California Pale Ale | Bayhawk Ales

California Pale AleCalifornia Pale Ale
BA SCORE
3.33/5
61 Ratings
California Pale AleCalifornia Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Bayhawk Ales
California, United States
bayhawkales.com

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.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
-
Reviews:
45
Ratings:
61
pDev:
23.12%
Bros Score:
3.34
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
3
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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Ratings: 61 |  Reviews: 45
Photo of jaydoc
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of brentk56
3.08/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Slightly hazy dull golden color with a fluffy snow white head that lasts and last and leaves lots of lace

Smell: Lemoney citrus with a crackery malt underneath

Taste: It's like sucking on a lemon from the very start; nothing but lemoney tartness that overwhelms all

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: One dimensional and way too tart

 377 characters

Photo of largadeer
1/5  rDev -70%

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 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 ChainGangGuy
3/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a murky, light amber body with a thin, white head.

Smell: Caramel malts with a fruity peach character to it and a something odd and out of place that is still vaguely familiar that I can't place. One day I hope to unlock the Bayhawk CPA's secrets.

Taste: Lightly fruity with some measure of toffee sweetness. Light citrus notes lead up to the mildly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Just another shrug-inducing, run-of-the-mill pale ale.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.35/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Smoky dark orange with a huge amount of carbonation; a characteristic that resulted in Mount Vesuvius when the cap was removed. Luckily, there was enough of a delay that I was able to catch the rapidly oozing foam with the glass. The resulting cap is none the worse for wear and actually looks pretty nice. It's rich cream in color, thick and bubbly, with a 'scoop of ice cream' look by the several minute mark.

It's hard to go wrong with a Cascade and Centennial-hopped APA. This one contains a fair amount of sweetish pale malt (if the nose is a reliable guide) and hops that are mid-range in terms of their intensity and personality. Rather than a sunshine bright, citric zest snappiness, they're more sweetly fruity. Peach and orange especially.

Something is amiss when it comes to the actual drinking, though, and I find myself not liking the flavor as much as the aroma. There isn't a huge amount of malt, but it manages to provide a considerable sweetness. The bitterness is harsh (borderline astringent) and the hop flavor doesn't overly impress.

The fruitiness is now white grapefruit, orange and unripe peach. There's an underlying tartness that is an interesting complement to sweet and bitter. However, it seems as though the beer doesn't know which section of the tongue it wants to concentrate on. The strength of the hop flavor leads me to think that this bottle is pretty fresh, so age is unlikely to be the problem.

I'm also picking up an annoying metallic quality on the finish. It fades with time, but gains in strength each time the glass is filled from the bottle. The mouthfeel is standard issue pale ale. That is, light-medium with a breezy carbonation that makes drinking a cinch... if one likes the way the beer tastes.

I haven't been thrilled with any Bayhawk beer to date. This one falls somewhere between the pretty good Foothill Route 66 Pale Ale and the abysmal Foothill Route 66 Hefeweizen Wheat. In fact, after drinking the hefe weizen, my impression was that Bayhawk is to quality beer what Baywatch was to quality television. In any case, considering the hundreds of good, drinkable APAs that are available from every corner of the country, California Pale Ale fails to make the grade.

 2,225 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.28/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle:

Pours hazed golden with a nice fluffy head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is of light citrus and a touch of sour fruit and a bit bready.

The taste is of a light citric and herbal/metallic bitterness mixing with a sweet pale maltiness. A bit bready. A lemony tart touch.

It's light-bodied, pretty thin.

Not what I expected for a pale ale from California. It's pretty thin with a slightly metallic touch and a general blandness. The tart/sour touch doesn't excite me, either. Still-in-all the mildness/lightness makes it pretty easy to drink.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.45/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: light orange hue with a moderate haze and a strong effervescence. Head is a layer of frothy ivory foam that has good retention and leaves a nice lace on the glass. I like it.

Smell: yeasty up front with a lemony hop character. There's a pungent roughness to it that doesn't really appeal to me, though.

Taste: lemony, bright hops with much less of that roughness in the aroma. Malt is light and on the sweet side. Pretty well balanced for a lower-ABV pale ale. The flavor is a significant improvement over the aroma.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a big carbonation and a big creaminess.

Overall: this beer is good in a lot of ways, but the aroma provides a pretty poor introduction.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.24/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

When I think Bayhawk, I think of a brewer who produces "house beers" for restaurants like Lazy Dog, Claim Jumper, and Lucille's, not the one who brews and bottles under their name. Going down the road of pale ale, and 22 ounces is a good quantity to drink. On to the beer:

The color could be confused of the amber ale style, as its a light copperish and orange color. The head forms an inch thick, leaving a few strings of lace. It has a fair nose, no confusion of what it's trying to be. There's a lemon and leafy hop note, and also a kiss of honey. Could score higher if the intensity weren't so soft.

Clean character. Kiss of crisp hops and crisp carbonation. These are things that I appreciate in a pale ale, and are found in Bayhawk's California Pale Ale. Its biggest flaw is that the flavor's intensity is relatively weak, but that's better than having a bunch of off-flavors. A gentle snap of citrus hops hit first, followed by a slight lemon flavor. Minerals add an interesting layer to this pale ale. Easy drinking overall, which keeps this beer flowing into my mouth and not down the drain.

In a market filled of pale ales, this one finishes just below the middle, which is not to say you won't enjoy this brew. This pale ale's approach is clean, easy to drink, with a kiss of flavor.

 1,298 characters

Photo of wrightst
3/5  rDev -9.9%

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

Photo of weeare138
3.41/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a straw yellow color with a 2 inch white head. This brew is mildly carbonated with some decent lacing made during the enjoyment.
Smells slightly skunky with some pale caramel malts coming through and a mild hop aroma.
Tastes ok. I taste caramel malt with a light hop taste on the back of the tongue. I can't say that it's entirely balanced though.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied but slightly watery with mild carbonation.
Drinkability is iffy. Maybe it was just the bottle I got but I'd like to give this a second go around to make sure.

It's ok, dog.

 564 characters

Photo of harpus
2.75/5  rDev -17.4%

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.

 587 characters

Photo of 2beerdogs
3.5/5  rDev +5.1%

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 !!!

 1,111 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.34/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #75 (April 2013):

Yeast character gets in the way and takes away from its drinkability a bit. Waiting a few sips in hoping it would pop … no pop. In the world of Pale Ales, this one is struggling to stay in the middle of the herd.


STYLE: American Pale Ale
ABV: 4.8%
AVAILABILITY: Year-round

LOOK: Clear brassy hue, great lacing

SMELL: Spicy hop, citrus rind, yeast, cracker graininess, pineapple skin

TASTE: Crisp, lighter bodied, orangey, balanced hop bitterness, bread crust, yeast, dry, pith, orange rind, herbal, salty, dried grass, dry finish

 583 characters

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.

 406 characters

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.

 849 characters

Photo of jakecattleco
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

Photo of Kiniey01
3/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of Overlord
3.1/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was the last Bayhawk beer (the closest independent brewery to my home) I had yet to try. It certainly didn't supplant the Amber ale as my favorite of their beers.

Pours a dull yellow color ... almost more copper than gold. Tastes lightly of orange and lemon ... maybe some hops in there. Truly not much going on. Not a great deal of head either, and the mouthfeel is thin (which has become a common complaint in regards to Bayhawk beers).

With so many beers to choose from, Bayhawk is having a tough time beating out the horde of awesome San Diego breweries nearby.

 573 characters

Photo of beerpadawan
3.25/5  rDev -2.4%

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