Michigan Brewing Mackinac Pale Ale
Michigan Brewing Company

Michigan Brewing Mackinac Pale AleMichigan Brewing Mackinac Pale Ale
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Pale Ale - American
3.47 | pDev: 16.14%
Michigan Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Michigan Brewing Mackinac Pale AleMichigan Brewing Mackinac Pale Ale
Reviews: 81 | Ratings: 100 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of SerialTicker
SerialTicker from Michigan

3.81/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

I essentially made a RateBeer account JUST to rate this beer. About three years later, BeerAdvocate will finally let me post an actual review for this beer. Here is my original review with my original score.

First of all, I am incredibly disappointed that Michigan Brewing Company has gone out of business. Anyway... I went to a local liquor store expecting to try out Sam Adams Boston Ale, but saw this, and decided to buy it. When I got home and looked it up, that’s when I found out the company’s out of business. I may have bought the last 6-pack of this at that store. In fact, I probably did.

Aroma: A very mild, beer smell. I get nothing else out of this. Maybe a bit of citrus, but not much.

Appearance: I think it looks great. It’s unfiltered, has a nice haze, and you can see the yeast floating around and settling at the bottom. Has a nice summer-like appearance.

Taste: I’m apparently in the minority here -- I think this is an excellent tasting beer. Although I got a metallic taste out of the first couple bottles I had, the past one was incredible. A light, refreshing, perfectly sessionable beer. There isn’t anything mind blowing or unique about it, but it’s a clean, refreshing, damn tasty beer. What else can I say?

Palate: Watery mouthfeel ... nothing fantastic about it, but it suits this beer well. Again, this is why I feel it’s a great session beer.

Overall: I really feel like this is one of my favorite beers... which depresses me. I almost wish I never tried it. Because once I found out the brewery went out of business, I got sort of depressed. Although this isn’t a summer-only beer, summer’s what I think of when I drink this. A very, very good beer.

...one of my favorite beers? Phew, I haven't had it since the original review in 2012, but man have my tastebuds changed!

Jul 24, 2012
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GRPunk from Michigan

3.65/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle etched (06/21/12) poured into a nonic pint.

A- A normal pour creates a 1-finger, off-white head that settles to a fully covering film. The body was clean, golden amber, with light-medium carbonation. Great sticky rings were left on the glass.

S- There was a burst of hops with the crack of the cap. It seems pretty fresh. Sweet, sturdy malt backbone. Very well balanced. Hopping is very organic, herbal. There's a hint of tropical fruit sweetness. Light caramel or brown sugar.

T- More balance. Hops are somewhat herbal and get a little aspirin-like twan at points.. Malts provide a pleasant sweetness. More caramel and a slight graininess.

M- Light carbonation. Very light hop bite. Medium body. Dry.

O- No frills, but solid all the same. Not something I'd seek out (though I can't say the style suits itself for my seek it out preferences). I could drink a couple without either burnout or boredom.

Jun 17, 2012
Photo of ronfrommichigan

2.14/5  rDev -38.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Maybe I just bought a bad six-pack, or possibly it wasn't stored properly at the store, but this beer just wasn't pleasant to me at all. When I poured it, no matter how careful I was, all I would get was a huge amount of foam, which probably meant that this particular six-pack was handled roughly. The flavor wasn't what I was expecting; for some reason it had a strong almost well-water kind of flavor to it on the first one that didn't go away as I drank more of them throughout the course of the weekend. Oh well, I won't give up on any kind of beer on just one sampling. Being a craft brewed beer, occasionally you get a bad batch. It happens.

May 12, 2012
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MIBeerRanger4 from Michigan

3.18/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Just redcently had a pint of this APA in Sault Ste Marie, MI.
A= nice golden color. Head was non existing when beer was served to me. This could be because the place was packed and my beer tookm a bit to get to the table?? But there was no head or lacing with this beer.

S= smell was a bit more mild than I expect (or like) from a MI pale ale. Had a sweet-ish aroma as well.

T= taste was nice. Clean and crisp with good malt/hop bitterness balance. I was surprised the beer was this nice after the nose being so muted.

M= beer was a bit flat. Not going to go into it suffice it to say, it may have been the pour I got from the bar?

O= Overall, average at best. I will try this beer again sometime to see what a really fresh one is like. I liked the "heart" of this beer and could tell that something pretty good was in there.. had I got it fresh!

