Pale Ale | Backcountry Brewery

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Pale AlePale Ale
Very Good
Pale AlePale Ale

Brewed by:
Backcountry Brewery
Colorado, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly known as Telemark India Pale Ale.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 42 | Ratings: 91
Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Bottle

Pours a pretty nice clean/clear golden yellow color, pretty nice carbonation, with a pretty nice small creamy off-white head, which leaves some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, some malts, citrusy. The taste is hoppy, kinda malty, citrusy. Medium body. Overall, a pretty tasty brew.

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Photo of zonker17
3.31/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A touch hazy light golden color, white head and little to no lacing. Not fragrant with some hop and more grain. Very light flavor and body. Slight bitterness on finish. Low carbonation.

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Photo of Domvan
3.74/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Light bodied, easy drinker. Easy to see why this was changed from an IPA, unless the ingredients changed. A nice light bodied pale ale isn't as appreciated now as much as it used to be

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Photo of beergoot
3.79/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle label data: Please refrigerate (looks like an) 8/19/2014

Clear, honey-colored body with a moderately thick yet dense, white head. Mild, zesty and peppery aroma with some hints of malt grains; pine resin. Bread crust flavor; mildly toasted grains; soothing hop bitterness. Medium body; soft and smooth with a clean, semi-dry finish.

All in all, a very pleasant and satisfying pale ale. Deceptively light yet well-balanced between the grains and hops flavors. If this was formerly marketed as an IPA, I'll assume it was an English style. In any case, it's very easy drinking and worth repeat visits...

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Nose: Minty pine over malt.
Brilliant gold to amber under a ½” foam cap that dissipates to a film.
Palate: This is a rich and malty pale ale. It starts with big malt flavors and then some hints of spice. Well balanced with a nice blend of sweet and hops.
Medium body and medium carbonation.

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Photo of chugalug06
3.81/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Mild, dense, and foamy head rides atop foggy orange-red brew. No lacing and decent retention.

Creamy, milky, mildly floral, light, crisp.

Smooth, mild carbonation, crisp bite, not too bitter. Sweetness is also quite relaxed, yet mild and well done. Flavors are very floral, peach, red apple. Smooth and fluid. Solid.

Well, apparently you can't judge a beer by it's label... Definitely recommended as a mild easy drinker for a relaxing evening. First Backcounty Brewery experience I'd consider a great success.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.97/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

"Formerly Telemark IPA." Hmm. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with generally appealing label art and branded pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local Colorado bottle shop and served into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are average. 5.6% ABV confirmed.Bottled 11/7/2013.

Served cold - straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a three finger wide head of white-light khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Head retention is good - about 6-7 minutes. No lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head is full and healthy.

Body colour is a clear textbook copper of above average vibrance. No floating yeast particles/sediment is visible. Appears adequately carbonated.

Overall, it's a pretty standard appearance for a pale ale. I'm optimistic, but it's not unique or special. There are no noticeable egregious flaws.

Sm: Resinous hop character. Pale malts. Hints of piney and nectary hop character. Some caramalt. It's a biteen bready. Lighty estery. A biteen oily.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. I don't find any off notes.

A clean, appealing aroma of mild strength.

T: Pale malts, a dash of caramalt, hints of grapefruit. Hop character is floral and resinous, with some accompanying pine and nectar. Slighty bready. The malty sweetness is decently balanced with the hoppy bitterness, but the balance is far from ideal here. It's not a gestalt build, but it has a loose general cohesion and the beer is pleasant to drink.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through. There are no overt off-flavours.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour. It's got fair complexity, but I wouldn't call it subtle, intricate, or nuanced. It's an enjoyable pale ale with enough hoppiness to satisfy fans of the style, but there's nothing unique or special here. I do like it.

Mf: Surprisingly full-bodied and thick for a pale ale. Smooth and wet. Lightly oily. Has a refreshing approachable presence on the palate. Overcarbonated. Texture suits the flavour profile generally well, but don't expect the texture to be custom-tailored to the taste. Execution is pretty standard.

Not gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, or harsh.

Dr: I think it says a lot that this beer used to be labelled an IPA and had the same recipe. Backcountry has delivered a run-of-the-mill pale ale and seems more concerned with marketing than with brewing quality. I'll easily kill this glass, and it's drinkable enough, but there's just nothing remarkable here. I wouldn't recommend it to friends, and I'm in no particular hurry to try Backcountry's other beers.

A very forgettable pale ale that won't offer much to the discerning drinker.


