Columbus Pale Ale | Columbus Brewing Company

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Columbus Pale AleColumbus Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Columbus Brewing Company
Ohio, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This award winning, copper colored pale ale was the first beer we ever brewed and it's still one of our favorites. We carefully blend German and English malts and add generous portions of American hops for a refreshing citrus aroma with a dry finish.

28 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-16-2002

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Reviews: 94 | Ratings: 249
Photo of JDV
2.98/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of prototypic. Thanks!
Mostly clear reddish amber pour with a short lived light beige head. Smell is somewhat chocolately and lightly hoppy. Interesting. Taste is kind of like cocoa-y fruity hops and balanced with a toffee, caramel and cocoa and lightly hoppy finish. Not what I expected at all. Not my favorite, but drinkable, and not bad though, either.

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Photo of tpd975
2.91/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to the poonpillager for this one.

A: Pours a nice ruddy red hue which is a bit darker than I expected. The head was average in size with little retention. The lace was spotty.

S: Light aromas but what was there was malt laden. No real hop aromas but there were slight tones of wafery biscuity malt.

T: The aroma carries over. No real hop flavors, but what I did taste was muted biscuit malt.

M: Light and crisp brew that finishes somewhat dry.

D: Not a real good beer but will drink it over a macro any day.

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Photo of blakesell
4.02/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the tap into a tasting glass.

Appearance- Beer pours a clear amber golden with a good finger of head on top of the tasting glass. Fades to a murk across the top that is not unwelcome. Lacing clings to the sides of the glass.

Smell- Not much in the aroma department. In fact, I smell nothing on this. No malts, no hops, nothing. I don't have a cold or anything, what's going on here?

Taste- Where the smell was not, there is amazingly balanced flavour. Cascade and Chinook hops, seems like Chinook. Excellent malt balance. How they made such a balanced beer with so little scent, I would love to know.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, balanced as all hell, well carbonated, medium bodied.

Drinkability- Wow. I will have this again. A very impressive pale by every stretch of the genre.

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Photo of BeerZack
3.44/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber color, not a very pale ale. Generous off-white head fades to a small but dense covering that leaves some lace behind.

Sweet, rich grainy malty smells, caramalts, toffee scents dominate, some light grassy and citrusy (orange) hops.

Tastes much as the smell led me to imagine. Sweet caramalts dominating the impression, but it is "dry" somewhat on the finish as the grassy and citrus hops pop in.

Pretty smooth, moderately carbonated medium bodied. Fairly drinkable, nothing special.

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Photo of BeerTruth
3.31/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A nice lil' extra from prototypic in a recent trade, thank you sir!

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a rustic amber hue with a one finger creamy off-white head that leaves a very nice webbing on the sides of the glass. Smell is a sweet combination of caramel malt and grassy hops. A scent of leather and dry earth in the nose as well. More of a malty scent overall. Light tangerine and molasses on the tongue up front followed by a sweet pink grapefruit. Aftertste is a bit dry and malty with noticable diacetyl. Pretty creamy feel with a medium body. Carbonation is low, but there. Not a beer I would turn down, but nothing I would seek out either.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Solid brew. I kinda felt like the beer was caught somewhere between an English and American Pale, but cleanly brewed nevertheless. Malts bring a touch of caramel, riding on well-attenuated barley malt. Yeast gives quite a bit of fruitiness: apples, peaches, pears, appricots; but of the ripe variety. Not as sweet as English vairieties. Crisp, cracker-like malt give a good support for fresh citrus hops. Dry on the palate with a powdery texture. Finishes with a touch of grapefruit, pine, and caramel. Should have brought a growler back from the brewery.

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Photo of JayQue
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice Pale Ale. A friend brought me a 6 pack from Ohio, warned me to keep it cold because it is not pasturized. Pours a beautiful, clear reddish amber color with a big, pillowy slightly off-white head. Head retention is excellent. Leaves a thick ladder-like lacing on the glass.

Nice hoppy smell. Taste is nicely balanced, fairly mild floral hops up front and biscuty malt follow up. This is not an IPA hop bomb. It is a crisp, refreshing balanced beer meant for having a few on a warm day. Mouthfeel is rich enough. Drinkability is excellent.

This is not an IPA hop bomb, just a very drinkable Pale Ale

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Photo of Applesauce1
3.89/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked this up at the Giant Eagle at Neil and Buttles in Victorian Village. Not a bad selection for your typical grocery store. I had a few from the six pack that night and then brought one it goes....

Appearance: copper with virtually no head on the pour (surprising)....i think it's the beer since i've mastered my pouring technique over the last few years

Smell: citrusy hops (cascade maybe??)

