Loser Pale Ale | Elysian Brewing Company

147 Reviews
Loser Pale AleLoser Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Elysian Brewing Company
Washington, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Corporate Beer Still Sucks


Light tropical flavors balanced with a crisp malt-hop finish.

Pale, Munich, Crystal and Cara-hell

Bittered with Sorachi Ace and finished with Crystal hops

ABV: 7.0%
IBU: 57

Year Round — Draft, 22 oz bottles, Six Packs/12oz bottles

Celebrating over 20 years of Sub Pop Records with beer.

Added by bbothen on 08-28-2008

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Reviews: 147 | Ratings: 571
Photo of Rifugium
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Monk's, Philly, PA

Poured a clear copper with a large, fluffy, tan head that receded after a few minutes to a thin layer, lacing nicely. Crisp aroma, mainly of malts, with some sensations of herbs and nuts. Smelled more like an amber ale than a pale ale. Very toasty taste, malty, burnt sugar; some hop bitterness coming through, but not much. A bit of orange taste in there as the flavors settled on my taste buds. Pretty smooth mouthfeel, finished pretty dry, and was quite drinkable in its own right, though lacking some of the bright flavors I'd typically expect from an APA.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.36/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

From 05/28/11 notes. Had on tap at Monk's Cafe in Philly. Served in a pint glass.

a - Pours a clear reddish amber color with one finger of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of pale malts light fruity malts, bready malts, and wheat. Not bad at all, but a little bland to me.

t - Tastes of sweet fruit, caramel malts, bready malts, wheat, and toffee. Definitely a step up from the nose and more going on here.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

o - Overall an average pale ale. Nothing offensive about it at all, but the nose is pretty bland and just there. Taste is a step up with some sweet fruit and caramel. Wouldn't seek out again but glad to have tried it.

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Photo of mactrail
3.19/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

What is this anyway? Reading the description for German Alt, I'd say it's a lot closer. If you're a Pale Ale fan, no way is this a pale. Call it a wierd fruity amber.

Beautiful in the glass, nice amber color and loads of lacing. Fruity with a hint of the barnyard. Not quite tart enough for a Saison, but in that vein. Fairly malty with a biscuit taste and touch of mince meat pie.

Not bad and quite drinkable, but approach without expectations.

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Photo of jcw122
4.42/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this for dinner tonight. I chose it from the bar on a whim. It ended up being pretty good! I got an initial smell that brought bananas to mind. The color is was darker than most Pale Ales you'll encounter, but I found that enticing. The taste was hoppy but nowhere near the 53 IBUs they claim. It was definitely a great beer that I would have again!

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4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear golden copper. Big offwhite head that dissipated to a small layer. Some sticky cave painting laces.

Spicy herbal and pine notes. Toasty bread and caramel. somewhat malt forward. but hops still shine through.

Spicy herbal and piney hops. Toasty, bread, and caramel. Piney and herbal bitterness with a little bite. bitter malt forward beer. Similar to an ESB.

Semi thick, rich, and sticky. Drying. Good carbonation. Lively on the tongue. medium plus body for style.

Very drinkable. Bitter and tasty. ESB like. Great beer with food.

I enjoyed the 2010 more than the 2009. Love the label. Pairs well with some Seattle Grunge (Mudhoney or Green River works best).

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Photo of trevorjn06
4.17/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a straw/golden color with a small head that recedes quickly. Minimal lacing on the glass.

Aroma is fairly mild (beer is cold) but there is some malt and bready-ness along with very faint fruity/lemony hops.

Taste is very smooth, there is caramel, light toffee and a nice malty-ness. The hops are restrained but present with some brightness towards the finish. It rolls onto the tongue with lightly toasted and grainy malt flavors and light caramel. This rolls into some lemon and very light/bright floral and then the finish comes with a moderate hop bitterness that creates a smooth and light flavor that makes you want another sip.

Mouthfeel is medium with slightly high carbonation.

Overall this beer is fairly light but with some stronger malt notes. I found it very drinkable and thoroughly enjoyed drinking it.

