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Pipe Organ Pale Ale - Church Brew Works

Not Rated.
Pipe Organ Pale AlePipe Organ Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
74
okay

155 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 155
Reviews: 79
rAvg: 3.19
pDev: 15.36%
Wants: 0
Gots: 12 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Church Brew Works visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-24-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 155 | Reviews: 79
Photo of Roby923
2.97/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Decent ale. Very drinkable, but doesn't have any signature notes. 4.3 abv and 30 IBUs. On tap at the Church.

Photo of BMMillsy
2.82/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Draft at the brewery on a Pittsburgh visit. Pours clear golden colored with a very small soft white head. Aroma is light fruits, some light grassiness, and not much else. Flavor follows with lightly sweet citrus, sweet light malts, hay, nearly no hop presence whatsoever. Light bodied with medium low carbonation. Meh.

Photo of breakingbland
3.69/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. There was a scant head that fell quickly to a very thin ring of foam.

Aroma: Sweet grapefruit with a definite malt presence.

Taste: There was a faint sour hit at first contact, but the predominant taste was malt with some oranges and maybe bread along with a mild hops presence. The hops lingered along with some of the malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel: The body was on the thin side. The carbonation was appropriate.

Overall: This drinks as a classic American pale ale. It was refreshing and enjoyable; I especially liked the hints of orange in the taste. I don't think I've seen this in my area (southeast Michigan), but if I see it when I'm in the Pittsburgh area, I'd consider getting some.

Photo of DerekP
3.52/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pipe Organ Pale Ale is orange-amber with a dull glow. A tiny head recedes to a stable, bubbly rim.

Fruity in the nose: pineapple, peach. Some amber malts underneath the hops comes through faintly.

A pleasant, light touch in the first taste. Balanced hops and malts mostly, with just a bit more bitterness. There's some peachy hops flavor, but the beer is dry overall.

A simple, approachable and purposely sessionable pale ale. It won't blow anyone away, but it's a solid beer that won't crush you after a few, which is its big draw for someone like myself.

Photo of prototypic
2.53/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pipe Organ Pale Ale pours a lighter gold color. Looks like a brighter yellow color when held to light. It’s crystal clear, save for all the bubbles rising to the surface. A soft, white collection of bubbles rises just above the surface and falls back just as quickly. Very short retention. Lacing was also extremely light. Barely worth mentioning.

The nose is not very good. It’s weak and really needs more strength. There’s a slight bit of caramel malt there. Smells a little sweet. It honestly smells earthy and grainy more than anything. That’s a bit odd. There might be a bit of grassy, earthy hops, but it’s tough to tell. Not much else going on. Alcohol is masked pretty well and goes unnoticed for what it’s worth.

The flavor is not any better. It kicks off with an earthy, grainy flavor that’s quite prominent throughout. Not a fan of that at all. There is a bit of light, caramel malt flavor, but it seems far too light for an American Pale. It’s a little sweet, but not all that much. Hops are subtle, but are noted. They taste mostly grassy and earthy. They’re definitely bitter though. I don’t think there’s enough malt there to provide much balance.

The body is definitely on the lighter side of medium. Carbonation is active, but doesn’t seem buzzy. Nevertheless, it feels too thin and isn’t smooth. Needs more malt in a bad way. If it tasted better, it’d be really easy drinking. It needs more in that department though.

Pipe Organ Pale Ale is quite disappointing. Its biggest problem is easy to identify – it needs more of everything. More aromatics, more malt, more hops, more body, you name it. There’s nothing overtly repulsive about it, it’s just not good beer. There are many, many American Pales that put this one to shame. I’d take a pass on this one. Much better out there if you’re in the market for the style.

Photo of Rifugium
3.38/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at the brewery

Pretty standard offering. Poured a copper color, slightly hazy, with a small and somewhat short-lived head. Simple aroma: toasted grains, sweet malts, low-key hoppage. Taste follows the aroma, as expected, grains, sweet malts, vaguely caramel, pine and citrus notes and a bit of earth. A bit bland in the aftertaste. Light-medium body, fairly drinkable. A slightly above average APA here, nothing special, but nothing really too bad.

