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
-
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 78 | Hads: 158
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 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 jcdiflorio
2.25/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

poured from a 12oz brown long neck bottle into a nonic glass.

Cloudy,copper color. Not much head,even tried a hard center pour with no luck, just a slight white ring of foam around the inside of the glass.A streak or two a lace on the sides of the glass.

Faint citrus,pine aromas,slight notes of a carmell/toffee. Bisquity and grassy seem most present. A weak aroma overall.

Weak,watery tastes,some sweet malt,slight citrus/pine a bit of bisquit.
A very Macro quality to the taste,a dissapiontment to me. Seemed i've had better beer than this from the Church Works.

Light mouthfeel,clean,a grainy feel. A beer for the "Masses?"
Not impressed at all with this beer,hope I get a better offering from The Chuch next time. (732 characters)

Photo of mgbickel
3.13/5  rDev -0.6%
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. (768 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 burnstar
3.46/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (396 characters)

Photo of jackorain
3.13/5  rDev -0.6%
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. (532 characters)

Photo of tugdriver7
3.68/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had high hopes for this one. All the pieces were in place: (1) great craft brewery; (2) fun, thematic name in colorful bottle; (3) great, rich amber color in the glass; and (4) subtle malt and roasted carmel in the nose. Unfortunately, the taste--though exceptional when compared to many, more common English Ales--wasn't as complex nor quite as rich as expected. When I go to "Church," I'd take the Dunkel over the Ale. (422 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 grayburn
4.36/5  rDev +38.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I absolutely loved this beer. Let me preface this by saying that this is my first cask experience, so if my numbers are skewed by this real ale I sincerely apologize.

Beautiful light honey colored with a foamy head comprised of tiny bubbles. Heavy lacing and a wee bit of cloudiness....beautiful.

Smell is hop forward, a slight crisp malt background, what is expected of an english pale.

A good example of a pale, nice and hoppy, I'm quite impressed.

The mouthfeel and drinkability I will combine into one. This is where a cask shines. This is how I feel all beer should feel. Smoother than shite, I am literally in love with beer all over again. I could drink this pint for pint all day, not that I should....but talk about an excellent session. REAL ALE. (761 characters)

Photo of mobyfann
3.63/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Paid $30 for a mixed case...

The beer pours an amber colored base with a medium white head, good head retention and nice lacing effects on the glass. The aroma is at first floral and spicy (ginger?) with mild hop tones.

The taste is rather light on the mouth, great light hop aftertaste and fairly drinkable if considered a light brew.

Final Thought: Why is this beer rated so low? It's a very standard APA that doesn't seem to scrimp on quality of ingredients. (465 characters)

Photo of BitteBier
3.28/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clear, golden amber pour with a finger's worth of uniform head that fades pretty quickly but leaves a bit of lace. Nose is nondescript--neither skunky nor scintillating. Some light malts and a hint of hops. This carries over to the taste, which is good but uninspired. Malts are smooth and tasty, but this beer would be better if the malts were complemented by more hoppiness. Very drinkable but lacking the sort of character that make micros so interesting. (460 characters)

Photo of mtnbikerpa
4/5  rDev +27%
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. (358 characters)

Photo of breakingbland
3.69/5  rDev +17.1%
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. (744 characters)

Photo of cooncat
3.35/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Found this APA at my favorite beverage store in Erie, Pa. I noted that Church Brewing was from Pittsburgh, near enough to one of my favorite breweries, Victory Brewing. Decided to give it a try.

On the pour, you can be quite assertive and you will get a nice off-white head of moderate size. It is not particularly long lasting, but does leave some thin lacing once its settled. The color is more golden than I'd like to see in a Pale .. was hoping for a little deeper hue.

The nose is uncomplicated, with mostly notes of citrus and pine. Very minimal notes of malt presence.

The taste is a little thin, but balanced nevertheless. Some maltiness comes through the light hop flavor. Nothing overpowering so it should make a good session beer. There is a definite hoppy dryness to the finish, which is suitable for the style.

This doesn't come close to Great Lakes Burning River or Victory Hop Devil, but it is very drinkable, and would make a good session beer. Prost! (980 characters)

Photo of DerekP
3.52/5  rDev +11.7%
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. (559 characters)

Photo of JackTheRipper
3.94/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear amber/goldish in color. Head was small with little lacing to be seen.
S: Nice clean fruity hop aroma right up front. There's a bit of a bready malt aroma in the background, but mostly this is a nice hit of hops in the nose.
T: Good hoppy flavor, not overly bitter, just a bit on the citrusy/fruity side. Late malty tastes provide a nice balance and keep this from tasting like an IPA. Good take on the style.
M: Medium dry in character. Medium bodied. Alcohol and CO2 are in good levels. Finish leaves no real aftertaste.
D&N: A nice take on the style. Goes down easily. I'd have another. (601 characters)

Photo of LeftyBWS
3.38/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle into a pint glass. Purchased as part of a mixed 6-pack from the restaurant.
A: Bright orange, see thru practically. Little bit of carbonation, one inch of off-white head that settles to the rim. Not much lacing to speak of, but the colors are lovely.
S: Caramel malts, dry hoppiness and rye. A tad on the weak side, but otherwise alright.
T: Soft and sweet flavors mostly. Bit of sugar and caramel up front, leading into some dryer graininess and a faint hop nip. Finish lets some bitterness linger and then fade out with some roasted sugars and maybe fruit. Better than the smell, actually.
M: Sweet but also dry and bitter, an interesting combo.
D: Fine, reasonably tasty. (708 characters)

Photo of Alkey
3.48/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my Church Brew glass a light copper color with some head that dissipated quickly leaving very little lacing. There is also a lot of tiny little particles floating around some settled to the bottom of the glass. Smell of sweet malt and faint hops. Taste is mostly sweet malt up front followed by a slight hop bitterness. Mouth feel is light bodied. Drink ability was pretty easy. This is a rather pale tasting ale but its not dull or boring either. (471 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 dickroop
3.38/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A friend went to Pittsburgh and brought me a single (thx!). It poured a light amber brew with a generous, cream-colored, pillowy head. It was hazy, and the head left some good lacing.

The smell was a little hoppy and bready, with a hint of celery. The taste was malt dominated, caramelly. There was little distinguishable hop flavor, although there was some decent bittering. The mid-palate included some tangy sourness, the finish was pleasantly, mildly bitter. All in all, the flavor was disappointing. I don't think the flavor delivered is true to the IPA style, even the Eastern- or English-style IPAs.

The mouthfeel was medium, more than I would have expected, and a little chewey. OK carbonation was a pleasant addition. Drinkability was OK to so-so. I wouldn't seek this out, nothing to distinguish it. The label was interesting. I would like to try this ale on tap - often it's a case that the bottled product is a poor representation of a good local brew. But I can't recommend the bottled version of this to any true hop-head. (1,042 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 rmolledo
3.98/5  rDev +26.3%
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. (468 characters)

Photo of dawg
3.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From a bottle obtained during a case exchange. Church brew works is a local place about 20 minutes away.

Always nice to giva a crack at the local stuff. Right out of the bottle. Smelled a bit metallic from the cap. Nice and bitter from early hops. I think that I taste cascade and some amarillo. Nice pale body. Didn't carry the extract taste that I used to get from church BW.

Feels like a pale ale. Overall a nice treat. Wouldn't buy a case though. (458 characters)

Photo of jameswaldo
1.75/5  rDev -44.4%
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. (852 characters)

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