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Pale | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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very good
145 Reviews
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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.

For Trade:
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Reviews: 145 | Ratings: 225
Photo of ngeunit1
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The beer pours a bright slightly hazy golden-yellow color with a finger frothy crisp white head atop. The head fades down fairly quickly leaving behind some lace.

S - The aroma is a mix of sweet malt, some grassy hops, and a bit of bready and citrus aromas as well in the background.

T - Starts off with a mix of sweet malt and piney hops and bitterness. Through the middle, some stronger bitterness comes through with some citrus flavor and bread. The finish is a mix of yeast, bitterness, and sweet malt that lingers.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The beer feels really smooth and crisp without feeling watery or thin. The finish is just a bit dry and very nice.

D - Very drinkable. The malt-hop balance is really great here. It is also super smooth and refreshing and does not sacrifice flavor one bit.

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Photo of SuperNova777
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A:Pours a see-thru yellow with a fingers worth of fluffy white head that slowly resides leaving a nice lacing down the glass as I drink it down

S:A nice citrus and piney hop aroma coming to the nose along with some pale malts. Very inviting scent on this one

T:Just as nose detects a big hop flavor hitting the palate at first sip and then in the middle, then a nice layover of some pale malts on the end. Hops then linger on the palate begging for another sip

M:More of a solid mouth feel than eyes would lead you to believe, solid carbonation

D:Very refreshing and crisp pale ale, with the problem I've been having with most pales lately is that they're just not coming thru taste wise, not the issue with this one. Very drinkable, very flavorful, and all around crisp brew. Definitely coming thru on the hops and leaving me satisfied and wanting more. Good offering from Southern Tier...as usually.

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Photo of brewdoc75
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of the pack of pales.

A: Golden yellow with slight amber highlights. Moderate carbonation. Good 1-2 inch head dwindles to a lace.

S: Fruity with citrus aromas. Orange and tangerine mostly. Love the fruitiness. Faint malty sweetness.

T: Flavorful pale ale with citrus hops everpresent. Orange and tangerine are most prominent. Fruity esters add to the citrus experience. The bitterness is that of grapefruit and is pleasant and not too strong. Malts are light with a touch of caramel and a hint of honey.

M: Light bodied. Crisp. Goes down easy.

D: A very nice pale ale. A good staple. I reallly enjoyed the citrus character. Quite flavorful. I'll pick it up again.

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Photo of PicoPapa
4.19/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. Pours a nice golden yellow color with a medium head. Bits of lacing. I could smell this beer the second I started pouring it. Big Aroma. Grapefruit, lemon and a slight aroma of hops. Taste is crisp with a light flavor of grapefruit. Only slightly hoppy but with a nice bitter aftertaste. This is an easy drinking beer with a lot of flavor and great aroma. I really love Southern Tier 2XIPA but this beer is certainly one not to overlook. Well made.

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Photo of zeff80
4.19/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a small white head of bubbly foam. It left small traces of lace on the glass.

S - Great aroma with bittersweet grapefruit, bubblegum and citrus. Good caramel aroma, too.

T - Good citrus and grapefruit flavor. Nice bitterness. Sweet caramel malt backbone.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a very nice pale ale with a great aroma and a really good taste.

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Photo of WesWes
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy gold color with a 1/2" offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice pale and Carapils malt scent along with a mild hop nose. The taste is great! It has a killer hop bite that's well balanced with a solid pale malt base. It's quite a bitter brew, bordering on IPA status. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a very good APA. I'd expect nothing less from these guys.

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Photo of billab914
4.17/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer number 2 from my pack of pales. Batch #585. Pours amber in color with a nice thick white head that retreated to the edges of the glass. Nice lacing down the glass.

Aroma is very citrusy and floral. Taste is all about the hops as well, lots of citrus and grapefruit flavors with a nice long bitter finish.

Drinkability is very good. I really enjoyed this one and I would easily choose this one before their Phin & Matt's Ale. Very good Pale that tastes a lot like a good IPA. They should make this a regular, although maybe it is as I don't understand their vote for your favorite pale thing they have going on. I vote for this one.

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Photo of weave
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I guess I'll be the first. And it's my first review too!!

A- Crystal clear, fine bubbles running up the glass. Deep golden to almost amber in color.

