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Freshchester Pale Ale | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
87
very good
158 Reviews
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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
Reviews:
158
Ratings:
595
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
22.68%
 
 
Wants:
21
Gots:
100
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 158 | Ratings: 595
Photo of logicalparadox
2.25/5  rDev -42%

Did not dig this one. The maltiness is meant to balance the hops, but the brew misses the balance. Too malty for me, not quite sticky sweet, but sweeter than the rest of the beer is prepared to support. The hops are there: sappy, with a mostly pithy bitterness and slight pine background. Some orange blossoms and hints of various cirtus rind can be found. But, it didn't gel for me. Bitterness was high, but nevertheless overwhelmed by sweetness, tasting like grapefruit rinds covered in malt syrup. The rest of the beer fell flat for me and I was eager to be done with it.

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Photo of danreitz
2.5/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear gold color with a head that dissipates fairly quickly. Light yet complex taste with an acidic mouthfeel. Has a bit of that numbing brightness that I associate with the more drinkable macro lagers, but is thick and heavy on the tongue. Slightly metallic aftertaste.

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Photo of BWED
2.51/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. bottle poured into willibecher.

A- Semi-hazy copper/orange. Off white head is dense and lumpy. Good, one finger retention and lacing.

S- Hop aroma quite off and muddled. Citrus and pine, with a hint of something rubbery.

T- Dull pale malt, some watery piney hop.

M- Medium light body, with a dull bitterness in the aftertaste.

O- Something was just off on this. I hope it was just the one bottle.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.52/5  rDev -35.1%
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

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Photo of corby112
2.6/5  rDev -33%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Pours a very cloudy, dark golden orange color with apricot edges and a half finger white foam head that immediately settles into a thin, lasting ring. Minimal spotty lacing left behind. Surprisingly dark and cloudy for a pale ale.

The aroma of this beer is pretty bland, which is surprising coming from captain Lawrence, and it possesses very little of the west coast character that the label claims inspires it. This bottle is under two months old and the hop character is very faint. Some earthy, soil-y hops with subtle grass and pine needle. No citrus/tropical fruit presence that is typically associated with west coast and west coast inspired pale ales/IPAs. Strong malt backbone with strong hints of toast, caramel, toffee, roasted nuts a dark fruit sweetness. Aroma reminds me of a faded American barleywine.

Tastes more like a pale ale than it smells with a light body and crisp, earthy hop bitterness that lingers over the sweeter notes and malt backbone into a dry finish. Very hop forward with dry, sticky resins and grassy pine flavor. Dryness is a bit overwhelming and the hop character is slightly one dimensional, but there is subtle tropical fruit sweetness as it warms. Still, the west coast influence is lacking with only a touch of tart grapefruit sweetness. Feels more English pale ale/IPA inspired. Again, the malt backbone is much stronger than I expect/prefer for the style. Subtle roast with hints of toasted bread and caramel sweetness. Overall, this beer is light and easy to drink but the malts areoverpowering and it lacks complexity and interesting flavors.

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Photo of seedyone
2.75/5  rDev -29.1%

03/20/13 At Rattle N Hum, NYC. On tap. A bit too bitter for my tastes. I'm hop shy, so it's no surprise. I'd say this is at the high end of the Pale Ale IBU scale. Not hair curling, but once was enough for me.

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Photo of BrewMaven
2.8/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Had trouble pouring since the head would blast over the top of the glass before the bottle was 20% empty.

Nose was best described as "plastic".

Taste gave a hint of same with a bit of rubber thrown in...Some hops too.

Medium bodied with mild carbonation. Too weird to even consider again..Maybe a bad (outdated) bottle..Stop and Shop might want to take the beer section more seriously.

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Photo of Bluecrow
2.88/5  rDev -25.8%
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.

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Photo of beerisblood
2.95/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Great beer. Not as hoppy as some of the West coast stuff, but good just the same. it's a mild APA. A good version for those trying to break the mass produced brain wash assault. IMO, this should be their flagship. Great session beer. Can be found through out westchester (NY) county. Always fun visiting the brewery too!

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chrystalline clear gold with a lager-like tight white head. Crescent moon retention leaves one fingerprint of lace on my glass.

Smells mildly like grass, orange pulp and pizza dough. Tastes the similar with more of a peppery hop and toastier malt. I've ready a lot of hoptastic reviews and my beer is missing that aspect. Could be an old 6 pack? I got it at Port Jeff Beverage Center and they seem like they reputable.

The bottle says this was inspired on the west coast and I do indeed feel like Doc on Cannery Row sitting and drinking my glass of beer.

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Photo of wcintula
3.15/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Golden beer with a thick creamy head. Smells of pale malts. Strong hop bite, stronger than most pale ales I'm familiar with. Very crisp, a strong carbonation. I'm not happy that this was my first beer from this brewery because I read a lot of good things about them and I don't think this one is too good.

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Photo of capra12
3.26/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed solo at Rattle and Hum on 7/24/09.

Appearance: Light brown with head which dissipated quickly.

Smell: Slight hint of hops, a very light aroma profile.

Taste: Opens nice and mellow with a slightly spicy and malty transition to the middle of the brew. Hops take over the finish with some slight sour notes.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with a mild hoppy aftertaste.

Drinkability: I'd have another on the same night.

