Starfire Pale Ale | Fitger's Brewhouse

very good
97 Ratings
no score
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Brewed by:
Fitger's Brewhouse
Minnesota, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.10%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by tavernjef on 11-29-2004

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 97
Photo of SD-Alefan
4.26/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the brewhouse. Pours a dark golden with a hint of red and a slightly off-white head.
Aroma is loaded withe citrus, grapefruit and orange with a touch of breadiness.
Taste follows, lots of grapefruit and orange, a bit of pith and a balancing sweetness.
Mouthfeel is medium and smooooth.
Very good pale ale.

 315 characters

Photo of AleMan66
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had this poured at the Fitgers bar. It's a golden color, slightly red. I immediately tasted grapefruit and confirmed through the bartender that it is in fact grapefruit. Slightly happier than I like, but a great beer!

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Photo of pat61
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I wanted to like this but the day i was there this came across as a little water, hoppy and sour. Its hop to malt ratio is somewhere between an APA and an IPA.

 159 characters

Photo of Vukusich
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5


A special version of our signature Starfire Pale Ale that ups everything – malt, hops, alcohol, flavor – you name it. This brew not only features Starfire’s signature Amarillo hops, but Mosaic hops as well.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

a solid american pale here, a little darker and a little redder on the grains than most, giving it not just body, but depth and richness not common in the style. clear beer through the amber glow though, and giving rise to just a short tan head that turns into patchy foam pretty quickly. it smells real balanced, with a lot of caramel malt on the front end, without the usual sweetness though, and with a cool hopping on the back end. not sure the varietals here, but they smell and taste a little like honey, very floral without much bitterness, and then with a light citrus thing, candied orange rind or something, very cool complexion with the richer grains. fuller bodied too, but i wish for more carbonation on this. it gets a little heavy as it warms up, but i like the flavor profile here quite well. if it was made a little brighter in feel, with bubbles, i think it would be an A level product. looks like these guys make all kinds of beer, i will look forward to trying more. that gooseberry gose they do looks intriguing!

 1,033 characters

Photo of dbriesemeister
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look - Limited head, great lacing, light amber/dark honey color.

Smell - floral hop smell, notes of lavender and freshly cut grass

Taste - biting hop flavor, strong bitterness

Feel - crisp carbonation, lingering bitterness, dry finish

Overall - very good American pale ale!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fitger's Starfire Pale Ale, #3 in a series of 4 growlers from the Brewhouse.

Big, blooming head, clear, light amber color...let's call it apricot.

Lightly hoppy aroma, little bitterness, but a lot of fruit. Citrus is taken care of, but we get peach and apricot, as well.

Taste: finally, bitterness comes in, right at the first swallow, and linger on lightly in this medium-bodied ale. Small astringency on the palate, light malt body, easy-drinking and mellow, with no hindrance to consumption and enjoyment. Unless, that is, you are impervious to the pleasures of hops on the tongue.

An utterly delightful pale ale, that I hope to send down my throat again, without too much delay.

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Photo of mothman
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

White head with nice lace. Color is a clear golden orange.

Aroma: pale bready malts with some orange citrus. Grassy and floral hops.

Taste: much hoppier than the nose. Lots of sticky and floral hops. Grapefruit and orange peel. Hop resiny.

Mouthfeel. Sticky and bitter. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends dry.

Overall, a solid pale ale. Tons of hops. I like it.

 385 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed after the Duluth Black Ale, which turned out to be a mistake; the hops in this may well have been masked a bit by our shock at the DBA delivery vehicle.

Pour is expected clear amber/gold, though with minimal carbonation. Nose is nice, shot to the heart, & you're to blame, of quick bittering hops.

Starfire Ale is another solid entry to the category. The hops are aggressive for a pale, leaking a moderate level of piney bitterness in support of the pale malts.

Simple, straightforward, easy to drink, this is a pale that could be photocopied into the lexicon of "good pale - example". Good, solid beer.

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Photo of DeschutesNut
4.82/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at the MN Craft Brewers Guild Autumn Brew Review 2011 in Minneapolis at the historic Grain Belt Complex. For me this was the best new beer that I had at the fest. Delicous pale ale. The brewer even put a fresh hop cone right into the brew. By far the best Pale Ale I have had to date! if you ever get the chance do not pass this one up!

 347 characters

Photo of gatornation
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from brewpub on tap

A- pours a copper color with an off-white head and a nice collar and lacing
S- is biscuit malts with floral hops,a sweet baked bread smell some grass,a touch of pine

T- nice pungent hops with citrus,pine and floral tastes,followed by baked bread sweet caramel malts,grass and spice

M- crisp hops with a creamy smooth mouth feel it bitter on the tongue but refreshing and creamy smooth on the finish

O- a great pale ale with bitter hops but highly drinkable smooth taste

 493 characters

Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Brewhouse in Duluth, MN.

