Pete's Wicked Ale
Pete's Brewing Company

Pete's Wicked AlePete's Wicked Ale
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Brown Ale - English
3.32 | pDev: 15.96%
Pete's Brewing Company
Texas, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Pete's Wicked AlePete's Wicked Ale
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Reviews: 371 | Ratings: 513 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.29/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Looks like we're gonna bang out a few retired reviews today. Pete's was pretty ubiquitous in the early to mid 90s, seriously was probably in as many shelves as Sam Adams or Sierra Nevada. Right about when Stone came on the scene, was kind of the death knell of Pete's. Mild malty gave way to uber hoppy in neckbeard palates.

Anyways, this poured a slightly darker color than Newcastle, middle of the road amber-brown, but without a big time porter like viscosity, this was mild brown ale territory. Reliable 1/2" light tan head nearly every time. Aroma put down the caramel over the earthiness portfolio of smells.

Taste was at the time, a hoppy brown ale. You'd never describe it that way by contemporary standards. Probably had an ibu level of about 20. Pushed the toasted malt toffee and caramel haracteristics in a way that hadn't really existed in American brews at the time. Around '93-94 it was preferred by myself to SNPA, which is crazy to think of such a thing the last 20 years (opposite). Carbonation was reliable as the product was, there wasn't much variation if any between the numerous 6 packs consumed.

Boston Lager and Newcastle overtook market share for this kind of beer, while the hop craze siphoned some others off methinks.

Mar 03, 2020
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LXIXME from New Mexico

3.61/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium off white head dies quickly leaving a medium or less lacing above a clear amber colored beer.

Mild Aroma of an almost sweet caramel malt with a light nutty edge to it.

Taste is pretty similar to the aroma with its sweet caramel and nutty grain malts, maybe a bit more sweet than the aroma.

A slight bitter drying aftertaste on the light medium to medium bodied beer.

The slight bittering effect of the aftertaste is just enough to make you want to take another drink.

Nov 18, 2013
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generallee from Virginia

3.34/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Petes Wicked Ales were some of the first craft/non-Bud style beers that started me on the road to realy good beer. This beer has a medium brownish color with coppery highlights and good clarity. This is top by a small quick fading white foam head. It has a mostly sweet malty character, in both taste and aroma which is faily light overall. There was nothing about this beer that stands out but there was nothing off putting about it either. The palat was light and easy drinking.

Sep 02, 2012
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metter98 from New York

3.4/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: The beer is relatively clear dark garnet in color and has a moderate amount of carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that gradually died down but never completely faded away.
S: There are aromas of caramel and nutty malts in the nose along with some notes of fruity yeast.
T: The taste has nutty flavors along with some notes of malty sweetness and hints of caramel malts. A very slight amount of bitterness is present, which helps prevent the sweetness from becoming cloying.
M: It feels a bit shy of being medium-bodied and slightly smooth on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This was a pretty good beer among those available in the early 1990s but doesn’t really stand up to some of the other craft beer offerings currently available in the style.

Jun 06, 2012
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Jadjunk from Georgia

2.99/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This historical craft brown ale was discontinued early last year along with the entire rest of the Pete's Wicked lineup. I stumbled upon an old six pack of this in some shady package store in Athens last winter, and have been holding on tight to a couple bottles for a while. Since I don't anticipate this is a beer worthy of aging well, I thought now would be a better time than ever to crack one open for a review.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pint glass. Served at 48º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a very fizzy head with little staying power, settling to thin surface cover within moments, gone like a flat soda. Color is a dark amber/light brown, and although "ruby brown", as the label suggests would be a stretch, light brings some mild pink-brown hues, suggestive of a little less substance than the average brown ale has. Carbonation is looking very limited but there's some occasional variety to the bubbles. Overall this has a pretty dismal appearance, possibly due to the age of the beer. There's little substance to the beer that indicates a superior brown ale and the head quality was outrageous, amongst some of the worst retention and texture I've seen in a while. It deserves a small lift in points based on the age but I don't think that appearance could have depreciated by a large factor over the year or two that it's been in cold storage. 2

(Smell) Medium caramel malts, a hint of toffee and a touch of toasted brown sugar make this very basic in smell but potent enough despite the absence of complexity. Hops, if present at all are hardly potent enough to counter the overall sweetness of this beer; the end result is indicative of a malt bomb, although a slightly watered down one. One with a seasoned nose can tell that there's not as much substance to this brown ale as there should be, and the body carries through to the nose. A tiny whiff of spice and alcohol lingers in the background, but not enough to contribute largely to the strength and diversity of the overall aroma. Very basic aroma keeps the excitement low and puts this beer smack dab in the middle of brown ales. 3

