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Berkshire Ale Traditional Pale Ale - Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

Berkshire Ale Traditional Pale AleBerkshire Ale Traditional Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

214 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 214
Reviews: 139
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 10.63%

Brewed by:
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc. visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 01-30-2002)
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Ratings: 214 | Reviews: 139 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Gatch


3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Horseshoe Pub in Hudson, MA.

Darker and maltier than I expected but still very good. Malt and dark fruits dominate the nose and flavor. A faint hop presence but not enough by my standards to be considered an APA. Maybe an EPA. Fruity and tasty enough to get good marks, in my opinion. Fresh, clean, smooth. Another well-crafted beer from Berkshire.

Serving type: on-tap

11-13-2013 03:35:09 | More by Gatch
Photo of MistahBeah


4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear copper with slight frothy tan-ish head. Plenty of carbonation. Little retention - just a film on top. Some very slight patchy lacing. Some sediment

Smells sweet amd bready. Hints of dark fruits among bready caramel malts. Some earthy grassy notes in the background

Taste follows the nose. Lots of bready malts and sweet fruits and caramel. A bit nutty. Somewhere towards the middle some grassy hops introduce themselves but never assert any real bitterness. The finish is sweet and slightly floral with a grassy aftertaste

Feels smooth. On the lighter side of medium-bodied. Very easy drinking. Clean

A very nice ale overall. Well-made and fairly well-balanced but leaning towards the sweet side. Would definitely get again if I was in the mood for a good ale. Honestly a little surprised when I looked at the ABV. Drinks like nothing

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2013 05:38:51 | More by MistahBeah
Photo of Digimaika2

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(4.0) A: Mahogany amber when held up to light with a fingers worth of creamy head. Commendable retention and very good lacing.

(4.0) S: Sweet dark fruits including ripe plum and cherries, slight balsamic quality, underlying citrus tones, and hints of maple syrup. Fruity and sweet. Different than what I was expecting from the style, and it’s a very good type of different.

(3.5) T: Dark fruits of plum and cherries, maple syrup, solid caramel backbone, hint of smoke, and some citrus. Very similar to the aroma. The taste steers towards the darker and maltier side of things (albeit in a lighter bodied way), and is well composed and full of flavour.

(3.5) M: Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Enough oily texture with a bit of chewiness.

(4.0) D: Overall very satisfying and flavourful. Aroma and appearance really stand out in this.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2012 01:43:19 | More by Digimaika2
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.45/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bomber into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a wonderful deep amber color with a big off white colored head. The head has fantastic retention and retains its strength for quite some time but it eventually fades over time to give a decent amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is on the lighter side with hints of roasted malt some caramel smells as well as some floral and citrus hop aroma.

Taste – A sweeter bready malt flavor with hints dark fruit are the first to meet the tongue. As the taste moves on light hop flavor of a floral and very light citrus flavor come to the tongue. The beer seems to bitter more toward the middle with the advent of the hop, but then again seems to sweeten toward the end where flavors of a caramel nature meet the tongue Where a slightly bitter caramel and malty flavor is left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side with the carbonation level being the same.

Overall - A pretty good “not so” pale ale with nicer roasted grainy flavors. While it has god flavors it is nothing to really go out of the way for.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2012 00:46:14 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of shivtim


3.13/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found a bottle at a liquor shop while visiting Connecticut.
Murky brown with slight red hints. Lots of visible carbonation. Half inch of beige/white head.
Nose is great. Sweet grassy hops and a nice balancing biscuit malt. Slightly nutty.
Hops don't come through as much in the taste. It's mostly cloying malts. Flowery and an odd chemical taste.
Decent mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2012 00:11:35 | More by shivtim
Photo of Apellonious

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler - liquors inc on dalton ave. you can guess the city.

A - cloudy copper, with some orange and brown highlights. On the third pour there was a one finger head ( it was fluffier on earlier pours) that dissapates to a thin lace.

S - malts, caramel and chocolate, some crisp hops

T -more of the same. Has the character of an amber and hints of brown ale mixed with a pale. Sone dark fruit and bitterness.

M - mouthfeel is good, balanced. Tad on the watery side.

