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

78 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 78
Hads: 158
rAvg: 3.15
pDev: 11.11%
Wants: 0
Gots: 16 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 78 | Hads: 158
Photo of hopdog
3/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle acquired in trade with CMUBEERMAN (thanks!).

Opened to a loud PSST and proceeded to pour almost all head. Settled into a medium and see through orange color. Softer aromas of caramel, citrus, and floral. Tastes start of with caramel giving way to citrus. Slightly lively body (I would have expected it to be over carbonated with the way it opened and poured, but it wasn't).

Notes from: 11/24/06 (409 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
2.93/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer has a warm copper colored clear body with a sudsy white head of foam that sticks to the glass as it disappears. There is a good carbonation of bubbles gliding to the surface.

S- This beer has a very clean smell with a light white plastic note and a faint green hop hint. Even as the beer warms the smell is a clean.

T- This beer has a soft soapy flavor that gives way to pale malt notes and a soft dry toast hint the comes through more as the beer warms. There is a mellow bitter hop finish with a soft plastic note that turns into more of a melon flavor.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a tight fizzy finish.

D- The odd plastic note increases as the beer warms and the bittering hops are the only real flavors that stand out in this beer. Not much depth to the hops or malt flavors to support it. (861 characters)

Photo of OneDropSoup
2.92/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a burnt orange color, near brown, that fades to a medium orange at the bottom of the glass. Very thin head, almost none, with a few tiny, slow bubbles. Little to lacing.

I smelled the malt right away, a subtle caramel character. It reminded me of the Church's Thunderhop IPA, which is a little too sweet & malty for my liking. The malt just gives a little "hi" & then recedes, a more subdued version of the Thunderhop.

The taste is more bitter, just a tiny bit of citrus & not a lot else to report on. That caramelized malt note that's so up front in the smell seemed to go into hiding. Some lemon in the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel's on the thin side of moderate, a little watery.

I wouldn't avoid this one, it's fine -- not my favorite offering from CBW by far, but it's got its place. There was really something missing in the taste, which didn't deliver on the aroma. (880 characters)

Photo of Illinick
2.88/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cask cond. at CBW
A: Nothing special with the color of the brew-copper in color. The head was above average (as it should be with the cask version). Sticky white head and great lacing. The head saved the appearance from being subpar.
S: Bland. Some citrus, with lemon being the dominant and some green hop smells. Malt in the background. Nothing too pronounced.
T: Decent taste with a lot more malt than I would have thought. It kind of takes away from the brew. Slight lemon and citrus peel flavors with some earthy hops, but the level of malt was too high and took away from the brew.
MF: chewy, but light.
Overall: A decent offering, though I wasn't impressed. Would like to see a little more hop prominence and a higher IBU. (737 characters)

Photo of aracauna
2.84/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A golden bronze color with a good head. There’s very low hopping and a slightly watery finish. It improved as it warmed as a nice fruitiness came out, but it never turned into a good pale. There were no flaws, but there just wasn't enough flavor here. The Celestial Gold was actually the better beer. (301 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
2.82/5  rDev -10.5%
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. (318 characters)

Photo of MmmIPA
2.81/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is my second beer from this brewery and the first beer wasnt bad at all but it seems these beers get no love.I have a soft spot in my heart for beers that are brewed in Pa.Lets see how this is...

Nice sorda murky colored body with a nice off white thick head.The head is soapy and falls at a moderate pace and looks to leave some nice lacing.Small head stays with the beer as I drink it.

I smell some earthly hops and some malt.

First sip reveals a distinct flavor in this beer and some bittering on the back of my tongue.The sweetness hits the sides of my tongue but there is a taste in there that isnt familiar,mabey yeast?

The mouthful is ok and is creamy.

There is somthing off about this beer,mabey its old,mabey its bottle conditioned but there is just something not right.This is my first time having this beer but it doesnt have much of a hop flavor and I know its a EIPA but it should have some nice floral notes,which it doesnt have any.I would like to try this beer again in the future. (1,007 characters)

Photo of Dogbrick
2.8/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sample at the brewpub. Light gold/amber color with a weak ivory head and very little lacing. Aroma of earthy malt and hops. Fairly light body, with a bland floral hops flavor and not much else. The finish is lightly bitter hops with a touch of citrus in the aftertaste. This brew doesn’t really have much going for it. (319 characters)

Photo of RBorsato
2.76/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Golden peach-ish color with a decent off-white head. Decent carbonation when fresh but a bit overcarbonated if you wait any time to drink the bottles. Primarily a malt-based English Style Pale Ale in both aroma and flavor with little noticeable hop character. Unfortunately, oxidation sets in quickly on these bottlings. Light-medium bodied and a bit airy when older.

Quite possibly one of the most boring Pale Ales I've tried... I had multiple bottles and they went bad quickly in a short period of time.

