Boat Beer | Carton Brewing Company

166 Reviews
Boat BeerBoat Beer

Brewed by:
Carton Brewing Company
New Jersey, United States

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 166 | Ratings: 1,247
Photo of ajm5108
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a light, pale yellow with a little haze. Aroma features straw, orange rind & coriander. It does a good job of melding that slightly tangy Kolsch flavor with some tropical hops undertones. Crisp and cracker-like finish, a great example of the ubiquitous session trend.

 273 characters

Photo of SteveB24
3.76/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Look- color is a murky tan, pours two fingers of fizzy head that settles into spotty lacing.
Smell- mildly grassy, hint of citrus
Taste-pretty grassy and earthy, little but of lemon peel, pretty bitter on the back end for a session beer.
Feel- light feel, nicely carbonated, finish is crisp and refreshing.
Overall-not something I would run to buy again but I definitely see the appeal as an alternative to a lager or wheat beer for sessioning.

 444 characters

Photo of farrago
3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Basic finger’s worth of bright white foam, airy and openly knit so the retention is below average but pretty while it’s there, the lacing is slight and tends to slowly slide off. The liquid has that soft haze like drowsily staring at the sun, yellow rust hue, the bubbles are on the larger side and very broadly arrayed, no beads. Lots of snap in the angular nose, grapefruit pith, sea salt, sourdough bread crusts, pine cone and apricot pits, dry sort of florality, not dank or very leafy yet likewise outside of some cocoa powder not overtly malty either, it has a very breezy feel and just drifts off nonchalantly. In the mouth it’s medium-bodied and its dryness verges on arch but in the final analysis has it just briskly erect. Carbonation is strong, not pushy. You get a fuller range of orange and lemon to white grapefruit citrus here, none of that sugary approach to this element though. Mild apple, apricot, white grape fruit. Stiffened further by unmown green grass and as much pepper as salt accents. That cocoa here gives it an Ovaltine finish that is more textural than flavorful. More personality than you normally get out of a self-described “session ale.”

 1,182 characters

Photo of aderousseau
4.71/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

 182 characters

Photo of NiceTaps
4.47/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16oz can in a tulip style pint glass.

It's a hazy straw color with a 1F white head. Said head tapers to some fluffy film and leaves spot and ring lacing. It's pale, the 3.5 SRM rating is spot on. Some bubbles, Looks good.

Pine, like the Jersey warm Summer walk in the woods kind of pine: sappy and freshly cut. There's citrus as in grapefruit and I'll give it a light touch of lemon also. Fresh moisture.

"Kolsch yeast and German malts" give it a light malt back flavor to compliment the grapefruit and pine.

The 1/2 grapefruit for breakfast without table sugar, but sweetened with pine resin. Yes, that feel.

As I took this beer today I looked up my review. To my surprise, I'd never reviewed it. I thoroughly enjot this beer and regard this and 21st's Down to Earth as my favorite session ales. It's so very good of a drinker.

 833 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.63/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Revisit: 25 Apr 17

Thanks goes out to thebeers for this brew!

16 oz. Can

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

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!

 1,035 characters

Photo of gopens44
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thin fizzy white head, nice hazy yellow body. Nose was big time pine with wispy grass, which also proved to be the same for the taste. Pine, little grassy, touch of lemon peel and an almost tangy bitterness on exit. Mouth feel was predictably thin, plenty of carbonation.

 274 characters

Photo of cookedw
3.17/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours cloudy, little retention. Hoppier Pale ale, mostly of the piney variety, with a little lemon. Very thin, even for a session beer. Not feeling the style of this beer at all - with the season IPAs, you get a mouth full of flavor, but this just takes like a watery, slightly hoppier Pale. I mean, it might be good for the style, but what's the point? It needs some west coast style pizzazz.

 393 characters

Photo of njcraftguy
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Excellent session beer. Smooth and very easy to drink but with nice fullness and great flavor. Right there with All Day IPA as a beer when you want all the great qualities of craft beer without the higher ABV. Another fine brew from Carton.

 241 characters

Photo of anonymoose
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The beer has a hazy yellow color. The aroma is reminiscent of the malt profile in kolsch beer. The taste is very similar to a kolsch but with added bitterness and hop taste that lingers on the palate.

 200 characters

Photo of PVMT
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Blind Tiger Ale House on 10/20/15. Hazy off-yellow pour leads to a thick white head. Faint pine aroma leads to a similar flavor, bitter with a touch of breadiness. Very crisp and clean.

 199 characters

Photo of That_Turtle
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

 258 characters

Photo of mabermud
3.97/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Look: Straw colored body with a white puffy head.
Smell: Faded citrusy hops.
Taste: Faded citrusy and piney hops, with a sprinkling of dried grass.
Feel: Light and bubbly in my chomper. Higher level of carbonation.

Overall - Not bad for a SIPA. This is a nice morning beer, or a good summer time beer, mid-day, when it is over 100 degrees outside. Luckily it doesn't get over 100 degrees here...yet.