O - recommended, has a malty tang to it. Used to some more hops in a pale ale, and more citrus qualities, but being a "traditional" pale ale, this may be right on point.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2012 01:20:37 | More by Apellonious
Photo of davey101


4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber into a snifter. Best by: 08/28/2012

A - Dark amber body with a red tint. Off-white soapy head. Really solid lacing and retention.

S - Sweet caramel malts and english style hops. A bit piney and grassy.

T - A bit subdued. Caramel and bready malts with a touch of clean grass. Simple and tasty. Medium body with low carbonation.

O - A simple and clean APA. Hops are light but it has a great bready malt backbone.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2012 21:11:23 | More by davey101
Photo of tylerprince


4.18/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split a fresh bottle with my dad. Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a nice chill-hazed ruby red with virtually no head. Lacing is clingy, and lasted long enough to prove I was taking some big swigs from the glass.

S: Mild but rich. Nutty malt with some fruity esters. Not a ton of hop presence save for a little spicy aroma. Awesome malt presence made me excited for the first sip.

T: Rich, nutty malt with a little bit of butter. Rolls off the tongue with some hop spice, butterscotch, and earthy nut. Very, very good.

M: Ever so slightly undercarbonated, with a slight syrupy quality. Doesn't foam in the mouth, just goes straight down. Alcohol has a very mild presence. Approaches 4.0, but it might be tricky to pull off this maltbill with so little carbonation.

O: A great PA, and, even though I am a major hophead, a welcome departure from the hopcentric American pale to which I'm accustomed.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 00:56:57 | More by tylerprince
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a cask in a true pint, the beer is a slightly hazed, vibrant, rich copper-amber coloring with a slight, white, whispy film covering the surface. Aromas are rich, nutty, and toffee sweet. Very smooth on the nose. Flavors are roasted and dark malty sweet, with more of a butterscotch backbone and very light, subtle, floral hopping at the end of the palate. The body remains creamy smooth throughout, with a decent lacing along the glass. Some cream and hops tang blend into the mild aftertaste, leading up to a smooth finish, with a slight bitter hint at the very end. Decent offering for the style.

Serving type: cask

03-09-2012 17:49:18 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of Ommy


4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear rust color with a great head. The head is off white and very frothy, leaving beautiful lacing.

The nose is pleasantly present with hops and a hint of apple? There is a slight "woodland" note that I can't place exactly, but it is nice.

The taste is much different than I expected. The fruits rush in the front, giving way to subtle hops, and then it finishes with a strong malty flavor. This is a lot more tame than I expected, and I personally enjoy that.

Overall I would say this is a great beer for a meal. It isn't overpowering, but doesn't have a lack of taste either.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2012 01:32:01 | More by Ommy
Photo of RyanLigeia

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy golden/amber in color, lets a little light through but not clear by any means. Small head that leaves a nice creamy coat across the top once its gone.

Smells a little sweet along with some citrus/hops. A nice balance of malts in there too but they arent as prominent as the hops.

The flavor completely flips what the smell sets you up for. The taste is definitely more malt heavy with the hops being secondary. Its not a forced, over-the-top flavor but it definitely HAS flavor (mostly of bready malts almost like a bock). It also has this underlying taste that just about EVERY other bbc has. Ive never been able to put my finger on it but they all have this ONE distinct sweet flavor to them. Not a bad thing at all, just something Ive noticed over the years.

The mouthfeel matches the flavors perfectly and for that reason almost makes the beer. Its a lot more full than your average pale ale. This almost reminds me of a bock or doppelbock as well.

Overall I might be biased because Im from MA and BBC was the company that got me hooked on craft beers when I was a teenager but I think this is great. Could be priced a few bucks higher and still be well worth it. This is one of their more tame brews and it still packs plenty of flavor along with an outstanding mouthfeel. Worth a try for sure if you havent had it yet and Id recommend picking a couple up at the price theyre sold for just to have kickin around as "plan b's".

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2012 04:21:04 | More by RyanLigeia
Photo of tempest


3.65/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber at the Beverage Warehouse in Winooski VT. It's a tasty, drinkable beer, but on the malty end of the style. It'd be fair to even call this an amber, based on the amber color and bready character. The malt has a whole-grain dark bread flavor with a dry, toasty and toffee edge. There's a candy sweetness in the middle, but gentle citrus hops kick in at the finish with a slight cocoa note. Overall a lovely session beer, I imagine it'd make for a great cask pour, just don't expect a traditional hop-heavy pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2012 20:25:42 | More by tempest
Photo of zeledonia


3.5/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted 24 November 2011, reviewed from notes.