Deep golden in color with distinct yellow tones.

A crisp hop (pine) shows in both the aroma and flavor profiles.

Very well rounded with the slightly caramel maltiness.

A little dryness is the main mouth feel here.

Alpha acids...mmm...

 280 characters

Photo of Snow81
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Appearance: Hazy golden orange

Smell: Clean citres with a little floral on the nose

Head: Nice head that sticks around and lace hangs on the sides of my glass

Taste: Has a light hop note with low carbenation

Weight: Body is a bit lighter then i like, seems to just wash off the palet

Finish: Quite light not bitter by any means but very cleen and that light hop note still lingers

 385 characters

Photo of MinnesotaRIS
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From the brewhouse in a growler poured into glass. Very cold. Medium body pour. Carbonation is spot-on. Well-retained head, small cells that dissipates a bit quickly bit foam layer remains. Very little residue after head collapse. Amber golden color, not clear, low cloud.

Smell if American hops. Citrusy, malty as pale ale us expected. Smell undertones balance well. Pineapple. Clean. Some dark grain aroma.

Tastes of slight malt and hops. A bit off in balance. Orange, slight pine. Has full body of APA and I am liking it more the more I sip on it. Woodsy but not "woody" taste. Lingering, bitter aftertaste that is good.

Very slight astringency. Rounded taste. Very drinkable and I recommend giving it a try if you are in Duluth. After this one, I am looking forward to trying the rest of Fitger's many styles.

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Photo of mwilbur
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on cask at the brewery into pint glass. 7/4/11
A: Pours a hazy orange golden color with thin white head.
S: Soft and sweet pineapple and citrus hops. Honey note too.
T: Distinct lack of carbonation takes getting used to...but grows on me. Mildly bitter citrus and pineapple hops, hint of caramel hops. Honey and grainy toast.
M: Very smooth, soft, and oily. Again the lack of carbonation is interesting...and nice.
D: Very drinkable. My first cask! Served warmer than your typical tap beer. Definitely give it a go if you swing by the brewery!

Poured from growler into shaker pint glass.
A: Pours a dark yellow-orange, almost amber color with 1/2 inch white head. Good retention. Nice for style. (4)
S: Nice sharp and fresh citrus and soft pine hops. Apple and pineapple notes too. (4)
T: Soft citrus and pine hops. Hint of honey in there too. (3.5)
M: Soft and oily feel at first. Then mild bitter hop note comes through in the middle and finish. (4)
D: Good drinkability and a solid brew especially for style. Went well with burgers on the grill tonight. Thanks to Brad for bringing this down! (4)

 1,107 characters

Photo of blackie
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: shaker pint, copper-amber in color with a well retained, light white head

s: lots of fresh resinous pine on a pale and caramel malt body, juicy orange, big aroma for a pale

m: light-medium body and moderately carbonated

t: pale malt body holds some sweet caramel sugars and a big, juicy pine hop flavor, some mild citrus, raw and sappy bitterness, pungent and assertive both apply here - but things stay just outside of ipa territory

d: a lovely APA, easily drinkable

pint at the brewpub

 495 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on-tap at the brewpub.

cellphone notes

appearance: served in a standard pint, bright copper-amber body with sufficient carbonation

smell: hoppy - orange peel, piney hop resin, grassy, toasted malt

taste: I really thought this was a knockout IPA and was really impressed with most of the beers at Fitger's in general. Starfire has a great hop profile with pine and orange zest complimented by a solid caramel malt and bready base. Nalgene Growlers of this would make for a nice afternoon out on the lake.

mouthfeel: oily and slick, medium-light body

drinkability: good

 573 characters

Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer meets the eyes with usual pale ale caramel color. There isn't much of head on this thing. Citrus and pine are the first things that come to mind as more nose hovers the surface. The flavor has a touch of sweetness which leads into a hollow center. The finish is a superposition of floral and pine hops.

After the beer is swallowed, there isn't much excitement. Average, I would say, is the what this beer is.

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Photo of Buebie
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Alright, kind of an experiment done here. This is a 2 year old, cellared growler that has been sitting in my beer fridge at 45 degrees.
I wanted to see how this did after some aging.

