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Pick Axe IPA | Tommyknocker Brewery

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279 Reviews
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Pick Axe IPAPick Axe IPA

Brewed by:
Tommyknocker Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly called "Pick Axe Pale Ale".

A classic American India Pale Ale dominated by pleasant hop bitterness and aroma. Dry hops impart unique aromas and flavors that add to the complexity of this ale. A blend of American hops melds into an award winning flavor that is our most popular draft in the pub.

Added by kbub6f on 12-14-2001

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Reviews: 279 | Ratings: 552
Photo of ralree
4.7/5  rDev +33.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Extremely cloudy red, off-white head of 2-fingers, solid retention, great lacing. This is a winner.

S: Smells glorious. The grapefruit overtones go wonderfully with the hops, which have a nice balanced presence. Alcohol is apparent and welcome.

T: A pleasant grapefruit kick, but not too sweet - very bitter. The hops come through nicely, rounding out the flavor. A slightly toasty flavor comes in after swallowing, leaving a hint of satisfying flavor in the mouth while cleaning up nicely. The alcohol is present and noticeable, but definitely not annoying.

M: Medium-bodied, clean, dry, slightly astringent. Carbonation great. Very smooth.

D: This drinks wonderfully. This definitely goes on the buy list. It goes down easy, and is a joy to drink.

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Photo of billybob
4.6/5  rDev +31.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours a slightly cloudy orange color with a light tan two finger head and a good lace to the finish. smell is of citrus and floral aromas. taste is of bread and orange and maybe a touch of caramel. mouthfeel is light with a good balance of malt and hop and good carbonation. nice tasting beer, goes down real well.

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Photo of LittleDon
4.57/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cloudy dark golden with a fair amount of carbonation. No noticeable head (probably because of the pour or glassware) or head. Strong grapefruit aroma from the Cascade hops. Taste is similar to the aroma. Lots of citrus. Medium mouthfeel, nice bitter finish.

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Photo of bboven
4.53/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very cloudy dark orange body with pretty good lacing and a small but stable head.

Lots of hops with an equally strong, rich malt profile. Perfectly balanced. Makes you need to taste it.

Again, very balanced flavor. Aggressive hops at the high end of the IBU scale for a standard pale ale, but the malt keeps up blow for blow with a really great biscuity profile.

Really smooth carbonation, drying, the hop oils cling to you, mmmhhh.

The only bad thing about this beer is the haze. It's really hazy, and it prejudiced me before I even smelled or tasted it. Clear that up a bit and the visual appeal will match the amazing aroma and flavor.

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Photo of sjohansen
4.5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sticky icky lace, practically covers the pint glass. Small tightly packed bubbles forming an overflowing head. Cloudy dark reddish amber.

Great piney hop stink.

There's a nice sweet malt balance to the hop bite. But hops are definitely the headliner.

Lots of resiny oils cover the tongue in the best possibly way imaginable. Prickly carbonation. You could almost chew on it at times.

This review was pretty simple for me. Pick Axe is what it is... an extremely decent, drinkable EPA. Definitely a beer for hop heads. It's not a bomb, but definitely subdued the hop hound in me...

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Photo of logmacschlog15
4.5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 8/27/10. Drank on 12/17/10. Served in a US tumbler.

Appearance: Pours a little over one finger of creamy, marshmallow colored head with good lacing throughout. A cloudy, deep amber with lots of legs from the lively carbonation.

Smell: Beautiful pine and grapefruit aromas from the hops. Malt sweetness present as well. A tiny scent of alcohol.

Taste: Hops are prevalent, but the malt sweetness balances very well. Cascades were definitely used in this one. The fruitiness of the hops is well presented and the bitterness is definitely there but is not overbearing.

Mouthfeel: Great carbonation that dances on the tounge. Medium body with a wholesome, warming alcohol.

Drinkability: Very, very drinkable. Would have this one again and again and again. This is my definite go to when craving a pale ale.

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Photo of RBorsato
4.47/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy dark gold with a low light beige ringed head and light slow bubbled carbonation. Spruce and pine hop aromas with a touch of citrus. Tastes much like it smells with pine and spruce hop flavors dominating; nicely balanced though. Medium-full bodied and smooth with a nice bitter hop finish.

More of an American Pale Ale in my mind than an English one...

Per label: "Noble hops"

Per TB website: English Pale Ale. Dry hops.
Hops: British Columbia Bramling, Czech Saaz, and British East Kent Goldings.
1997 GABF - Silver
2000 GABF - Silver

Enjoy Before: 12/30/06
Tasted: 12/19/06

($8.49 / 6-pack)

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Photo of Quaffer
4.45/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in Boulder, CO. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: This beer poured a golden-amber color and was slightly hazy. The light tan head rose up to almost two fingers and settled slowly. It was dense and sticky, and the remaining cap of foam that lingered on top of the brew left a lot of lace on the side of the glass.

Smell: Nice pale ale aroma. The malt was thick and had a doughy, lightly cracker-like smell. Fruity esters combined with juicy citrus hops that countered the malt perfectly. Hints of vanilla and spiced baked goods hovered underneath. Round, warm, and nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and mouthfilling. Lightly chewy. Very smooth upfront, picking up a fuzziness as it moved back into the mouth.

Taste: Roasted malt jumped up at first, but it was quickly overtaken by some nice citrus hops with hints of a floral quality. There was a strong reprise of the malt on the finish, though, where it showned off its bready and roasted cracker characteristics. Lots of hops flavors with only enough bitterness to balance the malt.

Nicely balanced and very enjoyable. I'm rather impressed by this, my first beer from Tommyknocker.

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Photo of gmfessen
4.33/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass, beer is a hazy, blonde amber-brown color with a thick, creamy foam head. Smell what you might expect from an EPA, sweet grainy malt, a slight fruitiness and earthy hops. The hops are dominant. The same is true for the taste; I would say that this is getting close to an IPA. There is a slightly sweet malty presence as well which does a good job of balancing this beer. The mouthfeel is pretty dense with a creamy, not too fizzy carbonation. Overall, I'd love to know the ABV but otherwise this is an excellent beer. Very drinkable indeed and has a great taste.

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Photo of DrainBamage
4.32/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy orangish gold color with a lace of head. Smell has piney hop aromas to it with a little fruitiness. Goes down smooth and has slight bitterness. Taste is piney with a little buttery flavor and a grapefruit taste to it. This is a great English Pale Ale and probably the best brew I've had from Tommyknocker.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.3/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly hazy light copper color with moderate white puffy head. Sporadic lacing. Smell is overpopweringfor pioney and grassy hops. (Just the way I like it) Taste also presents strong hops up-front, with some moderate being in the background. Nice rich and full mouthfeel. I ilked this beer very much. Very pleasant drinkability.

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Photo of jsprain1
4.27/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a hazy honey color. Head is half a finger and has staying power. One solid ring of lacing.
S- A tremendously pleasing and well rounded aroma. Lightly caramel malt, some sweet breadyness, and a light toffee aroma, with a citrus and slightly floral hoppiness. Balanced and pleasing.
T- The floral hops fall away here. Definitively citrus for me. The malt balance is there but not quite as much as the aroma. The toffee type flavors come through more than the caramel.
M- Decently full body for the style. Carbonation is low-medium. A bit sugary sweet in the finish. A touch drier would be great.
O- A very good pale ale. I'd gladly have another. I would say it's one of my favorite in the style.

