ACME California IPA | North Coast Brewing Co.

557 Reviews
ACME California IPAACME California IPA

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2000

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Reviews: 557 | Ratings: 1,255
Photo of barczar
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a clear copper orange color with a solid one finger cream head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving no lacing.

Aroma is heavily dominated by bready caramel malt, which is accented by a hint of citrus hop, finishing slightly floral.

Flavor reveals a bit more underlying citrus hop, resting on a bready malt backbone, finishing with a bit of herbal tea-like hop and a touch of pepper.

Body is moderate, with fairly high carbonation and a touch of alcohol warmth.

Overall, not nearly enough hop flavor for the style. It's a fairly underwhelming selection.

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Photo of SmashPants
4.04/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle: a stubby brown 355mL bottle with a very retro throwback label per the 'Acme' name. Something different.

Appearance: pours a fantastic golden amber with a thick, fluffing off-white head with good retention. Thin lacing across down the entire glass also. Only sporadic fine carbonation visible.

Aroma: orange citrus with sweet malts - predominantly biscuits. A very tempting proposition - I just hope the palate can deliver.

Taste: a big, almost overbearing hop bitterness up front which flows into a sweeter citrus, caramel and biscuit IPA loveliness.

Aftertaste: the bitterness lingers through nicely along with a more defined citrus character. Very nice indeed.

Mouth feel: quite thick in body with a fine yet spritzy carbonation across the entire palate characteristic of a good IPA.

Overall: I wasn't expecting much from the cool yet slightly tacky-looking package, but it sure did deliver. Plenty of citrus and malts, with hop bitterness throughout the session. Very drinkable, and very enjoyable.

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Photo of FLima
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Amber orange color with a thick two finger off-white head with good retention and leaving laces.
Nice orange citrusy aroma with notes of pineapples, biscuit and slightly toasted malts and earthy hops.
Nice bitter flavor balancing both earthy and citrus hops and slightly toasted malts. Notes of spices, grapefruits, American Amber yeast, caramels, tangerines, tea leaves and a bit of grass. Some herbal pine, flowers and lemon comes later. Dry aftertaste with a pleasant lingering bitterness.
Light to medium body with appropriate carbonation. Alcohol of 6.9% abv is incredibly well hidden specially considering its body.
Quite nice IPA and very easy to drink, not stupidly hopped. Good bridge for beginners of hoppier beers or for taking in large quantities.

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Photo of BierJager89
4.06/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque orange with a white head.

S: Orange, peach, nectarine, mango, pine and grapefruit peel in the nose.

T: Orange, grapefruit, a little bit of pine, tangerine and peach.

M: Medium bodied and smoothish.

O: If the flavors had been stronger, I would have loved this IPA. Definitely recommended, but I'd like to see them brew a stronger, hoppier batch.

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Photo of glass_house
3.81/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter

Looks like a glass full of honey. Gorgeous. 2 fingers of dense off-white head with staying power and substantial lacing. Smell is dominated by piney resin with a floral background. I swear for a split second I get a bit of yeast that reminds me of a Belgian IPA like Houblon Chouffe.

Mouthfeel is more like a DIPA, more oily and creamy than most IPAs. The carbonation is lively and active and fits the medium body perfectly in my opinion. The taste follows the nose pretty closely. Mostly pine with some earthy notes and a bit of orange rind at the back end. Only picking up very faint caramel malt throughout. Slightly more bitter than I prefer.

Overall, I was impressed given the relative lack of fanfare this brew receives. It's not going to win any awards, but it is a solid IPA for sure. Definitely worth trying.

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Photo of mjstacker
4.38/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I'm on my third 6 pack of Acme, i'm really starting to dig it as a daily drinker.

The appearance is solid, crystal clear pale orange. Tends to pour with a massive 3 or 4 finger head. Moderate lacing.

The aroma is very floral, not a lot of sharp tones but nice for what it is.

The mouthfeel is great, highly carbonated and american like.

The taste is impressive and enjoyable. Moderately hoppy, matches up well with the floral aroma.

Honestly, I think this beer is completely overlooked. I almost think it's label is doing it an injustice as it reads "California IPA." If you're judging on style, this is no Green Flash West Coast IPA. It's really not a west-coast ipa in any sense. It is however a solid American IPA and should be a New Englander's dream. Reminds me of something Southern Tier to Wormtown might put out.

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Photo of macrosmatic
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into an Upland pint glass.

A: Hazy gold, with a big two-finger white head, and medium visible carbonation.

