German Pale Ale | August Schell Brewing Company

German Pale AleGerman Pale Ale
Liked This Beer
3.71 w/ 16 ratings
German Pale AleGerman Pale Ale

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Altbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by purplehops on 11-05-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 16 |  Reviews: 16
Reviews by stoutman:
Photo of stoutman
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Why did Schell opt for the confusing name of German Pale Ale? this is more like a Kölsch. Kölsch is typically a bit more bitter than an altbier, as Schell’s version can attest to.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Orange amber colour brew with a mild chill haze, big frothy sudsy head rises quickly and descends like a glacier with a nice sticky lace.

Smell: Husk of grain, delicate floral hop that has a faded perfume quality. Sweetness comes from the malt and the hop oil.

Taste: Steady medium body with a hidden creaminess under the smooth and crisp mouth feel. Chewy malt shows off with a sweet palate of malted barley, caramel comes to mind first as well as some fresh baked sweet bread. A slightly sharp bitterness has a hard time cutting through the stiff almost light syrupy malt, fruitiness is subdued though a mild alcoholic ester makes its self noticed. Pleasant hop flavour that stays even with flavours varying from earthy wood to herbal to floral, hop flavour develops more middle to end. Good balance of malt and hop, so balanced that even in the finish the malt and hops are still battling for total dominance. Bitter sweet finish with a malty back ground and a herbal hop flavour.

Notes: Now this is an altbier, the other (Schmaltz’s Alt) is too dark and does not even compare to what a modern day altbier should be. You live, you learn and then you drink better beer.

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Photo of ryanocerus
3.95/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper in color with moderate long lasting head. The aroma was heavy hops with malt aftertones. The flavor was malt initially, then big hops afterwards. The mouthfeel was a little thin, but this is a very drinkable and refreshing beer.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.15/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copper beer, big head, sticks around pretty well. Lacking any distinct aroma, like an alt, but with kolsch/lager overtones from the yeast.

Malt forward for a pale ale, metallic at times with ample bitterness, would liked to have seen more hopping for it instead of the bitterness. For being malt forward, it lacked the viscosity. Good sweetness. Delicate cocoa presence to it.

Decent enough for traditionalist Euro beer drinkers, but I was wondering what I was getting into moving to the Midwest when I was drinking this, based on how everyone raved about it from Minnesota, but I just found it to be serviceable.

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Photo of ADR
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here's a weird hybrid that I had a hard time evaluating for style, it seems too dark for an Alt (similar to Schell's Schmaltz's Alt), and too hoppy for a German warm fermenter in general. But its good...

Very deep and dark clear amber color, very thin head. Slightly hoppy nose, mostly a reserved aroma. Decent caramel malt characteristics counteracted by pronounced Kentish Goldings in heavy and floral amounts. Not a breakthrough chewy/hoppy Ale but nicely flavorful and drinkable. Maybe could use more mouthfeel, but this is a nice beer overall, and shows some distinctiveness. Twelve ounces fits perfectly in the "Schell's German Pale Ale" glass I bought and sometimes use for Belgian beers (looks a lot like a Sterkens glass).

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.23/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

light amber in color with copious amounts of carbonation bubbling up toward the surface throughout. Nice white head on top, maybe an inch and a half before settling down to coat the inside of the glass for a minute. Interesting aroma, mix of grains, light bready malts, and a touch of a grassy, herbal hoppiness. Nothing crazy here but nicely balanced. Same could be said for the flavor, nice pale taste, light bready notes balancing a herbal sort of hop

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Photo of Gusler
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As it leaves the bottle and is poured gently into my glass the color a deep translucent copper with the head prodigious in size and creamy in consistency, the color a winsome light tan, and as it erodes the lace left behind a thick sheet to cover the glass. Nose is lightly floral, sweet malt, citrus crisp and clean a real treat for the schnozzle. Start has malt sweetness, the top middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is crisply acidic, hops present and pleasing to the palate, dry as a desert bone aftertaste, been a while since I had one this breweries exquisite beers.

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Photo of marc77
3.68/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep copper hue with a slight murk. Thick, linty, yet stiff ivory white head leaves dense, abstruse lace.

Aroma: Pungent combination of herbal and sweetly fruity banana tinged hops initially dominates. As the hop oils dissipate, pleasant, mellow notes of lightly toasty Munich as well as faint toffee provide contrast. Oddly enticing aromawise.

Taste: Soft, buttery sweetness upfront is promptly superceded by a drying combination of leafy, damp hop bitterness and mild grain tannin. Continues athirst, with notes of baked cracker surfacing mid palate, ensued by subtle notes of burnt brittle late. Finishes mostly dry and clean, with faint hints of citric tartness lingering briefly.

Mouthfeel: Amply smooth and nearly creamy. Agreeably soft, with greater dextrin derived viscosity than a typical American pale.

Drinkability / Overall: A unique, quasi - altbier with a thirst inducing aridity marginally offset by a tenuous toasty sweetness. Quite enjoyable, but a notch or two shy of balanced. Certainly easy on the palate and most drinkable, nevertheless.

