Clone Ale | Olde Main Brewing Co. & Restaurant

20 Reviews
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Clone AleClone Ale

Brewed by:
Olde Main Brewing Co. & Restaurant
Iowa, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Simply a "Clone" of an American classic, this American Pale Ale is crisp and clean with a noteworthy hoppy bite. The subtle malt background balances out the refreshing ale.

Added by bditty187 on 10-27-2004

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Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 36
Photo of BillyX
4/5  rDev +51.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had pint on tap at Olde Main in Ames, IA.
Billed as a pale ale, the dominant taste up front was malt and biscuit; more than expected but not off-putting. The hops come in rather late and linger. I would not call this a balanced APA but it was decent and a rather different flavor profile compared to others of its type. Not sure what it's supposed to be a "clone" of; not SNPA, for sure. I'm surprised at the number of low ratings; perhaps it doesn't bottle well. At $3.50 a pint I would buy this again, for sure.

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Photo of AnitaBrewski
3.34/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured vigorously into a tulip glass, this pale ale gave a reasonable head and a nice hop aroma, but definitely isn't is the class of the best pale ales. It tastes fine, had a good feel, and I collect beer labels and I like this one. I don't understand all of the harsh labels, if I was in Ames I wouldn't have any problem drinking one of these beers. When I went to ISU back in the 70s we had to drink beer that was much much worse!!

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Photo of DukeofAle
3.08/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a color more toward the brown end of the spectrum rather than golden (as many apa's are described). The nose is unremarkable - no impression of hops. The taste is good - somewhat malty for an apa and not very hoppy. Mouth feel is about right. I found this a very drinkable if unremarkable ale, but I'm from Ames and I'm a Cyclone fan, so what do you expect?

I think those that trashed this beer were overly harsh, or perhaps the brewer is inconsistent. Certainly there are better apa's but this isn't bad.

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Photo of TJ_B
1.3/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.25

I had one of these from a 6-pack of 12oz bottles which I poured into a frosted glass mug about 2 years ago. This was the 2nd to last beer I had from Olde Main and I don't think I'll be having any more. I was really harsh on this beer rating-wise because I feel like it's criminal for Olde Main to call this a beer. Every beer I've had from Olde Main tastes really flat even though the bottles are carbonated. This beer was one of the only beers that I couldn't finish the 6-pack on.

The beer literally tasted like seltzer water with a bit of pale ale flavoring added. I really shy away from things that are named from sports teams, so when I saw a 6-pack at Hy-Vee I normally wouldn't look twice, but it was on sale for like $5.00 so I thought I'd give it a try. I want to try to be constructive and examine the good and bad points of this brew, but this is just ridiculous. I can understand having lower standards because the customer-base at Olde Main is largely college students who don't now any better, but this beer is downright terrible and it's unfair to try to honestly critique it. It appeared golden in color and had a decent head, smelled really "weak" and as I mentioned it tasted like seltzer water, not beer.

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Photo of LXIXME
2.94/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from an inch or so above the glass leaves a big white to off white head above a clear golden colored ale.

Aroma is a light sour lemony almost soapy, with some citrus hops notes.

Taste is of light lemons with a little citrus hops through in which makes an almost decent tasting APA, I wouldn't might drinking a few of these to get a better feel for them.

Slightly watery which makes a smooth drinking light to medium bodied beer with a slightly dry aftertaste that still holds a little bitter hops bite to it.

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Photo of tvv375ia
1.94/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass

a-somewhat cloudy bronze color with about a 1/2" head that diasappeared rather quickly leaving a little lacing, at least it looks good there may be hope for it

S-sweetness and maybe a little corn kind of like frosted flakes

T-not a lot of flavors here but it seems to me something like bitter nuts like walnuts and then holding a penny in your mouth, so not very good at all

M- carbonation was ok not over carbonated.

O- I had this the other day straight from the bottle while watching monday night football and did't think it was that bad, but after pouring into a glass and getting some air to it seems to open it up and not in a good way. I boiled some brats with it also and could smell some carmel malts to it so I was hopeful it would have some good flavors. I really wanted to like this one since it is my hometown brerwery, but try as I might I just can't. It is not what I would call a Pale Ale (no hops taste or smell anywhere) so if you are going to drink this just go straight from the bottle.

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Photo of THECPJ
2.41/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: copper orange with minimal head retention

smell: sweet, malts,

taste: sweet, malts, medicinal,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: not very good. but always happy to try beers I can't get in my home state.


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Photo of jwinship83
2.16/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle picked up by my wife on her recent adventure into iowa. drank from my samuel adams perfect pint glass.

