American Pale Ale | Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.

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American Pale AleAmerican Pale Ale
42 Ratings
American Pale AleAmerican Pale Ale

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

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by jwc215 on 03-28-2007

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 42 |  Reviews: 39
Photo of hippityhop86
4.75/5  rDev +31.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very impressed with Spanish Peaks latest offereing. An improvemement upon the Monterey Pale Ale they had traditionally made. Certainly the hops are predominant and as a previous reviewer mentioned, as hoppy as some of the American India Pale Ales. I would reccomend this for the "tweener" someone who likes the hoppinesss of a good beer but that doesnt want to be overwhelmed as they might be with an IPA.

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Photo of danielharper
4.27/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Yellow body tinged with orange. Very hazy, quite a few bubbles suspended in the liquid. Forms a thin white head that dissipates to soapscum quickly.

Smell: Sweet, fruity. Notes of apples. Quite a bit of malt, hints of hops buried underneath. A nice aroma, inviting.

Taste: Crisp bitterness up front, slight malty middle, dry finish. Aftertaste is malty, bready. Hints of apples and grains. Strong flavors of grapefruit and a few notes of banana as the beer warms. Overall an excellent flavor for a pale ale.

Mouthfeel: Moderate. Some carbonation, a touch of dryness to the finish. Slightly chewy.

Drinkability: A highly drinkable, well-above-average pale ale. Well worth the spot in the fridge.

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Photo of cheapxceptbeer
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this beer up for 5 bucks at Marty's on Harvard Ave with their ongoing "stimulus package."

I'll start off with the appearance it has a very nice amber color, however it has a strange hanging sediment that is just unappealing, but otherwise looks delicious
Has a very piny, hoppy smell, like an IPA, not much else to say
This is really hoppy for a pale ale, the piny, citrusy qualities really come through, however the malt comes in to stop the hops from overpowering, delicious, nothing like it at this price
The body is medium which is appropriate for the style, definitely fuller than I expected, this is not APA flavored lager, this is the real thing
This beer is light enough that I could drink it all night, I am very happy with this choice, definitely a flavorful session beer

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Photo of tgbljb
4.23/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a slightly hazy light amber color with massive white chunky head. great retention, Perfect lacing.
Smell is loaded with hops, piney, grassy, citrusy.
Taste is also very hoppy. A profound dry bitterness is extremely enjoyable. Enough malt is present to present the perfect balance.
Very dry at the end. Begs for another taste.
Excellent beer.

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Photo of acrawf6
4.21/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It seems some of these reviews are quite different from one another, and I get something different than those others.

Pours out a very nice clear orange amber with a foamy white head that drops to a thick layer with nice lacing. The color looks a touch darker than others like it and richer, that seems to be quite appetizing to me.

Smell. Very much on the hoppy side- citrusy with lots of grapefruit. There is a small bit of caramel and slightly fruity (and tart) like strawberries.

Taste. Hops are again quite dominant. It is hoppier than some ipa's ive had. Lot more grapefruit than i would expect. But there is some malts that balance it out...but it is mostly the bittering hops that i taste. Behind the grapefruit there are more hops that comes out (as it warms) that is a bit more lemony and pine flavors. The aftertaste gets malty with a grainy flavor and some caramel taste.

Mouthfeel. Body is medium/slightly full with a small bit of chewiness to it. Balance is ok, but the hops are very it a bit one-dimension, but i fine that just fine for this beer.

Overall, a very nice apa that is a bit more like an ipa (on the level of redhook's), imo. I have not had an apa like this, which makes it nice to have. It is a very nice, but heavier apa that i would love to have more of. I would also really like to know how much alcohol is in this one as it hides the content well, but seems to sneak up on me very quickly whenever i have it.

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Photo of dickroop
4.18/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Label notes that Spanish Peaks Brewing Company was Funded Bozeman, MT, also says brewed in Frederick MD. (Beerme-dot-com says "Formerly located in Bozeman MT, formerly a microbrewery, formerly a contract company in King City CA, now an office in Polson MT...")

Pours a classic golden golden amber with not much head but a bit cloudy. There's good lacing, and the nose is promising, hoppy to be sure, and a touch of musty richness. (Truth be told, I just finished mowing the lawn, so my examination of the smell was, ah, somewhat *abbreviated*, shall we say.)

The taste is crisp citrus hops with some floral notes, backed up with a solid malt presence, a little bready. There are earthy yeast notes, and it's got a solid clean, dry finish, with lasting bitterness on the palate. A little grapefruit rind in the cheeks before you swallow. The mouthfeel is chewey and nice (maybe a touch of hop oil for added complexity), the carbonation is right on target. For an APA, this seems spot on, not over the top hop-bomb, respectfully paying tribute to British origins, but not at all shy, it stands up well to refrigeration and American preferences.

For me, drinkability is quite high, it would be sessionable, and it's pleasurable no matter how many you have. Recommended.

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Photo of praufs01
4.13/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - This is a beautiful looking beer. Cloudy dark yellow, with a big creamy white head, that leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Aroma - Floral hops dominate with malt in the background.

Taste - Light crisp hop taste up front that's nicely balanced with a malt backbone.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, small bubble carbonation.

