CB's Canandaigua Lake Ale
CB Craft Brewers

CB's Canandaigua Lake AleCB's Canandaigua Lake Ale
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American Pale Ale (APA)
3.41 | pDev: 19.35%
CB Craft Brewers
New York, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
CB's Canandaigua Lake AleCB's Canandaigua Lake Ale
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Reviews: 31 | Ratings: 61
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.52/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this is better than its ratings. just a real simple blonde type ale here, but its well made and highly refreshing. clear golden with a nice head and fine retention, it looks the part, with big bubbles racing to the surface of the glass. the nose is the same as the flavor, light clean barley malt, no toast to it at all, and an understated grassy hop finish that helps is stay refreshing. a thin vein of sweetness runs through this, but its a rather dry finish with tons of carbonation. its called lake ale, and I think it fits that well. something to crush on a boat when its nice out, the world needs beer like this.

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Photo of timmy2b
3.46/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into a pint glass. Very clear orange color in the glass with a very little amount of very white head which dissipated very quickly. Very light smell of malt with a little bit of citrus. Tastes fairly strongly of malt and has some bitterness to the end of it. Overall its fairly smooth but the bitterness is a little too much for an American Pale Ale. Would like to try on draft, but do not think I would buy bottles again.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.57/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This brew was served on tap at Roseland Bowl in Canandaigua, NY. It arrived in a pitcher, and we divvied it up ourselves into generic pint glasses. It showed the dusky orange of a winter’s sunset, with pinkish hues around the edges when held to florescent light. It held a two finger head of creamy French vanilla colored foam, showing great retention. Chunky, ridged lacing was left around the glasses as it receded. Thick haze cut clarity, but no sediment was found. Carbonation appeared to be lighter. The aroma was sweet with citric hops, lactic creaminess, green grassiness, dust, lemon rind and cleaner, soft phenolic plastics, wet lacquer, toasty honey, rice krispies, pale and chalky grain, and lightly sticky caramel sugars. Our first impression was that there was nice freshness to the included hops, but the grain bill was overly cheap, washed, and watered through. As we sipped, the taste opened up with dirty adjuncts, toasty pales, white sugar and mallow sweetness, wheat crackers, lemon rind, foamy plastics, watery metallics, and salty seashell lick. The middle came to a peak with toasty pale and adjuncty grain, white flour, zesty soapy and floral hops, heavily metallic yeastiness, and wheat flour dryness. The end was washed through with grassy and citric hop resins, twiggy woodiness, chlorine chemical bite, bitter chalks, pencil lead, phenolic plastics, fermented apples, and biting soapy cleanliness. The aftertaste breathed of bitter citric hops, seaweed, table salt, straw, sawdust, aluminum, yeasty metallics, toasted apple and pumpkin seeds, wheaty and pale malt bite, clean green grassiness, and soft citric and earthy hops. The body was medium, and the carbonation was medium. Each sip gave nice creaminess and froth, with decent slurp, smack, and pop to round things out. The mouth was left with tannic, tight astringency to dry, and decent warmth down to the belly. The abv was appropriate, and the beer drank decently.

Overall, the most enjoyable thing about this brew was its flavoring, and its ease of sip. The former offered moderately fresh hops throughout, but eased up significantly by the end of the swallow with heavy wateriness and a blanching to its robustness. This was kind of along the same lines as the feel, which was easy enough to keep the beer flowing, but too much in the way of lightness, as it fell apart at its seams, preventing the preservation of total satisfaction. Either way, this is a clean beer that goes perfectly with bowling or a hot summer’s day spent by the lake.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
2.88/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This just metallic, astringent and bitter. This brewery is historically pretty bad- and this is one of their absolute. Beyond just bitterness, there's nothing to recommend here- it's just a boring and flawed beer.

