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ACME California Pale Ale | North Coast Brewing Co.

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ACME California Pale AleACME California Pale Ale
555 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 555 |  Reviews: 295
Photo of kellywilson50
3.74/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy golden appearance, and not much head retention. Aroma is very faint, but pleasant. First flavor is of the hops, which gives some citrus character and a light bitterness, then followed by a sweet maltiness. A little suprised it doesn't have more mouthfeel, but could be due to CO2 burn. Not a bad pale ale, but not one of my favorites. Given the choice between this or a Red Seal, I'd take their Red Seal.

 409 characters

Photo of Seanstoppable
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Latest find at what is quickly becoming my favorite beer stop.

Poured a clean golden color with about two fingers of head. Scent is hoppy, with a tint of sourness. Some initial sweetness - somewhat like honey - with a minor sour taste when you swallow. Aftertaste departs quickly. Mild carbonation, overall very light. Very easy to drink.

 339 characters

Photo of alleykatking
3.57/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Took home an new beer tonight. What do I do?? Review on here of course!

A-Poured into pint glass. Pours a hazy dark golden color with half inch off white head that slowly goes away leaving nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

S-Big sour malt smell. Smells faintly of fresh rolls...just might be me though.

T-Little sour....maybe a bad bottle?? Little bit of tang to it. Can taste the malts more now. Not a bad taste kind of bland though.

M-A little thicker than I would think for the style. Malts cover the mouth in a good way. Nice carbination which is what I like.

D-This is a nice session beer that I could get use too. Very easy to drink and not anything real bad to say about this very drinkable beer.

I am kind of saddened that I am not able to get this in Indiana for the moment as World Class dropped it. Bleh...

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Photo of PirateUlf73
3.3/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear, medium-golden color with a fizzy white head.

S: Crisp malt notes with a dash of herbal hop aroma. Some light graininess as well.

T: Not too bad. Solid pub ale flavors, but its profile seems more characteristic of a K├Âlsch than a pale ale. Crisp, yet slightly subdued hop character and a crisp malt background. Pretty solid.

M: Lighter body, but not too much so. Decent carbonation with a slightly slick feel and (mostly) clean finish. Dries ever so slightly.

D: A good candidate for a session ale. Goes down pretty easy.

Overall, a decent ale. Nothing too terribly special or jaw-dropping, but an okay kick-back beer, especially on a hot day. A good gateway beer, perhaps?

 715 characters

Photo of nighthawk
4.05/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with no freshness date, poured into mug.

Appearance: Bright, clear straw body turning to gold in the middle, with a good-sized white head that leaves some lacing as it settles. Good retention.

Aroma: Mild honey and caramel backbone with a nice overlay of floral hops.

Taste: Fairly sweet honey and biscuit with a nice mix of floral, citrus and spicy hops. Light bittersweetness on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean, and light in the mouth. Carbonation is perfectly light.

Drinkability: Tasty and refreshing. Goes down quite nicely. A bit pricy in my neck of the woods, but would definitely recommend it.

 622 characters

Photo of andyinsdca
3.95/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: a light amber, great head with lacing that lasted through the whole pint.
S: A little bit toasty, maybe some nuts? A bit hoppy, but not strong. Very nice!
T & M: A lightly hopped PA, very good taste, with a bit of spice for after taste. A great mouthfeel.
D: Very drinkable.

A great beer! I really liked this. It's not a super strong west coast pale ale, but a solid pale ale that stands on its own.

 405 characters

Photo of mempath
4.07/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

different (later?) label on the bottle (black with the same trapeze femme...)

nice foamy head with excellent lacing...light amber/red look

very malty, barely hoppy smell...same for the taste...though wanting the hop punch in the face, loving the maltiness today. my second favorite beer flavor component.

very similar to (am i repeating myself today?) anchor steam and yuengling lager...

a quite drinkable, fairly distinctive brew.

 436 characters

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,

 768 characters

Photo of BeenJammin
3.93/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - pours a pale straw color with a large white head
S - floral and grape fruit hops with a nice fruity malt character
T - the flavor has some nice fruity malts with some hops that taste herbal and somewhat like grapefruits. Has a slight amount of bitterness in the end.
M - a bit too light
D - The beer is drinkable and I like looking at the label.

