Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Epic Pale Ale | Epic Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
88
very good
50 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Epic Pale AleEpic Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Epic Brewing Company
New Zealand (Aotearoa) | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
You can only drink so many beers in a lifetime, so you better make each one count. That's where we can help. Because at Epic we're obessed with creating big hop-fuelled beers. This takes a shed-load of skill. It also takes a shed-load of hops. In fact there are 23 crammed into this bottle. Many brewers would call that 'insane'. We call it flavour.

Added by Todd on 08-26-2007

BEER STATS
Reviews:
50
Ratings:
85
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
16.62%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
8
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 85
Photo of joecast
4.72/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

been hearing good things about this brew. lets hope it lives up to the $11 price tag.

good looker. bright, light copper color. medium carbonation. nice head formation and retention. some lacing.

big hoppy aroma, just what you should expect from an apa. this is really nice, so close to being a 5. resiny, sharp citrus. this must be seriously fresh. ok im doing it, 5. this really cant be much better.

after all that hop aroma, the bitterness is not as in-your-face as expected. really sessionable. good hop flavor up front with enough malt balance to carry it through. very well rounded.

best beer ive had in a while. and it was going to be tough after the sticker shock i got at the bottle shop. well done epic (and the brewery that has the contract). would love to try on tap closer to home. YUM

 802 characters

Photo of eclaycamp
4.68/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've seen this beer on the shelf a few times but I've avoided it considering that it's being imported from New Zealand and I live in Kansas. Still, I saw some today and figured I'd give them a shot. 17 ounce bomber. Pours a light amber to golden blonde with an impeccably clear appearance. Huge frothy two inch head. Impressive aroma; I have the beer sitting next to me and I am getting a clear whiff of hops - the glass is roughly 2 feet away from me. As the head dissipates the lacing is very clingy. Aroma is of citrus and pine hops with some light skunkiness in the background. Slick mouthfeel with some nice mild bitterness. Light to mild carbonation. Flavor is hops, up front. Floral hops abound up front, and there's a nice spicy pepper note in the middle of the beer, with lingering grapefruit in the finish. The malt profile is there, as you get breadiness somewhere in the middle before going back to hops. Where this beer breaks the rules is in the finish. I get this amazing caramel sweetness aftertaste, completely the opposite of what I expect when drinking a pale ale. Outside of that, the malt is subdued, which I like. It's a nicely understated counterpoint to all of the hops - and make no mistake, hops is what this beer is all about. More specifically, Cascade. Full Disclosure: I actually listened to an interview with Epic's brewer, and he stated the beer was only made with one hop - Cascade, which is just crazy. There's so much going on with the hop profile that you'd swear there's more than just that hop in it. But no, it's just Cascade. The best thing about this beer is how clean it is. It's super clear, very clean on the palate, and amazingly crisp when drinking. One of the best Pale Ales I have had in a very long time. Very impressive, especially for New Zealand.

 1,798 characters

Photo of dayvayen
4.6/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Very clear in the bottle. Citrusy hop smell with a bit of pine, but not a punchy overdone hop scent. Some malty backbone but mostly well-rounded hops. This beer tastes a lot bigger than its 5.4%, and comes across as more of an IPA than a pale. All in all, a very drinkable beer that I'll seek out again.

 303 characters

Photo of oberon
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Iam a huge fan of hopped up old school left coast pales,this one from New Zealand reminds me of that old school APA.Poured into an imperial pint glass a slight burnt orange with a great one finger creamy head that never completely settles,a great frothy/creamy mass is left behind with broken shards of lace in the aftermath.A mix of resiny/piney hop mixed with a bit of tropical fruit and citrus,a great play of hops,a lightly sweet doughy malt base gives a token appearance.Big citrus and tropical fruit hop flavors,slightly bitter in the finsh,the malt lends a light crispness and lighter sweetness.This is a standard pale ale but its freakin awesome,if you like the hops this is it!

Epic has caught my attention in a big big way.

 734 characters

Photo of juju7
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Balls to the wall-my favourite APA so far. Almost IPA-like in the amount of hop goodness jumping out of this fella. Beautiful hazy ochre with a creamy head. Upfront bitterness and a lengthy finish. Balance could be argued but I'm looking at this beer as something of a guilty pleasure. Brilliant.

