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Pale Ale | Napa Smith Brewery

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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:
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Ratings: 87 |  Reviews: 56
Photo of zeff80
3.55/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a one-finger, white head of bubbly foam. It left some minimal lacing on the glass.

S - It smelled floral with citrus and pine notes. Some caramel sweetness in the nose, too

T - It tasted fairly spicy with sweet caramel flavor. There was a nice maltiness, too.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a pretty nice APA. Solid but not spectacular.

 454 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.7/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle - $2.09 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, burnished orange body with a goodly-sized, white head. Pleasant-looking laceworks on the way down.

Smell: Sweetish, caramel-scented nose with some pale malts yielding minor hints of bread and even less toast. Mild earthen hop note throughout.

Taste: Pale and sweet caramel maltiness with a scant toasty breadiness. Lightly earthy, very lightly citrusy hops with a somewhat restrained bitterness to it. Spreading, but still fairly mild graininess on the latter half. Sweetish, somewhat fruity finish hinting at dried apricot.

Mouthfeel: Falls just ever so shy of being medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: A basic, light, easy-drinking American Pale Ale. Not particularly memorable (except for being the first Napa Smith beer that didn't want me to race towards the nearest sink), but it works.

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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.

 528 characters

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 GarthDanielson
3.52/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass, the beer is a slightly hazy, pale golden coloring with a rosey tint to it. Pours with a considerably thick, dense, white, bubbly head. Aromas of hops and citrus, but both mild and balanced. Also some juniper essence to the nose. The beer has an initial bouquet of flowery flavors riding lightly on the hoppy foundation. On subsequent tasting, the hops continue to reveal themselves, as well as a light peppery spicing and some citrus highlights. The beer is extremely light bodied, with a medium feel to it. The aftertaste is the slightest hint of hops and a little bit of citrus. Slightly lingering finish, but very pleasant to drink. Weak on the hops flavors when compared to other Pales, but being not overpowering makes this an easy beer to pair with almost anything.

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Photo of morimech
3.2/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Clear golden color with a large head that had excellant retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Moderate amount of lacing is left on the glass.

Does not smell like a typical APA. Has the hop aroma of the European variety. Spicy, grassy, and herbal. A little bit of dry malt as well. I like this so far.

The taste does not do as well. Just too much caramel malt. And no beer that brings that variety out in the flavor more than anything else scores very well with me. The hops bring a herbal and grassy flavor.

Lighter body and a nice lively carbonation. I enjoy it that way when the ABV and bitterness is low.

The thing about this beer that really bothered me was the pricing and packaging. It was $6.99 for a 4-pack of 12oz bottles. If we were to expand this price to a 6-pack, it would cost $10.50. That is Stone IPA prices. Too much money for this low ABV beer. I will not be buying any beer from this brewery again at this price.

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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 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.

 342 characters

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

 446 characters

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

Napa Smith Organic Pale...in 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.

 560 characters

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.

 546 characters

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.

 510 characters

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...

 701 characters

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.

 1,058 characters

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.

 396 characters

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.

 534 characters

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