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XP Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

XP Pale AleXP Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

568 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 568
Reviews: 393
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 10.62%

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:
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 added by: xlperro on 10-05-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 568 | Reviews: 393 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of lochef81


3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

As a fan of a number of Bear Republic's other offerings, I was looking forward to trying this one. I'm not typically a fan of Apas but always down to try something different. This ale pours a hazy golden amber color with a nice white head and substantial lacing. The aroma is Light and malty with a slight hop presence. Nothing remarkable but definitely reminiscent of the style. The mouthfeel is light and easy to drink; definitely one that you could knock back a number of on a hot summer's day. The flavor is well balanced with a nice malt presence that is not overly sweet or cloying and a floral hop presence that is not overly bitter or biting. Overall it is easy to drink, enjoyable, and well balanced. Nothing that will make you stand up and say wow but a nice example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2014 04:22:22 | More by lochef81
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a clear golden orange to copper in color with moderate to significant amounts of very active visible carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass and some faint golden yellow highlights. The beer has a finger tall sudsy foamy light beige head that reduces to a couple of medium sized patch of thick film (made up of larger bubbles) and a mottled thin film covering the majority of the remainder of the surface of the beer. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of biscuit malts with a light amount of caramel sweetness and moderate aromas of citrus/orange zest + citrus/grapefruit pith hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of biscuit malts with a light to moderate amount of caramel sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of citrus/orange zest and citrus/grapefruit pith hops which contribute a light amount of bitterness that fades pretty quickly.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Extremely easy to drink and definitely sessionable. Really nice flavors and aromas with a low ABV make this one I would definitely purchase again. The light amounts of bitterness combined with the moderate flavors/aromas of hops is very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2013 23:55:28 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of RickS95


2.61/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

22 ounce bomber

Very orange, a bit darkish for a pale ale, though today, who knows? Just seemed a bit dark and orangey to me. It's very clear. Not Budweisery clear, but orangey clear. The head starts off fairly thin and has only moderate retention. Each swirl creates a white top and slight lacing.

Smells like a pale lager. It's got a bit of citrus, but also some pilsner smelling malts. Ever so faint pine smell.

Not what I was expecting or even like. Very pilsnerlike, Earthy taste. I'd not guess this to be an ale if the label didn't say so. I don't get any of the citrus from the nose, just some pilser malt flavors.

Very watery, feels like a macro. I'd not guess this to be a craft beer. Light bodied, no alcohol presence, and the hops leave a lot to be desired.

Not impressed. It was fairly cheap at the beer store and I can see why. Not what you think of as an APA from the left coast. Skip this one, or just buy a Bud and keep the change.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2013 02:43:56 | More by RickS95
Photo of chinchill

South Carolina

3.98/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2013 22:53:00 | More by chinchill
Photo of CBlack85

South Carolina

2.98/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a New Belgium globe glass

The beer pours a light copper color with golden highlights. An aggressive pour yields a smallish white head that recedes quickly leaving behind a small amount of lacing.

The aroma is comprised largely of sweet caramel, and to a lesser degree citrus hops. Not quite what I expected from a west coast pale ale.

The flavor follows closely with the aroma, a bit too sweet with some bready notes. The hop profile is pleasant; mostly citrisy with some piney notes as well. While it is slightly less than I am used to in most APA's, it is not outside of style guidelines.

The body is a bit full for the style, combine that with the sweetness of the flavor, the beer becomes a bit hard to drink. While it is good, it is not suited to consuming multiple pints in one sitting.

Overall, XP is good, but with so many superior examples of the style I cannot see myself purchasing it on a regular basis...

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2013 00:48:17 | More by CBlack85
Photo of nickfl


3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours with a small head of white foam on top of a clear, copper colored body. The foam settles at a moderate pace and leaves little lace.

S - Sight citrus with notes of lemon and shiny of grapefruit, backed by toffee and bready malt notes.

