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
Reviews: 395 | Ratings: 613
Photo of avaldivia
3.22/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Bear Repiblic.

A: Clear golden color. Not much head or lacing. Looks like a standard Pale Ale.

S: Some nice malts. A nice citrus hop aroma. Let it sit for a while and the smell never really got much stronger or improved at almost room temp.

T: Kind of bland. There was a bit of a citrus hop flavor to start. Then went into a malty finish. I don't know why, but I wasn't crazy about the taste. It was ok, but it just wasn't doing it for me.

M: Llight to medium bodied. Well carbonated. Noce and crisp.

O: It was okay, but not something I feel the need to order again. I think, perhaps everything was just lighter than I would have liked.

 651 characters

Photo of ChrisSimpson1968
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good nose, floral, citrus, tad perfumey. Ok orange copper color. Little head that disappeared quick. Toffee,carmel, Citrus, Grapefruit, lemon, lime all come to mind. Clean, thinner finish. A little light linguring bitterness. Classic west coast pale ale, though. I would recommend drinking fast and letting it warm up too much.

 327 characters

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

A: Gold copper color; slight haze. Poured a 2 finger pillowy white head that dissipated to a thick cap. Decanted lazily. Laced the glass in wide rings.

S: Pine and grapefruit hops. Caramel and biscuit malt notes.

T: Consistent with the nose. Very pronounced malt character that's a little sweet. Mild, building bitter.

M: Light-to-medium body. Moderate carbonation. No resiny bitter and smooth into the finish. Nicely balanced.

O: Very sessionable. Pale ale with plenty of malt and hop character.

 500 characters

Photo of dgilks
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear Golden colour with a small creamy off-white head. Fair head retention.

Bright, fresh grapefruit and lemon rind. Nice and crisp.

Clean crisp malts. Fresh, citrusy hops with a clear balance towards the bitterness.

Medium-light body with moderate carbonation. Crisp.

A solid Pale Ale. For me there is a touch too much bitterness without the hop flavour to balance it out.

 378 characters

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

Appearance: Poured an amber color, slightly cloudy, with a one finger off-white head.

Smell: Floral and citrus hops predominate.

Taste: Floral and citrus hops at first with light malt flavors following along eventually.

Mouthfeel: A moderate to high level of carbonation, excellent drink-ability

 298 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 BeerDawgs
4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 22oz bomber into a pint glass

A - a golden copper creamy look. Lots of head retention and lace. Impressive looking. Lots of sediment floating around in the beer. Unfiltered obviously.

S - Sweet malts, spices

T - Alot of citrus, coriander, cenntennial hops are present. Very well balanced.

M - Medium light bodied

D - Delicious, very drinkable. Good beer!

 362 characters

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

Had on cask at The Rams Head in West Chester

A- Light orange with a smallish creamy head, though the lack of a head may have come from the bartender rather than the beer.

S- Mostly citrus with a hint of tropical fruit and some of the malt

T- Not as much hop as the nose would have you think, but a great lime flavor that mixed really well with the malt that comes on rather quickly. It ends pretty dry.

M- Coming from the cask, it was nice and creamy, though I imagine that it would still be just as good in a more carbonated bottle form.

Overall, a great beer and a good representation of the style. I definitely recommend trying this one on cask if you can get it.

 671 characters

Photo of hiku7
3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a bomber to a nonic. Pours a cloudy honey amber with a thick off white head.

Smell is very citrusy, oranges, lemon, and maybe grapefruit, almost sour, with underlying toasted malt. Taste is also citrusy, with some floral notes. Earthy and grassy hop backbone. Hops are a bit much for a pale ale.

Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than expected, and moderately carbonated at best.

I love Bear Republic beers, but this is not my favorite, though it's a drinkable decent pale ale.

 480 characters

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

A - Pours a clear amber with a fluffy 1 finger off-white head. Good retention with a decent amount of lacing.

S - Honey, bready, red apples,

T - Apple, biscuit malt, soft citrus around the edges, honey, walnuts, mild bitterness at the end. Finishes crisp and dry. Citrus really comes out on the aftertase.

M - Medium body, moderate carbonation, nice.

