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The Public Ale | DC Brau Brewing Co.

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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: 851
Photo of BMFR1811
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased a 6 pack from whole foods in the Georgetown area of d.c. Poured into pint glass

Appearance- great amber, slightly hazy, good lingering lacing on sides and a finger width head

Smell-American citrus hops stand out, what I come to expect from an apa

Taste- pine, citrus fruit, has that great dank hop taste with a bite that persists through the finish

Mouthfeel- great carb, adds body

Overall- I would drink this again, it's everything I expect from a modern apa, hops, hops and hops, with the malt bill to back it up. Easy to drink and very well put together.

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Photo of sommersb
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 06-23-2014
Freshness: Canned on 02-26-2014
Packaging: 12 oz. can
Glassware: Tulip pint
Purchased: Received in a trade

A hazy, dark amber beer with a cream-colored head. Head retention is wonderful and a nice lacing is left behind.

Aromas are a very pleasant blanket of pine and citrus hops, with some bready malt undertones.

Sharp hop bitterness in the taste, but it's not overdone. The citrus and pine are the highlights as was in the nose. All-around a great tasting pale ale that could also be called an IPA.

Mouthfeel has a body I'd call medium. The finish is pretty dry and also hoppy, but has enough malt presence to keep the bitterness from being overbearing.

Overall a fine product that be suitable by itself or paired with a meal. Call me impressed!

Thanks go to Treyliff for the beer!

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Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a golden orange body with one finger head and some lace and has not only a citric hop aroma but there are some tropical fruit or sweet malts in there as well giving off both a hoppy and slightly sweet aroma. Grainy and dry are my first impressions, a cracker like dryness, with a thin to medium body. Then I get a pleasant walloping of citrusy, oily hops that have both a slight bitterness and something akin to tropical fruits (not grapefruit). Good balance, not too much going on, but the hops are there, the dryness is there and a little sweetness make this a good beer to have.

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Photo of webdog76
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured a nice clear copper with a hint of red from a can into a pint glass. The smell was surprisingly floral and hoppy reminiscent of Imperials. The taste is mild of citrus fruit with nutty notes similar to an amber. The mouthfeel was quite dry with alcohol warmth. I felt it touched the front of the palate more than the middle. Nice malty aftertaste though.

Overall, I think DC Brau did a very nice American pale ale and would certainly try this beer again.

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Photo of WhiteHillsStore
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

My first beer from DC Brau, I was quite happy with. Poured a hazy yellow and the smell was all hops. Very good hops though. I was worried for a bit that the taste would be a little overpowering for a Pale Ale. I was pleasantly surprised when I tasted and found a great beer with a lot of flavor from both the malt and the hops and a clean finish. Thought this was a great beer which I can even bring to the beach since it comes primarily in cans.

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Photo of benloho
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Cloudy copper color. Finger and a half of head that is fading. There's a lot of particulates floating around in this one, and while that doesn't really bother me overall its not too appealing. Beautiful lacing on the glass.
S: Immediate piney hop presence with some caramel sweetness and biscuity malts.
T: Very pleasant on my palate. Piney and earthy hop presence up front blended with the caramel malt. A bit of citrus or grapefruit bitterness on the back end. Really enjoying this one.
MF: Super easy drinking. Awesomely balanced with a nice crisp, dry finish that sends me straight back to the glass for another swig.
O: This is a great beer. DC Brau continues to impress me whenever I get my hands on their stuff. This is definitely right where I like my pale ales. In the same crowd as Dale's and Sierra Nevada for me.

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Photo of 57md
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper with well over a finger of healthy head that lingers for a long time. The nose is earthy with a touch of hops. This offering is light-bodied and the flavor profile is nicely balanced between malt and hops. The finish is almost as bitter as some single IPAs. This is an exceptional pale ale.

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Photo of jodybrutal
3.32/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Found a can of this in a mystery 12 pack I picked up at Victor's Liquors in Lawnside, NJ. No date on the can. Poured into pint glass.

a - Pours a dark, cloudy orange, big white fluffy head, sporadic lacing.

s - Aroma is straight forward hops, very piney, but dank and malty. Sweet candy scents as well.

t - Bitter right away, but malty even more so than the smell. Definitely a little more malty that I would prefer for an APA, but the Hops definitely shine through and balance this beer quite well.

m - Medium carbonation. Medium body. Goes down smooth, but leaves an almost sour kind of taste lingering on the tongue, which I'm actually starting to get tired of as I've finished 3/4 of this beer.

o - I poured about 3/4 into the glass, and had the rest straight from the can. The finish was actually much crisper and enjoyable from the can than out of the glass. Overall, I enjoyed this beer but would not seek it out.

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Photo of Roser
3.39/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A- cloudy, amber, copper hue. Bone white head/foam, disappears pretty quick, but leaves a nice lace.

