Pick Axe IPA | Tommyknocker Brewery

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: 553
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.82/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

apparently one of tommyknockers big medal winners at GABF. pours a very very light straw yellow color with a short white head. smells like fruity hops, tropical and pungent. also notes of biscuity pale malt and grassy yeast. the flavor is totally dominated by the hops, which have a pleasant sharpness to them and plenty of fruity essences. not particularly bitter, just flavorful and crisp. feel is a little light on the body for an american ipa in my book, could use some more malt balancing out the hops in here, but the carbonation levels work just fine and the beer is a pretty easy session ipa, as it doesnt fill you up at all. i will have to drink a few more of these to better critique it, but its a nice light enjoyable ipa. good for summer.

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Photo of metter98
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is slightly hazy light amber in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that quickly died down and left some lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of caramel malts in the nose along with some faint hints of citrusy hops.
T: The initial taste has sweet flavors of caramel malts and transitions to some citrusy flavors of hops and a light to moderate amount of bitterness. Hints of spicy hops are also noticeable.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has a good balance between the malts and hops and is an easy drinking IPA that isn't dominated by hops.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The best beer of the Tommyknocker series in my opinion. A very hoppy Pale Ale for sure, they could call this an IPA and get away with it. It's well balanced and has a nice hop kick to it. You can tell it isn't an IPA, almost a light version of one, but it's still good none the less. If you're gonna try something from this brewery, try this one.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.57/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another very typical Pale Ale. It has all of the character that I look for in a Pale Ale: Moderate maltiness, flavored and bittered hops, spiciness, and citrus. But, none of the characteristics make me want to rate this beer among the best Pale Ales. Rather than becomming full and creamy with balance and boldness, it falls a bit bland. Herbal and tea-like in flavor, the body thins too quickly into the finish. The beer is simply middle-of-the-road for it's style.

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Photo of brentk56
3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a prodigious head that sticks all over the place - careful on the pour, though, because this will billow over in a heartbeat

Smell: Toffee and earthy hop tones; slight touch of buttery diacetyl

Taste: Starts with a toffee base that, after the swallow, is joined by a nice woodsy English bitterness; the finish is long-lasting

Mouthfeel: Medium body but way overcarbonated

Drinkability: This could be an execptional English Pale Ale if the carbonation were moderated; love the flavors but my tongue feels like it is sucking on Pop Rocks

Note - had this a few years later and the mouthfeel was thick and flabby; they are now marketing I as an IPA which it clearly isn't.

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Photo of zeff80
3.95/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an orange/amber color with a bubbly/soapy, off-white, two-finger head. It left some lace.

S - It smelled floral and citrusy. Also, a light maltiness was present.

T - It was fairly hoppy and citrusy. It had a nice sweet malty taste. It was also a good bitter quality.

M - It was crisp and sharp. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a pretty good IPA, although it seems more like an American IPA than an English IPA.

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Photo of oberon
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy copper with a tight one finger head that left a nice sheet of lace as it settled leaving a creamy mass on top,quite floral and fruity on the nose with a touch of herb.The six pack was old best before 09-05 and it showed but the flavors were still pretty nice more English accented lightly sweet bready malts up front with a soft herbal,grassy hop finish.I had lower expectations about this beer but it wasnt bad and Iam sure a fresher bottle would have really shown its flavors more.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.7/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Its clear, orangeish-copper body is capped by a thin, frothy white head that drops readily to a big-bubble-accented collar that leaves only spotty lace. The nose is malty and fruity with a touch of piney/minty & floral hops. The body is medium/light and it's fine, median carbonation leaves it gently crisp across the palate. The flavor delivers a combination of caramelish, biscuity malt; yeasty berry-like fruitiness; and floral/piney hops. It's bitterness is not overly bold, but there's more than enough there to let you know you're drinking a pale ale. It finishes dry with a flourish of floral hop flavor that fades to lingering caramelish malt and then some more abrasive lingering bitterness.

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Photo of chinchill
3.97/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle dated May 2011 served in a pint glass.

Pours a hazy orange-amber with a medium dense off-white head. Leaves a good bit of lacing on the glass. Small amount of sediment on the bottom of the bottle.

Citrus, mainly as in orange juice, and some nice sweet malt. Smells tasty.

Taste - fruity hops, and lots of them, yet not very bitter. Initial sensation is remarkably similar to orange juice, although without the tartness. Citra hops? The beer makes a nice quick transition from sweet to bitter. Aftertaste is more bitter and hoppy, but true to APA style.

M - medium body; carbonation is also about medium; semi-dry finish.

