The Public Ale | DC Brau Brewing Co.

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The Public AleThe Public Ale
Very Good
885 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 885 |  Reviews: 188
Photo of ehammond1
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Thanks for sharing MrHirschybar!

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. Some pine hop presence balances the aroma nicely.

Hop flavors are certainly present, nice accompanying bitterness, along with some very bready and caramel malts. Incredibly easy to drink.

Medium to thick body.

A pleasant and flavorful, balanced and simple pale ale.

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A rather nice and rich take on a US Pale Ale bordering on IPA territory.

Presentation: 12 oz. can. Silver can background with a design highlighting the branding of the brewery, red silhouette of the US capitol in red with brewing vegetation surrounding it and a white checkered layer underneath. Back offers a small section with "DC Statehood Facts", serving suggestions, recycling recommendations, and an iconic map with the location of the brewery. Notes 6% Alc. by Vol. Served on a tulip glass.

A - Hazy deep gold to pale amber pour, rich and towering frothy head with good retention, creamy surface memory, and nice lacing.

S - Nose is very fragrant, long hoppiness, citric, resinous with a floral note… Some of the C hops have to be there… Centennial, Chinook?

T - Nice forward hoppy profile, bordering on an IPA as the brewer suggests, nice edge with its citrus and hint of resin over a nice caramel malt touch. Floral hoppy notes coat the soft malty finish.

M - Medium to medium/light body with sizable carbonation picking it up. Good crisp finish as it folds.

O - Very drinkable, closer to a hoppier profile than to the an entry point PA.

Notes: Updating the review of these cans… I did do the first entry of the canned version, and after all these months I needed to do an update. Maybe my palate has changed, maybe they have… Actually these are now freshly canned Pale Ales I have been picking from the brewery, so that may be the difference. In any case, this has a marked quality fresh hop profile that I did not remember, and it is consistent in all cans coming from the brewery so far. Before it was a good PA and a rather welcome addition to the local landscape, now I feel this is a quality hoppy PA that can stand on its own and I´m happy to cycle to the brewery and back to pick up a few six-packs of these (not to mention filling a couple of growlers). District pride? Sure… But also a pretty good darned brew.

Previous score: 04-28-2011
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Bottle courtesy of drabmuh. Thank you.

orange brown on top gives way to a golden color, pretty prominent off white head. kind of dark for the style. caramel and biscuity malt sweetness mingle with a light citrus hop aroma. Pretty sweet for the style. the malt seems to overtake the light hop presence. Reminds me a bit more of an amber ale. Still this beer is decently drinkable and there isn't anything offensive about it. medium bodied with a good deal of carbonation.

Overall a decent beer but nothing too memorable. I'm glad to have tried it though. Pretty cool looking can with an interesting fact about voting in DC.

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Photo of KeefD
3.32/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Woohoo! Another tick! CAN courtesy of woodychandler in the Nice Cans BIF. Glad to tick off another "state". I'll be up to 51 in no time!

EDIT: Awww.... This doesn't count as a state. Booo-urns!

Pours is fantastic. Slight chill haze permeates the solid orange/rust colored body with a two finger head that fell slowly, leaving sticky lace all over the glass. Aroma has a nice piney/citrusy element, a bit of doughy malt in the background, and a touch of herbs. Taste is pretty good! Nothing really stands out, not overly hoppy, but has a good bitterness. Hops bring a decent pine and grapefruit flavor, but it's rather subdued, a brief candy-like sweetness midway through, and finishes dry with a cracker/bread like maltiness. Body is medium, good carbonation. Overall, a rather easy to drink pale ale that's not offensive in any way, but could use a bit more hop flavor rather than just the mellow bitterness. An easy drinker. Tasty burps.

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Photo of beerwolf77
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks goes to Thorpe429 for sending a cans of this to Andy. I've been itching to tick a DC beer ever since they announced plans to can.

A: Slightly cloudy orange amber hue. Two fingers of thick creamy beige head. Good retention. Thick sticky lace clings to the glass.

S: The citrus hops give off a pungent, juicy aroma. Moderate caramel malt backs up the hops keeping things balanced.

T: Heavy citrus bitterness bites my tongue. Bordering on acrid. A bit resiny and medicinal. A touch of caramel malt comes out in the finish with each swallow. A bit out of balance for me.

M: Creamy medium body with a good amount of carbonation.

O: Not bad but nowhere near some of the best APA's I've had. Happy to have the tick nonetheless.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz can poured into a Sierra Nevada imperial pint.
6% ABV, "Serve in a tulip, goblet or enjoy from the can", no date.

Thopre429 deserves a big thank you for sending two cans of this my homeboy and I!

A - Lightly hazy golden caramel cube in color, The Public is topped by a loose cream head with tons of staying power. Not much lace is left on the glass though.

S - Tons of dry hopping with Cascade in thus hop-forward pale. Strong citrus; lemon, grapefruit, and light grassy notes flourish in front of a caramelly pale malt backbone. Hop-forward but well-balanced so far.