S- caramel, sugar, malt. The nose suggests a heavier taste is to follow, but that is not the case.

T- bitter right out of the gate, moved to some sour notes in the middle, then finished with more of the bitterness on the back end. Had trouble defining the favors that stood out, other than an overwhelming malt backbone with some citrus lurking.

M- medium, unassuming.

O- good/very good. I'm a big fan of this beer. Might come as a little bit of a surprise, given the less than stellar review. It's the kind of beer I could easily see someone else snubbing completely, but that's the beauty of adhering to the bottom line: it's a good beer if it tastes good to you. Drink it if you can, as it's a local offering here in the DC/VA/MD metro area.

Cheers all!

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Photo of bylerteck
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pint at The Trestle in Philly. From notes.

A - Goldenish pour with mild carbonation. Half finger of white head on top left spotty lace and a film of retention.

S - Citrus, hops, pineapple. Straightforward, but enjoyable.

T - Very nice combo of citrus and pine and a little caramel for balance. A good hop profile and flavour.

M - Medium body, medium carbonation, good gripping bitterness.

O/D - A really good pale ale. Balanced, yet aggressive. Really drinkable for me. I liked this one alot.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can. Pours a dark brown with orange hues. Over an inch of head. Good amount of lacing. The aroma is piney hops with some light sweet citrus. Lightly buttered bread and some floral hop notes. The taste is pine with some wheat bread. Floral hop bitterness towards the end with some more malts. Flowery and piney at the finish. Medium bodied with a lot of carbonation. Overall, a decent Pale Ale that works perfectly in a can. I'd buy this again.

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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 micromaniac129
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A reddish copper color with a moderate sized beige head. The head lingers on for a good while leaving a patchwork of lacing.

The aroma is quite hoppy but it's a must dank aroma. Malts have a biscuit aroma and balance the hops well.

The taste to me has a nice hop kick. The hops have a flavor like earthy and floral with a spicy peppery undertone.
Malts hold up well and have a bread and biscuit taste.

No problem on the palate, finishes quite bitter.

This was a pleasant surprise for me. It pretty good.

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Photo of justintcoons
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into a shaker pint.

Golden amber with a short off-white head that dissipates quickly. Good clarity with low carbonation.

Tangerine, grapefruit, honeydew and candy sugar.

Grapefruit juice and honeydew melon along with notes of lemon pith and orange zest. Biscuity malts with touches of candy sugar. Finishes with pine needles and grapefruit zest.

Medium bodied, smooth, semi-dry and refreshing.

Spot on for a classic American Pale Ale!

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Bright orange pour from the can produces a spongy textured surface head that was slight in size and small on the hold. There is a good deal of softly floating particulate matter suspended within, while the carbonation appears to be soft and sporadic at best. Minimal lace details the glass.

S: Soft herbal notes overlay some pine and semi-dry lemon. There is a hint of semi-dry orange with a soft dried toasted peel and grain scent. Lightly dry citric zest appears late. Good aromatic strength.

T: Citric lemon and orange delivered with a high rational dose of bitterness. Dry grassy-lemon hops blend with pine, toasted bread crust with a lingering dry finish. Dry herbal, parsely, grassy notes with brief interluding moments of troasted grain sweetness.

M: lively, snap worthy pop of carbonation, that is crisp on the tongue with a light to medium body weight.

O: Overall a pale with more then its fair share of hops and bitterness. The hops over-ride the malt sweetness but only slightly, still maintaining a good sense of balance between the two. The abv% at 6.0 feels about right making for good drinkability. The ibus are strong, and this is worthy of multiples.

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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 1sophrosyne1
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tasted at the brewery on tap and from a growler a couple of hours later in a pilsner glass.

Pours an orange-tinged amber with nice read-through clarity. A lightly puffy white head leaves good patches of lacing, but falls fast.

Scents of citrus (largely grapefruit with a touch of lime) , nicely malty with a whiff of grass, and clean pine.

The flavor is grassy and funky with bitterness that comes up in the middle, dripping in orange, grapefruit and apricot. Those fruits fold into cracker-chewy sweetness. It tastes of brewed black tea sucked off a metal spoon on the back half with nice length. Just a touch too angular.

It's both astringent and almost meaty with a moderate amount of carbonation slicing through a medium body. Just enough oil makes for the lingering finish--could be smoother overall.

Overall, this brew is quite good, with a balance of easy drinkability and length and complexity that make it worth attention.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I had this on tap months ago and recalled liking it, so grabbed one recently, without checking any previous ratings (turned out I hadn't rated it).

In this taste (from a can), my initial thought was American IPA hop-bomb, which impressed me more in the past. I've become more "refined" (sarcasm intended) and thought for a second maybe I just love the mouthpeel-ing nature of it (IMO DC Brau tends to be more dry-hop bitter in nature).