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Photo of Glennlawless
3.3/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Darker orange-copper color. Poured a once inch frothy off white head. I smell a touch of hop presence but mainly a lot of sweeter caramel malt notes pushing the hops out of the way. getting a crazy amount of barley grainy stuff too...like a touch of bud light. haha. smells good though. getting faint grassy hopes but this beer is suuuuper malty and sweet. not what i wanted since i like hop forward brews but this none the less is pretty tasty and could definitely drink one or two more. Nice creamy mouthfeel as well. It's a pretty solid beer but since I'm pro hop i wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of FLima
3.37/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Amber color with a thick one finger head with good retention.
Aroma with lots of papaya, flowers and bread malt.
Flavor of earthy and herbal hops, minerals, although pale there is a bit of toasty going on, some pine and cooked vegetables. Dry and bitter aftertaste.
Medium body with low carbonation.
I wouldn't classify it as an APA; it is more like an English Pale ale, though it uses American traditional hops. I simply didn't get it, maybe the yeast. It is just 3 months old, but it feels older.

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Photo of JRed
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Transparent amber in body with white head that leaves lacing. Aroma of lemon, dish soap, pine, caramel. Tastes of lemon skins, grass, dish soap, a welcomed citrus sweetness towards the finish, mild caramel, and a dry finish. Light in body with medium carbonation.

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Photo of Sammy
3.42/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Barcade. Dark sun colour, decent head. Floral citrus aroma, hoppy and IPAish. Three C-hops.Well malted. An American take on an English IPA this one is. Good medium mouthfeel, active carbonation. An easy drinker. Not the best pale, more or less average nice beer.

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Photo of dudecandle
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Medium-dark body with small head, which dissipated quickly, left a small cap, which retained pretty well.
S/T: One of the more aggressively-hopped APA's. The hops are slightly spicy, and the bready maltiness, along with butterscotch, round it out, but this is far from balanced, a feature I really like in my APA's.
M: Nice and full.
D: It was somewhere between an APA and an IPA, as I see it. A little too aggressive, not balanced enough, but not bad.

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Photo of brantadid
3.46/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer 2 days after having Smoke from Oak for the first time and was disappointed. That isn't to say this is a bad beer, quite to the contrary, it is really good. But next to his porter, it pales in comparison.

Poured a ver light brwon color with little head. The head was very white. Moderate lacing.

Some toasted malt in the nose but mostly hops.

Tastes of dry hops. There is a sharpness to the flavor. Slightly bitter on the far palate, but in a refreshing sort of way.

High carbonation made this beer a little difficult to drink.

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Photo of Longstaff
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Growler was obtained by a good friend just a couple of days before sampling. Poured with a nice two finger head that held its own on top of a clear garnet colored malt. Biscuity malt aroma couple with earthy, grassy, and that candyish Cascade fruitiness coming from the hops. Medium mouthfeel with some light chocolate flavors makes the malt side quite interesting - finishes with earthy and grassy hop flavors that clean out the sweet malt- decent bitterness for a pale ale. A good drinkable beer when cold - somewhere between SN pale ale and Celebration - but as it warms I started to notice some phenolics that were previously hidden by malt and hops. hmmm - wonder if this is trend with CL beers. A little cleaner alcohol profile would make this a really tasty pale ale.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.48/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Draught at Beer Table, Brooklyn.

Pours a light copper, with a creamy off white head, and lacing all the way down the glass.

Nose is a bit of biscuit, and crisp, resiny hops with a bit of citrus.

Taste is sweet caramel and biscuit malt up front, with a clean citrus note emerging early, with resiny pine hops emerging to dominate closer to the finish, providing a firm, slightly dry, lingering bitterness on the palate.

Medium body with moderate carbonation, another pale that blurs the line between a pale ale and an IPA. Unfortunately, APA is one of those styles that can go from light and refreshing to bruising fairly quickly. This was in that camp for me.

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Photo of ThickNStout
3.49/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from chefjack428 (thanks!). No bottling info. Served in a Boulevard tulip snifter.

Pours deep orange with two fingers of fluffy head that leaves a fair amount of lacing.

Smells of sugared citrus and crackers.

Taste combines mild oranges, biscuit and muted caramel.

Medium but almost heavy feel with mild carbonation. Lingering citrus finish.

An interesting pale ale. I like the orange notes but it never seems to take off. I'm not sure where this would fit in my drinking. It's too heavy for me to call refreshing but too mild too mild to deliver the intense flavor I crave. Still, it's a solid brew that I'd have no problems drinking again sometime.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew poured out as a nice yellowish gold color with a strong looking white head on top. The smell of the beer gives off a nice amount of hops and grainy malts. The taste of the beer is pretty good, it's got a nice balance of hops and malts in there. The mouthfeel of this beer is easy going and smooth. Overall this beer is pretty good, I would like to have it again one day.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Rattle N Hum in New York, NY

A: Pours a crystal clear pale golden yellow with an average sized white head. The head reduces over time but leaves a thin layer of bubbles across the entire top of the beer with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: This beer has a very faint aroma overall with a more grainy/malty aroma than one of hops.

T: A very sharp flavor of a solid malt body with a pleasant hop profile as well. Well balanced and hints of citrus from the hops.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Easy to drinker and lighter in hops than some of the west coast examples of this style. Very enjoyable and a quite sessionable beer. This would be good at a sunny but cool afternoon cook out.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.55/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at GingerMan. The beer is clear, dark orange color, creamy looking head. The smell is a little hopopy, pine needle type. The taste has the bite from the hops, mostly in the aftertaste, with good malt balance. Almost an IPA, but keeps on the APA side of the line.

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Photo of micromaniac129
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was disappointed with this beer. I heard talk that Captain L's had some good beers.
This beer was bottled 7?13 so I thought it would/should be fresher.
The color was hazy orange amber. A thin white head that seemed to never get started.
In the nose I detected sutle hints of floral and citrus hops. Malts and metal.
In the taste, it was all malts and barely any hops. Like in the nose the aftertaste had some metalic astringency.
For a two month old brew I was expecting more.

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Freshchester Pale Ale from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
3.88 out of 5 based on 595 ratings.
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