XP Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

very good
395 Reviews
XP Pale AleXP Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
XP is short for Exception Pale Ale. This light golden pale ale balances the malt and hops for a smooth, drinkable beer that compliments any meal.

2009 California State Fair – SILVER
2008 Colorado State Fair - GOLD
2006 California State Fair – 1st
2003 Real Ale Fest (Chicago) – BRONZE

Added by xlperro on 10-05-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 395 | Ratings: 613
Photo of Jordan
4.85/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh... Bear Republic. Bought a whole assortment of BR brews while I was in Healdsburg. Each one incredibly fresh and alive. Pours out of the bottle like it was fresh from the tap, lively carbonation, potent malt and hops aromas. It's fun just to tease yourself for a minute and let it sit there and breath in that romancing aroma.

The flavor sensation begins with a tangy honey sweetness dissolving into an aggressive citrus and herbal-hop essense, finishing slightly piney, everything is enveloped with a freshly baked malt-bread undertone. Brown sugar, floral, and herbal notes to the nose. The complexity here is staggering.

The new benchmark for the APA?

 672 characters

Photo of Brent
4.84/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

What a cool beer! I don't think that has been the thought that pops into my head very often on sampling a new beer, but that is exactly the impression this beer had on me. Poured a hazy copper. Aroma was a distinct bright citrus, tangerine comes to mind, with hints of lemon and orange. The citrus continues as the first impression, very light and clean. Polishing off the bomber, the citric character fades somewhat and a more traditional hops bitterness emerges, but well balanced as a little more malt strides along, arm-in-arm. According to the bottle, both Centennial and Cascade hops are used - a magical combination in this beer. Off the scale in drinkability - the stuff is evaporating out of my glass. "Summer in a bottle."

 732 characters

Photo of mempath
4.8/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

poured from a bomber into a british ale pint

looks rich...great lacing and cling...beautiful head that lingers and settles into a topographic fantasy island...deep golden/light amber. beautiful.

i was expecting something more malty but the hops are right there, a big thick veneer over a hint of malt core...again, impressive.

taste...wow. ya know, maybe i am just used to too many Torpedos...but this seems like another example of perfect balance...is seems similar to Torpedo in some ways...a shade less agressive, but barely. this of course is no hop bomb...but i love the taste of hoppiness without the bitterness (which i DO prefer, but when i want that bomb, i go for smuttynose ipa, etc...). this is a stealth hop grendade!

drinkability is just as exceptional. i can't compare this to BRepublic's other greats like hop rod rye, etc....this simply is stellar for what it is.

HIGHLY recommended

 904 characters

Photo of StevieW
4.79/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber bottle. One of six brought back from the Sonama Valley of California by request.
Beautiful orange-amber color. Huge rocky off-white head. Uneven lumpy head. Nice look in the glass.
Aroma is super hop charged from the moment the cap is popped. Fresh whole Cascade hop presence. Citrus and floral notes. Smell matches a pine tree split open by a lightning strike. First taste is a full bodied assualt by the Cascade hop presence. Citrus, grapefruit, and extra juicy. Pine tree taste subtly comes through. Fresh bitter snap, unbelieavably refreshing. Sticky and resiny on the tongue. More hops than you know what do with, but that's fine with me in this case. Although the hop charging come through on a nice bready biscuit malt flavor. It's overshadowed by the hops, but it's there. Finish is bitter, and cleansing to the palate. Begs to be guzzled. Flavors never waver, very impressive. Doesn't compare to the other beers listed with it. Without knowing I would list this one as an IPA.

 1,002 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.72/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: pours a clear golden yellow with a 3" thick fluffy white head. The head barely receded as it looked like whipped egg whites after some settling.

Smell: tremdous floral hops and oranges. You can pick up the aroma without having your nose in the glass.

Taste: this beer is dominated by the floral bitterness and slices of oranges, but the malt levels are strong enough to balance it out. There is a hint of biscuits in the background.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start and finish. The finish is slighty dry. The oranges and bitterness linger long on the tongue. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: simply put - superb. This is an all-day and all-night beer. With all the raves about some other BRBC beers, this one caught me of guard for how good it is. This is a great APA.

