Berkshire Ale Traditional Pale Ale | Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

very good
253 Ratings
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 brureview
4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a copper honey color in a Brooklyn Ocktober fest glass with a 4F head.

Aroma: sweet, malty, fruit.

The MF is not very carbonated and is relatively mild for the style.

Taste: fruit- possibly tropical, with a lightly bitter, sweet,malty finish.

Another excellent Berkshire brew and one of the better Pale Ales I tasted.

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Photo of buzzarooski
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

LOOK: Hazy Orange to Carmel Brown in Color, Moderate Foamy Tan Head that Dissipates Quickly but Plenty of Lacing Remains to Coat the Glass

SMELL: Very Mild Citrus Aroma, Overall Not much Scent but Pleasant

TASTE: Refreshing and Crisp with a Mild Fruity Sweetness, Very Slight Bitterness after the Swallow

FEEL: Light Carbonation, Very Smooth

OVERALL: Enjoyed this APA very much and would Recommend it. The fact that I wasn't Overwhelmed by a harsh kick despite the Higher ABV (6.30%) was a BIG plus :)

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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 WhiteHillsStore
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A very solid beer. Pours a hazy almost orange color with a nice head. The smell had some citrus hops to it, but also a fruity scent, maybe plum on the nose. The taste was pleasant, with fruity sweetness in the beginning with a clean semi-sweet finish. The mouthfeel was a bit more fizzy than I liked it overall, a very nice beer to just sit and drink.

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Photo of Gatch
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Horseshoe Pub in Hudson, MA.

Darker and maltier than I expected but still very good. Malt and dark fruits dominate the nose and flavor. A faint hop presence but not enough by my standards to be considered an APA. Maybe an EPA. Fruity and tasty enough to get good marks, in my opinion. Fresh, clean, smooth. Another well-crafted beer from Berkshire.

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Photo of MistahBeah
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear copper with slight frothy tan-ish head. Plenty of carbonation. Little retention - just a film on top. Some very slight patchy lacing. Some sediment

Smells sweet amd bready. Hints of dark fruits among bready caramel malts. Some earthy grassy notes in the background

Taste follows the nose. Lots of bready malts and sweet fruits and caramel. A bit nutty. Somewhere towards the middle some grassy hops introduce themselves but never assert any real bitterness. The finish is sweet and slightly floral with a grassy aftertaste

Feels smooth. On the lighter side of medium-bodied. Very easy drinking. Clean

A very nice ale overall. Well-made and fairly well-balanced but leaning towards the sweet side. Would definitely get again if I was in the mood for a good ale. Honestly a little surprised when I looked at the ABV. Drinks like nothing

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

(4.0) A: Mahogany amber when held up to light with a fingers worth of creamy head. Commendable retention and very good lacing.

(4.0) S: Sweet dark fruits including ripe plum and cherries, slight balsamic quality, underlying citrus tones, and hints of maple syrup. Fruity and sweet. Different than what I was expecting from the style, and it’s a very good type of different.

(3.5) T: Dark fruits of plum and cherries, maple syrup, solid caramel backbone, hint of smoke, and some citrus. Very similar to the aroma. The taste steers towards the darker and maltier side of things (albeit in a lighter bodied way), and is well composed and full of flavour.

(3.5) M: Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Enough oily texture with a bit of chewiness.

(4.0) D: Overall very satisfying and flavourful. Aroma and appearance really stand out in this.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bomber into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a wonderful deep amber color with a big off white colored head. The head has fantastic retention and retains its strength for quite some time but it eventually fades over time to give a decent amount of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is on the lighter side with hints of roasted malt some caramel smells as well as some floral and citrus hop aroma.

Taste – A sweeter bready malt flavor with hints dark fruit are the first to meet the tongue. As the taste moves on light hop flavor of a floral and very light citrus flavor come to the tongue. The beer seems to bitter more toward the middle with the advent of the hop, but then again seems to sweeten toward the end where flavors of a caramel nature meet the tongue Where a slightly bitter caramel and malty flavor is left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average side with the carbonation level being the same.

Overall - A pretty good “not so” pale ale with nicer roasted grainy flavors. While it has god flavors it is nothing to really go out of the way for.

 1,101 characters

Photo of shivtim
3.22/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found a bottle at a liquor shop while visiting Connecticut.
Murky brown with slight red hints. Lots of visible carbonation. Half inch of beige/white head.
Nose is great. Sweet grassy hops and a nice balancing biscuit malt. Slightly nutty.
Hops don't come through as much in the taste. It's mostly cloying malts. Flowery and an odd chemical taste.
Decent mouthfeel.