S- Earthy, piney hops. Almost resinous in aroma.

T- Hop bitterness dominated. It is not an overly hoppy beer but the flavor and bitterness of the hops does dominate the malt flavors. The hop flavor is more earthy/piney than citrus. It is a touch spicy too. Maybe a good amount of wheat in the grain bill?

M- Nice cramy mouthfeel. Not thin at all.

D- Long bitter finish. Not quite clean. Light malt flavors and hop bitter finish means easy drinking.

I like this beer better than ST IPA. IPA to me is too dry and has too long of a bitter finsh. This beer strikes me as somewhere between IPA and Phin and Matt's in character. Hoppier than Phin and Matt's but with more body than IPA.

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Photo of axeman9182
4.15/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A pour into my Duvel tulip reveals a burnt orange beer with a good sized off-white head. Lacing is adequate, but nothing amazing. The nose is promising, caramel malts and citrus hops. Southern Tier nailed this one, as there is a great malt base (caramel, same as the notes), with an aggressive, but not over the top wave of bitterness mid taste. The beer finishes with largely citrus hop notes, though there's some earthiness in the mix as well. The carbonation is moderately carbonated, to good effect, but the body seems a little on the thin side for this beer. It would be fine for a traditional APA but this beer drinks much more like an IPA, and for a beer with that that much flavor it's lacking. Southern Tier nailed this beer, the superb malt/hops balance makes it quite drinkable, though given how flavorful it is and that it clocks in at 6%ABV I'd say it's definitely much closer to an IPA than an APA.

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Photo of alleykatking
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from 12oz bottle.

A- Poured a golden yellow color. One and a half finger fluffy white head shows good retention. Sticky clumpy lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Nice big citrus hops hit the nose first in the aroma. Caramel malt backbone shows itself middle of aroma quickly getting covered by a nice floral hopping in the backend.

T- Citrus hops in the front roll over anything else except for a hint of floral flavor. Sweet bready malts in the middle give way to a distinct bitterness in the back end. Some light alcohol shows up toward the end but blends well with the bitterness.

M- Medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is very good for the style. Citrus hops left on the palate with a nice bitter hops with pine like quality in the aftertaste. Flavors blended well together but showed flavors as individuals as well. Lower alcohol drying on the palate with each sip.

D- Very refreshing pale ale. This was a very easy drinker on a warm summer day. Southern Tier seems to be bu,ping it up a notch with their everyday beers.

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Photo of paulozanello
4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very very clear golden color with hints of orange. This is a very unusual color for a pale ale, looks more like a helles lager.
Head is creamy and white leaving spiderweb lacing on the glass.

Aroma is of faint cereal grain and lots of resinous grapefruit and citric hops.

Taste also starts with some grainess but soon shifts to lots of citric grapefruity hop notes. I also get some grassy hops. Very fresh.

Body is medium towards the lighter side. Mouthfeel is amazing as well as the drinkability. I must've drinked the 16 oz in less than 10 min. Carbonation is medium to low. This really feels like a 3.5% abv beer as opposed to 6.1%.

Overall a great looking and drinkable apa, not the most complex hop presence in the world but as far as APAs go this only loses to a few of them, like Alpha King.

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Photo of avalon07
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: On-tap, in a pint glass at Oak Barrel Tavern. Had a golden yellow color and a clear consistency. There was a half inch of creamy, long-lasting head. Excellent lacing.

S: A nice citrusy aroma, with some hops as well.

T: Tasted of mild hops, a bit of malt and a big shot of citrus (mainly orange and lemon it seemed). Slightly different from most APAs (the citrus level is higher), but still very lively and complex.

M: A good amount of carbonation and a slick finish. Medium-bodied.

O: This is a likable, easy to drink beer. Well made and not at all heavy.

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Photo of Viggo
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle from Buffalo.

Pours a clear golden yellow, some light amber highlights, thick white head forms and slowly settles down to a medium ring around the glass, solid sheets of lace stick around, looks good.

Smell is nice, light and hoppy, bright fruity aroma, a bit of pineapple and a touch of pine, caramel sweetness, a bit of biscuit and toasty malts, some floral hopping, wheat, a bit of lemony zing, nice aroma.

