XP Pale AleMay 1, 2001 Healdsburg, CA
Bear Republic Brewing Co.
Available: CA, OR, WA, DC, VA, NC, SC
Bear Republic Brewing Co is a family-run company in the heart California wine country. The XP (Exceptional Pale) Pale Ale is brewed with American two-row, English wheat, Belgian and Dextrin malts, and Cascade and Centennial hops.
Color: light amber
Original gravity: n/a
Splendid aromatics here; but is it the Centennials or the Cascades that make it so inspiring? In any case, the effect is a very smooth come hither call for the drinker, but so well managed that the beer seems irresistible, and the hops haunt ones palate as well. I like this American pale ale.
- Fred Eckhardt
Despite the bottle-conditioning, the beer poured a clear pale honey-amber with a sustained tan head. The aroma is pleasantly hoppy with malt showing through underneath. On the palate, bitterness is broad and bracing, but doesn't obscure the solid malt in the center. The beer is quite dry throughout and finishes very cleanly. A biscuity flavor of pale malt lingers. Though this style is widely brewed, this beer truly stands out. Nice aromatics, great balance, no-nonsense hopping and a solid malt backbone play very well together and create great drinkability. Great job. A shrimp and jalapeno jack quesadilla with a side of guacamole and I'm good to go.
- Garrett Oliver
Peachy bronze color. Faintly yeasty iridescence. Dense head, with good lace. Aroma of barley sugar and (very distinct) Seville orange skins. Bigger body, and more malt background than most American pale ales, but don't be deceived by that brief greeting of smooth sweetness. This is almost immediately enveloped by (again very emphatic) perfumy (hay, straw, lemons, limes), slightly soapy, flavors. The oiliness of hops? In the end an assertively hoppy beer. Very robust all round. A bear-hug.
- Michael Jackson
Fred Eckhardt lives, writes about and drinks beer in Portland, OR. He is the author of The Essentials of Beer Style and Saké.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
Author of Ultimate Beer, the Simon & Schuster Guide to Beer and numerous other works on drinks, Jackson has created legions of converts to fine beer.