Millstream Iowa Pale Ale | Millstream Brewing Company

126 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 126 | Ratings: 264
Photo of NWer
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A gift from the Midwest.
Poured into my Great Lakes nonic.
Very abundant brown head fills glass. Retains well.
Brown cloudy appearance with a cloudy layering midway. Good marks for originality. Never seen one like this before.
Thick caramel notes belie the style. Nothing on the hop side to speak of.
It was good, just very confusing. Better to not think about it too much, just enjoy. It is enjoyable enough and I would definitely drink it again if I ever get the chance.

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Photo of JackieTH
3.55/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured amber and translucent with a half inch of light tan head that faded quickly to nothing and left no lace. Smell was malty, slightly sweet with a hint of earthy hop. Taste was a bit too sweet up front, mild citric hop in the middle. Bready malt prevailed. Finish was mildly sweet, but not cloying. Decent medium body and carbonation. Overall glad to try another Iowa beer but they've got some work to do.

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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.

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Photo of TheDeuce
3.5/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Millstream Iowa Pale Ale…..on tap at Millstream Brewhaus in the Eastern Iowa Airport.

Appearance-pours a reddish amber gold color, large two finger white head off the tap, bubbles settle evenly and we’re ready to go.

Smell-malt upfront with a bit of hops and a little caramel mixed with alcohol, not all that pungent but enough to get the job done.

Taste/Mouthfeel-medium mouthfeel, touch of hops upfront with a balance of malt, somewhat sweet, but a nice backbone of alcohol finishes the taste off mixed in with caramel and hops. Perhaps not as punchy as you’d like but the flavors work.

Overall-solid representation of the style, on the lighter side for sure but it works, worth a try.

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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.

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Photo of morimech
3.16/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber with a massive head that had good retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left on the glass.

Very malty aroma. I pick up a lot of caramel and toffee. Any citrus from the hops are well hidden by the malt.

Flavor is likewise malty with a heavy dose of caramel. With a modest 29 IBUs the hop flavor and bitterness don't so much balance as get overpowered. The citrus is there near the finish but not like the typical APA. A little bit of a cleaning agent flavor in the finish.

Solid body that feels quite large. Probably one good aspect of the malt bill used in this beer. Nicely carbonated.

I think the brewer would be better off calling this an Amber Ale. Just not enough from the hops to challenge the standards of the style.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.4/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from cpolking so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light coppery brown color, with a short off-white head that fades very quickly and leaves a very thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, some fruit and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with mildly sweet flavors of caramel, tea and a little citrus. Then a mild hops bitterness comes in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer worth drinking for while.

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Photo of AmericanGothic
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Bottled around mid May.

A: Pours a slightly cloudy copper orange with one half finger of off-white head. Good retention and lace.

S: Sweet malt with a bit of lager-like grain and faint pine/citrus hops.

T: Mostly semi-sweet malt, a little bit of toffee, astringence on the finish that is a vaguely reminiscent of gin. Not what I would expect of a pale ale, but still pleasant enough.

M: Medium-light mouthfeel, bit of creaminess to the feel.

O: Not bad by any means, but not a lot to get excited about. Wouldn't seek it out, but wouldn't turn it down, either. Try it, the flavor is a bit different, it just might strike your fancy.

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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.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: copper orange with 1 finger head that dissipates quickly

smell: sweet malts, some floral hops,

taste: caramel, sweet, malts, little hops

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: not terrible but I prefer my Pale Ale's to have alittle more hop bite and crispness.

the CPJ

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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.

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Photo of rings
3.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The Iowa Pale Ale has joined the ranks of their year round selections over the past decade. It's purposely not as "extreme" as some other pale ale interpretations, but it's also pretty par for the course.