Photo of oline73
2.66/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

Appearance: Pours a clear copper amber color with a finger of off white head that fades to a thin layer on top of the pour. This is a dark beer given the style.

Smell: Bready sweet malt, I'm getting some caramel and cherries. This one is a bit too far on the malty side.

Taste: Again, I'm not sure this should be classified as a pale ale. At least there are some hops here, but I feel like they are fighting against the malt taste. The caramel and cherries from the smell show up, but the finish is bitter from citrus peel hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This isn't a terrible beer, but it's not very well thought out. They need to lighten up the malt profile to make it a good pale.

Photo of IronCitySteve
2.64/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a copperish amber color with a small white foam head that quickly dissipates to a film. No lacing.

S: Some mild citrus and pine hops. There is some mild toast and burnt caramel.

T: Starts off with a citrus hop flavor. The toast and caramel come through in the middle and dominate the taste the rest of the way. Not much citrus hop bitterness on the back end.

M: Leaves more of a caramel syrup taste on the palate with not much bitterness. Seems a tad thin. I wonder how this would be on cask.

O: Not a huge fan of this brew. Could use some more hops and some more carbonation.

Photo of mschofield
2.7/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours dark for a pale ale, a caramel amber, clear with a one finger white head, leaves rings of lacing.

Citrus, pine and caramel aroma.

Taste has a lot of dark caramel malts, this may be better cast as an amber. Hops and the darker caramel notes clash. Pithy bitterness, raw. Bitterness lingers.

Medium bodied, needs refinement and maybe needs to decide if it's a pale or an amber.

thanks to radioscooter for the sample

Photo of burnstar
3.46/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a clear reddish gold. Smell is light malt and floral hops. Nice bready malt flavor. A bit of toastiness. Significant hop bitterness which lingers in the finish. Light bodied and well carbonated. Very easily drinkable. Anyway, seems like more of APA than an English pale ale to me- I guess because of the hop presence. I think this is a good light and pleasantly bitter sessionable pale ale.

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.5/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured ontap into a pint glass. Pours a coppery hue with a lovely creamy off-white head which left nice lacework upon the glassware. The aroma has notes of herbal and tropical fruit hop esters, caramel and biscuity malts, some earthy minerals and a hint of heather. The taste is slightly sweet caramel supported by a light twangy hop bitterness. Straight forward but could use a slight more bitterness which is more apparent on the finish with a slight metallic note. The mouth feel is smooth and slightly more body than expected from a Pale Ale.

Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
2.4/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

i will revisit this beer and review some day, but have to record in the short minute i have...
almost unpalatable... ok at first but quickly became too heavy and over over hopped for a pale ale. my tongue just began to stick and get weighed down.
will revisit.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.93/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a nice dark amber with an inch of head

S - A bit hoppy with a bit of pale malt. Smells pretty good.

T - Not bad. It's a pretty smooth English pale ale and I know since it has sort of a medicinal taste to it in the back but the hops (which are pine in taste) and malt (sort of candy like) play well to make it tolerable. Very nice.

M - Very light yet bitter.

D - Well I couldn't enjoy more than one but it really was pretty nice. I loved how hoppy it was even though it was an English pale ale which are usually more malt based. Nice ale.

Photo of Beejay
3.34/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: A little bit of head on this, it is slightly tan and dissipates quickly. A very murky brown with red notes. Seems very dark for a 'pale ale'

S: Nice american hops aroma. There is a nice malty sweetness in there as well, strong with caramel notes.

T: Bit of bitter right at the front. Slight grassy flavors with a few citrus notes. There are some malty notes in here, but though the hops seem to overpower then a bit.

M: Medium in thickness, slightly oily texture, but very slight. Carbonation seems good.

