City Pale Ale | City Brewing Company, LLC

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City Pale AleCity Pale Ale
36 Ratings
City Pale AleCity Pale Ale

Brewed by:
City Brewing Company, LLC
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-20-2002

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Ratings: 36 |  Reviews: 34
Reviews by GnomeKing:
Photo of GnomeKing
4.03/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

How nice to have an American pale ale that is well balanced and doesn't try to grab attention just by loading in the hops. (In fact, the beer is probably a tad too deferential...a pinch more of hops wouldn't hurt at all.)

The color is deep amber/gold. There's little head or lacing--not surprising considering the small amount of hops. The hops that are present don't add much bitterness, but instead they blend with the nicely prominent malt character to give the beer a soft, sweet fruit flavor, mostly resembling strawberry but without any fruit tartness.

The mouthfeel is really nice--soft, and neither heavy nor thin.

This is a short review yet I'm almost finished my beer as I type these words. This beer is damn drinkable. I'm sitting in an air-conditioned room, but this one would be better for a porch on a hot day, when a refreshing, easy-drinking session beer would be just what the doctor ordered.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of jcdiflorio
2.65/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a nonic glass, a golden/amber color.A white head fades quickly to a thin layer of foam.Not much carbination,looks dead.
The aroma was faint with more malt presence,very little hop aromas.
Carmely,grassy,nutty,a bit fruity aromas were slightly present.
The taste was very sweet.carmelly,syrupy,fruity,a clean piney taste at the finish.Nothing exciting,lacking in the hop department.
The mouthfeel was light to medium,a bit cloying.A pleasing bitterness,with a quick sharp taste fading into juicy bittersweetness.
A fairly drinkable beer, just nothing here to make me want another.

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Photo of ADR
3.45/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clearish amber color with a decent 1/4 inch head and good delicately stringed lace in the pint glass. The overall aroma is reserved, some toffee or treacle and orange rind. Malt impression is light but in a decent caramel category, rather than a brown sugar afterthought. Hops seem Northwest Coast in citric acidity and pith and punctuate the close strongly. Not nearly as ordinary as I expected (whooh, City Club was pretty adjuncted and mediocre), but lacks the fruitiness of something like a Summit APA...

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Photo of WVbeergeek
2.7/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appears a slightly copper amber with cryst clear body that forms a large off whtie cream hued slowly dwindling head leaves even scattered lacing around the nonic pint. Aroma has an herbal pine cone scented tart citrus peel note very nice nose with mild caramel note malt base with samy nutty edge to it. Flavors do not mesh well herbal and citrus notes come off abrasive herbal nut caramle edge doesn't work with mildly bitter tones...hops seem stale. Mouthfeel has a mild creamy texture even carbonation...kinda of unassuming and mass produced in nature. Drinkability well I guess it's what I expected from LaCrosse City Brewing.

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Photo of bditty187
2.58/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear amber hue, the white head didn’t develop beyond a small soapy cap, it became sparser in time. The lacing was exceedingly minimal. The appearance was uneventful, quite boring actually. The nose is equally lacking in excitement, a trace of maltiness and a kiss of hops. Yawn. The palate is seriously bland, the maltiness is lazy, a hint of biscuit, the hops imparts a note of clean bitterness but behind the goodness is a noticeable flaw, it tastes like minerals and vegetables. This charming attribute is not strong but it is sadly detectable. Still the finish is largely clean but the drinkability is still affected. Honestly I can’t see myself purchasing this again in the future. Medium-light in body, the carbonation is moderately low but workable. I am not impressed with this Pale Ale, it is borderline lousy. Is my sample old, mishandled, or is it really this bad? I purchased a single 12-ounce bottle in Iowa City for $1.09. Too many better Pale Ales on the market. Skip it.

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Photo of dwarvenspirits
4.2/5  rDev +28%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper-colored hue with a good head that laces up the side of the glass. Head retention abates after a while but a white top remains consistent.

Nice easy grassy, aroma with some malt in the nose, not much

This is actually a very balanced pale ale. Not very hoppy in bitterness and has some solid flavor to it. Flavor is lemon, citrus, grassy, with some malt coming in and then some finishing dryness that isn't too rough. Bitterness is slightly subdued and not harsh at all.

Mouthfeel is fine.

I actually believe that this is a very fine beer for its style. Made with the classic cascade hop all the way through I think that this would be something that many people enjoyed before prohibition as a standard american pale ale. Very good job on hitting the style guidelines.

As a tip, drink this warmer than 55 degrees. You'll get tons of flavor and dryness from it and the malt flavor really diminishes this way, too.

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

A translucent amber to copper color as it sets in the glass, the head portly in size, spumous in texture, light tan in color and the residual lace a nice sheet to seal off the glass. Malt dominates the nose, somewhat sweet, crisp and fresh, with the start malt, lightly sweet, the top skinny in feel. Finish is stinging in its acidic bite, the hops pleasant in their spicy presence, dry as a desert bone aftertaste, a nice middle of the road Pal Ale, a good Summertime refresher.

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Photo of plaid75
3.03/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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

The smell featured a light herbal hop and some grainy malt.

