Pale Ale | Mountaineer Brewing Co.

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Pale AlePale Ale
51 Ratings
Pale AlePale Ale

Brewed by:
Mountaineer Brewing Co.
West Virginia, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.59%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
An American style pale ale, brewed with pale and crystal malts and a touch of oats.

Added by WVbeergeek on 03-13-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 51 |  Reviews: 48
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +15.9%

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.07/5  rDev +18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from ahatcher78, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of citrus, caramelized malt and floral hops.

T: The taste is nicely balanced with sweet flavors of citrus fruits and caramel to start out. Then a nice burst of floral hops quickly comes in. There’s a heart malt character but it’s not too heavy. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, it's nothing fancy but this is a nice beer to drink for the duration of an evening. I could see myself drinking several of these.

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Photo of billab914
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into my Three Floyd's glass. It poured a slightly hazy amber color with a half inch, frothy white head filling the top of the glass.

The aroma has some moderately sweet, pale, grainy malts to it. Just a bit of citrusy, fruity hops come through as well. Could have used a little more hop presence for an APA to overshadow the pale, sweet malts a little more. At least for my tastes in the style.

The taste also shows a lot of the sweeter, pale malts to it throughout the beer. I get a little fruity hoppiness to it up front with a moderate, dry, grapefruit like bitterness coming out in the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall it wasn't a bad beer, but didn't stand out in the style either. It could have used a little more hoppiness to help balance out some of the malt sweetness a little more. Decent beer overall.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.09/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle picked up at Total Wine in Alexandria. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours a moderate copper color with a thin white head that dissipates too quickly and leaves behind only a tad bit of lacing. The nose is faintly reminiscent of the fact that at one point someone might have considered adding a hop cone or two to it. In honesty, there is a very, very, very (enough of those) faint presence of light citrus and herbal hops. Malt is there in a bready form, not really lending anything on its own. The taste echoes the nose, and not in a good way. Finish is ever so slightly dry with moderate carbonation. Not something I would have again.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.05/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a very clear body with just a hint of gold to it. Tiny white head dissipates quickly.

Smell: So light! Just a hint of steeped grains and a mild citrus character.

Taste: Again, so light! Slight taste of grain with a subtle toffee sweetness. Mild citrusy hops. Medium bitterness. Lightly bitter, watery finish.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's pretty embarrassing. Poor West Virginia.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Coppery kumquat with crystalline clarity. The tight-bubbled crown is dirty eggshell white, almost ecru, and is sticky enough to deposit fine sheets of sea foam lace. Not a bad look for an APA.

Even without knowing that crystal malt was present, it was easy to guess given the color and the aroma. Pale Ale smells lightly toasted and a little earthy. It's also not as bright and grapefruit zesty as a Cascade-only APA ought to be.

How one feels about Mountaineer Pale Ale will depend on one's preferences for beer of this style. The flavor is the nose in liquid form. This offering is toasted, earthy, balanced and not classically Cascade-like. I much prefer pale malt-dominant APAs that feature the bright, pure goodness of humulus lupulus.

An early sweetness (modest) turns into (an also modest) bitterness at the midway point of each mouthful. The finish is almost crisp and drying. Maybe there are a few more hop cones in here than originally thought. This is definitely easy drinking beer, I'll give it that.

The mouthfeel, like all the rest, is a blip better than average. It's medium in heft, with a generous amount of enlivening carbonation that stops well short of too much.

Mountaineer Pale Ale is pretty good beer that would have earned a better score if it lined up more closely with my style preferences. Not a bad effort. Not a bad effort at all. Thanks to ahatcher78 for the bottle.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
2.49/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

The beer appears transparent and light in orange in color. The head is approximately a half inch thick and leaves some decent lacing in its wake. The aroma has a subtle hop presence with a strange scent emanating from the beer. Uh oh. The flavor is mediocre, with very muted hop and citrus. Overall the beer just tastes a bit off kilter. The finish is rather dry, and leaves an unpleasant vegetal taste on the palate. Not my bag, baby.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.1/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a slightly hazed copper hue with a large foamy off white head leaves behind ueven thick bands of lacing with each sip. Even though the corporate office is located in Maryland I'm proud to see a microbrewed beer produced and bottled in the state. The only production brewery made a nice pale ale with floral and citrus qualities in the nose. A nice caramel malt balance but the citrus hop notes shine. Flavor is balanced with a sugar coated hop quality flowing, between brash vinous green hops and floral spring notes. Biscuit and caramel malts collide with the herbal citrus hop bitterness to make a refreshing and flavorful brew. Mouthfeel wise we're looking at a medium to light bodied offering perfect for quenching thirst and the hophead craving for a West Virginian with limited options. Drinkability is this brews highlights, snapping hop bite with enough mellow malts to make it flow perfectly. No the most in your face but definitely well crafted and has American Pale Ale down to the T.

