Pale Ale | Ithaca Beer Company

BA SCORE
81
good
260 Ratings
THE BROS
77
okay
Read the review
Pale AlePale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Ithaca Beer Company
New York, United States
ithacabeer.com

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-18-2001

BEER STATS
Ratings:
260
Reviews:
143
Avg:
3.56
pDev:
12.36%
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
8
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 260 |  Reviews: 143
Photo of LucaBrasi
3.61/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one poured a golden copper color with a thin white head, tiny carbonation bubbles rise to the surface.

Smell was lightly grassy with a hit of hops.

The taste is crisp and clean with a medium hoppy feel.

Mouthfeel is smooth crisp and refreshing at first but finishes with a slightly oily feel.

Drinkability is good. I was happy with this beer.

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Photo of bjohnson
3.03/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled 06/30/06. Review from notes.

A: Perfect copper color with an initial two finger frothy white head. Quick to dissipate with lots of bubbles coming from the bottom. Slight lace.
S: Floral hop notes with a grassyness to it. Grapefruit in there also. Caramel earthy malt background.
T/M: Grassy earthy hop flavor mixed with floral notes. Biscuity malt and slight caramel malt background combines well with the hops. Smooth, coating, and refreshing in the mouth. Slight bitterness with a semi dryness that hits at the finish. Light body. More malty than hoppy.
D: Drinkable but there are better pale ales out there. Good carbonation with an average overall taste. Worth a try.

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Photo of Gavage
3.73/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a lightly hazy orange color with a short one finger head. Decent amount of tiny carbonation bubbles seen rising. Spotty lacing develops.

Smell: very mild floral hops and a hint of citrus.

Taste: basically a west coast pale ale, with nice malt backbone and a decent orange and grapefruit citrus tone. The hop bitterness is floral and up front.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp throughout. Short aftertaste has most the flavors lingering briefly.

Drinkability: decent session beer. Not one that will stand out in the pale ale category, but is a solid offering. Try some.

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Photo of Dewey0603
3.37/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a nice clear amber with a decent head,but the head disappears way too fast. The smell has a sweet malt aroma to i as well as a citrus hop scent. The taste has hop bitterness to it with citrus flavors and malt. The m/f is light,but the hop bitterness doesn't mix with the malt well at all. This is an average to below average beer that I would pass on in the future.

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Photo of plaid75
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep copper hue with a one finger head. Decent retention and good lacing.

There was a sweet malty aroma cut with nice pine and citrus notes.

The flavor was a bit on the malty side for me. However, a nice sharp grapefruit bitterness. Decent hop presence throughout.

The mouthfeel was full. It could have been a bit drier if not for the extra sweetness.

A good drinkable APA. Average for the style.

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Photo of Avagadro
3.08/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into my american pint with a small white head that dissapeared wuickly. Lots of carbonation left over, but not alot of head. Good amber color. Not alot of aroma, what I do detect is hops. Good hop flavor, but I'm not good enough to pick out which one's are in it. Light bodied and clean in mouth. Seems to be a very average pale ale. Thsi would be a good beer to give someone to show them what a pale ale is. Nothing wrog with average, but it's nothing special. I would say if you're in the mood for a PA and this is around, try it. Nothing to go searching for, but definitely enjoyable.

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Photo of riversider76
3.91/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours rich golden. Two finger head, with good retention, and lacing. Aroma is piney/hoppy. Mouthfeel is medium, not much carbination. Taste is refreshing,light,but not too light. Just a bit hopped, with a smooth finish. Not sure of the ABV, but seems very drinkable.

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Photo of tempest
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Lost Dog Cafe in Ithaca.

Poured with a short white head on an amber body. Smells of american hops, a little grapefruity, but not too strong. Slightly fruity taste. Good balance and goes with my greek chicken. Flavor of an APA, but more subtle like an english pale ale. Tasty and very drinkable. I'm not a big fan of IBC, but this hits the spot.

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Photo of JackStraw22
3.5/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, no freshness date

Appearance: Pours a slightly cloudy, light copper body. A half inch of off-white head. The retention was ok.

Smell: Lots of grapefruity hop aroma, really dominates.

Taste: The grapefruit hop aroma translates into grapefruit hop taste. Hop taste is pretty one dimensional. It's clean and refreshing but not terribily interesting. Clean bitterness, small amount of malty sweetness.

Crisp and refreshing pale ale. Nothing really stands out, pretty straight forward, but it's a good brew and cheap here in town.

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Photo of quasimoto
3.47/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pale ales are a dime a dozen these days. This one I will definitly enjoy again and again. It started with a golden amber color and a nice 2 finger head which laced beautifully as I drank it. The aroma of hops is the most dominant one, but its light. There isn't a set "floral" or "citrus" side to this. However there is almost a chemical scent to it. The Chemical taste is also there surrounded by bread, and slight sweet caramel malts. The bitterness comes through in the end leaving a dry taste. Overall a fine pale ale.

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Photo of monkeybutler
3.76/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber pour with a one finger white head and solid carbonation. Little lace.

