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 TinusTime
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber with a slightly copper hue. HUGE white fluffy head that leaves sticky lace all the way down the glass. I mean you can stick a finger inside the glass and lift the empty glass up its so sticky. Smell is piney with a bit of sweetness in the nose. Taste is very hoppy with a odd bit of sweetness. Almost like a watered down 120 min kind of sweetness. Balanced, but no flavours to make you go SHAZAM. Well carbonated and a bit of a gusher when poured. Drinkability is very high as it is a very smooth easy drinking beer. I agree with Avylover, this doesnt feel like a 7.10 % alcohol. Overall I would recommend it as a fine session IPA. Its not gonna wow you, but It is a tasty brew. Especially at the nice price of 1.50 a sixer. Gotta love it when distributors lose a court case and have to sell off the stock cheap.

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Photo of Globetrotter
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes in a brown almost stubby 12oz bottle with a red, white and blue label featuring a well-endowed blonde woman holding a plate of beer mugs in one hand and a couple more mugs in the other. No information about content or freshness. Picked up at Total Wine in Northern Virginia.

Pours a slightly hazy copper under a 1.5 finger off-white head that lingers fairly long and leaves some decent lace strands. The nose has flowery hops, but there's an excessive sweetness here, almost like molasses. The mouth is prickly but slightly heavy, practically coating the mouth with goodness. Lots of hops in the taste, with a bit of sweet malt backbone. The hops are mostly pine, with espresso dryness and a touch of dry port in the finish. Aftertaste, which lasts forever, reminds me of pine needles. Great? No, but a good drinking brew.

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Photo of putnam
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I guess I expected this to be light in color, but this is as pale as Summer Lightning, or Stella Artois. It's beginning to dawn on me what this Acme brand is all about : drier, more traditionally European in build, yet lashed with west coast herbs and spices.
Aromas of candy corn, sticky mint, rancid pine nuts and grapefruit peels. On the palate it is very supple and silky, with beautiful integration of aggressive ruby red grapefruit flesh flavors with dry impressions of honey. It is cascading, dry and very grapefruit-infused tonic (a quality I usually despise in beer). The finish is sunny and carefree. A beautiful sequence of spice, honey and grapefruit in a very dry, mouthmelting texture package.

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Photo of TheLiterati
2.55/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours gold with a hint of amber. Substantial frothy head lasted a good while before giving way to a nice lace. Found the scent to be a little sour and off-putting at first, but it mellowed after being in the glass for a while.

Tasted of bitter hops as expected, but mostly a one-note wonder. Missing are the undertones of other subtle flavors usually found in an IPA, that, when brewed right, give this style a nice balance.

Crisp mouthfeel with a dry finish and somewhat sour aftertaste.

Drinkable, but would not be my first choice for this style.

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Photo of sideshowrob
3.17/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Acme - Good name for a generic, unoffensive IPA.

Beer poured cleanly into a standard DFH pint glass. Brew was almost the exact color of coors, not an encouraging sign. Brew appeared to have been filtered within an inch of its life - absolutely clean and sickly yellow.

Hops aroma was present, and it imparted a slight citrusy note when sniffed. Very subdubed. Taste was more of the same - An IPA by the books only. Nothing at all to make it easy or hard to drink from the mouthfeel or drinkability side of the house, nothing really to encourage you to do so either.

I had higher expectations from this beer, I assumed that North Coast bought Acme to serve as a niche brewery for speciality beers, guess I got it backward, NC is the beer-geek brewery, Acme is the mass-market brand.

Still though, Very nice bottle design! My IPA has a bikini-clad lass on it!

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Photo of Suds
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have generally good impressions of this flowery, sweet and orange liquid, served from a large tulip glass. It has a decent head with, leaving islands of lace about he glass. The aroma is seriously hoppy, leaning toward the fresh, flowery side of life. The foretaste is sweet, fruity, and malty, but is balanced with a large dose of bitterness. This is a very nicely balanced IPA, which makes it quite drinkable. It probably lacks the power that hopheads want, but I’d be pleased to have a few of these.

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Photo of 99bottles
3/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: A light lemony-tan color with some haze, and an active inch of dense white head. A little lighter than some IPAs, but not the lightest I’ve ever seen either.

Smell: Wow. If dry hopping is to impart hop scent, this thing must have been dry hopped, stomped, pummeled, squeezed and choked. An intensely raw hop prescence in the nose; pine scents predominate some little floral character.

Taste: Whoa. This is bad ass. This isn’t even listed as a double IPA, but it should be. This is the most raw, unrefined hop monster I have ever tasted. The malts, who knows? My tastebuds were gone after the first sip. I guess there was some dry biscuit flavor, but mostly just wild hops. This makes Stone’s Ruination seem mild by comparison. The ending is sharply bitter, more strong pine flavor and acidic fruit. This is something else. I want to know the IBUs in this. I’d guess 100+, easy. No more fresh kegs of this please.

Mouthfeel: Ok, I suppose. Not too heavy, but with so much on the bittering side, this could stand up to tons more malt.