T - Toasted wheat bread and caramel notes with pils sweetness lay the foundation for this well-balanced pale ale. Hops plop on top with a coaxing mild bitterness like that of grapefruit, a bit of lemon grass zest pulls out, and a faint piny finish closes 'er.

M - Medium-bodied and smooth, The Public has a well-carbonated, fantastically balanced bitter finish that asserts itself slowly and carefully. As I've reiterated quite a few times, it's very well-balanced.

O - A fantastic American Pale Ale, The Public keeps it real with nice hop additions but never goes over-the-top with them. The level of balance DC Brau has achieved with this beer is exceptional. Despite the bigger hops, the malt is still enjoyable and allowed to stand on it's own in the background. Very nicely done.

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Photo of tone77
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to woodychandler for his surprise visit to my job with this and other beers for me. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a cloudy caramel color with a 1 inch head. Smell is of citrus and hops. Taste is the same, lots of hops up front, some citrus flavors. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a good quality beer.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
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 yourefragile
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Smith Commons.

Pours a dark copper with a thick whitish head, great lacing and retention. Big pine and floral hop nose with a malt presence. Malt doesn't do much in the flavor as the bitter pine hops dominate throughout and into the bitter finish. A very aggressive, hoppy pale ale. A promising start for a new brewery.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: copper orange with a 1 finger off white head

smell: grass, pine, hops, caramel, malts,

taste: grass, hops, malts, bitter finish

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: decent pale ale. glad I got to try this new brewery out of Washington DC.


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Photo of siege06nd
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my Sam Adams perfect pint...

A: For an APA, this looks fantastic. Gorgeous, glowing orange copper color. A half finger eggshell white head quickly dissipates to a ring around the glass. Beautiful, gobs of sticky lacing mark my progress as I sip this one. Truly a beautiful APA.

S: Mmmm, orange zest, grapefruit, piney hops. Light, sweet, and inviting.

T: Tangerine, orange flavor on the front and mid gives way to a grassy hop presence. Slightly bitter finish as the hop oils take hold. For an APA, this is hoppy, relatively complex, and very quaffable.

M: Lingering bitterness on the finish detracts a bit from what is otherwise a very good APA. Carbonation is just fine.

O: This would be a standard IPA for most breweries, but not for the guys at the Brau. This is very very good, an APA that is sessionable but has a depth and complexity atypical of the style. It's a quality brew, even if the dry finish more closely resembles an IPA. This guy's not complaining. Great job, DC Brau!


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Photo of Chaney
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A special thanks to Huzuhbendah who handed me a can of this out of the blue. Thanks Matt!

DC's first brewery since prohibition. Gotta love it!

A: First of all, foam filled up the glass rather quickly when I went to pour. After it down down, the brew sitting idle below it was somewhat cloud, golden, and the head itself was both web-like and plentiful.

S: A huge hop citrus bomb was born as soon as the can popped. The aroma of orange and grapefruit hit the airwaves instantly and didn't let up. Powerful stuff!

T: Wonderful balance between fruit and hop bitterness, with a slight yeast strain in there just for safe measure.

M: A bit thin and flat actually. Despite the massive head, the low prickle factor was a distraction from the overall experience. The sweet elements were kept in check by the bitterness, which linger for a bit afterwards.

O: This was one of the best smelling Pale Ales in recent memory, however, the other senses could use some tweaking.

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Photo of wchollif
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Huhzubendah for this extra. A 12 oz. can poured generates about a finger of head that leaves great lacing. The light amber color and obvious heavy carbonation leads me to dive right in. Light hop aroma is not overpowering and not much to write home about. Taste is much better, bitter pine hops and lemon grapefruit bite. This is a really hoppy bitter pale. The heavy carbonation helps with outstanding drink ability. If this was a local, and inexpensive, I'd buy it all summer long.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
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 imbibehour
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Finally get a chance to try this in the can, pouring into a tulip glass as recommended by instructions on said can. Brought right from the brewery premises.

Tight creamy foam comes right out of the can, not gushing, but ready to play. Hits the glass nicely and forms very evenly with the tiniest of bubbles. Body is a great orb cloudy but not as dull on tap opaqueness orange amber. A great glowing orange orb beauty. In my opinion this looks better than on tap.

Bouquet is virtually identical, but there's a little bit more bread punch, to go along with the wet minor hop bent and maltyness.

Taste is a carbon copy of it's on tap brother, orange citrus, hop bent, light malt feel is a bit more wet though and feels considerably more light bodied. A little steely also, perhaps a hint of ferrousness, but nothing extremely noticeable or off putting.

Overall still a great beer to be had for people of DC.

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Photo of ferrari29
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer served at Churchkey in 4oz. nonic pint glass

A - Beer had a reddish-brown colored clear body; beer was served with a one finger white colored head; not much carbonation formed in the beer; lots of lacing stuck on the side of the glass

S - Citrus and hop notes; some pine notes; grass; mostly fresh citrus; caramel malt

T - Caramel malt back-end; hop and citrus notes; pine; some lemon-zest; smooth and crisp flavor; quick hard bite of pine

M - Beer has a bitter aftertaste that lingers for a while; good flavor; soft medium body and bubbly

D - Good solid drink; glad to DC has a real contender in its own backyard; immediately becoming my local favorite

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Photo of Olive
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's nice to have a solid local brewery in the DC Metro area. This is one of the first beers I've seen from DC Brau on-tap in Northern Virginia and I was very happy with it.

Had it on-tap from Colombia Firehouse in Alexandria, VA. Very amber in color and had a nice head. Had a very aromatic, hoppy smell to it just as you'd expect from a good APA. Excellent taste, not too bitter, not too weak but just right. It did however, leave a small after taste. Overall, I'm very happy with DC Brau's first offering and I hope to sample more.

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Photo of mi6234
4.41/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally a brewery in this town.

Appearance is dark for a pale, burnt orange, almost copper.

Smell is extremely hoppy. Citrus all the way with little malt coming through.

Tastes like an IPA if you ask me, a really awesome one. Strong citrus hop flavor and serious bitterness. Well balanced, at least for someone who likes hop/bitter bombs. Malt matched appearance with some mild crystal sweetness in the middle. Hops rule the beginning and though the end.

Carbonation is moderate to high with medium body. Pretty much to style though maybe a little chewy.

This beer is awesome and since it's brewed like 5 miles from my house it will always be fresh. I love that I can get it in a can to. It will be great for music festivals. I plan on drinking a number of these in the hot summer sun.

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Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
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 enoisone
4.19/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought it at WFM in Arlington.
First tasted this PA on tap and then in a can.I prefer the can.

A little darker then most pale ales.

Nice fragrant hops on opening the can.

Very nice hops up front,a mix of grapefruit and other citrus.I believe it contains 3 different hops.

Loved the mouthfeel and bitter aftertaste.

Overall a very good Pale Ale that i hope to keep stocked in my fridge.

Love the cans.

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Photo of akorsak
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at ChurchKey.

A: The pale ale is dark, darker than the Corruption that preceded it with a full ambery copper tone that retains its translucence. A white head, thin, comes with the pour but doesn't last long.

S: The nose has more malts than hops, caramel and biscuit aromas paired with a citrus hop profile. Grapefruit stands out but remains balanced.

T: A nice pale ale; I'm grooving to DC Brau's beers so far. Caramel and biscuit lead off, very bready with a flavor that seems to be in charge. Behind the malts, citrusy hops add spiciness without taking over. A very drinkable pale ale, hoppy enough to keep me happy.

M: The chewiness tends to push the hops to the side, but there are enough bitter moments to reel me back in. Seems sessionable, but that could be me drinking to ignore the pups in tow.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Rustico in Alexandria VA, thanks to a solid recommendation from Mike. The beer is a pale golden orange color with very little haze and a tightly celled foam. A nice hoppy aroma as befits the best APAs, pine needles and citrus, a little malt character beneath but this leans comfortably towards the hops.

More balanced in taste, still the hops take the lead but the malts give some sweet counterplay. Good carbonation, no flaws to be found anywhere. A solid if not entirely remarkable representation of the APA style, definitely an easy choice to make again in the future.

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Photo of goldbot
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A clear, copper to amber pour with plenty of lacy, foamy off-white head and plenty of carbonation and lacing. Strong hoppy smell with lots of grapefruit as well as some pine. Malt is there but definitely well covered up. The flavor is strongly hoppy as well, with more grapefruit and pine. Refreshing citrus notes with a good bit of malty sweetness. This beer has a rather heavy body (for an APA at least) and also lots of bitterness. Honestly it drank more like an American IPA to me than an APA. Still, a great beer that I am quite proud to show off as a local.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this special brew on tap from several places. Poured from a growler into a pint class. Pours a beautiful hazy amber/golden body along with a thick head that retains its lacing throughout the session well. Aroma is moderately sweet, pine, some lemon/grapefruit, and orange zest. Taste is medium sweet, somewhat malty, pine/grapefruit, some lemon. I am also picking up some sticky hop pellets throughout. Overall light-medium body, resiny. A very nice introduction to DC Brau Brewing after 60 years in Washington, D.C.

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Photo of SummitVA
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice golden pour with fluffy white head and steady carbonation.

S - Pine hops most dominant, but followed with a good bit of citrus. Some bready-iness, as well, giving a nice hint of malt in the background.

T - Resiny pine strikes the palate first, rounded out nicely by a hint of biscuity malt character. Less citrus hop flavor than the nose would suggest. Nice balanced beer, but I find the finish a bit muddled with a sort of soapiness.

M - Nice and light.

O - A solid first beer from DC Brau. Looking forward to trying their other beers and having this again.

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The Public Ale from DC Brau Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 885 ratings