B.P.A. | Nodding Head Brewery

very good
31 Reviews
no score
Send samples

Brewed by:
Nodding Head Brewery
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-24-2002

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 57
Photo of THECPJ
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: orangish brown with a 1 finger white head

smell: citrus, grass,

taste: nice balance between the hops and malts, crisp

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: well balanced basic pale ale.


 253 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On cask, via hand pump, @ Nodding Head Brewery and Restaurant (Philadelphia, PA) on 4/2/11. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, with a finger of creamy bright-white head. This retains with a rich creaminess, leaving back tons of sticky lacing. The aroma is grassy with some ripe fruit character, as the malts here are giving off a mix of eggy smelling proteins and notes of fresh baked biscuits in the nose.

The taste is grassy, bitter, and tangy in the mouth, with a sticky mix of green citrus, bread, and caramel malts. The hops finish this with a dry and earthy bitterness that lingers with some strength. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a light prickle to the carbonation but then gets much more thick and chewy underneath. This feels like it could use some more crispness to help give this more of a quenching feel.

Not bad. The hops gave this some bite but that body here on cask just kind of left me hanging when it came to the type of crisp and refreshing feel that I'm looking for in a good APA. This was decent enough but I ultimately wished that I had gone for something else here for my first beer from these guys.

 1,155 characters

Photo of mklinger
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a standard pint glass. Nice pale amber with a good head that left plenty of lacing behind. Nice looking beer.

Aroma was that of a great APA -- plenty of American hops that were full of grapefruit and other citrus. Not as robust as an IPA, but very nice for an APA.

Plenty of hop flavor too that was balanced out with a bit of biscuity malt character. For a small brewpub, this was a very nice APA.

Nice beer. Of the four I had over two visits to the brewpub, I thought this was the best beer. Nice beer.

 516 characters

Photo of sbw138
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at the Nodding Head Brewery in Philadelphia

Appearance - Pours a nice dark orange/amber color, with a white foamy head. Very clear pour, not many visual signs of carbonation.

Smell - A very nice blend of floral hops, and malts.

Taste - Tastes as it smells. A nice floral hoppy blend, with a malty backbone. Somewhat sweet finish.

Mouthfeel - Tastes well carbonated, despite not looking so in appearance. Not a big bite to this beer.

Drinkability - Good drinkability. Not overpowering, nice when the keg is freshly tapped. Would like to try on hand pump.

Serving type: on-tap

 593 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.18/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewpub. Pours a clear dark orange with a thick white head. Aroma of nice citrus hops. Flavor of crystal malt and citrus. Like other Nodding Head beers, on the sweet side...but probably the best of the Nodding Head beer I got to try.
7/4/6/3/14 (3.4/5)

 266 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a bright coppery-orange 1 finger foamy white head that left a slight lacing.

S: On the nose was sweet malt and a huge grapefruity aroma with light fresh pine needles.

T: The initial flavor had a nice caramel backing with a big cascade citrusy hopping. The bitterness was strong but very smooth and crisp. On the finish was a nice wet citrus kiss and a light grassiness.

M: average, slightly dry with a light-medium carbonation.

D: Ok drinkability, making for a decent session.

 493 characters

Photo of cichief
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at the Nodding Head Brewery and Restaurant, Philadelphia, PA.

A- Pours a nice deep orange-amber, nice off white head, some minor haze.

S- Very floral hop aroma, nice and inviting.

T- Very fresh hops balanced with a nice malt background.

M- Very well carbonated, no CO2 bite, medium body.

D- This is a good beer for standby, it is well balanced and flavorful.

 376 characters

Photo of akorsak
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A pint served at the Philadelphia brewpub.

A: The BPA is a beautiful copper color with orange as the dominant color. A finger or so of head is a nice insulator to the ale.

S: The aroma is thick with citrusy herbal hops and caramel malts. The strength is far more IPA than APA and I like it.

T: The taste is a nice compliment to the nose, fully of zesty hops with a strong backbone to boot. First the hops, they are citrusy, grassy and herbal, with a pleasant orange rind element. The bite is strong but not overwhelming (that is saved for the 3C Extreme). The caramel backbone is up to the challenge of the hops, meeting them pound for pound with a touch of cereal. Nice hop finish sees the beer away.

M: A nice pale ale that throws a lot of hops at you. I personally like that kind of pale ale.

D: A very approachable and inviting pint, the hops may be too much for some pale ale fans. I have a newfound appreciation for it.

 930 characters

Photo of IgnatiusReilly
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on-tap at Nodding Head, Feb 2008.

