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 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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lucent, glimmering tangerine. The beer is capped with a large, persistent, parchment colored head that sports a rough-hewn surface. Abstract patterns of pocked lace stick to the glass, but don't last as long as they might.

The nose is moderately hoppy and is solid without being spectacular. There's a glimmer of lightly toasty malt that is superceded by citrus fruity, musky hops that caress rather than use blunt force. While it doesn't have that bright, citrus oil pungency that I prefer in my hoppy beer noses, it's more than adequate for the style.

On the palate, Full Sail is more herbal and less grapefruit-like, yet is still in the citrus family. I don't know what two varieties were used, but I doubt that any of the 4-Cs were harmed in the brewing of this ale. The malt backbone is big enough to support the hops and no more. Sessionability is increased by the light-medium body and the restrained amount of carbonation.

As so often happens with me, the choice of hops is the major determinant of how I feel about a particular APA, IPA or DIPA. I like Full Sail's version of a hoppy pale ale, but I don't love it because of the glass ceiling imposed by the choice of hops. It's still delicious beer though.

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Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

03/03/05- Purchased at Trader Joe's in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- 12oz bottle with some kinda code imprinted on the bottle neck. Poured into my Wyder's cider pint glass.

Appearance- 1/2 inch head with a copper amber pour and acceptable lacing.

Smell- Both malt and hops abound. Very citrusy smelling. Like a new orange orchard. Nice!

Taste- More malt than hops, but as you drink through the glass, the hops become more bitter and apparent. Mostly citrus hops rather than pine flavoring.

Mouthfeel- Average carbonation here.

Drinkability- A very nice and well rounded pale ale. I've seen this a million times and never thought to try it. This could be an excellent session brew.

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Photo of Shaw
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer as part of a sampler at Full Sail Brewing Company Riverplace in Portland, Ore.

This cask-conditioned version of Full Sail's Pale Ale is much smoother and less sharp in flavor than the regular keg version. As with most beers, cask-conditioning makes it better!

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Photo of Troyone
4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a slightly copper apple juice color with minimal carbonation action and an eighth of an inch head.
Aroma is not significant with a light doughy yeast and grass hops.
Taste has an acidic/bitter light to moderate bready malt, light grassy grapefruit hops, and an acidic finish with hints of cask wood.
Mouthfeel has a light body, a dry almost watery texture, soft and lively carbonation, and a light metallic finish.
Definitely a session beer.

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Photo of skybluewater
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale honey color, some lacing, but not much. Smell is at first quite grapefruity, and then floral and other fruit aromas emerge. Taste is very nice, with a pleasing fruitiness backed up by some biscuity malt. Very well balanced. It tastes a bit like SNPA, but without the Cascade hoppiness.

Over all, this is a highly drinkable pale, very sessionable. Definitely one of my new faves.

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Photo of Thrasher
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a favorite session beer of mine and luckily it's available pretty much everywhere in town. A cask pint is preferable but the bottle will do in a pinch. It pours a clear bronze-gold, just a shade darker than I remember, but still pretty light colored, with good sticky head and lace. Broad, buttery aroma that just approaches diacetyl but is fortunately not a detriment to the beer. The flavor is bready and grainy, with a punctuative helping of juicy, citric hops. The yeast adds a buttery flavor which doesn't overwhelm the beer and adds a fraction more character than many of the West Coast breweries and their invisible-tasting Chico yeast. Full Sail Pale is a fine, drinkable beer, versatile and appetizing. It is refreshing in warm weather, and accompanies simple meals, as well as being the sort of brew one can hoist throughout the evening.

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Photo of alexgash
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright golden body with a copper tint. Sticky, medium-sized off-cream head. Nice lacing.
Nose is made up of biscuit malt with warm caramel and a zesty, grapefruit hop bitterness. Reminds me of SNPA somewhat (that's a very good thing).
Creamy, biscuit malt flavors start out, with a flash of faintly-sweet caramel. Tangy, juicy, grapefruit hops throughout. Hops are fresh and quite tasty. Bitterness swells into the oily, appetizing finish. Hints of biscuit and butterscotch linger. Goes down effortlessly, like a good APA should. A quite citrusy (especially grapefruit) example, that's as West Coast as it can get.

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Photo of Quaffer
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this somewhere. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: This beer poured amber-orange in color and had a light chill haze. The head rose up perfectly to two fingers and settled down quickly, but became dense and somewhat fluffy as it did so. A thin layer of foam stuck around for most of the drink, and there was quite a bit of lace left behind.

