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Pale Ale | Humboldt Brews

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Pale AlePale Ale
Very Good
35 Ratings
Pale AlePale Ale

Brewed by:
Humboldt Brews
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gusler on 08-27-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 35 |  Reviews: 32
Reviews by Murph:
Photo of Murph
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, pale copper color with a nice fluffy white head that slowly sinks and clings to the sides of the glass leaving a nice lace. Hugely floral hoppy aroma that goes wonderfully with the warm spring day that I am enjoying right now. Smooth malt base to this beer that is unobtrusive and has just enough present to hold the brew up. The taste is dominated from start to finish by a nicely bitter hop profile that screams "session beer". The hops fade only in the middle for a moment to allow a bit more of the slightly biscuity malt to show its head. The hops allow this beer to have a nicely crisp mouthfeel with just a bit of a lingering bitterness on the tongue. This is an excellently drinkable brew and perfect for this nice spring day.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of badbeer
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear, light golden color with a nice white head that retains well and does manage to leave some lacing. I get some citrus, lemon, a touch of grapefruit, and just a hint of pine. The aroma also has a little bit of bread and biscuit notes. Taste contains some biscuit and caramel, followed quickly by citrus-y hops. Mouthfeel is a little less than medium with medium levels of carbonation followed by a dry finish. This one didn't finish up as well as I would have liked, but it is pretty nice beer here. I'd probably get this from time to time if it were available to me.

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Photo of jakester
4.35/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a single I bought at Union Jack's on the Manatawny. I drank it in a pilsner glass. This is now called Pale Nectar made by Nectar Ales in Paso Robles, Ca. Date is clearly stamped on the bottle.

Pours a hazy dark gold with a one finger head of off-white foam which drops to islands and a ring, with pretty damn good lacing. Carbonation looks slow. (but it isn't!)

Aroma is wonderfully strong grapefruit and lemons, and light caramel and toffee. Fruitiness is muted; it smells clean.

First flavor is sweet caramel, followed by a good hit from bitter hops. The middle is fairly dry and minerally, with a great grapefruit taste, if you like that, which I do. The citrus flavor lasts a long time, as does the bitterness. Hops are definitely the focus of this one.

Mouthfeel is fairly dry, with medium carbonation. I love pale ales like this. Finish is bitter and chalky, but pleasant. Tasty burps!

Like I said, I love pale ales like this one; dry, minerally, and hoppy as hell, with just the right amount of sweetness to sort of balance it. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Yellow beer, some clumpy head that don't leave a uniform lace pattern, dat's fo sho. Aroma was standard barley and minimal hops.

Taste, simplistic and straight up, usual suspects of caramel and grapefruit laying low, but around. Cascade hops, old tea like flavor gives it a weird mouthfeel though.

A little more expensive ($9/6) than it should be, given that there isn't a whole lot going on, nothing bad, something kinda off, but not bad, but not rushing out for it or recommending it to anyone if they start making it again.

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Photo of asabreed
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. I hope this is the same brew that says "Pale Nectar" on top of the bottle.

Appearance: A golden peach-tinged yellow with a head that leaves just a bit of combo spotty and sheet-like lacing, and though it doesn't stay thick, it tends to remain hovering above the body for the duration.

Smell: Sweet caramel malt with some unsweetened chocolate coupled with nice orange and grapefruit oils from the hops. Very aromatic, balanced, and seemingly made with some quality stuff.

Taste: Though the caramel malt sweetness is buried a bit (along with some chocolate and tea flavors), the orange and the grapefruit from the hops comes out well and not only coats the mouth, but also lingers well on the tongue, where the malt flavors then come out, oddly enough, leaving some nicely balanced flavors behind altogether.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, with a coating quality that is pretty outstanding, not to mention carbonation levels bringing out all the flavors accurately without losing anything.

Drinkability: A pale ale that refuses to get flashy and try a lot of experimentation, and I think that helps, as everything's honed well to seemingly make the best thing from quality ingredients--something that a lot of breweries need to take note, because this is good stuff.

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Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a newer looking green label bottle to a pint glass, the liquid is a clear pale gold with OK carbonation. The head is a smallish 1 thumb thick white and does not leave lace.

The smell is a fresh citrus hop.

