California Pale Ale (CAPA)
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

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Style:
Pale Ale - American
Ranked #440
ABV:
5.4%
Score:
88
Ranked #12,422
Avg:
3.97 | pDev: 9.07%
Reviews:
16
Ratings:
80
From:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
 
California, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  1
Gots
  3
SCORE
88
Very Good
Notes: CAPA is a strong hopped pale ale. Brewed with Citra and Eldorado Hops which creates an amazing grapefruit and citrus aroma. This is a great beer for those who want hops without too much bitterness.

45 IBU
Reviews: 16 | Ratings: 80 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of champ103
champ103 from Texas

4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a growler via Premium Draught in Houston.

A: Pours a gorgeous copper/yellow color with a bit of haze. A dense egg white head forms with excellent retention and sticky lace all the way down the glass.
S: A rounded fruity aroma. Anything from orange zest, lemon, melon, grapefruit. Some pine, some biscuit malts. Very nice.
T: All the fruity hops are up front again. Orange, lemon, melon and grapefruit. Biscuit and caramel malts. A nice bitterness lingers. Love the balance and finish here, with a ton of fruity hop flavors and enough of a malt body to satisfy.
M/O: A medium body with good carbonation. Incredibly crisp and clean. Also incredibly moreish. The growler will be gone in no time, and I'll be looking to pick this up again for sure.

An excellent pale ale, kind of a more fruity hops version of Sierra Nevada Pal Ale, which I'm all down for. I'm really impressed with this, and is a great one to relax with during an afternoon. Well done.

Nov 03, 2019
Photo of patre_tim
patre_tim from Thailand

3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper with a slight hint of haze, large and small bubbles looking like the configuration of atoms, and 2 fingers of yellow tinged head.

Smells of pineapple, peaches and caramel.

Tastes of oranges, citrus, grapes and a hint of grapefruit pith.

Medium to light body thats highly carbonated.

Purchased in Reno, consumed in Redding, a very good pale ale.

Sep 04, 2019
Photo of poneill12
poneill12 from California

3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

1-1.5" foam upon pour. Smells kind of medicinal and sweet. Can is dated 11/7/2018. Just sharp enough. Kind of sweet, malty, bready. Nice carbonation. Super smooth and it's the definition of balanced between sweet and bitter. It's hard when you expect/want the bitterness these days but for something smoother/mild this still has enough flavor.

Feb 09, 2019
Photo of rodbeermunch
rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.21/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

If there is one thing at the outset of what I wanna say, its that for all of the remarkable consistency of the Eclipse series of beers, its like the opposite when it comes to their hoppy offerings. I've had some amazing hoppy beers from them, and then next time I have the same beer, it is woefully mundane and average. Lots of swing here. This one is a relatively newer offering, and I have noticed the two times I've had it, it was relatively in the middle and didn't have a lot of variance.

Anyways, pours a dark yellow to almost light amber color with 1/3" white head. I don't get much aromatics. That is usually where the inconsistency lies. Here, the two times I've had it has been consistently mild in terms of the Citra contribution, seems to be a minority hop in this beer.

Taste is alright, the body is consistent, they consistently do malts, those don't vary in any of their beers. Its the hops. Despite the claim of low bitterness 45 ibu, it tastes more like 65 ibu and leans on the grapefruit aspect more than anything of a sweeter citrus variety.

Nov 30, 2018
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin from Colorado

4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i like this one quite a bit, an interesting intersection of the old and new school, and a beer of high flavor yet great balance, one of the better beers i had in here, not named eclipse of course. its clear and golden, a tad lighter on the malt than was popular a decade ago, but also still a bit more robust on the grain side than what seems to be most trendy now, this has structure and character from the malt, a light honey note, a soft baked thing, and an earthiness that sets the hops up really well. the hops definitely have some late kettle and dry hopped character, but its not all juice, especially for these varietals, there is more bitterness than anticipated, which helps a sturdier pale finish clean and drinkable. the greenness of the hops balanced well by the cereal character of the grain, and there is a nice finishing note of orange zest and hop oils. well made beer overall here, better than a lot of them in this category, and a little more to it all around. i could drink a fair few of these...