 786 characters

Photo of Skidz
4.72/5  rDev +22%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours out a bright pale gold and sits a gleaming golden amber in the glass with a good sized, creamy off-white head. Fades to a light skim, but paints the glass white with a thick layer of lacings.

Smells vibrantly of citrus, ranging from oranges and grapefruit to a tangy lime. Dried apricots, nectarines and fresh plums add to the sweet, malty core. Overall, just intensely fruity with waxy hop aromas begging you to dive in.

Tastes initially fruity, though fairly mild, hints of oranges appear. An intense rush of bittering hop flavors strike down, leaving flavors of spruce and maple sap. Flavors of grapefruit rind scour the tongue, but fade out to a mellow malty sweetness that is complete with gooey dabs of caramel. Finish is well bittered and hangs on to those fruity flavors quite well.

Crisp and refreshing in the mouth, about a medium body. Makes for easy enjoyment.

Fanstasitc APA. Bombers dissapear like half pints, still thirsty for more. A very good tribute to Centennials and Cascades.

 1,014 characters

Photo of orfeu
4.65/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Agressive carbonation streaks upward in a burnished transparent orange with a rocky meringuing yellowed-snow head. Orange pineapple juice and pink grapefruit aromas mingle with a citrus blossom honeyed malt scent. Honeyed orange juce flavor predominates -- the malt is so expertly paired with the hop bill in this beer that they fuse into one unified flavor. Juicy, almost sparkling mouthfeel. In fact the sweet orange-pineapple juice flavor combines with the aforementioned mouthfeel in such a way that this is almost reminiscent of a mimosa. Lacing is practically uniform in the rings it forms after each sip. Utterly ridiculous drinkability. Nearly flawless APA.

 665 characters

Photo of BigMike
4.65/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bomber into a tulip glass.

A golden orange in color with a lot of effervescence. A big 3 finger head that creamy and sticking around nicely. Some tremendous lacing. This thing completely coats the glass.

The nose is awesome. Fresh and clear citrus and floral. You can smell the cascade and centenial hops working their magic.

Oh yea. This is pretty much the what a Pale Ale is supposed to taste like. Gorgeous hops that are fruity and citrusy. Lots of grapefruit and orange and a nice balancing amount of light caramel from the malts. Well balanced and tasty for sure.

Mouthfeel is soft, light and creamy. So smooth and glides down the throat with such ease. Perfectly balanced.

This is a beautiful Pale Ale. Balance is super. Enough hops to satisfy a hop craving and tons of flavor with a superior mouthfeel. I could most definitely drink a few of these.

Bear Republis shows me once again why they are one of my top 5 favorite breweries in the US!

 969 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm not gonna lie I've had this from the bottle in the past and couldn't justify sampling it because of a date issue. However, on this brew fresh from Fathead's taps there's nothing better around, a beer I could literally drink all night. Appears a slight hazed copper with a large bright white head that sticks around for awhile leaving behind textbook picture perfect lacing around my pint glass. Aroma is assertive with grapefruit and floral cascades. Completemented with sweet sugar coated hops, whant excellent money pale ale with biscuit malts just enough it really drinks amazingly. Flavors are not overly bitter but incredibly hoppy, blatant citrus and floral hop flavors rush the palate with a soothing crisp bitterness level very green and citrus pith with candi sugar coated presence as well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied carbonation is so even and smooth that it glides down the palate with extra added lubrication from all of the hop oils. Drinkability is amazing I'm so willing to grab a keg of this stuff, I may offer my buddy jcdiflorio to go half on a 1/2 barrel of one of these Bear Republic brews if their available at his distributor.

 1,152 characters

Photo of Zorro
4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Clear Orange colored beer with a bit of white head.

Smell is sweet and hoppy with a clear malt and grapefruit aroma. No off or weird or hard to place smells in this at all, a very clean smelling beer.

Taste is mild and malty up front on first taste. Mild bit of smokiness and woodiness is experienced next after your tongue adjusts to the mild sweetness and the hop bitterness asserts itself. The more bitter and sour notes of the hops come out if you search for the flavors, mostly grapefruit. This is one mellow easy to drink ale!