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Photo of Seanibus
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a vast, beautiful head. The aroma is delicate and perfumy, a little malt, some ginger and jasmine. The flavor is also delicate, malty and warm with a pleasant, sharp hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is foamy and satisfyingly beer like.

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Photo of oglmcdgl
3.95/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A pint on tap at memphis taproom.

A- comes to me with a finger of off white head that settles soon enough to a small island and a faint ring. Deep copper orange in color with a brilliant clarity.

S- quite nose with some sweet caramel malts and a hit of toast. Mild hops crack at times.

T- nice balance between malts and hops. Caramel sweetness and piny citrus hops at the same time. Sweet oranges and ruby red grapefruit topped with brown sugar and dark caro syrup. Toasted whole wheat bread and honey on top.

M- medium body and carb. This brew is and exercise in balance.

D- well kinda malty for a apa but this is an amazing brew and I really like it.

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Photo of philbe311
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growing up a huge fan of many Sub-pop artists (Love Battery anyone?), I'm kind of excited to pop this one open...

A - Two fingers worthy of exceedingly creamy light tan colored head that is slightly rocky and includes some big chunky bubbles... An pale light caramel color... Loaded with swirling carbonation that moves at a pretty good clip... Some foam clings to the glass...

S - Not much of an aroma at all... Some pale malts... Some Caramel... A super faint whiff of muted citrus... Perhaps a slight hint of nuttiness...

T - Toasted malts... Pale malts... Caramel... Nuttiness... Seltzer... A surprisingly sharp but shallow bitterness rises on the finish... The finish is laced with a slight metallic presence...

M - Medium bodied... A tad of lively carbonation... Slightly sleek... Dry finish... Rather pedestrian...

D - Easy drinking and quite sessionable... Nothing fancy and nothing off putting... A rather average brew tied to one of great independent record labels off all time... Nothing to write home about, but I wouldn't hesitate picking on up if I saw one, especially given the low price...

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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.53/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a clear, deep orange with a small white head and good carbonation

S: Caramel and a tangyness

T: Plenty of malts, Crystal and Munich, balanced perhaps even more malts. Some deep tang and citrus

M: Malty and light booze feel

D: Ok but not one I would recommend, not bad but overly exciting either

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Photo of philbertk
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Elysian Brewing Company--ELYSIAN Loser Pale Ale--Sub Pop Records 20th Anniversary Ale--2008--22 oz. Bottle Release. 6.50% ABV--35 IBU's? (4.0 / 5.0) Pale Ale. "Lacy thin head. Clear thin bright rich pretty amber color. Floral ""Crystal"" hop malty front. Creamy toasted cloying mild sweet Crystal malt mild fruit biscuit rich Pale Ale body. ""Sorachi Ace? Bittering."" Mellow hop spice cloying malty bitter doughy end. Rich." Sampled 7/25/2008. 4 @ $3.99 Each. Elysian Brewing Company--New Belgium Brewing Company--Loser Pale Ale--Sub Pop--2009--22 oz. Bottle Release. 7.00% ABV--45 IBU's? (4.5 / 5.0) Pale Ale. Thin off white head. Clear rich amber red color. Mellow malty floral hop front. Rich mildly earthy doughy biscuit caramel mild fruit Pale Ale body. Mellow creamy mild sweet biscuit hop end. Rich Tasty Pale Ale. Sampled 6/20/2009. 4 @ $4.50 Each. Elysian Brewing Company--ELYSIAN Loser Sub Pop Pale Ale--2010 22 oz. Bottle. 7.00% ABV. 45 IBU's? (4.0 / 5.0) IPA-Imperial Pale Ale? Thin mild white lace head. Clear rich pretty amber color. No sediment. Mild floral hop malty doughy front. Smooth rich biscuit caramel light sweet fruit Pale Ale body. Smooth mild hop spice refreshing rich Pale Ale end. Crisp malt & hops make a rich tasty Pale. Sampled 6/11/2010. $3.99 Each.

