Alpha Ale | Wild Wolf Brewing Company

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Alpha AleAlpha Ale

Brewed by:
Wild Wolf Brewing Company
Virginia, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.69%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A super hoppy American Pale Ale with a ton of Citra, Columbus and Cascade hops. Deep amber in color with an extremely well rounded hop and malt character. The finish is slightly dry and refreshing to the last drop.

Added by on 11-09-2010

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Reviews: 30 | Ratings: 143
Photo of OldSwampy
3.42/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not exactly pale, but an interesting almost rosy color. Decent pale head. A piney pale ale with some flavor development profile but not the sort of malt base that I think a great pale ale needs. Hops were a bit narrow and left a distinct bitter aftertaste, almost metallic. Mouthfeel is not much more than neutral, very lightly slick and creamy.

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Photo of hdf561
1.38/5  rDev -61.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Poured from can into a mug, a cloudy Amber almost red color with a lasting head, and lacing

Smell is not pleasant, citrusy but bitter smell defiantly a hoppy beer

Taste is bitter from the outset with an incredibly bitter after taste, can't finish this completely undrinkable drain pour...don't recommend wouldn't buy again

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Photo of JWU
3.71/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz. can poured into a tumbler glass

A- A rather clear deep amber, (this is a pale ale??) Nice off white head with ample lacing.

S- Straightforward pine and citrus hops with a caramel malt backbone.

T- Follows the nose, aggressively bitter. Caramel malts balance the aggressive bittering once it warms a bit.

M- Lighter side of medium.

O- Overdone on the bittering hops, and selling it as a pale ale is a bit off, strikes me as more of a very hoppy amber ale. I'd certainly have it again.

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Photo of chinchill
3.26/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12 oz can with a March 2015 canning date.
Clear deep amber body topped by a durable head.
This hoppy pale ale could easily pass for an IPA. The hops seem mostly herbal in the nose but emphasize citrus upon tasting.
Medium-high bitterness.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.56/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a shaker pint, the beer is a bright, caramel-copper coloring, with a ton of carbonation and a sparse, off-white head. Nose of rich caramel, light citrus notes, and piney resin. Pretty well balanced. Flavors are roasted forward, with rich caramel over the tropical fruit and citrus blend. Piney bitterness on the back end. Smooth, with a dry, crisp undertone. Tangy sweet caramel and tropical fruit aftertaste. The finish is smooth and slick, with a dry undertone and subtle bitterness linger. Decent brew.

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Photo of obywan59
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours clear and a nice copper in color. A 3 finger off white head rises above, leaving some nice lacing as it recedes.

Smell is bready with pine, spicy citrus, and a bit of funk, with light florals. Over ripe citrus after swirling.

Tart, sweet, and bitter. Citrusy, caramel malt, and grapefruit rind. A little spice with a bit of tropical fruit in the back.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, and slightly drying in the end.

Another good session brew. Rather well balanced, and easy to drink The hops make it.

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Photo of rjs246
3.34/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I appreciate that they are producing cans. More versatile drinking. Having said that, Alpha Ale is fine, but hasn't inspired me to come back for more.

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Photo of Beerparrot
2.87/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

It may not of been fresh as there was a slight tin taste from the can and when poured. I'll taste some more to compare. Overall good looking beer, just an off flavor. And I'll give it another chance for sure.

2nd can: Taking a more extended look at this and the 2nd can has changed my opinion some. I cleaned the top, snapped it open and it foamed up over the top. It poured a amber color and after a few minutes the bubbles are still rising from the bottom of the just washed glass. The head is thin and dissipating rapidly. The tin taste is on the back end, though the hops are coming through. It is a better APA than I first thought. I'll let it warm a bit to see if it softens up. Otherwise a good APA 2nd time around.

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Photo of Redrock
3.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Lots of Citra, Columbus and Cascade hops make for a great hop profile, and the malts balance this beer out well. Definitely an enjoyable session like brew.

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Photo of Beejay
3.16/5  rDev -11%
look: 1.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: Mold on the top of the can. In fact, mold on the top of every can in the six pack... Definitely a ding on points for that. Sure I can wash it off, but what else might be on there? After mold removal the brew pours iced tea brown,and clear, the head dissipates fairly quickly.

S: Pine and grapefruit. A little caramel sweetness, but moslty just a big hit of hops.

T: Pine and grapefuit come out, with a touch of orange peel in the finish. The bitterness is pretty formidable, there is a little bit of a grainy bread flavor in the finish, but this brew is certainly about the hops. I actually wish there was a little more malt flavor, the heavy handed hopping almost makes it feel a touch watery.

M: Mouthfeel is medium, with fairly high carbonation. Finish has a long bitter linger.

O: Overall pretty good, a touch too hop centric for my tastes on an APA, but still tasty. The QA seems to be a little lackluster, not sure if this is something at the brewery, or in distribution. Regardless it does take it a peg down for me.