Drinkability: I couldn’t have another if I tried. Too much. So overly hopped, this has lost sight of the fact that IPAs, no matter what the style was intended to preserve, were still meant to be consumed at some point. This sort of misses that fact. Send one to India and back (or stick it in the cellar for 2 or 3 years) and I suspect you’ll have something special on hand. Fresh, and you’ll just wonder what happened to your mouth.

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Photo of stirgy
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was bright and a brassy golden color. Tinged slightly with chill haze. Highly carbonated with a creamy white head. The aroma is slightly spicy with lemon citrus and a creamy and soft hop spiciness. First thing I noticed was the nice malt base. and the hop flavor matches well with the solid malt body. This seems to get sweeter and fruitier as the beer warms. A lingering bitter spiciness coats the tongue and leaves the taste buds numb. This borderlines being astringent, and pulls back just before crossing that line.

This isn’t a monster IPA, but is unmistakably of high quality. Tasty and bittersweet - A quality IPA.

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

From the tap it came a nice medium golden with a white creamy head of teensy bubbles. Nice light and fresh scent, citrus... Alot of lacing. Nice hoppy bite, but not too intense. Good flavors. Grapefruit juice and rind, itsy bit of pepper in there, not much. Some dark fruits. Very easy drinking.

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Photo of sacfly
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear, amber color. Floral smell. Medium sized bubbles dissipate quickly. OK body, but on the light side, taste wise. Too bitter for a pale ale, but lacking for an IPA.

This one does not have the hops I would like and expect in my IPA’s. The malt is the more predominant character in this one. If you are looking for a hopy IPA, look elsewhere. I seem to have a different take on this one than other reviewers. Maybe I had an older bottle?

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Photo of beerluvr
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a large fluffy and rocky eggshell colored head that leaves impressive lacing. Clear light amber/red liquid. Not much in the way of hop aroma, which is kinda strange for an IPA. But there was plenty of doughy malt sweetness going on. Bitter and astringent hoppiness devoid of character rides atop an ample malt base. Light yeasty fruitiness mixes with a touch of biscuity/cookie-like flavor. Finishes with a sharp hop smack, drying out to an "ok" finish. I expected more from this one, judging on the great appearance.

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Photo of thinkbreakfast
4.05/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

App: nice deep color with a great thick and fluffy head.

Smell: Oddly, the strongest scent in this beer seemed to be a thick malt. The hops were there, but the malt was on top in the smell.

Taste: Very good. Hop bitterness. The hops aren't trying to do anything fancy here. They are just straight on bitter. Grapefruit bitter. It's nice to have an IPA that is happy being an IPA.

Mouthfeel: semi-thick from the malt. Leaves a great hop grittyness in the mouth.

Drinkability: I had two, but wanted many more.

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

This beer is very hoppy. It seemed quite popular and I agree with the general consensus of other bar patrons. It poured with a thin head, but a thick lace formed on the sides of the glass. It was a pale brown-gold in color. the bitters were not overwhelmingly strong, but more of a pleasant addition to the overall taste of the beer's finish.

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Photo of Tballz420
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew has a gold colored body, with a big bubbly white head. Good trail of lace left behind. The scent is a floral hop scent. The taste is mainly bitter hops with some floral elements as well. Farily full mouthfeel. A good west coast IPA, not quite as intense as some from the region.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bizarre looking label with a psuedo St. Pauli Girl figure and obligatory government label jargon. No mind...Whoah! 7.1 % ABV. Sweet!

Gluggy pour into me pint, with a slightly hazy peachy pour and bubbles flowing with a craggy off white head that leaves both foamy lattice and stratus lace in me English pint.

Present aroma of grassy Cascade, maybe Champion hops and some pine resin in the nose which leads to tastes of sizzly hoppiness and apricot fruit. A bit of dry powdery straw notes. "Ba-ba-ba-ba bad to the bone" bonedry aftertaste with citrusy grapefruit rind hints in the long lasting finish. Solid feel that puts out some effort from start to finish. Highly swiggable IPA.

Last swigs: Powdery dry, dry mouth and fruity grapefruit rind taste West Coast style IPA in da house has delicate apricot notes followed by solid mouth sizzle. Yummy!

*** UPDATE *** Second review. Upgraded the smell to 3.5 from 2.5. That's ah-nice!

Beer is good. Happy (dry West Coast) beering.

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Photo of Billolick
4.2/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A treat to try this one on tap at the Blind tiger NYC, poured, bronzed golden and cloudy, but a citrus nose. Crisp malt backbone, smooth and nicely rounded on the tongue. Hops appear quickly, with a nice grainyness and cirtus notes, nice long piney tastes on the palate. Finishes with a well balanced dance across the tongue. Nice IPA, wish we saw this on a regular basis in the NY area.

