Pale Ale
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing

Pale AlePale Ale
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Pale Ale - Belgian
Ranked #440
Ranked #47,296
3.22 | pDev: 18.01%
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
California, United States
Pale AlePale Ale
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 29 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of charlzm
charlzm from California

2.75/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Consumed June 30th, 2012 at the brewery. Reviewed from notes.

Medium golden hue, slightly hazy with no head.

Fruity with a touch of caramel in the nose.

Flavor is odd; as the nose, but with a pronounced mustard note. No real bitterness.

Well carbonated, at least.

Could have fooled me that this was supposed to be a Belgian style pale ale.

Jan 07, 2013
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DoubleJ from Wisconsin

3.47/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

67 IBU's in a pale ale? That's only 10 less than the IPA, which is 150 basis points higher in alcohol. I would bet this is the hoppier of the two, but I only drank of those two. On-tap at the brewery itself, on to the beer:

A yellowish orange colored beer with little head and a few traces of lace that cling to the glass. The nose offers caramel and flowers. A very floral hoppiness.

Caramel and earthy notes jumpstart the flavor. But the dominant flavor are the hops, which are in the raw and bust out with tea-like and hemp flavors. Perhaps too raw for me, as I like my hops to be a little more mellow and fruity. Its body is a lighter medium, is fairly drinkable, and a solid representation of the American pale ale.

Sep 11, 2012
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AgentMunky from New York

3.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into an Allagash cervoise glass.

A: A nice finger of foamy head. Hazy amber. Great lacing.

S: Gentle malts and slight citrus hops.

T: Tasty enough. Light, carbonated, but surprisingly robust/malty for such a light beer. Touch of bitterness leads to a pleasantly dry finish. Cloudy lemon in the maintaste, with only a touch of barley sweetness. Generally good.

O: An average beer, but unremarkable, save inasmuch as it's a goodish beer at relatively low ABV. Very drinkable, goes well with spicy food.

Jun 22, 2012
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htomsirveaux from Texas

2.62/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

22 oz. bottle tried 21 Nov 2007.

Medium white head. Medium carbonation. Slightly cloudy straw yellow color. Aroma is metallic, lemony. Fairly vegetal, like celery. Slight hint of citrus. Puckery dirty aftertaste. Light body.

Belgian pale ale? Really?

Jun 30, 2010
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SShelly from Oregon

3.68/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is definetly not a belgian anything, and my experience with this on draft at blue palms was way different then alot of the reviews.

Light golden yellow color with small white head and a little bit of retention.

Aroma is of a subtle citrusy variety, pretty subdued but nice, clean and a little hoppy.

Nice and crisp in the mouth slightly dry with a well balanced bitterness, subtle hop flavor, a little bit of balancing sweetness, leaves a nice crisp hop flavor in the mouth.

Probably not something I would actively seek out but kinda nice on a day when im not trying to crush my liver...probably better on a hot day.

Feb 10, 2010
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chickencoop from California

3.73/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Santa Cruz, the first place I ever bought the silly shrooms, nice little place in my heart but why did all those mountains keep rolling. But about the beer. Pours a light amber, little head. Smell, not much, but where this beer shines is the mouthfeel, big bready yeasty mouthfeel, actually compared to there other beers, very good. Mouthfeel for a light pale lager is big and welcoming. This is a very drinkable beer and highly recommended.

Feb 07, 2010
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srandycarter from California

3.7/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Murky honey with small white head leaves fast.

S - Very light malt smell. That is it.

T - Malty, some hops, but very watery in general.

M - Light bodied, fair balance, not much coating.

D - Although this is not anywhere near a favorit, it is easy to drink and I could all night!

Sep 15, 2009
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flexabull from California

3.87/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear and light gold color with a small white head.

Aromas are of caramel malts, brewed tea, and pine like hops.

Taste is much like the aromas. Brewed tea flavor, creamy caramel malts, and some sweet cereal grains. Finish is crisp with an earthy pine hop note.

Mouthfeel is full, well rounded, and nicely carbonated. Beer feels smooth.

Drinkability is quite good. This isn't going to wow you, but it's a solid sessionable pale that falls more toward the British style.

Apr 25, 2009
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RichardWalter from California

3.62/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A light golden, a little hazy with all the foam. Way too much white foam that breaks into chunks, with a lot still left on the side of the glass.

