Citra Pale Ale | Free Will Brewing Co.

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Citra Pale AleCitra Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Free Will Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by haazer on 01-28-2012

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Reviews: 22 | Ratings: 141
Photo of haazer
4.22/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the Perk, right down the street from the brewery.

A- A lasting frothy off-white head sits atop the beer and sticks around as you drink. The beer itself is a hazy orange/copper color. Lacing sticks on the glass.

S- Amazing citra profile. Notes of grapefruit, pine needles, grass and some lemon. This is definitely a hop forward beer. Just the slightest hint of underlying pale malts.

T- Again the citra shines through strongly. Big amounts of grapefruit, orange peel, lemon and grassy. The flavor on the backend is a biscuit like malt, and a biting bitterness. For a pale ale this really tastes like an IPA.

M- Lighter side of medium body with a mid level of carbonation. Though this is easy drinking it feels like drinking a big beer.

O- This beer looks, smells, tastes, and drinks like an IPA. The fact they were able to squeeze so much flavor into a 5.5% pale ale is a testament to these guys. In talking with the brewers they mentioned this batch was aggressively hopped, I really hope they don't stray from this recipe. Hats off to Dom and John, and best of luck to them with Free Will.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.07/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This citra pale ale from a new Bucks county start up is pretty good. Has a rich amber orange hue with excellent carbonation. Head is a good size and dense, but more of a soapy dense.
Aroma is citrusy hops actually quite pungent with a malty backbone.

Taste is good. It's quite hoppy with citrus, herbs and a hints of floral a good malt bill balances out.
feels medium on the palette smooth and a bitter finish. It's pretty assertive.
A pretty good beer with alot of upside. All the beers I've had from this place are all good and worthy of seeking out.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
3.97/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker pint: Half-finger of loose, white head over honey-gold body, clear with small, fast nucleation. Head dissipates pretty quickly & leaves a thin cover. Leaves lots of craggy lacing.

Fruity, almost berry-like hops in the aroma, with a balancing, bread-dough kind of sweetness. Hops turn to a mellow, earthy, tea-like character. Subtle & balanced, not overdone.

Nicely assertive hop taste, with some spicy & peppery qualities, just a little zesty sharpness, soon followed by an almost-shandy like citrus/malt interplay, again resembling unsweetened iced tea. Ends with a long, citrus zest bitterness accented by a touch of baked-good sweetness.

Medium-light-bodied, nicely smooth but with just a kick of hop bite.

I've had this several times on tap before & have really enjoyed it. Nothing too spectacular going on here, but a very decent, flavorful pale that could easily become an anytime beer if I had regular access to it.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.91/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I would like to have it noted that despite it being from a bottle, I am drinking this beer of my own Free Will!

From the bottle: "We brew to taste, fit to style"; "This is beer. It is brewed with the following types of malted barley: English Pearl, English Light Crystal, American Toasted & German Extra Light Crystal. It is hopped with the following: Warrior, Simcoe, Citra. Dry-hopped with the following: Whole-leaf Citra. Thank you for using your free will to choose ours."; "Citra is a registered trademark of the Hop Breeding Company LLC [&] Warrior & Simcoe are registered trademarks of Select Botanicals Group LLC".

My overzealous pour almost caused an overflow of the glass before I realized what was happening and quickly backed off. Needless to say, I had a massive amount of dense, rocky, tawny head that looked like it might outlast me until it slowly began to fall, leaving some lacing in its wake. Color was a deep, golden-yellow (SRM = > 7, < 9) with NE-quality clarity and once more, the three stooges, better known as King Midas, Croesus and Mammon, were across the counter from me, fighting for a taste. Nose was pungent with grapefruit hops and my mouth was watering at the prospect of what was to come. Mouthfeel was medium, but the taste was like I had cut open a Ruby Red grapefruit and was having it for breakfast! Beer - it's what's for breakfast. Please note that this review is taking place at 0806 (Local, EDT). I love the taste of grapefruit and although I do not usually indulge in hard liquor or cocktails, when I do, I have an affinity for a Greyhound or a Salty Dog. Finish is as bitter as I was when The Old Lady and I broke it off. That's not really true. I was hurt, but I am not bitter. This beer, however, ... Man, where do APAs leave off these days and AIPAs pick up?

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Photo of weeare138
3.88/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Capone's...
Appears a semi transparent light orange with a small white head that slowly fades into a gentle collar. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of obvious citrus with Orange as the standout. Solid base malt of pale malt follows behind. Would like more of a dry hop blast in the nose but not bad.
Taste is of the aromas with an orange blast in the mouth and a mild bit of grainy husk found in the flavor but very restrained.
Mouthfeel is dry, balanced, and refreshing.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.78/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On Tap at Blue Dog.

