XP Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
XP Pale AleXP Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

605 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 605
Reviews: 395
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 16
Gots: 15 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 10-05-2001

XP is short for Exception Pale Ale. This light golden pale ale balances the malt and hops for a smooth, drinkable beer that compliments any meal.

2009 California State Fair – SILVER
2008 Colorado State Fair - GOLD
2006 California State Fair – 1st
2003 Real Ale Fest (Chicago) – BRONZE
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 605 | Reviews: 395
Reviews by JackStraw22:
Photo of JackStraw22
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Clear copper body, with a good amount of fizzy off-white head.

Smell: Quite hoppy, citrusy sweet, lots of orange aroma. Mellow, though, not in your face hoppy but certainly present and balanced. Very nice.

Taste/feel: Clean and crisp without being too dry. Hop flavor really hits upfront, but wonderfully balanced by a good malt backbone. I really like this, especially after it warms a bit.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from my 22 oz bomber amongst friends a hazy deep orange with a pretty tight white head leaving a nice sheet of lace behind,aromas of piney hop and nutty dry malt both showing themselves very well.To be expected from a left coast pale ale a big citric hop profile but this has enough firm dry malitness to make this more balanced and extremely drinkable.A good quencher for the summer heat well balanced but enough hoppiness to make a hop head enjoy it,well done and worth a second try.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue II:

Brewed with both English and American malts and hopped with Centennial and Cascade--typical American varieties for this beer style. Burnt golden-amber color, good clarity. The head retention is something to admire with a white puffy lace that clings to the glass very well. Clean aroma of biscuity, bready malt, citrusy herbal hop nose. Moderate body is a tad fluffy and very smooth. Hop bitterness is at a perfect balance with the malt, with soft citric and floral flavors throughout. Clean palate with a faint nutty yeast, a hint of pear-like fruitiness. The malt backbone is of fresh baked baguettes and a hint of light caramel. Finishes on the dry side.

XP is basic and very a drinkable Pale Ale. No raging complexities here, but definitely spot-on for the American Pale Ale style and it's more than just a benchmark for the style. We'll throw it out there that this is a great session ale as well.

Photo of Schmit
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A refreshing, hoppy pale ale--almost wants to be an IPA...

22 oz. bottle for $4.49 plus tax at Tacoma Boys. (Bless them for being open 24 hours.)

Pours a beautiful, luminous, orange that looks great in the glass. Aroma is IPA-hoppy, in a resinous/piney way. Hops dominate without overpowering, and the malt only plays a supporting role. The hop character is very well balanced between sweet and bitter, and the lower maltiness really emphasizes this crisp hoppiness. Clean-tasting and slightly fizzy, which accentuates the flavor well. A very drinkable pale ale that I'd get again--but that's no surprise from Bear Republic, whose Racer 5 and Hop Rod are also great.

Photo of Jason
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

Appearance: Mildly hazy weathered copper colour, a thin head but the lacing is superb.

Smell: Nutty powdery yeast, sharp citric note and some biscuity grain.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Lots of dough malt, biscuity grain and nutty yeast. Hops are a bit lively with a stern bitterness and semi-soft citric flavour. Mild fruitiness with a faint alcohol in the back. Lots of hop flavour in the finish, a heavy hand of citrus rind.

Notes: A bit more than you typical West Coast pale ale, nice layers of citric hop with a sturdy malt backing.

Photo of merlin48
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber pours a clear, amber color with a two finger, offwhite head that lasts through the entire glass. Patchy lace is present all over the large imperial pint glass.
Aroma tantalizes with some serious Cascades and Centennial hopping. Grapefruit, orangerind, and pinecones dominate the nose, with a mild note of caramel malt emerging midway through.
This is medium bodied in the mouth, with a full and rich coating of fresh Cascades hops.
Citrus hops dominate, for the most part, with grapefruit and orangerind successfully beating back the caramel malt. A delightful note of clover honey emerges toward the end, and presents a wondeful balance to this ale. Finish has a mild, white pepper twang.
This is an excellent pale ale, one of the best in North America.

Photo of Billolick
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber bottle, this one seemed just a little off to me, maybe I got an old bottle or something. Faint hop aroma. Not what I was expecting in terms of malt, pacific NW jolt of hops. Still a decent P.A. I'll have to try it again to see if there was something missing here.

Photo of warriorsoul
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light amber in color...a full finger of white head with incredible lacing. A nice 1/4 finger of head remains on top for the duration of the pint.
Decent citrus aroma with a sense of over carbonation in the nose...not bottling date, maybe just not overly fresh.
Taste is nice...an earthy yeast flavor with a hefty dose of floral hops and an incredible bitterness to accompany it.
Some sweet malt to balance it out and a gentle buttery flavor adding to the mouthfeel. Nice texture and clean in it's finish...carbonation much more mellow than expected.
A decent Pale ale to say the least, but if I am to grab an offering from Bear Republic, this would not be my first choice.