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Photo of skinny0ne
3.47/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

It has a great creamy head. Lots of good lacing. The color is a perfect amber. There is very little aroma. Just a hint of roasted malt and bread. It has a lot of flavor throughout. The hops are present but not overpowering. A bit of grapefruit cuts it. Under it is a nice, maybe banana flavor which lends to a certain sweetness to it. Maybe a bit too sweet. And behind that and into the aftertaste and breath is some alcohol. Probably it's main weakness. At "only" 7% it should have that much of an alcohol flavor to it. And if you belch, there is definitely an odd carbonation flavor to it. Overall it's worth a try. Good but has a couple flaws to it that prevent it from being great.

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Photo of Teleweizen2
2.98/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Glass - Sam Adams perfect pint & delirium tremens snifter

A - pours an organey yellow with a white fluffy buy quickly dissipating head. Little to no lacing.

S - toasty caramel malts and a decent citrusy malt profile.

T - decent flavors. Citrus hops with a caramel malt base. Not all that complex or intriging for that matter.

M - medium bodied and a little too carbonated.

D - fairly drinkable just not that interesting.

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Photo of RJLarse
3.24/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought a bomber of Loser Pale Ale in a beer store. $3.99. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours deep ornage gold color with a bit of haze. Creamy head leaves behind some dainty lace. The brew appears full bodied, with small bubbles leisurely rising in the glass.

Smell is a sweet bread aroma, with just a hint of s fruit ot floral scent. Veyr much a malty smelling beer.

Taste is a caramel orange bread flavor all at once, with a very mild bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied. Sort of an in-between feel, neithe clean or cloying.

Drinkable enough. Sweeter than a lot of pale ales, and could be a little hoppier. I'd have it again, but it won't be a regular at my house.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
2.62/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

The name is a challenge to overcome.

Healthy, hazy orange body, topped by three fingers of dense off-white micro-bubbles.

Mild bready aroma with just a whiff of overripen oranges. Have to work just too hard to get something.

Sweet fruit trickles down the tongue. Orange, maybe a bt of mango. Blast of bitterness before the swallow. The whole seems someshat disjointed.

Medium mouthfeel works fine. Diminished drinkablity from the beers disjointed development.

Foregoing any label inspired play on words, I'll just say that this is not a winner. Pass on this one.

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Photo of mentor
2.96/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

New on the shelves here in Colorado, must be contract brewed for Elysian by New Belgium Brewing. Pours a three finger light tan head over a clear copper liquid. Smells musty american hops. A bit like a candle shop.

Tastes fruity hops with mild support malt and a grassy edge as the bitterness. Hops come across as oranges, mild pith, red fruit, baby aspirin, and a dash of fruity wood. Hop bitter is flat musty and not particularly pleasant. Malt sweet is wet and refreshing...works will with the hop flavors.

Md light body and medium carbonation. For me, the hop bitterness didn't work with the hop flavors and malt. Disjointed and mediocre.

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Photo of Oxymoron
2.84/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Why do I start singing Beck every time I try this beer? Must be brewed by New Belgium. Pours a crystal clear amber color with a soft fizzy white head.

The nose is limited with some minor malt and caramel notes. A hint of hops with a light earthy and citrus notes. Some minor buytric notes and an off yeast smell on the back end.

The taste is limited as well, at least on the hop side. The malt comes out with a more caramel note. Some off gritty/grainy taste that was off. No real bitterness but some minor off hop notes with a light earthy finish. Some minor yeast notes but not as bad as the nose.

The body is moderate with a good carbonation. Overall the caramel thing is a bit distraction and limited hops make me wanting more.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.72/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a medium-burnt orange with a compact 1 finger tan colored head that was short lived. Visible carbonation was light, while the clarity was semi-hazy. The lacing was spotty, weak, and sudsy failing to cling nor impress with much regard.

S: The nose delivered a spicy hopping of dried pineapple backed by a toasted caramel malting. Spicy citrusy flowerys also add nice accents here.