Mouthfeel is full yet still refreshing.

Drinkability is superb! This is one tasty mild ale that you can drink anytime. Not harsh in the slightest and in my opinion superior to SNPA.

 726 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

BuckeyeSox (Dev) gave me a free bottle of this on top of a nice trade, it was much appreciated. I poured it into pint glass and fell in love with this beer. The thick poof of foam on top looks perfect, imparting a near-perfect aggregate score to the appearance once combined with the clear straw liquid, hint of haze. The smell is lightly hopped, citrus style, with a hint of wheat beer aroma included (although I don't think there's any wheat used in this beer). The flavor is very good for the style, not a pretentious style though. There was a light hops presence leaving a lightly sweet/bitter citrus combination on my taste buds after each sip. Overall very nice.

It's easily available in OH, thank God, this will be a frequent guest in my belly.

 752 characters

Photo of aaronh
4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep orange amber color, topped by a seemingly everlasting cream colored head. 22 ounces of liquid gold. The aroma is sweet honey tinged malt aromas with the smell of citrus from thte hops. Almost reminiscent of an orange-marmalade. Truly divine. The taste is very hoppy up front, but allows a bit of biscuity malt to shine through mid taste. Then a nice blast of hops finish it off. The Centennial hops temper the citrus qulaities of the Cascades a bit, and allow some earthy and grassy notes to appear. Malt is there, but the hops are most prevalent. As the beer warms, the balance becomes a bit better. Mouthfeel is solid, thinning out just a bit early on the way down, but not watery by any stretch of the imagination. And the drinkability is very good. A nice blend of malt and hops, with the Cascades being (thankfully) tempered a bit. The increased malty sweetness shown at warmer temps makes this just about perfect for me, and it is overall a great beer.

 963 characters

Photo of skrib09
4.56/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

xp pale ale poured out a semi-clear amber with a foamy looking white head. good retention and lacing.

smell of the brew is mild hoppy. pine and citrus coming through. some bread towards the back of the nose.

taste is excellent to me. well balanced hop and malt. slight pine and citrus on top of the malt flavor.

great mouthfeel and great drinkability.

 355 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.55/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Burnished dusky orange filled with loads of tiny particles and a few wispy flakes that resemble citrus pith. The head is a thing of beauty. It's rich ivory in color, creamyfirm in consistency, displays dozens of tiny, pearl-like bubbles on its increasingly craggy surface and leaves an impressive amount of chunky lace when it eventually deflates.

Lucious, hoppy nose of sweetened citrus zest. More orange than grapefruit, but bursting with the essence of each. Since there's very little intrusion from the malt (thanks for using only the paler varieties Bear Republic), this is a nose that can be enjoyed in all of its hoppy glory.

XP is a delicious pale ale. There's no doubt that it's an APA and not an IPA--as some APAs aspire to be--because of the light-medium body and the impressive amount of hop flavor that isn't accompanied by a huge amount of hop bitterness. In that respect, it reminds me quite a bit of Three Floyds Gumballhead. Both are hoppy as hell, lack a tongue ruffling amount of bitterness and are relatively light in the mouth.

The flavor profile consists of sweet, juicy orange and white grapefruit (Cascade and Centennial) with a delightfully tart, bitter zing. I may like Gumballhead's tropical fruitiness (Amarillo) a bit more, but they're both outstanding beer. It's hard to imagine how drinkability could be improved.

I haven't yet commented on the malt because its flavor contribution is minimal. It clearly provides yeoman-like support though. I wish more brewers would stick with pale malt in their APAs and IPAs. What the hell do they think the 'P' stands for anyway?

Bear Republic is one of those breweries that gets it. They know what works and they deliver, time and time again. XP Pale Ale is great beer and should be an object lesson for those brewers who need something to shoot for. Simply put, XP is one of my new favorites.

 1,879 characters

Photo of Troyone
4.53/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An apple juice and ginger ale color, lots of head with lacing, and lots of carb action. Bit into the fantastic head.

A light cookie caramel malt smell with pine lime hops and hints of vanilla.