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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.9/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

this has now been renamed backcountry pale ale, apparently since this is more of an English ipa than an American, and customers wanting that west coast dankness were complaining a lot. only in frisco right? that's the story as told by the bartender, but this beer is damn dine nevertheless. it pours a nice light copper color with astounding clarity and a lasting cream colored head several fingers high. the nose is less English than anticipated after the history lesson, it smells well hoppy, bitter and piney, with a dose of malty sweetness and a dusty attic character that's endearing here. the flavor is also more hoppy than the traditional English pale, and this beer is probably best described as an American pale ale, at least in terms of taste. some biscuity cereal malt backing supports a great clean and bitter hop profile definitely spruce heavy and crisp as anything. I love that there is no lasting sweetness in the finish, and the mouthfeel makes it an easy drinker with upbeat bubbles and a body on the lighter side of medium. $3.25 a bomber out the door too cannot be beat. my favorite of the backcountry brews by a considerable margin.

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Photo of Domingo
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

One of those beers I probably should've reviewed years ago but probably drank them too fast to remember that I needed to. For an IPA, this is about as drinkable as they get. Right now they're only in bombers, and I usually split bombers, but this one I can drink a bomber ...or 3 pretty easily.
Pours a honey golden color. Foam and lacing? Yup!
Piney hops hit initially, followed by a bit of citrus zest. Oddly enough, the bready malt character hits on the back end. It fades with a mix of that white bread character and the hops. Pretty interesting how the the hop flavors and bitterness work independently and shine apart from one another.
It's just clean, and one of those IPAs that really illustrate what the American IPA style is all about without trying to go crazy with 10 different hops or a million IBU's.
Easy drinking? Unbelievably so. I like IPA's, but they aren't usually my go-to beer. However this really could be. Hopefully this one starts showing up in 6 packs soon as I can imagine this as a good beer to keep in the fridge all of the time.
An under the radar tasty IPA.

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Photo of denver10
4.21/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazey, honey copper with a thick and foamy white head and nice lacing. A solid aroma with some hoppy fruitiness and some sweet caramel from the malt. A very smooth and balance flavor; caramel that can touch upon toffee, bready, orange and its rind, florals, and grass. Mild bitterness. A crisp, mediun bodied mouthfeel. Overall, I am a fan.

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

Poured from bomber to pint glass the beer arrives a clear copper amber color with a nice 2 finger white head, good retention and lacing. The nose is that of fruity citrus and pine with a base of toasted malt. Nice. The flavor very much is the same with an initial citrus pine resin hop character that blends well with the toast. Medium bitter. Finishes crisp and clean with a nice lingering hop flavor and bitterness. Medium bodied and well carbonated. Overall, this is something of a surprise as I didn't know what to expect. Enjoyable!

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.19/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this at beer fest in Dillon. I'm not sure if it's the fest or the town, but this seems like a perfect mountain IPA--whatever the hell that means. Anywho...

A clear amber pour with some caramel colors. Expected head; white and semi-dense. Lacing is appreciated.

Aroma is most hops and I get pine and green citrus. I think the malt gives the hops more of an earthy quality to it.

And I think this is why I said 'mountain IPA'. It has the NW hop character with some pine and earthiness to it. Light caramel and sweetness. Dryness is as crisp as the mountain air, eat your heart out, Coors.

A solid IPA

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Photo of u2carew
3.27/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bomber. Consumed 10/18/10.
A) Pours with a two finger head that settles quickly. Lacing semi-sticky and big bubbled. Some dull haze. Copper in color.
S) Floral notes. Grapefruit. Lime. Subtle hints of caramel.
T) Caramel. Toffee. Flavor thins out toward the finish. Hops not as robust as the aroma.
M) Fizzy. Slightly syrupy. The lighter side of medium body.
D) An average brew.

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Photo of argock
3.48/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22oz brown bomber into a clear tapered glass goblet. Best by date inked on side of label. Purchased at Skee-Vue Liquors for $3.49.

A: Steely orange-amber with healthy 1-2 finger off-white big-bubbled head with good retention and scattered spots of lace.

S: Nice pine and citrus hops nose with straight pale-caramel malt notes

T: Very good flavor with pine, citrus, and earthy resin taking the lead and propped up by soft pale and caramel malt sweetness. Hops are most prominent but this is reasonably well balanced.

M: Feel is a disappointment with a light body with a watery feel in the finish. Aftertaste is pine and citrus hoppiness.

D: A pretty good IPA that would be even better with a 30% boost in both hops and malt to ramp up the body and flavor.

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Photo of zeff80
4.27/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, bronze color with a thick, white head of thick foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of citrus, grapefruit and pine. The was a burnt toast aroma, too.

T - It tasted of citrus (grapefruit) bubblegum and burnt toast maltiness. Nice caramel flavor, too.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A medium-bodied ale that was quite easy drinking.

D - This is a really good IPA. I wish I had tried it on tap while I was there.

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Photo of riored4v
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed 1/11/10

Poured into a pint glass. finger, white head, that faded quick. Clear, with a dark copper body.

Smell was of floral and citrusy hops. Mild maltiness. Very pleasant smelling although the aroma was a bit on the tame side.