Free Will Citra Pale Ale boasts a straw pale yellow ale like color with a very light look. The cap up top is bright white and lasting, nice notches. Great retention. Smell is pale malt up front with citra hop aroma consisting of tropic fruit scents, faint trace of bubblegum. Fair amount of grassy notes. Taste is a nice mix of citra hop with grapefruit, papaya, etc, with pale malt backing. It's not really in your face but a nice blast, It is a pale ale I have to keep reminding myself. Feel is a nice crisp light body with a grassy aftertaste in the long run. Carb is nice, not bitey. Im glad to see some local brewers, boasting their chops, with citra hops none the less. A lot of flavor with not alot of alcohol.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.75/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a lightly hazed golden yellow color with a big billowy white head. The head has a good level of retention slowly fading over time to leave a nice level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma was heaviest of malt and citrus. The malty smells are of a biscuit, bready, and grainy smell. The citrus is mainly of a lemon but contains some notes of orange sweetness as well. Along with these aromas are some lighter grassy hop smells giving it a rather balanced pale ale smell overall.

Taste – The taste begins with a smooth bready taste that has a light amount of orange and caramel sweetness. As the flavor advances, the caramel is lost with the bready flavor taking on a more cracker like taste. While the caramel fades, more and more lemon tastes come to the tongue along with a grassy and pine hop flavor. These flavors along with a little bit of a lemongrass and grapefruit coming to the tongue, together leave a nice blend of bitter and malty flavors to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer is on the thinner to medium side in terms of its creaminess and thickness with a carbonation level that is on the average to slightly higher side. The feel is quite nice for the drinkability and the blend of malt and hop; producing a smooth and flavorful easy drinker.

Overall – A nice flavorful and rather balanced pale ale. The blend of malt, hops and the smooth feel create a very nice drinking brew.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.66/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Snagged a bottle for 3 bucks. I was intrigued since I love homer beers (PA brewed) and heard great things of citra pale ales.

A - Somewhat cloudy for a pale ale, but still retains the golden yellow look. I for one could use less carbonation since this required multiple pours just to get it into a pint glass. When settled the head was pillow like and rather impressive.
S - Well you got your bready crack malts, mild sweet malts, and just a massive dose of dry hopping but it never does get too intimidating which is nice.
T+M - Well as others said it's rather crisp but not very balanced (refreshing) The body seems a bit muddled making for sort of hard drinking. I did like the hops in this since when cold it seemed to have a orange skin hop bitterness but when warmed it reminded me of piney IPA bitterness. Not bad.

Overall I never heard of these guys and according to the site they are a little over a year old. I really wanted to love this beer but it could totally use more balance (hops to malt) and maybe a touch less carbonation could make this a great pale. I would love to try there other stuff I hear they make an imperial brown ale.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A glass consuming pearl white head is a firm, solid mass sitting in the vessel raising concerns about infection? Burnt orange juice coloring with a fine, misty rise of carbonation through a heavy turbidity. Splotchy large chunks of foam lace adore the vessel with a large coverage percentage. A second pour builds the monstrous head even more into a billowing devils tower breaching the rim with a forever stay of impatience. no seriously, after 8-10 minutes or so i had to literally scoop a handful of foam out so i could start drinking and get an idea of the aroma. impossible retention time.

S: On the nose was fresh citra hops, wet, juicy, backed by a light show of toast and freshly squeezed oranges.

T: For flavor the citra hops show some lemony-orange character while the warrior hops lend some grapefruity pine notes, as well a touch of grassiness. Lemon herbal and a nice spiciness is also evident along with wet citrus, light english pale grains, tart oranges and flashes of sweet crystal malt.

M: A good dance of carbonation on the tongue, crisp, some may say a bit to much at times but fairly sharp. I tend to like my carbonation aggressive in pales and ipas. The body feels spritzy from the carbonation, light to medium with heavy areration.

