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 blitheringidiot
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours from a 22 oz'er with no freshness date. Huge airy thick headcap over a cloudy hazy coppery orange hues. Massive pour with plenty of yeasty floaters. Drippy thick lace left behind.

Fruity scents of tangerine are present. Big orange slices and orange juice.

First swigs: Total pale ale is evident. Just a totally easy hoppy tangerine. Soft flavors like a pale so calling it extra is sort of confusing.

A bit too foamy actually. This one takes 5 minutes for the cap to settle to taste it.

Last swigs: Overall enjoyable. A big bargain for $3.99. That's cheap!

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

Bear Republic XP Pale Ale
22 oz brown bottle
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a hazy orange color with a massive white head. A fluffy, puffy white head leads a trail of spotted sticky lacings.

Whiffs of chalk, citrus fruits and sweet malts.

Taste is so smooth and clean. Fruit punch flavors and sweet malts blend together with a mini hop snap finish.

This is a well crafted, fruity pale ale. Thank you Bear Republic.

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

Light amber in color...a full finger of white head with incredible lacing. A nice 1/4 finger of head remains on top for the duration of the pint.
Decent citrus aroma with a sense of over carbonation in the nose...not bottling date, maybe just not overly fresh.
Taste is nice...an earthy yeast flavor with a hefty dose of floral hops and an incredible bitterness to accompany it.
Some sweet malt to balance it out and a gentle buttery flavor adding to the mouthfeel. Nice texture and clean in it's finish...carbonation much more mellow than expected.
A decent Pale ale to say the least, but if I am to grab an offering from Bear Republic, this would not be my first choice.

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Photo of jaluria
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark golden color with a thick head that stays put for quite awhile and leaves behind modest lacing. Aromas of malt, orange peel, and grapefruit seem to dominate. What I smell is a bit strong without proper blending of thearomas, hence a reduction in points. The taste is a blast of hops with a sweet malt finish that blends quickly into another brush of bitterness. A very flavorful and exciting beer. Some lingering bitterness in the aftertaste that does not distract from additional sips or prevent enjoyment of the beer. I could have a few of these easily.

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Photo of ElGordo
3.52/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Was happy to see this on the shelf during a recent trip to DC, so I had to grab it. Pours a golden-amber hue with a big, creamy white head that laces nicely on the glass. Aroma of tangy floral hops, some pine and light citrus, and a touch of sweet malt. Palate is mostly bitter English hops, pine, lemon, and just a little bit of malt. Mouthfeel is overly fizzy, to the point of being annoying and obscuring the palate. Like others have said, this is a fairly understated offering from Bear Republic. Nevertheless, a decent brew.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.74/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This is an exceptionally inviting Pale Ale. From the simple and effective bottle graphics that stand out in a crowd of beers, to the huge chunky head that retains forever. At this point my expectations are very high.

Smell quickly brought me back down to earth as it is very mellow and sweet malted, some faint cracker and more syrupy malt.

Really hard to describe this other than "mellow". Hops are trying to get out but just seem week. The carbonation is fizzy and foams up on the palate. A toasted presence that helps the cause. Watered clean finish.

Notes: ehhhh...certainly not my favorite offering from such an outstanding brewery. Think English Pale.

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Photo of Quaffer
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle. Picked this up in Boulder, CO. Not available here in Wichita. The bottle states, "This golden colored ale is the Bear's interpretation of a classic American pale. English and American Malts are melded with Centennial and Cascade hops . . . "

Appearance: This beer was a bright, crystal-clear amber. The off-white head had hints of orange to it and rose up to a nice two fingers. It settled very slowly and became dense and rocky. As it sank, it left behind big chunks of itself on the side of the glass. As I drank, thick rings of foamy lace remained.

Smell: Classic pale ale aroma. Sweet and roasted malts (with cracker-like characteristics) mixed nicely with hops that were a combination of citrus and spicy herbs.

