ACME California Pale Ale | North Coast Brewing Co.

293 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: 293 | Ratings: 551
Photo of beerguy101
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light gold color, medium head. A lighter bodied pale ale. Mild hops and malt. Good flavor. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Kind of mild and a touch uninspired. Light and refreshing, drinkable but nothing special.

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Photo of chinabeergeek
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a hazy, orangy gold with amber hue. some head, but doesn't last, not much lacing to speak of.

nose is more yeast than malt or hops. unoffensive but unimpressive.

taste is mild, bitterness and hops are quite low for an APA. some hint of estery fruitiness. malt is pretty subdued. finishes with lingering bitterness.

mouthfeel seems a bit thinner than i'd like.

hmm... they did so well with the red seal ale, sad to see this one fall somewhat flat. drinkable, but i'm not paying the premium price that it requires out here in china.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A little on the bland side, but nothing offensive about it. Light copper color. Mild hop flavor and nice crispness but not much else. Passable hops finish. Not too bad as a summer brew but not really memorable overall.

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Photo of MoorBeerPlz
2.96/5  rDev -14.2%
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.


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Photo of barnzy78
2.96/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, pours a hazy peach color with a tall, frothy, white head that fades fast leaving some chunky lacing at the top of the glass. Aromas seem muted with some earthiness, maybe caramel malt, but not much else. Tastes are earthy, bready malt, nice balance, peppery, slight frutiness - apple or grape, maybe apricot also. Body is thin-to-medium, modest carbonation, finishes nice and clean. Overall, pretty middle of the road here, definitely no wows, but drinkable and sessionable.

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Photo of Duster72
2.94/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy orangey amber with minimal head and no lacing. Very pretty looking beer! Aroma is biscuts, floral hops, and some fruits -- perhaps strawberry or apricot. Taste is sour frutiness with some floral hops and mild sweet maltiness. Mouthfeel is very thin. Doesn't really taste good, and I would not drink another. Very disappointing.

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Photo of beeritron
2.94/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours out of the bottle a very nice amber color with a full cream colored head that lasts through out the glass. However there is minimal lacing. The smell is very weak, with more of a yeast presence than hops. The taste is pretty average with not much bitterness and no hop flavors after the swallow. There is a bit of fruity aftertaste similar to apples. The malt flavor is ok, with the body being a little thin for the style. Really not much to this beer.

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Photo of mschofield
2.94/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear light ambered gold, two finger off-white head that leaves small bits of lace, light carbonation/
Has a flowery hop aroma, butterscotch, and an unpleasant note of wet dog.
Butterscotch again in the taste, accompanied by apple, honey and apricot. A sweet fruity taste as well - could be passionfruit.
Medium feel, smooth, would be a good drinking beer if the taste was better and stronger.

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

Pours a slightly cloudy orange with a small, shortlasting white head. The color is nice but the appearance is not very remarkable. Active carbonation. Aroma is not very strong but overall citrusy. Taste is initially pleasantly bitter, notes of apricots, but then it declines into skunkiness. Some lemon citrus and pine hoppiness to it, but not much. Tingly carbonation gives it something a lively feel: in light of its yucky finish, I call it a dead man walking. Gotta love that bottle art, but I'll never buy this brew again.

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

Glowing orange-amber brew. Hazy and well carbonated. Thin cream colored head. Lacing is moderate. Light aroma. Piney and citric in nature. This beer lacks a lot of substance. Very, very average overall. Malts are muted and dull. Slight caramelish notes. Hops are one dimensional...piney. Body is about medium. There's a little spritziness to the mouthfeel. This is one I'm not in a hurry to return to.

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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.

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Photo of aquaderek
2.91/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Looks pretty good, it has a nice golden orangy(?) color with a thin head which diminishes quickly. The nose cabbage, little bit of hops, some hints of caramel. Taste: some malt with a little hops and leaves a little to be desired. Mouthfeel is nice bubbles with a somewhat creamy finish. I could drink a couple. not the best, not the worst an OK beer

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Photo of skybluewater
2.88/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a peachy orange color. Smell's nearly non-existent. Taste is average. Nothing really jumps out at me, perhaps a little peach and grapefruit, but overall this is really pretty weak.

This is a servicable pale, nothing more than drinkable, and I say that only because there's nothing truly awful about this beer. But the price alone ($8.50 for a sixer) would prevent me from buying again (or at least often), as there are better tasting pales (Summit, Goose Island, Full Sail, etc.) available around here for $1-$2 less.

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Photo of shand
2.88/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a nonic.

This is a beautiful looking brew. Pours with a healthy two and a half fingers of head over a hazy straw body. Retention and lacing are excellent. The smell on this is also quite nice. It's fruity with a touch of floral hops and a bit of grapefruit. A little touch of graininess drags it down a touch. The taste isn't quite as good as the nose though. Grainy malts are really the star of the show, along with some cloying sweetness that unfortunately pairs with some bitterness on the backend. There's just a touch of hop character. Just not the best taste character.

The mouthfeel is pretty good, it's decently carbonated. This beer's saving grace is probably it's drinkability, which is enough to drag up the average half a point or so. It's a decent brew that might be marred by the lack of freshness dates. Date your beers!

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Photo of SupaCelt
2.88/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This bottle purged itself to reveal an orange honey coloured brew with a small fleeting head and scant carbonation. The nose was heavy on malt and something strange that reminded me of pumpkin. Weird. I guess it could have been honey and some other component. I did not feel any hop aromatics hitting my snout. The flavour was pretty weak. It had a sourness and I swear it had pumpkin too. Very little hop bitterness, but it was there to some extent. The mouthfeel was a non issue after the flavour turned out to be some sort of wuzzle. Drinkability? I might drink this over something else, but I would have to be in dire straights. I am not sure what was happening with this brew. I had expected another decent Northcoast Acme product after being pleasantly surprised by the IPA, but this pale ale was just busted. Sad.

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Photo of jarmby1711
2.86/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ah , a chance to sample another American craft ? beer.
No expectations , no background knowledge to influence one.
Verdict , a beer of moderate enjoyability.
It looked the part , nice darkish hue , 1-2 finger head with some no tracing bubbles , but there was an underlying kerosene/creosote taste that was a bit off putting .
As Jim Carey so famously said in Liar Liar , " I've had better"

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Photo of TheJudge
2.85/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A cloudy light brown with a small white head, this has a sweet smell, some hops to offset, but not as much as expected. This follows in the taste. Very sweet, especially for a Pale Ale, a banana flavor dominates the mild hops. not as carbonated as i like, and a little thick on the tongue, this is not an impressive beer. I would rather have a sierra nevada

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Photo of kojevergas
2.84/5  rDev -17.7%
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.


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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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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 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 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 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 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 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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ACME California Pale Ale from North Coast Brewing Co.
3.45 out of 5 based on 551 ratings.
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