It pours a nice, deep golden in color, with a respectable head and has a firm Cascade hoppy nose, and is probably dry hopped. There's a soft sweetness on the first sip with a sharp, dry bite and long, lingering finish. It's very nice, clean, respectable and a fine example of a typical American Pale Ale ... but nothing more than that.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of FreshHawk
4/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy, orange-copper color that is a bit darker than others in the style. A pretty large, foamy, fluffy, cloudy, soapy white head. Pretty good retention

S - Pretty good amount of sweet orange and grapefruit citrus hop aroma along with some spicy herbal hops and a good amount of pine resin. Fair amount of caramel malt in the background definitely balances it out a bit. Some floral backgrounds as well.

T - Not quite as hoppy as the nose suggests. Caramel malt provides a strong backbone. Some citrus hops come out, but not as much as the nose, the major hop flavors that come out are herbal, grassy, and tobacco flavors with a touch of spicy hop flavors. Pine resin also comes out a bit more than the nose. Pretty hoppy for a Pale Ale, but not as hoppy as a bigger IPA.

M - Medium feel with around average carbonation. Crisp feel with a dry and sticky finish.

D - Good balance of malt and hops with a nice body. Doesn't really inspire me to drink more, but I enjoyed drinking it and could drink another.

Notes: Somewhere between a Pale Ale and an IPA as far as hoppy flavors go. Not a bad beer and pretty good on a warm day, at least when it is pretty fresh.

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Photo of nas5755
3.2/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A solid pour reveals a reddish-brown ale with orange like layers shining through, the head is decent. The nose is slighty on the hoppy side with some malty tones shining, biscuit like qualities noticed as well. The taste is filled with citrus hops and more malts then I was expecting from a pale ale. Definitely a malt forward version of the style, some of the malt flavors are carme, biscuit and a little bit of spice. The carbonation levels are decent and the beer is on the chewy side. A decent beer that scores right down the middle.

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Photo of SurlyDuff
3.45/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's been nearly half a year since I reviewed a beer. Lord knows I've been drinking plenty of them, including a dozen-strong brewery tour in the northeast and another through northern california.

The wife brought me a few rarities from Iowa though. While they really didn't hold up against my regulars like Deschutes, I couldn't help but sit down and share my thoughts on these few beers that never make it out west.

This pale ale pours a thick copper with a nice pearly head.
Thick malt and slight homebrewish wort aroma makes a presence without much hops.

Malt is chewy and prominent. Hops are there, sure, but this ones almost sticky with worty maltosity. Some tobacco and cooked veggie dms in there. Though bright, it has an unfiltered and muddled quality to the taste.

Like it for what it is, a midwest pale. Is it my favorite pale? not by a long shot. I'd say it's worthy though. If on tap side-by-side, I'd drink it against a sierra nevada or mirror pond. It's not as good as either staple, but a good change of pace.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.26/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My first beer from Iowa comes from Millstream Brewing Company--Iowa Pale Ale . The beer pours a dark copper color with an off white head. The head leaves lots of lacing down the glass. This is a handsome beer, really.

The nose is laden with sweetness, ripe dark fruit is most dominant. Earthy hops lurk in the background.

The heavy palate presents more of the same. Caramel and sweet malt lead the way through a moist, hollow center and onto the bitter hops at the end. The balance between sweet and bitter leans toward sweet in this one.

This beer reminds me more of a British ale than an American Pale Ale. In any case, the sweetness reduces the drinkability of this one.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.97/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is a clear, clean, amber. Two fingers of buttery and dense off-white head developed and dissipated slowly.

Smell: I couldn't pin down what IPA reminds me of when I had a pint at the Foxhead, but figured it out just now: Fuller's ESB. It smells a lot like British pale ale. The smell is sweet caramel malts, vanilla, and a light lemon citrus. There are some minor fruity esters and diacetyl as well.

Taste: The first sip proves hoppier than the smell would suggest, but, on the whole, the brew is reminiscent of the aroma. Sweet caramel, some light citrus, an adequate hop bite, and some vanilla and fruit playing around.

Drinkability: IPA is like a balance between the British and west coast versions of the style -- which is fittingly Midwestern. Respectable, even-tempered, and not extreme. This brew caters to my malt preference, so the drinkability is pretty high.

