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California Pale Ale | Bayhawk Ales

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California Pale AleCalifornia Pale Ale
61 Ratings
California Pale AleCalifornia Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Bayhawk Ales
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 02-27-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 61 |  Reviews: 45
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.42/5  rDev +32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, after the disappointing Chocolate Porter from Bayhawk Ales, this is more like it.

Pours with a lovely clear, golden body that a slight milky amber haze. Inherent carbonation props up a stiff white head in the beginning, but the gases evolve from solution quickly and the head soon dies completely. Sadly this detracts from the overall appearance.

Aromas and Tastes are immediately hoppy, but not overwhelming, though the strength appears to build up as you work your way through this beer. The strong hops are very evident, in the beginning, middle, the finish and beyond. Leaves a nice fresh hoppy residue on the tongue as the bitterness lingers, and it hangs around for quite some time after the beer has gone. What else? Well erm…. not much else going on here apart from the Hops, but hey who cares? A true California Pale Ale, that is not in question and is for definite.

Hopheads will love it. Rare, but well worth seeking out.

Cost me $2.95, Worlds apart and much better than its stable-mate the Chocolate Porter. I will definitely buy this one again – well that’s if I can find it !!!

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Photo of shapudding
4.39/5  rDev +31.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Medium golden and slightly cloudy, with a white creamy head that left quickly leaving only a thin ring around the edges.

Scents of champagne, grapefruit rind, hoppiness... Smooth mouthfeel. Tastes of grapefruit rind and hops, good bitterness. Light/medium body with a very good drinkability.

Nice session beer, very good hot day beer!

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Photo of goschool
4.38/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Passover is over and I'm drinking my first beer in eight days!

Appearance: A massive white head forms a top the golden orange body and it sticks around for ever.

Smell: There are some hops in this pale ale. The grapefruit and floral hops fill the nose, but they're not quite in IPA land.

Taste: The flavor profile has plenty of pithy grapefruit, grassy, and floral hops in front of doughy malts, which pick up a bit of steam in the middle, but never hold a candle to the bitter hops. Plenty of BA's will complain about a lack of balance in this, but I like me some hops and this really hit the spot.

Mouthfeel: It's medium-bodied with soft carbonation. Very smooth.

Drinkability: This is a fantastic West Coast pale ale. I might have to buy this after Passover next year to see if I can repeat this experience.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle-conditioned ale pours a slightly hazy orange-amber body beneath a creamy head of white. Very fine bubbles can be seen rising steadily. The creamy cap holds fairly well initially but drops to an average collar after a few sips; and it leaves only minor lacing about the glass. Sweetish, doughy malt and resinous, grassy/leafy and floral hops greet you in the nose. Once the initial zest of it's natural carbonation brushes across the tongue, it becomes smoother and somewhat creamy in the mouth due to its solidly medium body. Hops dominate up-front in the flavor, but its slightly cookie-dough-ish malt becomes apparent across the middle and makes a great showing in the finish. Hop bitterness anchors it, but it's far from harsh; leaving this as a very well-rounded and drinkable ale. Some spicy hops appear in the aftertaste along with a burst of sweetish, almost wort-like malt that fades to leave a lingering, dull bitterness. A full flavored and rich pale ale that's sure to please.

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Photo of bs870621345
4.33/5  rDev +30%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this from my dad who bought it on a whim in CA. Cheap bomber and pretty good.

Pours a honey color with 2 inches of white head. Leaves a nice lacing down the glass.

Smells bready and slight citrus. Not a huge smell.

Tastes slightly bitter with a sweet bread to balence. A very well balanced beer and good tasting too.

Mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and moderate body.

Drinkability is high. Bomber is not a problem and its low enough in alcohol to be easily drank.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.17/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden orange that is slightly cloudy with a half finger white head that disappears far too quickly leaving nothing behind.
Aroma is dough-like sweet malt and light green hops.
Taste is impressive with the hop bite coming on the tongue immediately, followed with a sweet dough-like malt that is followed again with a fairly aggressive hop bite
Aftertaste is still about hops but creamy mouthfeel leaves you at least remembering the sweetness of the pale malt.
Clean citrus finish.
This is an extremely flavorful APA with no cheating on the hops.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.05/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle, served into a pint glass. Pours out a light coppery-orange color, with swirling bubbles and a light head, enough to leave some fine lacing. Nose is full of citrusy hops, a touch of malt sweetness and some light fruity esters. First taste is quite malty and sweet, with a lightly toasted bread character. Hops kick in strongly in the middle, drying out the malt and providing pleasantly high bitterness. Lots of hop flavor as well: though seem more grassy, maybe piney, than the citrus of the nose. Finishes balanced, somewhat dry, and leaves a lingering aftertaste of hops. Pretty full-bodied for the strength, with a soft and creamy texture.

