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

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very good
133 Reviews
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Drake's 1500 Pale AleDrake's 1500 Pale Ale
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
133
Ratings:
461
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
21.34%
 
 
Wants:
26
Gots:
95
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 133 | Ratings: 461
Photo of Tucquan
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-07-14 in San Francisco, CA. Had this again on 2015-06-22 in Reno, NV from a 12 oz bottle. Still delicious.

A - Darkish golden-orange with a 1-finger head and decent lacing.

S - malt, citrus, light peach, hop floral. Very fruity.

T - mild roasted grain, orange flesh, herbal tea, very little dankness, pine, significant red grapefruit zest, hop oils. Finish is dry, citrus, herbal and plenty of lingering bitterness. Even with all these flavors; it's very balanced.

M - Light-medium body and medium carbonation. Prickly for a pale ale.

O - Enjoyable with its own unique flavor. Plenty of smell and taste. Hoppier than a SNPA. Not as aromatic as a Zombie Dust. I liked the second one even better than the first; a good sign. Worth seeking out. We need this in Pennsylvania.

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

A: little lacing. Nice PA orange hue

S: strong hop goodness

T: very floral, piney dry hoppy bitterness. Full favor but not too hoppy or bitter.

M: usually good carbonation. This six pack tastes a bit flat. No born on date plus a bar code =unhappy beer drinker.

O: Very tasty Bay Area sessionable brew (support your local brewer). I will definitely purchase again! New to me but I hope to see more of their offerings at my local store. If you like hops with a very light malt offering, this should entertain your palate.

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Photo of iammatt
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellow with a fluffly two finger head that fades to a cap leaving behind tons of lace. Hops galore is what can easily describe the taste. Tons of orange, citrus, and some chronic in there, no grain to speak of. Citrus and Pine hit the pallate first followed by the wonderful pine and resinous flavors of the hops. A bit of crystal malt sweetness comes in at the end to help bring the beer together. This may as well be an IPA, which is where my one complaint comes. With the huge hop aroma and aftertaste I'd like a bit more malt to balance the beer out. All together a very good hop forward beer, may as well be an American IPA.

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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 DM1293
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taste - I get a piney hop kick up front. Its fairly crisp, finishes with a little bit of citrusy goodness. The bitterness is kind of annoying though, it lingers longer than I'd like it to and shows up in an oily fashion to begin with.

The beer overall is pretty solid, the smell and mouthfeel are pretty good, but for the taste, I have better ones in mind. Still, worth a try.

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Photo of dbmernin83
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is what I've been craving for the last few days. A light hoppy, crisp flavorful brew. No malts in sight on this one. Citrusy hops on the nose and dominate the tongue. A touch lighter than some APAs, but not thin. This is not an APA, this is an IPA light. Diet IPA. All that great IPA flavor with a 1/3 less the alcohol.

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Photo of Murrhey
2.77/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Reviewed live. This is actually a 5.5%, dry-hopped beer of the same name. So I'm not sure if this is the right category.

A- Pours a thin white head. Little retention. Thick spotty lacing. Pale golden color with brilliant clarity.

S- Floral hoppiness is the key smell here. Blackberries, garden salad smells and pine, but mostly hop oil with a floral twinge.

T- Heavy hop oil and some soapiness. Grassy flavors are there as well. Very hop-forward with a light finish.

M- Lighter but heavy carbonation is nice.

O- Sub-par unless you are in a very hoppy mood for this dry-hopped rendition of Drake's 1500.

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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 PatrickSwayze
4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful light amber bronze that pours beautifully clear.

S: Dry hopped for sure with killer gorgeous aroma of floral, bread and caramel.

T: Wow one of the better smoothed out well balanced pale ales that has ever touched my lips. Light crisp caramel flavs with a mellow herbal/floral hops at the forefront and a doughy bread finish.

M: Medium bodied lightly carbonated body with a slightly dry finish

O: I have found myself a brilliantly crafted pale ale outside of Sierra and Stone. Thank you Drakes

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Photo of tony223366
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Nice caramel color, nothing too amazing though. Actually the clarity isn't great, it's pretty cloudy which is something you don't want in a pale. It makes up a little ground with the fluffy white head that's pretty attractive. It would have gotten a below average score if it had any worse of a head!

