First Bite Pale Ale | Spider Bite Beer Company

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First Bite Pale AleFirst Bite Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Spider Bite Beer Company
New York, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This amber colored pale ale was the first beer we brewed together, so it was only fitting to name it FIRST BITE. Generous additions of American hops, light body and a dry finish give it plenty of flavor and aroma while still remaining highly drinkable. “YOU GOT BITTEN.”

Added by Gmann on 11-16-2011

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Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 86
Photo of biboergosum
3.84/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle - a more pedestrian label involving spiders than the other offerings that I've seen from these guys.

This beer pours a clear, dark copper amber hue, with two fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and somewhat bubbly ecru head, which leaves some exploding snowbank lace around the glass as it gently melts away.

It smells of bready, crackery pale malt, a touch of biscuity caramel, peppy orange and white grapefruit rind, faint pine needle and resin, and a further leafy, floral hop bitterness. The taste is more bready, doughy pale and caramel malt sweetness, muddled citrus flesh and pith, floral and bitter herbal esters, and a softly tugging sense of alcohol chicanery.

The carbonation is quite light and caressing in its plainly supportive frothiness, the body a solid medium weight, and rather smooth, the malt barring the door against any aggressive hop ingress at this juncture. It finishes off-dry, the mouthfeel situation just mentioned still holding true.

A generally appealing and easily drinkable version of the style, nothing fancy, but all pistons firing in the common goal of hoppy pale ale balance. I wonder how much the various spiders I find lurking around my basement would like this stuff - ah, hell, I'm not sharing it with them, we already have a healthy state of detente, and I'm not up for tipping the scales.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.69/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

for some reason i liked a lot of the new york hoppier pales more than others have on this site. something about the crispness, quite far from the sticky oily weighty west coast hoppy beers that appeals to me, maybe as much out of something different than anything else, but nevertheless, i thought this was really nice. its got a little malt to it too though, balanced in a way where both sides are bold. a slight copper hue to it, and that malt flavor is there, just a little richer than a pale base, and it gives the hops a lot to work with. not sure the varietals used, but i would think simcoe and/or centennial as a primary, it really has that awesome woody piney bitterness to it, really woodsy and adirondak feeling to me. the carbonation is really high, and i think thats needed in a beer this intensely flavored. i like that its hoppy like an ipa, but drinkable like a pale, with lower abv and just a medium body. maybe not the most inventive beer on earth, but i found it delicious and refreshing and beautifully hopped. i would buy this if it were available in colorado.

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Photo of Hammertimeee1
4/5  rDev +9.6%

I really like this beer not because it's brewed in my backyard but because of the lite citrus flavor it has. This beer is always a party favorite for us!!

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Photo of biegaman
3.71/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I was hoping I'd be able to say it: this Spider Bite beer casts webs of lacing around the glass. (The wine community might refer to this as 'legs', which would be an equally appropriate term because this has lots of 'em!) This does indeed look awfully nice for a pale ale - its clear amber complexion is practically flashing with auburn and golden tones around its rims.

Contrary to its name, however, First Bite doesn't seem to actually have much bite. At least not in the nose. While there is enough hoppiness to impart an appreciable herbalness, notions of pine and traces of tropical fruits, it certainly doesn't have that kind of immediate, apparent bitterness that can often characterize American pale ales.

First Bite is a nice middle-of-the-road pale ale in more than one sense; at 5.5% it's a little bit bigger without being significantly stronger, and its flavour is comprised pretty much evenly of malt and hops. There's enough each of the oven-fresh biscuits and leafy greens to please both camps. Everybody's happy!

The two elements actually make complimentary pairings. There are subtle orange blossom and citrus notes to the hops that are strongly reminiscent of marmalade; they make a perfect accompaniment to all the soft, bready qualities. The hints of pine also flatter the beer's subtle caramelization. This is a flawlessly balanced recipe.

First Bite makes a good first impression. I'll bite on buying more next time I'm in Western New York. Granted, the infection isn't likely to become viral and it's certainly not incurable - there are lots of beers out there similar and more or less equal in quality. But hey, this is one spider that's more than welcomed to nest in my house!

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Photo of unclejazz
4.08/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a fresh bottle dated:9 4 14, nice amber clear body, solid creamy creamy head. Smell of fresh grass and tropical fruit. Solid malt flavor, a bit sweet that added to juicy pop of the hops. Great batch, very good beer. Underrated, go NY.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.1/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pour is transparent copper with yellowish white bubbly head. Nose is light, pine and rust with a note of grain. Taste is light also, faint grain, piney hop and a faint citrus. Strong carbonation and a light body. Slick on the palate and a bit watery.

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Photo of CHickman
3.96/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very cloudy brown yellow color with sediment floating in it and an insanely huge 2-3 finger foamy beige head that burst out of the bottle and didn’t budge and faded extremely slowly, so slow that I could run my finger through it a few minutes later; it left great foamy lacing clinging to the sides.

Smells of strong piney hops up front, followed by grapefruit, toasted grains, biscuit, caramel, yeast, floral hops and mild spices; get hints of tea leaf or dry hops and very earthy notes mixed with bread and citrus sweetness.

