Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

San Diego Pale Ale .394 | AleSmith Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding
48 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
San Diego Pale Ale .394San Diego Pale Ale .394
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
alesmith.com

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
In early 2014, Tony Gwynn’s team approached AleSmith to create a distinctive beer for the baseball legend. A meeting was called at the Gwynn household, which included a sampling of AleSmith beers to identify Tony’s preferences. He wanted the beer to be “light with a kick” which he elaborated further to mean full of hop character and light in body and color. The result of the Gwynn family’s feedback on test batches rendered a golden pale ale full of American hop flavor and aroma, with a subdued bitterness and a malty sweet finish. AleSmith San Diego Pale Ale .394 pays tribute to the city that Tony loved and the career high batting average that he achieved in ‘94. Discover what happens when a Hall of Fame perfectionist crafts a beer with a world-class brewery. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Tony and Alicia Gwynn Foundation (TAG).

26 IBU

Added by SocalKicks on 06-09-2014

BEER STATS
Reviews:
48
Ratings:
380
Avg:
4.22
pDev:
22.51%
 
 
Wants:
29
Gots:
83
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 48 | Ratings: 380
Photo of justintcoons
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

Appearance
Gold with 1 finger of tight white head. Excellent clarity with a touch of hop oiliness. Light carbonation.

Nose
Pine, dank, papaya, grapefruit, honey, and orange citrus.

Taste
Pine resin, dry dankness, and bright florals. Grapefruit zest, orange pith, and lemon zest. Dried biscuit maltiness with touches of honey. Finishes with a resiny push and a hint of onion.

Mouthfeel
Medium-plus bodied, oily, bitter, and dry.

Overall
This is basically a West Coast IPA. Nothing wrong with that.

 541 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a crystal clear medium golden honey orange in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and moderate copper + golden yellow highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense sudsy foamy light tan head that reduces to a large patch of thin film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Slightly heavier than moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of citrus/grapefruit and citrus/grapefruit zest hops over the top of light aromas of grainy malts with a light amount of sweetness. Hints of tropical/mango and tropical/papaya aromas.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of grainy malts with a light to moderate amount of caramel + grainy sweetness. That is followed by slightly heavier than moderate flavors of citrus/grapefruit and citrus/grapefruit zest hops with light to moderate flavors of tropical/mango and tropical/papaya hops. The hops contribute a slightly heavier than light amount of bitterness which does not linger for too long.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Initially crisp with just the slightest hint of dryness in the finish.

O: Easy to drink and refreshing with a nice hop profile (aroma and flavor). Enjoyable. Definitely one that I would grab again and it seems appropriate for one of the last days of the baseball season.

 1,394 characters

Photo of BeerDawgs
4.04/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap at the Alesmith brew house on 8.27.16

L - golden with clarity, 1 finger of head, and nice sticky lacing left on the glass

S - Huge pint hop aroma. Impressive for a pale.

T - Hoppy and crisp. Piny but great balance

F - crisp and nice carbonation. Light body

O - A really hoppy pale. Tasty

 300 characters

Photo of hman43
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Look: It pours golden in color. It has a slightly off white head. There is moderate lacing and moderate head retention.

Smell: The aroma was strong enough to hit my nose from about three feet away. It has citrus, pine and biscuit aromas.

Taste; The flavors highlight pine and citrus with a hint of peach, biscuit and a low level of caramel. The balance is strong towards the hops with a medium body.

Feel: It has a smooth and moderately bitter finish.

Overall, this beer has an excellent aroma it the presentation, not necessarily the complexity with a hop forward flavor and easy drinking finish.

 605 characters

Photo of Stevem68
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light Amber color with some haziness. Aroma is citra and malts. Flavor is some citrus with a malty balance and a touch of raisins. Has a nice feel and overall a solid pale ale.

 184 characters

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
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 -22.5%
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 -2.6%
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 -1.2%
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 +3.1%
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 +7.6%
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 +5.9%
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 +3.1%
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 +6.6%
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 -2.1%
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 -10.2%
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 +11.8%
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 -5.2%
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 -2.6%
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 +2.8%
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 +5.7%
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 +12.1%
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 +0.7%
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 +5.2%
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

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
San Diego Pale Ale .394 from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.22 out of 5 based on 380 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
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe