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Pale Ale - Boulevard Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pale AlePale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

397 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 397
Hads: 1,001
Avg: 3.61
pDev: 19.67%
Wants: 12
Gots: 154 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co. visit their website
Missouri, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-19-2001

Boulevard Pale Ale is a smooth, fruity, well-balanced beer with year-round appeal. A variety of caramel malts impart a rich flavor and amber color, while liberal use of whole hops adds zest and aroma. Pale Ale is the first beer we brewed, and continues to be a perennial favorite.

30 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 397 | Hads: 1,001
Photo of XxNitExX
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A- Pours a copper orange that is cloudy due to the bottle conditioning. Small white head that has decent retention but not great.

S- Mostly malts in the nose with slight hop aroma. Also has a pleasant yeast aroma. Not like most APA's these days.

T- This is where people will argue over this beer. This is not a strongly hoped APA, almost more of an English Pale. Mostly malts, some caramel with floral hops at the finish. Also get the yeast taste due to the bottling. I happen to love this as an easy drinker as it will not take down your tastebuds with hops.

M- Pretty much just average. Nothing really to say, feels like beer in your mouth, not too watery or to thick.

Overall I really enjoy this beer. It is easy to find at places where you wont find many of your favorites.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.31/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale ale pours a hazy golden color with very little head. There is a slightly hoppy aroma. The taste has some floral notes, and a grainy yeasty taste. A bit lighter of a taste, and not very bitter or dry. Overall this is a unquie pale ale, the yeasty flavors add a twist to this beer.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Boulevard is 23 years old today! 23 years to the day since they rolled out their first (for sale) keg of Pale Ale. Figured I ought to review one as a toast.

Presentation: 12oz brown stubby pop top with nice (if simple) label; best-by date of 3/29/13 clearly stamped. Bottle-conditioned. Into Pumking globe.

Appearance: This pours a sliiiightly hazy (from bottle conditioning) copper/orange brew with a nice cream-colored cap which shows decent retention.

Smell: This is very much about the hops; this brew uses Cascade, Magnum, Palisade, Simcoe, and Styrian Goldings, so perhaps it's not surprising that no one hop characteristic is jumping out at me. The overall character is fruity, slightly earthy, and perhaps with the slightest hint of citrus. Very slight toasty malt aroma. Still the hops are soft, not at all sharp or brash. Pleasant, if nothing stand-outish.

Taste: Firm, bracing bitterness (30 IBUs) almost balanced by Pale, Munich, and two types of crystal malts. Not quite as citrusy/peachy/fruity as the last time I had it on tap, the hops here are lightly herbal, earthy, but still a bit of that peachy stone-fruit character that I really like. Just a hint of candied lemon as it warms. Also, not quite as much (toasty) malt as I remember it having on tap. Regardless, this is still a nice quaff.

Mouthfeel: On the light side of medium

Overall: A bit more than the sum of its parts. It's not a beer to think about or a draught that causes one to wax poetic, but it's a dead-solid American Pale, and I find it quite drinkable, even though I'm much more of an English Pale Ale guy. Especially on sale at $6.99, you'd be hard pressed around here to find a better stand-by, 'fridge' beer. If you're looking for something in that style, I actually prefer it over SNPA.


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Photo of rarbring
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A dark amber brew, little lacing but good curtains.

A fruity smell, passion, hay, lemon detergents.

Sweet bread, fruit marmalade, lemon peel.

Medium carbonation, soft with a medium body and a light dryness.

A no nonsense pale, a bit perfumic smell.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a burnt orange color with a thin, rocky looking head that left lots of lacing. The aroma has a caramel base with nice hoppy tangerine and lemon flavors. It tastes of bitter lemon with biscuits, the most noticeable flavor is bell pepper. This beer is light with sharp carbonation and a slightly dry finish. I thought this was a good pale ale, and it was my first boulevard I ever had many years ago when I visited Keokuk, Iowa.