S: Pine resin and citrus pith hops, and a cracker malt base with a hint of caramel and oxidation. Overall a pretty light aroma.

T: Pine and citrus hops, only moderately bitter, with bready malts, some caramel sweetness and a touch of alcohol burn. This does taste a bit oxidized as well. Moderate hop bitterness in the hang.

M: Medium body, good carbonation sensation. The alcohol is somewhat more present than it ought to be (especially at this ABV), but it's not "hot" as such.

O: This is an average American IPA that really pales in comparison to many of the easily available shelf options sitting around. An above average beer (thus my rating), but really just a run of the mill IPA. Nothing to avoid or seek out.

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Photo of Hoppsbabo
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Clear amber body with slow-rising strings of small bubbles. Big oyster white head.

S: Marmalade, woody & earthy.

T: Dito the the nose, the woody earthyness is nice. Burned toast. It's slightly dry and has a rindy, fairly bitter finish.

O: More like an English/American halfbreed than your average Californian IPA. Not bad at all, but kind of one dimensional.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a globe. No freshness date in sight.

A: Sunny golden color, great clarity. Creamy bone-white head retains very well. Sticky lacing coats the glass in thin rings. Textbook American IPA appearance.

S: Lemonhead candy, aromatic pine, earthy and leafy, underlying tangerine and starfruit. Doughy malt base. Not a bad nose, but it lacks 'pop'.

T: Earthy hop tastes abound. Piney and leafy. Bitterness is moderately strong and gripping. Hops go spicy and herbal after a bit. Lemonhead candy peeks out from behind the bitterness. Doughy, honeyed malt base. Minty. Hint of alcohol. Brief tropical notes of tangerine and ruby red grapefruit with sugar. Sugary grapefruit and stiff hop bitterness comprise the finish.

M: Medium bodied. Very creamy and smooth. Moderate scrubbing carbonation. Alcohol warms a bit.

O: A very well-made IPA, though it doesn't seem to get much attention these days. Perhaps some re-branding is in order.

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Photo of Bookseeb
3.21/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a hazy golden orange supporting a steady head leaving. Smell is a little metallic with the citrus grapefruit and sweet caramel malt. Taste follows the aroma that creats a fair balance. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. Overall a fair IPA.

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Photo of T100Mark
4.21/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very cool 12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - Burnt orange color. Thick, lumpy, off-white head. Mondo stickage! Very good clarity. This is a very good looking beer.

Smell - Citrus hop hit followed by a wiff of mint. Spicy. Very nice.

Taste - Hoppy. Black liquorice. The malt is present. The beer has a slightly smokey flavor to it. Delicious.

Mouth- Aggresive. Oily. Again, very nice.

Overall - Pretty to look at, big nose, big mouth, and very tasty. This is one fine California Pale Ale. Acme's "California IPA" goes head-to-head with Sierra Nevada and Firestone (high praise indeed).

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Photo of jcbogantes
2.9/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this beers from California are really expensive in Costa Rica.

A: is a golden color, with a nice one finger head that doesn't leave a lace

N: slightly hoppy, some bread notes and floral notes

T: light grain taste, followed by some earthy hops

M: it is a light beer, easy to drink

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.76/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up a few weeks ago at the Buy-Rite in Jersey City. I never had this before and it's been a while since I had an IPA that I never drank before. While this wasn't as good as Stone or Dogfish Head, this was a typical offering from the West Coast and had enough going for it that it actually took me by surprise a bit. While the aroma was not terribly strong, nearly everything else about this beer was enjoyable and worked well together, leading me to actually pace myself while writing this review!

The pour to this was decent, with a golden hue, a full head that held its own, and lacing that was present after each sip while slowly sliding down the sides of my pint glass. Not a terribly strong aroma to this, with some grapefruit and earthy hops faintly detectable. Once I took a sip of this, that all changed. Lots of dry pint, citrus, and oil could be detected here, with a beautifully resinous mouthfeel underneath everything. The carbonation was spot-on and a bit of light fruit emerged in the back along with the metallic hops and champagne-like lightness that this beer had to it. This was strong in body while being light in taste, leading it to stand out a bit from other beers of this style. Lots of resin stuck around after I finished off each sip. coating my mouth nicely without feeling strong or overpowering.

