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Copperhead Pale Ale | Free State Brewing Co.

very good
64 Reviews
no score
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Copperhead Pale AleCopperhead Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Free State Brewing Co.
Kansas, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Silver Medal Winner 1997 World Beer Championships - India Pale Ales.

While walking through a field and enjoying a lazy summer evening, our head brewer Steve stepped on a stick that popped up and nicked his leg.

Or so he thought, until he found two puncture marks on his ankle. The copperhead bite may have caused a trip to the hospital for Steve, but it also provided just the inspiration he and Chuck needed to name their new beer – yep, one lowly snake in the grass is the namesake of one of our most popular beers.

53 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-16-2001

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 64 | Ratings: 224
Photo of scratch69
2.58/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I poured a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance- Clear copper color with a thin head and almost no lacing.

Smell- Strong hop aroma and not much else.

Taste- Strong hop flavor with a bitter, dry finish.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied and an average amount of carbonation.

Overall- Not an outstanding beer. If you are looking for an IPA to drink there a better ones out there.

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Photo of crusian
2.88/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

bottle from awesome girlfriend from lawrence, actually. Pours a light amber color with litle head, but large bubbles, seems like it was force carbonated.
nose doesnt have much on it. bottle says best by 1-1 so I assume this is semi-fresh... but the hop presence seems to be faded or just was never really there to begin with.
taste tells me more of the same. it does have a bitter finish, but no real hop profile up front. taste is sweet and thin with some caramel malt character, but overall this isnt that great. This bird on the label is freakin me out a bit too... why is he so squat and fat? lol.
Oh, and the category is wrong, it is a pale ale, not an American IPA.

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Photo of TX-Badger
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a medium amber color with white head. Light pine, citrus, and caramel notes on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with a little hop resin.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled last night on 6/16/14. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured into a 'Free State' mini-snifter glass which I bought directly from their brewery/restuarant while in Lawrence, Kansas a few weekends back.

Pours a copper-amber in color with a thin off-head head. Some spotty lacing is seen when sipped. The aroma is of sweet malts with a hint of caramel. The taste is the same that is followed up quickly by a bitter finish by the grassy malts. Perfect carbonation. Not a fan of the IPA style brews due to their hoppy, bitter finish. But one of the better ones I have tried.

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Photo of beertunes
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Consumed after a friends recent visit to Kansas. Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a great sharp copper color without much head, likely due to transportation reasons.

This brew had a sharp hop scent, with what smelled like a solid malt base. The flavors were just like the aromas, just fuller and expanded on.

Good solid body, typical for the style, and not heavy. A very drinkable beer if this were locally available to me it would be in my regular rotation of go-to brews.

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Photo of teromous
3.37/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The label has "Best By" notches on the side indicating 3 and week 2 so the second week of March. I'm well within that window.

Appearance: As the namesake indicates the beer is a nice copper color. It has good clarity and a thick white head with good retention.

Aroma: There isn't a whole lot of aroma here. It has a very light floral aroma with a touch of lemon.

Taste: It has a mellow hop flavor with a touch of rye bread flavor.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is very nice. It is fairly dry with good carbonation and a light bitterness.

Overall: It's a pretty good clean pale ale. I would drink it again.

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Photo of PhilHeinricke
3.47/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I was in Lawrence, KS, for a week. This brewery was just a few blocks from the hotel, but I didn't go there. I picked up a few six packs at a local liquor store (in Lawrence, beer isn't sold in supermarkets or convenience stores like in other locales). This is one of the flagship beers for this brewery.

All in all I have to say I was a little disappointed. Not totally disappointed. I mean, it is beer afterall so it was pretty good. It has a dark copper color which is probably why they named it copperhead. It pours out nicely into one of those 6 oz. hotel glasses - you know, the ones they wipe with a dirty rag and then slap a sticker one it that says "sanitized". But I digress. It had a decent taste and a decent smell, but it was just average. I expect more from a craft brewery.

 799 characters

Photo of Soonami
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Based on taste and appearance, I would've thought that Copperhead Pale Ale from Free State would be an English Pale Ale, so I was of course very surprised to come on BA and find this listed as an AIPA (neck label on bottle calls it an "American Pale Ale"). This was a nice copper color with a bit of foam consisting of tiny bubbles. The beer had a bit of woody hop aroma and sweet malt that were both repeated in the taste. Furthermore, the hop flavor wasn't that sprucy, grapefruit, fruity west coast hops, but more of a minty, herbal, earthy English hop thing. Overall, this was a tasty beer, but definitely not up-to-snuff for an American IPA.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.49/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a copper color ale with a medium size head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of light citrus notes with dry caramel malt notes. Taste is also dominated by dry caramel notes with some light citrus undertones. Body is about average with good carbonation. Easily quaffable thought hops profile is bit more subdued then I had expected.

