Boat Beer | Carton Brewing Company

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154 Reviews
Boat BeerBoat Beer

Brewed by:
Carton Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Described by the brewer as more of an American Pale Ale. It's not an India Pale Ale.

Boat Beer is designed to be complex enough to merit drinking a few without being crippled by alcohol. Kolsch yeast and German malts are combined to be crisp and refreshing, while a generous amount of American hops have been added to keep it remarkable. Expect it to dance out of the glass with a whack of grapefruit and open into a crisp, stony tangle of white and yellow fruit with pine and moss notes. An IPA for everyday drinking, drink boat beer when you are thirsty from softball, fishing, or explaining why your team is best.

Session Ale
ABV: 4.2% | IBU: 35 | SRM: 3.5

Added by Citadel82 on 10-24-2011

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Reviews: 154 | Ratings: 1,215
Photo of Monika1
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is definitely my favorite beer, I even talk about it all the time. This session by Carton has everything I look for in a beer. This is my first time writing on Ba so you might not believe my 5 point rating, so let me explain. First the appearance is uniquely hazy for this type of beer (once a waitress brought me the wrong beer and I knew right away that it was not and boat beer). Secondly the aroma hits you with all kinds of beautiful hop scents, probably because it was dry hopped twice, then has all the hop flavor that you look for in an ipa but with out the heavy maltiness that might weigh down a beer with a higher alcohol content. This makes it a perfect beer especially if you want to have more than one. Obviously I am a hop head and boat beer appeals to me, but even if you are not a hop head try something from carton brewery. They have many unique delicious innovative beers I am sure everyone would find a beer they love by carton

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Photo of Gsantollo
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm not one for typing a lot of words or even writing reviews, especially when it comes to going out of my way to make a profile on a site yada yada yada.... Some history I have been drinking craft beer since I've been 21, my buddy worked in the beer department at whole foods and would always tell me what beers to check out. But I never considered myself a beer snob/nerd to warrant making a profile on beer advocate or even checking out the page (sorry its the truth)

When Carton first showed it's face in my town about two years ago I was immediately impressed. At that time I didn't even own a growler I never needed one. I have enjoyed watching them grow over the passed years and looked forward to their beer one day being in cans.
This past month they made that Happen with their boat beer. I always enjoyed boat beer but it was never my first pick I would always go home with a Sally of something else. Never the less I was really excited to purchase my two case limit and get to drinking. So glad I did, Boat out of a can is simply amazing, it has become my favorite beer hands down. I wouldn't just be saying that I have a steady supply of heady topper, but this takes the cake. BOAT IS KING, the cans themselves are really awesome as well... When they are available don't hesitate head over and grab them, but expect to be standing in line right behind me.

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Photo of kthoag
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Let me start by saying - this is my favorite beer of all time. My "desert island" beer. Boat is eminently crushable - it finishes super dry and crisp but with boatloads of grapefruit and apricot hop flavor. The Kolsch yeast smooths everything out and makes for a much more memorable session ale than most "Session IPAs". I feel the same about Tree House Eureka's blonde undertones. Overall, Boat is really in a class of its own. As my definition of a go-to beer is somewhere in the 4-5% ABV range, this is the best of the best. Not really comparable to your barrel-aged whatevers, nor should it be. I genuinely could not see myself leaving the NJ/NY metropolitan area and not having regular access to this beer in my fridge. Boat is Home.

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Photo of Super_Six_Two
4.99/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Boat is the perfect session ale. It packs the aroma and flavor of an IPA into a 4.2% abv package. Now being available in cans, it is clearly my go to beer.

It has a hoppy, grapefruit aroma. It has a clean mouthfeel with a blast of hops going down your throat. Just a great overall beer.

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Photo of SammyJaxxxx
4.93/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 2 day old can. I've had this hundreds of times (literally) and I'd previously rated it but wasbsuprised to see that I never wrote a review.
Pours a hazy yellow with a gorgeous head lacing to go around.
The nose is citrusey and dank and screams drink me.
The taste has citrus butter rinds and some resiny frankness. The Kolsch yeast and malts give just enough backbone.
It drinks clean with just a little resin lingering
Overall this is the perfect session beer. Just enough hop smack up front and then a perfect easy supper. This is the right beer for a bbq, boat trip or a day of Netflix binge watching.

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Photo of threeviews
4.87/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 2L, growler into a Spiegelau balloon glass

A- Pours a crystal-clear yellow, with 2-fingers worth of a soapy, white head...amazing lacing over the course of the glass.

