Pine Belt Pale Ale | Southern Star Brewing Company

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Pine Belt Pale AlePine Belt Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Southern Star Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A deep copper colored ale with a substantial malt backbone accented with British crystal malts with aggressive hop bitterness and substantial American hop flavor and aroma. The yeast profile is neutral.

45 IBU

Malt: Rahr special pale, Simpsons 30-37, Crisp 45
Hops: Galena, CTZ, Nugget
Yeast: California Ale

Added by BgThang on 04-09-2008

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Reviews: 392 | Ratings: 671
Photo of northaustin
1.66/5  rDev -56.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

poured into a scnifter a light brown with a finger or so of off white head. very yeasty, a bunch of floaters, and the color is way darker in some parts than others.

smell is way too yeasty. no hops whatsoever and only a bit of the crystal malts come through.

almost undrinkable. doesnt taste like a pale ale or any other style i can think of.

at least it doesnt leave your mouth feeling funky (which is a huge mystery to me as to why not). just get past the bitter off flavors and youll be set.

got these for 5.41 a four pack of tallboys and im beginning to see why. a good shot at the whole "unfiltered" thing but something just isnt right here.

sad to say i wont be exploring whether or not i got a bad batch. one and done

 729 characters

Photo of BarrytheBear
2.03/5  rDev -47%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Acquired as an extra from Thomas. Thank you for the opportunity!
16 oz can with no discernible canning date. Ooohh, that rankles my sensibilities.

Into my Duvel tulip, pours a rusty, dark, cidery amber. Spotted surface whites and no lacing. Not the most inspiring, or even inviting, looking beer.

Smells mostly of apple juice and faintly of malt. Either this is old or it smells bad, or both.

This just isn't very good. Malty, overly sweet, and piney. Nearly cloying and biting apple juice sweetness and a scraping bitterness that seems misplaced.

This is a rough ride that I'm not inclined to finish.

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Photo of salvo
2.04/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Poured muddy amber with huge soapy head that lingered and lingered, leaving heavy lace and oily residue. The first smell was indeed of fresh pine needles followed by sweet malts with some rock candy hints.

Eww. The taste is all wrong: muddy river-bottom, hints of pine resiny forest fire--that pitch smell that only comes from a mostly pine forest burning; what I imagine the taste of the residue of the pitch black smoke. Unpleasant.

Interestingly enough, the mouthfeel is rich and creamy--what I wish so many other hoppy/piney beers could achieve. And the lingering hop resins are quite nice and complex. But how can an aftertaste make up for such an unforgivably dreadful taste!?

Sink pour, one of very few for me. And I am confident, reading other reviews and tasting my share of skunked beer, that this is just not a match for my tastes. It seems to do everything wrong: the hops, while big, juke the wrong way. The malts cannot match the overdone, wrong-way hops--and the wrong malt flavors reinforce the wrong hops flavors and vice-versa. I know I'm not supposed to slam beers brewed in good faith and to high standards, but I've got to be honest and direct about my experience. If you trust my previous reviews and have a similar taste, avoid this beer.

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Photo of bamadog
2.15/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Thanks to beerman207 for splitting this one with

Appearance: pours a cloudy, ruddy caramel color and the body is cloudy and has many floaties that look like lint. Not pretty. Comes with a one finger head and fades to a watery skim with sift carbonation.

Smell: mostly malt and smells like nuts and bread. - no hops whatsoever. Letdown. Sweet and caramel-like.

Taste: tastes nutty; bready; no hop presence whatsoever.

Mouthfeel: watery and thin, blech.

Drinkability: oh, you can drink it, but I don't know why you would.

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Photo of rpstevens
2.22/5  rDev -42%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a can into a dogfish head signature glass. The beer pours a vibrant orange with a copper center and a thick bone white head. The head is sticky and frothy, leaving nice lacing.

The beer looks good, but beyond that it's a mess.. The smell is very muted; faded earthy hops, hay, crackery malts, eh.

The taste is much like the smell; kind of boring earthy hops, some hints of wet cardboard, hay, crackery malt, not very good.

The beer is well carbonated, the alcohol level is good for the style, but the flavors make the mouthfeel suffer and the drinkability is very low. I may not finish the can.

