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 wedgie9
2.64/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Tasted from 12oz bottle. Pours pale golden with a very thin white head. Nose of hops, pale malt, and light yeast. Flavor is maltier than expected with bitter hops and yeast on the back. There are also dusty and acidic qualities. Body is light with heavy carbonation and a medium-length bitter finish.

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Photo of xpoweruser
2.72/5  rDev -29%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Golden straw color, clear body. White fluffy head.

Aroma: Light flowery hops with some sweet grainy malts.

Taste: Light hop bite, a bit dry. Grainy malt flavor balances the hops. Not full bodied at all, somewhat watery.

Mouthfeel: Easy drinking and crisp. Very light body. Good carbonation.

Drinkability: Pale ales are not the heaviest beers in the world, but they can still be great beers with lots of flavor. This beer is just not doing it, boring beer, needs more character.

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Photo of engagechad
2.95/5  rDev -23%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Purchased as a single from Tom Leonards in Richmond, VA - tulip

Pours a kind of un pale ale looking yellow straw color with wimpy head.

Smells faint and kind of uninspiring. Almost pissy.

Tastes faintly hoppy without much going on.

Feels corny and slimy

Overall this was lame. Not going to buy it again.

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Photo of adamette
3/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Live review. Poured from the 12 oz. bottle that I bought at Wine and Beverage Depot in Mentor a few days ago for $1.69. The following printed just below the right side of the label: 103 A3. I am not sure what that means but there you have it. I have no idea how old this beer is. Poured into my Orval silver rimmed goblet since my other glasses were not cleaned.

A Pretty basic straw yellow translucent body under an all too brief off white head (it lasted about 10 seconds after a vigorous pour). 3.0

S Grain heavy barley smell with distant hops. This is pretty much what I expected. 3.0

T Tastes flows right from the smell in this one. Barley husks in front with an annoying grapefruit bitterness that collapses in the back of my mouth, making my molars ache and my mouth sort of cringe. Again here, this is what I expected. I will bump it one half point for being more flavorful than most Pales. At least it offers slightly better taste than the others. 3.5

M Pretty thin. Only the lingering hops bitterness and distinctive taste of barley husks keeps it from being very thin. That being said, it is true to style. 3.0

D Not that good. This style is supposed to be sessionable but I would rather reach for many, many other beers brewed by Southern Tier, most especially Uber Sun. Too bad that one is no longer brewed. 2.0

Notes: I expected an average beer for the style and that is pretty much what I got.

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Photo of Blakaeris
3.03/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours clear golden-yellow with a decent creamy head.

Aroma is grainy malt and lemony citrus. Not much there.

Taste is similar to the nose. Grainy malt up front. Then the lemony, floral hop quality takes over. Finish is relatively sweet with some pineapple notes.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied.

No off flavor, but not anything I find exciting or interesting either. Worth a try.

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Photo of alexgash
3.06/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle.

Mostly clear golden yellow body. Two fingers of whipped, lacy, almost-white head. Nice lacing. Candied fruit and butterscotch on the nose, with some very light herbal hop accents.

Soft, bready malts up front. Earthy, slightly herbal hop flavors follow. Fruit and bread malts mid-palate. Light bitterness trickles in. Finish is kind of dry, with lingering bitterness and light fruitiness. Moderate body, with a slightly oily feel. Not bad, but not one of ST's better beers.

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Photo of amanofbeer
3.13/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

From a snifter (which I think I may regret), fair lacing, and nice larger bubbles in some spots. Pale gold.

It smells of intense piny-ness. I'm not partial to piney beers, but it smells nice.

I am a little underwhelmed by the flavor of this beer. It has huge hop flavors that linger awkwardly. It lacks depth and maltiness, especially for a pale ale. This really tastes more like an ipa, but the body is that of a pale ale. This is unbalanced to me.

As this beer has so much hop flavor already, the mouthfeel is mismatched. Back off on the hops and it would be good, but not with such a huge flavor.

It's hopped like a sipping beer, but the malts are not. The lingering is very intense. I will not buy this beer again.

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Photo of Satchboogie
3.17/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

A: Pours clear pale yellow with about a finger and half of white head. Leaves a little lacing.

S: Lemon peel, a little orange, floral notes, biscuit malt.

T: Very light floral hop notes with a touch of citrus, a decent amount of bitterness up front, but not much in the finish. Biscuit malts dominates the middle. Finish is light and clean with a hint of metal.

M: Light bodied, high level of carbonation. Feels a little hollow.