S- Amazing...he most amazing aroma for a session beer that I have ever experienced! Citrus (orange, white grapefruit, lemon) and tropical fruit (apricot, mango, papaya) in equal amounts...the aroma has you coming-and-going...

T- Oh boy...this is an IPA without being an IPA! Kolsch in style, but hoppy to the point of IPA (or better yet Imperial IPA) in taste. Malt is completely non-existent for the hops to play major fiddle. A bit angular/unbalanced in the taste, but one of the most enjoyable/drinkable/sessionable ales I have every tasted...I can drink this all day, night and them some more.

M- Mouth puckering hoppy goodness with you wanting nothing more than another sip...and with a modest ABV of 4.4%, go ahead and have some more! This is, without question, my favorite session beer...aroma and flavor is will make anyone a fan of hoppy, citrus-forward beers seek this one out...very well done!

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Photo of Fezzik1970
4.86/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I've been drinking it for years now and simply put it's the beer I drink most. The best part of living in New Jersey is being able to get this beer so easily. No beer I've come across yet manages to get so much flavor in such a continuously drinkable beer

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Photo of ItsMe
4.84/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured half the tall boy in a nonic pint and drank the other half from the can... Before cracking this open I had been drinking a couple of Mo's and was thinking this session ale wouldn't stand up.... Oh my Buddha was I wrong. This is the most flavorful and aromatic table brew I've ever had. I'm so taken back by how flavorful this is I can't write a proper review. Sorry Founders All Day...your spot in my fridge is reserved for this jersey girl.

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Photo of themind
4.79/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This brew pours a murky canal looking golden brown. I really am at a loss at the appearance of this beer, it's odd, Boat Beer? how about canal water. That said the citrus, pine aroma is mouth watering. The mouthfeel is spot on. The taste....well this stuff rocks! what an amazing, grapefruit, assorted citrus, pine blast of hoppiness. I would buy this stuff anytime it is available. Really just an awesome beer.

Bottom Line: This pond water is amazing!this beer can run with the big boys.

Re-rated, this beer is amazing period!

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Photo of aoampm
4.78/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Best session beer I've ever had. At 4.2 % it has almost as much flavor as the majority of IPAs widely available. Pine, citrus, and hop flavors blend to make the perfect session beer and I just hope I can eventually get another can of this gem.

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Photo of Ale_Dog
4.75/5  rDev +16.1%

Appearance: very light yellow. Lightest APA I've seen
Smell: pleasant citrusy hops
Taste:,this is an amazing APA. I usually like a good malt base to balance out a strong hop flavor. In this case there less malt but the hops aren't over the top so they shine through in a perfect citrusy flavor.
Overall: this beer is total genius. Light, but hoppy, but not overpowering. Extremely refreshing and would pair well with a ton of foods. Fantastic anytime, but especially in the warm weather.

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Photo of llerrafnad
4.73/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75


Piney, Juicy, everything you need a beer to be for a drinking session.

Best to have at a BBQ or on a beach where you want a pack of flavor and not to knock you out.

Worth buying in large quantities.


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Photo of aderousseau
4.71/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

I would say it's the standard for session IPAs. 35 IBUS at 4.2%. Really cool how this beer comes together with so much hop flavor. Carton, please add some states! Thanks from AR.

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Photo of EJLinneman
4.7/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the brewery and on tap at Twin Lights Tap House.

Appearance: Cloudy and orange a couple fingers of head. This looks very refreshing.

Smell: HUGE grapefruit smell, Amarillo hops and a very slight grassy smell.

Taste: Again, huge grapefruit taste and Amarillo hops. Very clean and crisp. A long bitterness in the finish. Incredible how much flavor they're able to pack into a 4.2abv beer.

Mouthfeel: Clean and refeshing. I could easily drink a lot of this.

Overall: An incredible beer. I wish that they would bottle or can this. I would drink a lot of this in the summer.

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Photo of smitty23
4.65/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Really enjoyed this brew. trish at Free bridge in Phillipsburg recommended it, and it was worth trying. Reminded me of, dare I say? Heddy topper, not as strong abv but if you enjoy drinking this is really a beer that you could drink all day and live to tell about, probably not get pulled over either. very very tasty.

Really, the only thing i didn't like is the can. I would have never bought it without Trish's recommendation. I'd be interested to see how other folks feel about this particular brew.

