Full Sail Pale Ale | Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub

363 Reviews
Full Sail Pale AleFull Sail Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
Oregon, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Not to be confused with their English Style Pale.

"Our Pale Ale has a fresh, hoppy aroma that comes from two (top secret) Northwest hop varieties, while two-row Pale and Crystal malt give it a mild sweetness that finishes clean and crisp. Feeling out of whack? Put on some music, crack a Pale Ale, and readjust your balance.

ABV 5.4% IBU 37"

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-14-2002

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 363 | Ratings: 642
Photo of Fabric8r
1.39/5  rDev -62.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Wow, I must have got a bad batch. This is the worst beer I have ever had, (except for Schmit). Bitter bitter pucker you up bitter. No malt flavors at all, hops, I assume there are some, with the bitterness and all, but man is this horribly bitter. Mixing it with a Full Sail Amber ruins the Amber. I tried two bottles, and threw the other 4 away. Horrible. Never again.

 369 characters

Photo of harrymel
1.69/5  rDev -54.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Best by 27JUL12

Pours golden amber with little toasted cream foam atop the ale. Smells oxidized to be honest - cardboard and raw wood with some hints of tea and herbal hops. Very disappointed in the nose here. Flavor is also oxidized with a bit more of an old book smell flavor and some oils, reminds me of the flavor of the skin on a palm; carrying a slight salinity. Medium on thin with a moderate carb and semi dry finish. I bought this beer as a sixer on a gamble, really gonna have to be faded to drink the other five.

 524 characters

Photo of thrawn208
2.22/5  rDev -40%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Served from a bottle, part of a sample pack.

Pours with basically no head. None or very little lace. Smells of a touch of caramel, with a slight (and I mean slight) veggie smell, possibly green bean, which is strange. Taste isn't much better. Flavors, when you can taste them at all, are light hoppiness, and ripe grass.

Mouthfeel is decent, reminds me of a full bodied lager, not really a pale ale, which should be a lot creamier than this.

Best thing this beer has going for it is drinkability. Could easily drink a few of these, but why bother?

I liked the other Full Sail I had, what happened to this one?

Edit: Had another one, decided I was being a little too harsh on taste, smell. It grows on you. That's two things going for it.

 744 characters

Photo of funkyspunk87
2.36/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From Full Sail Brewing Company

Full Sail Pale Ale
Full Sail Brewing Company
Style: American Pale Ale (APA)
ABV: 5.40 %


I love Pale Ales and hated this beer. It must have been a bad batch or something because it seemed flat and tasteless. Did not even come close to satisfying my expectations. For the first time in a while I started a beer I couldn't finish. WOULD NOT buy again.

 390 characters

Photo of flipshevanel
2.38/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A little dissapointing after the nice amber Full Sail brews. Poured with virtually no head. The body was clear with virtually no carbonation. The hue was a dark amber to light brown. The aroma was dominated by hops but had a walnutty malt to it with hints of toffee and brown sugar. My palate did not enjoy this beer. The body was light to medium, dry, moderately astringent, and lively carbonation. Didn't balance very well. The flavor was weak for a Pale Ale. Lightly sweet, heavily acidic, and moderately bitter to begin with a luckily short finish that heavily bitter and acidic.

 583 characters

Photo of RedDiamond
2.39/5  rDev -35.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ordinarily, I take it for granted that draught beers served at a brewpub have a greater potential for freshness than beers compelled to endure the slings and arrows of outrageous warehousing and distribution networks. ‘Tis nobler to drink at the source. But I suspect that Full Sail emphasizes their pale ale as a bottled product and may not give their own tap lines the care they deserve. That’s a shame. I’ve drunk their pale casually in its bottled form and encountered none of the problematic issues that arose for me at Full Sail’s auxiliary brewpub in Portland.

I’ve now given this ale several opportunities to prove its worth and I still don’t care for it. My pint last night at the Riverside delivered the same flawed attributes as the cask-conditioned version I drank there several months ago. Visually, it’s a beautiful ale. It possesses the pure golden clarity of most Full Sail beers with smiling white suds and a wide swathe of lace. The aroma is minimal though initially spry and hoppy.

But the taste is meaty and foul – nearly undrinkable – and the smell soon turns to dishwater. Much of the rest is routine. A shame.

 1,150 characters

Photo of FacistCannonBall
2.42/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass. This beer just didn't do it for me. There seemed to be something missing that left me flat, so to speak. The carbonation was mild, which is good, but the taste was nothing to write home about. It lacked character and a roundness in flavor. I've had three from a sixer, and I don't really look forward to the rest. Compared to other pale ales (Sierra Nevada, Stone, Sam Adams, even Red Hook ESB) this beer just doesn't tast that great. It's not bad; I just can't really recommend it. I'll finish the next three bottles and see if I change my mind.

 572 characters

Photo of mpyle
2.49/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Caveat up front - beer had been sitting in a fridge for months, and proved to be a few DAYS beyond the best before date. That being said...

