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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.
very good

583 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 583
Reviews: 393
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 16
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
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Ratings: 583 | Reviews: 393 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ElGuapo

New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev +6%

A crystal clear golden colored brew topped with a small white head that will linger for just a bit. The aroma is loaded with hops. It is bitter with some nice floral and citrus notes.

The body is on the lighter side of medium, but there is plenty for the style. There is a lot more sweet malt flavor than the aroma would lead you to believe, and the hops are noticably toned down from the nose. They do still give it a great kick. It is very crisp, and the drinkability is exceptional. This is a great session beer.

02-17-2004 21:49:07 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of CBFanWish

New York

4.33/5  rDev +12.5%

A great beer for any beginner. This ale ha a nice amber colour with a mon=derate head and little lace. The smell was very fruity. Hoppy as well. The taste is lemony with a slight hoppy bitterness.
This was a really good ale. The lemon taste makes it a great beer for those warm days. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

02-09-2004 20:46:47 | More by CBFanWish
Photo of GreatPondBrewer


3.95/5  rDev +2.6%

22 oz. bomber. Another clear golden pour for Bear Republic. White head, but not much retention and no lace really. Tons of floral rose petal notes through out the beer and not too much in the way of malt counter balance in the smell. Taste was very classis pale ale. Not overly hopped like I expected for a west coaster. Very traditional with notes of a bitter almost coppery malt flavor and the obligatory biscuit/cracker flavors to balance it out. There was also a bitter orange rind undertone to the taste, which made it unique. Very traditional for the west and nothing that jumps out at you. Solid brew and good to introduce people looking to expand their tastes.

01-19-2004 02:12:37 | More by GreatPondBrewer
Photo of HiroProtagonist


4.18/5  rDev +8.6%

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a Duvel, with tulip. Color was a bright pale copper. A substantial rough head formed, leaving behind good sticky lacing. The smell was fresh and alive with hoppy goodness, with sweet citrus and floral notes that lept from the glass into my nose. Taste was very balanced and lively, with an assertive level of bitterness, and an appropriate malt backbone backing it up. The beer had a good crisp and somewhat tart and zingy finish, with bitter and aromatic hop characteristics that lingered for only several seconds after the taste. The mouthfeel was full and right for a pale, and it was quite drinkable and refreshing.

01-12-2004 04:15:02 | More by HiroProtagonist
Photo of BeerResearcher


4.2/5  rDev +9.1%

Pours a shiny amber with a smallish pure white head and some webby lace. The aroma is an equal blend of sweet doughy malt and hops, with just a touch of cut hay. The malt is lightly sweet, with a biscuity quality and a bit of butterscotch, and just a hint of tarragon. The hop bitterness has some citrus zestiness and a mild metallic bite. The flavors blend and balance as it warms, making it smooth, fluid and highly gulpable

01-05-2004 03:28:53 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of OatmattStout


4.2/5  rDev +9.1%

As with all BR brews I have tried this Xp pale ale had a really nice pillowy head with great lacing. And status quo is the great smell of fresh agressive hopping that had some nice citrus notes. There were also nice bready malt notes.

First thing I notice in this beer's taste was the diacetyl buttery notes. They were mixed in with doughy malt and grains. It had a good all around pale ale balance of hop and malt. Hops were juicy but subdued in this one compared to Racer 5 and Rocket red but still flavorful with a nice drying and sharp quality.

12-26-2003 18:37:03 | More by OatmattStout
Photo of Weissenheimer

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -3.9%

My pint is pale with a slightly orange tint, and has a crystalline appearance even though it is ever-so-slightly hazy. It arrives with a promisingly huge and cloudy head. The foam is so fine, and so close to white, that it reminds me of whipped cream. It pillows beautifully, subsiding in areas so that it resembles a landscape of meandering river valleys. The scent is hoppy, crisp, bright, fresh, and floral.

I take a swig and like what I find. This beer is hearty! It has a woody, crisply bitter zip. It begins with a carbonated woodiness, then quickly shifts into a fizzy, round bitterness. Not all that much happens after this second stage, but I do detect a more metallic, back-of-the-tongue bitterness in the finish.

The antics of the head are one of the most engaging thing about this beer. As I drink, it leaves a cute little mound in the middle of the pint with a thin film surrounding it. The lacing is entertaining as well; all sorts of spots, streaks, stalactites, and splatters adorn my glass.

This beer is very nice and hearty, but the finish is weak; if it had more staying power and more oomph at the end, it would truly stand out. As it is, though, I don't think it's on par with the other Bear Republic beers I've had.

12-22-2003 20:40:30 | More by Weissenheimer
Photo of Jason


3.73/5  rDev -3.1%

22 oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

Appearance: Mildly hazy weathered copper colour, a thin head but the lacing is superb.

