ACME California Pale Ale | North Coast Brewing Co.

294 Reviews
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ACME California Pale AleACME California Pale Ale

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

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 10-29-2001

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Reviews: 294 | Ratings: 553
Photo of rastaman
1.95/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

[email protected] Coast. Pretty bland pale ale, grainy, malty and tinny, some lemony hops in the finish, but hard to write too much about it. Probably one of the blander Pale Ales i had on my US trip, some slight aromatic hops in the finish, but not really, not much happening.

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Photo of Stunner97
2.11/5  rDev -38.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance- Yellow to golden brown color, little to light carbonation with light or small bubbling, thin to no head, slightly murky though transparent,

Smell- slights apples, with some malt and hops nothing overwhelming or great on the smell here jumping at me, little sour

Taste- Slightly hoppy on the finish but alot of yeast in this one, not sure if my batch was bad but a little bit our sourness to this, not a good flavor made me twinge a bit to be honest something off here

Mouthfeel- light bodied and soft

Drinkability- Gotta be honest and say I really didnt not like this beer it got a little better as you went on but not all that great, so many better versions of this style a beer, not one i would recommended to someone, but maybe i just got bad batch,

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Photo of wavz
2.13/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

First impression is everything. And everything I got from my first impression is a weak one. Poured and right away not much head that stuck around. A light orange pale copper hue. Aroma is not of a great malt or hop, but otherwise reminds me of a sam adams in flavor. Out of all of the Pale Ales I have tried this has to be one of the weakest ones. Try it out, but you will be disapointed. I know that I wont be fooled twice.


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Photo of SilentSabre
2.14/5  rDev -38%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I cannot believe that this is from North Coast. Everything I have had from those guys (up until now) has been fantastic, or at the very least, good. This isn't terrible, but it isn't good, either. It poured up a pale orange colour with a thick, foamy head that actually held shape like merigue on a pie. Smell was almost sickeningly sweet and quite honestly, it reminded me a little of malt liquor; that sweet BMC smell. Taste wasn't *as bad* as I was expecting, but I still didn't like it. Very bland and lifeless with very little of anything in the way of malt or hops. Detectable amounts were present, but if you have to go, "...wait...~have another sip~ ..I think I can actually taste some hop profile...." that isn't a very good beer. This was quite disappointing, I felt, and will be a drain pour. As always, however, I am certainly glad I was able to at least try it and add another brew to the list.

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Photo of alexgash
2.22/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Tawny, copperish orange body with a finger of filmy, off-cream head. Nose is...odd. Whiskeyish malts, some butter, alcohol (whiskey), and faint, herbal hops. Hmmm...doesn't smell like a pale ale. Taste lightly astringent whiskey-like malt. This might be phenolics, since it is a little medicinal too. Light biscuit flavor in there too. Hops are very modest to barely detectable. I hope something is askew with my particular bottle or else this is a bad beer.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.36/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Shiney light copper, lots of fine carbonation support a pillowy white head, lacing is ring style and sliding, oily.

Really tough to pick out much of anything obvious in the smell, although it has a healthy grain smell, and very mild hops

Really laid back not only for a west coast pale but for any pale ale. The malts are earthy, Hop bill comes up short and is really non existent for the most part. There is a fruity element to it that lends to more of a citrus finish than anything else. Crisp and light its easy to drink but doesn't bring much power to the table

I'm a huge fan of this brewery and they make outstanding products up and down their line. The Acme Pale is what it is, a product that the masses could turn to and enjoy because there's nothing there that could offend one's palate. For me ....I'm out.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
2.39/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle pours a fairly clear, light copper color with a creamy off-white foam that displays average retention and pretty good lacing.

Ummmm, where's the hops? All I find here are some earthy, burnt caramel malts...maybe even a bit of a nutty chocolate tone. This is the third time to try this beer, each time thinking I had an old sample but the lack of hops has been equally disappointing each time.

Taste is the same way, this would do better as an amber ale. I have tasted more hops in some of the oktoberfests I have had recently. Earthy and burnt malt tones with some dull bitterness on the finish. They say there is a first time for everything, and I must say, this is the first time I have been utterly disappointed by North Coast. Send this one to the scrap heap, please.

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Photo of drugsbunny
2.45/5  rDev -29%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

No freshness dating I could find. The bottle art is nice. This ale is average at best, with a decent aroma. Slightly hazy, not a lot of carbonation and a weak mouthfeel. Perhaps because of the beers dull taste. I heard good things about this brewery, and its other available beers, but this one is unimpressive. So many other good beers to choose and a heck of a lot cheaper on the East Coast that $10 a sixpack. Don't bother with this beer.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
2.49/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a squat 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a hazy amber color with a minimal 1/2" head that reduces to nothing, leaving a rather flat-looking beer.

