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 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 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 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 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 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 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 vette2006c5r
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale pours a golden straw color, that is a bit hazey, and almost no head. The smell is dry and hoppy. The taste is first a bit hoppy, then finsihs a more sweeter malty flavor. Bits of some sweeter comes through; possibly hunny. Decent strenth in the flavor, but not the most drinkable. Overall a pretty average pale ale, nothing to special, but isnt horrible.

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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 Rschis16
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice clarity, straw-yellow colored beer with a nice and bubbly sea-foam white head. Leaves some lacing. Smells strongly of grapefruit and piney hops.

The taste is very hoppy, with a bitterness that lasts througout the taste. The bitterness envelops the mouth, but is backed by fruitiness in the form of lemon rind. The grapefruit tastes stand out the most I think, followed by sharp piney hops that really make the taste stand out against other pales. A small but balancing biscuit quality makes this beer whole. Its clean and crisp, refreshingly easy to drink, and has a really nice bite to it. This is a pretty good pale and I could see myself drinking more of this one.

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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 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 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 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 JordanEllwanger
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale golden with a crisp white head, dense enough to be a finger with high. Smells is sweet and golden with malt over tone and a hop undertow. A clean crisp taste deserving of the name pale. It is very apparent to me that they use a good quality fresh water source. A sweet bite to this ale that leaves me wanting more. It has been a while since I have had this good of a Pale Ale.


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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 SickGnar
3.52/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: On the light side of straw. A bit light for style. Faintly hazy though, with a small white head that settles fast to a ring. Just a few spotty patches of lace.

S: Floral and citrus hops with a tough of grassiness. Juicy & fruity esters. Soft pale and toasty grain malt in the background. Quite noticeably sweet. Decent level of pungency.

T: Opens with a mix of floral hops and juicy, fruity esters – tangerine & apricots. Then grapefruit pushes in heavily and leans to citrus rind, light pine and then resin in the finish. Fairly firmly hoppy. Malts, while just a touch in the background, have good dose of juicy sweetness, but are otherwise pale malts & toasty grain. Grassy / hay / herbal impression grows as the glass warms.

M: A small bit over medium body with average CO2. Almost creamy. Start out just verging sweet and tacky, but hops push it drying.

D: Just about getting big for a pale and it shows. It gets to be a bit too juicy sweet, and you really start to notice all the low L crystal. It has a sort of jump between those malts and the hops. It could do with more middle. Robust, but light for style and rather plain for its heft. For all that, it is pretty good. I just wouldn’t have it as a session, but rather pair it with mildy spicy food.

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Photo of Lauthaha
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Beer is mostly transparent, with a very light cloudiness in the sunlight-golden beer. Head is minimal and fizzes away to nothing.

Smell: Piney oranges. A soft malt sweetness underneath.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The hops attack first, with some pine action on the taste buds. Try as they might, the slightly sweet malts can't seem to penetrate the hop assault. Beer goes down smoothly with a mellow bitterness and moderate carbonation. Aftertaste is pine needles.

Overall: Not a stunner, but decent. Worth a try.

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Photo of richkrull
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a slightly cloudy golden color with some barely off-white head.

Smell is kind of wheaty. Slight hop aroma with maybe a hint of spice.

Taste is lightly hoppy with some spices coming through. Good flavor throughout.

Mouthfeel is light. Very smooth and easy to to drink.

Overall a good quality beer. Nice easy to drink summer beer. I liked it although not sure if I'd buy it as I think Alpha King is better.

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Photo of ZAP
3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A-Light golden colored...minimal head...pretty clear

S-Bready malts and a sweeter tropical fruitiness from the hops..

T-Pretty balanced....bready malts...nice tropical hop fruitiness...none of it is real assertive but it fits nicely for this style.

M-Feels just a little light in the shorts...I realize it is an APA but it seems lacking in body to me.

O-I like this. I really like the blend of bready malts and tropical fruits...a tich more substance and this would really be something..still good as it is...

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Photo of gabedivision
3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a growler to a ST pint glass.

Pours a clear yellow, AAL looking gingerale yellow. With a 1 finger head that fades to a thin lace. The smell is very hoppy, citrus wet hops light malt, very refreshing. The taste is great, grape fruits, mangos, peaches, orange peel, lemons on the finsih. Light in the mouth with little carbonation, easy to drink, refreshing and tasty. This is a damn fine APA, give it a shot.

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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 rarbring
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is clear golden, a white head, some lacing, little curtains.

The smell is slightly citric, fruity, black currant, hay, some pine.

A moderate sweetness, toffee, brown bread, much hops, grass, nettles, lemon peel.

Medium small carbonation, small bubbles, soft and refreshing, medium body. A long dry finish.

A good craft beer, very well balanced and rewarding.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Southern Tier Pale Ale

Included in the summer sampler pack.

Pours a clear straw with a soapy bone white head and little to no lace. Aroma is bready, with some pine notes. Tastes like a straightforward pale ale or even a weak IPA. Lots of bitter hops lending some herbal notes and an earthy rind bitterness. Tastes alittle like hop pellets smell. Well rounded bitterness, overall, a pretty solid pale.

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

If I didn't know any better, I'd have thought this was an English IPA - and a decent one at that.

The light yet vibrant sunny yellow-gold color is what threw me off first. The somewhat soft, moderately thick and tall white spongy-foamy head is a product of the wheat and, in contrast to with the shade of the liquid, paints a pleasant picture - it really looks more like a blonde ale. Lacing left in webs but the overall retention was a bit weak.

Crystal-sweet malt push out first, highlighted by clementine, mild pine, and mildly floral aromas. Quite fresh.

The citrus flavors shift to lemon, kissed with honey. The deeper in the glass I went, the hop character became more noble. Light-moderate bitterness, mostly up front and then late - enough to round out the flavor. Malt and hops are balanced wonderfully, none too overpowering, each actually pretty mid-range in potency.

That along with its smooth, medium body and clean, somewhat dry, almost crisp finish gives this beer a wide range of appeal.

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Photo of Seeker41184
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Date Drunk: 12/2/2010

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to pint glass

A: Light straw yellow appearance.
S: Full bodied hop smell. Citrus and wheat were the 2 main scents, but overall well balanced.
T: With the first sip, it feels much higher then a 6" abv. The flavor was piney, citrus, and herbal. All these flavors worked, but disappeared before the glass was even set down.
M: Feels like you are drinking hop flavored seltzer, but with tinier carbonation bubbles.
O: More like an IPA then a APA. The flavor needs to be present longer and carbonation turned down a notch.

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