XP Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
XP Pale AleXP Pale Ale

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very good

598 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 598
Reviews: 394
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 17
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
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Ratings: 598 | Reviews: 394 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of whartontallboy
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a slightly-cloudy yellow-orange with a thick white head of tiny bubbles that fades slowly and leaves massive sheets of lace. I don't know how it happens, but it seems like every Bear Republic brew leaves a gargantuan amount of lace. Just incredible.

Smell is hoppy with a grapefruit/lemon bitterness and a light toasted-grain malt aroma.

Flavor is not as over-the-top hoppy as some of the more muscular APA's, but there's a nice blend of pine and citric flavors, and the toasty malts more than hold their own against the hops. Not an overly-complex flavor that reinvents the wheel, but everything comes together quite nicely.

Overall: Man, I love the BR brews. They're a steal at $4 a pop for the bombers, and I haven't tried one yet I thought was less than "very good."

Photo of Chadbrew
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I liked this, but I was a little dissapointed too. It looks good in the glass, orangish with almost a finger of head, sticky lacing. The aroma was classic PNW hops, really citrusy just the way I like it. When it came down to tasting it I was surprised at how the hops didn't seem to live up to the aroma. I mean they're there all right but they just sort of blow by the big citrus flavor you'd expect from the aroma and go into a mildly harsh kind of "scorched" finish. Not a bad beer by any means but not as balanced and clean as I'd hoped, still had no problem killing the bomber.

Photo of Ego
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

$3.99 for a bomber @ decicco market, pelham NY

moderately cloudy orange to golden, minimal head (but the minimal of it does stick around), sticky and slow lacing caresses the sides like silk sheets on morning wood, for a PA this is standard looking for the most part.

peach and citrus just had a baby, call it orangeach or something corny. that is the initial blast here, I think that is what some are describing as biscuits or whatever, I get more of a apricot/peach thing mixed in with the citrus slant, this isnt super duper but is suprisingly pleasant like a candle in the bathroom of your friend's house, it isnt something you want to smell alll the time but it sure beats smelling rancid ass. hell, this almost smells like a clean bathroom in some wierd way... a good smell none the less, and not the run of the mill hop florals in many APAs...

taste etc...
I find it thin in the mouth, the candle flavor is there.. maybe that is what I sensed in the nose.. "wax" it almost has a waxy taste and smell, which is interesting, it isnt slick like some hop oils but really tastes like you jammed a crayola in your mouth, not that that is a bad thing, this isnt "biting" in the hop dept but you get more of a citrus overtone (not amarillo like say in gumballhead or other 3Fs brews).

tasty. if this was local I would probably have it often, although probably not in a bomber. it's definitely worth a try but not one to go nuts looking for.

Photo of poluti
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 22oz. bottle

It was crisp straw gold with tints of orange when held to direct light. It was extremely carbonated with a plethora of carbonation bubbles running up the length of the glass. It had a fantastic white head which did take a little more of the glass than I wanted. However the consistency of the head was fantastic and it took it awhile to diminish. The aroma was great. The cascades took center stage but there were other floral scents involved with little to no alcohol smell. My initial impression was the centennial hops kicking me with the bitterness. However, unlike some of Bear Republic's other beers, this one seemed tame. The aromatic hops seemed to fill the mouth through the nose. It was like very fragerant. The malt content was definitely there and helped to counteract the hops making it extremely well balanced. The mouthfeel gave a great sensation. It finished very clean and hoppy, yet coated the tongue nicely, not lingering too long. I found this beer very drinkable and I will have to go to BevMo to pick up some more bombers for my brewing buddy as well as myself.

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

Cloudy peach, tons of carbonation, and a mammoth dense creamy rocky foamy head. Gobs of stickage, stubborn lifespan. Smell is mildly citrus, nothing bad, but nothing special or distinctive. Smooth malts with a hop blend that doesn't overpower. Well balanced, medium bodied, very satisfying finish. One of the better pale ales that I've had. Drinkable and sessionable. I will be returning to this one.

