Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

San Diego Pale Ale .394 | AleSmith Brewing Company

43 Reviews
no score
Send samples
San Diego Pale Ale .394San Diego Pale Ale .394

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by SocalKicks on 06-09-2014

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 43 | Ratings: 345
Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours clear gold (SRM 6) producing a 2” mousse-like cream colored foam collar that drops to 1/3” over 4 minutes.

S: Pine and minty nose with a hint of citrus, some light biscuit and tropical fruit.

T: Tropical fruit, light caramel, biscuit, light citrus. Hop flavors medium high, hop bitterness is medium, malt flavors are medium and well balanced.

F: Above average carbonation, medium body.

O: Very drinkable, well balanced and flavorful pale ale.

 464 characters

Photo of argock
3.27/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Watery feel and watered down aroma and flavor too, even served on tap! Just seems like a dumbed down version of a decent pale ale. A very disappointing offering from such a solid, well-thought of brewery. Buy Drakes 1500 or Stone v2.0 for that matter.

 251 characters

Photo of SSS
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A-Straw color with a nice thick white head that lingers for a long while
S-Bready aroma with a very slight hint of hops
M-Medium-high carbonation with medium mouthfeel
T-Malt forward with low levels of hops, but still present and balanced very well. Crisp and resinous at the same time.
O-This is a great pale ale, I would gladly have another!

 344 characters

Photo of MikeWard
4.17/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. bottled on date of 5/17/16* The odd thing about the sixer I picked up here in PA was that 2 of the bottles were dated 5/17, the other 4 undated, and upon trying one of the undated ones, it tasted completely different, good and easily drinkable, but really no punch to the flavors.

Looks really nice, hazy yellow body, good white head with nice lacing.

non citrus fruit coming through strongly on the nose.

Fruit and hops come through very nicely, with a peppery taste on the finish. Mouth is around medium.

Overall, a really nice beer. Not sure what was going on with the mixed up six pack.

 634 characters

Photo of superspak
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 5/17/2016. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy golden orange color with a 2 finger dense and rocky off white head with fantastic retention, that reduces to a large cap that lasts. Dense soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Fantastic appearance. Aromas of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, papaya, passion fruit, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, light caramel, biscuit, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Incredible aromas with awesome balance and complexity of juicy citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate bready malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, papaya, passion fruit, lemon zest, orange peel, pine, light caramel, biscuit, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Moderate pine/citrus rind bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of grapefruit, tangerine, pineapple, peach, mango, papaya, passion fruit, lemon/orange rind, pine, biscuit, and herbal/floral/grassy earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and zero astringent hop flavors after the finish. Moderate dryness from bitterness, increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, moderately sticky/resinous, and lightly creamy/bready balanced mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol as expected of 6%. Overall this is an incredible American pale ale! All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of juicy citrus/tropical/pine hops and moderate bready malt flavors; very smooth and easy to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,767 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a fairly hazy amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Big two finger off white head which settles into a thin creamy layer.

Smell: A juicy and earthy hop forward aroma with a scent of citrus and pine. Upfront citrus hop scent of grapefruit, orange peel, mango, tangerine, and lemon along with some pineapple. Good hints of pine resin and grassy hops. Pale malt with hints of caramel, grains, and cracker with yeast. A very solid juicy aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a juicy and earthy hop driven taste with notes of citrus fruit and pine. Upfront juicy citrus hop notes of orange peel, grapefruit, mango, tangerine, and lemon zest along with pineapple. Spicy notes of pine resin and slight grassy hops. Pale malt notes of caramel, grains, and cracker along with some yeast. A very good juicy taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Juicy, fairly oily, and drying.

Overall: A really great American Pale Ale. Really nice mix of citrus and pine hop flavor with some solid caramel malt backing.

