Pale Ale | Napa Smith Brewery

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Pale AlePale Ale

Brewed by:
Napa Smith Brewery
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.25%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by aforbes10 on 11-29-2008

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Reviews: 56 | Ratings: 86
Photo of SFLpunk
1.91/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

12oz brown glass pry-top bottle. No date, odd since it's coming through an ABI house...

Pours a mellow, hazy orange with very thin, quickly fading head. Nose smells like sulfur and burnt orange peel... I don't really want to taste this, but here goes...

Paper thin, watery mouthfeel. Sulfur continues on the palate with lime/lemon essence and cereal grain flavors.

THIS IS A DRAIN POUR. Wow, what a TERRIBLE beer. I'd say it might be an off bottle, but who knows?! since there's no dating on it. I'm just going to assume it's terrible and rate it as such. (Date your beers and maybe I'll give you a second chance!!!)


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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.31/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours out looking pretty much like BMC with a tan and thinner head. Aroma was just totally devoid of dry hopping. These dudes brag on being traditional, not over the top or whatnot, but they just seem to make that old guy homebrew mild shit. To their credit, I've never encountered any off flavors, but the aroma for a CA pale ale being "grainy" is disappointing.

A light graininess with mild bitterness. A mild ride, like walking down a .5% grade hill. But sometimes you just wanna walk with the wind at your back and not put much, if anything into your experience that day, might as well just chill and let the day take you where it may, thats kind of this beer. Carbonation seems on the high side. Something has to have life in this beer am I right? Doesn't have that wet heavy wood malt bill at least that many traditional English styles do, so that has me even further confused if they were going for traditional, why is this so highly carbonated and light bodied?

And why is this beer so expensive relatively speaking?

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.31/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Looks like bmc with a fractional amount of less of water. Aroma really lacked hops. Really bad.

Taste was all english pale ale at best. Super mild, grainy. Burton guy. Limestone. There really isn't much to speak of, just really a beer without much in the way of hops, bitterness, flavor, etc. . .

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Photo of hustlesworth
2.37/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- clear light golden amber with a whipped frothy white head. foam recedes quickly but leaves good creamy rings of lace.

S- pale malt aroma with some decent earthy hops too. diacetyl and grassy aromas make me notice a trend in napa's beers. smells similar to the wheat beer with just a little more toasted and caramel. very pilsner-ish.

T- malty sweet with some minor hops flavor. grassy and herbal. diluted in comparison to good high rating APAs. finishes slightly dry with some fruity white grape flavor and a mild progressing bitterness.

MF- light and drying on the cheeks with a lemony feeling. soft medium carbonation.

D- refreshing and clean, but unsatisfying in terms of flavor and character and ultimately boring. perhaps lack of substance really is the problem.

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Photo of mactrail
2.51/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Slight haze on the light amber brew. AVerage head with decent carbonation. Kind of fruity and herbal smell.

Flavor heads off into the cardboard territory. Some bitterness which doesn't go well with the tart taste. Faint traces of malt and suspiciously dry. "Flaccid" is the word I would pin on this. Bitterish aftertaste. More like dishwater with a squeeze of lemon. Very peculiar stuff.

From the 12 oz bottle bought at Grapevine Wine & Liquors on Monaco. Big sale item, but this is the only one of their major discount items I have had a problem with.

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Photo of PorterLambic
2.51/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Pours a brown just the light side of medium with orange highlights. Head is small and short-lived, off-white in color. No lace. Weirdly, there is some sediment in the bottle while there is no indication of bottle conditioning mentioned anywhere.
Smell is a bit funky, malt, light hops, maybe some light fruits. Balance is decent and the funky side is not off-putting, just odd in a pale ale. Smell is reminiscent of a saison.
Taste is malt, funk, hops, and nothing else. The funk outweighs the rest slightly but not enough to make it undrinkable. If this were labeled a saison, I could believe it. It wouldn't be a very good one, but it seems closer than calling it a pale ale. There are notes of medicine and green wood in the aftertaste.
The body is fairly weak, not even reaching to medium. Carbonation is a little low but not outside the expected range. As it warms a harshness creeps in, exacerbating the medicinal and wood notes. Drink faster!
There really isn't much to recommend this one. Sorry, folks.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.56/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

First time I have seen this at the local beer haunt so it was a must buy at the modest price.

Looks like a wheat beer. Filtered blonde body with a faint weak head that falls to a small island in the middle. No lace. Fizzy.

It has a nice raw mash smell of wet grain. Carbonation is solid and snappy. As it warmed up from Ice cold to cold it releases a new smell of 7up.

I could see sipping on this beer at ice cold temperatures on a hot day. Not sure what their goals are for distribution but I'd keep this local. Its a boring blonde at best.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.69/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a murky orange with a foamy orange-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, a can of mixed nuts, and some very mild herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with an earthy and nutty flavor on the finish. There is a very mild hop bitterness that quickly fades with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty poor example of a pale ale and I don't know if it's and old bottle but it sure tastes that way.

