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
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Reviews: 395 | Ratings: 613
Photo of BucannonXC5
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22-oz. bomber into a pint glass. About 1 ½ fingers of head. Color was basically just caramel. Light white lacing that dissipated pretty quickly.

Smelled grain, wheat , caramel, honey, wheat, light lemon citrus.

Tasted honey, wheat, caramel. Also a bit a fruit taste, maybe peach or plum. Dark fruit more than light fruit.

Medium body. Oily texture. Below average carbonation. Relatively smooth and refreshing finish.

Just an average pale ale. I wasn’t quite feeling it. Good summer bear though.

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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 PintOHops
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glass - Nonic

A - A super clear copper colored brew with lite, visible carbonation. It produced a 2-finger head that looked somewhat creamy. I got a spot here and there left on my glass.

S - A wonderfully balanced aroma. I get caramel, brown sugar and bread, with a nice balance of fresh herbal and rind like hop notes. The hop characteristics don't overpower. I pick up a bit of biscuit like malt that reminds me of Fat Tire. Really nice aroma.

T - Pretty balanced just like the smell. I pick up caramel and bread upfront, it unfolds into earthy, herbal hop characteristics. Finishing flavors consist of more bread, a touch of biscuit, and a bit of citrus hop flavors in the way of lemon and orange. Sweetness is moderate for the style and bitterness is low.

M - Lite crispness with a medium body and a smooth, almost chewy feel.

O - This beer is nice. It's not too sweet, it's not too bitter, and it's not overpowered with hop flavors. Very balanced and drinkable Pale Ale. I'd buy it again but to be honest I'd probably settle for something cheaper. Definitely go pick yourself up a bomber of this if you can. Cheers!

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Photo of JosiahS
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

glass: nonic

Sort of an orange, honey color with a 1 finger head with lots of lacing. Looks delicious.

First smell gives off lots of floral bright citrus-y notes. Underneath, musky fruit like papaya along with pale malt. As expected, the taste follows right with the smell. Citrus and some bitter initially, falling away to a bready and yeasty finish. A bit muddy but not too bad.

Mouthfeel is a bit heavy considering the abv is 5.5. medium carbonation, semi-oily feel.

Overall, not bad but terribly familiar. Another "good" ipa.

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Photo of cyclonece09
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bomber into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a orangish straw/amber with a small white head that has great retention. Has a nice floral and fruity aroma, very full. Beer has a nice taste with malt with a sweet hop bite, very appealing. Beer goes down really smooth for a lighter medium bodied beer, with great carbonation. Overall, a very good beer.

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Photo of tlazaroff
3.46/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting aroma of mild citrus mixed with dish soap. Don't ask me how that's pleasing, it's just the way I know how to describe this. And no, I don't wash my glasses with dish soap so I am not smelling actual dish soap.

Beautifully clear dark golden color on this one with a fluffy, persistent off white head that leaves some fair lacing behind.

Flavor has a lot more citrus than the aroma, and no dish soap. I get lime and orange, as well as a nice toasty backbone of malt that supports the moderate bitterness.

The body is medium-light with decent carbonation, enough to keep the head alive. Drinkability is good, but not session able. I think this is a nice go-to APA.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Beer Deluxe. From notes.

A - Poured a hazy medium dark golden colour. Mild carbonation, one finger of soapy white head. Decent thick rings of lace and an island film of retention.

S - Nice citrus, light grass, grapefruit and tropical fruit.

T - Grapefruit, pineapple, soapy.

M - Good carbonation, medium body and a nice bitterness.

O/D - A decent yet unexciting pale ale. Didn't really surprise me, yet it was very traditional and typical of the American style pale. Solid throughout.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a brandy snifter.

A: One finger of white-tight head. Glowing translucent amber; largely clear. Pretty. Scattered lacing.

S: Cascade hops; piney and dry. Pleasant malt. Very nice.

T/M: Light, dry, and unassuming. Decent pale ale, less than compelling beer. Bready-dry malt, lightly hopped (earthy, not piney). The aftertaste is not memorable. I just don't have a lot to say.

O: Meh, decent beer. I'd have another if I were in the mood for a Pale Ale, and I guess I'd recommend it.

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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.

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Photo of DocJitsu
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful golden copper with a quickly attenuating half an inch off white head. Light, but sticky lacing around the glass' edge. Wonderful bouquet of bold yet soft pine offset with a perfume of sweet grapefruit and mown grass. Thin, underwhelming mouthfeel. Grain-centered taste that is coated with a light hop dusting. A finish that disappers a little too quickly. Very clean and quite drinkable. Just not a great example of the style.

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Photo of colforbin73
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

the pour produces a decent white head that fades quick. fairly clear liquid, golden amber in hue. the aroma is indeed dry, grassy, malty but fresh malt, little hop presence.

the taste is simple, dry, malted grains forming the majority of the flavor, with a small clean dose of oily, resin-y hops.

i like this as an indian summer, harvest time type beer. with apples, pears and squash coming to mind as food pearings -- though of course, this could accompany spicy asian noodles or a burger as well.

not a bad beer, just not terribly exciting. i am a big Bear Republic fan as well -- but this would be the BR that i would skip if introducing someone to their lineup of fine ales.

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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 DrDemento456
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviews look solid for this. I got a bomber from Halftime beverage for a mere $5.99

A - Damn not sure how old this is but I got a shit ton of sediment floaties and a 1/4 inch of creamy looking head and excellent lacing. Color is a a hazy amber brown.