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Photo of tdm168
3.46/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours a copper color with a soapy, bubbly, dense white head that has good retention. The nose has notes of pale malt, faint hops, and a little soap. The taste is faint bready, doughy malt with very mild, floral, faint citrusy hops. The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, moderately carbonated, and smooth.

This is an easy drinking beer though simplistic. For a pale ale it's neither offensive nor bland. I'd say it's worth looking in to, but keep expectations low.

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Photo of richkrull
3.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got this one in the Loko 4 Locals BIF from rageagainst123. Thanks a lot bud.

Poured an amber/orange color with a half inch of slightly off white head.

Smell was light with some citrus hops coming through.

Taste was pretty basic. Not too much hop flavor overall. Mostly caramel malt throughout.

Mouthfeel was fairly light. Went down quick and easy.

Overall a decent beer but could use some more pronounced flavor. It's drinkable and sessionable.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On cask, via hand-pump, @ the Old Toad (Rochester, NY) on 6/11/11. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a finger of rich bright-white head. This retains with a robust frothiness, which leaves back a good bit of robust frothy lace. The aroma is grassy and bitter, with a sweeter fruitiness to the profile and some lightly toasted bready grains across the back.

The taste has a fresh and green feeling bitter bite, which is softened considerably by a backbone of sweet pale grains. The finish is very dry, with lingering notes of bitter fruit and a touch of pine. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a mellow creaminess to the carbonation and an all around soft feel from the cask.

With its well balanced bitter crispness and lower ABV, this was a good choice for the hand-pump, as these fell right in line with that creamy softness to the feel that the cask conditioning brought. This wasn’t overly complex but I’ll say that this pint disappeared in no time flat!

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Photo of tempest
3.43/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a single at Wegman's. This reminds me more of the American-style bitters I've tried like Bitter Brewer and Bitter American. It's also a bit like a hopped-up version of Ballantine Ale. There's a sharp piney grapefruit note up front with a grassy finish. There's a little toasty barley in the background and all over the aroma. In fact, I don't really pick up the hops as I smell the beer.

There are a few better session-strength pale ale (see names above), but this is a fine beer and I appreciate that someone's making hoppy beer on the lower end of the abv spectrum.

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Photo of rlee1390
3.7/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Cloudy amber/orange

S-Citrus hops along with some lemon flavors.

T-Starts with lemon/bread flavors then ends with some bitterness. Not much the definition of run of the mill.

M-Medium bodied, not much carbonation.

D-A sessionable beer but nothing much beyond that.

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Photo of beveritt
2.81/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into an Imperial pint glass. Label is a blue diamond on brown background depicting a sail boat and some signal flags spelling BEER. No freshness date.

Appearance: Pours with just shy of 3 fingers of light tan head. This settles slowly to a few splotchy yet substantial islands of foam and leaving behind nice lacing. The beer itself is a slightly cloudy bright orange. Some sediment remains in the bottle.

Smell: Mild hop aroma reminiscent of lemons with just a hint of pine. Undertone of slightly vegetal caramel malt.

Taste: Extremely mild hops upfront are nearly overpowered by vegetal flavor and slightly sweet caramel malt. Mild lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Average carbonation. Body is good.

Drinkability: Pass. Off flavor bitterness with vegetal undertones leaves much to be desired. Not going to revisit this one. Brewery seems more miss than hit.

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Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy amber color with a respectable head that deposits a few dots and dashes of lace

Smell: Toasty, with a rather grainy character

Taste: Toasted bread and a hint of caramel, up front, with a rather harsh, somewhat herbal hop character that develops by mid-palate; after the swallow, the hops continue to stay in the forefront, though they take on a grainy aspect in the finish; the touch of caramel underpins, throughout

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A respectable APA, but I am not enamored with the hop bill

Thanks, sliverx, for the opportunity and RochesterAaron, for the chance to revisit

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.15/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #45 (Oct 2010):

Head and lacing has a likeness of a well-groomed latte, hazy sunset, orange-amber color. Citric woody hop, chalky yeast and nutty toasted maltiness with a hint of caramel all seem to make for a beautiful nose. Moderate-size body with a quick spank of crispness. Full malt jacket, from toasted biscuit to a subtle layer of caramel. Hops just don't sit around; a bitterness bites back, and citric peel and leafy flavors stay with the taste buds for a good while. Soild, sessionable, a little raw and even a touch complex. Choice pick.