Clear gold/orange coloring, with a small head and a little bit of lace. I would have like to have seen a little more retention there. The smell was crisp and hoppy, the usual pine flavor for a slighter stronger pale ale. Crisp hop flavor, almost astringent, could have used a more bready and yeasty undertone. Medium-bodied and well carbonated. Not too heavy so I could have had a few. Decent, but not earth-shattering. I'd sample and then move on to the next brew.

 507 characters

Photo of tempest
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured at the brewpub.

The beer list calls this a more balanced pale ale and while it just looks darker than the average APA. There is a nice balance of malt and hops, but the mellow caramel seems a like weak and isn't very clean for an American pale ale. The hops are citrusy and crisp, but just not strong enough. Like they just don't feel right. They smell great, but just can't deliver a full-mouth flavor or bitterness.

 425 characters

Photo of ffejherb
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Nodding Head on 1/5/08. Served in a shaker pint glass.

A - Clear amber/orange body with a short, creamy white head that left some nice, intricate lacing around the glass. Very little carbonation present.

S - Hop profile is primarily cirtusy with some grassy hops as well. Fresh, clean aroma of oranges and grapefruits. Bready malts with some caramel sweetness also come out, but are not as prominent in the nose as the hops.

T - Very tasty citrus hopped ale... not sure if they bill this as an IPA, but it sure tastes like one. Hops are well-balanced with the malt backbone. Clean finish with a tasty bready malt goodness and subtle caramel sweetness.

M - Medium body with very soft carbonation. Texture is fairly creamy with just a bit of a watery feel. Finish is bitter and slightly metallic, but nothing too harsh at all.

D - This is a textbook style citrusy IPA that's fresh and very drinkable. Nothing too complex, but extremely tasty.

 959 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours an orange-ish with a creme head. Minimal nose. Flavor is nice and hopped. Definitely a hop heads delight. But it's definitely not a hop bomb though. Just comes at you in a firm fashion. Leaves a lasting impression in the mouth. Very nice drinker.

 252 characters

Photo of letsgopens
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another selection sampled on-tap at Nodding Head, this APA pours golden orange amber with some thin yellow highlights. The frothy, full, off-white head holds decently well and leaves good uniform walls of lace.

A good amount of floral hops, probably above average for the style. Some sweet citrus and an average malt backbone. Pretty simple in the nose. Not complex but good nonetheless.

Really big, bold hops flavor for an APA. Bitter and mouth watering. Some caramel malt and citrus backup the hops. A hint of subtle pine and grapefruit pith accentuate the bitterness. Really hoppy and pleasing. One of, if not my favorite Nodding Head selections. Clean and very flavorful.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Good lingering hops on the palate as well. The finish is juicy, slick, and clean. Really well balanced and satisfying. A very tasty APA and a pleasure throughout.

 884 characters

Photo of far333
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Honey colored with a tightly bubbled beige head of foam. Aroma of floral and tangerine hops, with some biscuity malt in the background. Flavor is intially bright and tasty hops, very refreshing and crisp. Mostly citrus, some floral notes, and a definitely solid malt backbone riding beneath. Mouthfeel is even, not too full, not too dry or overly carbonated, but well balanced. Really enjoyable, highly drinkable.

 413 characters

Photo of Foxman
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a clear and carbonated coppery orange. A fat finger of tight white head sustains some time. Braille lacing traces the inside of the glass.

The aroma is a medley led by the malt section, with biscuit, caramel, and a mild sweetness. The hops represent lightly but well, with pine, dry citrus, and a very brief floral hint.

Upon tasting, the fairly sweet caramel malt lofts a feather of berry. The hops are again balanced capably against the grain, with measures of grapefruit, resiny pine, and even a flicker of orange. Biscuit malt recurs near the close, coming off as well-baked and crusty. The finish dries whatever's left of the sweetness, and the final crisp push is a comfortably bitter sign-off. It's a good soldier, up to the task and well-crafted.

Light bodied, the malt joins the hops to lend a slick but flowing presence on the palate.

While there's nothing astounding or revolutionary here, if every APA were as well done as this one, the world would be a better place. It's balanced, but not at the expense of any component. It's refreshing, and it drinks easily and happily, mating well with any number of culinary choices. I enjoyed the first sip, and I enjoyed the last sip, though yes, I was sorry to see it go, so more will be coming one day soon.

 1,288 characters

Photo of weeare138
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From January notes...firkin @ Capone's
Appears a copper toned, transparent orange with a soapy, white head that quickly dissolves into a bubbly collar.
Smell is of tea leaves, yeasty, bready biscuits, sweet notes of fruit, citrus, and pine.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas. To me, it's a bit English-like in flavor with the floral, herbal, & tea like hop notes.
Mouthfeel is smooth, mildly bitter & yeasty, with a gentle hop bite at the end that fits well with what they wanted.
This one was nice and drinkable. Very decent session ale without that keeps things simple and solid.

