New Belgium Brewing Company

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American Pale Ale (APA)
3.6 | pDev: 14.17%
New Belgium Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Reviews: 236 | Ratings: 1,082 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yellow and orange, just under 1 inch of head, white. Aroma wasn't all that hoppy, very marginal.

Taste had the nice toasted pale malts. Carbonation was high. For Sorachi hops it wasn't all lemon thankfully, seemed to have some orange rind like notes.

Its a light drinking pale ale that isn't heavy on flavor or bitterness. It is what it is.

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Photo of stevoj
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Beautifully done pale ale, with the hops at just the right amount, not overpowering the entire beer. Pours dark golden with lasting creamy head. Aroma is citrus and hops. taste is lemony, bittersweet and a hint of spice. Really, really good

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Photo of marzenfannm
1.62/5  rDev -55%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2.25

Dull brown appearance, but with nice foamy head. Somewhat sourish aroma. A bit bitter on the palette. Taste not unpleasant, but probably not one I would buy again for my taste.

[I am copying these notes over from RateBeer ... it does not require as long of review. I tasted this some time ago so I can't add anything.]

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.82/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Best By Date 20th, May 2012; Sampled February 2012
A steady, somewhat soft pour into my Lost Abbey Teku glass produces a fat-three-finger thick, pale tan colored head. The beer is an amber copper color that shows a clear, red-copper / gold hue when held up to the light. The beer is served cool, somewhat near 60°F. The aroma smells of citrusy hoppy and dry cracker like malt at the first waft, but picks up more tropical fruit and ripe citrus notes in subsequent draughts of the nose. The pale malt character has a dusty quality to it; it reminds me of whole wheat crackers, pulverized pale malt powder, and perhaps a hint of chewy whole grain bread character. The malt certainly plays a supporting role here, really it is the hops that steal the show. The fruit character is so interesting, it is definitely quite tropical in character; ample notes of lychee, with a funky guava like edge, even some earthy, dripingly ripe mango notes are noticeable in the nose; it is all really quite interesting and worth exploring for a couple minutes.

The flavor has a biting, nip of bitterness up front, it picks up an herbal, slightly raw hop character as it passes across the tongue and it picks up a funky, fruity, still herbal note into the finish that continues to see slightly raw hop bitterness linger on the palate. The beer is quite light bodied, though still has a touch of viscous malt presence, and a touch fizzy from the carbonation; the last is brought out by the fact that this is a bit cooler than the beer is likely carbonated for. The malt plays even more of a supporting role than it did in the nose; there is a soft chewy grain note in the middle and body of this brew, with light flavors of pale-toasted crackers and perhaps a touch of straw like grain. The omnipresent hop character has a nice raw edge to it that is fairly herbaceous, a touch menthol like, definitely a touch dank, and has a green pine sap like character to it in addition to having a vibrant, tropical fruitiness to it. The tropical fruit notes remind me a lot of kumquat zest, guava and lychee (these three are really influenced by the olfactory senses as you take and consume a sip), but there is also tangelo zest and super ripe orange zest note (that is more flavor than olfactory).

A great Pale Ale, I doubt this would really make it to May though (at least for my preferences) as it is the fresh hop character that makes this beer so interesting. I have a feeling that if this beer is served below 53°F that the hop character wouldn’t be nearly so expressive and the light body could come off as being too light; sampled near 60°F + though, it is quite nice (especially once you knock out the excess carbonation.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

One month past best by date. Still a reasonably fresh aroma. Not very complex grassy, flower hop with solid malt background - maybe even a tad rich towards caramel.
Darker than many for style, but attractive with lots of bubble actions and full rich head and lots of lacing.
Interesting solid hop, firm malt and still light body and high drinkability. Long and lingering hop finish, but no excess. Again a slightly heavier and strong malt base, but with good blending. This is less sweet than what appeared in the aroma. Nice flavor to the bittering that runs from start to finish.
Good feel with ample carbonation.
Good solid APA. I'd expect nothing less from this brewery.

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Photo of MadScientist
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A medium copper beer with good clarity. The head is off-white made of rocky bubbles with good retention.

S: A blend of American citrus hops and those tropical fruit New Zealand hop. There are hops aromas of grapefruit citrus, some mango a bit of passion fruit and an herbaceous note. There is a low bready malt aroma.

