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: 292
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 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 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 NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bear Republic Grand-Am American Pale Ale
12 oz. brown bottle, no apparent freshness dating.

Bear Republic's Grand-Am is done in their typical style: richly malty, loaded with bright hops, and focused. Also, it appears at least partially unfiltered, and it has excellent head retention and lacing.

The malt is a basic golden base but with some breadth to it. You get some sweet, almost doughy notes at first, but the hop flavor and bitterness soon beat that into submission. The hops initially appear as bright citrus and soft pine, but then you find a wider, grassy and minty undertone. Yeast steps in and adds a touch of fruitiness and some drying mineral character. It's solidly bitter, and the alcohol lends a drying touch as well. I lingers in the finish, quite dry, with some piney and minty hops.

It's a straight-forward, well made, perfectly balanced, full flavored, fresh and unfiltered American Pale Ale. You can't go wrong with this one!

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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 AgentMunky
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a half-pint glass at Ale Arsenal.

A: Gold and almost clear. No effervescence. Heavy lacing

S: Perfect pale ale. Crisp, citrusy hops. Grapefuit and pine. Clean and strong with a biscuity dryness.

T/M: It's GOOD. Light, crisp, effervescent, and tingly. Hoppy. Dry finish, citrusy main taste. Herbal and enduring.

O: Highly recommended. Great pale ale. One of the best.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

first taste on tap at Federal Taphouse -rated 4.25
re-review from bottle enjoyed chilled in a willybecker purchased at Brass Rail.

The color is golden apricot with a pale hazed hue with 2 finger light tan head with very fine bead and lace that sticks in rings -retention is good. The smell has a strong grapefruit aroma with slight hint of yeast and toast from the malt with floral hop accents and light tropical scent with a citrus hop profile that dominates. the feel has decent bitterness level with moderate carbonation and slight sweetness mid -palate with gentle spice and light tangy element with mild astringent aspect with a gentle yeast texture that is creamy and mostly dry finish with mild alcohol.

The taste is great - extremely fresh fruity and citrus zest taste with a light orange rind and tangy apricot type sweet flavor with mild dank herbal quality. The emphasis is on the flavor of the hops, not bitterness with a supporting malt foundation which is semi-dry with subtle fruit in the yeast but clean flavors overall which augment the hop with mildly bitter residual flavor in the dry finish. Overall I find this to be extremely drinkable and fresh tasting with hops that pop and lots of juicy citrus which makes this another excellent beer in Bear Republic's repertoire -great west coast style pale!

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Photo of kflorence
4.14/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a translucent golden orange in color with copper and amber tints. A typical pour will yield about a fourth inch of creamy, white head that slowly dissipates to a thin layer of film atop. Carbonation seems spot on. On the lighter side of the pale ale spectrum, this one looks to be lighter bodied with a slight bit of chewiness.

S: A mostly hop-forward aroma with notes of orange peel, lemon, flowers and spice. There is a sweet, honey, candy maltiness lingering in the background with maybe a hint of bread. Certainly a fresh, un-offending and pleasant aroma, but nothing really standoutish.

T: Similar to the nose; an amalgamation of hops and malts up front, mostly bitter citrus rinds and honey with a small dose of toasted pale malts. The flavor peaks in the middle with a hop tang and then quickly subsides, finishing crisply with a pale malt and bitter grapefruit rind aftertaste. A great blend of classic pale malt balance with the trendy West coast hop characteristics, this one manages to come off fairly balanced even though there is nothing predominantly notable in the malt profile. Hop dominant for sure, but not in an overwhelming sense.

M: Lighter bodied with average carbonation, this brew goes down smooth and easy with a slight bit of chewiness. Very drinkable and easy on the stomach.

O: To my own surprise, this is only the second brew I've had from Bear Republic and I've yet to be disappointed. This one came across quite as advertised and I couldn't be happier, really. For the style, this is about as flavorful and drinkable as you can get. I'd certainly come back for more. Cheers!

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Photo of dar482
4.13/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer comes in a beautiful hazy dark reddish orange, almost like a pink grapefruit.

In the aroma, there’s lemon and grapefruit peel, floral, hint of white bread, bright spearmint.

