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

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Reviews: 363 | Ratings: 642
Photo of Paincane
3.62/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Clear amber pour with orange tinge in pint glass. Thin white head leaves moderate lacing.
S: Aromas include sweet malt, caramel and even a bit of citrus.
T: Flavors start off with a sweet malt presence, hops are there but not overpowering. Minimal hop bitterness.
M: Medium body with active carbonation.
O: Very drinkable and enjoyable. 

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Photo of jkanavel
3.04/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pretty amber, pure white head.

S: Very tight. A little toasty. Some pine notes.

T: Raw grain hulls, carmely malt notes, a little hop bitterness, a bit citrusy. Very smooth flavor.

M: Rich medium bodied, full carbonation.

O: Like most of Full Sail's line, this is a sessionable beer. Nothing about this beer is spontaneous or interesting, and maybe thats its charm. Like Boston Lager its tasty, satisfying, steadying, and consistent.

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Photo of KajII
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Shaker glass]

The pour was a crystal clear sparkling light to medium amber with a slight yellow hue and a head that was average sized (1-2 finger), fizzy and white and had fair lacing.

The aroma was kind of mild of a grain malt, a citrus hop and a musty scented yeast with a hint of caramel and grapefruit.

The taste was just a tad sweet and acidic with a mild caramel note at first and then became a little bitterer and a touch hoppy with a definite note of citrus (grapefruit) at the end. The flavor hung around for a little while after the swallow leaving a bit of bitterness to linger on.

Mouthfeel was a shade or two above light in body and dry but also watery in texture with a nice lively carbonation.

Overall a decent Pale Ale, one that goes down easy and finishes nice...

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Photo of zeff80
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, golden copper color with a one-finger, off white head of bubbly foam. It left sticky, thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled toasty with piney hops and some citrus notes.

T - It tasted of toasted malt with some caramel notes. Nice pine and citrus hop presence to add some bitterness.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This is a pretty tasty pale ale. Another nice one from Full Sail.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light and tasty, Full Sail's Pale Ale proves to be crisp, clean, and less full than many comparables.

The Pale Ale pours with the classic copper-amber color and with a bright sheen that's void of haze. A light but creamy egg shell white foam stance forms on the beer and retains well with minimal lace.

Medium malt and medium hops both contribute to the clean balance of light caramel, barley malt, and citrusy hops. Low on esters and no phenolic spice- only a mild ethynol alcohol scent accompanies the simple aroma spread of hops and malt.

Crisp and clean flavors of caramel, cashew, and barley malt provide a medium intensity of flavor but only light on the sweetness that's norally associated with malt. Grapefruit, fresh cut grasses, orange zest, and soft pine emit from the hop additions and balance the beer to near perfection. Only light and non-descript fruity esters carry an almost tropical fruit flavor and appricot taste, but with no yeasty spices or off flavors. Very fresh, albeit lightly grainy.

Mediu bodied throughout, the beer has an early malty richness that fades to light and fleeting sugary texture. Malty dryness, light grain, and hop bitterness/dryness all work toward a dry and crisp finish, but leave enough sweetness on the palate to allow for a linger of malt that pushes the aftertaste a bit too far.

A tasty Pale Ale that's shy of the classy crisp taste of Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale. A bit more dryness, spicy hop character, and depth of malt character could easily bring the beer in line with the best.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a straw colored golden with an average white fizzy head. smells almost like a fresh hop beer, more hoppy than most american pale ales, piney but not heavy. taste is balanced with robust malts and a really nice carbonation that encourages quick drinking. this is somehow distinct on my palate in the crowded world of APAs. just a real high quality brew that is versatile culinarily and enjoyable any time of year. starting to see more and more of their beers make their way east. good for them, this is a great six pack session.

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Photo of brown2cu
3.44/5  rDev -7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a pale gold and is topped my a miniscule head that vanishes, and leaves only a ring around the glass to ever indicate it was there; no lacing to speak of. The appearance is lackluster, however, it has its redeeming aspects.

S: Sweet caramel backed by piney and floral hops. Nothing much here but solid nonetheless.

T: Definite biscuit in the nose followed by caramel. There also seems to be an adjuncty aspect in the taste. The hops are there but they are restrained to create balance, and are largely floral in nature. Not as bitter as I would like, again though, it is solid drinking.

M: creamy and medium bodied.

O: Not a bad beer, but nothing I would intentionally seek out again.

