Pick Axe IPA | Tommyknocker Brewery

280 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: 280 | Ratings: 560
Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.21/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Sunshine through blood oranges is what I have in the glass before me, a thick two fingers of the foamy stuff on top, lots of lacing...Grapefruits and piney hop oils congregate to attack my nostrils. Basic hop bitterness flavor, the bitterness of the lemon peel and some old weed come into play as it warms in my USMC pint glass.

This i a nice beer, a little less bang than I'd expect from an IPA but good nonetheless.

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Photo of GilGarp
3.86/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served cold into a pint glass.

Pick Axe, along with all of Tommyknocker's beers, have been given new and improved labels. This one is now called Pick Axe IPA.

Coppery orange color and very hazy with creamy sticky head that leaves great lacing behind.

Aroma is hoppy with what I would call NW style hops. Mostly a piney with a little bit of citrus.

Flavor is really intensely hoppy so I can see why they would change the name. Sweet malty base give some balance but it's still mostly about the hops. More pine and grapefruit like the aroma.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall a pretty solid IPA but probably not one I would buy again given the other choices on the shelf.

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Photo of tigg924
3.5/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: ¾ inch head, dark gold in color, cloudy, high carbonation

Smell: pineapple and toasted malt

Taste: pineapple, floral hops, and toasted malt

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation, medium-light bodied, very sweet start with a bitter end and aftertaste

Overall: An enjoyable pale ale. I like the way the hops and malt combine in this one. Not a stellar APA, but one I could certainly have several pints of.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.55/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep tangerine orange, dense turbid nature, with a sandy colored head that turned washy rather quickly. Thin skim lacing on the glass walls was sparse. Liked the coloring on this.

S: The nose was pine, pine, and more pine. Decent level of hops, small instances of toasted bread. A bit one dimensional but a good show in strength and resilience.

T: Good show of hops, pine, toasted bread crust with floral scents of grapefruit/citrus. Cypress with a strong sense of dry hopped citrus at knockout. Dry toasty bread malt base, dry oranges round things out.

M: Medium-heavy base, some carbonation around the tongues edges. Dry flowery grapefruit parches the tongue upon departure.

O: Wow. Really hoppy for a pale, or is it a ipa? Still some confusion between the label and the website makes this a hard one to pin down. Very good for a pale (4.0), solid for an ipa (3.5). Hop heads will get their fix either way from this one. Definitely one of their better beers.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.5/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Dark yellow beer, average head, appearance. Lacking hop aroma.

Taste, a little bit of caramel corn sans sweetness, lacking hops, bitterness is all it had to show for hop department. Thin body, soapiness sets in the mouthfeel. Every component is either watered down, missing or negative. Really, a bitterness and offputting sour (not the good kind) aspect, leads to a less than desireable beer for the most part.

Another blast from the past, I first came across Tommycocknockers back in the 90s.

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

Poured chilled in flared glass.

A: cloudy yellowish copper, robust head, decent carb, great lacing
S: nice burst of floral hops at front, lingers nicely
T: very nice burst of resinous hops; bitter; not very malty; very flavorful, centered on the hops

I agree with the commentator below: if you think of this as an APA not an IPA you'll be pleasantly surprised; but my beer bottle calls it an APA

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Photo of dubinsky
2.96/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into a 6oz tasting glass.

A - Pours a completely crystal clear light orange color with a nicely dense off white head, which eventually recedes leaving behind nice lacing.

S - A bit floral with some hints of citrus and pine. For an IPA this is rather innocuous and subdued, not what i really expect from an IPA.

T - Starts off with resinous hops, mostly pine. The middle of the tongue picks up the citrus that i smelled in the aroma. The back of the tongue picks up some sweet biscuit malt. This is not a bad tasting beer, but again, an IPA?

M - Thin with medium light carbonation.

O - This beer confuses me. The label says IPA, but the old label calls this an American Pale Ale. As an APA, this would be a great beer, but as an IPA i'm fairly disappointed. Its drinkable and decent, but compared to others beers in this category it falls very short.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had no idea this is now an IPA. Maybe they should update this.

A - Solid IPA color a nice amber brown color with a half an inch of sticky white foam. Lacing is nice.

S - Smells of resinous pine with a fairly sweet malt profile, like a gram cracker. So far so good.

T - Kind of impressed that it has a nice bit of piney hops that eventually rounds to a citrus tone and the whole time balanced with a great malt profile. Very Tasty.

M - Light to medium, surprised its more ABV than 60 minute (my favorite IPA)

Overall I wanted to try this before the Black IPA and I wasn't disappointed. The only thing is Odd is that it hasn't been changed to an IPA with a solid hop profile and higher ABV I can't see it being close to APA status. Solid IPA.

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Photo of champ103
3.03/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a dull pale orange color. A two finger white head forms with good retention. Some nice lace is left behind.
S: Pine and resiny hops. Soapy and oily. Some sweetness. Pretty standard.
T: Follows the nose. Resiny hops that are overly soapy and oily. Pale malts that are a bit sweet. Again, pretty standard.
M/D: A bit thin, watery, and a little under carbonated. surprisingly there is some heat in the back of the throat. To much alcohol is noticeable for a Pale Ale.

Certainly nothing bad, but just standard. There are lots of better options, and locally made at that. A one and done for me.