Mouthfeel: Light-to medium bodied. It was thick and slightly chewy in the front of the mouth, but it became a little watery on the back of the tongue.

Taste: Very mellow flavor. If it wasn't for the American hops, I would have put this in the English pale category. The malt upfront was lightly sweet but mainly it had a nice, roasted flavor to it. This was quickly joined by a crisp, clean hops bitterness that had a grapefruit nature to it. Light wood and vanilla were in the background. It had a clean, dry finish with only a light lingering of citrus hops and sweet malt.

A very nice brew. Does Bear Republic ever make a bad beer?

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

1pt 60z bottle into 500cl mug. Very nice gold color with red hue when shown to light. Very large rocky withe head that shrank but never diapeared.

Pretty stright foward hop boquet, mostly pine sap. But the taste is more sophisticated, whith good balnce of lemon-zest, pine, and a touch of caramel malts.

Soft on the toung and very palatable.

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Photo of bditty187
3.41/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear, amber-gold in hue with a bronzy highlight, the liquid, for some reason, looks dull. Maybe it needs some animation. White head, at the apex the foam was one-finger in height. The head retention was fair; it slowly faded to a thin cap. There was tons of subsequent webby lace; this is a very impressive sight. Overall, this beer looks more then respectable.

The nose only offered kisses of citrus and orangey fruit with hints of sweet candy, frail malt aromas with some caramel. Sadly, the nose doesn’t say much, I am very disappointed. I want a talkative beer; this Pale Ale lacks depth and potency. Ho-hum.

The palate is a bit muddled, earthy/cheese hops, some citrus and lots of fruity candy flavors. It is a sweet beer yet it doesn’t come across very malty. The straight bitterness is light, where is the bite? Is my bottle old? Is it not jiving with me? Is it just a so-so beer? All of the above methinks. The finish is fruity yet clean… damn this beer is very average. The fruitiness is yummy but I need some hops and more malt here. On the whole, the palate is okay… just okay. Once at room temperature the flavors are better with a rounder taste but it still lacks heart.

Medium in body, moderately low carbonation, the mouthfeel fits this beer well; it is relaxing without being lazy.

I haven’t said much too positive about this beer thus far, it is not a bad beer but it is not noteworthy either. I am willing to bet thought this would kick ass on cask. I purchased my bomber in Boulder, CO. I want to try this again. This is by far the least impressive beer I’ve tried from BR.

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

poured a cloudy amber color with white head that could be controlled. Smell is a combination of malt and citrus with some hops present. Taste is of summer fruit with a delicate crispness. finish is slightly dry mixed with some malt. A nice beer on a hot summer day.

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

I am sampling a chilled bottle. Courtesy of watermelonman. Thanks!
Pouring into a pint glass the beer pours a bright clear copper with a fluffy off white head foaming up 3 cm. THe aroma is evident immediately with citrusy grapefruit rind and orange peel hops mixing with some lite floral notes as well. Sort of a marmelade overall presence. Quite sweet nose.
First sip reveals a lite crisp body with fairly mild carbonation.
The beer is very smooth and drinks super easy.
The flavor is much more mild than expected, but it is true to the style. A hit of caramel is quickly overtaken by some bitter hops. Again it is grapefruit rind and orange peel on teh finish. Leaving a light bitterness at the back of my throat. It is not overwhelming and doesnt coat my mouth, but the flavor does linger after each swallow.
A very easy drinking beer that is also fairly up front in flavor. A nice beer that I feel like I could drink quite a few of especially on a hot day outdoors.

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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.

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Photo of cubedbee
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a bright red-hued golden color with a finger of off-white head and good retention. Aroma is of strong floral and citrus hops with a mellow maltiness coming through as well. Taste is mild but juicy citrus hops on top of a strong caramel malty. Very nice well-rounded APA---great hop flavor without the bitterness of an IPA. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a medium/low carbonation level. Overall, this is an absolute excellent APA---another great offering rom Bear Republic.

