Berkshire Ale Traditional Pale Ale | Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.

very good
254 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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Ratings: 254 |  Reviews: 144
Photo of WalterSobchak
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy bright mahogany with a light tan one finger head dissipates to a thin but stable cap.
Moderate sweet and toasted malts, hint of citrus, but fairly subdued overall.
More hoppy than I expected which is a nice treat. Significant malts, but well balanced, leave a sweet taste in the back of the throat. Very drinkable and a bit of a surprise both for its flavor and appearance.
I'm really digging the BBC guys lately. In the past I drank their offerings selectively but everything I've had lately has been a treat. Good stuff...

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Photo of jonziefle
3.14/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a dark brown/reddish amber. Slightly cloudy. Off-white one finger head, that reduces to a thin layer. Some lacing down the glass.

Smell: Smells of darker hops, mostly apple, and some malts. The apple scent is overwhelming.

Taste: Sweet syrupy hops up front with a smooth finish and little aftertaste. Very simple taste, a very basic ale.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer, with some carbonation. A "slick" feeling while drinking.

Drinkability: A very simple ale, easy to drink. Decent, but not memorable.

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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 aerozeppl
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Was poured with a finger and a half of white head with excellent lacing. A nice deep copper color. Tons of carbonation keeping the head fluffy till the end of the glass.

S: Big malt nose on this beer. Just a very nice crisp smell. There were some hops but they were definitely taking a backseat here.

T: Like the nose this is a malt forward pale ale. Fresh as part of the taste. Had the taste of straight up diesel homebrew. Really just well balanced.

M: A little bit heavier than most pale ales but I enjoyed that.

D: Had two pints and enjoyed both of them greatly. Went really well with a plate of wings. Just a really solid pale ale. If I lived in Mass I would seek this beer out.

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

22oz bottle acquired in trade with jjpm74 (thanks!).

Poured a deep orange color with an averaged sized off white head. Aromas of oranges, grapefruits, light pine, light caramel and lightly floral. Tastes of caramel with some citrus. The aromas where stronger citrus with light caramel where the tastes where the complete opposite. After drinking for a little bit, I was also getting some toasted malts. Body a tad on the thin side. This one was a nice surprise!

Notes from 8/23/06

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Photo of Applesauce1
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at The Independent in Somerville, MA.

Appearance: copper-amber color with a nice 1/2" white head off the tap

Smell: hops and floral notes....citrus too

Taste: light hoppiness, some citrus, and a little bit of sweet pale malt....nice, overall, on the hoppier side

Mouthfeel: light to medium body...seemed a tad watered down

Drinkability: threw this one down pretty fast...could do a few in a night

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

We had this on tap at work and it was one of the most popular beers we've served.

It's a great light-to-medium bodied beer that appeals to a very wide range of people from n00bs to snobs. I'm a big BBC fan, and this beer doesn't disappoint. I hadn't had it prior to having it on tap at work and I'll certainly put it on tap at home next spring/summer. (For now, it's heavy beer time)


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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 williamherbert
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A thick pillow of head atop a reddish brown (or brownish red). The head dies down quickly, but the lace defiantly remains.

Some pale malts in the smell mingle with deep roasted -- almost amber -- malts. A little musty but appropriate for style. Decent, mild hop.

The flavor here is much more of a musty, funky amber ale than a pale. ALmost hte flavor of an old Killian's. Not unpleasant, but not a favorite. Some crisp pale malt flavors toward the end.

This one is thick for a pale. Creamy, not spiky. Actually unusual for style. I'm not so sure this is even a pale; it's a decent enough brew, but not a sock-blower-offer.

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Photo of changeup45
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The first ot two different growlers to sample from the brewery. Pours a somewhat cloudy, brown-amber body. Nice thick off-white head. Aroma is sweet with a sugary maltiness to it. Sweet with a pretty nice hoppy taste with small amounts of malt too. A little sour aftertaste and there is just something missing from the mouthfeel. Nonetheless, a very enjoyable beer and I would definitely get it again.

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Photo of jaxon53
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served this chilled, in a pint glass, from a twenty two ounce brown bottle. Can't go wrong with a beer from Berkshire.