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Photo of trxxpaxxs
3.41/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to FTowne for this one...

A: Pours a great cloudy orange/amber with a finger and a half of pure white head. The foam takes quite awhile to settles. There is very little lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is big malt, mild citrus, and mainly wet bread. I'm actually a bit surprised at how bready this pale ale smells. It even smells a bit like an adjunct lager.

T: This beer starts out with a quick burst of sweet malt, but the hops come on right after. I get bread, citrus, roses, and mild yeast in the middle. The finish is floral, oranges and more malt.

M: Medium bodied beer. It's sweet and wet to start, lingers on the palate in the middle, and finishes semi-dry.

O: It's a good pale ale, but nothing amazing. I'm happy to have tried this beer, but I don't think I'd seek it out again. However, if I was at a dive bar and this was one of the few beers on tap, I'd order it all day long.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A-Cloudy orange, carbonation, two finger head that lingers.

S-Moderate hops, citrus and floral, even some clove? Rounded out with slight grass.

T-Nice light citrus/floral notes. Mild and balanced. The slight bitterness you'd expect from an APA (could use some more IMO). As it warms the malt seems to take over though with some caramel flavors and the hops take a back seat.

M-Light to medium bodied, some carbonation as well.

O-An OK APA but as it warms it takes a turn for the worse with the malt dominating. (Bottle was 2 months away from best by date)

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Photo of lwillitz
3.82/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle into small glass mug

A - mostly-transparent amber body under a large head of khaki foam; lots of small carbonation bubbles rising

S - caramel-sweet malt, citrus, touch of spice (coriander?)

T - malty with a hint of caramel sweetness, fresh bread, sweet fruit notes, bitter citrus, pine; citrus and spice for a bone dry finish; nice balance

M - chewy medium body, average/high carbonation, smooth

O - The hops on the label are no joke--smells and tastes pretty hoppy.

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

A: Pours a clear copper to amber in color with light amounts of visible carbonation at the surface. The beer has a finger tall dense light beige head that reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of toasted pale malts with some light fruits and hints of citrus hops.

T: Like the smell, the taste of this beer is mild with very good balance - not too sweet and not too bitter. There is a toasted malt body with some light hints of caramel. There are also some light citrus (orange/lemon) hops which impart a delicate bitterness which does not linger.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Smooth.

O: A little more delicate in flavor then I expected but this is a very enjoyable beer. The beer is quite easy to drink and could be sessionable.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a muddy orange amber with a slight head and light lacing. Orange light malt with light citrus. Finishes with a light malty, spicy flavor. Nice for a low ABV ale. Darker and more flavorful than I'd expect from a pale ale. Boulevard does a good job on these beers

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Photo of RoamingGnome
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jackie for the bottle. Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass. Served chilled.

A) Clean amber with good clarity. A finger of head with a bit of an orange tint. Decent retention, no lacing.

S) The aroma is mild pine, citrus, light malt presence and a little hint of yeast.

T) Mild flavors like the nose, but this strikes a nice balance. This beer will not wow you with flavor, but there is enough hops to keep it interesting. A remarkably clean finish.

M) A medium to lighter medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel here is really what you look for in a session ale. Smooth... This goes down with ease.

O) Nice Pale Ale right here. Not as flavorful as some offerings, but if you're looking to knock back a sixer on the patio, or around the fire pit, this will do the job. Glad to recommend this beer.

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

Overall a good pale. I like the look, good head that sticks to the glass, nice initial flavor. -The smell is fresh, no dominating scents. Well balanced taste. Nice malty character. Some bitterness that stayed on my tongue for a while.

Came in a 12pk sampler. I'd drink it again.