 296 characters

Photo of VitBAficionado
4.45/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crystal clear copper-golden with a fluffy eggshell off-white head. Lots of lace. Nose dominated by hops: passionfruit, fresh-cut grass, pine. Hops throughout with apricot and citrus hitting first, then a more herbal taste in the middle and end. Despite all the hops, surprisingly balanced with a nice malt presence in the middle. Astringent, clingy body leads to long bitter hop aftertaste. Definently more of an APA on steriods than an english pale. Label claims 15 different hops in this and I actually believe it.

 524 characters

Photo of dgilks
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big, prominent hop aroma. Resinous pine, passionfruit, tangerine and mango come through. I also get a hint of cat's pee. Nice supporting backbone of crystal malts. Great aroma.

Slightly hazy orange colour with a nice, fluffy off white head. Good head retention.

Mmmm. Big hop flavour, lots of upfront tropical fruit, passionfruit and mango. The malt is only enough to support the hops and it does a great job. Tasty, tasty hop juice. Clean with a moderately high bitterness with lingers just a little too long.

Medium-light body with high carbonation. The mouthfeel isn't quite right for me with the carbonation being just a bit too much.

An eminently drinkable beer for my tastes. Lots of hops which keep on coming with a reasonable ABV. The only thing that detracts is the slightly harsh lingering bitterness.

 815 characters

Photo of foles
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Possibly the best american style pale ale I've encountered. Funny enough most brewpubs I visited in California and Oregon went straight for the IPA!

Showcasing fresh cascade in all its glory! Biting, aromatic citrisy piney hoppiness on the nose and palate, right through to the finish. You can tell this is a well crafted brew - I would get more of it if it wasnt A$11 a bottle!!

 380 characters

Photo of July2Nov
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Burnt orange in color with a finger-width of white small bubbled head that went down to 1/4 of an inch afterwards.

Smell: Clean with a robust scent of hoppy pine and citrus.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Man that is one smooth Pale Ale...very impressed with the first sip. First of all I sense a malty stone-like flavor that also belies a smoked wood taste, that gradually melds into a sweeter and less hop oriented flavor. The end has a wet feel that combines with a numbing characteristic that engulfs all of the mouth. The mouthfeel is the best thing about this beer....it's so gentle and velvet like and ends with a mouthwatering edge.

Overall: I've seen this one on the shelf for awhile around the neighborhood store and have always walked right by it thinking that it was going to be some generic beer from New Zealand. Boy, was I wrong, this is a first rate product that I'm looking forward to partake with in the future and share with friends. Can't wait to see if the other selections from this company are just as....Epic (yeah...I went there!).

 1,061 characters

Photo of drink1121
4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

poured into a hotel glass in Auckland, will hopefully be visiting the brewery as well

A-pours a transparent copper with little to no head after a fairly agressive pour. What little head there is dissipates quickly, which is why I knocked it down pretty heavily

S- The smell is very similar to SNPA, but with more fruity hops in the nose. Hops hit the nose initially, not over powering, but prevalent. Some light malt in the background, but a good balance between the two for an APA. This is what I think of when smelling an APA

T-Again, very similiar to SNPA but with more fruity hops, rather than piney. There is some pine resin in the taste, but not much. Again, the taste is very to style of an APA.

M- Slight creaminess with light carbonation. I could go for a bit more carbonation for a lighter brew - this brings down the crispiness of the beer.

D- I almost downed this beer so quick I had to save the last few sips to finish the review. I have no idea how I drank it so fast. I guess a long day of load-in makes me thirsty. Overall great brew and its the New Zealand version of Sierra Nevada's beloved APA. Epic has done well

 1,139 characters

Photo of dansmcd
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Three fingers of soapy head crest the effervescent clear orange amber below. The head has decent retention and the lacing at first is in sticky clumps and then broad sheets.

S - Nice whack of hops here, pine, passionfruit, mango, orange and citrus peel. Beautiful.