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Photo of wedge
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Crystal clear golden orange with a soapy, bubbly sheet of a head. Nice webby lacing. Aromas of caramel, grain and herbal/flowery hops. Spicy, somewhat juicy citrus and leafy hop sweetness with a slightly grainy finish. Slight veggie-ness. Not the most easy-drinking pale ale in the world. Medium bodied. I'm not crazy about the hop choices in this one. Not bad, but probably not something I'll want to purchase again any time soon.

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A somewhat unagressive pour give me a half finger head into my standard pint glass. The head is pretty much completely white, and is pretty standard looking for the most part, except for the medium sized bubbles, there are a fair amount of those. About half of the head is medium sized bubbles. The head is pretty much already gone, not very good head retention. Lacing looks like it will be decent, but I wont know for sure until I get to the the bottom of the glass. The body pretty much looks like a lager to me, pretty much completely yellow. The only different in color from this and a standard lager is that this has some orange in it, it's a hair darker than your standard lager. The carbonation started out very high, now it's gone down a little bit, but it's still medium-high, and on the higher end of that scale. Visibility through the beer is almost 100%, I mean it can't get much clearer than this, I'll say it's 99% see through. Overall not the best looking beer, to the credit of the head, it did leave some bubbles on top of the body after the head disappeared, but they aren't good bubbles, they are bit and unattractive. We'll see how the lacing goes, but overall the look isn't all that great. The smell is pretty interesting. First off, I kinda get that distinct Full Sail smell, it's hard to say exactly what it smells like, it's just the hops the generally use, or the way they brew it, or the barely, something about it, it has a distinct smell. You also get a kinda cheap beer smell, it's kinda part of the distinct Full Sail smell, but not always because some Full Sail beers don't smell cheap at all. This one smells a tiny bit cheap, light, and not all that big. Very light malts on the nose. Some hops are here too, Not very big either, but for sure the "dominating" smell. I mean it's good that the hops are the biggest smell in a pale ale, but it's not by much. And on top of that the whole aroma is pretty small, so it's not that hard for the hops to be dominating the aroma. The hops do have a very distinct smell, which is nice and interesting. Somewhat sour smelling, probably part of that cheap beer smell. Overall the smell just isn't very big. It's hard to detect the smells because there isn't a very big aroma, and because there aren't a lot of different smells here, it's not very complex. Still, it's not a bad smelling beer, and it smells pretty unique. I'll give it a 3.5, but that's a little generous. Actually that's very generous. The taste isn't bad, but it's not much above average. Really the first taste I get is that sour taste, which you usually get in cheap, adjunct beers. It really actually stays with you the whole way through the taste. It's not a taste I generally hate, but it's not that great either, and it's a sign that it's not made that well. It also is possible that it's from the hops, but it doesn't really taste like a hop sour, it tastes like a corn sour, or something. I do get some hops, and it's interesting, because in the beer, it feels like a decent amount of hops, but that's just because the flavor isn't that big. On any other beer this amount of hops would seem small, and it is, it's a small hop amount. I also get some light malts in this beer, not very present, they kinda just guide the flavor along. Then finally it's finished off with water. This beer isn't as watery as I remember it, but it's still got a significant watery taste to it, especially at the end. It's a very unique beer, maybe because of the "classified" hops they use, I don't know. Still, just cause it's unique doesn't mean it's that good, and it's not. It has some nice qualities to it, but the fact of the matter is that it's just not above a 3. It's an interesting beer, but it's not what a pale ale should be, there aren't nearly enough hops for a pale ale, and there really isn't enough flavor all around for it to be more than a 3, regardless the style. With all that being said, it's not a terrible flavor, but it's not more than a 3. On some sips I feel like giving it a 3.5, but I just can't bring myself to do that, it's not quite there. The mouthfeel actually isn't all that bad. The carbonation is smaller than I thought it would be, it's medium. Frankly the carbonation and the small hop bite actually create a nice feel in my mouth when combined. The body is a little thin, but it's not a huge deal, I like a pale ale to be thicker than this, but it's not required. Not a bad mouthfeel, I'm considering giving it a 4, but I think it's more around a 3.5. The drinkability is obviously super high, it's pretty dang light, it's watery, it's low ABV, and it doesn't taste all that bad, so it's not hard to drink at all. Overall it's a beer that really ended up right in between a 3 and a 3.5 on a lot of the main areas, so I'll give it a 3.5 overall.