The taste was upfront sweet honey with a touch of herbal hop spice. The sweetness caught me off guard and was not all that welcomed.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness with cloying sweetness.

Overall a tough one to finish. Perhaps it will take a few to get used to the honey sweetness, but as of now the drinkability is pretty low.

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Photo of Cresant
2.22/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured this 12 oz. undated brown bottle into an IPA glass. Pleasant clear amber body topped with three+ fingers of off-white head.

Smell was faint. Light sweetness and mild floral hops.

Taste was mildly bitter but weighed more heavily toward syrupy sweetness. Actually rather non-descript. After warming further I hoped more aroma & flavor would emerge but they did not. Uneventful.

Mouthfeel was rather thin, some spritzy ETOH/carbonation activity. Overall a disappointment. The appearance was the highlight of this beer. I will not taste this one again.

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Photo of dsa7783
4.07/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single, twelve ounce bottle just copped from The Palisade Liquor Store in Jersey City...
Aroma... Can you say hops? This APA surprised me immediately after opening the bottle with a surging smell of fresh, wet hops... Although APA's usually combine both malts and hops, this one was definitely hop dominated, to the point of it possibly being mistaken for a light-bodied IPA...
The taste, likewise, was very hoppy and resiny, with slight hints of sweet, mild graperfuit, lemon zest, citrus, and a tinge of malts...
Creamy mouthfeel along with a good level of drinkability...
Interesting sample and a different twist on an APA...
Worth a try...

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Photo of RBorsato
3.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear golden color with a full light tan head, decent carbonation, and decent lace. Very light fruity ale aroma at first with a light hop aroma taking over. Nice balanced malt-hop flavor but a bit metallic. Light bodied and refreshing but nothing really stands out.

An average English-style Pale Ale in my mind. Wonder what kind of hops they use ?

UPDATE per their website: SPRING SEASONAL: City Pale Ale is a classic example of the American Pale Ale style. Brewed using premium 2-Row and lightly roasted Caramel malts, City Pale Ale exhibits a rich amber hue and complex malt character. Single variety hopping allows the fragrant, floral notes of the Cascade hops to shine through. 4.3% Alcohol by Weight.

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Photo of hopdog
3.36/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought this one at the Brewers Game @ Miller Park.

Poured a medium amberish color with a smaller sized off white head. Aromas and tastes of caramel and citrus (I was getting oranges). Lightly toasty too. Light to medium sweet.

Notes from: 07/14/05.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.7/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours the color of a good PA, head is not much, barely any lacing on the glass. Smells of sweet floral hops, maybe a little honey. Taste is hocentric, but not overpowering. Slight off flavor of burnt plastic, but still very good and drinkable. One otf the better City offerings.

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Photo of shadow1961
3/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

City Brewery's Pale Ale pours out a rocky head over a
clear light amber brew. Carbonation is active and the nose
is basically malt. Flavor is a little thin- some malt and grain
with a grassy hop finish. Mouthfeel is a little thin as well. Meh-
I guess I'm spoiled here. My american-style pale ale of choice
is Summit's- it highlights the more aromatic and herbal qualities
of their hops over simple bittering as with City's effort. I guess I
can chalk this one up to my palate drifting after quitting smoking.
This was the third bottle of City Pale Ale I've had out of their variety
pack- and I recall it tasting a lot better when I was smoking. Well-
that's why they say taste is a subjective thing. This beer is better
than your usual tappers- it is more flavorful than that- but I guess
I could only recommend it to somebody who really likes the grassy
hop notes over floral/fruit/herbal notes.

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Photo of jdhilt
2.61/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a three finger white head that fades to a thin layer leaving some lace. Clear amber color. Light carbonation and light-medium bodied. Hoppy nose. Starts sweet, the hops gradually take over leaving a bitter aftertaste. Typical pale. $1.29 for a 12oz bottle from John's Grocery Iowa City, Ia.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
2.75/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

a. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Cloudy orange with a small soapy head and pretty much no lace.

S. Bready and spicey in the nose. Sweet caramel malt and some toastiness is apparant in the aroma as well.

T. Very sweet malt body, almost as if a substantial amount of honey was added to the brewing process. Becomes a bit cloying. Could do with a bit more hop character, but distant leafy hops are definately there, even lending a hint of grapefruit that helps mingle with the sweetness. Clean alcohal rears its head for a moment then a bitter lingering finish.

m. Crisp with alot of carbonation. Medium bodied ale.

D. A decent overall beer that just needs cleaned up alittle. More hops and less sweetness. This bottle is not dated so perhaps it isn't the best example, but even if thats the case, I do not want another.

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Photo of Redrover
4.15/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown long neck bottle. No freshness date.

This beer pours a nice copper color and has an awesome 2 inch head. The foam settles down, but is there for the duration. Some lace present.

The smell is nice, very noticeable hops/citrus arroma. No apparent adjuncts.