 1,099 characters

Photo of tjmiller718
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L. Golden orange/yellow, clear, low carbonation, off white creamy head.
N. Sweet pineapple and tropical fruits, bursting with hop aromas, pine resin, and grapefruit. Light dank earthyness to this also. Wonderful.
T. Matches nose wonderfully. Lots of grapefruit, pineapple and other tropical notes, touch earthy if not woody. Malt backing is present. Lots of bitter pine kick.
B. Oily, juicy, medium body and carbonation levels.
Overall. Wonderful aromas bursts from the bottle as soon as it was open and it never disappointed from there on. Drinks more like an IPA, but who cares what it's called. This is wonderful.

 620 characters

Photo of Immortale25
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into an Ommegang stemmed glass. Bottle date is smudged from condensation now but I think I remember it saying it was bottled May 17th.

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 3/4 inch off-white head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and a mostly full sheet of surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves a solid ring behind.

S- Juicy tropical hop nose with a bit of malt sweetness that balances nicely. Also some pine and dankness.

T- Great balance between dry hop bitterness, somewhat fruity hop flavor and a solid malt backbone.

M- Sharp from the hops with medium carbonation and a body leaning toward the lighter side.

O- What a well-crafted west coast style pale ale that has an assertive hop profile while still having some malt character.

 800 characters

Photo of drpimento
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

While it does taste a bit more like an IPA than a PA, the damn beer is so good that the difference is piddling. Aroma is mostly grapefruit hop balanced with a little biscuit malt. Super yummy. Wish I could get more.

 215 characters

Photo of RyanK252
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into a BarrelHouse Brewing Co pint glass

A: Pours slightly hazy golden orange amber with a frothy light tan head that settles to a firm layer and leaves some light lacing.

S: Citrus, hints of tropical fruit, pine, biscuity malt and a little caramel sweetness.

T: Citrus zest, lemon, lime, grapefruit, tangerine, tropical fruity notes, passion fruit, peach, and maybe a hint of melon, pine, faint dank herbal notes, biscuity malt, and a touch of caramel sweetness. Clean finish.

M: Light to medium body, moderate carbonation.

O: Great summer beer! They squeezed plenty of hoppy goodness out of only 26 IBU.

 624 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.79/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

On tap at The Beer Belly on Albany, NY.

This one pours a rusted looking golden amber, with a small head, and a bit of lacing.

Smells floral, a little perfumy, with classic grapefruit West Coast hops, and a hint of crackery malt.

This is a little disappointing, it finishes a slight bit watery. As it warms, more flavors come out more strongly. There's a nice floral character, lots of grapefruit flesh and rind. It just doesn't pop like I wish it would.

This is lighter bodied, crisp but watery, with a snappy level of carbonation.

Not Alesmith's best, but like most of their stuff, still tasty.

 600 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Drops a good mixture of yellow and orange in here, 3/4" white head. Excellent big time dry hop aroma out of this one, was really balanced in terms of providing citrus, tropical and woodsy like aromas.

Taste is a nice floral hop blast, low pale toasted malts, low bitterness, immense zombie dust like waves of amarillo, citra and simcoe all over this. So much hop flavor without bitterness, laid back n low key. You can drop all the names of the fruits if you want, mango, guava, tangerine, pineapple, papaya, lemon, lime etc. . .

Elite 1st tier pale ale right here. As top notch as it gets.

 599 characters

Photo of Emersonio
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: On draft at the brewery. Poured into an 8oz taster. Appearance: Amber in color. Clear with a fluffy white head. Lacing present. Aroma: Very hoppy and floral. Flavor: Big juicy hops with a bitter punch. Aftertaste: Clean with a peppery finish. Overall: Definitely crushable. Very good: 4 out of 5

 301 characters

Photo of MeanMotaScootah
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a pale copper with a 1/2" head. Aroma was sweet with some tropical fruit notes. Usually I have a tough time with my nose so I have to smell some coffee or something in order clear my palette as they say so I can have an accurate aroma assessment. Overall nice aroma but nothing super impressive. Very balanced pale ale - some might even call this an IPA. Bittering is present in the middle and the finish. Very clean, crisp citrus hops present on the front end. Carbonation is about right. No complaints there. A great west coast pale ale that might (by some) be called an IPA. A great offering by Alesmith.

