New River Pale Ale | Old Dominion Brewing Company

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New River Pale AleNew River Pale Ale
Very Good
126 Ratings
New River Pale AleNew River Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Old Dominion Brewing Company
Delaware, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.52%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Now brewed at Lost Rhino

Added by OldFrothingSlosh on 08-16-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 126 |  Reviews: 117
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Todd
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle with bottling date. Brewed by Old Dominion for New River Brewing Co.

Appearance: Crystal clear golden amber in color with a huge pillowy white foam head, that lasts.

Smell: Spicy floral Cascade & Columbus hops tweak the nose and water the eyes. Seriously hopped.

Taste: Very smooth, with a full-bodied texture. Much of the malt is in the body, little real sweetness, but its there, thin and even. Hops flavours peak with an assertive tangy citrus rind bitterness (grapefruit-like), followed by a tight carbonated fizz and sharp salt flavours. Raw hop leaf and hop oil textures play on the tongue, along with light dry grain tannin flavours that carry through into the aftertaste -- which lasts forever with a lot of strong hop flavour residuals. As the beer warms, it gets sweet and fusel alcohol come forth.

Notes: The kettle hops are Amerillo Gold, Centennial and Cascade. These hops plus Columbus hops are used for dry hopping later in the fermenter.

Not a bad Pale Ale. Definitely geared towards hopheads. I like it a lot, but would have preferred a bit more balance with the sweetness and less aftertaste, initially. 5.6%abv.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found this one on tap down here at Wild Magnolias,I have seen it in stires will get a sixer for sure.Nice copper/orange color seemed to have a good head.Nice floral hoppy smell,not a wimpy ale either good texture great medium body.Had the fruity hop punch right at first sip but there was also a nice malty background to it.A nice refreshing pale ale,drank 4 of them and it felt like less.

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

Appearance – Nice brown in color with an orangish tinge and a great-looking head to go along with it.

Smell – This aroma was very balanced. The light hops mixed well with the pure malt aroma. This has “session ale” written all over it.

Taste – This is East Coast for sure. It is expertly balanced with slightly sweetened malts and some nice, subtle hops (Amarillo maybe?).

Mouthfeel – Light to medium-bodied and perfectly balanced.

Drinkability – This is a very easy-going Pale Ale. I’m sure I could drink a six of it no problem.

Comments – A big “BA THANX” to skyhand for bringing this East Coast gem to the tasting (also for setting up the tasting, organizing the tasting, getting the room for the tasting, cleaning up after the tasting, etc). Cheers!

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Photo of boston2bburg
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An old standby here in SW VA that I heard was on it's way out. Figured I'd pick up what might be my last 6 pack of one of the best beers brewed in Virgina.

Big old pillowy white head that sticks in clumps and lingers awhile. Hazy straw-amber body.

Aroma is all kinds of hops, herbal, citrusy, earthy, floral. Also a lesser amount of crystal malts, caramel and toffee in the nose.

Piercing yet flavorful bitterness, yet balanced with lots of body. The Columbus, Amarillo, and Cascade all contribute noticeably; grassy citrus, herbal, and floral notes abound. Minerals and salt also prevalent on aftertaste. Could be a bit smoother, but still sits lightly and is very easy to drink (for hopheads). By all means, get some if you still can.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Here's a brew I've been meaning to try and I finally picked up in Ohio last weekend. Pours from the bottle a good deep amber orange color with a sticky white head on top that has nice staying power. There's a nice citric and floral hop aroma with some light grainy bready malt tones as well. The nose is inticing and begs for me to partake.

A mix of citrusy, grapefruity, floral hop tones and a bready, pale malt body lead the way here. A healthy bitterness hits the back of the palate along with hints of lemon and orange peel. Just a tasty, enjoyable APA here.

Medium bodied with strong carbonation and easy to drink. Quite refreshing overall. If this was readily available it would probably be in my fridge all the time. A highly drinkable brew that I hope to revisit again sometime.

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Photo of SmellsofMahagony
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of Duster72
3.43/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured a hazy orange with two finger head. Aroma is faint citrus and floral hops with floral dominating. Taste is herbal, earthy hops and citrus hops that dominate and overwhelm the malts. Pretty harsh for an APA. Although the beer is not bad, I found the aggressive hops to be too much and much too harsh for the style. Way too bitter to be considered highly drinkable IMO.

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Photo of merlin48
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a sixpack at Krogers in Blacksburg, Va., near the Vintage Cellar. Pours a clear, amber body with a thick, three finger, offwhite head. Nice retention and attractive patch lacing.
Aroma is very one sided, with a bigtime hops dominance. Lemonrind, grapefruit, and pine cone, are enough to burn your nose.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, well carbonated, and has a stinging, hops bite.
Taste has an undertone of caramel malt that tries, without much success, to balance the extreme hops profile. Hops are very much of a citrus nature, mostly grapefruit and lemonrind. Pine resin is also noted, and adds a fresh hop oil component.
This is a nice, pale ale for hopheads, very American in style.

