Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

Boat Beer - Carton Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Boat BeerBoat Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.

125 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 125
Hads: 1,075
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 32.2%
Wants: 147
Gots: 180 | FT: 20
Brewed by:
Carton Brewing Company visit their website
New Jersey, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Citadel82 on 10-24-2011

Described by the brewer as more of an American Pale Ale. It's not an India Pale Ale.

Boat Beer is designed to be complex enough to merit drinking a few without being crippled by alcohol. Kolsch yeast and German malts are combined to be crisp and refreshing, while a generous amount of American hops have been added to keep it remarkable. Expect it to dance out of the glass with a whack of grapefruit and open into a crisp, stony tangle of white and yellow fruit with pine and moss notes. An IPA for everyday drinking, drink boat beer when you are thirsty from softball, fishing, or explaining why your team is best.

Session Ale
ABV: 4.2% | IBU: 35 | SRM: 3.5

Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Boat Beer Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 125 | Hads: 1,075
Photo of Monika1
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is definitely my favorite beer, I even talk about it all the time. This session by Carton has everything I look for in a beer. This is my first time writing on Ba so you might not believe my 5 point rating, so let me explain. First the appearance is uniquely hazy for this type of beer (once a waitress brought me the wrong beer and I knew right away that it was not and boat beer). Secondly the aroma hits you with all kinds of beautiful hop scents, probably because it was dry hopped twice, then taste....it has all the hop flavor that you look for in an ipa but with out the heavy maltiness that might weigh down a beer with a higher alcohol content. This makes it a perfect beer especially if you want to have more than one. Obviously I am a hop head and boat beer appeals to me, but even if you are not a hop head try something from carton brewery. They have many unique delicious innovative beers I am sure everyone would find a beer they love by carton

 969 characters

Photo of Gsantollo
5/5  rDev +22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm not one for typing a lot of words or even writing reviews, especially when it comes to going out of my way to make a profile on a site yada yada yada.... Some history I have been drinking craft beer since I've been 21, my buddy worked in the beer department at whole foods and would always tell me what beers to check out. But I never considered myself a beer snob/nerd to warrant making a profile on beer advocate or even checking out the page (sorry its the truth)

When Carton first showed it's face in my town about two years ago I was immediately impressed. At that time I didn't even own a growler I never needed one. I have enjoyed watching them grow over the passed years and looked forward to their beer one day being in cans.
This past month they made that Happen with their boat beer. I always enjoyed boat beer but it was never my first pick I would always go home with a Sally of something else. Never the less I was really excited to purchase my two case limit and get to drinking. So glad I did, Boat out of a can is simply amazing, it has become my favorite beer hands down. I wouldn't just be saying that I have a steady supply of heady topper, but this takes the cake. BOAT IS KING, the cans themselves are really awesome as well... When they are available don't hesitate head over and grab them, but expect to be standing in line right behind me.

 1,371 characters

Photo of Super_Six_Two
4.99/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Boat is the perfect session ale. It packs the aroma and flavor of an IPA into a 4.2% abv package. Now being available in cans, it is clearly my go to beer.

It has a hoppy, grapefruit aroma. It has a clean mouthfeel with a blast of hops going down your throat. Just a great overall beer.

 288 characters

Photo of threeviews
4.87/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 2L, growler into a Spiegelau balloon glass

A- Pours a crystal-clear yellow, with 2-fingers worth of a soapy, white head...amazing lacing over the course of the glass.

S- Amazing...he most amazing aroma for a session beer that I have ever experienced! Citrus (orange, white grapefruit, lemon) and tropical fruit (apricot, mango, papaya) in equal amounts...the aroma has you coming-and-going...

T- Oh boy...this is an IPA without being an IPA! Kolsch in style, but hoppy to the point of IPA (or better yet Imperial IPA) in taste. Malt is completely non-existent for the hops to play major fiddle. A bit angular/unbalanced in the taste, but one of the most enjoyable/drinkable/sessionable ales I have every tasted...I can drink this all day, night and them some more.

M- Mouth puckering hoppy goodness with you wanting nothing more than another sip...and with a modest ABV of 4.4%, go ahead and have some more! This is, without question, my favorite session beer...aroma and flavor is will make anyone a fan of hoppy, citrus-forward beers seek this one out...very well done!

 1,089 characters

Photo of Fezzik1970
4.86/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I've been drinking it for years now and simply put it's the beer I drink most. The best part of living in New Jersey is being able to get this beer so easily. No beer I've come across yet manages to get so much flavor in such a continuously drinkable beer

 255 characters

Photo of ItsMe
4.84/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured half the tall boy in a nonic pint and drank the other half from the can... Before cracking this open I had been drinking a couple of Mo's and was thinking this session ale wouldn't stand up.... Oh my Buddha was I wrong. This is the most flavorful and aromatic table brew I've ever had. I'm so taken back by how flavorful this is I can't write a proper review. Sorry Founders All Day...your spot in my fridge is reserved for this jersey girl.

