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

very good
134 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 134 | Ratings: 471
Photo of notchucknorris
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear golden color with an impressive one finger foamy white head with really nice lace down the glass.

S: Bready malt smell with hints of caramel and a touch of piney and grassy hops. Very clean cut.

T: Sweet and bready malt flavors upfront with a light kiss of grassy hops resin on the finish. Some light pine and grain in there as well. Very straight forward and pretty well done.

 396 characters

Photo of HattedClassic
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer pours a fairly nice head that is bubbly. The head lasts quite a while and leaves some very thick lacing. The beer itself is a copper and clear. The beer has a nice bready smell in addition to a dry hopped smell. However, the hop smell dominates the bready smell. The main taste notes are hops with some bits of bready flavor in the aftertaste. The hops are fairly present and the hops from the dry hopping are fairly strmg. The hops have a grassy pine smell and the malts give a sweet and bready taste. The mouthfeel is fairly smooth and clean feel. The carbonation is fairly light. Overall, a pretty good beer and worth getting.

 638 characters

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.

 624 characters

Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle given to me by one of my best beer customers that he picked up when out in CA. Poured into a Stella tulip glass.

AP: Nice looking amber-orange colour with a 3/4" foamy white head that dwindles down to 1/8", moderate lacing on the side of the glass.
AR: Very impressive aroma on this one. Good bready malts with some caramel and a hint of spicy rye in the background. Hops aromas are a combo of tropical and floral with orange, tangerine, pineapple, guava and honeysuckle, jasmine and lavender. Very nice.
T: The malts are bigger in the flavour than the aroma and the tropical aromas are tamer, but still very tasty. Malts are more biscuit and cereal grains and make a good foundation to carry the hops flavours. Nice soft bitter pink grapefruit finish with a hint of green needle pine. The floral aspects and the bit of spicy rye are in the flavour as well. Well done, but if the tropical aromas had carried over more in the flavour I'd have rated the taste higher.
M: Moderately carbonated, medium body, a bit of acidic crispness mid palate then an off dry finish.
OV: I really enjoy this beer. Fairly hoppy for an APA, but not in a way that makes you think IPA, almost like a Pilsner on steriods. Nice balance between the malt bill and the hops. Very good effort from Drakes.

 1,290 characters

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at Far Bar, Little Tokyo, Los Angels, CA.

Raul quite liked this bad boi. I mean, he didn't like it like he liked (name redacted) in high school; but Raul more so likens it to that flight attendant that he met while flying back home from Portland, Oregon. Not memorable like a first love, but freaky enough to stick with you. A bit crisp, a bit hoppy, nicely balanced... Yeah, Raul would continue to go on but he doesn't want to cry.

I love you my peeps.

 462 characters

Photo of andyfrancis
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Near amber pour with a near white head, leaving a nice, loose lacy film.

Piney hops and toasted biscuity malt on the nose. Really nice and clearly not to be taken lightly.

Almost light up front, more citrus now, well carbed, with a bubbly bitter bite followed by a caramely malt finish. Full flavored, without being heavy handed. Very nice.

Even though it starts a little watery, definitely leaves a hop oil coating.

This is a fairly new discovery for me, but I've had a couple pints and a couple bottles now and all have been really good.

 545 characters

Photo of Spikester
3.37/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours amber with a slight haze. About a half inch of white head. Few lacings.
Smell is outstanding floral hops, slight breadiness.
Taste is quite bitter with a touch of grapefruit rind. Malts are mostly absent.
Mouthfeel is thin with a bitter medium dry finish.
Overall not a great Pale Ale. Could pass as an O.K. IPA. Wanted to like this after having their IPA a week or so ago. I even checked the bottled on date (6/26/2013) thinking it might be a bit old. If you are looking for a lighter summer IPA give it a try.

 517 characters

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.