Thanks to Feloniousmonk for the bottle!

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.07/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Copper beer with a full inch of head that displays solid retention skillz. Aroma was alt like, smooth, but with some lager notes.

Taste was a malt heavy pale ale, this should be called an alt, because well its not pale and when we think of pale ales these days, we think of hops. This had a noble hop bitterness to it that didn't make sense.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.03/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice dark copper color, clear and with a full head on pouring. Mixed malt hop aroma with malt primary and hops adding a spicey nature. Pleasing. Taste is as aroma with mixed charateristics and neither overpowering the other. The bitterness finishes and lasts a bit, and it isn't as favorable as with American style pale ales. Mouthfeel is medium with carbonation noticeable. This is a little less rich than some of Schell's beers but rich enough for style. Smoothness comes as it warms and then gives a hint of the alcohol.

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Photo of putnam
4/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'd like to define some terms.
As an Alt, the color of this reminds me more of the so-called Muenster Alt style displayed by a brand like Pinkus (only with more hops here). Duesseldorf Alt is typified, for me, by the black-colored Hannen or Diebels brands (same bitteness here, though much lighter color).
My sample of this beer seems more like an American Pale Ale: reddish amber and hoppy.
Plenty of fruity, pale malt character and abundent use of astringent hops. In fact, the finish is dominated by a resinous bitterness that won't quit. A very nice American Pale Ale.

Theory: This is a brewery inspired by German styles that, nevertheless, saw a need for an entry into the ubiquitious APA category. The name, label and official style designation are afterthoughts, and meant to satisfy competing priorities. "Koelsch" wouldn't have made sense out of my bottle, as the beers I've tried in that style are more than a few steps lighter and less hoppy than what I have before me.

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Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very good (and quite unique) ale. The only alt I've had is Deibel's, and this is stronger and hoppier than that. Kind of an amber ale/ alt cross. Quite tasty and enjoyable. Too bad this has been D'C'd because it's good and different. Thanks, Monk -good stuff!

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Photo of mothman
3.63/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into Sam Smith pint glass
Pours about 1/2 finger of beige head. Not the best retention, but leaves some splattered lace. Color is a hazed caramel brown.

Aroma: faint floral hops with some citrus mixed in. Some caramel malts and that is about it.

Taste: Very light tasting beer. Caramel malts, faint earthy hops with a few bits of citrus mixed in. Not a whole lot here. It does have a buttery taste in the background.

Mouthfeel: a tad bitter, but mainly crisp. A really nice amount of carbonation. The body is a medium level. Ends with a really sticky aftertaste.

Overall, not a lot going on with this beer, maybe a little past its prime, but it is still really drinkable, just not too much flavor. I really wish this beer was still made, as it is a unique style.

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Photo of budgood1
3.83/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

sturdy malt body and restrained hop profile. maybe slightly thinner mouthfeel than one might like but totally drinkable. nothing to get excited about but nothing offending. this beer would a great intro beer for those not experienced in the wide world of ales.

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Photo of drpimento
3.02/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured with a nice head and a bit of lace. Nice tarnished brass color. Standard American Pale Ale aroma. Ditto with the taste: decent flavor and aroma hops balanced with the malt and yeast. Body is pretty good and not overcarbonated. Quite servicable. A session beer. Nice finish. Nothing too special here, but like I said servicable.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.97/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was first brewed to commemorate the brewery's 135th anniversary, in 1995, and was a staple in my fridge all through the rest of the '90's. There was quite a lot confusion, though, about the stylistic designation. In the January 1998 ALL ABOUT BEER, Michael Jackson is rather blunt in correcting one of his favorite breweries (Schell comes up in nearly all of his books): "There is no such thing as a pale ale in Germany." Garrett Oliver's tut-tuts had the flavor of a sarcastic schoolkid: "Hello? What is "German-Style Pale Ale"?...One assumes this is meant as an alt bier. "German-Style Pale Ale" Please."
And so it seems that this brew has been discontinued, and their more Anglo-styled pale ale is everywhere, though I did snag one last 6'er, and was a little worried that it had been on the shelf too long, maybe. Two bottles down, and I'm happy to say"no".
But, the beer...Color is a clear orange, and the head is thick, well-retained, and cream-colored. Aroma is quite unique: a bit of sharp citrus, with an underlying yeasty/breadish sensation, leaving a feeling not unlike a lemon biscuit. Further notes of cocoa and butter persist, as well as herbs.
On the palate, great bursts of hops rush onto the tongue, and a bright fruitiness takes shape, dominated by flavors of peach, apricot, apple. Malt is rich, too, and coexists with tart hoppiness. Hops continue to pervade through the finish, and the end result is a very tasty and satisfying brew.
Great balance, if a little hop forward.
Some suggest that this must be an altbier, although Schell's has another idiosyncratic alt. I wish I could look forward to more tasting of this unique, delicious ale, but alas!

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German Pale Ale from August Schell Brewing Company
Beer rating: 62.5% out of 100 with 16 ratings
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