Loser Pale Ale | Elysian Brewing Company

146 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 146 | Ratings: 570
Photo of augustgarage
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bomber into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Clear burnished safety orange with amber highlights and a fury of rising micro-bubbles supporting a fat finger of papaya whip foam. Rich soapy lacing; superior retention.

Fruity aromatics suggest pineapple, melon, wild berries, and plenty of citrus from hops. There is a mild malt base and an underlying touch of pine as well. Fairly acidic.

Marshmallow, varied fruit (banana, berries, citrus), and gentle malt on the palate with a wave of grassy, brackish acidity from the hops which contribute a mellow bitterness. Finishes not-quite-sweet.

Incredibly soft creamy mouth-feel...almost like carbonated cream.

Ignoring the SubPop connection, this is very quaffable, though a bit lacking in flavor and hops.

 778 characters

Photo of CHickman
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer review from 9/2/2011; pours hazy amber color with a creamy tan head that fades quickly and leaves a creamy layer on top and nice foamy lacing.

Smells of sweet malt, syrup, caramel, brown sugar, grapefruit, orange peel, citrus hops, light lemon zest, floral hops, herbs, grass, light grains and a sugary sweetness with a fruity citrus blend. A nice fragrant nose that's soft, sweet and inviting.

Tastes of sweet malt, caramel, piney hops, citrus hops, grapefruit, orange peel, lemon, brown sugar, light coriander, herbs, floral hops, light grains and faint pepper; a pretty sweet pale ale that's very well balanced, with the sweet malt leaving a buttery coating and then giving way to a citrus hop light bitterness. The hops give off a little spice and blend well with the malt for an easy drinking beer.

Mouthfeel is light, creamy and fizzy, with a medium body, very light carbonation and a light bitter finish.

Highly drinkable, this was a very tasty pale ale that I would definitely have again. This was a session bomber that I’m glad I didn’t share. Overall it was very good and worthy of seeking out. The label is right, Corporate Beer Still Sucks. A solid beer with a rock edge for a good cause.

 1,217 characters

Photo of scootpolute
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1 Pint, 6 FL OZ. bottle into tulip glass.

A - Pours dark-golden, with a nice creamy, thick white head...- some great lacing.

S - Huge hop, malty and some hints of sweet citrus - some orange & grapefruit tones...

T - Hoppy, but not as much as the the smell lets you think! Many spice flavors were an unexpected suprise :~(

M - Good carbonation...There's a pretty good fullness.

O - Pretty good balanced beer...Just a bit spicier than expected.

 450 characters

Photo of thebrood1987
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On the smell I get a lot of thick rich toffee malts with a lemony, herbal hop in the back. Very smooth and the rich toffee malts dominate mostly the whole taste up until the very end where the lemony herbal hop comes in with taste and bitterness. Its very floral tasting as well.

The malt taste reminds me very much of how Rogue's Dead Guy Ale malt tastes. Its very similar. I actually like this beer better because of the Sorachi Ace hops which give it a unique twist on the flavor that I normally don't ever smell or taste in beers.

I also like this beer a lot because the whole "grunge rock" scene is probably one of my favorite music movements to ever happen. I love the fact that Sub Pop collaborated with a brewery and put Nirvana as the forefront band of this beer. Hence the "Corporate beer still sucks" as a play on of the t shirt Kurt Cobain wore on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine that said "Corporate magazines still suck"

The malt really tries to win the battle here with the hops because of how rich and noticeable the malt taste is...but because of those Sorachi Ace hops it really adds a tropical fruity lemon herbal note to it that like I said...I'm not used to tasting in a beer. Very cool beer and Elysian has quickly become my favorite go to Seattle brewery.

 1,287 characters

Photo of pitasoup
2.68/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A: pour hazy orange/brown with thin white head that quickly subsides.

S: dust, grass, perhaps a touch of vegetal and piney american hops, but faded. there is a slight lemonyness that lingers on the breath afterwards - probably the sorachi.

T: slight diacetyl, then sharp and lingering hop bitterness. grapefruit rind and citrus dominate, with a spark of biscuit like malt sweetness.

M: medium bodied. lingering bitterness makes this seem thicker than it is. there is a minerally feeling left on the tongue.

O: rather meh apa. sorachi hops intrigued me, but I couldn't pull much from it. there's a harsh and umpleasant bitterness - i'm hoping it's from a freshness issue, and not the terrible choice of crystal hops.