Per CBW website: OG 13o Plato. IBU's 30. Color 6oL Pale Amber/Copper. Alcohol 3.3% w/w. Approx. Calories per 16 oz. Pint 230. Approx. Alcohol Content 4.3% by volume.

Grain Pale, Aromatic, Cara Pils, Other Caramel Malts
Hops Perle, East Kent Goldings (766 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
2.75/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer pours a copper amber gold tone with a nice formed white head leaves nice even lacing, not bad. Toasted malts with hop pellets forms the aroma here the hop tone is eerily similar to straight cascade hop pellets smells like my first homebrew with a mild fruity edge thrown in there. The hops taste of once again the cascade hop pellets with a grainy sweetness lackluster all around. Light-medium in body mild carbonation drinks pretty smoothly. As for ordering this beer again I have to say that from now on it's a rule to stick with their specialties rather than their regulars. (587 characters)

Photo of santoslhalper
2.7/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Appearence: Poured a dull copper with a thin, fizzy white head.

Smell: The smell is mostly malt focused with hardly any hops to it. The malts are slightly bready, but nothing very special.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Again, as with the smell, hardly no hops, but the malt taste is a little more inviting. The malts are bready and cereal like with a nice grainy taste. But it's unblanaced, and that turns me off. The mouthfeel is thin and cloying.

Drinkability and Overall: The lack of hops really killed me. This is not a pale ale in my opinon. What it is I don't know, but I don't know that this in an average beer. I hope it's just a problem they're having since they just recently started bottling. I'll try this again in a few months. If you're in the area, pick up some Clipper City Pale Ale. You'll be much happier. (823 characters)

Photo of goblue3509
2.7/5  rDev -14.3%
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. (524 characters)

Photo of mschofield
2.7/5  rDev -14.3%
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 (423 characters)

Photo of ski271
2.7/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A- Clear, medium amber with a small, slightly off-white, foamy head that diminishes to a film and leaves very light lacing.
S- Juicy orange hops with a light bready malt base
T- A little metallic and astringent right away, then some disappointing hops flavors over some weak caramel malts.
M - Medium-light body, dry texture, moderate carbonation.
D- Definitely not a winner. Offers nothing to make me want to buy this again. It’s not terrible, but it’s sub-par. Easy to find a better English P.A. out there.

I love the brewery/restaurant for the atmosphere and the food... but the beer just isn't all that good. It just annoys me that this place does so well while the nearby Strip Brewery and Valhalla (who had far better beers) went under. (751 characters)

Photo of stakem
2.68/5  rDev -14.9%
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. (1,578 characters)

Photo of oline73
2.66/5  rDev -15.6%
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. (788 characters)

Photo of ZimZamZoom
2.65/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cloudy orangish color, with a thin white head.

Aroma is mostly nondescript, some hops evident and some interesting yeasty notes but very subtle.

Taste has some caramel notes and slight floral hops with a bit of a bitter hop finish. Not much going on here. Some esters are evident that are slightly Belgian in character. Interesting again.

This pale ale has some body, and it seems unreasonably filling for some reason.

I'm going to have to try this one again, but at this point am not terribly impressed. (508 characters)

Photo of IronCitySteve
2.64/5  rDev -16.2%
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. (591 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.63/5  rDev -16.5%
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. (1,472 characters)

Photo of aaronh
2.63/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A medium amber colored beer, it is not as pale as many pale ales. Served with virtually no head. The aroma was hard to discern. The taste was overly bitter from the start, with an unpleasant finsh. A little malt made itself known on the taste, but the overall flavor was bitterness, and not the good type you get with an IPA. The mouthfeel was thin, and I was happy to finish this one a try a different beer, as I can't imagine drinking more than one of these. Hopefully this was an atypical sample of what this beer normally tastes like. From my sample, it should be removed from their normal offerings and replaced with a new recipe. (635 characters)

Photo of prototypic
2.53/5  rDev -19.7%
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. (1,878 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
2.5/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clean orange-ish/ yellow color with an off white head. Aromas of a semi sweet malt and just a hint of fruit. In the taste, clean, yet not much taste at all. A small bitter mouthfeel and a small hoppy aftertaste. A bit watery and kind of homebrewish, but ok. Seems a bit lighter than I remember. (302 characters)

Photo of bigdeuce
2.45/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

The bottom line with this beer was, it looked good, tasted watery. It gave a decent malty front and tasted of some hops, so you wait for the hops to come and they never did. I tried some other styles they had presented to me and they were good. This one was lacing character and a backbone. (290 characters)

Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
2.4/5  rDev -23.8%
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. (262 characters)

Photo of dmamiano
2.26/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

pours a medium copper color, not much head.
smells of yeast, malts...reminds me of a Belgian type of nose.
Taste is bitter, Belgian like. Nots of caramel malt.
Not like any English Pale Ale I have ever had.
Wondering if something isnt amiss with this one (254 characters)

Pipe Organ Pale Ale from Church Brew Works
74 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.