Has a grainy, yeasty aroma, with plenty of malt and very little hops. In checking the bottle there is no "brewed-on" date, and I only bought this a few days ago, but it has all the characteristics thusfar of beer past its prime.

Tastes sweet and malty, with honey and orange blossom flavors. A hint of straw before the mildest hit of hops to finish.

Medium bodied, with no carbonation to speak of, and a slighty peppery finish, the mouthfeel is unremarkable.

I bought this at an Acme grocery store, and I believe this is brewed by North Coast for Acme. I'm drinknig it less than a week after purchase. As such, if this is a malt-bomb because it sat on the shelf, well, that is Ame's fault. I'd avoid this on that basis alone.

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Photo of TastyTaste
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Dark copper-gold in color, head is not that muc, just a thin layer of white bubbles on the top of the beer. Only light floral hops are present in the smell, and maybe a little malt. Very watered down and bland flavor. Some of the weakest hop presence for any pale ale I've had. North Coast struck out on this one.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
2.5/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Well I must say I like the label. This beer was a pretty big disappointment to me. The pour created an intial great look, but it didn't last. The great golden tan head evaporated almost instantaneously. There was no lace whatsover. The color was dark amber and a bit cloudy; small numbers of floaters present - not appealing at all. The smell was of some malt with, perhaps, a dash of lemon. The mouthfeel was extremely watery and thin. There was very little sense of any balance. Someday I'd like to try this again to see if I somehow got an off bottle.

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Photo of Graebner
2.52/5  rDev -27%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a pale yellow, reminiscent of Bud or something equally ghastly. No head.

Smells of peaches, blood, wet dog, light hops and some biscuit.

Tastes thinly of biscuit, light hoppy finish, little else.

Well balanced carbonation, thin feel, hops and alcohol in the finish. For a beer of this abv, the alcohol is undesirable and inexcusable.

Not terrible, not much good. Would likely sour in your stomach after a while. Will not buy again, and glad I only bought one this time.

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Photo of MrKennedy
2.59/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a Redoak globe style glass and purchased from Warners at the Bay.

Moderately deep golden appearance, pouring with a white, 2 finger, head of foam that dissipated quicker than expected.

The smell is exactly what you get when you open a can of corn kernels. Add a little bit of sweet malt and that is what you have. Not expected, not wanted!

Taste has the sweet malt hit first, balanced out by a small touch of citric hop flavour. Not really true to style and not great at all.

The body of this beer suits the style with the usual level of North Coast drinkability and feel to it. Definitely the best feature.

Overall, you drink the beer for what you taste and smell predominately and this is below par on both. Would need some major changes to this brew to see me contemplate grabbing another.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.62/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

As much as I've enjoyed some other North Coast products, I'm really disappointed with this one.

Appearance was a clear, dull amber. Aroma was lightly sweet and hoppy. Taste was weak and thin. Mouthfeel was similarly thin and not good. I'm not too impressed with this beer.

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Photo of Illinick
2.63/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pale-ish, golden-amber color with orange hues. Small, white, fizzy head that dissipates to very small ring quickly. Slight lacing, but not much.
S: Bland. Floral and green hop scent with hints of honey and a few sour-fruit notes. Also some grassy scents coming through. Watered down, not a lot of distinct flavors are present.
T: Again, bland and watered down. Floral and green hops here too with an herbal and grassy taste present. Noticeable honey and some bitter and sour fruit. Hint of malt sweetness in the background. Again, nothing too distinct.
MF: watery and light, lack of good carbonation.
Overall: I truly wanted to like this APA, I really like North Coast and their line of brews, but this was a huge disappointment for me. I'm wondering (and hoping) I got a bad bottle. It was bland throughout with a lack of distinct flavors anywhere. I'll give it another try to see if I got a bad bottle.

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Photo of joekfsu
2.68/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours cloudy orange with 2 cm of nearly white foamy head that is mostly diminishing. Aroma of citrus and bread. Initial taste is sweet with malt and citrus, but changes to a more balanced flavor with hops and bread flavors. Light body, not particularly having an alcohol presence, moderate lacing, and some aftertaste. Overall, doesn't compare to the other beers in this category.

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Photo of garymuchow
2.68/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to my brother John from bringing me this one.
Aroma is a pretty much straight malt character. In time picks up some mild hop spiciness. Somewhat sweet. MIld and mildly complex.
Orangish gold. Clear. Bright white head with a creamy character. Lacing.
Flavor has a weak quality to it, even a bit watery. Also carries a soft quality too. What taste is there is a mix of a light malt with a mildly spicy hops. Hops present with bitterness mid to somewhat long finish, but it's not all that pleasing.
Soft and thorough carbonation. A bit too thin with a real watery quality.
Average or below for style. I tend to be a generous scorer, especially with this style, but it's just not there. Flavors improve a little with warmth, but not enough to make a difference.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
2.68/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Stubby 12 ozÂ’er pours into a pint with light yellow straw hues topped off with an ivory frothy cap coating that quickly settles to a collar.

