Sparkling Ale | Coopers Brewery Limited

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Sparkling AleSparkling Ale
659 Ratings
Sparkling AleSparkling Ale

Brewed by:
Coopers Brewery Limited

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Little has changed since Thomas Cooper brewed his first batch of Sparkling Ale in 1862. It's still naturally conditioned in the bottle with our unique strain of Coopers yeast. To enjoy the complete Sparkling experience, roll the bottle to mix in the yeast sediment before pouring. No additives. No preservatives.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-23-2002

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Ratings: 659 |  Reviews: 393
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Jason
4.1/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12.7 oz brown stubby with a best before date on the neck.

Appearance: Thin layer of sediment on the bottom of the bottle, I decanted the ale so no sediment would pour into the glass. Tight one finger of white bubbly lace, lots of streaming bubbles rising to the top. Mild haze in the bright golden hue.

Smell: Faint lemon zest and earthy yeast up front, mild hop oil and light biscuity malt in the back of the aroma.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Almost as smooth as it is crisp, moderate body. Clean fruitiness of plum and apple with a through grain and hop mix. Noticeable alcohol. Grainy with a mild toasted husk, hops are just bitter enough with a quick pucker in the tail end. Finishes with a slight herbal hop and semi-sweet malt.

Notes: Quite delicious, very balanced and very, very drinkable. Yet light enough to be approachable to most beer drinkers.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of woodychandler
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An afternoon of AUS beers continued at my aunt's house and ain't that the truth!

From the bottle: "Real Aussie Ale"; "Brewed in Australia"; "No Additives-No Preservatives-Australian Made-Australian Owned"; "Best After [!] 19 Nov 10"; "Coopers Ales and Stout are brewed using the centuries old top fermentation method and natural bottle conditioning, resulting in a characteristic fine sediment forming on the base of the bottle. This sediment is completely natural and can be gently mixed before drinking or poured carefully leaving the sediment in the bottle."

I applaud their willingness to bottle-condition their beers, but it was slightly unexpected and I tilted the bottle to get a better look at the label (I need (at least) bifocals) and that movement stirred things up briefly, settling as I wrote.

I went with a gentle pour to start, leaving maybe 1/2 of the liquid in the bottle and causing no more than 1/4 finger of bone-white head to form. Color was an oh-so-slightly hazy golden yellow, but I was unsure that my pour could have been any more gentle. Nose had an interesting spring-like flowery/perfume smell and my aunt said apricots. Mouthfeel was medium with really tight scrubbing bubbles on the tongue. Taste had a yeasty mustiness initially, followed by that same flowery/perfume taste. Finish was semi-dry and I still felt like I was tasting essence of perfume.

Post-agitation, I had a much different beer. The head was now denser and had taken on a French Vanilla color along with specks of yeast that resembled a dusting of cinnamon. Nose was now quite musty and I was now willing to agree with my aunt on the apricot odor. Mouthfeel was medium, but the taste was much more tart than before. Finish was bone-dry, Zephyr winds blowing across the Sahara Desert dry, so dry that I needed a drink of water.

Bottom line: decide which you prefer before pouring OR slowly decant half of the bottle's contents and then decide if you want a totally different taste sensation.

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Photo of j0ono0
3.98/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Drunk cool from the fridge, this beer combines a good balance of bitterness and bubbles to make it an outstanding feature beer suited to South Australia's hot dry summer climate. The afore mentioned characteristics balance the full flavours making it a tempting beer for 'sessioning' but its high alcohol content can catch thirsty imbibers out easily.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.11/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

BAD 1/26/14. Pours a hazy amber. Normal head volume, lacing and retention.

Nice light fruit (pear, lemon, apple) notes coupled with yeast over biscuit.

Light medium body with a smooth texture that has creamy notes. Superb carbonation with a nice effervescent burst from the middle on and a nice prickly finish.

The outstanding flavor profile is reasonably intense, complex and very well balanced. It begins with a blend of fruit flavor that flows into a mild herbal bitterness in the middle. As the bitterness begins to fade, biscuit rises to balance along with a distinct plum flavor. The finish is a bit crisp and rather clean. A light herbal hop flavored bitterness lingers.

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Photo of oberon
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It poured nice, good head nice unfiltered orange haze.I expected more in the flavor though,somewhat orangy but would have liked a more bitter tinge to it.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.38/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – Nice, hazy orange in color with a pretty good head. It didn’t froth up much but it lasted for quite a while. I also noticed some flotsam and jetsam floating around in there.

Smell – This is interesting. There’s a light, sweet malt aroma here to go along with the grain, but the big news is all of the fruits. I can especially pick up green apples.

Taste – This isn’t bad. There’s a bit of a hoppy grapefruit compliment here and the malt balance picks things up a notch.

Mouthfeel – Well carbonated and crisp. This medium-bodied Pale Ale is chewy in the mouth.

Drinkability – It’s a little off the beaten path, but I enjoyed it.

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Photo of t2grogan
3/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.91/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is kind of a nasty, dirty water color. It is opaque with haze and has big yeast floaties in it. Thin white head. While the appearance is rather unappealing, the aoma makes up for it with gentle ale fruit, spicy hop fruit, and very light sourdough bread.

Starts bracing bitter and goes into a sourness, chased quickly by hop spice and pepper. There isa mildly soapy finish. This beer is very funky but I like it. Berry fruit, phenols, citric hop, and a touch of alcohol emerge with warmth. Hardly a masterpiece, but I'm partial to it.

Mouthfeel is midwieght, spritzy, fuzzy.

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Photo of heddar33
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of generallee
4.17/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: It was served in a bottle with a frosted mug at the Outback Steakhouse. I let the glass warm up a bit for I poured in the beer.

Appearance: The body has a bright yellow color with lots of carbonation and yeast particles in suspension even with a careful pour. On top sits a soapy bright white which gradually settles out and makes only a little bit of spotty slick lace.

Smell: The aroma is light and crisp. There is a light grainy character with herbal mineral like hop notes and a touch of lemon zest.

Taste/Palate: It has a snappy pale grainy maltiness with some bready yeast and light fruity notes like citrus fruit with apples and pears. Hops add a nice light bitterness to the mildly sweet malt and some herbal notes to the finish which is fairly short. The body has a refreshing and easy drinking light to medium feel and texture with crisp lively carbonation.

Notes: This is a refreshing and tasty beer that is just fun to drink. They would be much more drinkable however if they were not five bucks a pop at the Outback Steakhouse. I could easily take down quite a few of these if I had more money.

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Photo of TC92
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of Weizenmensch
4.8/5  rDev +34.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The pedigree of a beer is, in my opinion, almost as important as the beer's actual taste. Speaking from the experience of drinking mostly Australian beers, one will probably find that the run-of-the-mill Aussie pleb beers will have many slamming reviews on this site. See VB, MB, Tooheys New, Reschs Real and Tooheys Red for examples. All of these beers taste the same (all being "adjunct lagers", all taste far better on tap save the last two which are not available on tap).

Anyone that enjoys a good beer will soon discover that it's not necessarily the breweries that sell large quantities of beer that are the best, rather the family-owned ones with decades of good reputation. New beers come on the market all the time, and it is usually those produced by reputable brewers (or those produced with the aid of millions of dollars' worth of marketing aids) that survive.

Cooper's is arguably drunk by the most loyal drinkers in Australia (possibly followed by Matilda Bay drinkers). This may be due to the Aussie battler spirit sticking up for the family-owned breweries which the big brewers are always trying to extinguish, but it is even more due to the fact that their beers are reliably great, and the fact that every beer is subtly different in flavour and texture. Anyone that knows anything about beer in Australia drinks Cooper's. The remainder drink VB or Carlton Draught because they're cheaper. Cooper's Sparkling is an excellent beer by an excellent brewery.

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Photo of henryclay_
4/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of aquazr1
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.89/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First non-Fosters Aussie beer. Not sure what the "sparkling ale" is supposed to mean - sparkling water or sparkling wine, I can understand, but 'ale'? Eh, we'll see.

The bottle warned me of sediment, and i tried to keep it out, but failed, so I poured it all in. Pours an opaque peach colour, a thin ring of head, a little bit of lacing. Sediment is suspended throughout the glass, with a little bit collecting near the base.

The nose is yeasty with a little bit of malt and citrus (orange).

The taste is quite good actually; the fruit notes work quite well together. This is a hard beer to pin down, but the balance is solid. The sediment provides a little bit of late bitterness.

Mouthfeel is thin, but the sediment provides a little bit of grit. I'll probably avoid pouring it in next time. There's nothing wrong with it, it's just not my thing.

Despite the name, I'm fairly impressed with this brew. It's unique enough to not be pencilled in as an EPA, but something else entirely. Worth a try, probably will pick up a few more myself!

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Photo of Snyder18
2.75/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Soft white to off white head begins at two and three quarters inches falling to one quarter of an inch within five minutes leaving no lace on the glass.

Hazy dirty gold in color. Large quantity of sediment entered glass despite careful pouring efforts.

Aroma was weak almost sterile smelling with a faint hop background that was very hard to detect and possibly a simple figment of the imagination.

Medium body with slow developing flavors. A clean, sterile tasting start fades into what seems somewhat like sour cherries. Possibly a result of yeast sediment making it into the glass. Finish is dry and hoppy.

