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Copperhead Pale Ale | Free State Brewing Co.

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67 Reviews
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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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Reviews: 67 | Ratings: 234
Photo of Zadok
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep copper with amber highlights and a light white skin head.

Subtle earthy hop aroma with a slight floral fragrance.

Very interesting hop flavor, earthy with a fruity undertone.

Smooth mouthfeel with little carbonation.

Overall a pretty tasty IPA. Has a great session beer written all over it, in fact if I will probably get one every trip to Lawrence.

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Photo of damuraus
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An impressive deep amber, almost reddish hue. The nose was fruity with hops coming through. Taste of grapefruit at the front. The finish was smooth and while there was sufficient hops, there wasn't much bitterness at the end. Mouth feel was substantial enough to support all the flavors. A very pleasant quaff.

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Photo of Deuane
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Deep copper with a medium tan head. Head reduced to leave nice lacing.

S-Wonderful dry-hopped aroma with pungent citrus and pine scent blasting from the glass. A bit of roasty, sweet malt sneaks in behind the hops.

T-Sharp, bitter hop bite upfront. Roasty malt takes a backseat but is certainly present.

M-Medium body with a sharp, crisp feel. Very nice with lingering bitterness.

D - A very good beer, called a pale ale in house but this is certainly an American IPA. Sharp, crisp hop bite dominates and the dry-hopped aroma is wonderful. Nice job!

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Photo of Goliath
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with one finger of off-white head. Decent retention with some bubbley lacing.

Aroma has a subtle hop profile. A bit of citrus and pine with a touch of malt sweetness in the background.

Very tasty. A light piney hop profile with a bit caramel malt finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with light carbonation.

Drinkability is fairly high with low alcohol and simple but pleasing flavors.

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Photo of zeff80
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a nice amber color with a thick, tan, one-finger head. It left sticky rings of lace on the glass as I drank it down.

S - It smelled of grasses and hops. Also, a roasted malt aroma.

T - It had a good bitter hop flavor at first sip. The roasted maltiness was understated but clearly a presence. The hoppiness maintained its bitter bite throughout.

M - It was crisp and very sharp. A medium-bodied beer.

D - A very good beer. Possibly the finest regular brew at the Free State.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Warmly glowing coppery apricot. This is beautiful beer that is especially attractive because it's filling my genuine Free State logo pint glass. The toasted almond colored cap was never very large, but it's a looker. The upper surface is moonscape-like and is depositing some pretty impressive looking lace... that isn't as clingy as it first appeared to be.

The aroma's only real fault is its shyness. Maybe it will become more bold at the beer gains a few degrees (it does). The malty portion of the nose is nicely butter caramel-like. The hoppy portion features the citric, cheesy, weedy, citric qualities of Cascade more than the pure grapefruit pithiness of Centennial. Since I like them both, all is well.

Copperhead Pale Ale is a fantastic American IPA (APA? IPA?... doesn't matter). I was pretty sure it would be, which is why I brought home this growler. Only $6.25 for refills? Are you kidding me?! I know where I'd be most days if I lived in Lawrence. I'm amazed at how much better beer this is than the two Free State offerings that I had at the brewpub last week.

Again, buttery smooth caramel malt provides sweet, toffee-like flavors and keeps thing from being a pure hopfest. I normally like my IPAs to feature nothing other than hop flavors, but there are exceptions. This is one of those exceptions. The malt gives the beer a solid foundation and a depth that lesser versions lack.

Hops, of course, are the stars of this blockbuster of a show. The Cascade are still dominant and have been used to great effect, both in terms of flavor and bitterness. Caramel and pine sap-soaked grapefruit chunks, along with freshly zested lemons and oranges, give CPA a hop oily, resinous deliciousness that only truly fresh beer can manage.

I don't understand how this mouthfeel can be so superior to the mouthfeels on the rye beer and the oatmeal stout. A softer carbonation (cask) might have something to do with it. This may not be the biggest IPA on the block, but it's considerably creamy, supremely silky and lingeringly sticky. Sorry, I couldn't manage another alliteration on that last one.

Free State's Copperhead Pale Ale has exceeded the high hopes that I had when I decided to make it my one growler purchase. It's a fantastic IPA that I plan to savor over the rest of this rainy, dreary November Sunday. The only trouble is, I now feel the need to head back down to Kansas sooner rather than later. This stuff was well worth the trip.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
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.

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Photo of jokelahoma
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one poured a new penny coper color, with a good substantive head that lasted the entire beer.

The aroma is quite nice. It's almost a fresh hop smell, pungent, biting, citrusy. Very good. There's little malt in the nose of this beer at all.

The taste is initially all hops. It's not all that bitter, but very big on hop flavor. The malt does come in to balance the beer after the initial taste, then slowly dies away, but the hoppiness never fades. Very good, clean hop flavors, too, not like licking the bottom of a lawnmower. There's no coarseness in this at all. Really very well done for an American IPA. Crisp, clean, refreshing, and not a macro. Whodathunkit?

The mouthfeel is a tad heavier than one may expect, but not so much so as to be distracting. Just... hearty, would be a good word, I think.