 448 characters

Photo of themind
4.79/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew pours a murky canal looking golden brown. I really am at a loss at the appearance of this beer, it's odd, Boat Beer? how about canal water. That said the citrus, pine aroma is mouth watering. The mouthfeel is spot on. The taste....well this stuff rocks! what an amazing, grapefruit, assorted citrus, pine blast of hoppiness. I would buy this stuff anytime it is available. Really just an awesome beer.

Bottom Line: This pond water is amazing!this beer can run with the big boys.

Re-rated, this beer is amazing period!

 529 characters

Photo of aoampm
4.78/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Best session beer I've ever had. At 4.2 % it has almost as much flavor as the majority of IPAs widely available. Pine, citrus, and hop flavors blend to make the perfect session beer and I just hope I can eventually get another can of this gem.

 243 characters

Photo of Ale_Dog
4.75/5  rDev +15.9%

Appearance: very light yellow. Lightest APA I've seen
Smell: pleasant citrusy hops
Taste:,this is an amazing APA. I usually like a good malt base to balance out a strong hop flavor. In this case there less malt but the hops aren't over the top so they shine through in a perfect citrusy flavor.
Overall: this beer is total genius. Light, but hoppy, but not overpowering. Extremely refreshing and would pair well with a ton of foods. Fantastic anytime, but especially in the warm weather.

 488 characters

Photo of EJLinneman
4.7/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the brewery and on tap at Twin Lights Tap House.

Appearance: Cloudy and orange a couple fingers of head. This looks very refreshing.

Smell: HUGE grapefruit smell, Amarillo hops and a very slight grassy smell.

Taste: Again, huge grapefruit taste and Amarillo hops. Very clean and crisp. A long bitterness in the finish. Incredible how much flavor they're able to pack into a 4.2abv beer.

Mouthfeel: Clean and refeshing. I could easily drink a lot of this.

Overall: An incredible beer. I wish that they would bottle or can this. I would drink a lot of this in the summer.

 593 characters

Photo of smitty23
4.65/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Really enjoyed this brew. trish at Free bridge in Phillipsburg recommended it, and it was worth trying. Reminded me of, dare I say? Heddy topper, not as strong abv but if you enjoy drinking this is really a beer that you could drink all day and live to tell about, probably not get pulled over either. very very tasty.

Really, the only thing i didn't like is the can. I would have never bought it without Trish's recommendation. I'd be interested to see how other folks feel about this particular brew.

 503 characters

Photo of BlackDog
4.64/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Boat Beer pours a somewhat hazy light golden-orange. There's a large white head with very good retention and great lacing.

The aroma is that of citrus hops and grapefruit. You don't expect this much aroma from a session, but you're glad you get it.

To call this a session IPA is accurate, but maybe a little deceiving. Boat is actually made with a kolsch yeast to make it crisp and refreshing, but the large amount of hops to give the beer flavor make it lean toward IPA. Whatever it is, it's great, with tastes of grapefruit and some pine.

Mouthfeel: Clean, crisp, and refreshing, with a touch of bitterness that stays around for a little in the aftertaste. At 4.2% ABV, it'll be easy to drink a few growlers (remember, Boat isn't canned or bottled yet) of this by the pool this summer.

A great beer from a great brewery, probably the best in Jersey. Once they start canning and growing a bit, watch out, world.

 916 characters

Photo of tmbgnicu
4.59/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Founders All Day used to be my "session" beer, but Boat kills it in every way imaginable. It has the crisp bite of All Day, but while AD kind of falls off after the initial flavor- Boat finishes so clean, you'll swear you're drinking a much higher ABV brew. Simply outstanding offering from Carton.

 303 characters

Photo of gniv
4.53/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite beers and I'm happy that I can get it relatively easily.

Even though it's called an APA, it's not really. I would say it's closer to the new-style east-coast IPAs. It's flavorful, dank, quite bitter, and smells divine. Unlike most IPAs though, it's only 4.2% alcohol, which is fantastic.

I subtracted half a point because it's a bit too bitter for a "session ale".

 393 characters

Photo of facundoCNB
4.52/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - honey/orangy colored body with lots of fluffy foamy head, nice sticky lacing

S - bitter hops galore! cascade/willamette? slightly floral hints

T - slightly bitter, earthy and hoppy, a bit tart from the kolsch yeast, citrusy from the hops

M - fluffy amounts of head stuck to my beard/moustache, nice and fizzy, a little on the dry side towards the end

O - this is a really good pale ale.. perfect taste, smell and mouthfeel.. slightly on the cloudy side which i am honestly fine with, but as a homebrewer always strive for clearer beer!

Updated review for their canned version (first batch). Have had it on tap, growler, at the brewery, and now in can form. Love this beer.

 681 characters

Photo of KSOZE
4.51/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

For a "session" IPA, and a properly categorized one at 4.2% for a change, this is as good as it gets. Rating this based on the style that it purports to be, even though session IPAs don't have their own category. Stands on its own as an APA or a "session" IPA.

 260 characters

Photo of MadCat
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Unfiltered yellowy golden color, decent white head, leaves no lacing

Smell: Grapefruit hops upfront, with some pine and herbal in the back

Taste: Very hoppy, again with the grapefruit being the most prominent, then the pine and herbal. Then some bitterness. Not too much, the right amount for the hop blast. Then there is some malt in the back, but not too much. Enough to support the hops.

