Chesapeake Pale Ale | AleWerks Brewing Company

80 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Chesapeake Pale AleChesapeake Pale Ale

Brewed by:
AleWerks Brewing Company
Virginia, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bleedingshrimp on 11-06-2006

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 80 | Ratings: 204
Photo of MDDMD
3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-golden amber color with a white frothy head and some lacing

S-citrus and some malt overtones and hint of yeasty bread

T-citrus and more caramel malt with mild hoppy flavor and slight bitter finish

F-medium body and moderate carbonation

O-a decent ale, but not overly noteworthy

 283 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer pours a hay golden amber. Fomy head is about averge depth, is fairly dense and has good retention leaving spotty lacing.

Aroma has a nice soft citrus and floral bouuet with malts smelling thin but sweet.

Taste is pretty desent although hops are very subdued here. Perhaps alittle old.
Hops have a slight citus flavor but not alot of hop pop. Malts have a caramel sweetness along with toasted biscuits.

This beer has a medium smooth feel. It's lightly carbonated and has a semi dry and semi bitter aftertaste.

Pretty basic pale here and it's pretty good. Case worthy at that.
The beer I bought came from a gift shop on a bridge in the middle of the chesapeake so fresh I'm sure it is not.

 697 characters

Photo of Suds
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very clear, pale golden-amber color. The head is a little shallow, but appropriately sudsy. Nice citrus hop aroma. Although there is a little malt in the background, the hops really stand out...earthy, grassy, and sharp. The malt comes forward a bit more in the taste...just a touch of caramel and pale malt. Nicely balanced, the beer is semi-dry. A little carbonic in mouthfeel, but that does give it a very refreshing trait. Solid American style pale ale.

 457 characters

Photo of teromous
3.84/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: It's a dark gold color with a head that stands well at a thumb's width. The beer is fairly clear but it is hazy enough to notice. Laces very well.

S: I can smell the malt, with a sweet syrup-like scent. Not molasses. There is a floral smell but very little hop character comes through.

T: Up front it has a very nice balance of malt and hop character. There is just a little bitterness at the end and it feels to be just the right amount for a pale ale. There is some grain flavor in the aftertaste that is tasty. There is a little spiciness in the end of drinking a sip. It's good but it doesn't stand out enough for me to rate it higher.

M: It has a very nice mouthfeel. It is well balanced and rests well in the mouth. It feels a tad bit light in body. The beer is smooth but is not syrupy.

O: Overall it tastes good. I would drink it again, but it's not my favorite tasting pale ale. I don't get a "wow" feeling when drinking it at any point. I would recommend it, because it is good.

 995 characters

Photo of wahhmaster
3.62/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams Boston Lager glass.

Appearance: Pours a translucent, pale brown color. Has a small, frothy head that dissipates quickly down to a nice cap and leaves a nice ring of lacing.

Smell: Has a citrus/pine hops smell with a significant, sweet, malty background aroma.

Taste: Aggressively hoppy up front with piney flavors that develop quickly into a sweet, malty flavor with a strong, hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-to-medium body with low carbonation.

Overall: A fairly decent APA. This style gets done A LOT and it's certainly been done better than this. Nevertheless, this is a thoroughly enjoyable rendition of it from an underrated and under-known craft brewer.

 711 characters

Photo of avalon07
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had an orange color and a slightly hazy texture. There was an inch of fairly long-lasting head. Very good lacing.

S: Smelled of malt, hops, and a bit of pine. Standard APA aroma.

T: Tasted of mild hops, malt, pine, and a little caramel thrown in for good measure. Slightly bready and a bit earthier than most beers of the style. A solid flavor.

M: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

O: Nothing special or new here, but still a good, sturdy American Pale Ale.

 541 characters

Photo of rfgetz
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly hazed amber orange color with solid cap of frothy white head, great retention and lacing. Scent is mild, dominated by grassy but bold hops, notes of citrus and a lightly sweet, somewhat nutty malt backbone. Tastes stradles the border between American (bold pine and citrus hops, lightly sweet pale malt) and English (earthy hops and nutty malts). Medium bodied, light dryness. A nice pale ale that has some good qualities taken from American and English styles.

 477 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a mildly clouded reddish orange sunset color, with a blinding white head, creamy and firm. Looks a beaut.

Nice aroma too, having a citrus element buried by a sweeter, kind of butterscotch-like maltiness, but certainly not in an off or awful diacetyl sort of way. A hugely welcoming smell.

Simple aroma, simple taste, and a taste that very much mirrors the smell. Lighter touches of citrus (like grapefruit), with a rind-like bitterness to the finish, although it's a mild kind of bitterness, certainly not a hop bomb wallop. The malt is the most impressive and forward component of the taste, having that buttery, creamy flavor (and feel), a bit nutty, quite a bit of caramel/toffee...could almost be classified as an English pale ale if it weren't for the grapefruit-like traces in here.

