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Pirhana Pale Ale - BJ's Chicago Pizza & Brewery Inc.

Not Rated.
Pirhana Pale Ale
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BA SCORE
84
good

94 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 94
Reviews: 45
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 13.98%
Wants: 3
Gots: 11 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
BJ's Chicago Pizza & Brewery Inc. visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.70% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Gusler on 05-04-2003

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (25) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 94 | Reviews: 45
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Dmann
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap tonight at B.J.'s in San Diego. This one poured a light amber color with a small white head that left a touch of lace on my glass. The beer smelled more like an IPA with a big citrus scent and a slightly malty scent as well. The taste was even more like a IPA with a great dry hoppiness, citrus notes and a very sturdy malt backbone. The mouthfeel was a little thin and if improved this could turn into a truly excelent brew.

Photo of watermelonman
3.2/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This arrived as a plain gold and orange without much head. It left some good lace.

It has a bigger hop punch than many IPA's that I've had. There's plenty of flavor, but not much balance or anything too interesting. There wasn't much of anything other than the hop bitterness in this glass. Drinkability was definitely negatively impacted by that notion.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Citrus Park Mall, Tampa, FL.

Not a bad pale ale. In fact, I've found all of the beers at BJ's to be quite nice.

It's obviously at least a little bit based on Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, which created the style, so I'll use that as a comparison.

A: It looks good, no faults there. Nice dark amber body with golden highlights. Clear. Short white head. Average to better than average head retention and lacing.

S: Well meshed combination of biscuity malt and gently citrusy hops. It could be stronger, but it's pleasant as it is.

T: It's a bit more malty than SNPA, and offers less hop flavor, but it's not really that far off. The bitterness is nicely balanced; and it's well brewed.

M: Clearly fuller bodied than SNPA, but not out of range for the style. It's medium bodied with a dextrinous edge and a standard carbonation.

D: Just a touch more hop flavor and aroma would give it an edge to take it beyond ordinary. Or, a little bit more focus to bring the malt down to better balance with the hops that are there would also click it just right. Regardless, it remains a very drinkable, and enjoyable APA.

Photo of cjgator3
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at BJ's in Orlando, Fl. Poured into a 16oz shaker pint glass. Pours a clear orange/amber color with a thin off-white head. The aroma is some malt and citrusy hops. The beer came out a bit too cold and I was underwhelmed by the aroma at first but it got better as the glass warmed up. The taste like the aroma starts off malty with a quick bite from the citrusy hops in the finish. The mouthfeel is light bodies with a good amount of carbonation. Overall, not a bad offering and probably my favorite beer from the BJ's lineup.

Photo of prototypic
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Recently tried this at the new Columbus, Ohio location. However another poster suggested, and I believe, that the beer there is brought in from Nevada.

Appearance: It arrived with a foamy one finger head. It's clear and a golden brown color. Retention and lacing were good.

Smell: It's mostly hoppy with a bit of citrus scents blended in. There's some grapefruit and a bit of orange. Not much maltiness to speak of.

Taste: Definitely hoppy and dry. Citrus flavors are noticeable and provide a little bit of a sweet factor. Hops are certainly bitter. A slight malty taste is noticeable, but mostly it's just hoppy and dry.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied. Carbonation and abv are very good. It's very drinkable. I could actually drink a few of these. It's a pretty good beer overall. I'd certainly recommend it if you happen to drop by the place.

Photo of MiScusi
4.7/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is my favorite brew from BJ's, and a great APA I believe it is. On tap at their West Covina, CA location.

First, the appearance is a clear burnt orange. A very nice 2 finger head, with a loopy lace that grips and holds the sides of the glass from the moment the first sip is consumed.

The smell is perhaps more piney than other APA's, a nice warning that you're about to be hit with a nice dose of refreshing hops, exactly what I want in a PA, without being too in your face like some IPA's.

The taste is great. PA is my favorite style of beer, and this one has a much more piney finish than most. Slightly citrusy at the beginning but a large does of hops at the end.

The drinkability as about as good as any PA i've had. In my opinion as far as drinkability it beats Sierra Nevada, another one of my favorites.

