Pale | Southern Tier Brewing Company

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.

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Reviews: 145 | Ratings: 226
Photo of Beer4Baltimore
3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottles
A - light golden ale with a thin fading head.
S - slight hop bitters with a malty background.
T - taste follows smell but in the opposite order. The malts appear first followed by the hops. A pleasant hoppy aftertaste linger a minute or two.
M - medium duty feel with medium carbonation.
D - easily drinkable
An all around general purpose pale ale with a little of this and a little of that for many people but with nothing over the top. Balanced.

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Photo of MrKennedy
3.62/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle purchased from the International Beer Shop and poured into a Redoak tulip glass.

True gold in colour, pouring with a white head of foam that turns into film after a short while.

Beautiful smelling brew, strong hoppy aroma, relatively fresh - considering the journey across half the world.

Palate doesn't deliver the hop bitterness that you might expect, still a solid hoppy flavour on the finish which isn't really bitter, but just "there".

Solid mouthfeel, about the right sized body for the style.

Overall a decent beer, wouldn't mind having this as a regular draught beer at my local pub. But for the price, there are better of the style around.

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Photo of Macca
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a straw yellow with an ok white head. Cloudy.

Full on hoppy aromas - pine resin, tropical fruit, citrus. Yum. A bit of malt.

The hoppiness that I expected on the palate isn't there. The malts stand up to be counted.

Full on bitterness though. Medium bodied.

A pretty good APA without being earth shattering.

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

Pale yellow with a very small but resilient white head. Looks like a summer wheat as much as a pale ale.

Lightly toasted bread smell with floral, grassy hops.

Flavor is definitely balanced with a good base of light malts. No dark caramel malt in this brew. It makes for a very dry, toasted bread base that plays well with the floral hop presence. Has the particular taste of wheat malt as well to help balance the hops. Definitely not too bitter. I get a deeper hop flavor with more pine backbone in the flavor than in the aroma. Still definitely well balanced though with a floral, grassy flavor that mixes well with the bready, but not overly sweet malt flavors.

Not really what I think of when I think of an APA because the citrusy american hops aren't really as prominent as I would expect. A very good beer, but more in the realm of solid summer chiller than outstanding pale ale.

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

Straw-ish yellow, with average head of white foam. Attractive single-finger lace.

Mild hops aroma - definitely on the citrus grapefruit side. Not bad.

Flavor is very mild heavy on the citrus, with a little bitterness in the finish. Seems kinda acidic, but that could be the Pad Thai I had beforehand. Hah! Well-balanced flavor profile, though.

As a mellow citrus-oriented pale ale, this one a solid session selection. I'm just not too excited over it somehow.

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

Purchased from: Avalon Club (Sharon, PA)
Origin: 12 oz
Bottled on: ?
Tasted on: 04/9/11
Glassware: Dogfish Head Sniffer.
Serving Temperature: Approx 48 F

Appearance: Pours a 1/2 finger pure white head which quickly falls leaving minor lacing on the sides of my snifter. The body is straw gold in color.

Smell: Hops, malts, citrus & yeast notes. Actually has a pretty well balanced smell.

Taste: Wow. Very "herby" in taste. Reminds me of the smell my of herb garden (Very Floral, Grassy). Well balanced. Very enjoyable for a pale ale.

Mouthfeel: Good carbonation , good body. Well Balanced.

Concluding thoughts: I really enjoyed this one. Nothing very special, but its one that I would definitely pick up a session beer. Overall, very well done

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Photo of Natural510
3.82/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, no dating.

Pours a transparent, pale golden straw color with small amount of bone-white head which dissipates to a scant lacing.

Scent is on the faint side, but a light malt and floral hop comes through upon further detection.

Flavor is a nice, dry bouquet of herbal, chewy hops which sting the palate nicely. Malt is understated but balances with the mild sweetness of beet sugar in the background.

