Drake's 1500 Pale Ale | Drake's Brewing Co.

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Drake's 1500 Pale AleDrake's 1500 Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Drake's Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
As we approached our 1500th batch in San Leandro, the brewers decided to attempt something different. They set out to make a pale ale with a clean, stripped down malt bill and plenty of late addition hops that would give the beer huge flavors and aromas of bright citrusy American hops without overwhelming the balance with bitterness. The resulting beer packed the aromatic and flavorful hop punch of a West Coast-style IPA at a very easy drinking 5.5% ABV. The brewer and the people loved it. Now 1500 is a Drake’s flagship beer.

Malt: American 2-Row Barley, Patagonia Crystal 35
Hops: Bittering – Warrior; Whirlpool – Simcoe, Cascade, & Amarillo
Dry-hop: Simcoe & Amarillo
Yeast: White Labs 001
Original Gravity: 12.2 degrees Plato
IBUs: 48

Added by oggg on 08-02-2005

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Reviews: 134 | Ratings: 471
Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Guest tap at Magnolia. Yellow colour, lots of lace lines. Good c-hop flavour and aromas.Big IBU, later discovered to be SImcoe and Amarillo concentrated Very smooth drinkability, above-average mouthfeel.Great example for the style.Love to get this again.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Tony's Darts Away in Burbank, CA.

Pours a clear honey orange with a tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Thin rings of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of pine and citrus zest hops with some slight malt aromas. Taste is the same with a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good pale ale that is easy to drink.

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Photo of metter98
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Library Alehouse, Santa Monica, CA

A: The beer is slightly hazy yellowish amber in color and has no visible carbonation. It poured with a short off white head that died down leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and the sides of the glass.
S: Moderate aromas of citrusy hops are present in the nose.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell, except that the citrusy hops are a little subdued. There is a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little crisp on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This APA is quite flavorful and nice and easy to drink.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Who says that pale ales should be tame, balanced, and intended for simpler palates? Certainly not Drake's because theirs is bursting with hop character, surpressed malts, and highly citrusy for an effect that's more of a light IPA rather than the mundane pale ale.

Bright golden and with brilliant clarity, the beer releases a froathy white head that retains a creamy and lush head right down to the last sip. Leaving textured patterns of lace behind, the foam character of this beer is very impressive.

Very citrusy to the nose and hop-forward scents of grapefruit, orange zest, and soft pine seemingly dominate the aromas with the most supple caramel and bread notes that remind me of graham crackers.

The hoppy focus continues in taste with a clean and thin caramel malt flavor that evades the sweetness that's associated with the simple sugars. This dry malt flavor is ther perfect pillow for the spicy hop character of white grapefruit pulp, freshly mulled orange peel, and bitter pine resin particularly in finish. Although the dry malt character reveals a mild grassy or vegetal taste from hops, the citrusy focus is well celebrated.

Dryness continues in taste as the early carbonation evades the liquid quickly develops into a bone-dry finish of mild hop astringency, mild alcohol warmth, and resiny bite.

More of a pale ale, Drake's pale ale drinks much more like a 5.5% IPA with superb drinkability and cleanliness.

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Photo of brentk56
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color; the frothy head holds its position and adds a nice swath of lace

Smell: Grapefruity pith with a lemony edge and a pale biscuit malt character underneath

Taste: The biscuity malt introduction is quickly subsumed by a load of grapefruit pith and an almost floral lemony character; after the swallow, the sweetness of the malt provides a subtle balance and lingers in the finish along with the pith flavors

Mouthfeel: Medium body with spritzy carbonation

Drinkability: More of an IPA than their IPA, this beer packs a wallop of flavor into a low abv level; very nice

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Photo of kojevergas
2.85/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Disneyland thimble glass (own it!) in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed from notes. Label gives ABV as 5.5% and IBUs as 48. No best before date is displayed. Served refrigerator cold and not paired with food. Expectations are above average.

Pour wasn't vigorous. Side-poured at a 45 degree angle; I didn't anticipate undercarbonation.

A: Pours a two finger head of slight cream, fair thickness, and average (~two minute) retention. Colour is a semitransparent copper-gold. Nothing stands out. It isn't particularly appealing, but I'd say it's generally so.

Sm: Sheer hops. That's it. A mild strength aroma. I can tell it's dry hopped.