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Photo of karst
4.48/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A classic pale ale. "XXP" (exceptional pale) has a golden color, and is very light bodied with a noticeable hop aroma and bittering element, IBU 55 that just teases the hopheads. This beer is brewed with American Two Row, English wheat, Belgian, and Dextrin malts. Just the right amounts of Cascade and Centennial hops and ABV 5.4%

A Head like a duval - 6 fingers for those with aractyldacty- off white marshmellow sized pillow of marangue. Long, long wait for it to fall even to 5 fingers. Aroma of floral centennials is most excellent. Medium mouthfeel and a tongue prickling quality that hits strong in the middle and fades as complex malts finish with a hint of coriander and orange zest in the aftertaste of cascade mild bitterness. Awesome head is lacing the inside of the bomber. Last pour is very much as heady as the first and a dusting of tiny dark brown fine saw dust is sprinkled in the foamy head, lace and settles to the bottom of the glass.

My bomber had two X (XXP) instead of the XP as shown for this brew. I checked the web site and saw nothing about anything but XP

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Photo of JackStraw22
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Clear copper body, with a good amount of fizzy off-white head.

Smell: Quite hoppy, citrusy sweet, lots of orange aroma. Mellow, though, not in your face hoppy but certainly present and balanced. Very nice.

Taste/feel: Clean and crisp without being too dry. Hop flavor really hits upfront, but wonderfully balanced by a good malt backbone. I really like this, especially after it warms a bit.

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Photo of HogHill
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased as a bomber from Colonial in Acton, MA for $4.55. This pale ale poured a golden amber with a 2 finger head of off white froth.

The smell is floral hops, some citrus scents, and sweetness from the malt.

XP tastes much like an IPA, but is basically a toned down west coast IPA or more of an American IPA in my opinion. There is a nice jucy hop flavor along with a touch of caramel from the malt.

Mouthfeel is pleasing to the palate, a medium bodied brew with an average amount of carbonation.

Drinkabiltiy is good for this, it's not so hoppy that it destroys your taste buds. It went very well w/ grilled salmon steaks on a hot summer night in June. I'd look for this on tap.

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Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomer.

A very hop-riddled EPA, this would be an IPA if it were and east coast beer. Nice color, very little head, almost no retention. Hops have very loose characteristics, burnt aftertaste, quite bitter too.

I love EPA's, but this one I am not on board for. Lacking an identity, and IMO mislabeled. A good beer but not what I was expecting.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A pretty, good smelly beer. Definately a good choice whenst trying several beers at a sitting. Easily a great choice over macro swill even, perhaps especially when you are in the mood for macro swill.
Not aggressive, easy to drink, smooth, pretty tasty...
Better than "nice".

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Photo of necoadam
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a golden orange color with a big foamy head which leaves a nice lacing around the glass when done. Smell consisted of citrus and piney hops along with some grain and light sweetness. Taste was good. Started out with some light malts and grainy flavors which then gave away to citrus hops. Some tropical fruit can be tasted as it was underlying the hops. Mouthfeel was medium light with a good check on carbonation. Overall another solid beer from Bear Republic.

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

Hazy golden with a full pillowy light tan head and very active carbonation which leaves clumpy lace rings. Decent citrusy grapefruit hop aroma at first is fresh but turns a bit bitter quickly. Flaovrs lean to the bitter side but certainly not unbalanced; just a touch of butter. Light-medium bodied and a bit airy for the style with a dry bitter finish.

Pretty standard West Coast Pale Ale here .. nothing "exceptional" really...

Per label: Since 1995. XP = Exceptional Pale Ale.

Per BR website: American Two Row, English wheat, Belgian, and Dextrin malts. Cascade and Centennial hops. OG 1.052, ABV 5.4%, IBU 55.

($3.99 / 22 oz.)

