Pale Ale | Okanagan Spring Brewery

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Pale AlePale Ale

Brewed by:
Okanagan Spring Brewery
British Columbia, Canada

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Clear and copper coloured, it is fruity on the palate and hearty in hops with a nice, round finish. We are honoured that Pale Ale continues to be BC’s most popular craft brew.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-19-2003

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Reviews: 76 | Ratings: 183
Photo of OpIvy
4.89/5  rDev +49.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my daily drinker. I am very surprised at the low score this beer has, but I think I know why.

Okanagan Spring's Extra Special Pale Ale is very dependant on the medium it is consumed from. The on-tap stuff is quite literally terrible. It simply loses it's real taste, smell, and feel. Most noticeably, it inherits a sour yeasty taste.

The canned version is also sub-par gaining a very slight metallic taste. Much more noticeable than other canned beers. Much better than on-tap but definitely not in it's true form.

To fully appreciate this beer, it must be consumed from a bottle. It has a slightly sweet taste with a beautiful aroma. It isn't overpowering, it's actually quite mild. It has minimal head and consists of a fairly pale amber colour.

Great beer in my opinion. Not an outgoing beer. But definitely a nice relaxing daily drinker type beer!

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Photo of Methodd
4.1/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is not an APA or Pale Ale of any sort as far as I can tell. If I were to rate this as an APA I'd have to give it a failing grade. If I were to rate this as an Amber or Red Ale I'd have to say it's pretty darn good. I like this beer and from now on if I buy it again I'll be buying it as an Amber. It's got a nice amber color and produces lots of off-white head and leaves little to no lacing. Carbonation is moderate with very little after taste. They really should rename this as an Amber or Red.

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Photo of Hornet2003
4.1/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favourite daily drinkers. I have a nostalgiac attachment to this beer since it is what I was drinking when I met one of my mentors for my chosen career(Pilot).

Appearance: Pours a dark brown with a nice one finger head that disappates quickly.

Smell: For a Pale Ale the hops are not as pronounced as others, but the maltiness makes up for it. It smells pleasant and drinkable.

Taste: To borrow a line from Will Farrel: "Scrumtralescent". Slight sweetness from the malt backbone and a nice, albeit, quite subdued hop presence.

Mouthfeel: A little fizzy, but it fits the beer. Around where I live this is one of the staples of most bars so it is the standard drinkable micro beer.

Drinkablility: Well in the summer, this is probably my favourite beer. I can polish off a sixer no problem when laying on the beach or watching an airshow( ;), inside joke). Dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of Noxious26
4.07/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

341ml bottle poured in a pint glass.

Clear, amber-copper in colour. Light beige head is 1/8 inch on the pour, but quickly reduces to a splotchy, thin cap.

Aroma is a nice, lightly hoppy scent with undertones of malt and fruit giving it a subtle sweetness.

Well balanced and easy to drink, things start off with hops in the foreground on the swallow and hints of malt in the background. Finish is balanced and even with both hops and malt making an appearance. Aftertaste is lightly bitter, with sweet-ish undertones.

A light-medium bodied mouthfeel nicely complements the light-moderate carbonation.

Although this beer is placed in the American Pale Ale category, I think it is a better example of the English Pale Ale. I have found that typically the American style is hoppier and crisper, while the English is more balanced and displaying more malt. This beer certainly won't blow your socks off, but I'm not certain that this style is capable of doing that. Instead of challenging your tastebuds, this pale ale is nice, easy going, well balanced, and highly drinkable.

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Photo of DaveBar
4.05/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at The Beer Store for $2.50 can. Served at 7deg C in a draught glass.

A- Opens well and pours a high off white head that lasts for nearly 5mins before film out. Super nice dark gold colour and filtered clear

S- Super malty. Nice hops. Nice brew.

T- Like an APA gone wild. Super thick and rich sugar malt bomb. Nice blend actually. Nice break

M- Thick and rick. Nice brew

O- I .like it. Going to have more in the fridge for summer even though it's heavy. Have one at night by the fire

Food Pairing

This nice brew went well with my.... BBQ hamburger!


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Photo of BrewAskew
4.02/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a thick head that lasts and laces. Dark copper. Aroma is bready, grainy and biscuity. Flavor is malt forward and most definitely not anything a contemporary US reviewer would call an APA. Call it an English or Canadian pale ale. Mouthfeel is good. Very good pale ale in the classic British/Bass tradition. I loved it.

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Photo of CrazyMike
4/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Amber-copper apperance with medium head that sticks around for awhile, decent lace. Has a carmel, grain smell with a hint of malt.

Taste is overpowered by malt and carmel. Small hint of brown sugar And grass. Very earthy taste overall. Moderate body with moderate carbonation. Aftertaste has a lingering maltiness.

Overall, a this is a decent and well rounded pale ale. Nothing spectacular or bad, just good to drink. Would highly recommend.

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Photo of NV9
3.83/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a coppery colour, somewhere between amber and red. A finger plus of foamy head that has good retention.

Scent is dominated by caramel malts, bread and faint fruit and hops

Lots of malts and hops in the taste, a bit of fruit mixed in the taste as well, giving it a fruit finish.