Appearance: Traditional Pale Ale pours out a beautiful amber copper color that is quite deep and dark, and a bit hazy. Almost looks brown in the glass. A somewhat hard pour results in about a finger of thick off-white foam, that fades somewhat quickly. Minimal lace is left clinging to the glass.

Smell: Aroma of this beer is thick and has a strong toasted malt presence. Almost has a grainy, cereal like note to it. Short hints of mellow hops are noticed in the background. Has an underlying fruit and yeast aroma.

Taste: Nice full flavor here. Nice thick malty flavor with a balancing bitter hop bite. More of the yeasty fruitiness that was noticed in the nose. Slight hints of caramel in the smooth dry finish. Not a bit of noticeable alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Nice smooth, medium bodied mouthfeel. Lightly carbonated. Feels lighter than it actually is.

Drinkability: Pretty decent drinkability. Goes down smooth and easy. Another tasty brew from Berkshire.

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Photo of scottg
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a pint glass.

Pours a light reddish brown with a thin tan creamy head that dissipates quickly with no lacing. Lots of malt aromas, chocolate and dark fruit. Fruity flavors of cherry and raspberry mix with sweet citrus hops and chocolate malt, not to fruity but has a balanced and intersting taste, Medium body, light carbonation, there is a chalky mouthfeel. Highly drinkable, the dominatnt flavors take turns on every sip making you want another.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from Berkshire growler into a Ro's Pizza pint glass:

A: Poured a bright copper color with reddish amber highlights and a slight haziness throughout. The head was off-white and creamy, which left some nice sticky lace.

S: Smell is a bit toasted and buttery, like a bakery roll, with some bittersweet floral hops and a noticeable alcoholic estery smell. There's a little bit of fruitiness mixed with the floral hop, and interesting mix.

T: The taste is clean, toasted caramel malt, some deep fruits like plum and raspberry, which give way to some bitter leaf oil hopping near the finish. The aromas reflected well in the taste, and the noticeable alcohol flavor didn't hinder the drinkability, as the flavors worked well together.

M: Mouthfeel is medium bodied and bubbly.

D: This is a great drinking pale ale, and a tad English tasting given the creaminess and fruitiness at times of the malt.

Great to share a growler, or get two and keep one to yourself. Combined nicely with my BBQ chicken and potato salad.

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Photo of corey0212
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Coppery-chestnut color, foamy tan head fades down pretty fast, but with super-sticky lacing all over the glass. Malty sweetness dominates the smell, with a little bit of citrusy hops in the mix as well. Tastes sweeter than your average APA, but it's nice. Caramel, a touch of raisin. Tasty!! Really nice round and creamy mouthfeel....drinkability is insane on this one. I think the world of this brewery, and this is another excellent BBC brew. I also think this would work really well as one of the fabled "gateway" beers.

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 2 liter, screwtop growler - unfiltered and unpasteurized. Hazed garnet brew with low carbonation and a semi-dense, slowly-receding tan head that leaves some decent lacing. There's a fruity/caramelly candy sweetness in the nose, with aromas of raspberry, strawberry, earthy and herbal hops, chocolate, a hint of diacetyl, and maybe some roses. Pretty similar flavors, with the addition of cherry, grassy malts, and leafy, minty, tea-like hops that impart a medium bitterness, on top of a medium, smooth, lightly dry body that leaves an herbal finish. Overall a tasty ale, though a bit light in the flavor department. Hard to label this one also, as it starts like a nice amber or pale ale, moves to an herbal Irish red, that drifts back into amber territory. I'll just stick with what Berkshire calls it - a traditional ale. Unique and worth a try.

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Photo of bboven
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Dark copper hazy body with a thin layer of foam and hardly any lacing.

This smells more like a weak barley wine with a big aroma of raisin first and foremost.

Taste is the same with a little added grassy flavor from the hops. Not bad, but not what I expected.

Too highly carbonated. Slightly coating, anyways, though.

Good beer, a little maltier than I thought, but blindly, without reading pale ale on the label, pretty good.

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Photo of DrDogbeer
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bomber into pint glass. Different brown/mahogany color with creamy head. Much darker than most pale ales. Smells of malt, not hops. Earthy. Nice smooth flavor. Caramel, then bready malts. Mooth mouthfell, yet can taste the grains. Easy to finish beer- good session style pale ale. Not as clean as their Cabin Fever ale.

