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Angel City Ale | Angel City Brewery

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Angel City AleAngel City Ale
18 Ratings
Angel City AleAngel City Ale

Brewed by:
Angel City Brewery
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-01-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 18 |  Reviews: 17
Reviews by SwillinBrew:
Photo of SwillinBrew
3.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I finally decided to give Angel City a try after i saw a six pack at whole foods.

Poured a very slightly hazed coppery-amber color with a good finger of oatmeal colored head. Aroma was like sweaty pennies in your hand, slight biscuits and an undescribeable faint but present sharpness.
The taste surprised me. There was a cherry like tartness (no cherry taste) of bread. Not overpowering but present. It was like a baby lambic or something. I fricken love it. If i'm scoring this to the style then maybe this isnt good, but i love the taste. I thought i may have got a bad bottle, that was good, so i tried another, same thing.
There was a medium body and dryness to it with enough carbonation. You know, i dont know if you amber lovers will like this brew, but I certainly do.

EDIT: Taste to 3, Mouthfeel to 3.5, Drinkability to 3.
I bought a bomber of this at HiTimes. It no longer had that brett character to it. Overall taste was non-descript. I think i had a bad bottle that was actually good. This brew no longer stands out to me for this style. I wont drink it anymore. Not bad, but not good.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of IntriqKen
2.93/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A nice, clear, dark golden amber with a solid half inger head that melted to a sticky lacing.
Aromas were toasted malt but with a lager yeast scent.
Tastes of sweet toasted amber malt and again, the taste of lager yeast. Light citrus yeast on the finish.
Aftertaste is pleasantly amber ale tasting...a little sweet but still with slight drying.
I don't really think this is an APA, rather an amber....but very nice.
Faith is slightly restored for Angel City Brews after trying this one.

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Photo of wcudwight
2.87/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Enola for the beer.
Pours an amber color with no head and very fine sediment floating around. A patch of lace here and there but not much of it.
Faint hints of caramel and toasted malts.
Caramel and toasted malts in the flavor with a slight hoppy finish. Mild metallic aftertaste that doesn't last too long.
Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied.
Drinkable but become a bit harder to drink as it warmed.
To quote the great John Fox. This beer "is what it is". That's a session ale to pass the time.

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Photo of petemorris
4/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first experience with--rather amazingly--L.A.'s only local micro. Yes, this is definitely a malt-oriented Amber as opposed to a hoppy west-coast APA, and it's a very good example. Its first impression out of the bottle is superb, with a very inviting aroma which is clean and malty sweet, above a harmonious noble-hop background--a reminder that there is a lot more to the world of beer aromas than floral American hops and spicy Belgian alcohols. (Not that there is anything wrong with either.) While extremely drinkable, I find the flavor and body of Angel City Ale to be a little on the thin side, albeit very clean and well balanced; this is almost a great beer. While not a beer anyone would twitch over, I can easily see myself building a classic pub session around this one, especially if served on draft as this beer clearly begs. It would also be an ideal starter craft beer for anyone seeking to move beyond fizzy, tasteless macros. A notch below its rough San Francisco analog, the venerable Anchor Steam, this is still a beer that we here in Los Angeles can be proud to call our own.

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Photo of Enola
3.6/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Obtained in a trade with Solomon420

This beer is like a cross between a red ale and a pale ale. The beer is a cloudy reddish orange. There is no head and no lacing. Fine suspended matter are abundent. The smell is piney. The taste is malty with a touch of hops. There is a slightly bitter aftertaste and the drinkability is good. The beer is not too aggressive and it would be a good session beer. Overall, more red ale like than pale ale but fair. Drinkable.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
2.37/5  rDev -22%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served on-tap at the new brewery near Little Tokyo in LA, this beer was served in a pint glass. The beer is a hazy orange-amber coloring with a thin film of head. Aroma is flowery, with caramel notes in the background. Overall, the nose was a bit muted, and the flavors seemed a bit watery. Very light bodied beer. There were slightly sour malt flavors with flowery and citrus sweet highlights. Slightly sour, again, on the aftertaste, and a mid-lingering finish. A little weak for the style in terms of body and flavor.

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Photo of flexabull
2.45/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours a cloudy amber color with a very weak head.

Aromas are weak, but there is nothing unpleasant here.

