Grand Am | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

very good
47 Reviews
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Grand AmGrand Am

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

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Inspired by our team’s passion for racing, Grand-Am™ is an American Pale Ale worthy of the “Racer” family. True to our roots, this sessionable yet assertive ale balances both classic and new American hop varieties with a distinct malt backbone. Start your engines…

Added by argock on 06-10-2012

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Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 291
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

normally not a huge fan of malty pale ales that arent english ones, but this is a great beer, a really fine example of what a good malt balance can do for the style. this beer is a total classic, cant believe it has taken me this long to give it a review! I love it on tap, where it pours a creamy headed pale light amber color to orange color, leaving almost nitro looking rings in the ping glass on each sip. pretty classic west coast hop profile in the aroma and in the taste, citrusy and clean, just less bitter and oily than an ipa would be, dialed back just enough in just the right places. the malt is cool, toasted and dry, but bringing some body and a little bit of a biscuity, well rounded flavor, seems to work wonders with the hops, and make this feel kind of classic and timeless, like a beer of such high quality and balance that it is immune to the trends in the style, and will be here when the hazy juice bombs and whatever recede back to niche beers in the category. scary drinkable, i wish it was lower abv because i could drink it all day at a slightly lower strength. this is the standard for balanced pales right now, other breweries should take note.

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Photo of BB1313
3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy and cloudy burnt golden with tons of floaties/sediment; big fluffy white head that slowly falls leaving great thick retention and sticky lacing. This beer is definitely unfiltered. The aromas somewhat faint and malt forward with some citrus notes. Hints of orange, lemon, crackers and fresh bread. The flavors are pretty crisp and clean. More hints of orange and lemon with some pine in the mix. Some nice floral notes. Solid malt backbone, but the hops still do their thing. Solid bitterness as well. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is very nice. It's on the lighter side of medium-bodied with moderate carbonation. It's very fluffy and creamy. Very smooth and easy to drink.

This is a solid pale ale. It's not flashy and stays true to style, which works. It's "simplicity" and subtleties is what makes it enjoyable. It becomes even more enjoyable about half way through. It's refreshing and well crafted.

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Photo of Reidrover
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pint at Growl Movement in Salem $2..after 5 star reward. Deep golden colored beer. Small off white head. Fruity, orange peel hops...strong caramel malts. Taste similar to the aroma. . Nice medium mouth feel. Good traditional APA

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Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a cloudy, dark golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is malt forward, a bit of pine. Taste is pine, malts, citrus, balanced and easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer, but less hoppy than I would expect from this brewer.

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Photo of Taybeh
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

From a single (can't find a date, but it is from a good shop, so I hope) into a spieglau IPA glass, pours a bright and slightly hazy tangerine with a good 2 finger eggshell head. Nose promises crackery malt with a touch of caramel and some melon flashiness and grapefruit peel. Taste follows...the melon is a bit more pronounced than I prefer... but that is not a knock on the craftsmanship. Feel is very clean with a real snap and bite.

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Photo of bubseymour
4.33/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A very nicely crafted Pale Ale across all categories. This beer offers a nice citrus aroma and a well balanced bready sweet, citrus, pine flavor with a touch of lingering bitter in the finish. Well enjoyed. Who says American pale ales are passe?

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Photo of pat61
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Pours amber (SRM 9) with a slight haze under a ½” moderately persistent white foam cap.

S: An initial fresh laundry aroma gives way to light biscuit, light woody earthiness and light citrusy floral notes.

T: Attacks with fruit – primarily citrus and melon supported by light bread crumb to biscuit malt culminating in a moderately high herbal bitter with a moderate linger.

F: Medium to medium light body, medium high carbonation.

O: A full flavored and easy to drink American Pale Ale.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a bright amber orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid finger of off white head which settles into a thin patchy layer.