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Photo of Retail1LO
2.43/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

What I can't tell whether I'm necessarily drinking a beer...or chewing on some part of a coniferous tree. "Pine" Belt indeed. Poured from a can into a pint glass. This reeled off a monster head. It smells piney. They knew what they were doing when they named this beer. Lots of malt and pine in the taste. I'm having a brutal time getting into this one. The mouthfeel is a bit unpleasant as the taste coats your tongue with the aforementioned malt and pine for quite some time. I don't envision myself revisiting this anytime soon. (See also: ever again)

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Photo of mothman
2.49/5  rDev -35%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Poured into pint. Pours 1 finger of khaki head. Color is an orange copper. Good retention with some nice lace.

Aroma: Beady and biscuit malts. Caramel malts as well. Hops are grassy/weedy. It also has a light citrus blend.

Taste: Similar to the nose, but it has more of a floral kick to it. Very malty though. Caramel, bready malts and biscuit flavors. Has a citrus blend again.

Mouthfeel: Bitter and creamy. Medium bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends dry and sticky.

Overall, a decent English pale ale, but still very malty. A pint was alright to drink, but I wouldn't buy this on a regular basis.

EDIT: I reviewed this as an English Pale Ale, but I guess it is an APA. My scores for it have gone down as a result.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.51/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Can shared by Azurelimits. Served in a tulip.

Pours an orange color with a single-finger white head. Bubbles around the edges as it falls down. The nose is quite faint and rally strange. There are some pine, earth, and floral hops plus a bit of alcohol. Light caramel malt in the background. The flavor brings the same type of hops, but also follows with a bit of wet cardboard and ends up finishing a bit astringent. Some off bitterness there as well. Medium body. Few hops in the taste. Overall, not a fan. Didn't want to drink much of this.

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Photo of jujubeast6000
2.78/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Reviewed 7/23/2008 (Draft @ Flying Saucer, Houston, TX):

Pours a reddlish brown colored body, with a creamy whitish head, smallish but lasting. Has a malty aroma, and some nuttiness. Has a creamy, nutty, fruity taste. Some grapefruit. Somewhat unbalanced, too malty.

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Photo of craytonic
2.8/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Enormous fluffy sea-foam head that sticks around. Lightly hazy pale straw color.

Smell: Citrus hops, pine, resin/sap, biscuit dough

Taste: Similar to the smell - citrus hops, grapefruit, pine, sap, biscuit dough. Bitter. Perhaps a little metallic from the can.

Mouthfeel: Watery, way too light. Also a little flat after the pour.

Drinkability: Enjoyed the opportunity to try it, but won't seek it out again. A little weak.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
2.86/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Initial Notes:
Tall tan, looks nice and Southern.. whatever that means.

Malt-driven aroma lands somewhere in between perceived sweetness (almost cotton candy, maybe more root-beer float) and toasty biscuit maltiness. Grapefruit citric zest. Not very balanced, and something about it is slightly unappetizing.

Copper color, good clarity, nice head. Good bit of lace and retention.

Biscuit and nut malt step out first onto the palate, followed by a slight unpleasantness. I can't say DMS for sure, but it does have a 'cooked' feeling that reminds me of Shiner Bock. Bitterness grows, growing towards astringent. More roasted malt flavors, some caramel-like sweetness. Mild hop flavor is tart and nebulous. Suddenly I get cake-like flavors that are pretty tasty. Along with that I now detect some vanilla and contrasting citric zesty flavors.

Medium-to-medium light bodied. Good bit of malty gravity. Mild bitter/astringentness.

The Verdict:
Huzzah for Texas Breweries! I will support them until my dieing day. Sadly the best word I can think of to describe this beer is 'uninspiring'. It is so close to being pretty good, it just falls short on too many fronts (most notably the astringent bitterness that doesn't taste like hops or malt). It is much more enjoyable when I just kick it back without thinking about the flavor, and focus on how cool it is to support my new local brewery. I look forward to seeing this on tap somewhere.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
2.93/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Appearance: Light copper/amber. Nice bright oranges at the edges. Head is white, creamy, and loose. Large bubbles. Head drops to a spotty cap and bubbly collar. Small notches of lacing. Slight haze. Definitely unfiltered.

Smell: Uncooked biscuit dough. Big caramel malt sweetness. Bready. Hops are herbal in the back. Big hits of citrus with some underlying sweetness. Pine bitterness rounds out the profile. Nicely balanced, if a bit sweet. Caramelized malts and sugars. A bit of apple, pineapple, and grass.

