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

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Reviews: 395 | Ratings: 613
Photo of damjadi
2.2/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this with some other beers to offset my hop-cravings here in Germany.

Straw colored and clear.

Smelled ever so lightly of pine.

A light citrus hop up front, quickly finishing into nothingness. Kind of like squeezing a lime into Corona (but with a hop).

This is the lawnmower beers of pale ales. Not distinctive in anyway. You could drink a number of them in a night, but none of them would be memorable...

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Photo of clvand0
2.52/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Had this from a 22oz bottle. Pours a light amber color with a thin head that dies off quickly. The aroma is a little grassy, but all hops. Not much else - just hops. The flavor was very hoppy as well with some light malts as well. The finish is dry and bitter, but leaves me wishing that there was something more to this one. I was unimpressed overall.

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Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
2.6/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Gusher. 22 oz amber bottle erupted when I uncapped it, sending coarse tan foam all over my countertop.

Aroma at the bottle was yeasty and astringent.

Poured gently into a standard pint, exhibiting hazy copper color, coarse fizz leaving a rocky head with moderate lace, floaty bits.

Flavor is grassy, stale, somewhat citrusy, not notably hoppy, balanced malt and bitterness.

Mouthfeel is astringent and a bit thin, neutral aftertaste.

Drinkability is so-so. Cold from the fridge it was almost a sink pour, but as it warms, the exerience mellows, becomes more drinkable. As I've been typing, bumped it from 2.5 to 3 on drinkability. This beer tastes essentially like a clone of my first homebrewed batch--that wasn't a bad beer, but I expect better from a commercial brewery. This is yeasty, grassy, overcarbonated, has floaty bits, is astringent. Really shocked that this mediocre example comes from the same brewers who make Hop Rod Rye--one of the best beers on the planet. Maybe it's just a bad bottle?

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Photo of JDV
2.63/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bomber. Light copperish color beer with lasting white head. Smell is sweet hop mix. Sort of soapish. Taste is hoppy with just an extremely mild finishing sweetness. Kind of dry, a bit bland, acidic and boring. Very carbonated. Not a good pale, and a disappointment as their other beers have been great. HIGHLY overrated. Sierra Nevada is better, Red Seal is better, Lefthand Jackman's pale, Kona's pale, and on and on.

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Photo of RickS95
2.69/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

22 ounce bomber

Very orange, a bit darkish for a pale ale, though today, who knows? Just seemed a bit dark and orangey to me. It's very clear. Not Budweisery clear, but orangey clear. The head starts off fairly thin and has only moderate retention. Each swirl creates a white top and slight lacing.

Smells like a pale lager. It's got a bit of citrus, but also some pilsner smelling malts. Ever so faint pine smell.

Not what I was expecting or even like. Very pilsnerlike, Earthy taste. I'd not guess this to be an ale if the label didn't say so. I don't get any of the citrus from the nose, just some pilser malt flavors.

Very watery, feels like a macro. I'd not guess this to be a craft beer. Light bodied, no alcohol presence, and the hops leave a lot to be desired.

Not impressed. It was fairly cheap at the beer store and I can see why. Not what you think of as an APA from the left coast. Skip this one, or just buy a Bud and keep the change.

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Photo of ryrust5301
2.71/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 750 bottle with XP Pale ale logo. Split with my brother and poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Pours a cloudy copper, with an enormous puffy white head. Head grew to an impressive 3 fingers. Layers of sticky white lacing hang all the way down the sides after the head receded. A thin layer of puffy whiteness lingers on top of the beer.

Smell - Piney hops, and a malt creaminess. Some citrus scents in there as well.

Taste & Mouthfeel - When cold there was a touch more of piney hops, with a smooth malt backbone. Let it warm a little more and the hops became more and more faint. Finally the hops faded away and it became relly smooth and malty with a caramel finish. Some citrus notes can be found throughout.

