Pale Ale
Santa Fe Brewing Company

Pale AlePale Ale
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Pale Ale - American
Ranked #2,798
Ranked #46,876
3.5 | pDev: 11.71%
Santa Fe Brewing Company
New Mexico, United States
Pale AlePale Ale
Notes: Anything but a typical American Pale, Santa Fe Pale Ale is as full bodied as its most robust English counterparts, while asserting its American origin with a healthy nose resplendent with Cascade and Willamette hops. It finishes with a well-balanced combination of the subtle, almost Pilsner-like maltiness accentuated by the German yeast used to brew this Santa Fe classic, and a hop bite sufficient to leave a lingering smile on the face of any fan of American Pale Ales.
Reviews: 137 | Ratings: 278 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Jamesg1188
Jamesg1188 from Colorado

3.57/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Description above nails this beer. Full bodied pale with less then typical amount of hop flavor. Has a very English almost ESB like feel. Not a common Pale, I do really enjoy it.

Feb 24, 2019
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D1noB from Oklahoma

3.48/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This is a beer for the sake of beer, it is smooth and a great lay around the yard beverage.

Taste Rating in Words: It's a cold drink on a warm slightly breezy day, while laying in a hammock.

Mar 28, 2017
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.22/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Comes in that dull golden color, not bright yellow, respectable 1/2" white head on the top. Aroma was mild, floral. Minimal if any dry hopping.

Honey toasted pale malts, Cascade hops. This one kinda borrows from a few different styles, the German yeast/malt thing seems to be going on, but PacNW hops in the traditional vein. If they just used noble hops, you'd have a quintessenial Euro brew, but instead you get a hodgepodge of stuff. Its decent. Pretty much a Euro beer with American hops.

Decent hot weather stuff here.

Nov 09, 2016
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beergoot from Colorado

3.74/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Light orange color; lots of lively carbonation; dense, creamy, sculptured head; globs of lacing along the glass. Soda cracker aroma. Light, toasted grain flavor with a balanced hop bitterness; a note of fruitiess. Medium body; crisp and clean.

This is a nicely balanced and fine tasting pale ale. Very refreshing.

Aug 07, 2016
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J_T_Arlington from New Mexico

3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks Cloudy Bronze.

Smells light and toasty.

Neutral, hoppy, malty.

Smooth, but a little foamy.

I didn't think I liked this beer the first time I tried it, but I seem to keep coming back to it.

Jul 14, 2016
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jeranbrews from Oklahoma

3.25/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A - big pillowy head of off white foam. Good lacing. Cloudy cedar body with good continued carbonation. 3.75

S - sharp hoppy like a rye ale. Faint citrus notes. 3

T - more sweet and subdued than the hop aromas led to believe. Flavors bounce around not really locking on a flavor nor transitioning well like musicians out of sync. However each song plays well. 3.25

M - nice smooth 3.5

D - see previous taste comment. Good, maybe even sessionable. Not outstanding. 3.25

Apr 05, 2016
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tzieser from New Jersey

3.46/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass.

Slightly hazy amber in color with a modest white head that settles into a thin lacing.

Malt-forward aroma with toasted malt, biscuit and bread. Light herbal hop aroma of mowed grass.

Well balanced flavor, closer to English Pale Ale in style. Sweet malted barley with toasted grain, toasted bread/biscuit flavors and a woody/herbal hop bitterness that balances everything quite nicely. No "modern" APA hop flavor to speak of. Clean finish.

This is like an old school American Pale Ale from the late 90s. Not a bad APA but you could do better than this. I would rate this higher as an EPA. Recommended if you like the balanced English-style, not recommended if you're looking for a modern American citrus pale ale hop bomb.

Apr 02, 2016
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stevoj from Idaho

3.05/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle from Whole Foods-Indian School Plaza. Medium golden body with creamy pour, both body and head. Aroma and taste reflect the grain bill, which is fairly subdued for the American craft palate. Texture prevails over the subtle flavors, making for a middle of the road pale ale.

Jan 25, 2016
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metter98 from New York

3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear light amber in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a short white head that died down rather quickly, leaving waves of lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of biscuit and toasted malts are present in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, the taste has flavors of biscuit and toasted malts along with some slight hints of sweetness. No hops are detectable, but they seem to mask just about all of the sweetness.
M: It feels a bit more than medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is rather full in body compared to other pale ales—it's more like what you would expect from an Oktoberfest beer.

