ACME California Pale Ale
North Coast Brewing Co.

ACME California Pale AleACME California Pale Ale
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Pale Ale - American
Ranked #2,865
Ranked #48,328
3.47 | pDev: 13.54%
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States
ACME California Pale AleACME California Pale Ale
Reviews: 295 | Ratings: 560 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.2/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

The appearance was a golden colored body that leaves a one finger white head that dies with a moderate pace to a thin coat of foamy head. Some light fast carbonation is seen rising. Barely any lacing is seen. The taste was centered around some English malts and light citrusy hops come in with a certain citrus coming in a bit stronger. It has a slightly clean hop bite. On the palate, it sat at/about a light to medium with nothing harsh on the tongue. Overall, this is not a bad brew. I like this enough to have it again.

Jun 06, 2017
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Blackop555 from Michigan

3.52/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pale gold with a lighter red Hue. Medium, foamy, white head, short-lived.

Smells floral, light malt, light grassy, light citrus and fruit.

Taste malt and light fruit. Hints of citrus. Finish is dry with short Citrus linger and light bread. Lighter body and fizzy higher medium carbonation.

Mar 02, 2017
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Libeertarian from Montana

3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From notes taken 01/04/17:

Semi-clear peach-and-pink-toned amber gold. Creamy white head of fluffy foam and moderate retention. Resin, honey, tart apple nose. Much the same to palate, though tartness is thankfully more subdued, but with a pineapple suggestion, or at least pineapple gummy bear. About like an English Pale Ale overall, but a little less tea-like and more honey-like. Honey character is interesting in itself. That’s more of a Pale Lager quality whereas Pale Ales tend to be more so caramel. White and pink peppercorn retro-olfaction. Medium-bodied, sudsy and sloshy.

Jan 10, 2017
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mfnmbvp from Illinois

3.8/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, no apparent bottled on date. Acquired a single bottle of this stuff as part of a mixed six pack at the local Binny's. A new one to me from North Coast, my first of their ACME line of beers. No abv listed on the bottle.

Poured into a Duvel tulip snifter.

A - Pours a semi-translucent coppery amber body; some sediment visible in the body. Two fingers of frothy off-white head. Appears adequately carbonated. Looks good.

S - Aroma is comprised mainly of crisp, creamy, bready malt body. Notes of tea leaf sweetness & some white sugar / dried leaves.

T - Taste follows the nose: sweetened tea leaf / bready malt body. Leafy, sweet, grainy, lightly earthy. Not bitter, resinous, or piney. Maybe perhaps a bit of apple? cream?

M - Feel is smooth, crisp, & creamy. Very light-bodied & easy drinking stuff. Good carbonation.

Overall, an interesting pale ale from North Coast; definitely a welcome change compared to many of the American hop bombs that pass as pale ales these days. Also much better than it's poor ratings here on this site will lead you to believe.

North Coast ACME California Pale Ale -----4/5.

May 20, 2016
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

3/4 yellow and about 1/4 orange is how I would describe the color. Good 3/5" white head. Small bubbles. Aroma hit some hoppy notes, grapefruit for the most part.

Taste was a nicely sessionable pale ale, replete with hops and bitterness that aren't over the top but still enjoyable with the lightly toasted pale malt.

A good standbye, I pick up a 6 pack every other year or so.

May 11, 2016
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Perhaps not quite as hoppy as some of its other California counterparts, I still think this classic American pale is a lot better than its ratings, and these guys never get enough credit for their hoppy offerings I don't think. Some ready slightly sweet malt backbone, but it's more about structure than flavor, and I appreciate the role of the slightly richer grain bill here. Citrus in the hops, orange to me, with plenty of balancing bitterness on the back end and a grassy bite that makes it distinct. A little more filling than others, but also somehow more balanced and approachable. I don't dig it quite as much as the acme IPA, but this is really solid beer, especially when it's fresh. Surprised to see it so fresh here in Puerto Rico, but interest in American craft has exploded, and I am pleased to find such a diverse selection of beers not available in Colorado on the island deemed to be a beer wasteland by those less inclined to seek out the goodies. I dig these guys, and I dig this pale ale.

Feb 13, 2016
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LennyOvies from Mexico

3.54/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L- Pale yellow, slightly towards amber. 3 finger frothy head, fades within a minute.
S- Sweet caramel bready malts and a slight earthy hop note.
T- Very well balanced malts and hops. Bready sweet malts, lemon, melon and some earthy hops. Crisp clean dry finish.
F- Creamy and refreshing.
O- Nice APA, could use a slightly stronger hop touch.

Jan 22, 2016
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SitkaSteve from Idaho

3.21/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a glossy pale orange color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within less than a minute. Light lacing speckled the sides of the glass nicely.
The smell had some light citrus and bready malts.
The taste was basically the same sweetly. There's a light bready aftertaste and sweet finish.
The mouthfeel was about light bodied with a crisp carbonation to it. Carbonation seemed decent for the style and for me.
Overall, its a decent APA, nothing to go overboard about but probably could have again if in a bind.