Feb 20, 2012
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SickGnar from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Rich, darker golden. Clear & birght with several streams of steady bubbles. Just beyond medium sized eggshell head that settles quick but leaves some okay lace – especially nearer the top of half of the glass.

S: Citrus & floral hops. Soft cookie sweetness from light crystal malts. Toasty pale base malts are a touch biscuity. Hint of esters as it warms. A bit of a faint nose.

T: Biscuity pale base malts with grainy and toasty accents, a touch of sweetness and a hint of caramel. Good depth if quite straight forward. Hops are balanced – Flowery, herbal, general (generic) citrus undertone that grows through the middle and into the finish becoming a bit lemon and rind. A touch juicy in a floral way with sweetness from malts and hints of light esters.

M: Just medium body with afirmly matched CO2. Mouth-filling carbonation and some hop tannins for texture. Ultimately drying form hops.

D: A bright and quite standard, run-of-the-mill American pale. Nothing wrong with it, but nothing really special either. A reasonable offering.

Dec 30, 2011
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jsisko01 from Michigan

2.76/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a golden-amber hue with a centimeter thick head that dissipates quickly. Has excellent lacing..

Smell - Smells very bitter.. almost like a musty smell. After a couple more intakes I can smell slight hints of caramel, lemon zest, citrus, toasted bread, and a bitter yeast aroma.

Taste - Strong caramel and toasted malts. Other than that all i taste is the yeast.. Has a pretty bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with mild carbonation. I love the creamy feeling from the caramel.

Overall - I really like the caramel flavor, but it would be a lot better if it wasn't so toasty. The toasty flavor doesn't pair so well with the bitterness (in my opinion). It's not a bad beer but I wouldn't buy a 6-pack of it.

Dec 16, 2011
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buschbeer from Ohio

3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle
Served in a pint glass

A - It pours amber with a half inch of off white head.

S - It has a malt nose with a hint of some citrus hops.

T - It's a pretty fair balance of malt and mild citrus hops.

M - Moderate without a lot of carbonation

O - It's not a great beer but is still better than BMC.

Sep 23, 2011
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WoodBrew from Ohio

2.88/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is what I would refer to as a typical East Coast Pale Ale. Not alot of hop, but enough present to at least make it palletable. The appearance is a clear amber with thin to no head and therefore no lacing. The smell is fairly weak, there is some hop...thinking cascade...not sure though. The taste is...eh. If there are other options I would at least try them before settling on this. Mouthfeel is ok, could session if had to.

May 05, 2011
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tubacharlie from Michigan

4/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rocky white head emerges, with good lacing of medium and large bubbles. The brew is a clear amber color, with active carbonation keeping the head replenished.

The smell of hops is easily detected in the aroma. A nice balance is struck in the flavor, with a solid grain bill complimenting the tang of hops throughout the swish and swallow of a generous gulp. Malts chase the flavor down the throat with a bittersweet finish.

Nothing to complain about here. A journeyman's everyday Pale Ale.

Apr 15, 2011
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EricCioe from Montana

3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a crystal clear amber, noticeably thinner looking at the edges, with a big-bubbled two finger cream head that dies down into something smaller leaving a little lace. On the nose there is a caramel malt note with some fruity hop notes too. It's not especially citric, nor sour, just slightly orangeish but not in the overpowering sense. In the mouth the caramel malt provides the base, slightly sweet, well balanced with some surprising bitterness coming through as the caramel notes fade. The finish is medium but chameleonly, with some sweetness up front but a dry fruitiness further back and lingering. The body is medium light, very drinkable.

Overall I like this beer, and the sweet malt base is a nice touch in contrast to the popular bone-dry pales.

Apr 14, 2011
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DannyDan from Michigan

3.88/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A. Pours out into a golden amber color with a thin white head that has good retention and decent lacing. Carbonation is low to moderate.
S. It has a toasted, bready malty smell with a hint of yeast and a little citrus.
T. The taste is bitter at first than get floral hops, some caramel, and finally some citrus in the taste.
M/D. It is a medium bodied creamy mouthfeel and the smoothness of it makes it a drinkable beer.
This is a nice well balanced beer that is not too bitter or sweet and is a nice beer to drink when wanting an APA.

Dec 12, 2010
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onefmatt from Illinois

3.17/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a copper color w/ a creamy head.

S: Aroma is that of 2-row pale malt, very bready. Some fruit and caramel smell. Mild hop aroma.

T: Decent malt character. Caramel again is present. Hop character is more mild than I would like.

M: Lighter body, but still acceptable.

