Extra Pale Ale | Almanac Beer Co.

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Extra Pale AleExtra Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Almanac Beer Co.
California, United States

Style: Belgian Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our Belgian-style Extra Pale Ale is brewed with heaps of sweet Mandarin oranges from Blossom Bluff Farms and California two-row barley. We dry-hop with generous doses of aromatic Cascade and Columbus hops and finish the beer with a hint of lightly toasted American oak. Enjoyed best with your favorite seasonal fare.

Added by drgarage on 08-23-2012

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Reviews: 34 | Ratings: 156
Photo of ngeunit1
4.32/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear golden-orange with a finger of frothy white head. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of grapefruit, pineapple, and pine hops with citrus zest, sweet caramel malts, and some oak.

T - Starts off with a mix of grapefruit and citrus hops with some bitterness, orange zest, and sweet caramel malts. Through the middle, some pine and grassy hops come through with some more bitterness, some oak, and a touch of bready malts. The finish is a mix of sweet caramel malts, citrus zest, citrus and pine hops, bitterness, and some oak.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry and bitter finish.

D - Very drinkable. Really nice APA with a good hop profile and some nice complexity added by the oak.

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

On tap @ Monk's Kettle

A - Hazy medium orange with a thin layer of bright white head.

S - Fresh hop aroma. Grapefruit, pine, slight honey sweetness.

T - Fairly sweet at first, immediately giving way to a big bitterness. Pine, musky, orange zest. Dry, bitter finish

M - Medium body. Creamy. Sticky and oily. Moderate carbonation.

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

Pours with an orange amber body and a finger of tight soapy head. Retention is very good and leaves tight rings of lace on the glass.

Aroma is very bright, grapefruit zest, lemon grass and ginger. Backing of thin bready malt and dry oak.

Taste is dominated by the bitterness of the hops, a slight honey malt balance with copious grapefruit pith, young pine, soapy coriander and Belgian yeast. Bitterness is forceful and lingering with grapefruit pith, dry oak, chalky minerals and oolong tea. Soapy and drying but also refreshing.

Medium body with good carbonation and drying of the sticky malt. The perceived drying effect of the bitterness does make some of the alcohol stand out.

Not a classical Belgian Pale, rather a blend of Belgian and American pale ale elements. The dry hopping of this beer makes the aroma light and bright to play in tune with the soapy grapefruit bitterness. Very refreshing but I can see it coming off as too bitter or chalky for some. Do give it a try.

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

A: Pours a translucent amber with a fair amount of off-white head. The foam dissipates to a solid blanket over the surface and leaves lots of lacing.

S: Lightly sweet and grassy, with a touch of yeast.

T: Sweet with a strong bitter hop note underneath. The balance is pretty nice.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation.

Overall, a solid but not really exceptional hoppy American pale.

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Photo of alexgash
3.9/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle.

Mostly clear orange copper body. Thick finger of dense, creamy, light beige head. Nice lacing. Nose is full of nice, fresh hops. Citrus, light pine, and resin play nicely with fruity, slightly tropical notes. Light toasted oak as well.

Toasted, bready malts up front. Quickly turns fruitier, with light caramel notes. Citrusy hops come on by mid-palate and the bitterness gradually escalates. Somewhat piny and herbal near the finish. Hint of oak. Nice blend of fruity malt sweetness and citrus hop bitterness. Slight metallic note in the dry-ish finish. Medium-bodied with a smooth, creamy feel. Nice.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.81/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Dark orange, light copper. Slight haze. 2 finger head.

S- Instantly pick up the Mandarin oranges. They have really taken the nose hostage. Some citrus and earthy hops in the background. Cracker malts. I know the orange is added, but I like the aroma of it.

T- Citrus, orange, pepper on the front end. Mellows out towards the end. Not picking up much of the Belgium aspect.

M- Acidic, light body, not overly bitter. Crisp.

O- Solid start, mild finish. Not sure it fits the profile of the style it claims to be, but I certainly enjoyed it.

