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

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Pirhana Pale Ale
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BA SCORE
84
good

94 Ratings
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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.
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Ratings: 94 | Reviews: 45
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 Rezzin
4.6/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Medium amber/copper and crystal clear, off white head, looks very inviting just sitting in the glass.

S - Smelled wonderful. Fruity, citrusy, floral... slight malt presense.

T - This is one of the better offerings from BJ'. A well hopped APA, there's a good balance between the hops and the malt. Just a little sweetness to balance out the citrusy hops, a nice light bitter finish.

M - Starts off crisp and finishes smooth. Very refreshing. Perfectly carbonated.

D - I haven't tried all of BJ's brews yet but this one is just outstanding in my opinion. I'm wondering if it's because I drink 95% of my beer from the bottle. Still - if I could find a clone of this I'd tweak it juuuust slightly and call it the house beer. 2 thumbs up since my wife likes it too.

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 Morris729
4.42/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

ABV: 5.5%, IBU: 40, OG: 1.057, FG: 1.014
Pours a medium amber color with a foamy white head that sticks all over the sides of the glass as you drink leaving behind spider webs of lace. Nose is spicy and floral hops with little else noticeable and lets you know that if you’re a hop-head, you’re in for quite a treat. The taste doesn’t disappoint as raw hop leaf flavors quickly overpower the initial sweet malt and burst with flavors of citrus rind and oily pine resins that remain on the back of the tongue in an aftertaste that lasts until the next sip. If you like hops, this is a must-try. Sampled locally at the BJ’s at 4901 Beltline in Addison.

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 drewbage
4.19/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a perfect example of the blurring line between American IPA's of the <1996 and the APAs of today.

Big in both alcohol and hops this beer makes SNPA seem like your little sister's beer. Crystal malts provide the body and structure that supports the intense Centenninal and Chinook bitterness. The snappy hop finish is topped only by an intense Cascade nose.

All in all, this beer is typical of the BJ's approach: bigger and bolder than the style calls for.

Photo of BeerBelcher
4.17/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this on my 2nd visit to BJ's in Columbus, and given how little I enjoyed the beer I had during my first visit, I was very pleasantly surprised. This beer was a nice example of an APA (and heaven knows there are many poor examples out there). This beer offered a robust hop-citrus flavor with considerable body; it is a winner and is doesn't wuss out on the hops the way that one might expect a chain brewpub APA to do.

Body was a cloudy straw color with a centimeter or two of head. Aroma was was sweetly hoppy and lightly citrus-y. Flavor was fairly strongly bitter up-front, with some nice fruity/citrus notes sweetly following. The beer also had some pretty good maltiness subtly backing that hoppiness. Mouthfeel was a little rough from the bitterness, but substantial and satisfying.

I'm not sure if I got a terrific example of this beer, and if subsequent tries will be as tasty, but I would highly recommend this beer.

I had this on-tap at the BJ's Brewpub on Polaris Parkway in Columbus.

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 IceAce
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light copper body with brilliant clarity, albeit with little foam in the way of a cap. Nose is predictably Cascade and very hoppy, even for a West Coast Pale Ale.

Entry provides an aggressive (Piranha!) hop bite followed by a wonderful malty mid. The finish is hoppy and clean...a great fallback beer if / when no brewers select offerings are available.

Photo of 1050Sudz
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Piranha Pale Ale
A HopHeads delight!

This beer was served ice cold, on tap, by a very friendly and knowledgable waitress. Off to a good start.

It looked like an average pale ale, but one sniff and I knew I was in for a hoppy beer.

The very first sip was almost overwhelming by the strong cascade hops flavor. It had a bite to it. By the third drink I was hooked.

Once I adjusted to the strong hops, I recognized a slight fruity flavor. It also left a crisp, fresh aftertaste that made me order several more pints before I was content. And at 5.7%, I felt real good about it!

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 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 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.

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

I've tried this several times at Woodland Hills and Burbank BJ's. Also a friend had a mini-keg recently that he picked up from Arcadia. The color is a very pleasant copper. Hops are moderate in the nose, but a strong citrus flavor seems to knock the smell out of balance a bit. Somehow the taste seems slightly more balanced, with a bit of malt sweetness mixing well with the hops and grapefruit-like flavor. As for drinkability, I found myself making several trips back to the keg rather than hitting the assortment of bottles at the party.

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

Piranha Pale's appearance is dark copper in color with a light head. Smell is fairly light and clean like beers at most brewpubs. A little whiff of hops is noted. Taste is very hopped like most west coast APAs. Very enjoyable hop flavoring. This is a good representation of the standard west coast APA, and is something I'll enjoy again and again.

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 Rumrunner
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint glass.

Definately a good rendition of the typical American pale ale.

Pours a light gold. Slight haze in the glass but still very transparent. Medium amount of bubbles. Not much head but it had pretty good lacing. A very dry hopped smell. Fruity but not real strong scents.

Very flavorful. I am starting to recognize Cascade hops. This ale has a mild hop bitterness. Grapefruit, a strong pine flavor and even a bit of butter.
Mild malty sweetness balance this ale out.

It is a real easy drinker. A touch of nice chewyness but it is really smooth. No heavyness to the mouthfeel. Carbonation is mild. Good overall quality ale.

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

On-tap at the Woodland Hills brewhouse.

I finally wrote down some notes and scored this beer last night- I live within five minutes of BJ's so I've had Piranha Pale Ale many times.

It pours a golden amber with a small white head. The nose has citrusy, piney and floral hops, along with sweet malts. You mainly get grapefruity cascade hop flavor with a bit of malt. It's medium bodied and well carbonated. This is a textbook brewhouse chain's pale ale, but it's a good one. It's semi-hoppy, not too adventurous, but it has enough to keep it interesting, making this better then most. I like to try BJ's special releases or whatever they have on cask, but this is my go to pint and it was born to wash down pizza.

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.

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