Monterey Pale Ale (MPA) | Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.

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Monterey Pale Ale (MPA)Monterey Pale Ale (MPA)
41 Ratings
Monterey Pale Ale (MPA)Monterey Pale Ale (MPA)

Brewed by:
Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): not listed

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Mitchster on 04-17-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 41 |  Reviews: 38
Photo of DaveMiller
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Beertracker
2.5/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of tonistruth
1.78/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

A- unfiltered copper with a 1/2" white head that doesn't hold long

S- apricots, buttery, herbal, floral

T- malt balanced with some herbal hops toward finish, some apricot, bready, dry grain finish with an unpleasant bitter finish that lingers throughout most of the aftertaste

M- slick medium body though has a bone dry finish

D- brew shows no signs of being past its freshness date, but i really hope that it is. Its tolerable until you get about 4 sips in, and the awful dry stale bread aftertaste kicks in. not recommended, disappointing

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Photo of tgbljb
3.8/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy amber color with moderate off-white chunky head. Nice lacing.
Smell is almost wine-like with a nice touch of grassy hops in the background.
Taste presents with a fruity maltiness adn a firm hop finish.
Finishes very dry with nice taste retention.
Not a bad beer, but not a great beer either.

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Photo of Naes
2.41/5  rDev -27%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This one is copper in color with a tall white head that retains and laces well.
The aroma is of hops and caramel malt.
The flavor starts out with caramel malt and finishes slightly bitter with citrusy hops. There is also an almost spiced flavor in there that disagrees with me.
Mouth feel is a little light and actively carbonated.

If not for the spice flavor, this would be a good brew.

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Photo of Vancer
3.58/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not a bad lil’ P.A. – but nothing outstanding, either. Started off good – poured a clear amber, nice tan head, decent lacing. Small aromas of malts, along with hints of spice. Quaff was all malt, finishing with a polite hop bite – along with some somewhat earthy bitters. Medium bodied, an upright brew for summer drinking out on the deck.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.08/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a lightly hazy copper color with an absolutely prodigious pale tan head that is driven by an incessant over the top carbonation more typical of a Gueuze. Am I imagining it, or is the aroma slightly funky with damp earthy notes. There is a bit of herbal hop notes in the aroma as well. The taste is quite dry and quite fizzy as it hits my mouth. The finish has an interesting metallic note to it. This reminds me a bit of Orval actually, with funky earthy notes, almost a bit musty and a definite hoppiness to it as well. If I had to guess a Brettanomyces strain seems to have grabbed a hold of this bottle, yippee it makes this a bit more interesting. This beer is quite easily quaffable, and the level of funkiness is fairly subdued but noticeable. If it were not for the metallic note this would be a nice beer that was vaguely in the Petit Orval style of things. Too bad the brewers did not do it on purpose.

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Photo of BEERchitect
2.95/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Aroma: Mildly malty, hops come through nicely. Spicy and fruity. No aromas stand out more than others. A basic, but nice aroma for an APA.

Appearance: Medium coper with light orange highlights, or light 'rust' in color. White head that fell to a trace that laced fairly. Medium carbonation and quite clear.

Taste: Nicely malty at the nose. Spices quickly follow. Flavoring hops overwhelms toward the body, but then leaves the beer a bit weak and not interesting toward the finish. Finish is a little 'earthy', bitter and metalic. Not terribly complex or balanced, but not offensive either. A thin viscocity to the palate.

Aftertaste: similar to the finish. Hops linger a bit longer than expectd.

Impression: A slightly better than average APA. I feel as if they borrowed an IPA recipe and subdued it to create this Pale Ale. Beer may do better after a few months of settling.

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Photo of SupaCelt
3.03/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Very cloudy. Amber. Small head, quick to drop off to ring status. Lace propagates just above the liquid and fails to cling.

Smell: Smells of heavy crystal malt caramel. Slight sourness as well.

Taste: Very caramel in nature. Sourness as if it may not be that fresh. A bit of a dark fruit impression comes about through the hefty caramel backbone mixing with these sour notes. The heavy caramel notes remind me of a strong ale although this is no strong ale by any stretch or hallucination, besides it has that crummy sourness.

Mouthfeel: Lower aspect of medium. Flattened texture gives the illusion of thickness.

Drinkability: This beer is not very appealing. Way too close to vinegar for my liking. Is this one old? Jeepers I hope so for the sake of this beer.