(Taste) One can expect caramelized malts and sugar the most on a significantly watery malt base. It's a highly drinkable brown based on its light flavors, although not "Wicked" with any flavor surprises like I had hoped. A tiny hop bitterness lies on the finish, although this could be easily interpreted for a touch of tartness, not necessarily of a fruit of which I can interpret an origin, although my best guess would be raisin. Again, the flavor is mild and there's not a lot of character or originality to the brown ale but it doesn't offend, which means that it's certainly drinkable as a casual brown ale but nothing fascinating by a long shot. 3

(Mouthfeel) Texture is very slick with little air, I suppose the best effect for trying to cover up the light body of the beer although it certainly doesn't hide the mild watery texture. Naturally, body is light. Alcohol presence is mild but inoffensive. I think that the mouthfeel does about the best amount of justice for this beer that it possibly can but an absence of a body leaves something to be desired for this beer that just can't be found in the glass. 3.5

(Overall) After hearing that Gambrinus had possibly "Tweaked" the recipe in the early 2000's (probably to make a craft beer lighter and even more accessible, it is my hope that this was once upon a time a fantastic brown ale that had a lot more substance and originality going for it. I think that in the 1980's when craft beer was breaking into the scene, this would have been on the cutting edge. Come 2012, this beer is fading fast into obscurity and it's simply because we're finding a new "high" to replace it with, brown ales with more punch, originality, more "oomph". There are hundreds of brown ales, many of which would trump this easily overall. It doesn't mean that this beer means nothing to the average drinker, however. As a casual drinker, this beer would be ideal to pound down 2 or 3 in a single session based on its lightness and accessibility. If that's what you're going for, look no farther. Otherwise, check for other Brown Ales that fare even better with the general public. 3

Pete's Brewing Company's
Pete's Wicked Ale

May 24, 2012
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cagocubs from Illinois

2.76/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into pint glass.

A: Pours a funky light brown that gets darker as the pour volume rises. Finishes as a wood brown color with a thin foamy bone white head that quickly dissipates to a film without lacing.

S: Malt. Dominating scent of malt with maybe some caramel sweetness.

T: You you smell is what you get. Other than the nutty/sweet malts there is much to be desired. However, for a step-up brew this is a viable option, if around other craft beers, nah.

M: Decent carbonation and aftertaste.

Apr 16, 2012
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dbrauneis from North Carolina

3.18/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a very slightly hazy dark amber to brown in color with a half finger tall light beige head. The head reduces to a thin layer over the entire surface of the beer with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate lacing is observed.

S: The aroma is dominate by the malts with some caramel coming through as well as some hints of dark malts.

T: Slightly sweet in taste with some caramel maltiness, overall a pretty malty beer with some hints of dark fruit. Very little hops/bitterness detectable.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to high amounts of carbonation.

O: This one brings me back to my early days of drinking craft beer back in the early to mid 1990s. Not a bad beer though not as good as I remember it - I attribute that more to my palate evolving over the last 18 - 20 years and the much greater availability of quality craft beers. Easy enough to drink and sessionable. The alcohol is well hidden and

Mar 21, 2012
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SLeffler27 from New York

2.94/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours dark copper to almost chestnut brown, clear and well carbonated. A big, bone-white hat drops to huge, rocky patches, leaving webbing and a sticky film.

The pint glass reveals a light caramel aroma with some wet burlap.

Pete’s Wicked Ale is more bitter than one would expect from a brown ale, but lacks the hop flavors. There is some caramel and fair balance, but little real character.

A medium body with slick texture and fizzy carbonation. More on the dry side and no sense of alcohol.

A fine beer, but lacks a memorable experience. This one would pair best with an event where one wants a beer as a thirst quencher, but not part of the attraction.

Jan 21, 2012
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ZenAgnostic from Texas

1.35/5  rDev -59.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

12oz bottle poured into pint glass. Neck stamped 05191 1610.

Appearance - Clear medium brown body. Pours one finger offwhite head with decent retention and decent to low stick.

Smell - Awful. Pungent. Smells like dirt/dust and port-a-potty. Possibly the worst smelling beer I've had so far in my 350+ beers rating career.

Taste - Very dusty and musky. Very stale and somewhat metallic. Some hidden corn and noticeable alcohol.

Mouthfeel - Stale and astringent. Body offers decent effervescence. Otherwise light bodied.

Overall Drinkability - One of the worst beers I've had in a while due to the ovebearing off-characters listed above.

Nov 06, 2011
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soju6 from Missouri

3.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours an amber color with a tan head that fades slowly with good lacing.

S: Aroma is sweet and a bit nutty. There is some caramel and fresh grain in the background.

