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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 613 |  Reviews: 396
Photo of Mdog
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear gold with a big fluffy head.

Smell: Bready, earthy, piney.

Taste: Immediately kicks with a dry lemon pith taste, has a some bready/cracker-like malt backing it up.

Drinkability: A beer I could get used to, not too heavy and the price per bomber is very good.

This pale ale reminded me in taste a lot of Surly's Bitter Brewer--that's an American "Bitter", while this is a "English-y" American Pale Ale. Interesting mix of flavors, but not my favorite.

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Photo of Lothore
3.54/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours an golden amber color with an excellent head that bear republic brings time and time again.

S- Smell is somewhat faint. Piney hops.

T- Very full bodied brew. Starts off with tastes of wheat moves on to a slight bitter hop taste and proceeds to a wheat aftertaste that is amazing.

M- Thick, not very carbonated but refreshing.

D- This beer is very drinkable. I wasnt completely impressed because of how subtle it was but it is definitely a session beer and a half.

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Photo of acrawf6
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a clear dark orange amber with a nice frothy slightly tan head with great retention and lacing.

Smell. Lots of light and crisp citruses with a touch of a floralness. quite nice and inviting.

Taste. The flavor sharpens up with a little more bitterness. Hops a present in a very moderate level, and great for an apa. more citrus comes through.

Mouthfeel. body is at a medium level, with a little slickness to it. Carbonation seems to be at a proper level. nice balance.

Overall, a very enjoyable apa. to me, it has a much more smoother taste and mouthfeel than snpa, but there anything in it that makes it incredible. Yet i still do say it is one of the best apa's ive had. seems to be very sessionable.

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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.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.53/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gorgeous cloud of oranged - yellowy amber sun at dawn color. Tons of haze and stuff floating around. Towering foamy sponged capping of frothy off-whiteness sits forever. Smooths out to a very thick coating of leathery bubbles and laces the glass in huge curtains. The pinnacle of great looking glass of ale!

Could smell it as I was pouring as clean tangerine and lemony grapefruit hit the air quickly. As it warms it gathers a quick caramel noting to hint at its backing and plays wonderfully between the two. Citrusy caramel, if there is such a thing, which this is, then this is that.

Flavors are clean and well-rounded the whole way through. Easy going clean profile of citrusy hops and a nudge of pine. Caramel backing is perfect to juice up the sweetness around the citrus. The citrusy hoppyness is quite unique and complex in this one. Apple, pear, tangerine, melon, white grape, orange, lemon, and grapfruit all tend to get a bit of something in there. Its seemingly simple and has a significant delicate nature about its taste and bite that makes it apparently drinkable the moment it hits the lips.

Feel is medium bodied, clean, with a fiestyness of well-balanced carbonation and hoppy buzzing. Pales down as it warms and digs out some earthy pine notes as it trails off into the finish. It has some exceptional complexity to it and maintains a very welcome palate of flavor and ease of drinkability. Wonderful stuff!

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Photo of ccrida
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a nonic pint, the XP pale is a clear light amber with a large, 2 finger, egg-shell head that is lightly olive tinted around th edges. It is slow to subside and leaves foamy lace. It is perhaps the rockiest pale ale head I've ever seen, very nice.

The aroma is very bright and hoppy, classic NW hop profile, lots of citrus and a touch of pine. As mentioned on the label, there is no mistaking the punch of the cascade and centennial hops, and their strength here is in IPA territory, which I greatly appreciate!

As hoppy as the XP pale ale is, they did a great job of making the malt the dominant flavor, light, bready and a little grain. The hops come across rather floral, fairly bitter towards the end, but with a very clean finish.

The mouthfeel is thin and watery, exaggerated by the hop oils I assume.

If your a hop-head, this is a super drinkable pale ale. The punch of an IPA, with out the extra booze. If your not, tough luck!

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Photo of Wildman
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a medium amber color and formed a huge foamy egg white head the left latticed lace as it slowly subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, hops, grapefruit and hint of caramel. The flavor was of malt, grapefruit and pine. The body was medium light with a slightly astrigent, yet bitter finish. A good strong pale ale.

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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!

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Photo of gmcfarre
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bomber poured into traditional pint glass

A - Pours a clear, light golden orange color with a massive, overflowing eggshell-colored head. As it fades head gets very rocky and lacing is fantastic. Careful pouring this one, but its a beauty.

S - A nice roasted, buttery malt is readily apparent, with a good dose of hoppy balance. Hops reveal themselves as slightly fruity with a floral asset that blends nicely with the sweetness of the malt.

T - Sugary and buttery sweetness with a nice roasted element makes this a rather malty APA. As it warms the hops get a little more expressive, but only in a bittering, slightly floral sense. Still, this is a well balanced brew that is different enough to please most everyone.

M - Moderately carbonated with a deceptively heavy body and a slightly drying and bitter aftertaste.