Mouthfeel: Light body, good carbonation

Overall: This is a fantastic brew. I love it, and I think most who try it would. I, however, am unsure if it supports the price. I will have to evaluate further, and compare to similar brews. This is by far the hoppiest APA I've had.

 680 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

Smells of fresh resiny hops. Bold.
Hazy golden color with a tall white head. Aggressive carbonation.
Highly drinkable. Not as hoppy as in the nose, more malty and bready. A bitter twang at the end.
Feels somewhat gritty on the palate and finishes clean.
An outstanding session that drank even better on the Cape May beach.

 322 characters

Photo of PHBoiler
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Dank hops with a balance of citrus and bitter pine. Piney and grassy nose. Huge flavor. Thinness and ABV are welcome here. Great flavor at drinkable level.

 155 characters

Photo of MacQ32
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%

A - Pours a glowing, very hazy straw color with a finger of dense bright white head. Great retention and fantastic lacing. 4.25

S - Light citrusy/seedy hops, a nice touch of grain, minimal underlying sweetness. A bit faint. 3.75

T - Surprisingly bitter up front, kind of like a leafy bitter, packs a distinguished punch at the finish. Light lemon and grapefruit rind, some serious burnt wheat characteristics. Sweetness doesnt shine past the wet bitterness at all. Finish is wet piney bitter. 4.5

M - Lighter bodied, less carbonation than expected but it works really well with the relatively intense flavor profile. 4.25

O -Fantastic, powerful flavor profile relative to the body. This is a great session if you want something with big flavor! 4.25

 759 characters

Photo of pinyin
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay goblet from the 16 ounce can.

The color is a perfect cloudy light copper. Plasma like in fact.

The nose is a hoppy, piney resin. Smells like some cascade and citra perhaps.

Upon first sip I thought I was drinking Stone Go To IPA. But this has a much crisper and smoother aftertaste, and it lingers longer. I was almost certain this was an ale yeast, but to my pleasant surprise, it's a kolsch yeast.

The color, aroma and taste combine to perfection here. Did I mention how much I like the color? It's very light and cloudy, and it's tastes just how it looks.

I know this isn't an IPA technically, but it reminds me of one a lot. Any session IPA lovers who enjoy the aroma and bite of a really well balanced hoppy beer would really enjoy this.

It seems as though it's only sold cold, so if you have a lead on taking some home, bring a small cooler with an ice pouch to hold your 4 packs or 64 ounce growlers. Well worth it.

Carton calls this an ale, even though it's using a kolsch yeast? Seems to me this is some sort of hybrid strain.

Would buy again and again if it weren't only available in NJ.


Thank you Augie for increasing output to reach the Union NYC distribution footprint.

Bought a growler at Astoria Beer and Cheese yesterday.

Still amazing color, taste, balance.

Didn't break the bank either.

Carton Boat Beer, the best tasting, best texture and most cost efficient session ale brewed locally in the tri-state.

 1,469 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Tap and Mallet in Rochester, NY.

Pours a beautifully hazy light yellow, with a one inch head, and ample lacing down the glass.

Smells great- grass, pine, grapefruit, lemon, orange peel.

There is just the tiniest hint of biscuity malt, but this has just an outstandingly impressive hop blast for a beer that's only 4.2% ABV. The best session IPA I've ever had, even if they don't quite call it that. Huge grapefruit flavor, with some spicy grassiness, a solid helping of lemon and orange, and dank pine resin. Absolutely delicious.

Light bodied, crisp and very spritzy mouthfeel, with high carbonation. As you can probably guess, this is very drinkable.

This is one of the most well-crafted beers I've ever had. It's the perfect combination of powerful flavor with a low ABV. I could drink this all day.

 821 characters

Photo of Dustin_Sallitt
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best sessions brews out there. . . Will be picking up several cases this summer at the brewery!!! So unique with the kolsch yeast and tons of hop flavors. I can't quite wrap my mind around how they managed to get this much hop flavor with so little og!

 263 characters

Photo of humuloner22
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

They punch a lot in this bad low abv. Best "session" IPA that I have had because:

Appearance: Light very pale and some hazy golden color going on. A little bit of head but not much pretty much a small lacing blob here and there.

Aroma: Very resinous and hoppy. However this does not have that onion/garlic/body odor aroma that a lot of the "session" IPA's have. This is a very floral and full flavored low abv. IPA and for that it gets lots of props.

Taste: Clean, floral hops but it has some resinous complexity. It tastes like a full abv. IPA but one you could potentially drink all day.

Overall: I love this beer I wish I could have it every day in the summer. Clean flavors and very sessionable and lots of flavor. I think this is THE best session IPA I have ever had. If you can get this one, don't even think about it get it. Also, it comes in a tallboy can!

 869 characters

Photo of KidSalami
4.49/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for the awesome extra Bob! This one tastes like a full bodied IPA but could see myself easily drinking a few of these. Hoppy and flavorful citrus. This is the ideal session IPA.

 187 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Boat Beer from Carton Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 125 ratings.