T: Pleasantly hoppy, but built with an eye for balance. Enjoyable and pleasant, without too much bitterness. No alcohol comes through. Refreshing. Simple, but likable. Balanced pretty well and fairly well built.

Mf: Smooth and wet, suiting the flavours generally. A touch thick, but it's excusable. Not too sharp. Cream isn't present, which is appropriate given the style. A bit sharp.

Dr/Ov: Drinkable but a bit boring. I wouldn't call it bland, but it's certainly lackluster. I like it for what it is, but I'd only get it again if it were on-draught. It hides its ABV well, but the ABV is merely average. It's nothing special.


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Photo of largadeer
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from a sixer.

Pale copper hue with two fingers of suds on top. Clear, but doesn't look filtered to death.

Smells pretty nice, quite hoppy for the relatively low ABV. Floral, citrusy (oranges), a bit botanical even, with a modest biscuit malt backbone. Not massively dry hopped like, say, Hoppy Birthday or Zombie Dust, but significantly more bright and aromatic than the average APA.

Palate is pretty punchy and flavorful, very citrusy (again, orange comes to mind) and quite bitter - this has some big IBUs for a pale, but it isn't abrasive or imbalanced. The body is light, bordering on thin, and malt is almost negligible; strangely it seems to come through more in the aroma. The finish, as previously mentioned, is pretty sticky and lingering. Very satisfying stuff, a top notch west coast pale ale.

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Photo of mactrail
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Hops are up front. Slow bitterness takes over the tongue and it does seem more and more bitter as you sip. Anybody know what kind of hops these are? Thin but decent hint of malt. Label claims 5.2% abv.

I find it pleasant and quite drinkable. Citrus flavors, tart, and aromatic. Not excessively hopped but definitely one for the pale ale drinker. On the cloudy side with lots of yeast in the bottom of the bottle.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sun-splashed Sunkist orange with a generous amount of vigorous carbonation. The result is a large cap of less-than-sticky foam the color of old newspaper. The head is persistent, however, and the glass ends up with a few blips of sudsy lace.

The nose is pure West Coast APA/IPA. Plenty of juicy grapefruit makes guessing the hop bill a no-brainer. Centennial (and maybe one of the other C-hops) is almost certainly in use. The only thing that's Imperial about this 5.2% ale is that it supposedly contains an IIPA's amount of hops. We'll see about that.

1500 Pale Ale just might contain an IPA's amount of hops. Given the APA-like ABV, does that make it an Imperial pale ale? Quite possibly. Enough with the style discussion, just know that this brew is a very well-hopped, pale-malted ale that is damn tasty if you happen to be a quart low on lupulins.

Other than a slight nod toward toasted bread, the barley side of things is all crackery malt. There aren't enough malt sugars for it to be biscuity. Pure essence of white grapefruit is aided by a bit of lemoniness. Each mouthful is brought to a close with a bitter-tart, dry, crisp finish. Simple beer. Drinkable beer. Good beer.

Forget how the head looks (which isn't bad, after all), because there's a boatload of crusty lace on the glass in the end. The mouthfeel isn't as buzzy as first feared. In terms of heft, it's right on the money for the style... as long as we forget all that 'Imperial' nonsense.

1500 Pale Ale was so named because it was Drake's Brewing's 1500th batch since opening their doors in 1989. That isn't much beer over that much time, but then everything these guys brew is good to outstanding. Quality over quantity is the very definition of craft beer. Bottom line: this one doesn't disappoint... especially if you're a hophead.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another new drakes ale for me to try. I actually started out my day with this one. Really wanted something not too heavy to get it going and this fit the bill quite well. Served cold and into a pint glass it was enjoyed on 11/01/2010.

The pour was a nice and light amber color with a smooth and even head of white lacing that reached a height of around two inches before settling back down and leaving a small head of lacing around the edges. Decent look for the style for sure.

Aroma was a little light and muddled if I am being honest. Small doses of piney hops coming through right away and followed closely by a light buttery malt profile that seems to start to bring some balance but becomes washed out half way through. Flavor is about the same as it really does not seem to have a firm direction in place and just has this light hop presence that is too balanced against the malt bill and cannot break out on its own. Odd. Nice feel and a fuller then I would have expected body seems to make it work, I was really just not feeling the flavor on this one.