A light sweet and bitter taste with cookie caramel malt; pine and lime hops; and flavors of ginger, light licorice, and cola.

A light body, dry slightly syrupy texture, soft and lively carbonation, and a slight metallic finish.

The untimate true session beer for a beer drinker.

 483 characters

Photo of tavernjef
4.53/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous cloud of oranged - yellowy amber sun at dawn color. Tons of haze and stuff floating around. Towering foamy sponged capping of frothy off-whiteness sits forever. Smooths out to a very thick coating of leathery bubbles and laces the glass in huge curtains. The pinnacle of great looking glass of ale!

Could smell it as I was pouring as clean tangerine and lemony grapefruit hit the air quickly. As it warms it gathers a quick caramel noting to hint at its backing and plays wonderfully between the two. Citrusy caramel, if there is such a thing, which this is, then this is that.

Flavors are clean and well-rounded the whole way through. Easy going clean profile of citrusy hops and a nudge of pine. Caramel backing is perfect to juice up the sweetness around the citrus. The citrusy hoppyness is quite unique and complex in this one. Apple, pear, tangerine, melon, white grape, orange, lemon, and grapfruit all tend to get a bit of something in there. Its seemingly simple and has a significant delicate nature about its taste and bite that makes it apparently drinkable the moment it hits the lips.

Feel is medium bodied, clean, with a fiestyness of well-balanced carbonation and hoppy buzzing. Pales down as it warms and digs out some earthy pine notes as it trails off into the finish. It has some exceptional complexity to it and maintains a very welcome palate of flavor and ease of drinkability. Wonderful stuff!

 1,435 characters

Photo of saintwarrick
4.53/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The latest beer I have had from this fine brewery. Bomber pour a clean gold with a soapy white head with a sticky lacing down the glass. Hops come through in the aroma, citrus fruit and some grassy herbs. Grapefruit shows in the taste as the cascade hops show through, truly making this a West Coast pale ale. Bitter, but very balanced and immensely drinkable.

Personally, my favorite of the brews from Bear Republic that I have had, barely edging Red Rocket. One of my favorite APAs.

 485 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.51/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This pours out orange and cloudy. Once it settles in, you get the vertical rows of tiny bubbles. Cool. Dimply head is rather thin, but it does produce big swoops of lace when you're done. Very cool.

Aroma - intense, citrus and floral, portends of bitter things to come. Or so I thought...

Taste - all fruity and floral up front, pretty sweet as IPA's go, mostly oranges though. Busy carbonation in the mouth, a solid Centennial and Cascade presence. But where's the bite? You'll need to be patient and dial down the expectation. After the swallow, more of a lemony feel than orange, there's the bite. Not near as sharp as I thought, that's happened to me 2 or 3 times over the last 10 IPA's. Just goes to prove, what you sniff doesn't always reveal what you get!

The last part of the bottle pours in the sediment, both softening the mouthfeel and increasing the hop bite. Mouthfeel is pretty smooth at the outset, even more velvety once the dregs are added.

Outstanding session beer! 8 months ago, I may not have liked this beer, but I have grown so fond of some of these sweeter IPA's, they are quickly climbing my short list of favorites.

 1,152 characters

Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%

A malty, citrusy, hoppy fruity nose with faint floral notes.
Pours a beautiful amber with a 1" dreamy off-white foam cap that provides excellent lace.
The malt dominates the palate penetrating throughout offering big caramel and creamy flavors with a bitter accent on the finish.
Medium body and carbonation.

 309 characters

Photo of poluti
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving: 22oz. bottle

It was crisp straw gold with tints of orange when held to direct light. It was extremely carbonated with a plethora of carbonation bubbles running up the length of the glass. It had a fantastic white head which did take a little more of the glass than I wanted. However the consistency of the head was fantastic and it took it awhile to diminish. The aroma was great. The cascades took center stage but there were other floral scents involved with little to no alcohol smell. My initial impression was the centennial hops kicking me with the bitterness. However, unlike some of Bear Republic's other beers, this one seemed tame. The aromatic hops seemed to fill the mouth through the nose. It was like very fragerant. The malt content was definitely there and helped to counteract the hops making it extremely well balanced. The mouthfeel gave a great sensation. It finished very clean and hoppy, yet coated the tongue nicely, not lingering too long. I found this beer very drinkable and I will have to go to BevMo to pick up some more bombers for my brewing buddy as well as myself.