Photo of magictrokini
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer is the Northern California answer to AleSmith's X. Pours clear gold, but with an uncontrollable white head that the pint glass could not tame. Aroma is light and hoppy. Balanced taste of hops with sweet malts and citrus. Could drink this all day. Unfortunately, if I had to choose, its a tough call, but I'd have to go with the Alesmith X over the XP.

Photo of ironlung
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Splitting a bomber with a buddy on Thanksgiving...

A: Hazy orange. Not much head due to soft pour. Plenty of yeast floating around.

S: Some sweetness. Honey/carmel also hints of citrus comes through faintly.

T: Good carbonation hits the tounge crisply. It's a very refreshing pale ale that borders on IPA status due to heavy mouth feel and strong hop profile.

M: Again, heavy. This is a "HUGE" pale ale, but its all done in a great way.

D: I like it. Another great beer from Bear.

Photo of beerkittycat
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is hazy golden-orange with tight off-white head that sticks. Aroma is full of malty goodness with fruity esters of apricot, cherry, and lemon that melds nicely with flowery and piney hops. Flavor is much the same as the aroma but with noticeable sweetness in the finish. Hop bitterness is pronounced and even a bit acidic as it lingers on your tongue. Definately not a session beer but loads of wonderful flavors and aromas to discover as you imbibe it. Another nice addition to the Bear Republic lineup.

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

A malty, citrusy, hoppy fruity nose with faint floral notes.
Pours a beautiful amber with a 1" dreamy off-white foam cap that provides excellent lace.
The malt dominates the palate penetrating throughout offering big caramel and creamy flavors with a bitter accent on the finish.
Medium body and carbonation.

Photo of Osiris9588
3.57/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber, no date. Pours a hazy, rusty color, slightly orange--some sediment floating around. The two-finger white head is quite foamy, decent retention, but sticky, foamy spider webs of lacing cling around the inner rim.

The frangrant aroma is quite herby, dominated by the hops, strong pine, a little citurs, as well as a warm sweetness from the malt. The flavor follows, a little nutty toastiness, along with burst of alcohol and a bit of phenolic finish.

Medium-bodied, dry and herby, maybe could a little brightening by more citrus notes. Drinkable and solid, but nothing life changing.

Photo of mattffrost
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into glass.

Appearance Beer is a very cloudy light amber honey color. Head is off white that dissolves very slowly. Pretty to look at.

Smell Some citrus fruity smell with a sweet carmel smell. Nothing to profound here.

Taste Nice flaver with a spicey upfront taste that finishes bitter. I like this Pale Ale compared to some others I have had because it finishes more bitter than many others I have tried. In my oponion very well balanced. A hint of some sweentess as well.

Mouthfeel Very pleasant nice and light in the mouth. Very well made beer.

Drinkability. I could drink this beer so often and not get tired of it. Great beer.

Photo of far333
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light honey color with an off-white head that rises up quickly, and then descends back down again. Leaves a sheet of film around the inside of the glass. Smell is sweet malt, butterscotch, and honey. Flavor is chewy, biscuity, a little malt, no hops. Some brown sugar, fruit and florals, and a bit of citrus in the finish. Not a big flavor, but very good. Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Extremely drinkable. Am I missing something? The other reviews really focus on hops, but I'm not getting that.

Photo of Soonami
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On hand pump at Local 44 as of 8/28/10.

I've had a couple Bear Republic beers on cask and XP Pale was as good as the others I've had. I really like the presentation style of the beer on cask. The beer has lower carbonation and is served warmer, which makes it more difficult to hide flaws in the beer and really allows the flavors and aroma to sing. The beer was a pale amber with a frothy rocky thin head from the sprinkler on the pump. It smelled citrusy from the hops, a little grainy and sweet. The beer tasted phenomenal. The medium bodied grain sweetness with just enough bitterness and bite.

I'm somewhat stuck with review of Bear Republic XP Pale Ale because it's a nice beer normally, but on cask it is far elevated beyond what normal people will experience that it does not really seem fair to put this review in the aggregate of what others would experience.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good cloudy copperish color with ample carbonation and average to more than average head and lacing retention. Minimal citrus aroma.

Taste, a really nice pleasant beer with enough of the hop quality when drinking a west coast or BR style beer. Very dry. Mouthfeel leaves nothing spectacular, you aren't going to find any unique nuances here, a good intro beer to BR or starting hoppy beers. Decently priced.

Photo of williamjbauer
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap served in a sampler glass

A - Clear golden with one finger white head with minimal lacing and good head retention.

S - A bit of citrus hops and sweet malt, not very strong.

T - A decently balanced APA but I would have prefered a bit more punch, pretty mellow citrus hops and smooth, not a very bitter finish

M - Light body, medium carbonation.