Photo of pjwilson
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The last of the Bear Republic bombers to try, i've only seen this one at Bev Mo.

appearance:giant head about half the pint glass. Looks to be taking quite a while to come down. Lot's carbination in this one, perhaps more than seen before in a Pale Ale. Must be that bottle conditioning. The color is a nice light orange, and there is some good lace.

smell: has that resiny hop smell, nice hop oils like those found in Racer 5. Really darn nice, toned down a touch from the IPA, but quite similar.

taste: really nice malts coming through in this one. There is a great balance in this one, the beer isn't overly bitter or hoppy. and the malts aren't roasty either, sort of a nice interesting caramal, with a aftertaste of hops and bitterness. This one may smell like Racer 5, but the taste is entirely different. I want to say there is some chalkiness in the taste.

mouthfeel: very light on this one, almost watery but there is still some serious body.

drinkability: just a nice solid drinker this. Too bad it's not on draft around here. Will get more of this come summer. 5 for 5 bear Republic knocks 'em down.

Photo of johnniemarg
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Out of a 22 oz bottle.

Appears is golden, slightly amber, with some suspended particles. yellowish half inch head goes away quickly leaving a film on the top of the beer. A little bit of lacing.

Smells of roasted malt and sweet orange.

This is a pretty good pale ale. Smoothsweet roasted malt and some citrus flavor. Not as hoppy as some Pale Ales.

It's pretty light bodied, kinda oily mouthfeel.

Photo of akahn
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours into my acrylic tumbler a light pumpkin orange. Off-white head, slightly sticky, recedes into a ring and film quickly. Big chunks of yeast in suspension.

Nose is juicy hops and sweet maltiness.

Taste is delicious citrus hops and strong, sweet caramel malt backbone. At the final pour, yeast flows in, adding a woody "twang".

Body is on the lighter side of medium, carbonation is on the mild side as well, providing a rolling tickle.

Well-balanced, good beer. Reminds me of Berkshire Brewing Company Lost Sailor IPA, or what Samuel Adams Boston Ale wants to be. Personally, I'd like this beer a bit more hoppy and maybe with a bit more body, but I like it, and look forward to trying this brewery's other offerings.

Photo of Gavage
4.7/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: pours a clear golden yellow with a 3" thick fluffy white head. The head barely receded as it looked like whipped egg whites after some settling.

Smell: tremdous floral hops and oranges. You can pick up the aroma without having your nose in the glass.

Taste: this beer is dominated by the floral bitterness and slices of oranges, but the malt levels are strong enough to balance it out. There is a hint of biscuits in the background.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start and finish. The finish is slighty dry. The oranges and bitterness linger long on the tongue. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: simply put - superb. This is an all-day and all-night beer. With all the raves about some other BRBC beers, this one caught me of guard for how good it is. This is a great APA.

Photo of BrewMaster
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: 22 oz bottle with no freshness markings poured into a Duvel tulip glass. Clear copper-red with a billowing tan head. The head is huge. The liquid part of the beer is at the top of the 'u' in Duvel on the side of the glass and the head goes all the way to the edge of the glass. Excellent retention and skeleton of bubbles as the beer sits. Perfect lacing and foam left on the side of glass.

Smell: Lightly toasty malt with a floral hoppy nose. The hop nose is pronounced with earthy and sandy notes.

Taste and Mouthfeel: Bursting with malty flavor. Saltine crackers and biscuits. Lemon and straw flavors layered over a gritty hop bitterness. Some sprizy lime flavors and malty sweetness round out the beer. The feel is alternates between smooth and grainy and is quite refreshing with a cool and clean finish. The aftertaste is very malty and tastes like wheat bread.

Drinkability: I like the complex citrusy hop and malt flavor balance. Crisp and bold flavors throughout. Refreshing and great with pizza or on its own. Well done.

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours from a 22 oz'er with no freshness date. Huge airy thick headcap over a cloudy hazy coppery orange hues. Massive pour with plenty of yeasty floaters. Drippy thick lace left behind.

Fruity scents of tangerine are present. Big orange slices and orange juice.

