California Pale Ale | Bayhawk Ales

BA SCORE
80
good
61 Ratings
THE BROS
76
okay
Read the review
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
Ratings:
61
Reviews:
45
Avg:
3.41
pDev:
22.58%
 
 
Wants:
0
Gots:
3
For Trade:
0
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Ratings: 61 |  Reviews: 45
Photo of chickencoop
3.51/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Boy the reviews are all over the board, pretty rough sometimes, i guess i got lucky and got a good bottle. I picked this up at the Whole Foods/ Tustin, awesome selection of beers. I liked the cloudy pour, chunky bit's at the bottom, smell was average, taste and drinkability was great, just a smooth, lightly malted pale ale, I would more than likeley buy this again and be happy, keep it up.

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Photo of beagle75
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
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 tyanow
1.19/5  rDev -65.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Do you like olive oil in your beer? If you do, bottoms up, you'll dig this stuff.

Had it at a beer tasting and I literally couldn't get myself to take a second sip. The bottle may have been rancid. I am not always a big fan of Bayhawk beers, but they are usually drinkable and at least somewhat enjoyable.

A - cloudy yellow/gold

S - olive oil and undercooked grains

T - olives

M - Oily, fatty, yuck

D - um... I'd say NOT AT ALL

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Photo of jwc215
3.28/5  rDev -3.8%
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 orangemoustache
1.67/5  rDev -51%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This pours a coppery orange with a huge head that is so tall it's starting to piss me off. The head stands a good three inches over the one inch of beer in the bottom,it is creamy and looks pretty nice,I just wish it would go away so I can try to enjoy this offering. Seriously,does this have to be this carbonated? The nose is a little malty with sour notes,no hop is noticed,also smells like plastic. Okay,the head has finely receded to leave a huge glob of lacing on my snifter,it is seriously as big as Tom Sellecks moustache and in the same shape,wtf? This is not that good,the head is somewhat entertaining,though I would trade the laughs for a decent tasting beer right now. This is just kind of sour and under hopped. Maybe it has spoiled? Maybe this is how it's suppose to taste? Maybe they should have a date to drink by printed on the bottle,that would be nice. This has way to much carbonation anyway and not a good mouthfeel or drinking experience. If ya can't get this stuff to the Midwest fresh,don't send it.

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Photo of Rustoleum
2.48/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a pint glass.

When i opened this beer the carbonation was very evident by the sound and i could see foam rising in the neck of the bottle.

Carefully poured into a pint glass, i got about 2 oz of beer and the rest was a big, white foamy head. It took about 5 minutes just to pour a pint.

Smell - Not really much going on here. Some faint hops with a bit of malt in the background.

Taste - Very one dimensional with a grassy, lemon flavor. Nothing to set this apart from the average pale ale.

Mouthfeel - Very tingly mouthfeel. This beer is an overcarbonated mess. Did i get a bad bottle?

Drinkability - Not very drinkable. This might be a decent pale ale except for the carbonation which is way overdone. I won't buy this again.

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Photo of brentk56
3.08/5  rDev -9.7%
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

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Photo of tgbljb
4/5  rDev +17.3%
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 Beerbuddha
3.83/5  rDev +12.3%
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 jasonjlewis
3.75/5  rDev +10%
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 russpowell
3.73/5  rDev +9.4%
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 Overlord
3.1/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

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Photo of Bobzilla13
4.01/5  rDev +17.6%
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 malibujohnny
2.25/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

When i poured this beer i received a dull penny color,which is ok by me.I thought this beer was highly carbonated,very tingley in the mouth.fairly decent head retention.The taste was mild citrus with a large piney taste,not very malty.I brewed a pale ale (my 2nd batch) that tasted almost identical to this.If i can brew this in my basement why can't i make dollars? Basically i expected a little more.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3/5  rDev -12%
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 goschool
4.38/5  rDev +28.4%
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 uberabr
3.48/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip. A slightly murky orange-yellow and moderate one finger head that doesn't really stick around. Smells light and of citrus; nothing to write home about.

Taste is bitter but not the typical California cascade grapefruit hop. It's got some citrus and a woodsy pine, a hint of malt but nothing extreme. I'de guess this one was hopped early with some simcoe or chinook, as most of the hops come through in the bitterness and not in the aroma or flavor of late additions. Mouthfeel is light and a tad watery, but the bitter quality adds some body. All in all a pleasant brew. I'd drink it again but it's not spectacular.

I really like the name, as I've long felt that most California pale ales and IPA's really deserve a category of their own, but ironically, this beer does not really embody any of those unique Cali IPA-isms, and while it' catchy, the name is actually this beer's downfall. In fact, I'de liken this one more to an English pale ale, although the hops are obviously of a Western heritage. The low ABV, mild, even refined flavor, and close to edgy bitterness make this one a solid choice for novice hopheads, with some session potential as well for those with a bitter palate. Again though, I wouldn't exactly run to the shelf for this one if I was looking for a token "California Pale Ale."

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Photo of Morris729
3.7/5  rDev +8.5%
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 goochpunch
3.18/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a honey-toned copper/amber with a white, frothed milk head that settles to a miniscule foam while leaving sheets of lace blotted with bubbles. Nose is sweet pale malts and citrus. Pretty standard. Malts come out a lot more in the flavor. Hops have that citrus flavor, but also tastes like some floral notes as well. The toastiness of the malts is a bit overdone. Mouthfeel could be seen as more flat than smooth and just a tad bit syrupy. A decent drinker.

Being that this is on sale for about $3 a bomber, which is a steal of a deal in the Denton area, I would probably buy this again. Once it goes off sale, I'm not so sure. The quality really surprised me after having tried their awful chocolate porter. Pretty much a run of the mill APA.

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Photo of jhammerly
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
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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Photo of Dukeofearl
3.33/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have tried this and other Bayhawk beers at a variety of local brewfests around the southern California region over the years, but this is my first review version. 22 oz bottle purchased at La Bodega in Riverside, CA. in July 2006 for $2.99.

Pours a pretty light orange with a very nicely sized fluffy white head.

The aroma is of light sweet citrus (orange-tangerine) but not very powerful. The flavor is also generally light- citrus and flowery hops. But it hits a snag with a metallic back end that affects the flavor and mouthfeel (which is on the thin side, but OK).

Overall, this one is one of those "good enough" beers that I would happily drink, but would also just as happily try something else instead.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.17/5  rDev +22.3%
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 Suds
3.65/5  rDev +7%
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 BuckeyeNation
3.35/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.8/5  rDev +11.4%
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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California Pale Ale from Bayhawk Ales
3.41 out of 5 based on 61 ratings.
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