Haymaker Extra Pale Ale - BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
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Ratings: 80 | Reviews: 70 | Display Reviews Only:
3.98/5 rDev +9.9%
Bright, sparkling, haystack gold. The brewery's claim ('sunshine in a glass') is an appropriate description as well. The foam is somewhere between ivory and pale ecru in color. It failed to reach two fingers after a spirited pour and doesn't have the most wonderful texture. I like the beer, but the head and lace could use some work.
Prior to assessing the aroma, I wondered why the above style is American Blonde Ale when it says 'Extra Pale Ale' right there on the label. I always thought BA went with the brewery's wishes. In any case, Haymaker EPA smells like a blonde. It's primarily pale malty and contains very little hoppiness. Maybe the brewery is simply using 'pale ale' in the descriptive sense.
I hate to focus too much on style, but a few mouthfuls tell me that Haymaker is a tweener. It's either a generously-hopped blonde ale or an underhopped APA. Given only 15 IBUs, I guess BridgePort didn't want scare off those who shy away from 'bitter' beer. Looking back at my reviews, it's obvious that these guys go against the Pacific NW grain in that they don't brew anything that's overly challenging to hopheads.
A sufficient amount of lightly sweet pale malt provides plenty of support for the surprisingly complex hop flavor. I used the word 'complex' because it's nearly impossible to figure out the hop bill. European characteristics (grassy, herbal, spicy) are most prominent, making me think of Tettnang or Hallertau at the very least.
It may not be obvious from what I've said so far, but this is delicious, drinkable beer. It tastes sophisticated in a way the few blonde ales can manage. If you're looking for a well-brewed, well-balanced, 'complex enough to keep your interest' session ale, look no further.
The mouthfeel has a well-malted solidity about it. At no point does it drop below medium for the style. It might even be on the full side, all things considered. Carbonation? Pretty close to perfect.
This is one instance in which the attributes that are less important to me (the first two) drag down the overall score. Haymaker Extra Blonde Ale is good stuff and would be one of my summer staples if I Iived in BridgePort's distribution area. It also strikes me as an excellent crossover beer that could convert a whole lot of people to our way of drinking.
09-01-2007 12:58:39 | More by BuckeyeNation
3.65/5 rDev +0.8%
Appearance: Pours out a slightly hazy, orange-yellow body with a small, short-lived, white head. Saying it looks like "Sunshine in a Glass" may be overdoing it, but it does look reasonably cheerful. "Reasonable Cheeriness in a Glass." There you go.
Smell: Subdued aroma of barley malt with a small hint of grains along with some whiffs of spicy, faintly floral European hops. Also a small touch of citrus lurking in there.
Taste: Starts off with light, crisp pale malts carrying with them some modest grainy tones and a mild sweetness. Hint of orange citrus character. Noble hops along with a very, very minimal amount of bitterness. Drying, lightly effervescent finish.
Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.
Drinkability: It's a refreshing brew for both Spring and Summer months and a fine candidate for a lawnmower beer, though, as I'm currently based in an apartment, it still makes for fine drinking whilst watching the landscape maintenance crew do their thing. This sip is for you, Guy with Leaf Blower!
08-10-2009 15:50:33 | More by ChainGangGuy
3.8/5 rDev +5%
A - Poured out a clear, orange/yellow color with a small, white, bubbly head. No lace.
S - It smelled of grains and malt. There was also a fruity sweet aroma.
T - It tasted of some light, spicy hops. There was a good caramel flavor, too.
M - It was sharp, crisp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.
D - This seemed to bring more hops and spice than most Blonde ales. Pretty easy-drinking brew.
08-30-2008 14:13:27 | More by zeff80
3.95/5 rDev +9.1%
Pours an effervescent golden/honey with 2 fingers of fluffed up white head. Very good lacing & excellent head retention
S: Grainyness & a little grassyness
T: Grassy with some lemony hop notes up front. Some honey malt notes & grainyness follow as this warms. Finishes grainy with citric hop notes & fruittyness (apples & pears)
MF: Slick & bubbly at the same time, pretty good balance & medium bodied
drinks fairly easy, nothing super complex, here just a real easy BBQ/beach-type blonde. Liked this more than I figured I would
05-30-2007 04:19:17 | More by russpowell
4.1/5 rDev +13.3%
12 oz. bottle,
A: Pours a slightly hazy, cloudy dark yellow, with a medium white head, with fair retention and no lacing.
S: Light citrus notes, mostly orange and lemon.
T: Bottle says this beer is liquid sunshine, and that moniker is not far off. A very bright, crisp flavour of oranges, lemon, wheat, biscuit, and light herbs is very delightful.
