Grateful Pale Ale | Starr Hill Brewery

61 Reviews
Grateful Pale AleGrateful Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Starr Hill Brewery
Virginia, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
A strong citrusy, resinous aroma from the hops leads into a light body with subtle malt flavor.

Added by TheBigBoy on 04-10-2013

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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 423
Photo of avalon07
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

L: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an orange-ish color and a clear consistency. There was a small amount of foamy head that quickly dissipated. Pretty good lacing.

S: A solid aroma of hops, pine, light fruit, and malt. Pretty standard, but good.

T: Tasted of a bit of fruit (orange, pineapple, for the most part), a little bit of caramel, light pine notes, some malt as well, and hops, though they aren't as prevalent as in some APAs. Light and airy flavor that's generally likable. Not a bad flavor, but nothing exceptional.

F: A well-carbonated beer with a smooth finish. Light-bodied.

O: This isn't anything to write home about, but it might make a good session beer. Drinkable.

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Photo of Cyrion
3.42/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a bright copper and translucent beer with a one inch head that quickly fades. Great deal of carbonation.

Aroma is of pine hops and taste confirms this. Pine predominates the flavor, with a small bit of malt in the background. Not a lot of depth to this one.

This is called a pale ale, but it looks, smells and tastes like an IPA. (Similar to Blue Mountain's Full Nelson.) In a different category, I would give it higher marks. Either way, it is a flavorful and sessionable beer.

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Photo of Thawley
2.78/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

WOB TAP. There are better choices. This has the finish of absinthe or wormwood. Mama always told me if I don't have anything good to say don't say anything at all. Enough said.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Oh no another beer pushed to the back of the fridge this one marked 10/21/15 makes this IPA more than 6 months old!

A - Despite this color is good a honey orange clear with no sediment and a 1/2 inch of head that pulls back to great lace.
S - Yep little to no hops on the nose means they have faded. Not getting much sweet malts either. Hopefully it tastes better than it smells.
T - Watery faded hops with semi sweet pale malts also a tad fading leaving a slight soapy feeling on the finish.
M - The most watery pale ale I have had in some time man I regret not drinking this sooner.

Overall don't be like me and drink this one fresh!

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Photo of OldSwampy
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle with stamp "PKG ON 03/28/16A" poured into a clear glass. Color: straw / gold. White head, not too durable. Nose: hops dominant, not too strong, a mild piney, floral, and perhaps lightly fruity blend. Taste is very straightforward, almost monodimensional. Clear hops over a modest dry malt background, fading smoothly. Mouthfeel smooth, clean. Not as much happening here as there is in this brewery's Northern Lights IPA. They are not exactly the same style, of course. Mild-mannered in both flavor and ABV.

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Photo of holtonwes
4.04/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On draft into a pint glass. Golden with an offwhite head, about two fingers. great retention and lacing. Smell was piney with a bit of ripe citrus or pineapple. Taste was more even of the same. Hops up front, peach or pineapple in the middle, and then more hop\orange zest bitterness at the finish. Juicy and delicious.

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Photo of hdf561
3.15/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into an English pub glass... Goldfish Amber appearance no lacing, or head....smells citrusy possibly some lemon?

Taste smoother than I expected, no harsh initial taste or after taste, pretty smooth finish more drinkable than I thought can taste some sort of citrus and hops, little fizzy

Overall a pretty good beer, I will drink again, good beer to begin drinking craft brews

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Photo of stevoj
2.84/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Pizza Paradiso-DuPont. Kind of bland with some unusual citrus, metallic notes. Extremely light bodied, pale golden, early airy head. Grainy with chemical notes

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Photo of vabeerguy
3.89/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass. A nice golden color. Floral hop smell and taste. A very easy to drink beer. Its low ABV makes it a contender with many of the low ABV IPAs and APAs on the market.

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Photo of hopphead31415
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I grabbed the winter variety pack by Starr Hill and this nice Grateful Pale Ale was among them. It sports a mild 4.7% ABV and is delicious.

Look-It pours a light golden yellow with a rich white head and sparse moist lacing on the glass.

Smell-It smells strongly of apricot and orange marmalade and some orchids. I get a touch of lemon peel zest and some Valencia oranges and maybe a tinge of honey suckle.

Taste-It tastes of floral hops and citrus delight much like the nose indicated: Valencia orange, orange marmalade, and apricot as well as lemon peel zest. The malts balance nicely the hoppiness which is mild and the alcohol is more noticeable than I would expect from a weak 4.7% brew.