 625 characters

Photo of Absolut
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

on tap at the tilted kilt before a padres game.

nice orange pour. a lot of grapefruit and pine flavor. some orange and hoppy bitterness at the end.

great tasting beer. not too bitter, but very tasty.

 208 characters

Photo of Taybeh
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap into a shaker, pale bright apricot with a rocky 2 finger head, good retention and lacing. Great nose: guava, grapefruit pith, mango, bright pine, crackery malt. Taste follows, with really pleasant gentle piney bitterness winning out over the sweet fleshy tropical fruit notes, and the pale malt playing a significant complementary role...really delicious. Less dry and wetter and juicier than I figured it would be, w/re to the finish. Fairly substantial body while still fairly light feel. Tasty tasty.

 516 characters

Photo of Catracho5
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a honey orange with a bright white head, no head retention, average amount of carbonation, beer is clear, some slight lacing.

A: Very pungent, grapefruit peel, pine needles, guava, peach skins, very nice, no alcohol on the nose, smells really good.

T: Taste follows the nose, pine needles, grapefruit peel, guava, peach skins, very drinkable, moderate amount of bitterness in the middle, finish is more citrus peel and guava lingering the aftertaste, very impressed.

M: Medium/light bodied, good amount of carbonation, semi-dry finish.

O: Very impressed, I've heard good things about this beer and it lives up to the hype, lots of flavor and easy to drink, this maybe my new summer beer.

 738 characters

Photo of luisitoelmatador88
4.73/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Not sure how fresh this bottle is but damn its smelling and tasting FINE

Appearance: typical light golden and slightly orange yellow ish hues that appear in lighter hoppy ales.

Aroma: pungent pine freshness. You know a beer is gonna be impressive when you get a sharp hop bite in the aroma. beautiful citrus blend and just overall punchy juicyness. Not getting much of a malty sweetness. No caramel biscuit on the nose.

Flavor: i didnt expect this much going on in this light self proclaimed "pale-ale". I taste epic pine and dank notes. There is alot of juicy orange and both white and ruby red grapefruit juice. Orange peel aftertaste and a very balanced bitterness towards the back of the palate. I get a super tiny bit of a caramel biscuit note but its only adds to the overall balance of the fresh hop action going on.

Mouthfeel: cant imagine a more suitable mouthfeel on this low abv hoppy SD ale. It's about a medium and a spritzy carbonation. Tingles the tongue and cleans up nicely. No odd aftertaste whatsover.

Overall: this is better than I remember it being. I will gladly buy 6 packs of this all the time. Competes with the likes of HOPPY BDAY, GRUNION and PUBLICAN.

 1,187 characters

Photo of chrishiker1409
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

L: Yellow gold copper. Poured with a finger of head, quickly recedes. Leaves lacing down the glass.

S: Tangerine, orange peel, little grapefruit.

T: Follows the nose. A little pine bitterness on the back end.

F: A litle thin, lightly carbonared.

O: A rock solid pale ale. Glad I picked this up.

 306 characters

Photo of RBassSFHOPit2ME
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at a popular beer geeked out German restauant in Redwood City, CA.

Really awesome Pale Ale. Big bright oranges on the nose and the taste and crackery malt back that's in perfect balance while still letting the hops come to the forefront. Hop-forward without being one of those new school hoppy pale ales with a hollow body. Very well crafted pale. Impressive for the style and highly recommended. Tony would be proud...

 428 characters

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle. Pours hazy light copper color with thin white head, fades to a ring leaving a little soapy lace. Excellent aroma of fresh baked bread and orange citrus. Similar balanced taste with a touch of malt sweetness that is overtaken by citrus peel hops. The back end bitterness lasts the right amount and turns a little piney and earthy. Medium silky soft mouthfeel rounds out this very tasty pale ale.