D: Nice but this seems to be a bit out of balance for me. I feel like the hops are a little strong for a pale ale, and in sampling both the IPA and Pale ale it feels like the same beer, but the IPA being slightly more bitter. I would like to see something a little more interesting.

Photo of stakem
2.68/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle from a friend visiting from Pittsburgh. No indication of freshness on the bottle via dating or date code but I trust it is relatively fresh considering it was picked up at the brewpub.

Pours a slightly hazed orange color with 2 fingers of white head that has a tint of yellow about it. The head fades leaving quite a bit of sticky lace that clings in patches to the glass.

The aroma of the pipe organ smells of grassy hops minorly reminescent of a mixture of fruity rind caught somewhere inbetween grapefruit and oranges. As it warms, the amount of fruity hop character smelling like grapefruit meets oranges increases.

The taste of this brew is hoppy upfront tasting of the predescribed rind of both grapefruit and orange. Through the body is a bit of toasty malt that accents the bitterness of the hops that at this point start to cling inside the mouth more than I am use to for a pale. Throughout the body of this brew is a taste that I can only describe as being "green." It is a flavor that reminds me of when I first started homebrewing and bottled a few batches prematurely. It is a flavor of yeast that just doesn't go away and clings inside the mouth that is quite distracting and is borderline offputting with a flavor that is on the urge of tasting like plastic and bandaids.

This is a medium to light bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. The alcohol is well hidden and it lends itself as a could-be session beer but one was enough for me and I dont know if I will be able to finish the entire glass. I would not recommend this to anyone.

Photo of rmolledo
3.98/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark reddish brown with a tine white head. small amount of lacing.

S: Nutty, Caramel, Malty, English Hop Aroma, Toffee. milk chocolate. Wonderful Aroma.

T: Very Nutty with caramel flavors. yeasty, biscuity, bready, toasty. lots of malt complexity. brown malt? taste chocolate milk for some reason... subtle english hop character towards the end and hop residue on lips.

MF: low/moderate carbonation. Smooth.

D: A very aromatic and flavorful beer. I enjoyed it.

Photo of jameswaldo
1.75/5  rDev -45.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A good friend and neighbor brought this home from Pittsburgh, where his second visit to the Church found the fairly cozy sandwich pub had gone upscale and not pleasantly so.
Poured the 12 oz into a pint glass as is my wont, got very little head that disappeared quickly. No lacing. Nice color and haze, though.
Smells a bit like yeast, a bit like old hops, and somewhat like canned malt syrup.
Tastes like a poor imitation of a craft beer. Uncapping bottle gave very tiny psst, so with that too-quiet opening and dead head I thought brew would be undercarbonated, but thin fizzy tongue pins seemed carbonated plenty enough. Mouthfeel watery, hops aftertaste a larger hop component than it was before swallowing.
I still have a few bottles of this and found it becomes fairly drinkable when I mix it with a very hoppy homebrew I just bottled last week.

Photo of mtnbikerpa
4/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from the bottle. I really enjoyed this beer. Has a nice hop forward presence, some floral and citrus fruits. Also well balanced with some biscuit and cracker like malt flavors. The smell gives a hint of hops. Mouthfeel is very smooth. Very drinkable on a hot evening, it would be easy enough to enjoy a couple of these. The alcohol is very well hidden.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.63/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bronzed orange rind with brighter rust orange highlights beneath a thin slice of decently creamy, beige colored foam that faded much too quickly. It's no surprise that the glass isn't exactly swimming with lace.

Given the ingredients (caramel malt, pale malt, East Kent Goldings hops), it's easy to tell how the nose *should* smell. Trouble is, it doesn't smell like much of anything. Warming results in a whiff of caramel and some musky-earthiness, but that's it.

CBW Pipe Organ Pale Ale is not well-brewed beer. It's undermalted, excessively bitter, borderline metallic, thin and too sharply bubbled. It might sound like the score should be even lower, but it's all a matter of degree. Could this really be how Church Brew Works sees the English pale ale style?

