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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

578 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 578
Reviews: 393
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 15
Gots: 12 | 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: 578 | Reviews: 393 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sulldaddy
sulldaddy

Connecticut

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
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
cubedbee

Maryland

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
karst

Missouri

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
JackStraw22

Virginia

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
HogHill

Massachusetts

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
FLAbeergutinMASS

Massachusetts

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
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
necoadam

Connecticut

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
RBorsato

Virginia

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
cracker

Pennsylvania

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
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
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
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
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
carln26

Missouri

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
Troyone

California

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
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
Skidz

Wisconsin

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
Zorro

California

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
GClarkage

California

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
Photo of meathookjones
meathookjones

Virginia

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

This came in a 22oz bomber bottle. This appeared a light orange with a tall white head that left chunks of lacing around the glass. Aroma was a lighter citric hoppiness with a supporting malty sweetness. The taste starts of with a bit of malt sweetness before easing into the citric hoppiness. Very pleasant clean and crisp taste here that is what I like from a Pale Ale. Finish went down smooth with a slight bitter citric bite to it. Body is about medium with a good carbonated feel to it. I will most definitely have this again, very laid back flavorful beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2004 13:36:31 | More by meathookjones
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

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

This one was a bit of a gusher: the cap came off with a fervent "shhhpp!", and the foam started spilling out of the neck! I had to cover it with my lips, of course, to lap it up, and spoiled the surprise of the taste. I'll just pretend that never happened and carry on...
Appearance: big carbonation, hazy, pale orange hue, enormous head, as poured into a Belgian-style tulip glass, with delicate lace, an attractive thing, beckoning the nose to investigate further delights...
Aroma: rather light, but flush with sweetness, and citric, tropical fruit, typical pale ale esters, some bitterness, a true hop cornucopia.
Taste: mild, and fruity, sweet, and hoppy, a perfect profile for an EPA, even from the West Coast. Mmmm, I peeked at the label, and see Centenniel and Cascades were put to use here...two of my favorites!
Very smooth, yet full flavored, and unremittently tasty...medium bodied, long, fruity finish, non-stop taste, and excellent ease of drinkability...what's not to like, here?
Glad it's a bomber, for I've lost enough to the carbonation, and want to enjoy every last drop!

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2004 09:35:10 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

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

Pours a pretty copper color, that is lightly hazy. It has a large fluffy off-white head. It is well carbonated with a solid stream of bubbles coming up from the center of my Duvel glass. The aroma is quite enticing with solid aromatics of American hoppiness, I get notes of grapefruit and tangerine. The beer is quite dry tasting, which pairs interestingly with the dominant citrus character of this beer. This finishes with a solid bitterness. Because this beer is so light on the palate the hop bitterness actually seems higher than many IPAs. Tasty, and refreshing, but could actually use some more malt focus to keep this more in balance.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2004 19:00:30 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

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

Burnished dusky orange filled with loads of tiny particles and a few wispy flakes that resemble citrus pith. The head is a thing of beauty. It's rich ivory in color, creamyfirm in consistency, displays dozens of tiny, pearl-like bubbles on its increasingly craggy surface and leaves an impressive amount of chunky lace when it eventually deflates.

Lucious, hoppy nose of sweetened citrus zest. More orange than grapefruit, but bursting with the essence of each. Since there's very little intrusion from the malt (thanks for using only the paler varieties Bear Republic), this is a nose that can be enjoyed in all of its hoppy glory.

XP is a delicious pale ale. There's no doubt that it's an APA and not an IPA--as some APAs aspire to be--because of the light-medium body and the impressive amount of hop flavor that isn't accompanied by a huge amount of hop bitterness. In that respect, it reminds me quite a bit of Three Floyds Gumballhead. Both are hoppy as hell, lack a tongue ruffling amount of bitterness and are relatively light in the mouth.

The flavor profile consists of sweet, juicy orange and white grapefruit (Cascade and Centennial) with a delightfully tart, bitter zing. I may like Gumballhead's tropical fruitiness (Amarillo) a bit more, but they're both outstanding beer. It's hard to imagine how drinkability could be improved.

I haven't yet commented on the malt because its flavor contribution is minimal. It clearly provides yeoman-like support though. I wish more brewers would stick with pale malt in their APAs and IPAs. What the hell do they think the 'P' stands for anyway?

Bear Republic is one of those breweries that gets it. They know what works and they deliver, time and time again. XP Pale Ale is great beer and should be an object lesson for those brewers who need something to shoot for. Simply put, XP is one of my new favorites.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2004 22:45:30 | More by BuckeyeNation
XP Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 578 ratings.