Body is light, crisp, but sturdy enough to carry the flavor well. Carbonated without being fizzy.

Well-balanced pale ale with a healthy hop bite should please purists and everyday ale drinkers alike.

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Photo of cocogan
3.59/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Visual: Poured into pint glass. Gold/pee-yellow in color. No head retentino. Slight conglomorate of fizzyness in middle of glass.

Nose: Hello lupelins.. Floral, citrus, and fruit notes.

Tase: Piney, citrus, and floral hop taste backed with a hefty hop bitterness. Also present somewhere in the middle of the hop dosage is a slight butter toast malt taste.

Mouth: light, noticable carbonation

Overall: Good but seems to have a bit strong hop presence for a pale ale. If I wouldn't have known I would have guessed this was an IPA.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a pale, straw yellow, slightly cloudy, with a thin white head.

Has a faint hoppy, lemony smell, with wet grass and slight sourness underneath. Begins to develop a bit of a bready aroma as I get further into the beer.

Starts somewhat bitter and citrusy, opening up to a sweeter malt, and a bit of an herbal taste. A distinct lemon taste develops as I get further into the beer. Fairly astringent and pithy in the aftertaste.

Light to medium bodied, this beer leaves the tongue feeling quite dry.

Overall a once drinking beer which for its bitterness is not taxing on the pallate. I could definitely see having this as a session beer during a game of cards.

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

12oz bottle into pint glass.
Pours a bronze color with good clarity. Head retention and lacing are adequate. Smell is inviting and fresh. Citrusy and floral. Palate is on point. Sharp grapefruit flavor with just enough malt balance. Mildly bitter finish, lending a semi-dry mouthfeel. Fluid feel on the tongue yet, has plenty of body. Good drinkability from start to finish. Very enjoyable APA.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.87/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: golden w perfect clarity. Decent white head and lacing.
S: big aroma for an apa-piney citric hops and some tropical fruit. Some bready, doughy malts underneath.
T: lightly sweet crackery malts are overtaken by a prominent hop bitterness that is a touch astringent/aspirin-like. Finishes dry.
M: light to medium in body. Seems a touch thin for this abv. Well carbonated w/a lingering, somewhat sharp bitter finish.
D: nice bouqet, would have liked a bit less astringency and a creamier mouthfeel.

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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 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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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 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 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 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 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 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 TheDTrain
3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tonight's brew: Southern Tier Pale.

How could this brew be 6%ABV? This Southern Tier Pale has serious drinkability. Hazy golden yellow pale ale has floral aroma which mixes nicely with hops and light yeast. Hops blended with citrus, yeast, malt, and sweetness makes Pale another success for Southern Tier.

Good drinkability. A few of these and the D Train will be off the tracks...

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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 OWSLEY069
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy yellow color with a white head. I the aroma, orange citrus notes and a small hop. In the taste, pine like hops and a dry orange citrus in the end. A small hop bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry orange citrus and hop like aftertaste. Nice citrus adding to the dry hop.

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Photo of cooncat
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my SA glass at fridge temp.

The pour produces a brilliant golden yellow hued beer, with a foamy white head about 1 finger in width. Head is fairly long lasting, and a thin cap is maintained during the quaff. Tons of lacing adorn the glass ... very nice looking brew.

The nose is hop dominant, but not heavy handed. It's a light pine/citrus mixture which is very pleasant. A touch of biscuit like malt is way in the back ground.

Taste is similar to the nose, in that it is hop dominant. Citrus and pine notes with a bit of spiciness are up front. Biscuit malt and carapils flavors are hinted at. Good carbonation level offers a refreshing drink, but diminishes the body, which is medium-low.

Drinkability is good, even though 6% is typically not considered a "session" beer. I would have no problem drinking these (in moderation) all night.

I often rate breweries on how well they do their Pale Ale. By this standard, Southern Tier is one of the best, and extremely consistent.

Na Zdravje!

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