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Grand Am - Bear Republic Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Grand AmGrand Am

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

35 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 35
Hads: 242
Avg: 3.76
pDev: 25.53%
Wants: 3
Gots: 29 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: argock on 06-10-2012

Inspired by our team’s passion for racing, Grand-Am™ is an American Pale Ale worthy of the “Racer” family. True to our roots, this sessionable yet assertive ale balances both classic and new American hop varieties with a distinct malt backbone. Start your engines…
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Reviews: 35 | Hads: 242
Photo of brewmastercat
3.15/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Lots of bottling yeast in the bottle, very piney and resinous. I could see this being great at any outdoor car racing event when you're in the sun...screaming, "please no more budweiser...need...more...flavor..."as you give your last breath.

Glad I've slept on this one for so long, another mediocre pale ale.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.23/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Anytime I can get something from Bear Republic it's a good thing but not this time for Grand Am was simply terrible.
The taste was as bland as bland can be tasting more like a malt beverage or worse,
I had high hopes because the appearance and aroma was quite nice.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

BOTTLE: Brown glass. Branded silver pry-off pressure cap.

Acquired: At an Austin, TX bottle shop.

Reviewed live at low altitude in Austin, TX. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Vintage: 2014.
ABV: 6.50% ABV.
Style: American Pale Ale (per the label).
Serving temp: Cold.
Serving vessel: Pilsner glass.
Expectations: High (given the brewery, which I adore).

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~3 fingers wide. Off-white colour. Nice thickness, creaminess, and fullness. Soft-looking. Frothy, with a great shiny complexion and a good even consistency.

Retention: Fantastic (~8-9+ minutes).

Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Vibrant orange. Boasts a dazzling cascade of bubbles towards the head. Translucent but nontransparent.

A great looking pale ale. Looks fresh and inviting. This appearance promises a good pale.

AROMA: Fresh citrus (including orange, faint mango, and tangerine without coming off too tropical), fresh floral tones, mellow pale malts, clean barley, softening flaked malts, and cream. Citrus zest lends still more complexity.

The pale malt sweetness balances any hop bitterness wonderfully. This is a great overall aroma for a pale ale, and suggests a balanced brew with plenty of pleasant hop flavours without too much bitterness or bite.

Aromatic intensity: mild.

TASTE & TEXTURE: The first thing I notice is the delightfully zesty, airy, and soft mouthfeel, which boasts a rare delicate presence on the palate. This texture would be perfect if it weren't also slightly dry, coarse, and rough - attributes which make the beer unrefreshing in spite of its fresh pleasant flavours. It might even be a biteen astringent. At least the carbonation is perfect. It couldn't be more light-bodied.

Unfortunately, there's plenty of hop bitterness evident in the third act. Prior to that, the beer is quite balanced; pale malt sweetness plays a nice counter to the orange zest, citrusy hop bitterness, floral hops, and tangerine. It's not a resinous, oily, or piney hop profile, but it brings plenty of hop flavour to the table. Flaked malts leaven the body and clean barley helps fill it out, but as a result it lacks depth of flavour; it's a bit too light, cushioning the impact and delivery of the flavours a bit too much.

Flavour duration: Average.
Flavour intensity: Above average.
Flavour amplitude: Decent.

It has the complexity a great pale needs, but the balance just isn't there because of the bitterness and hop bite in the third act, and it never feels particularly cohesive or gestalt. There are some fantastic elements in play here, but it never quite comes together.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, harsh, or scratchy. There're no off-notes or untoward yeasty tones.

OVERALL: As drinkable as it is imbalanced, Grand-Am is an interesting pale ale that - with work - could be world-class. Bear Republic has done so much right in this beer, but its flaws hold it back from greatness. I highly recommend trying it if only for its impossibly soft and light texture coupled with its effective citrusy hop notes, but while it will pique the interest of the discerning drinker, it will fail to dazzle. It's not up to par with the Racer series, but it's well worth sampling.

High C+ (3.25)

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Photo of jlindros
3.45/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best by 8/25/14

Pours a decent fizzy slight creamy almost 1 finger head, fades semi slowly with a bit of lacing, very hazy chunky yeast sediment reddish orange colored beer.

Nose brings some bright hops, fresh like but not super fresh, some mild grapefruit and hint tropical note, a hint bubblegum like note, and just a touch citrus, a mild earthy grassy note, with some papaya and juniper berry like aromas, a bit of pine resin too. Lots going on in hop range, with very little slight malt character.

