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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

91 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 91
Reviews: 45
rAvg: 3.72
pDev: 14.25%
Wants: 3
Gots: 6 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: prototypic on 06-03-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 91 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
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 mothman
3.75/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Saint Arnold's brews this beer for BJ's in Houston.

Pours ½ finger of white head. Leaves some lace rings. Color is a slight hazed golden orange.

Aroma: Floral/earthy hops. Fairly fresh. Light bready malts with some light citrus. Mangoes and oranges.

Taste: Grassy and floral hops. Kind of dry flavored hops. Biscuit malts and orange citrus.

Mouthfeel: Bitter, smooth, and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends a bit sticky, but somewhat clean.

Overall, a decent pale ale. Some nice hop combinations. Pretty drinkable, a bit above average.

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
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Light copper pour. Generous hops knock down the head pretty fast.

Sharp hop nose. Little malt in the nose.

Taste falls a little flat. I would prefer a little more malt in the balance, and the hop flavor is not fresh.

Mouthfeel is light. Really lacks body

The beer is drinkable. I drink it whenever I'm at BJ's. This beer used to be really good. BJ's switched to centralized brewing instead of on-site, and the quality suffered. Just to be clear, I asked after the brewing because the quality was sliding, I'm not just making assumptions.

Photo of goblue3509
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
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 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 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 baos
3.6/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint in a pint glass.

A: Nice white head over a nice pale body.

S: Medium hoppiness with some malty and citrus notes.

T: Nice upfront hoppiness but not a bit hop strong. A well balenced brew should be called goldfish.

M: Nice feel

D: Very drinkable brew but i had to switch it up since I'd never been here.

Photo of Spineypanda
4.25/5  rDev +14.2%
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 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 BeerBelcher
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
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 HopHead84
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
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 cjgator3
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
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 Haybeerman
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear, bright amber color. Poured a 2 finger white head with fair retention. Even lacing throughout.

S: Floral flavoring (Cascade or Amarillo) hops. Biscuity malt backbone.

T: Resiny floral hops. Bready, biscuity malts. Balanced with sharp bitter finish except a light lingering flavoring hop.

M: Medium body. Balance carbonation. Smooth and coating.

D: Smooth, flavorful and easy to dirnk. Decent APA; bigger hop than malt.

Photo of RunDWP
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
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 1050Sudz
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
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 HoustonTX
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
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 Floydster
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pint consumed on 1/5/2008 at the San Bernardino location for four dollars and some change, reviewed from notes, color was a golden orange with some lighter tones, small 1/2 inch creamy white head that did not last long, minimal lacing, smell consisted of a decent malt backbone, tangerines and lemons, slightly grassy accents, hops up front in the flavor with a hint of grapefruit, chewy in the middle for a pale ale, quite a bit of dryness in the finish, mouthfeel was on the fuller side for its style, medium bodied, moderate level of carbonation, could drink a few of these with pizza quite easily, would be a nice session beer in the summer out here in the Inland Empire, pretty darn light on the stomach, one of BJs better regular brews, would drink again

Photo of colts9016
3.68/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A golden yellow with a hue of orange and a one finger head with a little bit of lacing.
Nose: A sweet hops, with a nice malt complex. hints of floral and citrus.
Taste Very hoppy but has a good malt back bone.
Overall the mouth feel is astringent, with a dry bitter finish. This is a clean and simple well made beer

Photo of RodBurg
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had at BJ's in Corona. Has a hazy yellow appearance with a small head.

Nice citrusy hop aroma. Pine and grapefruit.

I had this immediately after a Jeremiah Red so the hop flavors were really coming through. Zesty citrus on a malt backbone.

Good APA. One of the better brews in the BJ's lineup.

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 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 goschool
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
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 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 baiser
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

Pirhana Pale Ale from BJ's Chicago Pizza & Brewery Inc.
84 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.