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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: 182
Photo of Voonder
3.08/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours deep copper colour with two finger off-white head which dissapeared quickly. Smell - bready, toasty, malty, slightly sweet. Taste - malty, slightly toasty. Quite nice flavour, but this beer is messing hops big time. Pretty smooth, creamy. Fairly drinkable.

 262 characters

Photo of EatsTacos
2.98/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hmmm, poured a clear copper with a two finger head and not much lacing to speak of.
The nose was very faint, some hops but mostly malted barley and grainyness.
The tatse is very crisp and clean, mostly herbal hops and slightly bitter. Good balanced beer and refreshing. The mouthfeel is medium to low and the carbonation was high and crisp.
A pretty mediocre beer, nothing to complain about.

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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 Highbrewer
1.16/5  rDev -64.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Had it on tap. Appearance is okay. Smell is next to nothing. Tasted sour like it had some kind of bacterial infection. Waiter said it was supposed to taste like this.

Any more effort for this review is a waste of time. This beer sucks.

To the brewers: Try a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale if you want a decent example of this style. Maybe they tried to achieve a Belgian-type sour APA? Don't know, but the experiment failed. Why is so hard to get a decent ale in this beer wasteland of Canada.

I could not finish this beer. I don't think I've ever sent a beer back. Just terrible.

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Photo of Antilochus
2.95/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Had it at the Alex P. Keaton in London, Ontario. On-tap, in a Okanagan Pale Ale branded pint glass. Nice.

Pale amber, almost nonexistent head. Moderately dry, not nearly enough hops for this style. Metal, something a bit off about it. Still, I found it decent. Perhaps because it was on tap. Sweetish finish. I find these bland APAs have too much abv given their flavour profile.

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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 Graham5161986
3.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a clear, orangey-amber colour with a 1 finger off-white head that dissapates into a thin foam and leaves a pretty good lace.

S: sweet malts, slight grassy hop aroma but a tad metallic

T:brown sugar malts up front with a bit of bitter hops in the background, bit of a metallic aftertaste

M: medium bodied and slightly creamy, decent carbonation and a smooth finish.

D: Not a bad APA. Very easy to drink and offers a more enjoyable experience than most other Macros. Excellent session beer. I think it makes a good throw back beer whenever you just need to relax. Good for the big game too.

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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 Shadman
2.26/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Liked their helles lager and liked it so let's give their pale ale a go...

Good looking copper colored ale with a decent head that receeds into a nice foam ring around the glass. Not much in the way of lacing. Smells faintly of spicy fruit..but it's not easy to tell. Taste is a big let down...very faint, almost sugary malt and some hop bitterness, but mostly just fizz from the carbonation..mouthfeel is very astringent...not digging this at all...

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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.

 910 characters

Photo of sinistermadman
3.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the notes scribed on hotel stationary:

Served from the hotel mini-bar 12 oz aluminum can. Clear copper in color with a finely bubbled thick foam. Smell is of mild malt sweetness that hints at caramel. Slightly citrus tinge from the hops. Quite a simple brew, rather one dimensional. Smooth on the palate with an active carbonation. Overall impression... nothing special.

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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 tommy78
2.4/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Picked up a sixer at a local provincial liquor store in Vancouver. Poured out of the botter, and the appearance was a copperish color. In terms of aromas, the beer lacked a smell. I couldn't pinpoint a specific aroma after sniffing the beer many times. The taste is average. I really couldn't pick out a fruity or corn taste that other reviewers had mentioned. As for drinkability, I wouldn't recommend having more than one. If you can finish one off, then you are my hero because I couldn't.

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Photo of Sammy
2.38/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Very pale, minimum fizzy head. Carbonation like soda. Metallic and dry, with minimal hops. Not finishable, a drain pour. More corn than malt, a drop of fruit but overridden by mustiness, and yes I did detect some brown sugar.
The whole thing is feh. Mediocre effort.