Taste had a nice maltiness accompanied by some caramel malts. Flavors are well rounded. Nice floral and citrus hops mimic that of the aroma. Mild bitterness. Nothing overwhelming with the flavors.

Mouthfeel had a medium body with a medium carbonation.

Drinkability was good. Good balance of flavors and was overall easy to drink.

Good IPA overall. Nothing "fantastic" but definitely had the west-coast characterisics without being bold.

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Photo of HeroJH
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was really good. They said it was an award winner and I can see why. Really nice and flavorful but not over the top or tongue splitting.

A - Gold, nice lacing
S - Fresh flowery washington hops. Slight background of maltyness. Really nice.
T - Perfect amount of bitterness. Malt Backround, hoppy middle and a real nice linger of flavor.
M - thicker, dry
D - Great! yeah, I could have quite a few of these.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.65/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had never even heard of this brewery until I came across this bottle.

Telemark IPA pours a clear golden amber beneath a thin, white head. Fruity hop aroma. Not much complexity, a little malt sweetness, but mostly spicy, citrusy, PNW hops. Notes of apricot. Medium body, a bit chewy. Not bad, just not very deep.

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Photo of javelinarhae
4.07/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If this beer was your friend, it would be like that dude who you had a huge crush on because he had an incredible body and was so easygoing all the time. Then, after getting to know each other and hooking up a few times that summer, you realized that you really did want to be just climbing buddies after all. He's the responsible, sensible guy, and the poetry in his soul is less Rilke and more a lingering memory of Shel Silverstein from third grade.

The head pours average, light, and foamy, and the aroma blossoms out and hits all the olfactories at once like a big orange happy cloud. It has a good even mouthfeel and a nice bitterness that hangs around to remind you that it's there, but doesn't feel like it's stripping the skin off your tongue. There's a citrus, almost sweet, wash over the front of the tongue right after a sip. There aren't really distinctive floral notes, relative to other IPA's at least.

Despite all this good stuff, something about it just comes off as...extremely average. Not balanced in any kind of exquisite way, not eye-opening or grin-inducing, but sensible and well-paced. There's nothing wrong with this, it makes for a great climbing partner and a good friend, but that's it. Sorry darling, but we can only ever be friends.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
4.05/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle tried 2 Mar 2009.

Poured in Celis pint glass. Small light tan head. Medium carbonation. Clear caramel color. Smells like lots of fruity sweet hops, woodsy resin and sunshine. Begins syrupy sweet then a lot of juicy hoppiness and resin. Bittersweet finish. Caramel, pineapple aftertaste. Ethanol noticeable at the finish, seems stronger than 6%.

The best of the Backcountrys that we've tried.

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Photo of Billolick
4.12/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer name/Brewer: Backcountry Telemark IPA

Serving info: 22 ounce bomber. Best before info notched onto the side of the label. Poured into my brand stinkin' new New Belgium glass

Nose: Fresh hops, freshness quite apparent.

Pours: Clear, lighter orange hued amber. Lacing: Thick sheet down low and then striating and scattered above on the glass

Head: Head is puffy, long lasting, and frothy

Body: Pleasantly carbonated and medium thickness on the tongue

Flavor notes: Lots of fresh hops make me glad I gave this one a try. Pleasantly bitter, resiny and pine mostly. Balancing malt quite readily apparent as well. Making this one a quite tasty as well as appropriately balance. Nice brew.

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Photo of skrib09
4.52/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured out a medium amber color with an off white head. good lacing on this one.

really refreshing hop smell but balanced by a very mild sweetness hidden in there.

tastes really fresh. a good hop flavor but well balanced, almost crispy-refreshing. a bit of pine or citrus maybe. slight bitterness towards the end.

great mouthfeel, quite inviting.

good drinkability.

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Photo of hopdog
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Backcountry Brew Pub.

Poured a medium and clear amberish color with a very small sized off white head. Aromas of floralness, citrus, and light pine. Tastes of pine, light caramel, and citrus. Lighter bitter finish.

Notes from 12/15/06.

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Photo of Seanibus
4.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an odd, unexpected beer, with a light, fragrant taste that is so different from many big-punch American IPAs.

Pours slight hazy amber with a thin head and little aroma. The fllavor is like a fine tea, with tannic bitterness on the back of the throat and a faint floral bitterness like a rose water, with a whiff of pine. It has a slightly clingy mouthfeel.

This fascinating and unusual taste will grow on you.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.79/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. What an interesting beer. Nicely balanced but yet full of unique flavor. I wish I had more of it.

It has a subtle aroma that hints of floral and citrus (it's just good finishing hops, I would guess). Great finishing taste too.

Everyone in our group liked it, so it will please a variety of beer snob pallettes. Great stuff!

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Pale Ale from Backcountry Brewery
Beer rating: 3.77 out of 5 with 91 ratings