This a nice American Pale Ale. Hops clearly dominate, but the malt adds a nice balance and keps it from being a one trick poney. The taste holds up well as the beer warms. Nice spicy notes as well. I was surprised at how good this beer was considering it can be found for less than $5 per six pack. I heard the brewery was not sure if this will be full year-round offering. I hope it is.

The beer has a nice old fashioned label and the hops they show are clearly present in the product. No false advertising here. Give this one a try!

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Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of terrabyte
2.34/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours somewhat dark yellow/amber color. Head seems fueled by active carbonation.

Smelled a little sour. Otherwise, sweet malts bordering on caramel, some bready aroma, and floral or citrus aromas.

More flavor than I expected. This is the brewery that used to do Old Style, afterall. Sticky flavor, cloying. Reminds me of the bottom of a warm 40 ounce bottle. There was some caramel flavor, followed by a bit of fruit left out in the sun all day. The aftertaste ended with a bitterness that was on the fence between slightly enjoyable, and not quite enjoyable: like those old "Bitter Beer Face" commercials.

Mouthfeel was pretty crisp with a dry carbonation. No problems with being too foamy or creamy from the carbonation.

It's been well over 6 years since I lived in La Crosse, and a bit more since their brewery was bought out. Sad to think that back then I was looking down my nose at Old Style while drinking my MGD. Whatever my preconception was, I'm surprised there was this much going on with this beer. Don't get me wrong, I won't be picking this up again, but if dirt cheap beer is on your list, this could be a candidate.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.1/5  rDev +25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured a deep amber color with moderat off-white puffy head.
Smell is notable for a significant piney hop presence.
Taste is also domintaed by piney and grassy hops. there is a modest amount of malt in the background to provide a nice balance.
left a dry bitterness at the finish which was very enjoyable.
I enjoyed this ber at a steak house in West Haven, CN. after a long drive through much traffic on I-95.It was a surprising beer to find and complimented my meal perfectly.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.42/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Medium amber color. Medium head. Aroma is malty and fruity. A medium bodied pale ale. Malts are a fruity and a touch sweet. Hops are grapefruity and piney. Sweetish and there is a odd aftertaste I can't place. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
2.56/5  rDev -22%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Hazy orange color with a quickly receding white head.

Smell like honey. Too sweet, I don't detect any hops, a little bit of malt is noticeable.

If I tasted this blind, Pale ale would not be my guess. There is a very slight hop sweetness up front, followed by chocolately malt. Finishes with its strongest flavor: Honey. Very strong honey, much too sweet for me. A little bit of hop dryness can be found throughout in the backround.

Mouthfeel is average.

I can't drink too much of this beer, too sweet for me.

Less honey flavor would make me happier with this beer, more hops would too.

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Photo of tadowdaddy
2.93/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A: Amber color with little head. Great lacing on the side of my pint glass.

S: A lot of malt smell, little sweet grapefruit hops.

T: This is a pretty sweet beer. Almost tastes like candy. A little hop flavor (citrus) followed by some really caramel like malt. Not the best tasting beer at all, but not horrible.

M: Thick, sweet, thick, sweet.. that's about all it has to offer. Maybe it's cuz of the 4 barley wines I've had that I'm not getting much off of this other than sweet and thick, but really, that's all I have to describe it. Almost leaves a sugar coating in the mouth.

D: Not horrible to drink, if it would get rid of the sweetness. The look is that of a typical pale ale, but other than that, the taste is nothing like one. I could (if I had to over maybe Budweiser) drink a few of these, but other than that, no thanks.

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Photo of marburg
4/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm having a hard time writing the review because my notes include a few words like "average" and "standard." But I don't want to give the impression that this is a poor beer.

In fact, I think this is a quality brew simply because it *is* average and standard. It pours a clear, dark golden color with a thin off-white head -- like so many other pale ales. And it has the customary, yet somewhat non-descript, floral, fruity nose. And it tastes like your everyday pale ale -- somewhat fruity with a shift to a plesant hop bitterness that gives a flash of grapefruit and leaves a vaguely lingering pine aftertaste.

So often, people try to make pale ales something way above and beyond what it needs to be. I can appreciate the sturdy, excessively-hopped pale ales; and I enjoy them. But this is a nice, simple, refreshing brew. It's easy to drink, and it's plesantly simple. It's simply well-crafted and tasty.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brightish honey gold color with a strange crusty top that looks like a frosted white dried sponge that was once grey. Lacing in minimal webbings.

Aroma is of a dry hopped woodish aspect, dry and clean with notes of cardboard and a touch of caramel.

Taste is more of the same, not withstanding much hop profile other then a dry hopped dryish wood and cardboard thing. Mild bite is noticeable though. It's not bad but not really all that good either. Clean yet dull and a small caramel backing scraps across with some much needed sweetness.

Feel is thinnish and working towards medium, clean but flat, as it warms it becomes nealry undrinkable. Carbonation doesn't keep well it seemed.

Slightly above average here, and thats being generous. Perhaps a fresher sample would suffice as the sample pack I got as a gift states that the City Pale won a bronze at the 2004 World Beer Championship?

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City Pale Ale from City Brewing Company, LLC
Beer rating: 3.28 out of 5 with 36 ratings