Taste is nice as well, bright and zesty, a bit of lemon and orange peels, pineapple, some floral, light pine, caramel sweetness through the middle, a bit of biscuit, wheat, touch of corn syrup sweetness, nice herbal bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with low to medium carbonation, very refreshing. A nice pale ale, nothing fancy but goes down easy with some real nice flavours.

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Photo of biegaman
4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Southern Tier Pale is indeed pale and, thanks in part to the filmy haze, its bright yellow colour appears like petrified sunlight. Its head arches like a giant celestial dome, leaving mystical looking lacing so adhesive it looks like it will last at least a millennium.

I like that the label is proud to share that ST Pale uses only using 2 kinds of hops and 2 kinds of malts. Seeing labels that boast of using an enormous sum of ingredients or having won a bunch of different awards is like those processed foods that make claims about how healthy they are. Chances are, the more healthy they claim to be, the less they really are.

Conversely, only 2 types of hops and 2 types of malts doesn't sound like it would make for thundering bouquet and weighty flavour but don't confuse the number of ingredients listed with amount of ingredients added! Sure, there's only 2 types of hops added but there's plenty of 'em! Indeed, it smells (and tastes) like they spared no expenses.

Yup, it's all hands on deck for hops: bitter, pithy resins, candied citrus, caramel-dipped pine tips, mango puree and a French-toast like maltiness make for a pale ale that is scarcely a shade less flavourful than any IPA worth naming. Seriously, this thing get's me boogieing like a funky bass line with its bright citrus notes and crisp, toasty malts.

ST Pale has the character of a beer two times its size; this has more bells and whistles than a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade. I'd like to submit my name for regional president of the Southern Tier fan club; big and small, this brewery makes nothing but characterful, lively, delicious offerings. This should be a mainstay in every beer drinker's fridge.

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Photo of Brad007
4.07/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice golden yellow color with a frothy head that manages to linger in the glass.

Aroma is full of grassy, slightly floral hops with a hint of biscuit underneath. Not bad.

Taste is full of bready/buttery malt and grassy hops. About usual for the style. Simple. Easy to drink.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering malt and grassy hops. Balanced and drinkable here.

I like it. Certainly worth a try.

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Photo of almychristopher
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

this beer pours a nice golden color with a perfect white head that recedes leaving just a touch of lace that still clings nicely to the side of the glass. the aroma brings a nice bit of citrus hops, balanced nicely by the sweet maltiness, with a bit of the yeast esters as well. a very nice hop bite at the front again rounded out beautifully by the sweet malts. the medium mouthfeel and adequate carbonation make this a beer worth looking for, on par with or better than other beers in the pack.

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Photo of DaveBlack
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Appearance certainly shows that this beer is aptly named. Extraordinarily pale and yellow. Almost unnatural looking with only a small amount of white head that dissipates quickly, leaving no lacing to speak of. Really not much to look at.

S: Very floral, with notes of peach and a small amount of bitter hop notes. Really smells flavorful and light, just as a summer beer should be.

T: Taste does not disappoint: Light with the same fruit and floral notes that one can detect in the nose. A surprising amount of hops backs up the flavor and gives it a nice refreshing bite.

M: Light and plenty of carbonation makes this an extremely easy beer to drink.

Don't let the color fool you: this beer may indeed be pale, but it packs flavor. Light and refreshing, this is a great beer for hot summer days. Or really any time you feel like something that tastes good but won't decimate your palette.

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Photo of stimulus
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle.

A: Pours a pale golden with a fluffy white head that has nice retention and lacing.
S: Piney with a crisp hop finish.
T: Pretty straightforward: malty with hop bitterness mixed in with the floral notes, but the bitterness is a notch below an IPA.
M: Slightly overcarbonated but balances out as the brew warms.
D: Wow, I could drink this all day. Simple and well-crafted.

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Photo of tempest
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle at Abe's Cold Beer. Ah, this is a nice surprise. It's unusually light (in body) and drinkable. Sure, it's 6% and not exactly session strength, but the light mouthfeel and mild nutty malt flavor, reminds me of a great English pale ale. The hops, however, are distinctly American. There's a mix of tangerine tropical fruit punch and piney citrus rind and grapefruit. The aroma reminds me of US Tettnanger hops with spicy apricot. This is an interesting, refreshing and dangerously drinkable pale ale.