 350 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.28/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle with a retro-styled bottle label. On to the beer:

A two-finger's thick head of foam sits and slowly goes away on top this pale, faded orange color. The aroma is a little pale, no pun intended. Husky grapefruit notes and lemon too. The taste is light on the palate, but refreshing. Easy on the palate, no roughness or husky flavors. Faint earthy flavor at first, turns crackery. Grass and a light touch of grapefruit touch down. Dries into an airy biscuit malt, then...it's gone.

Wash down a meal with this beer, but don't make a meal out of this....the flavor intensity is lacking IMO.

 603 characters

Photo of CHSLBrew
3.19/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass.

A-Gorgeous head, bright and white with a sustaining retention. Dark golden color, very clean.

S-Minimal, but earthy and herbal tones come through with a dry malt coming through.

T-Earthy and hoppy with a biscuity, dry maltiness. Bitterness is assertive and lasts into the crisp finish.

M-Medium-light body with a refreshing carbonation. Crisp and clean feel.

D-A tasty session brew, but it seemed to lack complexity.

 442 characters

Photo of BWH3
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Light gold with large white head. head fizzles a bit fast to a thin veil of foam.

S/T: Balanced. Lightly floral hops aroma a top a fruity tinged caramel malt backing. The grains are good quality and create a slightly creamy richness without being buttery.

M: Thin to medium. Lightly carbonated.

D: An above average, balanced APA. I would be proud if I could mass produce this beer with consistency. I would be proud to call it my home town brew that you can find on draft in the region. I just wouldn't waste my time tracking it down.

 542 characters

Photo of CityBoy1986
3.34/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

Pours a nice golden colour with a one finger head. The head hangs around for a while and leaves nice lacing.

The nose is mostly soured fruit with some malts and hops. The taste shows a nice balance of malts and hops, with some bitterness throughout the sip. There is sort of a smoky flavour at the finish that adds a bit of character.

Mouthfeel is light with a nice amount of carbonation. Drinkability is more than average, but not the best. I could drink more than one in a sitting, but I don't know if I would drink three or more.

Excepting the smell, it is a nice brew, but it is not one I will spend time trying to find. I wouldn't turn it down if offered one, though.

 723 characters

Photo of auxiliary
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

appearance - Copper in color, small white head and some lace left on the glass.

smell - A balance of some hops and malt here.

taste - Nice balance here, not a lot of hops, less hops then what I expected here.

mouthfeel - Medium body.

drinkability - Nice balanced beer, worth a try. Body was nice on this one.

 315 characters

Photo of jkrich
3.98/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz squatty bottle with no freshness date; nice looking retro label.

The ale poured a clear, orange to light amber color with a quickly dissipating white head that does leave some lacing on the glass.

There is a sweet tangerine odor and mild hop aromas.

This is a very refreshing, light style for an American pale ale. There is some faint hop bitters up front but mainly a soft, fruity taste. I believe this ale is very fresh even though there is no freshness date.

Perhaps a little too carbonated, this is a very smooth ale that leaves a lingering fruity taste on the tongue; a rather light-bodied pale ale.

This is extremely quaffable, and at only 5.0 % ABV, this would make a good session ale. Not very complex, but it can be a respite from some of the overly hopped ales available.

 794 characters

Photo of orangemoustache
3.21/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a slightly hazed orange with a nice tight foamy head that retains nicely with no lacing to speak of. The nose smells of soured pear,earthy notes and a hint of underpowered hops. This has a biscuity backbone with a very even balance of malt and hop. There is some light spicy yeastiness and a residual amount of light fruit that emerges mid way and continues to linger on the finish. The mouthfeel is perfect for this style creamy, velvety and flowing right into a dry finish that just makes me want to have another sip. Not a top notch APA ,but a enjoyable one none the less.

 581 characters

Photo of nsmartell
3.88/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this beer from the comfort of my own living room. From the 12oz bottle to a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy copper color with a billowy off white head that faded quickly.

Smell: Hint of grapefruit and malts.

Taste: Citrusy, sweet and malty.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium-bodied and well carbonated.

Drinkability: Very impressed with this ale. Would certainly seek out again.