T - Grassy hops up front with some sweet malt. A bit of toffee in the middle with moderate bitterness emerging and a finish of spicy, lemony hops and light caramel malt.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Just a bit on the thick side for a pale ale, which hurts the drinkability a bit. The hops aren't as pungent as they could be, though they taste fresh. Lemon and toffee are the dominant characteristics and somehow it just doesn't come together in the end. Decent, but I wouldn't buy it again.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2013 05:04:13 | More by nickfl
Photo of AmitC


3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Color is amber. A lot of haze and suspensions. About one finger thick head with decent retention. Excellent lacing on the sides. Translucent. No bubbles.

Aroma is a lot earthy and a lot of malt. Hops are ground and slightly old. Earthy smell dominates. Strength is good but a lot like an old ale.

Taste is raw bready malt that is mixed with some earthy hops. Malt upfront and in the middle. Finish is slightly bitter. A little bit of dry hopped piney taste.

Mouth feel is light to medium bodied. Moderate carbonation. No astringency.

Very average pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 23:23:45 | More by AmitC
Photo of mfnmbvp


3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. (1 pint 6 fl oz) bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. Excited to try this next offering from Bear Republic, as I have been generally impressed by them so far.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Fairly aggressive pour yields virtually no head whatsoever, and a coppery orange colored body with plenty of sediment swirling around. Second pour yields about two fingers of fluffy doughy off-white head, with decent retention. Tons of attractive sediment suspended in the glass. Nice scattered lacing.

S - Light pine needle / mango hop resin smell, amidst crisp fruit and biscuit malts. Not packing a very strong aroma, but it tells the tale.

T - Taste generally follows what you would expect from the nose, nice bitter crisp hop bite up front, with a clean fruity malty sweetness. Bit of honey in the finish. Extremely well-balanced for an APA, perfect carbonation, and not excessive on the Cascade and Centennial hops like some APA's which are basically just hop bombs.

M - Smooth creamy, fruity sweet finish. Slight hop resins. Slightly dry.

Overall, light bodied and well balanced with a moderate and highly drinkable 5.40% abv, this is definitely a beer you could session or share a couple 22 oz. bottles with some friends. Once again, although not breaking any new ground, Bear Republic continues to impress with another well-made, well-balanced brew.

Bear Republic XP Pale Ale ---4/5

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2013 02:02:23 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of shand


4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

XP Pale Ale pours out a slightly hazy orange-amber with a decent head. The aroma is bright and citrusy, and the taste follows the nose, along with a bit of light malts and a bit of bitter hops. The mouthfeel is light and crisp, and the drinkability is fantastic. Overall, a great west coast style pale.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2013 05:57:50 | More by shand
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bottle from Bristol Farms Palm Springs CA for 5$

Appearance - Clear amber with an average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts, caramel, apricots

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel, malts, and hops. There is also some toffee, apricots and some floral notes. It ends with a caramel malt aftertaste with a mild amount of hops.

Overall – Good stuff.. maltier than I was expecting. It borderlines a english style pale ale in a way. It still has he typical west coast flavours though. A tasty beer that I'd drink again if I was looking for a malty/biscuit flavoured APA.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2013 01:49:21 | More by spinrsx
Photo of 1Nrwyscotch


3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass.

A. A brilliant golden amber color with a couple of fingers of just off white head which lasted for awhile.

S. Some pine and that typical IPA citrus(grapefruit). very clean aroma.

T. A little bitterness to start and then some light toasted malt, not to sweet and very easy drinking.

M. A lighter body

O. The flavor is pretty mild and it smells better than it tastes and makes me curious of the age though I could find no date on the bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2013 23:42:06 | More by 1Nrwyscotch
Photo of CrazyDavros


3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with a fading white head.
Nose shows soft sweet clean malt, faint grapefruit and pine.
Very drinkable flavours, light sweet clean malt and a bit of spicy hops. Perhaps a bit too sweet.
Could use more carbonation.
A basic but enjoyable pale.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 00:24:12 | More by CrazyDavros
Photo of fsimcox


3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber-orange cloudy color. Fluffy white foamy head forms immediately. The foam dissipates slowly leaving a soft white layer. Some lacing.

