Freshchester Pale Ale | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
87
very good
604 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Freshchester Pale AleFreshchester Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
New York, United States
captainlawrencebrewing.com

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Billolick on 02-12-2006

BEER STATS
Ratings:
604
Reviews:
160
Avg:
3.87
pDev:
11.63%
 
 
Wants:
21
Gots:
102
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 604 |  Reviews: 160
Photo of Navinjohnson
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

An easy to like if not exceptional IPA that both hop heads and adjunct drinkers can both enjoy

94 characters

Photo of baldy00
3.08/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Dewsby
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of h4ger
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of TheRougeBastard
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12oz drank straight from the bottle (being lazy tonight) so the color score is a guess (like it really matters). Scent and taste is what counts and IMO Freshchester delivered. Nice, solid pale ale. Thanks to my pal Steve for driving it down to NC...doubt it would have been on my radar otherwise.

 296 characters

Photo of Toynk
3.52/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Paoloboston
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Icemann383
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of YoungMtn52
3.37/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I like a lot of the beers from Capt. Lawrence but this isn't one of them...kind of has a bitter bite to it....give me a Kolsh or a Liquid Gold instead...this tasted more like an IPA.

 182 characters

Photo of mikr
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of avalon07
3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an amber color and a cloudy consistency. There was an inch of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A good aroma of hops, light malt, and a bit of citrus.

T: Tasted of a little bit of pine, some malty notes, citrus (grapefruit, in particular), a fair amount of hops, a hint of caramel, and an odd bubblegum taste. A solid enough flavor that seems more like a IPA than an APA. Seems a little thin places, but on the whole a nice flavor.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a lively finish. Medium-bodied.

O: Freshchester is, in general, a well made, likable beer. It has its faults, but it's a well done beer.

 668 characters

Photo of smcel371
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of kojevergas
2.52/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Nabbed a six pack for a bit over $9.00 in Brooklyn.

12 fl oz brown glass bottle. Colourful (some might say loud) label art. Branded black pry-off crown cap.

45 IBU. 5.50% ABV. Pale ale. Bottled 02/23/2016.

APPEARANCE: Pours a muted murky dark orange with a foamy off-white cap in my nonic pint, betraying a lack of vibrance and liveliness. The head sticks around for a good 6 minutes, though, and boasts a nice thick creamy consistency. No lacing as she recedes.

While the beer appears adequately carbonated, the overall appearance leaves something to be desired. Not the clean clear vibrant copper-orange you'd hope for in a top tier pale ale.

AROMA: More resinous than floral, hinting at Simcoe with its subtle oniony character. Checking Captain Lawrence's website, it's evident I'm wrong: this is all Columbus, Cascade, and Palisade - though I wouldn't know it by the aroma (where's the juicy citrus and clean pine?). Sticky and hinting towards tropical - possibly the warm boozy kind of tropical fruit I've come to be put off by in IPAs, but rarely encounter in pale ales.

More malty than it should be for the style, with too much two row and pale malt sweetness creeping in. I suspected caramalt judging by the malty sweetness, but again (per the website) I'm apparently wrong; it's English crystal.

Aromatic intensity is average. Lacks the hoppy pungency you'd hope for in a good example of a pale ale.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Medium-bodied, smooth, wet, and overcarbonated. The body is fuller than it needs to be given the relative lack of pungent hop flavours in this beer; maybe the seven months of age have made the hops fade or maybe it's just the beer itself (either way Captain Lawrence needs to start using best before dates), but it's an underwhelming expression of a pale ale in that regard. I do get some hoppy resins, an almost bubblegum phenol-like note, and a hint of muted pine, but it's lacking even in terms of fresh floral character (let alone the juicy citrus you'd expect in a Cascade hopped brew). Pale malt/2-row sweetness runs rampant throughout. I'm not sure English crystal malt was a great choice for an American pale ale.

Imbalanced (towards the sweet side), lacking the assertive hop profile a pale ale requires...even a pale ale by the standards of twenty years ago. This build fails to hold a candle even to classics of yesteryear like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and I can't see this beer competing for market share in a state with access to the hot new things from Vermont all the kids seem to be after these days - let alone tried and true beers from Troegs, Lagunitas, and Victory.

OVERALL: A forgettable pale ale from Captain Lawrence if only on account of its fundamental absence of pungent hop flavour, Freshchester is a pale ale for the pale ale fan who arrived in New York via time machine from 1978 Cardiff - which is to say it isn't really a (contemporary) pale ale at all. Not a beer I'd recommend to others, though I would like to see Captain Lawrence start using best before dates instead of just throwing the word "fresh" in their beer names as a marketing ploy.

At least this beer's IBU has increased from 35 to 45 since the last time the brewery updated their website...

Low C- (2.52) / BELOW AVERAGE

***
01.03.17 2nd impression (a friend gave me a couple leftover bottles (which are 8 months old, so I won't count these impressions towards my rating):

Overcarbonated - almost bitingly so. Some faint oily hops, some floral hops...there's not a lot to it, but it isn't unpleasant; I actually think I like this better aged (not exactly something I'd expect of a pale ale...). Unfocused and unbalanced, but not an unenjoyable or undrinkable brew.

The overcarbonation reduces its drinkability compared to most pale ales, but it's decent fare for what it is.

C- / BELOW AVERAGE

 3,834 characters

Photo of AaronIPA
4.78/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of grahuba
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of CreightonSM
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of UPMD_Bill
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Most remarkable thing about this is the lacing.
Hops dominate the taste and smell - somewhere between citrus and pine. Somehow though the finish isn't that bitter. Feels light and almost sessionable.

 202 characters

Photo of sd123
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TeachChefs
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of kbrown
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Bluecrow
2.88/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

-bottle to glass (dated 4 May 2016, so less than 2 months old). Normative head and carbonation, lacing is prominent over a medium amber pour. Malt aroma is more prominent than hops. This bottle has an off-putting flavor, somewhat plastic-like, that is detectable in the nose too. Others have mentioned something similar, but there are some much better descriptions. I'll try it again as it is available nearby.

 415 characters

Photo of Eziel
3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Photo of ClavisAurea
3.41/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of CrimeDog
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pretty good.

12 characters

Photo of nubs
3.35/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Freshchester Pale Ale from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
3.87 out of 5 based on 604 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.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

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

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

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

    Learn More