Like I said, the appearance turned out to be better than I thought it would be, 3.5.

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Photo of mactrail
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very pleasant and fragrant. Nice hoppy aromas but restrained bitterness. A darker amber than typical with a modest head but well carbonated in the mouth. Tangy flavors with a good dose of malt are the best features. Floral hops provide enough bitterness in the aftertaste. This really does hit the spot for an unassuming beery brew with a nice balance of hops and malt.

For the trifecta of pleasant fragrant pale ales, stop at Trader Joe's and pick up this one along with Stone and Mission St.

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Photo of D11
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

from bottle into tulip

A- medium copper color, with not too much of a head that doesnt last that long.

S- malty , hops, but mainly citrus.

T- some hops that are dominated by citrus, but not in a bad way or too strong of citrus. balanced well imo.

M- mouthfeel was about average. crisp. wet finish. not bad.

O- this is one to try but dont expect too much. tasted like an average pale ale imo. the citrus overpowerd the hops a little more than i prefer. but good.

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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.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A very small two finger but small bubbled white head is produced off the pour. A real nice crystal clear and golden brown amber body. Really like this body color. No noticeable rising carbonation and lots of nice sticky lacing of rings, impressive!

Nose is honey! with light toasted bready like malts and perhaps a little hint of hop spice. Quite nice.

Interesting on the palate. A strangely minty cool feeling with hop aromas of herbal feeling. Light malts come out in the afterfinish mixing in with a bready action and hints of the honey sweetness. Texture is solid and even a little minor just barely noticeable fizziness which doesn't take away from the pleasure but adds just a touch of interesting fun.

Overall a solid brew from these guys, love their stuff.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Reviewed alongside Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale.

A: Clear medium amber with lots of tiny bubbles and a two-finger, white, foamy head that lasted a couple of minutes. Pretty good lacing.

S: Sweet bready malt and citrus hops. Fruit aromas.

T: Light sweetness and light hop bitterness. Very toasted and caramel-like flavor. Citrus and spice as well. Toasty finish.

M: Light to medium bodied with fizzy carbonation. Pretty smooth. Not bad.

O: The flavor was pretty balanced. Not the smoothest or best looking beer though. I like this one only slightly better than the Smuttynose.

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Photo of iSip
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dinner at the in-laws and Full Sail was served. Once in teh glass it temps you with a deep copper color, thin off-white head that fades and a mild aroma. The flavor has a good malt base with a bit (or bite) of bitter right up front. The flavor lasts and makes a smooth exit. Overall, very middle of the road for a pale ale.

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Photo of MartinVanBrewin
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance was a light copper color, there was a constant supply of carbonation from the bottom serving the head which lasted about 2 minutes for me. No lacing, though.

Smell was of lightly dispersed aromatic hops. Some citrus, mainly ripe grapefruit.

Taste was very good kick of carbonation and citrus. Light on the taste of hops.

Mouthfeel was light, crisp, and "bitey". The sensations from the beer last for you though and the carbonation cleans the palette.

Overall a good example of an American Pale Ale for the price point. Pairs very well with either burgers or pizza since the carbonation, as mentioned before, clears the palette for other tastes. Enjoy!

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Photo of andrenaline
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Pours a dark copper colour, thin layer of head with little retention or lacing.

S - Buttered bread, caramel with some leafy hop notes on the finish.

T - Much like the scent with the bready caramel dominating and the leafy hop notes coming through on the finish. A prominent bitterness is also present and some caramel corn lingers on the palette.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and wet.

O - A tasty pale ale, but nothing mind blowing. Easily drinkable and worth taking for a spin but there's some better options available.

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Photo of blakelive784
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A - golden copper color. Thin white head with good retention. High carbonation, as it should be.

S - sweet malty aromas predominate. Fair balance of citrus hops as well.

T - creamy maltiness buried under a fair amount of bittering hops. Nice citric notes finish.

M - medium bodied with a crisp finish.

D - full sail's offering exemplifies what a pale ale should be: balanced, smooth and drinkable.

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Photo of oberon
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a nonic a clear medium golden with a thinner lacy white head,good rich clarity in the color.Big caramel malt mixed hebal,leafy hops,pretty straight forward.Caramel and biscuit malt with a little toastiness melds into a shot of leafy hops in the finish.This is a no frills APA but its very flavorful,not as hopped up as I thought it would be but I still liked it.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

Appearance - Clear amber/copper colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, caramel, hops

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel and a light amount of hops. There is also a very light orange/citrus flavour. The beer finishes with a malty sweet aftertaste with just a touch of hop bitterness.