Taste: good; citrus hops with a tinge of sweetness on the swallow from the malt

Mouthfeel: not as good as i though....i think this beer has lost some carbonation or maybe never had much...the other ones in the pack seemed to have good carbonation...light to medium body

Drinkability: well, i handled three in one night a few days back and this ones going pretty can definitely get a six pack of this and enjoy it for the night

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Photo of bruachan
2.54/5  rDev -30%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

nice looking head. the color of the beer is ok, too: acceptable amber

there's a buttery aroma. did someone put popcorn in my beer?

it's a dry, hoppy brew. not hugely hoppy; not hugely anything, which i suppose is a good thing for an APA. actually, the whole thing is a bit buttery. butter and cascade

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Photo of barefootbrewer
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear copper/golden color with a nice big head. The aroma is quite hoppy. The taste is bitter and the hops seem fresh. It finishes sweet, which adds a nice balance. The mouthfeel is full, but not heavy. This is an easy drinking pale ale, definitely worth a try.

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Photo of brentk56
3.72/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a clear medium amber color and a modest head which declines to a ringlet but leaves some lace

Smell: Nice grapefruit and pine aroma with a base of caramel malt

Taste: Starts out by laying down a nice caramel malt base with grapefruity hops arriving by mid-palate; after the swallow, the hop presence builds nicely and has a drying effect on the tongue; a touch metallic on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A decent middle of the road APA; worth trying on tap when in Columbus (and stranded at the airport)

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Photo of Risser09
4.19/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: This copper colored ale has a tint of orange and a nice white head. Nice lacing is left on the sides of the glass and on the meniscus.

Smell: Hop flowers ahoy! Grapefruit, lemon peel, chamomile. Well done.

Taste: Great! Hop oils are in the forefront with plenty of vim & vigor. Tastes are citric acid, hops and a slight backbone of malt. A quintessential IPA that is well crafted and could compete with some of the well-known mainstays.

Mouthfeel: Initially oily and flavorful, followed by an alcohol twang and a bitter dryness that really isn’t too bitter. Great all around.

Drinkability: Highly drinkable and worth trying. This is a winner and should be consumed fresh to admire it’s flavors and charming place in the APA style.

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Photo of giblet
4.17/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i am lucky where i live! 1 hour from Cleveburg Ohio and Great Lakes Brewing (excellent!) and 2 hours from Columbus and the brewery district. Columbus Pale Ale is a very good beer. i am sure that since it was fresh and on tap in Columbus helps. Excellent flava and feel!

giver a try!

suckem up and movem out!


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Photo of andrewmartin
4.1/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lived in C-bus for three years before I got around to giving this one a review, too bad I waited so long.

A: Deep amber, nice head

S: Nose has both grapefruity and piney hop notes, if I sniff hard enough, before I pass out, I think I detect a hint of orange

T: Citrus hops are the story hear, they dominate the front. Fortuantely, like any good brew, there is enough malt to balance it all out-here it stays in the background where it belongs.

M: Very dry, what can I say?

D: Damn drinkable, a solid APA if I've ever had one. Maybe its so good because it is produced down the street, but I can't wait to try the next one.

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Photo of bigone4
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle while having dinner at Morton's Steakhouse in Columbus, OH. Hazy orange coloration with a nice off white fluffy head. Good strong lacing down the glass. Smell was rather citrus and fruity. Strong citrus hop scent grapefruit tones and subtle hints of pale malt. Taste was of light malt flavor slight sweetness followed up with a nice dry hop flavor that lasted in the back of the mouth. Nice hop mouth feel and good medium body to this brew. Certainly no lack in flavor or drink ability. I would certainly add this to my list of session beers if I could get it in New England. Great Pale Ale offering that I would recommend anyone to give a try. I look forward to going back to Columbus for a few more in the future.

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Photo of genog
3.46/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on tap while out to dinner at Cameron's.

Poured into a pilsner glass. Poured a brown color, but not too dark could see through it. Very nice color for a pale ale. Surprising. A light khaki colored head stayed with the bottle.

Smell was lightly hoppy

Taste was very impressive for me. I got the light hoppy notes that were pleasant, as well as a smooth bitter finish with a trace of the malty goodness. My wife and I also noticed whisper of coffee in the middle of the senses received.

Mouthfeel was a nice smooth, lightly carbonated drink.

I had two of these at dinner. I would highly recommend this beer for pale ale fans!

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Photo of RedHaze
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From notes.

Thanks to jhammerly for the bottle.

Pours an orange tinged copper, with a one finger head that recedes quickly to a thin ring that leaves behind a sparse webbing of lace.

Smell; mostly piney and citric hops, but neither one really jump out at you. A bit of sweet malts are present, but I can smell a little bit of diacytle as well.

Taste; the hops come off as piney with a little citrus, backed my some caramel malts. The diacytle is even more pronounced in the flavor than it was in the smell, and almost overrides the other flavors. Maybe I just really don't like butter in my beers and I have a hard time getting past it.

