Freshchester Pale Ale | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
87
very good
606 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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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
Ratings:
606
Reviews:
160
Avg:
3.87
pDev:
11.63%
 
 
Wants:
21
Gots:
104
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 606 |  Reviews: 160
Photo of thegerm87
1.5/5  rDev -61.2%

Photo of mcss
2/5  rDev -48.3%

Photo of TMcGee
2.16/5  rDev -44.2%

Photo of logicalparadox
2.25/5  rDev -41.9%

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 danshpc
2.25/5  rDev -41.9%

Photo of rderedin
2.25/5  rDev -41.9%

Photo of danreitz
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%
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.

 278 characters

Photo of CrepesOfWrath
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of TonyTalon
2.5/5  rDev -35.4%

Photo of BWED
2.51/5  rDev -35.1%
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.

 409 characters

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 corby112
2.6/5  rDev -32.8%
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.

 1,591 characters

Photo of SuomiHobbit
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Sour taste, thin, ondraft

25 characters

Photo of C-Dog
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of R11415
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of VaporDome
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

Photo of seedyone
2.75/5  rDev -28.9%

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.

 210 characters

Photo of BrewMaven
2.8/5  rDev -27.6%
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.

 390 characters

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 beerisblood
2.95/5  rDev -23.8%
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!

 320 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of goast8127
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of macesq
3/5  rDev -22.5%

Photo of kingslotty
3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of JohnQVD
3/5  rDev -22.5%

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Freshchester Pale Ale from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
3.87 out of 5 based on 606 ratings.
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