Millstream Iowa Pale Ale | Millstream Brewing Company

126 Reviews
Read the review
Millstream Iowa Pale AleMillstream Iowa Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Millstream Brewing Company
Iowa, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
India Pale Ale's are turning into hoppy monsters, but our Iowa Pale Ale is more mild and about balance. It has enough bitterness to match the maltiness provided by the pale malt base and gets its citrus zing from extensive dry-hopping with Cascade hops. This beer was first made in a few small batches as a summer seasonal in 2003. The response was so incredibly positive that is has worked its way into a year round beer and became a favorite to many.

29 IBU

Added by Todd on 07-04-2004

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 126 | Ratings: 263
Photo of ktrillionaire
1.84/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to beersack for the brew.

A - Amber IPA. It is translucent, with short-lived head and not so much lace.

S - Yuck. Corn husk and gross barley. This may be hard to drink. It smells like a chicken coop to some degree.

T - Drain-pour. It is like a mixture of bird-seed and green matter. This is one of the worst beers I have ever had.

M - Hard to judge, the beer sucked so bad. Seemed a bit fizzy/foamy in the mouth.

D - Someone should send these people a Sierra Nevada, so they can see what a 'normal' (good) Pale Ale can/should be. This is horrendous.

 561 characters

Photo of KarlHungus
2/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This beer pours a cloudy amber-orange color. In fact, it is so cloudy I can't see my hand through it. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into almost no lacing. The aroma is of caramel and butterscotch. The butterscotch isn't over the top, but it still doesn't fit into this style of beer. The taste is similar to the aroma, but with slightly more butterscotch. The mouthfeel is on the lighter side of medium bodied with a watery texture, and aggressively annoying carbonation. Overall,, this is a bad beer that I will not drink again.

 555 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
2.39/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Amber colored "pale" ale, thin 1/5" white head. Malt caramel notes in the aroma, hops are hiding, disappointing.

Taste was watered down pale ale, not bitter enough, not hoppy enough. Might as well be an alt light. Some burton yeast kind of earthen ground notes to it.

Super boring pale ale, more akin to a blonde ale for my money's worth.

 345 characters

Photo of mentor
2.42/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle obtained from To Your Health (Coralville) in January 2005 and consumed that same evening. Freshness date says August. Pours a half-finger very light tan-organish head that slowly settles, with some lacing. Smells c-hop citrusy with a noticable, and unpleasant, pine-sol smell that is reminiscent of Arcadia Batch #999. Orangish and cloudy with noticable particulates suspended. Tastes sweet malt to start with caramel followed by hop bitter, a hint of citrus, and dominated in the end by grassy hops (cohumulone?). Not so good. Let's see...any fruits in here?...not really, maybe some apricot. Nicely carbonated for the style. medium-light bodied. Overall...yuck. Dang, and I really wanted to support the home team tonight (I'm presently in school a few miles from the brewery at the U of Iowa).

 808 characters

Photo of Reaper16
2.5/5  rDev -29%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle served into a pint glass

Pours a sort of copper/amber color. A bit dark considering its lightness on the palate. Not much head or lace, frankly. A smidge of soapy whiteness. Average.

The beer's aroma is a mix of strength and weakness. It starts off with a pretty nice hop profile. It smells hoppier than the average APA, but not in a way that highlights characteristics of the hops. It is generic pine, generic hints of citrus (like Squirt brand pop: an undifferentiated citrus blend). This hop presence is somewhat undone by the sugary-sweet malt. It turned the hops into a bit of Fruity Pebbles cereal.

Yup, you guessed it, that abundant malt saccharine sweetness shows up prominently on the palate. That fruit cereal flavor dominates any effort that the hops give to balance it. This just tastes like a poor pale ale.

It seems to have an appropriate body. Not a fan of the weak carbonation level though. More active bubbles would have taken away some of the feeling that I was drinking cereal milk. It's flaws severely impact the ability to drink this beer.

This has some things going for it, but Millstream needs to tone down that malt sweetness.

 1,169 characters

Photo of knight84
2.53/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Pepsican for sending this as an extra!
A: Dark coppery color with a light khaki head. Leaves decent lacing.
N: Mostly caramel malts, a little leathery hop profile, maybe a touch of citrus. Could be a little past it's prime.
T: The taste follows the nose pretty closely. Actually reminds me a bit of sampling IPA wort. Strong caramel and toasty malt character with a leathery hop profile, no real sign of the citrus here though.
M: A little thin. Lacks character, but still tolerable. Really doesn't strike me as a good example of the style. Not a great beer.

 568 characters

Photo of msjacilynn
2.54/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: pours clean amber. good solid lacing throughout.

S: nothing. maybe a bit of malts, corn but very little hops on the nose.

T: it was ok...hops were present, sweet toffee malts and again with the corn. otherwise, pretty bland.

M: little carbonation, light watery feel.

D: not something I would seek out, but also not something I would turn away.

