Pale | Southern Tier Brewing Company

very good
145 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-21-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 145 | Ratings: 226
Photo of climax
4.6/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A lot lighter than expected, it has a gold body with good clarity and a massive fluffy eggshell white head. The retention and lace are excellent and it fades leaving high and low spots everywhere, not to mention crusty curtains of lace all the way down.

Strong citrus notes dominate the aroma while it's still well-chilled. Grapefruit, a bit of sweet oranges, lemon, and a resiny earth character contribute to an impressively hop character for a pale ale. The pale malts begin to intensify as it warms, giving a saltine cracker foundation with bread and maybe even a clove tickle, very nice complexity.

The flavor is exceptionally balanced, the equality between sweet and bitter is excellent. Everything is very clean and tidy in there, herbal and citrus notes add crispness while wheat and barley malt cues keep everything in check. The finish is tidy, but contains easily discernible leafy and buttery tones.

It's extremely smooth and just slides down the mouth with such ease. The body does have some heft to it, don't let the color fool you. The feel is good and creamy and the carbonation just fluffs it up a bit.

This beer is very well made, all the components are done superbly with no flaws whatsoever. It's got the hop profile to satisfy, the complexity to ponder, and the drinkablility to keep you goin'. A marque American pale ale if there ever was one.

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Photo of stewart124
4.57/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a straw yellow with a nice inch of white head. Visible carbonation.

Plenty of citrus, pine and bubble gum in the nose.

Great hop character and bitterness. Whoa this is tasty! Crisp! Refreshing!

Very tasty APA and one that I could drink and drink and drink. What more do I need to say?

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Photo of sjverla
4.53/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nose: Grassy, hoppy, and big.

Appearance: Crystal clear pale gold with a white, lingering head.

Taste: Sweet like sugared grapefruit that gives way to a brief, stronger bitterness. As it fades, it changes to lightly floral with lasting hops bitterness, while bringing out a pleasant sweetness on the sides and back.

Overall: I love this beer. Big and balanced.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap and a real good looker. Simple one finger white head but a beautiful slightly and I mean, Slightly just opaque body of clean and perfect and I mean PERFECT gold color. Some decent lacing upon this beer as well.

What a great bouquet on this beer off tap. Big grapefruit as of the rind was ripped off right on your face! This is also the first beer I've ever had that had tropical fruit notes, and there is some faint mango here also. Gives me that warm Sauvignon New Zealand Marlborough Blanc feeling.

Body for this beer is superb. Giant grapefruit juice and hop balance, with this perfect tight tingle on the palate. This is an APA but has characteristics of an American IPA and a really GOOD ONE, WOW color me impressed! This makes for super high drinkability!

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Photo of Gavage
4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: pours a hazy orange color with a fluffy 3"+ head that lasts a while. Moderate lacing develops during the session.

Smell: big floral hops and orange citrus are bold and very pleasant.

Taste: caramel, orange, pears, and a big floral hop bitterness make up a very tasty pale ale.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp throughout with some mild dryness late.

Drinkability: this is a beer you can drink all day long. Refreshing and just a nice APA anyone would enjoy.

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Photo of tdm168
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this six pack up at the Empty Pint Pub on 12/23/11. Poured into my ST tulip which I also purchased that day.

Pours a copper gold with 1/2" of soft, dense, creamy, white head that has great retention. The nose is floral and bready. There are also faint pine aromas and hints of birthday cake. The taste is very malty up front with notes of birthday cake and bread followed by floral and pineapple-like hop characteristics. There is a mild pine bitterness in the finish. This is a lightly carbonated, medium bodied beer that is very drinkable and smooth.

