Portland Ale | Portland Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Portland AlePortland Ale
31 Ratings
Portland AlePortland Ale

Brewed by:
Portland Brewing Company
Oregon, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mitchster on 03-02-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 31 |  Reviews: 28
Reviews by Pegasus:
Photo of Pegasus
3.5/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy medium golden color with a moderate white head, this soon fades to a collar and a paper-thin layer of foam. The carbonation is slight.

Aroma: Sweet malt and honey note, very little hop presence.

Taste: Opens with a light caramel note, midway through the taste this turns to a herbal/medicinal bitterness, which lingers on well past the dry finish.

Mouth feel: Fairly full bodied, with some slight carbonation at the tip of the tongue.

Drinkability/notes: A pleasant and nondescript beer, of good quality, but lacking in any notable distinction. Very decent as a hot weather beer, or as a gateway beer for macro drinkers.

Presentation: Packaged in a twelve ounce brown glass longneck with a pop off crown. Served in a standard pint tap glass.

Thanks to HardTarget for this bottle.

 802 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Thrasher
3.55/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A faithful reproduction of Portland's first brew from 1986, your basic light golden ale without any surprises. Pours crystal clear platinum with thin head and better lace than you'd expect. Subdued aroma of basic malts and hops, light buttery yeast. The malts are decent, with some sweetness, but aren't anything more than you'd find in a typical mass-produced American beer. The hops are lightly crisp and give the beer what little character it has. Some buttery flavors, an ale yeast fruitiness which sticks out a little too much due to the lightness of the brew. Crisp, refreshing, and not at all exciting. This is basically like Full Sail's Pale Ale, with less character. To be drunk cold and in high quantities. I'd guess that if I came across this beer in 1986, when it first came out, I'd be thrilled to have an alternative to the big macros, but as things stand now in 2004, this isn't much more than a pleasant piece of nostalgia.

 939 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.03/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Yellow pour, lots of clarity, white head, 1". Mild hop oil aroma, 2 row.

Taste, pedestrian, but not bad, solid hot weather beer, but the price for these seems high and does not need to be since there wouldn't be much in the way of ingredients for this one. Mild toastiness for the grain, lively carbonation makes the beer feel even lighter, slight bitter twang on the backend.

 378 characters

Photo of beerluvr
3.75/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a pure white head over very slightly hazy light amber liquid tinged with gold. Nice malty nose with underlying subtle fruitiness, very nice. The taste is sweet and predominately malty with a cookie-like note as well. Not a whole hell of a lot of hop presence to speak of. Finishes lightly honeyed with a clean aftertaste. Nice but a bit too restrained.

 363 characters

Photo of buzzy
3.25/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of StevieW
3.85/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle. Blue label with large white lettering. . One of the several "American Beers" showing up here from the west, in a mixed pack and combined display at the stores. Looked very much light a macro lager. Poured a golden straw color, much lighter than your typical copper colored pale ale. Tasted very much like a west coast hoppy pale ale though. Nice fresh hop aromas. Lots of citrus and grapefruit. Tart, fresh tasting beer. Very crisp, hop presence. Cascades maybe. Lots of malt undertones, give the beer ample body. Very crisp and refreshing, moderatly carbonated. A very good thirst quencher after 18 holes in the Florida sun. Worth a try.

 652 characters

Photo of zacharius
2.63/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

If this is the founders ale I hope they are long dead. This beer might of been great back in 1986 but now it is mediocre at best. This beer pours a pale golden color with a white head that hangs around at least long enough to notice. Smell is of grain with a slight unpleasant note to it. There is a malt taste that was in the smell which had that same unpleasant note to it. It is balanced with hops so is slightly less unpleasant but the hops are nothing to write home about. Beer tastes watery. Hey maybe they bottled portland city water and all this color is just rust from the pipes.

 588 characters

Photo of Mark
3.95/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I admit I'm not the biggest fan of this brewery. This "new" beer caught my eye and was on sale to boot. Came in a very plain labeled bottle ( I liked it) and is supposedly an original recipe. Color was a bit disappointing as it looked liked a lager, lacing was thin but lasted down the glass. Aroma was very neutral, taste was smooth, but lacked any real distinction. Hopping was subtle at best and malt base seemed solid. Mouthfeel was standard,carbonation a little above average. This beer does score high on drinkability, at least IMO. I can see this as a real nice session ale at warmer times of the year. Glad I tried it, probably will buy it again.