First swigs: Total pale ale is evident. Just a totally easy hoppy tangerine. Soft flavors like a pale so calling it extra is sort of confusing.

A bit too foamy actually. This one takes 5 minutes for the cap to settle to taste it.

Last swigs: Overall enjoyable. A big bargain for $3.99. That's cheap!

Photo of Hibernator
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bear Republic XP Pale Ale
22 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a hazy orange color with a massive white head. A fluffy, puffy white head leads a trail of spotted sticky lacings.

Whiffs of chalk, citrus fruits and sweet malts.

Taste is so smooth and clean. Fruit punch flavors and sweet malts blend together with a mini hop snap finish.

This is a well crafted, fruity pale ale. Thank you Bear Republic.

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

A dark golden color with a thick head that stays put for quite awhile and leaves behind modest lacing. Aromas of malt, orange peel, and grapefruit seem to dominate. What I smell is a bit strong without proper blending of thearomas, hence a reduction in points. The taste is a blast of hops with a sweet malt finish that blends quickly into another brush of bitterness. A very flavorful and exciting beer. Some lingering bitterness in the aftertaste that does not distract from additional sips or prevent enjoyment of the beer. I could have a few of these easily.

Photo of ElGordo
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Was happy to see this on the shelf during a recent trip to DC, so I had to grab it. Pours a golden-amber hue with a big, creamy white head that laces nicely on the glass. Aroma of tangy floral hops, some pine and light citrus, and a touch of sweet malt. Palate is mostly bitter English hops, pine, lemon, and just a little bit of malt. Mouthfeel is overly fizzy, to the point of being annoying and obscuring the palate. Like others have said, this is a fairly understated offering from Bear Republic. Nevertheless, a decent brew.

Photo of DogFood11
2.75/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This is an exceptionally inviting Pale Ale. From the simple and effective bottle graphics that stand out in a crowd of beers, to the huge chunky head that retains forever. At this point my expectations are very high.

Smell quickly brought me back down to earth as it is very mellow and sweet malted, some faint cracker and more syrupy malt.

Really hard to describe this other than "mellow". Hops are trying to get out but just seem week. The carbonation is fizzy and foams up on the palate. A toasted presence that helps the cause. Watered clean finish.

Notes: ehhhh...certainly not my favorite offering from such an outstanding brewery. Think English Pale.

Photo of Quaffer
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle. Picked this up in Boulder, CO. Not available here in Wichita. The bottle states, "This golden colored ale is the Bear's interpretation of a classic American pale. English and American Malts are melded with Centennial and Cascade hops . . . "

Appearance: This beer was a bright, crystal-clear amber. The off-white head had hints of orange to it and rose up to a nice two fingers. It settled very slowly and became dense and rocky. As it sank, it left behind big chunks of itself on the side of the glass. As I drank, thick rings of foamy lace remained.

Smell: Classic pale ale aroma. Sweet and roasted malts (with cracker-like characteristics) mixed nicely with hops that were a combination of citrus and spicy herbs.

Mouthfeel: Light-to medium bodied. It was thick and slightly chewy in the front of the mouth, but it became a little watery on the back of the tongue.

Taste: Very mellow flavor. If it wasn't for the American hops, I would have put this in the English pale category. The malt upfront was lightly sweet but mainly it had a nice, roasted flavor to it. This was quickly joined by a crisp, clean hops bitterness that had a grapefruit nature to it. Light wood and vanilla were in the background. It had a clean, dry finish with only a light lingering of citrus hops and sweet malt.

A very nice brew. Does Bear Republic ever make a bad beer?

Photo of Bcant
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1pt 60z bottle into 500cl mug. Very nice gold color with red hue when shown to light. Very large rocky withe head that shrank but never diapeared.

Pretty stright foward hop boquet, mostly pine sap. But the taste is more sophisticated, whith good balnce of lemon-zest, pine, and a touch of caramel malts.

Soft on the toung and very palatable.

