Golden Ale | St. George Brewing Company, The

79 Reviews
Golden AleGolden Ale

Brewed by:
St. George Brewing Company, The
Virginia, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-17-2002

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Reviews: 79 | Ratings: 111
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.47/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy copper color. Sorry, but this isn't very 'golden'. The head is a finger high and off-white in shade. Retention isn't great, but a consistent ring of lacing sticks to the glass. (3)

Smell: This has a very earthen tone to it, perhaps as expected. There are also some crackery, bread-like malts to go with the earthy hops. I'm a little disappointed that the ale esters don't pop well. Come to think of it, they don't pop well at first. Letting this open up will unfurl notes of apricot, lemon, and peach - the longer I wait, the fruitier this becomes. Patience is a virtue with this beer. It doesn't seem overly impressive at first, but I really grow to enjoy this beer's aroma after a while. (3.5)

Taste: The malts come out at first. I get lots of toffee, marzipan, graham cracker, and sugar cookie in particular. Touches of diacetyl also appear (never growing out of control). Letting it sit on the palate will reveal the estery presence. Though it's subtle, it does offer a nice peachy, almost marmalade-like character on the back end. This beer does a nice job of invoking apricot jam spread on graham crackers really well. Yeah, I do enjoy this one, quite a bit in fact. (3.5)

Mouthfeel: Not the driest or most crisp brew I've ever had, it still has a nice fullness and good carbonation to will it down easily. This is more of a steady sipper than a chugger. While drinkability isn't the best, I still want to steadily put this away - so it's definitely doing something right. (3.5)

Overall: It's not often one finds an English-style golden ale brewed on these shores! To me, this is closer to an ESB than a golden ale - but an ESB that's actually good instead of a storm of crystal malt messiness. While I wouldn't go seeking this out regularly, it's a fun curiosity worth one's time. (3.5)

3.47/5: More UK golden ales, please!

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.31/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a bottle into a stemmed vase, the beer is a vibrant honey-gold coloring, with a low profile, fluffy, white head. Aromas of toasted grains, subtle honey and caramel, and subtle floral notes. Flavors are heavily roasted, with tangy honey sweetness, bitter hops backbone, and not much else. The body is light, but smooth, with a dryness that comes along with the hops bitterness. The aftertaste is more of the roasted sweetness, with the tangy honey notes lingering on past the light, smooth finish.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Enjoyed from the 12 oz bottle from a good Doctor friend. Thanks Chris!

Ale pours a rustic, luminous light amber with a nice off white head of big bubbled foam that lingers long with nice lacing. Nose of sweet grains, light floral hops, and sweet caramel malts. Flavors follow the nose with an abundance of floral hops, honey, caramel, and a moderate grain note that comes in on the back. Crisp mouth feel and good carbonation makes this n ideal session brew that finishes with a nice floral hop character that fades to a spicy hop note. Very nice.


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Photo of hophugger
3.24/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Overall, a decent beer from my local brewery. Nice color and big head. Flavor has a little sweetness and citrus to it. Balance is not bad. There is a slight heavy feel on the palate. Does not take away from the beer, just thought I would mention it, interesting. Good beer, will drink again !!

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Photo of patre_tim
3.24/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Golden with lots of fine particles of yeast floating within and little carbonation. 5 fingers of off white head that is chunky, off white and leaves a great lacing.

S: Fruity like apricot jam, a light pineapple scent, a little lemony scent, a little spice like red pepper.

T: A plastic taste first hits the tongue, then the apricot and pineapple, then a rusty metallic hit, then some dough and finally a light bitterness.

M: A medium thick syrupy body, medium low carbonation.

O: Great scent, not overwhelming otherwise. Bought in Williamsburg VA, drank in Pensacola, FL July 24th, 2014

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Photo of KTCamm
3.56/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from a bottle into a pint glass 6/3

Pours bright copper, translucent, with a light ring of white foam. Light malty nose, bready, caramel. Taste is of a light pale, some citrus, and a little lite bitter. Subtle sweetness. Pronounced mildness. Good, yet unremarkable.

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Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a rather clear amber with a nice, frothy head; decent stickage and lace

Smell: Grainy, with a hint of caramel and pine

Taste: Opens with some caramel and fruity flavors, much like an ESB, though the hops bring decidedly American tones of pith and pine; the faint sweetness persists into the finish, balancing out the bitterness in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: With a name like Golden Ale, you can never be too sure what to expect, but I sure wouldn't characterize this as an American Blonde; it is somewhere in the territory between an ESB and an APA and it is darn good stylebender

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Photo of TechTriumph
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From notes on 02/28/12:
No freshness date; Poured in a pint glass.

A - Half inch off-white creamy head that doesn't last too long; Fairly hazy in appearance and orange/copper in color; Minimal lacing left behind

S - Notes of sweet caramel, toasted breads and biscuits, nuts, and herbal and lemon/citrus hops

T - Brief sweet caramel present before a decent wave of bitterness hits; Along with the bitterness is a good presence of toasted, bready, and biscuity malts with some herbal and citrus hops trying to peek through

M - A bit above moderate carbonation; Medium bodied

O - Overall, this was a solid brew that doesn't overwhelm in any category, but brings a decent flavor profile and is very easy to drink. I'm not sure this would be a frequent beer for me, but I wouldn't mind having it again.