Smell: A juicy and earthy hop forward aroma with a scent of citrus, grass, and grains. Citrus hop scent of orange peel, grapefruit, tangerine, and lemon. Earthy hop hints of grass and slight pine. Pale malt scent of grains, biscuit, cracker, and caramel with yeast. A pretty solid aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a juicy and earthy hop forward taste with notes of citrus, grass, and a solid grainy malt backbone. Citrus hop notes of orange peel, lemon, grapefruit, and tangerine. Earthy hop notes of grass and pine. Pale malt notes of grains, cracker, biscuit, and caramel along with some yeast. A very solid taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Juicy and fairly oily with a drying finish.

Overall: A very good Pale Ale. On the hoppy side with some big citrus flavor but plenty of malt presence.

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Photo of Skrumpy
3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The color is orange/amber with an off white foamy head. Moderate lacing. The aroma is citrus, herbs, and faint bread like maltiness. The flavor has hints of citrus, grapefruit, and pine. The mouthfeel is more resinous than many APAs, and the aftertaste was bitter. Overall a decent pale ale.

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Photo of DEdesings57
4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip. Best by 9/16/16

Look: Amazing. A hazy bright orange. Its unfiltered and bottle conditioned. I can barley see through it. Looks awesome looking hoppy APA.

Smell: Oranges, tangerines, citrus, some pine, some spicy notes, not much malt. Smells fruity and hoppy.

Taste: Well thats a west coast pale ale. Follows the nose perfectly. More oranges in the taste and some yeasty/bread flavors.

Feel: This part is interesting. The beer it self is actually quilt light bodies BUT the fact that its unfiltered and bottle-conditioned helps the beer have a more "thicker" mouth feel and gives it an around soft texture. With theses elements in the palace the beer is med body.

Overall: Underrated! A great unfiltered bottle conditioned american pale ale. Im am very happy to have had this beer!

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Slightly hazy light orange color with off-white head. Aroma has mostly citrus fruits like orange and grapefruit. Taste is also citrus forward, a bit of sweet malt at first but gets quite bitter on the finish and aftertaste. Lingers with grapefruit pith and pine resin. Medium bodied with crisp carbonation. Quite good overall, a classic example of an APA.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: slight haze; burnished orange in color; 2 finger ivory head that receded slowly to a thin cap; OK lacing;

S: citrus, grainy, a little floral;

T: bready for a moment, then citrus; distinctively orange toward the end; mild to moderate bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: very nice; easy to drink; refreshing;

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Photo of Wasatch
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. Bottle

Pours a very nice slightly cloudy dark golden orange color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice one-finger creamy off-white head, which leaves some small islands and sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, malty, with some citrus notes. The taste is hoppy, slight malt note, with some citrus notes. Medium body, with a nice dry/bitter finish. Overall, a tasty PA.

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Photo of BethanyB
3.67/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: A fat, eggshell-colored head of fluff tops a slightly cloudy body of medium gold.

Smell: An unfortunate metallic scent hijacks the aroma, but herbs and orange juice help make things more appealing.

Taste: A nice, even, gentle hoppy blend of mint, citrus, and warm California earth mixes well with delicately toasted malt. Tasty, balanced, but nothing truly exceptional.

Mouthfeel: Excellent mouthfeel for the style: Medium-light, with medium high carbonation creates refreshing crispness and a finish that falls smack dab between dry and smooth.

Overall: A very good pale ale, minus the metallic smell. There are other examples out there, however, that are just as good, if not better. You can easily pick up a Sierra Nevada, for instance, and be more satisfied.

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Photo of seedyone
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC.As soon as my nose was to the glass, I knew I had a problem. I have a pretty low tolerence for hops, but was suckered in by the brewers description & the small taste which end up as unhelpful. I guess it's because there is a malt front that masks the hoppiness. Now that's out of the way I should say this strikes me much as my first taste of Sierra Nevada, those oh so many years ago (but way more assertive).

This is a doubling down. Think Sierra Nevada Pale Ale Imperial.

In the end it's simply too 'big' for my tastes.

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Photo of brewmastercat
3.15/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Lots of bottling yeast in the bottle, very piney and resinous. I could see this being great at any outdoor car racing event when you're in the sun...screaming, "please no more budweiser...need...more...flavor..."as you give your last breath.

Glad I've slept on this one for so long, another mediocre pale ale.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on June 5, 2015.

Slightly hazy yellow-orange with a long lasting fluffy white head.

Aroma of toasted malts, peat moss, vague spice, and grassy hops. Not a bad nose.

The body is light to medium.

The taste begins with a toasted sweet character and then erupts into a textbook bitterness that is neither floral or resiny but more grassy.

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Photo of TheSixthRing
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

No Freshness date on the bottle

Appearance - Pours hazy and golden orange in color with an off-white half finger head. Sub-par retention, resulting in a thin layer of suds across the top. Spotty lacing left around the glass.

Smell - Citrusy with hints of orange and lemon with a cereal grain malt undertone.

Taste - Follows the nose. Lemony with a mild orange sweetness and a big malty cereal backbone. Finishes with a mild bitterness that exhibits both citrus pith and grassy character.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth, drinkable brew that goes down easy.

Overall - Did Toucan Sam lend a hand to this beer, because it evokes thoughts of yellow and orange Fruit Loops. Not the most complex APA, but it has a decent kick. Good, but plenty of APA's out there I prefer more.

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Photo of jmdrpi
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On draft, served in shaker pint glass. Very pale, a light straw color. Nice hoppy aroma. Taste is hop dominated, very little malt flavor. Thinner body

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Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

BOTTLE: Brown glass. Branded silver pry-off pressure cap.

Acquired: At an Austin, TX bottle shop.

Reviewed live at low altitude in Austin, TX. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Vintage: 2014.
ABV: 6.50% ABV.
Style: American Pale Ale (per the label).
Serving temp: Cold.
Serving vessel: Pilsner glass.
Expectations: High (given the brewery, which I adore).

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~3 fingers wide. Off-white colour. Nice thickness, creaminess, and fullness. Soft-looking. Frothy, with a great shiny complexion and a good even consistency.

Retention: Fantastic (~8-9+ minutes).

Leaves no lacing on the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Vibrant orange. Boasts a dazzling cascade of bubbles towards the head. Translucent but nontransparent.

A great looking pale ale. Looks fresh and inviting. This appearance promises a good pale.

AROMA: Fresh citrus (including orange, faint mango, and tangerine without coming off too tropical), fresh floral tones, mellow pale malts, clean barley, softening flaked malts, and cream. Citrus zest lends still more complexity.

The pale malt sweetness balances any hop bitterness wonderfully. This is a great overall aroma for a pale ale, and suggests a balanced brew with plenty of pleasant hop flavours without too much bitterness or bite.

Aromatic intensity: mild.

TASTE & TEXTURE: The first thing I notice is the delightfully zesty, airy, and soft mouthfeel, which boasts a rare delicate presence on the palate. This texture would be perfect if it weren't also slightly dry, coarse, and rough - attributes which make the beer unrefreshing in spite of its fresh pleasant flavours. It might even be a biteen astringent. At least the carbonation is perfect. It couldn't be more light-bodied.

Unfortunately, there's plenty of hop bitterness evident in the third act. Prior to that, the beer is quite balanced; pale malt sweetness plays a nice counter to the orange zest, citrusy hop bitterness, floral hops, and tangerine. It's not a resinous, oily, or piney hop profile, but it brings plenty of hop flavour to the table. Flaked malts leaven the body and clean barley helps fill it out, but as a result it lacks depth of flavour; it's a bit too light, cushioning the impact and delivery of the flavours a bit too much.

Flavour duration: Average.
Flavour intensity: Above average.
Flavour amplitude: Decent.

It has the complexity a great pale needs, but the balance just isn't there because of the bitterness and hop bite in the third act, and it never feels particularly cohesive or gestalt. There are some fantastic elements in play here, but it never quite comes together.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, harsh, or scratchy. There're no off-notes or untoward yeasty tones.