Overall - Nothing earth shattering going taste wise with this beer, but it's still highly drinkable and has a nice balanced flavour. I wouldn't go out of my way to get it again however.

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Photo of Cavery
3.01/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz pack left over from a family gathering purchase on July 4th.

Poured into a Stone Nonic.

Review from notes 7/18/11.

A: Lofty three finger ivory soap sud foam head. Some off red/orange body coloration with some remarkable transparency. This thing really is crystal clear. Very much an orange/tangerine piece of stained glass.

S: Smells like a mix of pilsner malt and some slightly less-than-pale uncooked malts. Sugary wheat cereals, caked in powdered sugar. Sweet sugars dominate the nose. Some almost fresh doughnut type sugars in here.

T: Sugary sweet with a light milk toffee note. Sweet cereal starch dominates like soggy wheat cereals in nonfat milks.This really is a sweet bomb that offers little to no contrast. This is definitely tasting like a "take it or leave it" beer.

M: Light bodied in the mouth with relatively flat wateriness that spreads through the mouth like distilled fluids. Light and slick like mercury with no real strong sense of carbonation. Some light prickling here and there, but generally an underwhelming mouth for any beer.

O: Sugary sweet brew that begs for a cutting contrast. I'm writhing in a diabetic coma, begging for a hop contrast or a transitional flavor. The sugary cereal malt has too light of a roast, one that contributes to a feeling of sogginess in the ingredients. At it's most complex I tasted waterlogged quinoa, where seediness overtakes excessive sugars for a momentary release. Personally, this is a difficult mix of flavors.

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Photo of kkoz
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance & Aroma: It was clear and slightly amber colored with a creamy white head, which left some good lacing. There seemed to be a pretty good amount of carbonation in it, revealing a bready-malty aroma with some hints of caramel malts.

Taste & Feel: The body was light and it had a crisp mouthfeel from the carbonation in it. There was a bready and caramel flavor in the middle, leading to a nice bit of floral-piney bitterness in the clean finish.

Food Pairing: Like a lot of clean pale ales, it makes me think of pub food. It’s light and refreshing enough to drink on its own, yet it can be a good pairing to help wash down many fried or bready foods. For me, a good solid pub burger and this beer go great together.

Overall Impression: There seemed to be a good balance between the bready, malty flavors up front and the bitterness finish. I enjoyed the mix of flavors in every sip, and found it to be very drinkable. It would be easy to have a few of these at a time, especially on a nice hot summer afternoon like this.

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Photo of Crossmd
4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Into a Sam Adams pint glass, probably 40 degrees fahrenheit.

Pours a lucid gold with an amber core in the bulb. 1 finger head, some lacing around the sides.

Nose is some faintly equal parts sour breads and citrus rind. Faint.

Mouth is a rush of clean and transparently refreshing citrus hops, with the slightest malty support before being taken over by the pristinely dry finish.

Mouthfeel is clean and crisp, but a little thin for my personal palate. For the style though, I think it's perfect. Slightly effervescent, supportive of the flavor, for sure.

This has got to be one of the most clean, refreshing pales I've tried in a while. Drinkability is high, flavor is good, overall it's something that knows what it's seeking to do and does it well. Typically Sierra Nevada is my go to, grocery store PA, but I will absolutely be returning to this one.


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Photo of avaldivia
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Twist off cap my ass. Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Nice clear copper color. Small head with little to no lacing.

S: Nondescript hop aroma. A lot of grains. Nothing special. Not bad though.

T: The strong point of this beer. Smooth hop flavor that was not there in the smell. Good grain flavor.

M: Crisp. Medium bodied. Good carbonation. What you would expect.

O: The "twist off" cap was a total lie. I tried to twist off, but to no avail. It was worth the struggle however. Totally decent Pale Ale.

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Photo of drowninginhops
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in my Westbrook pint glass.

A: Copper hued gold with a one finger white head. No lacing.

S: Sweet floral and fruity hops with hints of malted grain.

T: Very smooth, smooth malts and citrus hops slightly dry. Slight sweetness round out the palate.

M: Well constructed fantastically carbonated.

D: UM... where can I get a case?

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Full Sail Pale Ale from Full Sail Brewery & Tasting Room & Pub
3.7 out of 5 based on 642 ratings.
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