XP Pale Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

very good
613 Ratings
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 rodbeermunch
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Copper color without the highest pedigree clarity wise. Average 1/2" head, mostly white, not virgin though. Aroma had some citrus impression, mostly grapefruit.

Taste was a light toasted malt affair with some C hops sprinkled around, plus maybe Simcoe or Amarillo in there. Its close to balanced and an easy drinking affair, which is nice you don't have to deal with 100ibu and crystal malt all the time.

 408 characters

Photo of ZachDow7
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

In a 22 0x. bomber...no bottle on date, but think this one has been sitting a while. The malt is very forward in the smell...no hop aroma, still in the taste you can pick out the centennial hops but other than that a mediocre pale ale.

 235 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 lochef81
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

As a fan of a number of Bear Republic's other offerings, I was looking forward to trying this one. I'm not typically a fan of Apas but always down to try something different. This ale pours a hazy golden amber color with a nice white head and substantial lacing. The aroma is Light and malty with a slight hop presence. Nothing remarkable but definitely reminiscent of the style. The mouthfeel is light and easy to drink; definitely one that you could knock back a number of on a hot summer's day. The flavor is well balanced with a nice malt presence that is not overly sweet or cloying and a floral hop presence that is not overly bitter or biting. Overall it is easy to drink, enjoyable, and well balanced. Nothing that will make you stand up and say wow but a nice example of the style.

 790 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a clear golden orange to copper in color with moderate to significant amounts of very active visible carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass and some faint golden yellow highlights. The beer has a finger tall sudsy foamy light beige head that reduces to a couple of medium sized patch of thick film (made up of larger bubbles) and a mottled thin film covering the majority of the remainder of the surface of the beer. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of biscuit malts with a light amount of caramel sweetness and moderate aromas of citrus/orange zest + citrus/grapefruit pith hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of biscuit malts with a light to moderate amount of caramel sweetness. That is followed by moderate flavors of citrus/orange zest and citrus/grapefruit pith hops which contribute a light amount of bitterness that fades pretty quickly.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Extremely easy to drink and definitely sessionable. Really nice flavors and aromas with a low ABV make this one I would definitely purchase again. The light amounts of bitterness combined with the moderate flavors/aromas of hops is very enjoyable.

 1,234 characters

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.

 953 characters

Photo of chinchill
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. bomber served in a snifter. Pours orange-amber with a light white head. Modest head retention; spotty lacing.

S: Grassy and herbal hops with some faint citrus. A solid malt base.

T: Nice fruity-grassy flavors from the hops grab attention from the underlying sweet malt with its hints of toffee. Orange is the most obvious component of the citrus character.

M: Light/medium body; mild carbonation, but enough to keep it alive; smooth; exceptionally dry finish for style.

O: An exceptional example of the APA style from a very reliable brewer.

 555 characters

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...

 956 characters

Photo of nickfl
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours with a small head of white foam on top of a clear, copper colored body. The foam settles at a moderate pace and leaves little lace.

S - Sight citrus with notes of lemon and shiny of grapefruit, backed by toffee and bready malt notes.

T - Grassy hops up front with some sweet malt. A bit of toffee in the middle with moderate bitterness emerging and a finish of spicy, lemony hops and light caramel malt.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Just a bit on the thick side for a pale ale, which hurts the drinkability a bit. The hops aren't as pungent as they could be, though they taste fresh. Lemon and toffee are the dominant characteristics and somehow it just doesn't come together in the end. Decent, but I wouldn't buy it again.

 781 characters

Photo of AmitC
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter.

Color is amber. A lot of haze and suspensions. About one finger thick head with decent retention. Excellent lacing on the sides. Translucent. No bubbles.

Aroma is a lot earthy and a lot of malt. Hops are ground and slightly old. Earthy smell dominates. Strength is good but a lot like an old ale.

Taste is raw bready malt that is mixed with some earthy hops. Malt upfront and in the middle. Finish is slightly bitter. A little bit of dry hopped piney taste.