 356 characters

Photo of maxpower
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Bright glowing golden copper in color, clingy foamy head, nice lacing. Citrus and pine aroma of hops. Pretty hoppy for a Pale Ale , some malt flavors with a nice hop bite yet very easy to drink, has a clean and bitter taste, more of an English IPA, light to medium body nice crisp bitterness in the finish.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This had a light, off-white head upon presentation with great clarity in a deep copper-colored ale. The nose had a light mix of hops and malt. The mouthfeel was medium with an up-front hops presence. The finish was initially sweet, but the hops returned in the aftertaste. This was a really tasty beer.

 302 characters

Photo of jw4free
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Look: Nice white head fades with decent effervescence. Medium amber, light copper.

Smell: Malty, Peaty

Taste: Hops - grapefruit

Feel: Crisp, finishes flat

 157 characters

Photo of capra12
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Special thanks to Matt for this extra, poured into a weyerbacher pint glass.

Appearance: this pours a 1 finger head with a clear and deep brown/copper. Minimal weblike and spotty lacing.

Smell: I get a bunch of caramel malts with a hint of grassy hops. A slight twinge of metallic comes and goes.

Taste: Opens with a mild floral hop along with a mild malt profile. A one dimensional American IPA, with a mildly hoppy after taste.

Mouthfeel: light bodied, medium carbonation with a slightly coarse

Drinkability: I would have this at a bar which serves BMC and there arent other choices. I recommend this to those seeking an amber with a mild hop profile.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a clean yet deep copper in color with a finger of head. decent amount of lacing. smells of sweet bready malt, caramel, very yeast oriented. the flavor is a slight tad bitter up front, grassy hops, then a heavy dose of bready malt. not much there, but a decent beer to just pound. medium in body, moderate carbonation. refreshing and crisp but i was expecting a lot more hop balance from this brewery and for the style.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a muddy amber with a thin off white head.

Caramel malt and American hops form a rather standard APA aroma.

Malty sweetness offers a caramel feel that is balanced by medium hop bitterness. Hop flavor extends to the dry finish with notes of citrus, pine, maybe a little mint.

Medium to full bodied.

Interesting malt profile, but other than that Copperhead does little to distinguish itself from the sea of American Pale Ales. I see that BA and Free State call this an American IPA. I don't see it. My experience here seems at odds with other BAs whose opinions I have come to respect. My bottle is right up against its best buy date, maybe this one just needs to be fresher. I'll be sure to try it again and report back.

 729 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

traditional and tasty, but not my favorite of the kansas hoppy stuff i has this weekend. its got the grain bill more of an amber or an english mild than an american ipa, and while more interesting, feels a lot more malt forward and heavy than i was anticipating. nice and frothy in the glass with a tall head on it and a lot of lace character on the edges of the glass as i drink on it. the nose and taste match up pretty well to one another, with the munich type malt leading the way even before the hops, which to me are northwest C varietal stuff, dosed appropriately but mostly early, with more bitterness than aromatic, and a very vegetal component. cerealy and toasty, the beer has layers and it comes together quite well. a little filling for sessioning in my book, but a well made beer that is probably most applicable in mid autumn. i have been with free state in my limited experience so far...

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Photo of acelin
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass on tap at the brewery.

Pours a dark orange-amber, slightly caramel in color as well. Small head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Citrus and piney hops, lots of lemon, some sap. Some caramel malt.

Taste: Identical to the smell.

Mouthfeel: Average for the style.

Overall an okay IPA. Nothing amazing.

 332 characters

Photo of StaveHooks
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle served in a Sam Adams perfect pint

A - Hazy copper/amber color with a small white head that leaves quickly.

S - Bready caramel, slightly toasted, multi grain cracker.

T - Deep caramel malt, very bready, toasted biscuits, leafy bitterness, hints of tart fruit, some tea-like bitterness sneaks in with hints of sharp lemon citrus on the finish.