 350 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.56/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Light auburn colored beer, clear, minimal head.
More caramel aroma, lacking hop aroma.

Pretty bland taste, hop character lacking, easy enough to drink, but doesn't have any real characteristics to speak of, slight malt, earthy, leathery feel to it. Balanced I guess, if you're into that. Grainy, cereal like at times.

One of the beers I sampled in helping myself make a determination where in the Midwest I wanted to go to school.

 435 characters

Photo of GatorCoop
2.76/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

This was one of the selections in the beer of the month club. Very dry tasting. Left a bad aftertaste in my mouth. Sort of like with Stone IPA does. Do not like the taste.

 171 characters

Photo of goodbyeohio
2.8/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

thanks mark

great, thick orange tunnel of sediment surrounded by a slight deep golden outline. soapy head leaving airy lace and no signs of bubbles.. probably all trapped at the bottom.

aroma includes a real mild but noticeable addition of citrusy, fresh-smelling hops and a toasted grape-nut cereal graininess. some pineapple and maybe the slightest butter note.

really light with an even yet chalky bitterness. some fruit juice seems to glide underneath.. appley? overall big on the pine-sol.. huge pine resin feel and aftertaste here. best described as christmasey. this doesnt fit the style of apa at all. very funky, not sure how i like it but its different. that's for sure.

those flavors start to annoy after a few sips, simply because they're too much and i want a refreshing session beer from this offering. no such luck.

recommended for those who want to see a totally haywire version of a normally tame beer.. otherwise, avoid. wtf is with this brewery?!

 982 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
2.96/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: Pours a slightly hazy orange color with a 1.5 finger white foamy head. By the time I got from the kitchen to my desk the head had reduced to a decent layer of foam on top. Left some impressive lacing actually.

S: Light citrus hops, notable orange and orange peel. A good bit of grainy malt that gets stronger as it warms. The hop/fruit aromas start to subside.

T: Very grainy with what tastes like wheat as well. Very slight floral/orange hop flavor, but overall very weak. Similar to the aroma, the graininess intensifies over time.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The biggest problem for me with this beer it the mouthfeel. There are no floaties or chunks in it all, but it feels like there is when i take a sip.

O: Didn't have high hopes, and without the strange mouthfeel, it would be slightly better than average.

 840 characters

Photo of jsprain1
2.96/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Dark golden. Has a slight haze to it. Head is one finger and just a bit off white.
S- The smell seemed hoppy as I poured but when I resmelled there wasn't much there. A bit of pine and a bit of butterscotch.
T- There's not much on the taste. It's sweet almost sugary. There's a slightly raw flavor in the finish. A bit of caramel throughout.
M- A good body to it. Good weight and smooth carbonation. There is a strange foamy texture in the finish though.
O- The body is good but the flavor just wasn't there for me.

 518 characters

Photo of BitterBrian
2.97/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

If all the APAs that I've had were lined up for picking teams, and I was a team captain, this would be the last picked. Not that I'd hope that I didn't get suck with it. It just wouldn't be MY choice.

Poured a translucent gold with a pale yellowish head. The smell is of a dry lightly hopped brew, not an APA. Tastes like it was watered down, very thin and not very hoppy at all. Maybe this was in the warsh pale after making a better beer.

Finish - bland and metallic.

 475 characters

Photo of waldoiverson
2.98/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz into nonic

A: brassy copper, moderate head with strong lacing

S: sweet grass, a bit of a fruity apple aroma

t: fairly dark flavors, brown sugar, and the apple taste underlies the whole thing. malt forward, for sure.

m: clean and smooth, no distinctive bite of carbonation which would have helped

o: it's a fine beer but would have preferred a bit more of a distinctive hop profile

 391 characters

Photo of bashiba
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a nice slightly hazy shade of copper with a light white head with good retention and decent lacing.

Smell is slightly earthy with a bit of floral hops.

Taste has a nice bit of earthy malt backbone with a bit of slightly sweet and floral hops in the finish.

Mouthfeel is slightly creamy with a touch of slickness.

Overall easy enough to drink, but not worth searching out.

 390 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.03/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 8/25/08. Bottle courtesy of pepsican. Pours a dark orange/brown with a small white head. Aroma of bitter Cascade hops. Flavor is mostly pale malts with some cardboard. I don't know if this bottle is past its prime, but only a hint of the bitter hops remained in the finish. Kind of bland tasting. Not bad per se, but I wish it was a little more flavorful.
6/4/6/3/11 (3.0/5)

 386 characters

Photo of cokes
3.06/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Smoggy amber with a low-clug, off-white head.
The nose is remarkable, at first, for being void of nearly any discernable aroma. Meek pine needles arrise as it warms.
Begins with a doughy maltiness, coupled eventually with traces of vanilla, and caramel, creating something akin to sugar cookies. Hopping, as the nose foretold, is meager. Whispers of pine, with little associated bitterness.
Low in body and structure. This is a drinkable, bland pale ale that comes up short in most areas.