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Photo of abrand
3.03/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle from a BIF. Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a light yellow color with nice carbonation. Thin head. Smells of sweetness, hops, and fruits. Pretty light but attractive smell. Taste is decent. Just not much going on. Some hops and fruits with floral notes. Mouthfeel is thin. Overall this is alright but not really doing it for me.

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Photo of LuthersMug
3.73/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this one at Blue 5 Restaurant in Roanoke, Va. They actually called it "Blue 5 Golden Ale."

A - Nice orange-yellow hue. Little bit of off-white head, but the lacing was especially nice, gracefully falling down the sides of the glass.

S - A little weak, some floral, citrus, and piney hops.

T - Solid flavor, piney hops were good.

M - Good, but not great, felt a bit lacking.

O - Enjoyable, but one was enough.

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Photo of DaveBlack
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A little dark from what I would call golden, it's a little more amber. There is not much head on this beer, but it has decently long retention and leaves a fair amount of lacing to boot.

S: Grainy, sweet malts and a nice bit of piney hops to balance out the sweetness.

T: Tastes a fair amount like the smell would indicate. A good amount of sweet caramel malts to start, then a heavy hit of the pine hops to bring a grassy, herby balance at the end. It has a pretty dry aftertaste.

M: Pretty light and crisp.

O: Really a good beer. It's not all that special or different, but it is a solid, easy-to-drink beer. Nothing overwhelms the palate or the other flavors.

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Photo of TappaKeggaBrew
3.46/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: True to its claim, this ale is golden! Sadly, even an aggressive pour produced a small head that disappeared quickly, leaving a faint lacing on the walls of my glass.

S: Not much reaches my nose (would a better head have released more aroma?) Some fresh-cut grass smell, and a touch of maltiness.

T: Over-hopped, in my opinion. I got a split second of sweetness and a tart, pine-like flavor, but as soon as the liquid hit the back of my throat, those were lost to the astringent bitter flavor that lingered. And lingered. Yeah, it's still there...

M: Rather crisp, with more carbonation than I was expecting.

O: Just so-so. Certainly not a drain-pour, but not one I'll return to, either. Hopefully others in this brewery's multi-pack sampler that I recently bought will be more enjoyable.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
3.89/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured chilled in straight-edged ale glass

A: slightly cloudy orangish yellow; thin head; carbonation ok
S: honey-nut cheerios; very inviting
T: very inviting flavor; complex and darker for a golden ale; nice balance between malt and hops (a bit subdued, but contributing to a savory-spiced complexity)

Really, quite a good beer.

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Photo of engagechad
2.88/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased as a single from a Dragon Pack from World Market in Charlottesville, VA - pint glass

Pours a nice gold color, good clarity, not much head but it's sufficient. Soapy though.
Smells thick and malty, kinda doppelbocky but not really in a good way.. hard to describe..
Tastes okay, no real hop bite going on, just enough to keep it from being sweet. Mouthfeel is actually pretty good, feels like a pale but it's a little astringent on the end.

Overall it's pretty decent but I honestly wouldn't buy it again.

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint glass. No obvious date on the bottle, but I did see a laser mark stamp with letters and numbers on it - not obvious what it meant though.

Apperance: Vigorous pour gave a 1/4" thick white head that died down to a ring and a thin film with some little islands of lace here and there The beer is golden-yellow-orange on the table (almost like crystallized Amber) and this honey-orange amber color is even more obvious when held up to the light. Nice range of bubbles moving up through the beer.

Smell: Honey, sweet malt, and tiny hints of pine and citrus. Definitely on the sweet side of things.

Taste: Nice blend of sweetness up front (honey and malt) moving quickly into a prolonged bitter finish. Pine and citrus again, with a UK bitter finish at the end. Hops are pronounced here, and nicely so - just right I think. Not amazing - but nicely balanced against the sweetness at the beginning of the drink.

Mouthfeel: The beginning of the taste is nice and crisp (nice carbonation on the tongue), but the finish is lingering and juicy with a bit clinging to the teeth. A bit odd at first, but ultimately it gave a great sensation of quenching thirst because of how it coated the throat.

Overall / Drinkability: I could have another one of these easily, and indeed, this one went quite fast. Good with a meal and all by itself. I know it's not quite the right ABV for a proper session ale, but it would be one that I would pick for a session ale if I had to pick one. The refreshing nature makes me wish I had a few extras for upcoming lawnmower season. Good overall beer.

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Photo of snaotheus
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Pours a very coppery color, lots of active carbonation, fairly small pale head. Smell is surprisingly rich, malty with a hint of spicy hops. Straw or grassy.

Taste is a little yeasty, dry, kinda nutty, nice bitterness to it, much bitterer than I would have expected from a blonde style.

Mouthfeel is light and dry, very pleasant, quite drinkable beer.