Drinkability - Disapoining as far as a pale ale goes. I found it rather bland. Way to malty, and no crisp hopiness after it warmed. Pretty average with not much going on.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.74/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This is an exceptionally inviting Pale Ale. From the simple and effective bottle graphics that stand out in a crowd of beers, to the huge chunky head that retains forever. At this point my expectations are very high.

Smell quickly brought me back down to earth as it is very mellow and sweet malted, some faint cracker and more syrupy malt.

Really hard to describe this other than "mellow". Hops are trying to get out but just seem week. The carbonation is fizzy and foams up on the palate. A toasted presence that helps the cause. Watered clean finish.

Notes: ehhhh...certainly not my favorite offering from such an outstanding brewery. Think English Pale.

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Photo of crowsoup
2.86/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm finding it hard to write this. First of all, Bear Republic is a fantastic brewery. I even love Healdsburg, which makes this even harder. Maybe I got a skunked bottle, but this has got to be the most uninspired Pale Ale I've had in a long, long time.

It pours beautifully at least. Great color and a nice head, but that just got my hopes up...I hate high hopes. Got some citrus, some malt and maybe some slight floral notes, but that's questionable. Maybe my sniffer is busted, I dunno.

Not a lot going on taste-wise here, grainy, light bodied, bitter finish. The end tastes a little too close to dish-soap for comfort, makes me wonder if someone put a dirty glass back in the cabinet. I think I'll try this again on tap, next time I'm in Healdsburg. Sadly this bomber has scared me off of another taste.

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Photo of MikeBrandman
2.89/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Pours from a 22oz bomber into a Sensory Glass. One of the purest amber bodies I've ever seen. Slight reddishness. White head with smooth creamy bubbles and pretty good lacing. Very translucent with a surprising amount of visible carbonation. No sediment or haze.

S - Mostly malty. Slight piney hops but mostly masked by the malt sweetness. No alcohol smell.

T - Malts take over on this one. The hops are there throughout the entire experience but only really come out in the ending. Piney, not citrusy hops. No alcohol taste, thankfully. Overall, this flavor is a little lacking.

MF - A little on the sticky side. Medium body.

D - Overall, this isn't a terribly drinkable beer. The sticky feel and the overly sweet taste really turns me off of this one. Would have preferred a 12 ounce.

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Photo of CBlack85
2.97/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a New Belgium globe glass

The beer pours a light copper color with golden highlights. An aggressive pour yields a smallish white head that recedes quickly leaving behind a small amount of lacing.

The aroma is comprised largely of sweet caramel, and to a lesser degree citrus hops. Not quite what I expected from a west coast pale ale.

The flavor follows closely with the aroma, a bit too sweet with some bready notes. The hop profile is pleasant; mostly citrisy with some piney notes as well. While it is slightly less than I am used to in most APA's, it is not outside of style guidelines.

The body is a bit full for the style, combine that with the sweetness of the flavor, the beer becomes a bit hard to drink. While it is good, it is not suited to consuming multiple pints in one sitting.

Overall, XP is good, but with so many superior examples of the style I cannot see myself purchasing it on a regular basis...

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Photo of Reagan1984
2.97/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer had an overly aggressive foamy head when poured from the 22 oz bomber. There was also a huge amount of visible carbonation. Clear and a very light copper color or deep gold.

Aroma was citrus and of grain.

I was excited to taste this as Hop Rod is one of my favorites. This one didn't live up to expectations. I thought the taste was very astringent and chalky. There was some roasted malt flavor and a slight spiciness provided by the hops. While I wanted to love this beer, I can't say that I did.

Mouth feel was fairly light but ruined by over carbonation.

I'm not sure how drinkable I can say it was as I didn't really enjoy drinking it.

In the future I will try again out of respect to Bear, but I had a long list of other APA's I'll enjoy before this one again.

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Photo of Tupperwolf
2.98/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber capped with a nice Bear Republic head - the brewery is so consistent in their head that it deserves its own name.