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Photo of DoctorDog
3.03/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12 oz bottle into an nonic. Big thanks to "beveritt" for dragging this back for me from somewhere.

A- Quite hazy, golden/ light copper. Pours with ~1 finger of off-white head, which fades slowly into a thin cap.

S- A light citrus hopiness. Slightly bready, caramel sweet notes.

T- Slightly caramel sweetness. Cidery, tea like bitterness...almost comes across as metallic. Not really working well.

M- Moderately high carbonation with a fairly light feel.

D- OK. Smell OK, taste a bit lacking....could plow through a few, but really no compelling reason to do so.

Future outlook: A pretty "meh" offering...not available here....no future outlook...

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Photo of jpmclaug
2.69/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Bottle is poured into a pint glass. Got this one from dogfishandi

A - Golden body, slightly hazy with a small circle of white head

S - Pale malt flavor certainly present but not picking up on much hop aroma.

T - Follows the nose with a pale malt flavor but not much hop presence. Really not all that flavorful at all. Not unpleasant but not much going on with this one

M - Lighter bodied with a fairly high amount of carbonation

D - Drinkable for sure but there just isn't too much going on and it's kind of bland. I'm glad I got to try this and while I wouldn't have a problem drinking this again I doubt I'd buy it again.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.3/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle pulled from fridge poured into a nonik pint glass. bottom of six pack indicates it was bottled on AUG 04 2010.

pours a slightly hazy gold. a weak half a finger of white head, but pretty decent retention. bits of lace. quite a bit of rushing bubbles.

the aroma is kind of off. the hops are there, but take on a citrus vegetable like aroma. a little bit like pellet hops. bits of pale and caramel malt to cut the hop aromas.

the taste is also just a little off. lemony citrus and vegetable pellet hops balanced by some caramel malts. throughout the sip there is a bit of a wierd sourness, almost skunkiness that isnt too pleasent.

light bodied, bighty high amount of carbonation. a little lingering hop bitterness is felt on the palate. just a bit watery at times.

not very enjoyable to session, but id still take this over a macro is offered. i wont be seeking this out again however. way too many good pales out there to waste your time with this.

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Photo of TheDeuce
2/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Canandaigua Lake Ale....purchased in a bottle at Wegman's. 400th Review..woot.

Appearance-mild amber color, whispy head that withers quickly out of the bottle.

Smell-light aroma of malt mixture and alcohol, hops suprisingly non-existent.

Taste/Mouthfeel-light to medium mouthfeel,malt upfront, later on a sourness mixed with hops, muddled throughout, flavors don't match, aftertaste is an ugly sour.

Drinkability-muddled flavors, doesn't exactly work.

Overall-a dissapointment, with so many great APAs out there it's impossible to recommend this. Jumbled flavors and a lack of character. Avoid.

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Photo of lovindahops
4.03/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

grabbed a sixer at Wegman's this morning. A nice warm day is always supplemented with a local APA

A- pours a nice light amber with a loaded white head of foam. Classic APA carbonation is prevelant as well as signature lacing on the side. It really looks like it's going to be delicious

S- a strong presense of caramel and citrus are present all at once. There is a fair amount of malt flavor after that... as well as some slight hop flavor

T- a bitter flavor is offset by some delicious sweet malt. The caramel and citrus flavor is still present throughout the brew. It's pretty tasty

M- crip and light

D- Lake ale is very tasty! I can drop these all day

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Photo of beertunes
3.2/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to orcasteve for this one. Poured into 16oz glass. Poured a semi-hazy, medium golden yellow color with just the thinnest cap of head that had no retention and just hints of lacing.