This is a well-made beer. Well worth seeking out, as are all the Free State offerings.

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Photo of karst
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Although not as tasty as their Smoke Hille Ale - Copperhead has ample characteristics to reccomend it.

Pours a bright copper with white head and lace that persists on the Schlafly pint glass. Cascade dry hopping pays big dividends in this APA. Biscuit and Victory malts support the Cascade and Chinook bitterness and flavor. Tap version is much brighter in aroma and flavor and seems better balanced. Medium body and 2 atmosphere carbonation level makes this a showy brew with nice mouthfeel and drinkability. Higher carbonation may offset my objection to caramel sweetness that was a little overpowering in the growler.

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Photo of dreadnatty08
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Free State has rotating cask offerings, and they are always best bets. This is their standard pale ale, and the cask gives it a super mellowed carbonation, cloudy appearance and grassy, fruity flavor. Hops are not particular predominant as the brew goes down. Maltiness is more pronounced as with the pear-like finish. A beautiful brew to have with a meal as the flatness reduces fullness. Have yet to try on tap, but cask is just too hard to resist.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An ideal Pale in the middle of nowhere. Had with the Brewery's blackbean quesadilla. Perhaps not the best accompaniment, but it works.

Little head, which makes it drink easier. Just enough bite to notice, but not overwhelming. Same with a hint of malt. Just when you think its thin, it bodies up and gives a good aftertaste.

Taste is better if not served straight from their tap as they use freshly washed glasses (unchilled) which are warm. Get a growler and chill it for a day. You'll finish the bottle toot sweet.

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Photo of bditty187
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, coppery-tawny-gold in hue; the liquid was pleasant in appearance. It was served with almost two fingers of frothy off-white head. Head retention was excellent, a half finger cap lasted the entire consumption. There was a tremendous amount of subsequent, sticky lacing. On cask this Pale Ale looks great. It is eye candy for the beer fiend.

The nose is powerful with a hoppy blast that only cask beer can offer. It is citrusy-grapefruit and piney with a fruity underbelly. The malt backbone is solid; it supplies a toasty but soft caramel biscuit aroma. Solid potency. I found the bouquet to be very inviting.

The palate is the same wonderful combination as the nose. This Pale Ale is put together perfectly… it is a cask queen. The hops are assertive; they just jumped down my throat. They were bitter and flavorful with grapefruit rinds, orange zest, and pine needles/spruce bark. Yeast fruitiness. The belly is malty; caramel and toasty biscuits. The aftertaste is long and relaxing. This beer was so damn tasty on cask.

Medium in body, the cask-conditioning created a low but natural carbonation level and it produced a pliable and relaxing mouthfeel.

Drinkable? Yell yeah. I order two of these and I’m not sure I set my glass down. It was quaffed at the brewpub in Lawrence, KS. I wish this were on cask every time I went... this is a “must try” if you see this beer on cask. Yum.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed via the magical medium of a growler, coutesy of that gentleman, marc77...
Appearance: pure copper color, with a rustic reddish hue atop, and a thick, pale brownish head, soon simmering down to a tight, white ring.
Aroma: softy and distinctly malty, creamy, with toffeeish notes, hints of fruit, refined, restrained, and sophisticated.
On the palate, light and smooth, but fully loaded with flavor, rich, full and super-malty. Not too much from the hop department here, but the abscence is not missed so much when in the company of so much flavor as is in such abundant supply here. And in this sampling, I had a 64 0z. supply of flavor and never tired of it for a moment. The growler was empty before the morning broke!
Mild, mellow, smooth, but jam-packed with luscious taste! An excellent session ale, in my humble, and a Huge Thanks to Marc77 for allowing me the priveledge of trying it out!

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Photo of maxpower
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
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 beernut7
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color of deep copper under a light white lace. The bold aroma is significantly spicy. Hop heads would really enjoy this one. Right up front is the aggressive spicy hopping supported by a good malt backup. The hops definitely come out more than the sweetness, but the hops made it good.

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Photo of marc77
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Attractive clear copper color. Off white, soapy, yet persistent head leaves rough, frothy lace. Assertive, but clean citrusy Cascade nose dominates the aroma, with agreeable hints of pine sap secondary. Definitely dry - hopped. Token medium caramel malt sweetness with faint biscuit notes is offset by assertive, but clean hop bitterness. The carbonation is fairly high, leaving a slightly prickly mouthfeel. Sharp, but enjoyable grapefruit hop flavor is tapered by a firm, dextrinous malt backbone. The body is fairly light overall, but this adds to the drinkability of this brew. Finishes quite dry, crisp and lightly toffeeish. Copperhead is one tasty and well brewed APA, and certainly straddles the boundary between pales and IPAs. Unique, and certainly well crafted.

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Photo of mmthompson33
4.9/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The name says it all. It's unique copper color and strong hoppy aroma and taste give this beer a distinct personality. Nothing in a bottle is quite like a fresh Copperhead poured from a tap.

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Copperhead Pale Ale from Free State Brewing Co.
3.84 out of 5 based on 234 ratings.
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