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

Not Rated.
Pirhana Pale Ale
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very good

45 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 45
Hads: 96
Avg: 3.81
pDev: 20.21%
Wants: 3
Gots: 13 | 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 (29) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 45 | Hads: 96
Photo of prototypic
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of goschool
3.85/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of Rezzin
4.6/5  rDev +20.7%
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.

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Photo of baiser
3.85/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.97/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of IceAce
3.95/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of beerceller99
3.7/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.7/5  rDev +23.4%
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.

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Photo of Gagnonsux
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of Gavage
3.65/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of watermelonman
3.2/5  rDev -16%
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.

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Photo of Dmann
4.12/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

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Photo of mickeymac
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At the Brea BJ's. Thed amber body is topped by a small wite head that was here but briefly leaving smidgeons of lace on the glass. The nose is citrus hops with nary a sense of malt. Flavor of grapefruit nearly to the IPA level and plenty of bitterness in the long aftertaste. Clean, crisp, and medium body feel. Easily drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of Rumrunner
3.85/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.34/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light to medium gold color. Small head. Aroma is malty and a touch sweet. A medium bodied pale ale. Malty and fairly aggressively hopped. Good flavor, nice hop bite. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and crisp. Aftertaste is slightly malty.

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Photo of Morris729
4.42/5  rDev +16%
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.

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Photo of elmocoso
4.07/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


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.

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Photo of drewbage
4.19/5  rDev +10%
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.

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Photo of Gusler
4.51/5  rDev +18.4%
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”!

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Pirhana Pale Ale from BJ's Chicago Pizza & Brewery Inc.
85 out of 100 based on 45 ratings.