Lots of carbonation and a medium body, a little watery and very, very drinkable.

A nice APA with lots of flavour that goes down well.

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Photo of Biggiekrock627
3.74/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark copper almost rust colored with deep malt notes and crisp to the pallet. I had this as a 22oz draft beer while in Ontario. The head was very small and dissipated quickly. Paired well with Buffalo Hot Wings.

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Photo of bryehn
3.65/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Now re-branded as "Pale Ale" and sports a completely different look than currently listed. Says it was first brewed in B.C. in '89 and recommends a serving temperature of 9-11C.

Nice honey-copper colour with a big tan head that leaves a moderate amount of lace and settles as a long-lasting collar.

This really reminds me of the two 40-50s-style ales McAuslan from Montreal makes. Extra sweet, overripe fruits, toasted malts, a smoky woodiness. Sort of chalkiness. Honey comes through after warming.

Quite sweet. Lots of malt with a decent dryness. Nice buttery note in the finish. Hoppy crispness/tartness comes through long after it warms. Definitely tastes best warm.

Malty, yet crisp. fairly low in carbonation, but the long-lasting film creates a nice creaminess on the back-end.

Would make a better modern red lager/amber than a "pale ale" that most people these days associate with a hop blowout, however this is a pleasant old-school North American take on the style. Maybe a bit pricey to be a regular, but could be a hit at dinner parties with less, but somewhat adventurous buddies tired of Kieth's.

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Photo of Tford
3.65/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer looks more like an ale than a pale ale, it has a nice golden-brown colour.

S: Hmm, something interesting is going on with the smell, it’s quite complex. I can make out malts, and maybe fruits.

T: It tastes hoppy and fruity and it has a not-too-bitter aftertaste. Unfortunately, it tastes watered down, it would be excellent otherwise.

M: It has a medium body and medium carbonation; it feels creamy and crisp.

O: This is nothing horrible but nothing that great either. I would put it on par with macro “pale” ales, but it would be much much much better if it weren’t watered down.

PS. How does this have a lower rating than Okanagan Spring’s 1516 Bavarian Lager? I disagree with everybody’s opinion but my own.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.65/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mid September 2005.

Presentation- Had on tap at a pub in Invermere, BC. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance- Golden amber pour with a large white pock marked head. Lacing was average.

Smell- Nice amount of fruity scented hops with a touch of medium roasted malt.

Taste- Nicely balanced brew with the malt slightly overpowering the hops. A bit fruity with a larger hit of lighly smoky malt flavor.

Mouthfeel- Just a touch on the watery side, with about a medium carbonation level.

Drinkability- Pretty decent job for a pale ale. I would get this one again if I found in on tap again.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.62/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap into a large 20oz pint glass (god these things are huge) at le Feu Sacré in Quebec City.

Amber red to orange body, quite clear with a solid off white to caramel head. Some cola carbonation from the sides, but mostly a nice streaming crawling pin head bubbles. Not bad.

Nose is quite dry and bisquity. Fruity esters of slight cherry, with a good balance. Smells fairly inviting surprisingly.

Palate mixes most of what is expected on the nose. Toasty malt body with classic ester fruit. Mouthfeel seem rather ordinary but tolerable, with about medium carbonation. Some density in the palate but big on yeast it seems.

Overall this really reminds me more of an English style. It's alright you could do a lot worse.

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Photo of ablaze
3.62/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper-orange with good clarity. Foamy head that sits to a ring after a couple minutes with poor to average lacing.

Scent is nutty, lightly roasted malts and a hint of caramel. Corn is there too, similar to a macro. Hops seem nonexistent. Actually not a bad smell and I kind of like it.

Light and creamy body, light bitterness with decent carbonation. Hops are light, clean and crisp but not dominant. Grainy caramel malt shows through well, along with more nuttiness and a metallic edge. Dry and sweet finish.

This isn't too bad. A clean macro style pale ale, very easy to drink with a nice flavour. Nothing spectacular but I wouldn't mind seeing it again. Actually reminds me of a beer I brewed last year...

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Photo of Grunewald
3.6/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - poured from a bottle into a weizen glass. It pours clear amber with a white head. The head leaves some drippy lacing at the top of the glass.

S - malt, honey, flowery hops and a hint of cherry

T - malt and some mildly astringent hops, no astringency in the finish though

M - medium body, light carbonation, and a moist finish

D - enjoyable

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Photo of mickeymac
3.6/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

While in Vancouver, I tried this in the bottle, the can, and on-tap. It was a little better from the bottle than on-tap or canned. However, having a decent pale ale in a can comes in handy for excursions where bottles are a hassle. It pours a golden-orange with a just off-white head that leaves some bubbles on top. Smell is slightly fruity with a trace of hops. The taste is more or less middle of the road pale ale. It's easy to drink and a decent choice for such a widely available brew.

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Photo of kevofficiel
3.57/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Okanagan Spring Pale Ale from British Columbia.

Look: Amber orange color. Lots of carbonation. About a finger of white head.