D - A very interesting pale ale that blends British and American traditions and tastes well. Much maltier than many other APA's (especially a hop bomb like Alpha King). While the alcohol content won't get to you, the heavy body of the brew might. Best to share with a friend, as I'm sure they'll thank you for the treat.

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Photo of Osiris9588
3.57/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber, no date. Pours a hazy, rusty color, slightly orange--some sediment floating around. The two-finger white head is quite foamy, decent retention, but sticky, foamy spider webs of lacing cling around the inner rim.

The frangrant aroma is quite herby, dominated by the hops, strong pine, a little citurs, as well as a warm sweetness from the malt. The flavor follows, a little nutty toastiness, along with burst of alcohol and a bit of phenolic finish.

Medium-bodied, dry and herby, maybe could a little brightening by more citrus notes. Drinkable and solid, but nothing life changing.

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

Very clear amber-orange. Only a film of head. The color is really excellent, really attractive. Almost no lace.

Strong pale malt scent with a nice layer of hops. More pale malt smell than hoppy smell. Smells like a true pale. Good balance. Flowery.

Heavy pale malt taste with only a hint of hops. The malt is biscuity at first but then has a bitter finish. More bitter of a malt thyan other pales. Hops take a back seat.

A dry feel. Leaves a milky finish that is quite nice. Medium-to-full thickness. Malty feel, but gets less dry as it warms. It's a nice, thick pale. Dry, bitter, not bad at all.

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Photo of klewis
4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours golden with a big bubbly head. Thick rings of lacing left on the glass and good head retention.

S: Light and vegetal hop smell with a caramel malt aroma.

T: Mild and unobtrusive taste. A malty backbone with a subtle hop bite.

M: Light-bodied with fine carbonation and a crisp finish.

D: The flavor isn't going to blow your taste buds off, but this has excellent session potential.

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Photo of prototypic
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It's a transparent golden color with a modest one finger, foamy head. Decent retention and lacing. Interesting. You can even see a bit of yeast floating about.

Smell: It's got a citrusy sweet smell (grapefruit, mango, and orange). Pine hops are readily apparent. Not very malty from what I can tell. Mostly just citrus and hops.

Taste: This is excellent. Very crisp and refreshing. Citrusy sweet flavors are perfect for this time of year. There is a little more malt present than one might initially expect from the smell. A bitter hop bite on the tail end. It's balanced a little by the malt, but definitely leans toward the hoppy side.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's light bodied and extremely smooth. This is a great session beer. I wish I could find this in a six pack. Carbonation and abv are perfect for this beer. Overall, it's an excellent APA. Easily one of my favorites.

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

22 oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A:Deep orange in color with copper hues. Billowy white head pours two fingers thick. Good retention. Sheets of sticky lacing.

S: Citrus fruit. Pine resin. Fresh dough. Raw earth.

T: Big citrus or grapefruit juices upfront with citrus and pine hops giving off a clean bitter bite on the tongue. Caramel malts blend in to give this brew good balance. Tastes of dough or fresh baked bread chime in and then there is a soft wave of more clean citrus juice.

M: Refreshing and slightly slick. Moderate carbonation. Slightly dry.

D: XP Pale Ale is a nice session beer for the hop lover. Refreshing clean and balanced. This will be a regular in my summertime rotation of brews in the refrigerator! Recommended.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber: Large frothy and thick creme coloured head atop a slightly hazed amber ale. Ok aroma of hops and acceptable maltiness, slightly toasty. Very malty/bitter/fruity to begin with ,then a nice piney hoppiness cleanses the palate of it all and finishes moderatlly bitter. Quite nice on the palate, I liked the way the hop flushed away the fruitiness just at the end. Over all a good example of a PNW/Cali Pale Ale.

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Photo of phisig137
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber pours a slightly hazy gold light amber color. Two finger head has nice retention, and leaves behind quite a bit of lacing.

Aroma is mild, and delightfully hoppy. Mostly pine like resins, with a thin malt aroma backing it.

Flavor is well balanced and full. Nice simple malt backbone of base malt and some crystal, layered beneath a beautiful hop presence. Again, mostly piney, papery hops. Smooth, very mild bitterness. Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, and medium bodied. Drinkability is excellent.

Overall, a very nice pale ale. Quite enjoyable, and would make a great session beer. Well worth the money, and worth seeking out. Sitting outside on the balcony on a beautiful night, there aren't a whole lot of better things in life than a nicely made pale ale. This fits the bill perfectly.

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

Thanks flexabull for the brew.

Pours a nice clean/clear golden color, nice carbonation, nice small off-white head, lots of sticky lacing afterwards. The nose is hoppy, slightly malty, citrusy (grapefruit), spices, and some caramel. The taste is very nice and hoppy, citrusy, and spicy. Medium body. Drinkable, this is a very nice APA. Definitely recommended.

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

Poured from a 22 oz bottle to a pint glass. The liquid is yellow with good carbonation. The head is good, 2 fingers, white and leave some lace.