D: Decent. Might grab for another pale ale, but this would be fine if there were no other choices.

Nov 28, 2010
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JizackFH from New York

3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a slightly cloudy gold with a white fluffy 2-finger head that left a little bit of lacing as it fell. You could also see some yeast particles floating around. The smell was that of citrus, hops, and some caramel. The taste is a bit toasty at first, then the hops come into play and there is some citrus notes as well. The finish is a bit bitter with come toffee or caramel notes also present. The mouthfeel is pretty much average. Medium body with a medium carbonation. I also thought that it was quite refreshing. The drinkability is good. These go down smooth, and I wouldn't have any problem putting a 6-pack of these down.

Nov 06, 2010
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Spiekerbox from Michigan

3.32/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- pours and orange-gold color with a thin white head that recedes quickly, as i have noticed most MBC beers pour.

S- Citrus hops up front with some sweet bread malts.

T- Hop flavor with bready and sweet malts a little fruit flavor near the end. Bitterness is present at the beginning but dosen't last. Almost a watery finish, not many recognizable flavors linger after a drink.

M- Medium body with a good amount of carbonation. Finishes rather crisp.

D- Not a bad beer but out of a style with so many great contenders it does nothing to set itself apart. Overall a beer that I can enjoy occasionally but would get sick of it if I used it as a session beer, though there is nothing about it "un-sessionable" per-say

Sep 22, 2010
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BeerAndBourbon from Ohio

3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A. Pours a clear effervescent clear orange/gold with a billowing white creamy small bubble head that settles down to a thick foam and leaves tones of residual lacing around the glass.

S. Lots of bread with some earthy hops, a bit of orangish citrus, and some sweet light malt.

T. Bitter upfront with some sweet bready character. Earthy bitter hops on the tail and aftertaste.

M. Medium mouthfeel with a decent amount of carbonation. However, for the style I'd like a bit higher carbonation. This is probably the first time I've ever wanted more carbonation in a brew; I just think this style should be a bit more crisp.

D. Good, but I'm left with a bit of flavor fatigue due to the somewhat low carbonation on the swallow. All in all still a decent brew.

Sep 08, 2010
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mdfb79 from New York

3.46/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

a - Pours a nice, somewhat transparent golden color with 2-3 inches of white head and a high amount of carbonation evident.

s - Smells of musty, earthy malts, as well as citrus hops, bananas, and fruity malts. Not bad but wish it had a little more fruit and a little less of that mustiness.

t - Tastes of toasted and bready malts, citrus hops, fruity malts, and tropical fruit. A very slight bitterness to the taste.

m - Light body and moderate carbonation. Not nearly as much carbonation as it looked like it was going to have, but it had just the right amount.

d - Not bad for a pale ale. I thought it tasted pretty good and had some nice fruit in the smell and taste. I wish the smell wasn't as earthy/musty and it kept jumping out at me, but not bad. Wouldn't seek out but would have again if it were around.

Aug 31, 2010
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machostacos from Indiana

2.86/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my favorite pint glass. Freshness date: 12/09/10. Considering the brewery is roughly 20 miles from my home, this is about as fresh as it gets besides having a pint in their taproom. This is my first MBC offering, and my hopes are somewhat high, considering all the other fantastic microbreweries around southern Michigan.

A: Medium copper, clear as day with a thick, puffy brilliantly white head. Decent retention and great lacing.

S: Hmm. Earthy, buttery, lots of biscuity malts, green apple, with a slight spicy hop presence. Some citrus, but I'm really straining for it, so maybe it's just in my head (oh how I want it!) Quite underwhelming. Reminds me much more of an English Pale Ale or ESB, as others have said. Almost like they tore a page right out of Arcadia Ales' book with this one - hardly distinguishable from AA's Angler Ale.

T: About what you'd expect from the nose, except with hardly any hop presence whatsoever. Very earthy and buttery, with apples and biscuit and just the slightest bitter twang on the finish. Otherwise it finishes a little sweet, heavy on the earthen butter. This shouldn't be classified as an APA. Meh.

M: Lively carbonation, but smooth. Almost sparkly. Really no bitterness to speak of, which is disappointing. Somewhat thin body - it's a tad watery, but acceptable.

D: Overall I was pretty disappointed with this beer - I was definitely hoping for more of a SN PA/Founders PA/Alpha King contender, but alas. While not really bad by any means, it just wasn't really what I was expecting. Upon reading the box I discovered that it reads "derived from the traditional English style bitter", so I suppose I shouldn't be so surprised, but I was definitely hoping for a derived-from-the-traditional-American-style with this one. Tasty enough to warrant a second round, but disappointing enough to overlook next time when so many more promising offerings are just an arms-length away.

