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City Pale Ale - City Brewing Company, LLC

Not Rated.
City Pale AleCity Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
77
okay

35 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 35
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.27
pDev: 19.27%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
City Brewing Company, LLC visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-20-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 35 | Reviews: 34 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -8.3%

ejimhof, Jul 25, 2013
Photo of hopdog
3.38/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought this one at the Brewers Game @ Miller Park.

Poured a medium amberish color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas and tastes of caramel and citrus (I was getting oranges). Lightly toasty too. Light to medium sweet.

Notes from: 07/14/05.

hopdog, Feb 03, 2009
Photo of Stinkypuss
2.7/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

a. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Cloudy orange with a small soapy head and pretty much no lace.

S. Bready and spicey in the nose. Sweet caramel malt and some toastiness is apparant in the aroma as well.

T. Very sweet malt body, almost as if a substantial amount of honey was added to the brewing process. Becomes a bit cloying. Could do with a bit more hop character, but distant leafy hops are definately there, even lending a hint of grapefruit that helps mingle with the sweetness. Clean alcohal rears its head for a moment then a bitter lingering finish.

m. Crisp with alot of carbonation. Medium bodied ale.

D. A decent overall beer that just needs cleaned up alittle. More hops and less sweetness. This bottle is not dated so perhaps it isn't the best example, but even if thats the case, I do not want another.

Stinkypuss, Dec 22, 2008
Photo of tadowdaddy
2.93/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Amber color with little head. Great lacing on the side of my pint glass.

S: A lot of malt smell, little sweet grapefruit hops.

T: This is a pretty sweet beer. Almost tastes like candy. A little hop flavor (citrus) followed by some really caramel like malt. Not the best tasting beer at all, but not horrible.

M: Thick, sweet, thick, sweet.. that's about all it has to offer. Maybe it's cuz of the 4 barley wines I've had that I'm not getting much off of this other than sweet and thick, but really, that's all I have to describe it. Almost leaves a sugar coating in the mouth.

D: Not horrible to drink, if it would get rid of the sweetness. The look is that of a typical pale ale, but other than that, the taste is nothing like one. I could (if I had to over maybe Budweiser) drink a few of these, but other than that, no thanks.

tadowdaddy, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of dsa7783
4.08/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single, twelve ounce bottle just copped from The Palisade Liquor Store in Jersey City...
Aroma... Can you say hops? This APA surprised me immediately after opening the bottle with a surging smell of fresh, wet hops... Although APA's usually combine both malts and hops, this one was definitely hop dominated, to the point of it possibly being mistaken for a light-bodied IPA...
The taste, likewise, was very hoppy and resiny, with slight hints of sweet, mild graperfuit, lemon zest, citrus, and a tinge of malts...
Creamy mouthfeel along with a good level of drinkability...
Interesting sample and a different twist on an APA...
Worth a try...

dsa7783, Jul 27, 2008
Photo of Hojaminbag
2.6/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Hazy orange color with a quickly receding white head.

Smell like honey. Too sweet, I don't detect any hops, a little bit of malt is noticeable.

If I tasted this blind, Pale ale would not be my guess. There is a very slight hop sweetness up front, followed by chocolately malt. Finishes with its strongest flavor: Honey. Very strong honey, much too sweet for me. A little bit of hop dryness can be found throughout in the backround.

Mouthfeel is average.

I can't drink too much of this beer, too sweet for me.

Less honey flavor would make me happier with this beer, more hops would too.

Hojaminbag, Mar 08, 2008
Photo of Ricochet
2.38/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Disappointment has a name, and it would be City's sampler pack. It was only $18 for 24, but you get 12 of these in addition to 6 Octoberfest and 6 Wheat. This pale was the least of the favorites.

A: Amber orange and a bit cloudy, good head with decent lace that went quick. Promising.

S: Standard as it gets. A little grapefruit, mostly malt, but a sweetness to it too, almost like JWD's pale.

M: Hops in sweet syrup. Yikes. All you could really say about the mouth is just as said. It is a little thicker, but otherwise, YIKES.

T: If they have hops candy made by Brachs, this would be it. The malt is merely in the background, the bitter is an afterthought. Sugary syrup is all. There is a bit of alcohol, even a twist of grapefruit, otherwise, pale ale is not my idea of a refreshing soda pop.