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, and because of the buttery flavors, this one is hard for to drink.

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Photo of prototypic
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Crosswoods Columbus Fish Market.

Appearance: Arrived with a one finger head that left nice lacing down the glass. Color is golden brown.

Smell: Hops are somewhat overwhelming for what I've come to expect from a pale ale. That's a good thing in my opinion.

Taste: Pretty good. Hops and bitterness are indeed strong for a pale ale. Leaves a somewhat dry taste in my mouth. But, it's good. Nothing extremely complex. Hoppy and dry. Bitterness is what sticks with me most.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: It goes down pretty easy, though it does leave me dry. I could drink a few of these. Overall, pretty good offering from Columbus Brewing Company. To the best of my knowledge, this is their flagship beer. But, I recall their IPA being a tad better.

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Photo of witster18
3.11/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is an interesting I'm very familiar with. Columbus pale ale is distinctive and it's color and appearance is interesting. It is pale yellow/gray with a slight orange hint in the color. It pours with a good head that quickly dissapates into a plethera of looks freakin toxic. The taste explodes with lemon and grapefruit and then to the hops which are muted by a phenolic and bitter aftertaste. There is a pleasan bite to this....and the bitterness is sooo pronounced that it is definately distinctive for the style...this reminds me of sweetwater in that I like it but it has it's drawbacks...characteristics that keep it from being great...with CPA it's the bitter aftertaste that sticks with you till the morn. I can still recommend at least trying it to see why it is different...the hops are there and easliy distinguishable but the sourness of this beer makes it a tough call on whether or not it is good or just average. Stick to the Nut's strides better.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
2.91/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle thanks to jhammerly

Pours a clear orange amber with a creamy tan head that thins. Thick lacing on the glass.

Aroma is yeasty upfront with some hops and malt in the background.

Immediate yeasty taste that gives way to piney hops, a medium bitterness, and light malty flavor.

Medium-light body, plentiful carbonation.

Drinakble, but the yeasty flavors I've seen in both beers I've tried from these guys is detracting. This common issue needs some attention.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.32/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Orange citrus hops, honey notes, very good flowery hop smell.

Appearance: Clear orange colored pour. A sudsy and sticky white cap.

Flavor: Biscuit malts up front followed by orang rind hop bitterness. Slightly grassy but clean hop notes pop up here and there. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium to lighter bodied with strong carbonation. Just a touch oily with a longer finish.

Overall impression: A very good example of the style. I put this up there with Burning River as one of the best APA's out there. Strongly recommended.

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Photo of Osiris9588
3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

It pours a copper color. A one finger white head, slightly creamy, dissipating rapidly. Some bubbles lazily stream toward the surface.

The nose is of citrus, especailly grapefruit, spicy hops, malt, and a mild floral note. The taste consists of grapefruit, a little apple, bitter hops, and a malty, nutty, finish, leading into a bit of a phenolic aftertaste.

The mouth is rather light, showing decent complexity. Thought the aftertaste is a bit harsh and unpleasnt.

I've toured this brewery and really like some of their beers--this is by no means a bad beer and certainly quaffable, but I wish I liked it more. It's not the beer that I would want to give somebody and say, "this is what Columbus brewing is all about."

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Photo of MDekker
3.2/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Split a bottle among me and two of my brothers. Pours out a clear coppery color with a decent head, nice lacing. The aroma was weird, but interesting - strong notes of herbs, like sticking your nose in a basil plant. Smaller notes of citrus and hops. The taste is uncomplicated and basic, mostly bitter. It was OK at best. The aftertaste lingered and I tired of the herbal essence of this beer as time went on. I don't really feel the need to return to this beer.

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Photo of ndekke39
3.23/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Split a 12 oz. bottle of this with my brothers. No freshness date. Poured a clear orange/honey color. Very little head. Smells herbal and fruity. Hints of basil. Taste is okay - a little too bitter at the end, which leaves it heavily unbalanced. Medium mouthfeel is neither creamy or watery. Overall, this beer is okay, but too bitter to be really enjoyable.

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Photo of broncojockey
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I think one should first try to figure out what the brewery is going for in a beer. Columbus Brewing is trying to make a pale ale that converts macro and craft drinkers alike into having this ale as their session choice. It certainly is starting to do that for me. The hops dominate, but not overbearingly. It is not a "world class" pale ale like Great Lakes Burning River or even Sierra Nevada, but when it comes to local Columbus brews, it is at the top of its class. Sometimes people over emphasize the "bigness" of a beer and then review these milder pale ales at a disadvantage. I will not because Columbus Pale Ale does what it sets out to do, and never dissapoints me. Drinking local guarantees freshness, availability, and pride in city.

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Columbus Pale Ale from Columbus Brewing Company
3.63 out of 5 based on 249 ratings.
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