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Photo of Apellonious
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler - liquors inc on dalton ave. you can guess the city.

A - cloudy copper, with some orange and brown highlights. On the third pour there was a one finger head ( it was fluffier on earlier pours) that dissapates to a thin lace.

S - malts, caramel and chocolate, some crisp hops

T -more of the same. Has the character of an amber and hints of brown ale mixed with a pale. Sone dark fruit and bitterness.

M - mouthfeel is good, balanced. Tad on the watery side.

O - recommended, has a malty tang to it. Used to some more hops in a pale ale, and more citrus qualities, but being a "traditional" pale ale, this may be right on point.

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Photo of davey101
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber into a snifter. Best by: 08/28/2012

A - Dark amber body with a red tint. Off-white soapy head. Really solid lacing and retention.

S - Sweet caramel malts and english style hops. A bit piney and grassy.

T - A bit subdued. Caramel and bready malts with a touch of clean grass. Simple and tasty. Medium body with low carbonation.

O - A simple and clean APA. Hops are light but it has a great bready malt backbone.

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Photo of tylerprince
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Split a fresh bottle with my dad. Poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours a nice chill-hazed ruby red with virtually no head. Lacing is clingy, and lasted long enough to prove I was taking some big swigs from the glass.

S: Mild but rich. Nutty malt with some fruity esters. Not a ton of hop presence save for a little spicy aroma. Awesome malt presence made me excited for the first sip.

T: Rich, nutty malt with a little bit of butter. Rolls off the tongue with some hop spice, butterscotch, and earthy nut. Very, very good.

M: Ever so slightly undercarbonated, with a slight syrupy quality. Doesn't foam in the mouth, just goes straight down. Alcohol has a very mild presence. Approaches 4.0, but it might be tricky to pull off this maltbill with so little carbonation.

O: A great PA, and, even though I am a major hophead, a welcome departure from the hopcentric American pale to which I'm accustomed.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a cask in a true pint, the beer is a slightly hazed, vibrant, rich copper-amber coloring with a slight, white, whispy film covering the surface. Aromas are rich, nutty, and toffee sweet. Very smooth on the nose. Flavors are roasted and dark malty sweet, with more of a butterscotch backbone and very light, subtle, floral hopping at the end of the palate. The body remains creamy smooth throughout, with a decent lacing along the glass. Some cream and hops tang blend into the mild aftertaste, leading up to a smooth finish, with a slight bitter hint at the very end. Decent offering for the style.

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Photo of Ommy
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear rust color with a great head. The head is off white and very frothy, leaving beautiful lacing.

The nose is pleasantly present with hops and a hint of apple? There is a slight "woodland" note that I can't place exactly, but it is nice.

The taste is much different than I expected. The fruits rush in the front, giving way to subtle hops, and then it finishes with a strong malty flavor. This is a lot more tame than I expected, and I personally enjoy that.

Overall I would say this is a great beer for a meal. It isn't overpowering, but doesn't have a lack of taste either.

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Photo of RyanLigeia
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy golden/amber in color, lets a little light through but not clear by any means. Small head that leaves a nice creamy coat across the top once its gone.

Smells a little sweet along with some citrus/hops. A nice balance of malts in there too but they arent as prominent as the hops.

The flavor completely flips what the smell sets you up for. The taste is definitely more malt heavy with the hops being secondary. Its not a forced, over-the-top flavor but it definitely HAS flavor (mostly of bready malts almost like a bock). It also has this underlying taste that just about EVERY other bbc has. Ive never been able to put my finger on it but they all have this ONE distinct sweet flavor to them. Not a bad thing at all, just something Ive noticed over the years.

The mouthfeel matches the flavors perfectly and for that reason almost makes the beer. Its a lot more full than your average pale ale. This almost reminds me of a bock or doppelbock as well.

Overall I might be biased because Im from MA and BBC was the company that got me hooked on craft beers when I was a teenager but I think this is great. Could be priced a few bucks higher and still be well worth it. This is one of their more tame brews and it still packs plenty of flavor along with an outstanding mouthfeel. Worth a try for sure if you havent had it yet and Id recommend picking a couple up at the price theyre sold for just to have kickin around as "plan b's".