D: Nope. It's maybe acceptable to someone who is putting feelers out for better beer, but even JWD's pale has a bit less sugar and a little more flavor than this.

Ricochet, Feb 25, 2008
Photo of plaid75
3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger creamy off white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light herbal hop and some grainy malt.

The taste was upfront sweet honey with a touch of herbal hop spice. The sweetness caught me off guard and was not all that welcomed.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness with cloying sweetness.

Overall a tough one to finish. Perhaps it will take a few to get used to the honey sweetness, but as of now the drinkability is pretty low.

plaid75, Sep 29, 2007
Photo of tgbljb
4.1/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured a deep amber color with moderat off-white puffy head.
Smell is notable for a significant piney hop presence.
Taste is also domintaed by piney and grassy hops. there is a modest amount of malt in the background to provide a nice balance.
left a dry bitterness at the finish which was very enjoyable.
I enjoyed this ber at a steak house in West Haven, CN. after a long drive through much traffic on I-95.It was a surprising beer to find and complimented my meal perfectly.

tgbljb, Sep 15, 2007
Photo of GnomeKing
4.05/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

How nice to have an American pale ale that is well balanced and doesn't try to grab attention just by loading in the hops. (In fact, the beer is probably a tad too deferential...a pinch more of hops wouldn't hurt at all.)

The color is deep amber/gold. There's little head or lacing--not surprising considering the small amount of hops. The hops that are present don't add much bitterness, but instead they blend with the nicely prominent malt character to give the beer a soft, sweet fruit flavor, mostly resembling strawberry but without any fruit tartness.

The mouthfeel is really nice--soft, and neither heavy nor thin.

This is a short review yet I'm almost finished my beer as I type these words. This beer is damn drinkable. I'm sitting in an air-conditioned room, but this one would be better for a porch on a hot day, when a refreshing, easy-drinking session beer would be just what the doctor ordered.

GnomeKing, Jul 25, 2007
Photo of dwarvenspirits
4.22/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper-colored hue with a good head that laces up the side of the glass. Head retention abates after a while but a white top remains consistent.

Nice easy grassy, aroma with some malt in the nose, not much

This is actually a very balanced pale ale. Not very hoppy in bitterness and has some solid flavor to it. Flavor is lemon, citrus, grassy, with some malt coming in and then some finishing dryness that isn't too rough. Bitterness is slightly subdued and not harsh at all.

Mouthfeel is fine.

I actually believe that this is a very fine beer for its style. Made with the classic cascade hop all the way through I think that this would be something that many people enjoyed before prohibition as a standard american pale ale. Very good job on hitting the style guidelines.

As a tip, drink this warmer than 55 degrees. You'll get tons of flavor and dryness from it and the malt flavor really diminishes this way, too.

dwarvenspirits, Jun 30, 2007
Photo of drpimento
4.47/5  rDev +36.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is an Excellent Pale Ale! Way better than Sierra Nevada's. Poured with a nice fine head and lace. Lovely clear burnished amber color. Aromatic hoppy resiny fruity nose with some malt in there. Very fresh. Classic american pale ale flavor - cascade hops and plenty of them. good balance with the malt. Great body and very drinkable. Hands down a session beer. An undiscovered jewel.

drpimento, Apr 28, 2007
Photo of shadow1961
3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

City Brewery's Pale Ale pours out a rocky head over a
clear light amber brew. Carbonation is active and the nose
is basically malt. Flavor is a little thin- some malt and grain
with a grassy hop finish. Mouthfeel is a little thin as well. Meh-
I guess I'm spoiled here. My american-style pale ale of choice
is Summit's- it highlights the more aromatic and herbal qualities
of their hops over simple bittering as with City's effort. I guess I
can chalk this one up to my palate drifting after quitting smoking.
This was the third bottle of City Pale Ale I've had out of their variety
pack- and I recall it tasting a lot better when I was smoking. Well-
that's why they say taste is a subjective thing. This beer is better
than your usual tappers- it is more flavorful than that- but I guess
I could only recommend it to somebody who really likes the grassy
hop notes over floral/fruit/herbal notes.

shadow1961, Feb 26, 2007
Photo of JohnnyM2002
2.55/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a chalice at 40 degrees.

