Pale Ale | Santa Fe Brewing Company

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Pale AlePale Ale

Brewed by:
Santa Fe Brewing Company
New Mexico, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-03-2002

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Reviews: 135 | Ratings: 261
Photo of jujubeast6000
1.73/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Reviewed 4/30/2007 (12oz bottle):

Pours an amber brown color, fizzy, slightly cloudy. Small head, whitish, diminishing. Good lacing. Somewhat hoppy bitter aroma, some malts. Bitter taste, sour, not a very clean aftertaste. Somewhat balancing of the sour with some malts. Letting warm up a bit...A little more mellow, but there goes the taste. Not that good of a pale ale.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.05/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

The Santa Fe Pale Ale poured a copper-orange with an thick and creamy off-white head that laced the glass.

The aroma was faint grassy hops, some fruity esters, and a bit of DMS that became more pronounced as the beer warmed.

The flavor was sweet malt and DMS with a very faint bitterness. It was medium-bodied and creamy, kind of nitro-like.

Overall, I didn't care for it. It was a little too sweet, displayed too much DMS, and not enough bitterness. It was a pretty bland pale ale and not very pleasant.

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Photo of 28cammies
2.57/5  rDev -26.1%
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.

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Photo of Onslow
2.59/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bought at kroger's super-mart day the M.A got home... pours with very little aroma... lacing is decent ... a simple,little dull but an easy going beer, a starter/novice brewsters.. is there a word less than pale?.... definetly not The Cat's Pajamas!!

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Photo of jpr022
2.63/5  rDev -24.4%
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.

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Photo of beeragent
2.68/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The beer poured a deep gold, forming a very thin head, that quickly faded, leaving medium rings of lace. The aroma is more malty than hoppy. Not what I expect a pale ale to smell like. Sweet smell, but not floral or fruity like the hops would give. The taste is also wrong for a pale ale. Very little hop presence, lacking in the sweet citrus flavor, and mostly dominated by a malty caramel taste. The mouthfeel is medium, being a little thicker for the style. Overall, I would have to say that this taste closer to a brown ale, than it does to a pale ale. Maybe I got a mislabeled bottle, but this is definitely not my idea of a pale ale. I guess I am more used to the style being more floral in aroma, and a heavier citrus flavor. This just may tell me, that I havent explored the whole spectrum of pale ales yet.

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Photo of JDV
2.76/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light burnt orange, cloudy and unfiltered. Lasting creamy, wet offwhite head. Lemony malt smell mostly. Taste is more malty, light oddly metallic tart bitterness. Not a very nice clean hop flavor, but not terrible. Somewhat bland, stagnant flavor almost. A bit below average pale.

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Photo of bditty187
2.96/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lightly hazy, coppery-gold in hue; there is a bronze highlight as well. The liquid looks good enough. The head was off-white. At the apex the foam was a healthy half finger in height. Head retention was decent. It was slow to fade to a soapy cap, thicker around the edge of the glass. The subsequent lacing was unorganized but fairly widespread. This beer is pleasant enough.

The nose lacks potency. I had to strain to detect a woody-orangey aroma. I found a kiss of caramel, toasted malt. The bouquet lacks depth and articulation. It is not inviting, regardless of style.

The palate isn’t too bad. The flavors a mild but there are a few layers of goodness. Bitterness is gentle but noticeable; it is mainly at the front. Woody. In the middle comes some peaches, oranges, and apricots. Nice. By the finish a smattering of malty goodness is detected, light caramel notes and some biscuit. In the aftertaste I could sense some pine. This is an APA? No. Is it English in nature? Not really. It is both and neither. It is simple but tasty. There isn’t much to this beer, I do like the fruitiness and I bet this beer would be tasty with nutty cheese.

Medium/medium-light in body. Low but natural carbonation; the mouthfeel is relaxing and pleasant. It fits this beer well.

Drinkable enough to finish my six-pack; I purchased it in Fort Collins. I never had a beer from New Mexico. Now I can say I have. There is little else about this beer that is noteworthy. It is not good or bad… just okay.

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Photo of HopsAreDaMan
2.97/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

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.

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Photo of denver10
2.98/5  rDev -14.4%
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.

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Photo of Beerbuddha
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer poured a hazy orange color with a nice white head which stuck arund for the party a bit. Not a very hoppy smell at all. Maybe a hint of breadiness but overall not much aroma to speak of. The taste was a bit lackig as well. A weak taste of hops with a tin taste as well. Slight bitterness present. The mouthfeel was medium body but a little watery. Carbonation was not all that high. Overall an average beer. Not bad but not great.

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Photo of Wasatch
3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to slcbrewer for this brew.

Pours a cloudy dark orange color, some carbonation, tiny fizzy head, no lacing at all. The nose is malty, slightly hoppy, and some caramel. The taste is malty, hoppy, and some caramel. Medium body. Drinkable, not bad, but would not seek out again.

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Photo of paulthebeerguru
3.03/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: snifter. nice rich copper color, mostly reddish hues. slight off-white head. good lacing and a rather nice retention.

S: i get tons of crystal malts in this. light hop aroma. tons of caramel. some fruit tons, mostly apples.