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Photo of Stoneman78
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle obtained in trade with Jwale73

Appearance is a murky brown orange hue, head is a huge layer of off-white creamy dense foam that sustains well, big swaths of lace on the glass

Smell is subtle, mostly clean and crisp pale malts, very subtle caramel and citrus tones, light fruits and bread in the background

Taste is pretty solid for a pale ale, mild mix of bread/caramel/pale malts dominate and transition to sweet breads, slight citrus and honey, finishes malty sweet

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, clean crisp watery mouthfeel, mild carbonation

Drinkability is high and in the session range at 6%, this is a standard craft style pale ale that is slightly sweeter than usual, surprising dearth of finishing hops, i'm rather ambivalent about this beer overall

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Photo of currysage1
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber, into a large stein. Very light head, almost a quarter inch. Disappears quickly into a nice hazy lace. Color is a brick red with some medium brown mixed in, it has a haziness to it but a light one. I'm used to a much lighter Pale Ale.

Tickles my nose with lots of malty goodness. Smells of raisins, and broken grainy bread come to mind.

The taste was good with a alcohol overtone that evened out into some light raisins and spiciness (clove perhaps?). Not like a winter beer, but much more subtle.

Very clean with the mouthfeel, no residue what so ever. Only a slight malty taste on the top of my mouth.

Drinkability is good, but not the best this brewery has to offer.

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Photo of albern
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not bad, a bit surprising. The beer pours a nice cooper amber color with some off white, soapy type head, some retention, not much lacing. The smell is fresh hops and hoppy esters. There is some sweetish malt in the aroma as well, which comes through once the beer settles. Given the initial hoppy aroma, one would expect a bigger hop bite. Not so, the beer is not well carbonated and quite malty sweet. You will get the garden variety bready malts, some sweet citrus overtones, some caramel and butterscotch flavors, and maybe a tinge of hop in the finish. This beer is not all that representative of an APA, it seems more of a Marzen with its robust coppery, carmel palate, buttery feel, and light carbonation. This is a light to medium bodied beer with a refreshing mouthfeel, a little on the creamy side, and no real distinctive aftertaste. Not bad, not what I was expecting. L'Chaim.

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Photo of adowney523
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a British Imperial pint glass. Color is deep amber and clear. A thin off-white head fades slowly and leaves a fluffy lacing.

Smells of sweet, bready malt with hints of dark fruits. Citrus fruits fainter in the background.

Sweet malt up front in the taste that fades to a dryer biscuity malt finish. Excellent hop balance with notes of tropical fruit.

Excellent balance and a refreshing dry finish lend to great drinkability.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was lucky to have this on cask at Bukowski's a week ago. On to the beer:

Deep copper orange with a creamy head marks the appearance on this one. A well balanced pale ale to say the least. The aroma was of caramel and toasted malts, but was faint, and the taste was fruity and sweet. I enjoyed every last sip of it, and one I drank with the chili dog lunch.

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Photo of seaoflament
3.72/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours quite dark for a pale ale, a muddy brown, tamarind color with a good inch of foam. Decent retention.

The aroma is of citrus and caramel upfront, followed by toast, stale bread, and ripe grapefruit. After the pour the citrus is muted and overpowered by the sweet malt, ripe fruits, earthy overtones, and some hints of diacetyl.

I get a taste of lemons, toast, a bit of spices and earthy yeast flavors. A bit buttery and some fruit cocktail taste. Maybe a little bit of earthy hops.

Drinkability and mouthfeel are both medium. This one tastes and smells more in line with an English style pale ale. I really don’t get any hop bitterness and, unless this bottle is not fresh (no date on bottle), I’d say this is more on the malty side and more in line with the English style.

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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 Brad007
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale amber color with a small head and some lacing. Aroma is malty/bready with some mild bitterness in the nose. Taste starts out strong and fades into more of a malty/fruity aftertaste. A second sip confirms much of the same except that the bitterness is more pronounced and lasts somewhat at the back of the throat. Tastes kind of big for a traditional pale ale.

I would say this is slightly above-average at best and a good crack at the style.

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Berkshire Ale Traditional Pale Ale from Berkshire Brewing Company Inc.
3.92 out of 5 based on 254 ratings.
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