Signature Pale Ale | Steamworks Brewing Company

90 Ratings
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Signature Pale AleSignature Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Steamworks Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The term "Pale Ale" dates back to the 1800s when all beer was dark brown in colour. New malting techniques led to the development of pale malt, a barley malt kilned at low temperatures which contributed very little colour to the finished beer. Hence the birth of Pale Ale, an amber- to copper-coloured ale you could actually see through. Plenty of British Crystal malt in the grist lends this ale its rich colour, its caramel maltiness, and adds the occasional whiff of toffee to the nose. An addition of American and German hops to the kettle at the end of the boil is used to suffuse our Pale Ale with a gently spicy hop finish.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-15-2005

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 90
Reviews by thehyperduck:
Photo of thehyperduck
3.79/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355 mL bottle, courtesy of the BC Craft Brewers Guild sampler now available at various LCBOs. One thing I'll say right off the bat is that I love the bottle art & design - and in a style like APA where the alternatives are a dime-a-dozen, that can be an important advantage when attracting new customers. Served well-chilled.

Pours a lovely golden-amber colour, topped with slightly more than one finger's worth of frothy, off-white head that recedes fairly quickly over the next few minutes. Left in its wake is a foamy, uneven cap/collar and a few smatterings of lace - a solid-looking pale ale. Mild aroma, with a good mixture of brown sugar, light lemon/grapefruit citrus, leafy hops and a surprising twinge of vanilla. There's even a slight hint of yeasty mustiness. An interesting bouquet, if a bit unusual for the style.

The flavour comes off as considerably more orthodox, with a combination of biscuity malts and caramel sweetness opening the profile up. This blends seamlessly into some fleeting grassy hops, followed by a few hints of lemon zest and grapefruit pith, and some metallicity/mineral notes in the finish. Medium-bodied, with a smooth, creamy feel in the mouth that I am a big fan of. The carbonation levels are fairly placid. The bitter finish leaves the palate feeling dry, encouraging quick sips, and the balanced flavours make this an easy task.

Final Grade: 3.79, a B+ grade. Steamworks' Pale Ale is a solid American-style pale ale, and (so far) one of the better inclusions in this sampler pack. Hopheads looking for something that they can session - without stripping their taste buds off and causing undue stress to their liver - should consider this one well worth a try, as it maintains a perfect balance between West Coast hoppiness and the tasty malt bill. Great stuff - I'd consider this up there with Crazy Canuck, Naughty Neighbour, Tankhouse, and a few other OCB staples.

 1,913 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of cam477
3/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Tiernan
3.66/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of FadetoBock
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of BCborn
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of chickenm
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of MJ63
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of intoxabroad
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of biboergosum
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

355ml bottle, with some nice steam-punk imagery on the silk-screened label - and the angel promoting the '10 cents, return for redemption' is amusing enough.

This beer pours a clear, bright medium golden amber hue, with two skinny fingers of wanly puffy, tightly foamy, and somewhat bubbly off-white head, which leaves a bit of random protoplasm splatter lace around the glass as things quickly dissolve.

It smells of bready and mildly biscuity pale malt, crackery caramel, soft muddled citrus notes, ethereal white and black pepper dust, my mom's baking ingredients cupboard, and further subdued piney, leafy, and weedy noble hops. The taste is gritty, grainy pale malt, edgy, almost dry caramel, a persistent mixed table pepper spiciness, fading orange and grapefruit rind, and equally over the hill earthy, leafy, and grassy hops.

The carbonation is pleasantly moderate, just a meek frothiness for the most part, the body on the light side of medium weight, and plainly smooth, nothing particularly up for transgressive behavior, it would seem. It all finishes off-dry, the mixed malt sweetness, strangely agreeable pepper, and muddled old-school hops playing nicely together.

An enjoyable rendition of the American version of that ol' standby, the pale ale, even if this manifests more on the English side of things, um, all over the place. Not surprising, I suppose, as Lotusland brewers have the bane of being on the forefront of that west coast hop thing, but at the same time exist in a place called British (can't underline here, boo) Columbia, and its attendant heritage and influence, in whatever it is that you're into. Yup, Canadian.