Mouthfeel-The mouthfeel is smooth and moist as well as clean and crisp. It leaves a mild coating of hop oils on the tongue that are accompanied by the citrus flavors.

Overall-It has a slightly weak malt backbone which I think is nice, because it allows the relatively mild hop component to be more noticeable. This pale ale is refreshing and crisp and I was quite surprised by the flavor quality in this one. Great job, Starr Hill!

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Photo of slusk
4.06/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a clear golden with a nice dense white head.

S: Floral hops up front with a bit of pine and grapefruit. Some mild citrus. Nice malt in the background

T: Nice floral hops and some grapefruit. A wee bit of caramel comes through in the malt profile. Nice balance, decent bitterness but not too far ahead of the malt.

F: Light body, moderate carbonation

O: Nice beer. Clean flavors, good floral hop presence with a decent but slightly weak malt backbone. Overall a good clean, crisp, drinkable pale ale.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured a golden body with one finger head and a lace ring down the glass. Aroma is citric hopped with a touch of bread and dry malt. Beer tastes the same as a light bodied and hoppy beer has some citric notes along with touches of grainy maltiness and bread for a dry, almost cracker like finish. Not bad but a little off balance and dry for my liking.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.59/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Teku glass. Bottled (05?06?)/27/15.

Clear copper with creamy head. It smells caramel-malty, crispish, and citrusy. Lemon zest. It tastes far better from the bottle than the last keg I had. It's not very hoppy, but it's rich, deep, and smooth. The lemon sweetness is reminiscent of a lemondrop candy, and the aftertaste is lightly vegetal-bitter.

Generally a solid, refreshing beer. Substantial, if basic.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear golden copper in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and faint honey colored highlights. The beer has a finger tall dense foamy beige head that slowly reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: There is a moderate aroma of herbal, pine, and citrus/grapefruit rind over the top of light aromas of cereal grain + caramel malts.

T: Upfront there are light to moderate flavors of cereal grain and caramel malts with a light amount of sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of herbal, pine, and citrus/grapefruit rind hops which imparts a light amount of bitterness in the finish which lingers for quite a while.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Crisp.

O: Refreshing and easy to drink, especially on a warm NC summer evening. Nice hop flavors and aromas with a crisp mouthfeel makes this one quite sessionable.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.87/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is crystal clear, pale, copper-gold coloring with a low profile, foamy, white head and very decent cling and lacing on the glass. Aromas of toasted grains, subtle pine pitch, wet grass, highlights of grapefruit, and subtle pepper spice. Flavors are fruity forward, with some tropical fruit notes joining the grapefruit, as well as grassy and piney hops notes, some sugary sweetness, and an herbal blend highlight towards the end of the palate. The body is light and smooth, with a dry, crisp foundation. The aftertaste is very vegetal, with grassy and piney hops and only a hint of citrus sweet. The finish is dry, crisp, and slightly effervesced. Solid brew. Very refreshing and highly drinkable.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.34/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color. The head is a finger high, and off-white in shade. While the retention is nothing special, it does leave behind some nice lacing as it recedes. All in all, it's a good looking brew. (3.75)

Smell: I immediately pick up notes of lemon, grapefruit, flowers, and pine. I could almost call this a lemon bomb, given how pungent is (relative to its gravity, natch). Caramel malt sweetness appears as it opens up. Quite nice for a sessionable pale ale. (3.5)

Taste: This is almost like a baby SNPA - flowery hops intermingle with caramel malts. I also get plenty of lemon flavor, mainly on the back end. No wait, this IS a baby SNPA. While it's also just another pale ale (albeit at a lower gravity), it is well done enough to be worthy of my interest. (3.25)

Mouthfeel: It has an appropriate heft on the palate - it isn't cripplingly heavy, yet it isn't quite hop water. I don't find it bone dry, but I do find its good carbonation and airy texture refreshing. Drinkability slows down as the fizz fades (and it fades fast), though. (3.25)

Overall: It's a fairly typical pale ale, just smaller. And it really isn't bad at all. This would make a decent go to in a craft-deprived location, but I wouldn't choose it over quite a few others. (3.25)

3.34/5: I'm grateful for trying it, but haven't I had this same kind of beer a million times before?

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Photo of DoctorZombies
3.42/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Clear gold pour with white head/good clarity and lacing. Earthy hop nose with a hint of citrus. Very little flavor. Watery lite mouthfeel. Lite lemon finish. Not much here...

