The Public Ale | DC Brau Brewing Co.

very good
183 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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 183 | Ratings: 857
Photo of timmy2b
4.24/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz cans. Had several of these cans in order to decide on my rating. Pours with a wonderful hoppy citrus scent. This is a little more on the hoppy side compared to most pale ales, but is light on the palate and easy to drink. Citrus is up front, mixes well with the light amount of caramel malt and does not linger with any undesirable flavors. Very drinkable and tasty.

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Photo of jmasher85
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Still not sure how much I like this beer. There are plenty of reviews here that seem to go back and forth over whether this is too hoppy or not enough, and I'm in the former camp. When I think of a pale ale, I think of a mild and gentle hop presence, and this Public is bitter, thickly resinous, grapefruity, and pretty heavy on the hops.

There is some nice malty presence here with a sweet, slightly rich caramel flavor, but I think that comparing this to their other IPAs, Corruption and Wings of Armageddon, this does not feature a low-enough hop bill to differentiate itself from most other American-style IPAs. Hopheads, enjoy, but those looking for a comfortable pale ale will find themselves with a comparative bitter-bomb.

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Photo of drtth
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a lightly hazed dark amber color with a 1/2" light tan head that recedes fairly soon to a ring, and island of foam and a thin layer over most all of the surface. Sipping creates scattered small patches of lacing.

The aroma is full of caramel malt, a touch of grapefruit and other citrus from the hops.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with the caramel malt sweetness and fruit being balanced by some grapefruit rind and bitterness.

The mouthfeel is on the light side of medium bodied and smooth but with some light prickly feel from the persistent carbonation. The finish is medium in length begins as the caramel sweetness moves into the background to leave the bitterness to follow on behind and create a slightly dry ending to invite another sip.

Overall this is a well put together APA that I'd be happy to have again. However, that said I'll not be going out of my way to find more simply because there are more local APAs that are as good or better and easier to find fresh.

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Photo of avalon07
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a can to pint glass. Had an amber color and a cloudy texture. There was an inch of foamy head that lasted a fair amount of time. Good lacing.

S: A nice aroma of hops, caramel, malt, and fruit.

T: Tasted of a bit of malt, light tropical fruit (mango), a good shot of caramel, hops, and a hint of pine. Not your typical APA flavor in some ways. Yes, it had a moderate to low hops presence, but the addition of caramel made it more like an amber / red ale than anything else. A surprisingly complex taste.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a dry finish. Light- to medium-bodied.

O: Definitely not your classic APA, but tweaked in a good way.

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Photo of stevoj
3.34/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Can picked up in DC. Pleasantly surprised, nice crisp, tart pale ale. Clear golden, white airy head, hoppy nose. Clean and dry, very drinkable. Excellent accompaniment to some food.

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Photo of thebeers
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Darker than many APAs, it has a clear amber color with a moderate white head that leaves behind solid lacing. Mango and pine hops stand out in the nose, carrying over to the taste. It's moderately bitter on the backend, and as the color suggests, has a fair amount of caramel malt sweetness coming through as well. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Solid beer.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Single 12 ounce can brought to Orange County. The side of the can has a "Did You Know?" regarding the D.C., encouraging me to think beyond the beer .But because this is a beer website, on to the beer:

This reddish amber beer could be mistaken as an amber ale. Fair head retention on top, several streaks of lacing clinging to the glass. The aroma is a smorgasbord of fruit! Fruit punch, orange, mango, pineapple, and just for laughs, toasted sugar. It smells like the Arrogant Bastard's bastard cousin. The Public Ale doesn't stop there though; a delicious ale that is also easy to drink and featuring specifics like toasted malt and sugar, pine, pineapple, and passionfruit. This is not your run of the mill Cascade pale ale. The beer has a full body, somewhat creamy, and gently carbonated.

If this beer were the public ale, that would be one hell of a baseline to start at. Impressive!

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Photo of Kubishark
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap. Has a nice amber/orange color. Smells rather hoppy. Tastes rather hoppy and a little bit like a pine tree. This went well with the burger I had, but I'm not sure I'd ever go out of my way to get it again.

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Photo of JLaw55
3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Kind of mediocre at best. Dark amber in color with a sticky white quarter inch of lace that sticks with it to the end. Significant malt presence. Minimal hops, hint of an onion presence. A noticeable level of resinous pine flavor lingers on your tongue. Fleshed out with notes of citrus way down deep in the flavor profile. They are faint at best.

Would Drink Again: No
Would Purchase Again: No

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Photo of UPMD_Bill
3.69/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a can. Solid and well-made but unmemorable. Plenty of hops, with some bitter citrus. Just enough malt to balance the hops, and not too heavy - could be enjoyed year-round.

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Photo of Emersonio
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pour:12oz can in a nonic pint. Appearance: Dark amber with some haze present. Thick white head with lacing. Aroma: Malty sweet with subtle fruity notes. Taste: Malt forward with pine, fruit and hop notes. Aftertaste: Solid malt backbone. The hops an berry like notes linger but not for long. Overall: Another solid offering from the brewery. Very crushable. Good: 3 out of 5.

