Chilly Water | Tighthead Brewing Company

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Chilly WaterChilly Water
Very Good
Chilly WaterChilly Water

Brewed by:
Tighthead Brewing Company
Illinois, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

User Reviews & Ratings
Reviews: 25 | Ratings: 154
Photo of Gregman
2.17/5  rDev -44.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Beer seemed overly carbonated. I typically enjoy the bitter hoppiness of IPAs or pale ales, but there are just a few that do not impart pleasant flavor. I realize there are some who enjoyed it, but I did not like the aftertaste. It did make some delicious chili.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.72/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Chilly Water pours a copper color, with a small lacing head. Nice big and fresh hoppy aroma. Taste is sticky and hoppy, with hints of earth. Good body and feel. Overall, a very solid APA, good flavors, with a sticky aftertaste.

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Photo of Beric
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Serving: On tap, 4oz sampler
Served: 28 Oct 2016

A solid, old-school APA. This one really reminds me a lot of SNPA- it's darker red, amber tint and resinous hops really drive this one back to the old days of hoppy beers rather than the increasingly prevalent juice bombs of today. Very drinkable, and nice to see some homage to an older iteration of the style.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Unknown vintage; drank 3/23/16 @ the Yarchives.

Poured from the can into a glass.

Murky orange appearance.

A rough pour yielded a HUGE eggnog head; a curtain of frothy lace.

Caramel, orange citrus & faint honey notes in the nose.

Medium mouthfeel.

Mild caramel & grapefruit flavors; drinkable but boring & forgettable. I've had my last.

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Photo of mothmanscott
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep gold that is cloudy to the point of having a muddy appearance. The pour produces 2 fingers of frothy, beige, moderately lasting head that leaves a thin cap but a nice coating of sticky lace. Looks like frothy, unpasteurized apple cider. Aroma is tropical fruit, a little citrusy orange & grapefruit, a floral hint wheat with a little banana in the background. Taste is thinner than expected: tropical fruit, light citrus, pepper, less wheat prominence than the nose & a very faint plastic or phenolic hint in the dry finish that persists into the aftertaste which dry, lightly astringent & moderately bitter. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation, prickly on the tongue throughout the sip, drying in the finish becoming very dry in the astringent aftertaste. This brew is all over the board in terms of appearance, aroma, taste & mouthfeel scoring. The appearance other than the lacing leaves a lot to be desired, it certainly smells better than it tastes, but the mouthfeel is quite nice. I received this example through the mail & I fearful that it may have suffered enough in transit to impact it's quality. Thanks to outdoor 7or24 for the opportunity!

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Photo of Fuzzysquishy78
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Dark orange color, 1inch head that holds nicely
Smell: Sweet citrus smell, light citra hop scent
Taste: Good fuzz/tingle start with medium citrus and pine coming through, not sweet, little bitter, excellent.
Feel: Strong carbonation at first taste (which I like) smooth, easy to drink with a good amount of flavor.
Overall: Very Good, satisfying and I would buy it again.

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Photo of outdoor7or24
3.86/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16 oz can picked up on trip to Chicago, 4pk $12.
A: pours a +1 finger white foam head, pale golden orange body, some carbonation, spotty lacing
S: tropical fruits, citrus, hoppy aroma, pine
M: medium light body
T: light citrus taste, orange, apricot, some biscuit, pine resin leaving bitter taste on the tongue, slightly watery in the finish
O: good session brew, glad I was able to try.

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Photo of bcbs4040
5/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Big hoppy pale, citra bomb. Orange and mango notes up front, mild dankness. Soft carbonation, straw/ pineapple juice in color. There is not one thing wrong with this brew.

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Photo of diablo14
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very clean pale amber color with solid head and good lacing. Lots of fruit on the nose, mangoes, tangerines and oranges, taste is of the same, with nice hints of malt and some sweetness, and a very pleasing hoppy finish.

A session ale that is a fair bit better than the average session ale.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

8/2015...brewery draft. Almost bright copper pour. Thick white foam. Active bubbles. Strong tropical fruit nose. Mangoes and tangerines. Soft malt, heavy bitter. Smooth mouthfeel, but loads of bitter thrown in.