Taste: Malts. Lots of them. Bready and caramelized. Sweet without being overly so. Some pale and amber malts. Grassy with an underlying herbal note. Some pine bitterness lingers in the back. Solid hit of citrus, mainly grapefruit rind, on the front. Good balance. Pretty mellow with a building straight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Body runs right down the middle with a slightly above average carbonation. A bit dry on the finish.

Overall: No need to put another notch in your belt.

A decent APA and bonus points for the format. Bitterness is a bit harsh given the sweeter malt base. Not bad, but there are other options.

 1,132 characters

Photo of Jimmys
2.95/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

16 fl. oz. can into Flying Dog tulip. no canned-on date.

A: slight haze on an orange body. head has an orange tint on an otherwise white body. good retention, plenty of lacing.

S: a mild caramel malt, a zesty hop aroma. faded.

T: slightly astringent. certainly oxidized. the caramel provides a body that should have a greater presence. time has thinned it out. pretty bitter. actually very bitter.

M: carb is a touch on the mild side. nothing too nuts, a little too mild for me. medium body.

D: overall, flavors are too muddy for me. distracts from the brew. bitterness is all out of wack. id pass.

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Photo of PEBKAC
2.97/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Canned beer: The world is better for it. Poured into my durable DFH rounded pint glass.

An inch of falling yellowed head over a chill-hazed russet & orange body.

"Clarity is overrated." - Southern Star

Sourdough, pepper, & pine sap. A little buttery on my nose too. Just a little bit of tangerine.

Dusty, but with some carbonation. Toasty bread crust & minimal caramel initially, a little vegetably, menthol, salt. Rindy, seedy/pit bitterness & a bit of dryness on the finish.

It feels a little too thick & dirty. Like running your feet through soft sand & always bumping into cigarette butts. The clash of British & American just didn't work for me either. It's missing a little refinement whether they want to admit it or not.

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Photo of ZethOfTheNorth
2.98/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

16 oz can bought at Stein's, New Orleans, for $2.39.

This late summer I'm on an APA quest to see if anything locally available competes with SNPA.

A: Dark copper. Nice creamy head. Quite inactive, which has been my experience of all Southern Star beers.

S: Very fragrant from afar, and really sweet-smelling, borderline cloying. No pine scent. Diluted pineapple, like the pineapple juice from cans with the small drinking holes.

M: Yerk. Too sticky on the back end. Doesn't invite more drinking.

T: Average APA taste. Front half follows the pineapple scent -- it's very sweet -- then the taste drops out and a slow bitterness takes over. Dull hop profile.

O: A disappointment. I've given Southern Star a few tries and it's just not working out between us. The Pine Belt has a blah hop profile and a taste that doesn't at all lend itself to sessionability.

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Photo of Viggo
3.01/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Big thanks to GregMcQ for sending this one my way in a recent trade.

Pours a cloudy ruddy orange, a bit rusty, medium sized off white head forms, lots of bubbles rise to the surface, head is a bit rocky and slowly settles to a thin ring, some lacing. Smell is decent, grapefruit, pine, caramel malts, biscuits, apricots and tangerine, alcohol, solid. Taste is not so great, very watery and weak, bit of bready malt, alcohol, some light floral, spicy bitterness, thats it. Mouthfeel is light bodied with low carbonation, feels pretty thin. Not sure if I got a bad can or what, but this stuff is weak. Thanks Greg!

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Photo of elNopalero
3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours a golden straw with a thin layer of foam. There’s not much of an aroma on it, although I can strain and get some light hoppiness. Lightly flavored, with some pine notes on the finish. An easy sipper in warm weather but not a hop forward pale ale.

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Photo of chocosushi
3.05/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

16oz->Imperial Pint
A ~ Pours an unfiltered amber with sediment on the bottom of the glass. Medium sized bead of carb with a perfect head.

S ~ Spicy hops, pale malt...hints of grass, pine, & toffee. Slightly sweet with a large whiffs of hops. Yeast is prevalent in the nose with notes of apple & anjou pears.

T ~ Biscuits with honey & butter followed by pine-needle, bitter orange peel & golden apples. Hints of orange marmalade & unripe peach. Wheaties on the finish.

M ~ Medium in body & slightly resinous on the palette. Carb is creamy but fades too quickly to carry things through. The type of bitterness achieved here is almost detrimental to the overall flavor of the beer.

D ~ Worthwhile purchase, as I have wanted to try this for awhile, but a tad pricey. Drinkable, yes, but not a beer to seek out as I had. Not everything really came together.

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Photo of sweemzander
3.06/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz. can poured into a nonic. Thanks yet again to Beerwolf77 for yet another brew!