 722 characters

Photo of julian
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy copper color with a thick, lasting foamy white head. Nice lacing! 4

S: Smells of mild lemon, mildly nutty, earthy hops. 3.5

T&M: Very nice mouthfeel, creamy, smooth medium bodied. Nice taste. I like. Nice sweet brown sugar maltiness up front mixed with zesty lemon twang, caramel in the middle, hoppy spice on the back. Clean finish. Very nice. 4/4.5

O: I don’t know why I haven’t tried this sooner. This is well balanced, flavorful and refreshing. 4

 473 characters

Photo of JizackFH
2.86/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - This beer pours a nice clear copper color. It has a big fluffy 2-finger off-white head on it. The head has pretty good retention, and it leaves behind a nice sheet of lacing on the glass.

S - Smells of sweet bready malts and caramel. I am getting some fruit notes and some mild piney hop presence. I smells a bit syrupy to me actually.

T - Taste starts off with some bready malt and caramel flavor. There is a moderate pine hop presence that lends some bitterness, but not much. Also, there is some fruitiness and a bit of citrus. The finish is pretty clean' leaving just a little bit of lingering hops and citrus.

M - This has a medium body and average carbonation. It goes down pretty easy and has a smooth feel to it. There is a bit of a chewy quality to it.

O - This has alright drinkability. It goes down fairly easy, but it just was a little thick feeling for me. Also, I would have liked to see more hop bitterness. There was a little, but it didn't stick around for very long. It was decent, but I probably wouldn't spend money on it again.

 1,057 characters

Photo of Briken
3.78/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Hazy dark amber with orange highlights, tight off white head, good retention and lacing. Crisp sweet floral aroma. Balanced with a great malt profile of caramel, toffee, and notes of earthy hops. Clean, crisp taste and finish with a very light hop linger. Smooth with a light bite but fairly heavy.

Very interesting malt qualities make an easy drinking, full flavored beer. The flavor melds away slightly toward the bottom of a 22 but taking your time keeps it full throughout the bottle. It’s unusually heavy for a pale ale but I think that’s what comes with the malt profile. It’s not completely distracting and makes for a nice sipping pale ale instead of a refreshing outdoor beer.

 692 characters

Photo of thatruth
2.78/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

22 oz bottle from the Beer Junction in West Seattle, poured into pint glass.

A: pours a half-of-a-finger head that lingers a while, moderate lacing. a nice, deep copper tone golden brown, slight haze.

S: apricot deep fried in hops and malt, chipper caramel aroma.

T: more malt than hops. not much there, tastes like old apple juice - and malt.

M: again, not too much there. damn malty. lingers like eating a bunch of whoppers candy at once.

O: my first offering from Elysian here in my new hometown of Seattle. "Corporate beer" may "still suck[s]" (as reads on the label) but Elysian isn't far behind with this Loser.

 623 characters

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

Beer is yellow and hazy with a thin white soft head of small bubbles, some lacing, spotty carbonation, looks fine.

The aroma is grassy and lemony...I smell sorachi ace hops.

Yep, beer is medium to light in body and quite sorachi in the palate. Lemony, almost a coconut style bitterness, decent, a familiar flavor, decent APA, but I'd skip it next time.

 354 characters

Photo of Bookseeb
3.74/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is an orange amber with a thin but still head leaving spotty lace. Aroma of rich bready malt that makes up the backbone, orange note with citric hops. Taste again has that big malt backbone with just right amount of hops to keep it interesting, leaving a light dry finish. Mouthfeel is medium with good carbonation. A good malt ale without being heavy and easy to drink.

 381 characters

Photo of coastiefish
3.1/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

22 ounce bottle enjoyed in a tulip glass.

A - Cloudy, deep orange copper. Frothy one finger head dwindles down to an eighth of inch. Lacing has already begun upon settling into tulip.

S - Buttery toffee. Savory caramel. Bready

T - Bread & butter.

M - Smooth, creamy, medium body, rounded.

O - The diacetyl is very heavy in this beer. As it opens up and comes to room temp further, the more the diacetyl becomes present. It's fairly disappointing, Im wondering if this beer was possibly just a bad one out of the batch. I will rate this as is, and hope to either try it again in a 22oz soon or try it when I visit Elysian this winter.