Smell: Sweet cristal malt. Pin, cinder also, apple, peach.

Taste: Sweet malt, a tiny touch of caramel, apple kind of a cinder.

Feel:The carbonation is so smooth, remind me of a stout, . Medium body. Goes down really easy. Very soft.

So overall would I recommend it? Sure this is a well made beer. !

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Photo of leaddog
3.53/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a copper hue with a finger width of bubbly white head.

Smell - Earthy hops, hint of lemon/citrus, slight nuttiness.

Taste - Nice balance of earthy, fruity, and nutty flavours. Leaves a pleasant light bitterness on the palate.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. A little watery, but still nice body.

Overall - An enjoyable APA by Okanagan. I like that it is lightly hopped. Also quite enjoy the nutty hints of flavour. Not something I would drink sessionally, but still better than the macros out there.

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Photo of BigBry
3.5/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pint on-tap at Fogg 'n Suds in Vancouver.
Color is dark gold with a short white head that disappates quickly. Not as hoppy a smell as other Pale Ales, good mix of malt and hops. Blend of malt and a subdued hop flavor. Doesn't have the same kick as many other APAs. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, not quite full flaovered and bodied as expected. A slightly more flavorful step up from most macro offerings, and works as a option to other main stream beers.

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Photo of BigRedN
3.5/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From Notes. Consumed at The Garage during Calgary trip on 9/30.

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass from the tap a dark amber. Poured with a dcent white head, about 1/4 inch. Stuck around in the form of cloudy patches and a ring around the glass. Left some lacing.

Smell: Malty, a little roasted, with a caramel scent. A floral hop aroma is also detected.

Taste: Malt at the outset, chased by a hop bitterness and a little spice at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light in body, with some carbonation.

Drinkability: Very easy drinking pale ale. It's not first class, but still very good. I'd drink more of it if available or on my next trip.

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Photo of safaricook
3.49/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

English style pale ale with a delicate flowery aroma and a slightly caramelly malt backbone and a somewhat minerally, sharp bitterness. Light body and a little overcarbonated for the style (at least from the tab at the Mariott in Downtown Toronto)

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Photo of biboergosum
3.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

341ml bottle. The 'Extra Special' seems to have been dropped from the name of this beer, as of their most recently packaging update. That said, the new label has way too much stuff going on, as the different angles of text practically make me dizzy before even partaking in the product itself.

This beer pours a clear, bright medium copper amber hue, with three fingers of puffy, foamy, and even a little creamy off-white head, which leaves some undulating streaks of cloudy lace around the glass as it quickly melts away.

It smells of semi-sweet biscuit and caramel malts, some decent, yet muddled orchard fruitiness, and a wee bit of earthy, grassy, and leafy hops. The taste is more biscuit malt, a bit of removed bready caramel, faintly astringent apple cores, and surprisingly mild earthy, weedy hops.

The carbonation is moderate, if a bit fizzy at times, the body a tame medium-light weight, and kind of blandly smooth. It finishes off-dry, with a bit more of that now dominant, yet still understated biscuity malt.

Not a particularly full-flavoured pale ale, but enjoyable enough on a warm patio, in a much warmer season and locale, as the memory of this offering will stay in my mind, if not exactly so for now, and moving forward.

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Photo of ozmodium
3.48/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

More of a pale all for your everyday macro drinker. But suprisingly good nonetheless. Nothing is going to offend anyone here, but not challenge anyone either.

Poured from the bottle an orange brown colour, minimal and slightly off white head...disipated quickly and left a tiny amount of lacing. Bubbles are small, but numerous.

Smells kind of weak. What's there though, is roasted malt, earth and a suprising lack of hops.

Rich malts and a molasses flavours this pale ale. Slight nuttiness. Not exactly a substantial flavour burst in your mouth, but its good.

Darned good carbonation and smooth character make this a winner to me. This just agrees with my mouth.

This is one drinkable beer. For a macro you don't get much better than this stuff. Deliciously different than your run of the mill. I'll drink 3 or 4 of these and still want another.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.47/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

16oz draft at "The Keg" in Vancouver, BC

appearance: surprisingly dark mahogany-amber...body struck me as very full for a pale ale, light tan head

smell: mostly bready malt on the nose, just some light faint hops, a little musty

taste: nutty, bready, caramel and toasted malt, not too much hop to speak of...just not a very strong APA

mouthfeel: medium bodied, above average carbonation

drinkability: decent

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Photo of spinrsx
3.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

341ml Bottle

Appearance - Clear copper colour with an average size frothy and fizzy off-white coloured head. There is an above average amount of carbonation and there is some fair/good lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for 4 minutes before it was gone completely.

Smell - Malts, hops, caramel

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and the beer comes across as slightly watery and thin. I can taste lots of caramel sweetness and malts. There are also some notes of tea and a slight hop bitterness. The beer finishes with a malty sweet aftertaste.

Overall - Not a bad beer by any means.. just not really anything worth revisiting. I suppose I would have it again if my choices at a restaurant were limited.

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Pale Ale from Okanagan Spring Brewery
3.27 out of 5 based on 183 ratings.
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