Berkshire Ale Traditional Pale Ale | Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

very good
143 Reviews
Berkshire Ale Traditional Pale AleBerkshire Ale Traditional Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-30-2002

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Reviews: 143 | Ratings: 253
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This review has been a long time coming. I reviewed this beer about a year ago, and I must say my affinity and appreciation for the beer have increased immeasurably, well actually .8 points. Simply put, this is one of this finest beers made in America or for that matter the world. It all started on a brewery tour, where I was privy to several hundred gallons of this juice of the gods in its full maturation before the next step of casking, or bottling. Just completely overwhelming on the olfactory sences.

Deep ruby, slight tint of orange and caramel. Depending on how aggressively poured, you can end up with a monster of a head. Frothy or wispy, depending on my mood.

Exceptionally complex malts and only the slightest tinge of bitterness. This beer is wild on the tongue. It really can take whatever form you want. If you’re in the mood for some hops, you got it, malts, you got it! It's that complex.

When I first started reviewing beer, I thought that I'd never give a beer "fives" across the board. Considering how much of this beer I've consumed in the past six months says volumes about its drinkabilty.

This is one of my all time favorites.

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Photo of PowerSeed
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Since this is my first review, I'll leave the nuanced, flowery prose to the real aficionados. Suffice it to say that I met this darkish, strawberry blond at the Flat Street Pub in Brattleboro, VT and it was love at first sip. This babe has it all, a beautiful head, a smooth, full body, a yeasty aroma, and a delightfully balanced taste with just the right amount of carbonation. All in all, wonderful, easy-drinking session brew!

I recently moved out of the Berkshire Brewing distribution area and am experiencing TPA withdrawal big time. If anyone can suggest a replacement ale of similar character (I'm in the Philly area now), I love to try it.

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Photo of billybob
4.64/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

good looking beer in the glass tight half inch off white head holds up well against the cloudy deep amber beer and lots of sticky lace to the finish. nice fruity, spicy aroma lots of malt in the taste which is complex and balanced. smooth medium mouthfeel just adds to that great taste. just wish they had it in a 12oz bottle instead of a 22oz or growler.

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Photo of steinlifter
4.63/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've been a fan of BBC for quite some time,this beer poured a deep caramel, good head with retention, smell was fruity, and piney sweet smelling malts, taste follows, complex, interesting blend of malt, fruit(Rasberries) and piney New England flavor, this just screams New England to me, just as much as clam chowder. Mouthfeel is beautiful, moderately carbonated, creamy, smooth, the drinkability is fantastic! just watch the abv, it will boot ya in the ass!, if you pound too many! but excellent drinkin beer, especially on those cold day's of winter!
edit: This beer is just fantastically complex....I've tried many beers, but this one has a special place in my heart as being so unique, everytime I try one of their's just so complex, and appealing!

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Photo of gfreed
4.57/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A delightful bottle of beer! While the color and the head are nothing special (deep copper color; thin, floaty tan head; both of which are still attractive), the aroma and the taste border on exceptional. Plenty of hops in the nose, with hints of iced tea and a tinge of bitterness that borders on grapefruit. But the bitterness is quite mild in the taste, which is dominated by malt but not in a heavy-handed manner. The hops are still present enough to be tangy at the back end, and there's enough citrus to remind one that the hops are available, but the malty backbone provides wonderful balance. Don't buy one expecting the sourness of so many American IPAs-- it's an APA, after all-- and you won't be disappointed. Berkshire Brewing is a pearl!

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Photo of jward
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This 22 oz. bottle pours a beautiful, deep copper-red, with a full, frothy off-white head and decent lacing. The nose combines citrus and berry, with notes of buttery sweetness that are especially pronounced as the glass is raised to the mouth. This sweetness provides an appropriate counterbalance to the bitter citrus flavor that initially greets the palate. It's a bitterness that disappears almost completely, as the soft malts step forward, with notes of yeast and caramel. The hops return at the finish, which is as long and strong as any beer I've had in quite some time. The complexity of this beer lies in its alternating moments of bitterness and fruity sweetness. With a full and bold (almost chewy) mouthfeel, this is a fine brew, and an excellent example of its style. It's one of my personal favorites.

Berkshire really is to be commended for this English Pale Ale and other outstanding products. If you haven't tried a BBC beer, do so.