Some floral hops hit the nose first, followed by slightly honeyish and metallic malts.

A bit metallic in the mouth - slight honey, slight grassy hops - I'm a bit let down. Really nothing to shout about.

A little flat in the mouth, despite the fine looking head.

Fortunately, despite my slight dissappointment in this beer, it's quite drinkable. Given the choice, I'd have an Alesmith XPA or Stone PA.

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Photo of Murchmac
3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark orange even copper color with some gold highlights.

Smells more of sweet malts than anything, kinda thin metallic macro smell.

Tastes of dry pale malts at first, some sweetness from the hops, just average.

Kinda metallic and weak for me. I havent had this beer in a while, I'd rather watch reform school girls on Mojo HD.

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Photo of illidurit
3.11/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

RBSG09 on tap at the brewpub. Pours clear gold with a creamy white head. Aromas of pale malt, light C-hops. Pretty floral and somewhat juicy. Flavor is weakly hoppy with a dough pale malt finish that isn't very refreshing. Semidry finish, decent drinkability.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.14/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Copper body with an off white head. A little bit of retention, some nice lacing.

I smell a little bit of hops, not a very strong aroma on this beer.

Slightly spicy. Citrusy hops and a strong malty backbone. Very light smooth mouthfeel.

Average drinkability.

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Photo of MrKennedy
3.15/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber from the International Beer Shop, thanks to bluebetty for obtaining. Poured into a Lost Abbey tulip.

Pours a copper colour with a cream coloured head of foam. Creamy appearance of the foam as well, developing craters as it settles and spot lacing.

Smells initially of fruit salad and then passionfruit. These give way to a pungent hop aroma that isn't as nice.

Taste is a little bland. Certainly doesn't live up to the smell. Some biscuity malt comes through, some hop resin intertwined with caramel, but it doesn't excite or come alive.

Mouthfeel has a late bitterness, with a decent body. Some astringency at times and lacking consistent bitterness.

Pretty run of the mill. Doesn't offend, doesn't excite. Decent enough, but i'd be feeling generous if i bought again over others at a similar price.

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Photo of CHickman
3.18/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bomber poured into a pint glass: pours hazy gold amber color with a 1 finger beige head that faded slowly leaving good lacing and a creamy layer on top.

Smells of toffee, biscuit, wet wheat bread, citrus hops, piney hops, caramel, grapefruit, yeast, grains, light brown sugar and an odd citrus fruit like guava. Definitely not what I expected in the nose as its very sweet smelling, but not like an English pale ale.

Tastes of sweet malt and wet bread to start, with toffee, biscuit, caramel or maybe even maple syrup, citrus hops, piney hops, yeast, grains, orange peel, brown sugar, herbs and a very earthy taste like sipping stagnant water out of a cave pond or from a tree; aftertaste is similar to uncooked pizza dough rolled in an IPA spilled on the counter – kind of odd, but not necessarily offensive. Might even be some coriander or other light spices in the finish.

Mouthfeel is oddly creamy and slick, with very mild carbonation, a medium chewy body and sweet finish that trails off bready and sweet.

Seems like there is decent balance, but I just didn’t dig this beer and I have enjoyed all of the other Bear Republic brews that I’ve tried. I was not impressed and feel that this is more English pale ale than American pale ale since the hops were so timid. I’d grab a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Dale’s Pale Ale over this any time.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.18/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle Inspection: Defining itself as an “eXceptional Pale Ale” using Centennial and Cascade hops, serving temperature suggestion, but no abv. listed.

Aroma: Floral and citric hops are evident, as well as a mildly toasted malt base.

Appearance: Big fluffy white head lasts and laces in curtains. Glass is lightly hazed dark blond.

Flavor: Mild tea flavor, slightly minty hops, earthy finish. Overall there is a watery quality to the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, low carbonation, dry finish.

Overall Impression: A little disappointing. Not enough hops to scratch the itch, not enough base to fill me up, not even really up to a Pale Ale standard in my book. No off or ugly flavors, just not enough good flavors to keep me interested. I doubt I’ll be back.

