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The Public Ale | DC Brau Brewing Co.

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very good
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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 182 | Ratings: 849
Photo of MCain04
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Generous extra, thanks Dave_treat, poured from the can into a 12 oz spiegelau

Looks the part with an amber-orange opaque body, cream-colored head with great retention and decent lacing.

Smells of tropical fruits, orange peel, pineapple, mango, grapefruit.

Taste is hoppy with a flavor profile closely following that of the taste, a crisp bitter bite that is refreshing but not overwhelming, malty enough to balance without being sweet.

Crisp and well carbonated, light-medium bodied, somewhat dry finish

Overall, a winner IMO, a solid APA that is drinkable in quantity and balanced but still quite flavorful. I'd buy a lot of it if it came to the area.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a puffy layer. It is a hazy pale orange color with some clarity and bubbles coming up through the glass. Nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Caramel and bready malts, and citrus.

Taste: Grapefruit and tangerine are more noticeable, chewy and sweet caramel malts too.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, chewy, medium bodied, and medium carbonation.

Overall: Pretty solid APA that I scored on my travels to VA a few months ago. I wish I had more.

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Photo of bcheng
4.26/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Golden pale, perfect color matching the taste.
S: Piney, but a bit muted for the temperature I like it at, so I can't really judge the smell.
T: Good mix of hops, orange peel, grapefruit, overall a good balance without being bitter.
M: Crisp without excessive carbonation
O: An amazing world class APA from DC.

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Photo of vandemonian
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

DC Brau "The Public Ale" is pleasant but not particularly interesting beer. Don't expect it to be hoppy either. Is this the DC Brau session beer?

Orange colour and a big head that lasts very well. 4.5

S: Fragrant citrus hops. 4

T: A woody malt base balanced by some earthy hopiness. The finish is dry and pretty bitter. Not a particularly hoppy APA by any means. 3.5

M: Nice amount of carbonation. 4

O: 3.75

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Photo of hagbergl
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. can into my Dogfish Head signature snifter.

Appearance (4.25/5): Burnt Orange, cloudy, semi-opaque, thick three-finger head. Some soapy white lacing lines the side of the glass. Looks beautiful.

Smell (4/5): A malt forward nose; bread, caramel; orange, pink grapefruit, some spicy hop scent worked in there.

Taste (4.25/5): very good balance of bread malt to piney and citrusy hops. Front of the tongue, malty; middle of the tongue, the hops come through with a significant piney prickliness and spiciness; and at the back I get a lot of light bread and caramel flavor, reminiscent of Victory Headwaters Pale Ale. I would say there's definitely more bitterness in the taste than was evident in the nose. Excellent, solid flavor profile. Like the Brothers say in their review of the beer, the brewers set this beer up to be a battlefield between malt and hops. And work it does.

Mouthfeel (4.25/5): Smooth, medium carbonation. This is a very easy drinker. The hop bitterness doesn’t linger too long or coat the palate in the way that an IPA often does. The hops prickle the tongue and help to cut the sweetness of the malt.

Overall (4.25/5): This is easily going to become a regular in my fridge. It has a wonderful blend of citric and piney hops and sweet malt; pretty much ideal for an American Pale Ale. And it drinks like a dream. The boldness of flavor is certainly impressive for a beer less than 7% ABV (it's a 6 percenter). DC Brau has really dialed the balance in nicely. This little brewery's onto something serious.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Huge billowing ,consolidated and creamy head stacked itself above a darkened coppery hue.

Loads of piney hops are at the forefront of the scent with a nicely balanced malt and grain backbone. The end is presented by slight citrus and biscuity malt.

Nice sweet barley malt flavor ends in a piney, floral hop. Some bread, tea leaves and a little toasted biscuit round out a piney bitterness. Very easy to drink with no harshness.

Overall, this is a good well rounded Pale Ale, and as it is served in a can makes a fabulous choice for activities on the go.

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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 MacQ32
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a color amber with s monstrous light tan colored head. Fantastic retention and very good lacing

S - Some lighter fruit notes (apples and pears) and a nice dry bitter piney hop aroma. A nice sweet caramel maltyness rounds out my quaffs.

T - nice tolerable dry bitterness up front followed by sweet apples pears and sweet caramel. Very common flavor profile but well above average. I think I was off on the pineyness.

M - lighter bodied, very drinkable. Still somewhat sticky on my palate.

O - very well done although traditional. Dry light crisp bitter hops, non citric fruits and a nice sweet malt presence. I dig it for sure.. good gateway brew

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Photo of GJ40
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Sampled from a can purchased at Chevy Chase Beer & Wine.