Very well-done beer. Of course, there are hundreds of beers of this type available in the US, and it doesn't stand out in any special way, but it's quite drinkable and has no obvious flaws.

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Photo of Bobzilla13
4.01/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was down @ My local Lucky Liquor--they misprice all sorts of items--Sierra Nevada Porter 5 bones--same with some Samuel Adams Brews--Any who saw this BayHawk CPA with 2 Glasses for 9 bucks--gave it a shot---the pour was a bit scary, MASSIVE amounts of Head, I'm talking Porn Star Stuff--Large & White, had to shift to another glass---Pretty orange color---nice nose---slight bitter after taste--defineltly malty---
It's a beer that you can become accustomed to---light citrus taste combined with the bitter , comes out quite sweet. Not watery in the least , but a bit over the top on carbanation---Hence the large Head.Plesant overall--and mucho lacing upon the glass---looked just marvelous , and best of all was the buzz factor---nice little feeling after just a coupla of brews---went and bought a sixer after the Bomber---Nice domestic , great with steak or shrimp---not killer or snobby---just kinda there...Have fun

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Photo of tgbljb
4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a pale medium amber color with moderate white puffy head. Good retention.

Smell presents initially with a nice hoppiness. A balancing caramel is also presnet.

Taste also shows some citrusy hops, without going too far. There is also a goodly amount of caramel malt present.

Finish shows some nice taste retention with a pleasant dryness.

Very nice to drink. Tasty and hoppy without going too far.

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Photo of rowew
4/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 22 oz bomber. Label stating that Bayhawk is "Orange County's Oldest Brewery". Spot for date info, but not marked.

Appearance: Pours orange colored with a bubbly white head. Slight haze. Decent lacing stayed.

Smell: Aroma is mainly of hops - nice crisp smell.

Taste: Just like the aroma - mainly hops. Hoppy finish as well with a nice bitterness. Hops, hops, and more hops.

Overall impression: Nice and hoppy - just as you would expect from a west coast Pale. Got this one on sale for $1.39 for the bomber at Liquor Warehouse .. what a deal!

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Photo of Donkster46
3.94/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of mzwolinski
3.89/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper color with even carbonation and lots of it. Huge foamy head that sticks around and leaves its mark down the side of your glass. Aroma is dominated by a grassy/herbal hop scent, from behind which a biscuity malt can only just barley make itself noticed. Flavor is bitter bitter bitter. And what’s this? Slightly sour? I noticed this same sourness in Bayhawk’s chocolate porter there, and found it extremely off-putting. Here it seems again a bit out of place, but not quite as distracting. Indeed, as you work your way down the glass, the flavors seem to blend together rather nicely. Still, it’s a bit of a shock, especially combined with the strong raw, earthy herbal flavor of the hops in this brew. Not a subtle beer, but worth a try for hopheads.

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Photo of Beerbuddha
3.83/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a nice golden, copper color with a huge, white and fluffy head. The head looked like clouds perched on my beer. Best head I've ever gotten.;) The aroma was very floral with hints of sweet honey and citrus. The taste had a wonderful hoppy cirtrus taste going on with sweet malts. Had a nice sour grapefruit taste as well. The body was light wth medium carbonation. Overall a great beer. I really enjoyed this one.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.8/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Quite a hop presence jumps out (it almost popped like a cork when I pulled the cap off). Smells and taste is hops all the way. Fruity and nice tasting, but a little too thin and harsh to be considered with the best of style. Hoppy enough to be an IPA, but not enough weight behind it. I enjoyed drinking this one (thanks, Ron), but not enough balance for my tastes.

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.8/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Looks pretty good, a translucent orange-amber color just a touch darker than Johnny Walker Red Label. Lousy head, but otherwise an attractive brew.

Smell: Caramel malts and citric hops. Leaves and pine cones are detectable. Smells like a well-rounded, eager-to-please ale.

Taste: Very woody and a little herbal. Good hop profile that blossoms in your mouth. Pronounced smack of Spanish peanuts and just a drop of coffee. I like it!

Mouthfeel: A little flat; this could use some work, but it's still good.

Drinkability: Very flavorful, quite drinkable. Who'd have thought such an appealing brew could emerge from the vast blandness of Orange County? :)

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Having lived my childhood in Irvine California I felt obligated to buy this beer.

Pours a nice two finger head with decent retention. amber in color and mildly cloudy.