Serving type: bottle

Sep 20, 2015
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HopsAreDaMan from Missouri

3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

9/16/2018 Increasing ratings based on my review.

Good carbonation when opened; poured a nice golden color, with small amount of whitish head; mild aroma; good flavor, and nice body. Pale ales are not my favorite style, but this was smooth, easy to drink, and I would gladly drink it again.

Aug 25, 2015
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OKbrew89 from Oklahoma

3.29/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pale yellow color with a small head that leaves a thin ring of lacing. Good carbonation on the pour. Aroma of cascade hops and yeast. Taste is hop dominant with the front end hops being more aggressive and back end hops being smooth. The malt is undistinguishable and the finish is just a touch bitter. Medium body with medium carbonation. Even with the hops, there's enough carbonation to make it a crisp beer.
Taste is a bit unbalanced and could use more malt. Good hop profile. Not a bad APA, but it is kinda one dimensional.

Jun 08, 2015
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Stevedore from Oregon

3.06/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A- Light golden-copper body, one finger white head, fair amount of retention time, solid lacing remains on the pint glass at the end.

S- Clean crackers, grainy malt, caramel, a bit of mineral spice (that honestly reminds me a bit of hefeweizen yeast), faint pine aromas. This smelled like a macro at first, to be honest due to the crackeriness and sweetness of the smell. As it warms up, the hop contribution comes up a little bit more, but this still smells quite sweet.

F- Crackers, pale malt caramel, grains, minerals, mild pine bitterness on the backend that attempts to balance things out. I think it's missing a bit more hop balance, whether it's bittering or aromatic hops. Tastes like a macro most of the way through, but with more body and bitterness.

M- Thin-medium bodied, good carbonation, mildly dry and refreshing.

O- Eh, I've had many better pale ales than this one. This is pretty average and quite boring to be honest.

Mar 27, 2015
Photo of 28cammies

2.57/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

At first try it's really only "okay." Not special. It is clean and refreshing but just doesn't stand out. Made with fresh ingredients including "well water." Slightly sweet for a pale ale the bite and finish is subtle.

Mar 21, 2015
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.29/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a murky dark orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, earth, and slight herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with toast, earth, and slight herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a very mild amount of earth and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is definitely more on the malty side of things with only a subtle amount of hop qualities in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle.

Nov 16, 2014
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Gabriel_Vaughn from California

3.71/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

review is an edit, formerly received a poor score
It is an orange-gold dark amber, darker than most pales.
smell: 3 .5

taste: 3.75 bold
overall 3.75, decent pale ale, not as weak as many I have tried before

Aug 16, 2014
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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania

3.45/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Undated bottle at 45 degrees into standard pint
Faint aroma of hops and malt
Head average (4 cm) creamy, light brown, slowly diminishing to 2 mm layer
Lacing good, forming wide rings with various size bubbles
Body clear, medium amber
Flavor begins with a malty sweetness which quickly fades. No alcohol, no hops, no diacetyl
Palate medium, watery, soft carbonation

A very attractive beer leaning more to malt than hops; seems more of an amber ale.

Apr 11, 2014
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weltywm from Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle.

Appearance: Light yellow with about 1/2 finger of white head. Good retention and lacing.

Smell: Biscuit and light citrus. Maybe banana or some other faint fruit.

Taste: Very grainy and biscuit-y, with a slight hint of banana, or maybe even bubblegum? It reminds me a bit of a hefeweizen. All balanced out by some yeast and spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light body, crisp finish, and actually a fairly long finish.

Overall: This really doesn't drink like a Pale Ale to me; more like a Belgian ale. But, that being said, it's still pretty darn good, and seems sessionable.

Feb 21, 2014
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John_M from Oregon

3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A friend from work brought home a bottle the other day.

The beer pours an orange amber color with fairly decent head retention and light lacing. The nose is attractive as well, as I pick some light brown sugar from the malt base, and then a decent about of dry citrus and pepper as well. The flavor profile replicates the nose fairly closely in this nicely crafted pale ale, and while certainly nothing mind blowing, this is a fairly tasty APA. Mouthfeel is medium bodied at most, and the beer finishes cleanly with a kiss of hoppy bitterness. The one dimensional aspect of the flavor profile wore on me a bit after a while (in other words, it's not the most exciting beer to drink), but that's really the only criticism I would make of this beer.

