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Columbus Pale Ale - Columbus Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Columbus Pale AleColumbus Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

89 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 89
Hads: 227
Avg: 3.61
pDev: 21.05%
Wants: 4
Gots: 24 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Columbus Brewing Company visit their website
Ohio, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 05-16-2002

This award winning, copper colored pale ale was the first beer we ever brewed and it's still one of our favorites. We carefully blend German and English malts and add generous portions of American hops for a refreshing citrus aroma with a dry finish.

28 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 89 | Hads: 227
Photo of jmdrpi
3.14/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

drank a couple of these in the Columbus airport. 12 oz bottles, poured into glass. copper colored. some medium malt flavor and a touch of hops. Okay, but unremarkable.

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Photo of BB1313
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a deep golden with nice clarity; subtle haze; fluffy white head that fades leaving nice retention and solid lacing. The aromas are floral and full of citrus notes. Some malts in the mix as well. The flavors are very earthy. Lots of grass and pine. Lots of orange and grapefruit. Some hints of caramel. The malts are there, but the hop flavor and hop bitterness still shines. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied. Very smooth and creamy with moderate carbonation. Alcohol goes unnoticed.

This is a good pale ale. I like how they stay true to style and don't try to pass an IPA off as a pale ale.

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Photo of SaltofOH
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%

Appearance: A little smoke. Pours a deep copper/orange, extremely hazy. Redolent effervescent, small bubbles. Rocky light-tan head. Outstanding lacing and retention.

Aroma: Clean, American hoppiness. Citrus blast. moderate supportive malts. Candy-sweet aroma, even cold. Some resin, but mostly citrus fruit, very sweet, slightly grainy.

Taste: Clean, dry arrival. Some light bready maltiness across mid-palate. then a touch of alcohol, and very strong bitterness lingers on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light sensation overall. Moderate carbonation.

Overall: Wow; I really liked this better the last time I had it. Still, very clean, refreshing and VERY aromatic and hoppy, but less balanced than I remember it. Really quite like a session IPA. Better as it warms. Better than average, but not a superstar.

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Photo of KushBreakfast
2.61/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - golden orange, small head that quickly and completely dissipated, flakes floating/settling to the bottom

S - not pleasant, disappointing for a pale ale

T - followed the smell, not at all what I was looking for

M - light-medium full, slight carbonation, again not very pleasing

O - Very disappointed.. Better descriptions of characteristics would have been presented if they were warranted. I expected much better having enjoyed their IPA.

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Photo of sixerofelixir
4.18/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle sampled in a burger joint in Columbus, OH. I believe the brewery uses a botted-on date, but I don't recall checking this one. Scouring for dates is so automatic for me anymore, that they only stand out if the beer is "old". This was handed to me with a standard pint glass.

From what I could see in the darkened room, it was a nice golden color, with a lacy, white head. Smelled fresh and evergreen hoppy. Hop taste was good & complex, styled more like like a mild IPA than the leafy murk of so many APA's.. Very balanced malt-wise; a tasty beer that paired great with a slightly spicy burger.

IMO, this is a beer that should be offered at all Ohio chain restaurants like Great Lakes Dortmunder is - it's a no-brainer to pair with food, and could easily substitute for SN Pale Ale.

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Photo of garuda
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Gold, with a thick white cap that has good retention and lacing.

S/T - Loads of hoppy grapefruit flesh and pineapple, with a caramel, honey-like malt sweetness. Bitter, resinous pine finish. The malts are sturdy, but the bitter pine wins out in the end.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, finishes clean and bitter.

O - Nice, solid pale ale. Surprised it's not rated higher.

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Photo of metter98
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Columbus Brewing Company, Columbus, OH

A: The beer is clear yellow in color without any visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense off white head that has excellent retention properties.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of citrusy hops in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of pale malts with notes of citrusy hops, the latter of which becomes stronger as the beer warms up. It has a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer seems quite hoppy for the style and has a sizeable amount of bitterness but is still easy to drink.

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.91/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a pretty clear amber color in glass. Large puffy white head. Goes down very slowly.

S - Smell is a little on the biscuity side. Some caramely malt and just a hint of citrus hop.

T - Good balance of malt and hop here. Starts a little bready before providing just a slight bite of hops, and then finishing dry and biscuity.

M - Again, it's fairly dry, a little light, but still filling. Good carbonation.

Overall - A pretty solid APA here. Good balance present. Another good beer from Columbus Brewing

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Photo of Keffa
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live review. Bottle poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Pours a clear and brilliant copper color, 3 finger head settles into a thin cap and leaves copious, soapy lacing everywhere on the glass. One of the best pale ales I've seen to date.

S: Some slight citrus, a slight sweetness, some toasty, grainy notes behind the sweetness. Very mellow and easy going, but still enough to be interesting.

T: Follows the aroma, citrus, bready, light toast, some light caramel like sweetness. ABV is hidden, and finishes clean.

M: Nicely coating, medium body for the style, and well carbonated without being prickly.

O: Very, very solid. Looks great, smells good, tastes good, drinks easy. I could, and would, put several of these away if put in front of me. Recommended.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a tall, 1.5" off-white head that reduces with plenty of sticky lacing.