Smell: Nutty powdery yeast, sharp citric note and some biscuity grain.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Lots of dough malt, biscuity grain and nutty yeast. Hops are a bit lively with a stern bitterness and semi-soft citric flavour. Mild fruitiness with a faint alcohol in the back. Lots of hop flavour in the finish, a heavy hand of citrus rind.

Notes: A bit more than you typical West Coast pale ale, nice layers of citric hop with a sturdy malt backing.

10-31-2003 03:05:48 | More by Jason
Photo of rabidawg


4.43/5  rDev +15.1%

Appearance: Copper body with floating particulate matter. Apparently unfiltered. Sudsy white head that settled slowly to a thin cap, leaving sheets of clinging lace.

Smell: Citrusy hops dominate. Smells very Cascade. Small, sweet malt backdrop. Slight yeastiness.

Taste: Very, very clean. Delicate malt body is surprisingly not trounced by the hops. Hops are more noble than bitter, but leave a piney bite in the mouth after the swallow. Creamy mouth and exceedingly drinkable. This was an excellent break from the heavier beers I've had of late. Highly recommended.

10-28-2003 03:02:00 | More by rabidawg
Photo of goz


4.2/5  rDev +9.1%

Pours amber, with a healthy sized creamy white head, somewhat lasting, lazing very nicely. Aroma is of grapefruit and some other citrus, with some bready maltiness in there as well. Flavor starts with a good chewy, bready maltiness, ends with a medium level of hop bitterness. Medium bodied, fairly dry, somewhat acidic, extremely drinkable.

10-26-2003 20:51:59 | More by goz
Photo of LiamStLiam

New York

4/5  rDev +3.9%

Just a good beer right across the board.

This was the fifth of the five Bear Republics available on the North Shore of Massachusetts.

Since hoppy is good, this beer is good, Pours nicely with a thin, whitish head. I would call it a pale amber. Smells great and sits nicely on the tongue.

Not the best of the five, but at this point I would order anything I saw from Bear Republic.

Going back for another Black Bear Stout soon.

10-06-2003 04:18:23 | More by LiamStLiam
Photo of clvand0


2.5/5  rDev -35.1%

Had this from a 22oz bottle. Pours a light amber color with a thin head that dies off quickly. The aroma is a little grassy, but all hops. Not much else - just hops. The flavor was very hoppy as well with some light malts as well. The finish is dry and bitter, but leaves me wishing that there was something more to this one. I was unimpressed overall.

10-03-2003 19:03:23 | More by clvand0
Photo of far333


3.7/5  rDev -3.9%

Light honey color with an off-white head that rises up quickly, and then descends back down again. Leaves a sheet of film around the inside of the glass. Smell is sweet malt, butterscotch, and honey. Flavor is chewy, biscuity, a little malt, no hops. Some brown sugar, fruit and florals, and a bit of citrus in the finish. Not a big flavor, but very good. Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Extremely drinkable. Am I missing something? The other reviews really focus on hops, but I'm not getting that.

09-24-2003 23:53:43 | More by far333
Photo of StevieW


4.8/5  rDev +24.7%

22 oz bomber bottle. One of six brought back from the Sonama Valley of California by request.
Beautiful orange-amber color. Huge rocky off-white head. Uneven lumpy head. Nice look in the glass.
Aroma is super hop charged from the moment the cap is popped. Fresh whole Cascade hop presence. Citrus and floral notes. Smell matches a pine tree split open by a lightning strike. First taste is a full bodied assualt by the Cascade hop presence. Citrus, grapefruit, and extra juicy. Pine tree taste subtly comes through. Fresh bitter snap, unbelieavably refreshing. Sticky and resiny on the tongue. More hops than you know what do with, but that's fine with me in this case. Although the hop charging come through on a nice bready biscuit malt flavor. It's overshadowed by the hops, but it's there. Finish is bitter, and cleansing to the palate. Begs to be guzzled. Flavors never waver, very impressive. Doesn't compare to the other beers listed with it. Without knowing I would list this one as an IPA.

08-07-2003 02:02:40 | More by StevieW
Photo of aaronh


4.58/5  rDev +19%

Deep orange amber color, topped by a seemingly everlasting cream colored head. 22 ounces of liquid gold. The aroma is sweet honey tinged malt aromas with the smell of citrus from thte hops. Almost reminiscent of an orange-marmalade. Truly divine. The taste is very hoppy up front, but allows a bit of biscuity malt to shine through mid taste. Then a nice blast of hops finish it off. The Centennial hops temper the citrus qulaities of the Cascades a bit, and allow some earthy and grassy notes to appear. Malt is there, but the hops are most prevalent. As the beer warms, the balance becomes a bit better. Mouthfeel is solid, thinning out just a bit early on the way down, but not watery by any stretch of the imagination. And the drinkability is very good. A nice blend of malt and hops, with the Cascades being (thankfully) tempered a bit. The increased malty sweetness shown at warmer temps makes this just about perfect for me, and it is overall a great beer.

