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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

592 Ratings
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
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Ratings: 592 | Reviews: 394 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WesWes
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark golden color with a thick frothy white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice pale malt scent, but it mostly boasts of intensely citrousy hops that refresh as they hit the nose. The taste is good. It has quite a bitter flavor which is dominated by citrous hops again along with a complex malty core. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn good pale ale. It has a malty character as well as an intense hop spectrum; a good drinker.

WesWes, May 25, 2004
Photo of Billolick
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bomber bottle, this one seemed just a little off to me, maybe I got an old bottle or something. Faint hop aroma. Not what I was expecting in terms of malt, pacific NW jolt of hops. Still a decent P.A. I'll have to try it again to see if there was something missing here.

Billolick, May 05, 2004
Photo of david23
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque light copper color with a nice head that settles quickly but leaves nice lacing. Smell is somewhat subdued but hops are in abundance with a nice citrus note. Carbonation is right on for this style and very refreshing on the palate. Dominated by hops but a citrus note makes its way through making this an very enjoyable Pale.All in all, I'm sure i'll be having more of this.

david23, Apr 30, 2004
Photo of twilight
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had five Bear Republic Ales and none has failed to impress. This one, of the ones I've had, has been my least favorite, but it's still pretty amazing. The pour is a pale light copper that just seems a bit too light. The aroma, a faint floral hop profile that just begs to add a little more hops to become fuller. Nevertheless, it still smells really good, just a bit faint. The taste is one of subtle hops with a slight malt profile and a not-too-bitter aftertaste that sort of lingers. The carbonation is high, but just seems appropriate, as it seems like a nice refreshing beer.

Though this one is very drinkable (and a solid beer), I'd probably leave it for a session beer, or to ease someone into the joys of ales.

twilight, Apr 23, 2004
Photo of joshlara
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear light copper color with a thin white lace.
Rather sticky as it coats the glass the whole way through.

Smell: For a pale ale it packs a punch. Definately a west coast pale ale as there is a huge citrusy hop aroma. The centennial and cascade hops used are very noticeable. Huge grapefruit rind and hop resin in the nose. From the smell alone I would call this an IPA.

Taste: The flavor doesn't quite live up to the aroma. The hop presence isn't as prominent as I thought it would be. A bitter herbal tinge on the palate. The malt makes itself known more in the flavor than the aroma, some caramel comes through intermingling with the hops. Medium mouthfeel and very drinkable.

Overall: It almost seems that this beer isn't as full flavored as it could be. Looking for that something extra that you think is going to be there but just isn't. This is all predicated by the aroma. This is a very good american pale ale, but again, the aroma promised more.

joshlara, Apr 22, 2004
Photo of RedDiamond
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a pretty beer. Pretty like a Christmas tree. Lots of crazy bubbles rising up. Curiously, I note two distinctly different sized bubbles. Smaller ones rise up steadily, happily, and much larger ones race upwards among them from various launch platforms at the bottom of the glass. The larger ones rise much faster owing to their increased buoyancy. It’s quite fascinating really, and as I watch them interplay I become increasingly aware of the fact that I spend way too much time staring at bubbles these days. I must have burst my own bubble months ago. Anyway……

A very righteous hoppy aroma stretches outwards from the glass and across the chaotic entanglements of my desk. Intensely floral. Hits me in the nose like a big bully. The full fluffy head gracefully drops from three fingers to one, and you know which one. Ah, this one is a serious quaffer. Distinctly rounded mouthfeel, subtle malt profile, and then a casual yet prolific bitter edge.

This is a simple brew really. Simply excellent. Clear amber, nice curtained lace, just a thin smear of yeast left in the bottle. A lovable beer in that girl next door kinda way. And as with the girl next door, that mouthfeel gets me every time.

RedDiamond, Apr 19, 2004
Photo of merlin48
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber pours a clear, amber color with a two finger, offwhite head that lasts through the entire glass. Patchy lace is present all over the large imperial pint glass.
Aroma tantalizes with some serious Cascades and Centennial hopping. Grapefruit, orangerind, and pinecones dominate the nose, with a mild note of caramel malt emerging midway through.
This is medium bodied in the mouth, with a full and rich coating of fresh Cascades hops.
Citrus hops dominate, for the most part, with grapefruit and orangerind successfully beating back the caramel malt. A delightful note of clover honey emerges toward the end, and presents a wondeful balance to this ale. Finish has a mild, white pepper twang.
This is an excellent pale ale, one of the best in North America.

merlin48, Mar 29, 2004
Photo of drewbage
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer was sampled from a brown 22 oz bomber bottle standard of the Bear Republics with no bottling marks for freshness dating.

This new style XPA pours into the glass a pale and deeply hazy orange with a bright white head that disappates into a crispy white foam on the glass. Beer is highly carbonated.

Beer's aroma is lightly grassy with a potent almost overwhelming aroma of honey. There's just a touch of a mild phenol that crawls up to the top of the nose and sits there tweaking the nostrils.

Flavor starts with a mild malt before a giant outgassing of CO2 completely blows out any sensation of the body or malt. As the CO2 flattens out a honey flavor appears matching the nose. As that falls off, an intense peppermint and resin bitterness jumps up and slaps the mouth and the sides of the tongue.

Long after the final swallow the bitterness sits there burning at the edges of the palate with a growing mineral character that completely dries out the tongue.

Brisk.. this beer would be better without the potent honey character.

drewbage, Mar 26, 2004
Photo of stegmakk
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice light copper with a decent head left too quick. Slight off white in color and some lacing.
Aroma was of pine hops and sweet malt. Good mixture
Taste was good. Hits firs tpine then to surprising floral hops taste. Ends clean and crisp. Hint of caramel like malt in the background.
Mouthfeel was a little watery but not bad at all.
The drinkability is high. Good session beer.

stegmakk, Mar 14, 2004
Photo of ElGuapo
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

ElGuapo, Feb 17, 2004
Photo of CBFanWish
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

CBFanWish, Feb 09, 2004
Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

GreatPondBrewer, Jan 19, 2004
Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

HiroProtagonist, Jan 12, 2004
Photo of BeerResearcher
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

BeerResearcher, Jan 05, 2004
Photo of OatmattStout
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

OatmattStout, Dec 26, 2003
Photo of Weissenheimer
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

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.

Weissenheimer, Dec 22, 2003
Photo of Jason
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Jason, Oct 31, 2003
Photo of rabidawg
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

rabidawg, Oct 28, 2003
Photo of goz
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

goz, Oct 26, 2003
Photo of LiamStLiam
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

LiamStLiam, Oct 06, 2003
Photo of clvand0
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

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.

clvand0, Oct 03, 2003
Photo of far333
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

far333, Sep 25, 2003
Photo of StevieW
4.8/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

StevieW, Aug 07, 2003
Photo of aaronh
4.58/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

aaronh, Jul 03, 2003
Photo of beerguy101
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

beerguy101, Jun 26, 2003
XP Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 592 ratings.