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Photo of kbub6f
2.8/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

The first bottle I had was off. Pure sour vinegar. The second bottle was better, but I won't be a repeat customer. The head is one inch of white-cream-colored, flat foam. It dies quickly. The beer is a hazy, light amber-gold. Big swoops of lacing. The nose is grapefruit, sugar, a little nutty. Not bad. Some sour fruit up front. A thin, tingly, fizzy middle. Some decent butter caramel. Tangy, sourish, grainsy finish.

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Photo of HardTarget
1.73/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Very uninformative label, no abv, no date, no nothing. Just “No Whiners”
Aroma: Pleasant mix of hop and malt, hop toward the floral side.
Appearance: Nice multi-sized head of white on a clear pale orange glass. Some nice lace on the glass as well.
Flavor: UGH! OMG what IS THAT?! Sickly sweet with a very off flavor, tastes like blood. How could my nose have let me down so badly?! I took a big sip! A cornucopia of bad tastes; astringent, cardboard, metal, soapy, cloying, this is one of the worst beers I’ve tasted.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, carbonation a little high.
Overall Impression: I seriously hope there is something wrong with this bottle. This is just vile, drain pour after the 3 obligatory sips to review. Given there is no date on the bottle, I hold the brewer fully responsible for this… crime. Yeah, I’m whining, deal with it.

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Photo of mgdeth
2.27/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Appearance - On the pour, an excellent creamy white head tops an orange-golden brew. The beer is hazy, apparently from the yeast in the bottle.

Smell - An outstanding floral hop smell readily presents itself. I also detect a citrusy aroma.

Taste - This beer is very citrusy, to the point of being cloying. After smelling the hops, I was expecting something entirely differnt. I would liken this beer to drinking fizzy red grapefuit juice, with more sweetness and a good does of hops thown in. The taste is not clean, and as the beer progresses, becomes downright annoying. On a high note, the hop character of the beer is pleasant.

Mouthfeel - The body is decent, and seems maybe a touch weak. The flavor is so bad that it distracts from perception of the body.

Drinkability - Too sour, too fizzy, too citrusy. Given the flavor, I think I got a spoiled bottle. I cannot imagine a commercial brewery releasing something that tasted like this.

Comments - This beer looked and smelled great. When I was assulted with the flavor, I was immediately disappointed. Maybe that haze is something other than yeast. Again, I suspect I got an old or bad bottle. I would try this again if I could get it fresh.

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Photo of rugger
3.52/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a cloudy gold color with what looks like a lot of yeast sediment or something floating around. Not much of a head, and what little there is dissapeared quickly. The smell is of a malty hoppy happiness. The flavor is fruity with a balanced maltyness. The mouthfeel is a little on almost chewy side, I assume that this is due to the sediment or something. Overall very drinkable and enjoyable. However there are cheaper beers around here that are better.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.46/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle, in a mug glass.

Appearance: Slightly cloudy amber-gold color. Poor head retention, all foam disappearing fast.

Aroma: Fresh, grassy hop aroma, and a little malt underlying it.

Flavor: Fruity roundness, with some bread-like malt. Bitterness is medium-high and drying. Finishes slightly acidic.

Body: Medium body, lower-than-average carbonation.

Mostly an average pale ale, not much of note, except perhaps the slight touch of sourness at the end, which would make it a good accompanying beer to strong, spicy foods.

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Photo of smcolw
4.07/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Points for how it poured, a slight upward cascade to the head, but unfortunately this disappeared too quickly to a single tight-bubbled layer. It pours clear with a mid-amber color.

In the aroma department, there's a nice tang of mild citrus. There's also a soft hop floral smell with the pale ale malt. Very nicely balanced.

Mild round malt is the initial impression of the tasting. While the hop is present, it becomes more pronounced in the mouth and after the swallow. The aftertaste is nicely balanced with the hop eventually winning out. This is a rich pale ale, almost oily, but in a very pleasant way. The carbonation is slightly high (if I'm really picky).

I very much like this brew: It's well-balanced, complex and very drinkable.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.21/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pumpkin orange-amber with loads of suspended bits that result in complete opacity, unusual for a pale ale. The bubbly, frothy head is the color of rich cream and leaves an impressive amount of lace in meandering fingers, broken sheets and a thick, heavy collar (from top to bottom).

The nose is unimpressive for the style. It smells as though some variety of British hop is in use; Fuggles or Goldings perhaps. That would be fine except that the vast majority of the hoppiness is bured under a pale malt blanket. The flavor profile follows suit. It's lighter on hops than it should and is dominated by a sweet, buttery, almost butterscotchiness that turns faintly metallic on the finish.

