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XP Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
XP Pale AleXP Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

592 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 592
Reviews: 394
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 16
Gots: 14 | 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:
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of XP Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 592 | Reviews: 394 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of philipquarles
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very nice dark copper with a huge white head. This reduces fairly quickly to leave a thin foam layer with a lot of lacing.

Smells of hops primarily, with malt also coming through. Has a bit of a grassy character, as well as some spices.

Tastes of hops up front, but nicely balanced by malt and some spices. Finishes bitter and hoppy. Very good example of what a pale ale should be, I think.

Mouthfeel is quite decent; somewhat thick and with just the right amount of carbonation. This is a really drinkable beer that I'll be picking up again.

philipquarles, Sep 23, 2008
Photo of ralree
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Ridiculously heady. Dark gold color with a white head. Retention great, lacing wonderful.

S: Rich grainy alcoholic malt with some dark fruit and lots of sugar.

T: A nice fruit flavor backed up by a great sugary roasted malt. Peaches seem to dominate.

M: Very dry and clean, non-astringent, medium-light bodied,

D: Pretty refreshing. Goes down really easy, and doesn't fill you up as much as some.

ralree, Sep 22, 2008
Photo of morimech
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My bottle was a gusher. The color is a hazy golden when the off-white head eventually settles enough to reveal some fluid.

Has a faint citrus hop aroma and a bit of caramel malt.

Balanced flavors between the citrus hops and caramel malt. Surprisingly light flavors. Not what I was expecting.

Light body with a nice semi-creamy texture.

Nothing spectacular about this beer. The low ABV and light body makes it easy drinking when you are not waiting for all the foam to settle. I will pass on this beer next time.

morimech, Sep 19, 2008
Photo of ckaufman
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber into a shaped pint glass...

A: Golden amber in color with a massive off-white head. Super sticky lacing with great retention in the glass. Very nice looking beer.

S: Slight smell of sweet/caramel malts and floral hops. Subdued citrus notes.

T: Good balance between the hops and the malts with the hops standing out a little more than the malt. Unlike the smell, I get a nice moderate pine bitterness on the palate with perhaps some citrus notes buried in the mix. Fairly dry finish with a short bitter hang.

M: Good carbonation with a firly thin body for the style.

D: I wish I would have purchased two or more of these. Nice easy drinking pale ale. I recomend this if you want a "down-the-middle" pale ale. Don't expect any massive hop explosion, just a good all around brew!

ckaufman, Sep 19, 2008
Photo of zeff80
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a semi-opaque, burgandy/copper color with a foamy, bubbly, tan, one-finger head. It left some soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of pine and citrus. Also, some faint floral notes and hints of caramel.

T - It tasted of burnt toast maltiness. The hop flavor was sharp, bitter and pine-like. Good balance between the hop bitterness and the sweet caramel.

M - It was dry, sharp and crisp. A medium-bodied beer that was fairly easy drinking.

D - This is a very fine pale ale. Reminds me of Sierra Nevada with some subtle differences.

zeff80, Sep 11, 2008
Photo of Floydster
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 ounce bottle purchased from Liquor Barn in Redding dor $3.29, split with my dad last night, poured into a pint glass

A-Golden copper color, 3/4 inch white foamy head, sediment floating around in my glass, nice retention, some lacing early on
S-Hoppiness, black pepper, tangerines, lemons, bread, citric acid, some funky spice, and soft malt
T-Starts off with some hops, then the middle is made up of peppery spices, some floral notes too, finish is dry with a biscuity malt feel, gets spicier as it warms and slightly sweeter with more citrus popping up, would have liked to see more dry hops in this one, a little funky for its style and I am glad I did not try to drink this bottle by myself
M-Thin to medium body, carbonation is too low, spicy and dry mouthfeel, lingers too much for a pale ale
D-Goes down fairly easy, can be heavy for its style, ABV is low and alcohol is hidden in the flavor, not my choice for a session beer probably