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Photo of Tiernan
3.76/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass at a decent pub in IL.
Looked good, pale indeed. Decent head with some retention.
Some faint citrus smells, but the pub had it's own scent that may have taken away from the beer.
Flavor was packed with more citrus than I expected. Nice surprise.
Felt well rounded and piney.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.16/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

BOTTLE: 1 pint 6 fl oz. Brown glass. Branded pry-off cap. Good label art. Courtesy of the always-generous Duff27.

Served cold into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Expectations are average; I believe this is my first beer from this brewery.

4.6% ABV. 40 IBU. 5 SRM. Reviewed live as an American pale ale per the label.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~2.5 inch head. White colour. Frothy as hell. Fluffy. Not thick or full at all. Uneven consistency. Nice complexion. Leaves no lacing as it sticks to the sides of the glass.

Retention is nice - about 5-6 minutes.

BODY: Clear copper of superb vibrance. No yeast particulate or hop sediment is visible. It's a clean beer with obvious filtration.

Appears well-carbonated. It's a good looking pale ale, but there's nothing unique or special about it.

AROMA: I'm not getting much pale malt sweetness - which I guess is testament to the wheat, but I definitely wouldn't find the wheat if I tried this blind. It's a strikingly soft and gentle aroma, with light-hearted hints of citrusy fruit such as tangerine and mango. Has no obnoxious rindy bitterness or grapefruit bite. The hop profile is mouthwateringly expressive, but doesn't beat you over the head.

I can only hope the taste delivers on the promises of the aroma. This suggests a gentle but evocative juicy pale ale with pleasing balance.

Aromatic intensity is mild.

I find no off-notes, alcohol, or overt yeast character.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Citrusy, with some mango and tangerine. But what I notice that bothers me is an odd almost starchy dryness and coarseness - especially about the climax, which prevents this from being as refreshing as its softness and light body would otherwise indicate. The pale malt backbone does come through, and I don't find any obvious wheat. There's some subsidiary grassy and floral hop character that doesn't quite seem well suited to an American pale ale, but it works.

It'd be balanced and enjoyable if the mouthfeel wasn't so distracting; it's scratchy and almost dragging on the palate, giving this a poor overall presence and feel. Medium-bodied and overly thick. I hoped for a delicate light texture, but this is rather heavy-handed in its execution. Overcarbonated to boot.

Lacks the sophisticated balance and impressive intricacy observed in the best beers in the style. Could also be deeper and more expressive. Flavour duration and intensity are average.

OVERALL: Drinkable, sure, but the texture really holds it back. It's pleasant, but the taste just doesn't deliver on the promises of the aroma. I see potential here, and would happily try more beers from this brewery - but this just isn't a world class beer in the style, and is merely above average to pretty good at best.

Glad I got to try this one. Big thanks to Duff27 for the opportunity.


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Photo of 2beerdogs
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Big thanks and Maximum Respect to @egrace84 for this beauty.

Wow! I can't believe this comes in at 4.8%. Sooo drinkable.
Color is a lite coppery honey. Head pops up a few fingers with a vigorous pour, and settles into a loosely packed half a finger roil.
Smell is a tantalizing meld of slightly tropical fruit that then leans toward floral orange, but then some piney notes are peaking in. And yet a ever so subtle hint of the malt keeps popping in. So much going on, like a brilliant IIPA where the malt is ever present.
Taste starts with a bit more tropical: maybe pineapple, some tangerine, and then a bit of spice brings earthy pine notes, and yet the malt comes through as well. I really love this.
Finish is fuller than I expect for a 4.8% APA. A little viscous and resiny. Damn near perfect. I am thoroughly impressed. I'd love to try this on tap.

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Photo of joe1510
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bottle
Binny's Willowbrook

Chilly Water is an apricot orange beauty of a pale ale. Carbonation seems to rise from every surface of the glass and the body shimmers with golden highlights. The off white foam becomes instantly creamy and settles at a sturdy cap. Thin but consistent drink lines are left clung to the glass after each gulp.