T: A strong, fruity, citrus and herb hop flavor with a medium-strong hops bitterness. There is barley enough malt to support the hops but it make for and easy drinking, bitter beer. The finish if off-dry with a quick bit off citrus hops bitterness in the aftertaste.

M: A medium bodied beer with a Medium-strong hops bitterness.

O: A very good Pale Ale with a great blend of hops. A refreshing beer that is easy to drink and in my case a great to cool off with after working on the car most of the afternoon.

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Photo of Moose90
3.52/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Grainy. Earthy. Sweet. Bitter. A nice melange of flavors and a fair composition for the style. Didn't really enjoy this one initially, but upon further inspection found it to be enjoyable enough. A nice earthy and dry pale.

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Photo of BucBasil
3.51/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 12 oz bottle into a perfect pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish orange, almost brown. Really rusty, but clear throughout. Super dark for a pale ale (even though i know pale doesn't necessarily refer to the overall color). Head is 2 fingers thick, off white, and sticks around for a while.

S: Lots of hops, as advertised, though more subtle than expected. Fruity hops and some classic floral and grapefruit up front. There is a slight malt tying everything together to provide some balance.

T: Very hoppy and messy, but in a good way. The hops unfold like ppeling layers off an onion, at first floral, then very in your face citrus peel and sour or unripe fruit. There is a slight bready malt in the background, then covered up by grapefruit and more floral. Huge hop profile but not overwhelming. The tastes are really hard to pick out individually, and it ends up just being a hoppy character on your palate that is indeed very spring.

Overall, this beer is solid, not quite an IPA but still having a nice hop profile. Could be a bit fresher. Not quite balanced enough and, as I said before seems a bit messy and directionless. Almost went for too much here, but not bad. Very drinkable and good for everyday drinking or with friends. An alright seasonal.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.25/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

New Belgium Dig Pale Ale has a thick, creamy, white head and a clear, bubbly, amber appearance, with nice lacing left behind. The aroma is of citrus, hop oil, sugar, and white bread. Taste is of those, with some pleasant and mild bitterness. Mouthfeel is watery and slick, and New Belgium Dig finishes semi-dry, refreshing, and quite drinkable. Overall, this one is very nice, and I score it fairly high.


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Photo of RuEXP1
3.64/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - Poured from 12 oz. bottle into standard pint. Pours a nice amber color with a small amount of tan/beige head. Head dissipated quickly, ~ 30 sec. Light amount of carbonation. Decent amount of striation on the glass.

S - Not an overwhelmingly strong smell to this beer. Faint earthy smells, citrus and hops.

T - Similar follow through on taste from the smell. Earthy/piney forefront. hops and citrus linger throughout. Not overly bitter, but still has that IPA feel.

M - Pretty standard here. Nice bite from the carbonation. medium-lite body to it.

O - This is a nice beer, it is very pleasurable to drink. I don't think it really brings anything 'new' to the plate. That being said I would buy it again since it is a solid beer for a good price.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. What I assume to be the “best by” is printed on the label: “16JUN13.”

Appearance: Poured into a tulip glass. While pouring I said to myself, “That’s pretty fucking dark for a pale ale.” The color is bronze, or maybe copper, with an amber tint. Two fingers of dense foam dissipated unevenly to leave trails of foam on the glass, a billowy ring, and a spotted lacing.

Smell: Earthy/grassy hops dominate, which is fitting. I am a little surprised, though, since the citrus is hyped by New Belgium. The citrus and tropical fruit are there, but one needs to “dig” to get to them. Faint scents of mango and peach are tinged with lemon zest, lime, grapefruit, and light pine. As the beer warms, though, the tropical fruit does become more prominent, and becomes sweet in that sticky, lip-smacking way. Yesterday I tried it in a pint glass and today I switched to a tulip. The tulip tempers the earthy/grassy characters and allows the citrus and tropical fruit to shine through a little more.

Taste: Earthy, much like the smell, and somewhat metallic. However, the earthiness eventually gives way to nice balance that is neither too sweet nor too bitter. The malts emerge, but the zest and tropical fruit are still present. Sweet caramel, toffee, mango, lemon, lime, grapefruit, and pine. Despite not being overly bitter, it offers a nice bite throughout the pint.