The smell is a low key slightly piny and mostly citrus.

The taste follows. This is a good beer, fine tasting and well balanced. It tastes good but not great. The beer is maybe a little too plain. Nothing standing out, basic APA stuff going on with out any thing big. Piny citrus hops, mild malt sweetness. It just does not grab me.

The mouthfeel is good basic craft beer better than medium carbonation, good carbonation and medium body.

The drinkability is good, look for a fine tasting and easy drinking brew, nothing more. MK

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Photo of cheers2beers
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Served from a 22oz bomber to my wiezen glass

Appearance: This one pours a light orange color with an explosive tanned pillowy head, almost like a scoop of ice cream is on top. Lots of ornate looking designs are created from the tons of lace clinging to the inside of my glass. Also a steady shower of bead can be found.

Smell: Peaches and apricots are abundant in the bouquet. Sweet and sugary malts compliment the vague hop character. Floral notes can be found as well. The alcohol is there, but nothing overly done. Peach pie surprise!

Taste: The flavors are fruity like the nose. Mainly the peaches stand out with a few hints of the apricots. Slight hop bitterness. The malts is not as sugary as I had anticipated from the nose, but a nice amount does infact remain. Very pleasant to drink.

Mouthfeel: Thinner side of medium bodied with a high amount of carbonation. Smooth easy drinking. This has a creamy bubblely finish.

Drinkability: Wow, as good as this was I would love to just indulge myself with a few bottles of this. This has now become one of my favorite pale ales. A must try!!


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

Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours with a massive two and a half finger's almost meringue-like head. Lacing is heavy and present, producing large, wonderful arms of the stuff. The body is perhaps the weak point -a rather uninspiring straw color with some hints of amber. Still, the lacing and head make up for the body color for the most part.

Smell: Almost ester-like malt aromas hit the nose first - some pear and apple. This is followed, or perhaps caused by, some lemon and slight pine hop aromas, along with some fairly heavy grassiness. Perfume-like floral back end. Biscuity malt backbone. Really a very hoppy, fruity, aroma-packed APA with a nice mix of balance and "umph."

Taste: Mango-like flavors, with some pear and hint of peach, along with lemon, floral, and grassy hops. Biscuity malt backbone again. Some IBU bitterness on the tongue on the swallow. No detectable alcohol. Very well balanced, with some interesting and unusual but refreshing hop-inspired flavors. A fine, fine specimen of the style.

Mouthfeel: Fairly dry on the back end, but carbonation is generous and good, and it does not feel too thin.

Drinkability: Intensely drinkable. This is a beer that I have converted my girlfriend to, and the fruity, almost ester-like hop aromas and flavors attest to that.

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

This beer reminded me very much of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. If this was as readilly available here in Tidewater VA as SNPA, I would like to do a side by side test. Pours a clear amber with some "chunks" floating in it. Nice big white head that hangs in there throughout. Heavy lacing on the glass. Nice, hoppy Pale Ale aroma. The taste is very good, spicy and hops oriented but not enough hops to turn off a significant portion of the craft beer world. Very mellow, smooth beer leaning towards a slightly bitter hoppiness.

Mouthfeel is rich, taste remains fairly prominent but also pleasant. This would be an outstanding year -round session beer. I will be looking to see if Total Wine or anyone here starts carrying Bear Republic beers. A very nice beer.

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Photo of rayjay
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another great looking beer from BR, with a proud head and 5-star lacing. Pleasant nose with light hops. Very well-balanced and well made APA. Almost as soft as water. Grassy, tea-like hop character, with a very mild citrus flavor. Malts are barely there, and are perfectly disguised by the hops. All the elements of a great IPA are there but are presented in small proportions, making for a wonderful session ale that's a perfect compromise between a hop bomb and a gentle, traditional ale. Mouthfeel is creamy and the carbonation adds a spicy kick. Reminds me of Stoudt's APA. Recommended!

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

Pours a clear light amber color with a nice fluffy white head.

Beer has a nice light hoppy nose. Aromas of pine, grapefruit, and a touch of sweetness.

Beer has a great flavor. Some grapefruit notes on the front, finishes creamy with a touch of bitterness from the hops. A very well balanced APA. I like how the hops are bit more pronounced than others in this style.

Mouthfeel is solid, nice and full, with lingering flavors.

It had been quite sometime since I had this beer. Now I am wondering why... This is an excellent example of the APA style. (Especially a West Coast APA) It is very drinkable. This is a beer could give SNPA a run for it's money. Yet another solid brew from Bear Republic.

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Photo of Viggo
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber, huge thick white head forms, refuses to go away, great lacing. Smell is sweet and grassy, caramel, citrus and floral hops, little bit of pine. Taste is sweet, toffee, grains, citrus/floral, signature Bear Republic malty flavour, some pine in the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, refreshing, decent pale ale.

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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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