Delicate grassy hops nose with some earthy notes.

First swigs: Grainy organic leafy ale with a dry clean aftertaste of apples. Vegetal and bland. Reminds me of a carrot flavor of malts.

Crisp feel. Light to medium bodied.

Last swigs: Diluted cider ale. Quite benign. Not a beer I would seek out again. The ACME IPA is usually reallt crisp and hoppy. I was expecting more. Just a dust cutter for the beer seeker.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of adamette
2.68/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. single that I bought at Cost Plus World Market in Mentor, Ohio a few weeks ago before they decided to close into my Cooperstown Beverage Trail pint glass.

A 4 to 5 inch generous head, very light brown in color is the head and it is over a nice, light brown/orange translucent body that has a bit of cloudiness to it. Appropriate to style. I like the head and the moderate lacing. 3.0

S Surprisingly minimal smell of barley, not much hops at all. 2.5

T Yeah, the barley follows right into the taste without too many hops at all. This beer has a lot less taste than I thought it might (the whole west coast and Pale Ale huge beer connection). There is not even too much of a malt presence. I appreciate that this pale ale is not a pseudo DIPA (like I find sometimes) in that the hops are very muted but if I am only left with a barley taste then that is not very good. Actually, repeated tastes reveal that this reminds me of a hearty iced tea, it has that same earthy tea leaf feel. This is my lowest taste rating for a beer coming out of North Coast Brewing Company out of Fort Bragg. 2.0

M Light, with a bit of smoothness. 3.0

D Very good since it is low ABV and tastes like a heavy iced tea. 4.0

Notes: Strange brew from North Coast, clearly made to be a session beer but it will not be part of any session in my near future. By the way, the label on my 12 oz. bottle is superior to the one pictured here but retains that classic advertising look. There is a "Lady in Red" with red hair swinging from left to right with a pint of beer in her right hand. Very cool. Lastly, for a Pale Ale session I would clearly choose SNPA over this one.

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Photo of Brent
2.7/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Not one of North Coast's better efforts. The hopping was in the right range for a pale ale, but is was bland and one-dimensional. Sort of "Hi, I'm just here for the bittering, don't mind me, I'm just passing through." Malt was a bit sweet and bready, and not of much interest, either.

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Photo of Enola
2.72/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer has more macro qualities than micro's. The color is a light straw and there was almost no head. The smell is of a light beer with a small amount of hops. The taste is pretty watered down. Not a powerfull beer. There may be a slight vanilla finish. The mouthfeel is not very good. Just a bland lasting aftertaste. Not a beer I will buy again. This would be a crossover type beer.

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Photo of argock
2.73/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on-tap in a clear pint glass

A: Golden color with thin off-white head than disappears quickly and leaves minimal lacing

S: Muted earthy hops presence with pale malts

T: Earthy hops flavors and subtle pale malts are there, but they are muted and a little on the watery and weak side. Not unpleasant, but not enough on the ball.

M: Smooth but thin feel. Pleasant aftertaste and even carbonation.

D: Not one of Northcoast's best efforts and it pales in comparison to their red ale, IPA and Old Rasputin RIS.

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Photo of surfmeister
2.75/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: orange/bronze with a sturdy head that resembled most of the other pale ales I have tried
Smell: very fruity and herbal, quite pleasant again nothing special
Taste: bummer man, fill a glass approximately 2/3 full of SNPA then add water until the glass is full, that's the best description I can give...watered down
Mouthfeel: thin
Drinkability: yeah, sure on a hot day, nothing evil about this beer, but who cares?

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Photo of jonziefle
2.8/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured a moderately cloudy brownish amber, with some odd suspended sediment. 1.5 finger white bubbly head that lasts for about 30 seconds. Visible carbonation. No lacing at all. Seems pretty lifeless.

Smell: Toasted and biscuity malts. Similar to an adjunct lager in that respect. Some apple juice flavors as well. Slightly sour.

Taste: A darker roasted malt flavor, again similar to an adjunct lager. Mild sweetness and not many other flavors.

Mouthfeel: Thin to medium bodied. Not much else that stands out.

Drinkability: Easy to drink, but not that appealing. The flavor and nose are a bit grainy and sour. Definitely not a pale ale in my book. Way too malty and not in a good way.

Buy Again? No

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Photo of mentor
2.81/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle obtained from "To Your Health" in Iowa City and consumed later that evening. Poured a one-finger head that was very faintly orangish. Crystal clear and very faintly orange colored. Smelled faintly of malt and fruit (apples?). Tastes primarily of malt. Where's the hops in this pale ale...I get more bitter from the carbonation than the hops. This is very sweet and somewhat fruity. Medium mouthfeel. How many times did I say 'faint' in this review. My review is 'faint' because there is little to say.

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ACME California Pale Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
3.45 out of 5 based on 553 ratings.
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