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California Pale Ale - Bayhawk Ales

Not Rated.
California Pale AleCalifornia Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

56 Ratings
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 Rustoleum


2.48/5  rDev -26.2%

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.

07-21-2008 14:34:52 | More by Rustoleum
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

3/5  rDev -10.7%

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

07-07-2008 23:49:00 | More by brentk56
Photo of tgbljb


4/5  rDev +19%

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.

06-18-2008 21:12:48 | More by tgbljb
Photo of Beerbuddha


3.85/5  rDev +14.6%

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.

04-14-2008 14:13:56 | More by Beerbuddha
Photo of jasonjlewis


3.73/5  rDev +11%

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.

01-12-2008 08:15:03 | More by jasonjlewis
Photo of russpowell


3.73/5  rDev +11%

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

01-10-2008 05:06:42 | More by russpowell
Photo of Overlord


3.1/5  rDev -7.7%

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.

12-22-2007 03:53:48 | More by Overlord
Photo of Bobzilla13


4.03/5  rDev +19.9%

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

10-11-2007 15:32:28 | More by Bobzilla13
Photo of malibujohnny


2.2/5  rDev -34.5%

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.

08-25-2007 03:40:00 | More by malibujohnny
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3/5  rDev -10.7%

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.

07-27-2007 19:18:52 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of goschool


4.4/5  rDev +31%

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.

04-10-2007 05:54:37 | More by goschool
Photo of uberabr


3.5/5  rDev +4.2%

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."

01-23-2007 09:48:05 | More by uberabr
Photo of Morris729


3.73/5  rDev +11%

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.

10-28-2006 05:16:13 | More by Morris729
Photo of goochpunch


3.15/5  rDev -6.3%

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.

10-25-2006 02:48:25 | More by goochpunch
Photo of jhammerly


3.63/5  rDev +8%

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.

09-28-2006 01:47:03 | More by jhammerly
Photo of Dukeofearl


3.3/5  rDev -1.8%

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.

08-13-2006 18:40:16 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of IntriqKen


4.22/5  rDev +25.6%

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.

08-05-2006 20:16:00 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of Suds


3.63/5  rDev +8%

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.

02-04-2006 03:26:40 | More by Suds
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.3/5  rDev -1.8%

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.

01-16-2006 16:20:20 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of soulgrowl

United Kingdom (England)

3.83/5  rDev +14%

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? :)

11-29-2005 09:54:43 | More by soulgrowl
Photo of allengarvin


4.05/5  rDev +20.5%

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.

11-18-2005 03:03:30 | More by allengarvin
Photo of DogFood11


3.33/5  rDev -0.9%

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.

07-31-2005 20:13:40 | More by DogFood11
Photo of weeare138


3.43/5  rDev +2.1%

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.

05-11-2005 18:45:52 | More by weeare138
Photo of rowew


4/5  rDev +19%

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!

01-24-2005 00:22:25 | More by rowew
Photo of blitheringidiot


3.65/5  rDev +8.6%

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.

08-09-2004 17:14:57 | More by blitheringidiot
California Pale Ale from Bayhawk Ales
78 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.