 639 characters

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

picked up a growler of this at the orchard park consumers. fridge temp poured into a bulb style glass.

pours a cloudy reddish amber with a huge billowy, slightly off white head. great retention with a little lace.

in the aroma, lots of biscuit and a little caramel balanced by tropical fruity hops and a light dry citrus.

the taste follows the aroma almost identically. a really unique deelicious biscuit flavor from the malt while still having a nice hop presence.

a little dry on the palate in the finish, slightly heavier side of medium bodied.

overall: a solid pale ale, almost an IPA. i really enjoyed the flavors from the malt, and as a homebrewer, its nice to see the use of some ingredients new to the market, crystal, sorachi ace hops, and carahell malts. id drink this again.

 791 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.35/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Pours a pretty clear deep amber-orange with a massive, 3+ finger, frothy almost white head that leaves some moderate lacing.

Smell. Caramel and a little bready yeast. Some citrus and spice as well.

Taste. Toasty light malts, a little citrus fruit and apples. A little bitter with some hints of herby hops. Clean finish with pretty well hidden abv.

Mouthfeel. Medium body with smooth, medium-low carbonation. Crisp and a little dry. Really nice.

Overall. Fantastic drinker even with the moderately high abv. Nothing too complex but tastes great and goes down real easy. Will buy again.

 600 characters

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

Appearance: (4.0)
- Pours a dark clear copper brew with a big fluffy couple fingers of head. Leaving lace all the way down to a large bubbly ring and blanket of spotty cream. Very creamy and pretty head.

Smell: (3.5)
- Nice grainy and slightly sweet malt. Very bready indeed. Light fruit notes, fresh grassy hop, and light resinous pine. Overall very malt forward, but not a caramel malt so much... just more bready.

Taste: (3.5)
- Bready grainy malt. Light fruit and ester, bitter zesty hops with a fruity and grassy finish. Rather herbal, and light on hops. Big on bready and lightly sweet malts with maybe a touch of a brown sugar and cinnamon-like quality.

Mouth Feel: (3.5)
- Medium bodied, slightly drying from the bittering hops, and a bit chewy. Well carbonated. Lightly syrupy and sticky as well.

Overall: (3.5)
- Overall the beer is very solid. It's hops shine in the bittering end, and it has an even more unique malt quality. Very bready, smooth, and tasty while still remaining unique. Overall I am not too impressed with it, but it is worth the shot. I wonder how this beer would be on tap.

 1,110 characters

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

16oz pint, another hard to resist offering at the Capitol Hill location - Sub Pop Records still exists? One of the better marketing tags - "Corporate Beer Still Sucks" - that I have yet to encounter.

This beer appears a slightly hazy medium golden amber colour, with one finger densely foamy, rocky, and mildly soapy off-white head, which leaves some layered rings of wheel cog lace around the glass as it genially settles.

It smells of bready caramel cream, lemon pie, mild unripe melon notes, and bitterly peppy citrus and leafy hops. The taste is more caramel/toffee, grapefruit and passionfruit salad, buttery Chardonnay, aged lemon peel, and floral, perfumed hops (a sneaky way of saying that the elevated ABV is agreeably masked by the other inherent flavours).

The carbonation is frothy enough, and basically moderate in its bearing, the body a decent medium weight, and skewed just beyond smooth, with a struggling ode to creaminess. It finishes with an herbal hoppiness, waning lemon fruitiness, and sturdy buttery maltiness.

Yet another pale ale well affected by the exotic Sorachi Ace hop. While I can't seem to get barrel treated white wine off of my mind (sorry, Georgia!), in this case, it's not actually such a bad thing. Still pretty strong for a pale ale, though, IMHO, and obviously leagues and leagues above and beyond the whipping boys of label lore.

 1,375 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
4/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange-ish to amber color with a light tan head. In the aroma, big gingerbread like maltiness. In the taste, big gingerbread like malt and just a pinch of alcohol. A smooth and medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry gingerbread like aftertaste. Quite English, but nice balance.

 287 characters

Photo of Kendo
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Everybody's bragging and drinking that wine;
I can tell the Queen of Diamonds by the way she shines.
Come to Daddy on an inside straight.
I got no chance of losing this time.
No, I got no chance of losing this time."

Lyrics: Robert Hunter
Music: Jerry Garcia

Got it on tap at Blue Tusk in Syracuse on 6/28/11; served in a mug.