Mouth feel is light to medium bodied. Moderate carbonation. No astringency.

Very average pale ale.

 606 characters

Photo of mfnmbvp
3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz. (1 pint 6 fl oz) bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. Excited to try this next offering from Bear Republic, as I have been generally impressed by them so far.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Fairly aggressive pour yields virtually no head whatsoever, and a coppery orange colored body with plenty of sediment swirling around. Second pour yields about two fingers of fluffy doughy off-white head, with decent retention. Tons of attractive sediment suspended in the glass. Nice scattered lacing.

S - Light pine needle / mango hop resin smell, amidst crisp fruit and biscuit malts. Not packing a very strong aroma, but it tells the tale.

T - Taste generally follows what you would expect from the nose, nice bitter crisp hop bite up front, with a clean fruity malty sweetness. Bit of honey in the finish. Extremely well-balanced for an APA, perfect carbonation, and not excessive on the Cascade and Centennial hops like some APA's which are basically just hop bombs.

M - Smooth creamy, fruity sweet finish. Slight hop resins. Slightly dry.

Overall, light bodied and well balanced with a moderate and highly drinkable 5.40% abv, this is definitely a beer you could session or share a couple 22 oz. bottles with some friends. Once again, although not breaking any new ground, Bear Republic continues to impress with another well-made, well-balanced brew.

Bear Republic XP Pale Ale ---4/5

 1,424 characters

Photo of PicoPapa
3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Rattle N Hum. Pours a hazy dark orange color with a thin layer of head. Lots of lacing. The aroma is caramel, pine and some light citrus and apricots. Slightly bready. The flavor is apricots with some piney hops. Caramel malts and breadiness follow. Maybe even hints of peach. Bitter at the end. Light mouthfeel. Pretty flavorful pale ale thats very drinkable. Overall, worth grabbing again.

 401 characters

Photo of shand
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

XP Pale Ale pours out a slightly hazy orange-amber with a decent head. The aroma is bright and citrusy, and the taste follows the nose, along with a bit of light malts and a bit of bitter hops. The mouthfeel is light and crisp, and the drinkability is fantastic. Overall, a great west coast style pale.

 302 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bottle from Bristol Farms Palm Springs CA for 5$

Appearance - Clear amber with an average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts, caramel, apricots

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel, malts, and hops. There is also some toffee, apricots and some floral notes. It ends with a caramel malt aftertaste with a mild amount of hops.

Overall – Good stuff.. maltier than I was expecting. It borderlines a english style pale ale in a way. It still has he typical west coast flavours though. A tasty beer that I'd drink again if I was looking for a malty/biscuit flavoured APA.

 761 characters

Photo of 1Nrwyscotch
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass.

A. A brilliant golden amber color with a couple of fingers of just off white head which lasted for awhile.

S. Some pine and that typical IPA citrus(grapefruit). very clean aroma.

T. A little bitterness to start and then some light toasted malt, not to sweet and very easy drinking.

M. A lighter body

O. The flavor is pretty mild and it smells better than it tastes and makes me curious of the age though I could find no date on the bottle.

 482 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.32/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Pours amber with a fading white head.
Nose shows soft sweet clean malt, faint grapefruit and pine.
Very drinkable flavours, light sweet clean malt and a bit of spicy hops. Perhaps a bit too sweet.
Could use more carbonation.
A basic but enjoyable pale.

 256 characters

Photo of fsimcox
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber-orange cloudy color. Fluffy white foamy head forms immediately. The foam dissipates slowly leaving a soft white layer. Some lacing.

Smells of hops, citrus, and green apple.

Taste is smooth up front, apple cider and citrus, with a slight hop finish. The cider taste lingers for some time.

Mouthfeel is medium body, some carbonation, and a dry finish.

A nice ale. Reminds me of a cider beer I once had in Belgium. Very drinkable.