T: Initial sweetness of caramel and some dark fruit. A fairly clen finish with a lingering sweetness.

F: Medium body, smooth and creamy. Nice balance but a bit too sweet.

O: Smooth and goes down easy. Hard to drink more than one due to the sweetness.

Sep 24, 2011
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mattkoon from South Carolina

3.48/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

petes wicked is a nice deep caramel color. The smell is sweet caramel and malt with a nice hoppy balance. The flavor of this beer is nice and full butnot over the top. I've seen this in the store for a while and never bought it. I'm glad I decided to give it a chance. I'll definitely pick this up again.

Sep 06, 2011
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scootny from New York

3.35/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice smooth brow that goes down easily. A clear "Ruby brown" to quote the label. Nice smell with sweet toasted malt. Sweet malty taste is well balanced with earthy hops that leave a light leafy bitterness. Light creamy feel. A good solid drinkable session brown. Not big on character but an enjoyable beer that goes with a good times and friends. A good gateway beer.

Aug 26, 2011
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MoreThanWine from Massachusetts

2.82/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The label says "exceptionally smooth ruby-brown ale". I'll agree it's smooth and it's a very nice ruby-brown. In fact it's a dark burnt umber brown in masstone and then held to the light shows the lovely ruby. But that's the total of the fine points of this beer. It poured a 1/2" head which quickly dissipated to nothing. It had next to no smell even after it warmed. The taste to me was almost too mild to comment on, almost like if they took a brown ale and homogenized it to be more like any BMC. And there's next to no finish. So, smooth and ruby-brown, yes. Wicked? No.

Aug 14, 2011
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AgentMunky from New York

3.7/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass. Neck is stamped "11300 0848"...whatever that means.

A: Ruby-brown, with a half-finger of tight, creamy, off-white head. Good retention. The beer is dark, but clear, with visible bubbles.

S: Fruity! Slightly tart, slightly sticky-sweet. Malty. Really nice. It opens up after a little while.

T: Tasty, but not overwhelming. Initially, lots of brown sugar malts are smooth and sweet, but as the taste progresses, tart apples -- akin to cider -- take over. The aftertaste is vaguely drying, almost nutty, and not particularly impressive.

M: Typical brown ale, if a bit dryer at times. Meh.

O: I like this beer; it's a pity it's been discontinued. Very drinkable, wide appeal, and darn tasty too. I would drink again and recommend, if not super-highly.

Jul 01, 2011
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BilbosNuts from Missouri

3.15/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: It has a clear, light brown color with some reddish tint. It doesn't look to be carbonated at all. The medium sized, thin head dissipates relatively slowly to a thin puck that is retained throughout drinking.

S: It smell is mostly of a berry-like, fruity scent. It is quite pleasant, but maybe a little too sweet for my liking. There are also hints of some floral aromas.

T: The same fruitiness noticed in the smell is present in its taste along with some subtle accents of malts.

M: There is a chewy texture to it. I has a medium to light body that goes down very smoothly. There is a slight bite of bitterness toward the end. There is a noticeable lack of carbonation.

D: Overall, it was very easy to drink as I will have no problem polishing off the rest of the 6 pack. That being said, it is an average Brown Ale. Nothing special.

May 28, 2011
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ADZA from Australia

3.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a light see through amber hue with decent carbonation that leaves behind a one finger head and sporadic lacing,the smell is hints of cereal,oats,brown sugar and herbal hops,it has a light bodied well carbonated mouthfeel and has tastes of brown sugar,boiled candy,light raspberry,sticky toffee and finished with a herbal hop dryness that entices you for more and overall alright but was expecting a little more.

May 19, 2011
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gopens44 from Virginia

3.27/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Ruby red and clear with a bit of a foamy off white colored head that roams off pretty quick.

S - Pretty nice nutty malty thing going on here.

T - The nuttiness comes through with little else. A little watery with no bite whatsoever.

M - A touch creamy, medium carbonation and a slight bit of bitterness in the aftertaste, but not too much at all.

O - This thing used to be awesome back when the labels were gray and it was new to the world. Something happened that changed all that. it's now a more "BMC drinker" friendly thing that would serve as a good gateway, but it lost it's bitterness and bite that I used to love. Glad to get a sixer before they disappeared altogether, but not much reminiscing with this alien product.

May 11, 2011
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brokensail from California

3.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: The beer pours a dark amber color with a finger of off-white head sitting on top.

S: Intensely sweet on the nose with a big time dark fruit character, possibly prunes and raisins. Some toffee, caramel, and brown sugar gives additional sweetness as does the hint of chocolate.

T: Sweet toffee and brown sugar are present all the way through. Some mild dark fruit notes and perhaps a hint of nuttiness and toasted bread.

