Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Pale Ale | Napa Smith Brewery

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Pale AlePale Ale
87 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 87 |  Reviews: 56
Photo of emceecue
3.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of beerpadawan
3/5  rDev -7.7%

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.

 417 characters

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.

 554 characters

Photo of countchunkula
3.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of rarbring
3.97/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The brew is foggy light amber, an off-white head leaving little lacing and rather small curtains.

Very malt dominated smells, porridge, bread, nuts, grain, honey and apricots.

Sweet honey, brown hard bread, apricots and some grape peel.

Medium high carbonation, a good body, soft and smooth, a light dry long finish.

A very good APA that nicely uses the malt.

 363 characters

Photo of DocJitsu
3.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden wheat color. No head, but that's the way the waitress poured it. Very grainy and butterscotch aroma. Very nice mouthfeel--slick and wet. Butterscotch flavor that is balanced with a barely noticeable hop. In fact, without making a special effort to look for the hop, you'll miss it. A little under-hopped for an APA. IBUs might be at the APA level, but the aggressive grain bill disallows the hops to express themselves.

 440 characters

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.

 333 characters

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?

 1,028 characters

Photo of soju6
3.6/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a copper color with a decent head that fades slowly with nice lacing.

S: Aroma of some citrus, mild caramel sweetness with a hint of spice.

T: Taste of mild caramel msweetness,some fruit and bit of spice. mild bitterness and a dry finish.

F: fairly medium body, mild crispness and smooth.

O: nothing fancy just a nice easy drinker.

 344 characters

Photo of damngoode
3.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Rocketman8911
3/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of buckyp
3.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of Amp
2.5/5  rDev -23.1%

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.

 493 characters

Photo of ATPete
3/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of Grebdioz
3/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of dowen44
3.5/5  rDev +7.7%

Photo of ROGUE16
3/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of MammothBrew
3.63/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into my trusty tulip.

A: Pours a clear light orange color with an eggshell white head that measures one finger. It quickly subsides into spotty bubbly patches.

S: Seems faint to me. I pretty much get notes of citrus, grassy hops, and light malt.

T: Better than I had expected, yet somewhat subtle. Citrusy and grassy with light malt.

M: Light body with low carbonation, pretty watery. VERY light resin coats the mouth. That's the best thing about the mouthfeel and still pretty weak.

O: This isn't wonderful or exceptional but I don't think this is a drainpour like someone had stated. I'd have no problem drinking this on a hot summer day or at a cookout. It's actually somewhat quenching. Also, I have no regrets paying $1 for this bottle.

 754 characters

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.

 688 characters

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.

 843 characters

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.

 1,301 characters

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!!!)


 627 characters

Photo of Brad007
3.8/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale, golden color with a one-finger head into my glass. Never seen this brewery before. Regardless, it looks about right for the style.

Grassy hops followed by sweet malt with a buttery touch. Hops aren't overpowering. Very basic.

Drinks very good with a crisp hop bite followed by malt that isn't as sweet as I thought. Again, a beer that is elegant in its' simplicity.

The malt finishes sweet with just a bit of grassy hop character. Not bad. A little dry.

Well, it's simple, it's drinkable and the ABV isn't too shabby either. Sounds like a good beer for a midsummer's lazy afternoon.

 601 characters

Pale Ale from Napa Smith Brewery
Beer rating: 3.25 out of 5 with 87 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.