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Columbus Pale Ale | Columbus Brewing Company

92 Reviews
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Columbus Pale AleColumbus Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Columbus Brewing Company
Ohio, United States | website

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: 92 | Ratings: 240
Photo of Stevem68
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light amber color. Aroma is lightly hoppy. Flavor is light citrus with a little bit of a crisp dry finish. Has a very nice and easy to drink mouth feel. Overall a solid pale ale.

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Photo of zimm421
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a light orange amber color with a fairly thick white head that dissipates slowly leaving some lacing on the glass

S - Not any strong aromas that stand out, but a small amount of hoppiness and a small amount of caramel

T - Very similar to the smell, good amounts of hoppiness, with some caramel but with a good amount of citrus flavors

M - Smooth, medium bodied with not too much carbonation

D - Easy to drink, not too thick or too hard to handle.

A good beer, brewed just down the road from me. First from Columbus Brewing I've tried, but I'll definitely go back for more.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
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 schoolboy
3.81/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is a totally competent pale ale from start to finish. Reviewing from the newer packaging - squatter bottles, which is preferable to the standard height.

It opens deep yellow with nice head and lasting fizz and lacing. The aroma is sharply hoppy and obviously American and huge.

The taste is slightly dry but still full bodied with malt tastes coming through nicely. Perfectly appropriate for the APA style. It stays with you and refreshes.

Columbus has proven to be quite competent on their brews. I visited their pub last year and it was a wreck (I still had a good time, though). They need to fix that, but they make great brews, even the more ordinary ones, like this.

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Photo of brewskier
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lofty, dimpled yellowish tan foam leaves moderate lacing on my pint glass. The beer is a hazy medium gold.

Moderately pungent fruity hop aroma. Lots of apricot, tinged with citrus. Fairly sweet.

Flavor is quite hoppy…this is a pale ale along the lines of Sierra's. Considerable grapefruit rind, with some herbal notes as well, like tarragon and kaffir lime leaves. Malt comes through as bready, slightly of wheat. Finishes very crisp and dry, as opposed to what was hinted by the nose.

Refreshing mouthfeel with good effervescence, possibly slightly too much, in a brew that still has plenty of body.

Overall, this beer is a winner. Picked it up at a gas station in Columbus after dinner at Barley's. Wish I could get a hold of it more regularly, would be a good beer to bring to parties where IPAs are seen as threatening but Sierra Nevadas are welcomed.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear amber golden with a nice white head. Heads forms a layers bubbles and leaves some nice lacing.

S- Nothing super strong going on here. Some nice bready malts and citrus hops.

T- Pretty good balance going on here. Nice hop bite with an excellent malt balance.

M- Medium in both body and carbonation.

D- Pretty easy to find around the city. Nothing out of this world but a solid brew. Pretty easy to drink.

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Photo of StoneTSR
3.87/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

APPEARANCE: Poured a nice, crisp, golden color with a flawless and firm quarter-inch bubbly head on top. A very good looking beer, only gets docked for the near complete lack of lacing.

SMELL: Bold floral flavor. Smells like a strong IPA.

TASTE: The first sip certainly seemed more like and IPA than a regular pale ale. The floral nose hit the tongue and a wave of bitter hoppiness was washed away with an intense and sweet orange flavor. As I drank more, however, the floral flavors subsided and each sip seemed to leave a slightly more bitter after taste. An interesting and different pale ale to say the least.

MOUTHFEEL: Thirst quenching and lively. Fully carbonated and refreshing.

OVERALL: As the floral notes subsided throughout the glass this beer seemed to morph from strong IPA to easy-drinking pale ale. The intense orange flavor added something unique, I probably won't go hunt this beer down when I get home, but if I'm in Ohio it's available I'll probably grab one again.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
3.87/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one that I have had many many times. Its easy to find on tap around Columbus. I recently picked up a 6 pack again so now its time for a real review.

A- A average sized head will rise up with a semi rough pour but it fades very quickly and doesnt leave much in the way of lacing. The beer is a clear, deep copper color with yellowish highlights.

S- The nose is some what weak but pretty nice nonetheless. Floral and citric hops over top a nice mild malt bill. Biscuity and toasty malts.

T- It sort of reminds me of Burning River. Its a hop forward pale for sure but the hops arent aggressive or intensely bitter. Just a nice citrus crispness that goes just slightly past balanced over the toasty malts.

