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Grand Am | Bear Republic Brewing Co.

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43 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: 43 | Ratings: 283
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
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 UCLABrewN84
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
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 metter98
3.57/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is hazy light pale yellow in color and has a mixture of fine and small visible particulates floating in suspension. It poured with a quarter finger high off white head that died down, leaving a thin but large patch of bubbles in the center of the glass, a collar around the edge, and some lacing down the sides.
S: Light to moderate aromas of citrusy hops and toasted malts are present in the nose.
T: As in the smell, the taste has some flavors of citrus hops—orange and tangerine seem to stand out in particular—along with notes of biscuit and caramel malts. Only slight amounts of bitterness are perceptible.
M: It feels medium-bodied and slightly crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This APA has a fairly good balance between the malts and hops but I didn't find anything to really stand out in the smell or taste.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
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 jlindros
3.45/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Best by 8/25/14

Pours a decent fizzy slight creamy almost 1 finger head, fades semi slowly with a bit of lacing, very hazy chunky yeast sediment reddish orange colored beer.

Nose brings some bright hops, fresh like but not super fresh, some mild grapefruit and hint tropical note, a hint bubblegum like note, and just a touch citrus, a mild earthy grassy note, with some papaya and juniper berry like aromas, a bit of pine resin too. Lots going on in hop range, with very little slight malt character.

Taste brings lots more fruit, and hops, but a little soapy note which is a turn off, as well as a soda flavor that is weird. Malts bring a fair sweetness with some caramel and candy notes, a little soda syrup in there too like a sprite without lemon-lime, but there is a little lemony note in the hops. then fruity hops, various mix of fruits, a little tropical fruit note wit touch of grapefruit pith, melon rind, papaya like, a hint of berry as well, and into a little pine sap note, and some grassy earthy characters, etc. The back end brings a little more weird cilantro soapy note, a little sticky on the finish, bit more fruit and a little more candy malt lingering.

Mouth is med bod, decent carb.

Overall meh, has some interesting characters but some off notes as well with that soapy character, the hops are not the best overall, interesting blend but also kinda meh.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
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 mactrail
3.59/5  rDev -5.5%
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 Slatetank
4.21/5  rDev +10.8%
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 smcolw
3.96/5  rDev +4.2%

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 Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
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 TheSevenDuffs
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler filled on Nov 18 and consumed on Nov 22 poured in to tulip.

A - Medium yellow/orange with one finger of dirty white head.

S - Moderate bitterness up front with citrus and pine aromas and a fairly prominent sweet caramel malt backbone.

T - Moderate bitterness with grapefruit, orange peel and pine flavours. The malt base adds a big malt sweetness; fairly well balanced overall. Some light spice is present as well. A dry, bitter finish.

M - Medium body, dry. Lots of sticky hop oils. Light carbonation.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.93/5  rDev +3.4%
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 puboflyons
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
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 dar482
4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
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 pat61
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
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 VelvetExtract
3.65/5  rDev -3.9%

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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Photo of jmdrpi
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
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 cbutova
3.69/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Seems like a brew that has been revived this Spring or might be seasonal. Bottles around MA and fresh.

A- 12oz bottle poured to a pint glass with a hazy golden body that has a lot of visible chunks suspended throughout, yeast or hop particles. A large white cap forms to two fingers with a foamy, frothy texture. Thick blanket and small ring remain. Lace is thick and blotchy at the top with

S- Citrus, pine and stone fruit hops off the top without being tropical or juicy really. Floral hops are also here. Yeast bread and a light cracked malt backbone.

T- Pine gains on the other hop notes in the flavor. Grapefruit, bitter lemon peel, apricot and a large dose of floral/earthy (extreme flowery), probably second only to pine. Backbone is light yeast bread, fruit hints and biscuit pale malts. Something spicy fades in and out with each sip.

MF- Light bodied but with a soft, creamy texture. Carbonation medium-high and a bit foamy. Finishes with a fairly high, resinous bitterness for an APA.

Fresh pine, floral and citrus hops with just enough of a pale malt backbone to balance it out. This could be an IPA but by today's standards it is also easily a hoppy APA. Stands out from the juicy tropical brews of today but perhaps a tad less bitterness would make this better.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.63/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the brewery in Healdsburg. yellow color, white head. Aroma is lemons, citrus, hops, sort of breezy. Flavor is citrus and hops but not too bitter, sort of light drinking for the ABV. I wish this would show up in Denver but it better be fresh. Overall a solid hoppy pale ale that won't be drawing me away from Racer 5 anytime soon.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.23/5  rDev +11.3%
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 MattyG85
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
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 bubseymour
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
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 argock
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
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 CHickman
3.62/5  rDev -4.7%

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 Flounder57
3.72/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served in a pint glass at Estelle's in Boston.

Appearance: A one finger head was poured that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pale orange color with great clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Citrus, grapefruit, tangerine, lemon, pale, and toasted malts.

Taste: Same as above. Faint hops with mild bitterness in the rear.

Mouthfeel: A little bitter, light bodied, medium carbonation, and a little chewy.

Overall: Pretty nice and enjoyable pale ale. I could revisit this again.

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Grand Am from Bear Republic Brewing Co.
3.8 out of 5 based on 283 ratings.
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