This was the first time I have ever seen this one, for some reason it never has made it down here to Southern California, I am not too worried about ever having it again but it was fun to try, not Bear Republic's best offering but still a decent one

Floydster, Sep 09, 2008
Photo of hckyfn9999
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden orange, with a nice sized white head that has great retention. Some lacing on the glass. Lots of sediment in the glass. Aroma is grapefruit, pineapple, and a touch of caramel. Nice bitter hoppiness that lingers throughout the taste. Some toasted grain in there as well. Sort of like a light version of Racer 5. Pretty solid easy drinker here.

hckyfn9999, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of THEBEERBAR0N
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving type- 22oz bomber poured into a pint glass

My pour produced a rocky head of about a finger height which subsided gradually and left a persistent ring of lacing around the glass. This beer has a beautiful golden amber hue.

Intense and aggressive hops are immediately noticeable upon first sniff. Pine oil, candied orange peel, and a biscuit backbone of malt come through upon further investigation.

This beer does not taste as hoppy as I expected. Instead the malts tend to dominate with the hops serving more as a companion rather than a tour guide on the journey through the palate. Biscuity malts and pine oil make it through but honestly I was expecting a bit more of a hop emphasis. There is a slightly metallic aftertaste which does me wrong.

Good prickly amount of carbonation but the finish is overly thick on the mouthfeel.

As far as overall drinkability goes, I would say this beer is just a'ight. Tastes good but the metallic aftertaste and overly heavy mouthfeel on the finish keep me from rating this any higher.

THEBEERBAR0N, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of russpowell
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Wichita

Pours copper with one finger of beige head. Whoa, floaties appear as this bottom of the bomber is decanted! Above average head retention & lacing

S: Citrus hops dominate, some peppery hops as well.

T: Nice tangerine & lemon hops. some breadyness & biscuitty malt as well up front. Pineyness & lemony hops as this warms. Finishes with slight breadyness & citric hops

MF: Light/medium body with low carbonation & good balance

Drinks easy, but I expected more from this brewery, a respectable, not a great APA

russpowell, Aug 26, 2008
Photo of WillClark
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 22oz bomber into a pint glass a nice rich copper with a decent amount of head that released smooth hop notes and ester but the froth dissipated fairly quickly. Not too big on the hop in mouthfeel, but a great balance with the malt which creates a magnificently smooth and clean finish with a nice little citrus bite to cap it off.

Very drinkable and non-overpowering. A great session beer.

WillClark, Aug 17, 2008
Photo of MrMonkey
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received from sholland119. Thanks Scott!

Pours a clear light amber (on the first pour without any yeast getting into the glass) and a two-finger light tan head that fades slowly leaving lots of thick lacing. Decent retention.

Smell is floral, earthy hops with a hint of lemon zest and orange peel. There's a bit of toasted biscuit in the background.

Taste starts with some pale malts and a minor hop bitterness. Toasted biscuit and orange peel lead into a touch of toffee before a floral, earthy dry finish. Moderate bitterness throughout.

Medium-bodied and medium carbonation. Very crisp.

Pretty good drinkability, but having tried this once was probably enough. A nice pale ale, but nothing that really wowed me.

MrMonkey, Aug 05, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber with a rocky head that is quite big and leaves some nice lacing after it fades to a relatively thick cap. Smells of fresh grain and dry malt, with some earthy hops lurking in the background. The taste is quite dry and spicy, with the hops being a much bigger presence than they were in the aroma. The hops are earthy and spicy, with a medium level of bitterness and some very dry malt and a slight Horlick's flavor rounding out the profile. Fells pretty big and rich in the flavor department as well as body, but the body falls of a bit at the end. There is a slight graininess in the mouthfeel that is not unpleasant. Pretty nice, if a trifle heavy to be refreshing.

Georgiabeer, Aug 02, 2008
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copper body with an off white head. A little bit of retention, some nice lacing.

I smell a little bit of hops, not a very strong aroma on this beer.