Photo of Samp01
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampler at BJ's in Sugar Land TX, brewed by St Arnolds Brewery in TX. Pours a nice gold/amber with a nice white head with good lacing. Aroma of floral citrusy hops, with some nice fruity esters. Taste is piney citrus hops, light malt, grapefruit and some fruitiness. NIce medium body palate, nice crisp texture, and nice carbonation. Finish is piney citrusy hops, light maltiness adds balance. Overall a very nice easy drinking pale ale.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6 oz tap pour in a mini pilsner glass. 5.5% ABV, On tap at BJ's in Huntington Beach, CA.

A - Despite the small white head from the pour, lots of white lace was left all over the glass above the clear golden yellow beer.

S - Small bits of caramel and biscut with mild toasted malts backing up the powerful nose of citrusy American hops well. Pine and grapefruit own all here.

T - Once again leaning towards the hoppy side, the flavor is heavier on the grapefruit citrus and pine more-so than the lightly toasted malts.

M - This Piranha comes at you with a medium-body and a citrusy, bitter bite.

D - Piranha is by far their best all-around beer. A solid pale ale offering with a good flavor and body to it.

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a couple of pints of this APA while at the BJ's in Arcadia, CA. had a clear amber color topped with a frothy, quick-dissolving white head that left scant lace.
Nose was full of floral notes that easily overcome the malt tones and fainter caramel scent. Seems very well-hopped for an APA.
A few pulls and the hops really start coming out as the malt character gets buried under the flavors of citrus rinds and juicy Cascade hops. Some sweetness in the form of caramel flavor counters the hops but this brew really carries a hefty hops profile. The feel is medium in body, crisp and refreshing.
The first pint went down quite quickly. This is palate conversion at work here. I had Piranha pale ale 18 months ago and didn't care for it, finding it too hoppy. Now, I'd say it's one of the better beers offered at BJ's and an aggressive West Coast pale ale. Worth trying out.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I originally thought this was an IPA...and a pretty damn lackluster one at that, but knowing now that it's only a pale, it's not bad at all!

Pale amber pour, translucent, light colored head, and nice lacing.

Aroma was lightly malty, with some slight piny hops.

Taste was fairly bitter and hoppy. Quite nice for a pale. Some caramel malts in the back balance it out nicely.

Feel was light, and crisp, with nice carbonation.

Overall, a nice hoppy pale ale. So far, one of the better-to-style BJ's brews.

Photo of uawildcat
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at the Oracle Tucson location. Glad to see that there is a consolidated list... Wait, maybe there isn't yet. Oh well.

A - Served with a tiny head, looks like it went down while waiting to be served. There was some lacing during the whole glass. It was a dark, clear, straw color.

S - The aroma of this beer has to be its best aspect. Lots of piney, citrusy hops. Is this really just a pale ale? I think not, more like a India pale ale.

T - Lots of upfront sweetness that yields to to an intense hoppy bitterness.

M - The mouthfeel for this beer is a tad high on the carbonation in my opinion. Also, there isn't that hop oiliness that remains in the palate that I usually expect.

O - This is not your typical pale ale. It is super hopped and is worth trying for any of you hopheads out there.

Photo of HoustonTX
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Piranha Pale Ale is an attractive beer, glowing amber body with a thin but sticky head.

Aroma of resinous pine, sticky sweet caramel malt, and citrus peel.

Assertive hops up front, with tangy citrus and aggressive pine providing nice bitterness. All while balanced nicely with a solid caramel malt base. Flavors work well together. Finishes clean.

A solid APA, provides a lot of flavor and has wonderful sessionability. Definitely recommended, if you head to BJ's.

Photo of Gusler
4.51/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The sample is the Cask version served at “Papago” Brewery, and as I sample more Cask conditioned Ales, the more I wish were available.

The pour is a limpid amber color, the head is portly in size, frothy in texture, tan in color and as it evanesces, the lace forms a fine covering sheet upon the glass. Ah the smell of the hop flowers, dominates this magnificent nose that is also sweetly malt, fresh and clean, the quintessential “Dry Hopped” aromas all present, sweet malt start, the top moderate in feel. Finish is delicately acidic, “BOOM”, the hops slap your palate and cling till the very dry and lovely finish, just plain “Yummy”!