07-03-2003 16:57:13 | More by aaronh
Photo of beerguy101


3.68/5  rDev -4.4%

Orange gold color, large head. Aroma is hoppy, floral and citrusy. A medium bodied pale ale. Malts and hops are mild tasting. Flavors are bright and expressive, a nice mild malty pale ale. Malts are subdued and slightly sweet, fruity character emerges as the beer warms. There is a touch of apricots, pineapple and raisins?. Hops are pronounced, without being bitter. Nice tasting beer. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and crisp. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Very drinkable Pale Ale. Yet another winner from Bear Republic.

06-26-2003 17:19:42 | More by beerguy101
Photo of brewdlyhooked13


4.53/5  rDev +17.7%

This pours out orange and cloudy. Once it settles in, you get the vertical rows of tiny bubbles. Cool. Dimply head is rather thin, but it does produce big swoops of lace when you're done. Very cool.

Aroma - intense, citrus and floral, portends of bitter things to come. Or so I thought...

Taste - all fruity and floral up front, pretty sweet as IPA's go, mostly oranges though. Busy carbonation in the mouth, a solid Centennial and Cascade presence. But where's the bite? You'll need to be patient and dial down the expectation. After the swallow, more of a lemony feel than orange, there's the bite. Not near as sharp as I thought, that's happened to me 2 or 3 times over the last 10 IPA's. Just goes to prove, what you sniff doesn't always reveal what you get!

The last part of the bottle pours in the sediment, both softening the mouthfeel and increasing the hop bite. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth at the outset, even more velvety once the dregs are added.

Outstanding session beer! 8 months ago, I may not have liked this beer, but I have grown so fond of some of these sweeter IPA's, they are quickly climbing my short list of favorites.

06-20-2003 18:43:09 | More by brewdlyhooked13
Photo of Brent


4.85/5  rDev +26%

What a cool beer! I don't think that has been the thought that pops into my head very often on sampling a new beer, but that is exactly the impression this beer had on me. Poured a hazy copper. Aroma was a distinct bright citrus, tangerine comes to mind, with hints of lemon and orange. The citrus continues as the first impression, very light and clean. Polishing off the bomber, the citric character fades somewhat and a more traditional hops bitterness emerges, but well balanced as a little more malt strides along, arm-in-arm. According to the bottle, both Centennial and Cascade hops are used - a magical combination in this beer. Off the scale in drinkability - the stuff is evaporating out of my glass. "Summer in a bottle."

06-11-2003 16:56:34 | More by Brent
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.33/5  rDev +12.5%

A hazy amber body with golden highlights is capped by a short and frothy white head that holds quite well and leaves thick rings of lace with each sip. Citrusy (more orange and lemon than grapefruit) and gently piney hops are immediately noticeable in the nose, but they're restrained enough that you'll want to give it a few more sniffs to really see what's going on. The Centennials appear to dominate the Cascade, but maybe that's just my impression. The body is medium/light and nimble across the tongue. The very fine-bubbled carbonation is somewhat restrained, leaving it ever-so-smooth in the mouth. And although this is an American IPA, the body and carbonation have more in common with the British style. IMHO, this adds greatly to it's drinkability; and I see this as an excellent session beer! The flavor delivers all of the hop flavor the the nose promises, nicely wrapped and delivered in a delicately caramel-tinged malt wrapper - exceptionally well balanced! And although it's not a complex beer, the hop flavor is varied enough that it remains interesting throughout the pint. It finishes with a crashing wave of flavor that receeds but leaves tiny swirling whirlpools of hop flavor on a smooth and dense sandy shore of bitterness. Very nice! Exceptionally well done and worth seeking out!

05-21-2003 12:55:31 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of Darkale


4.22/5  rDev +9.6%

I am becoming awfully fond of the folks at Bear Republic.

Their XP Ale is a light copper-orange in color, with an aroma that mixes malt with citrus (but which could have been stronger). Head is moderate, does not last long, with slight lacing.

Nice hops bite to the taste. Slightly bitter, with an edge of fruit. Some hops raspiness upon swallowing; this is a brisk and refreshing beer. Mouthfeel is round and clean, just shy of creamy, and I was reminded of oranges as I swirled it around in my mouth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

I could drink this all night long, and would have, if I'd had the brains to buy more than one bomber. A fresh and very pleasant beer, with just enough hops and bitterness to keep one's mouth from becoming complacent.

