Nor Cal Ale | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
3.69/5
80 Ratings
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Inspired by Northern California's brewing history, this California Bitter is as inviting as the Redwoods. Smooth and drinkable, this ale has a well rounded malt character accented by Cascade and Centennial dry hops.

Added by DefenCorps on 04-28-2009

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#28,566
Reviews:
56
Ratings:
80
pDev:
11.92%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
1
Gots:
0
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 80 |  Reviews: 56
Photo of thain709
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Served with a copper colored body that had one fingers worth of white head...it fell to a spotty cap but showed nice retention which lead to decent lacing

S - The aromas were minimal...light hops mixed with a more pronounced graininess

T - The flavors are well balanced here...there is a blast of sweet citrus from the hops but that's the only hop flavor in the beer...the middle shines with some toasted grain which gives way to a bready finish

M - Medium bodied...crisp...okay carbonation...bready finish

O - I was surprised there were not more hops in this one seeing as Bear Republic has many hopped up beers...I found this to be pleasantly balanced and easily drinkable...it's just I feel I could drink more of something else...something with a little more hop presence

 782 characters

Photo of callmemickey
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber brown body. Off white head with decent retention and above average lacing.

S: Floral/citrus blast. A tad more orange than grapefruit. Some lemon like hints.

T: Nicely balanced up front. Malt and hops play off each other until the citric/floral hops edge out the sweet malts with a nice bitter finish.

M: Light-medium body. A tad thin in the middle, perhaps a tad over carbonated before warming up.

D: A very nice pale that tips toward the IPA side of things. Which ain't a bad thing in my book.

 508 characters

Photo of indiapaleale
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Dirty Truth in Northampton, MA...

Pours a light amber color with a nice inch of head. Good looking beer, very nice color.

Smell is faintly sweet with some nice fresh citrusy hops, a little orangey/grapefruity.

Taste is like an IPA light (or I guess you could call it an APA), I believe that Bear Republic is calling this a California Bitter. Whatever you call it, its got a nice fresh citrus taste with not a huge wallop of hop bitterness and a nice amount of malt to back it up. Very easy drinking at <5% and close to a perfect summer session ale.

Great stuff from Bear Republic, keep 'em coming!

 619 characters

Photo of avaldivia
3.87/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Bear Republic.

A: Copper colored. On the clear side. Nice inch thick head with great lacing.

S: Pine. Very floral. A nice amount of malt to balance.

T: Nice amount of citrus and pine. Well balanced by the malt.

M: Medium bodied. Good carbonation.

O: I like this a lot. At the brewery this is categorized as a bitter, but here it is labeled as a Pale Ale. Perhaps I am wrong, but I could have sworn those were different. Either way, I am a fan.

 458 characters

Photo of seedyone
2.75/5  rDev -25.5%

03/29/13 At Rattle N Hum over 1 year ago. On tap. Just OK. Hoppier than I like & not quite the right shade of bitter. I prefer my ESB's to more in the English ale style.

 170 characters

Photo of DrFunkenstein
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of litheum94
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of sleazo
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

on Cask Blind Tiger

A_Copper/Tan hued beer with a small large bubbled foam. Slightly cloudy but typical of a cask ale.

S_Nice floral/citrus hop bouquet, not too strong due to the cask but very fresh. Light toasted malt background.

T_First taste is a flash of bright hops which fades quickly into a nicely toasted and ever so slightly caramel malt.

M_A nice cask conditioned ale with the creamy low carbonated mouthfeel of many fine English bitters.

D_Goes down very smooth with a refined character that doesn't blast you in the face with flavour. This could easily make for a nice session.

 595 characters

Photo of afksports
4.02/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I enjoyed Bear Republic's Nor'Cal American Pale Ale a while back, and I'm getting to typing up this review from my notes thanks to some famous Presidents. Cheers, George & Abe!

For sure a sessionable beer, Nor'Cal features a lovely floral hops aroma on top of a west coast bitter body. It looks like a pale ale, hazy copper in appearance with a good bit of bubbles for a cask conditioned brew. The taste has that American Pale Ale hops bite that you come back for, and then carries through with some toasty malts. In the back it finishes clean but stays bitter, even on the top of the mouth.

Perhaps a bit too drying ultimately, Nor'Cal falls short of being a new favorite despite it's interesting malt character. But it's solid and well-built.

And it's probably pretty good that I don't absolutely love it, because it seems pretty tough to get!

 849 characters

Photo of sixerofelixir
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of donniecuffs
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(From notes)
Overall, I found this beer to be remarkably similar to the ESB...

A: Orange/copper, thin head, decent lacing.

S: Biscuit/malty/toffee mixed with earthiness/woodiness.

T: Same as the aroma, with a nice balance and an earthy finish/aftertaste.

M: Creamy yet light, with little visible or felt carbonation.

D: Certainly sessionable, but the creamy texture might get to be a little much after a while.

