Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Carolina Pale Ale | Carolina Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
59 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Carolina Pale AleCarolina Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Carolina Brewing Company
North Carolina, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-25-2003

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 151
Photo of sulldaddy
2.41/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I pour this brew into my sample glass at room temp. It pours a very light clear yellow, macro clone??
I get a bleached white soft head to foam up about 1 cm.
Aroma is grainy and maybe slight malt sweetness. very mild on the nose.
FIrst sip gives a light bodied brew with mild carbonation. Not a lot going on in the flavor department. I get a brief hit of graininess at the beginning and some sweetness of malt on the finish. I may also pick up just a faint hop bitterness inthe middle. This is one mild brew. very smooth light and easy to drink but not too much for flavor. If you drank this with any food it would be overwhelmed and you would get no taste of beer whatsoever. COuld be tasty on a hot summer day to refresh you, but not as appealing on a chily Feb evening. Glad I only have three of these left.

 813 characters

Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
2.5/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle with a freshness date on the bottom ridge.
Light gold to brassy color, no visible carbonation wiht zero head. This beer
is a very bland IPA with very uninteresting and nearly nonpresent hop characteristics. There
is a distinct skunkiness to this beer. The brew is undercarbonated and very thin, bordering upon watery. I cannot come up with much comliment for this beer save for the mission statement printed on the bottle, which creates inspiration unfulfilled by this particular product.

 521 characters

Photo of BeerBeing
2.6/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz brown glass longneck generic bottle, purple/yelloe/white on black label

Appearance: clear gold color, small off-white head, small lacing

Smell: malty and hoppy, but at light side

Taste: light-to-medium body, smooth, but thin mouth feel, slightly malty and hoppy with minor caramel sweetness in background

Notes: pleasant, but average brew, like a little bother of Carolina IPA

 407 characters

Photo of Dithyramb
2.8/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presented in the same brown 12 oz. bottle as pictured.
Pours a light gold with faint amber highlights. A white head quickly dissipates, very limited carbonation.
Very faint smell, maybe some malts.
Grassy, chalky and watery APA. Tingles the tongue, faint and weak hop presence.
Watery mouthfeel.
Drinkable in a "I've been drinking all night and I can handle a few of these as I whip up the competition on the pool table" way

 429 characters

Photo of kkleu357
2.8/5  rDev -17.4%

From notes on 4/5/14

Bottle at Mama Dips in Chapel Hill. Clear straw body. Similar to a standard macro beer. Slightly hoppy grassy aroma. OK taste. Slightly bitter. Grassy lemon flavor.

 186 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
2.83/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to ninjaworm.

The brew pours a clear goldened yellow color with a finger of head that falls to a very light coat over the brew. The nose is a little light for me. There is a bit os spicey and peppery hop over a grainey malt aroma. I'd like to see some caramel in there. The flavor is also pretty bland. Hints of hops and malts hide in a watery mess that finishes wtih a metallic twinge. Eh. The feel is on the light side of moderate. Nothing draws me in on this one. Even for an APA, this one underwhelms me. The flavor lacks the caramel sweetness and slightly bold hop I expect from an APA. Just some graineyness and hints of hops. Not something I would drink again.

 677 characters

Photo of CharlieMopps
2.94/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: What little head appeared was gone in less than a minute, leaving only the golden-amber liquid to speak for itself.

S: Subdued hop aroma, some malty and grainy notes in the nose that remind me of a subtle English pale.

T: Pale malt flavors come first, with the hops right on its heels, making for a marginally bitter middle and finish. Lots of grain throughout, with the hops taking on a kind of grassy character. This is especially noticed at the very end.

M: Some hop oil texture, dry and bitter feel in the aftertaste that coats the palate all over.

D: Enough flavor to be commendable, but as far as a great pale ale goes, this one doesn't quite cut it. Frankly, I think some of the styles many see as "basic" can be the hardest to perfect, and I'm by no means deriding the brewery. I just feel that this one may need more work.

 842 characters

Photo of CHickman
2.96/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours clear amber and smells of light hops, malt and yeast. Tastes of malt, caramel, light hops, yeast and grass; nothing exciting in the flavor department, and this beer tastes more like a lager than a pale ale to me. No real hop flavor, which makes this a very pale ale at best. Medium carbonation, it felt thin to watery and had a light and crisp feel overall.

This is average to below average in flavor, and while it's very drinkable, to me it's just plain boring and I wouldn't seek it out again yet I would drink it again since it was OK and mixed well with food. This recipe calls for more hops.

