Pathfinder Pale Ale | Saugatuck Brewing Company

11 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Pathfinder Pale AlePathfinder Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Saugatuck Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by GRPunk on 01-13-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 51
Photo of Tone
3.79/5  rDev +7.7%

Pours a hazy, gold color. Two inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of hops, resin, slight sweet malt, hint of biscuit, and a hint of floral. Fits the style of an American Pale Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with a high carbonation level. Tastes of hops, resin, slight sweet malt, hint of biscuit, and a hint of floral. Overall, good appearance, decent aroma, blend, and body.

 419 characters

Photo of ChristopherWIU-UTPA
3.57/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

it pours amber pale, with a slight haze, and a finger width tan head. It has fruity aroma, with a strong taste of light grains/herbs, with a diminish or muted fruit taste. It has little or no bite, no metallic edge, and has a bitter after taste. not really filling and leaves the mouth dry.

 290 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.65/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with coded date 130624 printed on the label. Not sure if that's a best by date or a born on date, so whatever. Acquired at the local Binny's as part of a mixed six pack. I just recently tried the Saugatuck + Binny's Hopfinder collaboration, and I liked it a lot, so I'm excited to see what we have here.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter glass.

A - Hmm, strange. Pours about five parts of fluffy rocky cavernous off-white head to about one parts lemony orange colored beer body. Becomes a darker cloudier orange when I pour the rest of the bottle. Epically frothy head with good staying power. Fat fluffy lacing.

S - Smell is light and bready. Lemon zest. Grassy. Earthy. Some yeasty pineapple fruit presence.

T - Taste is very light, crisp, and bready / malty. Not a lot of the lemon zest or other fruit presence comes through much in the taste. Minimal fruit or hops detectable in the taste.

M - Feel is extremely dry and bready. High carbonation could probably be toned down a bit.

Overall, I definitely prefer the Saugatuck + Binny's Hopfinder collaboration over this one. It started out strong, but failed to deliver. Easy drinking with a moderate 4.90% abv, I would have no trouble sessioning this beer, but the flavor could stand to be amped up some.

Saugatuck Pathfinder Pale Ale ---3.5/5

 1,320 characters

Photo of superspak
3.53/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 6/15/2013. Pours lightly hazy golden amber color with a nice 2 finger dense and fluffy white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon zest, orange zest, grapefruit, citrus rind, floral, grass, light pine, bread, light honey, and floral earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with some pretty dank feeling hop notes with a fair amount of malt balance; and decent strength. Taste of lemon zest, orange zest, grapefruit, orange rind, floral, grass, pine, bread, light honey, and floral earthiness. Good amount of earthy pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, floral, grass, pine, bread, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice flavor balance of dank citrus and floral/pine hop flavors; with a light amount of malt balance and some moderate astringent bitterness after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a very crisp and sticky mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming after the finish. Overall this was a good session pale ale. Good balance of hop flavors, and very smooth to drink. The astringent bitterness knocked this down a bit, but otherwise it was an enjoyable pale ale.

 1,358 characters

Photo of Mitchster
4.27/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

$1.79 for a 12oz bottle @ BevCo. 4.9% ABV, 30 IBU's, OG=11.2P, Hopped with all Cascade.

Pours out to a clear orange golden, forming a tall whipped light yellow head with excellent retention and solid lacing owing in part to it's brisk carbonation, ~3.2 carbs or so. The nose is quite nice...I get a clean ferment, some nice grainy malty notes, plenty of Cascade hops with grapefruit, pith, peach and some subtle pine notes. No doughy yeast, thank god. The mouthfeel is crisp and very clean with a medium body, pleasantly more than expected for a 4.9% brew. The taste is really good as well...a recap of the aroma with a wonderfully balanced medium-firm bitterness that pulls everything together. Very easy to drink with no off-flavors. Dry finish.

Pleasantly surprised after having had a few gushers from Saugatuck. This is a pretty much by the books pale ale, exemplifying the style quite well. I've had a lot of pale ales that don't strike a balance as good as this. Tastes way better and drinks much easier than Sierra Nevada, IMO. Worth seeking out if you want to try a new pale ale and want something at a good price point.

 1,130 characters

Photo of andrewjraab
3.73/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Purchased a solo from Little Sack in Rockford, MI.

A - Golden yellow / orange cloudy hue. Three fingers of foamy white head. Rings around the glass for every sip.

S- floral, fruity, extremely citrusy - grapfruit, lemon zest, pineapple.

T - This brew packs a big punch of hops and drinks more like a more potent beer. It is a nice crisp and refreshing brew. A small amount of sweetness tries to come through, but it is aggressively hopped and that remains the dominant flavor.

M -Dry, sticky, medium bodied.

O - Not a bad try for a session APA. Worth a shot.

 562 characters

Photo of SerialTicker
3.33/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Was the "Mystery Beer" at Green Dot Stables in Detroit, Michigan for the week of February 3rd at a price of $3 a bottle. Since I had it straight from the bottle, I can't speak for the appearance of this one...