Crystal clear with a deep golden color. Minimal head with very little retention, but was white and fine bubbled while it lasted.

Vegetal aroma, perhaps a bit musty - something of a dirty blanet smell. No distinct hop aroma, which I like to smell in this style.

Harsh bitterness up front, but also has a musty flavor that matches the aroma. Well attenuated, but missing a nice balance of malt and hops. The heart of the style is not here (due to the age and off flavors in the sample?)

Mouthfeel quite thin, and carbonation moderate - enhanced the hops. Some slight harshness and astringency, but some smoothness is hidden beneath the flaws.

Sample I tried was almost undrinkable - hard to speak to a fresher sample.

 870 characters

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
2.51/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Appearance: Golden orange in color with 1.5 finger sticky white head. EDIT: Poured this into an over-sized wine glass (11/23/08). Bright copper with thin white head. Very sticky - great lacing! Steady, gentle, carbonation allows head to retain throughout session. Looks very good.

Smell: Grapefruit and malts hit me first. Maybe a little bit of apple; smells a bit like cider. Crisp hops and some alcohol round it out.

Taste: This tastes like an all-malt lager. We no likey. When we think unbalanced, it's usually favoring the hops. Some may like this style, but not us. Taste really isn't much to speak of anyway: citrus, bread, alcohol, salt, and a weee bit of hops.

Mouthfeel: Chewy, medium-bodied... [sigh].

Drinkability: I'm done reviewing this one. What a letdown.

 774 characters

Photo of Murchmac
2.53/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours with a frothy head that quickly disappears.

Uninspired looking beer, that has no real smell except cut grass.

Uninspired taste, quickly fades into water with a little hoppy taste. If it werent for a touch of flavorful malts, this beer would be a low grade budweiser.

I dont like this beer or much of what this brewery does.

 344 characters

Photo of climax
2.6/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This one poured a somewhat flat amber color with a modest head that faded quickly.

Mostly citrus hops, sweet malt, and honey made up the nose. I got whiffs of some cider and vinegar, perhaps it's a bad bottle?

Taste was a bit sour, lots of citrus and green apple. Some toastiness was evident in the finish, but it was pretty pungeant in the bitter/sour category and I don't think it was the proper hop profile.

It was pretty dry and the finish was long and puckering. I hope I got a bad bottle, because I expected more out of it.

 534 characters

Photo of Floydster
2.63/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle purchased as part of a six pack from Cooke's in El Segundo for seven bucks

Poured into my Ballast Point glass with a golden orange color that had a light amber tint, head was 1/2 inch, foamy and white, this one did not leave lacing

Smell was a little bit of grapefuit and lemon, some faint hoppiness, small amount of malty aromas

Taste was very one dimensional, the hops gave it a straw-like taste that faded fast, could barely taste the citrus I found in the aroma, hops outweighed the malt too much, nothing really going on, too chewy for its style of beer

Good amount of carbonation but it had a weak body and the taste went away very quickly

Could drink a lot of this based on its low ABV and overall lightness, but it is not as smooth as it should be and the taste gets old after a while

Definitely not one of Full Sail's best, I do not recommend this with all the other great pale ales out there

 923 characters

Photo of slaintemhor
2.66/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Full Sail Brewery in Hood River, OR. The colour was golden straw with no head. The aroma was.... was.... uh... non-existent. On the palate there was cereal graininess up front and scarcely any hops until the very back of the palate. I hear that this has quite a following; can't understand why!

 308 characters

Photo of eatabagofbooger
2.68/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle to a pint glass

A: light copper color with maybe a centimeter head despite a pretty hard pour

S: slight smell of sweet pale malt. Maybe a little bit of floral hops, but that just might be my expectations

T: leads with vague malt sweetness. Floral hops quickly follow. Oddly, the flavors suddenly disappear shortly afte the brew touches my tongue, leaving only a slight metallic taste.

M: like a very watered down soda. Very thin, but what body it does have is like a light sludginess.

 514 characters

Photo of dgallina
2.8/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle dated 06/2007 on the neck.

Transparent gold in the glass, with a flimsy white finger of head that disappears quickly. Smells husky and dextrin sweet; almost a creamed corn aroma. Super-bland flavor mirrors the nose. Very little happening other than rough grain and vegetal sweetness. A bit of inoffensive mixed pineapple and pine bite at the finish from the hops. Body is medium-thick, nearly flat and pretty dull. Pass this one by for sure. A thoroughly generic american pale ale.

