The Public Ale | DC Brau Brewing Co.

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The Public AleThe Public Ale
Very Good
877 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: 877 |  Reviews: 186
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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Photo of mdfb79
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
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 Rhettroactive
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 64oz growler to plastic cup with Easter dinner on 4/24/11
*From notes

A: Unfiltered and robust autumn amber. Enticing 1.25 finger head and killer, sticky lacing.

S: Extremely floral for an APA. It really pulls you in, as the hops are so well balanced with the light, sweet traces of alcohol and malt.

T: It's English meets West Coast. You've got that malty Enlgish foundation upon which the citrusy West Coast hop profile comes out to play. It's quite bitter on the mid and the finish showcases a bit of the alcohol. Really tasty stuff.

M: Winning - this is a really creamy and well balanced brew that flashes the proper carbonation and weight. I know the canned version will be filtered, though I hope they can keep the weight I found so luxurious here.

O: An outstanding APA, and I'm extremely proud to know this came from the D to the C. DC Brau's The Public Ale is a home run for the style, and I simply can't wait to see what these crafy craftsmen have up their sleeves in the coming months and years. Two BIG thumbs up.

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Photo of localone703
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pale ale is closer to an IPA in hoppiness. It has a woodsy/sap and citrus hop taste. It reminds me of Dales Pale Ale before it got all watered down.

This is a great pale ale to be proud of if you are a local like me. PROUD. Good bitterness on the finish too.

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

Had this one on draft a week ago, but didn't take notes. This is my first crack at a can of it.

A: Pours a light amber/orange with a fluffy white head. This one foamed up big-time right out of the can.

S: It's got a very nice floral hoppy aroma with some hints of citrus in there, smells much hoppier than your average pale ale.

T: Hops are definitely the primary flavor here. It's very hop-forward for a pale ale, as hoppy as many IPAs. It's got a bit of maltiness to it as well, but that flavor lingers in the background merely supporting the hops. The flavor isn't particularly complex, but it's quite nice and easy to drink. Not much sweetness going on here, definitely more on the bitter side.

M: It's a very light-bodied beer, which works just fine here.

O: I'd say this is a very impressive first effort from a brewery I've been excited about for months leading up to this release. This beer isn't incredible by any means, but it's a very nice, drinkable, hoppy pale ale that will make a nice go-to beer all summer long. I can't wait to try their IPA (coming in May), after seeing how hoppy their Pale Ale is.

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

Very good beer, if not a little generic. VERY fresh, as I read it was only canned a few weeks ago. Always nice to have that sort of thing going for you.

The taste is hoppy and flowery and pretty strong. It's VERY drinkable, which is great. I am very excited to have more beers from the DC area coming out like this one. It's a great start for DC Brau.

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Photo of petacutlasaurus
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this one at Pizzeria Paradiso the Monday after their Friday release party. Sat down at the bar next to some other sap, and after grabbing one of these, saw that we were both drinking the same thing. Since there's so much buzz about the beer, we started talking about it.

All the while, our glasses slowly shrunk and before we could order more, the keg was tapped. I feel like this is a perfect anecdote to describe DC Brau. Just as easy to enjoy as it is easy to slip into the background. It won't jump out of the glass and bite ya, but it's not dishwater either. Nice healthy hop character with a bit of citrus. Just enough to keep you interested long enough to find the kegs of it are all tapped out. I think this'll be the case as long as this beer establishing itself. Establish away, sirs. Can't wait to drink it from the can.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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 Jaynuze
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Also tried a pint at Meridian Pint on 04/15/11. Poured nicely with a nice thick head. Head retention was pretty good, which allowed a nice belgian lace to form along the side of my shaker pint.
S: Aroma was pleasant though did wane after a few sips
T: Solid PA with a nice hop kick to it
M: very well balanced malt and hop ratio (though it was a bit hop heavy for a Pale)
O: A very good beer for their inaugural. Very exciting to have a local DC brewery that will distribute ... interested in seeing the rest of DCB's portfolio over the next few months. Also looking forward to see how this tastes from the can as the draft is unfiltered while the cans will not be.

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The Public Ale from DC Brau Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.87 out of 5 with 877 ratings