Overall - Well balanced, good looking pale ale that would be hard to beat. This ale is exceptional.

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Photo of alehopman
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I immediately noted a strong malt aroma and flavor initially. The hops are more earthy than I have encountered in APA's. I think the ale has more of a British character, oddly enough. I remember tasting Black Dog Ale in the early 90's and occasionally since. This is very similar to that. I hear Black Dog has a new recipe, not sure about that though. I will drink this more frequently, the price is right.

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Photo of jwc215
4.07/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden with a one-finger head that becomes a lasting patch.

The smell is fruity/citrusy.

The taste is of citrus balanced by sweet malt. The citrusy hops remain ahead until the caramel sweetness in the finish that rounds it out.

Nice texture, smooth, firm meduim body.

I like how the caramelish sweetness rounds out the citrusy hop character. Very appropriate and well-done, making this a good example of the style. A smooth, tasty "sessionable" brew.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Marginally more orange than amber, with a surprisingly dense cloud of yeast. A few streams of fine bubbles can be seen rising through the haze and plunking into the underside of a pale lemon cap that looks acceptable enough. An average amount of sudsy lace manages to stick. In the end, the opposite side of the pint glass is almost entirely coated, resulting in a much deserved score increase.

I like the nose. It's both citrusy and floral, with a mid-range fruity thrum rather than a top end, high note brightness. I might have guessed good ol' Cascade as one of the contributors, but I would have been wrong. The hop bill consists of Crystal, Mt. Hood and Horizon. Solid so far.

And that is exactly the word that I would use to describe the flavor profile. Solid. Nothing more than a hint of caramel and Munich malt are appreciated on the palate. APA the APA is pale malt-dominant and is a better beer for it. I would have put the IBUs (stated as '50-55') at something more like 30-35.

The stars of the show are the three hops listed above. They provide an intriguing mixture of flavors that are reminiscent of grapefruit, orange and apricot. The floral muskiness of apricot peel is front and center. There's just enough hoppiness present to scratch that alpha acid itch, provided one drinks multiples bottles. Shouldn't be problem.

I wasn't too impressed with the mouthfeel right out of the gate. With time, though, it has come into its own and hits all of its marks with ease. A restrained amount of carbonation results in a light creaminess that makes drinking quickly (or slowly) a cinch.

Nothing that I've had previously from Spanish Peaks prepared me for the delicious American pale ale that is American Pale Ale. This is the first beer in their lineup that I'd consider buying on a regular basis. Having said that, it's extremely tough sledding when it comes to getting noticed in the world of California craft beer.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.94/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dispensed from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. I was unaware this was an unfiltered beer, so I got lots of yeasties in the beer which made it cloudy and sort of foreign looking. I dont really mind it, but it doesnt look good and could serve as a detractor for some. Nice white head and some decent lacing.

Aroma is very fruity and hoppy. Grapefruity and lemony. I cant quite put my finger on it, but there are some other fruits in there as well. Alomost like a berry or melon. Anyway, decent aroma.

Nice flavor profile as well. Malty and somewhat sweet. Lots of fruity esters. The hops dont come through as much in the flavor as it does in the aroma. Nicely balanced, but could use a touch more hop bitterness, imo.

A nice beer. Glad to have a sixer of this one. The next beer I will decant a little more carefully in order to perserve the appearance. Certainly recommended if you like the sweeter side of the style. I prefer the hoppy side.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.92/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this as part of a mixed Black Dog 12 pack for a sweet, clearance price.

First off, this beer pours a wicked cloudy light orange color with tons of floaties. I've never seen so much sediment in a beer before.. I thought Smuttynose IPA had a lot but nothing compared to this. Taste wise it's a kick of hops in the mouth.. pretty bitter for a pale ale, as its hoppier than a lot of IPA's I've had. Well balanced and very drinkable though, I enjoyed it a lot. A nice find for the price, above average beer.

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Photo of jcm845
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I purchased this beer because it was on sale at local midway mart.
I was really enjoyed this beer. It is really well balanced and very drinkable. I found the characteristics of this beer are similar to other reviewers and was really impressed by the flavor and balance. Very good

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Photo of SurlyDuff
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is the first time i've ever heard of this brewery. A 6pack was actually 4.00 (1/2 price sale at the store), and for that price it's certainly the best damn beer i've had. For an $8 beer, it's fine, but not stellar.

Pours a dark golden amber with a decent head and nice lacing. Trailers of lace hang to the sides of the glass nicely.

Balanced and enjoyable aroma. bready malt and a small hop presence.

A nice body here, without leaving any holes or anything missing from the beginning to the finish. A rather creamy texture, which adds to the drinkability.

Full hearty malt and a hoppy citrus flavor. Nothing special or out of the ordianry, jsut a really solid drink. A fine example of an APA.

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

My first offering from Spanish Peaks- decided to go with the American Pale Ale as I had heard some decent things about this brew.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.

Poured a dark golden color-amber tints- carbonated some- minimal head- no lacing.- smelled of hops and floral effervesence

Taste was surprisingly good as I wasn't expecting greatness from this beer. Nice amount of hops- some bitterness- as a reviewer said previously very similar to an english ipa.

lacks complexity but scores points for simple tastiness. not sure about the ABV but this seems sessionable to me.