T: nice caramel malts with some apple flavors. very light citrus flavors form the hops. a little on the sweet side.

M: medium bodied. decent carbonation. a little bland, but its not too weak on the palate.

D: not a bad APA, but it could be better. more malt flavors than hops which turned me off a little bit. its OK but nothing special.

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Photo of kmeves
3.04/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy amber with a lasting frothy tan head. Aroma is lightly sweet, very faint citrus and caramel. Flavor is much more pronounced with nice grapefruit and caramel up front and a more floral finsh. Medium bodied, big carbonation brings out a prickliness that is undesireable in the style. Finishes short, dry and somewhat bitter.

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Photo of heath1agnew
3.04/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

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Photo of stevoj
3.05/5  rDev -12.4%
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.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.06/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Waiting for my daughter to arrive in Terminal B at the Albuquerque airport, figured I should drink some local beers. This one wasn't bad.

In a pint glass the beer was copper-colored with a medium-sized white head that left a lot of lace.

Average aroma. Sweet malt and a tiny bit of citrus.

Taste similar to the aroma. Some sweet malt and a tiny late hit of citrus.

A bit on the timid side, but still pretty drinkable.

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Photo of Stevedore
3.06/5  rDev -12.1%
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.

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Photo of champ103
3.08/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy golden/orange color. A small white head forms. Light lace.
S: Musky floral hops. A large grain and cereal aroma. Really not much here.
T: Metallic and copper taste. Cereal and grain again. Just a touch of hop bitterness as the taste lingers.
M/D: A light to medium body. Way over carbonated for my tastes. Not hard to drink, but the prickly carbonation takes away a little from the drinkability.

This is not a bad APA. I have had much better, though I could quaff some of these at a bbq with friends. A no frills beer that has its place.

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Photo of goochpunch
3.1/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out a slightly orange-tinged golden color with a moderately sized white head that thins out. Smells of regular old pale base malt with some slightly citric hops and some earthy aromas from the hops. Flavor is overly sweet from the malt with a slight hop kick toward the end. What makes this interesting is the earthy hop flavors I get from this, whereas I'm so used to the typical citrus hop overload. Mouthfeel is a little syrupy but overall decent. Carbonation is nice. It pricks slightly, but still manages to please. The sweetness kills this for me drinkability-wise. Overall it has an interesting flavor, though.

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Photo of Treebs
3.11/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had on draft in Taos, NM at KTAO radio station bar. Poured into pint.

A: Pours a nice copper with firm white head. Great retention and solid lace down the glass.

S: Malt with some lager-like qualities to it. There are some bitter hops on the back end of the nose but nothing special.

T: Some bland citrus and a little malt, but nothing else in terms of flavor profile.

M: Light bodied with a crisp, clean and dry finish. No real discerning flavors left on the palate to entice me back for more though.

O: Pretty straight forward and average for the style. No real concrete flavors to separate it from any other pale ale.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.15/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle.

Pours with a medium parchment colored head. Bubbly amber color. Aroma of citrus, caramel, grapefriut and rye. Starts sweet and tingly, like club soda. Medium body. Some quinine and lemon in finish, leaves a sweet aftertaste. Average pale ale, not bad but would not seek out again, minimal citrus, pine or resin.

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Photo of flexabull
3.2/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one pours an orange cloudy color with a decent head.

Aromas are malty, tea like, sour and dusty. Not quite what I expect from a Pale, but not bad.

Surprisingly, I thought this was a lager when I first sipped it. It reminds me a lot of an Alt. Malty, slightly sweet, and crisp. Not much hops here.

Mouthfeel is quite nice. A full flavored and well rounded beer.

All in all? This is decent. Not unpleasant, but not all that interesting either.

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Photo of djeucalyptus
3.21/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a golden caramel orange hue, crystal clear with a two-finger bright white heavily-carbonated soda-like head. despite looks, impressive retention and decent frothy lacing to the bottom.

aroma is citrusy, a bit bready, and a bit of light yeast. relatively subtle. a bit of herbal/medicinal hops. not bad. not memorable.

bready, doughy, and yeasty with some green veggie hops, a bit of herbal hops, and a citrusy grapefruit finish. nothing unique but certainly nothing off here. an average solid, clean, fairly west-coast-ish ipa flavor wise.

carbonation seems a tad high, but not way over the top. smooth and a bit creamy, just a bit slick... fairly full for a pale, but certainly palatable.

All in all, not a bad brew. if this was all I had, I'd be happy. nothing astounding, nothing terribly unique, but definitely drinkable.

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Photo of OKCNittany
3.21/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a two finger off white head with incredible retention leaving loads of lacing. Hazed orange body.

S: Not a lot of hops present in the aroma - maybe some lemon. More notable were some malt & some earthiness - but nothing too enjoyable.

T: On the tongue, a little hop bite up front followed by a boring maltiness in the middle, finishing with a lemony hop bitterness.

M: Medium-light body with soft carbonation. A bit watery, but still smooth. Dry finish.

D: I'm sure this would be drinkable - even sessionalbe - for those that like the taste more than I did.

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Pale Ale from Santa Fe Brewing Company
3.48 out of 5 based on 261 ratings.
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