Photo of bditty187
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, amber-gold in hue with a bronzy highlight, the liquid, for some reason, looks dull. Maybe it needs some animation. White head, at the apex the foam was one-finger in height. The head retention was fair; it slowly faded to a thin cap. There was tons of subsequent webby lace; this is a very impressive sight. Overall, this beer looks more then respectable.

The nose only offered kisses of citrus and orangey fruit with hints of sweet candy, frail malt aromas with some caramel. Sadly, the nose doesn’t say much, I am very disappointed. I want a talkative beer; this Pale Ale lacks depth and potency. Ho-hum.

The palate is a bit muddled, earthy/cheese hops, some citrus and lots of fruity candy flavors. It is a sweet beer yet it doesn’t come across very malty. The straight bitterness is light, where is the bite? Is my bottle old? Is it not jiving with me? Is it just a so-so beer? All of the above methinks. The finish is fruity yet clean… damn this beer is very average. The fruitiness is yummy but I need some hops and more malt here. On the whole, the palate is okay… just okay. Once at room temperature the flavors are better with a rounder taste but it still lacks heart.

Medium in body, moderately low carbonation, the mouthfeel fits this beer well; it is relaxing without being lazy.

I haven’t said much too positive about this beer thus far, it is not a bad beer but it is not noteworthy either. I am willing to bet thought this would kick ass on cask. I purchased my bomber in Boulder, CO. I want to try this again. This is by far the least impressive beer I’ve tried from BR.

Photo of tgbljb
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a cloudy amber color with white head that could be controlled. Smell is a combination of malt and citrus with some hops present. Taste is of summer fruit with a delicate crispness. finish is slightly dry mixed with some malt. A nice beer on a hot summer day.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I am sampling a chilled bottle. Courtesy of watermelonman. Thanks!
Pouring into a pint glass the beer pours a bright clear copper with a fluffy off white head foaming up 3 cm. THe aroma is evident immediately with citrusy grapefruit rind and orange peel hops mixing with some lite floral notes as well. Sort of a marmelade overall presence. Quite sweet nose.
First sip reveals a lite crisp body with fairly mild carbonation.
The beer is very smooth and drinks super easy.
The flavor is much more mild than expected, but it is true to the style. A hit of caramel is quickly overtaken by some bitter hops. Again it is grapefruit rind and orange peel on teh finish. Leaving a light bitterness at the back of my throat. It is not overwhelming and doesnt coat my mouth, but the flavor does linger after each swallow.
A very easy drinking beer that is also fairly up front in flavor. A nice beer that I feel like I could drink quite a few of especially on a hot day outdoors.

Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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 cubedbee
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright red-hued golden color with a finger of off-white head and good retention. Aroma is of strong floral and citrus hops with a mellow maltiness coming through as well. Taste is mild but juicy citrus hops on top of a strong caramel malty. Very nice well-rounded APA---great hop flavor without the bitterness of an IPA. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a medium/low carbonation level. Overall, this is an absolute excellent APA---another great offering rom Bear Republic.

Photo of karst
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A classic pale ale. "XXP" (exceptional pale) has a golden color, and is very light bodied with a noticeable hop aroma and bittering element, IBU 55 that just teases the hopheads. This beer is brewed with American Two Row, English wheat, Belgian, and Dextrin malts. Just the right amounts of Cascade and Centennial hops and ABV 5.4%

A Head like a duval - 6 fingers for those with aractyldacty- off white marshmellow sized pillow of marangue. Long, long wait for it to fall even to 5 fingers. Aroma of floral centennials is most excellent. Medium mouthfeel and a tongue prickling quality that hits strong in the middle and fades as complex malts finish with a hint of coriander and orange zest in the aftertaste of cascade mild bitterness. Awesome head is lacing the inside of the bomber. Last pour is very much as heady as the first and a dusting of tiny dark brown fine saw dust is sprinkled in the foamy head, lace and settles to the bottom of the glass.

My bomber had two X (XXP) instead of the XP as shown for this brew. I checked the web site and saw nothing about anything but XP

Photo of JackStraw22
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
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.

XP Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 598 ratings.