Taste is chalky, tart, and mineral like. It's an extremely lean beer. The flavors aren't completely awful, but they are bad enough that I would shy away from this one if I was ever offered it again.

Mouthfeel is quite weak. This has a very lean front taste, and the finish is fleeting and uninteresting.

Well... there are some great beers coming out of SoCal... this isn't one of them. No thanks.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
2.7/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

this is an amber ale, according to the text on the bottle.

pours homebrewey.. a brownish-red liquid with foreboding cloud of doom hovering inside. settles like cement into the glass.. leaves no lacing and retains no head. flitters of haze adorn the beer's surface. smells like a mix between wort and one of those sticky-sweet popcorn balls you get at the circus. little-to-no hop presence in the nose, eh.

wow this beer tastes waaaay off base. starts like mcneills.. sour yeasty character hits my tongue and is quickly dispersed by fizzy body. heavy notes of carbonated apple juice from concentrate fill my mouth, and the bitterness at the end of this beer reminds me more of stale trash than hop accents. some slight pineapple fruitiness reminds me that the green herb is in here, but nothing to be proud of. surprisingly, i think of mcneill's beer when i drink this and am able to get sip after sip down, although there is probably some stomach pain to follow.

granted, i may have a bad bottle.. doubtful. this is a beer to avoid.

thanks swillinbrew for the opportunity to try it anyway.

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Photo of DogFood11
3.91/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Typical color, shiney copper, lively carbonation although not as much head or retention as I'm used to.

Breaded and slightly toasted malts are well put together and combine nicely with a slightly astringent hop profile to form a rather easy drinking brew. I can't say enough about the malts, they really make this beer what it is, mellowing out a sharp hop stinger. Crisp finish.

Hey Now! Not blown away or anything but this is the best offering from Angel city that I've been able to sample. Solid Amber ale. This qualifies as possible stable type brew. It also raises my interest in this brewer as my hopes were fading fast. Even one good beer in a lineup has my attention.

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Photo of mactrail
2.74/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Head retention is good. Malt seems to be fading into the slightly sour zone, so maybe this is an old bottle. Mouthful of carbonation is the best feature. Slilghtly sharp taste. Slight beer smell but mostly sourish. Light amber color. I can't taste much in the way of hops and I certainly wouldn't call this a Pale Ale.

Would be totally forgettable but it's worse than that. You would think distributors would check the quality of beer they are responsible for.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
1.65/5  rDev -45.7%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Presentation: 22 ounce Bomber with a standard brass colored crown cap and a colorful 1930’s art-deco style label with the words Angel City Brewing. Gold lettering has the beer listed as “Angel City Ale – A Malty Amber Ale“. No freshness date or strength.

Appearance: Nice looks, ruddy amber body with a striking clarity. Off white head is creamy, resilient and laces nicely. Solid conditioning and

Nose: Sharp metallic nose, I want to say that this beer is decidedly “off” from what I smell, though with no freshness date I am not so sure, so I will fight through this abortion and refer to the word off in quotes.

Taste: As with the nose, sharp cutting metallic malts, vinous traits and a crisp malt vinegar middle. Finish is dry with a tacky residual sweetness that cuts the sourness with some aplomb. A very confused Amber that exhibits many, many sour “off” flavors. This is just terrible.

Mouthfeel: The vinous traits make it hard to select a proper score here, but fighting past the sour aspects the feel is watery with a middling density.

Drinkability: The sharp bite at the start, and the rough finish, it all had me dumping the last 6 ounce or so…..very poor.

Overall: My own house rule is that if I know that a beer is past its best, then I will not review it, conversely, if I pick up a beer from a well respected Beer Store (as I did in this case) AND the brewer cannot be bothered to add a freshness date onto their bottle such that I don’t know if it is indeed past its best or not, then the review stands.

The AC Ale starts well, looks are promising but it quickly disappoints from the initial whiff to the first mouthful and through to the last part that I drain poured. This tasted metallic, sharp and vinous mess is riddled with lots of “off” flavors. A rather disgusting mess and shockingly bad.

When will LA get a real brewer that we can all be proud of!? I do wonder.

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Photo of beerpadawan
3/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of pants678
2.6/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a frothy white, two finger head. It's from the bottle into a pint glass. Good lookin'. The head retains well, more than just a lacing, less than half a finger.

Smells of beer, and I mean of standard malts and a hint of alcohol that's obscured by citrus.

Seeping through the carbonation is a front with malt character, a middle that has what might be ginger or corriander and, finally, a tinge of caramel on the back that don't last.

It's a light carbonation that I'm partial too with this kind of beer. Not too sharp, not too big, but just right to keep the flavors working together. It goes quick, but that's because there's nothing really to pick out.

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Photo of Rumrunner
3.51/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank at the Santa Monica Oktoberfair this past weekend. This is not a true Oktoberfest. It is more of a fair for children, but it was a nice break in the afternoon to listen to some music, eat a bite and try a couple of pints of Angel City Ale.

The ale pours a dense choclate brown with amber highlights. A very inviting look to this ale. There is a nice frothy off-white head on top that sticks around for a while and this dissipates to a foam slick on the top of the beer. The scents are on the sweet side. A very malty caramel. A very nice biscuit scent builds and it finishes with a sweet fruit scent that is far in the background.

The flavor is not nearly as sweet as the scents. This ale is more malty than hoppy and it still retains a strong caramel flavor but some other flavors even out the sweetness of the beer. There are still the bready biscuit flavor, but a nice earthy quality really adds to the flavors. There is little to no hop profile for this beer. There is a mild dark fruit flavor that makes a presence but it is pretty mild. I like the flavor combination of this ale. Well done.

The body of the beer is between light and medium. Not watery at all. light on the carbonation. This ale has a very smooth mouthfeel, with no bite what so ever. While it is a smooth ale, it is present at the same time. This is an ale a person could drink many in a session.

I think this ale pairs well with food. It is not overpowering and would be a compliment to foods like chili, burgers, brats and other bbq styles of food. It went will with my bowl of chili at the fair.

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Photo of tpd975
3.36/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice copper color with a tall cream colored head. Excellent retention and tons of lace.

S: Malt bomb of a beer. Tons of caramel, brown sugar, and sweet pine.

T: Malty in taste as well. Toffee, caramel, and brown sugar lead the way. Nice roasted malt, with just a hint of pine sweetness.

M: Full bodied for the style. Great carbonation.

D: Good for the style.

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Photo of Floydster
2.53/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle purchased for $1.99 from Beverage Warehouse, poured into a pint glass, light amber mixed with orange color, small 1/2 inch bubbly white head, some retention, no lacing, smell had faint hops, some caramel, light flowers, and citrus, weak smell overall, taste was also too light and had minimal dryness, leaving watered down malt as the dominant flavor, caramel is the only thing you really taste once it warms, thin body, carbonation is a little high, watery and light mouthfeel, taste went away quickly, could drink a few of these but there is nothing too them, ABV is probably no higher than six percent, light on the stomach, no reason for me to buy this again, weak offering for this brewery, not recommended

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Photo of KevinBrewer
3.98/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful, crystal-clear, reddish copper color. Foamy off-white head with moderate retention and moderate lacing.

N: Sweet, toasted bready malt mixed with light earthy and spicy hops. Notes of caramel.

T: Very nice toasted bready malt flavor. Hints of caramel. Very light grassy hops with a lingering hop bitterness. Aftertaste of grainy malt and light grassy hops.

M: Medium bodied and well carbonated. Slightly dry finish.

D: Very drinkable. One of Angel City's best beers. This is a good malt-heavy example of the style.

Reading the other reviews of this beer, I noticed a lot of variation. Some people said it was hazy, some people thought it tasted metallic, and some people thought it was watery. Maybe I just got a really good batch of this beer, but I found it highly enjoyable, with none of the previously-mentioned flaws. I encourage those of you who didn't like this beer to give it another shot.

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Photo of johnnieoz
3.29/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not sure when this was bottled, but I've had Angel brews on tap and they were way different. Need to find a bottle I know is fresh. This is not an American Pale me thinks...more of an Amber.

A: This is nice amber colored brew with a decent head and lacing.

S: A trace of bready malts here, but very low key.

T: Initially sweet, caramel malts. Then some hoppiness, followed by a slightly metallic aftertaste.

M: This is a dry ale. It is light-medium bodied. The carbonation as witnessed in the appearance is substantial, which I consider a bonus.

D: Definitiely a session beer. A good version of the style.

Always happy to drink a quaffable LA beer!

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Angel City Ale from Angel City Brewery
Beer rating: 3.04 out of 5 with 18 ratings
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