Apex | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

260 Reviews

Brewed by:
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.25%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Apex: The highest point, the culmination or climax. In racing, the apex of the turn is approached differently as conditions dictate, but always with a forward looking mindset. This beer is the culmination of years of brewing and drinking hop forward IPAs. We reserve the right to move forward to the next Apex.

2009 California State Fair - SILVER
2009 The Bistro Double IPA Fest – BRONZE & PEOPLE’S CHOICE
2009 Night of the Living Ales Cask Festival – 3rd PLACE & PEOPLE’S CHOICE

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-22-2005

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Reviews: 260 | Ratings: 1,019
Photo of ChadQuest
2.78/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got this pour at Owen & Engine, what a fine pub establishment.
Pour presents that dark sunburst color with the color a bit darker in the center.
Aroma shows the type of hop character i expect from bear republic, cascade and simcoe hop profiles of strong pine and light citrus notes creating what i consider the typical and cliche go-to ipa profile. nothing unique or special to hold my attention throughout the aroma or flavors.
Mouthfeel is a bit dense and/or lacking carbination and that keeps this one from popping as much as i like from a ipa.

This one is a skip for me in the future. t typical and average to be interesting.

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Photo of axeman9182
2.84/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Rattle n Hum and served in a pint glass.

Apex pours a relatively clear orange, lightening towards tangerine in the right lighting. There's about a finger of white foam crowning the beer, and it shows pretty good staying power. Lacing is a bit spotty though. Still, all in all it looks pretty good for a bar pour. The nose has a little bit of caramel to it, and a little bit of citrus. Emphasis on "little bit" there, as the aroma overall is far too weak, and much more pale ale than double IPA. There's a little bit of malty caramel sweetness up front, and a solid bite of bitterness to clear that out of the way mid palate. As with the nose though, the hoppy follow through is just weak here. The grapefruit-y citrus notes aren't nearly as aggressive as they should be. The body is solidly light, definitely on the drier end of the spectrum. The carbonation is just a little bit lifeless though, which definitely doesn't do the beer any favors. Racer 5 and Racer X are just two of the great hoppy beers I've had from Bear Republic, so I was really surprised at how underwhelming I found Apex to be.

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Photo of HopChef44
2.96/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this one on draft at Rattle N' Hum in NYC on a night featuring Bear Republic brews. This one was not a feature in my eyes when compared their staples I have come to love in Racer 5 and Racer X.

A: Best part of this beer good color, nice 2 finger head gives this one promise.

S: This is where the let down begins. From a DIPA I was expecting a crsip, hoppy nose and it just wasnt there. Slight hop notes, but I felt like I had to search for them.

T: Dissapointment continues. Heavy caramel, malt and sweetness take the forefront here. Again, I found myself searching for the hops I was craving.

M: Mouthfell was good, but lached some of the body and carbonation I was looking for. At this point a decent mouthfell was not saving this one.

O: I would like to say that this let down was a function of an old barrell, but on Bear Republic night I highly doubt this was the case. This will not turn me away from my favorites from them, but I will not have the Apex again. In my eyes (mouth) this was not a DIPA...

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.08/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

On tap in a pint glass at the Smokehouse on 8/8/11

Pale, browned, golden amber. Very clear. One finger head tops the glass. Thin, but lasting retention. Excellent wall of lace.

Lots of zesty citrus hops in the nose - grapefruit, orange, lemon and some tangerine. Pine resin, too. Smells spicy. Malt backdrop of biscuit, bread and a spot of caramel. Booze is absent.

Apex tastes totally different that it smells. Hops are very earthy, almost dirty. Modest pine bitterness with understated, nondescript citrus zest. Malts are earthy, too - dusty biscuit and bread. Faint suggestions of dark fruit from the middle on. I swear, it almost has a powder cocoa finish. Starts to taste solvent-like as it warms.

The feel is thin; much too thin for the style. Carbonation is low, making for a confused, unfocused feel. Smooth enough, though. A hint of alcohol is appreciable. Long-lingering bitterness.

Overall impression - a decently constructed brew that just doesn't do it for me.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.08/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

After loving Bear Republic's Racer X I was happy to find this beer on tap. A hazy, copper colored body with a sturdy off-white head. Great retention and lacing.

This beer smells pretty good too. Lots of grapefruit and orange zest, a bit of lemon. Lots of resinous pine scents and obvious bitterness.

After how good this beer looks and smells, I was pretty shocked by the fact that I don't like how it tastes. All of the characteristics from the aroma are there once again; pine, many forms of citrus and loads of bitterness. Also present, however, is the biting and unpleasant "industrial cleaner" flavor that I seem to be running into more frequently in big IPAs and IIPAs lately. Add the fact that the malt backbone still manages to add a little more caramel flavor that I would like and this one is not a winner for me.

