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 Sammy
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Major league pale. British and hopped up with spice and citrus. Pineaple, Not too bitter. Nice combination of malts and hops. Refreshing and complex. Misty orange colour. Great floral and yeast aroma. Nice malt. Full mouthfeel, tart,but milder texture. Fizzy

 258 characters

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.

 603 characters

Photo of metter98
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is clear light copper in color and has a light to moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin head that rapidly faded away.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of biscuit and caramel malts and citrus hops in the nose.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has fruity flavors and some hints of initial sweetness. Only traces of bitterness are detectable in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and a bit thin on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is extremely easy to drink and is rather thirst quenching. It goes down easily like a pale ale but has a decent amount of hoppy aromas and flavors like an IPA but without the bitterness. It’s very sessionable.

 736 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm getting used to the notion that these guys make some pretty good beers. The XP pours a more-carbonated than usual look with an aggressive foamstand rising from the glass, but later falling to about a half inch. The hue is very light copper and quite clear until the last of the bottle is decanted, then comes a bit of murkiness from the bottle conditioning. Aromas of light malt, otherwise all hops- citrus and pine. A light estery, peppery note seeps in late. Flavors are light on the sweetness, leaving nothing unattenuated. Modest malt flavors persist and struggle to give balance to the hops. Again, the spicy notes and fruity esters begin to rise as the hop-bite disipates. Very light on the palate with a bold dryness from the hops and moderate alcohols. With a finish that expectedly lingers of hops. This beer is quite drinkable and nice throughout, but the light malt profile allows too much of a hop-bite, carbonic-bite, and a metalic note to settle in from time to time.

 985 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber...an increasingly distant remnant/reminder of 'Summer' 2010...

This beer pours a medium orange-amber colour, with many a floatie, and one finger of foamy, bubbly off-white head, which leaves some nice cavernous lace around the glass as it dissipates. It smells of creamy caramel malt, and mild grapefruit/orange citrus hops. The taste is caramel nougat malt, somewhat bready, a bit of bitter orange citrus, and floral, facilely spicy hops. The carbonation is moderate, the body pretty full and dense for a pale ale, and pleasantly smooth. It finishes off-dry, the bready malt in a sexy dance with the latent citrus hoppiness.

Definitely a West Coast pale ale, but not the kind where you wonder if the brewer just had a hard-on for an IPA. Lots of hops, but the bitterness is kept on the down low, giving us a nicely balanced drinker...

 849 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy medium amber color with an overwhelming head that sticks and laces well

Smell: Bread and grapefruit

Taste: Opens with a very dry cracker flavor that spreads into piney and pithy bitterness by mid-palate; after the swallow, the dry, bready flavors return to balance the bitterness

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Easy to drink and well-balanced; hits its target, but I prefer a little more malt character

 463 characters

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

Appearance: A hazy, cloudy bottle-conditioned pale ale, amber in color. Great head retention.

Smell: Very citric, lemon especially, and a touch yeast.

Taste: Fairly dry with a solid malt backbone and lots of zesty citrus. Quite hoppy in the finish, but with a very clean aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with exceptionally smooth, gentle carbonation from the bottle conditioning.

Drinkability: A very sessionable beer, distinctly in the Pacific Northwestern style. Probably one of the better California pale ales I've come across.

 545 characters

Photo of zeff80
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a semi-opaque, burgandy/copper color with a foamy, bubbly, tan, one-finger head. It left some soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of pine and citrus. Also, some faint floral notes and hints of caramel.

T - It tasted of burnt toast maltiness. The hop flavor was sharp, bitter and pine-like. Good balance between the hop bitterness and the sweet caramel.

M - It was dry, sharp and crisp. A medium-bodied beer that was fairly easy drinking.

D - This is a very fine pale ale. Reminds me of Sierra Nevada with some subtle differences.

 549 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 oberon
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from my 22 oz bomber amongst friends a hazy deep orange with a pretty tight white head leaving a nice sheet of lace behind,aromas of piney hop and nutty dry malt both showing themselves very well.To be expected from a left coast pale ale a big citric hop profile but this has enough firm dry malitness to make this more balanced and extremely drinkable.A good quencher for the summer heat well balanced but enough hoppiness to make a hop head enjoy it,well done and worth a second try.

 492 characters

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

22 ounce bottle. Pours slightly hazy golden amber color with a nice dense 2 finger off white head with fantastic retention that reduces to a thick lacing cap. Some decent lacing is left on the glass as well. Aromas of nice orange, pine, citrus, and some caramel. Nice strength and balance in the aromas as well. Taste of citrus, caramel, pine, and some spices A decent amount of bitterness shows up on the finish that lingers for a bit with citrus and pine flavors. Medium carbonation and body. Very smooth drinking with very nice flavor and no alcohol detected at all. Excellent pale ale from Bear Republic, as expected. Delicious!