 449 characters

Photo of StJamesGate
4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale glowing amber with loose fast-fading off white froth.
Mad fresh orange candy and blossom nose.
Toffee and shortbread with sparkly Sunkist orange hops.
Lemon hard candy finish and slightly resiny linger.
Light-medium, some chew, crisp.

Easy like Sunday morning. Enough C-hops to keep you going, but light enough to stay on all day in August. Doesn't, however, do justice to Bear Republic's reputation.

 408 characters

Photo of CA_Infidel2o9
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber to a sam adams cup
Bottled date: 2/26/12

A- amber, 1/2" quickly fading white head

S- citrus, floral, apricot, sweet bready malts

T- caramel, bready malts, piny hops, grapefruit bitterness, grain, butterscotch

M- medium body, crisp carbonation

O- due to the bottling date, i drank the first half of the bomber without a review, but then i decided it was so good that it deserved one. The the hops are a fraction of their former self, citrus, floral, pine are all there to show their glory and i can't wait to taste this fresh. Malts have dominated the brew, giving an awesome creamy caramel flavor/taste. This will be reviewed again.

 658 characters

Photo of ngeunit1
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear golden-orange with a finger of frothy white head atop. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some nice lacing.

S - Aroma is a mix of grapefruit, citrus, and floral hops with some sweet caramel and biscuit malts.

T - Starts off with a mix of grapefruit and citrus hops with some bitterness and some sweet caramel malts. Through the middle, some floral and light pine hops come through with some more bitterness and some biscuit malts. The finish is a mix of grapefruit and pine hops with some light bitterness and some sweet bready malts.

M - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth with a dry and lightly sweet finish.

D - Very drinkable. Nice malt and hops balance. Good overall APA.

 734 characters

Photo of xnicknj
3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on cask at devils den

Pours a hazed golden orange color with a one-finger high white head resting on top. Leaves rings of sticky lacing on the glass while drinking.

Light citric hoppiness in the nose with some floral hints. Biscuit malts and soft sweetness with a hint of bitterness.

Citrus and floral hops up front with a milder bitterness. Decent backbone with biscuit and grain deliver some slight sweetness. Finishes crisp and slightly hoppy.

Medium body, lower carbonation, creamy and smooth on the tongue. A drinkable, easy going pale ale with a nice amount of hops, although I'd like even more. The cask conditioning upped the mouthfeel a bit, making the beer creamier and easier to quaff.

 703 characters

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.

 810 characters

Photo of Oakenator
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden brown pour with a nice head and good lacing. Refreshing hop flower aroma. Taste caught me off guard as I bought for other non-hoppy drinkers. The XP is not for extra pale ale, rather for "exceptional". As far as pale ales go I would agree. Clean fresh hop flavor to be ranked amongst the better pale ales.

 312 characters

Photo of macrosmatic
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Poured from bomber into pint glass.

A: This one is a hazy golden apricot color. Forms a nice one-finger white head, with some visible carbonation.

S: Biscuit malts with some pine hops.

T: Taste follows the nose but with more citrus hops character, some more bitterness than expected, with a bit of a dry finish.

M: Smooth mouthfeel, maybe a slightly undercarbonated. Alcohol nearly absent.

O: Good, but doesn't rise to the level of truly outstanding in my opinion.

 490 characters

Photo of smakawhat
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass. No dating noticeable.

Real inviting pour here. Crystal clear gorgeous copper and red amber, fluffy top three fingers off white, and clumping nicely. Some retention but settling nicely, very appetizing looking brew.

Great nose going on here. Light sweet toasty malts, hints of light sweet grapefruit hops sensations, juicy body, great smelling pale ale. Hope this delivers on taste.

Taste is a little hammered down, even for a pale ale. Juicy mouthfeel comes with the nice rolling malts, and a mild fruity citrus hop bitter on the finish. Sweetness subdued but also a light malt backbone that is almost watery. Interesting mix of flavor and feel.

Overall it's still a delicious brew, regardless, just a solid good pale ale.

 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.