O: Overall this a decent drinking pale with a good show of hops per style. The malt complexity is decent as well, nice toasty character, crisp english grains, with flashes of sweet crystal malt. This beer features a number of different malts and hops particularly citra, simcoe and warrior, where as at times the flavor came off a bit muddled together and not crisp and bright individually. Im wondering if they pulled back here and kept the pale in pale ale with some crisp english malts, and eliminated the simcoe and warrior, instead focusing on the tropical fruity and citrusy aspect of the famed citra hops (which were a bit muddled by the malts and other hops here) maybe this would of lived up more promising to its name as citra pale ale? By itself it had its moments and wasn't bad, decent drinking pale, a bit heavy handed carbonation wise, but if your looking for the bright, tropical fruitiness and fresh wet citrusy aspect of the citra hops you may be a bit disappointed here. This suffers from overthinking and overcomplicating the hops and malt complexity, and you wont here me say that much. With a name like citra and its juicy tropical fruitiness, let the hops speak for themselves, they dont need white noise or distractions. For the record i rated this as a pale ale and by not what i thought it should of been by name's sake, its still a decent beer by end of day like i said.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.53/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Washington House, Sellersville, PA

Poured a hazy copper color with a thin white head that receded to a wispy layer. Aroma is light but hop-forward, citrusy, with thin bready malts in the background. More of the same in the taste, expected citrusy zest, herbal hops and a bit of earth, mild bready malts, and strangely, some faint and unexpected cocoa notes in there as well...not really sure where that came from. Medium body, fairly tasty and drinkable; average overall.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.5/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a copperish orange color with a thin white head on top. The smell of the beer was full of the citra aromas that I was hoping for. The taste of the beer was moderately bitter with a slight cream element to it that softens the flavors. The mouthfeel was light bodied with a subtle carbonation to it. Overall I though this beer was refreshing and enjoyable for the spring and summer seasons. I would probably drink this one again.

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Photo of WissBrauSean
3.47/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

This beer was highly carbonated, hazy and gold out of the bottle with a huge white head and frothy lacing.

The aroma is definitely citrus and hoppy but not overly so with some pale sweet malts and a hint of bread.

I'm getting a citrus like bitterness with some pale malt sweetness underneath and finishing a little piney. The carbonation is the first thing to hit your tongue bringing out some bitterness immediately then the malts are pretty apparent mid way through and then the bittering takes hold near the end.

The mouthfeel is pretty full, a little slick, and the finish dry but the carbonation is hot. It's a bit overcarbonated.

The beer is fairly hoppy, but only a bit more than a perfect balance, the carbonation is a little too much and the mouthfeel a little slippery. All in all, it's good. A few tweaks here and there and this is going to be a great beer! I like the hop profile! 3.5 out of 5!

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Photo of justintcoons
3.44/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a shaker.

Golden yellow with 1 finger of white head. Moderate-heavy carbonation with excellent clarity.

Sugar coated oranges, lemon zest, grapefruit and pine.

Sugar coated orange slices, lemon meringue and grapefruit juice. Thin malt backbone of caramel drizzled grains. Touches of pine and tangerine zest in the finish. Some earthy floral bitterness lingers.

Medium bodied, crisp and clean.

Nicely balanced, but I expected more out of the Citra hop (especially with it being dry hopped). Very smooth and easy drinking.

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Photo of garuda
3.39/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A - Golden, hazed, white head has decent retention and lacing.

S/T - Wet, leafy hops. Sweet, bready malts mid palate, finishing bitter with some grapefruit flesh and pine bitterness.

M - A little heavy for style and abv. finishes mostly clean, not very crisp.

O - Not getting as much tropical fruit goodness from the citra hops. A little heavy for an APA, not something that entices me to keep drinking more.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.32/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had a few of these, served from the tap at the Washington House and then Sellersville Theater. nice to see a place supporting a local brewery.

appears a hazy orange dark copper color, with off-white head. not much head retention or lacing.

aroma is dominated, not suprisingly, by citrus hop notes. lemon and orange. taste as well, but with enough pale malt to give it a bit of balance. mouthfeel is standard for the style - medium body and carbonation.

overall - a decent beer that was easy to drink multiple of.

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Photo of Thads324
3.22/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Ultra foamy pour. Light gokden color with pillowy white head.

Aroma is big citra hop. Fruit juices and base malt. Smells like whole cone hops when you crack them open.

Flavor starts really light and watery, old orange rind and bits of pine and spruce. A hint of grass and dirty earth. A tiny bit of honey and sweet grain flavor beneath.

Light, watery, slightly astringent bubbles. Extremely drinkable

Good hop flavor and aroma, but could benefit from a better balance with the malt. Overall not bad but a bit lacking in malt balance.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.17/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Were citra hops harmed in the making of this beer? Unfortunately, the answer is pretty much a yes. Dark and almost muted citrus abound on this one. Doesn't really give the tone that I'd want, if this really is a citra hopped beer. Carbonation is kind of full. Eh. This doesn't really work as a citra hopped pale ale. Have had much better.