 407 characters

Photo of MacMalt
4.19/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On draught in a pint glass. The color is a golden straw with a fairly thin, milk-white head and minimal lacing that disappeared quickly. The smell is strongly of grapefruit and hoppy pine. The taste follows the nose: tangy grapefruit, pine, and bitter hops. It is a dank ale. For 4.2 ABV, it has a lot of flavor. It is as easy drinking as they come. Carton has come up with a winning formula: a truly tasty session ale. It drinks like a pale ale but has the complexity and flavor of an IPA.

 498 characters

Photo of RJQ3
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great Hoppy flavorful session ale but can only get it in growlers by me in North NJ unless I make trip to brewery to get a 4 pack of 16 oz cans which is its most useful packaging because of how crushable it is. Amazing hoppy citrusy flavor for only 4.4% ABV! Love Carton Brewery too.

 285 characters

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pops of fresh grapefruit, dank hops, and pinesap. Lots of flavor from the hops and a Nellie toasted malt undertone. This one jeans to the bitter side the more you drink. Still easy going down and refreshing for a hop head.

 227 characters

Photo of ChefMacAttack
4.44/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz can into a teku glass.

Hazy gold color with a finger of bone white froth that dissipated quickly, leaving minor lacing.

The aroma is fresh squeezed grapefruit and pine in a beautiful bouquet of hop goodness.

The flavor is BIG. More juicy grapefruit, bitter citrus pith, and piney hops that just keep punching you in the mouth. A pungent bitter finish that lingers just long enough for you to want to take another sip. This has all the flavor of most DIPA's but so damn drinkable at 4.2%.

I'm going to have to take a trip to NJ to secure some more. Well done, Carton.

 590 characters

Photo of JackRWatkins
3.26/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: minimal head, pale yellow, a bit hazy
S: nice citrus hopp bitterness, subtle undertones of dankness
T: decent piney hop bitterness and a dash of citrus
M: tad oily not necessarily in a bad way
O: for a session ale it is very good, it is a very full flavored beer, that being said if I had to choose between SNPA or this 4 times out of 5 i'd take the SNPA, but it is a decent beer

 384 characters

Photo of Tonyjenlasc
4.44/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

64oz Growler from Roger Wilco in Pennsauken, NJ poured in a tulip glass

Wonderful pop of citrus and dank hops on the nose. The taste follows with a big bang of lemony citrus notes up front. Some nice dank, slightly bitter, hops mid to back of the palate. The aftertaste reminds me a little of Founders All Day IPA.....slightly metallic/herbaceous.

This is one of the best, if not the best, session beers out. Crazy crushable. Killer summer beer.

 448 characters

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.02/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can. Cloudy yellow, thick white head disappears quickly, little lace. Smell is grapefruit, a little grass. Taste is predominately grapefruit peel hops, more bitterness than the IBUs would indicate. Finish is dry with lasting bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium. Overall a tasty hop forward session IPA. Very good for the style.

 330 characters

Photo of gniv
4.53/5  rDev +11.3%
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".

 393 characters

Photo of dacrza1
4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

At the Draught House with Matt and Jer celebrating my 39tb birthday...Appearance: slightly hazy, orange brown amber body that shows little effervescence...head is an off-white halo, mostly due to its draft status...Aroma: sharp, noticeable hops are balanced by doughy malts; light to little fruitiness; even less pinecone or resin--just a straightforward pale ale in its scent... Palate: thin, malt-forward mouthfeel; the buzz created by hops is short... medium-bodied overall... achieves the sessionable status... Taste: a prodigious experience, with the balanced hops offer citrus--grapefruit, lemon, some bitter elements--along with enough malt to keep the beer enjoyable... Overall: a solid accompaniment to chipotle BBQ wings, old bay seasoned fries and nachos... another strong Carton offering...

 802 characters

Photo of SmashAdams
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a really nice pale ale. Smell is incredibly fresh and hoppy. Taste is clean and juicy with a biy of a lemony flavor. Nice bitterness and good lacing. I could drink a few of these. yb

 190 characters

Photo of Mikerri6
3.65/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

We loved this beer during our first pint. Then during our second pint, we discovered that it's so dry and so citrusy that it was making us pucker. We didn't want to keep drinking it.

 182 characters

Photo of leroybrown10
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a pale straw color with a good amount of haze and a bit of sediment. 2 finger, fluffy white head leaves a moderate amount of spiderweb lacing behind.

Aroma is grapefruit and lemon. Some cut grass and mild must.

Lemon, grapefruit, and mild mango at the first sip. Some maltiness on the back end. Pine, black pepper, and resin.

Moderate body with medium carbonation. A bit dry. Some mild lingering bitterness.

A decent easy drinking beer. Hops are surprisingly prominent for a session beer.

 505 characters

Boat Beer from Carton Brewing Company
4.07 out of 5 based on 1,247 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.