Probably won't be looking for this one in the future but it aint that bad either.

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Photo of denflyr
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice yellow/copper color with a medium amount of haze. A slight head, but not very uniform.

The hops obviously dominate on the nose of this brew. They almost have an orange esther to them rather than what I feel are usually grapefruit type aromas.

The beer had a nice taste to it. It had a nice malt creaminess to it. Not an overwhelming amount of hops. Nicely balanced.

Just the right amount of carbonation. Nice refreshing brew to drink since my palate was not attacked by the hops.

An excellent beer to have around as a go to beer. I could drink this often if I could get this is Houston. Not sure what the ABV was it did not seem high, so a few could be had in my opinion.

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Photo of Cujo65
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of rowew
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck, black labe on the label. Cryptic date code, and it only says its brewed in Denver, not who is actually doing the contract brewing.

Appearance: Slightly cloudy orange color, decent head. All 6 of these were gushers.

Smell: Very hoppy - lots of grapefruit and some floral aromas. Just a bit of breadiness in there somewhere, but the hops hide most of it.

Taste: Lots of hopes for an APA, grapefruit flavor dominates.

Overall impression: This seems more like an IPA to me, but it is a drinkable beer with some good hop flavors. If you aren't into hops, you probably won't like this - otherwise give it a shot.

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Photo of zeff80
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a golden/amber color with an off-white, two-finger head. Left some very nice lace.

S - It smelled of hops, lots of hops.

T - It had a very nice bitter hop bite. It was also very malty.

M - It was fairly crisp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - A surprisingly hoppy APA. I've had one other offering from Spanish Peaks and was not overly impressed but this was pretty good.

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Photo of racer2k
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Amber colored with decent head and lacing on the glass.

S- A balance of floral hops and malt aroma

T- A basic pale ale session beer with a good hop front and malt finish.

M- Moderate carbonation with decent mouth feel.

D- Good session beer. Enjoyable with some nice spicy BBQ.

Overall this is a good interpretation of the Pale Ale style and a session beer.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle in a Nonic. No date on the bottle.

A - Cloudy light amber color with a two finger, loose egg-shell white head with decent retention and a thick, sticky lacing.

S - Incredibly citrusy hop aroma bursting out. Smells a lot like powdered Crystal Light mix. Earthiness and dry straw notes too.

T - Great balance of flavors. A strong malt backbone that doesn't mind taking a back seat to the flourishing hop flavors. Pine, citrus, and light fruits.

M - Medium bodied and crisp with a light carbonation bite to the finish. Just a touch of dry bitterness.

D - I'm only half way through the bottle, if that, and the flavor is becoming overwhelming. I could sip it on a summer day as a refresher, but not an overly drinkable brew.

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Photo of biggmike
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Golden amber color that didnt have a lot of head. Nice hop aroma and flavor. Good lacing on glass. Aroma was citrusy with hints of caramel malts. Mouthfeel was good, not too thin or thick. Pretty good pale ale. Drinkability was good on this one. Nothing I would seek out, but would have again.

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Photo of drxandy
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured from 12oz to standard pint glass, pours a hazy redish golden color with a great 3 finger head.

smells of honey, orange peel, hops and malt

tastes bitter, citric almost astringent hopping, honey, malts play in the background, a nice version of an american pale, nothing really stands out as amazing, but a good beverage regardless

mouthfeel is crisp and more hopped than most pale's - a bit of a dry finish, and the hop blend aren't the best match but hey

would be great paired with a meal or just after working out, etc

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Photo of BigRedN
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured from the 12 oz bottle with some type of freshness dating on the label into a pint glass. The beer is clear, golden in color, a little darker gold than a macro lager. My pour produces a white head, about 1/2 inch which slowly fades to a solid cover leaving some good lacing.

Smell: Minimal malt associated aromas. This has some hop related scents. Aromas are floral and citrousy (as I drink the beer the scent becomes more floral than citrous). Not overpowering my nose.

Taste: For me this is a touch one dimensional, leaning towards hops. Not much malt balance here, but this does have a good bitter hoppy finish. Taste lingers on the tongue for a while.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied. Good carbonation. Finishes somewhat dry.

Drinkability: A very drinkable APA, just not overly memorable. I purchased a single bottle to try as part of a mixed six pack. Bottle states it is brewed by Spanish Peaks in Denver, CO. I do not know if I wouold buy a full six pack. This is regularly $6.99 a six, a bit high considering I can get better for a buck less.

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Photo of Shaw
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice light copper in color with a thick light tan head. This beer is slightly cloudy from sediment.

It has an earthy, musty aroma, which I think comes primarily from the sediment, with notes of caramel and hops.

The earthy quality is notable in the taste, too, along with a light bread flavor and a nice bitter hop finish.

The body is fine, with a nice amount of heft.

Overall this is a fine APA. I like that it distinguishes itself from the zillions of others in the style through the earthy notes.

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American Pale Ale from Spanish Peaks Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.62 out of 5 with 42 ratings