1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Michigan Brewing Mackinac Pale Ale - Michigan Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Michigan Brewing Mackinac Pale AleMichigan Brewing Mackinac Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
78
okay

97 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 97
Reviews: 80
rAvg: 3.4
pDev: 16.76%
Wants: 2
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Michigan Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

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

Availability: Year-round

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

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Mitchster on 06-19-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 97 | Reviews: 80 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of fostwal
3.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - The cloudy dark amber color is very nice.
Smell - There is a slight hop scent however there really isn't much of an aroma.
Taste - The hop flavor is well balanced. There is a slight bitterness when the beer hits you tongue. There is a long and lingering taste that is pleasant.
Mouthfeel - The mild carbonation is just right to emphasize the bite from the hops. Leaves a tingle in the mouth.
Drinkability - A very nice balanced beer. Not heavy or overwhelming flavors. It goes down very easily. I would definitely order one again.

fostwal, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of armock
3.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a copper color with an off white head that leaves lacing

S - Is of caramel malt a touch of hops and a little vegetable scent

T - The caramel malt comes out first and finishes with a little bitter hops

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - Kinda just an average pale ale to me seems more English than American not a bad beer just doesn't make me want to try and find it again

armock, Aug 15, 2008
Photo of kcillini77
3.88/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received as part of the Amazing Clubs Beer of the Month Club for June.

Decent looking typical pale ale.

Smell is mostly of sweet malt.

Taste is sweet up front with a bit of a spicy hop wallop on the finish. I think the initial sweetness makes this a little different from other pale ales I've had to date. It's a good thing. The hops are there to be sure, but not the dominant flavor.

A good offering from the Michigan Brewing Company.

kcillini77, Jul 21, 2008
Photo of JustinBathurst
3.33/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sold in Sweden as Summer Ale.

Pours gold orange, with 2 cm cream-coloured head.

Smells of celery, red licorice, and lots of husky grains.

Mouthfeel is slick with medium carbonation.

Taste is nice and hoppy, with grapefruit notes and a bitter finish.

Nice and plain ale for quaffing.

JustinBathurst, Jul 19, 2008
Photo of Ch1mpy
3.4/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Labelled Mackinac Summer Ale here in Sweden. I'll have to take it from Bark that this is actually the same beer as the one known here as Mackinac Pale Ale.

Colour is brown with an off-white head.

Sweet, a little bland, smell with hops, citrus and actually some roasted notes of malts.

A, spicy, hoppy taste of grapefruit. Perhaps the carbonation is a bit on the light side. But on the overall an OK mouthfeel.

I would not mind buying it again.

Ch1mpy, Jun 08, 2008
Photo of bark
3.23/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sold as "Miackinac Summer Ale" in Sweden.

The colour is copper-amber. The two finger head is airy and beige with a small crater. Some lacing.

The smell is fresh and mild: Hoppy notes of grass, lemons and rye bread.

The taste is fruity and balanced. Some mild bitter flavours, hoppy hints of flowers and nuts. There is a malty background of rye bread, crisp bread and a very mild sweetness. The aftertaste is mild with some bread and a fragile lager-like bitterness.

The carbonation is mild. Some large bubbles, the liquid is smooth.

A very gulpable ale, that reminds me more of English bitters than American pale ales. Still it lacks some character and borders to being forgettable.

bark, Jun 08, 2008
Photo of grub
3.38/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

got this one in a trade with plaztikjezuz. thanks scott!

12oz bottle. sampled may 22/08.

pours nice and clear copper colour with a small dense white head. the head drops fast and leaves no lace.

aroma is nice. touch of caramel sweetness. hint of corn? bready malt. bit of grain. hops are mostly earthy, with a touch of floral character too.

taste is nice. medium-low bitterness level. touch of grapefruit. bready malt. bit of grain. cracker. light alcohol.

mouthfeel is nice. fairly light body. just over medium carbonation level.

drinkability is nice. good balance, but a bit underwhelming overall.

grub, May 23, 2008
Photo of Mgrad92
3.9/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The hops were more subdued than I expected, both in aroma and taste. But I'm not a hop head, so I found the hopyess to be just right for my taste. The head was thin with larger bubbles than is typical. Not a major flaw. The clairity was excelent. This is a refreshing beer and would go well with a variety of food.

Mgrad92, May 07, 2008
Photo of Gehrig
3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange-copper body capped by a thick finger of white head. Decent lacing on the Yankees pint glass. Fruit and caramel malt come forth when coaxed, but the nose on the whole is a bit weak and disappointing. Good malty flavor in the taste, combining citrus (mainly grapefruit) and caramel. Yet this could use more hops to me. It's a little thin in that regard. Fairly smooth and nicely carbonated, this is a good pale ale. Not the most complex, but solid. One of my favorites from Michigan Brewing Company.