M- Clean, crisp finish. Sharp carbonation. Just what you need in a pale ale.

D- Way way drinkable. This one is easy to find, east to afford and easy to drink.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a slightly hazy copper color with a tall, 1.5" off-white head that reduces with plenty of sticky lacing.

Has a very grassy aroma, with plenty of straw, clover and other floral notes. Very mild cirtus hops are present, but barely noticeable. Smells more like a nice example of a pilsner than a pale ale.

Taste is somewhat similar to what you'd expect in a pilsner, but with a bit more bite and sweet. Starts mildly bitter and bracing, with a sweet, soft honey malt that gives it a rounder taste. Finishes dry and bitter, with a floral undertone that really complements the malt well.

Medium bodied, this is a bitter PA that leaves the tongue dry and happy.

An excellent pale ale, this has the perfect balance of sweet and bitter, while keeping it firmly in the PA category and not drifting over to IPA. Grab it if you find yourself in the Columbus area and drink it fresh, as it is unpasteurized.

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Photo of PDXHops
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, courtesy of Ryan011235, poured into a Duvel tulip. Hazy copperish orange with a fairly resilient off-white foamy head. Creamy streaks and flecks of lacing are scattered liberally.

Smells of light orange and grapefruit with a smooth malt profile that makes me think of buttered wheat toast. Tastes largely like it smells, with a slightly stronger grapefruit presence and a touch of grittiness to the feel. Quite bitter; although "just" a pale ale, it actually puts plenty of east coast coast IPAs to shame in that regard. A touch of honeyish sweetness rounds things out.

Overall impression: While not as tasty as their excellent IPA, this is a very solid beer that's easily recommended.

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Photo of Applesauce1
3.89/5  rDev +7.5%
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 home...here 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 well....you can definitely get a six pack of this and enjoy it for the night

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Photo of BeerBuckeye
3.91/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - pours a pretty clear amber color in glass. Large puffy white head. Goes down very slowly.

S - Smell is a little on the biscuity side. Some caramely malt and just a hint of citrus hop.

T - Good balance of malt and hop here. Starts a little bready before providing just a slight bite of hops, and then finishing dry and biscuity.

M - Again, it's fairly dry, a little light, but still filling. Good carbonation.

Overall - A pretty solid APA here. Good balance present. Another good beer from Columbus Brewing

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Photo of Mardukk
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color with a slightly off white head that lasts for an extended amount of time with some lacing.

Smells faintly of hops and buscuity malt.

The taste is fairly complex with a fairly unique mix of buscuity/buttery malt and cascade hops. There is also a slightly sweet taste near the finish, can't quite pinpoint it. A nice dry finish after the slick front and middle.

Low carbonation with a medium body.

Much more drinkable than most hop bomb APA's I encounter...more balanced between hops and malt.

Overall, this is a nice above average APA.

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Photo of budsboy
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours crystal clear amber-ruby with a small white and sticky head. Lots of little bubble trails are in there.

High hop aroma. Pine and citrus. There's still a malty scent, doughy and carmel-like.

Taste is as hoppy as expected with a nice smokey like malt quality. Mmm. That's pretty damn good. There's a deep-throated character in there, a grainy bitterness that is unique. That'll do me just fine.

Full in the mouth, not oily dispite is high hop quality.

Enjoyable beer, yep. A good one. Easy to drink, nothing too overwhelming but enough there to keep things interesting.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For a simple Pale Ale, this is spot on and tremendously tasty. The malt and hops are well balanced. Mostly fruit on the front with tangerines, oranges and citrus rind. Light honey and caramel malt balance a delicious beer.

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Photo of projectflam86
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a nice golden/copper color with a thick foam head that leaves good lacing.

S- Nice sweet malt nose with plenty of citrus hop aroma coming through as well.

T- Bready malt flavor initially with a decent amount of bitterness in the finish. This certainly isn't one of the hopper pale ales out there. Instead it is very balanced with some caramel sweetness upfront and citrus hops in the end.

M- Medium/light body.

