Cardinal Pale Ale
Nebraska Brewing Company Production Brewery & Tap Room

Cardinal Pale AleCardinal Pale Ale
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Pale Ale - American
Ranked #2,322
Ranked #41,669
3.67 | pDev: 10.9%
Nebraska Brewing Company Production Brewery & Tap Room
Nebraska, United States
Cardinal Pale AleCardinal Pale Ale
Notes: Our Pale Ale is deep golden in color and characterized by a floral/citrus-like aroma, with medium maltiness and low bitterness. Cardinal Pale Ale, the heart of Nebraska Brewing Company, is where it all began so many years ago.

42 IBU
Reviews: 83 | Ratings: 364 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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KTCamm from New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

June 2019....Pours hazy copper with ample white foam. Patchy and sticky. Lemony malt nose. Sugar cookies too. Bright firm malt taste with vanilla and toffee. Smooth light bitter back. Quite nice.

Dec 08, 2019
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WoodBrew from Ohio

3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

My good friend and old neighbor from Oswego gave me a can of this beer. It poured a slightly hazy orangish with white head that is leaving a nice lace. The scent had subtle pine hops. The taste was nicely balanced and easy to drink with malt base and hop finish. The mouthfeel was lighter in body with good carbonation. Overall its a good beer.

Oct 26, 2019
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beergoot from Colorado

4.29/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Clear and somewhat dark gold colored body; thick and frothy head; sticky globs of foam clinging to the glass. Big hop nose on the beer; floral and spicy; cereal grain notes; mineral. Beautiful sweet malt backbone taste with a clean and bright hop bitterness adding highlights. Medium-heavy body; smooth but with some crispness on the palate; a nice cross between sweet and dry with the overall mouthfeel.

My sample was canned 03/18/19 and states "Drink Local". Well, I'm not that close to La Vista, NE, but I surely will drink their beer. Jesus, but this is a finely balanced and tasty brew! I believe I got this two of these through Tavour, and I only wish I had more or that it was distributed here in Colorado Springs. This is a good one, folks!. Get it and enjoy!!

Jun 16, 2019
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beersampler6 from Michigan

3.52/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice, safe pale ale that I found refreshing and easy to drink. Pours a deeper golden color with some nice fluffy white head and very spotty lingering lacing. Smells of more muddled citrus and floral hops, as well as some malt and caramel. Tastes mainly of some more faint grapefruit, orange and lemon hops as well as some weaker floral hops, malt, caramel, nuttiness and maybe a little vanilla. Smooth, thin, mild, clean mouthfeel and decent carbonation. Not bad but I definitely have other go-to pale ales on my list.

Apr 21, 2019
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BlackBeerPirate from Illinois

3.54/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Taste: crisp tangy, wheat bread subtle nose. Slight hop and fermented grain nose. Bright amber hue, clear, average head and lace. Medium body. I had this well rounded ale 2 years ago. 42 IBUs

Sep 28, 2018
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VoxRationis from New York

3.75/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Decanted from a 12 oz (355 ml) can into a conical glass; canned on 09/19/2017.
A: Pours a slightly hazy, dark gold almost amber color with a foamy, white head with lasting retention and rings of lacing. Also, the can’s pull off lid is pretty cool.
S: Floral. Aromas of honeysuckle, lemon citrus, caramel, and melon. Pepper more than pine. Maybe a perry note
T: Vinous, consistent with Chardonnay grapes. Honeydew melon and caramel predominate with some grapefruit and pine. Moderate bitterness.
M: Light to medium bodied with solidly strong carbonation. Slight bitter aftertaste.
O: Odd flavor pallet. Not unenjoyable, just different. Fits the boundaries of the style.

Aug 01, 2018
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Beginner2 from Illinois

3.47/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Interesting, but not interesting enough to have again.
The can indicates good packaging/marketing (which I give points for), Cardinal Looks more amber than golden, decent lace. Smells are sweet malt and lemon up-front and grass in the back. Tastes are average; it seems like I've had this APA from other brewers. It's popular to think that bitter hops (in this case 42 IBU) define character. (They don't to this malt-head.) Feel finishes uncomfortable for me, just below medium-mouth and needing more bubbles. Not wanting to finish this APA as a session, I had it with a BBQ sandwich; but neither improved the other.

I'd like to try other Nebraska brews, particularly since they seem comfortable in the Belgian tradition with a few successful saisons and wits. They are accomplished micro-brewers and have brought craft culture to the Great Plains. For that, they get some good Overall Hugs.

Jul 25, 2018
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jvgoor3786 from Arkansas

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours slightly hazy amber color with a thick white head and sticky lacing.

The smell is lemon, floral, and malt.

The taste follows with a bright grassy flavor and a small malt balance on the finish.

The mouthfeel is medium across the board.

Overall a nice, easy to drink pale ale. A decent mix of flavors.

Mar 27, 2018
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hman43 from North Carolina

3.26/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Look: It pours dark gold with a white head. The head has moderate head retention.

Smell: It has aromas of citrus and passion fruit. There is a grainy sweet background with a low note of apple.