 586 characters

Photo of Phatz
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was very pleasantly surprised by this beer. I thinks it does better as it warms up. Served a tad too cold from the firkin. It is a solid hoppy American Pale Ale.

Appearance: Served a golden light orange color with a thick white head that quickly faded to a cap of froth. Lacing is moderate.

Smell: Pine hops and biscuity malts give it a balance that is simple friendly and flavorful in the aroma.

Taste: Hoppy. It is one of those APAs that skirts the line bordering IPA. It does have a bit of the butterscotch sweetness of an APA with the floral hops, pine and grapefruit. Very nice. Particularly after it warmed up.

Mouthfeel: Juicy with sharp prickly hops.

Drinkability: This is a hopheads delight. Easy drinking hop tea.

Hope this is helpful.

 776 characters

Photo of kernalklink
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a light copper pint with great aromatic head. Fruity hops and a slight maltiness. Taste was complex with a solid malt presence which lets some great crisp hops come out to play on the backend. Very refreshing and well balanced brew. A much better APA than I'm used to having at a craft brewery, they don't attempt to overwhelm with the style, but hit the bullseye on taste and drinkability.

 397 characters

Photo of RBorsato
4.72/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Tasted On-Tap 03/08/06 & 03/09/06 at the Nodding Head brewpub.

Solid golden color with a nice off-white head and good carbonation. Prominent grapefruit citrus hoppiness in both the nose and mouth. Very hoppy as expected with a very nice malt backing. Medium bodied, smooth, and creamy with a nice hop finish.

Even though this is a common style, this could be their best beer in my book.

A solid very hoppy American Pale Ale that seemed hoppier, or at least much better balanced in every way, than their Double IPA (3C Extreme). If you can only have one or the other go with this one !

Per NHB website: BPA = Bill Payer Ale.

 636 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.48/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a hazy medium amber color and a nice head that left a ton of lacing all the way down - a real thing of beauty

Smell: Decent aroma of biscuit malt and grapefruit hops

Taste: Nice malt backbone sets the stage for a fruity grapefruit finish

Mouthfeel: Smoooth; medium bodied with low carbonation

Drinkability: A nice looking, well-balanced pale ale

 393 characters

Photo of whartontallboy
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brassy pour with a thin white head. Smell is very hoppy, and there's a bit of a sweet malt not to offset it. There's lots of grapefruit and pine in the nose as well. From the smell, I expected the taste to be overwhelmingly hoppy, but there's a nice malt balance in there as well. Grapefruity hops and some tiny toasty notes make things jive pretty well. Good example of the style and pretty enjoyable. Worth picking up when you have the chance.

 445 characters

Photo of goindownsouth
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A solid APA, to be sure, this deep almost amber looking brew gave off a rather fruity, piney and resiny aroma, which matched up with its finger and a half head. A smooth brew on the palate, the hops are definately there, but not overly so, in my opinion. I would really need to have this brew again to get the full jist of what it is trying to say to me, but this is still a worthwhile offering.


 406 characters

Photo of donnebaby
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Totally clear shining dark bronze a heavy milky head with all around lacing. Mild malts edged with hops smell. Taste is sweeter than normal for pale ales/pales ale I'm used to. Some hop bitterness and hop greeniness mixed in but nothing to contend w the sweetness. Seemed to work for the drinkability though, which was crazy. Also very fresh-tasting. Cereal aftertaste, unexpected and gooood. Served not too cold.

 413 characters

Photo of maybrick
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Not only does the beer give you the hopped taste but also the nose. Wow! Even better was having this brew on Tuesday, and then returning Thursday the same week to have it on the hand pump!

Color is golden - like the sunset on the walls Ivy covered U Penn Campuses in late summer. The nose well- big bad cascade hops permeate like how horseradish can clear ones sinuses. The taste is even better.

I like cask brews and this one in particular translates from gas to hand pump very well.

 492 characters

Photo of cracker
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer when first poured looks a little darker than most "pale ales". A bit too amber for a pale ale. Little to no appreciable head. Smell is overpowering with fresh cascade hops. Almost like you are smelling a bowl of fresh hops in front of you if you close your eyes...typical smell that most attribute to cascades (piney, grapefruity, etc). This is cleary dry hopped. I think this is a plus and reflects quality ingredients and brewing techniques. Could use a bit more bittering hops as isn't quite on the same level as "West Coast Ales". Malt balance is there nevertheless. Goes down smooth. Probably the best beer at Nodding Head in terms of style.

 655 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
B.P.A. from Nodding Head Brewery
3.87 out of 5 based on 57 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.