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Boat Beer - Carton Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Boat BeerBoat Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.

130 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 130
Hads: 1,102
Avg: 4.1
pDev: 10.98%
Wants: 154
Gots: 193 | FT: 19
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
Reviews: 130 | Hads: 1,102
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."

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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!

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Photo of JGam115
4.17/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pale straw, fluffy white top. Lite hay, fresh grown grass, tangelo and mango. Great bitterness and clean finish. This really is a great fishing/boat beer.

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Photo of lupercmda
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden hue with about a 1 inch foamy white head. Smells of hops predominate. Has a nice bitter finish after a light refreshing up front dryness. One of the best session pale ales out there.

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Photo of guityler83
4.27/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: Bright white and pillowy foam with long lasting retention. Golden yellow color with mild haze. No alcohol legs, just a clean spider web lacing when swirled. The appearance reminds me of a Kolsch.

S: Moderate mango, papya and grapefruit hop aroma. Light toasty and cracker like malt aroma. Pine and musty dank hops that make it very appealing overall.

T: A firm moderate bitterness hits the back of the throat with grapefruit and citrus fruit. The middle comes through with a moderate munich (bready, grainy) character along with pine hop flavor. The finish has a nice malty finish along with more balanced mango hop flavor. The balance is on the hops, but the overall impression is the beer is very well balanced.

M: Carbonation is on the medium-high side and the body is moderate. Clean finish with a slight grainy character that leaves you with a rough sensation on the tongue.

O: Great beer. The balance between the malt and hop character was spot on for my preference, the use of Munich made it interesting and the firm bitterness is something I don’t usually find in the session-IPA category.

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Photo of jwc215
4.21/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Shannon Rose, Woodbridge, NJ:

Pours hazed lemondrop yellow with a creamy white head. Lacing sticks.

The aroma is of robust citrus - grapefruit, orange, tangerine.

The taste is hop-forward - citric, but a firm pale malt backbone balances it. Finishes with a refreshing citric dryness.

It is creamy smooth. It has a fuller body for a lower abv beer.

A well-hopped citric delight!

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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.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.92/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed this on tap at Federal Taphouse in Harrisburg, served chilled in a pint.

The color is a cloudy golden with thin white head with fine bead and ringlets of lace stick.The smell is great with lots of floral hop aromas with mild citrus zest and slight tropical fruit in the nose. The feel is decent with tangy semi-dry and pretty bitter texture with low sweetness and semi-dry finish with moderately high carbonation and moderately bitter finish.

The taste iis tangy with lemony hop element and subtle acicidty in the taste with mild citrus golden grapefruit-like punch with somewhat herbal hop quality and grassy aspect with a light astringency level and dry finish. Overall this is better than most beers of this style but I would not want to drink more than 1 in a sitting a bit too assertive bitterness wise for the abv -pushed to the extreme in a way I am not fond of especially.

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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.

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Photo of leantom
4.32/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Got six beers to review from this brewery. This one is the first. Here goes:

A: Pale, hazy, gold color. Can't really see through the beer owing to the haze - it's a rather murky brew. However, the beer pours a great head that leaves a lot of lacing. Overall, pretty good.

S: Rather good. Very floral and herby - almost like a bouquet of flowers. Also contains a lots of tropical flavors such as grapefruit, mango, pineapple, and lemon. Overall a very good brew smell-wise.

T: Follows the nose, which is a good thing. Hardly any malt. Taste is comprised of flowers, herbal spice, grapefruit, pineapple, and lemon. Overall, quite good.

F: Actually not very light-bodied despite the low alcohol level. Nice and full-bodied.

O: Very good beer. This one's a keep. Bought a four-pack at the brewery after tasting it.

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Photo of Sandalwood
3.89/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Growler - pours cloudy pale golden yellow with a foamy white head. The odor is strong, IPA, grapefruit, lemon, citrus, pineapple, passion fruit, floral, grassy, bread like. The taste mild, bread like, herbal, grapefruit, passion fruit, honey, light bitterness throughout.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
3.85/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice session APA. Not bursting with nose or taste, but you can only expect so much from this style. Very drinkable, good carbonation, refreshing. Would drink anytime.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.68/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz. can poured into a Cantillon wine glass. Just cuz.

