Pale Ale
Santa Fe Brewing Company

Pale AlePale Ale
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Pale Ale - American
Ranked #2,824
Ranked #47,651
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: 279 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Realale:
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Realale from Missouri

4.07/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear medium gold, with a touch of bronze. Bright white fine head settles to a thin cap.

Nice slightly fruity juicy hops lead the nose, with a good underlayment of citrus. The malt is apparent, and firmly in the cracker department, with a touch of biscuit. Everything is well-balanced, with the hops taking an appropriate leading role.

Well balanced again in the mouth, where the juicyness of the hops flavors blends very well with the malt. Nice length, finishing with a good snap of bitterness.

Mouthfeel is okay, with sufficient richness to balance the bitterness. Very drinkable, and an excellent companion to the local chile-rich cuisine. I drank a ton of this during my visit to Santa Fe.

Nov 01, 2007
More User Reviews:
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netshark from Colorado

3.5/5  rDev 0%

Sep 02, 2012
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Bagman007 from Texas

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

Served in a bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a copper color with an orange tint. Just a little bit of head.

S- Moderate scent of sweet hops with just a slight hint of caramel.

T- Not as flavorful or hoppy as one would think after smelling the beer. Somewhat bland, but still a little hoppy.

M- The blandness comes out in the feel as the hoppiness is not very pronounced.

D- Fairly smooth, fairly drinkable.

Overall I had fairly high hopes for this beer after smelling it, but it disappointed me a little bit. It is still a fairly solid beer, but it ended up being more bland than I feel it should have been. Very drinkable and a decent effort from Santa Fe Brewing Company.

Jan 05, 2009
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heath1agnew from Texas

3.04/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance- ok i thought this brew looked great got a fluffy head the retained great. lacing stuck to the glass, with a somewhat great golden color.

smell- smelled a little bit of hops and a touch of citrus.

taste and mouthfeel- ....fell short for me...although i got hops in the smell i didn't really get it in the taste very much but i did pick up a little bit of citrus. mouthfeel wasn't too bad.

drinkability- descent drinkability.

this is just not what i expected from a pale ale.

Jan 06, 2009
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aval89 from California

3.68/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a copper color with a bright white 1.5 finger head.. Typical APA appearance

Smell: picking up caramel, toasted malts, little bready.. Just a bit of citrus notes showcasing the hop presence..

Taste: again more on the malty side.. Lots of caramel sweetness, burnt sugars, bit grainy. Finishes with a citrus hop finish. Bitter but just enough to call it bitter. As I keep sipping I'm picking up a pear flavor.. Quite interesting.

MF is light to medium bodied with good carbonation for the style..

This brew is quite easy to drink and can easily be a gateway into pale ales.
Sessionable as well

Jun 12, 2010
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teamwiggum from Wisconsin

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

Jun 28, 2016
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NorCalYeti from California

3.75/5  rDev +7.1%

Jan 19, 2013
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GRG1313 from California

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

Jul 01, 2016
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rtrasr from Arkansas

4.25/5  rDev +21.4%

May 06, 2014
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mhaugo from California

2/5  rDev -42.9%

May 18, 2014
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EgadBananas from Louisiana

3.28/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark copper in color, dingy white head, spurts of lacing. Not a bad sight.

Smells more malty than my preferred pale, but it's still nice though. A tad biscuity, faintly sweet, but with a hint of hoppiness in the back.

Taste is most of the same; slight bready, sweet and malty, but some nice finishing hop characteristics on the finish. Not fantastic, but its good.

The feel is good and medium. Smooth with a bit of crispness.

This is a solid, drinkable pale. Nothing fantastic, but It's still fairly tasty.

Jul 23, 2010
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jpr022 from Pennsylvania

2.63/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Had this beer at El Meson in Santa Fe, NM. Not good. This is one of those pale ales where they just chickened out. My fault for ordering it really. It was the only local beer they had so I should have taken the hint and stuck with the wine.

Taste was very plain. Appearance was good. Smell was fine was drinkable and I still don't know what mouthfeel means.

May 09, 2011
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mactrail from Washington

3.61/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice light version of the style. Pleasant hoppiness without making a bold statement. Warming malt is fairly full for a slight beer. Attractive golden amber in the glass, nice head and a pleasant mouthful. Coarser carbonation than most. Rather rich mouthfeel for the low alcohol and modest ingredients. Would be a great quaff. A summer beer with more flavor than most.