Specifics include unsweet caramel, tangy fruit, bitter tea dregs, citrus zest and a flash of stainless steel. Warming helps round off the initial flavor clash to some extent, though it doesn't make it all the way to flavor cooperation.

The mouthfeel is probably an appropriate size given the ABV. However, the carbonation that was too sharp-edged to start is now softer... and still has a short half-life. Not a good combination no matter how you slice it.

This bottle of Pipe Organ Pale Ale might be old (though raging bitterness argues against it) or it might be from a bad batch. It's hard to believe that any craft brewery would be satisfied putting their label and cap on beer like this on purpose.

Photo of goblue3509
2.7/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper color with no head, no retention, and no lacing. The aroma is very faint, there is a toasted malt backbone with a slight hint of orange but it is hard to draw in. The taste is also a little faint, there again is a toast malt backbone with a touch of orange peel, and a touch of hops at the end. The mouthfeel is of moderate carbonation. Overall it is an average beer, not alot of aroma, not alot of taste, just kinda of bland. There is nothing to dislike, but also nothing to really keep you coming back.

Photo of mgbickel
3.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Perfect Pint glass from a 12oz bottle. The aggressive pour yielded a thin, single finger of pearl foam that dissipated quickly leaving virtually no signs of life behind. The body is much darker than I anticipated...orange amber with ruby lowlights.

The nose is rather weak. Some bready characters meet some mild hops. You can also pick up some caramel and malts...if you try really, really hard that is...

The taste is right there with the nose in character and strength. The malts start things off before an earth/grainy center takes over and quickly gives way to a mild, piney hop finish. Pretty much meh...

The mouth feel is light and watery, maybe a little oily...moderate carbonation.

This is drinkable, but nothing I would go out of my way for.

Photo of Dodo2step
3.54/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

P- Barley's and Hops

A- a brownish red hue type of color that is somewhat hazy yet clear. A one finger head that has some sticking but not much.

S- a toasted type of maltiness with some orange peel on the back end. Not a bad nose at all.

T- a charred roasted black type of flavor at first, but then tapers off to a smokey malt with some pungent hops.

M- smokey and coating. Draws some flem and mucous. Goes down smooth though. very crisp and clean.

D- not bad overall and would be a nice beer if you were outside in the winter working on something.

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.08/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A pretty red hue that is lighter than ruby-colored but close to it. A small off-white head that sticks around for a little bit without leaving behind any lacing.

The aroma combines a lightly toasted malt sweetness with orange peel.

The flavor is fairly unimpressive; I know this is an english pale ale and not supposed to be a huge beer, but this one is a little weak. Low alcohol doesn't have to mean low flavor. The lightly toasted malt is there, and a hint of orange flavored hops.

The mouthfeel is light with moderate carbonation.

Not a bad beer by any means, but not something I am crazy about either.

Photo of Cylinsier
3.2/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a honey amber gold, very mild head that goes away quick. Just a bit of lacing remains.

Smells malty and a bit toasty.

Tastes mostly of hops, but not strong hops. There really isn't much else there but the hops.

Feels full with soft carbonation as it goes down. Kind of "chewy" in the feeling.

Eh, not bad. Perhaps a little underrated, but on the other hand I prefer something in the taste to accompany hop bitterness, and this is just hops, but at the same time its like the held back. I suppose it might be a fun session beer for hopheads.

Photo of jackorain
3.13/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

While the place is fantastic, this beer was fair at betst.

Poured a cloudy light brown with a bit of a copper hue. The head was off-white and didn't hang around too long but did leave a bit of attractive lacing.

A bit of earthy hops combined with a big dose of caramel malts is all that the aroma offers.

Taste pretty much mirrors the aroma.

Mouthfeel was as expected with a light to medium body with low carbonation.

Overall, this is not a great example in my mind of even an english IPA. Hops are very low and mostly earthy.

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Pipe Organ Pale Ale from Church Brew Works
74 out of 100 based on 155 ratings.