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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User Reviews
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Reviews: 395 | Ratings: 612
Photo of far333
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light honey color with an off-white head that rises up quickly, and then descends back down again. Leaves a sheet of film around the inside of the glass. Smell is sweet malt, butterscotch, and honey. Flavor is chewy, biscuity, a little malt, no hops. Some brown sugar, fruit and florals, and a bit of citrus in the finish. Not a big flavor, but very good. Very smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Extremely drinkable. Am I missing something? The other reviews really focus on hops, but I'm not getting that.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange gold color, large head. Aroma is hoppy, floral and citrusy. A medium bodied pale ale. Malts and hops are mild tasting. Flavors are bright and expressive, a nice mild malty pale ale. Malts are subdued and slightly sweet, fruity character emerges as the beer warms. There is a touch of apricots, pineapple and raisins?. Hops are pronounced, without being bitter. Nice tasting beer. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and crisp. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. Very drinkable Pale Ale. Yet another winner from Bear Republic.

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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.

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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."

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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!

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Photo of Darkale
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am becoming awfully fond of the folks at Bear Republic.

Their XP Ale is a light copper-orange in color, with an aroma that mixes malt with citrus (but which could have been stronger). Head is moderate, does not last long, with slight lacing.

Nice hops bite to the taste. Slightly bitter, with an edge of fruit. Some hops raspiness upon swallowing; this is a brisk and refreshing beer. Mouthfeel is round and clean, just shy of creamy, and I was reminded of oranges as I swirled it around in my mouth. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.

I could drink this all night long, and would have, if I'd had the brains to buy more than one bomber. A fresh and very pleasant beer, with just enough hops and bitterness to keep one's mouth from becoming complacent.

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

A golden amber ale with a light head that laced nicely on the glass as I enjoyed the beer. The hoppy aroma from this beer is not overpowering but it does let you know that there are definitely some hops in this brew. I found the beer to be nicely hopped beer, well balanced with the floral attributes of the hops being evident. I detected a tid bit of sweetness, I think I would place it as caramel-esk. I found that I was finishing this one quickly and not left with such bitterness that the back of my lips touched my butthole. Very drinkable pale ale.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I always enjoy Bear Republic beers, so it was a great surprise to see the XP (Exceptional Pale Ale) on sale recently in a newly visited beer store. I have not had this beer before, so I immediately put one in my Beer Trolley.
A 1 Pint 6 fl.oz Bottle, with a dark blue label plastered with a huge XP in white on it, with the words Pale Ale underneath.
Cracking the crown cap off instantly vaporized moisture to reveal a dense white gun smoke that drifted out of the bottle neck with a look I had seen many times whilst visiting Power Stations, for it resembled an active cooling tower. Quite strange to see gunsmoke last that long.
The beer pours a very deep orange-golden color, totally clear with a huge slightly off-white head. The head is so amazing, a deep, crusty mass that leaves an incredible lace on the glass. Indeed, the head subsides only at the edges, as it does, it forms a huge crustaceous “south sea island” head that is 2 or 3 times the depth of the rest of the surrounding head. It floats like a lump of ice cream in a fizzy Soda.
Aromas are unmistakable – Hops! Not overpowering though, or even too intense, but a balanced hop aroma with serious control. The Hops have a very refreshing oily character, mixed with freshly cut grass odors from a mild August morning in England, pine needles and freshly squeezed lemons also pervade the nose. The restraint here is impressive and remarkable, it is not so much what this beer does that makes it good, but what it does not do. This is a controlled beer - to exhibit control in a West Coast beer, is a sign of class in my book. Sure, if you want a stronger more aggressive hoppy beer, then BR make one, but this is a Pale Ale after ale, and bloody damn fine one at that. The finish has a lovely hoppy bitterness, you know you have drunk this beer for sometime afterwards.

I hate to admit this as I live here, but I am impartial, although I may be seen as otherwise. But most of my favourite beers and breweries are based here in Sunny California. Bear Republic may be in the shadows of Stone when it comes to exposure - but their beers are not, they are up there with the best of them and XP Pale Ale is no exception either. $2.99 for a 22 fl.oz Bottle, are you kidding, I will seriously consider picking up a Crate next time.