(A)- Pours a clear caramel color that produced a decent tan to yellow head. Good retention.

(S)- Very dry. Has hints of lemon citrus.

(T)- A bit malty for the style, but it does have some lemon citrus and woody pine in there.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. A bit more malt driven than I would like to see for the style, but it is tasty. A subtle bitterness.

(D)- A decent Pale Ale that is easy to enjoy.

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Photo of brewandbbq
3.06/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

16oz can with no canning date.

Pours murkey dark copper with an inch-plus head of white. Plenty of clingy lacing and a solid skim coat on the surface for the duration.

Aromatics feature a blend of crispish malt and a trace of piney hops. The hops are very subdued.

Medium bodied with a crisp mouthfeel.

Malt-forward on the palate with some balancing bitterness and a hint of pine.

Finishes with caramel-spiked malt, some husky grainyness, and a mildly rough bitterness.

Lacking freshness all around and the hops are weak.

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Photo of rye726
3.06/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This pours a brownish amber color with a nice tan head. The nose has some light malts and grainy hops. The taste is also fairly grainy with a bit of sweet malts. Not much of a hop presence. Light body has decent carbonation. Probably closer to an English than American Pale Ale, but not a bad beer.

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Photo of grammodesguapote
3.11/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a hazy amber color with a thick creamy head.

Aroma is faintly hoppy with alcohol more noticeable as it warms. Some malt and a little fish sauce in there.

Taste is caramel malt with hop bittering and a metallic finish.

Good carb with a sweet sticky finish.

Would buy again.

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Photo of depechemode1983
3.12/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours out a cloudy amber color. Head is off-white with lasting retention. Lacing is patchy but for the most part spread evenly around the glass.

S - In the nose you get some piny and citrus hops upfront. Its balanced nicely with some light tropical fruits like pineapple and orange. Undertones of honey can be detected in the grainy finish.

T - Not too complex. Mostly bitter piny hops with some graininess. Still getting some light tropical fruits in the middle although not as sweet. Finish is bitter with sweet caramel malts.

M - Mouth feel is on the light side. Smooth enough though. Carbonation seems to be right. Washes over nicely. Nothing to complain about.

O - An average APA. The nose was the best part. It was very aromatic and had more complexities than the taste.

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Photo of tewaris
3.14/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

6.3% ABV
45 IBUs

16 oz can with no visible date poured into a Surly pint. Thanks Rubio.

Clear and deep amber-orange with a medium and creamy off white head. Good retention, great lacing.

If a beer is named pine belt, I expect a PtE out of it, and even PtE didn't deliver in that department :/ This smells of some hops, if not powerfully piney, but rather woody. Not strong enough and just average. Tropical fruit comes in screaming WTF when it gets warm. Kinda discordant if you ask me, but not repulsive.

The taste is ok... slightly sweet, quite clean, and unidirectionally bitter w/o any hop derived flavor. A little too clean, if you know what I mean. The bitterness however is very perceptible because of the "simple" nature of this beer. I am divided about whether to call it simple or ordinary or simply ordinary! Also, the woodiness of the aroma is very present in an unlikely astringent finish that I would normally frown at but the moment makes it ok.

Mouthfeel is "right" given the clean nature of the beer. This one is the kind that is not worth actively seeking out, but drinking a few over a few hours at the bar. Problem is the ABV; a little too much bang for the buck?! Overall I am NOT impressed but discontinuing this beer will NOT make the world a better place.

Scores: Appearance 4.5/5; Aroma 3/5; Taste 3/5; Mouthfeel 4.5/5; Overall 2.5/5

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Photo of NODAK
3.15/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Smell is certainly of pine tree hops predominately but it isn't all that strong...pretty tame but still unmistakeably Cascade in nature.

Taste, unsurprisingly starts out floral with some pine resin present....but it's kind of tame compared to what I thought it would be. The hops here are dialed back a bit compared to some other well known APA's in my opinion. A nice, small malty creaminess underlies this, and there is a little grain that shows up in the backend....and bitterness lingers a bit with an aspirin astringency after the swallow which is somewhat surprising given the tameless of the initial hoppiness.

All in all...pretty run of the mill APA that's pretty calm and subdued until the lingering bitterness. It won't give the classics a run for their money but it'll suffice as a quaffable option in a can.

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Pine Belt Pale Ale from Southern Star Brewing Company
3.83 out of 5 based on 671 ratings.
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