 415 characters

Photo of Nickls
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(From notes)

A - Clear darker orange color; poured with an eggshell head that held OK; spiderweb lacing

S - Earthy hoppiness that's pretty tame; sweetish malts; is that Ringwood yeast?; biscuity

T - Hops are actually a bit fruity than I caught in the aroma; lightly sweet malts; balanced comes to mind; bit of biscuit dough in the finish

M - Smooth and a touch creamy; medium MF; soft carbonation

D - Nice enough; balanced and smooth; still compelling enough to enjoy

Overall, not a bad take on the style, but it definitely leaned into the British 'pale' style as well (at least to my palate). Nice stuff.

 611 characters

Photo of Natural510
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewery. Described as an "American Bitter" at 4.5%ABV.

Pours a dark copper-bronze with creamy white lacing.
Scent of burnt caramel malt and herbal hops.
Flavor is a pungent blend of semi-sweet caramel malt and a peppery hop. Everything well-proportioned and balanced, as one would expect in an English-style bitter.
Full in body, very drinkable. Further proof alcohol content and full-bodied flavor are not mutually exclusive.

 441 characters

Photo of deanhead
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hard to tell the color of this beer in the low light of the the Dirty Truth. Seemed to be a golden beer with some amber hues, nice clingy lace. No head to speak, just some bubbles lingering around the top of the glass

Moderately spicy aroma and taste with some biscuity grainy notes. Hints of Triscuits and Juile Andrews singing the sound of music in my ears. The spicy notes remind me of Rye/

Crisp and dry, a little to thin in body to my liking for this style.

Highly drinkable, yet very uneventful beer. Nothing really stands out about this beer that truly makes me want to seek out another. At 6.75 a pint, I'll pass for now.

 634 characters

Photo of DrunkenMonk
3/5  rDev -18.7%

Photo of jstewart1130
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of fluidmotion
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Photo of mhatters
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a tulip glass at TDR - Exton

Pours out a light brownorange color, with a fluffy pure white head.

Definitely English notes here, some light citrus hops, but mostly the light malt I associate with English bitters

Very fruity - surprising, sweet, a feel of hops at the end (citrus and pine?)

Very nice, well carbonated, an interesting take on an English traditional bitter.

 391 characters

Photo of Greenster
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of drjman
4/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of MikeRa
2.51/5  rDev -32%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Here is what I can say about the Nor'Cal Beer;

A: It has a Golden Amber to Orange looking color.

S: It has a real tame smell.

T: It has a very bitter taste, which surprised me. Can't tell if it's caramel or if it's the hops.

M: The mouthfeel is also very bitter.

D: This is one IPA that I won't drink again.

 312 characters

Photo of aglose45
4.42/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Capone's on Thursday 5/28/09.

A: Great golden brown color, off-white head and decent lacing left on the glass.

S: Citrus smell; sweet grapefruit, orange and peach on the nose.

T: Great grapefruit and peach hints, among other tropical fruitiness. This beer finishes with a nice, slight bitterness. The taste is not over-powering, which leaves it very drinkable. This is one of the better tasting Pale Ales that I have had, falling short to only Alpha King.

M: Light body, good oiliness/ stickiness left on the palate from the hops, and good carbonation for the style.

D: Overall this is a great Pale Ale. However this may be a bit too bitter towards the end to be considered a Pale Ale in my mind. It seems like it would be able to compete with most IPAs! I would love to have this beer again, and will actively seek it out in the future!

 852 characters

Photo of Pecorasc
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at South Park Tavern in Dayton, Ohio on 2/25/10. One of five Bear Republic beers on tap at the moment. Served quite cold in a Shaker Pint.

A- Light copper in color and clear, but not polished. Presented with a 1/2 inch of creamy, white head that fell quickly down to a thin film, leaving sticky, white lacing on its way. A normal amount of carbonation and beading. Above average considering the conditions (extra cold in a shaker).

S- Dominated by earthy hop aroma with minimal malt background and a small amount of diacetyl. Malt is mostly bread with very little carmel. Pleasant, but not very inviting.

T- Starts out with a sweet carmel malt and an enjoyable slightly metallic taste. Quickly overtaken by an earthy and piney hop flavor. Good amount of bitterness in the finish that sticks around for the aftertaste. Very little alcohol, as expected. Much improved at room temperature. Nice spin on the style.

M- More carbonation than desired. Medium bodied with a finish on the dry side. Took the last 1/3 of the beer and swirled vigorously for 10 seconds. The result was a much less carbonated beer and a much improved mouthfeel.

D- High drinkability: low enough in alcohol to have several in a sitting and tasty enough to not complain. If this were ever offered on cask, I would really try to get at a few pints. Offered as real ale, this would improve in all the right areas. An enjoyable beer that should be enjoyed in the right atmosphere or under the right circumstances.

 1,491 characters

Photo of Cakanator
4.42/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap @ Sierra. Pours a lighter amber hue with minimal head. Lighter citrus aromas makes this one already seem like a great summer brew. Palate is more medium bodied, entry to mid palate has mild hops, then moves to more of a granny apple in the finish. Very enjoyable. I was told it was an IPA when I ordered it, but thought it was not one only because of the hop profile not being as strong. Great summer brew!

 410 characters

Photo of RyanCMcGovern
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Nor Cal Ale from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.69 out of 5 with 80 ratings
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