Photo of baiser
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very refreshing pale ale, with plenty of hop bite. Some citrus, pine and fruit in the nose. Pours a clear, light amber colour, with a thin white head. Pretty close to an IPA I'd say. The cascade and chinook hops are pretty apparent. Ends with a bittersweet taste. A pretty good pale ale from BJ's.

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 finger head when I got it (from the pour obviously), but a good retention that sticks around for a while. The color is pale orange and I can see my fingers through the glass.

Smell is of citrusy piney hops. Smells like cascade and chinook, with the chinook dominating too much over the cascade.

Taste is of cascade and chinook hops. As the smell suggests, the chinook hops do dominate too much over the citrusy hop profile. It seems like that rough piney in your face bitterss of the chinook is not quite balanced with the citrusyness of the cascade, which makes them not compliment each other as well as the could. Other than that some pale malts balance out the bitterness.

This beer could use a little bit more crisp mouthfeel with some more carbonation onthe palate.

Overall, this is a decent stab at the style and I could have a few of these easily.

Photo of RunDWP
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BJ's Brewpubs are spouting up all over in malls across the country. Like it or not, craft beer is going corporate, or trying to at least. So I ask myself, is their beer just craft brew sheep in micro wolf's clothing?

The waitress put the beer down in front of me in a shaker glass. A light, frothy foam just stood there, with no intension of leaving, just floating there upon the copper colored brew. Smell of a little herbal, and little fruity hops. The taste was a surprise, at least to me. There's plenty of hops in there, mostly of the grassy variety but if my taste buds weren't fooling me, picked up some Cascade hops, or least something a little grapefruity and citrus in there. A touch of caramel sweetness in the overwise bready malt. Give them credit for a pretty fresh tasting pale ale, and using going heavy on the hops for this style. Mouth feel worked, with the right level of carbonation and heft, and no off or harsh notes in this one.

Pick this one up at a mall near you with no fear!

Review from BJ's in Foster City, CA.

Photo of beerceller99
3.7/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the North Dallas BJ's. Light rusty color with an off white head. The medium strong hop smell is piney. Medium bodied.
A sweet, grainy malt taste is quickly overpowered by the strong hop taste of this brew.
A satisfying hop burp finished off this fine drinking experience.

Photo of Rifugium
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at BJ's, Westminster, CO

A good selection from BJ's, as are many of their brews I sampled. Poured a clear, slightly bronzed amber color, with a small white head that retained and laced well. Sweet malts in the aroma, bready, nicely balanced with citrus and piney hops. The taste follows the aroma basically; simple as that. Light-medium body, very basic, and quite drinkable.

Photo of Spider889
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

UPDATE from June 2010 visit to BJ's.

They have clearly changed what this beer is. When they brought it out to me I first thought they gave me the wrong beer, it was noticeably darker in color. The flavor profile and aroma are now much maltier and less fruity than before. what I used to deem a unique and very enjoyable beer is now mainstream and ho-hum. I am very disappointed that BJ's decided to change this brew.

___
Original review for the beer prior to 2010.
Stats: 4, 4.5, 4.5, 3.5, 4.5

By far my favorite BJ's beer (at least that is offered year 'round). I have had this on tap and by growler from the Columbus restaurant.

A very nice American Pale Ale, Pirhana Pale Ale is a very crisp and refreshing brew. Light orange in color, little head retention. The beer has a refreshing hop smell, not too overpowering and balanced by sweet floral notes and sweet grapefruit.

The beer is very crisp and clean tasting, very well balanced. It has enough bitterness to satisfy the hop-head but is sweet enough that many of my non-pale ale drinking friends still enjoy this beer. The flavor has a very pleasant fruit flavor, my wife and I have trouble placing exactly what it is, orange or grapefruit possibly though our best guess is lychee.

Very drinkable, this is usually the only thing I order at BJ's anymore.

Side note: it may sound odd, but when drinking this beer when I feel the need to burp I force it through my nose and you get an even more sweet and floral aroma than from the beer out of the glass. The perfect finish to a very likable beer!