O: A bit on the weak side for an APA. Hollow biscuit malt taste with just a little hops (and again, not much depth of flavor). The plus side is it's easy drinking and there are no unpleasant alcohol esters to speak of, but I could definitely use more flavor and body.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, no date.

appears a bright clear golden color, with bone-white colored head. decent head retention.

mild hoppy aroma, with a touch of citrus. taste is balanced biscuity malt and light hopping. clean aftertaste. body is thin, with fizzy carbonation.

overall, an easy drinking beer. good for warm weather.

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Photo of mafiasentinel21
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is a great session beer and compliments the summer well.

Pours a bright wheaty golden crispy-looking brew. Average head & retention quick to fade.

Smells like a box of wheat with faint citrus & esters.

Great, crisp, and very refreshing beer, but didn't have enough balancing hop influence.

Good beer. Wouldn't purchase a sixer for myself but I would be pleased if it happened to be at a friends' house.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this into my mug. Pours an almost neon yellow clear color with a heavy thick tightly bubbled heading. Leaves some legs but only in the beginning.

Smell is kind of fruity with a slight hoppy aroma and a doughy maltiness. Seems well rounded.

Taste is well deceiving hoppy at first,then a bit fruity, and finishes a little doughy.

Mouth is smooth and bitter,light bodied and good carbonation.

This is a drinkable session like Pale ale.

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Photo of ujsplace
3.33/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pub glass.

Thick, white foamy head sitting on top of a bright yellow body.

Smells of mild hops, slightly buttery.

Tastes of bright citrusy fruits with mild bitters and possibly a hint of floral hops.

Light mouthfeel, crisp and clean.

Good and drinkable. Truly a pale ale. Very mild and drinkable by anyone.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.38/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yet another beer that I picked up from Buy Rite in Jersey City recently. This was one of the few Southern Tier offerings that I had yet to try and even though I've had enough Pale Ales for one lifetime, I figured that I'd give it a shot since I like most of what Southern Tier puts out. Suffice to say, I feel like this beer was mislabeled since it was not as dark, hoppy, or strong as other examples of this style, and I think I liked this better the first time...when I had the Hop Sun.

Sure enough, this beer poured light in more than one way. The hue was golden and there wasn't much of an aroma to be had here either. There were hops here, to be sure, but they weren't heavy or of a dry sort. Because this beer was so balanced, they were overshadowed by the biscuit and bread flavors and the typical pine and citrus flavors aren't really found here. While this isn't a bad beer, this is about the weakest APA that I've ever had, or could possibly find on any retail shelf.

All that this is good for is having a session beer that doesn't burn and goes down easily. There's just enough carbonation here to take any edge off but if you're looking for an edgy beer, this sure isn't it. Fans of Southern Tier are bound to be disappointed like this and with so many other offerings by them and other APA's to choose from, why even bother with something as generic as this?

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Photo of davidaubrey
3.39/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Appearance - This beer has great clarity and is a light orange/amber color; I can't believe how filtered & clear this beer is.

Smell - Smells hoppy and spicy;

Taste - The bitterness of perhaps either cascade or centennial hops is apparent immediately. The flavor is not very complex; perhaps a different, darker malt would help this beer.

Mouthfeel - This beer is has great clarity, but little substance to the mouthfeel. I would prefer a beer that is less filtered with a thicker body.

Drinkability - Excellent, however, when choosing pale ale next time, I'll probably go for a different one next time.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Southern Tier Pale has an orangish body and an off-white head that has good retention and lacing.

Lots of resin in the aroma, with citrus and grass as well. It seems like this beer has a good bit of bitterness.

This Pale is all bite. Loads of bitterness and resin, with bits of pine, grass and grapefruit. The malt base has a mix of caramel, bread and pale malt flavors. Not a whole lot going on here, with bitterness being the defining characteristic.

Biting and oily. The carbonation is actually quite nice and the body is medium for the style.

Southern Tier's Pale really just seems like an IPA to me, and an extremely bitter one at that. It is, however, inferior to the actual IPAs that Southern Tier makes.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tumbler

A: Pours a very light straw color that is crystal clear and has a solid amount of carbonation bubbles. Pours with a very thin head that is pure white and is bubbly but dissipates almost entirely quickly.
S: Nice hopiness and a nice fruity scent as well similar to orange peel, something else very slight like a pile of leaves on a fall day
T: smooth taste, gentle hops, slight sweetness at the end, very slight citrus
M: smooth with a small amount of carbonation leaves a slight dryness on the palate
O: very enjoyable, highly drinkable, very light and airy, i could definitely see this as a session brew or something that i could have sitting around the house consistently

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.41/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a 12oz tumbler.

Pours a very light yellow, infact a bit too light, with a huge pillowy white head that is near perfect with some light lacing. Nose is more malty than hoppy, a bit yeasty with some mellon notes.