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Photo of micahgoldfus
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a great orange-red-brown combination, with a fairly fluffy head and a nice lace around the rim of the glass. The smell was smooth malts first and foremost, then hops that were a little bit citrus and piney, some sweet smells, and a bit of dark fruity aromas. The taste was very nice: it was dominated by the malts that I was ready from from the smell For the hops, the flavor was mellow and smooth. Complimenting that, there was a drop of sweetness, a general taste of herbs, some pineyness, and some buttery malts too. Complex and delicious. Malts up front, a dry-but-not-too-dry hop finish. A very drinkable beer, very enjoyable. I liked it a lot, and although I just drank a big bottle of it, I already want some more.

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Photo of hudsonvalleyslim
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Berkshire Brewing has been a favorite for awhile. Yet it took awhile to discover their Traditional Pale Ale. Good name fer it. Really feels traditional. This is a report on my 3rd growler. (No, not tonight!)

A beautiful unfiltered copper-colored swill poured forth from the jug. T'was bustin' with fresh hops. Schwigged some schwag... Delicious, very malty. Schwigged another schwag... Nice lacing, very, very nice. Flavorful. Yet another... Yep, a classic. So well balanced - come to really love and appreciate this sort of quality in recent years. This is 'Up On Cripple Creek' by the Band. Stands with Ipswich Ale as a go-to.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had been sitting on this bottle for a while in the fridge and finally got around to getting it out tonight. Bottled last fall, this one was poured into a pint glass. Consumed on 03/30/2009.

The pour was very nice. Rich copper colored amber with a smooth, even body to it. Lots of carbonation bubbling up through the surface of the glass, settling into a smooth and rounded head of around two inches in height. Nice lacing up and down the sides of the glass on this one as it rolls through and leaves a nice mellow layer to it. The aroma was nice and deep pine resin hops with a sharp cutoff and bite to it that were really nice, and quite sweet. Rich notes of light caramel and a smooth biscuit like presence came up nice and clear come mid palate and the long and drawn out finish was equally hoppy and bitter as it was mellow and malty. Nice touches of orange coming through in the aftertaste as the last thick and resin filled sip fluttered past my tongue.

Overall I was very, very impressed with this one. One of the better pales I have had in quite some time. I am very certain I would go after this one again.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark amber with a foamy inch of head that clings to the outside of the glass.

Smell is a rich sweet smell of malt with a tinge of citrusy hops. Its a wonderful smelling beer, sort of bread doughy, a bit of vanilla ice cream and that little bit of hoppiness.

Taste is IMO about as perfect a combination of malt and hops as you can get in an APA. I just find this beer extremely smooth, easy to drink and of course drinkable. That sweet doughy maltiness just blends so nicely with that bit of hop bitterness. Nothing is overdone at all.

Along with their coffee porter, this is definitely one of my favorites from BBC.

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Photo of Soccerski54
4.41/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first beer review.

I purchased this in a 22 ounce bottle, It poured nicely with a two finger head and deep copper - light brown color. Really pleasing to the eye. The taste was a nice balance between hop and malt with a mild after taste. Really good for the snowy end of February day that I am enjoying this brew on.

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Photo of Stimack
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Beer pours to a reddish color with a think tan head that leaves great lacing with chunks at the top. The aroma is very appealing with scents of caramel malts and a spicy pine hop aroma mixed together, while you also can pick out a slight alcohol scent. Overall I feel that this is a fabulous aromatic brew. The first thing that I notice about this brew is a nice malt flavor that leads one to think it is a little sweet while then breaking to a very good hop taste that is mild and seemingly in perfect balance. The aftertaste is excellent as well, a little buttery mixed with a more noticeable hop finish that leaves one wanting another sip. Over all I feel that this brew is excellent, close to perfectly balanced and a great session brew even with the 6.3% ABV. If you’re a hophead and looking for huge hop flavor this is not your brew, but if you are looking for a full flavored, easy drinking brew with a lot of character, this just may do the trick. Another great local brew from BBC.

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Photo of fitzy84
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had some of this in their big bottles. Its appearance is quite nice: amberish with a light brown head. Clear to see through, not too cloudy. It's smell is a great hop strength; nothing too special, but just right. A delicious taste, though: very sweet sip with a malty swallow. Good carbonation allows a great fullness when drank. This has to be one of Berkshire's best and its great knowing all you need is "traditional" aspects in making a great beer.