Poured from the growler into a pub glass. Off the pour the carbonation still lives strong and produces a fluffy big 2'' off white head. Somewhat slow to recede leaving very thicks sticky layers of lace along the glass. A also thick and foamy retention layer of about a half inch just sits there, finally settling to several bubble islands of foam.
The color is a chill hazed mostly transparent, darker copper color. Plenty of carbonation rise inside the liquid.
I'm very pleased with the appearance on this after 2 years.

Aroma is still hoppy! More malty now too, with loads of sweet carmelly cereal grains, honey, brown sugar, and plenty of hop kick. Pine and bitter grapefruit. I'm very surprised the aroma is still this good. I had a 2 year old bottle of Hop Slam last nit and there were zero aroma hops remaining, it was all malt and biscuits. This is just amazing for this beer to still be so delicious and almost fresh like in aroma.

Mouthfeel is smooth with very little carbonation sting. It resembles a cask pour, still with some carbonation, but now very very smooth, increasing drinkability ten fold.

Taste up front has plenty of malt backbone, carmelised sugars, sweet caramel rolls with a buttery taste. Mild cereal grains.
Then hops begin to bite with large bittering pine and a grapefruit kick, carmelised onions and and touch of spice. Becoming more dry, with a bit of an earthy aspirin twang. The finish is dry and bitter with a crispness to it.
No alcohol detected. This is extremely drinkable and oh soo smooth.
These Fitger's growlers really age well. I'm very impressed what 2 years has done to this beer.


 1,827 characters

Photo of dogger6253
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A very thin film tops the gorgeous, dark amber body, sticking to the glass as the glass empties. The aroma of this is very potent. The instant I opened my growler, I could smell a fresh, grassy hops and a bright, citrus scent. A little more of a sweet, caramel scent comes out as the beer settles and warms.

The taste is remarkably balanced. Each sip features a constant struggle between the sharp bite of hops and the mellow wash of caramel malts, each battling for supremacy, but never getting out of hand.

It just be from being transported in the growler, but the beer is a flat. I think a little carbonation would do this slightly heavy beer good. Aside from that, this is not only very tasty, but overall fun to drink.

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Photo of supercolter
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was my favorite beer I tried at this brewpub. Appearance is good looks nice and oily with a copper color and decent amount of head and lacing. Smell and taste are good, with a good amount of floral hops up front but balanced nicely with some dry malt. Mouthfeel is very nice and oily. A decent amount of carbonation. Drinkability is quite good as well.

 357 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a copper/amber color with a good deal of carbonation. It had a small, creamy, off-white head that left a little lace.

S - It smelled grassy/hoppy with a light caramel malt aroma.

T - It taste of a subtle bittersweet hop kick. It had a bready maltiness.

M - It was smooth and crisp at the same time. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice pale ale. It has a very nice blend of hops and smooth maltiness.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fresh Growler: Medium orangey peach with a medium sized capping of off-whitish fluffy foam. Lacing is strewn about in lots of thick strings and keeps a thick skim on top the whole glass down.

Sticky hop aroma of orangified pine resin and deep dark grassyness. Earthy, greasy, oily, and grungy with a fairly large toasted malt background. Quite broad and outstandingly fresh nose.

Taste is solid, lots of resin loaded hoppyness inter-twined with a big toasted, grassy, breadish malting. Partially sweet underneath but well forward with hop greasyness. Crunchy and orange toned with a wondefully placed bite of piney bitterness and resin coated punch to its bite. Nice lasting finish of semi toasted dryness mixing with the orangy pine oils.

Feel is super creamy smooth and oily in texture, nearly full with a simple yet fulfilling crisp carbonation to suit its crunchy toastyness and large hop load.

This is a very nice Pale, much different from other times I"ve had it and thankfully so. A big surprise and damn drinkable too.

 1,031 characters

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Found on Cask at Fitger's in August of '07.

This beer came a slightly cloudy honey color with a thin film of off-white head that left slight stripes of lace.

Smelled of fruity peaches, kiwi and red grapefruit. Nice.

The same fruits came through in the taste with a bit more strawberry, but with some rye and white flour. In the finish came a little bleached paper.

Felt light and clean, but dense and substantial giving it a slick feel.

A good beer for sure. Tasty, clean and drinkable.

 491 characters

Photo of kdog630
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden in color with a 1/2 inch head. Could be that the growler was a week old, but the beer had plenty of carbonation. Aroma was malty and I don't detect a lot of hop in it. However, the finish is on the hoppy side. Initial flavor is full with an above average mouth feel. This beer improved as the growler warmed. Good beer for a warm July evening. Hopefully, my friend can make it back to Fitger's and bring back a couple more.

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Starfire Pale Ale from Fitger's Brewhouse
3.93 out of 5 based on 97 ratings.
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