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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 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 DunkelFester
1.64/5  rDev -49.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Brought this twist-off bottle back from a recent trip to BC (was part of a 12-pk sampler).

Poured into a pint glass a decent looking golden orange with a nice, foamy white head, but that dissipated rather quickly.

Aroma: Bland, is about all I can say. Hop aroma is nearly non-existant.

Taste: Bah! This is a really weak pale ale, and there's nothing 'Extra Special' about it. Has more in common with a bad macro lager than an ESA. Light-struck skunkiness, despite the dark brown bottle.

Mouthfeel: coarse graininess. light to medium body.

Drinkability: ? This is a tough one. I suppose if I liked it, I could drink a few, but this bottle was bad enough that I had no desire at all to finish it. As such, I had to give it low marks for drinkability.

Note: Had this on tap at a friend's bachelor party. Several pitchers went down without much complaint from those in our party. On tap, it's drinkable if nothing else is available (as was the case for me), but it's otherwise utterly unremarkable and I'll be sure to steer clear in the future.

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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 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 EMV
3.16/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up at a Metro in Montreal, and was neither especially wowed nor disappointed with this Pale Ale from British Columbia.

The best feature of the brew would have to be its appearance, as it poured a deep copper color with about an inch of head that fell fairly quickly. The smell was slightly fruity, with a bit of hops also wafting up to the nose.

The taste was about average for a pale ale, with a tangy sweetness and detectable hops in the mix. The aftertaste is slightly bitter, but not at all overpowering, making it a very drinkable beer that isn't overly challenging to the palate. The carbonation is moderate, an it's a very clear beer.

Overall solid non-macro pale ale that plays it safe. Easy to enjoy, looks great in the glass, and good for a hot summer day.

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Photo of Barraclou
2.99/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: It pours a very dark golden colour with some white head.

Smell: It doesn't said much to me, except it got faint hops aroma.

Taste: It is so average. It tastes beer, but it is so generic. Sad for a so-called craft beer.

Mouthfeel: It is ok, but a little too carbonated.

Drinkability: It is sad, because I was expecting a little more that what I got from this craft ale.

Edit: I bought that single bottle at that grocery store on Ontario / St.Hubert corner (near the bus depot) in Montreal. I don't know how come it arrived there, but I am always happy to see western canadian micros making the way down east.

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Photo of Wintermute
3.45/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very short, cream coloured head. Average head retention and there was some lace.
Light brown with amber/red tints. Very clear and no chill haze despite being served ice cold.
Had a malty sweet smell that overpowered the hops. The faint hops aroma was kind of soapy. My impression at the time was that they were using both American and British hops.
Decent body, smooth texture, moderate carbonation.
Fairly clean tasting. There was a nice mild bitterness at the start that carried through to a more prominent finish. There was also a slight bitterness left in the aftertaste. It had a subtle sweetness as opposed to maltiness.
My review may be slightly off/biased as I had this on my way back from 4 weeks in SE Asia.

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Photo of canucklehead
3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is the best selling non-macro beer in BC and I have very mixed feelings about it. One one hand it is very drinkable with a good balance but on the other hand it is boring and safe. This beer represents all that is wrong with BC craft brewing; safe amounts of hops and no attempt to challenge the drinker. I don't this beer but I feel it represents an unability to progress like Oregon and Wash.

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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 IronDjinn
3.38/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is a really nice looking pale ale, a clear amber colour topped by a short tuft of creamy white head before it recedes. Aroma contains some buttery malt and with a sprig of hops added. The flavour is somewhat subdued, but it is a subdued blend of malt and hops. In fact the flavour tends to become more pronounced as the ale starts to warm. It all starts to redeem again from a satisfying full mouthfeel. Would make a good summer session ale while standing in front of the barbecue.

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Pale Ale from Okanagan Spring Brewery
3.27 out of 5 based on 182 ratings.
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