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Photo of akahn
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful deep amber red color with a brown sticky head. Lasts for a bit and then recedes to a bubbly skim. Tons of lace all down the glass. This is about as handsome as any beer I've seen.

Sweet malty aroma. Pale malt and sweet, floral hops. Quite similar to Lost Sailor's aroma; delicate and enticing. Not quite as hoppy as that beer.

Mildly sweet malty flavor. Some caramel sweetness, making a rounded clear candy sweetness reminiscent of Munich malt. Balancing hop accent, floral as in Lost Sailor. Fading dry finish.

Round, solid medium body. Tingling mellow carbonation. This is a very pleasant feel.

Exceptionally well-crafted beer, and delicious slightly chilled. Easily drinkable thanks to the smooth body subtle sweet flavors, but I could feel the buzz due to the 6.3% alcohol content.

This 22 was $3.49 from Blanchard's in JP. Freshness date was not notched. This doesn't matter out in Amherst, but I'd appreciate it way out here in Boston. Next time I'm in Amherst I'm buying a growler of this. Highly recommended!!

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Photo of SunDevilBeer
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been drinking BBC Berkshire Ale for around 10 years now, finally decided to give it a formal review.

Pours a dark copper color with a nice head that stays around for a bit. Aroma is of caramel and muted hops.

Initial taste is a delight. A bit sweet and the same caramel at first, then biscuity and hoppy toward the end of the sip. Perhaps a slight bit of dicacetyl, but it totally works...this is an English Ale after all.

I've grown to love this beer recently. It is in my fridge often & I appreciate it as one of the underrated best values in craft beer today ($3.45 per bomber).

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Photo of dbalsock
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours amber with a beautiful thick cream colored head that diminishes slowly.

Smell: Grapefruit immediately hits the nose, but soon after a decent malt backing comes into play as well. It smells quite well balanced, I can't imagine better.

Taste: The grapefruit is there on the taste and aftertaste, thankfully. However, before it warms, the grapefruit taste predominates. As it warms, the malts become more prominent balancing it more.

Mouthfeel: The light bodied nature and the consisten bitterness all over my palate allows me to say... WOW! this is wonderful... it goes down smooth and is quite refreshing.

Drinkability: This goes down easy and the bitterness is attractive, making it refreshing like I said above.

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Photo of JasonCoop
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

another 22 ounce bomber from berkshire. pours a quite dark brownish color with a nice head that dissipates rather quickly. looks more like an amber ale than a pale.

smells a little like a tea with a nice hops presence and malty sweetness. a predominantly hoppy smell though, nice.

taste is rich and malty with sweet tea flavors. only slightly sweet, and with a pleasant hop aftertaste. it's a really nice balanced. i would say more of a malt presence here than most pales. very good and quite full bodied.

mouthfeel is just right. full with hops that keep it balanced. fuller than most pales, but very smooth and very drinkable. i'm impressed with this brew after deciding to try it after the great Lost Sailor IPA.

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Photo of celfan
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My go to beer. Finally, a quality american micro that isn't ridiculously overhopped. Bread malt like an English ale, with enough hops - just not a stupid amount. Thank you Berkshire.
Some people will see the word pale and say "where are the damn hops?". There's something to be said for balance and structure - the current offerings of pale ale remind me of children at a make your own sundae bar drowning their creation in chocolate syrup.

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Photo of Pahn
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22oz bottle into a Stone pint glass. Reviewing from notes I took on August 11, 2010.

Appearance: Free pour yields a three inch, rocky white head that dissipates slowly leaving big, sticky rings of lacing. Pours a semi-translucent dark reddish amber, and leaves big streaks and islands of lacing.

Smell: Fruity and hoppy. There's floral notes, tropical fruit, mild citrus, and a sweet, unexpected grape note. Some malt sweetness as well. Smelling this beer is a bit like breathing in deeply while walking around a greenhouse. Very fresh aroma.

Taste: The same grape and mild citrus from the nose, then a huge malt backbone. The malt tastes distinctly like fresh country bread. There's a touch of bitterness in the aftertaste, though it's mainly fresh bread with subtle spicy and floral notes. Occasionally has a bit of grape soda character, but it's not offensive (and I hate grape soda, so I mean "just a bit" or else it would be ruining the beer for me).