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Photo of darkmartin
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours to a murky, molasses brown with a frothy off-white head that lasts.

Smell: Smells spicy and full of citrus hops. Maybe some nut as well.

Taste: Quite a lot going on here, starts of full of citrus hops, some lemon and maybe orange? Next up are some mild earthy malts and again that nut flavor seems to come out.

Mouthfeel: Light-Medium bodied with lots of carbonation.

Drinkability: I'm a sucker for complex tastes in beer, and this one doesnt dissapoint. However, the citrus is a dominating and takes away from the subtle earthy malts. Overall a nice brew.

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Photo of mklinger
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Mason jar mug at the Yorktown Pub in Yorktown VA. Thin head but it left lots of nice lacing behind. Nice deep gold color with amber hints. Crystal clear, good looking beer.

Aroma was clearly not that of a blonde ale. By both appearance and aroma, this is firmly an American Pale Ale -- Nice citrus aroma, clearly from the Cascade/Centennial family. Also some pretty good malt character. Nice aroma.

Flavor was similar with more malt coming through. Nice biscuity/toasty bit of character in here again. As I said before, not the flavor of a blonde -- this is an APA & a pretty solid one. Some nice bitterness, not West Coast in APA bitterness but plenty still in there. Mouthfeel was fairly light and carbonated. A crisp enjoyable beer

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Photo of tchenery
3.31/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to pint glass. Little to no head on this beer, it appears to be fairly still except for a few bubbles.

Beer pours a deep auburn, gold color and is almost of orange-ish. Not much aroma coming off the beer, probably due to lack of head.

Beer has a malt core that is well balanced with bitterness. Hops aren't too overpowering and neither is the malt.

Well done. I would go for this again.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a clear gold with a two-finger white head that died quickly and had a hardy malt smell along with some citrusy hops. A real dry yet smooth body that mixes dry malt along with some herbal hops. Has a mild sweetness to it while finishing with a crisp, dry backbite that is pleasing. Nice beer to sip on.

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Photo of bamadog
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle of this at The Cheese Shop in Williamsburg, VA while attending a conference. I have to say, I'm pretty pleased with this find. Pour is from the bottle to a pint glass and the review is from notes taken on 3/2/2010.

Appearance: Pours an orange/coppery color and starts with a one finger off-white head with decent retention that fades to a full and uneven skim; body is pretty clear and shows lots of carbonation; a nice web of lacing is left behind on the sides of the glass.

Smell: A fair citric hop presence (juicy orange); a mild malt presence in teh back as well as a bit of cracked toasty graininess.

Taste: More flavorful than I first expected -- the bitter hops are right up front and they're juicy and orange, but there is also a bit more of a bitter tinge to it, more like from an orange peel; there is a light malt presence that offers a bit of balance along with a bit of burnt/toasty graininess; overall, it's pretty straightforward and simple, yet very solid.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is prickly and strong and adds to a body that is a little bit creamy, yet still crisp; a nice stickiness is left all over the palate; just about what it should be.

Drinkability: This would be an amazing beer in the summer -- the bitterness and citric quality really make for a refreshing beer and the ABV isn't too high so it would allow for several to be consumed in a night.

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Photo of ArrogantDeadGuy
2.59/5  rDev -29%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Nice golden pour as advertised and then the effort goes totally wrong. The brewery prides itself on traditional recipes and authentic adherence to traditional styles. The problem here is that all of those goals can equal bland beer. The aromas are almost nonexistant which is suspect because I drank this beer at a brewers event which supplied the freshest of samples. The taste was hard to decipher other than it was acidic and reminiscent of mass produced pilsners. The ale was very thin and worthy of little other disctinction. Another eh example of the style which is becoming a theme with this brewery. :(

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to chaz over on realbeer for this. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my nonic Imperial pint glass. The ale appears a clear straw color with about an inch of quickly fading bone white foam. Nose and flavor are of herbal earthy hops, pale malt, a bit dry, some caramel. Just about medium bodied with ample carbonation.

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Photo of blackie
3.88/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: 12 oz. nonic pint, one-finger off white head atop a golden amber beer, good retention, light lacing

s: pale malt body with a dose of caramel and grainy biscuit, earthy, herbal, pulpy hop aroma, not bad at all

m: soft light-medium carbonation, lighter medium body

t: pale malt body with a big, leafy, tealike herbal hop flavor that lingers long, biscuity caramel brings a light sweetness, moderate bitterness, nice range of flavor with the relatively generous hopping keeping things interesting

d: quite easy

single bottle from Total Wine, Newport News, VA

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Photo of doerickson
3.95/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As golden as advertised; a short off-white head melts down to a crescent on top of the brew pretty quickly.

Smells doughy, a bit buttery and slightly toasty.

Taste is a pleasant balance between a bready, lightly caramel malt flavor and a tea-like hop presence.

Smooth mouthfeel, with less carbonation than others of the style. No obstacles in the smell or flavor to drinking several if you were in the mood to.

Another blue-ribbon St. George beer, and a nice local selection.

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Golden Ale from St. George Brewing Company, The
3.65 out of 5 based on 111 ratings.
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