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Photo of Wiffler27
4.64/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

"journey began 1/22/16" so it's a week old.

canned 6/27/16, it's 7/2/16 so hell yeah! got a case from the brewery.

pours light gold and hazy with a thick head.

smell is sweet, nice fruit.

taste is full, lots of sweetness and almost a slight tart then finishes bitter. full taste for a 4.2% beer. nice bitterness, tastes like hop pellets.

overall it's a really drinkable and light beer. my favorite low abv beer.

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Photo of BlackDog
4.64/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Boat Beer pours a somewhat hazy light golden-orange. There's a large white head with very good retention and great lacing.

The aroma is that of citrus hops and grapefruit. You don't expect this much aroma from a session, but you're glad you get it.

To call this a session IPA is accurate, but maybe a little deceiving. Boat is actually made with a kolsch yeast to make it crisp and refreshing, but the large amount of hops to give the beer flavor make it lean toward IPA. Whatever it is, it's great, with tastes of grapefruit and some pine.

Mouthfeel: Clean, crisp, and refreshing, with a touch of bitterness that stays around for a little in the aftertaste. At 4.2% ABV, it'll be easy to drink a few growlers (remember, Boat isn't canned or bottled yet) of this by the pool this summer.

A great beer from a great brewery, probably the best in Jersey. Once they start canning and growing a bit, watch out, world.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.63/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to SammyJaxxxx for this brew!

16 oz. Can

Poured into a Roosters True Pint glass a cloudy golden yellow color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice creamy one-finger white head, which leaves some very nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, with some nice malt notes, very nice citrus note. The taste is hoppy, slightly malty (sweetness), with a very nice touch of citrus. Medium body, with a pretty nice dry/bitter finish. Overall, this is a very nice APA. Highly Recommended!

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Photo of tmbgnicu
4.59/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Founders All Day used to be my "session" beer, but Boat kills it in every way imaginable. It has the crisp bite of All Day, but while AD kind of falls off after the initial flavor- Boat finishes so clean, you'll swear you're drinking a much higher ABV brew. Simply outstanding offering from Carton.

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Photo of gniv
4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite beers and I'm happy that I can get it relatively easily.

Even though it's called an APA, it's not really. I would say it's closer to the new-style east-coast IPAs. It's flavorful, dank, quite bitter, and smells divine. Unlike most IPAs though, it's only 4.2% alcohol, which is fantastic.

I subtracted half a point because it's a bit too bitter for a "session ale".

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.52/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - honey/orangy colored body with lots of fluffy foamy head, nice sticky lacing

S - bitter hops galore! cascade/willamette? slightly floral hints

T - slightly bitter, earthy and hoppy, a bit tart from the kolsch yeast, citrusy from the hops

M - fluffy amounts of head stuck to my beard/moustache, nice and fizzy, a little on the dry side towards the end

O - this is a really good pale ale.. perfect taste, smell and mouthfeel.. slightly on the cloudy side which i am honestly fine with, but as a homebrewer always strive for clearer beer!

Updated review for their canned version (first batch). Have had it on tap, growler, at the brewery, and now in can form. Love this beer.

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Photo of KSOZE
4.51/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

For a "session" IPA, and a properly categorized one at 4.2% for a change, this is as good as it gets. Rating this based on the style that it purports to be, even though session IPAs don't have their own category. Stands on its own as an APA or a "session" IPA.

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Photo of MadCat
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Unfiltered yellowy golden color, decent white head, leaves no lacing

Smell: Grapefruit hops upfront, with some pine and herbal in the back

Taste: Very hoppy, again with the grapefruit being the most prominent, then the pine and herbal. Then some bitterness. Not too much, the right amount for the hop blast. Then there is some malt in the back, but not too much. Enough to support the hops.

Mouthfeel: Light body, good carbonation

Overall: This is a fantastic brew. I love it, and I think most who try it would. I, however, am unsure if it supports the price. I will have to evaluate further, and compare to similar brews. This is by far the hoppiest APA I've had.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.5/5  rDev +10%

Smells of fresh resiny hops. Bold.
Hazy golden color with a tall white head. Aggressive carbonation.
Highly drinkable. Not as hoppy as in the nose, more malty and bready. A bitter twang at the end.
Feels somewhat gritty on the palate and finishes clean.
An outstanding session that drank even better on the Cape May beach.

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Photo of That_Turtle
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a growler into a pint glass. Tight four-finger head slowly dissolved to a glass coating lace. Fruit and pine aroma lead a fruit forward taste followed by a dancing, peppery finish that lingers. That buzzy finish mesmerizes. Man, I love this beer.

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Boat Beer from Carton Brewing Company
4.09 out of 5 based on 1,215 ratings.
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