But I had to judge on the "new me", and decided after a few sips that it was a good beer. The hoppiness is definitely there (grassy, pine-woodsy) and present from the first drop that hits you. But what I noticed in a strange way, is that the bitterness just sat. It didn't grow or wane; in a reverse of normal beers, it almost seemed the malts balanced the hops, instead of the reverse.

Insofar as what I experienced, a bitter-earthy nose and a grapefruit style bitterness. Dry mouthfeel that I expected to draw deeper than it did, the end seemed to mellow versus grab, surprisingly. This will definitely stay in the rotation.

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Photo of Shumania
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

can poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint

A: deep orange amber color, with a good 1 finger head and lots of lacing

S: slight tropical notes, pine, and sweet caramel

T: bitter pine, some citrus, balanced with lots of malt, then finishes with a strong bitter ending.

M: This is a harsh bitterness, but it works so well for the beer. medium body

I love this beer. Great bitterness for a pale ale, good balance with the sweet malt, and goes well with anything. This beer won't do you wrong. One of the better pale ales out there.

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Photo of stephenjmoore
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Medium amber body with a hint of haze to it. Some light shines through to show carbonation bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass. Huge, frothy cream-colored head that hangs around for the duration of the beer.

S- Piney hops, hints of orange and citrus, toasted malt aroma.

T- More malt comes through than the nose would indicate with lots of biscuity malt flavors. Some pine from beginning to end, with a blast of herbal hop flavors at the end.

M- Medium bodied, medium carbonation, smooth.

O- A solid pale ale with an interesting malt flavor. Full flavored, especially for the abv.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-amber color with hint of orange, nice white head and decent lacing

S-malt, citrus, grassy, light pine

T-cracker malt, orange, grapefruit, grassy, mild to moderate bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp and dry

O-decent pale ale, easy drinking

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Photo of cleve00
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Being that this is a local brew to me, I am proud to say "The Public" is a buddy of mine.
When I am looking to crack a cold one just because the day was a bitch, this is the beer that I want to wash away the bullshit of DC.

Most times I am drinking from a cold can, and IMHO, I love cans.

First thing that hits me is the smell. Strong citrus and hoppy.

Taste is the same with a perfect balance, refreshing grapefruit, hint of pine, bitter just so, the strong aroma is also still working while drinking.

When I drink this beer I know its there, and it is satisfying like "steak and potatoes".

The only way I could love this more is if they made "tall boy sixers" but its just a dream at this point.
Dying to get to the brewery.

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Photo of corby112
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Canned on 9/10.

Pours a slightly hazy, dark copper color with burnt orange edges and a two finger frothy white head that slowly settles into a thick, lasting ring. Not very " pale" but the head on this beer has great retention with streaks of soapy lacing left behind.

Resinous, earthy aroma with subtle spice and grassy, earthy hop character countered by sweet malt notes. Malt sweetness is strong than expected in the nose with lots of caramel, toffee, biscuit and hazelnut. This takes away from the hops a bit but there's still a somewhat dank and oily hop presence.

Fuller bodied than expected with a crisp, dry and bitter hop presence up front that lingers over a sweet malt backbone into a sticky dry finish. Slightly floral but more dank and resinous with spicy grass, earthy pine needle and spruce tip flavor. This is countered by a sweet malt backbone with lots of caramel, toffee, dark fruit, bread and biscuit. Usually I don't prefer this much of a malt presence in a pale ale/hoppy beer, but it works here creating nice balance. Overall, not a great beer but flavorful, well balanced and very easy to drink.

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Photo of delta490
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-deep caramel with a pillowy white head that leaves big lacing on the glass.

S-citrusy and resinous. Strong but not overwhelming

T- a nice balance of malt and hops, although there could be a bit more of a hops hit to bring it all together

M- smooth and nice

O- a solid pale ale

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Photo of blackie
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

consumed a number of times in an number of formats, this time via can

a: reuben’s snifter from a can, pours to produce a slightly off-white head with good coverage, receding to a layer and ring, the beer itself a medium orange-amber in color

s: acidic notes of passionfruit and citrus with pine sap on a moderate body of caramel malt, slightly sweet but not sugary, interaction between malt and hop gives a candied fruit impression, well into the “hoppy” side of the style, nice start

m: carbonation moderate with a medium body, satisfying and refreshing at once

t: firm caramel malt backing, toasty with some malty complexity but a balanced sweetness, supports hop flavors of acidic tropicals with a building grapefruit rind bitterness, tasty

o: aromatic and flavorful, hop-balanced for the modern palate, a nice little pale that exceeds expectations for the style

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The Public Ale from DC Brau Brewing Co.
3.9 out of 5 based on 851 ratings.
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