Citrusy hops on the nose with crystal and caramel malt backround. Somewhat bready smell Seems like this one will be a typical westcoast pale ale. Apple phenol appears as the beer warms.

Crystal malts provide a nice sweetness as well as some slightly weaker caramel malts. Some breadiness comes out as well. This is balanced with a nice citrusy hop bitterness and fruity esters, namely apple.

Mouthfeel is a little bit thin and a little watery.

Nicely done beer that is easily sessionable.

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Photo of rob99er
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of EdTheEdge
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%

Photo of BierReise
3.75/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber Date not marked. Pours a medium gold which is only slightly cloudy. Head is thick and retaining well. Nice aroma of pale malt and a citrus hoppiness. Some yeast and lemon also noticable in aroma. Body is medium and crisp with carbonation. Flavor is bitter with hops that linger long afterward. Nice blend of malts give a grainy flavor. Overall a decent pale that could use a bit more flavor but refreshing none the less.

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Photo of russpowell
3.73/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured an effervescent bronze with 2 fingers of pearl-white head. Above average lacing & very good head retention

S: Slight floral & honey notes, a bit of lemon

T: Citrussy hops, grassyness & a bit of honey malts up front. Biscuitty malt & more grapefruit & lemony hops as this warms. Finishes juicy with plenty of citrussy hops, plus just a bit of grainyness.

MF: Light/medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Balanced pretty good.

Drank very easy, a pretty simple, but solid APA. Glad to see a step up in taste from their so-called Chocolate Porter

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Photo of Morris729
3.7/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper amber color with a thin white head that quickly fades into a wispy lace. Nose of floral hops and fresh citrus is somewhat subdued at first but comes across much better after the beer has warmed a bit. Taste begins with a toasted malt sweetness followed by a good amount of piney hop resins. The hop bitterness picks up a bit of a spicy character towards the finish. Enjoyable though nothing special.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.67/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Slightly cloudy lemon and orange light hue. No freshness info on the calander that was stamped to the label.

Bighops blast with grassy grapefruit slices nose.

Sweet powdery pale with hops over malts. Tastes like maybe fuggles or willamette? Dry aftertaste.

Light to medium body which lends to a high drinkability with an easy taste.

Last swigs: Reminds me of Speakeasy Prohibition Ale in that the Californis aroma is welcoming, but the tonge leaves me flat.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of Suds
3.65/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this brew on tap, with dinner, on a recent trip to California. It’s a nice, deep orange color with an appropriately frothy head: a fine looking brew. It sure smells like a west coast pale ale…plenty of western hops – pine and citrus, and fairly herbal. There’s a little fruit and malt in the aroma. The initial taste is sweet, quickly followed by a solid hop bitterness that lasts well beyond the finish. It’s a well-hopped, drinkable pale ale. The beer is not exactly a stand out, but it made a nice accompaniment to the meal, and I wouldn’t have minded drinking a few more.

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Photo of beagle75
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber tasted the day after receipt from the hands of the Bayhawk bottle rep. and poured into a pint glass.

A: Hazy deep golden color, with a 1.5-finger head and slight lacing.

S: Weak to moderate, delicate malt and floral hops.

T: Begins with a gentle malty sweetness, then the hops (simcoe, centennial, and amarillo) emerge. According to the Bayhawk rep., IBUs on this beer are 40-50, which seems accurate. The sweetness of the malt re-emerges at the end, with minimal bitterness in the finish.

M: Wet and light-bodied with moderate carbonation.

D: Good drinkability and low-moderate abv makes this a likely session-beer candidate. The delicate aromas and flavors of this pale ale ally it with others such as Mirror Pond and Mt. Tam, although it falls just short of equaling either. Bayhawk aims to produce "easy-drinking" beers and that term can be used to accurately describe this beer.

It has come to my attention that bottled Bayhawk beers frequently suffer from a bad reputation due to old, mishandled stock. Although I cannot speak for all of their styles, this beer--when fresh--is worthy of better. You may think twice about purchasing Bayhawk beers from retail outlets that keep it at ambient temperature (or at least inquire about the age of the bottle).

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Photo of jhammerly
3.63/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This easy drinking beer was sent to me by IntriqKen (Thanks!). A pale yellow pour with an extremelylarge head, about three fingers wide, which steadily reduced in size to a thin strip.

The smell of light citrus and semi-sweet malt. The taste is balanced between the two, but the grapefruit taste lingers subtly showing its hop presence. A little thin body wise, but isn't really a negative for some reason. A nice drinkable brew that would make an excellent session beer.

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California Pale Ale from Bayhawk Ales
Beer rating: 3.33 out of 5 with 61 ratings
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