Golden with good clarity and a thick off-white white head. There's a suspension of very fine particles but no ill effects. Aroma is citrusy hops with a hint of pine. Flavors follow closely with a nice citrusy bitterness and flavor. The bitterness lingers forever. A moderate level of toasted malt supports it well with a hint of sweetness throughout. Good depth. There's a moderate carbonation of very fine bubbles that give it an airy, creamy feel.

A solid west coast pale ale. I'll be back for more!

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep copper color and clear. Frothy white head with loads of lacing and excellent retention.

Grapefruit and pine aromas. There's a healthy dose of caramel and bread.

It's a balanced APA, a tug of war between grapefruit and pine vs the sweet caramel. It's bitter but checked by the sweet. Finishes with some herbal flavors.

Full bodied and moderately dry. Ample carbonation.

It's a fantastic APA. Well balanced and pronounced flavors.

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Photo of yamar68
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to cw577enfield for this one!

Absolutely gorgeous stuff. Murky but glowing honey golden body with a dense creamy bone white head that leaves perfect lace, retaining from start to finish.

Sweet, mild citric hops meld with cereal malts and some floral qualities. Nice.

Surprisingly abrasive on the palate. The relatively intense hop bitterness dries out flavors of marmalade, oats, pine and citrus.

A tasty option if you're thirsty for a pale.

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Photo of garuda
3.61/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Hazed copper body, white head has good retention and lace.

Hop forward, with mostly grapefruit flesh and pine. Caramel, bready malt sweetness, but stays bitter through the finish. Sturdy medium body and medium carbonation. Smooth consistency, a little prickly across the palate.

O - Almost IPA-like. A little out of balance to the bitter side which keeps it from being an easy drinker. Not bad though, I'd get it again when I'm in the DC area.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a copper color with some haze.

S-Pretty straightforward. Piney hops and a bunch of biscuit and caramel. Moderate intensity. Its nice but very status quo.

T-Balancing act between biscuits and caramel with pine and flowery hops.

M-A bit creamy with a decently bitter finish.

O/D-A solid APA. Balanced and drinkable but gets lost in the crowd to some extent.

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Photo of harrymel
2.93/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Canned earlier

Pours a hazed red copper ale with an etched surface of lighter cream foam. Smells of english tea, some caramel malts, some resiny hops and a hint of grapefruit. Flavor is malts, some pekoe, some wood and fruity english yeast. Medium bodied with a low on moderate carb and a wet finish. Quaffable, but not special for me.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.44/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12 oz can into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy copper color. There's a nice three finger pale yellow head here, however it doesn't retain itself that well. Lacing, on the other hand, is good.

S: Pretty typical of the style: grapefruit, pine resin, and floral notes come from the hops, while there are touches of biscuity malt. Key word being 'touches' - this isn't over-malted, thankfully.

T: This one is pretty floral in terms of hoppiness. Only a touch of citrusy character comes through near the back end, along side a minor surge of caramel maltiness. I'd reckon the general bitterness is moderate; there's just enough malt here to balance out any annoying harshness without coming off excessively sugary.

M: The feel has a decent crispness to it, but is perhaps a touch too astringent finishing. Still, I can't complain about its drinkability or carbonation levels.

O: A well made, easy drinking pale, just one that isn't particularly remarkable or exciting. To be fair, though, floral, piny pale ales don't really excite me in the first place. Worth a try.

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Photo of kevanb
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz can poured into a DC Brau can glass, no sign of a canning date.

The beer pours a murky copper color, hues of honey and light amber with a billowy 2 fingers of head that has excellent retention and leaves lots of spotted lace behind. The aroma is mild, light citrus and floral notes with some spicy and bitter hops before rich and sweet malts take over. Spicy hops that are fairly bitter leap out onto the tongue, touches of grapefruit and wildflower behind it with vienna and other sweet rich malt flavors quickly swallowing this beer. The balance is fine, but it's rather subdued and tame, nothing really shining here. The body is nice, smooth carbonation, moderately low, that coats the mouth well and finishes with a nice creamy touch.

Verdict: A decent Pale Ale from DC Brau, but one that is pretty forgettable really. Nothing really interesting, but nothing really offensive either, so it's rather sessionable, it's best quality.

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Photo of cw577enfield
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked up a six-pack on 05/18/13. Bottled on 4/30/13 and poured into a snifter.

A: Orange/Yellow color, insane head (3 fingers and a half), nice lacing.

S: Citrus-infused hops, notes of floral and malt, wonderful aroma.

T: A "hop-blast" flavor! Detected a strong taste of pine, bitterness, grapefruit, and oranges. Strong bitter at the beginning but carries out to a sweet malty taste at the end. Interesting.