Very harsh and biting, which I would actually like with a better flavor profile.

This is not one I enjoyed. More Racer X please!

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Photo of Soonami
3.1/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Served in a 12 oz wine glass/champagne flute hybrid stemmed glass for $6.

This is a pretty amber beer with good head and lacing. The aroma is grapefruity and orange dominated. The beer tastes funny at first, I couldn't pin point it until I tried to explain it to my girlfriend and she nailed it: rubber. It has this harsh rubbery taste at first that I'm thinking is a fermentation defect, but it could very well be from scorching the hops. With the resinous and grapefruit oil attack from the first drink it is well hidden, but I might be particularly sensitive to this. The beer finishes better with a nice dried orange peel bitterness that lingers for a while and has a bit of biscuit malt flavor at the end.

The weird taste like licking a rubber band did not work for me, otherwise it is the kind of beer I generally like.

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Photo of champ103
3.32/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a clear golden/copper/orange color. A one finger white head forms, and recedes to a ring that sticks throughout. Some lace is left behind.
S: Citrus, piny, and grapefruit hops up front. A substantial bitterness throughout. Some caramel malt for balance, along with some bread and biscuit.
T: A little one dimensional. A strong grapefruit bitterness up front and dominate. A light grainy malt flavor lingers.
M/D: A medium body that is sticky and soapy. Hot alcohol and strong bitterness makes this a one and done.

Just the standard American DIPA. Lots of bitterness and not much else. If that is your thing it is worth a try.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.35/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a tumbler at The Tribes.

The Accidental Highway to Hell Tour continues! This stop pours a clear light amber topped by a finger of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises lime, caramel, orange zest, lemon zest, menthol, and balsa. The taste holds notes of pine, lime, dark toffee, brown sugar, light booze, caramel, and light menthol. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation, a syrupy feel, and a sticky finish. Overall, I think this could have been a pretty damn fine DIPA, but it just comes off as boozy and hastily hopped (meaning it was overdone with little thought to how it was being overdone...if that makes sense...). Shame, really...

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Photo of kojevergas
3.44/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

"Apex Special IPA." 1 pint 6 fl oz brown glass bottle with generally appealing label and branded pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local bottle shop and served into a squeaky clean Pinthouse Pizza conical pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are quite high given the brewery - which is amongst the best in California in my opinion. "8.95%" ABV. Reviewed live. Reviewed as an IPA for obvious reasons.

Served cold - at fridge temp. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a 2.5 finger wide head of white colour. Nice even consistency and smooth soft complexion. Good creaminess and thickness. Nice even lacuing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes. Head retention is great for the high ABV - about 9-10 minutes.

Body colour is a clear translucent copper of above average vibrance and excellent clarity. Appears well-carbonated. It's a clean appearance; there's no visible yeast sediment or anything.

Overall, it's a good looking beer and fits neatly inside style conventions, plus it boasts an impressive head. I'm excited to try it, but in fairness it's not a unique or special appearance for an IPA. There are many beers that look just like this does.

Sm: I dig the fruit - peaches, apricot, and tangerine. It could be fresher and juicier, but the fruitiness is nice overall. It's also got some nice floral hop character, some mild resins, and a kiss of pine. Though it boasts some impressive and diverse hop character, the hop bitterness is well balanced by malty undertones - caramalt, sweet pale malts, and clean barley.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes are detectable. It's not the dry, arid, stale aroma of many bad IPAs.

It's a clean, pleasant aroma of moderate strength. Soft. Aromatic.

T: It's got a lovely hop profile - that much is immediately obvious. Soft fruity tones of pleasant peach, apricot, and tangerine. Floral hop character. There's some citrusy zest on the finish which unfortunately flirts with the stale orange juice character I always hate in IPAs; luckily this is pretty tame. Onion/garlic. Lime.

It's got a bit too much caramalt and pale malt sweetness in general, but luckily this sweetness covers up any hop bitterness. As a result, it's got a general cohesion and a decent balance, but it's not quite the fine-tuned carefully built brew I've come to expect from Bear Republic.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-flavours come through.

Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour. I like that it doesn't have biting bitterness. It's not the most intricate or complex IPA I've had, but it's superior to most IPAs. I just wish the hop profile was a bit more interesting.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Sleek and soft. Approachable. Medium-bodied. Mildly filling. Lightly oily. Slightly overcarbonated.

Not boozy, hot, gushed, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

Overall, this beer has a good presence on the palate and the texture complements the taste nicely, though it doesn't quite feel custom-tailored specifically to this flavour profile.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable. Hides its ABV well; I'd guess it was maybe 8%. While I did expect far more given Bear Republic's mastery of hoppy styles, this remains an enjoyable IPA which is worth trying once. Personally, I wouldn't get it again, but I'm glad I got to try it and I'll have no difficulty finishing the bottle.