Nov 30, 2018
Photo of mactrail
mactrail from Washington

3.23/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Amber color with swirls of foam in the chalice. Sudsy mouthfeel with an acidic attack. PIney aroma with apricot in the nose.

Resiny is the flavor along with pleasing peachy fruit. Overall , though, this is kind of coarse and harsh. Hop freaks only. From the 16 oz can purchased at Bottlecraft in Liberty Station.

Jan 29, 2018
Photo of BucannonXC5
BucannonXC5 from California

3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Type: 16-oz. can
Glass: Beer Nerd 12-oz. tulip
From: Chad
Price: N/A
Purchased: N/A; Received Nov. 17, 2017
Consumed: Nov. 21, 2017
Reviewed as: American Pale Ale
Misc.: Canned on Aug. 24, 2017

Thanks, Chad!

Got this as part of a nice haul from Chad on his latest work trip to San Diego. This was going to be my first beer from FiftyFifty on Beer Advocate or Untappd. Obviously they are known for their imperial stouts, but still was looking forward to trying some of their hoppy stuff. Online description (slightly different than the can) read, “In our California Pale Ale (CAPA), you can’t miss the grapefruit and citrus aroma dancing on the head of this tasty creation made with Citra and Eldorado hops. This is as West Coast as West Coast comes.” Canned on Aug. 24 so I’m sure hops will be a bit faded.

Poured a gold-to-light amber hazy color with two fingers of frothy white head. Lots of bubble streams along the sides of the glass. Outstanding uneven lacing. Good retention. (Sight - 4.00)

Smelled orange blossom, dish soap, caramel malts, stone fruit, floral, peach and mango. Seems malty, as expected with the canned on date. All smells were heightened in the can. (Smell - 3.75)

Taste followed the nose for the most part. Hops were faded, but could pick out El Dorado late. Also got mango, orange blossom, stone fruit, guava, pine and Citra. (Taste - 3.75)

Medium body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt finish. (Feel - 3.75)

This was a very good pale ale. Would like to have fresh. (Overall - 3.75)

3.77 | 85 | B+

Dec 28, 2017
Photo of RyanK252
RyanK252 from California

4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Can poured into a Mountain Rambler Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours hazy golden orange amber with a frothy light tan beige head that settles to a firm layer that hangs around and leaves some nice lacing.

S: Zesty citrus, fruity and floral notes, biscuity malt, and caramel sweetness.

T: Citrus, grapefruit, orange, and lemon, some underlying fruity notes, peach, lychee, maybe a hint of watermelon, backed with biscuity malt and caramel sweetness.

M: Medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Seems just a little bit subdued, but still a nice pale.

Nov 16, 2017
Photo of SoCal_Matt
SoCal_Matt from California

3.28/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a cloudy golden orange. Smell is floral, piney, some citrus rind. Tastes pretty floral with some pine, grapefruit, orange peel. Light malts in the background. Definitely fits the bill as a pale ale. Feel is somewhat thin and watery. Overall, this beer is nothing special. Just a mediocre pale ale in my opinion. I dinged the overall score because a ~$5/can price point on this is absurd. I would pass on this everything single time for the cost as it is nowhere near justified. SNPA will treat you much better for a lot less.

Sep 10, 2017
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84 from California

3.52/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Lucky Baldwins Delirium Cafe in Sierra Madre, CA.

Pours a murky dark orange-brown with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of citrus zest, grapefruit juice, floral, and earth aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus zest, grapefruit juice, earth, floral, and pine needle flavors on the finish. There is a medium amount of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice mix of different hop qualities all around.

Serving type: on tap.

Apr 10, 2016
Photo of Tucquan
Tucquan from Pennsylvania

4.01/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had this on 2015-06-23 at the brewery on tap

cloudy. Very fragrant tropical and floral which carries into the taste with a big kick of grapfruit bitterness. Unbalanced to the bitter side.