A- a strong pour yields a somewhat hazy golden colored body with a finger and a half of bright white head. little to nothing gets left behind as far as lacing goes. the head is quick to dissipate.

S- very subtle nose here. cereal grains with a little bit of herbal and floral hops. i dont like where this is heading.

T- the taste is just as subtle as the nose. it starts out with some pale malts and cereal grains. after that i get an odd metallic twang. light floral and herbal hops at the end.

M- light bodied with an almost unmeasurably high level of carbonation.

D- nope. avoid this. i didnt like it at all. thanks again to my wife for picking it up, but this isnt a worthy pale ale at all. no hops, no malt, no body....its nothing but carbonation.

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Photo of morimech
3.68/5  rDev +39.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slight haze to an orangish liquid. Just over one finger of head forms and has very good retention before settling to a thick cap. Moderate amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass.

Aroma is the weakest point of the beer. Just faint citrus hop and pale malt aromas.

I love the malt bill used in this APA. A little toasted and musty. The citrus hops compliment the malt nicely. Bitterness and hop presence are a bit low for a moderen APA. There is nothing in the flavor that tells me this is a subpar beer.

The body is on the lighter side and has good carbonation.

With a little more hops this could be a very good APA as the malt side is very good as it is. More of a gateway pale ale at this point but it seems to be well crafted. Maybe the brewer got some things worked out and are not putting out a better product than the previous reviewers were drinking.

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Photo of afinepilsner
2.22/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz brown bottle

Clone Ale was cloudy and yellow orange in color. The head was small, white, and quickly became just a thin ring. The smell was malt with a little hops. The taste was more hops than malt with some bitterness and a bad aspirin flavor the finish. It was fairly light bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinkability was low due to the bad aftertaste. Pass on this one.

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Photo of emerge077
3.66/5  rDev +38.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single from HyVee in Davenport, $1.50. Label stamped "13010"

Pours an attractive, glowing orange, slightly hazy with unfiltered sediment. Three fingers of stiff foam that laces well, with a meringue sheen to it's surface. The retention is great, it's head sticks around for the duration of the glass. Looks nice enough.

Aroma is mild, simple floral hop notes are there, perfumy and earthy. As it warms there's also a vague hint towards citrus.

Flavor is easy going with an herbal hop bitterness and biscuity malt body. It has an earthy, dry aftertaste, with a light hoppiness that seems to build on itself. Slight element of aspirin bitterness from the hops, but it's not too distracting. At first it seemed too carbonated, but a couple swirls of the glass worked wonders.

It's ok, certainly hoppy, more or less your average simple pale ale. The hops seem more English than American, and certainly not overdone. Can't really bag on a small regional microbrew if it's a decent beer. Maybe they retooled this one in recent years.

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Photo of ballz50401
2.76/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz. bottle to Sam Adams perfect pint. Crystal clear light golden color with a little head retention. Very little to no hop aroma, can smell toasted caramel malts with some biscuit. Taste is the same as the smell. This is more like an English style pale ale then an APA (needs more hop aroma). Not a good example of the style, was hoping for more from this.

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Photo of williamh
2.81/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Living in Ames due to college, I have had many opportunities to try Olde Main beers. I am a huge Pale Ale fan so I tried this a few years ago and I was extremely unhappy with it. It tasted like mass brew beer and slightly like a lager. Needless to say I was not impressed.

I have recently tried the Clone Ale again, and this time it was much more pleasant. Either Olde Main is improving their recipes or I had a bad batch before.

The pour was a pretty average pale color but formed a nice head with small uniform bubbles that allowed for a chance for good aroma.

The aroma was disappointing. There simply was not enough of it. There were slight notes of the pale malt and very slight notes of cascade hops but I wanted a big citrus nose.

Taste was was better than the nose, but my personal preference is a pretty strongly hopped pale and this was lacking. The beer just seemed a little bit watery. There were no bad flavors, and the malt and hops seemed to be well balanced, however I just wanted more. The flavor was also short. I like my beers to have a nice long finish appropriate to the style of beer. If this beer would have had a nice smooth citrus finish it would have benefited greatly.

Even though this beer is light and the reviews have not been great, it is, and I hesitate using this word due to marketing of big brewers, very drinkable. The word "drinkable" has become synonymous with mass brewed lagers, and this is not that. When the price is right on tap I will often get this beer because I do enjoy drinking it.

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Photo of Icehouse57
2.01/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

So, I was really disappointed. I'll try to describe why.

Appearance- This was the best feature of this beer. It poured a slightly amber tinged copper. It was hazy. This was the best feature of this beer.