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Photo of Flatlands
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

With all of the beers out there, I had forgot about this old standby. It is a great balanced APA. It's something to think that this was considered a strong beer for it's day 1989 and now, I like it for it's balance. Be sure to revisit your old friends!
A-Nice pale color, head goes down quickly.
S-I used to just down this stuff at the bars, slow down, actually has a nice aroma of fruit and hops. Never really remembered that.
M-Here's the balance, very nice, goes well with the summer BBQ or just sipping outside on the deck.
O-This one started the greatness at Boulevard and it still holds it's own in a crowded APA market.

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Photo of areich6
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoying with my good friend pschul4

A: Pours a light amber color with a small amount of lingering, attractive looking head.

S: A slight smell of hop bitterness with an even less intense hint of fruitiness. Maybe apples or pears.

T: A little bit of astringent bitterness that quickly recedes to a corny, grain flavored finish.

M: This is the strongest characteristic of this beer. It is very smooth and easy drinking. This would be an excellent session brew.

O: Not bad, but overall, middle of the pack.

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Photo of pschul4
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared with my tasting partner areich6

A- Pours pretty light but sits in the glass darker than the pour. 1/2" head that falls back to little wisps of white on the top of the brew

S- Candied fruit and some hops, not a lot of aroma here but whats there is good

T- Very tasty, light citrus flavor and the pale malts are perfectly used on this one. Could drink this all day

M- The best kind of light you can imagine. Super drinkable but not wimpy

O- Probably my 3rd favorite APA behind ZD and Dig from NB. Great job Boulevard!

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Photo of Pintofbrown
4.08/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this pale ale in a nonic pint glass.

Appearance- A hard pour yields two-fingers of orange tinged, puffy foam. The cap is craggy and deflates slowly to slightly cover the cap.

The body has the look of a hazy auburn with golden highlights. It is glowing in the glass.

Smell- A little bit of lemon citrus and a sweet, toasty malt mingles with brewing water. It is definitely soft, but if it tastes like this head smells, I think I am going to be just fine.

Taste- The hops are very present throughout the entire drink and really define the palate profile. It gives hints of orange and lemon.

What gives this beer a real boost is the delicate malt backbone that contributes a sweet and toasty profile. It is not unlike vanilla and wheat.

If there is anything wrong with this I suppose it has to be that the beer is so delicate. I prefer a profile that is a little more irreverent, but I cannot help but feel like I am nitpicking.

Mouth feel- Appropriate: this is the word that best describes the feel. This pale has a medium to light feel with decent carbonation.

Basically, it doesn't feel flat, and that is great.

Overall- Yeah, I debated on how much I liked the flavor of this pale. I suppose it doesn't do anything overwhelmingly amazing.

But it gets the fantastic score because of how well it is balanced; how good of a job it does at making me take a second quick drink, to relish the taste some more.

In this case, I can really appreciate how easy of a drink this is, and how great it tastes.

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Photo of billab914
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Terrapin glass. It poured a darker, amber orange color with a full, frothy head to it.

The aroma has a moderate floral, citrusy hoppiness to it with some notes of orange and lemon coming out. I get some toasted, grainy malts as well as some sweeter, caramel flavors to it as well.

The taste shows a little more of the caramel and toasted malts to it. in the finish I get some of the bitter hoppiness balancing it out and providing some hoppy citrus.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being a little above average. Overall it was a pretty good beer of the style, pretty easy drinking and flavorful.

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Photo of kjyost
3.76/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle dated BB 6-29-2012
Much better experience than before. Light hop aromas that are fruity, though a touch too faint. A ton of hop flavour packed into a slightly caramel sweet body, especially for the style. Very enjoyable and exceedingly well balanced.

Reviewed 09-21-2010
Bottle dated BB 10/10/10

Pours a clear amber red with light head that barely laces at all... The aroma is next to non-existent, save a bit of a non-descript fruity hop aroma. This does not exactly have me excited... A little bitter on the tongue and finishes with a sweetness that is enjoyable. The body has an enjoyable earthiness to it, although it is thin and a bit watery with low carbonation. The right time, this would be an excellent beer to quaff, just not now...