Tastes of piney hops, citrus hops, lemon zest, sweet malt, biscuit, mild grapefruit, toasted grains, caramel, wheat bread or a whole wheat cracker, floral hops, tea leaf (or even weed), and mild spices; very nice balance as the hops are strong and sweet but the malt balance adds an almost buttery toast flavor that limits the bitterness.

Mouthfeel is average to almost heavy with pretty active carbonation, the body is medium and chewy for a pale ale, and the finish while hoppy and sweet is not too bitter and ends buttery and grainy with a lingering hop sweetness like it was dry hopped.

I can’t believe it took me so long to get and enjoy this local beer, as I’m very impressed and feel like I could drink this anytime and anywhere. A very nice APA and one that I’m glad is local to me so I can always get it fresh.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.72/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very dark amber. Calm and mature pine tones on the nose. Flavor is not quite what you'd expect for the style. Very east coast in interpretation and execution. Earthy and "darker". Not the loud and boisterous west coast style stuff many people are looking for. Nice enough though.

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Photo of socon67
3.11/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A - Light amber pour with a decent head of foam. Some lacing, and slight carbonation.

S - Pale malts seem to be a bit too sweet. There is a hoppy smell but I found it a bit off.

T - Light flavors of grain and a crisp hoppy finish. Just not enjoying the residual sweetness that almost seems like its off.

M - Light feel, some carbonation, and easy to have a few.

O - Fun to try local, but just not one I'd look for again.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
2.43/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Copprr body. Big off white head and excellent retention. Pretty clear.

Smell - Lemony and kinda offensive hop aroma. A bit of chemical notes. Pine sol.

Taste - Strong pine hop. The chemical flavor comes back with a vengeance. Bitter. Grainy.

Mouthfeel - Bitter and lemony. Well carbonated. Lots of off flavors.

Overall - This is all over the place. The hops are unpleasant.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.81/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at Beer Authority in New York, NY

A: Pours a hazy apricot in color with moderate amounts of visible carbonation and some light orange and golden yellow highlights. The beer has a finger tall dense foamy off-white to beige head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of citrus hops (both grapefruit and orange stand out) over some light aromas of caramel malts.

T: Upfront there is a light amount of caramel malt that lends just a touch of sweetness. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of citrus/grapefruit/orange hops. Light to moderate amounts of bitterness in the finish which fade fairly quickly.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Easier to drink and with less lingering bitterness than an IPA but still a lot of the same citrus hop aromas and flavors. The citrus hops become even more pronounced as the beer warms up and this is definitely one I would get again.

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Photo of maximum12
3.25/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to jon2465 for introducing me to a brewery I've never even heard often does that happen to us old-school traders? 12 oz. bottle to kick off a quiet evening at home with Michael Weston & Jason Bourne. And maybe Raylan Givens, too. Half sample handed off to my wife.

Pour is clear, filtered orange. Nice nose, very flowery with a strong undercurrent of sweet malt for a pale, touch of lemon. Interesting beginning.

First Bite Pale Ale shouldn't really have fangs in the name, because it's pretty tame. Sunless, sweet malts are the primary driver here, with an almost wheat-like run right up the middle; really, I would have believed it if someone handed me this brew & said "Here's a new wheat beer!" Gentle floral hopping slips in behind the grain stalks, & there is a non-skin-breaking bite right at the end of bitterness. Like most pales, easy to sip.

Very inoffensive beer while simultaneously being a bit rough, as in roughage. Fairly run-of-the-mill pale that's decent enough.

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Photo of popery
4.26/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is an absolutely excellent pale ale. The aroma is bursting with delicate hop flavor. There's citrus, grapes, mangoes and pineapples. It's a big juicy nose that reminds me more of a blend of good fresh-squeezed fruit juices than anything. The aroma hit me as soon as the cap hissed and hasn't let up. The appearance is strong. It's a hazy amber-gold with fizzy white head that manages to stick around for quite awhile and leave nice clumps of bubbles on the walls of my glass. The taste is dry with lots of hop flavor and mild but firm bitterness. Malt is well in the background both in taste and aroma, which I appreciate. It mostly just contributes a platform of biscuity caramel for the hops, which push out with more of that blend of grapes, tropical fruit and tangerine citrus on the tongue. The finish is moderately bitter, but it's a very drinkable beer. Mildly dry. Mouthfeel is light with some pleasant hop oiliness. This beer is pretty much exactly what I'm looking for in the style. I could see going even higher with my score if I had an opportunity to try it against some of the other recent top pales. Excellent stuff.

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Photo of metter98
3.76/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is hazy yellowish orange in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger and a half thick beige head that died down but left a small head covering the surface and lots of lacing around the sides of the glass.
S: There are light to moderately strong aromas of citrusy hops in the nose—grapefruit and oranges seem to stand out in particular. The smell becomes a bit stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has lots of citrusy flavors along with a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. There are some hints of dryness in the finish.
O: This is a nice pale ale that delivers interesting aromas and flavors of citrusy hops like an IPA but is easier to drink and doesn't have lots of bitterness.