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Photo of shand
4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into an imperial pint glass.

Appearance: Like everything Southern Tier, this looks great. Pours golden with three fingers of head (right up to the top of my glass!), very fluffy. Retention is about average, and lacing is great.

Smell: Hops hops hops. There's a bit of grapefruit rind here too.

Taste: Pretty good! This is actually quite a bit hoppier than their standard IPA. There's less malts on this one and the hops are more up-front. The heavy grapefruit rind also does a bit to further the IPA illusion. There's just a little bit of malts at the end. Very good.

Mouthfeel: Slightly carbonated and smooth. Good.

Drinkability: Pretty drinkable, the bitter grapefruit peel hurts it just a bit in this aspect, it's mostly what lingers around in the aftertaste.

This is a pretty decent in-between the style of a normal Pale Ale and an IPA. Another good beer from Southern Tier, it's pretty hard to find faults with their stuff.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a perfect pint.

A- pours a pale shade of gold with a 1 finger white head. The head fades quickly, but leaves some absolutely amazing lacing. Like...stellar. That gets it extra points

S- sweet hop aroma...tropical fruits. Smells amazing, very strong

T- starts off with a nice tropical burst, ends with a decent bit of bitterness. Maybe a tad bit too sweet?

M- typical pale ale. Thin, but this one seems a little more watery than usual. Not good

D- I prefer SNPA, but this is a worthy pale

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Photo of Buebie
4.02/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pub glass, forming an inch of frothy head and receding to leave globby bubble islands and thin lace. Not much carbonation rise and almost a murky un attractive color off this.

Still it smells wonderful and thats a plus. Plenty of sweet necter in here with caramel malty delight. Fruity too mixing it up with oranges and grapefruit and almost a cactus fruit aroma. Quite malty resembling clover honey and its very intoxicating to just inhale the aroma off this.

Taste is also quite good exceeding my expectations for the style. Not as sweet now in flavor, but malt still shines through providing great grain flavor here as well as packing a punch of hops. Bitters begin to dominate into the swallow, pine now owns all, where it once was a citris filled orange and leafy hop flavors.
Mouthfeel is a tad thin, carbonation provides some fuller feel, but overall its thin and well carbonated.

Aside from mouthfeel and seeming overly bitter for the style this is a good beer. Hops deliver some desired flavors for a hop head like me and malt provides terrific aroma and semi sweet flavors upfront.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice clear amber with an ample white head about two inches tall. This faded and left behind a ton of lace. Good visible carbonation.

hoppy, lots of very sweet citrus flavors. A touch of sugar and some malted grains in the backend of it. Had a very clean, cut taste. Not much of an aftertaste here, just straightforward hoppy pale ale. Nice grain fresh cut grass in the back. Silky smooth, albeit a little thin, but very smooth. Again very clean and refreshing, light. Very good. I could easily session this one all night ling. It was just a nice light IPA, or pale ale.

Overall this was really a good quality light session beer.

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Photo of david18
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this beer as a part of a "Pack of Pales" they were selling. Twelve bottles, three each of four of their pales. This one was as good as any of them and a good example of a pale ale.

Appearance was light amber, nice carbonation and pretty easy to see through. Very refreshing looking.

Aroma was floral with a touch of bready malts.

Flavor was everything you'd expect from a pale ale. Good hop flavor balanced well with the other components. More typical of an east coast pale than a west coast.

Overall a very good beer that I hope to find on draft some time soon.

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Photo of spinrsx
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - The beer pours a clear pale gold with a fairly large fizzy white head. There is lots of carbonation showing, and there is some nice lacing. The head lasted for a few minutes before it dissipated.

Smell - pale malts, grapefruit, hops corn, caramel

Taste & Mouth - There is a very nice and refreshing mouth feel with this beer. Lots of carbonation make it seem really light and refreshing. The most noticeable flavours are grapefruit/lemon zest and hops. There is also a light caramel sweetness and the beer finishes with a bitter hop and citrus aftertaste.

Drink - Wow, just a fantastic session beer. I could easily see myself drinking a bunch of these, especially on a nice hot summer day. Definitely worth seeking out - Southern Tier rarely disappoints.

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Pale from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.83 out of 5 based on 225 ratings.
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