I will say I can see how this may have been one of the best limited release IPAs out there when it was first released.

High B-

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Photo of Ego
3.52/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

damn frothy, three fingers of head on an easy pour, cloudy peach-orange hue, carbonation rockets launching from the bottom, the head stays around pretty well, good lacing, solid looking brew

piney with strong citrus notes, some tropical notes, a subdued mix of various hops

taste etc...
well balanced IPA, nothing is looking to dominate, a super nice balance of bitter, pine, citrus and malt sweetness, nice lingering bitterness but not overbearing, medium mouthfeel with definitely the right amount of carbonation (just prickly)

well made and tasty, not the best thing ever but totally solid. Bear Republic also has a price point that can not be beat for quality beers. While most craft brews have gone through the roof BR seems to keep their very good beers at a reasonable price.

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Photo of callmescraps
3.53/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Always happy to try something from Bear Republic. They do good work.

Appearance- Rich copper color. A half inch of head, no particular lacing. Quite clear. Nice.

Smell- Plenty of caramel malt. There is some fruit, especially grapefruit. Not a great nose.

Taste- Sweet, burnt candy caramel malts. Balanced out nicely by some fruity hops. Finishes bitter. Could use a bigger hop punch.

Mouthfeel- A little thick and syrupy.

Drinkability- Not bad, but the thickness and sweetness is a little much.

This is not a bad bev, but I'll take Racer 5 any day of the week.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
3.6/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Amber hue with a uniform creamy white head. Lacing that sticks like a paint splatter. Mango passion fruit, and pineapple in the nose. Some sweet caramel background.

The taste holds a sweet mango flavor up front with a complex bitter finish that is swept away by the alcohol. Not to say the alcohol is strong but its noticeable. Caramel malt sweetness rounds out the finish. This is like East coast DIPA meets West coast DIPA. Perfect for those in between DIPA lovers.

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Photo of jeffthecheff
3.61/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22. oz bomber filled from Bierkraft. Thanks Greg for the bottle.

This beer has a really nice appearance in my shaped pint. It's got a penny copper color and a perfect cap of off white foam on top.

The aroma is nice but falls somewhere in the middle of the pack for dipa's. It's got a thick, sweet grain presence of concentrated malt, along with some grassy, citrusy hops. This could really use more hops in the nose. The palate opens up big and sweet, with low carbonation, which contributes to a smooth mouthfeel. The taste is very bitter, but is still balanced too much towards malt sweetness. It's got caramel notes, malt concentrate, and a citric sweetness up front with a big, resiny bitterness in the finish. The bitterness is strong, but this beer needs more hops in the flavor and aroma department.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After my friend's movie premiere t the Newtown theater we shot over to Isaac's for a pint.

Poured into a pint glass. Pours an auburn color with a thick white heading. Leaves some good lacing but does turn rather flat halfway through.

Smell is well very subtle in all aspects. Mostly dominated by some very flowery hops but not too overpowering.

Taste is a bit different then the nose obviuosly. A bit overlyhopped for the amount malt in this(almost not apparent).

Mouth is medium bodied with decent retention and carbonation.Leaves a bit of an oily slipperiness to it.

A decent IIPA but not worth going out of your way for.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap and served in a shaker "pint" glass. Appears a clear golden apricot color with about a finger of tight off white foam. The head leaves minimal lacing on the inside of the glass with each sip. Smells and tastes of bitter resinous pine, floral hops, citrus such as lemon and a faint caramel malt presence. For my tastes, this needs more malt. It just seems a bit out of whack. But that's me. Medium in both body and carbonation.

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Photo of jdense
3.65/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

20 oz.$4.50 imperial pint at Bailey's Taproom 3.19.2010.

Clear light copper body, some visible carbonation. One finger creamy white head, slow dissipation with significant lacing. The nose is surprising sweet, bubblegum-like, had to do a double-take, not what I expected from Bear Republic IPAs. Taste is tropical fruit, mango, guava, very sweet, I had a hard time picking up any bitterness. Sticky finish, not dry. Just too sweet for me, and I certainly didn't pick up the 100+ IBUs. Not sure if the keg had turned or what. On a positive note, the alcohol was well hidden. I'll try this in future, but my least favorite Bear Republic IPA to date.