Jul 11, 2011
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jacobseyb from Alabama

3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a snifter a rusty orange color with little head though the crown laced some. Some citrus with a grainy presence as well. Taste is rather unremarkable with the citrus and grains present along with some remote pine bitterness. Feels good and smooth along with some oiliness from hops. Overall a drinkable pale ale.

Oct 11, 2010
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Beerandraiderfan from Nevada

3.23/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A darker yellow color, minimal head, but the lace did stick.

A sweeter pale ale, definitely in check, hopping came off more like a good pilsner. Maybe it was the light roast/malt bill. This was definitely a mild, but appreciable beer. Not much bitterness, a good pale for a hot day. Price was more than you'd think $8.

After having had these a few times, I notice wide variation, even within the same 6 pack of these beers. They're pretty much an English style ipa, but with Cascade hops as well.

Jul 23, 2010
Photo of minterro
minterro from California

3.26/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Apr 25, 2018
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RedWeizen83 from Texas

2/5  rDev -42.9%

Jun 08, 2013
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TMoney2591 from Illinois

3.63/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a flared glass mug.

Thanks to papollo for this bottle!

Shared this bottle with my brother, who seemed to really enjoy it. It pours a mostly clear golden straw (touches of amber here and there, as though Rembrandt painted it near the end of his career, when all of the paint was troweled on) topped by a finger of white foam. The nose is straight pale ale: caramel trunking some branches of floral and citrus hops. The taste has the same overtly simple design, though both the hops and the caramel are enhanced a bit, the former a bit bitterer and the latter a bit sweeter. The body is on the heavier side of light, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta crisp finish. Overall, though I wasn't as impressed with this as my brother was, I still found it rather nice.

Sep 14, 2010
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CBlack85 from South Carolina

3.65/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to knm for this one

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

Pours a nice light copper, orangish color with a small off white head that recedes quickly and leaves behind lots of sticky lacing

Fruity aroma with lots of earthy undertones. There is a small malt backbone, not quite enough to balance the beer, but enough to be noticable.

The flavor is much like the aroma with lots of fruity notes along with a small malt presence. There is also a soapy flavor that dominates the aftertaste. Medium/thin body with moderate carbonation.

All in all, this is a decent beer. the only issue I have with it is the soapy flavor.

Feb 05, 2011
Photo of willmc
willmc from Oklahoma

3.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

love this pale ale, full of character, aroma and color. with hints of fruit and hops in the nose. flavors of malt sweetness, nutty spiciness, and floral hops to balance it all out on the finish. i really dont see how you can go wrong with a Santa Fe Pale Ale. cheers!

Jul 19, 2012
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Spineypanda from Texas

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

To me this is a strange pale ale. It has all the characteristics of maybe Sierra Nevada, but the taste is different.

Has a darker golden color to it, a little cloudy. A head that dissipates quickly but leaves considerable lacing.

Smells of hops and a little sweetness, but not a whole lot.
Tastes like I ate a hop! Not as bitter as some of the most hoppy beers, but definitely the taste of what I imagined a hop to taste like. Refreshing but leaves just enough of that taste in my mouth that I would not mind having another.

Oct 21, 2009
Photo of Fnord
Fnord from Texas

3.39/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Cloudy orange-yellow with a large amount of effervescence, and the large body of foam to match. Decent retention.

Smell - Mostly smells like lemon. Some floral hops, a little grapefruit.

Taste - Sweeter than I expected. The hops try to make themselves heard at the start, but are quickly drowned out by the caramel. The hops last into the finish, though, providing a refreshing aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium body, high carbonation. The large, frothy head seems to add to the body.

Drinkability - Pretty darn sessionable.

Notes - This wasn't what I was expecting, but that may be a good thing. It's nice to be surprised every once in a while. I don't remember having an APA this sweet before. Still, it's a good beer. I'm normally not a fan of highly carbonated beers, but it seems to work OK in this one.

Mar 10, 2009
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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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kingjohnh from New Mexico

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

Sep 28, 2017
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smithj4 from New York

3.54/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Aug 28, 2015
Pale Ale from Santa Fe Brewing Company
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 279 ratings