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The Public Ale | DC Brau Brewing Co.

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182 Reviews
The Public AleThe Public Ale

Brewed by:
DC Brau Brewing Co.
District of Columbia, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The Public Pale Ale is brewed in the classic American Pale Ale style. Assertive bitterness backed by C-60 and Vienna malts which lend notes of rich, yet semi-dry caramel. Then followed up with a nice white grapefruit and citrus aroma that begs for a follow up sip.

Added by drabmuh on 04-15-2011

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Reviews: 182 | Ratings: 849
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to drabmuh for sending me this one!

Pours a slightly hazy dark orange with a 2 inch foamy off-white head that settles to a large craggy cap on top of the beer. A latticework of lace forms around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt and some herbal and hops. Taste is of herbal hops up front with the malt coming through on the finish. There is a medium level of bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeeel. Overall, this is a pretty good but basic pale ale.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: two finger head with excellent retention and lacing on a murky amber brown body with slight crimson hue.

S: mid range degree of floral and citrus hop aroma. Lighter on the breads and malts.

T: Very well balanced pale ale. Caramel malts form a nice body with well represented earthy, metallic and citrus hops with slight grassy bittering in the finish.

M: medium body and moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: my first from this brewery. I am impressed with this one. I m usually either disappointed in pale ales out there because the lack flavor or are hopped more like an IPA. This represents the genre very well.

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Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is clear dark copper in color and does not have any visible carbonation. It poured with a thin off white head that left lacing running down the edges of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of citrusy hops in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is rather citrusy and has flavors of grapefruit and orange along with some hints of caramel malts.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: The beer is rather hoppy for the style, but is still easy to drink and has a good taste.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.28/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Searching for new ways to reinvent "Pale", I like DC Brau's take- not to temper the hop character to bring it within balance for the malt; But to bulk up the malt component to balance out the hops.

Its maltier underpinnings are even evident to the eye- medium bronze with dark gold threads running through. Its significant haze shows that the flavors haven't been stripped out via filtration. This also facilitates its head character that is firmly withstanding even as the head reduces to an ivory-stained sheet to skirt the glass. Decorative lacing trails on the glass with each sip taken.

Malty and spicy to the nose- its true balance results from light toast, light caramel, grain and nuts. Citrus, pine stems and a whack of rust-like mineral properties gives offers the counterpart to malts and keeps the aromas in check throughout.

Its flavors fare similarly as a heartier-than-usual- toasty, grainy sweetness offers a glimpse of caramel and pecan but without the caramel sweetness that normally accompanies those tastes. Its dry malt taste is exacerbated by acute bitterness from citrus piths, sawn pine, and minerally crispness.

Its dry textures are a strong asset while the carbonation keeps things creamy and rounded early on. But as the bubbles dissipate, it leaves an extended void in the center that's arid and a little thin. Its clean and dry finish exposes some grain-derived astringency that bites at the throat lightly. It also allows for a slight metallic taste to stem from its minerally nature.

I really like the use of Vienna malt to give the ale a bit of heft to balance the American hops. But its grainy and stemmy taste limits its success to a large degree.

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Photo of largadeer
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Appearance: Dark muddy amber body capped by a big frothy head. Doesn't look like a pale ale at all, more like an amber/red.

Smell: Nose is hop forward, yeasty, estery. Toasted malt, pine, citrus and floral notes. This brewery seems to have a strong house character - their IPA had a very similar yeast character.

Palate: Bready toasted malt, citrusy/floral hops. Touch of stonefruit from the yeast. Spicy, floral. Firm bitterness that doesn't overwhelm. Body is curiously big for a supposed pale ale. Finishes bready and yeasty with a mild hop bite. Pretty damn good, this stuff.

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Photo of brentk56
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy copper color capped by a couple of inches; very nice retention and impressive lacing action

Smell: Biscuit and caramel, with pithy hop aromatics

Taste: Opens biscuity, with caramel building underneath; by mid-palate, the hops add bitter and floral balance, with an additional bit of pithy citrus in the finish; the caramel tones linger in the aftertaste along with a touch of tobacco

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A very nice APA, with requisite balance and good hop flavor

Thanks, Dave_Treat, for the chance to re-visit

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Can: Poured a bright orangey/amber color ale with a nice big foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of citrus and grapefruit notes with dry caramel notes. Taste is very refreshing with solid floral notes of citrus and grapefruit with limited bitterness and some dry caramel malt notes also perceptible. Body is about average with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Solid rendition of the style with great drinkability factor.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Rustico in Alexandria. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a nice orange color with a thick white head and some good spotty lacing as it makes its way down the glass. The nose is pretty hoppy with a bit of a malt undertone, though not too much of the latter. A good bit of pine, floral, and citrus hops. Cornucopia of possibilities right there, my friend. The flavor is along the same lines. Not too hoppy, but not too much malt, either. Really nice and drinkable. "Balanced" in the sense that it contained hops and malt, but the latter was more just a base helping out the mouthfeel than providing much flavor or sweetness. Good bitterness in the finish. Fairly light body. Really solid; can't wait for the cans of this to hit the market.