Pours a medium, slightly cloudy amber, rather dark for a pale ale. An inch of cream-colored head with fantastic lacing and adequate retention.

Smell is grassy vegetable hops. Wet hay, with a bit of pale malt behind it.

Light malt base which is rather grainy and bready. Not sweet at all. Some grassy hay-like hops that pull up at the end, bringing a low, lasting bitterness to the finish. The taste has this odd rounding-up feeling at the end, which I have a hard time describing, but I think is some element of the hops coming through.

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, medium-light body. Feels like a pale ale should.

A very expected, decently tasty pale ale. Light, bready, wheaty malts, well-balanced with grassy hops.

Serving type: growler

12-03-2011 08:05:40 | More by zeledonia
Photo of mnrider


3.98/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. Brown bomber. Best By on bottle.

A: Pours a reddish copper with a large off-white head. Excellent retention with nice thick lacing.

S: The smell is mostly fruits, with a small amount of malts and hops coming through.

T/M: Great balance and taste. Smooth, with a sweet fruity malt taste. Floral hops jump in with a well needed bitter bit. The finish is on the sweet side.

O: A less hopy Pale Ale from what I'm used to. Note the Traditional part of the name. With great taste and excellent re-drinkability this beer is a winner.


Serving type: bottle

11-19-2011 21:38:15 | More by mnrider
Photo of davewlfpckfan29


3.63/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had had other Berkshire Brewing before, but never the traditional American pale ale. Grabbed a growler of it in West Springfield, MA.

I highly recommend the Steel Rail Ale from BBC.

Now for the Berkshire Ale: Very nice beer, very pleased with the freshness from the growler.
As it poured there was a one finger thickness of head which then turned into a very apparent lace (good carbonation).
And I really liked the color, a dark malty amber color.

The hops are not overdone in this beer, they are strong but not too strong. You can smell the hops, but they are masked by the malt (which is not overdone either).

Again, as I said it was fresh, didnt see a date on the growler, but I can tell it was fresh. I drank one before dinner and one with dinner and it was very nice both times.

Solid beer. Good beer. Good example of what BBC is capable of.

Serving type: growler

10-27-2011 22:49:51 | More by davewlfpckfan29
Photo of callmescraps


3.58/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a growler for a night of watching football.

App- Rich dark amber caramel color. Huge, thick and fluffy tan head. Laces very nicely.

Smell- Fairly muted. A little nutty, a hint of citrus from the hops. Some yeast esthers, unexpected.

Taste- Pretty nutty, a little sweet. And some bread, sort of like a rich black bread taste. Hops are very muted. Definitely an English interpretation.

Mouthfeel- Not bad, carbonation is pretty low. Creamy.

Overall- A nice English pale ale, well balanced and nice. Very quaffable, but nothing special. Could have a couple, plan to in fact.

Serving type: growler

10-02-2011 01:13:45 | More by callmescraps
Photo of celfan


4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My go to beer. Finally, a quality american micro that isn't ridiculously overhopped. Bread malt like an English ale, with enough hops - just not a stupid amount. Thank you Berkshire.
Some people will see the word pale and say "where are the damn hops?". There's something to be said for balance and structure - the current offerings of pale ale remind me of children at a make your own sundae bar drowning their creation in chocolate syrup.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2011 20:34:26 | More by celfan
Photo of DrinkingDrake


3.95/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my imperial pint glass a deep amber with a small but thick head. Nose is sweet malts and green grape/green apple fruit. Flavor is similar to the nose with a more pronounced fruitiness. A medium body with a large amount of carbonation tingle on the finish. A darker fruit character comes through towards the end. The earthy, grape, apple and darker fruit characters of the hop and grain combination is interesting and very appealing. A dryness comes through more than expected but the beer still finishes nicely.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2011 02:18:31 | More by DrinkingDrake
Photo of glid02


3.8/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Cambridge Common, in Cambridge, MA.

Pours a slightly hazy deep copper color with a white head that leaves solid lacing.