Appearance - Hazy pale orange. Medium white head that settles to a thin collar and lots of surface wisps.

Smell - Grapefruit hops. Grassy hops. Almost no malt at all. Just a bit of cracker.

Taste - Lots of orange and grassy hops. Cracker malt. Even a little toasty. Aggressively bitter in the back end.

Mouthfeel - Very light. I could, and will, put this away quickly. Well carbonated.

Overall - Nice session. I'm not a boat person, but I could drink a few of these on dry land too.

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Photo of Jonada
3.81/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

32 oz growler poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy looking pale yellow color with less than a finger of a white head that dissipated to a thin ring. Body is lightly hazy, but mostly clear.

Smell: Grapefruit, citrus, peach, clean malt, pine and a hint of honey.

Taste: Medium strong bitterness, grapefruit, light tropical notes and a very slight malt sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp with medium carbonation. Finishes dry with a long lingering bitterness.

Overall: Pretty good stuff. Kind of straddles the line between a pale ale and session IPA, so if that sounds like you're thing, then you should check this one out.

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Photo of kscaldef
3/5  rDev -26.8%

Doesn't smell like much, doesn't taste like much. I guess it's okay if you want something sort of watery on a hot day, but there's much more flavorful beers to be had in the "session beer" arena.

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Photo of beertunes
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A big thanks to Tongorad for this much looked forward to brew. Poured into shaker pint glass (Bale Breaker branded, if you're curious). Poured a cloudy yellow color with about 1.3 inch of white head that had decent retention and lacing.

The olfactory aspect was highlighted by a bright, lemony hop scent, with a nice grassy malt backbone. Pretty similar story on the tongue, a big blast of hops, lots of citrus, some nicely counter-balancing malts, all tied together with a nicely dry finish.

The body was just a bit on the light side of medium, which would be a good thing for an all-day drinker of a beer. Drinkability was excellent, the beer was gone far too quickly, leaving me wanting more. Overall, a very fine beer. A must try, and one worthy of repeated drinks.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.1/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish Spiegelau glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a very hazy light golden color with a 1/2 inch off-white head that retains decently before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a small patch of sheer surface foam. Not-so-resilient lacing leaves a broken ring behind.

S- Very bright citrus aroma springs from the glass with some resinous pine notes.

T- Fruity and moderately bitter at first but halfway through it washes away to the weak finish I'm accustomed to with session IPAs. Still, it's quite tasty and of course very drinkable. Light notes of pineapple, grapefruit and lemon and the bitterness does end up lingering for a bit after multiple sips are taken.

M- Crisp and very refreshing with medium carbonation and a light body.

O- Though it has me wanting more overall flavor just like with other session IPAs, this one certainly beats out most of the others I've had. If I lived in NJ, I would happily buy this for any outdoor activity.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.8/5  rDev -7.3%

A-cloudy yellow, nice carbonation with a two finger head.

S-Some citrus, not much grass and a tad bit of wheat.

T-Mild citrus and grass, some lemon and a tad bit of bitterness.

M-Lighter, nice carbonation, some hop resins.

O-A good easy drinking session ale

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Photo of thedoubler55
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%

A: Hazy cloudy orange in color with a slight transparency, leaves about a two finger head at the top that goes away rather quickly and just leaves a ring around the top that turns into a nice lacing around the glass.

S: Hints of grapefruit and lemon zest, some small notes of honey as well, the pine and resin come through as well.

T: Almost exactly like the nose lots of citrus and grapefruit up front, nice hop kick in the beginning, a slight spice as well, and a sweet backbone.

M: Moderate amount of carbonation, slick, medium bodied.

O: Overall this is a great brew from Carton, this is a local brewery for me and proud that it comes from NJ, very well balanced beer and enjoyed it thoroughly. Great Flavors.

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Boat Beer from Carton Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 130 ratings.