Light citrus grapey aroma , nothing overpowering, reminds me of a wine cellar.

Light and refreshing small amount of aftertaste.

Apr 05, 2009
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illidurit from California

2.9/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub. Typical golden straw color, crystal clear, with a wet and wispy white head. Aroma is very grainy with some wet hay and lemony citrus. Also some phenolic character that doesn't meld in that well. Flavor is yeast, spices, wet mushy grains, and a tinge of citrus. Some slight hop astringency. Mouthfeel is very very light, carbonation is high. Drinkable but extremely boring.

Feb 28, 2009
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watchnerd from California

3.6/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 22 oz bottle of this at Draeger's in San Mateo.

I'm not sure I'd agree with the style categorization. It doesn't describe itself as a Belgian Pale Ale anywhere on the bottle. On the other hand, it isn't quite hoppy enough to be a typical West Coast pale ale. But it's not yeasty enough to be really described as a Belgian ale, either.

Overall, it was okay. Not spectacular, not bad. A bit light on the palate and in the mouth, but this does increase the drinkability. It would be a decent beer on a hot day.

Jul 05, 2008
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ChainGangGuy from Georgia

2.58/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, yellow body with a big, foamy, white head.

Smell: Simple aroma that's a combination of grainy malts and lemon-scented handsoap.

Taste: Tired maltiness that's briefly sweet and delivers a kick of grain husks. More cheap lemon soap along with a medium hop bitterness. Slight citric hint on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation. Mouthfeel is a tad watery.

Drinkability: Seriously, what the hell is this nonsense.

Apr 19, 2008
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theopholis from California

3.1/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Body pours a hazy, bright, pale yellow. Head is a frothy, aggresive, white 3-finger affair with some head retention, and a nice lacing.

Aroma- Smells pretty much like a Belgian. A very interesting blend of soft, malt sweetness and a pungent, underlieing sourness with with hints of floral hops, coriander and bitter orange peel.

Taste- At the front, a pronounced sourness with a strong, astringent mouthfeel. A grapefruit bitterness is in there to. I can imagine this is what a fermented grapefruit tastes like. Not bad, but I was hoping for a little malt sweetness in there somewhere, and a little more complexity.

Mouthfeel- Medium to light body. The CO2 level is good for the style ( a little lower than most Belgians). Has a very pronounced astringency, which drys out the palate ad gives a good aftertaste. Not very refreshing tho.

Drinkability- Not great, but not bad.

Jan 24, 2008
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Zorro from California

2.83/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Belgian Pale Ale? My bottle says nothing like that. It simply says "A light style Pale Ale crafted in a traditional style with imported whole organic hop flowers." To me that means it could be any style Pale Ale an probably West Coast Pale just because of where it is made.

Chill hazed sunny yellow colored beer with an average type Belgian Pale Ale.

A quick sniff confirms that this does smell like a Belgian style ale so it IS listed correctly. Sweet smelling with the scent of flowers and coriander and a faint bergamot scent AKA bitter orange.

The taste begins sweet with a slightly sharp sourness that lasts for a second, then a bitter after taste dries it out. Rather basic Belgian Pale flavors and a little light.

Mouthfeel is light.

Boring really, buy the Duvel instead.

Aug 23, 2007
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bradybeer from California

3.35/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very pale yellow-reminds me of a Hefe or a Kolsch-thin head with medium carbonation with a mild hops aroma. Taste is good for a low alchohol beer with minimum malt and pleasant hop cripness.

Mouthfeel is light and drinkablity is high-nice refreshing summer beer.

Jun 11, 2007
Photo of blitheringidiot
blitheringidiot from Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +34.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber with neck label expressing hand crafted and dry hopped. Body label states light Belgian style with Belgian Kent Goldings, whole organic hop flowers. ORGANIC. 4% ABV.

Pours with a vicious peach hued hazy glass containing suspended light particles floating around, topped off with a pillowy lemon meringue coating. Rock solid pour.

Brisk orange peel and tangerine delicate nose. A touch of peppery zest. Belgian yeast aspects brighten up a doughy middle. Impressive really.

First swigs: Dry fluffy light tangering soda. Tight dense carbonation. Dry Belgian doughy yeast middle. (Wow! This is good!) A Jell-O like gelatin sweet. Unwinding flavors roll out here. Some spicy lemon and a base of oatmeal grain.