Smells of muted pale malts with hints of deeper caramel malts and floral hops. Also present are mild amounts of earthy and lightly herbal hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though more robust. Smooth pale malts up front are joined quickly by deeper caramel malts and hints of herbal hops. Midway through the hop influence turns more bitter with the addition of earthy and slightly leafy hops that carry through to a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with decent carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a solid enough beer, but it wasn’t quite clean enough to be one that I’d try again.

Serving type: on-tap

08-15-2011 23:52:03 | More by glid02
Photo of biglobo8971


3.43/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall a good beer. The color is eye pleasing, almost a maroon amber with very little lacing. The head was almost non existent. The smell is pleasant with the malt being more present. The taste is a little dry for my tastes. Would prefer more hop flavor from an IPA, but the taste was very well balanced.
Will not add this beer to my wants, but would not have an issue drinking it again.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2011 23:46:59 | More by biglobo8971
Photo of SunDevilBeer


4.38/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been drinking BBC Berkshire Ale for around 10 years now, finally decided to give it a formal review.

Pours a dark copper color with a nice head that stays around for a bit. Aroma is of caramel and muted hops.

Initial taste is a delight. A bit sweet and the same caramel at first, then biscuity and hoppy toward the end of the sip. Perhaps a slight bit of dicacetyl, but it totally works...this is an English Ale after all.

I've grown to love this beer recently. It is in my fridge often & I appreciate it as one of the underrated best values in craft beer today ($3.45 per bomber).

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2011 19:39:57 | More by SunDevilBeer
Photo of OrangeAmps


3.9/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a growler of this at Yankee Spirits. There definitely seems to be a price increase on all of the Berkshire offerings across the board, not just at Yankee but at all of the stores. But, its generally pretty great beer, so i dont really mind.

Pours a beautiful pale red color that isnt translucent. The foamy, stark white head billows up to the top of the pint glass and remains for quite some time after the duration of the pour.

I taste bready malts, and a very subdued hop profile. The bitterness is very slight and hits you on the inital taste and then on the back end. The middle is all sugary malts, reminiscent of biscuits or crescent rolls.

Overall, a great beer. Its pretty dark for a pale ale, and pretty good at that.

Serving type: growler

05-14-2011 16:23:20 | More by OrangeAmps
Photo of MoreThanWine


3.53/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I really enjoyed this. Poured a 1" head which dissipated to a trace. Gorgeous gazy rust color. Smells like a mild IPA with pine, citrus, and caramel, and tast is a mild version of the same. Very drinkable yet it has more to it than the typical pale ale. Frankly not too pale at all.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2011 01:26:05 | More by MoreThanWine
Photo of K7online


4.3/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorites. The thick head and a clear copper color make it immediately delicious. Instant smells of orange and lemon are found at first pour. If you have this in the middle of winter it is a great reminder of why summer is so great.

The taste is smooth with a lot of character and ever so slightly bitter. Retains some of the English ale characteristics but with much more flavor. The citrus tones make it extremely drinkable and won't disappoint you. Best enjoyed in a hot summer day with a good steak or burger.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2011 23:59:56 | More by K7online
Photo of Bouleboubier


4.35/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Always nice to come across an American brewery that can do an English pale pretty well.

For a bottle-conditioned ale, the head/carbonation is damn near copious - an off-white cottony cap, dense and creamy, leaving a few sheer bands of lace. The liquid sports a full tawny hue with a rose tinge to it. Clean but near cloudy.

When its temperature is ideal, an assertive, flowery hop bitterness greets you first, eventually met with an equal or arguably more assertive teacake maltiness. Very malty flavor as well. Kind of a sweetish, hot-cross-bun biscuit-bread thing. A little toasty, a little caramel (especially in the finish). Full-flavored. Nicely balances the heightened hop bitterness on the back of the tongue. All the way through it drinks a touch more clean than smooth and, despite not much perceptible carb (great for the style, casky), its one of the most filling, full-bodied examples I've tried. Sodden baguette.

I may have to try this again to compare and reflect, but in general I found this ale most pleasing, if not marathonically sessionable. Recommended to those who have a taste for ales of this ilk.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2011 04:58:00 | More by Bouleboubier
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Berkshire Ale Traditional Pale Ale from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
88 out of 100 based on 214 ratings.