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 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 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 Gobzilla
3.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a translucent golden orange in color with yellow highlights that had a thin bubbly head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: the aroma was composed of mostly malts but did have very little citrus, spice, and faint booze.

T: the taste had very little hop character as well but stil had citrus spice accents but had lots of sweetness from the malts.

M: the brew was medium was medium in body with a low amount of carbonation which had a sweet, citrusy, and malty finish.

D: just a decent pale ale that was not so tasty but drank like a session beer.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.48/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy, slightly orange, golden color with a frothy white head that leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smells of grassy and citric notes.

Tastes of good amount of hops with a solid amount of malts. Hops are grassy, lemony, and spicy. Pale malts abound and add some biscuity notes as well some sugars. Touches of caramel malt are also noticeable. Fairly balanced overall.

Mouthfeel is medium with a crisp amount of carbonation.

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Photo of beer2day
3.67/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Medium gold pour with hints of yellow. 1-finger head gives way to a light topping of foam fairly quickly. Moderately active carbonation. Not much in the way of lace.

Decent nose for a pale ale. Moderate herbal hops with whiffs of caramel and faint butterscotch.

Fairly sharp bite right up front. Creamy, with carbonation creeping through. Good malt profile with bread, biscuit, a bit of yeast. Light caramel malt flavor present, but faint.

Nice appropriate body matches the flavors and good for the style.

Moderately good drinker. Would drink a second if offered, but probably wouldn't order another.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.26/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The color is gold and copper as one. Hardly any head or foam or bubbling after this pour. The only nice thing about this beers appearance is the color.

The aroma has a little musky, earthy hops and a sprinkle of bread crumbs mixed together well.
The hops also add a little citric aroma as well.

The taste is a musty and musky orange peel and earthen hops mixed with some simple toasted Wonderbread. Very simple tasting pale ale with a watery somewhat grainy palate thats pretty easy to drink.

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Photo of nick76
3.66/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The aroma is a bit like freshly cut carrots, celery, and lettuce with hops and malt. Weird. The appearance is light amber gold with a foamy head. The taste is like the aroma but the metallic vegetables are definitely faint. The palate is typical for the style. Overall a really good beer despite some serious flaws.The finish is buttery. Yum.

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Photo of ReDave
3.95/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found this in a "leftover" ice chest, not sure who bought it but thanks!

Light gold straw appearance, some haziness.

Aroma, grassy with some malt, pretty light
thin head that fades fast, little to no apparent lacing.

Taste, pretty standard for a American Pale Ale,
not one of the hoppier ones, but adequate.
Fairly light bodied, probably within standards.

Adequate, drinkable, I wouldn't go out of my way for it, SNPA wins that. But pretty OK

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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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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 srandycarter
3.19/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Murky wheaty honey. Lots of head, leaves slow. Lots of cling lace.

S - Dry distant malt characteristic. Hops way in the distance.

T - Medium, solid, drinkable Pale Ale. What more can I say.

M - Medium to light, good carb and balance.

D - Good summer session.

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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 litheum94
3.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: Golden body with a small pillow of a dirty white head that settles to a minimal covering that leaves a fair amount of lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Honey malts and citrus hops.

Taste: A nice, sweet, honey coasting with caramel malts. Nice dose of citrus hops mid-palate leading into a dry, hoppy finish.

I admit that this isn't that different from any other pale ale I've ever had, but it's well made and very enjoyable. This is a fairly citrus hop forward beer with a good dose of honey flavor to balance it out. Nothing special, but it certainly won't disappoint.

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Photo of russpowell
3.36/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

New addition to the state, picked this up at Mid Town in Tulsa

Pours an effervescent bronze with 3 fingers of ivory colored head. Fantastic lacing & average head retention

S: Light floral hops

T: Breadyness, citrus & floral hops up front. Flinty dryness & biscuitty malt dominate as this warms, plus a touch of toffee & a kiss of grassy & herbal hops. Finishes slightly grainy, dry, lemony & a with a whisper of DMS

MF: Medium bodied, well balanced, aggressively carbonated, tone that down a bit, gets a bit prickly. Thins out as this warms

Easy drinking APA, not blowing me away, started falling apart a bit at the end, detracted from MF, drinakability & flavor. Napa Smith; you were so close...

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Photo of maximum12
3.81/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to chickencoop who dropped this in a massive atom bomb box of beer that stressed the concrete of my porch last week. An extra I haven't tried from a brewery I hadn't heard of. Perfect.

Pours an off orangish that isn't terribly clear without appearing unfiltered. The pale malts leap out of the nose along with the mown remnants of a local ditch. Almost hefe-level grassy.

This pale is nice! The pale malts are very forward, but lack the grainy, acidic bite that I find unappealing in most pale ales. Instead, the grains are white-glove refined, & along with the very restrained use of hops, gives the beer a smooth, easy-drinking quality that you'd expect from a macro (except it tastes good).