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Photo of cracker
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden orange with little to no head. Somewhat darker than I expected for a pale ale. Had some floaties in the glass (yeast sediment was disturbed I think). Aroma is of sweet malts with apricots and citrusy grapefruit nose. Tastes bring out the citrus hops with a twist of lemon. Tangy mouthfeel. Crystal malts seem to balance this one out pretty well. Very drinkable and a quality session american pale ale.

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

Love this light pale ale. Golden body and nice fat head greet, with a light to medium hop nose, potent despite its levity.

Taste feels like a light pale ale, medium hop character minus alot of body. Sweet grain flavor extinguishes in a soft carbonation poof. Watery but not in a negative way. Great session brew.

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Photo of beveragecaptain
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bomber. This beer pours out a pale copper color with a huge white head. The aroma is sweet, like honey, with fruit and hops. Biscuit malt flavor, just a touch of fruit, and hops to balance. I probably would have classified this as an English style pale ale. This beer has great balance, is very crisp and drinkable. This is the most subdued beer I've had from Bear Republic, but the balance and drinkability make this a good beer.

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

Pale mid gold with a big white head, this beer smells and tastes like an English interpretation of an American pale ale. The hops seemed flowery not citrus based. This has lots of mid body and a great balance. A dry finish that also sticks around make this a great session beer. Another great offering from a brewer that I am coming to love.

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

Package: 1 pint, 6 oz. (22oz.) crowned, brown bomber. Uncharacteristically restrained blue label with large white letters spelling out “XP Pale Ale.” Detailed blurb explains the name as standing for “Exceptional Pale Ale” (I think there’s a redundancy in there somewhere. Shouldn’t it be X Pale Ale?); and the beer as being “Bear’s interpretation of a classic American pale,” with “English and American malts melded with Centennial and Cascade hops. No date or ABV information.

Cost: $3.49 at Finger Lakes Beverage

Presentation: 20oz. imperial pint at ~50º

Appearance: Vigorous pop and copious gunsmoke greeted me as I opened this bottle. The beer poured a snowy white, voluminous head reminiscent of some French and Belgians. The body was a bit on the pale side (even for a pale), lacking some of the burnished depth of some of the English pales and some recent American Pales I’ve had. Crystal clear, it had lots of fine carbonation percolating through, replenishing the Île Flotant-like head, which just sank as I drained the glass without much lacing.

Smell: Crisp and tangy with a wisp of biscuit. The hops lean to the grassy, pine-resin side rather than the citrus (hooray!). The malts are (as expected) a bit subdued. Still, I really enjoyed the very refreshing aroma.

Taste: The first impression is of crisply herbal hops and a very fine prickle of carbonation. Unfortunately, the expected wave of biscuity malts arrives with a whimper. They seem quite diluted and insubstantial, giving the overall flavor a brittle quality. The flavor that’s there is quite good, but it lacks concentration. I can sense the balance in the beer, but the extraction might be improved. 5.5% ABV is no lightweight, but this seems to drink like one. The finish is clean and dry but mild and weak.

Mouthfeel: This area is the beer’s weakest. I’ve been drinking a bunch of pale ales lately (they seem to be making a comeback), and this one is amongst the wateriest. The great flavors are vitiated by a lack of body, making the beer thin. I guess it’s a tribute to Bear Republic that despite the weak body, the hops aren’t sharp and overly acidic but balance nicely with the pleasant if anemic malts. The carbonation is well-done though.

Drinkability: Very drinkable if not overwhelmingly satisfying. The ABV is well-hidden, as expected in a pale ale. Still, I expected a great drinking experience, not a fair one.

Backwash: Perhaps I had unsustainable expectations after having Hop Rod Rye, Racer 5, and Big Bear Black Stout; but this was a bit disappointing. The flavors and balance were there, but the beer had a very washed-out, diluted flavor to it. Normally I’d guess my palate was burnt-out from too many high-octane beers, but I had these by themselves with just popcorn; and I’ve had several other pales lately that just seemed to do the job better (Royal Oak, Ithaca, and Alpha King come to mind).

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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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