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Pale Ale - Humboldt Brews

Pale AlePale Ale

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

34 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 34
Reviews: 31
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.2%

Brewed by:
Humboldt Brews visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Gusler on 08-27-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 34 | Reviews: 31 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by RootedFool:
Photo of RootedFool


4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle purchased (on sale, 99. cents) at the North Coast Co-op in Arcata, California. The body is light, gold-tinged amber, with a reasonably sized head -- just about an inch -- very heavy cream in appearence. A thin collar of lace grips the glass. Smell: Rich waft of earthy hops with a kick of sugar-sweetened grapefruit through the finish. Taste: Ah, lovely spread of hops upfront -- juicy, earthy, grassy, lovely -- with a middle of toasted english muffins, a hint of caramel, and a finish that's all hops and crusty yeastiness. This is good. Mouthfeel: A little thin; middling carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2005 03:37:28 | More by RootedFool
More User Reviews:
Photo of Slatetank


4/5  rDev +4.2%

05-24-2013 00:09:27 | More by Slatetank
Photo of TrojanWheels


3/5  rDev -21.9%

01-22-2012 22:04:56 | More by TrojanWheels
Photo of cdwil


3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

12-27-2011 13:46:36 | More by cdwil
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Yellow beer, some clumpy head that don't leave a uniform lace pattern, dat's fo sho. Aroma was standard barley and minimal hops.

Taste, simplistic and straight up, usual suspects of caramel and grapefruit laying low, but around. Cascade hops, old tea like flavor gives it a weird mouthfeel though.

A little more expensive ($9/6) than it should be, given that there isn't a whole lot going on, nothing bad, something kinda off, but not bad, but not rushing out for it or recommending it to anyone if they start making it again.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2011 18:32:22 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of bulletrain76


3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Clear amber-gold with a white head; some sediment. Smells like nectar, honey, and flowers. Sweet like honey flavor, with a little hop balance, but definitely a mild pale ale. Nice malt fruitiness, but could use a little more hop bite and bitterness. Light body with smooth carbonation, and a slight stickiness. Really fruity and sweet for an apa, but pretty drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

06-02-2008 08:22:19 | More by bulletrain76
Photo of barleywinefiend


4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a golden amber color with a massive head and its remains create fine sheets of lace to cover the glass. Nose is hopped and floral with pleasing malt sweetness, crisp and fresh to the senses. Front lightly sweet and the top skinny in feel. Finish is pertinent in its carbonation, the hops dominant and the aftertaste dry.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2008 15:22:44 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of BeerSox


3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into nonic.

Hazy golden amber hue (almost the color of nectar), with a one finger off-white head that leaves behind some stringy lacing.

Sweet honey malts with some citrusy hop aroma.

Crisp malts with a light sweet hop flavor. It tastes good but it's a little light. When I taste it, the word "nectar" comes to mind. The name seems to match this beer perfectly. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. The finish is lingering hop flavor.

This isn't exactly a beer to rave about but I feel it's certainly worth the buy. Makes a good session ale. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 19:50:39 | More by BeerSox
Photo of MuenchenerKindl


3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a newer looking green label bottle to a pint glass, the liquid is a clear pale gold with OK carbonation. The head is a smallish 1 thumb thick white and does not leave lace.

The smell is a fresh citrus hop.

The taste follows and is nice, a refreshing citrus hoppy taste with a light toast flavor in the malt.

The mouthfeel is ok not quite medium body and a little light on the carbonation.

The drinkability is good and the taste is its best feature. MK

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2007 20:01:57 | More by MuenchenerKindl
Photo of Floydster


3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pint at a bar in Tustin before the Angels game

Very golden yellow pour with a small white head that dropped down fast

Taste was a little hoppy and bitter at the same time, comparable to Stone's APA

Nice mouthfeel for a pale ale and highly drinkable by most

Pretty average beer

Serving type: on-tap

09-13-2007 20:54:54 | More by Floydster
Photo of atsprings

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a DFH off center glass a nice light amber with a decent head that slowly diminished and left some spotty lacing. The aroma was of caramel malt nicely balanced with citrusy hops. The taste was an extremely unique balance of citrusy hops with caramel malts and just a hint of chocolate. The beer was light bodied and proved to be very refreshing. This is one of the best APAs I've had the pleasure of trying, I hope it finds it's way to NC sometime soon.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2007 06:47:00 | More by atsprings
Photo of badbeer


3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, light golden color with a nice white head that retains well and does manage to leave some lacing. I get some citrus, lemon, a touch of grapefruit, and just a hint of pine. The aroma also has a little bit of bread and biscuit notes. Taste contains some biscuit and caramel, followed quickly by citrus-y hops. Mouthfeel is a little less than medium with medium levels of carbonation followed by a dry finish. This one didn't finish up as well as I would have liked, but it is pretty nice beer here. I'd probably get this from time to time if it were available to me.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2007 04:43:25 | More by badbeer
Photo of Erdinger2003


2.25/5  rDev -41.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The head is thin with bigger bubbles and that falls into a thin layer atop the beer. There is a lacing, but it doesn't stick all of the time. Color is very clear gold. The smell is hoppy, I smell dill for some reason, don't know if it's the new craving for dill pickle chips or not. Smell is slightly dank, grassy hops. A slight citrus character comes through. The taste is very dank, almost moldy. There's an aftertaste of breadiness....reminds me of golden grahams. Graham crackers anyway. Mouthfeel isn't offensive and it's got a bit of a refreshing feel to it, and it's smooth. Overall I think this would be a good go to brew if I lived in CA, but I don't think long trips are good for this brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2007 04:35:43 | More by Erdinger2003
Photo of argock


3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap in a 16oz pint glass

Appearance: Orangy, copper color with nice lacing off-white head

Smell: Faint citrus but not much there

Taste: Sufficiently dry hops flavor with nicely balanced malt qualities

Mouthfeel: Lightly carbonated with smooth finish, best feature of this beer

Drinkability: The mouthfeel and taste make this a likely repeat performer

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2007 04:53:40 | More by argock
Photo of asabreed

New York

4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. I hope this is the same brew that says "Pale Nectar" on top of the bottle.

Appearance: A golden peach-tinged yellow with a head that leaves just a bit of combo spotty and sheet-like lacing, and though it doesn't stay thick, it tends to remain hovering above the body for the duration.

Smell: Sweet caramel malt with some unsweetened chocolate coupled with nice orange and grapefruit oils from the hops. Very aromatic, balanced, and seemingly made with some quality stuff.

Taste: Though the caramel malt sweetness is buried a bit (along with some chocolate and tea flavors), the orange and the grapefruit from the hops comes out well and not only coats the mouth, but also lingers well on the tongue, where the malt flavors then come out, oddly enough, leaving some nicely balanced flavors behind altogether.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, with a coating quality that is pretty outstanding, not to mention carbonation levels bringing out all the flavors accurately without losing anything.

Drinkability: A pale ale that refuses to get flashy and try a lot of experimentation, and I think that helps, as everything's honed well to seemingly make the best thing from quality ingredients--something that a lot of breweries need to take note, because this is good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2007 01:53:05 | More by asabreed
Photo of cbl2

New York

3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6/28/2005 $6.99 6 pack No best by date.


Pours a pale straw/gold with a thin film of bubbles on top, but no head to speak of.


Fresh citrus sweetness (grapefruit) greets the nose with some floral quality as well.


Mouthfeel is fairly smooth with crisp citrus highlights piquing the taste buds accompanied by a strong malt backbone that balances things out nicely. Finish is grapefruit in nature, stretching into a mildly bitter end.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2006 15:21:49 | More by cbl2
Photo of DogFood11


4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Humboldt has been one of those breweries that to me is somewhere between average and good. This brew is on their "good" side of the lineup. Poured into a pilsner glass it formed an easily managed perfect head that fades rather quickly retianing a ring lacing and thin cover. Pale to light copper in color and small carbonation are plentiful.

Hops are up front in the smell and taste. Whats nice about this pale is the malt bill has enough in it to make this rather hoppy Pale into a session quality brew. Damn I love a finely crafted low alcohol brew and this one fits the bill. Hops have a little bit of that "raw" edge.

Notes: I think this is humboldt's best offering that I've been able to sample. I only see it now and again at my local beer stops. Seems to be hit or miss with availability. This will be another staple beer in my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2006 03:22:12 | More by DogFood11
Photo of mmmbeer


3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My bottle was called Pale Nectar from Nectar Ales, but I guess this is the same stuff. 12 oz. stubby with 11/23/05 on the bottle. It pours a nice honey/orange color that looks unfiltered (hop particles?) and smells very hoppy, with notes of citric/tropical fruits, pine, perfume, and hop oils. The taste is about the same with a medium bitterness, a mild malt background, and a medium body that is a bit drying. Overall an average craft APA I would say - a good quaffer, but nothing spectacular.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2006 00:11:34 | More by mmmbeer
Photo of sacfly


3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

no freshness date
“All Natural Ale”

Pours a hazy golden color with a thick head of off white, medium bubbles. Aroma is citrus with light grapefruit and a hint of orange.