S - Smells very malty with a touch of citrus hops and some bread.

T - Well it's defiantly not very hoppy so I assume it's old. Still with mild hop presence, pale malt, and a bit of grain make it fairly enjoyable. No points loss for aged pale ale.

M - Light to medium but could use more hop punch.

Overall again I assume I old an old bottle but not dead carbonated since I got some good head. Really wouldn't take the chance again since their is no bottle date I can find on this.

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Photo of BillH200174
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear light copper in color with a thick, ivory colored head. Malty aroma with a good hoppy floralness. Light mouth feel with a strong hop bitterness. Could pass as a light IPA. Nice clean pale ale, but it smells better than it tastes. Overall is a drinkable pale ale.

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Photo of williamjbauer
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap served in a sampler glass

A - Clear golden with one finger white head with minimal lacing and good head retention.

S - A bit of citrus hops and sweet malt, not very strong.

T - A decently balanced APA but I would have prefered a bit more punch, pretty mellow citrus hops and smooth, not a very bitter finish

M - Light body, medium carbonation.

O - Pretty drinkable APA, but was just lacking in a bit of character for me.

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Photo of peacebone116
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into a Delirium snifter.

A: Pours a bright orange with gorgeous white thad that fizzes up but then dissolves to a collection of carbonation that oddly enough resembles a houndstooth pattern of stars in an ungodly golden-colored sky.

N: Smells of citrus and pine.

T/M: An earthy, spicy citrus hop profile sits on top of the tongue while notes of pine flash in and out. There is a light backing of sweet malt, which is almost biscuity sweet. The mouthfeel is light and refreshing, with a beautiful carbonation that picks playfully at the tongue.

This is an incredible pale ale. Light and refreshing, it paired well with some spicy (fake) Chinese food.

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Photo of KarlosT
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

my favorite beer is Bear Republic's Racer 5. Frame of reference.

Also compared this beer to Harpoon IPA, my reference from IPA's.

Didn't like it as much as Harpoon. Had a slight metal note in the taste. The smell, look, and mouthfeel were all good, but I rate these issues less.

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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.

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

$4.50 bomber from Abe's.

Shiny golden copper body, some chill haze, topped by four fingers of rocky white foam. Good lacing.

Fresh inviting citrus aroma, plenty of grapefruit.

Sturdy sweet malt beginning lays a solid foundation. Loads of juicy citrus fruit. Solid hop bite at the swallow. Lingering bitterness.

Solid mouthfeel features a bit of prickliness.

Overall a highly drinkable and enjoyable classic California pale ale.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


On tap a URGE.

A: Bright orange and slightly hazy with an inch of white foam. Good retention and some scattered lacing.

S: Grainy malt balances orange, grapefruit, and tangerine. The aroma gives me the impression of balance, but the hops are nice and bright.

T: Lightly bitter with pronounced citrus flesh, reminiscent of orange and tangerine. Malt is grainy and biscuity and provides a little sweetness.

M: Lower medium in body with upper moderate carbonation.

Overall: A refreshing hoppy pale ale. I could definitely have a few pints of this.

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Photo of jmarsh123
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark clear gold with a one finger creamy head. Pretty good lacing down the glass.

Good citrus/flower hop aroma with a little bit of caramel backbone.

Starts out with a bit of citrus/lemon flavor. Rounds into a little bit of a malt presence. Finishes a bit floral/earthy with good bitterness. I'd prefer a bit more in the finish.

Fairly creamy for a lighter ale and good carbonation level.

Bear Republic packs a good amount of flavor into a lighter brew. As usual they've produced a solid brew.

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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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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours tangerine orange. Slightly hazy. Not much head to speak of. Perhaps I could have poured a bit aggressively. The hue is attractive.

S-Pours a ripe orange aroma. Displays and almost apple-juice like aroma. Lightly toasty. Caramel too. Definitely has a fruit juice aroma to it.

T-Ripe and tart from the citric flavors. Malt balances well. The Centennial and Cascade hops are quite evident. Apple juice quality still remains. Piney too. Has all the qualities of an IPA or a hoppy PA but from some difficult-to-explain reason, it is quite unique.

M-Lighter bodied. Not very bitter or resinous. Easy drinking to the extreme. I bet I would have loved this on a hot summer day because its still hoppy, but its light too. Nice lighter feel. Carbonation is moderate and enjoyable.

O/D-I like this beer. $4.99 for a bomber isn't bad either. This is by no means in the same realm as Racer 5 or even Hop Rod Rye, but its pretty decent. Unique flavor. Enjoyed this bomber quite quickly.

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Photo of JackieTH
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a pale coppery-gold from a bomber with a white foamy head that dissipated quickly leaving a trace skein and light lacing. Smell was softly malty with notes of citrus. Taste was a lightly sweet malt with flavorful balancing bitterness..peaches, limes, oranges, very tasty. Mouthfeel was just right at medium, slightly creamy, and a prickly refreshing carbonation. Finish was mildly bitter, dry and very refreshing. Exceptionally easy to quaff. Another tasty offering from Bear Republic.

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

A - Hazy and a light straw in colour. Solid white head and strong lacing.

S - Citric hops, peach and grass. Biscuity malt rounds it out.

T - Clean, sharp hop kick characterised by grapefruit and pine. Has an earthiness too.

M - Light in body, crisp. Moderate carbonation.

O - Bold and refreshing. Full-flavoured and drinkable. Quality APA.

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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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