Drinkability: This is definitely not as zesty or citrusy as I expected. The earthy and grassy hops dominate, which imparts a completely different character — though it is fitting. It is still drinkable and decent.

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Photo of bnes09
4.01/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Transparent bronze color. Bubbly, soda-like off white head recedes to a thin film and adds a few lace blotches.

Smoked meats in the aroma, pine and ginger.

Wheat malt in the background. Spicy ginger root and a hint of lemon acidity. Touch of smoked meat. Mildly dry in the finish.

Medium bodied with a sharp, snappy carbonation. Dry feel.

Solid pale ale. Darker than most examples of the style. Tasty and drinkable nonetheless.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
3.07/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured this APA from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a clear pale amber color, produced an average white head, average retention and it left an average amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma consisted of fresh baked bread, citric lemon, white pepper and pears. Medium bodied, very smooth, there was a foundation of malted grain, balanced well with white pepper, herbal hops. Overall, decent session beer- average attempt at the style.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz from a six pack bought at MIssion Street Walmart in Salem Oregon. $6.97 Pours darker than the usual APA ..amber with a large thick and frothy creme coloured head. Nice light fruity,papaya,lime hop aromas.Some caramel malts. Taste again is caramel malt, but also a rather intense pipe tobacco/cigar ash taste, again some papaya but also plum pit...bitterness lingers than drops off strange but OK. Good palate..not thick but well rounded. Nice unusual APA.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.81/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Clear amber, not much carbonation and one finger head.

S-Caramel, malt, grass, dirt, some lemon and hops rounding it out.

T-Starts with caramel and grass and slight lemon. Not much bitterness. Lemon lingers though.

M-Lighter slight hop presence, mild carbonation.

O-I really like Sorachi Ace hops, the lemon flavors they impart if nice and this a good example.

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Photo of TheMarkE
3.69/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Nice amber shade with good head and good lacing.

Smell: Malty, slightly floral.

Taste: Biscuity malts, lemon, and pepper.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, with a dry, refreshing finish. Mild peppery aftertaste.

The Verdict: Good beer. This seasonal is just right for a warm spring day, especially after a long hike. Well balanced between malts and hops, and between sweet and bitter.

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Photo of kshizzle101
3.39/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass

A - clear amber in color with a 2 inch white head with decent hold

S - malty, roasted grains, hops are slightly hidden, yeast, getting a floral or possibly lemony scent as well

T - grainy malty backbone with some forward hops. slight lemony aftertaste

M - light bodied, a little watery for my liking

Overall - Pretty average beer. Not a ton of flavor and slightly watery

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Delirium snifter on 3/22/13


Autumnal, burnt amber and orange colors with a two finger, rocky head. Retention is thinner and soapy with comparably sudsy lace.

Grassy hop aroma with accents or pine and orange marmalade. Dusty biscuit and bread notes. Overtones of peach cobbler; more cobbler than peach. Moderate bitterness with a grassy, orange pith penchant and floral suggestions. There is solid bread presence; more so than the aroma. The feel is rather resinous for a pale ale. Medium body with ample carbonation.

It get a little more citric as it warms. Dig is a pretty decent little beer.

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Photo of Nixonbrew
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle dated 26-may freshness date. Poured into a pint glass.

A - pours a nice copper color. Darker than other pale ales. Inch thick head that lingers.

S - Malty smell, little in way of hops. Biscuit aroma. Kind of disappointing when expecting a hoppy delight based on the description on the bottle.

T - smooth and balanced. Hop bitterness with good malt flavor and body. Not much hop flavor. They describe lemon, grass, passion fruit, melon but i detect none of these things to any great amount. Tried 3 bottles on different days at different times but all yield the same.

O - pretty tastey and easy to drink but is more like an american amber than a pale ale. Was looking forward to the nelson sauvin hops because i purchased a few oz and wanted to see their flavor and aroma profile. But in this beer i only detect hop bitterness and little else. I have no problem drinking this but would rather buy a 12 pack of alaskan amber for less money and drink that.

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Photo of SerialTicker
3.59/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a Samuel Adams "Perfect Pint" glass.