Taste is piney and a bit bitter but not over the top, very crisp and refreshing with a sharp finish. Mouthfeel is fairly full with slightly high carbonation. Overall quite good but not quite as good as SNPA.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.42/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on August 26, 2011. It pours a murky yellow with a quick buirst of head that dissolves quickly. The aroma has a strong citris, lemon note that tends to be a bit more obvious than the malts and hops. The body is light. Malts and hops are in the taste but it is the citrus zest that takes it all over. It has a refreshing quality.

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Photo of jar2574
3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good sized white head. Pours clear yellow color with a lot of carbonation. Smells of grapefruit and hops. A little grassiness too.

Taste is grapefruit hops up front and some malty sweetness in the aftertaste. Not bad. Although the bottle says it is brewed using only 2 hops and 2 malts, and other Southern Tier beers have bragged about using more than that, this beer comes across as hoppier and bolder than the others.

Lots of carbonation keeps it interesting enough but the carbonation is about the only distinguishing part of the mouthfeel.

Easy to drink a good - if not great - effort by the brewery.

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Photo of rjs
3.47/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Exremely transparent with a light straw color.

S - A weak smell of hops.

T - Somewhere in between an orange and lemon, some light grains. Then finishes with a small kick of hops.

M - Thin and sticky. Lightly carbonated.

O - This was a decent, drinkable pale ale. I could see this beer as a gateway beer into IPA's or more assertive styles.

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Photo of Briken
3.49/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear straw/honey color with white fluffy head and good retention. Floral aroma. Nicely balanced slightly in hop direction. Floral and light sweetness. Hops strengthen but never dominate. Thin slick and easy feel.

A little hoppy for my tastes in a pale ale. Nice color and feel but not quite the easy drinking pale ale. A good substitution for when there’s no IPA available.

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Photo of JRed
3.49/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours transparent golden in color (think macro lager) with white bubbly head. Aroma of soap, mint, floral notes, and lemon skins. Tastes of floral notes, wheat, hops, mint, slight soap, lemon and grass. Light in body with zesty carbonation. A light, lemon forward pale ale.

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Photo of soju6
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy golden color, with a nice head that fades to some lacing.

S: Pleasant but mild citrus aroma with a bit of sweetness. very subtle.

T: Pleasant but mild bitterness with some caramel sweetness. Ha a nice dry finish.

F: Fairly medium body, crisp but quite smooth and refreshing.

O: Easy drinker, good for a few. Nothing fancy. I was expecting a bit more but still a good beer.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very light and crisp American Pale Ale. So crisp that the hops begin to stand out above the malt flavor, causing the beer to balance toward citrusy and bitter balance. Much less caramel than Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale that the beer may seem overly hoppy as a result.

The beer pours a very pale straw color and with the slightest of haze, resembling more of a German Lager than a Pale Ale- no hint of amber or caramel in sight. A semi-froathy and partly creamy stark-white head tops the beer in moderate volume, retaining very well after reducing to a hearty sheet, and lacing quite well with random patterns on the glass.

Citrus aromas about, but not without the roundness of light straw and grass, mild lemon, grapefruit zest, and orange peel. The supporting malt character gives a light scent of sweet breads and crackers is soft and understated, intent on letting the hoppy nose to govern the scent.

Similarly, the malt flavors succumb to the hops, but portray a timid bready, grainy sweetness with a touch of powdered sugar, and cracker-like breadiness. But then the medium grapefruit, light lemon, and vibrant grassy flavors take hold and usher in a clean and growing bitterness into a very crisp finish with only a linger of citrusy bitterness backed by a memory of malt. Alcohol flavors stand out a bit more than the standard Pale, but largely because of the lack of a malt curtain to hide behind, contributing a noticable ethynol bitternss and unadulturated bite.

Medium-light, but marketedly creamy early due to ample carbonation. But that's short lived as the hop dryness and highly attenuated malts slam shut on any malt sweetness or texture anywhere past mid palate.

By most standards, this may be an extra pale Pale Ale that's much crisper, cleaner, and in some ways- naked. It doesn't allow for flaws at any level becuase of the simple recipe and limited complexity. Still, the beer is satisfactory for fans of beers that balance toward the hops.

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Photo of Lemke10
3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a semi-cloudy, golden yellow color with a thin, off-white head. The scent is mild with hops mixed with hints of citrus. The taste is weaker than I would expect from Southern Tier. The texture is thin and the flavor is weak with just hints of wheat and grains. Not really much of a bitterness to it either. Granted I did get this after it was listed as “retired” so maybe it lost some flavor along the way.

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