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Photo of mynie
3.81/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pour pretty; dark orange-gold with a white seafoam head. Smells of earthy malt, peppery yeast, and light dry hops.

Tastes fizzy up front, then there comes nodes of pleasantly aggressive pepper, and then a tiny bit of a citrus. The back end is firm, with more nodes of white pepper against a light woody finish. I honestly probably wouldn't have guessed it was oak aged unless the bottle hadn't said so, because the yeast is really the dominant feature here. It's one of the most aggressively spicy light-ABV beers I've ever had that wasn't aged with peppers.

This is a very hoppy, dry Belgian Pale. More of a hybrid BPA/AIPA than an Orval-type BPA.

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Photo of drgarage
3.8/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from the bottle on first day of availability.

A: Starts a pale gold but veers orange as more volume enters the glass. a healthy two finger head recedes to a 1/2 finger of foam with reasonable lacing around the top. Tiny bubbles rise to the surface consistently.

S: Big C hops! Cascade and Columbus, specifically. A little bit of spice and other citrus, as well. Might be orange, but I don't want to say that, because I knew it was made with mandarins before hand.

T: Nice hit of hops -- the kind of powerful pale ale intro at the outset I've been missing since my last Zombie Dust. Nice, dry finish. Definite strong orange flavors, finishing bitter -- maybe rind or pith? Very interesting, and I keep going back for more, but the finish holds me back from pushing this up to a 4.0.

M: Great, effervescent pale ale mouthfeel. Prickly carbonation, nice dry finish (though still sweeter than a saison).

O: This is a really impressive beer. Like a lot of people, I've been a bit disappointed in many of Almanac's early entries -- precisely because their concepts and designs held so much potential (though I did love the Winter Wit, I must say). That said, I think this is my favorite beer they've produced, and I'm thrilled that it's year-round and just $10-11 a 4-pack. Definitely drink it fresh -- too bad there's no dating yet. Hope that's on the way. It is clear this just got bottled, though.

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Photo of pat61
3.75/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a somewhat lifeless gold with virtually no head – a few stray bubbled. Has a grassy nose with traces of fruit and orange. Fruit, biscuit, light orange, over ripe fruit, with some pepper on the end. Medium body with virtually no carbonation.

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Photo of Lothore
3.73/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - pours a beautiful dark orange hue with a 2 finger head that sticks around for quite a while.

S - candied sugar, apple, lemon zest

T - lemon zest, dark fruit, Belgian yeast,deep bitterness on the back end.

M - thick with ample carbonation

D - decent brew. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a finger of head on a clear copper colored body.
The aroma is loaded with pine and grapefruit... it's like putting the hop cone right up to your nose.
The taste is moderate pine bitterness, then tapers off to a mildly sweet malt finish.
The texture is crisp with some softness around the edges.
Enjoyable to drink.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into SN ipa glass.

A: Pours a clear honey gold with a huge greasy off-white head that slowly faded into a thick melted vanilla ice-cream style film that left sticky rings of lace down the glass.
S: Bready malt and fresh notes of mint, orange pith and a hint of freshly cut grass.
T: Follows the nose with flavors of citrus rind, bready malt, and a great splash of oranges and faint Belgian yeast. The finish is full of oranges and lightly bitter rind, and the aftertaste is bready.
M: Medium body, refreshing and crisp mouthfeel, soft carbonation.
O: Drinkable but nothing epic. Worth checking out, but there are better

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.7/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From what I read on the bottle, this is more of a Belgian style ale.