Foamy frothy feel that foams up, plenty. Light bodied with a clean fragile finish.

Last swigs: Reminds me of Houblon Chouffe's little brother. Amazing flavor for a 4% beer. Here is a great beer at 4% ABV. This is going on the list as a favorite of the year.

Beer is good. Happy flavorful beering.

Aug 16, 2006
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DogFood11 from California

2.18/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Found at the Cap N Cork on a lunch break. The first time I've seen this I had to give it a try along with their lineup. Poured into a tulip it forms an average size head with a pale yellow body. Highly carbonated and ring style lacing.

At first I was taken back on the first pull in a bad way. The funky aroma and taste were earthy and a a sharp drying effect. It had the soaked cardboard type aroma and taste. I don't know man I just can't pick up anything that is interesting. To me this is a borderline terrible offering. Husky, Grainy, and Dry. If you like that then dig in.

Notes: None neccessary.

Aug 13, 2006
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mattdavis452 from California

1.49/5  rDev -53.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1

It's entirely possible that I was served a bottle from a bad batch, but my instinct tells me that any organic beer will disappoint.

Appearance was decent - a hazy golden brown color.

Smell, taste, and drinkability are where this beer failed. It smelled like it may have been skunked, but I wasn't quite sure. What I am sure of, is that the brew just tasted rank. Advertised as a Pale Ale, it was more like a quite bitter IPA. Not what one would expect based on the labelling.

Mouthfeel was acceptable though. The head developed nicely, which translated into your standard mouthfeel for this type of beer.

Jun 01, 2006
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tfinn from Oregon

3.78/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pours hazy yellow with thick whipped-cream head and strong carbonation.

I was thinking american pale when I took my first whiff, and a bit of soapyness hit me. that quickly cleared (or I adjusted to it) and seemingly herbal spicy british hops came out next. ahh, I thought, this must be a british pale.

then I took a taste. yup, they've definitely burtonized their water, a little heavy on the sulfates for my tastes, but I could see that in a british pale. but what's this little funk around the edges? there's a slight apple/pear in there somewhere?

finish from a rather coating swallow is minerally, with plenty of residual hops. we're back to british pale.

after my first couple sips, I took a closer look at the label: ahh, belgian pale ale! the soap, the funk -- it makes sense! as it warmed up, more of the belgian yeast aspects made themselves known. the flavors are big, full, warm and fuzzy, and I'm surprised this comes in at only 4%. it's very drinkable, and I hope this makes it to utah and other 3.2(by weight) states. it should make folks very satisfied.

I can't help but think this is just a starter batch for a triple, though. (:

Feb 14, 2006
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TheLongBeachBum from California

3.18/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: Standard brown glass 22 ounce Bomber. Neck label has a Whale spouting water through its blowhole with the words ‘Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing’ encircling it with the words ‘Hand Crafted’ and ‘Dry Hopped’ either side. The Main label lists the brew as ‘Pale Ale’ and described as ‘A light Belgian style Pale Ale crafted in a traditional style with Belgian Kent Goldings, whole organic hop flowers’. Certified Organic and Listed at 4% ABV on the label.

Appearance: Streamer laden milky golden yellow body with a straw like hue. Pours with a humungous, fast-rising, thick deep white head. Massive amounts of mottled lacing sticks to the glass sides as the 6-inch deep cap collapses in on itself. A healthy dollop of yeast accompanies the final pour from the Bomber.

Nose: Very grainy and not that inviting at the start. Some residual sweaty-hop aromas. Soft spices and a gentle fruity tone.

Taste: As with the nose, this starts with a very grainy feel. Malts have a sweet dimension with some soft spicy yeast. Delicate bitterness in the latter third and a dry-hop finish. Clean finish but a rough grainy start.

Mouthfeel: Light body with a doughy feel to it. Supports the brew as needed but does not really add much to its overall feel.

Drinkability: Difficult to get used to, the dry hop finish with its lightly spiced bitterness is very nice, but the grainy front end takes the edge off of the attractiveness.

Overall: Lots of hoo-hah over this one, it is certified as an Organic brew and described as a Belgian Style Pale Ale. Indeed, it does exhibit a nice Belgian Pale feel to it, but it’s a little rough around the edges, especially in the beginning. Not that bad, but not something which I would pick up again.

Jan 23, 2006
Pale Ale from Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
Beer rating: 77 out of 100 with 29 ratings