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Photo of jwc215
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to jcwatts for this one he received from decaturstevo:

Pours slightly hazed golden amber with a thin off-white head.

The smell is bready, grainy, slightly carmelized, some citric notes.

The taste is grainy/biscuity with a touch of carame and a hint of butterscotch. Mild citrus - could be heftier and still balanced - peeks through. Finishes sweetish.

Smooth in a light side of medium bodied (at most - though not watery).

An easy-drinking, milder interpretation of an APA.

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Photo of Duff27
2.88/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First time I have ever had anything by Mountaineer Brewing Company... from West Virginia.

A- Medium to dark golden color. Small white head. Minimal lacing.

S- Tried to pinpoint that smell...couldn't...checked other reviews for help...seems I'm not the only one. Some citrus added to the mystery smell.

T- Flower hoppy, more citrus.

M- Crisp. Medium mouthfeel, some "tongue tingles"

D/O- Per it's style, drinkability is high. If given a choice though, I may reach for a different APA 6 pack.

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Photo of Gavage
3.65/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear orange in color with a 1/2" head. Some spots of lace stick tot he glass.

Smell: orange citrus and a hint of fruit sweetness is all you can detect with the nose.

Taste: caramel, orange, pear sweetness, and a floral hop bitterness create a mild flavored APA.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp to start, less crisp to finish. Pretty short aftertaste here.

Drinkability: this mildly refreshing beer is easy to drink but won't blow you away.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.2/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle gifted by Thorpe429. Thanks buddy. This beer is like a light ale, if such a thing existed. I had this rather late in the evening of heavy drinking, I thought it was unremarkable but unoffensive.

Beer is light amber with a diffuse head of nothing and no lacing, low carbonation.

Aroma is hoppy and dry with minimal malt and some grain.

Beer is thin and watery with some hop flavors, mild graininess on the finish, and overall a bland mouthfeel. The beer is uninteresting. I doubt I'd have it again unless it were the only thing at a party I wanted to get a buzz at.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.53/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light copper with a good, healthy head and good lacing. The smell is balanced malt and light citrusy hops. Clean with a slightly metallic aroma on the finish. The taste is pleasant and echoesthe aromas. Fairly light, but with some sustained bitterness. The mouthfeel is crisp and very slightly slick, but not bad. This one hits the spot. I found this in a fairly small grocery store while vacationing in central West Virginia (Ansted), so it must be fairly well distributed. Worth looking for if you want a local brew.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.6/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a three-finger thick, pale tan colored head that even leaves some lacing patterns on the sides of my glass. The beer is a nice copper hue that shows a brilliantly clear, bright copper color when held up to the light. The aroma has a nice touch of grapefruit and citrus hops as well as a touch of crystal malt aromatics to tie things together. This is lightly sweet smelling, with fruity hop notes that can't hide a biscuit-like, toasty malt character in the finish that at times can be a bit more noticeable than the hop character. The aroma is soft overall, but is nicely balanced.

A bit non-descript as it hits the front of my tongue, it then picks up a mix of hop flavors that remind me of orange zest, tangerine, cooked broccoli, and biting pine. This last is wrapped up in a solid hop bitterness that finishes this beer off on almost a dry note. This is certainly not a sweet beer, but there is enough caramelized crystal malt character to be noticed, as well as a touch of sweet tea flavors and a brown sugar and biscuit like flavor. This is a hop focused beer though, but somehow the hop flavors can be a bit harsh, even too vegetal at times; luckily this is a secondary flavor effect, but I find it a bit distracting at times. Nice and light as a Pale ale should be, there is some body here from the residual malt character that helps to keep this from being too light.

Not a bad beer, and after smelling this I was beginning to get my hopes up. If they could fix that vegetal hop note in the flavor this would be a really nice example of a Pale Ale. As it is though, the beer is still quite drinkable, and even enjoyable.