 804 characters

Photo of facundoCNB
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a nice clean golden pour with 2 fingers of white fluffy head and tons of sticky lacing. lots of herbal and grassy/pine hop aroma with a sweet tea like malt backbone. the flavor of this beer consists of a biscuity malt base with LOTS of hops.. grassy and herbal at first then turning to a resinous piney bitterness, with a grapefruit zest. a ver well balanced hop profile for a pale ale, this is fantastic. a lighter medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation - on the watery side of pale ales, but the tastyness makes up for it.

a very nice and sessionable beer - if only it were distributed here in nj.

 611 characters

Photo of artoolemomo
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours up a fair amount of head which appears to have solid retention. The head is a pure cotton white while the body is a medium amber which glows a yellow orange when held up to the light. A fair amount of lacing is being left behind.

Nose- Certainly smells like an IPA- very warm and inviting. All the usual suspects are there: pine, citrus (orange and lemon), resin, and hints of spice. The lemon notes last longer than any other scent.

Taste- This is reflective of the nose but is a little bit more subdued especially when it comes to the pine and resin. The citrus levels are about the same as they are on the nose but there is definitely more spice on the palate. Not the most exciting pale ale as it seems a little thin and watery. Some resin does linger on the finish. A good pale ale but not in the same league as a SNPA or a Red Chair. The aroma promises more than the flavor profile delivers though it is true to the style. Slight hints of grapefruit appear after some minutes.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied with just a little carbonation. It could maybe use more.

Drinkability- Pretty easygoing but a little boring at the same time. A little more expensive than my standard pale ales. Probably won't buy again.

Overall- Not a bad beer at all and faithful to the style. However, it simply does not stand out or impress in anyway (except for the aroma). Worth a shot though.

 1,400 characters

Photo of raynmoon
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottled 4/02/13

a: slightly hazy golden, orange color. It has a nice head, some lacing. Looks nice.

s: a nice dankiness, some resinous hop notes, and a very prominant malt backbone. Nothing outstanding, but different than the norm.

t: you get that charred malt character right away, characteristically found in Sculpin IPA, but then the bitterness and hops just don't quite show up. 48 ibus... should be more perhaps to balance the beer more.

overall, pretty good, worth drinking, not worth seeking out. Especially when Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and Lagunitas New Dogtown are all over the place.

 599 characters

Photo of MacQ32
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours an orange golden color, objects visible but a bit blurry through my Widmere Brothers Series 924 glass. Decent finger of near white head. Retention is so-so, a thin layer remains across the surface about 5 minutes late. Lacing is fantastic

S - Lots of sweet caramel malts, bitter with more passive citrusy aromas (grapefruit/lemongrass).

T - Pretty mild for sure. Very well balance between milder hoppy/citrus bitterness and sweet caramel malt backbone. Kind of simple and weaker than what I strive for but still very much enjoyably to drink - something I could really enjoying drinking 6+ of in a social setting. Aftertaste is pretty sweet from the malts.

M - A little too heavy to be called light bodied but pretty light. Incredibly crisp and easy to drink!

O - Nothing to write home about but this beer certainly deserves some respect. Nicely balanced (mild flavors) and very enjoyable to drink.

 911 characters

Photo of angrybabboon
4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Consumed 4/26/13

Cheers to magictacosinus for sending me a couple of these

Appearance: Lightly cloudy, dark golden color with some lighter gold and orange highlights - small, off-white head - fades to a small, wispy cap, leaves some streaks and spots of lacing

Smell: Lightly hoppy and juicy in a non-aggressive way - fleshy tangerine and some ruby red grapefruit - maybe some hints of lemon as well - some grassy and earthy notes, with a touch of pine - some pale, sweet-ish malts in the back

Taste: Hoppy and fruity - tangerine and grapefruit flesh, with a touch of pith, floral citrus - moderate level of bitterness - additional fruitiness, including some hints of lemon and perhaps some tropical notes - pine needles, earth, and some herbal/grassy notes - malts are very pale, and lightly sweet - crisp and refreshing

Mouthfeel: On the light side of medium, nicely carbonated, nicely crisp, dry finish

Overall: A great example of a style that doesn't quite exist yet

This is too hoppy to fit into the APA category. But the malt profile doesn't quite fit into the IPA category. This is more along the lines of the newfangled "session IPA" category (e.g., Founders All Day IPA), or simply the "hoppy APA" category (e.g., FFF Zombie Dust). Regardless of what the hell it is, I really like it. It's absurdly easy to drink and very interesting. Win!