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Photo of BWED
3.17/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass

A- Hazy gold with an off white head: foamy and one finger. Some thick lacing but not much of it.

S- Biscuity with some strong citrus. Almost smells like a citrus scone.

T- Strong malt character, with a dull citrus bitterness, a little grapefruit.

M- Quite light, and the dull bitterness hangs around. Moderate carbonation.

O- Only okay. I was expecting a big hop profile, especially since the bottle states that Citra, Simcoe, and Warrior are used. But in all honest, I just got a lot of malt. It doesn't taste bad, it just wasn't what I was expecting.

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Photo of drtth
3.15/5  rDev -10%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a standard shaker pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a lightly hazed dark golden color with a light reddish tinge and with a ¼” white head that soon recedes to a ring and irregular patch of foam on the surface. By about ¼ of the way into the beer there is neither head, foam, nor lacing.

Smell: There is a faint but detectable aroma of light malt with traces of the citric character of the hop mingled in.

Taste: The flavor is dominated by a combination of the light biscuity or grainy character from the malt mingled nicely with the citric flavors from the hops. In background there is a nice bitterness and through out the beer these all remain nicely in balance.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied with minimal carbonation, just enough to start off prickly but otherwise not much to speak of. By about ¼ of the way through the beer the carbonation is almost non-existent. The finish begins in the initial tastes of the malt and then turns to the bitter background which becomes more prominent and is further back in the mouth over time. Eventually the bitter dominates the citrus which has faded away with the malt.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: As for drinkability this is an ok beer and promises good things for the future as the brewers gain in skill and experience. My overall impression is that at the moment it is like a friend’s home brew. Tasty but with some things lacking to improve its appearance, aroma and flavors.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
2.99/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Free Will Brewing Company Citra Pale Ale
12 oz. bottle. The code on the bottom of the bottle reads "2532 A1 1322" but I think that may just be a bottle manufacturer code.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy golden body that appears orange-ish where the yeast is heavier. The last half ounce of the pour left yeast suspended at the top, dropping down towards the bottom in streams, giving the look of a jellyfish floating in the glass. Perhaps I should have carefully decanted it first, or even swirled the yeast before I poured it. The fairly dense white head holds fairly well before dropping and becoming shorter but more creamy. Lacing is slightly better than average.

Smell: Yeasty, and overly so. It smells like home brew. Perhaps I've got a bad batch...? I find some oxidized malt and a hint of citrus rind. Certainly, the Citra hops don't shine. Not very inviting.

Taste: The taste is better than the aroma, but I still find the oxidized malt and heavy yeast distracting. Some Citra hops do come through, with a little bit of tropical fruit and citrus (mainly pineapple), and a hint of spruce in the lingering finish. Overall it seems kind of woody. Fairly well-balanced with a solid 50 or 60 IBU thump.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. Crisp, standard carbonation at about 2.6 volumes. Some astringency.

Overall: I hate to make a decision based on one six-pack, but first impressions do count, and this one drops the ball. With that said, I think I owe them at least a second chance and now I'll have to find more of this, hopefully on tap, to make a final decision. As it stands I have to give this one a thumbs down. The basic recipe may be good, but production flaws fail it immensely.

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Photo of chefjack428
2.98/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

The appearance of this beer is beautiful. Burnt orange with a nice white foamy head. The aroma opens up with a big hit of metal, followed by cereal grains, faint orange, some lime and some tropical fruit. I do not smell citra hops, or a lot of any hop for that matter...very boring aroma.
The taste isn't much better, starts off pretty bitter, like chewing on the pith of an orange. Some light sweet citrus flavors and some pale malt. Has a decent mouth feel, but nothing special. Overall I am a bit disappointed. There is no date on the bottle, however the bottle shop where I got it is not one to let old beer sit out. Didn't even finish the bottle.

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Photo of dennarb
2.87/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A slow pour from a chilled bottle resulted in a three inch head - really! Use a very large glass and take your time. The head does settle down to a half inch in a few minutes. The color is a somewhat cloudy yellow. The nose is kind of a combination of grapefruit and bread. The taste is crisp without being refreshing - an unusual feat. Non-IPA pale ales usually have a more complementary balance of hops and malt. The malt is pretty laid back and the citra dry hops dont seem well integrated into the beer. Free Will is a local small brewery so I really wanted to like their pale ale, but it just didn't do much to convince me to try a second bottle.

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Citra Pale Ale from Free Will Brewing Co.
3.5 out of 5 based on 141 ratings.
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