This is a fantastic, well balanced APA. The hops are nice and pleasant, but the malt character is by far the surprise here. The flavor profile is solid, and this beer drinks easy.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a perfectly pale copper hue crystal clear with a bright white head, not to far off from Phin and Matt's appearance. Aroma has grapefruit and pine accents going on with minimal malt sweetness. I don't think I like the new retro labels, way to technicolor for me. Nose is really a blast of sugar coated hops very enticing and probably not too heavy on the alcohol, it's so nice to drink their standard beers. Rather than the Choklat, Mohkah bastardization of beer styles that they have become known for. Upfront with hop flavor crystal malts and some sugar coated grapefruit breakfast experience. Also a bit of piney hop flavor but not super bitter, it's that massive hop flavor with moderate bittering hops that makes for a helluva good session brew. Mouthfeel is slightly slick with hop oils but light to medium bodied, doesn't stick to your palate and leave you wanting to scrape the hops off your tongue. Drinkability is very solid one of those grass mowing or session pub ales that will definitely sell better than some of their past lower alcohol styles.

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Photo of riversider76
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden with a fluffy head. Excellent retention and excellent laceing.Lots of bubbles. Aroma is of piney fruity hops. Mouth feel is light,crisp and carbonated. Taste is of grapefruit,and citrus. Piney presence throughout, with hints of pale malts. I expect greatness from this brewery and it delivers!!

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Part of the Southern Tier mixed 12 pack. Pours a slightly cloudy golden color, nice little head to it, decent lacing. Faint hop aroma to it. Taste is medium bodied, nice full smack of hops in this one.. much more than expected than a typical pale ale, this is bordering on IPA. Very well balanced beer, a great backbone to it so the hops aren't overbearing, just a solid, way too drinkable here. Definitely a beer for all to enjoy, highly recommended, especially on these hot summer days.

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Photo of Duhast500
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into stemmed glass.

The color is a clear gold with about two fingers of foamy white head and some thick lacing.

The smell is very floral hop flavor and has a slight citrus flavor in the background.

The taste is pretty floral and is bitter with a nice crisp flavor. It has a nice smooth feel and is mixed with a bit of a citrus flavors and a a bit of bitter resin flavor.

The feel of this beer is medium with a nice light body and is pretty drinkable. A good Pale ale.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Looks deep golden straw in color with a good foam head.
Big hop presence in such a light beer. Citrusy and piney hops come through, bitter and dry on finish. Slight malt taste can be picked up.
Feels smooth bodied but thin around the edges.
Some astringency at end, a bit harsh.
I've recently have been going back to pale ale for thier hoppy flavor instead of IPA's with thier high alcohol so for me this is a good refreshing beer for extended drinking.
Drink well my friends

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Photo of vfgccp
4.32/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A – Bright banana white gold. Fine white head with subpar lace and ok retention. Nice vibrant carbonation in the glass.

S – Mellow, tropical and well integrated. Mellon, papaya, soft malt, sweet Champaign and lemon zest.

T – Punch of floral bitterness up, then edges herbal through the center. A touch of black pepper and a light bready sweetness complement the bitters through the backend.

M – Full for the style. Smooth with a lingering semi-sweet bitter finish.

O – A fantastic example of an American Pale Ale.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Grabbed up a variety case today. Not sure how old since no best by or bottle date.

A - Wow a nice golden yellow, for a pale ale this one is very pale! I got a nice inch and a half of white head and decent lacing. Lively and carbonated!

S - Smells sweet which I like in my pales along with a bit of pine and citrus zest. Very little grain presence.

T - Solid sweet malts paired along a mild not overbearing bit of hop presence. More sweet and fruity rather than bitter pine. Flavor is solid and succession able.

M - Light to medium, so I was very surprised it has more ABV than Headwaters Pale (5.10 to this 6.00 ABV is well hidden!

Overall my only gripe is maybe it could use a touch more hops but its pretty impossible since then it would be an IPA not a pale. Light citrus hop taste around sweet malts and little grain harshness. Glad I have five more!

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Photo of dpnelson1978
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into glass pint.

$1.50 / ea.