A - Poured a clear golden color with a mild ring atop the beer. Some sticky lacing appeared along the glass...decent carbonation.

S - Very sweet, malty background. Little else detected.

T - Begins as an unbalanced sweetness...ends with an unpleasant sourness that has no supporting cast. Malt tasted undeveloped, like it was supposed to taste like something else. I kept expecting a hoppy addition, but nothing there.

M - Watered down with a very dry staleness.

D - Not enjoyable at all. I can't remember why I had to buy this...I think I just wanted to try the brewery...not a good representation, I hope.

JohnnyM2002, Feb 06, 2007
Photo of WVbeergeek
2.63/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appears a slightly copper amber with cryst clear body that forms a large off whtie cream hued slowly dwindling head leaves even scattered lacing around the nonic pint. Aroma has an herbal pine cone scented tart citrus peel note very nice nose with mild caramel note malt base with samy nutty edge to it. Flavors do not mesh well herbal and citrus notes come off abrasive herbal nut caramle edge doesn't work with mildly bitter tones...hops seem stale. Mouthfeel has a mild creamy texture even carbonation...kinda of unassuming and mass produced in nature. Drinkability well I guess it's what I expected from LaCrosse City Brewing.

WVbeergeek, Nov 30, 2006
Photo of MrVisegrips
2.95/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The pour is a nice clean orange amber with a white head that quickly fades to a nice lace. The aroma is a bit bready with a light malt, citrus and bitter hops presence. The flavors of malt and bitter hops is fairly well balanced and the finish is just slightly dry. Overall, an average pale ale brew.

MrVisegrips, Nov 01, 2006
Photo of jcdiflorio
2.65/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a nonic glass, a golden/amber color.A white head fades quickly to a thin layer of foam.Not much carbination,looks dead.
The aroma was faint with more malt presence,very little hop aromas.
Carmely,grassy,nutty,a bit fruity aromas were slightly present.
The taste was very sweet.carmelly,syrupy,fruity,a clean piney taste at the finish.Nothing exciting,lacking in the hop department.
The mouthfeel was light to medium,a bit cloying.A pleasing bitterness,with a quick sharp taste fading into juicy bittersweetness.
A fairly drinkable beer, just nothing here to make me want another.

jcdiflorio, Oct 28, 2006
Photo of terrabyte
2.38/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours somewhat dark yellow/amber color. Head seems fueled by active carbonation.

Smelled a little sour. Otherwise, sweet malts bordering on caramel, some bready aroma, and floral or citrus aromas.

More flavor than I expected. This is the brewery that used to do Old Style, afterall. Sticky flavor, cloying. Reminds me of the bottom of a warm 40 ounce bottle. There was some caramel flavor, followed by a bit of fruit left out in the sun all day. The aftertaste ended with a bitterness that was on the fence between slightly enjoyable, and not quite enjoyable: like those old "Bitter Beer Face" commercials.

Mouthfeel was pretty crisp with a dry carbonation. No problems with being too foamy or creamy from the carbonation.

It's been well over 6 years since I lived in La Crosse, and a bit more since their brewery was bought out. Sad to think that back then I was looking down my nose at Old Style while drinking my MGD. Whatever my preconception was, I'm surprised there was this much going on with this beer. Don't get me wrong, I won't be picking this up again, but if dirt cheap beer is on your list, this could be a candidate.

terrabyte, Oct 16, 2006
Photo of Cresant
2.2/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured this 12 oz. undated brown bottle into an IPA glass. Pleasant clear amber body topped with three+ fingers of off-white head.

Smell was faint. Light sweetness and mild floral hops.

Taste was mildly bitter but weighed more heavily toward syrupy sweetness. Actually rather non-descript. After warming further I hoped more aroma & flavor would emerge but they did not. Uneventful.

Mouthfeel was rather thin, some spritzy ETOH/carbonation activity. Overall a disappointment. The appearance was the highlight of this beer. I will not taste this one again.

Cresant, Oct 08, 2006
Photo of jdhilt
2.58/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a three finger white head that fades to a thin layer leaving some lace. Clear amber color. Light carbonation and light-medium bodied. Hoppy nose. Starts sweet, the hops gradually take over leaving a bitter aftertaste. Typical pale. $1.29 for a 12oz bottle from John's Grocery Iowa City, Ia.

jdhilt, Aug 29, 2006
Photo of RedChrome
3.88/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pour created a very nice deep golden color with a very light red hue when hel to the light. A half in head of pure white vanished rapidly. Only a few medium sized slowly moving carbonation bubbles. Clumps of lacing hung on sides.

