Epic Pale Ale | Epic Brewing Company

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Epic Pale AleEpic Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Epic Brewing Company
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

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

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Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 85
Photo of jrallen34
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle drank at Bluebird, no freshness date that I can recall... A good looking beer with a dark peach pour, a little copper accent. The head is nice, a bright white cap of about a finger forms and stays awhile, good lacing. Looks good... The aroma is great, nice and restrained for a pale but flavorful, grapefruit on the nose, other citrus notes, caramel, a hint of pine on the finish.... The taste is just as nice as the nose, grapefruit, caramel, but the pine is now mostly grassy hops. It starts off nice but the finish is harsh and flat, really a disappointing finish after a decent start. This should be more drinkable, but it isn't.

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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!!

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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

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Photo of baggio
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

[email protected] on Quay in Auckland.

A: Nice copper color with a small white head.

S: Caramel, Pine, Grapefruit, Bread.

T: Pine, Citric notes, Caramel, Roasted malt, Fresh bread.

M: Smooth with plenty of carbonation. A very nice New Zealand APA. I enjoyed this immensely after drinking massproduced lager in the tropics for 2 weeks.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Moderate and firm, this American Pale Ale performs admirably well, and with a bright citrus character to boot.

The beer pours a hazy copper/amber color with a mild haze. A froathy, sticky head forms a 1/2 head, retains very well with pockets of foam and the beer and lace on the glass. Impressive overall.

Bright citrus notes of orange zest and grapefruit lead the way with a modest caramel or graham cracker sweetness/spiciness. Pure and clean scent remains simple yet elegant.

Hop flavors fare every bit as well as they do in the nose, but with the added grassiness/leafy taste. Malt character still represents the caramel/graham cracker flavor but with low sweetness and hearty maltiness, the beer's flavor results in a partly grainy taste that proved distracting heading into the finish. Minerally/salty taste also hurts the flavor profile.

Early carbonated creaminess quickly turns astringent, weak, and ultimately thin in texture. Outside of the harsh grainy/astringent/bitey finish, the beer sets up for an inviting crisp clean mouthfeel. Too bad.

A promising early start waivers at mid palate with both flavor and mouthfeel and leaves the beer somewhat empty in body and taste late, allowing the harsher attributes of grain and hops to reveal themselves. A less than clean ending to such a great introduction.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of femALEist
3.83/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Made with 23 different types of hops. Made in Auckland. 5.4% abv. This poured a clear orange with a touch of sienna. On the nose, you get aromas of orange, light passionfruit, grapefruit skin and some resin. It tasted citrusy, bitter grapefruit and a piney aftertaste. This was the best hoppy beers so far that I have had in New Zealand.

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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.

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Photo of hunteraw
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

having this at brew quay in Auckland.

Appearance: fairly golden amber colour, a bit lighter than I might have expected. thin white head, leaves splotchy lacing.

Smell: Nice hops aroma, reminiscent of grass and citrus rind. Hint of soapiness as well, in the background. Maybe more like an english ipa than an apa but appealing nonetheless.

Taste: Ah, now you is an apa after all. Solidly bitter, American hops character. Citrus rind is the dominant note. Could use a bit more support from the malt, finishes on the same note that it starts.

Mouthfeel: light-medium body with moderate carbonation. Finish is a bit too sharp

drinkability: good, but wishing I had reviewed their Armageddon IPA when I had it a couple of weeks ago, which was all around a better beer

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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

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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.

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

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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.

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Photo of jahsausage
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Still waiting to drink an APA from the USA but this is surely the next best thing!

Pours a copper colour, the head is a bit heisitant but I think I may not have washed out my glass properly.

Apologies for stating the obvious but it smells of hops, reminds me of the smell of boiling hops before adding them to homebrew.

As for taste - am well impressed, covers all of the bases

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.7/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden amber with a large persistent head.
Aroma shows lots of fruit, grassy, and resiny hops. Grapefruit, orange blossom, nectarines. Behind this is a fair bit of sweet malt and caramel.
Very hoppy taste, but with less sweet fruits. There's still some grapefruit, grassy notes and peaches, followed by some sweet clean malt. Then a strong bitterness rolls through, growing bigger and bigger. However it is exceptionally well-balanced by the afore-mentioned malt.
Good medium body with a light, but refreshing, carbonation.

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Photo of lamarr04
3.84/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle poured into an oversized wine glass (everything else is packed away at the moment)

A: Pours clear golden with hints of orange. big fluffy white head. leaves lacing down the glass.

S: It's been a while since I smelled a hop bomb. smells like sticking your nose in a freshly opened bag of hop pellets. big resinous pine with background notes of grapefruit.

T: Malt structure serves sole purpose of making bitterness palatable. not balanced, not intended to be.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

D: Drinkability is a silly rating characteristic but for what its worth, after a stressful day, this is exactly what i needed.

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Photo of ADZA
3.49/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a amber copper colour with a nice frothy two finger creamy head that hangs around,it smells of a hoppy pine forrest full of grapefruits very hoppy indeed im keen to taste this beer,wow the taste is really full on even for me its definately an a experience it tastes so hoppy its not funny a real piney,grapefruit taste that finishes so bitter i dont know if i like it or not its definately a beer that i would only drink one of in a session and not a beer that i would share with someone who doesnt understand alot about beer as this beer would definately put them off microbrews,i gotta say if you dont like excessive use of hops avoid this one but for me i love the use of hops but the jury is still out on this one.

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Photo of TubaManJack
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Its an American Pale Ale for Pete's sake with imported US Cascade hops. Aside from that...

Appearance- Deep copper body with golden hues. There was a frothy hoppy head and decent lacing.
Smell- Ahh West Coast hops with grapefruit and pine sap aromas.
Taste- Strong Hop Flavors upfront and a balanced malt body. The malt was rather sweet to the hop bitterness providing a nice smooth transitions.
Mouthfeel-Slick and piney, a moderate dryness, lightly carbonated
Drinkability- Yup, it has left me craving more.

Summary- This APA is exactly what your craving for something hopped in a West Coast style for an upfront hop experience after months of APA/IPA withdrawal. In the States this beer would still be above average for a APA.

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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.

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Photo of brendan13
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A 500ml bottle poured into a pint glass a slightly hazy orange that falls away to a thin whisp quite quickly and leaves a bit of lace,
S - Floral and tropical fruit hops with some light maltiness.
T - Floral and fruity also in the taste with some light toasty and biscuity maltiness,
M - Light to medium bodied with a medium carbonation.
D - A very nice, approchable American style Pale Ale.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Epic Pale Ale from Epic Brewing Company
3.97 out of 5 based on 85 ratings.
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