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Photo of afinepilsner
4.2/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle

Tommyknocker Pick Axe Pale Ale was light amber in color with good clarity. It had an off white head with good retention and decent lacing. The smell was fruity hops with some sweet malt. The taste was plenty of hops with some biscuity and bready malt, a touch sweet upfront with bitterness following. The finish was dry and hoppy. The mouthfeel was good with a medium body and medium carbonation. The drinkability was good as well. This is a tasty, well-made Pale ale and worth trying out.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.2/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this out of a bottle a couple years ago, and as I frequently find it tastes better on-tap. It pours a semi-opaque amber with a decent off-white head. Malty aroma has fruity and hoppy undertones. Lively flavor is mainly malty and rather hoppy but not too bitter, and has an evergreen tone and fruity hints. Sassy, lively texture makes this beer dance on the way down.

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Photo of BadRockBeer
4.17/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving Type Sampled: 12fl. oz. brown crown top bottle. Features freshness date.

Appearance: Golden with copper hue, nice snow 2 finger head that slides down the glass until the end.

Smell: Piney hops, grapefruit, slight grainy pilsner malt.

Taste: A great balance of malts and hops. It seems this beer is possibly dry hopped due to the oily hops. Very nice and slightly subdued by the grainy malt.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium in body, perfect carbonation. Very clean with little to no aftertaste.

Drinkability: Great, This is a great example of an American Pale Ale. For those of you that are not huge hop heads this is going to be your kind of beer.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.15/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass. The liquid is a deep rich dark amber with a good bit of carbonation. The head is 2 fingers thick tan and rocky. Quite nice looking.

The smell is Piney / Grape fruit. Typical American pale ale.

The taste is not so typical. It stands out better then average. Hopy, smooth and a delight to drink, I really like big pale ales that taste this fine.

The mouthfeel could use some work, Kind of thin and could use a better bite in the finish.

The drinkability is not harmed. This is a must try. MK

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Photo of dustylong
4.15/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden-red (darker amber) color, with a nice head with fairly good retention (poured from bottle into mug). It has a very citrusy, fruity smell to it. It has a good taste to it. Hoppy, fruity, fairly bitter. A great taste, not weak, but not too strong. Fills the mouth with a nice taste. Good carbonation, good finish to a tasty beer. I enjoyed this beer very much...

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Photo of Tone
4.15/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy, golden color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of hops, sweet malt, some sweetness, and slight lemon aroma. Fits the style of an English Pale Ale. Mouth feel is really smooth and slightly chewy with a high carbonation level. Tastes of strong hops, slight lemony zest, and a slight sweet malt background. No strong bitterness, but some dryness associated with this brew. Wow, this is a lot better than I remembered. It does have a lot more hops than I'm used to for an English Pale Ale, but that's alright by me.

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Photo of stumac
4.13/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours up a murky rust color with a nice fluffy ivory head. good lacing.the nose is buttery, floral hops, slight banana notes, caramel dipped apple, yeasty. the taste is the same as the nose but also has bready english malts and subtle lemon. pretty full bodied for an APA. super carbo. similar mouthfeel to that of a Belgium Pale. sweet finish.

My favorite beer from this brewery is their Imperial Maple but this is definately following close behind as second place. Why can't all of their beers be this big and complex? Shame....

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Photo of Norfawkers
4.13/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A balanced complex beer that's good for sipping

Appearance: Cloudy, golden with little head and sufficient lacing

Smell: Hoppy, citrus, malt

Taste: Similar to an IPA with a hoppy kick followed by malt and finishing with a honey-wheat finish

Mouthfeel: Little bitterness towards the end but otherwise smooth with a lingering sweetness

Drinkability: Balanced; quite drinkable; a quality sipping beer

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Photo of maleman
4.12/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. poured a deep amber with a creamy, two-finger head that had good retention.

S - nice, flowery plus hoppy notes. Some sweetness, maybe raisins, or grapefruit?

T - lots of biscuit in there! a bit of roasted malt in the aftertaste.

M - medium-bodied taste that registers in the roof of the mouth. above average carbonation. a good finish with a bit of bite.