A: Bright golden body topped with a big loose head of moderate retention that leaves behind a heavy foam lace and thin ring of bubbly cover.

S: Dominated by grapefruit citrus and hints of pine. Subtle hints of sweet bready malt peak through if you take the time to observe.

T: Grapefruit up front, but a very light aftertaste. Reminds me quite a bit of SNPA. The sweetness is subdued, and the bready malt enjoyable. This is what I expect of a pale ale.

M: Moderate body with medium carbonation. Not quite crisp, but refreshing overall.

D: Very sessionable beer. Great taste, light on the palate, and refreshing. Good times could be had.

O: Probably my favorite ST selection to date.

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Photo of zachary37
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden yellow with an orange hue. Smells very hoppy at first then later a hint of citrus and malt. Very delicious taste with a crisp white head. Kind of sour at first but finishes up with a crisp hoppy taste. Overall a very delicious pale ale that I would recommend to anyone.

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Photo of BeerPhan86
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First time trying this, came in the "Pack of Pales" mix pack. Four great hoppy beers in one mix pack is perfect for my taste.

A - Clear golden color, not very dark at all. Thick, sticky white head.

S - Smells of floral hops. To me this smells alot like an IPA.

T - Wow, quite hoppy for a pale ale. Very fruity hops, not bitter until the end. Very crisp, clean taste. Not too complex but I really like what's there.

M - Mouthfeel is creamy, not as light as the color led me to expect.

D - I could drink this all night. It tastes like an IPA but doesn't carry the same higher alcohol content.

Overall a very solid pale ale. I haven't seen it in six packs, and since there are only seven reviews I would assume this is a new beer from ST. I would still probably opt for the Southern Tier IPA if buying it alone but it is nonetheless very good. If there is one thing this brewery has mastered it's hoppy beers, and this is no exception. Cheers!

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Photo of greengorilla
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this from a 12 ounce bottle into a mug. It is nice golden color with a decent white head.

The smell is solid and hoppy.

The taste is of hops and of lemony citris. I really like the taste.

The mouthfeel is very good and it is quete drinkable.

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Photo of areich6
4.29/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoying with my good friend pschul4

A: Pours a transparent light golden color, with very little head. Looks very drinkable.

S: Smells great. Delicious hoppiness mixed with delectable lemony and orange notes.

T: Bit of a disappointment. The heavy citrusy flavors that the smell promised are not as strong as I thought they were going to be. However, they are still there and this beer actually tastes pretty good. The lemon and orange are still evident along with a little hoppy bitterness.

M: Very smooth. At 6% this would make a great session ale that you could get pretty happy with if you drank a 6 pack.

O: This is a good beer that is perfect for drinking at a party or any occasion where you would drink a good number of beers in a row. I think it would be a perfect introduction to craft beer for some of my friends who only drink macro.

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Photo of dogfishandi
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this just recently became available in six packs, before you could only get it in a mixer 12 pack. no freshness date.

at cellar temp poured apropriatly into a ST pint glass. pours an extremely clear yellow- golden color. about a 2 finger soapy, rocky head that faded to a thin retentive layer of soapy foam. a fairly nice lace.

a nice hoppy aroma. smells like pellet hops, piney, tropical fruity, maybe a touch of citrus. not much malt comes through.

that good hoppyness definatly comes through in the taste as well. its all there, pine, citrus, almost grapefruit like. some pineapple come through a touch. hops really dominate this beer, maybe just a touch of some pale malt comes through in the taste. the hop fowardness definatly does not bother me. the amount of bitterness almost borders an ipa.

a light body and mouthfeel definatly keep this in the pale category in my opinion. a little resiny from the hops. nice medium amount of carbonation. nothing to complain about here.

great drinkability, an awesome session beer. im definatly revisit a sixer of this soon. no abv listed on BA or the bottle but drinks like a 5% beer. i highly recommend this, a great hoppy pale ale.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a standard pint glass
Pale gold in color, with a moderate head of foam
Aroma-nice, aromtic, citrussy hops
Taste-Citrus and hop blend-snappy and tasty-nice hopleaf bite, well-balanced
Overall, a tasty, well-balanced, crisp pale ale that would be a nice staple brew to keep in the fridge. Very drinkable. Nice.