 413 characters

Photo of TrojanRB
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Crisp, Citrusy nose, much more than I was expecting from a pale ale.

Tastes of citrus and grapefruit, with a nice amount of malt. Very fresh tasting. Totally in balance.

Light carbonation....quaffable without being heavy or bloating.

Overall a wonderful showing...great representation of a west coast / San Diego pale ale.

 325 characters

Photo of philbe311
3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A - A finger's worth of lopsided lush light khaki colored frothy goodness... Limited retention gives way to a mostly full veil of lacing... The color is a slightly hazy mix of pale straw and light gold... A moderate bit of varying paced carbonation rises throughout, some individually and some in streaks...

S - Citrus and light tropical fruit are at the forefront of the palate... Oranges... Pineapple... Kiwis... This sits atop a sweet malty base... Caramel... Toffee... An outstanding aroma for an American Pale Ale... Quite enticing...

T - The flavor profile is a bit more muddled... A rich bready base asserts itself throughout... The hops take on more of an earthy presence... Much of the sweetness (tropical fruit & caramel) never really materializes on the palate...

M - Medium bodied... Dense from the get go... Limited carbonation... The finish is surprisingly dry... There is also a bit of chalkiness throughout...

D - A solid but not spectacular American Pale Ale... The aroma is the highlight of this offering... All other facets are average to slightly above average... It was nice to see Alesmith offerings in 12oz bottles... Definitely worth checking out and I especially enjoy the baseball tie-in...

 1,251 characters

Photo of TriggerFingers
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

I picked up a 6 pack of fresh 394 while in Orange County.

L...light, pale, appropriate.
S...nice mild citrus. If I have one knock of this beer, the nose could be more dramatic. Pleasant overall.
T...malt and bitterness are seamless. Excellent.
F...prob the best mouthfeel on any beer I've had in recent memory. The mouthfeel combines with the fresh taste, malt, and bitterness for a truly spectacular tasting & feeling beer. It really tasted like it was "in tune" or perhaps like a chord.
O...if this beer were as dramatic in the nose as say RR Row 2 Hill56, it would be perfect across the board. The nose is softer than Pale 31 and SNPA for that matter. Also, at $15 for a 6 pack, the QPR is a bit dicey.

Last words: a great pale ale, and perhaps epic. High price may deter others (and me) from purchasing in the future.

 823 characters

Photo of Nugganooch
4.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle from the six pack with my FW Imperial Nonic glass
Notes from 05/31/2015

A: Bright caramel colored body with a few amber tones brushed in. Has a slight hop hazed appearance that clouds up the glass some. About two fingers wide of dense white whip hit the brim for a few moments. Lots of broken tracked lacing is left clinging to the glass.

S: The aroma is bright and floral with hops that suggest peach, apricot, and tangerine fruit. Not picking up much malt here at all other than some faint bready sweetness. Hops are super fresh and green with a grassy quality to them. Really loving the nose here as the quality is high and the hops very fresh and clean.

T: Tasting uber fresh with ripe orchard Peach/Apricot, leafy greens, and a tangerine citrus note. The beer has a moderately high amount of bitterness kept in balance by some malt action in the back. Mostly bready and/or light biscuit with a touch of sweetness there. This is just an excellent craft of a Pale Ale chalked full of bright fresh floral hops.

M: Moderate to lighter filling body with a solid cream like consistency. Smooth with a light peppery bitterness across the palate. Finishes dry and crisp with the perfect amount of resinous hop linger.

D: AleSmith nailed it with this near perfect APA. Practically flawless with its bright fresh hops, balanced bready malt, and easy quaffability. Really quite exemplary to the style. They did Tony Gwynn right by this one.

 1,479 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
San Diego Pale Ale .394 from AleSmith Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 43 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.