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Photo of Jmalpha1
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

I find this to be my go-to beer when I go to the store. If there's nothing else that peaks my interest or that I want to try, I end up with a six-pack of this and then I wonder why I didn't get it in the first place! Super crisp and clean tasting. Very grassy, which was a little new to me at first but I found that I really liked it.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.99/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Starr Hill "Grateful Pale Ale"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, "PKG ON 03/10/15A"

What's to say here? It's a standard American Pale Ale with a good appearance, a slightly richer than usual malt base, and bright citrusy hops. The hops are fuller in the aroma than they are in the flavor, which is well-balanced and rounded to emphasis the lightly sweet grainy and biscuity malt. If there's any drawback it's that the head retention and lacing could be better, otherwise it's solidly drinkable and satiating. Nicely done.

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Photo of cyclonece09
3.71/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a mug. Pours orange amber with a fluffy white head. Smells of grassiness and earthy hops. Tastes of grassiness and some flowery hops. Beer is carbonated well and light bodied. Overall an above average beer.

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Photo of KChristie87
3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

For a Pale Ale, this beer is fantastic. Darker golden brown in color. Smell is phenomenal for a pale ale. Gives off some fruit and pine. Tastes great! A bit of bitterness with a crisp clean feeling goes a long way to make this beer one of the better pale ales I've had.

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Photo of citizencane
4.01/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A very good pale ale. Some fruit, some pine, and it blends together with a good mouthfeel to make a damn good beer. Mikeller Better Half takes piney and fruity flavors and blends them well; this takes them, blends them well, and adds a thirst-quenching not cloying mouthfeel. Would drink again, especially considering I love pale ales.

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Photo of Byrnie-madoff
4.41/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This beer is perfect if you like tasteful simplicity. 100% pilsner malt gives it that classic crisp, clean slight biscuity malt character. The hop character is all floral grassy grapefruit-like resin. Perfect.

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Photo of Pantalones
3.84/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Second bottle of this one from the Loadout variety pack--I figured since I have three of each I'll be trying each one twice before doing a review. Bottling date is December 17th of 2014. Pours a light golden color; head foams up a good bit at first, but I'm able to keep it all (just barely!) in one glass by slowing down my pour a bit afterward. Beer is golden in color, fairly light and definitely clear (little bubbles can be clearly seen rising up from the bottom.) As the head recedes it leaves scattered trails around the edge of the glass. Looks pretty nice!

Smell is pretty much all hops. Not incredibly strong (I can smell the hops from several inches directly above the glass, but not from a foot away like with an IPA, or even a few inches away like more intensely hoppy pale ales) but definitely present--they're of the piney and citrusy variety (and while most of the hoppy beers I've had so far have been described as pine/citrus by others, here I'm actually picking up a nice little bit of "almost like lemon cleaning spray" citrusy-ness, rather than pure pine.)

Taste is similar, with the hops (piney and a bit of citrus) being the primary flavor here. A bit of bitterness near the end but far, far from IPA-strength levels... just enough to let you know that yep, hops add bitterness. Sometimes I'm picking up a bit of the breadiness from the malt on the end, too. Hop flavors don't seem quite as strong as in the other fresh pale ale I've had (Sweetwater 420), but this is definitely still a beer that leans to the hoppy side. Seems like the flavor comes out more as it warms up a little bit. I think I would like this more if the citrusy element of the hops came out more, but the fact that it's present at all (vs. pine, "maybe vague fruit," and occasional mint in other hoppy beers I've had before) is a plus. Another important note: like other pale ales I've had, this goes nicely with spicy and greasy food (in this case, a pizza)--neither the food or beer seem to have their flavors affected negatively by the other, which is great for a beer you're having with food.

Mouthfeel is pretty nice as well. Goes down pretty easy, just a tad bit of prickliness from the carbonation and bitter-feeling from the hops, doesn't feel watery or too thin at all but at the same time doesn't feel heavy or thick either.

Overall, this is pretty good. I think I would've liked the citrusy element of the hops to be a bit stronger, maybe edging out the pine as the primary flavor--I really like the citrus-like flavor in beer and while it's a nice change that I can pick it up in this one at all, it kind of leaves me wanting a bit more of it. Still, I enjoyed the beer as it is and will gladly drink the other bottle of it left in that variety pack!

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Photo of StonewallSipper
2.75/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Ok, not as good as many Pale ales in Philly area. Back of the pack lite colored ale. I tried again, I do not know why so many people enjoyed this beer, you certainly do not live in an area with alot of great IPA's, I gave this very regular IPA my lowest rating ever. It tastes like a budweiser.

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Grateful Pale Ale from Starr Hill Brewery
3.63 out of 5 based on 423 ratings.
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