Very good pale, one of the favorites I can recall off hand. This is a classic lunch beer, or a brew that you can have one (maybe two) of if there's an hour's drive home in your future. If there were more tasty, low ABV brews like this in the States, I'd happily seek them out more often.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - This is a majestic hazy orange in color with a nice, white head that fluffed up beautifully.

Smell - The grain bill comes over immaculately at the nose. It is rich and shows great depth without being overly sweet or corny. The hops are mild and almost European. I enjoyed the delicate take on the hops but oh my God this grainy malt base is amazing and probably one of the best that I've ever smelled.

Taste - This grain takes everything that I've ever complained about American grain and turned it around. It is rich, luscious, sharp grain without being harsh, and shows a depth of flavor that I've never tasted before. This truly is an amazing ale.

Mouthfeel - This is in between light and medium-bodied with very mild carbonation and no bitter bite. If you're looking for a classic baby IPA from this pale ale then you will be sorely disappointed, but if you want balance, creaminess, and a terrific mouthfeel than this can't be beat.

Drinkability - This beer really defines this category. You just can't stop drinking it until it's gone.

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Photo of chickencoop
3.83/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

These guys are pioneers of the micro beers so they get some added props for that. The American Pale Ale style that this is a part of has changed a ton since these guys began, so putting it in that context.... This is a much lighter hoppier style compared to the big hops, big malts of a Sierra. The beer is crisp and refreshing, more on the hops end of the scale. Clean and crisp, very drinkable.

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Photo of JTahoe
3.43/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear gold with copious tiny bubble action and a dense off-white two-finger head leaving nice sticky lace fairly generously around the glass.

S - A pretty good dose of barley and an earthy grassiness with a whiff of citrusy lemon peel.

T - Biscuit grain flavors are prevalent with pale malt verging on caramel, and smooth, fresh, grassy hops, with just a trace of citrus.

M - A lad light, but with a smooth creamy feel and moderate-light carbonation.

D - Drinkable and pleasant, though this one isn't going to drive you crazy with desire or hit you over the head. It is a subtle yet very solid and well made brew. It doesn't bear much resemblance to most APAs, but it seems to me that they are going for a very traditional approach.

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Photo of bump8628
3.45/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Napa Smith has produced a pretty decent pale ale. Fruity, grassy, and spicy hops come through clearly in the taste, but not so much in the aroma. Slightly sweet pale malt lays a solid foundation, but doesn't get in the way. Yeast throws out a few pleasant esters and even a hint of diacetyl that actually plays well with the overall profile. Balance is only barely slanted towards the hops. It's nothing to get excited about, but also nothing to complain about, that is unless you think big citric hops are a requisite for this style.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.88/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale tangerine with pale amber highlights and one especially vigorous bubble stream in the exact center of the glass. The alabaster colored crown has plenty of character. It's firmly creamy, a bit rocky, and is doing a fine job laying down lace. A solid start.

The aroma is pleasant enough, though it could be bolder. Pale Ale doesn't smell much like the stated style thanks to the use of European hops. Grassy and spicy don't work as well as citrus fruity when it comes to APAs. To be fair, a modest amount of citrus zestiness is noted.

Napa Smith Pale Ale is not a classic American pale ale circa 2009-2010. It takes more of an old school approach and tastes like the style might have tasted years ago. It doesn't use the usual hop varieties and it isn't anywhere close to over-the-top. Oh yeah, it's pretty good beer and is obviously well-crafted.

The malt side of the seesaw tastes exactly like the malt bill says it will... almost exclusively pale with a hint of caramel. The hoppiness (est. 30 IBUs) tastes fresh and bright and tight. The key to the whole shootin' match is a perfect combination of grassy-herbal-spicy Euro nobles and white grapefruit zesty Americans. There's excellent sweet-bitter balance as well.

While the mouthfeel could be a little bigger, there's no faulting its light creaminess or its exceptionally well-calibrated carbonation. This brewer knows his stuff, there's no doubt about that.

If you have any interest whatsoever in a well-crafted Anglo-American pale ale that won't blow your head off with alpha acids, but delivers excellent flavor and drinkability, then locate a bottle of Napa Smith Pale Ale, crack the crown and enjoy.

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought this on a whim while in Napa Valley. Pours to a slightly hazy, very pale yellow, with thin white head that lingers tio mid-glass. Aroma is hoppy fruit (apples, lemons and grapes) mixed with a floral bouquet and a hint of malt. Actually a nice full mouthfeel that led into a taste that accented the fruits of the nose. FInished off pleasantly. This wouldn't be a bad session beer.

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Photo of endincolorado
4.17/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy, pale amber color with a foamy white head and decent lace.

Fragrant, crisp, floral hoppy aromas that remind me of fresh apples. Pale malt is also evident.

Refreshing balance of crackery pale malt, crisp grain, and a focused hop character.

Light-medium body. Satisfying, with nice carbonation.

A fine drinker all around. Fairly impressed by my first sample of Napa Smith's beers.

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