Taste brings lots more fruit, and hops, but a little soapy note which is a turn off, as well as a soda flavor that is weird. Malts bring a fair sweetness with some caramel and candy notes, a little soda syrup in there too like a sprite without lemon-lime, but there is a little lemony note in the hops. then fruity hops, various mix of fruits, a little tropical fruit note wit touch of grapefruit pith, melon rind, papaya like, a hint of berry as well, and into a little pine sap note, and some grassy earthy characters, etc. The back end brings a little more weird cilantro soapy note, a little sticky on the finish, bit more fruit and a little more candy malt lingering.

Mouth is med bod, decent carb.

Overall meh, has some interesting characters but some off notes as well with that soapy character, the hops are not the best overall, interesting blend but also kinda meh.

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Photo of metter98
3.57/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is hazy light pale yellow in color and has a mixture of fine and small visible particulates floating in suspension. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin but large patch of bubbles in the center of the glass, a collar around the edge, and some lacing down the sides.
S: Light to moderate aromas of citrusy hops and toasted malts are present in the nose.
T: As in the smell, the taste has some flavors of citrus hops—orange and tangerine seem to stand out in particular—along with notes of biscuit and caramel malts. Only slight amounts of bitterness are perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This APA has a fairly good balance between the malts and hops but I didn't find anything to really stand out in the smell or taste.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.57/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Ratings are correct below, but I changed some marks above to make the final rating as close as possible with Beer Advocate's "revamped" system. The 3.57 overall rating is accurate.

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Figueroa Mountain pint glass
From: Alpine Liquor in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $8.99 for a 6-pack
Purchased: March 19, 2015
Consumed: March 19, 2015
Misc.: Best by Sept. 5, 2015

Poured an orangeish, caramel, slightly hazy color with two fingers of off-white, rocky head. Lots of bubble streams coming up from the bottom of the glass. A few spots of lacing on the sides of the glass. Bad retention. (Sight - 3.38)

Pretty potent whiff of Citra hops and caramel malts. Also Cascade, melon, orange zest, nectarine, slight mango, lime, pine, light pineapple and more tropical notes. (Sight - 3.88)

Tasted not as nice as the nose. A bit unbalanced, seemingly alcohol coming first before any flavor. Then got nectarine rind, orange zest, caramel, Cascade, mango, honey wheat, grass, lime and some pine. (Taste - 3.50)

Light body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, somewhat refreshing finish. (Feel - 3.50)

Nothing to grand about this beer (get it?) Just an average APA. (Overall - 3.50)

3.57 | 81 | B

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Photo of mactrail
3.59/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Handsome orange-tinted amber with a long-lasting head in the Crooked Line tulip. Inviting whiff of flowery and citrusy hops. Pleasant mouthfilling texture.

Warm with malt but tangy and herbal. Fairly bitter but modestly fruity. Honeydew melon and a touch of grapefruit peel. The mineral taste reminds me of the English style of Pale Ale. You wouldn't mistake it, though, as the bitter aftertaste lingers in the American obsession.

I'd be interested to have it on tap. From the 12 oz bottle in my mixed six-pack from a Ralph's supermarket.

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Photo of CHickman
3.62/5  rDev -3.7%

Pours very cloudy dark gold color with a lot of sediment floating around and a thick foamy 2 finger off white head that was full of bubbles of all sizes which faded slowly leaving OK spotty lacing and a layer on top.

Smells of orange peel, caramel, grapefruit, lemon zest, citrus hops, mango, wheat bread, grass, herbs or mild spices and dry cracker. The fruity aroma jumps out hard and fast but settles down and lets the malt come through for a nice balance that includes some piney and sweet fruit notes as it fades.

Taste is more malty and bready that the nose indicates, with graham cracker, buttered roll, caramel, citrus hops, lemon zest, orange juice, pine cone/piney hops, pear, mild spices like pepper and cinnamon, funk yeast and a toffee like brown sugar sweetness at the end which has a very light bitterness. This flavor completely hides the ABV.

Mouthfeel is slick and almost watery with mild carbonation, a medium body that’s on the thicker side, and a slightly bitter finish that has grainy notes combined with citrus hop/fruity sweetness. A pretty good APA that see-sawed back and forth between fruity sweet and malty. I’d have it again since it was easy to drink and flavorful enough to warrant another try.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler filled on Nov 18 and consumed on Nov 22 poured in to tulip.