Taste: The initial sweetness of grapes mixed with floral elements. There is a bit of citrus and low soy in the background.

Feel: The aftertaste has moderately low bitterness with some harshness.

Overall, the background harsh notes could be smoothed out a bit with the flavor and aroma being decent.

Jan 17, 2018
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NilocRellim from Minnesota

3.67/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Clear copper colour. Mineral aroma, light floral and spicy hops and pale malt. Sweet pale malt, buttery smooth body, spicy and floral hops, bit of orange peel, a slight mineral finish, and grainy.

Aug 07, 2017
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Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was poured into a pint glass. The appearance was a hazy burnt orange color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within about a minute leaving a light foamy lacing sticking around the sides of the glass decently. The smell had a semi - sweet malty citrus over top of a light piney bitter hops. The taste took all of those previously mentioned flavors to blend nicely. A dry sweet citrus aftertaste leads to a decent sticky finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light to medium on the body with a fairly decent sessionability about it. The carbonation good for the style and for me as it’s not too sharp. Overall, I say this was a decent APA that I could have again.

Jun 20, 2017
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StoutHunter from Michigan

3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a can of Nebraska Brewing's Cardinal Pale Ale last week for $1.69 at The Lager Mill. I've never had any beer from this brewery before and I thought I would start off with this from them them since it seems to be their flagship, so lets see how it goes. 2017 Vintage. Poured from a 12oz can into a imperial pint glass.

A- The can looks nice, it's got a nice design that goes well with the name and it's a little eye catching. It poured a slightly hazy amber orange color that took on more of darker orange color when held to the light and it had almost three fingers worth of fluffy off white head that died down to a thin ring that stayed till the end and it left some patchy rings of lacing behind. This is a very nice looking Pale Ale, I have no complaints.

S- The aroma starts off with a higher amount of medium sweetness with the hops being the first to show up and they impart some citrus rind, fruity, and lightly floral hops with the citrus rind hops seeming to stick out the most. Up next comes some noticeable doughy yeast and that goes into the malts which impart some pale malt, caramel malt, lightly toasted, biscuit, bread crust and sweet malt like aroma. This beer has a pretty nice aroma, it's got nice balance and it's what I would expect from a Pale Ale.

T- The taste seems to be fairly similar to the aroma and it starts off with a slightly higher amount of medium sweetness with the hops still being the first to show up and they impart all the same aspects that they did in the aroma, but this time there's also a little green hops coming through in the background. Up next comes the doughy yeas which isn't as noticeable as it was in the aroma and it's followed by the malts which impart all those same malty aspects that they did in the aroma with no single aspects seeming to stick out the most. On the finish there's a somewhat lighter amount of medium bitterness with a 50/50 mix of malty and hoppy flavors in the aftertaste. This is a pretty nice tasting Pale Ale, it's true to style and it's got good balance.

M- Smooth, crisp, a little clean, slightly creamy, medium bodied with a slightly higher amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is good and it works well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a pretty nice beer and I thought it was a good example of the style, nothing seemed out of place and it had all the aspects that I was looking for in a Pale Ale. This beer has good drinkability, I think I could drink a few of these without getting bored of it. What I like the most about this beer is the appearance, the mouthfeel, the balance and how true to style it is, to me those were the highlights of this beer. What I liked the least about this beer was nothing, there wasn't anything I disliked about this beer, it's fine just the way it is. I would buy this beer again and I wouldn't turn one down. I would recommend it to anyone looking for balanced and true to style Pale Ale. All in all I enjoyed this beer and it turned out to be just what I was hoping it would be for a Pale Ale. It made for a good first impression for this brewery and I'm interested to see what they can do with other styles and it's a good example of the style. Good job guys, this is a tasty Pale Ale, keep up the hard work.

Mar 28, 2017
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FriedSlug from North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slightly hazy beer that is a deep gold with a fluffy white head that leaves a few ribbons of lacing behind. A nice floral aroma with malt sweetness and a touch of citrus and pine. The taste is barely sweet with a little fruit and a little malt. A nice mild flowery flavor and a slightly bitter finish. This is an easy drinking and tasty pale ale.

Jan 09, 2017
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HoppyBastard from Nebraska

4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a Shaker pint glass, "canned" date 10-18-16.

APPEARANCE: pours a slightly hazy, dark gold color with one-finger white head that slowly dissipated until a thin, unbroken layer of small bubbles remained, higher than average carbonation, heavy lacing on the glass.

SMELL: brown sugar, bread and flowery.

TASTE: initially sweet brown sugar and bread, there is some citrus in the middle and an earthy hop profile with a slight metallic note at the finish.

PALATE: medium body and somewhat creamy.

OVERALL: this is a very good pale ale, it was pleasing in every way I measure beer, it's malt forward for the style but the hops are sufficient, I think this beer would appeal to most every beer drinker and would be a good choice to serve at social events, I would buy this again and would recommend to anyone that likes beer.

Nov 23, 2016
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flagmantho from Washington

3.62/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz can into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: very hazy yellow-orange hue with two fingers of pillowy ivory foam atop. I rather like it!

