Firecracker Pale Ale | Carolina Brewery

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30 Ratings

Brewed by:
Carolina Brewery
North Carolina, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2004

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 |  Reviews: 12
Reviews by beerinator:
Photo of beerinator
4.02/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Wow, this beer is light colored. It's light golden with a hint of bronze. The head is perfect white, and pours rather rocky.

Aroma: There is sharp citrus in the nose. Sweetness adds character, but most of the aroma stems from the hops. The aroma is pleasant and a bit bready.

Taste: Sweetness attacks first, followed by sharp bitterness. The tongue is attacked by both of these and then the finish is slightly lingering, with tingly bitterness. The mouthfeel is a slight bit lighter than most pale ales that I've tried. The carbonation level seems very good. The sweetness stems from the bready malt, and the bitterness leans towards citrusy hops, but both seem pretty balanced.

Notes: This beer isn't as bitter as their IPA, but it seems like a better balanced beer. I think if they would bring up the caramel malts a bit (colorwise and flavorwise) they would have a winner here.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass a clear light golden with a thin wispy head that didnt last long,mild grainy aromas with a faint floral hop note but it was faint.The mouthfeel is grainy and a little prickly,flavors are of biscuit malt and firm toasted grain mixed with a light smattering of citrus in the finish.Eh its a summer quaffer but really for me it needed a bit more hop to make it worth entertaining again.

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Photo of ewright
1.97/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A: Bright light golden with a thin layer of head on top.

S: Downright offensive notes of wet dog and onion.

T: Sulfurous metallic taste up front, little bitterness. Notes of cracker from the malt bill.

M: Thin and watery with low carbonation.

D: By far the worst beer I've had in a long time, and the worst offering from Carolina Brewery. I REALLY wish I hadn't bought an entire growler!

Addendum: The more I think about it, the more I think this may be a skunked growler. I got it from the Whole Foods in Raleigh... no idea how old it is. I REALLY hope this is the case.

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Photo of KevinGordon
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Amalak
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of jerefreakinmiah
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

4.25/5  rDev +20.1%

Photo of CWiggins
3/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was on tap at the Carolina Brewery while visiting yesterday afternoon. (It is one of their five "regulars.") It pours a golden color, and is a little hazy for the pale ales I'm familiar with. The whitish head didn't stick around for very long. There's not much of a nose, except for a little sweetness that is barely detectable. Its flavor is light and citrusy with some noticeable malts. It has a slightly hoppy accent that begins in the middle and lasts through the finish. This is a nice brew to sip on, and would probably pair well with most foods, but there's nothing to distinguish it from the ever-increasing world of pale ales.

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Photo of abernethyj
3/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of JohnnyForeign
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.62/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a growler at the local Whole Foods while we were in Chapel Hill visiting some friends. I poured out into a pint glass, and the beer pours a vibrant, crystal clear goldenrod color with lots of carbonation bubbling and a thick, frothy, large bubbled white head. The head slowly settles, and clings to the glass throughout. Herbal and slightly sour aromas, with a hops presence that is slight pepper and slight marijuana. The flavors are light initially, with a toasted malt highlight that is quickly followed by a vague (but heavy) hops presence that is strong and aromatic, with pepper and herbal characteristics. The aftertaste is lemony, with a slight oregano and pepper spicing, and a drying, slightly bitter finish. Very easy to drink lots of, but can get overpowering after a while.

 796 characters

Photo of cvstrickland
3.67/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Growler poured into my DFH shaped pint glass yields a sparkling clear golden-bronze amber body capped with a finger of loose-bubbled white foam that recedes quickly to a sheet and leaves a few rings of lacing on the glass.

Smell is strong pale-malty with a grassy, spicy hop note.

Taste is a bit floral and a lot grassy with a chewy, toasty pale malty backbone and a spicy character. The drink is medium-bodied with moments I can only describe as 'watery', but I don't mean for that observation to define the whole drink...Firecracker Pale isn't a 'watery' beer... it just has watery 'notes' I suppose, but even so it's an easy drinker. Dry, husky, and tannic as it warms.

Medium-bodied (with the mentioned aquatic qualifiers) and clingy on the tongue.

 755 characters

Photo of Cylinsier
3.67/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


Light gold pour with a white head.

Nose is light grassy malts and light citrus.

Flavor is grassy malts and surprisingly a note of chili pepper. There's a spice kick to this one.

Light to medium body with a stinging carbonation.

Strange enjoyable light brew. The spice was unexpected but not unwelcome. I would have this again, but in a certain mood.

 359 characters

Photo of magbel
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of AlexFields
3/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of buckyp
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of BigGingDrinker
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Sicem99
4.5/5  rDev +27.1%

Photo of MuddyFeet
2.93/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

"Where's the hops?" Is it hiding? Poured a pale gold with a slight head. Light carbonation that was slightly fizzy in the mouth. Light and crisp. Almost as if it is a lager malt bill, but with an ale yeast. Cannot pick up anything in the nose of this beer. Flavor was full of very sweet malts, also some bread, corn. The hops hardly register. Like I said, this beer has more of a lager feel to it.

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.1/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer arrived on the table crystal clear pale golden with a white and persistent head which lasted well to lace the glass.

The aroma was light caramel with a nice crisp fruity character and a lightly citrusy grapefruit presence.

The flavor was fruity, but only lightly so, with a citrusy hop bittering and flavor and a slight sweetness on the palate which was quickly replaced with bittering. The balance ends with bittering but begins with that nice sweet malt presence.

The finish was dry with lasting caramel and lingering citrusy bittering into the aftertaste. The body was medium with a nice level of carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel. A nice APA!

Pint at Tyler's in Durham.

 695 characters

Photo of Soto
3/5  rDev -15.3%

Photo of mklinger
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of ScubaSteve00
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%

Photo of Axnjxn
3.75/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of atsprings
3.88/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a crisp orange with a nice frothy head that diminishes to a ring and leaves spotty lacing. Aroma surprisingly is sweet fruits, is this growler a mislabeled witbier? The taste is more like what I was expecting, Crisp somewhat subtle citrus hops in a decent balance with sweet malts with a hint of caramel. The beer is very light and crisp with just the right level of carbonation. This is an enjoyable Pale and I can tell this growler will provide for a great session.

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Firecracker Pale Ale from Carolina Brewery
Beer rating: 3.54 out of 5 with 30 ratings