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Photo of illpass78
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Monster 20 oz. pour on draft at Nationals Park, watching Clayton Kershaw baffle the Nats.

Appearance: Pours a copper color with some white foam. Some lace on way down.

Aroma: A little floral hops, a little caramel, some grass.

Taste: Follows the nose. Deceptively boozy. Somewhat like a low-grade IPA since it has some hop bite. Mostly just a good classic APA.

Mouthfeel: Pretty medium. Has body but definitely good for a hot day, such as this one, where it's like infinity degrees with 1000 percent humidity at the crotch of the Potomac and the Anacostia.

Overall: Nice pale ale. Classic flavors and nice balance.

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Photo of KSOZE
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark, dark pale ale. Kind of strange. Huge hop aroma - aroma is stronger than the taste. Flavor is there, but it's nice, light and crisp. Perfect option for summer, and in a can to boot.

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Photo of Edmond-Bird
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz can into pint glass. Beautiful dark orange color with visible bubbly carbonation. Moderately sized head. Smells of tropical fruit (pineapple, orange), pine, and hemp. Has the smell of an IPA. Bitter hoppiness up front followed by some subtle fruitiness. Finishes with just the right amount of malt to balance out the bitter. Mouthfeel balances upfront dryness with a dank, full ending. This is a fantastic beer.

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Photo of YeahRightt
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: pretty dark for a pale ale, nice appetizing deep amber color

Smell: Not much to the nose, but a nice refreshing burst of hops

Taste: Really nice refreshing summer beer, drinks like a session IPA and has the alcohol content congruent with the flavor.

Feel: Light, crisp, refreshing. Everything macro beers want to be

Overall: Really tasty summer beer, refreshing for the hotter days without being too heavy. Can drink a few and hold it together.

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Photo of chinchill
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
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 GarthDanielson
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a can into a shaker pint, the beer is a hazy, almost opaque, copper coloring with a fluffy, clingy, off-white head. Aromas of rich caramel, subtle pepper spice, and a solid blast of tropical fruit sweetness. Flavors are roasted caramel sweet forward, with peppery and slightly piney hops characteristics following shortly thereafter. Solid blend of mango, pineapple, and melon provide a lighter sweetness as the beer crosses the palate. Roasted undertones, with and solid malt backbone. The body is smooth and full, with a slightly bitter and richly sweet balance in the aftertaste. Smooth, slick finish with a lingering caramel and piney blend eventually cleaned up by the dryness. Decent brew.

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Photo of smcolw
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
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 TheManiacalOne
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 5/11/2015 at Natty Greeneā€™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 ordybill
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a can into a pint glass.
Aroma- Nice blend of citrus and malt
Appearance- A murky copper colored beer with a thick white head
Taste- Malt, bread and citrus. Has a slight bitter taste. Real good.
Palate- A medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation.
Overall- An excellent American Pale Ale, highly recommended

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Photo of jlindros
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
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 evanforbeer
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

can date 3/16
pours coppery orange with off white head

nose: bitter citrus, slight candy malt, flowers

tast: sweet caramel malts, zippy pink (white?) grapefruit with some passionfruit, touch of lime, light smoke, a little mint and pine with some light caramel sweetness at the finish

feel: fairly moderate-high carbonation, medium bodied

a great Pale Ale that leans a little towards the caramel malt, but wonderfully balanced

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Photo of smanders
4.75/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had this from the can and in a growler. Poured into both a tulip and an imperial pint. Makes no difference; this beer rocks!

Appearance: a little haze in the caramel-colored fluid. Serious lacing from the creamy head.

Smell: tons of citrus - mostly grapefruit and lemon. Malty notes linger with herb(y) scents.

Taste: sweet citrus with bread/yeast following up. A hint of pine, but thankfully not overwhelming bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium with average carbonation. I did have one can in my case that was completely flat; the can was even dented and obviously filled with a lot of air...weird.

Overall: If a friend has never had an APA, I would give them a Public Ale as THE perfect example. This beer does not try to pummel you over the head with hops/bitterness. Instead, it's a perfectly balanced beer that you can enjoy on a regular basis. It's also fun to hear folks butcher the's DC Broy, not Brow!!!

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Photo of Nichols33
3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a can into a tulip glass. Very average pale, wasn't blown away. Made my way to go out and get this when I heard some were left behind after EBF because DC Brau is not distributed in MA, but this was underwhelming.

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Photo of Roguer
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A healthy dose of citrus and pine hops ride atop a solidly established and slightly grainy caramel malt base. Flavors are better translated to the palate than the nose. Very drinkable; lively and smooth.

This is an outstanding APA, leaning toward IPA levels of hops in an easy-going 6% ABV format.

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The Public Ale from DC Brau Brewing Co.
3.89 out of 5 based on 857 ratings.
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