Nov 08, 2015
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JackieKu from Taiwan

3.04/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

12 fl. oz. can. No freshness date. Poured into wine glass.
A: Amber, hazy. Small amount of foam and it had gone quickly.
S: Little lemon notes.
T: Slightly lemons and malts. Medium- bitterness. Dry.
M: Light boided. High carbonation. A bit creamy.
O: An average pale ale. Nothing special. Bye.

Jul 28, 2015
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours brilliant amber under a 2” clingy off-white foam collar with a very fine, uniform bead.
S: Earthy, herbal aromas with traces of fruit.
T: Big fruity palate – mostly plum and melon - with biscuit and caramel. Suprising dry with a bitter hop accent.
F: Creamy, smooth, medium carbonation and body.
O: A refreshing, full flavored, easy to drink beer.

Jul 13, 2015
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Lahoi from Kentucky

4.28/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one gives Sierra Nevada pale ale a run for its money, and that says a lot coming from me bc SN might be my favorite all around beer.

Golden Amber color. Decent off white head that is retained throughout. Nice lacing.

Smell is a little more floral than I usually prefer but it's surprisingly pleasant.

Citrus, floral, pine, malt taste. Floral finish.

Feel is full, complex, and magnificent. Crisp, perfect carbonation.

This is a great beer.

Jul 07, 2015
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RyanK252 from California

3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into a BarrelHouse Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours golden amber with a frothy off white head that settles and laces lightly.

S: Floral, grainy, and a little light citrus.

T: Floral, light citrus, orange and lemon, fruity notes, grainy, a little grassy, and a hint of malt sweetness.

M: Light to medium body, moderate carbonation, crisp and easy drinking.

O: Nothing spectacular here especially for a pale ale. Drinkable, but I don't think I'll be picking up any more of this any time soon.

Apr 10, 2015
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jeranbrews from Oklahoma

3.11/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Cloudy amber orange. Low white clingy head. 4

Mild taffy with faint citrus notes. 3

Mildly hoppy with sweet aftertastes. 3

Good smooth texture 3

Overall simple, a tad sweet, but pleasant 3.25

Jan 26, 2015
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WAbeerfiend from Washington

4.75/5  rDev +36.9%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a tumbler on 04.17.14.

A: Somewhat opaque red/orange. No head with aggressive pour.

S: Spices, sweet malt, grape.

T: Grape, caramel dominate. Tangy citrus is more subtle.

M: Crisp. It felt very carbonated.

O: The lack of a head was probably because this was an old bottle. The taste was great, though. Sweet grape came on first, followed by caramel, and then a tangy citrus finish lingered. I loved it.

Rating: A

Sep 30, 2014
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ONUMello from Ohio

3.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle with no freshness date poured into a pint glass
A: Light orange with a 1/2-finger head that settles quickly; pretty bubbles
S: Quite muted; some grain & citrus
T: Grain, citrus, a bit of lemongrass & herbs
M: Medium-bodied, crisp but a short finish
O: No flaws, worth a try but buy a single not a six pack

Jun 21, 2014
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StJamesGate from New York

3.58/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Sauce, San Francisco
Pale gold, white film.
Grain sack, hint of lemon.
Breadstick malts, lemon slushy and a hint of evergreen.
Vague lemon zest to end.
Thin, slightly clingy.

Watery and barely hopped. Nice on a hot summer eve, but doesn’t rep California very well.

May 13, 2014
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FLima from Brazil

3.59/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bright orange golden color with a thin aired head with short retention but leaving some laces.
Nice aroma of a light tangy citrusy with notes of lemon, tangerines, caramels and fresh tea leaves.
Taste follows nose, flavor of lemon, tangerines, spices, biscuit and slightly toasted malts, mild pine and a light digestive papaya.
Dry aftertaste with a medium bitterness.
Light body with good carbonation with tiny bubbles.
Very refreshing and easy to drink APA, not bold nor complex, but very sessionable.

Apr 05, 2014
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mrfrancis from Kentucky

3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden amber with a fluffy, thick, slowly receding whitish head.

S: Mild, somewhat muted aromas of bitter orange, herbs, grass, lemon, lime, crackers, and biscuits are present on the nose, but become a bit more pronounced as the beer warms a bit.

T: Subtle notes of caramel, minerals, biscuits, crackers, lemon, lime, bitter orange, grass, and herbs flit across the palate. The finish is clipped with muted notes of herbs, grass, caramel, and biscuit.

M: Medium in body and quite smooth. Carbonation is just crisp and prickly enough to render this ale effortlessly drinkable.

O: This one is kind of a timid pale ale, but I have had far worse. If it allowed for a greater separation of flavors, not only would this ale be more complex, but it would be a much better beer all around. In the end, I feel that there is a truly great pale ale in here somewhere, but the brewers just do not really succeed in pulling it together. As is, this is a simple, enjoyable enough brew that would be perfect on a hot day, but unfortunately, it could be so much more than it is.

Feb 24, 2014
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BeerWithMike from Nebraska

3.02/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled back on 10/30/13. Chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into one of my Vikings glasses.