Smell: Right after the pour, the amount of sweetness on the nose was almost unbearable. It was sickly sweet to the point of reminding me of rotting vegetables. This did calm down after a few minutes, though. And while the sweetness persisted, it was joined in equal portions by other aromas: crackers, roasted malt, butter, vanilla, cherries, and strawberries. The fruit smells were very candy-like in nature. Just the slightest, slightest hint of hops was detectable if I really concentrated on the aroma. I might have just been fooling myself, though.

Mouthfeel: Thin- to medium bodied and smooth upfront. Some carbonation kicks in on the back of the tongue.

Taste: Not much malt presence at all in this one. A lot of fruitiness and too much diacetyl upfront. What little roasted malt there was emerged on the finish, where it was joined by a light herbal hoppiness.

Nothing special here.

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Photo of surfmeister
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Decent brew, slightly unbalanced,doesn't stand out from the pack in any way.
Appearance: orange/brown, pretty, sturdy head that endured
Smell: quite fruity, but didn't jump into the nose, subtle
Taste: bitterness not challenged by the other taste components enough, really lacking a malt presence
Mouthfeel: full, nice prickly hop bite
Drinkability: yeah, it's ok, I could keep drinking it
Will not seek it out, blown away by SNPA or Red Seal

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Photo of watermelonman
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured to a good pale orange and gold without much fanfair or lace. It still looks pretty decent. The smell is slightly floral with apparent malts. The taste is full of both malts and hops with nothing dominating. Malts take over the finish in a very nice fashion. Its mouthfeel is good and easy going.

This is a good beer with remarkable balance. Drinkability sits as very high.

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Photo of Gavage
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear orange color with a 1.5" head. Nice lacing develops through the drink. The aroma is pleasant as malt and floral hops are equally recognizable, with a splash of citrus in the background. The flavor follows the nose, as a nice malt and bitterness balance is produced. Very mellow orange / lemon tones and some caramel round out the flavor.

The mouthfeel is smooth at the start with a wisp of crispness from the carbonation, and finishes smooth, dry, and pretty clean. Light bitterness lasts on the tongue very briefly after swallowing. Very easy drinking, and overall an extremely enjoyable brew.

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Photo of rugger
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another beer that I picked up in Tulsa that I have never tried or even seen before. I was kind of unsure about the fact that the brewery is employee owned, however you can tell that these guys take pride in their beers. There were only two styles avaiable in Tulsa, the amber the pale which is the one I picked up. I wish I had picked up the amber as well.
The pale was a nice coppery clear with a white head that left some nice lace, and the smell had a nice malty/floery hop balance. The hops were not overwhelming like some pale ale's. The next thing I knew this beer was gone, I then had to have another. Good thing I am not to far from Tulsa.

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Photo of beertaster13
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid all around. Pours a nice copper/orange with a nice white head that is nice to look at, lacing will coat the glass. Smell is of caramelized malts and cinnamon toast. Molasses and butterscotch are present, light hops bring up the rear. The taste is a nice light floral/citrus up front, with the sweet molasses and cinnamon filling the middle, the hops in the end clean the palate and refresh, a perfectly blended beer. All components come together magically. Good solid beer, very drinkable

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Photo of Hunter
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Beer is a darker shade, more bronze than the golden color I'd expect of a pale. Nice, lasting head of white. Thin lines of carbonation.

Nose certainly has the hoppiness I expect of a pale. There's a nice balance here between the hop and malt character. It seems some pales go out of their way to body slam you with the hops; in this you know they're there, but without the bull in a china shop feel.

Taste is pleasantly dry, hoppy, and clean. Again, hops are the primary note on the tongue, but they share the spotlight with a light malt. Mouthfeel is slightly stringent and a bit on the thin side.

Overall, a solid ale. It stands up well against SN's pale, and at $2-3 less for a six-pack.

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Photo of MrNuggets
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pale golden colour with a fluffy white head. A very floral character on the nose. Malty comes through fairly strong for a PNW pale ale, very welcome. Smooth hop flavor moves into a faint bitterness on the finish. The light mouthfeel along with the soft hop flavor makes this an extreamly drinkable brew.

Edit: Had to knock the taste up on this after drinking a few of these. This is a damn fine pale ale!

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

Clear beer with a deep golden to light amber color and a moderate head. The aroma nicely balanced between hops and malt and this balance follows through to the flavor. This is not quite as hoppy a beer as many American pale ales, such as Sierra Nevada or Red Seal, but shows a degree of finesse many lack. The malt character is grainy (in a good way) and slightly sweet from crystal malt. The hops show a very faint hint of mint. The aftertaste floats along, still maintaining the delicate balance of malt and hops. (Usually, one or the other comes to the front in the aftertaste.)

This is one of my favorite pale ales and a definite go-to beer.

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Photo of WetCoaster
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pale ale indeed, a pale copper with a thin white head. Very calm carbonation with a bit of thin lacing. Pretty typical for a pale ale.

Smell: Hoppy, with hints of citrus, pineapple and pine. Mild overall.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Good news and bad news. Starts nice, with a good fruit hoppiness, a bit of pepper and an underlying sweet malt richness. Unfortunately, finishes with a somewhat grainy metallic bitterness that I find a bit unpleasant. Still, pretty good overall. The mouthfeel is thinner and sharper than I'd like.

Drinkability: Good, light and decent flavor.

Honestly, not their best brew or the best pale ale out there, but solid and drinkable. I wish it were a bit more substantial, but you could do a lot worse.

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Photo of mickeymac
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, it's a very nice-looking copper with a moderate off-white head. The smell is sweet but hoppy enough to keep things interesting. It has a remarkably fresh smell and taste. Citrusy hops seem to dominate the taste at first, but it has a very pleasant sweetness that becomes more pronounced after a few gulps. And speaking of gulps, resisting the urge to drink this beer in big gulps is difficult. The sooner you give in, the better off you'll be.

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Photo of Zorro
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper colored brew.

Smell is Malt, Hops and flowers in an equal balance, feng shui brew?

Taste is lots of malt and grain flavors with hops providing a dry finish. Lots of flavor mostly caramelized sugars in 20 or so different forms. Vanilla and walnuts are what my mind tastes from this. A quite good brew.

Mouthfeel is good without being over carbonated.

Very drinkable brew.

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Photo of jtfest
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Funny -- I was expecting more from this brew. It poured a clean orange-yellow, with a virtually non-existent white head. It had a very light aroma with just a hint of hops. The mouthfeel was thin and somewhat watery, with a taste that reminded me initially of macros before it settled into a somewhat fuller, bitter aftertaste. It's good and definitely easy drinking, but for a Pale Ale that is rated higher than Mirror Pond on this site, I felt a little disappointed.

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Photo of MobBarley
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here is an ale that I cut my teeth on as an undergrad. In all honesty, it's been a few years since my last sixer of this stuff, but it was the most appealing selection at TJ's this evening. I am quickly reminded as to why this is one of my favorite "go-to" beers.

Pours an orangey/copper color that imparts a ceratain warmth. Produces an average, somewhat beige head that leaves nice residual rings on the glass as I quaff. Very nice to look at.

The smell here is a little bit of a challenge for me to pick up. A fleeting sweetness, as of nectarine, presents itself only to be overwhelmed by a sharp note of hops which goes as quickly as it came. Nice frutiness, but the smell lacks a certain complexity I appreciate.

The taste is above average insofar as PNW Pales are concerned. A sweetness reminiscent of fresh,doughy, yeasty sweetbread asserts itself immediately, and is backed up in no time by a well-crafted bitter/sour frutiness hinting at nectarines and Meyer lemons. And yet...not enough hops for the hopmonkey in me.

The mouthfeel is just fine on this one, nice and chewy, if a little alcoholic on the follow-through. Carbonation was of perfect prominence.

Excellent hot-day beer, and something to sate the hopmonster until something with higher IBUs can be attained. Average session beer due to the slightly higher-than-average ABV.

I'll be coming back to this one, and feel that it can go toe-to-toe with Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

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

Its clear, amber body rests gently beneath a short head of creamy, ivory-colored foam that holds fairly well before receeding to a collar. The nose is quite welcoming with a soft, piney hop character and light yeasty fruitiness over a delicate, biscuity malt. It's smooth across the palate with a very fine, restrained carbonation that allows all of its flavors to come through. It's piney and fruity up-front with its lightly sweet biscuity malt becoming dominant as it cross the palate into a dry finish where the pine returns and some of its firm bitterness lingers. Impeccably balanced! A smooth beer from start to finish. Refreshing and satisfying! More fruity and round than Sierra Nevada Pale Ale; and certainly worth trying.

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Photo of filabrazilia
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - A hazy dark golden ale with a thin white head that left nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma - Light malt aromas mingle with the hops to create a nice olfactory balance.

Taste - Mild malty flavor with a nice citrusy hop finish.

Mouthfeel - A little too thin in the mouth but not bad. Dry hoppy finish.

Drinkability - A smooth easy drinking beer to be enjoyed one after the other. A good beer.

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

After pouring, this beer shows a classic tan color and a good solid head that dissipates quickly. The maltiness is perfectly balanced by a citrusy hop flavor and aroma. The finish is complex and interesting: bitter, sweet, and clean. I find this beer to be very easy to drink, making it a regular session beer.

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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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