Smells of hops, citrus, and green apple.

Taste is smooth up front, apple cider and citrus, with a slight hop finish. The cider taste lingers for some time.

Mouthfeel is medium body, some carbonation, and a dry finish.

A nice ale. Reminds me of a cider beer I once had in Belgium. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2012 15:33:55 | More by fsimcox
Photo of StJamesGate

New York

4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale glowing amber with loose fast-fading off white froth.
Mad fresh orange candy and blossom nose.
Toffee and shortbread with sparkly Sunkist orange hops.
Lemon hard candy finish and slightly resiny linger.
Light-medium, some chew, crisp.

Easy like Sunday morning. Enough C-hops to keep you going, but light enough to stay on all day in August. Doesn't, however, do justice to Bear Republic's reputation.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2012 18:50:38 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of CA_Infidel2o9

4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber to a sam adams cup
Bottled date: 2/26/12

A- amber, 1/2" quickly fading white head

S- citrus, floral, apricot, sweet bready malts

T- caramel, bready malts, piny hops, grapefruit bitterness, grain, butterscotch

M- medium body, crisp carbonation

O- due to the bottling date, i drank the first half of the bomber without a review, but then i decided it was so good that it deserved one. The the hops are a fraction of their former self, citrus, floral, pine are all there to show their glory and i can't wait to taste this fresh. Malts have dominated the brew, giving an awesome creamy caramel flavor/taste. This will be reviewed again.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2012 00:58:18 | More by CA_Infidel2o9
Photo of ngeunit1


4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear golden-orange with a finger of frothy white head atop. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of grapefruit, citrus, and floral hops with some sweet caramel and biscuit malts.

T - Starts off with a mix of grapefruit and citrus hops with some bitterness and some sweet caramel malts. Through the middle, some floral and light pine hops come through with some more bitterness and some biscuit malts. The finish is a mix of grapefruit and pine hops with some light bitterness and some sweet bready malts.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry and lightly sweet finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice malt and hops balance. Good overall APA.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2012 05:05:45 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of crowsoup


2.83/5  rDev -26.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2012 00:46:31 | More by crowsoup
Photo of Oakenator


3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden brown pour with a nice head and good lacing. Refreshing hop flower aroma. Taste caught me off guard as I bought for other non-hoppy drinkers. The XP is not for extra pale ale, rather for "exceptional". As far as pale ales go I would agree. Clean fresh hop flavor to be ranked amongst the better pale ales.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2012 00:30:27 | More by Oakenator
Photo of macrosmatic


3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into pint glass.

A: This one is a hazy golden apricot color. Forms a nice one-finger white head, with some visible carbonation.

S: Biscuit malts with some pine hops.

T: Taste follows the nose but with more citrus hops character, some more bitterness than expected, with a bit of a dry finish.

M: Smooth mouthfeel, maybe a slightly undercarbonated. Alcohol nearly absent.

O: Good, but doesn't rise to the level of truly outstanding in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2012 23:23:37 | More by macrosmatic
Photo of smakawhat


4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. No dating noticeable.

Real inviting pour here. Crystal clear gorgeous copper and red amber, fluffy top three fingers off white, and clumping nicely. Some retention but settling nicely, very appetizing looking brew.

Great nose going on here. Light sweet toasty malts, hints of light sweet grapefruit hops sensations, juicy body, great smelling pale ale. Hope this delivers on taste.

Taste is a little hammered down, even for a pale ale. Juicy mouthfeel comes with the nice rolling malts, and a mild fruity citrus hop bitter on the finish. Sweetness subdued but also a light malt backbone that is almost watery. Interesting mix of flavor and feel.

Overall it's still a delicious brew, regardless, just a solid good pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2012 19:25:42 | More by smakawhat
Photo of BucannonXC5


3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22-oz. bomber into a pint glass. About 1 ½ fingers of head. Color was basically just caramel. Light white lacing that dissipated pretty quickly.

