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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
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Todd
3.76/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. No freshness date.

Appearance: Clear, bright, orange/golden coloured beer that pours a creamy, frothy and sticky head with excellent head retention. Large carbonation bubbles.

Smell: Grainy, earthy, leafy, floral nose.

Taste: A very smooth, creamy, malty and somewhat mellow beer. Sweetness is even, mild and is backed by fruity malt character. Big floral hop flavour that turns a bit coarse on the palate -- leafy and very Pacific Northwest. Thin tea-like bitterness, hint of citrus. Grainy husk tannins follow and stick to the palate, making things a bit dry, and runs into the finish.

Notes: A clean and sturdy dry-hopped classic pale ale. Well-balanced, not complex and very easy to drink. A good pick for a session beer.

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More User Reviews:
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 ADR
3.65/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Palish orange appearance, slight haze and a nice 1/2 inch of creamy head on a hard pour. Hoppy aroma. Malts are straightforward, some maple and a bit of pear and other fleshy fruit -- along with a nice medium carbonation that produces a pleasant mouthfeel. The hops provide a pretty imprressive balance to this brew, citrusy and refreshing, but not overbearing in bitter tartness. Solid enough, a little ordinary, but nice drinkability...

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.92/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy. Orange in color with a rocky, cream colored head that holds well and leaves some minor lace. The aroma is mainly hoppy - citrusy and grassy - over some sweet maltiness. The body is medium-full with a very fine & restrained carbonation (@ 2.2-2.3 volumes CO2) giving it a soft and creamy mouthfeel. The flavor starts with a sweet, bready maltiness and hoppy flavor upfront, revealing some citrusy hop flavor and a fruity note towards the swallow, and finishing with a lingering honeyish-sweetness and hop flavor and bitterness. Well brewed. A bit more sweet malt than normally expected for the style, but very nice.

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Photo of Beertracker
2.5/5  rDev -24.2%

Photo of Brent
3.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer really benefited from a little warming. Cold from the fridge the aroma had a distinct metallic twang, which was carried slightly in the first flavor. After letting the chill fade, the metallic note faded and a sweet caramel malt took its place. Hops are not all that impressive, a little blunt and not very assertive. Really seems more like an ESB than a pale ale. A pretty average pale ale, but smooth and easy to drink.

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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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Photo of Pegasus
3.93/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cloudy orange gold color with a thick, creamy off-white head that retains well. Lots of carbonation composed of micro bubbles; lace is thick and irregular. Aroma is quite hoppy with pine sap, fruit, and bread notes. Taste begins with sweet malt flavors, and a slight fruit note, followed by bitter grapefruit hops towards the finish of the taste. The finish is quite dry and bitter. I am not particularly fond of this style, but this is an excellent brew by any measure.

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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 marc77
2.81/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Light bronze hue with a slight haze. Creamy, well retained ivory white head leaves Belgian lace. Mild floral hops with a bated citric twang, accompanied by non descript, light caramel malt derived sweetness in aroma. Clean, but overly tame aromawise. Incipient moderate hop bitterness in flavor tapers promptly, then yields to a dilute wash of light lovibond caramel and tracely soapy, cheap perfume esque hop flavor. Nutty, almond esque fledgling oxidation notes surface late along with bready pale malt tones to lend an odd marzipan impression. Seemingly low in attenuation, and dextrinous, albeit somewhat syrupy in mouthfeel. Finishes simply sweet, with hints of maltose and vapid biscuit. MPA is an unbalanced brew skewed towards malt sweetness, and is unsatisfying as a whole. Innocuous at best.

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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 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 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 IrishRedRock
3.92/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Well I havent yet sipped this beer yet, but it seems to be the most impressive of all the Spanish Peaks beers I have had so far. Deep golden orangey color, with a surprisingly good aroma. Smells like an IPA...strong floral hop notes with a strong scent of citrus and fruits as well.

And the first sip...well! I'm pleasantly surprised again. I must have a hoppy bottle. Fresh hoppy flavor with a subtle malty finish. Not complex, but very tasty. An easy drinker for sure.

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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 Suds
3.97/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a well designed, bold pale ale. Solid hop aroma. Very good all-around balance. Nice, lingering mild-bitterness.

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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 stirgy
3.85/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out a slightly cloudy light ice tea color. The this white head faded quick. Nice citrus fruit aroma with some floral hopiness. Medium bodied , golden, flavorful and a very nice drinkable pale ale. Nothing extraordinary, but fine in many respects.

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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 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 John
3.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle. Pale gold color. Bread dough and juicy hop aroma. Lace decorates the glass. Light bodied, clean and refreshing. More oily, citrusy hop in flavor. A solid pale that would serve well as an accompanyment to a spicey meal, BBQ or alone as a session brew.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.2/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium orange color. Medium head. Aroma is malty, slightly sweet and grassy. Medium bodied pale ale. Malts are slightly nutty and touch too sweet. Hops are fairly mild and citrusy. Kind of sweet and not very hoppy for a pale ale. There is a touch of fruitiness. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is a touch dry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of beernut7
4/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught is really the only way to appreciate this good brew. This pale has a spicy fruity hop profile with a nice solid malt balance. Very tasty and smooth.

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