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Photo of Labeerfinder
3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber orange color with a decent head. Off-white head and good bubbling from carbonation. Nose is floral and citrus hops. Taste is fruity with more of a hop flavor. It is initially sweet malt with a nice hop bitterness mixed in that fades to a middle of roasted nuts. The finish is long and bitter-sweet with a faint alcohol warmth.

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Photo of rfbenavi80
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A main staple in my fridge. As Boulevard notes, this is their first beer that they made and marketed. It is a good start for some one looking to get into the craft scene. Pored from a bottle to a pint glass.

A- Color is a deep golden almost amber. Very little head came out of the pour, leaving no lacing.

S- I get a fruity, citrusy, hoppy scent.

T- Malty and hoppy. Both flavors are there. Nicely balanced. A good representation of the style.

M- Medium body, and not overly carbonated.

O- As I said before, this is a staple in my fridge. Easy to get, and decently priced. A nice one to kick back relax and enjoy the game. An easy drinker.

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Photo of TheCondor
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the other half of Boulevard Brewery's main one-two punch. This and Unfiltered Wheat account for the lion's share of Boulevard distribution; many of their other prodcuts are only consumed by beer geeks like me. Pale Ale poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance - Pours a nice hazy gold color with a decent head that doesn't stick around for too long. However it does leave nice lacing on the side of the glass.

Smell - Fruits, citrus, you absolutely know you are smelling some kind of pale ale when you whiff this one. No question. The hoppiness is predominant in the nose.

Taste - Well balanced between the malt and hops, doesn't swing too far in either direction. This is just a good representative of the style.

Mouthfeel - Leaves a slight lingering bitterness, finishes nice and smooth with mid ranged carbonation.

Overall - This is a good, solid beer. It won't blow your hair back or call your mom, but there certainly isn't anything wrong with it. Can likely be used as a session beer, and is also a good transition beer for trying to convert people to the craft beer scene, as it isn't too strong in any direction. Just a nicely made pale ale. I'd drink one of these any day.

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Photo of dmfrench
3.46/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A salty, hollow, but not actually bad knock-em-back APA

Drinking this four months before 'best by' date on bottle.

A: Hazy, deep pumpkin orange body with a somewhat persistent one finger yellowed white head.

S: Light sweet and slightly tart fruitiness, floral notes, and a bit of earthy hops. Malt is weaker and on butter and caramel. Really not that odoriferous, but what I can smell is pleasant, save for the tiny hint of adjunct/metal.

T: Zesty, earthy hops take over on palate, but are really not all that strong. Fruit and floral notes drop way back, and there's just enough malt backbone to leave you satisfied in that respect. The beer also has a certain saltiness to it. Quite refreshing and sessionable, but nothing special or complex. A bit hollow really.

M: Finely textured, slightly creamy, and very carbonated.

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Photo of ruckus232
3.77/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 Ounce brown bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Dark yellow almost amber in color with a little bit of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Slight bit of earthy bitterness with a small amount of sweet almost fruity scent.

Taste: There is a slight hoppy bitterness which is complimented nicely by the sweetness that no longer seems fruity. The slight sweetness tones down the aftertaste bitterness.

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

Rich and frothy, with a pleasing golden amber appearance. Detailed lace. Nice.

Nose is slightly piney, with a little citrus. Subtle.

Flavor is nicely balanced, with hops and malts working in tandem, neither side overpowering the other. This is a smooth-drinking, sessionable pale ale, and one worth repeatedly enjoying.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acquired from brewerburgundy courtesy of BA Secret Santa 2011, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains fruity citrus, good amount of hops and caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with a decent burst of earthy hops bitterness followed by some caramel and citrus sweetness. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, decent representation of style, this is a solid beer with enough flavor and substance to make it worth pounding down for a long time.

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Pale Ale from Boulevard Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 397 ratings.