 654 characters

Photo of Reidrover
3.52/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Came in a brown 12oz bottle with the simply designed Indigo blue label "The Original Portland Ale"

Pours a light golden/yellow, with a tiny head which goes rapidly to be replaced by a thin ring and lace around the glass.
Nice sweet malty aroma greets my nose, I also sense some lemon and other fruity smells..prety nice stuff.
mmmm , intresting for such a pale looking brew.Sweet malt taste is quickly overpowered by the hop bitterness and it fimishes dry. I can taste bananas somewere in here and a slight pepperyness ( is that a word?)..nice
Nice in the mouth, not too much carbonation and a dry finish.
Not the most flavourful beer ever devised! But a very drinkable one, non-the-less..a good lawn mower beer!

 720 characters

Photo of Mustard
3.03/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle; no "best by" or "bottled on" date; no ABV %; purchased as part of a ten beer "Summer Brews" sampler pack from Cost Plus for $7.99.

Appearance: Pours a bland, straw-gold hue; decent clarity, but not crystal clear; fat, off-white head; a good d-cup's worth of lace; very good head retention.

Aroma: Primarily of apricots and grapefruit; mild hints of grass and flowers.

Taste: Bready malts upfront with a mild, mild hop bitterness in the finish; lightly sweet with a subtle spiciness; grassy, floral hop flavors; hints of grain; light to medium bodied; somewhat creamy mouthfeel, I suspect, on account of the want of carbonation.

Notes: Bottle touts "original founders (sic) recipe"; original founders brewed a lack luster pale ale; let this one die.

 794 characters

Photo of karst
3.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a watery clear copper with a 1 fingered head that had a 20 second life span.
Slight biscuit and faint hop aroma. Light body and thinish mouth feel in spite of the sweet malt flavors. The one thing that is right about this Ale is its hop bitterness, which salvages the taste. But hop flavors are still too weak to identify. Origional founder's recipe seems lacking for the APA style I expect. This APA is just drinkable but not especially desirable IMHO. I am sticking to their MacTarnahan's Black Watch Cream Porter.

 523 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.05/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Yellow pour with substantial clarity and over an inch of tiny bubbled white head. Very minimal barley and hop contributions.

Light bodied, pale malts, cascade hops, toastiness. High levels of carbonation. This is just one of those easy going pale ales that doesn't bring much in terms of malt heft, hoppiness or bitterness.

 330 characters

Photo of cdwil
2.5/5  rDev -19.4%

Photo of Hellpop65
3/5  rDev -3.2%

Photo of sinistersteve
3.55/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Golden colored ale with a very thin head that disappeared quickly. Wheaty aroma and semi sweet taste. Seems to me that this is a lite beer. Nothing too impressive with this one, although I think it may be a lot more enjoyable on a hot Summer day and not a chilly early sping night.

 281 characters

Photo of beveragecaptain
2.53/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle. Portland ale pours out a clear, yellow color with a small, fizzy head. The aroma is pretty foul: corn, stale wheat, a little bit of malt sweetness. The flavor follows from the smell, though it's not quite as bad. Thankfully, the flavor is pretty light. I feared that it would have the cloying husk flavor found in so many bad pale ales. Light mouthfeel. Decent drinkability, I suppose. It's easy to drink, but I wouldn't really want to. Not terrible, but almost.

 479 characters

Photo of beertaster13
2.08/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Come on what is this? Pours a dingy orange gold with a little white head, lacing is average at best. The smell is very grainy and dingy, hints of metallic, the malts seem lackluster and dull, no hop presence in the nose or the taste, the tase is of grain, hints of caramel but very dull. Light bodeid and just not what I wanted in this, go elsewhere for a pale ale.

 365 characters

Photo of Rumrunner
2.73/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle.

This is perhaps the lightest ale I have ever had. I cannot remember a lighter ale.

It pours a transparent yellow. Weak head and no lacing. Boring to look at. The scents are weak. Some grain and hay. A slight malt back bone but not much else.

The taste is okay. A crisp grassy flavor. Grain and a hint of rye. Some malt for balance. This one is weak on the hops though. The strongest flavor is some pepper.

A crisp and refreshing mouthfeel. Very smooth and easy to drink down. Too easy. There just is not much to this ale. Overall it is boring.