T: The flavor had a spicy hop bite of fresh citrus and fresh grapefruit pulp. A dry toasted munich offering adds a dry toasty feel and subtle dry sweet notes form the grains. Hints of dried fruitiness (pineapple) and lemons add a spicy brightness amongst the dry toasted palate. Im unfamiliar with Sorachi hops which were used so im guessing they provided the fruity yet citrusy (lemony) hopping that im deriving from the taste. The beer finishes up with a creamy maltiness and a light dry alcohol warming.Overall a pretty big experience especially for one labeled as a pale that drinks on the level of most ipas. Not that im complaining but im starting to miss the days of the traditional pale ales, you know when they were actually composed of pale grains, crisp with a moderate bitterness (SNPA and Samuel Smiths come to mind) instead of this one up on the bitterness and loaded with specialty grain movement that has been occurring of late. Though I didn't find it particular to my expectations I still find it hard to say that the flavor was less then good, maybe just not particular to style, but I find it hard to punish such offenses of pushing the envelope of style.

M: The mouthful was medium-ful with a soft bubbly sensation that allows this to turn to a thick luscious creamy feel on the hold. Dry citrus flowers and toasted grain grace the tongue upon the swallow.

D: A big drinking experience, much more so on ipa standards then pale with a nice addition of hop flavors that were like, but also unlike your typical west coast hopping, which im sure is compliments of the Sorachi. Good level of enjoyment though a bomber suited me well. Expect to drink an ipa when you meet up with this one, not your typical quench thristing, session pale.

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Photo of beertunes
2.76/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a semi-cloudy deep orangeish-amber with a thin cap of head that quickly dissipated and left between light and medium lacing.

A very subdued aroma gives few hints as to what you should expect. The flavor has more going for it than the aroma promised. A very mellow malt foundation with some hop tang is all there is however.

Body and drinkabilty are what is expected from the style.

Brewed for the 20th anniversary of Seattle's Sub Pop Records, this beer shows the New Belgium blandness (where it was brewed) rather than Elysians generally assertive character.

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Photo of DousedInStout
3.85/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, pale amber color witha white head that dissipates quickly. The aroma is first super malty - biscuity, bread crust with some sweet honey notes. This is followed by just a slight whiff of floral hops. The taste is very balanced - sweet, light caramel malt followed by a subtle bitterness. Very smooth, and the carbonation is appropriate. Overall, a solid, well-made pale ale with a bit of a twist.

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Photo of jwc215
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours amber with an off-white head that leaves thin lines of lacing.

The smell is of caramel, some citrus with a hint of mild pine, with toast/bread and some wood.

The taste is of caramel and bready notes with woody,herba/leafy bitter hops standing out above the firm, sweet malt backbone.

The feel is on the full side of medium and pretty chewy.

Alcohol is well-covered with a firm, though not puckering, lingering bitterness.

This sample was contract brewed at New Belgium for Elysian - brewed with pale, Munich, crystal and cara malts and bittered with Sorachi Ace and finished with crystal hops, according to label.
Unique, interesting and enjoyable.

I'm not a fan of Sub Pop Records, I have to admit, but am a fan of this hoppy Pale Ale!

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.17/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Orange copper color. The head is very sticky and lacy. Looks like there is a good deal of hopsss in this beer.

S- The smell is hoppy and bready. There is a strange spice to this as well. It is very unique, I can't quite put my finger on it but I'm saying nutmeg.

T- There is an orange and nutmeg taste with this beer. It has a weird hop taste to this too. I'm getting a nice bready taste to this as well. I'm rating this beer in the taste department kinda high, I realize that, but because it is so unique compared to other APA's it kind of stands out, but in a good way. I feel that it deserves to be rated a little higher because of that.

M- This beer creates a strange slimy feel in your mouth. It almost coagulates your saliva. You know the feeling.

D- Pretty drinkable. I'm actually quite surprised about this beer. I've passed on it many times, then it wasn't available for a stretch. Then recently it seems to be all over. It's a nice brew.

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Photo of Gavage
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear orange in color with a large 3"+ fluffy head that has big bubbles and lasts. Moderate lace paints the glass.

Smell: bread and caramel are easily detectable.

Taste: grainy malt, bread, mild citrus tones, soft ripe fruit flavors, and a decent bitterness makes up a tasty APA.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Crisp throughout with a light dryness arriving late. Aftertaste is brief.

Drinkability: sessionable pale ale that is easy to quaff. Nice straight-forward offering from Elysian.

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Photo of corby112
4.02/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany amber color with dark golden burnt orange hues when held to a light source and a .5 finger off-white head that quickly settles into a lasting ring. Minimal spots of lacing.

Floral hop aroma with hints of dry pine and subtle citrus notes. Hints of grapefruit and citrus peel, subtle spice and sweet caramel malt.

Medium bodied with a lot of crisp dry hops up front that linger throughout over a sweet caramel malt body into a long crisp dry finish. The flavor of the hops are sweet, dry and piny at the same time. I'm not very familiar with Sorachi Ace hops but they are very unique and I hope that more brewers decide to start using them. Nice balance of caramel biscuit malt with a sight toasty character. Although the malts are prominent mid palate but they don't take away from the wonderfully fresh hops that dominate the flavor. It's hard to call this beer a pale ale but it's very complex and flavorful.

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Photo of AltBock
3.51/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

With a Kurt Cobain avatar her on BA, how could I pass up a beer brewed for Sub Pop's 20th Anniversary? Answer, I can't! "Loser" comes in a 22 oz. bomber bottle with a typical black and white Charles Peterson photograph of Mudhoney in either 1988 or 1989.To the left of photo is where you can find all the mandatory US information. This is also where I found out that it was contract brewed by New Belgium. I guess you can't go wrong with that. To the right of the photo is a description of the beer, awards that Elysian won (before they contract brewed), and a printed autograph of the Elysian brewmaster. Since it's contract brewed, I think they should also have the autograph of New Belgium's brewmaster.

Appearance: I poured this Elysian recipe beer into my Sly Fox Imperial pint glass. I can honestly tell you that this beer didn't have a loser appearance. It poured a cloudy dark honey amber with a subtle lemon yellow streak near the bottom of the glass. On top of this beer was creamy cotton white head of foam. This white head of foam had some great retention that left behind a milky white skim of foam and quite a few tiny white spots of lace around the entire edge of my glass. If anybody says that this is a loser appearance, then tell them to get their eyes checked. I liked the appearance as much as I liked the label on the bottle.

Smell: The aroma of this beer was the only true downside. I wish I could say that it was bursting with great aromas, but it was just a standard Pale Ale aroma. All I can say is that it was a malty aroma with pale toasted malts, a quick and subtle splash of fruits, and a whiff of hops in the background. Standard and boring all the way and nothing more than that. Yawn!

Taste: Luckily the taste had more to offer to the drinker than what the aroma had to offer. This anniversary beer started like soft rock with the gentle taste of toasted pale malts. Then out of nowhere, the taste went straight up to Grunge rock with bitter floral hops and a spatter of fruits. The taste would have been the same as the aroma, but it was the floral hops in the center that saved this beer from the same fate the aroma had, standard and boring!

Mouthfeel: This was a light bodied Pale Ale with a decent level of carbonation to it and a slightly malty aftertaste. There all that much to the aftertaste. It was malty with pale malts with a touch of bitter grapefruit and a hint of bitter floral hops. I don't know where the grapefruit came from, but I guess better late never. Please don't get too attached to this aftertaste because it will be gone in a flash.

Drinkability: It's not a loser, but it's really not a winner either. It's a slightly above malty Pale Ale with a boring aroma, but with a great appearance and the floral hop punch in the center of the beer. It's also not expensive at all. If you like the Grunge scene and contracted Pale Ales from Colorado, then pick up a bottle and raise a glass to the 20th anniversary of Sub Pop.

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Loser Pale Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
3.72 out of 5 based on 571 ratings.
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