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Photo of yourefragile
2.62/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, thanks Jeff.

Pours a slightly hazed, sickly straw golden color with steady carbonation supporting a massive, dense fizzy cream colored head.

Aroma is intensely lemony and mildly grassy.

Flavor is less offensive than the aroma and appearance suggest, but still mostly forgettable. Strong bready and grain body with light caramel malt sweetness hides underneath a pungent lemon zest.

Medium bodied with low carbonation; finish is very dry and tangy.

A forgettable APA, but there isn't anything toooo wrong here and this makes for a worthy WV tick.

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Photo of glid02
3.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from a six-pack purchased from a random gas station in southern WV near Union.

Pours a light copper color with a half-finger white head. The head dissipates into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of pale malts with a light biscuit character and mild amounts of floral hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Pale malt flavors with an indistinct fruit character up front are joined midway through the sip by very light amounts of bready malt that carry through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is alright. I finished my glass however I'm not sure about another.

Overall this is by no means a bad beer but it really doesn't have a whole lot going for it. Worth a shot if you're in WV and want to drink local - I'll be looking out for their other beer when I'm up there.

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Photo of francisweizen
4/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one reminds me of "SNPA light" haha. totally good, but not in your face at all. A nice light amber/copper with a nice head of foam. Aromas are biscuity malts and raw citrusy/piney/resiny hops. Hops win it out but this is oh-so-well-balanced. Taste is hoppy and biscuity with a nice fresh bread character as well. Hops hit again in the back of the throat and are leafy green in the smooth/dry finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and drinkability is great. It's nice to see a beer this good come out of WV

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Photo of blackie
3.18/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: bone white head over a bright golden body falls back to a nice ring

s: subtly resinous tropical hop nose - not bad - over a standard pale malt body, also a weird aroma - not sure whether to call it rotten pineapple or moldy potatoes, perhaps oats out of place in such a light ale?, nothing particularly special here, but it seems to be balanced and well constructed

m: carbonation light-medium, lighter body, a little thin

t: plain pale malt structure, mild citrus juice hops, the same strange aroma comes through a little less here on the tongue - but it's still present, okay

d: not bad I suppose

single from Whole Foods, Fair Lakes, VA

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz. bottle, poured to an 'Oregon Bounty Fresh Hop' pint glass...appropriate as I read the side label and learn that 'generous amounts of Northwest Ahtanum and Tomahawk hops' were used in the making. Special thanks to BA 'trep' for a first taste from both Mountaineer Brewing and the Mountain State.

Below the label's description, an odd slogan that could be interpreted a couple ways: "West Virginia does deserve better beer." Not sure where the emphasis belongs, but the way I read it first seemed more like an apology... :) But let's try it and see...

A: Among the 'paler' of the Pale Ales these eyes have seen: a bright golden, maybe the slightest lean toward 'orange'. Faint hazy fog, not cloudy but enough to distort the view through the pint. Plenty of carbonation, a glass-filling swarm of larger bubbles ascend to a modest 1/2 finger of whitish cream. Thin bands of creamy lace hang askew, partially broken.

S: Pleasant aroma, a flowery/honeyed sweetness, a light biscuity malt. A notable 'oyster cracker' smell that's somewhat dry and flour-y, even a little buttery; unleavened yeast?

T: Greeted upfront by a fine light citrus: orange blossoms, a squeeze of Meyer lemon. Breadiness of biscuits, scones possibly. Lasting flavor that's fruity, but not really 'citrus': it's more like a melon rind, even a little sweet white grape. An innocuous pale that could probably stand more hop 'punch' for most craft beer palates - but actually suits my malt-centric leanings quite nicely.

M: Finer carbonation, creamier than expected, light and airy. The feel seems too slick, the body a little puny. Decent bitterness in the background,

D: A pretty enjoyable brew, truth be told. Though neither aroma or flavor 'wows', it exhibits a good balance in general and refreshes/withholds alcohol well enough to session a couple more. Given the multitude of fine options here in the Northwest, I probably wouldn't seek it out here...but I'd certainly drink it if and when in Appalachia.

Thanks again, Josh.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.21/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sent by msubulldog25, with an assist from treps. Funny...I've lived in Virginia nine years, and this is my first beer from West Virginia. Never, ever see WV stuff here. So, from treps in WV to Brian in Oregon and back to me in VA. That's beer trading for ya -- thanks guys!