M - Heavy side of medium body, medium carbonation, foamy but smooth feel.

(I reviewed this as an APA)
This beer plays more to the malts than the hops. Nice malty depth with simple hop biterness. Some fruit mixed in with some citrus and tannins on the finish. Good stuff here. Very balanced but I would consider this a American Pale Ale rather than an IPA.

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Photo of WunderLlama
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle poured into a pilsener glass

Nice two finger foam cap settles in a solid, thin white layer. Strong lacings cling to the side of the glass. Small carbonation in a copper, reddish golden brown. Lacings remain after a few swigs.

Fresh pine and citrus hop aroma.

Sharp hop bite with a clean finish. Medium weight.

If you like hoppy ales, this is a good one. Pleasant appearance, decent aroma and taste. Good representative for the style.

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Photo of Flatlands
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I remember when this brew pub started and it was the only place within 50 miles to get fresh local beer. A local bar had this one on special so I took a trip down memory lane. I think how I was all Pale Ale and now IPA, Belgium, hoppy wheats, white or dark IPA's, Imperial everything keeps me happy. It's still good to go back to where it all started.

A- Had to ask for a glass, a bar with 100 brews and you have to ask for a glass? Pours copper-orange, small head that fades quickly
S- Not much there but when you are used to BIG hops, this one smells more of the carmel malt to me
T- Takes me back! This used to be considered hoppy but now, I taste more of the malt and then the hop finish. This is one to let warm up a bit and drink slow.
M- a good medium, nice drinking, just right carbonation.
O- A good solid american pale ale. Well crafted and balanced more towards the malt, which is a good change for a hop head.

 922 characters

Photo of beatenbyjacks
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Bright copper color, I see it in the name. This head that leaves quickly with some decent lacing.

Smell - good blend of sweet malts with some bitter hops on the end

Taste - nice bitter start to the beer with a well balanced malt build to balance this one out.

Mouthfeel - Smooth bitter finish.

Overall - solid pale ale!

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. On tap in August 2009.

Pours.a nice copper color with a white head and a pretty good dose of lacing. Nose is fairly strong notes of C-hops with a bit of caramel malt in the background. Taste is not quite as hopcentric and some more caramel comes through. Good body with nice bitterness. Drinks well and was my favorite of the day.

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Photo of fltmedic
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 oz bottle to my favorite mug pours the Copperhead Pale Ale. A fluffy off white head forms up to about 2 fingers and a nice collar hangs on for quite a while. The color is an orangy amber and I can see lots of tiny bubbles rising throughout.

The nose is light with floral and citrus notes. There is a nice orange juice sweetness in the smell, but it is subtle and balances well.

The entry is a mouthful of hops, big and bold and complex. This holds through the body of the beer which has the orange zest that the nose hints at. The fade is all bitter hops but not so much that you forget the body of the beer.

The feel is medium body but crisp and the carbonation comes through at the end. It seems similar to may ambers in feel.

Overall this is a good dinner beer. Since I am not a big IPA fan, this probably won't become my beer of choice. But it is definitely worth keeping on hand for hophead friends or a change of pace.

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Photo of birchstick
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copperish orange color with a one finger head. The nose is earthy, piney hops and some caramel malts. The taste follows suit. Caramel Malta start off the profile and have a touch of toasted malt in the mix. Some bitter, pine hops show up afterwards. A little bit of the toasted malts show back up on the finish as well. Pretty straight forward, but good in its own right. Mouthfeel has a decent amount of carbonation in it and a medium body. Overall, this is a good pale ale (listed as an IPA?). Worth a shot if you see it.

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Photo of MrTopher
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A – Orange/copper color, which is funny because it’s also in the name. But honestly this beer has a nice hue to it, it absorbs light and nice a nice glow to it. Nice off white head forms and leaves some mild lacing on the glass.

S – Good sweet caramel smell, and a decent citrus hop character as well, but also a little floral also at the end.

T – Good balanced pale ale, with the sweetness of the malt and the punch of the hops it’s a nice example of the traditional style. The hops have a citrus character, the floral hops in the nose don’t come out in the taste.

M – Carbonation was good, and the mouth feel was balanced.

O – I had this over a year back and this is my 2nd visit and this time I enjoyed it more than the first. Well made and well balanced pale ale. Free State makes some just all around good brews. This is my 2nd style experience with them, and both have been great.

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Copperhead Pale Ale from Free State Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 64 ratings.
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