The balance here is excellent. Nice mild but flavorful hops up front, then that giant and consistent malt backbone colored by little flourishes of spice and hop notes. I'm giving this a 4.0 since the grape was a little out of nowhere, and also because there could be more flavors happening, but honestly I could make an argument for 5.0 given how well balanced everything is, and how palatable the flavors are.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, creamy and smooth, with mild carbonation.

Drinkability: It would be very easy to drink a lot of this beer, and I'll definitely be buying it again.

Berkshire Brewing Company consistently impresses me. I feel lucky to be able to buy beer of this quality for $3~ a bomber.

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Photo of Todd
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a great looking beer; huge creamy pillowy head and a bright mahogony liquid beneath. Aromatics are very nice with big floral aromas, some spicy hops ... did I mention loads of malty goodness? Taste is blissful, balanced, even. A straight-up malty character clashes into an equal hop bitterness/character. Malts are sweet (not overly) with woody and fruity ester notes. Hops have a leafy texture with a spicy tea-like flavour and zesty punch that pulls back just enough to not knock you out. Finish is sweet-ish, but clean overall. There's some hop zest on the edges of the tongue, too.

A nice change from the over-the-top Pale Ales that usually hail from the US ... hence it being "traditional".

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Always nice to come across an American brewery that can do an English pale pretty well.

For a bottle-conditioned ale, the head/carbonation is damn near copious - an off-white cottony cap, dense and creamy, leaving a few sheer bands of lace. The liquid sports a full tawny hue with a rose tinge to it. Clean but near cloudy.

When its temperature is ideal, an assertive, flowery hop bitterness greets you first, eventually met with an equal or arguably more assertive teacake maltiness. Very malty flavor as well. Kind of a sweetish, hot-cross-bun biscuit-bread thing. A little toasty, a little caramel (especially in the finish). Full-flavored. Nicely balances the heightened hop bitterness on the back of the tongue. All the way through it drinks a touch more clean than smooth and, despite not much perceptible carb (great for the style, casky), its one of the most filling, full-bodied examples I've tried. Sodden baguette.

I may have to try this again to compare and reflect, but in general I found this ale most pleasing, if not marathonically sessionable. Recommended to those who have a taste for ales of this ilk.

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Photo of K7online
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorites. The thick head and a clear copper color make it immediately delicious. Instant smells of orange and lemon are found at first pour. If you have this in the middle of winter it is a great reminder of why summer is so great.

The taste is smooth with a lot of character and ever so slightly bitter. Retains some of the English ale characteristics but with much more flavor. The citrus tones make it extremely drinkable and won't disappoint you. Best enjoyed in a hot summer day with a good steak or burger.

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Photo of sponberg
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big bomber bottle with a blue label. Pours the color of an old penny, with plenty of lacing and a fruity, earthy, estery aroma.

Great roundness to the flavor - toffeelike notes alongside hints of plum and earthy English hoppiness, a good underlying bitterness, and hints of toast and faint diacetyl way in the background. Some nuttiness in there too. Really complex finish - all of the above flavors sit there happily on the tongue. One of those brews that just hits me right. Almost like a cross between an English pale ale and a nut brown, and so very quaffable. Get me a cask of this and I ain't never coming out - well, at least until that thing's finished.

These folks brew outstanding beer. It says "Brewed with delight" on the bottle. It says "Consumed with delight" on my taste buds.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a reddish amber color with moderate slightly off-white puffy head.
Smellis heavy on malt with some nice caramel notes present.
Taste is nicel refreshing. The strong caramel malt goes down smooth, and any hops are well hidden in the background.
Left a nice fruity-caramel-toffee taste in the mouth.
Extremely easy to drink, nice session beer.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to goodbyeohio for this one.

22oz. Bomber

Pours a dark golden brown color, nice carbonation, nice small creamy off-white head, nice sticky lacing follows. The nose is malty, slightly hoppy, and a really good dose of caramel. The taste is sweet, slight hop bite, but not much, lots of caramel. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is an awesome Pale Ale, more on the malt side, but very very tasty. I'm liken this brewery so far.

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Berkshire Ale Traditional Pale Ale from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
3.92 out of 5 based on 253 ratings.
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