 1,355 characters

Photo of charlzm
3.13/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Consumed February 13th, 2013 at The Fat Dog.

Beer is a medium burnished copper with a 2 finger, off-white creamy head.

Aroma of grassy, pine hops.

Fairly restrained caramel and toasty malt. Moderate bitterness seems strong in comparison to malt. Slight pine and citrus flavor on finish.

Mouth feel unremarkable, save for a little creaminess.

Overall, quite average.

 370 characters

Photo of MCain04
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Acquired as an extra in a trade with WestCoastBrew2, thanks bud. Poured into a 14 oz Hop Leap Tulip.

Appearance: Clear, orange/amber color. Pure white head, 2 fingers, creamy, great retention and lacing. Great looking beer.

Smell: Not a ton on the nose, smells of some clean lemon and pine, a bit of citrus fruit, but not a whole lot.

Taste: Clean, refreshing, and crisp. Not too hoppy, not too malty. A little bitter on the end. Very easy to drink.

Mouthfeel: Moderate carbonation, very clean and crisp but smooth as well, leaves the palate dry. Nice.

Overall: A great session beer, perfect for a 6-pack to watch a game and eat a bunch of greasy food. Not something I'd seek out for the taste alone, but the whole package is attractive.

 744 characters

Photo of Topher78
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I poured this into my glass and golden colored brew that poured with about a fingers worth of an off-white head that left very nice lacing. The aroma was of citrus, pine and hints of grass. The taste centered more around the citrus but lacked the big bitterness of an IPA. Drakes 1500 APA had a very light bodied mouth feel and finished with some malt sweetness.

 362 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a somewhat hazy, golden orange with a white, finger width head. Fair retention. Decent lacing with good stick.

Smell - Strong fruit on the nose - hits on citrus, stone fruit and some tropical notes. A hint of pine and peppery spice.

Taste - Starts with a sharp fruity bite, hitting on citrus and stone fruit. Underlying pine flavor. Mid-taste the malt flavors show up, though faintly, producing a subtle caramel and an earthy, almost nutty character. Finishes a touch spicy with a fair amount of orange pith bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with lively carbonation. Tingles the lips. Goes down nice and smooth.

Overall - Had this on tap early last week, and my bulletproof beer taste buds are telling me there's very little difference out of the bottle. Good, solid drinkable pale ale. Problem is, I could think of a good dozen or two pale ales I'd rather have. Personally, I think the malt backbone is just a tad too weak.

 951 characters

Photo of CharlesRiver
3.41/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle capped. Pours out a lovely copper to light brown color with a nice soft white head. Smell is a bit lacking relative to the draft version that I just had about 2 hours ago at their barrel house. I do get a minor trace of some hoppyness which I can't identify.

Flavor brings it back in to check with a firm bitterness. It does have some lower malt notes but I wish the hops shined a bit more. Bitterness is were it should be but the flavor and aroma is just plain lacking. I realize that it's hard to get the notes I'm looking for in a bottled beer.

Would I buy this beer again? In a second! It's a lovely example of what a brewery can put into a bottle. On draft, I personally would consider this a world place American Pale Ale.

Go buy this beer and enjoy the hell out of it.

 799 characters

Photo of magictacosinus
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Color is a golden-tinged amber with a very good initial burst of carbonation. Lots of bubbles seem to rise to the top. The head doesn't seem ever fully recede, and for the most part a nice little foamy ring remains at the top, and with every sip tons of lacing stick to the walls of the glass in the process. This looks like every fresh batch of very hopped pales ales I've ever had, which may predict great things to come.

Oh yes, those advertised dry hops are fully kicking in already in the aroma. What's perplexing is despite the alcohol not being as strong here as it is in your average, well made IPA, it has a near *identical* aroma to such beers! There's very predominant citrus aromas, ranging more towards the orange peel and lime varieties. The hoppy, oily resin seems strong here, but there's nicely balanced toffee malts and slight yeastiness that make it pretty worthwhile.