A lemony aroma had a hint of hops blended in. The floral combination was a joy in my nose. Slight malt blends in the second whiff.

A nice flavor of hops was the first to stirke me. A light pepper lemon taste quickly followed the hops. A balance of tart and bitter had a crisp taste on my palate.

A nice sturdy body for a pale ale. The lack of carbonation kept the main taste where it hit my tongue.

A very crisp ale. Nice beer for a relaxing summer day. This would be a fantastc choice to take on a picnic. At home I would recommend this with a nice chedder cheesburger.

RedChrome, Aug 16, 2006
Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.05/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - a copper ale color, with light carbonation, thin laced white head

S - nice smooth hoppy aroma, slight citrus background and even slighter honey sweetness

T - big hoppy up front, overpowers any other background flavors tha would be there, it is a nice hop flavor

M - high IBU's, bitter, not well balanced, though i love the flavor

D - high for hopheads, moderate for others

sinstaineddemon, May 13, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.73/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lucent ripe orange with a tremendous amount of frenetic carbonation; darker and richer than the run-of-the-mill pale ale. The pale orange head is softly frothy, lightly creamy and shouldn't fade anytime before sundown unless those bubbles begin to tire. I like the melted mesa look of the cap and the 'random squiggles' pattern of the lace.

For a Cascade single-hopped APA, there sure isn't much Cascadiness in the nose. A lack of power is the beer's first problem. The second is that there's more caramel malt than hops. Even after the cap is no longer running interference, I'm not impressed.

I would have thought (given the great looking label featuring hop cones bursting out of a beer mug) that this beer would at least be somewhat citrus hoppy. Wrong. If you like your APAs to taste like underhopped amber ales, then climb aboard the City Pale Ale train to toasted caramelville. I'm sorry, hops will not be permitted during our short jaunt.

Okay, it isn't quite that bad; at least there's some bitterness to be had. However, rather than build on the malty sweetness and bring it into focus, it tends to cancel it out. Only at the very tail end of each mouthful do the alpha acids manage to gain any sort of foothold. Too little, too late.

The mouthfeel is actually pretty decent. It's pale ale medium with an active carbonation that is nowhere near what I feared it would be after seeing the bubbling cauldron that my pint glass became after the initial pour. Lace update: more than half of the glass opposite is covered in a tattered blanket of crust, confirming my original impression and solidifying the appearance as the best part of this entire experience.

City Pale Ale had a simple mission: allow the glory of the Cascade hop to shine in a style in which complexity is a merely a bonus. Mission unaccomplished. My high hopes for this beer were dashed with the first sip. On a positive note, all is far from lost. The fix is a simple two word phrase that is beginning to assume the status of my personal mantra through sheer repetition: more hops!

BuckeyeNation, Feb 08, 2006
Photo of tavernjef
3.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brightish honey gold color with a strange crusty top that looks like a frosted white dried sponge that was once grey. Lacing in minimal webbings.

Aroma is of a dry hopped woodish aspect, dry and clean with notes of cardboard and a touch of caramel.

Taste is more of the same, not withstanding much hop profile other then a dry hopped dryish wood and cardboard thing. Mild bite is noticeable though. It's not bad but not really all that good either. Clean yet dull and a small caramel backing scraps across with some much needed sweetness.

Feel is thinnish and working towards medium, clean but flat, as it warms it becomes nealry undrinkable. Carbonation doesn't keep well it seemed.

Slightly above average here, and thats being generous. Perhaps a fresher sample would suffice as the sample pack I got as a gift states that the City Pale won a bronze at the 2004 World Beer Championship?

tavernjef, Dec 25, 2004
Photo of TastyTaste
3.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours the color of a good PA, head is not much, barely any lacing on the glass. Smells of sweet floral hops, maybe a little honey. Taste is hocentric, but not overpowering. Slight off flavor of burnt plastic, but still very good and drinkable. One otf the better City offerings.

TastyTaste, Sep 17, 2004
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City Pale Ale from City Brewing Company, LLC
77 out of 100 based on 35 ratings.