Photo of Gavage
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear orange in color with a thin 1/2" head. The carbonation seemed a little strong.

Smell: the mild aroma is of light hops.

Taste: the flavor is a simple balance of malt and hops with some light citrus tones.

Mouthfeel: mildly crisp at the start and a smooth finish that had some mild bitterness riding the tongue.

Drinkability: not a bad drinking beer, and goes well with the pub grub here.

Photo of Spineypanda
4.23/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this pale ale thoroughly!

Even though my restaurant experience sucked due to bad service... the beer was great.

This is a nice clear golden pale ale, and it smells strongly of deliciously bitter hops. It smells just like it tastes, and is very refreshing. There is a floral note to it from the hops, and a tiny bit of sweetness.

Great pale ale, and I will be making this my beer of choice from BJ's. (Except for their pumpkin which was great too)

Photo of goblue3509
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color with a thin half finger head which gives way to some nice lacing. The smell is a caramel malt backbone with a nice biscuit and toastiness to it. There is also some grapefruit notes along with some piney hops. The taste is of biscuits and caramel malts with touches of grapefruit and a nice piney and citrus hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated. The drinkability is good, its an easy drink, its not as hoppy as some of the big american pale ales. There is enough complexity to keep you interested.

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I always enjoy a pint of Pirhana every chance I get. This one was enjoyed at Columbus, Ohio's BJ's Restaurant and Pub on the way out of town for the weekend.

A classic take on a classic American beer. This Pale Ale compares favorably to Sierra Nevada's with the focus on west coast hops, primarily Cascade. The grapefruit, orange rind, lemongrass notes are dominant in the nose and chases the beer through the finish. Backup notes of pineapple, pears, and other tropical and citrus fruits come from a nice clean blend of esters and hops. But the beer is not all hops, a caramelized malt base gives enough sweetness and body to balance the beer very well. Super clean, this beer gives no phenol, sulfers, or off flavors- only a mild, pleasant ester fruity complexity. Crisp attenuation gives a touch of graham cracker taste and dryness in the body. Easily drinkable with a light menthol cooling in the hoppy finish. The beer is mostly a clear copper-golden color. Dry-hopping gives a mild haze which doesn't bother me at all. Otherwise, nice head formation and retention with moderate lacing all the while.

Photo of elmocoso
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

THIS REVIEW IS OF A REGULAR BJ'S OFFERING BUT CASK CONDITIONED.

This cask ale was a week old. I would have liked to try it fresh but, alas, i couldnt get there last thursday. It is interesting, though, to see the effects of aging on a cask serving. My first cask ale was 1 hour old and it blew me away. Yeasty and cloudy and living. It was obvious this one has had time to settle. The head was tighter and more modest, the beverage was almost filtered-clear.

It was a deep gold color with slight red hue's. A half a finger of tight white head.

The nose of this beer blows me away. Citrus-o-rama. Very floral and just in-your-face sweet, sweet hops.

The taste does not quite live up to the smell. It is a good beer, but there is a more of a blunt taste in the hops, especially at room temp. It is kind of a dull puckeryness that lingers long after the maltyness recedes.

Ah - sweet, sweet mug.

Photo of HopHead84
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at BJ's in La Jolla before an enthralling showing of Sin Nombre. Not recommended. Critics are too lenient with independent foreign films.

Dark gold with a one inch white head. The retention and lacing are both great.

The aroma is well balanced, maybe slightly in favor of the hops. Citrus is evident and the malt is of the caramel persuasion. A hint of alcohol is noticeable.

The flavor is citrus hops up front with medium bitterness. The sweet caramel malt does well in balancing the vibrant hops. The finish is bitter and the alcohol is most noticeable here.

Medium bodied with good carbonation. The mouthfeel is crisp and light on the palate.

My exgirlfriend used to work at BJ's in college so I used to get really cheap kegs of this beer. Drinking this beer is reminiscent of college.

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Pirhana Pale Ale from BJ's Chicago Pizza & Brewery Inc.
84 out of 100 based on 94 ratings.