A fine example of the Pale Ale. Nothing complex but good all around. Wish this was in 6 packs here.

 456 characters

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

This brew pours a pale see through golden hue with decent carbonation that leaves behind a two finger head and sporadic lacing,the smell is very nice with balanced aromas of piney hops,stonefruit and sweet toffee,it has a medium bodied well carbonated mouthfeel and has tastes of perfumey,floral hops,lime zest,passionfruit,light toffee to balance out the sweetness and finished with a nice subtle hit of piney hop bitterness and for me its perfectly balanced and a very enjoyable sessionable drop that will buy again if i see it cheers.

 537 characters

Photo of Schmit
4.06/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A refreshing, hoppy pale ale--almost wants to be an IPA...

22 oz. bottle for $4.49 plus tax at Tacoma Boys. (Bless them for being open 24 hours.)

Pours a beautiful, luminous, orange that looks great in the glass. Aroma is IPA-hoppy, in a resinous/piney way. Hops dominate without overpowering, and the malt only plays a supporting role. The hop character is very well balanced between sweet and bitter, and the lower maltiness really emphasizes this crisp hoppiness. Clean-tasting and slightly fizzy, which accentuates the flavor well. A very drinkable pale ale that I'd get again--but that's no surprise from Bear Republic, whose Racer 5 and Hop Rod are also great.

 668 characters

Photo of BMoney575
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 5-4-11

Pours a clear orange amber color, with a foamy white head that settles to a nice layer. Lacing is big and covers the sides as the surface drops.

Smell is light, easy, with nice a nice hop kick and and earthy finish. Slightly vegetable right in the middle.

Taste is earthy and lightly hoppy, like the smell. Not complex, but still tasty and well made.

Mouthfeel is good, a pleasant thickness to accent the hop flavors.

Drinkability is good, definitely a tasty session beer.

Overall, nothing special, but reasonably priced and well crafted.

 562 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very light golden colour, pale even for a pale ale, but wonderfully bright and clear. Head is frothy and full, lacing is strong. Looks the part: a bright and attractive American Pale Ale. Ticks all the boxes.

Nose is mild and pleasant, with a dominant, but not particularly pungent fruity hop aroma. Hints of pineapple and lemon are most noticeable, but without the strength to suggest a particularly hoppy brew. It's just bright, pleasant, clean and approachable.

Taste is similar in profile. Hops form the basis of the flavour, but the volume is way down. There's an earthy bitterness, but it's almost on the level of a selzter-water bite, little more. Minimal sweetness means the beer stays reasonably crisp, but it also means there's very little depth to the palate.

Feel is a bit too spritzy as well, with the carbonation giving a bit too much effervescence, which overpowers the light body.

OK, I get that this is the more soft and approachable end of Bear Republic's range, but I was a little disappointed all the same. It's a solid, but not particularly interesting APA. I was hoping for something more.

 1,123 characters

Photo of nach0king
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep golden, head came and went swiftly with a bit of lacing.

Smell-wise... couldn't pick up much of anything. A little bit of malt, that was about it.

Taste was much better. The first sip was very surprising: flowers, toffee, then closing off with warmth and spice. I was surprised to see that it was 5.50% - I would have guessed 6% or above based on the flavour.

It's highly carbonated straight out of the bottle and that's a significant part of the mouthfeel: it loses that as you drink it down. Still, there's enough to it.

As far as I can recall this is my first Bear Republic beer but based on this it certainly won't be the last.

 653 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 veinless
3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on cask at the Lanesplitter in Berkeley.

Poured a hazy orange yellow, almost like a hefeweizen with a creamy white head that left rungs of lace. Head retained well as expected for the serving type.

Nose was weak, with slight citrus, a planty floral character and some spicy malts. It was very laid back though, and I wish it had more punch; the scents themselves were worthy of a supercharging.

Taste is more than the sum of its parts, which happen to be a week citrus, chalky perfume/flower flavor like chewing on raw petals, and a grainy, slightly spicy malt. I'm not sure if they use rye in this or if it is the yeast they use, but having just had hop rod rye on cask they definitely have some vague similarities. XP is not in the same league, but all the flavors aren't weak enough to put you off at least and remain enjoyable throughout the drink. A soft bitter ending eases the beer to the finish line.