A - Medium yellow/orange with one finger of dirty white head.

S - Moderate bitterness up front with citrus and pine aromas and a fairly prominent sweet caramel malt backbone.

T - Moderate bitterness with grapefruit, orange peel and pine flavours. The malt base adds a big malt sweetness; fairly well balanced overall. Some light spice is present as well. A dry, bitter finish.

M - Medium body, dry. Lots of sticky hop oils. Light carbonation.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.63/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the brewery in Healdsburg. yellow color, white head. Aroma is lemons, citrus, hops, sort of breezy. Flavor is citrus and hops but not too bitter, sort of light drinking for the ABV. I wish this would show up in Denver but it better be fresh. Overall a solid hoppy pale ale that won't be drawing me away from Racer 5 anytime soon.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%

On tap. Poured a clear, orange color with a slight head. Mild lacing. Aroma is modest but mostly driven by citrusy hops. Soft, pale malt sweetness. Flavor is direct. Citrus hops with some grassy hop notes, too. I swear, I get a hint of watermelon in there somewhere. Finishes dry and easy with a dry, pale malt finish. Well carbonated with a light body. It was a fairly tasty Pale Ale. Probably one of their weaker offerings in my opinion.

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Photo of Omnium
3.65/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap at House of 1000 Beers

A - Cloudy gold with one finger of foamy white head, medium lacing
S - Pine, grassy notes, light floral quality to it, bread and cracker malt
T - Mild bready malt base, light citrus, pine and grass
M - Clean and a little light feeling, somewhat clingy though
O - Its a good APA, nothing to write home about though.

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Photo of BethanyB
3.67/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: A fat, eggshell-colored head of fluff tops a slightly cloudy body of medium gold.

Smell: An unfortunate metallic scent hijacks the aroma, but herbs and orange juice help make things more appealing.

Taste: A nice, even, light hoppy blend of mint, citrus, and warm California earth mixes well with delicately toasted malt. Tasty, balanced, but nothing truly exceptional.

Mouthfeel: Excellent mouthfeel for the style: Medium-light, with medium high carbonation creates refreshing crispness and a finish that falls smack dab between dry and smooth.

Overall: A very good pale ale, minus the metallic smell. There are other examples out there, however, that are just as good, if not better. You can easily pick up a Sierra Nevada, for instance, and be more satisfied.

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Photo of cbutova
3.69/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Seems like a brew that has been revived this Spring or might be seasonal. Bottles around MA and fresh.

A- 12oz bottle poured to a pint glass with a hazy golden body that has a lot of visible chunks suspended throughout, yeast or hop particles. A large white cap forms to two fingers with a foamy, frothy texture. Thick blanket and small ring remain. Lace is thick and blotchy at the top with

S- Citrus, pine and stone fruit hops off the top without being tropical or juicy really. Floral hops are also here. Yeast bread and a light cracked malt backbone.

T- Pine gains on the other hop notes in the flavor. Grapefruit, bitter lemon peel, apricot and a large dose of floral/earthy (extreme flowery), probably second only to pine. Backbone is light yeast bread, fruit hints and biscuit pale malts. Something spicy fades in and out with each sip.

MF- Light bodied but with a soft, creamy texture. Carbonation medium-high and a bit foamy. Finishes with a fairly high, resinous bitterness for an APA.

Fresh pine, floral and citrus hops with just enough of a pale malt backbone to balance it out. This could be an IPA but by today's standards it is also easily a hoppy APA. Stands out from the juicy tropical brews of today but perhaps a tad less bitterness would make this better.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On draft, served in shaker pint glass. Very pale, a light straw color. Nice hoppy aroma. Taste is hop dominated, very little malt flavor. Thinner body

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Photo of hoppytobehere
3.7/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at RFD in DC.

A: Served in a standard pint glass. Nice copper color from what I can tell in this lighting. Not a ton of head, but good retention and lacing.

S: Pretty malty, some hop aroma as well.

T: Caramel malt and hops, nice balance.

M: Feels more like a 5% session pale ale, alcohol is well hidden. I could knock a few of these back quickly.

O: A pretty solid pale ale. I'd get one again.

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Photo of seedyone
3.71/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC.As soon as my nose was to the glass, I knew I had a problem. I have a pretty low tolerence for hops, but was suckered in by the brewers description & the small taste which end up as unhelpful. I guess it's because there is a malt front that masks the hoppiness. Now that's out of the way I should say this strikes me much as my first taste of Sierra Nevada, those oh so many years ago (but way more assertive).