Smell: From the get-go I can tell you that in the smell and taste this beer just had that "wet trunk" vibe, which I've had in a few beers. It's a really musky, dank aroma, and it's hard to really explain what else it smells like.

Taste: Much like the smell... almost exactly. The finish has is pleasant and not very bitter with a nice flavor of malts left on the tongue. Pretty much beginning to end though, Pathfinder has that trunk-like flavor. The feel is nice -- nicely carbonated. If this beer wasn't as carbonated as it is, I think it would get a much lower rating from me, as I think it would then just taste like trunk mildew...

An average APA. I'm absolutely glad that I tried it, but it's just a fairly weak beer. Pretty forgettable. On the other side of things, I look at it like... it's a much better APA than the crappy ones I've given low ratings to. That's why it gets the rating it gets.

 1,116 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.09/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

I didn't know Nissan had entered into the beer business... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear brass topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises grass, light biscuit, and light grapefruit peel. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a thick pall of slightly-funky lemon zest, which leaves things in a bitter bind. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, an okay pale ale, but that weird citrus blast just doesn't fit and doesn't do it for me.

 553 characters

Photo of StoutHunter
3.39/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

I picked up a bottle of Saugatuck's Pathfinder Pale Ale last week for $1.59 at The Lager Mill. I'm a fan of Saugatuck and I'm down to try any new beer that they decide to bottle, so lets see how it goes. No visible bottling date, but I know it's fairly fresh. Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A= The label looks nice, it's simple yet good looking. It poured a nice golden yellow color that took on more of a golden hue when held to the light with two fingers worth of white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and left some nice lacing behind. This is a good looking American Pale Ale, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts of with a slightly higher amount of sweetness followed by a good amount of malts that impart a light toasted, grainy and very bread like aroma that reminds me of some type of sweetbread, GRPunk was on the money with Hawaiian bread. After that comes some earthy, floral and citrus like hops, the citrus hops seems to stick out the most and impart an orange like aroma. The aroma is nice and it has some nice balance to it.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a nice amount of medium sweetness followed by loads of malts that impart a grainy and very bread like flavor that seems to dominate this beer. Up next comes the hops which seem to be on the lighter side and impart some earthy and slight citrus hop flavors with oranges still sticking out the most. On the finish there was a pretty light amount of bitterness with a very grainy and bready aftertaste. This was an average tasting American Pale Ale, the hops just didn't come through enough and it let the malts dominate the flavor of this brew.

M- Smooth, a little crisp, medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. The mouthfeel was good and true to style, no complaints here.

Overall I thought this was an ok beer and a pretty average example of an American Pale Ale, it was just too malty for the style and it could use some more hop flavors and a little more bitterness. This beer had ok drinkability, it was pretty smooth and wasn't filling, but the flavors just didn't hold my attention and one would be enough for me. What I liked the most about this beer was the appearance and mouthfeel, they were both good. What I liked the least about this beer was how dominate the malts were, it needed some more hops to balance out all those malts. I wouldn't buy this beer again, there's tons of Pale Ales I would much rather have and I wouldn't recommend this to my friends as a good American Pale Ale. All in all I was a little let down with this beer, I expect great things from Saugatuck and this beer came up short, I think some more hops would really help this beer. Better luck next Saugatuck, this one just wasn't memorable.

 2,819 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
2.95/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Pale, golden, light copper copper color. Quick head, very little leftover foam. Only one string of tiny, sluggish bubbles rising to the top.

Orange and earthy hop aromas with some hints of toasty malts.

Citrusy, astringent, bitterness twang hits the front and middle of the palate hard. Some toasted crcaker malts and dry gypsum palate mak up the finish. Add to that a mild, citric linger of that bitterenss twang.

 418 characters

Photo of GRPunk
3.9/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into an imperial pint glass.

A- a normal pour created a 1-finger off-white head. Slightly hazed, golden body. Light carbonation. Great sticky rings left on the glass. Head retained at a nice film throughout.

S- Floral and sweet. Hawaiian bread. Fresh and delicate. Nicely balanced.

T- More balance. Floral, spicy, minty hops. Cereal-like malts. It all comes together nicely. Bone dry finish.

M- Medium body. Medium carbonation. Lightest hop bite.

O- The bottle said, "sessionable pale ale," and had me a little skeptical, hoping I didn't just by some hoppy water. 4.9% ABV? 30 IBUs? Nice! They've packed a lot of flavor into a small package. I could put a few back. Brewers take notice. Low ABV can be flavorful. I would love to see it in cans, as name implies it might be a good beer for camping, backpacking, etc.

Before .25 increment scoring, it would have bumped up to a "4" on taste as well. I'm tempted to round up for their ability to do so much at a lower alcohol level.

 1,011 characters

Pathfinder Pale Ale from Saugatuck Brewing Company
3.52 out of 5 based on 51 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.