Although this had a bit more booze than I expected, I never tasted it and only felt it once I polished this off. This was not a "hop bomb" like some other IPA's and Double IPA's that I've enjoyed and this turned out to be a good example of what a beer of this style should be. It reminded me quite a bit of Green Flash or Sierra Nevada and lovers of West Coast IPA's will not be disappointed here as this has quite a lot to offer anyone who gives this a go.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Type: 12.0-oz. bottle
Glass: Firestone pint glass
From: World Market in La Mesa (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $1.99
Purchased: July 11, 2013
Consumed: July 12, 2013
Misc.: N/A

Poured a nice-looking orange honey pale color with 1-2 fingers of khaki-white head. Average-to-good sporadic foamy lacing on the sides. Good retention the whole way down.

Smelled floral hops, citrus hops and Cascade hops for the most part. A tad bit of resin hops as well. Lemon, lime, pine, skunkiness and a tad bit of grapefruit.

Tasted pretty close to the smell. Got floral hops first and some citrus hops. Not as much Cascade hops as the smell. Lime, pine, lemon, orange rind, lemon zest and still some resin hops.

Light body. Oily-to-creamy texture. Average-to-lively carbonation. Bitter finish.

A decent IPA overall. I’d probably have it again.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am not sure how ive missed this beer before, didn't even know it has existed honestly, but as a big fan of north coast, I was stoked to see it on the menu at a champagne bar called pops in downtown Chicago. it pours a dense brass color, perhaps faintly tinted reddish underneath, with a foamy white head that's quite dense, and about an inch tall. it smells like west coast ipa, that's for sure. much more oily than bitter, with some pine notes and a sappy sort of sweetness. the flavor agrees with the nose, but this beer has achieved remarkable balance. the pale and caramel malts do provide a touch of sweetness, but more than that they contribute a hearty, muffin-like density and texture to this brew, which in collaboration with generous pine hop additions, amounts to a lively, drinkable, and very enjoyable ipa. I would be happy to engage this one again, should I be fortunate enough to stumble upon it like I did last night. a real good brew.

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Photo of yeastlovehoppiness_jess
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer poured a cloudy honey gold with one finger of cream colored head and left behind lots of lacing.

S - The fragrance left something to be desired. It was really light (even for this sensitive whiffer) and faintly smelled of pine and sweet citrus.

T - It tasted of apple, mango, citrus, and a little floral. It was very mild in the hop department. Not much of a bite. But it did have a nice dry, earthy taste and aftertaste.

M - It was fizzy, light bodied, and crisp - very refreshing on a summer night.

O - Overall, it wasn't spectacular. It wasn't as hoppy as I'd hoped. But it was refreshing and tasty with a nice aftertaste. It's something I'd drink with food since the hops wouldn't interfere much with the food or vice versa. A good "gateway" IPA.

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Photo of Mojo
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle -> tulip glass

A Pours up a hazy saturated gold with a one finger off white head, poor retention, but lots of delicate lacing.
S- Pine, resin. floral, citrus
T- apples and citrus upfront followed by nice dry bitter finish with notes of rye.
M- plenty of carbonation, lingering aftertaste
O- not world class, but not bad at all

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Coppery-tan with a great, lasting head that left a nice cap of light tan foam and sticky lace.

Aroma is some mild floral hops, a smidge of maltiness, a touch of fruits, a bit lacking on aroma but not bad.

Taste is more lightly floral hops with a fairly pronounced bitterness, like it had a big early bittering charge of something strong like magnum or warrior, and a lighter late addition of flavor and aroma hops.

Body is slightly watery with a lingering bitterness.

Overall I'd say it's a bit out of balance, needing more late hops additions, but it's not bad.

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Photo of admccabe
3.36/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A- relatively small head, fancy looking bottle with a lady on it.
S- I can't honestly say, nose is kinda dead right now.
T- somewhat muted hoppiness, dry taste
M- crisp with some bitterness at end remaining
O- of all the IPA's I've had, this one just doesn't stand out much, tasty but not unusually so.

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Photo of doktorhops
4.12/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After an abomination of a Wit, Orange Avenue Wit to be precise, I thought I needed something comical - enter ACME; the company that supplied Wile E. Coyote his weapons grade Plutonium in his quest to kill that damned Road Runner! Yes, sad as it is I was always hoped one day the coyote would win and roast that smug road runner over a slow burning fire (I was a strange kid indeed).

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Slight cloudy amber body (there is some sediment floating around) and a rough 1cm white foam head, looks tasty.

S: Pine, citrus and fruity hops hit the nose straight away. It's no secret there's some hopping in this ale that is for sure. Apart from that there is not much else to detect grain/yeast-wise... it's all hops here, in fact just taking in another whiff there's a passionfruit hit as well.