 401 characters

Photo of theghost3
3.58/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light copper with a thick, off-white head. Smell is faint hops, smokey. Taste is citrusy, bitter hops with a hint of toasted malts. Mouthfeel is smooth but watery and has a kind of strange dry feel at the end. This is a drinkable APA but definitely not the best I've had.

 279 characters

Photo of ironlung
3.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from trader joes for a buck...

A: Hazy orange with a great looking 2-finger head.

S: Faint grassy hops and biscut malt.

T: A bit heavier on the malt profile than I perfer. Still a very drinkable brew for a buck a bottle.

M: Not as crisp as I look for in my pale ales. Kinda heavy on the palate.

D: Like I said a decent pale ale for a buck. I won't seek this out. Woulden't turn it down if offered either.

 421 characters

Photo of hopdog
3.27/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had this one from a 12oz bottle.

Poured a medium and hazy orange color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of grass, citrus, and very light caramel. Tastes of grass, citrus, and caramel. Body on the thin and bordering watery side.

Notes from 3/28/06

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Photo of tmoneyba
2.93/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5


Pours a hazy dark amber color with an average rocky white head that was lasting with fair lacing. Moderate hoppy citrus aroma. Medium body with a thin texture. Moderate sweet small bitter flavor with a light sweet finish of short duration.

Average brew.

 263 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A tangled canvas of peach, apricot and carrot with only certain parts illuminated brighter when held to the light. There is a heavy set fog that dims the beer and really blurs clarity. A thick ring of white outlines the beer but fails to ever transcend this boundary.

The aroma doesn't have the kind of hoppiness I'd hope from a beer with "California" in its name; it does, however, have an acceptable level for what is the other half of the title, "pale ale". Still, I say this reluctantly because it offers no real sense of spice or citrus. With or without hops, this is bland by all standards.

Not much can be said of the flavour, except that it's pleasant. A cookie dough kind of taste, the malts are at the forefront with notes of bread and biscuits. Slight hints of maple and honey too. There is a nice level of toast that provides a good dose of caramelization. Again, I would have liked more hops but this is a delectably agreeable tasting beer.

Before I stop nagging I should say that a few more bittering hops would have also been appreciated. A sharp, pricking bitterness is desperately needed to cut through all the sticky sweetness of the malts, which become a little saturating on the palate. With a little more bitterness, perhaps a tad more carbonation too, this could become a mighty refreshing beer.

ACME Pale Ale is an agreeable beer but isn't anything I'd see myself drinking regularly. I consider North Coast to be one of California's top breweries, but you wouldn't really know it from this offering. I don't expect to be blown away by a pale ale, but many others have come a lot closer to doing so than this.

 1,639 characters

Photo of nick76
3.32/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The aroma has light herbal hops with yeast and caramel malt. The appearance is a copper gold with a small foamy head. The flavor is just like the aroma. The palate is thin. Overall just average for the style but still good. I would drink this again if offered.

 260 characters

Photo of popery
3.85/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a toned down pale ale that might be a little under-hopped, but when compared next to the IPA, the two beers seem to complement each other and provide more insight into North Coast's intent. The hops are understated compared to the IPA but this allows more time for the malt flavors. The flavor is floral and yeasty and smoother than most California pale ales. I enjoyed it more than I would have thought from a description, but I like hops and would ultimately prefer the IPA.

 485 characters

Photo of JBogan
3.8/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My glass was greeted by a somewhat pale copper colored brew with a nice slightly off white one fingered crown of cream. Good lacing remained after each sip.

Smelled of sweet maltiness. This was a pleasant surprise as I'd had this before and it had a wet cardboard/tobacco smell and flavor to it. Not this time. Much nicer.

Tasted of malts and maybe a small hint of caramel. I'd have wished for maybe a bit stronger taste, as this seemed a little on the weak side, but still not bad.

My mouth was somewhat let down by this brew. Leaning towards the thin side, it would have been nice if there was more body. There was some creaminess to it along with just enough carbonation to keep it from being too flat.

All in all this was a beer I'd have again, but not a first choice type of brew. With a bit more body and taste it would move up to the next level but for now, it's a good but not great offering.

 904 characters

ACME California Pale Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 555 ratings
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