Has a very grassy aroma, with plenty of straw, clover and other floral notes. Very mild cirtus hops are present, but barely noticeable. Smells more like a nice example of a pilsner than a pale ale.

Taste is somewhat similar to what you'd expect in a pilsner, but with a bit more bite and sweet. Starts mildly bitter and bracing, with a sweet, soft honey malt that gives it a rounder taste. Finishes dry and bitter, with a floral undertone that really complements the malt well.

Medium bodied, this is a bitter PA that leaves the tongue dry and happy.

An excellent pale ale, this has the perfect balance of sweet and bitter, while keeping it firmly in the PA category and not drifting over to IPA. Grab it if you find yourself in the Columbus area and drink it fresh, as it is unpasteurized.

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Photo of FaustieMo
3.66/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've had this many times, being a Columbus native.

The color is a nice copper brown and I always pour a nice head and achieve some great lacing.

The smell is probably this beer's weakest attribute. There isn't much to it. Some hop presence, malts. Pretty straightforward earthiness. Not bad, but you might as well just take a taste.

This beer has a good woodsy hop character. I don't taste as much fruit as I would prefer, but sometimes I am in the mood for something more earthy and piney. There is good balance of hop and malt, neither overpowering the other.

Mouthfeel is really nice. I can always count on this beer to really coat the mouth. It's something you can really bite into, so I really enjoy it while eating foods.

This is a good, straightforward beer. Not the most complex pale ale, but it doesn't need to be. It is something I will continue to buy.

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Photo of chinchill
4.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a nice hoppy APA from CBC. Nothing too unusual or bold here, although the beer leans in the bold direction for style. This is a very well brewed PA, with plenty of citrus and a bit of pine in the aroma, and this carries thru to the taste and finish. I appreciate the substantial hop flavor without an over-whelming bitterness. Looks nice too, being crystal clear amber with a durable head.
Highly recommended!

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Photo of brewskier
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lofty, dimpled yellowish tan foam leaves moderate lacing on my pint glass. The beer is a hazy medium gold.

Moderately pungent fruity hop aroma. Lots of apricot, tinged with citrus. Fairly sweet.

Flavor is quite hoppy…this is a pale ale along the lines of Sierra's. Considerable grapefruit rind, with some herbal notes as well, like tarragon and kaffir lime leaves. Malt comes through as bready, slightly of wheat. Finishes very crisp and dry, as opposed to what was hinted by the nose.

Refreshing mouthfeel with good effervescence, possibly slightly too much, in a brew that still has plenty of body.

Overall, this beer is a winner. Picked it up at a gas station in Columbus after dinner at Barley's. Wish I could get a hold of it more regularly, would be a good beer to bring to parties where IPAs are seen as threatening but Sierra Nevadas are welcomed.

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Photo of crashdavisinoh
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a hazy light amber/copper color with a nice head...good lacing

S-Citrus and malt are dominant..some hops...smells of their IPA

T-Very similar in taste to CBC IPA...w/o the hop explosion. A lot of citrus...malts...wheat flavors. Enjoyable.

M-Medium to light body...good medium carbonation

D-high...really easy to drink several

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Photo of readbaron
2.76/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out a cloudy copper color with two inches of nearly white foamy head. A bit of lacing. If it wasn't hazy, it'd be beautiful.

Smell is a bit faint. Some hops and citrus with a lot of malt. Also, a hint of something a bit off - hard to define exactly - but slightly unpleasant.

Taste is okay - some malt - a hint of hops and citrus. Overall, somewhat watery and subdued.

Mouthfeel is nice - pleasant carbonation - on the lighter side for a pale ale - pleasant dry finish.

Overall - the beer is below average - any decent bar should have a better option.

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Photo of seeswo
2.49/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark golden with a big, white head. This beer does not smell good. In fact, it smells nothing like their fabulous IPA. The biggest flavor I get out of the nose is soap, with a generic bitterness behind it. Taste is not very good. Again, generic bitterness followed by a metallic finish. It is shocking that this is the pale ale from the place that made Columbus IPA. They taste nothing alike. Appropriate mouthfeel with lots of carbonation. This just isn't very drinkable with prominent off flavors in the nose and the finish. Skip the pale ale and get the IPA.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, courtesy of Ryan011235, poured into a Duvel tulip. Hazy copperish orange with a fairly resilient off-white foamy head. Creamy streaks and flecks of lacing are scattered liberally.

Smells of light orange and grapefruit with a smooth malt profile that makes me think of buttered wheat toast. Tastes largely like it smells, with a slightly stronger grapefruit presence and a touch of grittiness to the feel. Quite bitter; although "just" a pale ale, it actually puts plenty of east coast coast IPAs to shame in that regard. A touch of honeyish sweetness rounds things out.

Overall impression: While not as tasty as their excellent IPA, this is a very solid beer that's easily recommended.

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Photo of projectflam86
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice golden/copper color with a thick foam head that leaves good lacing.

S- Nice sweet malt nose with plenty of citrus hop aroma coming through as well.

T- Bready malt flavor initially with a decent amount of bitterness in the finish. This certainly isn't one of the hopper pale ales out there. Instead it is very balanced with some caramel sweetness upfront and citrus hops in the end.

M- Medium/light body.

D- All around decent brew. Might not have enough hops for some of the die-hards but hey, that's what Columbus IPA is for :)

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Photo of maximum12
2.68/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to bb189 for this bottle, coming as an extra in a marvelous box. A new brewery for me; newcomers are always welcome here.

Pours a hazy, wit-like orange into my Tyranena pint glass. Somebody hit the mute button on the nose, slight hops & malts.

Columbus Pale Ale comes out like a wit too. Wheat is ascendant, bare malts, perhaps a few hop cones in the mix.

Just not much to this one. Simple to a fault, there's just little to experience.

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Photo of mdcrouser
2.88/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Sitting in a Columbus hotel room, I'm reviewing while watching the end of a Thursday night football game.

Served in a frozen Bud Light pint glass from this hotel bar - really killed any head retention, but the beer still kept some lacing, especially as it warmed a bit.

Goldenrod might be the best color to describe it, with hints of both gold and orange within.

Honey and hops on the nose. Seems like the sweetness would indicate a little more malt than many PA's.

Hoppy, a bit malty - somewhat bready. Underwhelming, but relatively non-descript. Lacking in any real discriptors - even the hops are just kind of "hoppy."

Very lightly carbonated, but it lets some of the maltiness come through.

Meh - just sort of average, but there are much better options when it comes to PAs.

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Photo of guitarguy2308
3.31/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an amber color, white head dissipates quickly into a thin film. Faint lacing.

Smell is almost entirely floral. Very faint. Slightly sweet.

Nose is slightly sweet, very light malt flavor, becomes a faint hop bitterness. Tastes a bit watery. Lacking some complexity and flavor.

Good carbonation. Light body. Dry finish. Drinkability is good. Light and refreshing.

Being from the Columbus area, (and this being my first Columbus Brewing Co. beer) I really wanted to love it. I still like it; it's a refreshing little number, but it could be much better. I'm hoping I tried the weak link in the Columbus line first.

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Photo of btorsdog
4.33/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of the top top pale ales around in my eyes, got to love this brewing company!
looks a foggy orangish amber,quite pretty
smells of a flower infused buttered up piece of italian bread - toasted, nice.
taste was somewhat aggressive for a pale ale but well rounded out with a pretzel quality malt undertone, tasty and satisfying
full bodied mouthfeel with a pleasant bubbly presence- smooth and slippery
drinkability is stellar ,do yourself a favor and get more than one sixer - GREAT BREW!!!!

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Photo of StoneTSR
3.87/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

APPEARANCE: Poured a nice, crisp, golden color with a flawless and firm quarter-inch bubbly head on top. A very good looking beer, only gets docked for the near complete lack of lacing.

SMELL: Bold floral flavor. Smells like a strong IPA.

TASTE: The first sip certainly seemed more like and IPA than a regular pale ale. The floral nose hit the tongue and a wave of bitter hoppiness was washed away with an intense and sweet orange flavor. As I drank more, however, the floral flavors subsided and each sip seemed to leave a slightly more bitter after taste. An interesting and different pale ale to say the least.

MOUTHFEEL: Thirst quenching and lively. Fully carbonated and refreshing.

OVERALL: As the floral notes subsided throughout the glass this beer seemed to morph from strong IPA to easy-drinking pale ale. The intense orange flavor added something unique, I probably won't go hunt this beer down when I get home, but if I'm in Ohio it's available I'll probably grab one again.

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Photo of stakem
3.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz standard bottle into a Columbus pint glass. Thanks to csmile for the hookup for both!

This APA pours a hazed orange amber color with more than a finger of head that slowly receeds leaving patches of lace on the glass. The yellowish stained appears silky before laying as just a thin film across the top.

The aroma of this brew is a mixture of fresh grains, lightly caramelized before the onset of the hops. The smell of the hops come across with some citrus character that is not readily identifiable. There is a bit of a yeasty smell also included which seems a bit out of place.

The taste of this brew has a citrusy hop flavor upfront tasting a bit like orange rind. There is a mild bitterness and a pleasnt grainy backing that is lightly toasted. Some herbal bitterness lasts into the finish but there is a slightly offputting taste of "green" yeast throughout the body.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light level of carbonation. Overall it isn't that bad but the green yeasty flavor ruins this a bit and really hurts the flavor/drinkability.

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Photo of Onenote81
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a sixer of this when in OH over the holiday weekend. Wanted the IPA, but couldn't find it, so got this in it's stead. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark rusty copper color with a moderate-sized creamy off-white head on top. Light lace is left behind after each sip. The nose on this one is basic: some creamy malts, toasted grains, and just a whiff of sharp hop resin.

Mouth is nice and full-bodied. Heavy for a PA, but that's not a bad thing really. Good carbonation. Flavors of caramel, toast, light mineral twang, and a good hop backing. Really nice APA here. I could have a few of these in a sitting no problem. They're heavier, but the flavor is too good to pass up. Glad I picked this up.

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Columbus Pale Ale from Columbus Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.