OVERALL: As drinkable as it is imbalanced, Grand-Am is an interesting pale ale that - with work - could be world-class. Bear Republic has done so much right in this beer, but its flaws hold it back from greatness. I highly recommend trying it if only for its impossibly soft and light texture coupled with its effective citrusy hop notes, but while it will pique the interest of the discerning drinker, it will fail to dazzle. It's not up to par with the Racer series, but it's well worth sampling.

High C+ (3.25)

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Photo of mactrail
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Handsome orange-tinted amber with a long-lasting head in the Crooked Line tulip. Inviting whiff of flowery and citrusy hops. Pleasant mouthfilling texture.

Warm with malt but tangy and herbal. Fairly bitter but modestly fruity. Honeydew melon and a touch of grapefruit peel. The mineral taste reminds me of the English style of Pale Ale. You wouldn't mistake it, though, as the bitter aftertaste lingers in the American obsession.

I'd be interested to have it on tap. From the 12 oz bottle in my mixed six-pack from a Ralph's supermarket.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Figueroa Mountain pint glass
From: Alpine Liquor in Alpine, Calif.
Price: $8.99 for a 6-pack
Purchased: March 19, 2015
Consumed: March 19, 2015
Misc.: Best by Sept. 5, 2015

Poured an orangeish, caramel, slightly hazy color with two fingers of off-white, rocky head. Lots of bubble streams coming up from the bottom of the glass. A few spots of lacing on the sides of the glass. Bad retention. (Sight - 3.25)

Pretty potent whiff of Citra hops and caramel malts. Also Cascade, melon, orange zest, nectarine, slight mango, lime, pine, light pineapple and more tropical notes. (Sight - 3.75)

Tasted not as nice as the nose. A bit unbalanced, seemingly alcohol coming first before any flavor. Then got nectarine rind, orange zest, caramel, Cascade, mango, honey wheat, grass, lime and some pine. (Taste - 3.50)

Light body. Oily texture. Average carbonation. Abrupt, somewhat refreshing finish. (Feel - 3.50)

Nothing to grand about this beer (get it?) Just an average APA. (Overall - 3.50)

3.55 | 81 | B

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Photo of breadwinner
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I find this a perfectly satisfying pale ale, with a complex hop profile that touches the piney, citrusy, tropical, dank realms but none overwhelmingly so. Basic, sweetish malt base. It's got a certain zing in the hop finish, minted bitterness or something like that. It's a really nice drink, the kind that I'd be happy to have available regularly at my local watering hole.

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Photo of CHickman
3.62/5  rDev -4.5%

Pours very cloudy dark gold color with a lot of sediment floating around and a thick foamy 2 finger off white head that was full of bubbles of all sizes which faded slowly leaving OK spotty lacing and a layer on top.

Smells of orange peel, caramel, grapefruit, lemon zest, citrus hops, mango, wheat bread, grass, herbs or mild spices and dry cracker. The fruity aroma jumps out hard and fast but settles down and lets the malt come through for a nice balance that includes some piney and sweet fruit notes as it fades.

Taste is more malty and bready that the nose indicates, with graham cracker, buttered roll, caramel, citrus hops, lemon zest, orange juice, pine cone/piney hops, pear, mild spices like pepper and cinnamon, funk yeast and a toffee like brown sugar sweetness at the end which has a very light bitterness. This flavor completely hides the ABV.

Mouthfeel is slick and almost watery with mild carbonation, a medium body that’s on the thicker side, and a slightly bitter finish that has grainy notes combined with citrus hop/fruity sweetness. A pretty good APA that see-sawed back and forth between fruity sweet and malty. I’d have it again since it was easy to drink and flavorful enough to warrant another try.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%

On tap. Poured a clear, orange color with a slight head. Mild lacing. Aroma is modest but mostly driven by citrusy hops. Soft, pale malt sweetness. Flavor is direct. Citrus hops with some grassy hop notes, too. I swear, I get a hint of watermelon in there somewhere. Finishes dry and easy with a dry, pale malt finish. Well carbonated with a light body. It was a fairly tasty Pale Ale. Probably one of their weaker offerings in my opinion.

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Grand Am from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
3.79 out of 5 based on 291 ratings.
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