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Photo of beertunes
3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to pepsican for the hookup on this one. Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a deep red/amber color with just a thin cap of off-white head that had no retention and a bit of lacing.

The aroma was fairly benign and muted, a touch of malt and a trace of hops. The taste was surprisingly bolder than the aroma had lead me to expect. Nicely crisp hops balanced with a solid and smooth malt foundation.

The body was nicely full, smooth and crisp. Drinkability was very good, I could see drinking a bunch of these during a ball-game or cookout.

Overall, a very nice beer. If this were local to me, I'd have it as one of my regular go-to beers. Worth trying.

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Photo of alleykatking
3.98/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle. Thanks goes out to drhinehart for putting this bottle in the Local BIF package to me.

A- Pours a nice darker copper color with light golden highlights in the light. One finger fluffy white head comes and goes leaving a wisp of foam on the top of the beer. Light lacing on the sides of the glass while I drink away.

S- Citrus hops with a little earthy hops in the front of this. Caramel bready malts in the backing of the beer which makes up most of the aroma profile. Everything else is muted if there is anything at all in here.

T- Nice caramel malts in the front end of this. Light roasted malts in this as well which I didn't expect. Light bitter hops come into play in the middle of the beer which puts this back into pale ale territory. Light malts in the back end of this beer finishes it off.

M- Light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Caramel malts left on the palate with some light hops in the aftertaste. Flavors were well balanced in the beer.

D- This was a refreshing pale that I was glad to have had. There was nothing over the top about this which to me made this beer work as well as I think it did.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.04/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another beer from this Iowa brewery my former supervisor hooked me up with.

A clear copper hue greets the eye after the pour along with some tiny suspended bits that hang in their respective spots almost like bubbles in Jello. Quick head an okay bubbling round this APA's appearance out.

Bready and caramel malts blend with great earthy and faint pine hops to make a pretty nice aroma. Theres also a slght gummy bear note at the end of each sniff that I find very intriguing.

The taste starts crisp and malty ih mld pine tree hops. The midle has a heavier earthy hop presence, thats almost musty, mixed with sweet caramel and toasted bread malts. The finish is a long lingering hop of grass, pine cones, and faint soil with some fresh baked bread and gummy worms.

This is a pretty good APA IMO, to bad they don't ditribute in Chicagoland.

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Photo of hoppymcgee
3.62/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle marked 9/2009 into a Ten Penny Ale pint glass.

A: The best feature of this beer. The beer pours a golden color with a picture perfect head. The topography of this beer is just tremendous.

S: Nothing spectacular. Some apricots, a little lemon, and a teeny bit of hops.

T: Mellow wheat, light coriander, and "spotty" hops. Subtle flavors that come together and create something enjoyable to the palate.

M: Great carbonation level and not too thick. Meshes well with the ABV and style.

D: Refreshing and easy to finish.

Overall, a good beer that I wish was a little bit fresher so I could have more of a pronounced hop aroma/flavor.

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Photo of Josievan
3.88/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Compared to the sea of light macro lagers as far as the eye can see, Iowa Pale Ale is dark as hell. The actual color is dark orangish amber, but "dark" is relative, right? This pint also shows the light domestics a thing or two about head and lacing!

Smell: Nothing really stands out in the aroma. American hops are certainly present, as is a moderate portion of caramel malt.

Taste: The hops are the first thing that hit you. They provide a nice punch to the palate if you're unprepared for them. With subsequent sips, the sweet malt is the initial taste, followed by a hoppy, slightly dry finish. The beer also mellows out a bit as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Iowa Pale Ale is crisp, yet with a firm lighter-medium body, and a good carbonaton level.

Drinkability: I had three pints, which seemed about right before switching to another Millstream beer, their oatmeal stout, to cap the night off.

Notes: I'm proud to say Iowa's own Millstream Brewing Co. has created an excellent beer and accurate representation of an APA. It's not earthshaking by any means, just a solid overall beer. Too bad it looks like I'm the only one in the place drinking it.

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Millstream Iowa Pale Ale from Millstream Brewing Company
3.52 out of 5 based on 264 ratings.
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