There's a moderate amount of bitterness. Without much hop flavor, that's not necessarily a positive characteristic. The body is light-medium at best and becomes a little loosey-goosey as it warms. The finish brings nothing new to the table and doesn't make me yearn for the next mouthful.

Monterey Pale Ale isn't bad beer exactly, it just that it's uninteresting and doesn't generate much more than an 'eh' from me. There's too much competition in the APA category, too many good, incredibly drinkable versions for this one to merit a return engagement with my palate.

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Photo of Billolick
3.68/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, no freshness dating to be found. Pours golden, clear, tiny buble white head and leaves nice sheets of lacing. Nose is sort of metallic, also some grainy hops. This is a decent pale ale, balance of maol and hops is in effect and works pretty well. nothing fancy or too exciting to be found here. Citric hops clear the way for a pleasant finish. crisp and refreshing quaffer.

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Photo of yeagerbm
4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a copper color with a fluffy white head. Some hops come out in the smell. Taste is grainy with a hop bite that might include some saaz. Taste is closer to a saazy pilsener than an american pale ale. Lighter than most APA's out there. All around good beer thats refreshing and easy to drink.

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Photo of Zorro
3.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy orange brew.

Smell is malty and slightly spicy with a mild whip of hops. There is a tea scent to this.

Taste is a bit sweet with a bit of bitterness in the finish. A mild fruitiness shows up after a while in the flavor.

Mouthfeel is average.

A mild drinkable brew, biggest minus against it is that it has no awe-inspiring quality. It is just a nice mild ale.

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Photo of DPMomutant
3.38/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a dark golden color with a head larger than most PAs. Very creamy and long-lasting. Some stickiness too.

A mostly malt smell with some citrus in the background. Pretty nice so far.

The taste is very hoppy, much more than the smell indicated. Makes it hard to discern other flavors from it. Very bitter finish, more than what I'm looking for.

The mouthfeel is a bit rough in the beginning, but despite the bitterness it is nice and warming in the finish.

I don't see myself seeking this one out too often. I can get a local one much better than this.

For me this was a bit below average

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Photo of Tballz420
3.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew is a hazy orange color drink, with a medium sized cream colored foam head. Some hops, citrus on the nose. Big blast of citrus hops on the tounge. More bitter than floral. Full creamy body. A pretty average PA, something that if around would satisfy that urge.

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Photo of WetCoaster
2.91/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours (from an oddly lightweight bottle) a very cloudy warm honey color; it doesn’t sound particularly unique, but it is. The head is pure white, about a finger width thick, and doesn’t last too long. Very little lacing.

Smell: Pretty bland. Light citrusy hops and esters, not much else.

Taste/Mouthfeel: At best, an adequate pale ale. Starts with a mild malt sweetness, followed by an almost grainy sourness. The finish is awful, a drying, metallic penny/soapy flavor that will make a tongue scraper seem like a good investment. On the other hand, the mouthfeel is pretty good, the light body is complemented nicely by very fine carbonation.

Drinkability: It’s light and harmless, but that finish would make me think twice about another.

This seems to me closer to your buddy’s first batch of homebrew than a professionally brewed ale. It won’t kill you, but it could be a LOT better.

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Photo of WesWes
3.88/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice golden color with a thick, frothy white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is of pale malts and bitter hops. There also is a bit of residual maltiness here, probably from some light crystal malts. The taste is good. There is quite a bit of hops here which make it quite bitter. The crystal malts add a bit of malty character to the beer. It is a nice balance that allows for more hops without overpowering the beer. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation; a real enjoyable pale ale.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.18/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: body is cast in a bright, though somewhat hazy, apricottish hue, with a nice off-white froth atop.
Aroma: soft, sweet, a little honeyish, full of fresh hoppiness and loads of citrus.
Taste: smooth,sweet, fruity, but rather bland after a bit. Good balance, plenty of malt, but I feel like the hops are being shy in this glass. Body is terribly thin, lacks any bite or twang or anything. There's a citric sourness in the finish that becomes the defining character of this brew, by default.
I like it, but it doesn't move me much. That's precisely who it's brewed for, I'd say, the beer drinker who doesn't like personality in his "suds."

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Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The beer as it rest in my glass a cloudless deep amber color, the head average in size with a frothy texture and off white in color, the lace an adequate sheet. Nose is crisp and fresh, mostly malt and the start a sweet and nicely malted, top is light to moderate in feel. Finish is briskly acidic, the hops pleasant and mild in their spicy bite, dry aftertaste and a nice drinkable beer that I sample often.

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Monterey Pale Ale (MPA) from Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.3 out of 5 with 41 ratings