T - Hops all the way with flavours of passionfruit, orange and pine accompanied with some faint caramel and bread like malt.

M - Nice and oily medium body with moderate carbonation. Dry moderately bitter finish.

O - Another standout from a burgeoning star of a brewery. Make sure you drink it fresh though.

 579 characters

Photo of Andrewharemza
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From bottle, pours a slightly hazey amber colour with a small half bone colored head that disapates to a thin cloud like layer. Aroma grapefruit, pine, caramel. Taste follows the nose with heaps of hops. Very very nice.

 219 characters

Photo of Macca
4.24/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a really attractive looking beer. Dark golden with a generous head that lessens to reasonable covering.

Love the aromas. Sweet tropical fruits and florals. A little malt as well.

I'm sort of hesitant to actually taste it.

A big dose of hoppy bitterness. The maltiness continues. I knew I would be disappointed. Just not what I am into. That siad, some great length to the flavours. Very drying.

Medium bodied with a high level of carbo.

I think I would like this more with food. Something that will do battle with the hoppiness. A well made beer though.

 566 characters

Photo of wordemupg
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle poured into pint glass 6/3/14 from notes

A clear copper with bubbles of all sizes feeding a short lived finger of foam that leaves lots of random lace deep down the glass

S canned peaches, mango, apricot, sweet malt, butterscotch, and soft caramel with some faint spruce and floral notes, hopped up but there's some balance

T a hint of sweet orange rind to go with what I smell, slightly more caramel, tastes as good as it smells

M medium bodied, almost creams up from the bubbles, slippery on the palate after the fact

O great drinkable pale, lots going on in something I could drink for a while without getting board

I've had some great stuff from Epic and this one's no different, I ended up drinking this one a few times while in NZ

 757 characters

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

Pours a beautiful copper colour that's clear and with a nice persistent head. Fantastic floral and fruity aroma. Flavour is a bit hollow and dominated by hops. Not much body outside the pronounced bitterness but still retains some complexity though not in its malt. Reminds me of Matilda Bay Alpha Ale. Nice and crisp but not awe inspiring.

 340 characters

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

A - Pours with two fingers of white foam on top of a perfectly clear, golden body. The head settles slowly and leaves nice lace.

S - A nice, spicy/floral hop aroma with notes of pine.

T - Lightly sweet malt up front with some bread and toffee notes. Spicy hops in the middle with a bit of floral character. The beer finishes with more thick malt, spicy hops, and light bitterness.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Well balanced and very drinkable, I enjoyed this but can't help but think that the hop character is only a shadow of what it would be when served fresh in the land of its origin. It is a nice pale ale, but as an obscure import its high cost limits it to a one time experience for me, which is unfortunate because this is obviously meant to be a staple beer and it probably fits that role quite nicely when it is available fresh and competitively priced.

 899 characters

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

This is a great pale ale with nice well-rounded character.

Dark gold/pale amber, it has a big off-white head that steadily shrinks to a foamy ring and a little lace.

Aroma is pine, hint of grapefruit, pineapple, hint of leaf and grain - it's very hoppy and yeasty-juicy and has a mineral hint as well.

Taste is leafy-spicy-peppery hop with juiciness, mineral, bread. It has a nice, well-rounded juicy, lively, spritzy character. It's light but characterful.

 460 characters

Photo of LittleCreature
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: 5.4%abv and reportedly 15 different varieties of hops.

Appearance - 4.0
Pours a finger of rocky off-white head over a slightly hazy, amber-orange body. Good head retention.

Smell - 4.5
Like a fresh hop garden! Aromas of passionfruit, pine needles and citus.

Taste - 4.0
Unsurprisingly, this is a very hoppy beer with very little malt presence. Pine needle, grapefruit and herbal flavour dominate, assertively bitter and finishes bone dry. Tasty, but rather one dimensional.

Mouthfeel - 4.0
Medium bodied, getting a little syrupy with warmth, moderately carbonated.

Drinkability - 4.0
Not a session beer for any but the most dedicated hop head, but definitely worthy of repeated drinking.

OVERALL - 4.1
This beer reminds me of Little Creatures Pale Ale a few years ago, though even hoppier. A great, characterful APA.