The aroma was a mellow blend of malt and hops. The flavors were also very subdued and very balanced. The body was on the thin side of average. Drinkability was very good. Having spent much time on and around Canandaigua Lake in my 40 years in the area, I could easily slide these down all day on a cruise to Naples and back.

Overall, an average example of the style. Worth shot if you see it.

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Photo of dpodratsky3
3.23/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into pint glas

A: Totally hazed amber brown, big creamy head that stands at 2 fingers for a bit, slightly off white, kind of like shaving cream

S:Hops are good, but not super pungent, they fade quickly, nice and fruity hops, some light citrus but not much

T: Hits sour, maybe its just crazy citrus, but definitely lemon, a little metallic too, highly acidic, and a little salty as well, then it all turns just bitter, flavors are all over the map and don't work that well together, needs work

M: Pretty thin, carbonation is a little high too

D: I don't like the flavors so not that high

Notes: It started off really promising. A good looking pour and when that aroma hits you it smells great, but then it goes downhill. I"m not sure if something happened to this in transport or what, but the flavors are not integrated at all. It has a lot of promise, but needs some tinkering.

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Photo of plaid75
3.63/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured grassy and herbal hops and a light grainy malt. Some caramel as well.

The taste consisted of a moderate grainy malt, a vibrant grassy hop and a residual herbal spice.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style with a strange artificial dryness at the finish.

Overall a good, refreshing APA. User friendly and very drinkable.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another new one for me. I pulled this one out as soon as I got home from work today. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, it was consumed on 10/08/2009.
The pour was nicely done, light amber in color with a small white head on top that faded nice and evenly leaving just a touch of lacing on the sides and bottom of the glass. Nice carbonation rippling up throughout the session. Aroma is light and well balanced, light citrus hops balanced against a backdrop of light grain and a nice and even bready texture seem to play off each other quite well. Nice and refreshing without anything heavy going on here at all. Nice and light hop notes up from fade into a mid grain mid palate and then smooth into a light, but dry finish at the end. Easily session able.
Overall this was a nice and solid example of the style. I would have no issues at all with having another one of these any day. Solid.

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Photo of popatop
1.42/5  rDev -58.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I don't know what happened here with Custom BrewCrafters. Most the time these beers are wonderful, but here it seems like they reversed the tables and tried to make a beer that resembles Bud. I don't mean to be harsh but we didn't even want to serve it to our friends, maybe we got a bad batch but we poured it out. Doh!

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Photo of Reiksguard
3.77/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed a growler of Canandaigua Lake Ale when we visited the brewery. Very nice place, although it does really get under my skin when the servers at the tasting room can't answer basic questions about the beer. They didn't know what an IBU was and even though they have two GABF medals hanging on the wall, the servers had no idea what beers they were won with. Very disappointing.

Beer pours a dark gold, almost amber in color. The nose is citrus American hops (Cascade) with a soft malt backbone. The taste has an initial hop kick, but mellows out to be very drinkable ale. We drank the whole growler in a night and would certainly go back for more.

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Photo of riversider76
2.32/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Pours a hazy golden with a thin white head. Good retention and a very nice lacing. Aroma is of sweet fruit gone a little bad. Body is medium with some carbonation. Taste is sugary but with a sour edge.Sour not bitter. Not sure what they are trying to do here but in my opinion it didn't work.

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Photo of yesyouam
2.08/5  rDev -39%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Sampled at the Flour City Brewers' Fest 2008. Custom Brewcrafters Canandaigua Lake Ale is solid and golden in appearance with a white film for a head. There isn't much aroma besides a slight whiff of caramel. It is light bodied and feels a little metallic in the mouth. The finish is dry. It tastes a little sour and a little phenolic. Something seems a little off here.
(rated Aug 17, 2008)

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CB's Canandaigua Lake Ale from CB Craft Brewers
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 61 ratings