 493 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
3.06/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to BUCKEYENATION for the trade.Poured a nice amber color with a pretty decent head.Floral aroma-somewhat sulphery.Fairly even flavor-malt with a slight hoppiness.Theres almost too much bitterness for my liking.I feel like the aroma carries into the flavor.Average body-not too thin.An ok beer.Nothing to really write home about.Theres better examples out there.

 368 characters

Photo of errantnight
3.07/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Just about as middle-of-the-road old school East Coast, bitter, pine-y IPA as you can get. Almost assaulting in its harshness and bitterness, "balanced" by a borderline Amber Ale malt backbone.

Still, no glaring flaws in the beer, would have liked it to be more dry, although this would likely have accentuated the bitterness issues.

 335 characters

Photo of apintofknowledge
3.07/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours from a short & stout bottle, a very deep mahogany hue with a slight haze. Some sediment floating around settles to the bottom of my pint glass.. big chunks at the bottom... should those really be there? The off-white head disappates quickly to a point, but a lingering layer of foam remains on top. Some lacing.

The aroma is somewhat sweet and malty for a pale ale. There's some floral hops I can smell in there too. However, the hops come through in the taste. Somewhat sweet, with caramel notes up front, and a nice bread-like doughy character, but a dry and bitter finish more than balances that. Just a little too harsh on the bitterness for the style in my opinion. Some citrus notes in the finish as well, and a little tobacco and pine in there too. These all become more noticeable the more you drink.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about this one... if the bittering hops were brought down a notch, and that sediment wasn't in there, I'd be inclined to like it a lot better. But as it stands now, I wouldn't drink more than one.

 1,048 characters

Photo of beachbum1975
3.08/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Got this on a trade with mynie – thanks, again!

Freshness date was marked for May with no year, so I can only assume it’s 2006.

It poured an opaque burnt copper/orange color – very nice and rustic to me. The light tan head was average in size and formed to a foam halo 5 minutes after the pour.

It smelled of toasted citrus, pine malts and alcohol – semi-complex nose overall.

The taste was medium-bodied with a toasted citrus flavor, like orange & lemon rinds (a little bitter) and had a waxy aftertaste to me.

It was an interesting beer for me to try and I am glad I did, but I don't think I would enjoy it as a session beer...

 649 characters

Photo of dancinwillie
3.1/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My 50th review on BA, and I decided to go with a beer from my home state of Iowa.

Poured a dark coppery color, almost looked red coming out of the bottle. Thin, white head just covers the beer. Pale in name only.

Aroma is very faint, but some floral and citrus comes out. Also smells syrupy sweet too.

Very much a herbal and spicy hop flavor. Also pretty decent amount of malt coming through. Some pine flavors hit me at the end of the swallow, and the herbal flavors keep on coming as well. This is not a cookie cutter pale ale, but instead goes it's own direction. And it is a good direction. The road less traveled and so on.

Full bodied, slightly chewy, and a little creamy.

Drinkability is medium for me, this is a decent offering from a brewery I've never tried before. I would drink a couple of these in a sitting, more if someone else is buying! Good APA.

 869 characters

Photo of jzlyo
3.11/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Doesn’t quite have the hop bite that other IPAs have, this isn’t quite a EIPA, but its close. Not bad, just not as strong of flavor as I’m used to in this style.

 168 characters

Photo of falloutsnow
3.13/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle from Hy-vee in Council Bluffs, IA.
Poured into a standard US pint glass, allowed to warm from refrigeration.

Pours a 2cm off-white head that, in a few minutes, decreases to a thin film along the top of the body. Lacing is present, but fairly minimal. As others have noted, body is a bit dark - think bright copper-brown - for an APA. Transparent, with some very visible, active carbonation.

Aroma is primarily of caramel and malt sweetness. The four different types of malt in this brew are amazingly well-hidden by the malt (IBU is only 29).

Beer tastes malty, with some caramel sweetness. Some hop presence is detectable if I strain, but they're really underwhelming and overpowered by the malt. The brewery talks about balance, but it's not really here.

Low-medium-bodied, with some fairly sharp carbonation. Finish is fairly dry, crisp, and clean.

This was a generally enjoyable beer, and I would drink it again, but it's a very weak APA. This would rate higher if the style was an amber ale, but it seems off if it's being called an APA.

 1,054 characters

Photo of Blakaeris
3.15/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours cloudy orange with a creamy head that leaves very little lacing.

Smell is very malty and fruity with an unusual grassy or earthy mustiness.

Taste is similiar to the nose. Definite malty fruitiness. Finish is mildly bitter with lingering citrus notes.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and a little slick.

I found the aroma and flovor to be a little different from what I expected from an APA. An unusual brew and worth a try.

 436 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Millstream Iowa Pale Ale from Millstream Brewing Company
3.52 out of 5 based on 263 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.