Overall, I find this a consistent beer, though it could use a boost in the flavor department. Kind of inky and Earthy, with minimal fruit tones showing. There are mandarin oranges in this? I can hardly tell. Whatever is there seems overpowered by the earthy tones from what seem like malts and the minimal spices from hops. The bottom line is this is a decent ale, but not really doing a whole lot for me. I have something in the back of my mind telling me that Almanac beers seem to be tasting the same, and at this point, I have tried them all.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.69/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a clear, somewhat still, golden amber with a thin white head that dissipates to a persistang thin film and ring around the glass, leaving lacing. Aroma of tangerine and orange, grassy and pine hops, mild sweet malt. Flavor starts with orange rind, citrus hops, citrus and tropical fruit finishes with lingering hop bitterness, citrus rind and a light, distinct mandarin orange component. Light to medium bodied with light carbonation. An interesting exploration of the orange citrus family, with distinct orange and orange rind flavors. The Belgian character is subtle. Finish is bitter from both citrus rind and hops and is a bit astringent in the finish. An interesting and unusual take on a pale ale.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.69/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to Paccamacca for this sweet extra!

poured into tulip glass.

No trace of bottled on date.

Appearance: Golden orange bodied beer with 2 fingers of soapy off white head. Head has some staying power and the beer leaves behind a spotty lace.

Smell: This nose is awesome! Citrusy and really zesty! Bready malts that are also toasty. Chalky and earthy hops. Slightly yeasty too.

Taste: Short burst of orange sweetness then right into a lot of deep earthy hops. Grassy, chalky, herbal, orange and grapefruit rinds, light oak notes, and some peppery spicey yeast notes to round it all out. Chalky, grassy, and citrus rind linger forever in the aftertaste of this beer.

Mouthfeel: light bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Its actually kind of boozey which I cant believe that I am saying this about an APA, but its definately there. Its surprisingly quite a dry beer too.

Overall: An belgian style extra pale ale that is brewed with mandarin oranges, dry hopped, and was "toasted with american Oak". I was left a little dissapointed by this one, but it has a lot of potential with some tweaking. If you could taste more of the citrusy sweetness from the mandarin oranges and make this beer a bit less earthy, I think this beer would have a cult following like Zombie Dust or PsuedoSue. It was an interesting beer none the less and I really appreciate what the brewer tried to do here.

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Photo of DerelictPI
3.64/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

"Extra Pale Ale" is definitely a good name for this beer!

Smell - Lots of citrus comes through. More on the bitter end, than the sweet.

Taste - Follows the nose. I get a lot of citrus (grapefruit, orange rind), and not much in the malt-balance. The mouthfeel is pleasant, full, with a slight dryness from the hops.

I would definitely drink this again but I wouldn't go out of my way to hunt it down.

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

Almanac might be the first brewery which I've seen to take advantage of the inevitable "farm to bottle" marketing, which is seen on the bottle. They're certainly not afraid to shout out about it. Here comes an extra pale ale brewed with mandarin oranges and aged in a little oak. Let's see how it was executed. On to the beer:

Looking copper colored with a tint of orange coloring and topped with a half-inch of creamyish head on top. This one provides a good lacing show to the eyes. The aroma is clean and grassy, which was a refreshing first impression to the nose. I also get a dry hoppiness with potential. I also get raw barley and earthy notes, so perhaps it's not crisp and clean as I first though, but still has a pleasant nose.

Much of what I got in the aroma makes its way into the taste, which starts off somewhat clean and grassy. It has a very earthy taste, so perhaps Almanac was right when they say "farm to bottle", because I might have tasted a bit of the farm itself. The resin I get adds a bitterness which throws the beer a little out of balance. Kiss of toffee is provided from the malt. Sorry, I can't find any orange or oak anywhere, so that's a little disappointing. Beer is medium bodied with a modest crispness.

Pleasant enough pale ale. Regarding the marketing, being "farm to bottle" doesn't do much when the consumer is not provided a freshness date.

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Photo of mick303
3.62/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a small white head with pretty good lacing, retention left a bit to be desired. Colour was a surprisingly dark medium brown amber colour.

S- an upfront maltiness with a lot of light fruitiness. Strong orange character, a bit of earthy character. Hops has a strong citrus fruity character. Pretty good.

T- an initial sweetness, then more orange oily bitterness. Maltness is lightly toasty, somewhat light. Hops are there more toward the end, lots of fruity, vegetal character. Flavourful, but could be more balanced and a bit more crisp to it. Finish is mildly bitter and holds on, but tastes a bit messy and mineraly.