 604 characters

Photo of jwc215
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours slightly cloudy golden yellow with a thin head that becomes a lasting wisp.
The smell is of some faint grassiness and breadiness.
The taste is of some watered down lemony hops and bready yeastiness with some weak malt that attempts to balance it out. The yeast is more powerful than the malt or the hops, seemingly. There is a slight salty metallic taste. It's rather bland. I seriously thought about giving it a notch lower on the taste scores, but it does have some potential in the taste, that is, unfortunately, watered down. The thinness, however, does not really lend itself to higher drinkability in that it is, again, bland.
While not a complete mess, nothing about it gave me an urge to have another, which is fine in this case, as my brother only brought back two bottles of this from his recent trip to N. Carolina (one for him and one for me). This one is nothing special.

 893 characters

Photo of Luigi
3/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a clear golden color that produces a white half finger head with a normal pour. I was able to get a full finger with and aggressive pour. The head settles down to a think lace around the glass but does retain and sticks around the glass for the life of the beer.

The aroma is light with hints of lemon zest and pale grainy malt. Not a lot going on but nothing terrible. Very clean nose

Very light in flavor with that lemon zest and grainy yest soft malt. Kind of grassy hop with some hints of citrus.

finished very clean and quenching on the palate. Super drinkable ale.

If they would have called this ale a Kölsch ale, Then it would be perfect!! Just does not match the profile of this style at all

 716 characters

Photo of unknownlamer
3.03/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottled on 10/13/10, had from a tulip glass (why not?)

Pours a fairly clear light copper with a minimal head (even when straight down the center of the glass) that fades away immediately.

The aroma is dominated by piney hops and not much else. The flavor is a bit bready with a slight bitterness that gives way to a small bit of citrus near the end, but with a growing bitter aftertaste as you work through the glass. The body is a bit thin and perhaps overcarbonated, and it is a bit paler than I'd like.

Just another standard local pale ale. It's easy to find, not really expensive, and tasty enough that this can be the only beer I drink in a night (but it's not my first choice by far).

 693 characters

Photo of armock
3.03/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to tdt560 for hooking this up in a trade

A - Poured a hazy golden color with a white head that dissipates quickly minimal lacing

S - Is very earthy from the malt to the hops

T - Isn't very impressive a little sweet in the malt finishes with some bitter hops

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - This is a good every day type of beer if I was in NC it would probably be in the fridge to grab after work but it really isn't that exciting just a good average beer

 501 characters

Photo of KajII
3.03/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Best served in an English Pint]

The pour was a cloudy amber with a thin (less than 1 finger) white foamy head that was fully diminishing and had fair lacing.

The aroma was moderately heavy of citrus hops, a light crystal malt and a skunky yeast with hints of caramel and grapefruit.

The taste was mildly bitter and lightly malty sweet with a note of caramel from the onset then became a tad more on the bitter side with a nice strong citrus (grapefruit) overtone at the end. The flavor lasted an average amount of time allowing for the bitter taste of the hops to linger.

The mouthfeel was light to medium in body with a dry texture and a mild carbonation.

Overall a bold and tasty Pale Ale that offered just the right amount of bitterness that did not totally overtake the nice mild sweet malty undertone.

 814 characters

Photo of wagenvolks
3.04/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had a 24 oz. Mug on tap at Hooters in Raleigh, NC

Granted, the beer was poured to minimize the head, but still, it's a very bland golden yellow ale with no head or lacing. Low carbonation too. Aroma was fairly weak, with some sugary hoppy notes rising to the surface if I swirled the beer.

The taste starts out bland as hell...gets much better after our hot wings arrive. Fairly hoppy and a metallic tinge that doesn't seem to leave even on the mouthfeel. Decent aftertaste lingers; it's refreshing, but not a winner. Don't pay too much for this beer.

 558 characters

Photo of cvstrickland
3.05/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12-ounce bottle poured into my DFH shaped pint glass yields a clear pale amber body with no head beyond a tiny ring at the top of the glass. Freckles of lacing dot the glass.

The smell of the drink is a bit of sourish malt with a bit of toastiness and earthy hops.

The taste of the drink is sweet and malty with a bit of bitterness in a lightly-astringent, sweetened-iced tea finish.

Medium-bodied and virtually devoid of carbonation with a pleasant stickiness, but not very good to look at, smell, or drink.

 511 characters

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.15/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

It poured a bright copper in color and cast a nice clor on the table when light went through it. The head was thin and very foamy. It dissipated to form a thin film over the top of the beer, but without any lace. The taste is of what I like to call green hops, they taste unripe. They are hints of vegetables behind the beer, like peppers or maybe even sweet onions. Kind of a wierd flavoring going on here. The mouthfeel is rather tinny, but that may be because it was served slightly too cold.

 495 characters

Photo of burnstar
3.18/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden with a small white head which leaves some nice lacing. Aroma is mostly faint floral and herbal hops. Malty with some toasted character. Hoppy bitterness which lingers. Not a lot of hop flavor aside from the bitterness. Medium bodied and fairly drinkable. Overall a pretty average pale ale.

 302 characters

Photo of Brenden
3.19/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

This pale ale is in the moderate range for the style, just a bit darker than medium yellow. A good-sized clean white head is fluffy and has some density, so it holds up well. After a time, what it's settled to is a hefty foam that leaves steady, even, and thick patches of lacing in plenty on the sides of the glass.
Overall, this beer is fairly unambitious; as a result, it's also uninteresting. It's pretty standard, middle-of-the-road stuff. A light dose of floral hops, some caramel malts, and a note of grains underneath are the essence of it, with a mildly herbal note soaking into the finish. It's certainly easy drinking.
There's a good smoothness that's almost creamy in a body on the light side of medium. Crispness is there, but it needs a little more to keep it up the entire session.

 796 characters

Photo of JDV
3.2/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle bonused from EmacgeePours a golden honey color with a small white head. Smells mildly hopped and mild malt aroma as well. Some metallic notes at times. Medium to full mouthfeel which I found nice, and nice carbonation. Mildly bittering hops with a moderate hop flavor and nice sweetness with a slight lingering balancing bitterness. Pretty nice EPA. Thanks Ethan!

 370 characters

Photo of UnionMade
3.28/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my buddy Clint for giving me his last bottle out of a six he got in NC, knowing that I enjoy trying new beers. I appreciate it, man!
The beer is a fairly neutral amber, an indistinct color you expect from an american pale microbrew. Darker than Bud, but not too dark to turn too many people off. The aroma is nicely balanced, more in tune with the "amber ale" style, tending towards malt. Toasty, slightly caramel maltiness with a mild, american hop floral/citrus tinge. The flavor opens with a mild, easy going malt flavor, toasted caramel sweetness flecked with apple. A benign hop flavor takes up the finish, providing just enough bitterness to stay balanced, but not enough to turn all but the lamest off (ie..the kind of folks that think Hershey's dark chocolate is bitter). A pleasant enough beer. just nothing at all out of the ordinary. I'd call this a gateway beer, in the sense that it's completely inoffensive, yet somewhat flavorful. I'd take this in quantity as a staple beer in my fridge. Something to drink after work when the last thing on your mind is being creative enough to write a beer review. Sippin' beer.

 1,139 characters

Photo of Kegatron
3.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear gold, with a foamy ½ finger of bright-white head. This retains with a fairly thin and fizzy look, which leaves some light spotty foam behind. The aroma is floral, with some earthy citrus and a touch of dry spice being present. Light toasted sweetness adds some malty presence in the back of the nostrils.

The taste is sweet with malts and light fruit, being balanced by a green and spicy hop bite. Finishes dry and earthy feeling. The mouthfeel is lighter-medium bodied. This has a mostly smooth creaminess going on with it but there's a bit of a prickle running through it as well. Feels a little light for almost 6%.

Eh, kind of fairly average Pale Ale selection here that lacked presence in the nose and on the palate. I've give this another shot if I saw it on draft but this was mostly forgettable after I finished with the glass.

 896 characters

Photo of hustlemuscle
3.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked one up on a fall trip to NC. Drove all over to a place in Raleigh that looks like a gas station, but has as good a beer selection as anywhere I have ever seen. Imagin how many times I drove around it.

Pours golden, with slow carbonation and a head that disappeared to nothing quickly. It smells a bit harsh, not quite right, and doesn't taste quite right. Faintly hoppy, with an even fainter malt profile. Not really much to it, I must admit to a bit of dissapointment. An easy sipper, but not much else.

 514 characters

Photo of Neehan
3.3/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, light amber color with a medium sized, lacy head. Aroma is of grains, hops, and citrusy fruits. A nice, pure clean taste with a nice balance of hops and sweetness. A well-balanced mouthfeel but nothing exceptional noted. The best part is the drinkability, you will want another one of these as soon as you finish your first-- a good session brew.

 361 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.33/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, orange body with a small white head.

Smell: Rather light aroma of palt malt, grains, with the faintest touch of hops.

Taste: Light pale malt flavor with an equally light sweetness. A medium spicy bitterness kicks in. Splash of cold, cool mineral water. Lightly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Watery mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Fine for an exceedingly pale pale ale.

 423 characters

Photo of VncentLIFE
3.38/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Last of the mixed six from the owner to convert me.

Pours cloudy yellow. Smell has some medicinal earthy notes and a bit of wheat twang. Those translate to the taste actually quite nicely. The wheat twang isnt terrible for my taste. The medicinal hops arent my favorite, but they seem to be kept in check by the wheat twang. Overall balanced, but kind of tastes like Corn Pops (the cereal).

 392 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Carolina Pale Ale from Carolina Brewing Company
3.39 out of 5 based on 151 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!