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Photo of Durge
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A slightly hazed golden amber color with a huge egg-white looking head and all sorts of clinging clumps left in retreat. The nose hit brings a light citrus hop resin and yeasty biscuit grass. Fresh and crisp. The flavor comes on with bare naked cinnamon leaf/grass hops and a yeast biscuit. This stuff is pretty stark, sharp hop, acrid and crisp feeling with a light body and enthusiastic carbonation. Too thin to be up my alley, and a bit swampy, but doable for a hop fix. Definitely gets your attention.

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Photo of beerloserLI
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out orange/ light amber.

Great floral and sweet smell.

Delivers a good smooth taste with nice hops. Lots of citrus and sweet accents. Overall, a really nice easy drinking pale ale from an up and coming Long Island brewery. I really enjoy good pale ale and this one delivers.

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Photo of cosmicevan
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

have had this on tap before, but it came out in bottles not all that long ago, so decided to give it a go. enjoyed from a blue point snifter.

a - brew poured a murky almost amber brown with a generous finger plus of foamy white head that slowly dissolved leaving heavy lacing coated on the side of the glass. darker than i'd expect for the style, but damn attractive.

s - nice malt forward pale ale with subtle hopping. good earthiness.

t - the earthiness in the smell steps forward in the taste and really dominates everything. all malt, no hops, but lots of dirt and earth.

m - nice even carbonation. medium bodied. but that earthiness is just intense in my mouth. kind of like the way i feel about fat tire.

o - decidedly a pale ale, but a bit too earthy for my taste buds. malts to rule the world, but dirty malts. not a bad beer, but i like a bit more zing in my pale ales and although i like a malty pale ale, this one was even a bit much for me.

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Photo of Chaney
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at "The Pony Bar" in NYC.

Served in a pint glass.

A: This was pretty cloudy for a PA, but I kinda dug that about it. Lots of off-white suds on top, with a golden French Fry color to the liquid itself.

S: Pow hops! Lots of citrus and had the aroma of a nice IPA for sure.

T: Despite the citrus bite, this had a pleasant yeasty quality that grounded this back into Pale Ale territory instead of going over the edge. Tasty!

M: Creamy, with a nice carbonation bill for this style, and a good bit of quality bitterness on the back end.

O: I really don't have anything bad to say about this. Fresh and tasty stuff!

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.51/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a standard pint glass.

L - fairly clear deep copper color with a off-white head that settled to a layer leaving a "web" of lacing.

S - earthy with some citrus rind.

T - starts out with a sourdough taste and finishes with citrus rind bitterness.

F - thin body, thin feel.

O - non-offensive beer but this is not my "first bite" at a APA.

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Photo of jimmy82063
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice to have had a try at a commercially available nano brewery. Growler from DeCicco's. This beer pours a little darker than expected, nice light head. Smell is floral and the taste is sweet grapefruit, followed up by lemon zest with a nice piney resin.

Overall this was a nice treat to enjoy. Looking forward to getting my hands on their stout.

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Photo of Billolick
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$6.99 for a 32 ounce growler pour at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY.

Nice to try a brew from this new micro/nano brewery based Long Island, NY.

Pours clouded darker amber, lifts a nice looking 2 inch head, that slowly goes to a thicker film, with some islands, and more then ample froth and well developed lace.

Resiny hop nose.

Well hopped and full flavor pale, more resins, and citrus peel notes come forward.

Under carraige of light whole wheat malts, compliment the aggressive hopping. Nice long and tasty finish, coating the mouth, teeth and tongue, with hoppy/malty goodness.

I'm duly impressed, new brewery that clearly knew what they were doing when they brewed this one up.

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Photo of iBeer16
3.65/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed in a pint glass.

A: pours a golden amber color with about a finger length soapy head that leaves nice lacing.

S: has a nice sweet malt scent with a slight hoppy scent.

T: also a sweet malty taste with a nice subtle hoppy undertone. Also has a nice breast taste.

M: has a nice body with good carbonation. Leaves mouth salivating with a slight bitter taste.

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Photo of plaid75
4.03/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium copper hue with a two finger foamy white head. There was good retention and very good sticky lacing.

The smell featured a spicy piney and herbal hop atop a toasted bread aroma.

The taste consisted of a spirited herbal hop supported by a complex buttery toasted bready malt. Residual caramel at the finish.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style with a vigorous carbonation and lingering hop spice.

Overall a tasty and complex pale ale.

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Photo of Gmann
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden color with a large bubbled head that left lots of webby lacing as it dissipated.

The aroma is of a nice floral hop with some light grapefruit notes. The malt provides some bready notes as well as a hint of honey.

The hop profile is more piney and resiney in the taste. The malt is sweet with some honey notes. There is a fairly substantial amount of asprin flavor and chalky bitterness in the end.

The feel is moderate with weak to tingly carbonation. Feels watery for some reason and a bit lifeless. Big chalky bitterness in the finish.

Started off real nice but the earthy bittterness is a tad harsh for the style.

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First Bite Pale Ale from Spider Bite Beer Company
3.65 out of 5 based on 86 ratings.
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