O - Pretty drinkable APA, but was just lacking in a bit of character for me.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm not gonna lie I've had this from the bottle in the past and couldn't justify sampling it because of a date issue. However, on this brew fresh from Fathead's taps there's nothing better around, a beer I could literally drink all night. Appears a slight hazed copper with a large bright white head that sticks around for awhile leaving behind textbook picture perfect lacing around my pint glass. Aroma is assertive with grapefruit and floral cascades. Completemented with sweet sugar coated hops, whant excellent money pale ale with biscuit malts just enough it really drinks amazingly. Flavors are not overly bitter but incredibly hoppy, blatant citrus and floral hop flavors rush the palate with a soothing crisp bitterness level very green and citrus pith with candi sugar coated presence as well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied carbonation is so even and smooth that it glides down the palate with extra added lubrication from all of the hop oils. Drinkability is amazing I'm so willing to grab a keg of this stuff, I may offer my buddy jcdiflorio to go half on a 1/2 barrel of one of these Bear Republic brews if their available at his distributor.

Photo of chinchill
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber served in a snifter. Pours orange-amber with a light white head. Modest head retention; spotty lacing.

S: Grassy and herbal hops with some faint citrus. A solid malt base.

T: Nice fruity-grassy flavors from the hops grab attention from the underlying sweet malt with its hints of toffee. Orange is the most obvious component of the citrus character.

M: Light/medium body; mild carbonation, but enough to keep it alive; smooth; exceptionally dry finish for style.

O: An exceptional example of the APA style from a very reliable brewer.

Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cask at Local 44 in Philadelphia.

Pours a slightly hazy light copper color with a half-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of pale malts with good amounts of breadiness. Also present are solid amounts of tropical fruit and citrus hop aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Robust pale malt flavors with moderate amounts of breadiness kick things off. Joining in shortly thereafter are solid amounts of tropical fruit flavors. Midway through the sip the hop flavors turn slightly toward citrus and carry through to a moderately bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with solid carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I had no problems finishing my glass and could easily have another.

Overall this is a nice pale ale that would likely gain some complexity with some added carbonation. I'm not sure the cask serving type is beneficial but it did add some beefiness to the malt. A solid beer that's worth a shot.

Photo of rastaman
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Tap@Bear Republic brewpub. A very respectable, well balanced pale ale. Light American hops, low to medium bitterness to finish, perfectly drinkable. Nothing offensive, some lightly fresh aromatic hops, with a soft malty sweetness, i didn't mind it at all. Drinkable stuff.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- The golden copper colored body is clear with streams of tiny bubbles gliding up to a big rocky off-white head that fades to a cloud in the middle of the glass after a while.

S- The perfume smell of sweet lightly toasted malt is followed by a bigger floral green hops aroma that has a herbal quality to it.

T- The soft sweetness of malt is blended with a biscuit malt flavor and a soft fruity quality to the malt. There is a spicy hop finish that taste lightly pungent and herbal. There is a carbonic acid quality that enhances the hops at the end. Not much bitterness lingers after each sip.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a crisp finish.

D- This is a nice bold pale ale with a fresh malt flavor and a smooth hop profile that goes along with it. There is no big citrus or pine resin qualities to the hops which is a refreshing change. Good session beer.

Photo of crowsoup
2.86/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm finding it hard to write this. First of all, Bear Republic is a fantastic brewery. I even love Healdsburg, which makes this even harder. Maybe I got a skunked bottle, but this has got to be the most uninspired Pale Ale I've had in a long, long time.

It pours beautifully at least. Great color and a nice head, but that just got my hopes up...I hate high hopes. Got some citrus, some malt and maybe some slight floral notes, but that's questionable. Maybe my sniffer is busted, I dunno.

Not a lot going on taste-wise here, grainy, light bodied, bitter finish. The end tastes a little too close to dish-soap for comfort, makes me wonder if someone put a dirty glass back in the cabinet. I think I'll try this again on tap, next time I'm in Healdsburg. Sadly this bomber has scared me off of another taste.

Photo of biboergosum
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber...an increasingly distant remnant/reminder of 'Summer' 2010...

This beer pours a medium orange-amber colour, with many a floatie, and one finger of foamy, bubbly off-white head, which leaves some nice cavernous lace around the glass as it dissipates. It smells of creamy caramel malt, and mild grapefruit/orange citrus hops. The taste is caramel nougat malt, somewhat bready, a bit of bitter orange citrus, and floral, facilely spicy hops. The carbonation is moderate, the body pretty full and dense for a pale ale, and pleasantly smooth. It finishes off-dry, the bready malt in a sexy dance with the latent citrus hoppiness.

Definitely a West Coast pale ale, but not the kind where you wonder if the brewer just had a hard-on for an IPA. Lots of hops, but the bitterness is kept on the down low, giving us a nicely balanced drinker...

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XP Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 605 ratings.