M: Medium-bodied, good carbonation, yet very drinkable!

O: A beautifully-done APA. Will definitely be picking up another six-pack in the soon future but based on the price tag (depends on where you live), I doubt it'll be a regular thing for me. Another outstanding job by DC Brau!

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. can poured into an Allagash chalice.

Appearance - Deep orange. Hazy. Nice white head. Clings to the glass and leaves a chunky collar.

Smell - Pale and caramel malt with a dose of grain. Grapefruit hop. Not assertive in its hop character, but well balanced with the malt for a pale.

Taste - Again, well balanced hop and malt profile. Grapefruit with brighter orange citrus notes. Pale malts and some caramel malts farther back. Bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium carbonation. Drinkable but not what I'd called a light body. The hops are most prevalent in the bitterness it leaves.

Overall - I've enjoyed this significantly more than their IPA. This is nice without being over the top in any category.

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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 RonfromJersey
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single can from Liquor Outlet

Bright hazy orange body, topped by three fingers of bone china white micro bubbles.

Inviting citrus aroma, heavy on oranges.

Big sweet thick foundation coats the tongue. Juicy fruits gushes throughout the mouth. Big, big bitter bite at the swallow that lingers on and on, entwined with the fruit in an aftertaste that's like the end of "A Day in the Life".

Sturdy medium mouthfeel.

This is their pale? What 's the IPA like? Find out tomorrow. A heck of a first impression. Highly recommended.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Deep and dark clear amber with a thin white head. Nice lacing down the glass. Very balanced aroma consisting of lots of bready malt character and a touch of caramel. . Hop flavors are certainly present,but seem some what muted, along with some very bready and caramel malts. Overall I will have to find this more fresh and change my review someday because I am sure my can was over 2 months old. Hard to tell without a best by date...

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

12oz can poured into a Ommegang chalice glass

Appearance- An orangish yellow in color with 3 fingers of cloudy white head that hardly dissipates and leaves nice sticky lacing.

Smell- Citrus and pine are most prevalent with a little bit of earthy hop.

Taste- The front of the tounge is lead with a twinge of citrus which is followed by a malt and earthy hop backbone finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium body even hinging on full body. I would like to see a little more carbonation for easier drinkability.

Overall- Pretty solid well balance APA. My only criticism would be the need for a little more citrus in the flavor and some more carbonation for easier drinkability.

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

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #62 (Mar 2012):

LOOK: Dull copper

SMELL: Caramel, ruby red grapefruit juice, spicy, pine, fresh-cut hay

TASTE: Semi-crisp, thick caramel, pulling citric hop, spicy, nutty, mild esters, earthy, bitter, herbal tea, dirty mint, fallen nectarines, grainy finish

This beer speaks balance fluently. It is one serious APA, as the hops and malt battle it out and our palate was the collateral damage—thankfully, we can take a beating. Anyone who has reservations about canned craft beer needs to grab a six-pack of this.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz can, pours a hazy dark orange with a solid, cream colored head of great retention. Exceptional lacing. Excellent hoppy aroma with floral and citrus notes and a light dry maltiness.

The flavor is definately at an IPA-level of hoppiness, with floral, citrus, and grass notes, but also a strong and slightly over-assertive bitterness that detracts a little from these tasty subtleties. Again the malt is of a dry and crackery nature.

Medium to slightly light bodied with strong carbonation. Not bad, but a smudge too close to fizzy for my taste. Very long and lingering, bitterly hoppy aftertaste remains.

Nice enough, just a little too bitter for a beer that's not even an Ipa. Super dry and a little unbalanced for me. Looking forward to trying more by this brewer, though.

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Photo of IrishHockey
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Crabbicus (awesome trader BTW) for this little doozie!
Poured from a can into my Founders snifter

The pour on this brew is magic. It's color is a burnt orange with 2 fingers of slightly off white head. The beer maintained the head for a while.

Smell was awesome. Slight citrus, malt, maybe some burnt toffee in there. Smells fantastic!

The taste was incredible! Latly on pale ales it seems the trend is going towards grapefruit. This had some citrus notes, but not front and center. I do love lots of grapefruit forward pale ales, but this one is refreshing. Balanced, and yet subtle in the taste. Nothing screamed that it was the star. Bravo DC Brau! This is a winner! When I think of how a beer should be, this is it. Not overly hopped, not to bitter, not to dry. A perfect drinking beer.

The mouthfeel on this is great. Very creamy (saying this makes me chuckle). It's light, but not watery. This is f'ing fantastic!

Overall: I'm a fan. What more can I say? This is superb. I can't recommend this beer enough! Go get some or trade for it. I think you'll enjoy it!


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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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