 632 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A hazy amber body with golden highlights is capped by a short and frothy white head that holds quite well and leaves thick rings of lace with each sip. Citrusy (more orange and lemon than grapefruit) and gently piney hops are immediately noticeable in the nose, but they're restrained enough that you'll want to give it a few more sniffs to really see what's going on. The Centennials appear to dominate the Cascade, but maybe that's just my impression. The body is medium/light and nimble across the tongue. The very fine-bubbled carbonation is somewhat restrained, leaving it ever-so-smooth in the mouth. And although this is an American IPA, the body and carbonation have more in common with the British style. IMHO, this adds greatly to it's drinkability; and I see this as an excellent session beer! The flavor delivers all of the hop flavor the the nose promises, nicely wrapped and delivered in a delicately caramel-tinged malt wrapper - exceptionally well balanced! And although it's not a complex beer, the hop flavor is varied enough that it remains interesting throughout the pint. It finishes with a crashing wave of flavor that receeds but leaves tiny swirling whirlpools of hop flavor on a smooth and dense sandy shore of bitterness. Very nice! Exceptionally well done and worth seeking out!

 1,305 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 TheManiacalOne
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of floral hops, caramelized malts and fruity citrus.

T: The taste is very nicely balanced with strong but not over-powering grassy hops bitterness, the sweetness of caramel and citrus and a hearty malt character. While all of those elements are prevalent enough to be easily noticed, none of them are strong enough to dominate and they mix together quite well. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly hoppy.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, mild kick, very good representation of style, this is an excellent sessionable APA to drink for a whole evening.

 867 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 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 russpowell
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Wichita

Pours copper with one finger of beige head. Whoa, floaties appear as this bottom of the bomber is decanted! Above average head retention & lacing

S: Citrus hops dominate, some peppery hops as well.

T: Nice tangerine & lemon hops. some breadyness & biscuitty malt as well up front. Pineyness & lemony hops as this warms. Finishes with slight breadyness & citric hops

MF: Light/medium body with low carbonation & good balance

Drinks easy, but I expected more from this brewery, a respectable, not a great APA

 537 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a delicous golden amber with a big frothy white head that left behind a ton of less. Visible carbonation and sediment were readily apparent. Smell was very hoppy, lots of pine mixed with grain and cereal. The taste was wonderul. Initially hit of light citrus, lemon and orange, followed by a wonderfully well rounded malt back. Great smooth feel with excellent carbonation. Overal this was a treat. Silky smooth and awesomely sessionable, a fantastic pale ale that I will most definatly try and seek out again!

 517 characters

Photo of Slatetank
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this up at Brass Rail Beverage, poured chilled into a 1/3 liter mug.

A - a copper shade w/ 2 fingers of bone white head. The clarity is good and yet there is floating particulate-hop leaf material. There is visible carbonation and the lacing is sticky w/ a fine bead which is appealing

S - The scent of tangerine, melon, lychee, mango and floral notes w/ c's (cascade, centennial)giving it a pleasant citrus aroma that is vibrant and luscious w/ fresh squeezed odors and a hint of sweet caramel malt.

M - A slightly mild carbonation in the moderate range w/ juicy soft hop textures and a sweet malt presence. The pale finishes w/ mild acidity and sweetness

T - The taste is saturated with hop flavors and borders on exceptional as the malt complexity accentuates the C hops. Mild citrus w/ herbal taste profile. The malt is slightly sweet in the finish compared to the acidity of the hops which are mild and somewhat floral - a flavor I enjoy. The astringency is low in the taste and the hops have that fresh/green taste with each swallow

D - I must admit I really like the taste and aroma of this ale, but I find it just above average for drinkability since it is a sweeter pale than most and lacks somewhat in the acidity. A very good beer overall, a good quaffer

 1,281 characters

Photo of smcolw
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The liquid is a copper amber color with only the faintest of chill hazes. Pleasant domed head that leaves a lot of minute lace specks on the glass.

Superb balance to the nose. There's enough malt to give a light nuttiness while the hop comes across with beautiful floral and slightly sprucy touch.

The flavor is similar to the smell except the hop finish comes across more bitter and harsh--not bad, just unexpected. The aftertaste is long lasting and bitter, like an IPA. As a hopheads, I enjoy this. Good body with a below average carbonation. Overall, an excellent beer that calls for me to get another.

 610 characters

Photo of Jason
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22 oz brown bomber with no freshness date.

Appearance: Mildly hazy weathered copper colour, a thin head but the lacing is superb.

Smell: Nutty powdery yeast, sharp citric note and some biscuity grain.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Lots of dough malt, biscuity grain and nutty yeast. Hops are a bit lively with a stern bitterness and semi-soft citric flavour. Mild fruitiness with a faint alcohol in the back. Lots of hop flavour in the finish, a heavy hand of citrus rind.

Notes: A bit more than you typical West Coast pale ale, nice layers of citric hop with a sturdy malt backing.

 583 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A light golden color with a finger's worth of white foam.

S: Some citrus hops, but more would be better. A good malt aroma on this beer as well.

T: A well balanced pale ale. Nice citrus hop content without much bitterness initially with a good malt backing.

M: Medium body, good carbonation.

D: A very solid pale ale, and as the style goes, very drinkable.

 363 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 tdm168
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - clear, see-through orangish, light amber with a ton of carbonation bubbles rising to the top. The head is dense, soft, and snow white with good retention.

S - light bready, doughy malt; very citrusy, grapefruit, very faint pineapple; slightly herbal

T - bread, dough, sweet, subtle birthday cake, citrus, grapefruit, faint bitterness in the finish.

M - medium bodied, very smooth, crisp but not overcarbonated

This is a very flavorful, drinkable, malt forward APA. It's perfect for a hot day or to enjoy with dinner.

 524 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.