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Photo of morimech
3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My bottle was a gusher. The color is a hazy golden when the off-white head eventually settles enough to reveal some fluid.

Has a faint citrus hop aroma and a bit of caramel malt.

Balanced flavors between the citrus hops and caramel malt. Surprisingly light flavors. Not what I was expecting.

Light body with a nice semi-creamy texture.

Nothing spectacular about this beer. The low ABV and light body makes it easy drinking when you are not waiting for all the foam to settle. I will pass on this beer next time.

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Photo of SilentSabre
3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was pretty average all the way around. Poured a pale orange colour with a pure white head that didn't last very long. Smell was resinous hops and little more. Taste, too, was well hopped, but also seemed fairly balanced with some nice, even if low-key, maltiness in there as well. This isn't a bad ale, it's just very average IMO and just as good as 1000's of other assertively hopped West Coast ales. Still glad I got to try it.

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Photo of avaldivia
3.22/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Bear Repiblic.

A: Clear golden color. Not much head or lacing. Looks like a standard Pale Ale.

S: Some nice malts. A nice citrus hop aroma. Let it sit for a while and the smell never really got much stronger or improved at almost room temp.

T: Kind of bland. There was a bit of a citrus hop flavor to start. Then went into a malty finish. I don't know why, but I wasn't crazy about the taste. It was ok, but it just wasn't doing it for me.

M: Llight to medium bodied. Well carbonated. Noce and crisp.

O: It was okay, but not something I feel the need to order again. I think, perhaps everything was just lighter than I would have liked.

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Photo of skenyon1811
3.24/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I picked up two 22oz bottles of this stuff for only $5.00. There is no freshness date so I don't know if this special was because they were going out of date.

22oz bottle poured into a pint.

A: Cloudy orange amber color. Excellent retention. Pours nice with about an inch head that recedes and stays round a quarter inch.

S: Very sweet scent with a subtle alcoholic smell. Not very impressed.

T: There is a lot going on here. Very sweet at first with an alcohol taste. Has a tanginess to it, a sort of skunky fruity taste that I can't put my finger on. The nicest part is the bitter hoppy after taste that pops up. This beer has clearly distinct stages. Sweet>Strange>Hoppy

M: Medium body dry mouthfeel. Good amount of carbonation.

D: Not my favorite pale ale. I would probably only drink one of the 22oz at a time. Sits alittle heavy after awhile. I was surprised to to read it has less than 6% ABV. Tastes like it is atleast 7%

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Photo of ebrauser
3.24/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber to a pint glass

Appearance: Lots of carbonation and a thick off-white head with medium retention and great lacing. The beer is a light amber color.

Smell: High citrus, grapefruit, and grapes. A little vinous with some alcoholic esters.

Flavor: Vinous, grapes, and sweet malts. The hop profile is fairly small and provides no bitterness, just minimal citrus notes. Not a lot of complexity after the initial bit of flavor, but not too bad.

MF: Med/light body with some acidity and no oiliness. Easily sessionable, and a pretty good pale.

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Photo of Onslow
3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Taken from notes written on an old cigar package.... Looks amazing .... orange sunset colour .... has a nice enjoyable level of bitterness .... pretty tasty ... smooth and tasty, but nothing special... is widely available in my local and surprisingly at all my grocery stores!!

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Photo of Knapp85
3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this one on cask, This poured out as a hazy yellowish gold color with a thin white head on top. The smell of some hops and grains were what filled the nose most. The taste of the beer was a little on the weaker side, but it still had enough to keep it a little interesting. There were some sweet grainy flavors in there and some lighter hop flavors in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel was a little light too, probably from the cask, not sure if it really made this brew any better honestly. Overall this brew was decent. I'd like to try it again from a bottle or on regular draft to see if it differes.

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XP Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
3.87 out of 5 based on 613 ratings.
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