S: Damn this smells good! They weren't joking about the aroma hops. Huge floral aroma's pound the nostrils first. That turns into more of a citrus that's followed by a caramel malt and some pine.

T: The taste definitely holds up nicely. First up is that citrus coming into the forefront. Then some nice caramel malts followed by a nice breadiness (or biscuity if you will). Finish is lightly bitter, just about appropriate for a pale, maybe a touch more.

M: This is the only place that the beer falls a little flat. It feels thin and that it needs a little more carbonation.

O: A tasty beer from Drake's. I would gladly drink this anytime. I'm hoping to get some on tap sometime. Nothing too amazing but really solid.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-oz. bottle into a pint glass. Color was caramel amber. Tons of head, maybe because of a bad pour, but at least four fingers. Plenty of thick cloudy lacing. Lots of think cloudy film on the sides.

Nice smell, really what a pale ale should smell like. Light caramel notes.

Somewhat close to the taste, but still some differences. More of a dark fruit taste than the smell. Surprisingly slightly bitter late with a butter finish.

Light body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Smooth, watery finish.

This beer had its moments, but it could have been much better. The buttery taste just hit a nerve.

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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.

C

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Photo of Philousa
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours the classic pale/copper color of an American Pale. Great clarity with little head. Big hop aroma: piney, some citrus, not very floral. A bit aggressive, one might say. Especially for a Pale. Some biscuity malt lies behind the hops. Orange citrus flavor with wheat bread malt that doesn't last long before the piney hop bitterness takes over and lingers a good while. very balanced in viscosity but acidic in feel from the dry hopping, no doubt.

If I was to make an American Pale for a brewery, I'd make it solid and slightly different. Drakes made it boldly different, and I have to admit it payed off. While I wouldn't reach for this most nights, it's still a solid beer with a good kick. I commend Drake's for doing something drastic with a typically boring style, while not going too far off the deep end.

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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 kiya
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at Vault One Sixty Four in San Mateo...

Pours a medium-light brown color with an intense head that sits through the entire pint.
The nose is of freshly cut grass, water crackers, and a great hop finish.

Taste is great on this one, starting with grassy front moving onto a slightly bitter middle then a strong hop finish. The hop depth on this is pretty amazing, it develops well on the tongue and even lends to a beer that's very drinkable despite it's intense bitterness for such a "mainstream" brew. As it warms up i sense crisp apples and burnt caramel poking through the hoppiness.

Mouthfeel is spot on, making this an easy to drink hoppy beer for when you're feeling like an IPA but want it to pair better with lighter foods. Overall quite impressive, definitely would buy this in larger quantities.

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Photo of CliffBrake
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Jules11788 for the extra!

Hazy orange with a light head leaving modest lacing.

Inviting, malty nose with biscuit and toast and a bit of citrusy hops. However the hops really open up with the taste. Herbal notes dominate, with plenty of citrus (orange and lemon).

Good lingering bitterness, medium mouthfeel. A nice pale ale with plenty to recommend it in both the hops and malt departments.

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Photo of nelson4
4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Poured bright and golden epitomizing the style. The head was white and dense. So far so good.

Smell - Excellent. The dry hopping comes through magnificently. The pine and grapefruit reminds me of a nice Pliny. Nothing could be better about this smell and if they made an air freshener with this I would buy cases of it. There are few smells that instantly make me smile. This is one of them.

Taste- The taste is built around the hops. No noticeable maltiness, but some residual sweetness. Bitterness a little high for this style, but it is very close. Amazingly the aroma and hops don't overpower, but I cannot put my finger on why.

Mouthfeel - Smooth with just a little stickiness at the end. The aroma reminded me of Pliny but the taste and mouthfeel are more typical of the pale ale style. I would like just a tidbit more body.

Overall - This is a about as good as a pale ale gets. The dry hopping really does it for me. The best way to describe this is a Pliny light. I would not hesitate to buy this again or recommend it to a friend.

Edit: I am not sure if this Dry Hopped version is the norm or just a special release.

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Photo of AwYeh
2.72/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Cloudy orange-amber color with a thin coating of off-white head. Dissipates rapidly but does leave decent lacing.

S: Strong citrus and pine hops here, with orange sticking out in particular. There's a sticky sweet aroma that probably is coming from the combination of hops and malts. Light musty scent present too.