Gehrig, Apr 30, 2008
Photo of Bighuge
2.2/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Luminescent orange. Slightly hazy. Thin cap of dirty white froth. Lace is moderate. Nose is very weak and what is there is malt orientated. No bright and shiny hop aromas. The flavor is stale and oxidized, even though this bottle was packaged less than 4 months ago. Grainy sweet malts. Little to no hop flavor. Bitterness is present to a slight degree. Body is medium-full. Carbonation is restrained. This one doesn't impress me.

Bighuge, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of ZAP
4.2/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Interesting take on a pale ale....if you are looking for a west coast pale ale this isn't it.

The aroma is malty first and foremost....toasty but also some strong caramel...and then a mild woody/spicy hoppiness.

On the taste the first thing I notice is the toasty munich malt...then the spicy hops bump in...also some light citrus notes..pretty balanced flavor with a unique twist with the toasty/spicy elements.

The body is substantial for the style...medium to slightly above medium bodied...feels almost like an IPA in body.

This one won't be for everyone but I like their take on the style. I love the toasty characteristics and the spicy hop notes. It really has a nice aroma and has an interesting flavor. Quality brew.

ZAP, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of SIRIUS2
3.75/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A: Crystal clear coppery amber. Very light head that disintegrates quickly to a light white film, but leaves nice lacing down the glass.

S: Fruity; citrus-like hops. Smells of sweet fruit, like figs.

T: An interesting balance of sweetness and bitterness as the flavors seem to go back and forth on the palate. There is an initial wash of sweet caramel malt that gives way to light citrus bittering to the finish, before the sweet comes back in the linger.

M&D: Medium mouthfeel with light to moderate carbonation. Relatively smooth but the carbonation makes the swallow less than silky. Overall a good brew and enjoyable.

SIRIUS2, Mar 01, 2008
Photo of HardTarget
2.13/5  rDev -37.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Bottle Inspection: Nothing but a date, 10/06/07, which I assume is a bottled on date.

Aroma: An orange rind hop driven citric fruit smell on a lightly oversweet malt base.

Appearance: Clear copper amber glass holds a thin cover of off white that doesn't hold but gives plenty of lacing as it falls.

Flavor: The orange flavor is mild, the overly sweet base isn't. The hops go slightly earthy and leafy, and more toward the bittering end, not really to my personal preference.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation level is a little high, making the medium body seem lighter and the total package seem a bit fizzy.

Overall Impression: Too fizzy, wrong hops, under attenuated, not really enjoyable. I'll finish it, but I won't crave another.

Note: Once BuckeyeNation pegged the Fuggles, I understood why I didn't care for this one: I hate Fuggles.

HardTarget, Feb 29, 2008
Photo of 1fastz28
3.05/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a reddish amber copper color with a small head, looks pretty good really. after the appearance thought the beer is pretty mediocre, its smell is average, just not alot there, just some weak hop aromas. the taste is weak too, just not alot of flavor just some weak hop flavor. i've had 3 new beers tonight and i haven't been impressed really by any of them, maybe i've had too many DIPA's lately and i've spoiled myself.

1fastz28, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Audacious orange with a considerable yeasty haze. The toasted beige cap was two fingers on the initial pour and has a quality look about it. As the foam slowly shrinks, an impressive amount of Swiss cheesy lace plasters itself to the pint glass. Who could possibly think that filtered beer looks better than unfiltered?

Other than being a little low on power, the nose is par for the style course. The hop bill consists of Fuggles and Cascade, neither of which asserts its dominance over the other. On second thought, the funky citric fruitiness of the American hop is slightly more prominent.

Mackinac Pale Ale is pretty good beer. It has about 10 more ounces to convince me that it's solidly good. It's similar to this brewery's High Seas IPA (which has similar ingredients, substituting Northern Brewer for Fuggles), but isn't quite as good. Perhaps time and warming with improve things.

There's plenty of malt for the style, which contributes slightly more Munich malt toasted earthiness than I usually like. Grapefruit-like hops, while nicely upfront and appropriately pithy, don't deliver the bright, juicy flavor that is truly impressive. The Fuggles add an Anglo-American character.

The final few ounces tempt me into increasing the taste score. It's close, but no can do. The mouthfeel is better than competent (medium heft, appropriately bubbled), but can't quite make it over the 'better than average' hump either.

MBC's Mackinac Pale Ale would almost certainly have been more impressive if it was being consumed a few weeks after bottling rather than a few weeks before its 'best by' date. This is a worthy effort that deserves a look from all Michigan hopheads.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 25, 2008
Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.3/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Acquired via trade from plaztikjezuz, 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 deep amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is pretty faint but contains caramelized malt with touches of citrus and hops.

T: The taste starts out on the malty side with flavors of caramel, tea, nuts and some spice but not a lot of sweetness. Then there’s a little bit of citrus that comes in along with a decent hops presence, which is mild for the style. The after-taste is slightly bready with a touch of sweetness.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this one might appeal more to those people that don’t like this style too hoppy and favor the EPA style. Overall, however, there are other beers in either direction that I would pick first.