The nose is big on Citra with tropical notes galore. Overripe pineapple, dried apricot, peppery mango, and juicy papaya. An undercurrent of pine and aspirin add depth and boldness. Musty wheat adds a twist to the usual crackery pale ale base and I dig it. This is an expressive beer for such a low abv. Impressive.

The flavor profile very much follows the nose. I get a good deal of the overripe pineapple upfront, a sure sign of Citra, with most of the other tropical and stone fruit notes following. The malt base is soft but shows flashes of both cackery grain and wheaty twang. Pine and aspirin are soft on the swallow but leave a touch of bitterness in their wake. A damn good pale ale.

The body is soft and luxurious, weighing in squarely in the middle of the spectrum with a plush carbonation. A soft sweetness upfront gives way to a moderate bitterness on the back of the tongue and down the throat. Low abv makes this an insanely easy drinking treat.

I've had multiple pints of this beer in the past both on draft and cask, enjoying every glass. It translates well to the bottle. I've always been a huge fan of wheat in my pales/IPAs and they did a great job with Chilly Water. This beer is a sleeper for sure. Find it, buy it, drink it.

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Photo of steveh
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The neighborhood brewery has started bottling and I couldn't pass up a nice session APA. The label lists 4.8%, so an update has been reported. Bottled December 12, 2014 -- less than 10 miles from my home.

A -- Pours a clear, deep golden-amber with an off white, foamy head that settles to a thin, persistent cap leaving good lacing. Last pour from the bomber is lightly cloudy and a bottle inspection reveals evidence of bottle-conditioning. No wonder it's so smooth.

S -- Aroma of piny earthiness with underlying mild citrus esters.

T -- Taste of piny hops up front that fold into a smooth blend of citrus fruits. There is just enough biscuit malt in the backbone to keep the hops from getting out of control. The aftertaste is spicy to somewhat resiny bitterness, but the citrus character persists to the finish.

M -- The mouthfeel is soft and smooth finishing lightly dry with a light-medium body.

O -- This beer is exactly as advertised; a smooth, easy drinking APA with all of the qualities you'd expect from the style.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)
This beer pours a clear deep copper body with a thick sticky beige head. During the pour the flora bright green hops come through. Further sniffing reveals green mango aromas and a cat pee and mint characters in the finish. The taste follows suite with more great green hops flavor with mint and green mango notes of fresh hop cones and a pungent woody hop flavor finishes with a touch of cat pee. As the beer opens up the caramel malt comes through underneath adding some nice support. The carbonation is a spicy little fizz that enhances the hop profile very well.

This beer is very quaftable and has some nice depth of flavor to the hops and good support of by the malt bill.

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Photo of Stezz420
4.95/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Tighthead has really stepped it up with their beers. This one is definitely my favorite from them.

Very bright and clear golden color.

Smells like mangos and tropical fruits.

Taste lines up nicely with the smell. Very tropical, I love it!

Perfect carbonation and very easy to drink, the low abv helps. This is the kinda beer you can drink all day sitting on the beach.

Overall this beer is my perfect fix for zombie dust and gumballhead when both aren't available. This beer imho is their best and what puts them on the map.

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Photo of BTodd
4.16/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler poured into pint glass the following day.

A-Great orange color with 1 1/2 fingers of bubbles rising to the top. Slight haze.

S-Dank, tropical aromas with mango, pineapple, etc.

T-matches smell. Nice hoppy, tropical flavors. Some green, piney notes as well.

M-Bitterness lingers somewhat. Definitely a little thinner than other comparably hoppy beers (it's lower ABV at 4.8%). Decent drinker for the hoppiness.

O-It's definitely a niche beer in that it is very hoppy relatively to the malt/alcohol levels. They call it a pale but I'd be comfortable calling this a session IPA.

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Photo of lanciloti
5/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Bright Golden straw like

S - Citra hops burst with orange pineapple

T- Tropical wonder, great APA, up there with the best. Perfect malt backbone

M- Soft as a pillow, perfect on the pallet

O- Crushable yet hoppy, perfect combo.

