Copperhead Pale Ale | Free State Brewing Co.

very good
235 Ratings
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Copperhead Pale AleCopperhead Pale Ale

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

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: 67 | Ratings: 235
Photo of VashonGuy
3.17/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Copperhead poured (from a 12 ounce bottle) an amber (or copper) color, with a smallish head. Not bad looking at all.

The smell was mildly hoppy. The taste was typical for an amber, malty and biscuity, with some hops. It was pleasant enough, and then there was a very off taste in the finish. It was beyond bitter, more metallic in the finish, and not at all pleasant. Up until then, it was an OK but undistinguished amber, and then it was less than that.

 460 characters

Photo of DrMullet
3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium amber.
Smell is faintly hoppy with some pine and citrus.
Taste is citrus and pine, well balanced hops.
Smooth, bitter finish. Easy drinking.

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Photo of scotorum
3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5


From the latest shipment from the beer club. We do not get the production of this Kansas brewery on the East Coast.

a: Clear dark amber to copper with a finger thick offwhite head which receded to uneven surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Ripe fruit such as apple and pear.

t: Follows the nose with a significant bitter bite and a sweet to bitter finish.

m: Light to medium leaning more to medium later on, good body with a watery hint or two early on, and heavy carbonation tingle.

o: A good pale ale, although the malt seems largely buried by lightly flavored bitterness until it warms. Refreshing and easy drinking. Best thing it has going for it is the quality look.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
3.92/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy copper with a creamy off-white head that leaves spotty areas of lace.
The aroma is is sweet peach, pineapple, a touch of citrus, a bit of caramel.
Taste is pineapple up front with a juicy middle, a bit of breadiness and a nicely bitter finish.
Mouthfeel is medium and slightly sticky.
Quite tasty.

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Photo of teromous
3.37/5  rDev -12%
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 -9.4%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
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...

 904 characters

Photo of jw4free
3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
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 TX-Badger
3/5  rDev -21.7%
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 -20.9%
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.

 605 characters

Photo of beatenbyjacks
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
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!

 336 characters

Photo of arc3636
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale brown color with some red hues. Pours with thick white head with excellent and long lasting lacing. Don't get a lot of hops in the nose, the aroma is fairly malty. Taste also starts out malty with the pine hops coming in the aftertaste. Lighter bodied with average carbonation.I'll definitely seek out another one. A nice malty (but still hoppy) alternative to all hops IPAs

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.49/5  rDev -8.9%
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 facundoCNB
3.59/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

 418 characters

Photo of StaveHooks
3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

 716 characters

Photo of WunderLlama
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

 445 characters

Photo of Flatlands
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
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 Groenebeor
3.67/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A- The beer is a nice solid copper color with a cream colored head. The head recedes to a film with nice sticky lacing as the beer goes down.

S- Faint malts, but bright bitter citrus hops.

T- A subtle caramel malt presence at the front. A bright, almost biting sharp hop finish.

M- Medium body with a dry finish.

O- Not bad, not bad at all. It's well-balanced really, which I appreciate.

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Photo of Dope
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A deep amber pour with a large fluffy off-white head atop it. Excellent retention with good lacing.

S: Citrusy with some toasted bread. Fairly subtle for an IPA.

T: Really nice sweet citrus mixing with toasted malt and caramel. Not much bitterness, just a touch.

M: Medium range, a touch drying in the aftertaste.

O: Not a huge in-your-face hop bomb like a lot of american IPAs, this is much more balanced and drinkable. Toasted malt adds a nice aspect I think.

 470 characters

Photo of birchstick
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

 536 characters

Photo of Tone
3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, copper color. 3/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of citrus hops, sweet malt, and a hint of floral hops. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, slight earthy malt, slight caramel malt, citrus hops, and a hint of floral hops. Overall, good appearance, feel, body, and blend.

 415 characters

Photo of MrTopher
3.83/5  rDev 0%
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.

 909 characters

Photo of FosterJM
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

906th Review on BA
Bottle to Pint
12 oz

Purchased at: On the Rocks, Lawrence, KS

App- A dark burnt orange with a nice fast receding head and had a small amount of cling. Such a great color to this one.

Smell- A big rich aromatic aroma of caramel malts with some softer citrus. A bit bitter.

Taste- This was a good pale. I forgot how much I liked this one off of a sampler a few years back. A good blend of caramel malts with some thicker citrus. A touch spicy and bitter.

Mouth- A medium body and a medium carbonation level. A bit thick citrus with some spicy caramel.

Drink- A pretty bigger taste with some good balance and finishing flavors. A little more bitter would have kicked this up a notch.

 705 characters

Photo of scratch69
2.58/5  rDev -32.6%
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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Copperhead Pale Ale from Free State Brewing Co.
3.83 out of 5 based on 235 ratings.
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