D- All around decent brew. Might not have enough hops for some of the die-hards but hey, that's what Columbus IPA is for :)

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Photo of broncojockey
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
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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Photo of bluejacket74
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a chalice, the beer pours a hazy amber/copper color with about a half inch off-white head. Head retention and lacing are both decent. Aroma is citrusy and grassy hops, along with some sweet malt and orange peel. Taste is citrusy and piney hops, biscuity malt, and some orange peel and tangerines. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy, dry, and has good carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's smooth and easy to drink. Overall I think this is a good all around pale ale, it's a not a bad choice as a session beer. Recommended.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eminently drinkable and enjoyable beer from the Brewery District (go figure) of the great city of Columbus, Ohio. Such a nice Pale Ale to serve as a representative of the city, this is one fine beer. The look is amber with a bashful white head. The lace on my glass was also quite bashful, but not the aromas nor the flavors. Nice citrus hoppy nose and mild blended flavors ending in crisp grapefruit and spice notes. The hops are clean, mild and delicate in their application to this great ale.

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Photo of JayQue
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
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 BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazed medium orange with a good-sized, toasted tan head that looks decently firm and sticky. The foam has a 'whipped egg whites' appearance as it slowly retreats and ends up leaving a respectable amount of chunky lace in its wake.

The nose is pure Cascade hops. Not as in-your-face as it would be if it were an IPA, but it's plenty aggressive for the style. If the appearance and the aroma are anything to go by, this is going to be one of the good ones.

Columbus Pale is a solid, flavorful version that is some kind of delicious. I wish that the hop flavor was stronger, but need to keep reminding myself that this isn't an IPA. The somewhat pithy white grapefruit-like Cascade are right up front, but not to the extent that newbies will be overwhelmed.

The flavor profile is nicely balanced by a non-intrusive toasted malt base. The bittering is perhaps greater than one would find in many other APAs. It's a trifle too harsh, but doesn't venture anywhere close to unpleasant. The body/mouthfeel could be a bit more firm since the finish seems a tad thin to me.

Columbus Pale Ale is a well-crafted version that has a few too many (admittedly minor) faults to be considered very good. I still enjoyed the hell out of the bottle and would not mind one little bit if I was back in Columbus and this was one of my regular quaffs. Thanks to Dogbrick for the bottle.

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Photo of BB1313
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a deep golden with nice clarity; subtle haze; fluffy white head that fades leaving nice retention and solid lacing. The aromas are floral and full of citrus notes. Some malts in the mix as well. The flavors are very earthy. Lots of grass and pine. Lots of orange and grapefruit. Some hints of caramel. The malts are there, but the hop flavor and hop bitterness still shines. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied. Very smooth and creamy with moderate carbonation. Alcohol goes unnoticed.

This is a great pale ale. I like how they stay true to style and don't try to pass an IPA off as a pale ale.

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

Presentation: On tap into a chilled plastic mug at a tiny local pizza joint ("Little Sicily's").

A- Clear amber. Served with ~2 fingers of tan head, which fades gradually to a thin cap, leaving fair amount of lacing as consumed.

S- Moderate/solid citrus/floral hops, with a subdued malt presence.

T- Solid citrus hoppiness, with slight spicy note, and a lightly caramel malt backbone. Bitterness is moderate.

M- Very crisp, with quite active carbonation and a medium feel. Goes down smooth.

D- Excellent. Solid across the board and easy drinking....highly sessionable brew.

Future outlook: It's been quite awhile since I've had this beer, and I had forgotten how solid and sessionable it was. From my experience, this is a supperior alternative to SNPA when only "moderately" better beers are available, and one I can easily see getting again in similar situations.

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

This CBC Pale would make a good flagship rep for this Columbus brewer. It pours a nice dark, copper amber. A small light beige head atop that leaves just alittle lace behind. The aroma has a sweet but hop note to it. The taste carries that mild sweet grain, balanced well by a mild but present citric hop. This medium bodied pale carries that hop background in the aftertaste, letting it linger in the slightly dry mouthfeel. An overall nice, crisp when cold, good beer.

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

I recall a few years ago trying a Columbus Pale Ale that was contract-brewed (in New York?) and was average, at best. This one is actually brewed in Columbus and is available in bottles and on tap throughout the city. Overall, it's much nicer than the one I remember from a few years ago. Deep orange-amber in color, with a foamy off-white head. Huge floral hop aromas (they use cascade). Taste is quite hoppy, with hints of grapefruit, though there is a nice sweetness that comes through from the Crystal malt (which they claim to be "specially kilned"). In any event, it makes for a nicely balanced taste. Carbonation is moderate, so the beer has a pleasant feel going down. Smooth, slightly bitter finish, with a lingering floral aspect. Overall, a nice APA. If you're in Columbus, this is definitely worth a try.

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Columbus Pale Ale from Columbus Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.
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