 571 characters

Photo of allengarvin
3.66/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Crystal clear apple-juice-amber color with not even the slightest hint of foam atop it. Looks like apple juice, in fact. Nose is a bit nicer, though, with a pleasant floral hop aroma and some malt. Taste has some nice biscuit-like maltness, a tad sweet, balanced well by medium bitterness and flowery hop flavor. Lightly fruity, vaguely apple-like. Finishes clean. A little undercarbonated with a light body. Not a bad beer, but not a very interesting beer either.

 464 characters

Photo of kbub6f
3.93/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A small, off-white head dies filmy over a clear, gold beer. Just a hint of amber. Hills of lacing. The nose is fruity, with some pine and flowers. Very fruity in the front. Hoppy. The middle is fullish, with foamy, sweet caramel. The finish is nutty, fruity, peppery, metallic and crackersy. It's nice. Fresh, light, nutty, sweet.

 330 characters

Photo of HardTarget
3.08/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle Inspection: Uninformative label, no date, abv% nothing.

Aroma: Very light floral hop on a mild malt base. A slight off smell as well, somewhat papery.

Appearance: Bright yellow glass with active carbonation streams feeding a centimeter head of small bubbled off white. Very clear

Flavor: Wow that’s mild. Bland, plain, ordinary, average, you get the idea. Ok, it has taste, it just took me about a quarter of the glass to find it. Malt lends a slight sweetness to a mildly fruity citric floral hop. I get hints of orange and lemon. As it comes to room temp a weak tea flavor come out.

Mouthfeel: Light medium body, a touch heavy in carbonation but not bad, and a slight numbing/puckering feeling in the finish. It has a fairly soft feel.

Overall Impression: This beer was brewed in Neutropolis on the Homeworld of the Neutrals. While this makes for MASSIVE drinkability, it does nothing for my beer itch. No really flaws noted in the taste, there’s nothing wrong here, and for a pale ale, it’s well within style. I just had very little impact. Serve it to the macro crowd.

 1,098 characters

Photo of woemad
2.53/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle purchased at Huckleberry's in Spokane for $1.19

Poured very pale clear gold color, with a big fizzy white head that dropped very quickly. Very minor amount of lace.

Despite beiing called Portland ALE and coming in a brown bottle, this smells like a skunked lager, but with some floral hops in the background. I had to wonder if it really was an ale at all.

Not as skunked as the smell when tasted, but there ain't much else to reccomend it. If you enjoy the sensation of very mildly sweet maltiness and a slight taste of hops to your beer (in other words if you are weaning yourself from an exclusively macro beer diet), this is for you. Otherwise, pass.

Thin and watery in the mouthfeel dept.

This is moderately more drinkable than some of the better macro options out there. That's pretty much the best you can say about it. Regardless of it's storied past, today the city of Portland should have an ale with more character named after it.

 965 characters

Photo of ZAP
2.95/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is an average run of the mill APA...nothing I'd turn down and I'd certainly order it over macros for dinner but nothing too intriguing with this...the nose is very perfumy....floral..just a hint of caramel...body is too light...cloudy golden color...a nice little malt backbone and some floral hop flavors...really expected a little bit more hops to this...up here Summit Pale Ale is the standard and this is nowhere close to that....and Summit is not an elite beer...this is average....if that..

 501 characters

Photo of budgood1
2.08/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

pours out a clear and golden....thin head and thin wisps of lace. light grainy aroma with hints of hoppiness. lagerish looking. light bodied...light flavours of grain and malt, hints of spice and bits of bitterness. man, is this ale light and seemingly watery. if i didn't know it was an ale, i would say it's a somewhat flavourful lager. i don't know if i could even call this a good session beer. i might be willing to pound a few of these down in the hot summer sun, but other than that, i can't see myself drinking this ever again. i guess i could recommend this as a crossover beer for macro swill drinkers; it's that tasteless.

 633 characters

Photo of Bighuge
3.12/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale and hazy sun yellow. A one finger white head dissipates quickly to a thin film and slight rimming. Carbonation looks to be lacking. Slight caramel malt and a rush of piney/grapefruity/cascade-like hop aroma. The mouthfeel is lacking in CO2. Body is about medium. A little oily. Taste is biscuity malts and muted west coast hops. Quite muted. Pretty bland for an APA. Not one that I'd return too unless no other options were present.

 437 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Portland Ale from Portland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.1 out of 5 with 31 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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