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Photo of Tone
3.66/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, copper color. 3/4 inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of strong citrus hops, slight sweet malt, and a hint of roasted malt. Fits the style of an American Double / Imperial IPA. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes strongly of citrus hops, slight sweet malt, hint of pale malt, and hint of floral hops. Overall, great appearance, strong body, but not well balanced.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

solid burnt orange in appearance, rather clear with some gravity haze.. blurriness pushes the color towards brown. one finger of solidly airy foam, which leaves thin and porous walls of sheet lacing. peachy hop aroma with burnt brown sugar caramelization beefing up the boozy sniff. nothing overwhelming in the scent, very mild with fresh, floral wafts. dreading a bit of excessive sweetness though.

mouthfeel initially starts bold and grassy with an even spread medium level of bitterness. hops, yep. grapefruit zest and hop vine leafiness emerge like oils from a boiling bud. some buttery diacetyl, not enough to interrupt the flow of the flavor. a little bit of oddly placed strawberry yeastiness and smooth, off malt presence which contributes to the caramel flavor.

aftertaste carries that strawberry and brown sugar, the hop flavor dissipates quick but the bitterness lingers. really quite drinkable, reminiscent of he'brew's bittersweet lenny's ripa without the extreme thickness. while this is no racer x, it is a nice deviation from what you would normally expect from BR. recommended, but not in lieu of a 5 or an X.

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Photo of IronLover
3.68/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep copper orange in color with excellent clarity. Poured with a decent frothy white head that reduced to a thin, wispy cap that left spotty, sticky lacings on the glass. Orange, grapefruit and pine hop aromas. Very fresh. Not much in the way of malt presence. Medium bodied with nice even carbonation and a very oily feel. Dominant bitter hop flavors, pine, citrus grapfruit and orange with pine flavors dominating from beginning to end. The hops totally dominate the malt in this one. Finishes with a long lingering bitterness. I prefer a bit more malt character, even in my DIPAs.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.7/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Growler into shaker pint on 2/23/09. Thanks to Deuane for sharing.

A - Poured a clear amber/orange body with virtually no carbonation and about one finger's width of bubbly off-white head that retained fairly well and left sticky lacing around the glass.

S - Piney and citrusy West Coast DIPA nose with some resiny notes and a whiff of alcohol. Malt is sweet and caramely.

T - Piney hops abound with a bit of resin and a splash of citrus to round out the hop profile. There's also a touch of caramel malt sweetness, but the hops win out with an aggressively bitter finish.

M - Medium body with a somewhat watery texture and soft carbonation. Finish is quite bitter and a tad dry on the palate.

D - Not as enjoyable as Racer X or even Racer 5, in my opinion, but still a pretty solid West Coast DIPA.

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Photo of Sammy
3.71/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Plant Transit, post-extreme beer fest. Alcohol aroma, golden colour, lots of white lace, some white head. Medium mouthfeel. 100+ IBU, and really tasty,with juicy fruit there, but somewhat of a palate shredder. Good drinkability. Average for style.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.72/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a golden copper color with big poof of soapy white head. Scent is initially sweet with notes of carmel,toffe and grahmn cracker, the hops are slightly subdued and lean towards fruity mango, peach and floral notes. Taste again leads with the carmel, toffe and grahmn cracker like sweetness and the hops come through as muddled, slightly watery peach, mango and oranage. Carbonation is very low for the style and the finnish is dry. A different tasting type of IPA with an nteresting sweetness, but muddled hop profile.

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Photo of rhinos00
3.73/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-tap at South Park Tavern. Poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a light golden color. Very clear. Produced a fingers width of white head. Dissipated to a thin film on top. Some lacing as consumed.

S- Floral hops with some malt sweetness. Picking up an orange, grapefruit aroma.

T- Bitter hops upfront followed by a candy flavor. Sweet malts in between with some orange, grapefruit rinds. Finishes with some floral hops and a sweet, candy glaze flavor. Light bitterness.

M- Light to medium bodied. Moderate carbonation.

D- Wasn't really digging the flavor combination in this one, especially with the big malt profile.

Overall, not what I am really looking for in a DIPA. Had a noticeable malt presence that provided a sweetness I didn't care for. I'll pass on this one from now on.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.75/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Comet.

Pours a light gold in color, with just the slightest head on top. Smell is piney, grassy hops. Very green and bitter. Taste is very smooth. The piney hops dominate the flavor, but is overall very balanced with the rest of the beer. The description says that this is a DIPA or Imperial IPA, but this is just a good, balanced, IPA. I did tire of the piney hops near the end of the glass. Drank very easily and was for the most part pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of pkeigs
3.78/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A very balanced IPA, and one that i prefer to Racer 5. It has quite a bit more balance than some of the other IPA's I have been drinking.

Smells like tropical fruit and citrus. Might have a little piney/resinous hop coming through but is dominated by orange, and mango aromatics.

Beer is balanced on the tongue, get a lot of hop up front, but that swiftly fades to a nice balanced malt sweetness, with just a touch of spice and bitterness to leave me wanting more.

Leaves a nice lacing in the glass, just feels a bit to sticky for me. I am starting to enjoy the pales that have a little less of a malt backbone. A nice ale and I am excited to be able to get it more often.

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Apex from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
4.2 out of 5 based on 1,019 ratings.
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