Appearance: A clear pale, brown color. Head goes away pretty quickly, and the lacing's pretty patchy. Nothing too special.

Smell: A lot like Fat Tire, if you've had that, but with traces of citrus added. Has that "dirty malt" aroma that I get in Fat Tire, but I've only gotten this sort of smell from New Belgium. Maybe it's their yeast?

Taste/feel: Again, a lot like Fat Tire, I think... but better. It seems a bit more balanced, and has a nice bit of hoppiness in it. Has that malty sweetness, and that dirty aroma comes through in the taste though. "Dig" is an appropriate name, because it does taste somewhat like dirt.

Pretty refreshing. Really does remind me of a somewhat lighter version of Fat Tire, with a bit more hops... more drinkable/sessionable than Fat Tire, in my opinion. A good beer in its own right, but pretty average, to me.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best before 5/19/2013. Pours crystal clear golden orange color with a nice 2 finger dense and fluffy white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lasts. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of lemon, mango, peach, pineapple, orange zest, grapefruit, light pine, floral, caramel, light honey, and bread. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of hop notes with good malt balance. Taste of lemon, peach, orange zest, mango, pineapple, grapefruit, pine, floral, light caramel, bread, and light honey. Light citrus bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, tropical fruit, pine, floral, light caramel, bread, and light honey on the finish for a bit. Very nice balance and complexity of hop notes; with a solid malt balance that still showcases hop flavor; and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy and fairly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice pale ale. Damn nice complexity and balance of hop flavor with good malt balance; and extremely smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of spoony
3.53/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 355 ml bottle (best by May 26, 2013) into a globe glass.

A-This brew pours with one finger of nearly white head. The foam is dense and pillowy and sticks around for a bit. The brew itself is amber in color and mostly clear.

S-The smell is pretty mild with dry, powdery flavors, hints of white and black pepper, biscuit dough, and a light floral note.

T-The taste is similarly uninspiring with very mild pale malts, a touch of pepper spice, some chalky dry biscuit, and a mile dose of spicey, herbal hops.

F-The feel is a touch watery and lighter for the style. Carbonation is low and mild. Quaffable.

O-I was hoping for a little more from this brew. The flavors are kind of timid, especially the hops, which you would think would put on more of a show. Perhaps I am too spoiled by pale ales in the Sierra Nevada style, but even if New Belgium was going for the more subtle, Belgian style pale, they could have giving this a little more flavor firepower.

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Photo of rawfish
3.44/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark amber, small half inch head with nearly no retention and strings of ugly lace on the glass.

Cereal grains, prevalent with husky and raw grain aroma, touches of honey. Hope provie a light lemon and earthy pine aroma. New Belgium strain yeast in this starts to emit the familiar biscuity aroma as the beer warms.

Cereal grain, and honeyed biscuits. Solid malt foundation for a varied hop profile, earthy and dank lemon, pine and straw. Slight bitterness and drying.

Average body and sessionable. Dries well but with that husky grain aftertaste. Low carbonation.

More of an amber than a pale ale, I thought that the hop profile would be much brighter in both aroma and taste. Underwhelming spring offering, bring back Mighty Arrow please.

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Photo of AdamBear
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A-pale amber with a thin white head

S-smells like sugary honey Cheerios. Smells tasty! Like a good morning treat.

T-comes in with a good taste of some bitterness and crisp Cheerios. It's a good flavor. Simple. Matching after-taste. Definitely honey and grainy.

M-creamy medium carbonation with a nice creamy finish

O-it's a different APA. It's not hoppy whatsoever. In fact, it reminds me more of a red ale really, or even a red lager. It's tasty though and super easy to drink.

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Photo of andrewjraab
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Purchase a solo at Little Sack Grocery in Rockford.

A - Deep copper / orange with 4 fingers of thick head that leaves lacing and webbing for days.

S - Spices, citrus, pancake mix, dough.

T - Hops, citrus, lemon, sour, not much sweetness for balance.. Also, seems to have a bit of an off taste as the flavors come together.

M - Medium bodied, a bit of a drying finish.

O - Solid and worth a shot, but I probably won't dig this one again as there are just better options in this class.

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Dig from New Belgium Brewing Company
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 1082 ratings