D - Could knock these tommy knockers down in succession with a couple of buds. A good brew that I'll have again.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.12/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was an exceptionally hoppy and well crafted pale ale. Poured a brilliant and hazy cloudy pale amber with a huge billowing white sicky frothy head. Great retention and fantastic side glass lace. This was about the best a pale ale could look in my book. Top notch appearence for sure. Smell was somewhat hoppy with a light floral bouquet that was balanced against an earthy grain and a touch of sugar. The taste was just where its at. A deep rich and sweet orange hop just rolled over the tongue, nothing too btter but nicely melded with a cereal grain like back, giving it a very smooth very easy to drink profile. Obviously fresh, and more then likely dry hopped this hada great character. I really did not know what to expect when I opened this, but I was shocked to get one of the best pale ales I have had ina very long time. Where this brewery was hiding is anyons guess, this was fantastic and I would definitly want to try it again one day.

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Photo of StoutHunter
4.12/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pick Axe Pale Ale came in a mixed six pack from the Lager Mill for 8.99. I have never seen a brewery offer a variety six pack, and I have also never seen anything from Tommyknocker on the shelfs, so I decided to give it a try and see what is going on with this brewery. Bottled on February 16, 2011. Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a imperial pint glass.

A- The label looks a little cheesy with some weird looking cartoon miners. This beer poured a nice burnt orange color with a slight brown hue. It had three fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thick ring that left some nice lacing.

S- I pick up a nice pale malt backbone followed by lot of nice citrus aromas, lots of grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, and a slight bit of pineapple. Pretty fruity for a pale ale, I can dig it.

T- The pale malts make for a nice base for this beer, there is just the right amount of sweetness. The hops are a little toned down compared to the aroma, but the nice citrus notes from the aroma carry over, just not as in your face as they were in the aroma. There is some bitterness on the finish that helps balance everything out.

M- Medium bodied, creamy, perfect carbonation, and a slightly dry finish.

Overall I thought this was a pretty tasty pale ale. Out of all the pale ales I have had this ranks up toward the top, pretty much on par with Bell's pale ale. The pale malt base was done nicely and the hops used imparted lots citrus fruit aromas and a nice flavor. This was my first beer from Tommyknocker, and I have to say that it made a good first impression and i'm looking forward too trying the other five. Pick Axe Pale Ale was a nice brew that I would buy again and recommend to anyone who is a fan of the style.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
4.12/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice 1 finger head with a semi-cloudy orange color. It is slightly more amber than many pale ales, which is a hint to the type of malting used and how much it is used.

Smell is very nice with a piney/citrusy hoppiness with some lemony citrusyness. Very nice and strong and pleasant. It seems that more than one hop variety is used as I do smell a very citrusy hop and then a little bit of a perfumy and slightly piney hop.

Nice pale and a little caramel malts combine with a citrusy slightly perfumy hop bitterness. Malts are big enough in front to provide a nice balance with slightly agressive hop bitterness which makes for a very cohesive beer. Slight astringency on the end, but it's still very good.

Semi crisp mouthfeel with adequate carbonation and fullness on the palate.

This is a very nice pale ale that I could easily make a session out of. I'll have to buy more.

I haven't been impressed with tommy knocker for the most part until now. Most of their beers are just slightly better than average, but this one is very solid and somehwat unique for an american pale ale.

Give this one a try.

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Photo of Dithyramb
4.1/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber colored with nice white head and lacing. Aroma of citrusy hops. Was told by the brewery rep that this was in the English style. Comes off slightly more aggressive than most English pales (isn't the IBUs around 60?). Less balanced than some, with faint malts eventually being overtaken by a citrus/herby hop mixture at the end. Medium bodied with a dry finish.

Nice session brew. Doesn't go overboard in any category, meaning that one could have several without being overwhelmed.

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Pick Axe IPA from Tommyknocker Brewery
3.51 out of 5 based on 552 ratings.
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