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Photo of oline73
3.36/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy orangish amber with a finger of off white head. The head fades to a small layer on top of the pour and leaves some mild lacing.

Smell: Mild smell, some malt and fruity hop notes. Light and crisp.

Taste: Stronger than the smell. The hop bitterness covers up the malt a bit. Lots of citrus peel hops. The finish is quite bitter.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: This is a nice beer to sit and sip. I would have another.

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Photo of oberon
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This the first beer from the District of Columbia I have had...I think.Poured into a standard pint glass a deep copper color with a half finger white head atop that never really settled completely,a nice rich color.Wow a blast of citric and resiny hops really hit ya,it seems more like an IPA,there is some caramel sweetness in there as well.Caramel biscuit malts on the palate up front with a wave of citric hops taking over and making this beer hop tilted.A very good hopped up APA,it just seems like a standard canned 6% APA, but it's damn good.

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Photo of jlindros
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Yay cans.

Pours a decent creamy fizzy 1 finger head that fades at a med to slower pace, mild spotty lacing, very hazy sediment laden amber slight rosy hue.

Nose brings some mild grassy floral as well as fruity hops, touch of citrus and generic fruity aromas, but floral as well, with a mild amber sweet malty base.

Taste brings sweet malty base, juicy amber malts with a little toasty note. Then hops, floral grassy at first, turning a little spicy and earthy, mild generic fruity notes again, not a lot though. HOps get fairly bitter, with a little herbal grassy note on the back end, mild herbal tea, with fair bitter spicy hops lingering, a little dry, and a little malty note too.

Mouth is med bod, nice carb.

Overall pretty nice, nothing special, a decent hop character and nice bitterness, decent malt profile too, again nothing crazy or special but def something I could pound through a few in a bar, pretty enjoyable for what it is.

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Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can into a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with 2 fingers of thick slightly off looking white head. This retains with a ½ finger of creamy froth, leaving back sudsy lacing that sticks to the sides of the glass. The aroma smells floral and piney in the nose, with an underlying mix of zesty grapefruit and more herbal feeling tones. A soft sweet graininess sits along the back. This has a nice fresh power to it in the nostrils.

The taste has a bright zesty citric bitterness to it, which is just cut short by a lightly toasted grainy sweetness from the malts. This does have a strong resinous presence to it though that lingers fairly aggressively in a dry and pithy feeling finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and crisp feeling on the tongue with more of a firm bubbly creaminess to the carbonation as it spreads out into the rest of the mouth. There is a LOT of slick oiliness here from those hops that really keep this smooth in the mouth.

This is a very solid take on an American APA with a good bit of aggressive hop character. Almost too much in spots (especially the pine) but I think that the overall balance and ease of the body are able to dial this back just enough and keep this solidly drinkable. I see many more cans of this in my future.

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Photo of mactrail
3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Attractive amber in the glass, nice and sudsy. A lovely whiff of hops. The aroma is the best thing about this. Light body. Nice mouthfeel with a fine carbonation.

Very hoppy, after a brief flirtation with the malt. Some biscuit flavors, a little bit of honeydew melon in the aftertaste. Quite bitter. A slight flowery hint to the hops, but more about the grapefruit.

Not my favorite style, but a promising introduction to this brewery. A good quaff, if you're in the mood for the hoppy aggression. From the 12 oz can.

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Photo of chinchill
3.71/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can in Wash., D.C. - May 2015 canning.
Looks great, with a slightly hazy, dark copper body topped by a durable, creamy tan head.
Bold for style; as hoppy as many IPAs but with more balancing malt than they usually have. Moderate bitterness. Nice fruity and slightly floral aroma.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 5/11/2015 at Natty Greene’s Tavern in, North Attleboro, MA served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains citrus, caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of citrus and caramel. Then a strong but not over-powering hops bitterness comes in. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.52/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Pin's.

Hazy coppery pour, with a fuzzy white head that held at a thin layer, leaving streaks of lacing on the glass. In the nose, pithy citrus, toasted grains, lightly sweet caramel malts. In the taste, citrus pith and piney bitterness, dominating over dry crackery malts, husky grains, with a slight mineral element persisting throughout. Body was on the lighter side of medium, with a crisp, dry mouthfeel. Went down easily enough, but there was nothing that screamed at me to get another pour. An average but solid APA overall.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

crystal clear pale amber with a white head that cleared quickly leaving just a tad of lace. Smell was slight earthy, grass malts, with a hop hint. The taste was light and highly carbonated, but this is to be expected from an Extra Pale. This would make a good summer beer as it essentially goes down like water

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Photo of Slatetank
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I purchased this from Golden Crust in Red Lion, enjoyed from the can in a tulip.

The color is medium dark amber with mild haze and 2 fingers off cream head with fine bead good retention and spotty lace. The smell has a good hop aroma with more citrus fruit and orange than pine but lightly herbal with juicy red grapefruit smell. The feel is good with moderately bitter entry with medium carbonation and mild sweetness with low astringency and semi-dry with slight alcohol in finish.