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Photo of snogglethorpe
4.23/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The color of a darkish apple juice, with not much head and a long-lived course lacing.

The taste and smell are bold and aggressive for an APA: citrusy American hops with a slight tartness that have the character more of lemon than of grapefruit; nonetheless, there's a fine refined bitterness, as well as a suitably restrained sweetness. The body is somewhat lighter than a typical IPA, with a very slightly oily feel. There's a strong but fine carbonation that along with the tart/bitter/slightly-sweet taste gave a sensation of drinking a tart carbonated cider.

This is a wonderful beer, that packages the delicious American hop character in a dangerously quaffable form.

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Photo of modernartblues
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes

Served on tap at Mikro into a pint glass

A- light golden body with 1 inch head, that leaves splashes of moderate lacing

S- fairly strong hop notes for an APA, I get the basic citrusy grapefruit nose with a strong note of pine, def. stronger than SNPA in the nose category, this borders on an IPA in the nose category

T- the beer isn't quite as hoppy as the nose would suggest, it still has a great grapefruit character with big wallop of pine that wins the day against the still substantial malt backbone that gives a touch of sweetness

M- medium tending towards light, excellent carbonation, clean bitter finish

D-This is an excellent APA that rivals Dale's Pale for my affections. An excellent choice for a session

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Photo of JAramini
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A new favorite. I picked up a single bottle from a build-your-own 6 recently, and have now purchased a full six pack because of my delight at the first one. I don't drink enough Pale Ales because I drink so many IPAs and DIPAs, but this is a delicious APA.

Appears a pale, clear, gold. Smell is super floral and a touch of citrus.

Taste is more floral and citrus. All I get is flowers and fruits in this one and I like it that way. Bitterness is fairly mild, as is the malt. The malt is there providing some support but is unremarkable.

Mouthfeel is pretty spot-on for the style. Not overly thick or thin. Dials in at smooth, semi-rich easily-drinkable level of thickness.

And yes, drinkability is quite high. I could polish off quite a few of these in a sitting. I've been searching for the best IPA available to me here in the Eastern half of the country, and it might just be this APA. The citrus and floral qualities of this beer completely make it for me. I prefer citrus and floral to pine, grass, marijuana, and bitterness.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.21/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Southern Tier Pale Ale is a crystal clear, sparkling golden ale with a small white head that diminishes to leave pretty nice lacing. It has a bright, bold citrus aroma with notes of grain and flowers. It smells perhaps a touch sweet. It has a smooth and creamy, yet lively, medium body with a very light, dry, pristine finish. It has a very simple hoppy flavor of pine resin and grapefruit rind. The finish leans toward black pepper. It's very simple and drinkable; quite refreshing.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

355ml bottle bought from

Poured a light golden yellow colour with a slight haze... White head poured fairly thick and foamy then faded to decent light covering... light carbonation... good sticky lacing lines cling to the glass...

Aroma - Light maltiness mixed with a good dose of citrusy and peppery hops, pine, tart fruits (grapefruit, lemons, apples), very floral, quite grassy, faint honey sweetness, light breadiness, some sea salt...

Taste - Good grassy and citrus hop bitterness, light pine, tart fruits (grapefruits, apples), light sweet biscuit malts, hint of wheat, peppery, some salty notes, floral and perfumed...

Feel - Quite smooth with a little bite underneath... light / medium body. Very, very quaffable and refreshing...

Overall - A excellent, straightforward, hoppy and very drinkable APA... recommended...

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Pale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.83 out of 5 based on 226 ratings.
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