Shrug. I thought this a solid, easy to appreciate and enjoy APA. Give me a sierra nevada pale ale every time over this beer, but that being said, I thought this a solid offering from the folks at Santa Fe Brewing.

Nov 18, 2013
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LXIXME from New Mexico

3.49/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big off white head that just sort of sits above a clear to cloudy rich honey golden colored beer.

Very light aroma of citrus and pine style hops.

Light citrus and pine to almost fresh grass style hops taste.

This medium bodied beer mellow to a slight bittering dry aftertaste with just a bit of the beers tastes sticking around.

An OK beer, a little week or bland but not bad either, just want a bit more from a pale ale.

Nov 10, 2013
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mjurney from Texas

3.79/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Light amber color, hazy. Fairly good amount of carbonation rising up. Thick rocky head.

Bready, some citrus, earthy.

Citrus hops, a little earthy-leafy. Malt background, bready, slight caramel. Yeasty finish, very dry. Body is medium, dry, smooth.

It's a very good beer.

Oct 13, 2013
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TAMU99 from Wyoming

3.4/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Had this good beer in an airport...who knew! Tasty American pale with some chops. Pour is a dark yellow, clear with nice lace but not a significant head. Smell is (dunno...I have a cold). Taste is bold. Hoppy, lots of good flavor, bitter where it should be, doesn't coat your tongue in grapefruit flavor (yay!). Malty but not cloying. Feels smooth and not too carbonated. Pretty good beer. I'd get a 6-pack. Would like to try when I can smell...(May even taste better!)

Sep 30, 2013
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denver10 from New Mexico

2.98/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a golden orange with a white hea. Aroma is bready and doughy, citrus and its rind. Flavor followed suit, only mild bitterness. A fuller mouthfeel, some activity. A bit too heavy. Overall, a bit generic of a pale ale. Drinkable, but nothing to seek out.

Sep 16, 2013
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HerdNo1 from West Virginia

3.58/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Received in a BOMC package.

A: Pours a nice copper color. Head is a bit disappointing as a vigorous pour gets only a couple of fingers of head that quickly dissipates to a thin ring and zero lacing.

S: Not a whole lot going on. Hops are more subdued than I'd expect from an American Pale Ale.

T: Nice balance. The hops were dominant but there was enough malt that they didn't overwhelm.

M: Probably my favorite part of this beer. Mouthfeel was medium with a nice creaminess and the finish wasn't quite as dry as most Pale Ales.

O: I thought this was a fairly good brew. Nothing outstanding but it was well balanced and easy to drink. Not one I'd go out of my way for but a good beer to drink while watching a football game (which is precisely what I'm doing).

Sep 08, 2013
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fatmusic14 from Colorado

3.71/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a GD pint glass

A - pours really well. Minimal head, decent lacing, colors of gold, very very subtle hint of haze, about 99% transparent

S - smells of citrus and pine. pretty generic for a PA, hints of sweetness

T - terrific. great flavors of honey and lime juice, with a hint of lemon zest. balanced bitterness, really substantial flavor. Very happy with how this turned out.

M - nothing to write home about

O - bought 1 in a make your own 6 pack, and I'm glad I did. Worth it.

Feb 27, 2013
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a way underrated pale ale. pours clear but thick, polleny honey colored with an average white head. the nose is a balanced beer, caramunich malt smell, and west coast hops. the flavor is more hoppy than the nose, with plenty of fruity esters as well. a floral hop profile and a touch of orange that keeps on giving. mouthfeel is good, maybe a little heavy in the summer, especially as it warms up, but this is mid october and its full body is just right for now. good carbonation keeps it moving, and this is an easy six pack. one of the better main line beers from santa fe that i have had.

edit: i am glad to see this one in cans now, i think its built well for that format, seems fresher to me and maybe more consistent. i still like this one best when its ice cold, a very balanced and flavorful pale ale. its been fun revisiting some of the original classics from these guys, so much mediocre beer out there right now that the simple things done well like this really stand out. nothing crazy unique about it, just a good can of ale!

Oct 14, 2012
Pale Ale from Santa Fe Brewing Company
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 278 ratings