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Pale Ale - Okanagan Spring Brewery

Not Rated.
Pale AlePale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

138 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 138
Reviews: 65
rAvg: 3.21
pDev: 15.58%
Wants: 1
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Okanagan Spring Brewery visit their website
British Columbia, Canada

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Clear and copper coloured, it is fruity on the palate and hearty in hops with a nice, round finish. We are honoured that Pale Ale continues to be BC’s most popular craft brew.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-19-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 138 | Reviews: 65 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mountsnow1010
3.15/5  rDev -1.9%

First time with the new system so bear with me.

A - Amber with a thin white head that dissipates quickly.
S - Not too much, a bit of a floral aroma, but nothing extremely notable.
T - Nice balance of hops and malts; I would have to say that the flavors are somewhat muted.
MF - Clean and crisp. Real easy drinker, pairs very well with fish and chips. Cuts through the grease really nicely.
O - Nice, but nothing to write home about. C+.

mountsnow1010, Mar 17, 2011
Photo of CrazyMike
4/5  rDev +24.6%

Amber-copper apperance with medium head that sticks around for awhile, decent lace. Has a carmel, grain smell with a hint of malt.

Taste is overpowered by malt and carmel. Small hint of brown sugar And grass. Very earthy taste overall. Moderate body with moderate carbonation. Aftertaste has a lingering maltiness.

Overall, a this is a decent and well rounded pale ale. Nothing spectacular or bad, just good to drink. Would highly recommend.

CrazyMike, Mar 13, 2011
Photo of biegaman
3.28/5  rDev +2.2%

On-tap at Canyon Creek, in Toronto.

This is indeed pale but not exactly without colour: tanned gold, to be exact. When served to me the beer's head was inflated like a giant balloon. Like a balloon, it gradually lost its air, shriveled, and eventually contracted into nothing. That being the case, I'm sure you've figured out already that it was incapable of leaving any lacing behind.

It's a positive sign that the brewery doesn't shy off the fact that their pale ale has a more hearty, more discernible maltiness than most its commercial competitors. The fruity esters and whiff of bitterness also suggest Okanagan doesn't subscribe to the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" motto. This doesn't have a ton of character - but at least it has some.

This ale maintains its 'easy going-ness' despite having a thicker, more bitter profile than probably any other beer you're likely to find on tap at a commercial establishment. The cereal graininess here is appreciable and wholesome - that alone makes this a good alternative to the ubiquitous macro offerings. Nevermind that it also tastes much better.

Its bitterness may be practically anemic relative to many North American microbrewed pale ales, but it'd probably be considered gargantuan by anyone acclimatized to mainstream lagers. Indeed, the fruity ale yeast esters and more enunciated hop bitterness are both present in the finish, which is significantly fuller than that of a lager.

I'm glad the brewery dropped "extra special" from the beer's name because, frankly, nothing about it is. It's a middle-of-the-road pale ale with no real faults but equally little character to match. It is a decent pint but unless you're the type accustomed to ordering plainer, more mainstream beers it's doubtful you'll care much for a second.

biegaman, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of marty21
3.4/5  rDev +5.9%

A: Pours a clear copper with a fingers worth of white head. Settles to a nice cap and left quite a bit of lacing.

S: Maybe some caramel malt but mostly got some grains.

T: Mostly caramel malt with some faint grainy notes.

M: Light carbonation with a light to medium body.

D: This is not really a Pale Ale but for whatever it is it's not too bad. I would easily drink it again if offered.

marty21, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of Methodd
4.1/5  rDev +27.7%

This is not an APA or Pale Ale of any sort as far as I can tell. If I were to rate this as an APA I'd have to give it a failing grade. If I were to rate this as an Amber or Red Ale I'd have to say it's pretty darn good. I like this beer and from now on if I buy it again I'll be buying it as an Amber. It's got a nice amber color and produces lots of off-white head and leaves little to no lacing. Carbonation is moderate with very little after taste. They really should rename this as an Amber or Red.

Methodd, Nov 07, 2010
Photo of kwjd
3.25/5  rDev +1.2%

Splitting a pitcher of this. Pours a copper brown colour with thin off-white head. Almost no lacing. Smells of sweet caramel and very minimal hops. Flavour is quite sweet. Is this really an American pale ale? Low carbination. Ok beer to drink, but nothing special at all.

kwjd, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of kjyost
3.43/5  rDev +6.9%

Purchased as part of a mixed 'craft' sampler pack put out by the brewery (3 of 4). Undated. Poured into a tulip

A: Copper, clear. White head that descends quickly but left blobs of lacing.

S: Fruity esters, mainly apple. Not much else going on here. Personally I would like a bit of hop presence in the nose. As time passes an earthy presence emerged, along with a bit of malt sweetness (caramel / toffee).

T: Initially came through as quite malty, without being cloying or sweet. Some earthyiness and next to no esters oddly enough. Not much hop presence is a major disadvantage.

M: Low carb, feels a little thin

D: Surprisingly good. I wasn't expecting this. It is in no way as good as an SN Pale, but it is a good pale by macro standards and could be a decent baby-step away from macro for some...

kjyost, Aug 25, 2010
Photo of chickenm
2.98/5  rDev -7.2%

Pours a medium amber color with a thin white head that leaves a bit of lacing on the glass. This had very little aroma, with a tiny bit of caramel sweetness and some faint floral hops. The taste again is fairly mild and bland with caramel malt and a slightly bitter finish. The mouthfeel is decent with a medium-light body. Overall this this isn't too bad of a beer, but it's boring with very little character.

chickenm, Apr 05, 2010
Photo of DoctorStrangiato
3.03/5  rDev -5.6%

Poured a 341-ml bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - copper, as the name suggests. A moderate pour created a 1/2 inch soda-like head that subsided quickly. Some surface bubbles remain as a result of the high carbonation.

Smell - sweet, creamy malt aromas with the slightest detectable of cotton candy, believe it or not. Fairly gentle nose with just a hint of alcohol.

Taste - some active sweetness up front that gives way to a modest taste profile of sweet malt and a fading finish. Subsequent tastings suggest a near-fruit flavour toward the end.

Mouthfeel - on the whole a little too active and lacking balance. Goes from peppery to an extended sweetness - not a great segue.

Drinkability - nothing wrong with this brew but not the best and nothing special either. I've enjoyed a few and likely would have it again if offered.

DoctorStrangiato, Jan 16, 2010
Photo of biboergosum
3.48/5  rDev +8.4%

341ml bottle. The 'Extra Special' seems to have been dropped from the name of this beer, as of their most recently packaging update. That said, the new label has way too much stuff going on, as the different angles of text practically make me dizzy before even partaking in the product itself.

This beer pours a clear, bright medium copper amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, foamy, and even a little creamy off-white head, which leaves some undulating streaks of cloudy lace around the glass as it quickly melts away.

It smells of semi-sweet biscuit and caramel malts, some decent, yet muddled orchard fruitiness, and a wee bit of earthy, grassy, and leafy hops. The taste is more biscuit malt, a bit of removed bready caramel, faintly astringent apple cores, and surprisingly mild earthy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is moderate, if a bit fizzy at times, the body a tame medium-light weight, and kind of blandly smooth. It finishes off-dry, with a bit more of that now dominant, yet still understated biscuity malt.

Not a particularly full-flavoured pale ale, but enjoyable enough on a warm patio, in a much warmer season and locale, as the memory of this offering will stay in my mind, if not exactly so for now, and moving forward.

biboergosum, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.18/5  rDev -0.9%

On tap at McGinnis FrontRow in Waterloo. My third choice bar of the evening (the other two were full), and, having been given a slate of boring macros available on tap, was given a rare chance to try something different.

Poured an amber hue, left about an inch of head, and surprisingly, it stuck around, at least in the form of a ring around the glass until the end. Actually, nothing wrong with it appearance wise.

The smell was non-existent. Maybe got a bit of malt and floral notes, but almost nothing. Not offensive, just...nothing.

The taste wasn't bad. Never found it offensive, and considering the horrible alternatives, I was rather pleased with this brew. A bit of skunkiness, but generally a good mix of malts, caramel and lemon. Not exciting, but decent.

Mouthfeel was thin, but it did the trick.

Actually, not a bad beer. Had no problems getting this one down, nothing offensive. A good pitcher beer, and one I'll probably get again. Like running into a friend after leaving a bad blind date, this beer wasn't exactly what I wanted, but it saved the evening.

JohnnyBarman, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of Grunewald
3.6/5  rDev +12.1%

A - poured from a bottle into a weizen glass. It pours clear amber with a white head. The head leaves some drippy lacing at the top of the glass.

S - malt, honey, flowery hops and a hint of cherry

T - malt and some mildly astringent hops, no astringency in the finish though

M - medium body, light carbonation, and a moist finish

D - enjoyable

Grunewald, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of Voonder
3.03/5  rDev -5.6%

Pours deep copper colour with two finger off-white head which dissapeared quickly. Smell - bready, toasty, malty, slightly sweet. Taste - malty, slightly toasty. Quite nice flavour, but this beer is messing hops big time. Pretty smooth, creamy. Fairly drinkable.

Voonder, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of EatsTacos
3/5  rDev -6.5%

Hmmm, poured a clear copper with a two finger head and not much lacing to speak of.
The nose was very faint, some hops but mostly malted barley and grainyness.
The tatse is very crisp and clean, mostly herbal hops and slightly bitter. Good balanced beer and refreshing. The mouthfeel is medium to low and the carbonation was high and crisp.
A pretty mediocre beer, nothing to complain about.

EatsTacos, Nov 20, 2008
Photo of OpIvy
4.9/5  rDev +52.6%

This is my daily drinker. I am very surprised at the low score this beer has, but I think I know why.

Okanagan Spring's Extra Special Pale Ale is very dependant on the medium it is consumed from. The on-tap stuff is quite literally terrible. It simply loses it's real taste, smell, and feel. Most noticeably, it inherits a sour yeasty taste.

The canned version is also sub-par gaining a very slight metallic taste. Much more noticeable than other canned beers. Much better than on-tap but definitely not in it's true form.

To fully appreciate this beer, it must be consumed from a bottle. It has a slightly sweet taste with a beautiful aroma. It isn't overpowering, it's actually quite mild. It has minimal head and consists of a fairly pale amber colour.

Great beer in my opinion. Not an outgoing beer. But definitely a nice relaxing daily drinker type beer!

OpIvy, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of Highbrewer
1.15/5  rDev -64.2%

Had it on tap. Appearance is okay. Smell is next to nothing. Tasted sour like it had some kind of bacterial infection. Waiter said it was supposed to taste like this.

Any more effort for this review is a waste of time. This beer sucks.

To the brewers: Try a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale if you want a decent example of this style. Maybe they tried to achieve a Belgian-type sour APA? Don't know, but the experiment failed. Why is so hard to get a decent ale in this beer wasteland of Canada.

I could not finish this beer. I don't think I've ever sent a beer back. Just terrible.

Highbrewer, Oct 03, 2008
Photo of Antilochus
2.95/5  rDev -8.1%

Had it at the Alex P. Keaton in London, Ontario. On-tap, in a Okanagan Pale Ale branded pint glass. Nice.

Pale amber, almost nonexistent head. Moderately dry, not nearly enough hops for this style. Metal, something a bit off about it. Still, I found it decent. Perhaps because it was on tap. Sweetish finish. I find these bland APAs have too much abv given their flavour profile.

Antilochus, May 18, 2008
Photo of ablaze
3.63/5  rDev +13.1%

Copper-orange with good clarity. Foamy head that sits to a ring after a couple minutes with poor to average lacing.

Scent is nutty, lightly roasted malts and a hint of caramel. Corn is there too, similar to a macro. Hops seem nonexistent. Actually not a bad smell and I kind of like it.

Light and creamy body, light bitterness with decent carbonation. Hops are light, clean and crisp but not dominant. Grainy caramel malt shows through well, along with more nuttiness and a metallic edge. Dry and sweet finish.

This isn't too bad. A clean macro style pale ale, very easy to drink with a nice flavour. Nothing spectacular but I wouldn't mind seeing it again. Actually reminds me of a beer I brewed last year...

ablaze, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of Graham5161986
3.3/5  rDev +2.8%

A: pours a clear, orangey-amber colour with a 1 finger off-white head that dissapates into a thin foam and leaves a pretty good lace.

S: sweet malts, slight grassy hop aroma but a tad metallic

T:brown sugar malts up front with a bit of bitter hops in the background, bit of a metallic aftertaste

M: medium bodied and slightly creamy, decent carbonation and a smooth finish.

D: Not a bad APA. Very easy to drink and offers a more enjoyable experience than most other Macros. Excellent session beer. I think it makes a good throw back beer whenever you just need to relax. Good for the big game too.

Graham5161986, Feb 06, 2008
Photo of BigBry
3.5/5  rDev +9%

Pint on-tap at Fogg 'n Suds in Vancouver.
Color is dark gold with a short white head that disappates quickly. Not as hoppy a smell as other Pale Ales, good mix of malt and hops. Blend of malt and a subdued hop flavor. Doesn't have the same kick as many other APAs. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, not quite full flaovered and bodied as expected. A slightly more flavorful step up from most macro offerings, and works as a option to other main stream beers.

BigBry, Apr 07, 2007
Photo of Shadman
2.25/5  rDev -29.9%

Liked their helles lager and liked it so let's give their pale ale a go...

Good looking copper colored ale with a decent head that receeds into a nice foam ring around the glass. Not much in the way of lacing. Smells faintly of spicy fruit..but it's not easy to tell. Taste is a big let down...very faint, almost sugary malt and some hop bitterness, but mostly just fizz from the carbonation..mouthfeel is very astringent...not digging this at all...

Shadman, Mar 04, 2007
Photo of Hornet2003
4.1/5  rDev +27.7%

This is one of my favourite daily drinkers. I have a nostalgiac attachment to this beer since it is what I was drinking when I met one of my mentors for my chosen career(Pilot).

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a nice one finger head that disappates quickly.

Smell: For a Pale Ale the hops are not as pronounced as others, but the maltiness makes up for it. It smells pleasant and drinkable.

Taste: To borrow a line from Will Farrel: "Scrumtralescent". Slight sweetness from the malt backbone and a nice, albeit, quite subdued hop presence.

Mouthfeel: A little fizzy, but it fits the beer. Around where I live this is one of the staples of most bars so it is the standard drinkable micro beer.

Drinkablility: Well in the summer, this is probably my favourite beer. I can polish off a sixer no problem when laying on the beach or watching an airshow( ;), inside joke). Dangerously drinkable.

Hornet2003, Jan 12, 2007
Photo of sinistermadman
3.25/5  rDev +1.2%

From the notes scribed on hotel stationary:

Served from the hotel mini-bar 12 oz aluminum can. Clear copper in color with a finely bubbled thick foam. Smell is of mild malt sweetness that hints at caramel. Slightly citrus tinge from the hops. Quite a simple brew, rather one dimensional. Smooth on the palate with an active carbonation. Overall impression... nothing special.

sinistermadman, Oct 02, 2006
Photo of dirtylou
3.48/5  rDev +8.4%

16oz draft at "The Keg" in Vancouver, BC

appearance: surprisingly dark mahogany-amber...body struck me as very full for a pale ale, light tan head

smell: mostly bready malt on the nose, just some light faint hops, a little musty

taste: nutty, bready, caramel and toasted malt, not too much hop to speak of...just not a very strong APA

mouthfeel: medium bodied, above average carbonation

drinkability: decent

dirtylou, Jul 08, 2006
Photo of tommy78
2.35/5  rDev -26.8%

Picked up a sixer at a local provincial liquor store in Vancouver. Poured out of the botter, and the appearance was a copperish color. In terms of aromas, the beer lacked a smell. I couldn't pinpoint a specific aroma after sniffing the beer many times. The taste is average. I really couldn't pick out a fruity or corn taste that other reviewers had mentioned. As for drinkability, I wouldn't recommend having more than one. If you can finish one off, then you are my hero because I couldn't.

tommy78, Feb 25, 2006
Pale Ale from Okanagan Spring Brewery
74 out of 100 based on 138 ratings.