Smells of equally of floral hops and malt balance.

The taste is nearly indistinguishable from SNPA. Excellent malt/hop balance, good flavor.

Mouthfeel is somewhat cloying, but definitely not too present to disrupt the experience.

I'll drink this beer glass for glass with SNPA.

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Photo of Naes
3.23/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one is a dark copper color with a small off white head.

Aroma is almost non existent. Hints of hops exist though.

The flavor is dominated by mild hops but has a bit of malt presence in there as well.

Mouth feel is light bodied and a bit over carbonated.

Other than the carbonation factor, this one is easy going.
It’s alright, but not worth going out of the way to get one.

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Photo of thinkbreakfast
2.55/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?

App: Standard hazy orange. standard. standard

Smell: Rotten fruit sweetness. Banana/peach. No hops in scent.

Taste: Very full flavored. Lots of rotten peach. Very thick. Hop presence is limited.

MF: Very thick and full. Feels like the sugar that coats the mouth after drinking a Pepsi.

Drinkability: Too thick and sugary for my taste.

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Photo of kbnooshay
3.67/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The head here shrinks very quickly but the body is a really nice light orange-amber color. The aroma here is nice and piney. The taste is also piney but some fruit is in there too, others haev said apple, i think i might go with that. THe pine hops rocks but the malts are there too. The mouthfeel is moderate slightly sticky. It is quite drinkable. With Southern Tiers offering locally available which has more alcohol, hops, and that amazing pined up crazyness I don't really need this but there is something nice about it. It goes down easier than one of those.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
3.25/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Small, dense, bright white head fades quickly leaving a thin string of lace at the high beer mark. Golden copper colored beer with a few tiny bubbles rising up from the bottom. Hoppy aroma of candied grapefruit and floral notes. Mildly sweet malt backbone with some hop tea flavor up front. Hops become more citrus flavored and bitter towards the end. Moderately light body and low ABV make for a beer that's easy to drink. It's a decent beer, unfortunately I'm just not a big fan of the bitter grapefruit flavor towards the end.

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Photo of cooter
4.09/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Note: this bottle's been under severe stress--car trunks, almost-freezing refrigerators, you get the drill. Only three days worth should leave it OK though, especially for the style.

Pours a mostly clear amber with a distinctively pale ale head--splotchy, varied in size and thickness. Some lacing.

Smells rather powerfully for the style. Pine and apple. Mouthfeel is peppy and zesty and just sticky enough on the back of my throat.

Taste is black-peppery, hoppy, biting and clean. Grapefruit is strong on the roof of the mouth, not cloying much. Some alcohol. Strong lemon, but not orange or lime. Very nice.

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Photo of sabrills70
4.14/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful deep gold almost amber. Not much head, and just OK lace. For an APA it has a pretty good aroma. A subtlehop spicyness mixed with a nice sweet malt. A touch of citrus and honey alsop detected. Taste is very nice . Of course you get the nice hop spicyness but also a rich maltiness that other APA's lack. Citrusy with a smidge of honey noticed as well. Very nicely balanced. An excellent example of the syle, and a great session brew.

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Photo of wailingwench
3.89/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Eye Candy: Transparent amber with minimal rising carbonation. Fizzy 1 finger head that quickly gave way to thin edges. Some lacing. Thin looking 1/2 way through.

The Nose Knows: Light sweet malts, fresh baked white bead background, touch of floral, mostly pine hop aroma in the finish.

Tongueland: Sweet malt front, touch of honey to clear, bread-like middle, resinous hop finish. Underlying citrus and sweet fruit notes. Slightly thin, tingly, light and airy m/f.

Bender Factor: Perfect session APA, enough there in terms of nose/mouth to keep the BA writing and comparing notes all night. A perfect interpretation of an APA. Let's not forget what an APA is, just b/c it doesn't have I or Imperial in front of it doesn't make it less than it is. Interesting to note that NY APA's let the malts and yeast emerge. See Saranac, Southern Tier, and Flying Bison.

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Photo of Southernbrew
3.83/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber color with a decent, bubbly head.

Nice floral hops blend with a citrusness and a hint of spicy hops in the nose.

Medium bodied and a creamy carbonation. Moderate malt sweetness with an even balance between the malt and hops. Pleasant mix of fruit flavors blend with citrus hops that becomes slightly bitter and finishes with a nice dryness with faint hop flavors.

Decent pale ale, I'd drink it again. Brough back by a friend's dad traveling in NY.

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Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.92/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

See through amber in color, soda-like fiziness; huge nose of citrus and nasal cleansing hops. Medium and crisp body; caramel malts are noted out of the gate; some acidity in the body. Rich, citrus hops, a decent lingering hop aftertaste, which is to be expected. Almost there with the hops; still, a decent APA.

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Photo of Suds
4.05/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful copper color with a very nice, large, long-lasting head. The aroma is notably hoppy…flowery and fresh. Underneath the hops, there is a doughy malt smell, with a bit of caramel. Moderately sweet, with a light-to-medium mouthfeel. The finish is dry, and not nearly as bitter as I expected, given the smell. It’s a drinkable, enjoyable pale ale.