This is a doubling down. Think Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Imperial.

In the end it's simply too 'big' for my tastes.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.72/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served in a pint glass at Estelle's in Boston.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pale orange color with great clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Citrus, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, pale, and toasted malts.

Taste: Same as above. Faint hops with mild bitterness in the rear.

Mouthfeel: A little bitter, light bodied, medium carbonation, and a little chewy.

Overall: Pretty nice and enjoyable pale ale. I could revisit this again.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.75/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

No Freshness date on the bottle

Appearance - Pours hazy and golden orange in color with an off-white half finger head. Sub-par retention, resulting in a thin layer of suds across the top. Spotty lacing left around the glass.

Smell - Citrusy with hints of orange and lemon with a cereal grain malt undertone.

Taste - Follows the nose. Lemony with a mild orange sweetness and a big malty cereal backbone. Finishes with a mild bitterness that exhibits both citrus pith and grassy character.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth, drinkable brew that goes down easy.

Overall - Did Toucan Sam lend a hand to this beer, because it evokes thoughts of yellow and orange Fruit Loops. Not the most complex APA, but it has a decent kick. Good, but plenty of APA's out there I prefer more.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on June 5, 2015.

Slightly hazy yellow-orange with a long lasting fluffy white head.

Aroma of toasted malts, peat moss, vague spice, and grassy hops. Not a bad nose.

The body is light to medium.

The taste begins with a toasted sweet character and then erupts into a textbook bitterness that is neither floral or resiny but more grassy.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the 2013 Firestone Walker Invitational held at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, CA.

Pours a hazy honey orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus and herbal flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some solid aromas and flavors.

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Photo of scotorum
3.77/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best by 10/1/14, so probably bottled around April Fool's Day? Who knows.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into an Innis & Gunn English tulip.

a: Nearly clear dark gold with a finger and a half white head which receded to even surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Mild citrus.

t: Moderate citrus to pine resin up front over a medium bready malt base. Bitterness lingers somewhat on the tongue.

m: Light to medium with good body. Considerable carbonatiuon tingle.

o; A good West Coast pale, hoppier than some other American pales, taste actually seems to improve as it goes.

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Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bang on pale ale enjoyed at the Tap Room. Light golden colour, lacey,easy smooth mouthfeel. Citrus orange bitterness. Good drinkability. No astringency at well. This apparently will become their main pale ale. Above average bodied and medium hoppiness.

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub – Healdsburg, CA
06/12/14 - Served in a full Pint glass

A: Sunburst look of goldenrod and peach with some slight hop haze through the body. Half finger of stubborn ivory cream rests over top. Nice broken tracks of sticky lace running all the way down the glass.

S: Lots of toasted bready pale malt character on the nose followed by some very floral hops. Vibrantly perfumed with some citrus fruit undertones.

T: The toasty pale malt stands firm in the flavor as well delivering lots of freshly baked bread notes while remaining only slightly sweet. Integrated are some delicate hop flavors that emerge very floral like. Has me thinking Columbus hops here. I get some lesser notes of pine and tangerine as well. Not super bitter at all with a really nice balance across the board. Finishes dry and crisp with only a slight hoppy linger. Very easy on the lips.

M: Moderately lighter body with a nice even consistent carbonation pop. Dry and crisp in the finish with a light resinous linger.

D: A great easy sessions APA and quite possibly an instant classic for me…fits so well into the current BR lineup. Will be grabbing more of this one once it finally hits distro to SoCal.

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Photo of argock
3.88/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a nonic pint at The Regal Beagle (San Diego, CA).

A: Honey-golden with a soft cap of off-white big-bubbled head with a few dots of lace.

S: Hops dominate with a fresh, wet hops herbal and floral aroma but the pale maltiness has some bready, crackery character that is adequate to support the hoppiness. Still, the hops have a dank quality that are not a favorite.

T: The flavor is also very wet hops with earthy, herbal hoppiness dominating. There are some flashes of orange and grapefruit. The bready pale maltiness mainly provides background for the herbal hoppiness.

M: Grand Am is a smooth beer with even carbonation and medium body. The dryness is moderate and appropriate for the style.

O: A good variation for BR but not as good as XP Pale or most of their other offerings.

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Grand Am from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.