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.

124 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 124
Hads: 1,072
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 32.2%
Wants: 146
Gots: 178 | 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: 124 | Hads: 1,072
Photo of RJQ3
4.33/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great Hoppy flavorful session ale but can only get it in growlers by me in North NJ unless I make trip to brewery to get a 4 pack of 16 oz cans which is its most useful packaging because of how crushable it is. Amazing hoppy citrusy flavor for only 4.4% ABV! Love Carton Brewery too.

 285 characters

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.14/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pops of fresh grapefruit, dank hops, and pinesap. Lots of flavor from the hops and a Nellie toasted malt undertone. This one jeans to the bitter side the more you drink. Still easy going down and refreshing for a hop head.

 227 characters

Photo of ChefMacAttack
4.44/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz can into a teku glass.

Hazy gold color with a finger of bone white froth that dissipated quickly, leaving minor lacing.

The aroma is fresh squeezed grapefruit and pine in a beautiful bouquet of hop goodness.

The flavor is BIG. More juicy grapefruit, bitter citrus pith, and piney hops that just keep punching you in the mouth. A pungent bitter finish that lingers just long enough for you to want to take another sip. This has all the flavor of most DIPA's but so damn drinkable at 4.2%.

I'm going to have to take a trip to NJ to secure some more. Well done, Carton.

 590 characters

Photo of JackRWatkins
3.26/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: minimal head, pale yellow, a bit hazy
S: nice citrus hopp bitterness, subtle undertones of dankness
T: decent piney hop bitterness and a dash of citrus
M: tad oily not necessarily in a bad way
O: for a session ale it is very good, it is a very full flavored beer, that being said if I had to choose between SNPA or this 4 times out of 5 i'd take the SNPA, but it is a decent beer

 384 characters

Photo of DSWeller
4.4/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

16 ounce can from trade.

Pours a cloudy golden orange with a small white head. Little to no lace.

Smells good with small amounts of citrus and earth

This is very refreshing. Easily drinkable and would love to have more access to this. I pick up small amounts of hops, malt, tropical fruit and minimal lingering aftertaste. It is a little dry.

Overall, this is a great session beer and I wish I could buy this regularly.

 423 characters

Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.31/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

64oz Growler from Roger Wilco in Pennsauken, NJ poured in a tulip glass

Wonderful pop of citrus and dank hops on the nose. The taste follows with a big bang of lemony citrus notes up front. Some nice dank, slightly bitter, hops mid to back of the palate. The aftertaste reminds me a little of Founders All Day IPA.....slightly metallic/herbaceous.

This is one of the best, if not the best, session beers out. Crazy crushable. Killer summer beer.

 448 characters

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.02/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can. Cloudy yellow, thick white head disappears quickly, little lace. Smell is grapefruit, a little grass. Taste is predominately grapefruit peel hops, more bitterness than the IBUs would indicate. Finish is dry with lasting bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium. Overall a tasty hop forward session IPA. Very good for the style.

 330 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 dacrza1
4.13/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

At the Draught House with Matt and Jer celebrating my 39tb birthday...Appearance: slightly hazy, orange brown amber body that shows little effervescence...head is an off-white halo, mostly due to its draft status...Aroma: sharp, noticeable hops are balanced by doughy malts; light to little fruitiness; even less pinecone or resin--just a straightforward pale ale in its scent... Palate: thin, malt-forward mouthfeel; the buzz created by hops is short... medium-bodied overall... achieves the sessionable status... Taste: a prodigious experience, with the balanced hops offer citrus--grapefruit, lemon, some bitter elements--along with enough malt to keep the beer enjoyable... Overall: a solid accompaniment to chipotle BBQ wings, old bay seasoned fries and nachos... another strong Carton offering...

 802 characters

Photo of SmashAdams
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a really nice pale ale. Smell is incredibly fresh and hoppy. Taste is clean and juicy with a biy of a lemony flavor. Nice bitterness and good lacing. I could drink a few of these. yb

 190 characters

Photo of Mikerri6
3.65/5  rDev -11%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

We loved this beer during our first pint. Then during our second pint, we discovered that it's so dry and so citrusy that it was making us pucker. We didn't want to keep drinking it.

 182 characters

Photo of leroybrown10
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a pale straw color with a good amount of haze and a bit of sediment. 2 finger, fluffy white head leaves a moderate amount of spiderweb lacing behind.

Aroma is grapefruit and lemon. Some cut grass and mild must.