Pours a hazy darker-gold with a 2-finger white fizzy head. Some spotty lacing was seen with each sip. The aroma was of some grain with a hint of citrus. Moderate carbonation. The taste was of some grains with a drier slightly bitter finish. Nothing really special. Maybe a hint of lemon.

Nov 01, 2013
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MoorBeerPlz from California

2.96/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a tulip glass...

A: Hazy gold color with light carbonation. Had to pour a little aggressive to develop a head, which eventually evened out at about a finger and a half of white foam. Head faded quickly to lacing around the inside of the glass.

S: Not much of note, light hops, grains, maybe some citrus...

T: Light hop bitterness that leaves quickly, citrus, a little pine and then the malts step in to finish the taste.

M. Light bodied with with dry finish, some mild bitterness, little residual citrus and pine in the background. Nicely carbonated.

O: A decent, drinkable pale. I'm sure there's other PA's that are better, but this one is decent, right in the middle with all the other decent beers of this style. I would consider this sessionable, especially in the summer and wouldn't be offended if someone offered me one.


Oct 28, 2013
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Fatehunter from Oregon

3.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured no head on a clear amber colored body.
The aroma is wet grain with some fruitiness: apple and pear.
The taste is lemon bitterness with some pear sweetness.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
Nothing special but good enough for a couple rounds.

Sep 11, 2013
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Jugs_McGhee from Texas

2.84/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 fl oz brown glass bottle acquired as part of a 6 pack at the Cap N Cork in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high given the brewery, which I'm a fan of. Label art is as generic as they come; you could easily mistake this for a World Brews offering.

Served cold - straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a two finger wide head of beige/light khaki colour. Decent frothiness. Okay creaminess and thickness. Retention is nice - about 3-4 minutes. Inconsistent lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a vibrant orange-copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Overall, it's pretty standard fare for a pale ale. No overt flaws are obvious. It's not unique or special.

Sm: British malts are evident. I get toffee, caramel, biscuit, a bit of nutty digestive, pale malts, and floral hops. A simple aroma of mild strength. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable.

T: Pale malts are overtaken by the British malts - including the aforementioned toffee, biscuit, caramel, and digestive notes. Too bready and grainy for the style. Hop character is reticent - a crime in a pale ale. What little I do pick up is generic and floral in character. Some toasted grain. Almost a light butterscotch (diacetyl) note. Balance is okay, but the build is all wrong for the style. Not very pleasant as a result. A simple brew without much subtlety. I'm not a huge fan.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Overcarbonated. Thickness suits the style. Fairly full-bodied. Suits the flavour profile generally well, but it doesn't feel custom-tailored to it. Decent execution.

Dr: Ultimately, it's a disappointing attempt at a pale ale from a brewery that should know better. I definitely wouldn't buy this again, but I'm glad I got the chance to try it. Downable stuff, but by no means high quality. I expected better from North Coast.


Aug 10, 2013
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metter98 from New York

3.46/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellowish amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin head covering the surface and lots of lacy rings of bubbles down the sides of the glass.
S: Light aromas of toasted malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell, but has slightly stronger flavors of pale and toasted malts along with hints of fruity yeast and slight bits of citrusy hops.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and isn't a bad choice if you are a fan of maltier pale ales.

Jul 23, 2013
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doktorhops from Australia

3.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

After enjoying several of the North Coast brews, including most recently the Red Seal Ale, and noticing ACME California Pale Ale in The Archive cellars I immediately saw it as sign from Brewdha (the Buddha of beer) that this would be my next review. Thank you Brewdha!

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: The body is a nice hazy light amber, with a fluffy white head that dissipates to patches of lace.

S: Mild citrus hops with a pine presence, toasted malt grain base and a hint of yeast funk. A very even balanced aroma - as the label describes this is in the style of early California Pale Ales which aren't the fervently hopped beverages of today.

T: Bold toffee malts upfront with sugar, this is followed by a hint of funky yeast and ends with hops best described as a lemon zest and pine flavoured. Big sweet malts and light hops make this a fairly unique Pale Ale, a touch off-balance because the malt is much bigger than the hop presence. After-taste is a lingering toffee flavour, with low bitterness.

M: Mid to light body and medium carbonation.

D: As mentioned above this is a unique brew. It is easy to drink and a tad sweet - but this is to be expected as the hop bitterness is mild. Overall a solid, easy, malt-driven Pale Ale that I would session with and certainly buy again in future. Nice work NC!

Food match: This easy to please brew will wash down almost anything. In my mind though a wood-fired Pizza (any toppings) would be a winner with this.

Jul 16, 2013
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KYGunner from Kentucky

3.98/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark golden coloring this poured magnificent bright white head. Cloud like billowing and frothy thickness this scores points for its brilliant structure.

The scent is malty of course, but it has a light lemony citrus backdrop. Weak piney hops are not quite as strong as it should.

What a great smooth, crisp taste and feel. Strong barley malt flavor with hints of tea leaves and pine. This just rolls across the palate with utter ease and holds a biscuity aftertaste.

Overall, what a pleasant surprise. I'm a fan of North Coast but this really helps solidify my love.

Jun 28, 2013
ACME California Pale Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 560 ratings