, the flavors seem to blend together rather nicely. Still, it’s a bit of a shock, especially combined with the strong raw, earthy herbal flavor of the hops in this brew. Not a subtle beer, but worth a try for hopheads.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.42/5  rDev +28.9%
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 !!!

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California Pale Ale from Bayhawk Ales
79 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.