M: Light to medium in body with a medium carbonation.

O: A little too sweet and not much else going on.

May 10, 2011
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JizackFH from New York

3.23/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review taken from notes.

A - This beer pours a reddish-brown color, and it has a small 1-finger light tan head. The head has okay retention, and it leaves some scattered lacing on the glass.

S - It smells of some toasted malt and a light hop aroma. There are also some notes of nuts, some slight chocolate, and caramel.

T - The taste is sweet and malty. There are some notes of toasted malts and biscuity flavors. There is also a decent hop presence and some fruitiness. The finish is a bit dry and there is a bit of lingering hop flavor.

M - This has a medium body with moderate carbonation. It goes down easy and has pretty good flavor. It is sweet, but nicely balanced out by the hop presence.

O - the drinkability is decent. It has nice flavor, and I could drink quite a few of these in a sitting pretty easily. Overall, it isn't the best beer, but it is certainly worth trying. I would drink it again.

Apr 29, 2011
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donteatpoop from Ohio

3.24/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice brownish amber color with a thin layer of foam atop the brew, resting there more like a bit of oil in a puddle than actual head. Clear "ruby brown" (the ruby brown thing came from the bottle).

Smell is sweet molases, carmel, and the like.

The taste is... meh. It's alright, though not impressive by any stretch of the imagination. I used to drink this all the time4 when no other real craft beers were available, so it kind of got me into beers but in time it has lost some of its allure. Don't know if they changed anything, but I think it's more likely that my tastes have simply changed.

Oh well. Not bad, but not great either.

Apr 27, 2011
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Guden from Maryland

3.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Light chestnut brown with a small bubbly head and light lacing.

S- Nothing too much here but a small amount of coffee and just the slightest bit of earthy hops.

T- Balanced, nothing is too strong but a great balance of bitter and sweet, hops and malt, light chocolate flavor and especially coffee shine through but just enough to keep me coming back for more.

M- Right on for the style, light carbonation and good body make this one easy to drink and goes down easy.

D- Balanced enough to keep drinking, just could use a little more complexity or overall strength to make it more exciting of a choice.

Mar 26, 2011
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Knapp85 from Pennsylvania

2.98/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pete's wicked was a pretty standard brew. The color is on the darker side which is pretty nice. It separates itself from the normal flag ship brews. I remember this brew being quite drinkable and friendly on the palette. Lightly roasted malts make this brew interesting.

Mar 24, 2011
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GRPunk from Michigan

3.1/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a nonic pint glass.

A- 1-finger, khaki head drops to a full film that leaves decent stick. Clean, red-brown body with moderate-heavy carbonation.

S- Lots of sweet caramel. Lighter hops are earthy. A nutty scent combines with caramel to produce a "beer nut" sort of aroma.

T- Caramel malts at first give way to a nutty flavor. Hopping is much lighter, comes in at the middle/end to provide a bit of a bite and clean things up, though there's a bit of a sweet linger.

M- Very clean. Maybe too much so for the style. Light hops combine with heavy carbonation to provide a bite.

D- I always thought this was an American Amber (though it's been years since I've had it previous to this one). It doesn't really stand up to the best or do anything to stand out. No frills. I can drink a couple, but the sweet starts to wear. I picked it up as a bit of a nostalgia beer, reading that it is going under. This was a bit better in my memories, back when your "craft" options at the bar were Sam Adams, Pete's, and if you were lucky Bell's Amber.

Mar 17, 2011
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Rhynes2 from Ohio

3.37/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber color into my glass. Some light colored head with no lacing and it faded away pretty quickly. When I first opened this brew up it gave a nice malty smell but the flavor just seemed a bit off to me. It was a little bitter and almost gave off a sour taste that was a little bit of a turn off to me. Someone also hit it right on the head when they said that it had some slight notes of cherry in there as well. Overall its a god beer but it just didn't stand out in any way for me. I took a gamble with this 7.99 six pack and probably wont be buying it again but worth a look at least if you're interested.

Mar 10, 2011
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Halcyondays from California

2.84/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark amber with a thin fizzy white head, solid retention, no lace.

S: Light malt, with some interesting notes of cherries, not a standout by any means, but I quite like it.

T: Some crystal malt sweetness with a mild bite of hops at the finish. Minor secondary ale fruitiness.

M: Frothy, fizzy, thin body, no real structure. Overcarbonated at times.

D: A step up from the macros, but nothing more. I was glad to try this before it went the way of the dodo, but this will be my last experience with Pete's I believe.

Mar 07, 2011
Pete's Wicked Ale from Pete's Brewing Company
Beer rating: 76 out of 100 with 513 ratings