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Photo of FranklinPCombs
3.4/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light golden amber color, with a monstrous three-finger head which slowly begins to bubble and recede. There are tons of bubbles rushing up from the bottom of the glass, just like champagne. Lace is patchy and sticky, and the head ends in a kind of volcanic crater shape. The smell is straight traditional IPA (hoppy, piney, honey-y), and I admit it gave me such refreshment while I took a break from packing that I couldnt help but grin and think of more relaxing times. The taste was a bit disappointing however, as it seemed to be quite chalky and stale. There was a buttery flavor, and some bitterness, which was a bit metallic. There was a tiny hop presence but mostly an overriding chalky sour bitterness. The mouthfeel was medium in body, with a little sharp carbonation. However, I'm currently suspecting malfunction in the storage procedures of this beer, and am planning on looking into it again, to retest it, and see if my storage was a bungle.

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Photo of WesWes
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a nice golden color with a thick frothy white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice citrousy hop scent surrounded by a fine pale malt base. The taste is decent. It has a pale malt core with some light crystal malts to add character. The hops dominate the palate with an ultra citrousy flavor. It is quite bitter, but goes down smooth. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an interesting take on an IPA. It don't really care for the extreme citrous flavor. It must be a west coast thing.

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Photo of zerk
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy light copper, with a thin white head. Has good retentin and leaves some patchy lace. Aroma is a bit perfumy, with some sweet citric and floral notes. Flavor begins sweet and grainy, then becomes somewhat acidic and bitter with notes of grapefruit and earthy hops. Alcohol presence is quite pronounced. Has a smooth and oily mouthfeel with a medium body. A tasty west coast IPA.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.56/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A really attractive looking IPA. Even with a non-aggressive even pour this lightly hazed orange brew churned out a large, firm, never-say-die off-white head that dropped off bits and pieces of splotchy lace along the way.
The nose had three very distinct components; nice earthy malts, caramel, and a formidable grapefruit and pine hops aroma. I was surprised at how each aroma was so separate from the others. This same thing was noted in the taste. The malts were easily picked out, as were the lighter but still detectable caramel and toffee flavors. The robust citrus taste with a touch of pine needles embedded were the most prominant and left their bitter mark on the palate long after each taste. The thing was, the tastes were so distinct and separate that they never really mixed well together. In fact, the flavors clashed and fought like the palate was some turf to fight over. The feel was medium and a bit thin.
Overall, I'm still on the fence about this IPA. It's almost like they couldn't decide to go for a big, massively-hopped West Coast styled version or a smoother English example so they blended the two. Not bad, but could be so much more.

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Photo of longpondbeerman
3.87/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got to love the name. Appropriately, it pours out of a squat utilitarian Acme bottle to a slighly cloudy gold (with an orange tint) and a medium thick off-white head. A little linear lacing (like the alliteration?) as I quaff. The ale is initially sharp to the nose, with potent citrusy hops dominating the aroma and not much by way of sweetness. This promises to be a bitter brew. Good. So, here goes. A bit of a disappointment, really; its tart all right, but there's a metallic aftertaste that I find slightly annoying. Fortunately, it is good and bitter, but not very complex and a little thin on the mouthfeel. A couple of sips into it and it settles nicely, so I'll up the drinkability. Watch out for the alcohol content; it's close to a double IPA, so it's not a session beer.

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4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one in a self-mixed six pack.
This beer poured a thin white head that stayed around for about 2 minutes, and then gave a thin lace thereafter.
The smell was a crisp, hoppy smell with a citrus quality.
The taste corresponded to the smell...big hops, with citrus and pine both prevalent flavors. There was a surprising amount of carbonation, and after it gave way, there was an oily, bitter, all hop finish that stuck around for quite some time. The pine notes get stronger and stronger. Some would probably argue that the malts in this beer can't quite back up the hops. I would say that overall North Coast has made a very solid, respectable IPA. I'm sure I'll be picking up a sixer of this sometime soon.

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Photo of dpend
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a golden amber with an impressive whipped like head. Left a milky lace around the top of the glass and along the sides. Aroma was of faint citrus and the hopping smelled suprisingly mild. The taste of hops throughout. The finish was citrusy and spicy hops with a sharp dryness that grew more intense though the tasting. Almost a crunchy carbonation over the mild smoothness of the overall feel. I like IPA's and this is a very good one, but the drinkability is a little low for me.The bitter hopping at the end of the taste became a bit too much after awhile.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, deep orange hue, with a full, frothy white head.
Aroma: big hops, grapefruit, pineapple, orange, large fruit in the nose, very enticing and inviting.
On the palate, smooth, and very mellow, without too much tumult on the tongue. Solid body, excellent balance, and possessing a very nice flavor which lasts and lasts, persisting on the palate. Yum, yum.
I was hoping for a hoppier bite, and had to realize that a good IPA doesn't have to be a Ruination or Dreadnaught. Sometimes, they can "just" be smooth and delcious, like this one.
Thanks to elmocoso!

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Photo of Gavage
4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly cloudy gold / orange color. A thick bubbly and foamy head was present for most of the drink. The aroma was good showing some floral, sweet, and citrus tones. The taste was even better, as the sweet malt and hops were nicely balanced, and some citrus tones were present. Mellow on the mouthfeel, but also crisp. The bitterness lasted very long after swallowing. I was surprised at how good this was.

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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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