Slightly spicy. Citrusy hops and a strong malty backbone. Very light smooth mouthfeel.

Average drinkability.

Hojaminbag, Jul 24, 2008
Photo of sholland119
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

One of the few BR beers that did not light my fire. When we did a blind tasting last week, Great Lakes Burning River won a unanimous decision.

Looks like a pale ale, nice amber color, nice frothy head. But very little going on in the nose or in the taste. Less hop presence than I expected.

Mouthfeel is fine, drinkability is fine but I don't think I'd bother.

HV

sholland119, Jul 17, 2008
Photo of Reagan1984
2.98/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer had an overly aggressive foamy head when poured from the 22 oz bomber. There was also a huge amount of visible carbonation. Clear and a very light copper color or deep gold.

Aroma was citrus and of grain.

I was excited to taste this as Hop Rod is one of my favorites. This one didn't live up to expectations. I thought the taste was very astringent and chalky. There was some roasted malt flavor and a slight spiciness provided by the hops. While I wanted to love this beer, I can't say that I did.

Mouth feel was fairly light but ruined by over carbonation.

I'm not sure how drinkable I can say it was as I didn't really enjoy drinking it.

In the future I will try again out of respect to Bear, but I had a long list of other APA's I'll enjoy before this one again.

Reagan1984, Jul 16, 2008
Photo of watchnerd
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle.

I have yet to have a Bear Republic beer I didn't like. This one is no exception. Although I'm not sure I like it better than the Hod Rod Rye, the Racer 5, and the *amazing* Black Bear stout, it's quite a nice beer.

XP is a West Coast IPA without being as ridiculously hoppy as some of its peers; you can actually drink this one with food without it ruining your palate, unlike, say, Ruination IPA from Stone. That's not to slam Ruination, but it simply overpowers any food you're trying to have.

XP is well-balanced, refreshing, and highly drinkable. I quaffed the whole bottle before I knew it was gone.

watchnerd, Jul 14, 2008
Photo of Hophead101
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured out of a bomber bottle into wide mouth glass. pours a great frothy head - well over an inch thick. sticks around for quite a while as well - and has nice lacing once it dissipates. very crisp and clear and a good brownish orange color - good looking beer.

good hoppy nose - nothing too strong - actually expected more in the smell - but it was later at night - so maybe my senses are off.

taste is good. malty crispness is my first reaction. expected more hops in the flavor. but you notice more and more of the hops at the end - and as you drink more of it. a good malty base -

mouthfeel and drinkability are both quite nice. a well balanced taste in the mouth and something you could drink quite a good bit of.

worth the drink. bear republic never lets you down.

Hophead101, Jul 10, 2008
Photo of cjgator3
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle. Pours a golden amber color with an off-white head. The aroma is sweet malt and a good amount of citrusy hops. The taste is very similar to the aroma with sweet malt and citrusy hops. This beer definitely has more taste and aroma than your typical APA. Very nice flavor and highly drinkable, one of the better APAs out there. Overall, Bear Republic XP Pale Ale ranks among my favorite APA's that I have tried. Highly recommended!

cjgator3, Jul 09, 2008
Photo of BEERchitect
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm getting used to the notion that these guys make some pretty good beers. The XP pours a more-carbonated than usual look with an aggressive foamstand rising from the glass, but later falling to about a half inch. The hue is very light copper and quite clear until the last of the bottle is decanted, then comes a bit of murkiness from the bottle conditioning. Aromas of light malt, otherwise all hops- citrus and pine. A light estery, peppery note seeps in late. Flavors are light on the sweetness, leaving nothing unattenuated. Modest malt flavors persist and struggle to give balance to the hops. Again, the spicy notes and fruity esters begin to rise as the hop-bite disipates. Very light on the palate with a bold dryness from the hops and moderate alcohols. With a finish that expectedly lingers of hops. This beer is quite drinkable and nice throughout, but the light malt profile allows too much of a hop-bite, carbonic-bite, and a metalic note to settle in from time to time.