Another Cracker from Bear Republic.
Superb and Highly Recommended Dudes!

The X in XPA stand for Exceptional apparently,
....maybe they should call this beer FXPA ?!!!

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Photo of mzwolinski
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light copper in color with a slight chill haze. Finger-thick head which lasts the whole way down leaving a nice lace. Aroma is hoppy and citric, slightly grassy. Flavor too is quite hoppy throughout, with pine and acidic fruity notes present, though not quite as dominating as in their IPA. Caramel malt body asserts itself more as beer warms, and the beer finishes on a rather leafy hop note. Medium bodied, and quite drinkable.

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Photo of Gusler
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The first beer I’ve had from this most excellent brewery, another favorite to add to my master list of “Great” breweries.
Glimmering deep amber color on the pour, the head posh in its presence and the resulting lace fine sheets to cover the glass. Hop floral tones up front and the crisp lightly sweet tones add much to the nose. Begins sweet, the top is skimpy in its mouth feel, with the finish delightful in its hop spicy bite and the carbonation perfectly matched, also the somewhat bitter and dry aftertaste makes it quite refreshing, quite the quaffable brew, and a new favorite.

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Photo of mickeymac
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is slightly darker than most Extra Pale Ales. The smell is floral hops and a bit of malty sweetness. Although I'm not a big fan of x-pale ales, this one is terrific. It tastes a bit like a lighter version of Alesmith's IPA, which is one of the best beers around in my opinion. It's also better than Alesmith's XP. This would be a good one to introduce novice drinkers to the wonderful world of craft brews. Hurrah for Bear Republic.

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice clean amber looking while in the glass, with kind of a malty aroma in the nose. I got a woody earthen flavor with a hint of spices and malt. It has the smoothness of a pale ale with very little bitterness in the finish. But, just to woody for may taste.

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Photo of sinistersteve
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thick head on the pour and numerous carbonation bubles adorned the sides within the confines of my glass. A nice fruity aroma comes through my somewhat clogged nasal passages. This beer is very smooth, full flavored, and very clean all the way through the drinking process. IMHO, Bear Republic got another winner with their XP Pale Ale.

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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?

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Photo of marc77
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear orange hue. Dense, thick, creamy persistent head. Leafy, citrusy, Cascade hop nose accompanied by a hint of diacetyl and tart, unripe fruity esters. All around this pale exhibits excellent balance between hop bitterness, malt sweetness & yeast - derived fruitiness. The hop flavor is seemingly signature citrusy Cascade. The Kent Goldings supposedly used is overpowered. Medium bodied for style, w/ a full malt backbone to support the hops. The combo of British base malt and American hops (rather than the typical insipid domestic base malt loaded w/ crystal malt to balance the hop profile) provides excellent balance. Finishes clean and a touch fruity. I found XP Pale to be a unique and tasty APA due to the fruity contributions from the yeast strain and the relatively rich maltiness for style.

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Photo of ZAP
4.29/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Strong husky hop aroma..almost some bouban smelll...orange wit ha bubbly head...great semell...fruity taste...grapefruit and tangerine...hops don't overwhelm on the buds as the smell may indicate...spicy finish...a quality beer...If West CoastAmerican Pale Ale was listed in the dictionary I would expect a picture of this beside it..an excellent beer.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chunks of sediment floating in this one. Lots of chunks. Amber orange appearance. Medium frothy head with some retention. A lot of citrus and grapefruit in the aroma. Unique taste. There's the typical citrus and pine notes, but also something along the lines of lemon. Decent taste, but lacking maybe a little int the malt area. Body is medium. Pretty easy drinking. Good pale ale.

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Photo of Mark
4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had this at the brewpub. Light amber in appearance. Had a decent head and lace was good. I found this ale very enjoyable. A perfect pint to share with my lady as we had lunch. Bear Republic is a damm fine establishment as is this brew. Hopped with Chinnooks and Cascades. Probably the most drinkable beer from this brewery. A very refreshing ale I say.

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XP Pale Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
3.87 out of 5 based on 612 ratings.
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