1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

XP Pale Ale - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
XP Pale AleXP Pale Ale

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

582 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 582
Reviews: 393
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 15
Gots: 13 | 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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of XP Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 582 | Reviews: 393 | Display Reviews Only:
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?

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2005 23:23:10 | More by Quaffer
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2005 03:04:02 | More by Bcant
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.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2005 17:01:34 | More by bditty187
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2005 23:39:05 | More by tgbljb
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-10-2005 01:19:34 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2005 03:02:07 | More by oberon
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2005 20:47:56 | More by cubedbee
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

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2005 15:21:35 | More by karst
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2005 00:29:27 | More by JackStraw22
Photo of HogHill


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

Purchased as a bomber from Colonial in Acton, MA for $4.55. This pale ale poured a golden amber with a 2 finger head of off white froth.

The smell is floral hops, some citrus scents, and sweetness from the malt.

XP tastes much like an IPA, but is basically a toned down west coast IPA or more of an American IPA in my opinion. There is a nice jucy hop flavor along with a touch of caramel from the malt.

Mouthfeel is pleasing to the palate, a medium bodied brew with an average amount of carbonation.

Drinkabiltiy is good for this, it's not so hoppy that it destroys your taste buds. It went very well w/ grilled salmon steaks on a hot summer night in June. I'd look for this on tap.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2005 00:55:00 | More by HogHill
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS


3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomer.

A very hop-riddled EPA, this would be an IPA if it were and east coast beer. Nice color, very little head, almost no retention. Hops have very loose characteristics, burnt aftertaste, quite bitter too.

I love EPA's, but this one I am not on board for. Lacking an identity, and IMO mislabeled. A good beer but not what I was expecting.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2005 01:28:59 | More by FLAbeergutinMASS
Photo of ommegangpbr

New York

4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A pretty, good smelly beer. Definately a good choice whenst trying several beers at a sitting. Easily a great choice over macro swill even, perhaps especially when you are in the mood for macro swill.
Not aggressive, easy to drink, smooth, pretty tasty...
Better than "nice".

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2005 03:00:44 | More by ommegangpbr
Photo of necoadam


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

Poured out a golden orange color with a big foamy head which leaves a nice lacing around the glass when done. Smell consisted of citrus and piney hops along with some grain and light sweetness. Taste was good. Started out with some light malts and grainy flavors which then gave away to citrus hops. Some tropical fruit can be tasted as it was underlying the hops. Mouthfeel was medium light with a good check on carbonation. Overall another solid beer from Bear Republic.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2005 19:20:17 | More by necoadam
Photo of RBorsato


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

Hazy golden with a full pillowy light tan head and very active carbonation which leaves clumpy lace rings. Decent citrusy grapefruit hop aroma at first is fresh but turns a bit bitter quickly. Flaovrs lean to the bitter side but certainly not unbalanced; just a touch of butter. Light-medium bodied and a bit airy for the style with a dry bitter finish.

Pretty standard West Coast Pale Ale here .. nothing "exceptional" really...

Per label: Since 1995. XP = Exceptional Pale Ale.

Per BR website: American Two Row, English wheat, Belgian, and Dextrin malts. Cascade and Centennial hops. OG 1.052, ABV 5.4%, IBU 55.

($3.99 / 22 oz.)

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2005 16:40:15 | More by RBorsato
Photo of cracker


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

Pours a golden orange with little to no head. Somewhat darker than I expected for a pale ale. Had some floaties in the glass (yeast sediment was disturbed I think). Aroma is of sweet malts with apricots and citrusy grapefruit nose. Tastes bring out the citrus hops with a twist of lemon. Tangy mouthfeel. Crystal malts seem to balance this one out pretty well. Very drinkable and a quality session american pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2005 22:05:48 | More by cracker
Photo of donnebaby

North Carolina

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

Love this light pale ale. Golden body and nice fat head greet, with a light to medium hop nose, potent despite its levity.

Taste feels like a light pale ale, medium hop character minus alot of body. Sweet grain flavor extinguishes in a soft carbonation poof. Watery but not in a negative way. Great session brew.

Serving type: on-tap

04-26-2005 21:31:20 | More by donnebaby
Photo of beveragecaptain

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber. This beer pours out a pale copper color with a huge white head. The aroma is sweet, like honey, with fruit and hops. Biscuit malt flavor, just a touch of fruit, and hops to balance. I probably would have classified this as an English style pale ale. This beer has great balance, is very crisp and drinkable. This is the most subdued beer I've had from Bear Republic, but the balance and drinkability make this a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2005 18:40:55 | More by beveragecaptain
Photo of canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

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

Pale mid gold with a big white head, this beer smells and tastes like an English interpretation of an American pale ale. The hops seemed flowery not citrus based. This has lots of mid body and a great balance. A dry finish that also sticks around make this a great session beer. Another great offering from a brewer that I am coming to love.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2005 15:38:26 | More by canucklehead
Photo of Dantes

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Package: 1 pint, 6 oz. (22oz.) crowned, brown bomber. Uncharacteristically restrained blue label with large white letters spelling out “XP Pale Ale.” Detailed blurb explains the name as standing for “Exceptional Pale Ale” (I think there’s a redundancy in there somewhere. Shouldn’t it be X Pale Ale?); and the beer as being “Bear’s interpretation of a classic American pale,” with “English and American malts melded with Centennial and Cascade hops. No date or ABV information.