Aroma- This was average. Not nearly enough hops in the nose for an APA. Where is the hoppy aroma? I actually detected sweet malt long before any tinge of citrusy hops.

Taste- The worst feature of this beer. Not HORRIBLE like others may have been leading you to believe. Sweet malt, and some bitterness... But I was left wondering where the later flavor addition hops were? There was plenty of early addition bittering hops... just where the heck were the flavor hops? I didn't detect any medicinal quality... thought there was an unidentifiable funk to it somewhere. Its not offensive.

Drinkability- Yup. It can be drunk.

I was disappointed. I really liked this brewery's scottish ale. I had equal high hopes for this one. It just didn't work out.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.53/5  rDev +33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to tedpeer for this one.

Pours a nice cloudy darker yellow color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger fizzy/creamy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, with some little hop notes, citrus. The taste is malty, slightly sweet, bitter, little hop note, and some citrus. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a nice little brew.

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Photo of katan
2.88/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a hazy golden color. Lots of head formation, extremely well retained. Bright white in color.

S - Very subdued nose. The most you can detect is a light citrus note, but I would say it is more from a adjunct ingredient than a particular hops.

T - Starts off with a very light malt flavor. Caramel malts make an appearance, but it turns very bitter. Very light flavor overall. Finishes with a strong harsh dry taste that is dominated by a grassy hop finish.

M - Body is built from a strong carbonation profile. Beer itself feels a bit then. Little clinging or aftertaste.

D - Manageable ABV. Bitterness is a bit fatiguing on the palette. Can be a bit filling.

An unbalanced generally flavorless beer. The flavors are there I think, just in the wrong order.

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Photo of TheStoutAholic
1.95/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A: A light color typical of an APA

S: Smells like a cheap light beer.

T: Tastes a little better than a light beer.

M&D: Not worth commenting on

Overall, I was not impressed, though it was better than bud light. This wasn't a terrible beer I have had terrible beers before, and this wasn't one of them. I guess you might as well relax and have a Triple Bock ; ).

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Photo of mynie
1.49/5  rDev -43.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours okay, I guess. Cloudy amber with a very tiny head.

Smells--bad. Like it's brewed from kit and the hops were rotten when you stuck them in. Just, it smells like medicine and funk.

Tastes as bad as it smells only worse. Like sweat, baby aspirin, ear medicine, and muddy grass.

I'm pretty sure this came from a Mr. Beer kit. Horrendous. Avoid.

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Photo of smcdowell
2.03/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I was a little concerned by the desription, which was: "Crisp & clean with a slightly malty finish. This one is brewed with all malt, so it wonÂ’t fill you up. Have another!!" The comment about all malt made we wonder, but I figured it was an American Pale, so surely there's some good hop character to it. Nope. The resulting beer was rather bland. Pretty light, pretty thin, not very aromatic, and ultimately, not very tasty. After the first couple of sips, I found myself drinking it down as quickly as I could, just to get it over with. A couple of their other brews are pretty good (particularly the stout), so there is hope that they'll get this one figured out eventually, but for now, I'd pass.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
1.65/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bright yellowish gold (think Miller High Life) with a copious amount of soda-like, large bubbled carbonation, perhaps the fastest bubbles that I've ever seen, sprinting up to the nonexistent head. The gnat's one finger cap disappeared within 10 seconds, never to be seen again. One of these times I'm going to suggest a center pour rather than the glass pour that I always get. I appreciate the fact that they're trying to maximize the amount of beer in the glass, but still. A little head is good once in a while, isn't it? (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).

Speaking of nearly nonexistent, the nose was seriously weak. In fact, this 'APA' smelled like a macro lager (this is becoming what one might call a theme) only not as aromatic. The flavor was... you guessed it... macro lager. In fact, Clone Ale tasted more like a BMC offering than any brewpub beer that I've ever had. Each sip brought sour grain, grass and something resembling root vegetables, rutabagas or turnips perhaps. I've never tasted anything quite like it and I hope never to again.

Someone should tell the Olde Main brewers that a pale ale should contain hops. My hop radar is pretty acute, but it was silent while drinking this beer. A minimal amount of malt, needless to say, resulted in a thin body/mouthfeel with a short, mercifully clean, slightly mineral-like finish. The insane amount of carbonation contributed to my struggles to finish the pint. I didn't.

Clone Ale is not good beer. It isn't good beer alone, it isn't good beer with food, it isn't good beer sober and I'm sure that it isn't even good beer drunk. Avoid like the plague.

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Clone Ale from Olde Main Brewing Co. & Restaurant
2.64 out of 5 based on 36 ratings.
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