 1,650 characters

Photo of Griffith
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Gaztown brewpub. A decent pale, well hopped bitter, light golden with lots of lace, and some head. melange of hops makes it close to an IPA as is the trend.Better than their standard IPA.Syruppy, and citrus.You can drink this a long while.

 253 characters

Photo of CWVegas
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of souvenirs
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of irishkyle21
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%

Photo of largadeer
2.09/5  rDev -42.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Photo of CookstLiquor
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 355ml bottle. This is Steamworks' other new bottled release and it's a West Coast style pale ale. For a "pale" ale, it pours a rather burnished orange colour. The hoppy nose has bright lemony notes. On the palate there's a lot of bitterness in the grassy, lemony flavours and the malt is a little on thin side. This is crisp and easy-drinking, but lacks a little body.

 380 characters

Photo of CurtisD
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

Photo of ssmack
3.94/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle from BC Craft Beer sampler 6 pack.

Clear goldern with 1 inch of thick creamy head that lasted very well and left good lacing.

I was surprised that the aroma was so dominated by the malt considering this is an APA. Vanilla cupcake with caramel icing with just a touch of grassiness.

The malts and hops are very well mixed into a single taste. Sweet grainy malt with critusy hops at the end.

Medium feel.

The malt level makes me want to classify this as an English pale ale. This smooth ale is the best so far out of 4 from this sampler but I saved the best for last.

 584 characters

Photo of Kobold
3.99/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: the foam waves a quick “hello” and then dashes underground into evening golden arms of wheat and cold amber.

Aroma: A neck of perfumes ringed with pine needles and ice. Bitter apples and unripened pears scowl from a distance. Paper wrapped doughy grain bread hums a wholesome tune beneath.

Taste: Only a tinge, or afterthought, of hop bitterness. There is a sweet, even numbing, tingle in the aftertaste preceded by orange slices powered in a thin layer of icing sugar. The orange “lemonizes” slightly, even grows a thin grapefruit rind skin. After twenty minutes smooth, if shy, pineapple slips into the picnic brunch.

Mouthfeel: Unfortunately the foundation is a bit waterlogged, though it does not detract from the aromatics and lilting sweet citrus taste. Carbonation is near non-existent, and yet no flatness ruins the feel.

Final Thoughts: Most memorable is the lightly electrifying, sugar tongue sparks from the aftertaste. The leather rimmed perfume-orange bouquet is also difficult to forget.

 1,030 characters

Photo of Derf36
3/5  rDev -17.4%

Photo of DamageCase76
4/5  rDev +10.2%

Photo of headlessparrot
3.96/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Colour is almost orange-ish gold. Not much in the way of head after an initial finger or so dissipates, just a ring and some lacing that sticks to the glass. It's a beer that seems torn between the English and the "West Coast" style of "pale ale," but oddly, its indecision is a plus: it's pretty well-balanced, with enough malt and hop presence to please most drinkers. Citrusy and malty, only lightly bitter (becoming a bit more floral and herbal as it warms). Very drinkable, with a decent (leaning ever-so-slightly overcarbonated) body.

Paired well with leftover, microwaved egg rolls, which is a plus. I'll definitely drink this again--Steamworks doesn't seem to make beers that I'd consider truly remarkable, but they are remarkably consistent when it comes to making drinkable, every-day-type beers.

 807 characters

Photo of drmeto
3.26/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

-pours a hazy golden-orange with a small to medium,foamy,offwhite head
-medium carbonation visible
-grapefruit,oranges,tangerines,blood orange,honey,peach
-Follows the nose with a piney,oniony hoppyness
-low to medium bitterniss for the style
-medium carbonation
-light body
Pale Ale with a solid Aroma, but the Taste kinda flattens and fizzles out.

 364 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.46/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

341ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO - part of a mixed 6 pack for $13

Appearance - Clear amber colour with an average size off white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some great lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, light hops, grass/herbal, biscuits

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and grassy hops. There is also a bit of a biscuit flavour.

Overall - One of the best from the mixed 6 pack so far. Not really american tasting, but a solid beer for every day drinking.

 621 characters

Photo of RedAleMan
3.75/5  rDev +3.3%

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Signature Pale Ale from Steamworks Brewing Company
3.63 out of 5 based on 90 ratings.
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