BEERchitect, Jul 07, 2008
Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange-ish/ yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, small grapefruity hops. In the taste, more of the smell of grapefruity hops. A small bite in a medium mouthfeel, with a semi-dry grapefruity hop aftertaste. Easy to drink, nice hop presence, and quite good.

OWSLEY069, Jul 05, 2008
Photo of theghost3
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The appearance of the XP is cloudy orange/copper with a thick, light beige head. The smell is of floral hops with citrus. The taste is bitter--lots of hops with grapfruit, woody. Somewhat bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is intense--acidic, crisp. This is a drinkable APA, but it may be too intense to pair with highly flavorable food.

theghost3, Jun 22, 2008
Photo of AltBock
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber bottle that has a dark blue label with "XP Pale Ale" in bold white letters. To the far right of the label is the US Government warning and the barcode. On the other side is a big paragraph that describes the name of the beer and what hops and malts were used in the brewing process. Just below that is the brewmaster notes, "Sonoma County Ales," the address of the brewery, and a small map that can used to locate the brewery. Bear Republic doesn't date their bottles and this one is no different.

Appearance: When poured into a Brooklyn Brewery Imperial pint glass, "XP" is a clear golden copper colored beer with a tall 1 1/2 to 2 inch head of fluffy white foam. This head of foam had excellent retention that left behind a 1/2 inch flim of white bubbles and quite a few white spots and streaks of sticky white lace around the glass.

Smell: The aroma to this Pale Ale is nice and light with lightly toasted English malts, juicy fruits, subtle caramel, roasted nuts, a hint of dried Cascade hops, a dash of black pepper, and then all of this ended with a splash of dried yeast. Sometimes the aroma to a Pale Ale can get a little boring, but not "XP." Very nice!

Taste: The taste of a Pale Ale can also get a little boring, but not "XP!" The taste was light, but it still packs a flavorful punch to the tastebuds. The taste starts off with toasted malts, but then it quickly goes dry and hoppy with dried gapefruit and plenty of dried crispy citrus hops. Toward the end of the beer's life, the hops completely take over the taste. They kick out what little malts were there in the beginning.

Mouthfeel: It was a light and flavorful Pale Ale that featured an aftertaste of toasted malts, a slice of grapefruit, and some dried citrus hops. This slightly hoppy aftertaste will linger on in your mouth for a few minutes.

Drinkability: If I could describe this beer in two words, I would have to use light and rfreshing. This is one of the better Pale Ales I've had lately. I could easily see this Bear Republic beer as a hot summer day session beer. If I was looking to buy a Pale Ale, I wouldn't hesitate to pick this one up again. If you couldn't tell already, this is another winner from Bear Republic.

AltBock, Jun 12, 2008
Photo of beerkittycat
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

beerkittycat, Jun 08, 2008
Photo of trackstar1043
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy golden orange with a massive 3 in head that left behind a sticky lace and was present till the last drink. Looks great.

S - Rich and sweet mix of floral, hops, a bit of vanilla sweetness, citrus, orange and apples maybe.

T - Bitter sweet, with a bouque of fruits, hops and earth flavors, has a wheat flavor also.

M - Med-bodied with good carbonation and lasting aftertaste.

D - Extremely easy to drink and a great APA.

trackstar1043, Jun 06, 2008
Photo of Spikester
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From a 22 ounce bottle.
Pours deep amber with a large off-white head and plentiful lacings.
Nice aroma of floral hops.
Taste is a bit under-whelming at first until you realize how perfectly balanced this brew is. A bit light on the hops compared to many APAs it was a refreshing change from the modern trend of "more hops". Part of the appeal for me is the lack of grapefruit hop character. BR adds Centennial hops which give this beer a leathery bitterness that I like a great deal. Mouthfeel is better than average.
Drinkability is right at the top of the class.
The malts are much better than average.
Will grab some more asap.

Spikester, May 31, 2008
XP Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 592 ratings.