 1,108 characters

Photo of mschofield
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden copper, topped with a two finger puffy off-white head. Leaves very wide bands of lacing, almost a full sheet.
Citrus and floral aroma, mainly floral aroma, the citrus comes out more in the taste. Citrus zest and bread.
Citrus, floral and toffee taste. Good bite to it for a pale ale.
Medium bodied, very good drinkability. This beer fits somewhere in the middle of American pale ale to English IPA.

 422 characters

Photo of nichols8241
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I poured the beer from a bottle into a pint size glass. The pale ale is a dark gold color and is somewhat cloudy. The aroma's not as strong as an IPA or even some other Pale Ales; nice with a faint citrus smell. Great taste! Great mouth-feel! Plenty of hops, not too sweet, crisp, lots of carbonation, slightly bitter aftertaste - 6oz's down and I already want another.

 369 characters

Photo of pjwilson
4.5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The last of the Bear Republic bombers to try, i've only seen this one at Bev Mo.

appearance:giant head about half the pint glass. Looks to be taking quite a while to come down. Lot's carbination in this one, perhaps more than seen before in a Pale Ale. Must be that bottle conditioning. The color is a nice light orange, and there is some good lace.

smell: has that resiny hop smell, nice hop oils like those found in Racer 5. Really darn nice, toned down a touch from the IPA, but quite similar.

taste: really nice malts coming through in this one. There is a great balance in this one, the beer isn't overly bitter or hoppy. and the malts aren't roasty either, sort of a nice interesting caramal, with a aftertaste of hops and bitterness. This one may smell like Racer 5, but the taste is entirely different. I want to say there is some chalkiness in the taste.

mouthfeel: very light on this one, almost watery but there is still some serious body.

drinkability: just a nice solid drinker this. Too bad it's not on draft around here. Will get more of this come summer. 5 for 5 bear Republic knocks 'em down.

 1,128 characters

Photo of karst
4.48/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A classic pale ale. "XXP" (exceptional pale) has a golden color, and is very light bodied with a noticeable hop aroma and bittering element, IBU 55 that just teases the hopheads. This beer is brewed with American Two Row, English wheat, Belgian, and Dextrin malts. Just the right amounts of Cascade and Centennial hops and ABV 5.4%

A Head like a duval - 6 fingers for those with aractyldacty- off white marshmellow sized pillow of marangue. Long, long wait for it to fall even to 5 fingers. Aroma of floral centennials is most excellent. Medium mouthfeel and a tongue prickling quality that hits strong in the middle and fades as complex malts finish with a hint of coriander and orange zest in the aftertaste of cascade mild bitterness. Awesome head is lacing the inside of the bomber. Last pour is very much as heady as the first and a dusting of tiny dark brown fine saw dust is sprinkled in the foamy head, lace and settles to the bottom of the glass.

My bomber had two X (XXP) instead of the XP as shown for this brew. I checked the web site and saw nothing about anything but XP

 1,090 characters

Photo of doppelmeup
4.48/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Golden honey colored brew with a nice thick layer of foam.. It is slowly shrinking down to about 3/8 inch, but looks like it will stay around for awhile. You could probably rest a penny on it because it is so dense. Nice lacing sticking to the glass.

Smell: A pleasing aroma of cut grass and a bit of grapefruit. Slightly resinous as well. A bit of sweetness is also in the background.

Taste: This hits the spot. Just what I was looking for in a Pale Ale. There is a nice, light bitterness from the hops. It is not too bitter, but is definitely a pale ale. Not a lot of superlatives for this, other than it just tastes good.

Mouthfeel: Light on the palate, some tingling from the carbonation. Very easy to drink.

Overall, A top-notch pale ale. Definitely recommended.

 774 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
XP Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
3.87 out of 5 based on 613 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.