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Photo of hophugger
3.51/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden-amber with little head and minimal lacing. Smell is right in your face upfront with piney resin and then mellows out a bit. Taste is nice hop bitterness with a touch of citrus. Taste rapidly leaves the palate with a little hop and citrus that stays behind. Overall, good beer, almost there

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.52/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jhartley for the sample. Canned on 3/5/14.

A - Pours a medium dark copper/caramel color with a one fingered frothy, creamy head, carbonation is steady and the color is very clear with no floaties.

S - Earthy spiciness, roasted caramel malt with a light pine presence. More earth and malt presence than pine.

T - Follows the nose with earthyiness, very light spice caramel malt up front that lays the foundation for an aggressive pine bitter finish.

M - Medium body and moderate amount of carbonation pricklies on the tongue.

O - Still packs a bitter finish for being three months old, overall, uneventful, but solid.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.68/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Coming over in a trade, I had given one to tone77 as part of our regular in-person gig, but I am trying to get caught up in terms of The CANQuest (TM) and am only getting to it this evening.

From the CAN: "Alpha Ale"; " Howling Good Beer"; "Leave Only Pawprints! Pack it in - Pack It Out"; "CANs: Infinitely Recyclable"; "A super hoppy Ameri[CAN] Pale Ale with a ton of Citra, Columbus and Cascade hops. Deep amber in color with an extremely well rounded hop and malt character. The finish is slightly dry and refreshing to the last drop, This beer will not disappoint."

Hmm. It sounds like Maxwell House coffee and makes a mighty big claim. I unleashed the Alpha Wolf with a loud Crack! and since nothing untoward happened, I went with an inverted Glug. The Alpha Wolf did not seem to mind and the resulting pseudo-cascade formed just under three fingers of dense, tawny head with great retention on a hot, humid evening. Color was a deep reddish-amber (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was resinous with pine hops and my mouth was watering at the prospect. Mouthfeel was medium-to-full, approaching a creaminess on the tongue. The flavor was very hoppy, but that was about it. It was unbalanced in terms of a lack of a malt presence, which I do not mind, but it may be a non-starter for others. Finish was semi-dry with a lingering flavor of hops, like it was saturated with them to the exclusion of anything/everything else. They should tweak this recipe just a bit to improve its overall drinkability, IMHO.

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Photo of jhartley
3.67/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz can into a shaker pint glass.
Canned on 03/05/2014.
Poured a deep amber color, minimal head which left no lacing in the glass.
A decent aroma of hops from the centennial and columbus hops.
Very easy drinking APA which starts out bitter than is nicely leveled out with the malts. Very nicely balanced. Almost like a brewed tea flavor on the end.
Overall a very decent beer. Grabbed a six pack at a Sheetz in Virginia during a pit stop and glad I did as this is a winner.

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Photo of tone77
3.65/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A big shout out to the legendary woodychandler for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has an amberish color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is hoppy, citrus. Taste is bitter up front, hops, a bit of malts at the finish. None of the citrus in the smell is present in the taste. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured a copper reddish body with decent head and lace on top of an aroma of dry, earthy hoppiness with citric hop notes and a decent malt base. I get mostly the grainy, bitter hops with minimal citric notes and a touch of caramel sweetness but the hops seem to be the dominant feature. Finishes real crisp and dry with heavy carbonation, an almost sharp carbonation that leaves a bitter aftertaste.

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Photo of JayQue
3.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A good, sessionable APA. Pours a crystal clear light copper color into a pint glass. Medium size white head with very good retention. Thick bands of lacing on the glass.

Strong hoppy aroma, very pleasant. Good taste, mostly hoppy but with some light caramel malt for balance. Lighter than an IPA, the hops bitterness is not as intense.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp with a good balance between hops and malt.

This is an excellent sessionable beer. The fact that it is in cans makes it more versatile. Nice job!!!

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Photo of smakawhat
3.88/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the can into a nonic pint glass, date October 28th 2013.

Deep copper amber red and quite clear. Not much noticeable carbonation, and only provides about one finger of fine light tan bubbles. Does manage to stick around a bit with some retention, but settles to a good thin puck and thick collar.

Nice toasty aroma akin to brown ale, some mild hop senses (probably a bit faded) mixing slightly with some sticky caramel sensations that seem a little more downplayed. Mild sensing sweetness but the toasty bread sense dissolves into more caramel sweetness over time.

Mild caramel and nice grapefruit punch on the first sip. Steely and mineral finish with pine hop bitterness that really sticks. Good caramel sweetness with a nice thick and proportioned malt backbone. Nearly juicy with a good quenching hop citrus and tropical qualities.

Really diggin it, but perhaps past ideal prime, a beer worth revisiting but still a solid pale ale.

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Photo of KomodoDragon
2.52/5  rDev -29%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

A - crystal clear amber

S - Pine, sweet

T - caramel sweetness, overly bitter and puckering finish. flour and grainy feel. Citra adds some grapefruit essence, but flavor mix is harsh and unbalanced.