O - This is an above average beer from Tommyknocker, based on the 1/2 dozen or so I've tried previously. Easy recommendation for fans of Citra hops.

{NOTE: Brewer's website show Pick Axe with a new label and classification: IPA. This one had the older APA label.}

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Photo of mactrail
2.46/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Looks nice enough, with the amber color. Brief head in the New Belgium snifter. Moderate carbonation and a slightly oily mouthfeel. Smell makes me think of vegetable broth.

I'll be brief. The murky malt sulks under the weight of the herbaceous hops. It's more like a bitter green tea flavor. Dirty and tannic with a metallic aftertaste. That's enough.

I have avoided Tommyknocker for some years, after repeated soured experiences with the Butt Head. This will keep me away for awhile longer. From the 12 oz bottle with the newer style label.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.22/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a murky copper body with a tall, foamy off-white head.

Smell: Very subtle pale maltiness set against a pungent hop aroma with notes of apricots and grapefruit rinds.

Taste: Biscuit malt flavor with a slight, brief sweetness. Apricot and grapefruit with a moderate bitterness. A bit of sourness. Finishes dry with a lingering, persistent bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: A little more bitterness than I'm looking for in an English Pale Ale, but overall it's okay.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pristine tangerine topped by a good-sized cap of orange-tinted ecru foam. Hundreds of variously sized glassine bubbles occupy the upper surface of the head and leave miniscule craters when they pop. The amount and type of lace, both impressive, suggest that there will be a fair amount of hoppiness in the nose and on the palate. I sure hope so.

Interesting nose given the hop bill (Bramling, Saaz, East Kent Goldings). I say interesting because the brewery states that Pick Axe is an English Pale Ale and have given the beer a combination of hops that would make that claim seem entirely reasonable. Why then does it smell like a Cascade-infused APA? By my nose, grapefruit and orange zest are large and in charge. I pick up a whiff of butter as well, but that's rarely a problem with me.

On the palate, it tastes like a combination of the above two styles. If I didn't know any better, I'd say that Syrian Goldings hops are in use since that's the English variety that tastes the most citric to me. Lovers of balanced pales will love Pick Axe because it pays at least as much attention to its toasted malt base as it does its hops. Well... maybe not quite.

I love the hop flavor that results from the combination listed above. Single-hopped APAs are good, but there's something about the complexity inherent in a multi-hopped beer that fascinates me. I've given up trying to sort out the individual characteristics and am simply enjoying the final result. Citrus fruit still dominates with an important contribution from pine resin. Spicy and herbal are in the mix as well. Delicious.

The body/mouthfeel is in the smack dab center for the style; it's neither light nor full. Since it's perfectly suited to the rest of the beer's attributes, it deserves no less praise as far as I'm concerned. An attractive display of lace appears as the beer falls with drinking. There are multiple concentric rings marching down the glass with crusty sheets in between. Very nice.

The more I drink Tommyknocker beer, the more impressed I become. They don't really brew 'wow' beer, but most of it is more than solid. Pick Axe Pale Ale is different enough to be interesting (a brewery trademark, it seems) and hoppy enough to be damn tasty. This one deserves at least a sixer if you have the opportunity.

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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 russpowell
3.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a fluffy orange/tannish head with a swirling lace/head retaind all the way to the bottom. Slighlty cloudy amber to copperin color, never settled, but drank it during a NCAA football game so it went down in about 10 minutes (for 12 oz). fast for me.

Smells of big piney hops with some floral notes and a wiff or two of malty body.

Bitterness is nice. more malt is needed. Hints of lemon and orange in the hops.

Good cheweyness, but somewhat overwhelmed by hops.

Adequate effort but nutin special, would never turn one down

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Photo of smcolw
3.61/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear, neutral amber color. Foamy head that settles in large chunks, leaving lots of spotty lace. A beautiful beer.

Good floral hop nose. Mild aroma of grapefruits. No notable malt aroma.

Good malt start, but it fades quickly to a relatively strong (IPA-like) hop bitterness. The beer leaves a lasting bitter hop plug flavor. The body is as to be expected with a good level of carbonation. In short, a more hoppy APA.

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Photo of Jason
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with a blurb about the beer on the back label ... the "enjoy with the first four months of date" is cleary notched.

Appearance: Copper hued with a beautiful white lace crowning the top.

Smell: Fresh hop oil from the dryhopping with vague malt and fruit.