M: Crisp, full carbonation, a little much at times, but real easy to drink.
D: Saw it on sale for $2.99 at my local BevMo, for a 6-pack, and boy was I surprised, a great summertime ale.
02-19-2008 05:31:25 | More by Halcyondays
2.65/5 rDev -26.8%
A really nice looking amber/golden presentation supports a 1 1/2 finger, semi-dense white head. Looks great. Head settles to a nice, patch work of thin foam, grows again with a couple hard swirls.
Smell is weak. More malt and sweat than anything pale or blonde. I expected more citrus or some herbal spice.
Taste is malty. A bit crisp, but more sweet and grainy than anything else. A bit light, which helps out. Got a bit boring towards the end.
Still, could be a good brew for a porch sitting.
09-22-2007 23:04:54 | More by Mebuzzard
3.34/5 rDev -7.7%
A decent pale yellow appearance, average carbonation and minimal lace. Aroma is flat.
Taste, a little prickly, some hop quality, not much. A good summer beer. Quenching, not heavy.
Bigger hop profile than most blondes, or now that I think about it, maybe any (not saying much). Dry finish. Recommend to those transferring from BMC to something better, and those who won't like the malty intro level beers (SA/Fat Tire). Its plenty decent as a summer afternoon option.
05-26-2010 00:13:00 | More by Beerandraiderfan
3.45/5 rDev -4.7%
12oz picked up a couple days ago at the Coop for about $1.45.. poured into my standard shaped Sam Adams glass...
2 finger head atop a damn near clear light straw brew... no lacing head died back fairly quick.
Aroma is pale malts.. bready and little else... some background yeastiness.. but it is restrained.
Flavor mirrors the aroma .. but has a more pronounced bread flavor with a little more yeastiness to it.. a little sweet on the end. Very little hoppiness to speak of.. maybe a little bit of grass/hay.
Body is light and more than enough carbonation. Drinkablity is very high.. but I will get bored with only this in my fridge.
Edit: I would have guessed that this is the best American Blonde I've reviewed to this point and I am right.
08-12-2008 06:40:10 | More by JohnGalt1
3.8/5 rDev +5%
Upon its departure from the 12 ounce bottle the beer presents a clear gold color with a bright white frothy head that slowly evanesces leaving a slight coating of lace upon the glass. Nose has a nice malt aroma, sweet with a nice citrus like crispness, start has a sweet malt profile, top is moderate in feel. Finish is dry, the acidity perfect, and the hops noticeable, clean to the palate. BridgePort ranks in my top ten all time favorite breweries.
10-21-2007 18:47:34 | More by Gusler
3.23/5 rDev -10.8%
12 oz bottle poured into my large Petrus goblet (I've got an aged pale on deck), Haymaker is a clear gold with a small, tight white head that quickly settles. Served at fridge temp.
Smell is pretty subdued, sweet grains, clean, with soft and dry, minty citrus noble hops.
Taste is crisp, mineral laden cereals, perhaps a tad tinny, herbal hops, but pretty clean particularly in the dry, sweeter finish.
Mouthfeel is pretty slick, medium light body, burpy.
Drinkability is ok, this is obviously made for the BMC crowd, and it's not too bad a version. Grainy and crisp, with noble hops and corn sugar, complete with the aluminum can aftertaste!
09-14-2008 00:37:09 | More by ccrida
3.6/5 rDev -0.6%
Purchased as part of a mixed 6 Pack at Wilbur's in Ft Collins.
It pours from 12oz bottle a clear light gold with not much foam to speak of and there's no lacing.
The smell is as weak as the appearance. Nothing strikes my nose with any intensity.
The taste...this is where it starts to shine a bit. I'm getting some good citrus. mainly lemon, hops up front and it has a good malt balance. The malt isn't sweet; it's more of an earthiness but it does well in balancing the hop presence. Mind you, this isn't a beer with the flavour of the ages but it's quite quaffable. The body is on the light side and it's lightly carbonated but it's a good one to turn to for a hot summer day. It's worthy of a try or 2.
07-15-2007 20:22:07 | More by Bitterbill
3.65/5 rDev +0.8%
A: Orange/yellow color; slightly hazy. Poured a 1 finger wispy white head that dissipated to a broken skim. Patchy lacing.
S: Slightly sweet malt, wet grains and earthy hops. Touch of citrus.
T: Light crips pale malts up front that are slightly sweet. Orange rind floral hop character in the middle. Light bitter minimally balancing.
Mouthfeel: Light body. Medium carbonation. Lingering malt flavor in mildly bitter finish.
D: Flavorful yet refreshing.