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Photo of warriorsoul
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to fellow BA traders for two of these...Pentathlete and Lostbearbrew. Bottled 6/30/05...fairly fresh.
Pours a bright, slightly cloudy copper color w/ a full finger of white head...disappears within seconds, except for a thin layer that sticks around for the duration. Lacing is thin and recedes quickly back into the beer.
Very pleasant aroma...butterscotch at first w/ a well balanced malt to hop ratio.
Taste is nice and right where I like to see a Pale Ale...a bitter floral hop bite at first w/ a semi-sweet malt backbone. Glad to see the butterscotch not makes it way to my pallet...rather a mellow, earthy yeast flavor w/ a fairly decent amount of bitterness in the finish.
Mouthfeel is a where I expect it and the carbonation is perfect for the style. This would be my "lawnmower" beer if given the opportunity.
No hint of any alcohol and highly drinkable....thanks fellas for the chance to try this one, and then once more.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.85/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz. amber bottle. Born on date of 3/1/03. Noted on the bottle is the fact that Old Dominion Brewing Company brews this beer for New River Brewing Company.

Appearance: Vibrant copper-gold in color. Immense white head billows up and eventually thins down to a quite respectable layer. All sorts of sticky lacing of the glass. Very, very nice.

Smell: Cascade hops all the way. Intense and raw. Perfect for the hophead in me.

Taste: Initially, I thought this one would compete with the Hop Pocket, but it falls short. When it was cold, it tasted really good. Good hop level in the taste, with only a supporting role being played by the malt. Quick peek of caramel-like sweetness right before the hoppy finale. The credits go on for quite some time in the aftertaste, with the hops showing up time and time again. My only complaint is that the flavor really turned me off as the beer warmed. Almost a sweetened iced tea flavor.

Mouthfeel and drinkability: Good dose of carbonation, yet still smooth. Medium-bodied. Drinkability takes a hit due to the unsettling flavor as it warmed.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Copper hue white vibrant head leaves behind specks of lacing. Aroma: Pine hops caramel toned malts very nice subtle pale. Taste: Mild hop bitterness but nice earthy and piney hop flavor finishes creamy caramel malt sweetness nice. Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied somewhat oily texture evenly carbonated session ale. Drinkability: Beer of the week $2.25 at that price bring it on, tasty flavorful pale easy going overall nice creation from the folks at Dominion.

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very pretty orange/amber with a full finger white head that lasts awhile then melts to side sticking lacing.
Aromas are subdued sweet malt and lightly citrus hops.
Taste is anything BUT subdued. Sweet malt for mouth texture as much as for flavor to balance out a combination of citrus and piney hops. The malt and hops really try to balance each other but fail somehow with the citrus hops coming to the forefront and filling your mouth with their aftertaste.
There is one hop too many in my opinion in the blend for this beer. Something is giving a slightly strange hop flavor to it that would be better lost completely.
Otherwise, nice APA for the hophead...very drinkable

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Photo of tastybeer
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer is a hazy deep orange with a light tan head. Nice and soapy look with an attractive retention and solid lace. Smells well malted with some nice crisp clarity. Bready, toffee and caramel malts perhaps. Hops are light and add balance. Taste is inviting. Flavors are well rounded between malts, hop flavor, and bitterness. Mouthfeel is softly gritty and body is a good medium. Very drinkable and perhaps very sessionable.

Certainly worth my while.

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Photo of asabreed
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap and in a pint glass at the Commercial Taphouse in Richmond.

Appearance: Nice head and lacing with a hazy golden yellow body. Lacing sticks on the glass pretty well as I drink.

Smell: Some hops and malt, and I can tell there should be more there, but unfortunately there isn't. Even the hops are slightly subdued, and I was hoping for much more.

Taste: Pretty clean, but there's not much flavor. And it's balanced, and I guess pretty tasty, but that comes with the cleanness. The hops and malt are too faint for my taste, and there's not enough punch to it.

Mouthfeel: Pretty good balance of creaminess and carbonation, with a light to medium body.

Drinkability: I'd drink this again, and it went very well with my grilled tuna steak, but as far as really loving it and being excited for each sip, that wasn't the case. There are many better examples, but this is decent and worth a shot.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.92/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a soapy head that settles quickly. Has that rusty golden-bronze color many APAs and IPAs have, good look for the style. Small strands of lace twist around the glass.

Smells of hops at the forefront, sweet malts underneath, and a curious sweetness that reminds of caramel-corn.

Taste favors the hops that appear in a perfect mix of citrus/pine, with a toasty maltiness that provides some depth. Dry almost before it goes down, and with a tingly yet substantial mouthfeel, it's definitely an enjoyable pale that manages to exert it's own unique personality, which is saying something in the crowded pale ale market.