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Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Macgregors Canadaigua,poured a copper/amber with a slight head that hung on for quite awhile a malty,fruity aroma of some orange and toasted malt.A more malt accented pale I think lightly sweet caramel malt along with some orange and peach coming thru with a late dryness keeping it fairly balanced in the end.A drinkable ale not outstanding or earth shatttering but I could sit down on the stool and have a few and not complain.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.68/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle obtained via trade with Shippos. Thanks for the opportunity...

Poured in an imperial pint glass, forms a 1/2" off-white head, with some staying power, and laces excellently. A light amber brew, with an aroma tending towards hops, but not overpowering. Taste is a well-balanced symphony of pale malts and hops. Mouthfeel and drinkabilty are both reasonably good. Another good session brew from Ithaca.

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Photo of Dantes
4.15/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Package: 12 oz. longneck, crowned brown bottle (and draught). No date information or ABV indicated. Shamrock-green-colored label with the standard Ithaca Beer motif of Cayuga Lake with a face superimposed on it.

Cost: $6.99 per 6-pack at Finger Lakes Beverage

Presentation: Poured into a Shaker pint glass at ~45º

Appearance: Hard to distinguish from the Flower Power IPA in that it has a buckwheat-honey colored body with a mountainous ivory head that resolves to a thick foam lid. Sticky head liberally laces the glass. Tight, fine carbonation percolates through the beer. Fairly standard.

Smell: Ithaca beers have a pretty distinct smell and taste that this beer demonstrates in spades. Malts are pre-eminent, with a prickly, herbaceous hop note.

Taste: Like most Ithaca beers, this exhibits a soft, sweet, fruity taste that underpins almost every beer. Limning to its style though, this beer adds a pretty generous and complex helping of hops; including Cascade, Willamette, and Centennial. Despite the Pacific Northwest hops, Ithaca’s yeast and brewing techniques develop a very British-style pale ale without an overdose of citrusness. I’m shocked by the number of people who detected an astringent note in this beer; as if anything, Ithaca beers seem underhopped and not bitter enough for most people. Has a moderate, sweet, biscuity finish.

Mouthfeel: Ithaca excels at this, achieving a smooth, persistent carbonation and decent body even in their “weakest” beers.

Drinkability: I find all of the Ithaca beers eminently drinkable. They get the carbonation right, and with the recent formula tweaks, flavor concentration seems to be improved. An easy-drinking, satisfying, quaffable brew.

Backwash: I’m astounded (and disappointed) that these beers don’t seem to rate more highly. I’d be the first to admit to being prejudiced in favor of Ithaca (I think it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been); but I wouldn’t inflate my scores of the beer! I don’t even bring enough back to “pimp” it for trades. I drink the Pale Ale almost every time I’m up there; but this time I had the opportunity to drink it back-to-back-to-back with Sierra Nevada’s Pale Ale, a benchmark for the style. I clearly preferred the Ithaca to the SN, even going to the point of having someone else pour one for me, to see if I were influenced by the bottle. No sale. The Ithaca was better! To all of you who reviewed this in 2002 or so, try this again. They’ve tweaked it a number of times, achieving much better flavor concentration. I also note that two of the top-rated pale ales include SN’s Harvest (sort of a red ale/IPA) and Alpha King (a 7%+ IPA-ish beer), both of which are high-octane, highly-hopped beers for “pale ales.”

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.63/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Standard looking tall, thin 12 ounce brown glass bottle with a plain brass colored crown cap. Single obverse green label just like that depicted on the BA avatar. Listed as ‘Ithaca Beer Co. Finger Lakes Pale Ale’. No strength or freshness date.

Appearance: Hazed orange amber body with a positively humungous head at first, gigantic in size it threatens to take over the Glass. 12 ounces produces three times its volume in froth. The light cream colored head has immense staying power, this must be sponsored by and laced with Viagra for it is permanently stiff and stood to attention. Drink this and if you don’t swallow fast enough, you could get a stiff neck. Laces the glass well.

Nose: Breaded malts with a crumb like texture with some lime, lemon grass and hoppy green stains on the nasal passage.

Taste: Caramel malts with a doughy sweetness in the front end. The middle is richer and exhibits a more Pale Ale character with a nice citric hoppy finish and a grassy staining attitude on the tongue that lingers for some time. Extremely astringent finish that is very bitter.

Mouthfeel: Solid feel with lots of malts, the body turns into a raw grain texture in the middle with a creamy bold hoppy finish that has a grassy ending.

Drinkability: The dry finish is somewhat attractive in the overall experience. It’s a drinkable Pale Ale that has a malty start with an astringent bitter finish which somehow makes you want to grab the next beer quicker.

Overall: A decent session Pale Ale that has a lot of Drinkability in the long term.

A Five Fingered Cheers to McCall for providing this Pale Ale.

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Pale Ale from Ithaca Beer Company
3.56 out of 5 based on 260 ratings.
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