Mouthfeel was smooth, chalky, and rich in expected cask form. I liked the level of chalkiness, as it was not over done but not too weak either. Drinkability is this beer's forte, with the mouthfeel and finish helping a lot. The citrus could use amping up, bit this beer is still more than passable.

 1,215 characters

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

bomber into nonic

A: very clear, dark honey color with extremely vigorous carbonation and big off-white head, beautiful white lacing

S: a bit of a spicy hop aroma, lots of CO2, green apple, very tame for a Bear Republic beer

T: slightly chamomile floral character, slightly bready and chalky

M: sharp carbonation bite, dry, refreshing but not as much as the color and flavor seem to be offering

D: The appearance is enticing and the lacing amazing but the mouthfeel and slightly bland smell and taste leave me wanting a bit more

 533 characters

Photo of Jesse13713
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Three fingers of fluffy head are noticeable immediately. It appears very well carbonated and crisp looking. The beer is a amber-caramel orange. Looks very inviting.

Smell - Fresh hops and malts fill my nose and make me anticipate the taste of this pale ale. Smells heavily of toffee and wheat also. This beer smells very fresh and pure.

Taste - Tastes of very fresh malts and hops. Slight hints of grapes linger in the overall taste as well. The malts are sweet and blend well with the hops and other ingredients. Quite sweet overall.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability - A sweet pale ale filled with caramelized malts and hops. A thirst-quenching medium bodied beer. Quite biscuity and bready as well. Fairly easy to drink a lot of.

 739 characters

Photo of ebrauser
3.24/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bomber to a pint glass

Appearance: Lots of carbonation and a thick off-white head with medium retention and great lacing. The beer is a light amber color.

Smell: High citrus, grapefruit, and grapes. A little vinous with some alcoholic esters.

Flavor: Vinous, grapes, and sweet malts. The hop profile is fairly small and provides no bitterness, just minimal citrus notes. Not a lot of complexity after the initial bit of flavor, but not too bad.

MF: Med/light body with some acidity and no oiliness. Easily sessionable, and a pretty good pale.

 560 characters

Photo of PrivateEquity
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice golden amber color ale. respectable head with solid lacing. Head stays throughout the drink.

S - Crisp citrusy Bready aroma.

T - Good hop balance that lasts throughout the the taste.

F - moderate body that is a little light on the carbonation.

D - Very drinkable American Pale ale. Great session beer.

Overall - I am usually not a huge fan of American pale ales, but this was a pleasant surprise. Nice hoppage that goes down very smooth.

 451 characters

Photo of stercomm
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the bottle

A - Nice golden amber color, a little bit of haze, very nice head in glass, strong lacing.

S - Buttermilk biscuits, with some citrusy hops and a hint of carmel

T - A slight sweetness on the front, good carmel and hops, finish is very smooth and nice lingering dryness.

M - medium body, slight carbonation in the mouth, well balanced.

I like this beer, nice balance while still giving one a good hoppy character.

 432 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear gold with a modest, lasting head and amazing lacing. Aroma is grassy fresh hops and sweet malt. Nice strong malt backbone and aggressive hopping - some optimistic breweries would call this an IPA. Good carb, crisp body. Very very quaffable, well-balanced and refreshing.

 284 characters

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

Slight bit of haze on this amber-tan brew. Head could have been better. Lacing not bad at all.

Smells of caramel malts with some citrus hops and a bit of fruitiness.

Tastes of crisp hops, bold malts, a mixture of light fruits, apple and pear, grapefruit tartness and just a little sweetness.

Not too much carbonation, but enough. A crisp tangy bite of bitter and grapefruit lingers. Medium bodied.

Pretty easy to drink, yet with plenty of bold flavors. A very nice APA.

 474 characters

Photo of megahurts4
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bear Republic XP Pale Ale

Appearance: deep amber, medium-large head, and some good lacing.

Smell: hops, caramel, and some brown sugar.

Taste: slight hops, grains, caramel, and malts.

Mouthfeel: medium-light.

This isn't a very potent ale, but still retains some good flavor.

 291 characters

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.