A: Body is honey-amber in color with a foamy (and active) white head. Lots of streaming carbonation keeps that head well-fortified. Finally leaves behind good lacing.

S: Faint overall nose - basic hops (light citrus) and a touch of generic malt sweetness.

T: A solid caramel malt foundation underneath. Finishes with hops that at times seem citrusy (lemony more than orange or grapefruit), but at other times there's a spicy quality to the finish. Citrus is mellow, nowhere near IPA levels. I didn't know the ABV was 7% when I drank it, but that explains the heat I get at the finish. The overall finish is clean.

M: Good creaminess, medium in heft.

O: Good stuff. Overall impression is that it's sweeter than expected, but that might just be because I'm used to IPAs, not APAs.

 1,127 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.38/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a beautiful gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry and grainy, pale malt scent along with a bit of Munich malt sweetness and some grassy hop bitterness. The taste is average. It has a complex malt flavor that's grainy with a hint of Munich malt sweetness. The hops are up front and provide a grassy character that doesn't seem to meld well with the malt bill. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is an interesting beer. It's complex. It's flavorful. It's not that great.

 595 characters

Photo of ummswimmin
3.73/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up this beer based on nostalgia. The beer is dedicated to Sub-Pop records which was the biggest label to release the grunge style in the 90's. Since I was in high school when grunge blew up, this made it very attractive. It helped that Sub-Pop is based out of Seattle, and I grew up in Oregon. And yes, I do remember where I was when I heard that Kurt Cobain died.

This is a very good beer on it's own. It looks good, the head is proper, and the lacing is nice as I drink.

The aroma presents quite a bit of hoppiness, which was a little stronger than expected for a Pale.

The flavor is also very hoppy. I really taste all the malts and hops. Unfortunately, this was very overwhelming as a Pale. The brewer should consider re-labeling this as an IPA. This hurt the scores a little.

It is important to review the beer based on type (which is why I don't review Pilsners), and the flavor and aroma just doesn't match the style described.

 948 characters

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

Appearance- Clear deep orange with an off white cap that leaves spider web like lacing behind. 4/5

Smell- Citrus hops. Small malt backbone to make it even. 4/5

Taste- Lots of grapefruit, lemon and peach flavors. There is a sweetness that is reminiscent of a citrus flavored hard candy. Nice bitterness and caramel to back it all up. 4/5

Mouthfeel- Good mouthfeel. It leaves a little left in your mouth after each sip. 4/5

Overall- This is a good, solid beer. Very easy drinking. I may pick this up again if I see it. 4/5

 524 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber in color, clear with average carbonation.
White foamy head with a loose structure that fades to surface smudge leaving behind some light lacing around the inside part of the glass.

While the hop bouquet seems absent, malts have a good malty aroma. I can sense some sweet malts toffee and some bready yeast.
There does seem to be some hop pop towards the end but it's light and sutle.

The hops were pretty much absent in the aroma, but they pop out nicely in the taste. And that's a good thing.
Hops have a tropical fruit taste like pineapple.
Some dry malts follow.

A smooth mouthfeel with some bitterness at the end. I also taste a bit of cloying but it's fairly low.

This is a pretty good beer worthy of another.

 724 characters

Photo of ATPete
3.97/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle with a label much different from the one pictured here on BA. Collab with Sub-Pop Records thats... cool.

Pours a deep amber orange color with a booming fluffy off white/tan head. Piney hops some citrus and a balancing malt sweetness on the nose and tongue. Round with a relatively creamy medium body. Very easy to drink. One of the better offerings ive had from Elysian.

 384 characters

Photo of hreb
3.16/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22oz bomber poured into UK pint glass. Beer pours golden amber in color with a GIGANTIC yellowish white head. No aroma to speak of, though.

Unbelievably neutral flavor: slightly sweet, grassy overtones. Bittered with sorachi ace? Yeah, I could see it being good and bland like a Sapporo :P Fairly lagery, like a really well balanced Marzen, and refreshing but not necessarily "crisp". Body is heavy, and as the beers sinks down the glass it leaves tons of white foamy lace. No citrus, nothing fruity, nor yeasty, nor nutty. Not interesting. But totally drinkable.

 564 characters

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.

 601 characters

Loser Pale Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
3.72 out of 5 based on 570 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.