Cost: $3.49 at Finger Lakes Beverage

Presentation: 20oz. imperial pint at ~50º

Appearance: Vigorous pop and copious gunsmoke greeted me as I opened this bottle. The beer poured a snowy white, voluminous head reminiscent of some French and Belgians. The body was a bit on the pale side (even for a pale), lacking some of the burnished depth of some of the English pales and some recent American Pales I’ve had. Crystal clear, it had lots of fine carbonation percolating through, replenishing the Île Flotant-like head, which just sank as I drained the glass without much lacing.

Smell: Crisp and tangy with a wisp of biscuit. The hops lean to the grassy, pine-resin side rather than the citrus (hooray!). The malts are (as expected) a bit subdued. Still, I really enjoyed the very refreshing aroma.

Taste: The first impression is of crisply herbal hops and a very fine prickle of carbonation. Unfortunately, the expected wave of biscuity malts arrives with a whimper. They seem quite diluted and insubstantial, giving the overall flavor a brittle quality. The flavor that’s there is quite good, but it lacks concentration. I can sense the balance in the beer, but the extraction might be improved. 5.5% ABV is no lightweight, but this seems to drink like one. The finish is clean and dry but mild and weak.

Mouthfeel: This area is the beer’s weakest. I’ve been drinking a bunch of pale ales lately (they seem to be making a comeback), and this one is amongst the wateriest. The great flavors are vitiated by a lack of body, making the beer thin. I guess it’s a tribute to Bear Republic that despite the weak body, the hops aren’t sharp and overly acidic but balance nicely with the pleasant if anemic malts. The carbonation is well-done though.

Drinkability: Very drinkable if not overwhelmingly satisfying. The ABV is well-hidden, as expected in a pale ale. Still, I expected a great drinking experience, not a fair one.

Backwash: Perhaps I had unsustainable expectations after having Hop Rod Rye, Racer 5, and Big Bear Black Stout; but this was a bit disappointing. The flavors and balance were there, but the beer had a very washed-out, diluted flavor to it. Normally I’d guess my palate was burnt-out from too many high-octane beers, but I had these by themselves with just popcorn; and I’ve had several other pales lately that just seemed to do the job better (Royal Oak, Ithaca, and Alpha King come to mind).

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2005 20:03:36 | More by Dantes
Photo of carln26


4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright Copper color, very clear with a nice sized white head. Good carbonation is exhibited by the champagne bubbles rising to the top of the glass. The aroma has bread dough up front followed immediately by a citrus/grapefruit zest. It’s all brought together with a nice caramel/toffee. The flavor has the same bright citrus character I detected in the nose. It really freshens the flavor of the ale. The toffee and caramel is there form the malt too with a pear taste on the finish. Smooth, rich mouth feel. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2005 00:00:12 | More by carln26
Photo of Troyone


4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An apple juice and ginger ale color, lots of head with lacing, and lots of carb action. Bit into the fantastic head.

A light cookie caramel malt smell with pine lime hops and hints of vanilla.

A light sweet and bitter taste with cookie caramel malt; pine and lime hops; and flavors of ginger, light licorice, and cola.

A light body, dry slightly syrupy texture, soft and lively carbonation, and a slight metallic finish.

The untimate true session beer for a beer drinker.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2005 02:02:39 | More by Troyone
Photo of rastaman

United Kingdom (England)

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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2005 14:43:17 | More by rastaman
Photo of Skidz


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

Pours out a bright pale gold and sits a gleaming golden amber in the glass with a good sized, creamy off-white head. Fades to a light skim, but paints the glass white with a thick layer of lacings.

Smells vibrantly of citrus, ranging from oranges and grapefruit to a tangy lime. Dried apricots, nectarines and fresh plums add to the sweet, malty core. Overall, just intensely fruity with waxy hop aromas begging you to dive in.

Tastes initially fruity, though fairly mild, hints of oranges appear. An intense rush of bittering hop flavors strike down, leaving flavors of spruce and maple sap. Flavors of grapefruit rind scour the tongue, but fade out to a mellow malty sweetness that is complete with gooey dabs of caramel. Finish is well bittered and hangs on to those fruity flavors quite well.

Crisp and refreshing in the mouth, about a medium body. Makes for easy enjoyment.

Fanstasitc APA. Bombers dissapear like half pints, still thirsty for more. A very good tribute to Centennials and Cascades.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2005 20:47:52 | More by Skidz
Photo of Zorro


4.65/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Clear Orange colored beer with a bit of white head.

Smell is sweet and hoppy with a clear malt and grapefruit aroma. No off or weird or hard to place smells in this at all, a very clean smelling beer.

Taste is mild and malty up front on first taste. Mild bit of smokiness and woodiness is experienced next after your tongue adjusts to the mild sweetness and the hop bitterness asserts itself. The more bitter and sour notes of the hops come out if you search for the flavors, mostly grapefruit. This is one mellow easy to drink ale!

Mouthfeel is full yet still refreshing.

Drinkability is superb! This is one tasty mild ale that you can drink anytime. Not harsh in the slightest and in my opinion superior to SNPA.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2005 03:23:41 | More by Zorro
Photo of GClarkage


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

01/16/05- Purchased at Beverages and More in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 22 oz bomber with no date. Poured into a standard 20 oz pint glass.

Appearance- A golden orange, somewhat cloudy pour. Nice foamy white head with light lacing.

Smell- Malts and hops abound. Floral and fruity hops and lightly carmelized malts.

Taste- Am I drinking SNPA? This tastes like SNPA consumed from a different bottle. Very similar IMO. Maybe a bit more malt as SNPA has a bit more hops. A nice balanced beer.

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation, maybe a tad creamy.

Drinkability- Another great possible session beer. It's a bit hard to come by unless you get it at the brewery though. Very tasty!

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2005 16:56:00 | More by GClarkage
XP Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 582 ratings.