Bear Republic’s XP Pale Ale

Monday, August 24, 2009
By William Kammer
A good beer, but not the kind of pale I like. Overall a 6/10.

A good beer, but not the kind of pale I like. Overall a 6/10.

When I go to the store and pick up a pale ale, I’m expecting one thing over all else: hops. I love hops, and every good pale ale I’ve had has an excellent hoppy aroma and flavor. Unfortunately, Bear Republic’s XP Pale Ale decided to go a different route. Instead of the intense hops I enjoy in a pale ale, the aroma and taste of this beer is overwhelmed by malt.

Malt can be a great thing in beer, and this brew is by no means disgusting, but it’s not what I’m looking for in this kind of beer. After getting past the fact that I was not going to the hops I wanted, it was still an enjoyable experience. The malty notes were delicious and the finish did have a slight hoppy bite.

The kinds of beer I compare a new pale ale to include New Belgium’s Mighty Arrow, any pale ale from the Sierra Nevada brewery, and Flying Dog’s Doggystyle Pale Ale. Each of those have a great aroma and awesome hop flavor that I just can’t put this XP Pale Ale up against. A better beer to compare this to would be Sam Adams’ Double Bock. The Double Bock is more malty, but the malt in the XP Pale Ale reminded me of that flavor.

  • Look – 9: It looks like a regular pale ale, a little cloudy and a golden color.
  • Aroma – 4: The aroma isn’t bad, but it’s not what I’m looking for in a pale ale. I want to smell hops when I open a bottle.
  • Feel – 6: The feel was smooth and thicker than a pale ale should be, in my opinion.
  • ABV – 5.5: This beer has 5.5 percent alcohol by volume.
  • Taste – 5: I’m admittedly biased here. The flavor isn’t bad, it’s just too malty for a good pale ale.
  • OVERALL – 6: It’s definitely an enjoyable beer, but they needed to lay off the malty characters.

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