Freshchester Pale Ale | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

Freshchester Pale AleFreshchester Pale Ale
BA SCORE
69.1%
Liked This Beer
3.8 w/ 608 ratings
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
Ranking:
#14,491
Reviews:
160
Ratings:
608
Liked:
420
Avg:
3.8/5
pDev:
11.58%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
20
Gots:
106
Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 608 |  Reviews: 160
Photo of Sammy
3.42/5  rDev -10%
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.

 272 characters

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Texasfan549
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

 380 characters

Photo of nmann08
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of metter98
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a very slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high dense off white head that has good retention properties and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are light aromas of citrus hops in the nose.
T: Citrus flavors from the hops stand out in the taste; however these are well balanced by the underlying malts. There is a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a slight amount of dryness.
O: The beer is very easy to drink and the good balance in the flavors makes it an excellent accompaniment to food.

 638 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.52/5  rDev -33.7%
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

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Photo of dmorgan310
3.57/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a cloudy amber color and a sturdy head that sheets the pint glass with lace

Smell: Fruity aroma with grapefruit and a hint of pineapple

Taste: Biscuity up front, but that is quickly surpassed by a piney bitterness that abounds; after the swallow, the bitter flavors become more fruity with the grapefruit and pineapple joining the fray and persisting through a long-lasting finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate but prickly carbonation

Drinkability: Refreshing and aggressively bitter for an APA; nicely balanced by the malt

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Photo of oline73
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of WillieThreebiers
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh Chester pours a clear orange-amber body beneath a creamy head of white that holds well and leaves some thin-but-nice lacing about the glass.

The nose is welcomely restrained in its use of over-the-top, juicy/citrusy Pacific northwest hops; and it's softly citrusy (expressing mainly lemons and dull grapefruit), as well as lightly piney, grassy, and gently floral aroma is quite seductive.

The flavor is malty and sweetish, lightly honeyish and caramelish, and balanced by lemony, spicy, grassy, softly piney, and floral hops. The bitterness is solid, but sublime, and acts as ballast so that the malt and hops can shine without shakles... very nicely balanced and well-rounded! It finishes dry, but with a short-lingering note of sweetish malt, and then more long-lingering notes of spicy/piney, and citrusy and grassy hops.

In the mouth it's medium bodied and gently crisp with a fine-bubbled median carbonation.

Very easy to drink! Quite possibly the most refined and balanced beer to come out of Captain Lawrence so far. Very nice indeed!!!

 1,063 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -21.1%

Photo of oberon
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an orange tinged lighter golden with a thin white head atop.Aromas of apricots and mild citric hops,more fruity than bitter,a sweet biscuit malt base is there as well.Again more fruitiness imparted from the hops than bitterness,apricots again show thru as as a light herbal/grassiness,a firm biscuit maltiness lingers in the finish.A solid APA and I like the fruitiness from the hops.

 391 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at bmanning's wedding. Many pours into a pint glass.

Pours a moderate orange-copper color with a good white head and nice retention. Spotty lacing on the glass throughout. The nose carries some light bready notes plus a plethora of hop character. There's some citrus and pine hops and the overall character is mildly floral. The flavor is along the same lines, though the bitterness comes through more than hop flavor. Medium body with good carbonation and a nice bitterness. Overall, a very well made pale.

 515 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.55/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

 782 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.91/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light golden brown color, with a thin off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a spotty lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, earthy hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out with a nice grassy burst of hops bitterness. Then some sweetness comes in from flavors of citrus and caramel. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, very good representation of style, this is a solid beer to pound down for a while.

 746 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Captain Lawrence, Elmsford, NY

Poured a hazy amber color with a minimal white head that retained as a ringlet and laced the glass a bit. I didn't get much from the aroma actually, distant fruity hops, grass, light and grainy. Taste was better and more pronounced, sweet biscuit malt backbone overlaid with fresh fruity hop goodness, citrus zest, pine, and a bit of underripe pineapple, bitter and drying finish. Medium body, moderate carbonation. Quite the easy drinker, and not too deviant from "typical" for the style overall.

 550 characters

Photo of smithj4
3.96/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of nathanmiller
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of vfgccp
3/5  rDev -21.1%

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Freshchester Pale Ale from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 69.1% out of 100 with 608 ratings
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