04-21-2003 18:22:21 | More by Darkale
Photo of BigHead


4.33/5  rDev +12.5%

A golden amber ale with a light head that laced nicely on the glass as I enjoyed the beer. The hoppy aroma from this beer is not overpowering but it does let you know that there are definitely some hops in this brew. I found the beer to be nicely hopped beer, well balanced with the floral attributes of the hops being evident. I detected a tid bit of sweetness, I think I would place it as caramel-esk. I found that I was finishing this one quickly and not left with such bitterness that the back of my lips touched my butthole. Very drinkable pale ale.

04-08-2003 21:16:46 | More by BigHead
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


4.45/5  rDev +15.6%

I always enjoy Bear Republic beers, so it was a great surprise to see the XP (Exceptional Pale Ale) on sale recently in a newly visited beer store. I have not had this beer before, so I immediately put one in my Beer Trolley.
A 1 Pint 6 fl.oz Bottle, with a dark blue label plastered with a huge XP in white on it, with the words Pale Ale underneath.
Cracking the crown cap off instantly vaporized moisture to reveal a dense white gun smoke that drifted out of the bottle neck with a look I had seen many times whilst visiting Power Stations, for it resembled an active cooling tower. Quite strange to see gunsmoke last that long.
The beer pours a very deep orange-golden color, totally clear with a huge slightly off-white head. The head is so amazing, a deep, crusty mass that leaves an incredible lace on the glass. Indeed, the head subsides only at the edges, as it does, it forms a huge crustaceous “south sea island” head that is 2 or 3 times the depth of the rest of the surrounding head. It floats like a lump of ice cream in a fizzy Soda.
Aromas are unmistakable – Hops! Not overpowering though, or even too intense, but a balanced hop aroma with serious control. The Hops have a very refreshing oily character, mixed with freshly cut grass odors from a mild August morning in England, pine needles and freshly squeezed lemons also pervade the nose. The restraint here is impressive and remarkable, it is not so much what this beer does that makes it good, but what it does not do. This is a controlled beer - to exhibit control in a West Coast beer, is a sign of class in my book. Sure, if you want a stronger more aggressive hoppy beer, then BR make one, but this is a Pale Ale after ale, and bloody damn fine one at that. The finish has a lovely hoppy bitterness, you know you have drunk this beer for sometime afterwards.

I hate to admit this as I live here, but I am impartial, although I may be seen as otherwise. But most of my favourite beers and breweries are based here in Sunny California. Bear Republic may be in the shadows of Stone when it comes to exposure - but their beers are not, they are up there with the best of them and XP Pale Ale is no exception either. $2.99 for a 22 fl.oz Bottle, are you kidding, I will seriously consider picking up a Crate next time.

Another Cracker from Bear Republic.
Superb and Highly Recommended Dudes!

The X in XPA stand for Exceptional apparently,
....maybe they should call this beer FXPA ?!!!

02-08-2003 19:14:47 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of mzwolinski


3.95/5  rDev +2.6%

Light copper in color with a slight chill haze. Finger-thick head which lasts the whole way down leaving a nice lace. Aroma is hoppy and citric, slightly grassy. Flavor too is quite hoppy throughout, with pine and acidic fruity notes present, though not quite as dominating as in their IPA. Caramel malt body asserts itself more as beer warms, and the beer finishes on a rather leafy hop note. Medium bodied, and quite drinkable.

01-17-2003 17:23:34 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of Gusler


4.1/5  rDev +6.5%

The first beer I’ve had from this most excellent brewery, another favorite to add to my master list of “Great” breweries.
Glimmering deep amber color on the pour, the head posh in its presence and the resulting lace fine sheets to cover the glass. Hop floral tones up front and the crisp lightly sweet tones add much to the nose. Begins sweet, the top is skimpy in its mouth feel, with the finish delightful in its hop spicy bite and the carbonation perfectly matched, also the somewhat bitter and dry aftertaste makes it quite refreshing, quite the quaffable brew, and a new favorite.

12-21-2002 10:48:46 | More by Gusler
Photo of mickeymac


4.43/5  rDev +15.1%

This is slightly darker than most Extra Pale Ales. The smell is floral hops and a bit of malty sweetness. Although I'm not a big fan of x-pale ales, this one is terrific. It tastes a bit like a lighter version of Alesmith's IPA, which is one of the best beers around in my opinion. It's also better than Alesmith's XP. This would be a good one to introduce novice drinkers to the wonderful world of craft brews. Hurrah for Bear Republic.

10-28-2002 19:50:51 | More by mickeymac
XP Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 583 ratings.