M- some fizzyness and much sweetness

It seems the efforts to please hop heads like myself in a pale created more a hodgepodged mess.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.77/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on-tap at Wild Wolf Brewing Company in Nellysford, VA

A: Pours a relatively clear deep copper in color with light to moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation and some some orange highlights. The beer has a finger tall foamy light beige head that reduces to a large patch of very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of citrus/grapefruit, citrus/lemon, pine, and herbal hops over the top of some light aromas of caramel malts.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of caramel malts with very little associated sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of citrus/lemon, citrus/grapefruit, pine, and herbal hops in descending order of strength. The hops contribute a light to moderate amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Very light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: I like this beer as it is a nice and hoppy APA - good flavors and definitely worth grabbing again. Sessionable with the low ABV and easy to drink.

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Photo of Chaney
3.55/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Been wanting to try something from this brewery from a while. I'm stoked to now see their stuff in stores.

Served in a SN Celebration shaker pint.

A: Poured a glistening, gold color, fairly clear, but with a bit of chill haze. The big frothy, sudsy head only added to the suspense.

S: Pretty potent, pretty hoppy, but with a bit of pomegranate thrown in for safe measure.

T: REALLY bitter, almost to the point of being too much, especially considering it's fashioning as a "session beer." The potentially yummy fruit component was totally drowned out.

M: Carbonated enough, but once again: bitter, bitter, BITTER! Teeth-stainingly so.

O: I don't think I could drink too much of this stuff. Slightly disappointed.

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Photo of dwren89
3.58/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: auburn with thick off white head, great clarity

Aroma: a little coppery with citrus and floral hop character

Taste: solidly hoppy with citrus and floral hop character on the tongue and a caramel malt kick to balance. A strong bitter finish

Mouthfeel: like a normal IPA, medium body, medium carbonation, smooth but a little prickly

Overall: A fine ale especially when found on tap. Nothing ground breaking but definitely a solid choice at a bar lacking in diverse beer offerings. Bitter but with balancing malt character and a coppery finish.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.08/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Alpha Ale:

The beer pours a nice copper color with a nice fluffy ring of head with some lacing. A deeper dark color in the core. Darker than a normal pale ale.

The aroma and taste remind me a bit of alpha king jr. perhaps. It has a nice strong earthy hop backbone with a fresh bread blast of malt, caramel and actually goes great with the BBQ plate I ordered! An herbal backbone also comes in reminding me of tones down thyme in some ways, maybe even lavender. A nice drinking, solid APA, something to hang your hat on as a new brewery.

The feel is solid with a sudsy medium to slightly heavy body, great level of carbonation.

Overall a very good beer, it stood out along with the stout and wheat IPA amoung the tasters.

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Photo of dhartogs
4/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So many up and coming breweries in Virgina it's getting hard to keep up, a good problem to have. Found this to be a borderline IPA, so for the lower ABV and the big hop profile, I think it's an excellent beer. Would be a nice every day drinker. Had this at a bar on tap, just a nice looking beer with a solid aroma. Would recommend to anyone.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.85/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I got a chance to try this flagship beer option from Wild Wolf through a growler brought all the way from their facility in Virginia to Georgia, shared with my family and I.

"Our American Pale Ale with a ton of Citra, Columbus and Cascade hops. Deep amber in color with an extremely well rounded hop and malt character. This beer gives hop heads what they are looking for without wrecking your palate, yet it is sufficiently balanced which is pleasing to many hop-timid beer drinkers. The finish is slightly dry and refreshing to the last drop. This beer will not disappoint!"

Poured from a growler to a snifter. Served at 44ยบ Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a creamy copper cream tone head. Retention is average, settling to a thin white cover, lacing is thin and streaks. Body color is a orange-red amber, crystal clear with little active carbonation. Nice appearance for a robust pale ale. 4

(Smell) High level of low bitter hops upon a robust caramel malty base. Hop character is slightly spicy, slightly peppery and very faintly citrusy, the bright hop characters are a bit subdued but the overall hop aroma and beer smells pleasant nonetheless. 4

(Taste) Flavor is mostly peppery bitter hops with a medium-heavy bitterness over a spicy caramel malt base, finishes with a bit of piney hop resin. While the main emphasis was the bitter character of this beer, the malt base was a bit overshadowed and the finished product a bit off-balance; the malt character just doesn't shine like it should. I question the general lack of bright citrus hop tones, too. Overall, more bitter than sweet but still approachable for those who like a moderate drinking, bitter beer. 3.5

(Mouthfeel) Texture is largely slick with a bit of airy crispness, probably as good as it could get for the style, as with too much carbonation the malt base would be harder to discern. Body is light-medium, alcohol presence is light. A good pairing with the flavor. 4.5

(Overall) A crisp and refreshing flavorful hop-heavy Pale ale, significantly bitter but enjoyably so. A worthy beer to try from this brewery. 4

Wild Wolf Brewing Company's
Alpha Ale

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Alpha Ale from Wild Wolf Brewing Company
3.55 out of 5 based on 143 ratings.
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