Upon one sip - and then in the next 10 minutes, half of the glass downed - I declare this to be one of my new favorite locally made pale ales. This has the same consistency of many IPAs, but doesn't have as strong of an astringent aftertaste, nor an alcoholic feel that whacks the senses out of you. The malts and hops are seriously balanced here, but the addition of dry hops in a rather unorthodox manner make this a slightly different drinking experience indeed. The hop presence is very much alive here, and the syrupy, thick body of the beer makes it easy and soothing to drink.

Very excellent stuff in my opinion, and in some ways more enjoyable than their IPA, as I could have several of these in one setting due to the lower ABV. It's a nice little twist on the APA style, and could fool anyone into thinking that this was a proper IPA. I paired this with morbier cheese to much delight. I will definitely be buying more of these these in the future.

 1,897 characters

Photo of kaseydad
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Surprised I have never had this before though have seen it often.

Pours a clear apricot colored ale with a nice off-white head. Light lacing.

A combo of malt and citrus on each sniff. Pine, malt, orange peel, grass and more earthiness abound. Getting a lot of pineapple too. Not bad.

The taste was definitely different from the smell. A lot of hops and bitterness are evident. This brew is dry-hopped and it works well. Getting a bunch of orange peel here. Dry and quick finish. A pretty big taste for a Pale Ale.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated.

Overall I thought this was a nice session. The dry-hop is a nice addition and turns this to full bodied meal. Bordering on an IPA and the awards it has won in the past are evident that this is a nice beer. Worth checking out and very sessionable.

 795 characters

Photo of elNopalero
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this on tap and found it fresh and refreshing, crisp and crackling.

It pours a clear golden yellow with light foam. It has a great aroma of floral orange and a light pine hint. The flavor all but screams fresh citrus, with an orange-tangerine note dominating, and the body has a pleasing weight and finish to it. Satisfies the hop itch and seems ‘light’ enough to enjoy a few at the bar.

 399 characters

Photo of hopsolutely
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at a strange curry house in San Francisco with 50 (mostly micro) taps and an Irish name... odd, but so glad I stopped! |Drake’s has surprising flavour for such a light ABV beer.

Pours a light golden amber colour with a moderate white head and impressive residual lacing. Impressive aroma of tropical fruits with hoppy citrus undertones. Well balanced flavour of caramelized malt sweetness and tropical fruit “c” hops – a very nice combination with an impressively lingering bitter finish.

Accidently stumbled onto this beer, but definitely one of the highlights of this past week’s beer vacation in CA. Hope to see again!

 640 characters

Photo of ehammond1
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2012)

Thanks for this one, Uncle Larry!

A clear golden and light copper with a pillowy, moderately-sized off-white head that leaves gorgeous lined lacing down the glass. Very pretty pale ale.

A hoppy pale ale to be sure, with big amounts of grapefruit flesh and zest leading hte way in the aroma, along with some pine, and caramel sweetness.

The malt character is bigger in the flavor than I would have guessed after only smelling this beer. Sweet caramel, moderate bitterness, grapefruit flesh and zest, and a clean, mild pine and grass character. Balanced and very drinkable.

Medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation. Crisp, clean, refreshing.

A perfect pale ale to have after a long day.

 708 characters

Photo of tlazaroff
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wonderfully clear aroma on this one, caramel underneath a beautiful tropical bouquet of hoppy goodness. Very enticing and inviting.

Orange in color with a nice gradient to dark yellow. Clear as day and those little bubbles inside are soothing to the eye. The head is white, and sits as a thin layer on top of the beer, but laces nicely in rings as you sip it.

Bitterness right away, and it feels like more IBU than it says on the bottle. It has a sharp hop-bite, followed by a bit of carbonation-bite. Flavors are all hop-derived, and very little (if anything) from the malt. Carbonation, like I said is a bit on the sharp side. It's not fully carbonated, but it's sharp. Body is medium-light and easy drinking. Drake's 1500 is a solid Pale Ale, one I wish I could easily buy on the east coast.

 796 characters

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.

 470 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.