The taste follows and is nice, a refreshing citrus hoppy taste with a light toast flavor in the malt.

The mouthfeel is ok not quite medium body and a little light on the carbonation.

The drinkability is good and the taste is its best feature. MK

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Photo of TheJudge
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from a bottle, a very see through golden ale. Pretty. Nice head that holds and laces well. Strong hop aroma, sweet. A note of peach as well. Taste is sweet then bitter. The hop in the nose is all over the mouth and tongue. Not as complex as I would like, decent carbonation, feels good. Solid. Very hoppy. I would drink a lot of it.

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Photo of Darkale
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Sweet, ripe fruit and malt aroma. Cloudy, dark butterscotch body. Tight, white head, good lacing. Light, cheery mouthfeel. Slightly raspy. Taste is like citrus on fire -- great fruit sweetness with a hops burn. Snappy and gingery aftertaste. A very enjoyable pale ale with a bit more character and energy than in the usual pale ale.

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Photo of BeerSox
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into nonic.

Hazy golden amber hue (almost the color of nectar), with a one finger off-white head that leaves behind some stringy lacing.

Sweet honey malts with some citrusy hop aroma.

Crisp malts with a light sweet hop flavor. It tastes good but it's a little light. When I taste it, the word "nectar" comes to mind. The name seems to match this beer perfectly. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. The finish is lingering hop flavor.

This isn't exactly a beer to rave about but I feel it's certainly worth the buy. Makes a good session ale. Recommended.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.67/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle. Appearance was a slightly hazed apricot color with a modest foamy white head that melted away to a thin skim.
The nose was an inviting blend of earthy, hayfield-inspired malts, nice fruity esters and mild hops aromas. The taste was sweetly fruity up front, with a slightly tropical flavor before the grassy malt taste set in. Crisp and light, it had a decent amount of citrus bitterness but nothing too intrusive or disruptive. The flaovrs just didn't seem all that, well, inspired. It seemed like the beer was just there from a taste perspective.
Overall, not a bad brew by Humboldt Brewing. Just not as enjoyable for me as was their IPA or Red Nectar Ale.

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Photo of Erdinger2003
2.28/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The head is thin with bigger bubbles and that falls into a thin layer atop the beer. There is a lacing, but it doesn't stick all of the time. Color is very clear gold. The smell is hoppy, I smell dill for some reason, don't know if it's the new craving for dill pickle chips or not. Smell is slightly dank, grassy hops. A slight citrus character comes through. The taste is very dank, almost moldy. There's an aftertaste of breadiness....reminds me of golden grahams. Graham crackers anyway. Mouthfeel isn't offensive and it's got a bit of a refreshing feel to it, and it's smooth. Overall I think this would be a good go to brew if I lived in CA, but I don't think long trips are good for this brew.

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Photo of Gusler
4.04/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour a bemused deep golden amber color with a massive head and its remains create fine sheets of lace to cover the glass. Nose is "Hop Floral" with pleasing malt sweetness, crisp and fresh to the senses. Front lightly sweet and the top skinny in feel. Finish is pertinent in its carbonation, the hops dominant and the aftertaste dry and quite long lasting a real "Session" beer if I have ever tasted one.

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Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

They have changed the name of this one a bit, it is currently called "Pale Nectar."

Pours a clear golden brew with a tinge of orange.

Smell is sweet and malty caramel with a high level of hop scent.

Taste is a little sweet with nice malt character and a vanilla and oak flavor to dry up the after taste. Restrained bitterness and a bit of citrus in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good.

A wonderful pale ale to drink, flavorful but not over the top in any one dimension. I can sum this up in two words "Mellow" and "Tasty."

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Photo of meathookjones
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a slightly hazy orange color with and good sized off white head that threatened to overflow the glass on a regular pour. The head dropped fairly quickly to a topping of bubbles but did leave great looking lacing around the glass. The nose is defiantly kicking with hops. There are notes of citrus and pine here as well as a slightly sweet malt undertone, caramel I believe. A nicely balanced taste is here with an emphasis on hops. There is a nice citrus hop taste at the front that is followed by a malty caramel flavor with a slight bittering at the end. This brew also has a little bit of bite to it, which is nice. Good mouthfeel about medium with good carbonation. Pretty good drinkability as I could throw a few of these back easily. Not a bad pale ale at all with good hopping so if you come across it give it a shot.