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Photo of homebrew311
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy gold apperance with generous white head that leaves heavy lacing. The nose is citrusy up front with notes of lemons, mangoes, and orange. Taste is super bitter up front with grapefruit, lemon rind, and dry finish. The malts are very mild as the hops dominate. Mouthfeel is light and highly carbonated. Overall, decent but the malts are hidden by bitter hops.

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Photo of emerge077
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pale golden orange, saturated color with ever present rising trails of carbonation. Arcs of lace in the glass, lasting surface foam. Good clarity, not really hazy.

Grapefruit citrus and a twist of tropical fruit also, though hard to pin down.

Flavors of tropical and citrus fruit, somewhat mild, but ample hop bitterness carries into the aftertaste. Bitter grapefruit and light mango, light pale malt, the hops are showcased well. Light carbonation, crisp and easy drinking, though plenty of tropical citrus hop flavor. An underrated local APA that deserves more attention.

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Photo of Treebs
2.77/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at Wild Monk, served in a shaker pint.

A: Pours a dark golden yellow with a thick, off white head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thick cap that leaves some sticky sheets of lace down the glass.

S: Some light cracker malts with a mild citrus pith backing. Maybe orange peel? A little grass, but I'm hard pressed to pick out any real bold flavors.

T: Same as the nose. Light cracker malts with a touch of residual sweetness. Some grassy notes with a wee bit of citrus, but it's mostly devoid of flavor. Definitely stretching for them here.

M: Basically like drinking light beer water here. Easily crushable with a nice carbonation, but it loses points for no residual flavors.

O: Not sure if this was an old keg, bad batch or what, but there really wasn't any flavors. It didn't taste old or overly malty so I'm not sure what was going on with this. I'll revisit if I see it on tap again to see if it was an isolated incident.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Sheffield's. Served in a pint glass.

A - White foam settles to a thin cap, thicker collar, and a few stray splotches of lace. Hazy orange body.

S - Great hop aroma, with zesty onion, herbs, gooseberries, tropical fruits, white grapes, and only a faint unobtrusive doughy malt backdrop.

T - The taste is a bit more balanced, with some wheat, brown sugar malts, and a bit less of the aforementioned earthy, zesty, and fruity hop notes. Light bitterness in the finish.

M - Dry, medium-light body. Refreshing, with pleasant moderate carbonation. Quite easy drinking.

D - A really nice pale ale. It's kind of like a New Zealand riff on Gumballhead. Hopefully Tighthead makes this regularly as it's the type of beer of which I'd happily have a few pints in an evening. Hadn't heard of these guys before, so maybe a visit to their tap room is in order.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 64oz growler into a pint glass.

A: Pours a crystal clear dark orange with a healthy layer of light khaki colored foam on top. Retention was ok with a thin collar remaining after about only a minute or so. Carbonation was slightly lazy to medium.

S: Killer hop aromas here! Tangerine, tropical fruit, red grape, and tawny orchard fruit.

T: See above. Tangy apple, lightly toasted malt, citrus zest, and pineapple come to the party in a big way. Could've used a little more malty balance.

M: Spot on for the style. Thin at first, but becoming stickier as it comes up to temp. Lovely hop prickle blasts the tongue.

O: An excellent lower ABV APA. This need to be on at their taproom at all times. Seriously.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a shaker pint glass at the tasting room.

Y'know, I may not be much of a Widespread Panic fan, but it's always cool to see a brewery harken to their creative roots, especially when it involves a hop schedule that includes Zythos, Motueka, and Nelson Sauvin. This stuff pours a clear sunrise amber topped by a half-finger of off-cream-white foam. The nose comprises tangerine zest, pineapple, light red apple, light pear, and some mild caramel in the deep background. The taste holds notes of tangelo zest, light pine, lemon rind, light mango, and that same soft caramel in the background (which comes through even softer than before). The body is a light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation, a smooth feel, and a sorta/kinda dry finish. Overall, a very nice, fruity pale ale, one I hope becomes a regular at the tap room and at local bars...

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Chilly Water from Tighthead Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 154 ratings