Lemon, grapefruit, and mild mango at the first sip. Some maltiness on the back end. Pine, black pepper, and resin.

Moderate body with medium carbonation. A bit dry. Some mild lingering bitterness.

A decent easy drinking beer. Hops are surprisingly prominent for a session beer.

 505 characters

Photo of jzeilinger
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy pale orange color with a frothy white head.

S - Bright citrus, pink grapefruit, light pungency with a little bit of spice, and grassy.

T - Follows the nose with bright citrus flavor, oranges, but mostly grapefruit, there's also some hints of spicy grapefruit rind, along with some grassiness on the back end with sweet citrus up front. Crisp and very refreshing.

M - To be expected, at 4.2% the body is on the thin side but it oats the mouth with a lot of earthy fruity goodness.

O - An IPA lovers beer that goes down super easy without going straight to the dome.

 586 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.26/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #89 (Jun 2014):

Hoppy, Dry, Poundable

“Session” is all the rage right now; especially hoppy versions. Putting that aside, we’ve got a beer here that pours a pale, straw, hazy yellow color with a healthy head. Nose is very hoppy; gritty, raw, grassy, piney, resiny. Crisp, dry, seltzer-like, minerally, grapefruit rinds, unripe stone fruit, pithy, pine, crackery malts, and an herbal linger. There’s a lot going on here, and in a good way.. One of the better session beers currently on the market.

STYLE: Session Ale | ABV: 4.2% | AVAILABILITY: Year-round

 594 characters

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 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 Mikus
4.15/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Last 4pk at the shop I visited in NJ (also 077XX) and assured that they were fresh, and had remained cold (per Carton's instructions). Will not find these otherwise, so I bought them up. No can dates, but they were fresh as daisies. Boat poured a gorgeous straw color with a small ring of white bubbles. Aromas included a slightly peppery yeast note, and dominant piney and earthy hops. A light nose, but more than I expected from other 'sessions'. Unique flavor profile. Kolsch yeast makes for an interesting counterpoint to the light peach and subtle pine notes of the hops. Light and refreshing, with a slightly dry mouthfeel. Clean beer here, to allow these subtle flavors to play off of each other as they do. Quest achieved, and Boat was a fine treasure for our NJ trip! Try this, it is NOT what you may be expecting!

 823 characters

Photo of hopsputin
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Taste is nice for a session beer. I'm tasting Columbus hops? Some pineapple, onion, that garlicy flavor. Nice amount of smooth flavor for a session beer

 153 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 Zonk
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice easy drinking summer beer. It is exactly what it claims to be, a great beer for out on a boat on a hot day. Good flavor, still "sessionable."

 151 characters

Photo of WesMantooth
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can. Good start.

Pours a very cloudy pale, straw yellow. Small, thin, bubbly white head.

Aroma is fairly weak. Very faint faint cracker like smell with some slightly dank hops.

Taste is much better than I was expecting. Lots of citrus flavors. Grapefruit, mandarin orange, mango. Also some lemon that gives it a crisp tartness. Very balanced with a biscuit like breaded malt base. Smooth aftertaste.

A lot fuller bodied than you would expect for a 4.2% beer. Carbonation seems about right. Has some resin slickness

This one isnt quite up there amongst the Zombie Dusts, Alpha Kings, Red Chairs, or Dale's of the world as a straight up Pale Ale, but at 1.5-2% lower abv or more than every other, it is in a league of it's own. I rated it straight up to style. I would say 4.5+ if there were a sub 5%/ session category. After having this and 077XX, believe the Carton hype!

 889 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 clake
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Undated 16oz can (who cares, I'm in NJ and there's no need to worry about "freshness") poured into a Spiegelau IPA glass.

Pours a hazy straw yellow with minimum head.

I seem to have more fun with this beer every time I get my hands on this as my beer journey and experiences broaden. Things I had previously taken for granted become more apparent as I get deeper into other styles. The Kölsch yeasts and German malts become more and more obvious each time while still giving me that hoppy pale ale fix.

Quite possibly my favorite New Jersey brewed beer and and one I'll always pick up at my local shop or bar (why not schedule an extra one in at 4.2%?)

(Finally reviewed 9/11/15)

 690 characters

Photo of ShowerBeers
3/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had it on tap and I am not sure if the tap line was dirty or something was missing. Tasted crisp but lacked something other sessions I have had did not.

 152 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

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Boat Beer from Carton Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 124 ratings.