As said, texturally this is on the creamier side of things, just enough carbonation to keep it lively, even providing a sharpness on the back end, and meshed well with the young/green bitterness of the finish.

Very pleased with this beer. It's pure, simple, very enjoyable. It doesn't set my imagination off on uncharted courses or anything, but for a beer to sip on a nice spring day, hey, glad this is readily available in these parts. Good stuff.

 1,250 characters

Photo of bs870621345
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 12-9-10

Pours an orange amber color with a half inch of head. Fades to a collar with almost no lacing down the glass.

Smells like pine hops and caramel sweetness. Not a whole lot going on.

Taste is just like the smell, hops with a strong sweetness in the background. Finishes with pine hops.

Mouthfeel is light with low carbonation, even with a gentle pour.

Drinkability is not so good because of the long bitter pine finish.

Its not bad, worth a shot. Surprised how well the hops have held up not in the fridge/cellar.

 536 characters

Photo of 7UCK
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- this poured out a orange/brown/red. It had a nice head and was dark for a Pale ale.

S- Nice hop smell, slight citrus with a nice sweet piney smell

T- Citrus, hoppy and slight bitterness.

D- Hoppy for a Pale Ale, but great to drink. A decent after taste and a nice summer drink served cold.

 295 characters

Photo of thagr81us
3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Massive thanks goes out to breweryaprntc13 for giving me a bottle of this at Sexual Chocolate '11! Served from bottle into a Stone nonic. Poured yellow-orange with a three finger off-white head that subsided to one finger slowly. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, and sweet hops. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, roasted malt, and caramel hops. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty good brew. The caramel aspect to this one definitely ties everything together. It was fairly well balanced, but it seemed that it was lacking in intensity slightly. Really glad I got a chance to try this one. It is definitely worth trying at least once.

 754 characters

Photo of beerwolf77
2.95/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from old notes.

A: Amber orange, at least a fingers worth of white head. Sticky lace left behind thin cap.

S: A good dose of citrus and pine greet me initially. A mild malt sweetness comes through as well. Fairly stock.

T: More malt in flavor than the nose led on. The pine comes in but falls off quickly leading to a harsh acrid bitterness.

M: Medium to light body. Light carbonation.

D: Overall less than stellar. Possibly not the freshest bottle.

 465 characters

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a perfect pint

A- pours a translucent orangeish yellow with a one finger white head, which fades quickly. Lacing is OK

S- smells a little sweet, and a little earthy...both aromas are a little weak

T- getting some citrus...some earth...a little floral. It's balanced really well, I'm picking up something new each sip

M- it's actually a little thick, which surprised me a little...but I don't mind. The complexity helps

D- I didn't expect much, but this is actually a really good beer! If I can find it around, I'd definitely pick some up when I'm in the mood for some light drinking

 613 characters

Photo of sholland119
4.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the 11th Street Alehouse, 8/13/10.

A-Pours a clear copper amber with a thin white head and some decent stickiness.

S-Nice blast of hops, mostly grapefruit with some floral hops as well, and a nice caramel malt backbone.

T-Nice caramel malt notes with a nice blend of citrus hops and a bitter, earthy finish that is pleasant but not overpowering.

M-Medium bodied, lightly bitter.

D-Really tasty. Rather hoppy for the style, but that is not a complaint in my world. A totally different experience drinking this on tap than the bottles I have had of this in the past.


 583 characters

Photo of breweryaprntc13
4.27/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L: Dark golden/ amber color, one finger pale white head, thin lacing that recedes slowly.

A: Strong floral and citrus hops, notes of grassy hops, and a slight hint of caramel underneath.

T: Great mix of floral and citrus hops that will please any hop head; caramel malts present for balance but not overpowering the hops.

M: smooth considering the bitter hops, bit more bitter finish, with medium to high carbonation.

D: A delicious pale ale, one of the better standard pale ales I have had. I will definitely be drinking this beer many more times in the future.

 566 characters

Photo of JamesS
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice mid-copper color with some decent head and lacing. Nice crisp and slightly hoppy scent, a little citrus and a little earthy. Good pale ale flavor with some very nice hoppy finishing (slight citrus and a little floral). Goes down very smoothly with no hop roughness.

 278 characters

Photo of tchenery
3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is pretty good. It is a mild IPA and the brewery does offer a traditional IPA. That being said, I think it definitely aligns with the American Pale Ale style. It has a flowery hop aroma and earthy taste that doesn't overpower. It's definitely a drinkable beer.

I am drinking from a growler and filling up a Lowenbrau clay stein, so I really can't attest to the color which is why I gave it a 3.0.