TheManiacalOne, Jan 03, 2008
Photo of berserker256
3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured nicely into my pint glass. It presented a weathered old penny type of copper color to it. The beige two-finger head fizzed away rather quickly. There's a semi-sweet type of aroma that reminds me of carmel. And that smell is combined with a slight hoppy odor. Like a pine cone dipped in hot bubbly carmel. I like this style of beer significantly better than stronger hopped IPAs. This is like a light IPA. It's semi-sweet with half the bitter pine flavor of an IPA. Good feel and pleasant to drink.

berserker256, Dec 16, 2007
Photo of argock
4.1/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into clear pint glass

A: Deep copper color with thick off-white head and substantial lacing

S: Delicious malty caramel aromas mixed with honey and pale hops.

T: Heavy caramel malts with noticeable honey and slight bit of spice followed by full hops finish with surprising but pleasant bitterness. Wow -- really nice. Very British ale of them.

M: Medium-bodied with light carbonation and pleasant bittersweet aftertaste.

D: Easy to enjoy in quantity and a really solid beer from a small regional brewer.

argock, Sep 19, 2007
Photo of scoobybrew
2.73/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours out with a nice head that is very well retained. It has a light copper color. The aroma is hoppy with very faint traces of malt and some alcohol. The taste is bitter, but not overly so. It finishes very dry. The body is medium-light with moderate carbonation.

Overall, it's a decent enough pale ale, but it's more like a British pale than an American pale. Even so, it's a bit dry and could use a little more malt balance (I think).

scoobybrew, Aug 27, 2007
Photo of sullysbeer
3.35/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Citrus, Piney hop aroma, malty sweetness that of caramel and biscuit.

Appearance: Clear bronze-copper with a slight off white head retention that covers the surface.

Flavor: Sweet biscuit maltiness with hints of a toasty character. Minty hop flavor that finishes with a bitterness as if you were sucking on a mint flavored Altoid. That's a perfect description. Some esters of wood.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-high body. A delicate CO2 bubble that gives each swallow a creamy mouthfeel.

Overall Impression: Very refreshing Pale. Usually the bitterness of a beer can seem to give a person bad breath. This beer leaves a minty fresh feeling. They probably could have added Northern Brewer hops during the begining of the boil as this is a description of this hop selection, but who knows. Very tasty beer!

sullysbeer, Jul 10, 2007
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.9/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Michigan Brewing's Mackinac Pale Ale displays a deep amber body that borders on being copper in color, and a creamy off-white head that holds well and leaves some nice lacing about the glass. The nose suggests that it's a bit malty and caramelish with a healthy sprinkling of spicy and floral hops within. The flavor confirms that prediction, and it delivers its lightly sweet, honeyish and caramel-drenched malt upfront, followed by building hops that reach their highest point just before the swallow, and then a slow-fading, malty, bitter, and spicy finish. Nicely done! It's well-balanced and enjoyable. Kind of like an English pale with a bit of an American influence in its added caramel malts, and a German influence in its hops. Enjoyable. Worth trying.

NeroFiddled, Jul 07, 2007
Photo of Monkeyknife
3.1/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle an amber-gold color with a light head.

Nice aroma of sweet malts and toffee.

Roasted malts along with a slight coffee taste. I also note a bit of a bitter mineral aftertaste.

Medium bodied with a light carbonation.

This is a decent pale ale that you could enjoy in quantity.

Monkeyknife, May 27, 2007
Photo of Dogbrick
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Michigan Peddler on Mackinac Island. Pours a translucent orange/amber color with a medium off-white head and spotty lacing. Aroma of citrusy hops and caramel malt. Medium-bodied and dry with an underlying harsh hops bitterness. Citrus and sweet malt flavors are apparent as well. The finish is dry and hoppy. Above average overall.

Dogbrick, May 11, 2007
Photo of eberkman
3.73/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Spagnuolo's in Williamston, Mich.

Poured a deep copper with a small white head that retained for a few minutes. The aroma was mostly malty/caramely with some floral hops peeking through. Not a lot of hoppy bite in the taste -- again mostly malt with a subtle bitter finish. Pretty crisp and drinkable as well -- not a bad session brew, but everybody having a pale ale and with so many better options out there, this is not a go-to beer.

eberkman, Feb 22, 2007
Photo of montageman
3.33/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass. Crystal clear amber color accompanied by a pale white head that slowly dissipates into a lot of lacing. Smells clean and roasty, maybe a bit of pine. Taste is refreshingly crisp - malty with a little hop kick in the finish. Mouthfeel is good for a pale ale - carbonation is fine and there is a bit of creaminess from the malt. Easily sessionable - this is a totally decent beer. Recommended.

montageman, Jan 13, 2007
Michigan Brewing Mackinac Pale Ale from Michigan Brewing Company
78 out of 100 based on 97 ratings.