Jun 24, 2015
Photo of Fatehunter
Fatehunter from Oregon

3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a half finger of head on a hazy straw body.
The aroma is tropical: pineapple and mango with some pine.
The taste is moderate bitterness with honey sweetness to balance.
The texture is light.
Nice.

May 27, 2015
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky from New York

3.87/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a tulip glass. From notes.

A: Hazy golden with good lacing.

S: VERY good. Loads of hops. Fresh pine.

T: Tastes like a pale ale. Light, yeasty, and gently hopped. However, hops are citrusy and fresh. Nice, but rather unremarkable.

M: Crisp and alright. Yeasty-weird.

O: Very drinkable. Enjoyable; good pale ale. Recommended.

Apr 13, 2014
Photo of scottfrie
scottfrie from California

4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pint on tap at the brewery. Growler domed the following day.Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours hazy honey color with a huge rocky, greasy, and oily head that slowly faded into a thick and lasting greasy film. A solid sheet of lace was left down the glass.
S: Super fresh notes of citrus hops with just a touch of mint. Hops are extremely fresh and bright smelling with grapefruit pith and sweet tangerine nectar dominating. Slightly dank hop oils as well.
T: Follows the nose with a very vibrant and fresh hop profile of sweet orange and tangerine citrus juices followed by bitter notes of grapefruit rind and just a touch of lemon zest. Mint pokes through in the finish, and the aftertaste is full of very fresh hop resin and juicy citrus. The pale malt backbone is hardly noticeable.
M: Medium-light body, crisp, clean and refreshing mouthfeel, and crisp scrubbing carbonation that is smooth. Very drinkable and light. Hop resin and oily mouthfeel but not overly greasy or heavy. Drying mouthfeel actually.
O: Extremely quaffable and refreshing all around. Had a pint at the brewery and then downed a growler at the cabin. Really great clean hop profile that isn't crushingly bitter or heavy. This should be bottled.

Mar 30, 2014
Photo of lordofstarside
lordofstarside from Nevada

4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Filled up in Truckee 5 days ago, served into a pint glass

Pours a very dark cloudy gold with shades of orange. There was about a half finger of head, there wasn't much noise when I twisted open the cap, so I think it may have lost some of it's carbonation. Anyway, it died down pretty fast to a thin ring around the glass. A few bubbles pop up from the sides now and then, lacing's okay

Smell is super hoppy- strong upfront grapefruit and pine with hints of floral orange and lemon. A really sweet caramel malt makes a subtle backbone with a pinch on alcohol. It all comes together well

Taste isn't quite as strong as the nose, but still has all the same features. Strong pine and grapefruit and citrus followed by a more earthy floral undertones. The malts aren't as sweet as the aroma but the caramel comes through a lot stronger

Feel is moderately bitter with a medium body and a wet finish. Not at all flat, but the carbonation definitely took a hit

Overall I had a taste of this before I got the growler fill and it was a lot better, so I adjusted the scores to match what I had at the brewery. At five days being refrigerated at all times, I really think this should have held longer. I really wish FiftyFifty would switch to swing top growlers

All of that said, this is a really impressive pale ale that could easily pass as an ipa in a blind test to anyone. I like how it catches the west coast hop ethos by cranking out a pale ale stronger than most the country's ipas. As far as the hops go, this one is above and beyond, straddles the space between an apa and an ipa

Jan 12, 2014
Photo of DJButters
DJButters from California

4.49/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap for the 50/50 tap takeover during SF Beer Week 2013.

Very smooth and delicious APA. Likely dry hopped but not known for certain. Can put it up with other similar hoppy pale ales; Hoppy Birthday, Zombie Dust and Row. Would like to see them all side by side. I am very much fan of this style brew, all of the flavor with less booze.

Feb 19, 2013
California Pale Ale (CAPA) from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 80 ratings