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

Another Tommyknocker brew from the mixed six I picked up this evening with dinner. I just heated up my Chicken Tikka Masala and chose the Pick Axe to go with it. This pours a dark copper color with little head and the beginnings of lace. The nose is straight citrus hops with a touch of pine. Really no malt at all. At least it's decisive.

The bitterness here is much more n the level of an IPA, not that I'm complaining. Piny and spicy hops loaded with lemon and grapefruit notes dominate this brew from beginning to end. Tasty, but somewhat monotonous. Pleasing texture. This is a very solid, drinkable pale ale. I would definitely order this in a bar.

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

Slight haziness in the orange golden body, creamy off white head. Looks very carbonated. Nice looking beer with beautiful creamy lacing up and down the glass.

Citrus, pine and a nice balance of sweet malt. Smells quite tasty.

I get the taste of grapes, pineapple, yeast, quite bitter hops. There's a maltiness that makes a quick appearance, but mostly hops are giving the flavors. This tastes quite close to a IPA.

Light to medium body, carbonation is about medium as well. Feels okay in the mouth.

This is quite a tasty beer from Tommyknocker. All their other brews seem to be kind of weak. This has a nice hop profile and some malt. Quite a tasty Pale Ale and very IPA like.

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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 JayS2629
3.38/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light opaque brown with a creamy white head that has pretty good retention and some creamy walls of lace. The smell is very nutty with a fruity background. Notes of citrus. Toffee, nuts, and woody characteristics. Malty with a nice citrus touch in the back of orange and grapefruit. Overall, a medium bodied beer that is very drinkaable. Not my favorite Tommy knocker beer, but very good.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter. Jan 5th 2011 notched on label.

Pours pale brown with a half finger of foam that fades quickly. Aroma is mild malty.

First sip is a bit fruity at first, followed by a toffee flavor, and finishing with a strong bitter bite. Body is a bit on the thin side. Could use a little more balance to counteract the bitter bite, and would be nice if the hop flavor came through a bit more. Overall not bad though. Nice addition to the mixed 6 pack I picked up.

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Photo of Jeffo
3.1/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mom and Dad picked this one up in NC on their last trip south of the border, then bro and sis carted it all the way over when they came to visit. Thanks for the effort guys.

From a bottle into a snifter.

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium looking, white head with good retention. Hazy safety orange in color, gamboge when held to the light, with a little carbonation evident. A splotchy wisp and ring remain until the end, leaving some nice lacing down the glass. Good looking pale ale.

SMELL: Pale malts and some nice citrus notes. Pineapple, lemon, and some nice grapefruit aromas. Quite fruity and very pleasant.

TASTE: Milder flavors, which is somewhat disappointing considering the nose. Some pale malts up front and some grainy hints. Notes of citrus, with some grapefruit and some decent bitterness after the swallow. Mild, bitter aftertaste lingers. Alright, but the grainy flavors didn't really pass.

PALATE: Medium body and carbonation. Creamy and smooth enough on the palate, goes down fine and finishes slightly dry on the palate. Fine here.

OVERALL: An alright brew, but nothing special. The grainy flavors didn't really work for me, which was disappointing, as the nose and look were really promising. Something I'm glad to have tried, but won't be seeking out again. Thanks again for doing the legwork guys.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours cloudy brown with a big foamy off white head that leaves lacey windows. Crumb cookie and orange rind on the nose. Honey crunch biscuit malts and straight Amarillo (if I had to guess) hops, almost like Flinstones chewable vitamins. Orangey linger. Chewy, medium.

Very surprised that the hop bill is all Euro, and that none of them are something very citrusy like Fuggles.

Way orangey on the hops, which is no bad thing - I'm tempted to score it half point higher on taste just because I like those flavors but truth is it could be more complex. A bit dark for an APA, too. Very easy to drink.

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Photo of BeerCon5
3.65/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with about 1 finger of fluffy white head that disappears quickly.

The scent is dominant of floral hops, some citric notes.

The taste also is dominant of floral hops, citrus, and some other sweet fruit notes.

Light bodied, crisp and refreshing, moderate carbonation.

This was a decent Pale Ale, it was very refreshing and easy to drink. I wouldn't mind having this again.

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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 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 KAdams
3.24/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Clear amber with a full, fluffy two-finger head with nice lacing.

Smell: Bready with a little bite from the hops.

Taste: A little sweet with some hops. I really went in here expecting a lot of hops bitterness only to be disappointed. Overall not great.

Mouthfeel: A little watery. Maybe I got a bad batch.

Drinkability: Meh. I could drink a couple of these but why would I?

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Photo of ForWhatAlesYou
3.16/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours a 3/4" bready head. Deep amber color that is semi-opaque. Red and orange tomes highlight the glass. Spotty-medium lacing holds until end of glass.

S: Suprisingly not that strong. Peppery aromas and pine hops.

T: Old fashioned hardy candy. Sweetness, ripe fruit, floral hop. Grainy malt. Corn. Weak hops for this style.

M:Unremarkable but good. Not overbearing carbonation. Good textural presence on the palate.

D: Good. Not my favorite style of pale ale but definitely unique and enjyable.

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Photo of readbaron
3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours copper with a decent white head.

Smells strongly of hops - pine and some citrus, with a bit of malt underneath.

Tastes nice - hops with a good deal grapefruit. Finishes relatively smooth and malty, with a bit of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium to light.

Nicely drinkable.

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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 560 ratings.
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