 828 characters

Photo of tendermorsel
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I happened to run in to Luke (the brewmaster for Epic) while killing an afternoon in London. After a many pints and some serious beer talk he gave me a bottle to try. It was a great way to kill an afternoon.

The beer poured a clear light orange/brown. It had a nice foamy head. Not much hops in the nose of the beer but very forward in the taste. Appearently Luke is the "hop king of New Zealand" and this beer showed it. Very well balanced not over hopped at all. Not oily or overly bitter. Extremely drinkable. I could drink this all night long.

Overall a great beer that would stand up to any hoppy west coast pale ale.

Good luck to Luke fighting the good fight against bland lagers in New Zealand. After drinking this one I am sure he will be quite successful.

 770 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A great big light tan caramel colored very consistently made head is formed right out of the pour of this very long necked large bottle. Clumpy styro-foamy in appearance, with a cloudy orb orange amber glow. Stupid amounts of thick lacing and clumping on the glass. Looks great

Mild green and citrus hop. Fresh smelling, fantastic aroma, makes me incredibly thirsty smelling it. Hints of herbal tea as well.

Taste is fairly wet but brings the nose notes but only more subdued. Light bodied with next to no carbonation with a mild hop grass sense, but also little malt presence. A little thin in feel but easily drinkable, borderline English IPA tasting with less body and flavor.

Overall though still pretty darn good beer and a good simple Pale Ale. Looks and smells great!

 826 characters

Photo of soju6
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Brew on Quay, Auckland,NZ

A: Serve a deep copper color with a decent head that fades to some lacing.

S: Aroma of some pine and citrus with a bit of malt sweetness and fresh grain.

T: Taste of citrus and mild malt sweetnbess with a bit of fruit. Nice bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Medium body, crisp, somewhat creamy with a rich flavor. Nicely balanced.

O: Very enjoyable beer. Well worth checking out.

 424 characters

Photo of ngeunit1
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a fairly clear golden-orange color with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of sweet caramel malts with pineapple, grapefruit, mango, and spicy hops.

T - Starts off with a mix of sweet caramel malts with pineapple, grapefruit, and mango hops with some bitterness. Through the middle, some spicy and floral hops come through with some more bitterness and a touch of biscuit malt. The finish is a mix of tropical and spicy hops with some bitterness and some sweet lightly bready malts and a bit of pepper.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry and bitter finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice balanced APA with a good hop profile and bitterness.

 762 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
4.09/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear pale brass with lumpy eggshell head that fades to film but rims and speckles.
Big fresh herbal hop nose with lemon zest, underneath is oily flowers, tangerine and some caramel - deep.
Cookie dough and maybe apricot jam then clean grapefruit, evergreen and lemon sorbet hops.
Grapefruit zest finish with slight catiness and tingly linger. Light but chewy, salty, some oil.

Clean and bright APA. Nothing overpowering (or overly impressive) but the hops are layered a bit and it's all very well balanced. NS gives a bit of musty fruit, but nowhere near overpowering. Not much of a malt backbone together with the mineral content makes this lean and a bit unforgiving, very much of the San Diego out-of-balance-on-purpose school. Promising, for my first taste of Epic.

 775 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cask at Weatherspoons, London:

Pours amber (slightly hazed) with a thin, white head. Plenty of lacing sticks.

The smell is of lemon zest with a spicy touch.

The taste is of lemon, touch of lime - with a creamy sweetness, not unlike lemon-merangue pie. Grainy maltiness shows through with a bitterish balance. Slightly tart, minty, dry finish.

It has a creamy, medium body.

Slightly raw in the lingering bitter dry aftertaste, but still very drinkable.

 456 characters

Photo of metter98
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is crystal clear light amber in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and some lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of floral hops and lychees are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of lychees and is accompanied by a light amount of bitterness form the hops. Hints of buttery malts are also noticeable.
M: It feels nearly medium-bodied and rather crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite hoppy for the style but is very easy to drink. I really liked the hop aromas and flavors because they were reminiscent of lychees.

 763 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Epic Pale Ale from Epic Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 50 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe