Angel City IPA | Angel City Brewery

37 Ratings
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Angel City IPAAngel City IPA

Brewed by:
Angel City Brewery
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-08-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 37 |  Reviews: 22
Photo of brentk56
2.69/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a clear light amber color with a rocky head that sticks ringlets around the pint glass

Smell: There is a sweet sweet dried fruit aroma here that is totally unexpected; some caramel and chalk, too

Taste: Opens with a malty, soft caramel flavor that is joined by grainy bitterness at mid-palate; after the swallow the sharp grain flavors punch the beer in the wrong direction and, while this is not a sour beer, sour and bitter flavors linger in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate, but prickly, carbonation

Drinkability: With the exception of the dunkel, which I rather enjoyed, this brewery is a write-off

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Photo of zestar
2.75/5  rDev +1.1%

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.44/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Angel City IPA pours a mostly-clear deep golden body that leans into amber. Gold and orange highlights glimmer when held to the light. A frothy head of white rises majestically above it, holds very well, and then leaves some very nice lacing about the glass as it goes.

The nose isn't particularly hoppy, and thus falls heavily into the "English-style" category, although British brewers tend to be using far more hops in their IPA's than they used to. It's grainy and caramelish, but not hoppy. What is there is leafy, mildly grassy, just a hint floral, and kept to the background.

In the mouth it's dextrinous and medium-full bodied, with a soft, almost chewy feel that's delicately off-set by a very fine-bubbled, moderate carbonation. Again, this is a change from the normally expected zesty tingle of an IPA.

The flavor is not much different than the aroma suggests, with a caramelish and doughy malt base dominating. Some apple-like, and perhaps even pear-like notes from the yeast are present as well. Leafy, herbal, grassy, floral and even spicy hops are infused throughout, and it's not an unpleasant sip by any means, but it is a bit sticky. I'd estimate the IBU's to be at about 55 to 60, but it's hard to tell with so much residual malt there. It seems, oddly, slightly unattenuated, and that throws off the balance. That said, it finishes smeared with a coating of semi-sugary maltiness that lingers for quite some time, harboring grassy-leafy hop notes and bitter resins that then build on the palate.

Overall, this is a quirky IPA that kind of makes its own niche. It's very home-brew-like, and has an overtly malty balance to it that can be charming at times, but in general lacks nuance and balance.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.53/5  rDev +29.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of jwc215
3.16/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle:

Pours golden with a lasting off-white head. Stretches of lacing stick down the glass.

The smell is of caramel with slight musty floral notes with a touch of alcohol. Doesn't really smell like an IPA, but not unpleasant.

The taste is of caramel with a slight aspirin-y bitterness. There's an "English"character to it, more from maltiness, though in a home-brewish way. The idea that this fits well to American IPA category, or English IPA, is out of my mind. If I were to think of this one "in style" I would like it less. It has some sour notes, alcohol shows, and hop bitterness is mild, and somewhat clumsy. This is one of those that doesn't fit the style well, but isn't necessarily bad. It's different. Hard to believe this is a West Coast IPA. There is a slight bitterness. There's an "English style" maltiness. There's a slight alcohol presence. There's a slight sourness. Yet, it tastes "okay" to me, in a "different" way.

The feel is light, but slightly chewy.

It drinks surprisingly well, all things considered. An "odd" IPA, but pretty drinkable out of style.

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Photo of GClarkage
2.33/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

06/08/06- Purchased at Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA.

Presentation- 22oz bottle, no freshness info located. Poured into my 24oz glass mug.

Appearance- Caramel-amber in color, slight 1/2 inch head which mostly fades after the immediate pour. Better than average lacing though.

Smell- An off caramel malt scent. A bit cardboardy. A bit sour? Faint scent of some piney hops in the distance.

Taste- What the hell? Is this a sour beer? Tastes like it could be an Oud Bruin. Darker caramel and bready malt mixed with a sour and bitter flavor. Gets more sour as it goes.

Mouthfeel- Almost a puckery sour with a bitter aftertaste. Well carbonated.

Drinkability- I dumped this after about 8 oz. Certainly not an IPA, if so it's an IPA gone bad...but it appears I am with the majority here. Stay away from this one.

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Photo of dwagner003
2.89/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.26/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled February 2007
Pours with a brilliantly clear, reddish copper color. It is topped by a frothy, initially two-finger thick, light tan colored head. The aroma has an interesting herbal, almost vegetal note to it. It is quite malty as well with notes of caramel, toasted biscuit notes, and chewy, almost malt extract type notes.

The beer is quite smooth up front with just a touch of malt sweetness. The finish dries out even more and has a toasted, almost roasted coffee like note to it. The beer has a solid bitterness to it that is noticeable throughout the brew. There is not a whole lot of hop flavor here; just a light herbal character is noticeable. The malt seems a bit old; notes of caramel, and toasted grain, but also a sort of aged malt character that is both dry melanoid rich. This tastes like a pale ale, though it has more malt character. This really seems a throw back to the days before the American craft brewing hop craze. Drinkable, and fairly decent, but even using English hops this could be greatly improved upon.

Purchased: Park Lane Liquors, Lancaster CA

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Photo of Zorro
2.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22 Oz Bomber from the Green Jug.

Pours a hazy amber colored beer with a small tan head.

Smell is a little citrus scent and some caramel malt scent, not strong on hops.

Taste is sweetish with a fairly strong citrus hop taste and a fairly strong bitterness. After a bit this gets harsh in the bitterness department. Astringent hops are woody without any extra hop flavors appearing. At best this is average and I am being generous about going along with the IPA designation.

Mouthfeel is OK.

So so drinkability here. This is really more of a harsh APA than an IPA. It is still better than drinking a Macro brew. Between this and a Sam Adams I will take the Boston Beer Company beer.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
1.89/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

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 IPA – is full-bodied and well-hopped with late addition Goldings, yet well balanced with English Pale and Caramel Malts“. No freshness date but listed at 6.8% ABV.

Appearance: Dark copper body, a surprise I have to say. Off white beige head forms easily and rises high but soon settles down to a 1” thick covering. Above average carbonation and some nice lacing on the drink.

Nose: Caramel which is heavy on sweet aspects, this is a chewy sickly nose. Has a grain texture but it is very weird for an IPA, there are no hops, unless the sickly caramel is an over-distilled hop character gone wrong. Awful.

Taste: Sharp beginnings with an astringent bitterness that is not balanced by anything, it just runs riot. Harsh caramel and burnt sugar with some earthy tones. Old wood lingers but the awful harsh bitterness continues to run rampant. Horrid profile, utterly disjointed.

Mouthfeel: Chewy feel, thick malts and caramel with a light syrupy texture. Fair feel with an average body.

Drinkability: Extremely hard to grind through, I got past half of the bottle but that was it, the rest got dumped. Hard work to say the least.

Overall: Cost $3.49 during a recent raid at Hi-Times in Costa Mesa. Not impressed to be honest, the strangest IPA I have had, well except for Greene King’s awful UK version. Messy and flaccid. Very poor example. Terrible!

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Photo of SimcoeKid
3/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of hopdog
3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle acquired in trade with Foolish_Mortal (thanks!).

Poured a medium orange color with an averaged sized off white head. Small suspended floaters. Aromas of some fruitiness and citrus. Tastes of citrus, light caramel, and some toasted malts.

Notes from 5/28/08

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Photo of AlexAfonin
3.4/5  rDev +25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of flexabull
2.68/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a cloudy orange color with a weak head.

Aromas are metallic, mineral like, and sour.

Flavors are very flat. Beer is mostly crisp and tart, with not much else going on. There is an underlying slightly bitter aspirin like taste on the finish. It's not really unpleasant, but it's not that tasty or interesting.

Mouthfeel is thin and flat.

No thanks... not awful, but it's a very blah tasting beer. It wasn't quite a pour out, but it was close...

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Photo of bnes09
1.88/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

There's earthy and there's dirty. This would be the latter. Nothing but an unbalanced mess of off-putting, dirty (soil-like) hops with a gritty texture to boot. I can literally feel granules of something in my mouth after each sip. Please avoid. Practically undrinkable.

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Photo of beerpadawan
3/5  rDev +10.3%

Photo of blitheringidiot
1.89/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1


All of us dumb ass BAs bought this effluvium at Costa Mesa Hi-Times. It's horrible and diacetyl with a buttery bomb flavor that creates a sour mess. Dry and lemon juice with a bitter pucker. Something went wrong with this batch and I’d suggest avaoiding it altogether. Sorry as I am a hop head.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.8/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pounder glass it forms a respectable head although it took some aggressive action to get the results. Very loose head that fades never to bee seen again. Sporadic, spotty lacing. Hazy orange body with mild carbonation.

High level of malts in the nose and translates to the taste as well. Hops come through a bit more so towards the finish of each pull. Hops are slightly leaning towards citrus. Slightly spicey as well. Notice everything is slight because the brew is kind of a jumble, a grab bag of flavor mixed without much of a gameplan.

Notes: Maybe its a recipe issue? For someone that has won numerouse homebrewing awards you would think the kinks would be worked out. Maybe its the pains of going commercial? Regardless this is not ready for this household until something changes. I didn't find it horrible at all but rather not competitive with whats out there.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
2.38/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Recently acquired from Binny's for $1.99. Pours from the bomber into my tulip glass a nice vibrant copper orange with a small bubbly white head on top. Very little carbonation makes the head disappear with a quickness. Aromas of a pretty bland toasted/caramelly malt with a mellow earthy, slightly piney hop twang. Odd buttery, almost dirty scent as well. Just doesn't cut it for an IPA at all.

First sip brings a somewhat sour toasted maltiness with a dollop of caramel. Buttery flavor moves in halfway down and what seems to be only a shadow of earthy hops rolls through. Flows down with a slight spiciness and finsihes with some herbal tones. Ugh, this is just a mess. I don't think this should have left the brewery.

Mouthfeel is on the lighter side with a bit of creaminess, however at the same time it has a prickly astringent quality about it. Overall, pretty much undrinkable. The rest will meet the drain as there are other beers that are far more deserving of a place in my glass. Dunno what the problem with this brewery is, but if you're gonna try anything stick to the Dunkel IMHO.

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Photo of Rick778
3.25/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of magictrokini
2.42/5  rDev -11%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Pours clear gold witha big white head. Definitely an English-style IPA. Soapy hops, pepper, biscuits, and that distinctive English malts. Taste is sharp and crisp, but somewhat watered-down. Apple tartness, lemons, and the golding hops are prevalent, as is a funky, musty malt flavor. Not really my bag, baby.

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Photo of Spreetaper
3.54/5  rDev +30.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mdlb44
3.29/5  rDev +21%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Nothing super special but a solid ipa

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Photo of MisterClean
2.8/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Purchased at Bev Mo in Burbank. Was impressed at their showing in Booneville this year, so gave them a go.

A - When I opened the bottle, it did not hiss. However, there was good carbonation, there may be something wrong. Poured orange with 2 fingers of white fluffy head. Dissipates slow and leaves nice lacing.

S - Honey, caramel, grapefruit, citrus, and some funk. Unsure of what exactly though. Brett? Is yeast Belgian? Hmmm...

T - Honey, citrus, grapefruit and nectar esters. There is definitely some brett now.

M - Moderate bodied, hop dominated, and plenty of sour funk.

D - It sucks that I will now be hesitant to purchase Angel City Beer. I really dug them at a festival this year, but this is not a good sign.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
2.44/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

22 oz. bomber purchased at Hi-Times in Costa Mesa. Pours a chalked hazy copper color; lace sits atop but lacks any "legs." Nose is extremely odd given the style, as other reviewers have noted. No hop aroma whatsoever; extremely sweet, like a caramel chew. So I was hoping that maybe since the hops do not come through at all in the nose, they'll be there in the flavor. No such luck. This doesn't even have to be some West Coast, over-the-top hop monster, but even English IPA's have some hop flavor or aroma. This has nothing but an extremely subtle, mild flaky hop leaf in the finish, preceded by wheat and coffee. It's not terrible flavor-wise, just not at all an IPA, of any sort. Flavors are a bit off, and not just for the style. Not quite a drain pour, but not good either.

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Angel City IPA from Angel City Brewery
2.72 out of 5 based on 37 ratings.
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