I shared the experience with a friend of mine who said, "I usually don't get excited about Pale Ales but this is definitely good." Coming from a growler straight from the brewery makes a big difference on any beer, but this beer should stand on it's own.

Williamsburg makes some fine brews - I'm looking forward to their Saison.

 740 characters

Photo of Minkybut
3.36/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. The beer was a nice golden color but pored absolutely no head what so ever. The beer had a nice smell to it and tasted and smelled like it had caramel in it. The beer had a slight hop taste but not too bad. It was a mild IPA. I will try this again one day.

 306 characters

Photo of alcstradamus
3.09/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes

Orange/amber pour with a finger of head. Smell is faint citrus hops and crayon wax. Taste is a bit of an improvement on the nose, with a nice balance between floral hops and biscuity malts. However, that crayon wax is still present and is a turnoff for me. Body is medium to medium/full. This would have been a nice pale ale if not for the one off-putting aspect.

 384 characters

Photo of rye726
3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a murky brown with tints of orange and a thin beige head. Nose has fruity malts, grassy hops and caramel candies. Taste is also pretty malty for an APA, but also has some soft, bitter hops. Body is a bit thin and the carbonation seemed somewhat low.

 255 characters

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to chaz over on realbeer for this one. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my shaker glass, this ale appears a clear golden straw color with about a finger of quickly fading bone white foam. Smells and tastes of a combination of (in order of dominance) spicy, floral, peppery hops, pine and lemon with a good dose of sweet malt to pull it all together. Medium bodied and perfectly carbonated. Certainly worth a try.

 421 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a darkish, reddish copper with a one-finger tan head that went away quickly and left lace down the mug. Didn't really pick up any subtle malt or fruit notes in this Pale Ale as the hops are a bit overpowering, and unfortunately they stay that way with the taste. Not as smooth or light as other PAs I've had and not as balanced. The hops are dominant over sweet malts like caramel and any citric or tart fruit seems to be overpowered by a leafy, herbal hoppiness that leads to my mouth drying out a little. Williamsburg Alewerks makes some damn good beers, but this one seems a little off.

 596 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.83/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

OK, I'm a Virginia virgin, this is my first beer from this state. My bottle was brown and contained 12 fl oz, there was a batch code but no Best Before Date I could find, is that normal?

Anyway it was drank on 22nd April 2009 and poured into a 'La Chouffe' stemmed tulip shaped glass (most likely the first time these two have ever met up).

I liked the look of it, good deep amber body with a huge cream/tan head. The body wasn't clear because I poured the lot in, sediment and all, the murky liquid promised hidden treasures of the hoppy kind, the head stayed, which was nice!

You Virginia guys like hops in your Pale Ales, right? This had a good aroma of hops, not overpowering, but they did monopolize the smell, only letting a hint of yeast sneak out now and again.

Again the hops took over within the taste, not much gets past the flavours imparted by those pesky hops, I tried to find other flavours, but failed. A sweetness in the fisrt instance makes way for a drier finish, but the hops win out over everything else throughout the drink.

Good carbonisation, lively without too much fizz, although I did start to burp towards the end of the tasting.

I enjoyed my venture into this state (beerwise)and may well return one day.

 1,239 characters

Photo of blackie
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: small head over a clear orange-amber beer, light retention and spotty lacing

s: a thoughtful concoction of pale and toasted grains, great balance of mild caramel with the crisp, peppery hop aromas of citrus and fresh evergreen

m: a medium body and carbonation on the lighter side

t: pale and toasted malts provide a light grain base for the citric hops, light caramel sweetness, finishes cleanly with a pleasantly sharp bitter effect

d: easy, and a high quality pale...what an amazing turnaround this brewery has made over the past few months

single from the brewery

 574 characters

Photo of jl55378008
4.4/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This one isn't in my usual repertoire, but I bought a six-pack for some friends from out of town. It's been forever since I've had it, and I think this is the first time I've had it in bottle, and I have to say I am seriously impressed. It doesn't really do anything that is making my head explode, but this is one incredibly drinkable and tasty beer. I can see myself drinking a bunch of this on a regular basis. Right now I'm pounding it like it's going out of style.

N: A little malty, with some spicy hop characteristics. Just a touch of pine, and not citrus so much, but rich and spicy.

T: Hops are present at the front, but not in any way overpowering. Hops and malt are very balanced, alcohol is not really noticeable.

M: Holy crap, this is smooth. It just is.

Drinkability: Immense. Not as bitter as SNPA, not as malty as some English pale ales, and right now it's just hitting the perfect notes for me. This is my new standard session beer, and I'd definitely say that even if I didn't live 5 minutes from the brewery.

 1,031 characters

Chesapeake Pale Ale from AleWerks Brewing Company
3.61 out of 5 based on 204 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.