T: Weedy, piny hops really dominate the flavor here; a "sticky" flavor starts things off before a bitter wash really clears everything else out. Not a particularly bad taste, but it's rather one dimensional and not something I would look for.

M: Medium bodied with a moderate dose of carbonation lending some texture.

O: There is a very strong flavor here but that's not enough to carry the beer; I'll give it another chance in the future but this particular glass wasn't outstanding.

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

A: clear amber with a thin head and a dash of lace.

S: fresh hops, I'm going to guess Cascade maybe (?), a little butter.

T: freshly cut gras and horse sweat, sweet dry finish with a little bit of smoke maybe.

M: medium to low body, pleasant carbonation.

O: perfectly good pale ale, not my favorite style these days, but I appreciate the craft/quality of this.

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Photo of litheum94
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed 10/2/11.

This beer has serious head; it fills the entire glass with an airy, orange tinged foam. Slowly collapses in on itself, but it takes a while. It took me a good 15 minutes to be able to pour the whole bottle. Body is very a murky amber color. Spider web lacing left on the glass.

Strong aromas of pine cone and pitch. Bright citrus tones. Cracker malts.

Dry and crackery at first, with some lemon peel zest. Some fruit sweetness leads into a dose of bitterness, piney and full of resin flavors. Bitterness lingers on the tongue.

This pale ale has some serious bitterness, and it's highly sessionable. Another great beer from Drake's.

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Photo of colforbin73
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

drake's is one of my GOTO local breweries, along with Lagunitas and Russian River. they put out very high quality beers and have been coming out with fantastic limited offerings, such as AROMA COMA and HOPACALYPSE.

1500 pours a luscious amber with a huge white head of froth that sticks moderately to the glass as you drink it down.

this beer is dry hopped and it pays off in the aroma -- good and hoppy fresh, with a note of the biscuity malt that forms the taste base of this brew.

this is a highly quaffable, sessionable beer -- and to be honest, it is not as good as their amazing ALPHA SESSION brew, which comes in with an ABV under 5% but a powerful display of hop flavor. nonetheless, 1500 is a top shelf american pale ale with a very dry clean finish, biscuity malt base, not too sweet, and a generous hop flavor and aroma.

excellent beer!

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Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Bright oranges and luscious ruby reds. Light beige head with weak retention. It glows somewhat.

Smell: Veggie. Pine. Lemon. Grapefruit. Honey and Vanilla. The flavors are light but there are a lot of them. The malts are bready and biscuity caramel malts.

Taste: Close to the smell. Slightly bitter but not overpowering. The hops are stronger than the malts. Finishes dry.

Mouthfeel: Thin. Well balanced nice and cleansing.

Overall: This is a great low abv daytime pale ale. It's crisp with a quick bite, characteristic but not overpowering. A solid APA.

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Photo of rlee1390
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Cloudy amber orange, with one finger of head.

S-Citrus and grapefruit

T-Rather citrusy, solid bitterness, great balance.

M-Light, smooth with some carbonation.

O-The best APA I've had to date. Not overly powerful with the flavor but the balance is near perfect.

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Photo of avaldivia
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Clear hazy golden copper color. Very nice head with great retention and lacing.

S: Very piny and citrusy. I get some apricot, peach, and mango notes.

T: Nice flavor. Hop is prominent. A bit more floral than I was expecting, but very nice. Nice sweetness on the end.

M: Crisp, medium bodied. Good carbonation.

O: Excellent Pale Ale. I have felt for a while that Drakes Brewing doesn't get enough attention around the Bay Area. I hope that will start to change. They have a solid line up and this is a prime example.

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

Pours a very hazy, golden-amber color with a bunch of little floaties in it. Large white head that hangs around for quite some time. Scent is VERY citrusy and hoppy. Lovely floral, pine, and citrus hop notes make this brew smell more like an IPA than a pale ale. Tastes more like an IPA too! There are some intense bitter hop flavors in this beer. A very complex blend of citrus (lemon and grapefruit) with piney bitterness, and some subtle flower and perfume notes. Finishes very bitter on the back of the tongue. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with somewhat of a crisp finish. Drinkability is very high. Overall, this is one of my favorite pale ales out there. It's just like drinking a very low ABV IPA!

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Drake's 1500 Pale Ale from Drake's Brewing Co.
3.89 out of 5 based on 461 ratings.
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