The taste is very good with a nice amount of balance yet the flavor is stronger than the malt with slightly more dominant bitterness and gentle sweet malt flavors with subtle citrus in the hops mid palate into the finish which is mostly dry with a long bitter residual taste. Overall I enjoyed this -a pretty decent take on the APA style more bitter than most but nicely flavored and I would drink this again.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to smakawhat for sending this one my way!

A: Pours a slightly hazy deep copper color with a massive off white head on top. Upon pouring it was at least two fingers in height with nice retention, finally reducing to a 1/2 finger of foam on top. Nice foamy/sticky lacing on the sides.

S: A surprisingly hoppy aroma (of which I am a fan). Some citrus (mostly orange and orange zest) and a little bit of pine. Some light caramel and a bit of graham cracker malt.

T: A burst of orange and orange zest upfront with some biscuity malt to back it up. There is a little bit of grainy malt and a touch of caramel as well. Has a bitter finish.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Was a bit surprised it was 6%, doesn't really show it at all. Slightly bitter/dry finish.

O: A very nice APA. Nice aroma and flavor profile, on the hoppy side for style, of which I am a huge fan. If this is an indication of what is to come from DC Brau, I look forward to the next beer I try from them.

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Photo of smcolw
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One finger, bar poured head. Leaves a full blanket of lace. Amber color and clear.

A bit of yeast to the otherwise hoppy nose. Some malt for a base.

Semisweet start but it finishes dry. Straight forward hop finish. Low carbonation which creates a richer body than typical.

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Photo of billab914
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz can into my Ithaca glass. It poured a murky orange amber color with a frothy, sticky, off-white head filling the top inch of the glass. Great head retention and lacing as I drank it. Great appearance overall.

The aroma shows a lot of juicy, citrusy hops to it. I get a good amount of grapefruit and bitter citrus rind to it with a little bit of juicer, mango and peach notes. Very nice hoppiness to it and a very appealing aroma overall.

The taste also has a pretty bold hoppiness for the style, but I also get a little more of a malty, slight caramel like sweetness in the taste cutting through the hoppiness and helping balance it out. More of the grapefruit and citrus rind bitterness is there in the finish with just a bit of the tropical fruit notes.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall I thought it was a very good APA. It was very hoppy for the style and probably showed more hoppiness to it than a lot of IPA's. It had some bold flavors and still managed to stay pretty easy drinking, which I liked. It suits my tastes in APA's very well and I can see myself drinking plenty of this in the future.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 04/30/11 notes. Thanks to ahalloin for sharing a growler of this one; thanks Tony. Poured into my SAVOR snifter.

a - Pours a hazy bright orange color with an inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hops, pine hops, and fruity malts. Lots of citrus hops up front.

t - Tastes of citrus hops, pine hops, fruity malts, and grapefruit. Light bitterness and citrus up front.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall a very nice hoppy APA from a local brewery; I'm looking forward to trying more beers by them in the future. Lots of citrus hops, will certainly have it again.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer is slightly hazy, appearing copper orange in color. The off white head is an inch thick, and leaves substantial lacing on the pint glass. The aroma offers citrus and malt, with a nice hop character. The flavor brings balance, slightly in favor of hops. The feel is medium bodied, with appropriate carbonation. Personally, I prefer less balance and more of a hop forward pale ale. That said, this is well done. I look forward to more tasty beers from this new local brewery.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Glad I finally got hold of some single cans from DC Brau so I can try their standard lineup.

Clear amber on the pour with a creme head. Flavor has a nice bitterness that seems to lean into amber territory just a bit. At least that's my opinion. Pine and leafy tones are mostly there. Kind of a sipper really.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was initially going to trade for this beer and then a college buddy who was working in Baltimore asked me to come down and hang out for a few days. For me, any trip to BALTO needs to include a visit to my maternal aunt and uncle in DC and they made the mistake of asking what I would like to do on the Saturday of my visit. "Let's visit a brewery!" I exclaimed, and after some initial eye rolling, they flashed on the great times that they have had with me on other brewery tours and acquiesced. By the time the tour and tasting were over, their regrets had vanished and I was flush with beer.

From the CAN: "DC Statehood Facts [:] In November 2000, the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles began issuing license plates bearing the slogan: 'Taxation without representation'"; "Serve in a tulip, goblet or enjoy from the CAN".

The Crack & Glug produced three (!) fingers of dense tawny head with great retention. Color was an oh-so-slightly hazy orangish-amber. Nose was an interesting combination of a light citrusiness coupled with a slight malty sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium with a greater bitterness than I might have expected, based on the nose, but it did not really strike me as an APA, either. The finish was semi-dry, very pleasant, but still not my idea of an APA. Stylistically, it was not really making it, but in terms of hop presence and bitterness, I liked it. In fact, that was the consensus around the table after my maternal uncle came down to pick me up and run some errands. It certainly has a place in the cooler, but it should not supplant a more stylistically correct APA.

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The Public Ale from DC Brau Brewing Co.
3.9 out of 5 based on 849 ratings.
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