Pours a glaring-white head, about a finger thick, which settles to a soapy skim quickly. Color is quintessential pale ale: a golden/orange-tinted yellow...maybe even "paler" than most, and exhibiting a very light hop haze.

Aroma is not outstanding. But it's different I guess. Mostly floral in nature (no surprises there), but also having a lighter character of boiled veggies, believe it or not, and an almost smoky element to the malt.

Flavor is a balance of toasted grain, grassy hop bitterness (not overwhelming though), a pinch of sulfur, and a faintly fruity edge, especially into the finish, where a peach/pear/green apple character is braided with the grassy hops.

Mouthfeel leans toward the lighter side, but has a nice semi-creamy glide to balance against the tingly carbonation.

This is's probably better on tap at the source, but this bottled version is decent, just nothing stellar. It doesn't do much to shove other APAs out of the way on my must-get-more list, but there's nothing totally out of whack here either. It's just maybe a little timid and unsure of itself.

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Photo of Jenray
3/5  rDev -13%

Photo of wagenvolks
3.83/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nothing like a cold beer brewed in my home state of West Virginia. 12 oz bottle into a chalice.

Pours an attractive copper-golden hue, capped by a half-inch of white head. Retention & lacing are both excellent for the style. Aroma is stronger in the chalice than the pint I had two nights ago; pineapple juice, mandarin orange, mango, and lots of citrusy hops are present. There isn't a huge malt presence, but the hops are enough to provide an excellent nose.

Crystal malts bring a light biscuitiness to the taste, and spiced, citrusy hops provide a decent balance. As with most pale ales, I'd like to see this one get a bit hoppier. Mouthfeel is crisp & refreshing, with a good carbonation level and a decent hoppy finish. In sum, Mountaineer BC's Pale is a very enjoyable, very refreshing, easily sessionable ale. I recommend you give it a try, as it's a beer I'll be purchasing again.

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Photo of bditty187
3.5/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dull gold in hue, vaguely hazy; the color is unimpressive and not overly rich. Bright white head, at the apex the foam was a solid one finger tall. Head retention was respectable. Subsequent lacing was a smattering of organized rings. Overall, the appearance is decent and fitting of expectations for an APA.

Modestly hoppy nose; citrus zest and grapefruit mainly with a kiss of pine… very APA-like. Caramelized maltiness further develops the nose and matches what is expected of the style. Hints of ale fruitiness finish the bouquet. While the hops are not thunderous they do provide the aromas desired for the style. Moderate potency; I find the nose to be simple, stylistically sound and inviting.

The first sip was weird… kind of soapy, unbalanced maltiness with a smattering of vegetable. The second sip shows more hoppiness (grapefruit and citrus zest… cheese too), ale fruitiness (apples, berries… grapes?) and lingering nutty/cheesy bitterness. Caramel malts are noticeable throughout; sort of sweet until the finish. The palate has good qualities and it does taste like an APA but there is a certain messiness about it that is distracting. I need cleaner bitterness and/or more vibrate hop flavors to counteract the sweetness. The aftertaste is similar the palate, oddly pleasant. This is a respectable APA but the cheesy-bitter-fruity-sweet vibe is somewhat odd. Odd is okay though…

Medium in body, low but natural carbonation, the mouthfeel is not unusual but it fits this beer well enough.

Easy to drink and more likeable the less I think about it. The beer geek in me is not going to get Mountaineer Pale Ale confused with the best of the style but it is a pleasant quaff. I’d have no problem knocking back a few bottles while grilling some cheeseburgers. WV should be happy to have such a solid APA. Thanks ahatcher78 for my first three WV beers!

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Photo of JamesS
3.47/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a very pale yellow, almost like a macro lager. It did have a nice head and good lacing, though. Very nice smell, a nice hit of hops in it. All right taste, a nice bit of hops an all right bitter after taste, but nothing special. Goes down fine. I would drink it again, but it would not be my first choice for a pale ale.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.73/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale amber in color with a sizeable head on top. Low aroma-some citrusy and spicy notes but not much in general. Good bitter flavor-grapefruit and citrus flavors. Good body. Has a fairly dry finish. Overall a good pale ale for a brewery I have never heard of. I'd buy this locally for sure.

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Pale Ale from Mountaineer Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.45 out of 5 with 51 ratings