On the flavor, grapefruit peel and citrus in the front. A pop of floral in the middle with some pink grapefruit. On the back, the beer is medium plus bitter of pine and grapefruit pith.

This tastes like an updated Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, with more citrus upfront. A well made brew and great for the summer.

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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 57md
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light cloudy copper with over a finger of head that dissipated steadily until it was reduced to a thin film. The nose has both fruity and hoppy notes. The taste pretty much follows the nose.

This is an excellent example of a style that is too often overlooked. Given a choice between this APA and a thin “session” IPA, I would take this every day of the week.

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Photo of MikeWard
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%

12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass. No freshness dating that I could find.

Faintly hazy strong yellow body. 1" foamy head. light carbonation and lacing.

Not much on the nose. Clean slightly sweet moutgh, with a decent bitter wash. Edge goes to the malt on this one, but it is finely balanced and extremely drinkable. 6.5abv may prohibit sessionability, (like that word?) but those of us with a higher tolerance would enjoy several of these at a sitting.

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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 smcolw
3.96/5  rDev +4.5%

Pleasant aroma of floral hop. Solid malt base. The hop leans more to the regularly bitter black pepper.

Cloudy light amber color. Small head with minimal spotty lace

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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 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 Nugganooch
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewpub – Healdsburg, CA
06/12/14 - Served in a full Pint glass

A: Sunburst look of goldenrod and peach with some slight hop haze through the body. Half finger of stubborn ivory cream rests over top. Nice broken tracks of sticky lace running all the way down the glass.

S: Lots of toasted bready pale malt character on the nose followed by some very floral hops. Vibrantly perfumed with some citrus fruit undertones.

T: The toasty pale malt stands firm in the flavor as well delivering lots of freshly baked bread notes while remaining only slightly sweet. Integrated are some delicate hop flavors that emerge very floral like. Has me thinking Columbus hops here. I get some lesser notes of pine and tangerine as well. Not super bitter at all with a really nice balance across the board. Finishes dry and crisp with only a slight hoppy linger. Very easy on the lips.

M: Moderately lighter body with a nice even consistent carbonation pop. Dry and crisp in the finish with a light resinous linger.

D: A great easy sessions APA and quite possibly an instant classic for me…fits so well into the current BR lineup. Will be grabbing more of this one once it finally hits distro to SoCal.

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Photo of argock
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a nonic pint at The Regal Beagle (San Diego, CA).

A: Honey-golden with a soft cap of off-white big-bubbled head with a few dots of lace.

S: Hops dominate with a fresh, wet hops herbal and floral aroma but the pale maltiness has some bready, crackery character that is adequate to support the hoppiness. Still, the hops have a dank quality that are not a favorite.

T: The flavor is also very wet hops with earthy, herbal hoppiness dominating. There are some flashes of orange and grapefruit. The bready pale maltiness mainly provides background for the herbal hoppiness.

M: Grand Am is a smooth beer with even carbonation and medium body. The dryness is moderate and appropriate for the style.

O: A good variation for BR but not as good as XP Pale or most of their other offerings.

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Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bang on pale ale enjoyed at the Tap Room. Light golden colour, lacey,easy smooth mouthfeel. Citrus orange bitterness. Good drinkability. No astringency at well. This apparently will become their main pale ale. Above average bodied and medium hoppiness.

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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 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 UCLABrewN84
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the 2013 Firestone Walker Invitational held at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, CA.

Pours a hazy honey orange with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with citrus and herbal flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some solid aromas and flavors.

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

Best by 10/1/14, so probably bottled around April Fool's Day? Who knows.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into an Innis & Gunn English tulip.

a: Nearly clear dark gold with a finger and a half white head which receded to even surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Mild citrus.

t: Moderate citrus to pine resin up front over a medium bready malt base. Bitterness lingers somewhat on the tongue.

m: Light to medium with good body. Considerable carbonatiuon tingle.

o; A good West Coast pale, hoppier than some other American pales, taste actually seems to improve as it goes.

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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 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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Grand Am from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
3.79 out of 5 based on 292 ratings.
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