 500 characters

Photo of vdread
2.81/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Full Sail Pale Ale pours a clear amber-orange with some thin, bubbly head, which does hold on for a while.

smells of husk/grains and faint floral hops.

the malt has a biscuity, doughy character, though there is some light floral hop notes hiding behind that. it has this husky grainy character that comes out even stronger in the taste. the bitterness is low, and barely noticeable due to the strong malt.

light to medium bodied, ends dry, leaving a crisp bready aftertaste.

i don't get the pleasant hoppiness and high bitterness as other reviewers have indicated. no, it's not past the expiration date. it's an okay beer, something to drink, but not worth writing home to mother about

 690 characters

Photo of viverlee
2.81/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A BA rating of 84 is in the ballpark, thanks to the collective wisdom of 355 reviews. I wouldn’t normally lead with this, except that the Alström brothers seem to have gone overboard with a 94. Maybe it’s unfair for me to impose style limits, but is it not also unfair, or at the very least peculiar, to say this ok-for-a-few-pints brew is near the pinnacle of what beer can be?

STYLE: American Pale Ale

ABV: 5.4%

LOOK: Yellowish gold, lagerish, nicely carbonated. You can see the crispness, and that much doesn’t disappoint.

NOSE: A wee bit flat. I’m a few days past the best-by date, not that I think that’s affecting the nose. There just doesn’t seem to be any, ahem, wind in the sails. Grainy, yeah, and maybe some grapefruit too.

MOUTH: There’s no questioning the drinkability. It’s clean, even crisp. Cereal, mild hops, and a surprising balance that’s clearly hiding the malty goodness and floral essence I was expecting.

BA Rating: 84

Hayward Abbey Rating: 81

 992 characters

Photo of mooseisloose
2.88/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Smell is consistent with west coast pale ales, citrus and lots of malt. Pours to a golden color with an off white head and nice lacing. Taste is different than expected. Bitterness starts it out but it isn't a floral crisp bitterness but more like a deep dull bitterness. Hoppy all the way through from start to finish with a strong bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel is crisp and fresh. I think this beer is more along the lines of an english ale almost an ESB. Tasty but not what I expected for an American Pale Ale.

 512 characters

Photo of kola
2.92/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Clear yellow/amber, light bubbly head that remains for quite a while

S - Newly harvested grain, malts, and a bit of citrus

T - You can taste raw grain in the malt with an acridly bitter background in the mouth and in the aftertaste. I did not get the doughy flavors that others speak of.

M - Has enough carbonation, but feels thin in the mouth.

D - The bottle was within its service date, but I did not experience many of the smells and tastes that others report. This is not a beer I will stock in my cooler.

 517 characters

Photo of LyonsHead
2.93/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A: above average but not good. looks remarkably light in color, we'll go with very pale orange. thin head but decent lacing

S: Im getting a very light fruity nose (lemon zest comes to mind). there is also a grainy, wheat character here as well.

T: caramel mixed with cirtus and a hoppy bite. not very complex, refreshing but i like my pale ales to have a bit more to them in terms of hops and malt

M: nothing to write home about here, very thin

D: Refreshing with a dry finish but not enjoyable as there isn't a whole lot to this beer. Kinda sweet, Kinda citrusy, kinda boring

 580 characters

Photo of uabigdaz
2.93/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear light amber color with little head, which dissipates quickly. Smell is strong hops, with a faint hint of... caramel malts. Clean smell. Yep, caramel malts. Taste is too heavily balanced toward the malts in my opinion for a pale ale, needs more hops. Good mouthfeel, very smooth, not too thick, but not watery either, good balance here. Drinkability... well, I bought a sixer a few weeks ago and had two on two separate occasions, not my favorite. I figured I'd review it before I finish the last two, because it wont be in my fridge again anytime soon. I can't buy beer based on how good it looks and smells... Try it out if you like more malt in your pale ale, reminds me of JW Dundee's pale ale, which is not a good thing.

 738 characters

Photo of brewintheLou
2.94/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours the deep golden color with a nice white head that goes down to a thin layer on top of the beer.

Smells of malt. Also has a dirty smell that I am not fond of.

Taste is malty flavor that goes down smooth, but doesn't have much after that. Mouthfeel about like any good pale ale. This beer is not something that I want many of.

 333 characters

Photo of teejay76
2.97/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Golden hue, amber pour.

Smell - Sweet hops smell.

Taste - Very mild, but full flavored hops taste.

Mouthfeel - Fairly high carbonation balances the hops bitterness.

Drinkability - More like a pilsner than a pale...easy to drink.

Overall, not sure I'd buy this again.

 284 characters

Photo of dgilks
2.99/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear golden hue with a creamy white head. Decent head retention. Good lacing.

Light, grainy malt with no real hop aroma. A touch disappointing.

Crisp, grainy malt with a hint of caramel. Lacking in hop flavour but there is some bitterness.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Fine.

An okay pale ale but lacking the crisp, hoppy edge expected on an APA.

 360 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Interesting darker than usual almost amber color to this pale ale. Aroma was malty and not hoppy.

Too much caramel for a pale ale. Brings on the woodiness instead of the hoppiness. Used to be affordable and hoppy, enjoyable. Now, seems more like a chore and malty.

For the supposed secret hop varieties, they pretty much just taste like Cascade and Chinook if you ask me.

 381 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Full Sail Pale Ale from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
3.7 out of 5 based on 642 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.