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Photo of Mark
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is really pale colored for an ale, so It did not score that for appearance despite excellent lacing and decent head retention. Smell was nice and had malty overtones with subtle hop aroma. Pretty smooth tasting ale which I like, especially being fresh back from the U.K.. Some of our ales don't taste as good to me when I'm first home. A pretty good drinkable ale, and I've always liked beer from Humboldt.

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Photo of RBorsato
3.95/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"Pale Nectar" brewed by Nectar Ales (Firestone Walker), Paso Robles, CA

Hazy golden with a nice full off-white head and good carbonation. Nice fruity hop aroma; not overpowering. Nicely balanced malt-hop flavor with a light citrusy hop character. Medium-light bodied with a light crisp hop finish.

Good but probably not a re-buy... Not too much different than Red Nectar ... very well balanced but something's missing...

Per NA website:
Centennial, Cascade and Mt. Hood hops.
Gold - 2003 GABF

($1.99 / 12 oz.)

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Photo of rodbeermunch
2.99/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Yellow, a head formation that lacks uniformity. Aroma was neutral.

Taste had some bitterness, crystal and brown malt, a little heavy for a pale ale. Morphs into toffee and tea like notes downbottle.

This was a weird one, it was just as much a brown ale as it was a pale ale.

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Photo of cdwil
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of DogFood11
4.17/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Humboldt has been one of those breweries that to me is somewhere between average and good. This brew is on their "good" side of the lineup. Poured into a pilsner glass it formed an easily managed perfect head that fades rather quickly retianing a ring lacing and thin cover. Pale to light copper in color and small carbonation are plentiful.

Hops are up front in the smell and taste. Whats nice about this pale is the malt bill has enough in it to make this rather hoppy Pale into a session quality brew. Damn I love a finely crafted low alcohol brew and this one fits the bill. Hops have a little bit of that "raw" edge.

Notes: I think this is humboldt's best offering that I've been able to sample. I only see it now and again at my local beer stops. Seems to be hit or miss with availability. This will be another staple beer in my fridge.

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Photo of sacfly
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

no freshness date
“All Natural Ale”

Pours a hazy golden color with a thick head of off white, medium bubbles. Aroma is citrus with light grapefruit and a hint of orange.

Taste is light and refreshing. Hints of the citrus and bitterness stay throughout the taste and in to the finish. Long, light bitterness in the aftertaste.

A good, non-offensive session beer. But not something I would session since it was $1.99 for one 12oz bottle. Much better choices in this area in this style.

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Photo of TrojanWheels
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Rumrunner
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle.

A very enjoyable pale ale. I am really liking this brewery.

Pours a transparent orange and gold color. Medium white head that quickly dissipates. Not much lacing. The smell is very wet grass at first. Very crisp and hoppy. It quickly loses a modicum of these scents and picks up a fruity tang smell. Interesting.

A hoppy ale with a nice bitter bite. The flavors are wet grass and pine. A deep fruit quality among the flavors. There is some bitter clove and biscuit at the end. A mild malt for balance but this one is mainly about the hops.

Light bodied for an ale. It is smooth and the carbonation is felt during the drinking of the ale. Very crisp and refreshing. A very well done pale ale. This could be a session ale.

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Photo of cbl2
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

6/28/2005 $6.99 6 pack No best by date.


Pours a pale straw/gold with a thin film of bubbles on top, but no head to speak of.


Fresh citrus sweetness (grapefruit) greets the nose with some floral quality as well.


Mouthfeel is fairly smooth with crisp citrus highlights piquing the taste buds accompanied by a strong malt backbone that balances things out nicely. Finish is grapefruit in nature, stretching into a mildly bitter end.

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Photo of argock
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served on-tap in a 16oz pint glass

Appearance: Orangy, copper color with nice lacing off-white head

Smell: Faint citrus but not much there

Taste: Sufficiently dry hops flavor with nicely balanced malt qualities

Mouthfeel: Lightly carbonated with smooth finish, best feature of this beer

Drinkability: The mouthfeel and taste make this a likely repeat performer

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Pale Ale from Humboldt Brews
Beer rating: 3.82 out of 5 with 35 ratings
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