Smell: bright and citrusy with a fair amount of sweetness underneath. There's also a little bit of dankness to the hops, which does detract a little from the experience for me.

Taste: very similar to the aroma, citrus mixed with dankness. There's a pretty big sweetness here, and it's almost too much. Not bad, but it lacks balance.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a good carbonation and decent creaminess.

Overall: the sweetness and lack of balance are a little bit of a problem, but otherwise it's not a terrible pale ale.

Jul 23, 2016
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Redrover from Wisconsin

3.73/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Cardinal Pale Ale on tap at Wilson & Washburn in Omaha.

Served in an imperial pint glass, the beer is copper with decent clarity with just a whisper of a chill haze. It has a sticky white head.

It has an aroma of pine and caramel.

The taste is right in the zone for an APA. There is some pine bitterness, a touch is sweetness from the malts and a bit of ripe apple. There is also something earthy in the finish. I wasn't expecting it but it adds a facet.

The mouth is dialed in nicely with a bit of oiliness and tongue coating.

I would have another.

Jun 09, 2016
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omahawk from Nebraska

3.87/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a beautifully clear, medium copper. The initial large rocky head diminishes to a small yet lingering head with great lacing. Nice hop nose. Taste is a deep malt base with a touch of caramel. Despite the malt depth, it is a clean and crisp beer with a really piney/ citrus hop taste. Perfect balance. This pale ale is really a solid, APA.

Jun 04, 2016
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RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

4.1/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cardinal Pale Ale has a thick, spongy, bone-colored head, a hazy, orange-gold appearance, and lots of lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of floral and citrus and white bread, and the flavor is of those pleasant elements, with mild hop oil bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and a bit grainy, and Cardinal Pale Ale finishes dry and mellow.


Apr 09, 2016
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RozzieBoy from Rhode Island

3.56/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look - Fairly deep golden hue. Thin head and thin lacing. Some floating particles
Smell - Faint citrus smell
Feel - Slight carbonation
Taste - Citrusy/piney with slight hoppy aftertaste. Dry finish
Overall - Decent beer, overall. A pretty easy drinker but wasn't a fan of the dry finish

Jan 01, 2016
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hoptheology from South Dakota

3.97/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Iced tea color with 1 finger of lace, 70% opaque

Smells of deep Cascade hops. Floral, slightly pungent and earthy, a little dank, zero citrus.

Tastes like it smells, slightly nutty to boot. Crisp yet resinous finish.

Feel is excellent and crushable.

Overall, this may be the most enjoyable and crushable pale ale in all of Nebraska (state brewery-wise). The easy open gaping hole can makes it even better. Before I realize it, it's gone.

Dec 16, 2015
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Skywave from Oklahoma

3.95/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours to a frothy white head that falls to a thin layer that lasts and laces. Dark gold/light copper color. Aroma is sweet malts, slight toast and fruit and citrusy hops. Flavor is sweet and malty up front, with a floral and citrus hop middle and a crisp, dry malt finish. Mouthfeel is medium-light and slightly sticky. Fits the trend toward hoppy yet malt-balanced APAs in the middle states.

Nov 29, 2015
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Back_in_the_Saddle from Vermont

3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was poured into a pint glass.
The appearance was a ruddy pale orange to glossy white color. A one finger white foamy head started and dissipated within less than a minute. Light lingering lacing weaves around the glass.
The smell had some caramel and toffee malts up front with some grassy, citrus and piney hops more so in the background.
The taste was mainly sweet through all of the previously stated flavors. Bitterness seems about right ~ 42 IBU's, sure it seems like that to me. The aftertaste was fairly malty but not burdensome.
The mouthfeel was about a light to medium on the body with a decent sessionably sweet sort of feel. Carbonation seemed to run right for the style and for me.
Overall, I'd say this was a decent APA, it may sit on the maltier side of the wheelhouse, but I could see myself coming back to it if it was in my distro.

Nov 19, 2015
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donunrue from Kentucky

3.98/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Albert's Tavern in Lincoln. Wonderful representation of the style! Not overwhelming floral, just enough to set it apart. A must - have - on - tap APA. The canned version was no comparison but still worthy.

Nov 18, 2015
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BeerWithMike from Nebraska

3.27/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Sampling right now on 10/5/15. Comes in a 12-ounce can (ONLY no bottles) that is brewed just down the road. Can chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a "It's 5'OClock Somewhere" pint glass.

Brew pours a hazy golden-amber in color with about a half finger foamy white cap. Some spotty sheet-like lacing is seen when sipped but not a lot. Aroma is of hops, grains and pine. Pretty much the taste follows the nose. Not as bitter as I thought it would be but still has a hoppy finish. Not a big fan of these style of brews for the most part. Medium-bodied with medium carbonation as well.

Oct 06, 2015
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AdamTebbs from Oklahoma

4.77/5  rDev +30%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Great beer, pours a deep golden color, fresh flowery smell of hops, slightly bitter but citrusy taste, clean aftertaste, and -unfortunately- gone before you know it. All and all great beer.

Sep 25, 2015
Cardinal Pale Ale from Nebraska Brewing Company Production Brewery & Tap Room
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 364 ratings