Taste is light and refreshing. Hints of the citrus and bitterness stay throughout the taste and in to the finish. Long, light bitterness in the aftertaste.

A good, non-offensive session beer. But not something I would session since it was $1.99 for one 12oz bottle. Much better choices in this area in this style.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2006 14:42:49 | More by sacfly
Photo of RBorsato


3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Pale Nectar" brewed by Nectar Ales (Firestone Walker), Paso Robles, CA

Hazy golden with a nice full off-white head and good carbonation. Nice fruity hop aroma; not overpowering. Nicely balanced malt-hop flavor with a light citrusy hop character. Medium-light bodied with a light crisp hop finish.

Good but probably not a re-buy... Not too much different than Red Nectar ... very well balanced but something's missing...

Per NA website:
Centennial, Cascade and Mt. Hood hops.
Gold - 2003 GABF

($1.99 / 12 oz.)

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2005 18:26:30 | More by RBorsato
Photo of jakester


4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a single I bought at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. I drank it in a pilsner glass. This is now called Pale Nectar made by Nectar Ales in Paso Robles, Ca. Date is clearly stamped on the bottle.

Pours a hazy dark gold with a one finger head of off-white foam which drops to islands and a ring, with pretty damn good lacing. Carbonation looks slow. (but it isn't!)

Aroma is wonderfully strong grapefruit and lemons, and light caramel and toffee. Fruitiness is muted; it smells clean.

First flavor is sweet caramel, followed by a good hit from bitter hops. The middle is fairly dry and minerally, with a great grapefruit taste, if you like that, which I do. The citrus flavor lasts a long time, as does the bitterness. Hops are definitely the focus of this one.

Mouthfeel is fairly dry, with medium carbonation. I love pale ales like this. Finish is bitter and chalky, but pleasant. Tasty burps!

Like I said, I love pale ales like this one; dry, minerally, and hoppy as hell, with just the right amount of sweetness to sort of balance it. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2005 18:57:11 | More by jakester
Photo of TheJudge

New York

4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from a bottle, a very see through golden ale. Pretty. Nice head that holds and laces well. Strong hop aroma, sweet. A note of peach as well. Taste is sweet then bitter. The hop in the nose is all over the mouth and tongue. Not as complex as I would like, decent carbonation, feels good. Solid. Very hoppy. I would drink a lot of it.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2005 13:49:37 | More by TheJudge
Photo of pjwilson


4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Damn i love this brand. the ipa, pale, and red nectar are all the same distict malt base, just the amount of hops and strengh of the beer are different. This is like IPA-light, if one can imagine such a thing. The IPA is a better overall beer but this is perhaps my favorite pale ale.
actually this beer is a bit too light at under 5 percent. It sure does taste real good and it makes a great hot weather beer. .otherwise get the ipa

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2005 07:47:13 | More by pjwilson
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Particulated deep autumn gold with a stickyfirm, cream-colored head that leaves tattered sheets of fine lace. The nose is full of beautifully hoppy, radiantly bright Centennial and Cascade. This is an aroma that I could sniff all day long.

The flavor takes its cues from the nose in that it's grapefruit and lemon hoptastic. There isn't much malt onboard, as evidenced by the lack of malt flavor and the slightly too thin body. Each mouthful loses 'volume' a bit too quickly, leading to an abrupt dropoff in both flavor and mouthfeel just when things start to get interesting.

The hop bill, however, is right on the money. A little more oomph would be greatly appreciated since what has been provided is tremendous. The finish is indistinguishable from just having eaten a white grapefruit. Pucker up! Sessionability is directly proportional to your tolerance for hops.

Humboldt Pale Nectar (note: now called Pale Ale) is the beer equivalent of white grapefruit juice. If that's your thing, as it is mine, then saddle up and ride. One of this brewery's better efforts for sure.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2004 18:24:01 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of Zorro


4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

They have changed the name of this one a bit, it is currently called "Pale Nectar."

Pours a clear golden brew with a tinge of orange.

Smell is sweet and malty caramel with a high level of hop scent.

Taste is a little sweet with nice malt character and a vanilla and oak flavor to dry up the after taste. Restrained bitterness and a bit of citrus in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good.

A wonderful pale ale to drink, flavorful but not over the top in any one dimension. I can sum this up in two words "Mellow" and "Tasty."

Serving type: bottle

08-20-2004 00:29:31 | More by Zorro
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Pale Ale from Humboldt Brews
86 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.