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Photo of theopholis
2.76/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance- Body is aclear light golden amber with a impressively frothy white head. Very little head retention, but leaves a ice lacing.

Smell- pale malt aroma with some decent earthy hops too. Hints of toastiness and caramel.

Taste- Decent malty sweetness with some minor hops flavor. Not nearly hoppy enough to be considered a pale ale.

Mouthfeel- light and drying on the cheeks with light carbonation.

Drinkability- Not objectionable tastes, but was nowhere robust enough to be considered a pale ale.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
2.78/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

This is... Ah to hell with it. I don't know what this is. But it sure isn't a pale ale. Loads of malts. Barely any noticeable hop tones. This is my third beer from this brewery and I'm kind of bored with having to think up something to say about one of their beers. Again (I feel like I'm a broken record), drinkable, but nowhere near the style parameters. It's just a "beer." Thank goodness it was so cheap at BevMo.

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Photo of MisterClean
2.81/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

On site with Don.

A - Pours golden with a 2 fingered head. Dissipates fast and leaves a light lacing.

S - Not much there. Nothing very discernible. This is the first time I cannot discern anything aside from pale malts of some sort.

T - Again, shocked. No difference in taste. It's just a standard malt affair.

M - Full-bodied.

D - Not much hops for a pale ale. No distinct flavors either. Nothing exciting.

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Photo of GilGarp
2.86/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle served cold into a pint glass.

Napa Smith's Pale Ale is a light golden color with good clarity and creamy head. Sme lacing is left behind as it settles.

Aroma is mild and more sweet than hoppy.

Flavor is a strange combination of vegetables, honey, and pine. It's not at all what I was expecting and is not very good for that matter.

Mouthfeel is light in body and well carbonated. Too sweet for a pale ale.

Overall a really disappointing pale ale. I'm glad I only bought one.

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Photo of illidurit
2.86/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Perfectly clear with a rather light gold color. Nice modest cap of creamy off-white foam. Aroma is grainy and almost would be pilsener-esque if it wasn't for a whisper of caramel and floral hops. Flavor is pale malty with a hint of banana sweetness. Bready and mildly spicy with a dry mineral finish and a light bitterness. Not a lot of substance at all. Definitely underhopped. Sorta tastes like an ESB. Pass on this one.

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Photo of Duff27
2.88/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- pours a good inch thick white fizzy head. Beer is a hazy light orange color. Decent head retention and lacing.

S- Smell is fruity...citrus, lemons.

T- Not too big of a hop presence. Grassy. Hints of caramel malt. Thirst quenching if nothing else.

M- Carbonation is good. Feels nice in the mouth.

D/O- Not a lot of stuff going on to me. No bottling date so who the hell knows how old this is. After reviewing this I checked others reviews and I'm right in line with the nothing sticks out as good or bad, just kinda there.

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Photo of beerthulhu
2.91/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pumpkin orange when backlighted, shows a good clarity and strong sense of effervesce of macro-bubbles within. The head is frothy, slight on size and retention leaving a short lacing behind. For aroma there is not much to speak of in terms of complexity and strength. More English style which is what im guessing they were shooting for. Floral scents mixing with a light dried orange skin aroma. Overall weak.(guess im wrong this is labeled an apa)

T: For flavor there is a bit of spiciness, fruggles fruity with some tropical fruit notes. Definitely seems to be leaning more towards the English variety pale,hop wise but with an American malt base of toasted grain base rather a biscuity backing. Seems to have a bit of influence from both sides of the pond but really doesn’t grasp a clean defining flavor and seems more confused. Nice level of maltiness but overall a middle of the road flavor.

M: Light boded but with some malty tones. Quiet carbonation, spicy with dry toasty afterthoughts.

O: Wish I had better regards for this but this is at best a middle of the road, ho-hum beer that doesn’t want to stand out, rather hide in the back of the room hoping not be called upon. Does the minimal to get by on, rather unexciting and cant recommend a 6 pack for the pale ale enthusiasts.

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Photo of taylocd
2.95/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one was a new selection at my local shop, so I picked up a pack this afternoon.

Poured from 12-ounce bottle into pint tumbler. Bottle had no date code or bottled on date that I could find.

A - hazy golden ale with only a hint of pale peach to be seen; "exceptional" retention of the robust white head and thick lacing; bubbling continued for quite a long time after the pour

S - faint and almost nonexistent grapefruit smell

T - There was very little to judge by the way of flavor, which should be bad, but the brew did not have any thing particularly bad about it - it was simply bland. There a slight metallic and bitter finish. If the bitterness had been more pronounced, I'd have rated this one higher. If the metallic flavor had been more pronounced, I'd have rated it much lower.