Taste: Very smooth with a moderatly sized medium body, lots of hop character. More fresh hop flavour than hop bitterness ... all of this seem to dominate the palate. Sweet hoppy oils with a soft bitterness in the middle ... some juciy fruit also. Sweet tea like finish with hints of grain.

Notes: Freshly squeezed hop juice anyone? If you are not a hophead don't even bother with this brew ... though if you do love hops with will give you your daily recomened dosage.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Ineedabeerhere for sending me this one.

A: This one pours a clear copper/orange color with a finger's worth of white foam which leaves some nice lacing.

S: The citrus and mild pine hops are a bit mild, but provide a nice counterpoint to the sweet caramel and toffee of the malt.

T: The hop character is a bit more prominent than in other English pale ales that I've had, but I enjoy that. A nice orange and lemon hop flavor along with the sweet caramel malt.

M: The body is medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: A bit higher in terms of ABV than what I'm used to for a pale ale, but still very drinkable. The elevated hop presence makes this more enjoyable than other English pales I've tried.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.05/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Not sure how the IPA escaped me all those years on the east coast, but it's in front of me now. Get some! This stuff pours a clear bronze-copper topped by a finger of glowing off-white foam. The nose comprises grapefruit zest, light grass, and a backbone of sweet caramel. The taste brings on more of the same, but the backbone is now less sweet, the grapefruit has been turned inside-out, and there's a general sense of mentholated funk throughout. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a decent IPA...so long as flavor has nothing to do with it...

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Photo of woodychandler
3.17/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This arrived with a finger of off-tan head with decent retention. Color was a solid amber with a slight haze. Nose had a decent mix of grassy hops and biscuity malt. Mouthfeel was medium with a grassy hop flavor up front. Finish tended more biscuity-malt with a little bit of that grassy hop tatste underlying. I hate to cop to it, but I felt that this was so average that I wondered why they would bring it cross-country. I realize now that it was meant as an English Pale Ale, but they should still stick to their strengths.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.33/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazed copper hue with a bright off white head forming thick. Scattered speckled lacing down the sides of my chalice. Aroma has some grapefruit/mild pine tones going on in the nose. Flavor has a mineral metallic hoppy edge going on, sweet caramel backing malts blend nicely. Mouthfeel is medium boded slightly resinous citrus tones combine to make the palate pucker a bit. Carbonation is smooth nothing off setting or harsh goes down pretty easy. Drinkability is okay not my favorite APA but definitely a beer that I could contend with and drink a couple if no other more interesting options are available.

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Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an orangish amber with a quarter inch of of dense white head that has decent retention. The nose is citrusy and floral; heavy grapefruit notes. The flavor is lightly bready up front with a heavy citrus hop character in the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with just the right amount of carbonation.

This isn't a bad IPA at all. It's well balanced and well hopped, but it's overall, a little simple. I would get this IPA again if another more potent, flavor intensive beer wasn't available.

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Photo of jwc215
3.52/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best by Aug 17 15:

Pours hazed orange amber with a thin lasting head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of caramel with some general (peppery?) spice.

The sweet malt is balanced by earthy, spicy, bitter hops. Leafy, bitter finish.

A bit on the thin side for the style., but holds together. Crisp.

To me the hops give more bitterness than aroma or taste. Spicy, though. Seems a bit of an "old-school" IPA. Probably would have enjoyed it a bit more years ago - American IPA's have come a long way in the last decade or so. Still it's nice for what it is.

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Photo of Billolick
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So all of a sudden what seems like the entire Tommyknocker line of brews is available in bobbles and Pick Axe for growler in NY state.

Yorktown Beverage filled my growler for $12.99.

Pours near clear, typical almond amber, moderate lite tan head, super tiny bubble film, leaves nice looking fine lace and mini sheets of the real fine stuff, a marker IMHO of quality brewing.

Pine infused hoppy nose.

Tasty and easy drinking, something about IPA from Colorado and points west! Tastes fresh and clearly "in good shape" after the trip. Ample hop presence, more pine then citrus, but some grapefruit picked up. Caramel malts provide the balance.

Nothing amazing, just quality IPA is what I've got in my glass.

Looking forward to trying some others in the line, looks like only in bottles currently however...

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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 Duff27
3.42/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Almost a one fingered white head on top a of a copper/amber beer. Nice lacing.

S- Very floral smell. Pine.

T- Follows the nose. Floral hops. Some citrus, piney.

M- Thin to medium bodied.

D/O- Pleasantly surprised with this pale ale. Its nothing special but very approachable. To put down 3 or 4 would be optimal.

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Pick Axe IPA from Tommyknocker Brewery
3.51 out of 5 based on 553 ratings.
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