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Photo of magictrokini
3/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bronze pour with a small white head. Wood, dirt, straw and malt make up the nose. Not a good start, to say the least. Taste is sharp and tangy, with some earthiness that seems to be the hallmark of every Cooper's beer. Golding hops give it a bite. Overall, a decent beer.

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Photo of btmo
3.7/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I like this beer.

It looks funny, it smells funny, it tastes funny.. it is me in a bottle!


I grew up less than 100km where they make this stuff, and this was the beer than all of the locals aspired to drink and fall over with / from. Most of them didn't bother, as they preferred their trip to oblivion to be short, sediment free and inexpensive.


The secret of this beer, the thing that makes it really special is its finishing in the bottle. This means there is a lot of sediment in it. This often puts people off. I think this is a mistake. The world is full of filtered, tamed, predictable and bland beers. See above.

A beer with a yeasty sediment as this one has is so uncommon it should be embraced! Sought out! Bought and paid for yourself!

The taste and mouthfeel are good, if a little unusual. Southern hemisphere beers are designed to be chilled until your tongue sticks to the glass - they are for quaffing when the sun is beating down, or shortly thereafter. The citrusy character of this beer supports this well.

It is the sort of beer that can be imbibed all day IF it is kept cold, and you have a solid liver. 5.8% alcohol means that you will be seeing small fuchsia pachyderms early in the evening if you are not used to it...

If it warms up a bit to much, the excessive bitterness starts to break through, and it becomes a much less comfortable experience.

As with all sensory experiences, this one can be enhanced by engaging all areas of the limbic system. I remember one fine sunny day, sitting near the beach in Adelaide knocking a few of these back. The blond young lady I was with that day enjoyed this beer as much as I did. Our conversation was as sparkling as the very ale itself.

We laughed, we cryed, we belched.


Almost for this reason alone, I consider this beer something special.

Just one warning. If you ever find yourself with a choice of Coopers beers, and you see one with a green label, and one with a red label, shun the green labelled one.

It has already been through at least one goat...

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Photo of standardcherry
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of fionn13
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.08/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 375ml bottle with a BB of June 2012. Acquired a while back from my local beer specialist. Tons of yeast sediment visible at the bottom of the bottle.

Poured into a straight pint glass (leaving most of the sediment behind). A golden-amber colour with medium carbonation and plenty of chunky floating sediment. Yields a large head of creamy white foam that lasts for a few minutes before collapsing. Aroma of dry, earthy yeast with hints of stewed veg, unripe apples and faint malt.

Tastes of light malt and yeast, with a dry finish. Notes of stewed veg, unripe apples and a hint of solvent. Sweet overtones. Very dry upon swallowing, bordering on harsh. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and full-bodied. Highly astringent. Aftertaste of dry yeast and a harsh note.

OK, but not too special. Balanced, but the aroma and flavour are quite dull and dominated by yeast esters. Perhaps this bottle is a bit too old - I'll try and review it again sometime. No need to go out of your way for this.

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Photo of monkeybeer
4.18/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a cloudy golden-orange amber with a to of carbonation, looks more like a champagne or a cider in the glass than a beer.
S- A lot of citrus with some hops and malt mixed in.
T/M- It was very crisp and refreshing. It was defiantly sparkling. The beer has a nice citrus taste and was well balanced with hops and malt.
D- I would defiantly get this again. I tried it when I was out to dinner at the outback, but I will pick it up next time at my local BevMo

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Photo of RollingAlong
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of ADR
3.45/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy gold with lots of fine grained "floaties" and plenty of upcharging bubbles to replenish a nice small-bubbled head. Laces quite simply. Fruity apple and citrus aromas, a little yeast. The malts dominate the flavor in a light and clean manner, senses of apple and peach with a simple finish. A little overcarbonated to me, but helps stand in place for the reserved hopping. There is a creaminess here, as well. Not bad as a somewhat unique beer, not a personal favorite for me, either...

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.65/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Cloudy golden with chunks of sediment floating in a suspension like appearance, white head bubbly not much lacing going on here. Aroma: Bready malt sweetness with an air of grassiness in the background very mild hop aroma that's about it simple. Taste: Crisp sweetness bready finish with a decent bitterness to it, this beer just doesn't have anything that really set's it apart from anything else. Mouthfeel: A bit watery no texture no hoppy oils left on the palate high carbonatinon, light bodied ale. Drinkability: Mediocre just couldn't picture craving for another one of these brews, glad I sampled that's about it.

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Sparkling Ale from Coopers Brewery Limited
Beer rating: 3.58 out of 5 with 659 ratings