M - The carbonation suited the beer well and gave it a nice texture

D - This was an easy drinker, but I downgraded it a bit for the lack of flavorful punch.

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Photo of RunDWP
2.99/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up a bottle in Napa Valley in a grocery store in St. Helena during a wine tasting trip. Kind of curious to see what kind of brew would be produced in the middle of wine country. Opening the bottle unleashed a nice orange citrus and floral aroma. The brew was a light orange color, and the white fizzy head quickly dissipated in the tulip. There was hardly any malt for a pale ale, and no real balance to the light citrus and floral hops. The lack of malt made for a rather watery unsubstantial brew, and sorry to say, was a bit of a disappointment.

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Photo of Samp01
3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy golden amber with a small short lived white head. Aroma and Taste of biscuit malt, yeast, some fruity notes with some citrusy hops. Palate is a medium body with moderate carbonation. Finish is sweet caramel and biscuit malt. Yeast, some fruity notes ending with some citrus hops for balance. Overall an average pale ale.

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Photo of david18
3/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had a sixteen ounce draft of this at the Burger Bar in Macy's in San Francisco's Union Square. Overall this was a pretty unimpressive beer that didn't stand out in any way for me.

Appearance is a golden/orange, very cloudy with a weak head.

Smell is of citrus and slight malt but, again, not too outstanding.

Flavor was a little bland. It had all of the elements that a balance beer should have but not very strong in any of them.

Overall, this was not a great beer but I think i'd try it again to give it another chance.

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Photo of tapman
3.03/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A tawny, orange color and pours clear enough to read through, though there is a small ring of sediment around the bottom of the bottle. That's a high-flocullating bottling strain they got there. Head is white, pours 1 finger and settles down to a modest lace.

Pale malt/grainy aroma with notes of earthy hops.

Same as the nose, but with a very clean finish and a very low bitterness. A little biscuit in there as well.

A little thin.

I think that this is the most average pale ale I have ever had. Not bad, not great, just average.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.1/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

It's a pale ale from the land of wine. On to the beer:

Dullish washed out orange with grapefruit skin hues. It seems a little hazy in the body. The foam on top does some clinging to the glass and retention is fine. The nose has some intersting aspects...well, it's a little different per style. Nonetheless, it does seem disjointed at points. It's earthy with moderate herbal and a small kick of diacetyl.

Its flavor intensity is rather low, and coupled with the sparkling bubbly, seems more like a sparkling ale than a pale ale. Earthy, toasty, and buttery tones run together, herbal as well. Crisp carbonation adds a refreshing factor to a beer that is otherwise indifferent.

Not exactly good nor bad, though given that's been my expectation of Napa Smith, I'm not really heartbroken. Good thing this pale ale came in a 12 ounce bottle.

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Photo of Zorro
3.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear golden to light amber colored ale with a small white head.

Smell is light and freshly hoped. Very perfumed and flowery smelling and not a typical west coast hops truck run over. Light caramel and vanilla scent One hard to identify scent here smells like bitter orange.

Starts out dry and lager like with a mild bitter snap. Mild hop perfume only not much more than a mild cracker malt otherwise. Really light in the flavor department.

Mouthfeel is light.

Pretty drinkable mostly because this is light and light flavored. Worth a try but not really all that great.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.14/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Malty aroma has a good yeasty overtone and a hint of apple. Pours a lovely clear orange-golden amber with a fairly thick and frothy cream-white head that leaves some good lacing. Malty flavor has subtle fruity and grassy notes, enjoyable if nothing special. Texture has about average body and not much fizz. If not a spectacular ale, worthy of at least a try.

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Photo of Offa
3.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a fairly basic but solid, easy-drinking beer and definitely better than Napa Smith's Amber and Red Ales.

Pale amber, it has a medium off-white head soon thinning to a ring and a few wisps.

Aroma is the weakest point, being mostly old metal pipes with hints of canned tuna and old grain at first, before developing hints of cracker and apples that then dominate even though very light.

Taste is simple but much better, being light grain and apple, light grassy-peppery hop bitterness with balancing grain-apple sweetness. It is well balanced and solid, stays enjoyable, but it is a simple, light, basic, and fairly one-dimensional beer. Feel is good, solid with nice liveliness.

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Photo of TheDeuce
3.17/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Napa Smith Organic a bottle

Appearance-light orange to gold color, medium sized white head, ok carbonation,

Smell-light grass with a hop background, an interesting hop blend, light alcohol as well.

Taste/Mouthfeel-hoppier side of Pale Ales, though actually a lighter consistency than expected. Light to medium mouthfeel, ok smoothness, malt is there but relegated to the background, flavors match up.

Drinkability-a light yet hoppy pale ale.

Overall-decent APA, on the hoppy and light side, not the most complex beer but it works for what it is.

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Pale Ale from Napa Smith Brewery
3.25 out of 5 based on 86 ratings.
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