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Photo of tempest
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a bomber at the Beverage Warehouse in Winooski VT. It's a tasty, drinkable beer, but on the malty end of the style. It'd be fair to even call this an amber, based on the amber color and bready character. The malt has a whole-grain dark bread flavor with a dry, toasty and toffee edge. There's a candy sweetness in the middle, but gentle citrus hops kick in at the finish with a slight cocoa note. Overall a lovely session beer, I imagine it'd make for a great cask pour, just don't expect a traditional hop-heavy pale ale.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.49/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted 24 November 2011, reviewed from notes.

Pours a medium, slightly cloudy amber, rather dark for a pale ale. An inch of cream-colored head with fantastic lacing and adequate retention.

Smell is grassy vegetable hops. Wet hay, with a bit of pale malt behind it.

Light malt base which is rather grainy and bready. Not sweet at all. Some grassy hay-like hops that pull up at the end, bringing a low, lasting bitterness to the finish. The taste has this odd rounding-up feeling at the end, which I have a hard time describing, but I think is some element of the hops coming through.

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, medium-light body. Feels like a pale ale should.

A very expected, decently tasty pale ale. Light, bready, wheaty malts, well-balanced with grassy hops.

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Photo of mnrider
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. Brown bomber. Best By on bottle.

A: Pours a reddish copper with a large off-white head. Excellent retention with nice thick lacing.

S: The smell is mostly fruits, with a small amount of malts and hops coming through.

T/M: Great balance and taste. Smooth, with a sweet fruity malt taste. Floral hops jump in with a well needed bitter bit. The finish is on the sweet side.

O: A less hopy Pale Ale from what I'm used to. Note the Traditional part of the name. With great taste and excellent re-drinkability this beer is a winner.


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Photo of davewlfpckfan29
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had had other Berkshire Brewing before, but never the traditional American pale ale. Grabbed a growler of it in West Springfield, MA.

I highly recommend the Steel Rail Ale from BBC.

Now for the Berkshire Ale: Very nice beer, very pleased with the freshness from the growler.
As it poured there was a one finger thickness of head which then turned into a very apparent lace (good carbonation).
And I really liked the color, a dark malty amber color.

The hops are not overdone in this beer, they are strong but not too strong. You can smell the hops, but they are masked by the malt (which is not overdone either).

Again, as I said it was fresh, didnt see a date on the growler, but I can tell it was fresh. I drank one before dinner and one with dinner and it was very nice both times.

Solid beer. Good beer. Good example of what BBC is capable of.

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Photo of callmescraps
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a growler for a night of watching football.

App- Rich dark amber caramel color. Huge, thick and fluffy tan head. Laces very nicely.

Smell- Fairly muted. A little nutty, a hint of citrus from the hops. Some yeast esthers, unexpected.

Taste- Pretty nutty, a little sweet. And some bread, sort of like a rich black bread taste. Hops are very muted. Definitely an English interpretation.

Mouthfeel- Not bad, carbonation is pretty low. Creamy.

Overall- A nice English pale ale, well balanced and nice. Very quaffable, but nothing special. Could have a couple, plan to in fact.

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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 DrinkingDrake
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my imperial pint glass a deep amber with a small but thick head. Nose is sweet malts and green grape/green apple fruit. Flavor is similar to the nose with a more pronounced fruitiness. A medium body with a large amount of carbonation tingle on the finish. A darker fruit character comes through towards the end. The earthy, grape, apple and darker fruit characters of the hop and grain combination is interesting and very appealing. A dryness comes through more than expected but the beer still finishes nicely.

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Photo of glid02
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Cambridge Common, in Cambridge, MA.

Pours a slightly hazy deep copper color with a white head that leaves solid lacing.

Smells of muted pale malts with hints of deeper caramel malts and floral hops. Also present are mild amounts of earthy and lightly herbal hops.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though more robust. Smooth pale malts up front are joined quickly by deeper caramel malts and hints of herbal hops. Midway through the hop influence turns more bitter with the addition of earthy and slightly leafy hops that carry through to a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with decent carbonation.

Overall I thought this was a solid enough beer, but it wasn’t quite clean enough to be one that I’d try again.

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Photo of biglobo8971
3.41/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Overall a good beer. The color is eye pleasing, almost a maroon amber with very little lacing. The head was almost non existent. The smell is pleasant with the malt being more present. The taste is a little dry for my tastes. Would prefer more hop flavor from an IPA, but the taste was very well balanced.
Will not add this beer to my wants, but would not have an issue drinking it again.

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