05-15-2010 02:44:49 | More by Haybeerman
4.2/5 rDev +16%
12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass a clear yellow with a decent one inch white head. Smell was faint hops, a little earthy. The taste was mild with a little citrus and more earthiness. The drinkability was outstanding as the ABV was low and the beer went down so smooth. Great session beer.
06-18-2007 15:52:37 | More by ArrogantB
3.43/5 rDev -5.2%
Does the name of this beer call to mind the word "lawnmower?" It does to my way of thinking, though this light golden ale is brewed with that particular strain of yeast that I personally don't care for. It's just not clean and tends to obscure the hop and malt in favor of yeast esters.
That said, if you enjoy this particular yeast strain I follows that you'll like this beer. It is pure, clear copper - very pretty - though with minimal adornment of suds. I would nearly go so far as to say that the taste is clean, if you consider the dominant thrust of yeast esters to be clean. Noble hop presence is marginal and the malts merely whisper.
Haymaker doesn't suit my personal preferences. But if it suits yours, don't let me stop you.
08-04-2008 02:04:29 | More by RedDiamond
British Columbia (Canada)
4.1/5 rDev +13.3%
The weather in Leavenworth at the end of September was 86 degrees so it seemed right to search out the last summer beers on the store shelves. Haymaker is a real nice summer beer that pours very pale with a white head. The nose is fresh and redolent of sutble hops. The finish is dry with an almost lager like midbody (almost like Anchor Steam). Nice beer , will search this out next summer.
10-06-2008 16:16:17 | More by canucklehead
3.2/5 rDev -11.6%
Golden ale, with a large thick ,fothy ,white head. Aroma mostly malty, with some lemon zest. Taste: mainlly malts, with a zing of lemongrass near the end. Soft mouthfeel about this, but turns a wee bit watery as it goes on. Overall a boring golden ale ,OK for drinking in quantities.
But Im not impressed.
09-02-2007 16:31:45 | More by Reidrover
3.93/5 rDev +8.6%
Bridgeport's latest seasonal: "sunshine in a glass". Poured a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
A: Crystal clear blonde-golden. Ample rising carbonation to a floculating head of whitish foam. Excellent sticky lace, gobs of it coating all sides of the glass. Retention isn't long, but the bubbly film never goes away.
S: Malty & doughy. Crackers and dry hops, smelling of flowers and cut grass.
T: Well-balanced hop/malt profile. Citrus zest and some spice in the hops, crisp, malty breadiness. Label says that 4 blended malts and 3 hop varieties were used in making this, but does not specify which.
M: Crisp and clean, with bittering hops cutting off the sugars in the malt abruptly. Light-medium mouthfeel, medium body.
D: Easy to drink, pleasnat flavors and aroma. Nice look to this beer, too; definitely "sunshine"-like. Worth giving a try - an easy summer brew that I'd gladly have again. Compliments also to BP for a nice-looking, colorful label; it actually helped sell me on this beer. and
07-02-2007 02:13:30 | More by msubulldog25
3.18/5 rDev -12.2%
12-oz bottle into same size mug. Hmm, well, it is indeed extra pale, with a clear bright gold color. The head on top fades pretty quick. Nose is pretty faint, with some light fruitiness and a little sweet malt. Taste is a lightly grainy, fairly sweet malt with only a light dusting of bitterness. A touch of fruitiness rounds it out some, but I find it just on the edge of cloying.
I was hoping for something pale and bitter, but this is just pale and bland.
10-04-2007 02:31:39 | More by allengarvin
4/5 rDev +10.5%
Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine July 2007.
Summertime has become synonymous with Blonde Ales; pretty much every brewery out there whips one up dur- ing the warmer months. At least BridgePort is being truthful and not slapping "Kölsch" on the label.
A very healthy-looking white head is fed by steady streams of carbonation--a few rings of lace drape on the inside of the glass. Clarity is just fine, with shim- mering orange and straw hues. Refreshingly snappy aroma with hints of citrus and fresh-cracked grain. Lively crispness meets a long smoothness in a moderately sized body. Light biscuity grain is fresh with bready undertones. Quick kiss of hops shows just enough bitterness for balance and just enough flavor for character. A hint of yeast from middle to end; clean palate, for the most part. Tasty finish of fresh-milled grain that goes dry quickly.
Haymaker picks up where many other summer seasonals leave off: lots of character and flavor without taking away from balance and drinkability. Pair it with a three-egg omelet with goat cheese and fresh basil.
11-13-2010 20:42:28 | More by BeerAdvocate
Haymaker Extra Pale Ale from BridgePort Brewing Co. / Brewpub
82 out of 100 based on 80 ratings.