T: Undeniably hop-driven taste. It's as described above; Pine, citrus and fruity hops assail with an added herbaceous character thrown in, it's like 'The Hop Brothers' - a fictional film involving two orphan brothers on a mission from God to save an orphanage by touring the country selling a hop filled ale they made themselves. The back end is a medicinal herb bitter but that is to be expected from 55 IBUs (International Bitterness Units).

M: Medium bodied, light carbonation with hop oil slickness that is characteristic of these brews.

D: Damn fine on the Doktor Hops Scale (DHS). Novice beer-drinkers, from countries other than the US, beware! This is a fairly bitter beer due to the amount of hops and lack of (discernible) malt, work your way up to this with an English IPA or American Pale Ale, otherwise if you fancy a right bitter brew then dive in. This is a really top-shelf beer, however at the price you pay here in Australia is not worth it; get a Harviestoun Schiehallion for a brew that is less bitter but much better VFM (Value For Money).

Food match: Straight from their website: Fish Tacos with Citrus Salsa and Cabbage Slaw. Or anything with rocket.

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Photo of vickersspitfire
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass, this beer is a good looking light burnt orange color with light blonde highlights near the edges. It’s topped off with thick billowy white cloud of bubbles, and it sticks around for a while too, surrounded by a thin wall of lacing. The aroma really reminds me of pale ale, very light, mild malts and fruits, but I cannot smell any hops at all. The flavor does not disappoint, its bitter overtones are accompanied by a strong, but good tasting hop presence. Plenty of spices and citrus fruits are also detectable- lemon is strong. The aftertaste it bitter at first but then warms up and a slight grapefruit/lemon zest flavor takes over.

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Photo of Murrhey
3.27/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- Two-finger cream-colored head. Fluffy and large bubbles. Several minute long retention with some white ropes of lacing. Hazy orange color with fairly high clarity.

S- Bitter and spicy hops. Sugary and sweet smell, but with the presence of the bitterness typical of the style. Would be better if it were more complex.

T- Bitter, well balanced. Some strange soapy flavor though that isn't appealing.

M- Creamy and smooth. Nice feel.

O- Wish there were more to say about it. Other than the odd taste it leaves in your mouth it is fairly unspectacular.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Well, I didn't get the coyote treatment last time, so I'm gonna press my luck... This stuff pours a lightly-hazy brass-amber topped by a finger of cream-white foam. The nose comprises grass, light grapefruit zest, and rice cake. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a generous dose of orange rind and a soft backbone of toffee. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, a generally solid IPA, nothing overtly special, but an enjoyable enough option.

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Photo of matjack85
3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I got this as part of a build-your-own six pack for $9.99 at the Binny's store in Bloomingdale, IL. 12oz squatty brown bottle with no freshness date.

The beer poured a slightly hazed golden apricot color and started coming out the top of the bottle the second the cap was popped, so have your glass handy as soon as you open it. Nice 3-finger white head that lasted awhile with plenty of sticky lacing.

There's a good amount of tropical fruit in the smell - mostly pineapple, but not all that hoppy for an IPA. There's some sweet malt as well, but overall not a strong smelling beer.

Everything about this beer screams "mild". Mild caramel sweertness, mild fruitiness, and even milder piny and citrusy hop bitterness. Not sure I want an IPA to be that balanced and mild though. Sort of miss the hop dominance, but there's only 55 IBU's in this one.

Medium bodied with a little higher than medium carbonation.

Not a bad tasting beer, but not that IPA-ish.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.82/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle into a Samuel Smith pint glass.

A: Pours a murky orange-amber color. The head is a two finger offwhite shade with a nicely consistent texture, even after much of it has receded. Lacing is patchy.

S: Quite floral. There is a lot of pine, lavender, biscuit, and mild caramel. Not much citrus quality, sadly.

T/M: Tastes like...well, an IPA. This one in particular starts off malty with notes of biscuit and toffee, while a light citrus quality pops up past the midtaste. It actually tastes a bit yeasty, and certainly feels that way. The heavy feel, chalky finish, and moderate astringency all take away from an otherwise balanced but bland IPA. I'd reckon its best feature is the building dryness on the aftertaste.

O: I love the simple but retro labeling - shame the beer itself feels about 10 years behind the 8 ball. It's too heavy-feeling to session and too mild for serious IPA drinkers. Others out there will like it, though.

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ACME California IPA from North Coast Brewing Co.
3.66 out of 5 based on 1,255 ratings.
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