Smelled grain, wheat , caramel, honey, wheat, light lemon citrus.

Tasted honey, wheat, caramel. Also a bit a fruit taste, maybe peach or plum. Dark fruit more than light fruit.

Medium body. Oily texture. Below average carbonation. Relatively smooth and refreshing finish.

Just an average pale ale. I wasn’t quite feeling it. Good summer bear though.

Serving type: bottle

06-26-2012 06:41:35 | More by BucannonXC5
Photo of CHickman

New York

3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a pint glass: pours hazy gold amber color with a 1 finger beige head that faded slowly leaving good lacing and a creamy layer on top.

Smells of toffee, biscuit, wet wheat bread, citrus hops, piney hops, caramel, grapefruit, yeast, grains, light brown sugar and an odd citrus fruit like guava. Definitely not what I expected in the nose as its very sweet smelling, but not like an English pale ale.

Tastes of sweet malt and wet bread to start, with toffee, biscuit, caramel or maybe even maple syrup, citrus hops, piney hops, yeast, grains, orange peel, brown sugar, herbs and a very earthy taste like sipping stagnant water out of a cave pond or from a tree; aftertaste is similar to uncooked pizza dough rolled in an IPA spilled on the counter – kind of odd, but not necessarily offensive. Might even be some coriander or other light spices in the finish.

Mouthfeel is oddly creamy and slick, with very mild carbonation, a medium chewy body and sweet finish that trails off bready and sweet.

Seems like there is decent balance, but I just didn’t dig this beer and I have enjoyed all of the other Bear Republic brews that I’ve tried. I was not impressed and feel that this is more English pale ale than American pale ale since the hops were so timid. I’d grab a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Dale’s Pale Ale over this any time.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2012 04:24:42 | More by CHickman
Photo of PintOHops


4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glass - Nonic

A - A super clear copper colored brew with lite, visible carbonation. It produced a 2-finger head that looked somewhat creamy. I got a spot here and there left on my glass.

S - A wonderfully balanced aroma. I get caramel, brown sugar and bread, with a nice balance of fresh herbal and rind like hop notes. The hop characteristics don't overpower. I pick up a bit of biscuit like malt that reminds me of Fat Tire. Really nice aroma.

T - Pretty balanced just like the smell. I pick up caramel and bread upfront, it unfolds into earthy, herbal hop characteristics. Finishing flavors consist of more bread, a touch of biscuit, and a bit of citrus hop flavors in the way of lemon and orange. Sweetness is moderate for the style and bitterness is low.

M - Lite crispness with a medium body and a smooth, almost chewy feel.

O - This beer is nice. It's not too sweet, it's not too bitter, and it's not overpowered with hop flavors. Very balanced and drinkable Pale Ale. I'd buy it again but to be honest I'd probably settle for something cheaper. Definitely go pick yourself up a bomber of this if you can. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2012 23:50:50 | More by PintOHops
Photo of JosiahS


3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

glass: nonic

Sort of an orange, honey color with a 1 finger head with lots of lacing. Looks delicious.

First smell gives off lots of floral bright citrus-y notes. Underneath, musky fruit like papaya along with pale malt. As expected, the taste follows right with the smell. Citrus and some bitter initially, falling away to a bready and yeasty finish. A bit muddy but not too bad.

Mouthfeel is a bit heavy considering the abv is 5.5. medium carbonation, semi-oily feel.

Overall, not bad but terribly familiar. Another "good" ipa.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2012 23:43:30 | More by JosiahS
Photo of cyclonece09


4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a orangish straw/amber with a small white head that has great retention. Has a nice floral and fruity aroma, very full. Beer has a nice taste with malt with a sweet hop bite, very appealing. Beer goes down really smooth for a lighter medium bodied beer, with great carbonation. Overall, a very good beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2012 23:17:11 | More by cyclonece09
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XP Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 568 ratings.