Overall it was ok, but nothing to really right home about. Definitely a touch above average but that is about all I can say about it.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A very cloudy pour with a massive white head that leaves tons of lacing.

S: The nose is almost all hops. The primary scents I pick up are orange and a lot of resinous pine. There is an ever so slight bit of sweet malt sneaking through.

T: The taste is somewhat harsh. As with the aroma, there are a lot of orange and pine flavors, but the bitterness isn't quite as "clean" as many other IPAs and Pale Ales I have come across. The malt is very subdued here as well.

M: The beer is well carbonated and has a medium body. The beer might be a bit on the thin side, however.

D: This is not as drinkable as most APAs that I've had. The bitterness that I alluded to in the taste is welcomed, but it isn't well balanced, I feel.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Slightly hazy deep golden color with slightly off-white head. Aroma has some citrusy and piney hops, slightly dank and vegetal. Taste follows, citrusy, slightly resiny and grassy hops, a bit of underlying malt sweetness, medium bitterness on the finish but mostly in the aftertaste. Medium body with smooth carbonation. Overall it's a classic, easy drinking pale ale.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Pale golden orange. Nice white head. Chunky collar. Pretty clear.

Smell - Popcorn malt. Grassy and grapefruit hops.

Taste - A little resiny. Grainy malt. Cracker malt, a little bit of that popcorn flavor. Minimal bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Light. Medium carbonation. Drinkable.

Overall - Drinkable and pretty flavorful. Nothing unique, though.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is much more malty than I would have expected from Drake's. There are definitely a lot of hop spice tones that seem to be restrained by the seemingly high amount of malt presence. Which seems an odd thing to say since the hop spice tones really kick in at some points and burn on my tongue. High carbonation bites on my tongue as well. Overall, this apa could use a bit more finesse, imo. There is no grace or power about it, in any direction. Nice to drink though.

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Photo of smakawhat
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Pale and hazy apricot orange and yellow body. Lots of cola carbonation on the sides of the glass, and some rising to the top very quickly. Head is a fluffy off white with a nice controlled four finger size. Good retention and frothy island top and hold, with lots of soapy apperances though.

Very nice light bodied hop aroma, with hinting of West coast flavor. Citrus and a bit of pine, some grapefruit qualities, and a nice toast grain aroma. Pretty basic and solid.

Plate matches nicely. Giving to the notes on the nose, citrus warmth in the middle but with a lighter refreshing body. Aftertaste has a bit of toasty and biscuit like grains that compliment nicely. Mid palate fills with good mild juiced qualities with pale ale malt lightness, orange, grapefruit and mellow pine. Malt action hits nicely to cut through the hops letting you know what the base beer is.

Overall just a real solid West coast hopped up pale ale.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.21/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12/08/08- Purchased at Hi-Times in Costa Mesa, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Darker amber colored pour. Larger four fingered head with a nice creamy milkshake like froth. Leaves behind excellent small clumps and patches of lace.

Smell- Nose of light toasted malt combined with a nice lightly sugary citrus hop profile.

Taste- Hmmm, definite DIPA this is not. Maybe and english pale ale or a single hopped ipa. Super sharp and bitter extreme grapefruit pith hop flavor. Really doesn't taste like anything but bitterness. Seems like only one hop as well. Malt is hidden way in the back.

Mouthfeel- Carbonation is mid range to heavy and leaves a longgg lasting bitterness on the back of the tongue.

Drinkability- I'll pass on this one in the future. It started out promising, but not really miy kind of beer.

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Photo of Gavage
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours an orange color with a 2" fluffy head that slowly fell. Thick lace painted the glass during the session.

Smell: oranges and a soft bitterness were the dominant aromas.

Taste: Caramel, orange, a bit of grass / earthiness, and a nice floral bitterness. Nicely balanced flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp to start, less crisp and mildly dry late.