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Photo of Sammy
3.57/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

restrained C Hoppy aroma, moderate head. Very dry and on bitter side American pale. Dry and hop flavour bitter aftertaste.Slightly aggressive cabonation. Medium mouthfeel. Worth a try, but overated have had more flavourful American pales noteably Great Lake . Thanks Captain Couger.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A somewhat hazy (bottle conditioned?), deep amber body is topped by a good-sized head of creamy white foam. The head retention is quite good and it maintains a thin cap throughout the entire glass. The lacing is somewhat limited, but it does leaves some spotty lace throughout. The aroma reaches out and grabs you with bright, floral and citrusy (more orange than lemon) hops over a touch of sweet, caramel-laced malt. It's very pleasant, and very welcoming! The body is medium and it's very fine, median carbonation leaves it lightly tingly on the tongue. The flavor is just as rich and bold as the aroma, perfectly combining it's delicately tangy lemony, orangeish, floral, and slightly piney hops with a sweet caramel & toffee malt so that they work together but stand apart. The bitterness is quite firm and balances the sweet malt well. It finishes dry with just a mild lingering bitterness alongside with a note of malt that's more biscuity than it previously was and some light, swirling notes of citrusy and floral hops. Impressive. Highly drinkable despite its bold character.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.95/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich golden amber hue with a small stark white head that has some staying power. Pleasant aroma of fresh, slightly acrid hops emerges immediately when the bottle is opened. After pouring, the hoppiness mellows a bit on the nose and notes of pine and light sweet malt emerge, along with some citrus. Pininess is more evident on the palate, along with floral hops and a bit of mellow malt. Medium body has a bit of foaminess, but is still pleasant. A pretty good showing in a style in which it is often difficult to achieve distinction.

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Photo of prototypic
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It's a golden to copper color. One finger, foamy head sitting on top. Retention was good, as was lacing that remained.

Smell: Initially it has an earthy and citrusy smell. Mostly orange and a bit of pineapple. Smells a bit grassy. Hop scents are very nice.

Taste: This is a good beer. Citrus tastes are nicely blended. Not overwhelming. Very nice bitter hop bite to it. It's a bit grassy and dry. There is a nice malty taste that balances it out a bit. But, it's pretty bitter. Very good pale ale.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied and very easy to drink. I could session this beer easily. I have no idea what the abv is, but it's just right for this beer. Overall, very good pale ale. If you see it around, definitely check it out.

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Photo of cliff1066
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of Southernbrew
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orange/bronze with a nice sized foamy head.

Very nicely hopped, I think this is Cascades, I could be wrong.

Full bodied for a pale ale. Definitely a solid malt backbone but the hops shine through beautifully. Hop flavors are a delicious citrusy grapefruit that moves to a citrusy bitterness. The hops a re pretty raw and absolutely delicious. Aftertaste is all citrusy hops.

A fine pale ale, probably one of the best I've had.

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.07/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale copper color with a white head that dissapates quickly, not really very appealing appearance. Aroma is a different story, big citrus hops smell (specifically grapefruit) with a light bready malt background, definately a hoppy smelling pale ale. Taste is well balanced despite strong hops presence, begins with a citrus and pine hops flavor (with organic and minerally flavors in the background) followed by a mellow and subdued malt profile thats bready and slightly sweet. The mouthfeel is fairly thick for an APA with moderate to low carbonation, and ends with a light bitterness that lingers on the tongue for a little while. The drinkability is high because of the balance of the brew, definately a sessionable beer to say the least. Overall a very nice offering from Old Dominion, something worth seeking out again.

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

Had this in late July 07, Brewed 05-21-06, still held up well, made me wonder how good this is fresh???

Poured amber/peach tea colored with 3 fingers of sand colored head. Good lacing & above average head retention

S: Intense biscuitty malt & lemony hops

T: Biscuitty malt & citric hops up front. Hop tea with the emphasis on lemony hops follows as this warms. Finishes with earthy hops & dryness

MF: Medium-bodied with low carbonation & really nice balance

Drank great, maybe a tad too hoppy to session on all night, but worth a try

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Photo of Backer2004
4.05/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another great brew by the folks of Old Dominion. The last two from the brewery I tried were just as impressive. Nothing fancy here, just a real good pale ale. Nice copper tone, easy to drink, a bit on the hoppy side but nothing overboard. Very drinkable--this would be a pale ale I could drink all evening.

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Photo of UncleFlip
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Nice orange honey colour, just a bit hazy. Barely off-white head, mostly tight bubbles, but some loose. Starts two-finger, but recedes at a decent rate, leaving a bit of sticky lace behind.

The smell is all about piney hops- with a bit of very round orange, mango,and pineapple under, mixed with a malty sweetness.

The flavour has the hops up front, but the mango and orange from the smell are gone. There's some fairly sweet pineapple in the flavour, and some spiciness and woodiness that swells out of the pineapple. Very satisfling.

The carbonation stays strong up front, then slowly rolls off as the medium liquid stands its ground throughout.

This isn't an over the top beer- It's just good and solid. I find it very drinkable, and it would be a welcome everyday or session beer if I could find it in my area. I found I like it better than I thought I would!

Be well

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New River Pale Ale from Old Dominion Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.97 out of 5 with 126 ratings