Aug 26, 2010
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errantnight from District of Columbia

2.56/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I'm not sure if my sample got too old (it doesn't bear any IMMEDIATE signs other than perhaps faded hops, although it has off flavors that may be coming more to the fore due to age) or if this was always so bad, but some positive reviews lead me to suspect it may be the case. Either way, it falls under the more disappointing column from my beer of the month club.

It does pour a very pretty copper color with a nice few fingers of head, solid retention for style and some lacing. Unfortunately, from the nose on this is a disappointment. Little hits of citrus hop pops in around some green apple and butter. On the palate these latter two notes reign supreme, insert frown face, and the sweetness sticks through, leaving it cloying. Body is a nice medium light.

Not a good beer.

Aug 10, 2010
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morimech from Minnesota

3.63/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber color with a large white head that had excellant retention. The head settles to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. Aroma mainly consists of a hop combination that is both citrus and earthy. A little breadiness from the malt. Everything appears to be right in proportion in the flavor but for some reason I am underwhelmed. Plenty of hop presence and a suitable malt bill but the combination of the used ingredients do not do it for me. The most interesting thing about the beer is the hint of mint in the flavor. The body is a little too light to get a bump in score despite having a well paired carbonation level. A lighter beer that is well crafted that has a reasonable ABV. I would like to try a fresher bottle someday.

Aug 07, 2010
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WOTO97 from California

3.43/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gold in color with great clarity. Decent foamy head retention with some clumpy lacing. Nose is of toasted nuts with a lingering sweetness. Caramel and some light fruit up front; the beer is pretty sweet on the mid-palate. Finishes very clean but not a whole lot there. Hop character is more earthy and slightly sweet, reminiscent of an English IPA or ESP. Meh.

Aug 03, 2010
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brentk56 from North Carolina

3.61/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a two finger head; nice stickage and plenty of clumps of lace

Smell: Toasty, with a modest earthy hop character

Taste: Toasty, up front, with a developing earthy/fruity character that would fit better in an ESB than an APA; after the swallow, the flavor is sweet and fruity, but grainy, with a bit of toffee on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: An OK pale ale, but I wasn't a big fan of the grainy element

Jun 07, 2010
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RickS95 from Indiana

3.7/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Huge fluffy pillow of a head sits atop a copper liquid that seems to have tiny particles floating in it.

Lots of citrus in the nose, stellar head retention.

A bit of an earthy taste to it, with some of the citrus, sort of like pineapple juice, near the finish.

Lots of carbonation, and between that and the acid from the citrus, give a very crisp refreshing feel.

Good lacing. I like this beer, especially for the warmer months. Easy to drink, goes down easy, medium alcohol. No major flaws.

Jun 06, 2010
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ABOWMan from Ohio

3.15/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This ale poured a light amber color with two fingers of fine white head. The ale was fairly cloudy with some yeast residue apparent. There was no lacing apparent on my pint glass and the head was short lived.

The aroma was malty with some caramelized brown sugar notes.

The flavor was sweet malt, followed by fruity orange and roasted grain.

The mouthfeel was quite effervescent, almost to the point of being distracting. As a result, I didn't rate drinkability very high for a beer that should have been very drinkable.

Mar 16, 2010
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n811 from Michigan

3.64/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Agreed this beer is a bit underrated right now. Maybe because this tastes more like an English Pale Ale to me.

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass revealing a nice light amber colored beer with a slightly off white head which stuck around quite a while.

Smell was very unlike APA. Sort of mineral-y. Not exactly appealing but what the heck. Taste is nicely balanced. The hops are not in your face but more subdued. Slight bitterness shows nicely in this beer.

I like it.

Sep 14, 2009
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Bierguy5 from Ohio

3.38/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, best before 9/12/09. Pours a hazy copper color, with a nice off-white fluffy head. Good head retention, and a nice amount of lace.

Faint citrusy and earthy nose. A whiff of floral hops fades in as well. Notes of caramel malt.

Caramel malt with a small dose of fruit. Moderate bitterness with an earthy edge to it. Slight citrusy note at the finish.

Medium body, good amount of carbonation. Pretty simple and easy to drink. Not bad.

Jul 23, 2009
Michigan Brewing Mackinac Pale Ale from Michigan Brewing Company
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 100 ratings