M- carbonation is moderate, light body, pretty refreshing, though seems a bit minerally on the end. Could be more crisp. Works decently well, balance is not bad, could be better to be more sessionable.

A good beer, glad I picked it up. A definite diversion on the style, not exactly pale, and also has oranges, which work remarkably well, though not amazingly; leaving the beer a bit unbalanced toward the orange side. Still worth checking out.

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Photo of mactrail
3.61/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

Attractive amber color. Pleasing white foam. Quite spritzy in the mouth. Light body. Interesting aromatics

They say this is brewed with Mandarin oranges, but it's quite subtle. Mostly it's bitter. The Astringent green tea for the aftertaste. After you let this sit for a few minutes, the Belgian flavors are very striking. It gets so dry, and between the yeast and the hops it's something the monks might drink for penance. Still, it's very interesting and a style I hope more people will try-- flavorful but lighter Belgian-influenced brews. This one is too much like an over-hopped Pale Ale with the malt scoured out by an agressive yeast.

From the 12 oz bottle sold in four-packs at Bine and Vine in San Diego.

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Photo of lazydayspoiler
3.54/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tulip glass out of the bottle

A - orange /light copper, streaky lacing

S - mellow dry citrus, fruit leather

T - Earthy citrus strong with orange rind

M - Smooth, not very carbonated, growing bitterness on the finish

O - Good beer, better than expected, nothing fancy. Reminiscent of Anderson Valley IPA, with more citrus, and not quite as polished.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.52/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Bottle I brought to share at jmgrub's tasting.

Pours a hazy orange with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, citrus, spices, and yeast. Taste is much the same with an earthy hop finish. There is a mild amount of spice and hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer with a good smell but some really earthy flavors that are fairly bland.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured slowly into a tulip. And I mean really slowly. It was a bit of a gusher -- got beer all over my counter right after opening, even though it's been at rest in the fridge for a week or so. If there's a bottle code or anything, I don't see it.

Pours on the orange side of amber, cloudy, with a monstrous head. Smell is citrus, yeast. Dampness.

Taste is mild, orange peel bitter, soapy water, some kind of greenery.

Mouthfeel is medium and slick. Overall...it's fine.

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
3.5/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First beer I’ve ever tried from this NorCal brewery. This is an American Pale Ale and it is very heavily hopped as per usual for California IPA variants. It is a darker amber color then the typical APA and has a fizzier head than usual. It starts with a pleasing strongly orange taste with more subtle flavors that are more typically found in Belgians. The aftertaste, however, is all over hopped APA leaving a bitter, astringent taste in my mouth. Lovers of IPAs would probably be into this, but I can really only appreciate the more balanced versions. The initial flavor keeps it from being too bad, but I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to have this beer again.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.44/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Poured a hazed copper color with decent carbonation leaving a mediocre white cap and some lacing

S: Biscuits, fruits and grass.

T: Fruits and grains, some fresh field flowers with a dash of spice as well

M: Light-medium body, well carbonated

O: Not bad, not great, not something I would seek out again

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Photo of jibbyvonjibb
3.43/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Obviously some herbs were used here: something citrusy like coriander or bitter orange, like used for Wit beers. I personally dislike too many herbs because it often makes a flavor stand out above all others, which makes it seem one-note and artificial. Taste is actually pretty good and mild. Slight citrus. Fairly dry, but not thin. Slightly bitter aftertaste. Medium-high carbonation. Overall, a decent light, drinkable beer. I would categorize this as a Wit because the citrusy herbs overpower any hops that may be there.

It's interesting that they don't mention any herbs in the descriptions, which is misleading in my opinion. It's just too blatant. They do mention mandarins, and if they indeed used them, i think it's a waste of money because they do not make an appearance at all.

Buy again? Maybe. It's fairly cheap ($3 / 12oz). It's light. Just not too crazy about the wit-like smell.

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Extra Pale Ale from Almanac Beer Co.
3.55 out of 5 based on 156 ratings.
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