Overall: this beer was very easy to enjoy and tasted great as it seemed to be a super fresh keg. This can be a sessionable beer and can be enjoed with a variety of foods.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My warmup pint to Pliny the Younger at Beachwood yesterday. On to the beer:

Just what I would expect in a West Coast pale ale, the hoppiness is big in this beer. The beer left tracings of white on the glass as it was consumed, and the nose was perfumy, with tropical fruits and pine citrus. More of the same can be said of the taste, which its slightly bready flavor gets taken over by the tropical and piney notes. There are even notes of earth. Faded herbal towards the end....not quite as clean as I'd expect, but still a quality beer

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Meridian in Berkeley. Poured with a cascading head from the nitro tap that settles to a medium cap of about 1/2 inch and leaves some slight lacing. Smells a bit nutty and bready to start, followed by citrus, and especially pine, from the hops becoming prominent. Strange how differently this tastes on nitro with those nutty and creamy notes before t6he pine and citrus bitterness kick in. Very smooth in the mouth, this was pleasant, even though its hard for me to take nitro taps all that seriously.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.69/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I had this beer on-tap in my OBF pint glass at Oregon Brewers Festival.

Appearance: good color; a nice medium orange hue with a light effervescence and a tiny bit of haze. There's a thin layer of ivory foam as well.

Smell: a nice, standard pale ale aroma; heavy, resiny hops with some citrusy character. A little light in intensity, but even with that it's a little rough around the edges.

Taste: the flavor is much less raspy than the aroma. Butterness is a little rough at the end, but is at a low level so it works. Moderate hop character; orangey and grapefruity. It's not a sweet pale ale, more of a resiny, hoppy one. I like it.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent carbonation yielding a nice creaminess. Not bad.

Overall: a basic but functional pale ale; I could drink a fair amount of this.

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Photo of Zorro
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Mildly chill hazed amber colored ale with a voluminous tan colored head.

Sweet with a nutty and woody aroma. Biscuit malt and strongly herbal hop scent, this does have a strong candy quality to it.

The taste starts out sweet and herbal with a definite savory taste to it that isn't all that common in beer. Herbal and woody is how this beer is best described.

Mouthfeel is full.

OK I just don't like this one all that much. Not that it is bad or anything but the flavor combination just doesn't gel for me for some reason. To me it is just an herbal pale ale.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a dark amber with a tough, rocky white head that isn't going anywhere.

S: Scent is a linear blunt attack of piney hops, 1-dimensional, smells like a fir tree.

T: Tons of hops for a 5.2% beer, the malt can't contain it all at once. On the first sip, had a strong biting bitterness of pine, bitter melon and alcohol which hit the tongue immediately and dissapeared, it seemed like it went up into my nose, it went so quickly, but I kept coming back. Fairly one-dimensional hop flavours, but they are good. Malt gives a light toffee, typical light amber ale flavour.

M: Fairly light-bodied, full of hop resin, can be challenging at times.

D: Definitely has more hops than expected as an APA, an interesting experiment, I thought it worked pretty well.

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Photo of corby112
2.33/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a light golden amber/orange color with a massive 3 finger bubbly frothy head and lots of visible carbonation bubbles rising to the top of the glass. The carbonation makes it look almost soda like. Frothy pillowy head has great retention with large chunks of soapy lacing coating the glass.

Sweet light crisp fruit aroma with hints of apple and pear. There is also an earthy pilsner malt presence that balances out the citrus hop notes. Slight hint of alcohol as well.

Very fizzy overcarbonated mouthfeel. Very earthy piney dry finish. None of the light fruit and citrus notes from the aroma are evident at all. Caramel malt backbone is minimal not providing enough of a balance to the aggressively hoopy bite. The mouthful and taste make it seem kind of oxidized but it's not quite that bad. I would like to try another bottle and revisit.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a deep orange color with a dirty white head. Nose is orange peel, some wood and plenty of hops. Taste is tart upfront, hoppy, some wood, orange peel, grapefruit..there is lots going on here. Mouthfeel is bitter and coating. Drinkability is only average. While the beer is good one is good enough for me. The tartness of this beer leaves drinkability at average.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Light mix of orange and yellow, very full head. Grassy dry hop aromas, c hops, not gigantic, but appropriate for a west coast pale ale for sure.

Light grassy hops continue on the first sip. Light malt bill, dry. Mild sweetness, reluctant to have any caramel in this one, malt is pale. Not a massive mouthfeel of hops, an above average pale ale you can drink a lot of in one setting should you choose to do so.

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Drake's 1500 Pale Ale from Drake's Brewing Co.
3.89 out of 5 based on 471 ratings.
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