Looking for a good, widely available pale ale

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marc1

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I don't buy much beer, but I'd like to find a good pale ale-ish beer that is easily available in Northeast Ohio, <5% ABV, dry (no crystal), and with decent hoppiness. Sierra Nevada is OK on hops and bitterness, but is too high ABV and too sweet.
Any suggestions?
 
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Well I was gonna suggest SNPA but you crushed that. Looks like the search is on. Don't know about your stores but ours here in Nor Cal are PACKED with awesome beers! Let your pocket book and taste buds get to work... :) Sampling is the best part!

Good luck

Cheers
Jay
 

Miraculix

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In the UK, I'd recommend Camden pale, but I somehow doubt that you can get it (reasonably fresh) in the US ...
 
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marc1

marc1

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This is why I homebrew, LOL.

There are countless options here, looking for help narrowing it down without buying a bunch of beer that's decent but not what I'm looking for. :D
 

Spundit

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The sub 5% abv is probably gonna be a challenge. I remember Founders all day IPA being a decent beer considering. However I think it did have a little sweetness to it. I probably haven't had it in 2 years so my memory may be off.

Belles Light Hearted ale is probably worth a try. I found it a little too watery for my taste but you may feel differently.
 

Immocles

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I’m a big fan of founders all day ipa, but I really enjoyed Sierra Nevada summer break. It’s label calls it a hazy session at around 4.5% iirc, but I really liked it and bought a few 12packs of it. I feel like it might be seasonal, though?

I’m not sure on the abv, but have you tried kona golden ale?
 
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marc1

marc1

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I’m a big fan of founders all day ipa, but I really enjoyed Sierra Nevada summer break. It’s label calls it a hazy session at around 4.5% iirc, but I really liked it and bought a few 12packs of it. I feel like it might be seasonal, though?

I’m not sure on the abv, but have you tried kona golden ale?
Thanks!

That Sierra Nevada has my attention. I'll look for that, too!

Kona Big Wave looks to be 4.4%, but at 21 IBUs from what I can find it might not be bitter enough for what I'm looking for.
 

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Thanks!

That Sierra Nevada has my attention. I'll look for that, too!

Kona Big Wave looks to be 4.4%, but at 21 IBUs from what I can find it might not be bitter enough for what I'm looking for.
It might be a fluke, but in southern Indiana I've definitely had six packs of Sierra Nevada that weren't as good as others. I bought a few for pretty cheap at a discount grocery store and wondered if they were getting old, had been stored too long at too warm, etc. I've had others down here that were amazing. So if you don't like it at first, it may be worth another shot.
 

Immocles

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Any surly brews in your area? I don’t know how wide spread they are, but they have a citra xtra pale that I come across on sale locally pretty often. There’s another in their line up at the lower abv end, but the name completely escapes me atm(and again, it might have been a seasonal)
 
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marc1

marc1

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It might be a fluke, but in southern Indiana I've definitely had six packs of Sierra Nevada that weren't as good as others. I bought a few for pretty cheap at a discount grocery store and wondered if they were getting old, had been stored too long at too warm, etc. I've had others down here that were amazing. So if you don't like it at first, it may be worth another shot.
I definitely had bad Sierra Nevada that was getting old. Didn't check the dates and bought a variety pack of hoppy beer that was really old and was gross.
Nowadays, I always check dates for hoppy beer.
 
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marc1

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Any surly brews in your area? I don’t know how wide spread they are, but they have a citra xtra pale that I come across on sale locally pretty often. There’s another in their line up at the lower abv end, but the name completely escapes me atm(and again, it might have been a seasonal)
I don't think so but I'll look for it.
 

bwible

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I’d suggest finding a local beer shop (we call them beer distributors in PA) that has a great selection and then just walk through and see what they have. I’m next door in PA and you should probably be able to get most of what I can get. And probably some things I can’t.

Like others said I like the Founders All Day IPA. Lagunitas makes great beer, I usually buy their IPA or Hop Stoopid but both of those are more than 5%. I was going to say Victory Headwaters but it looks like they stopped making that.

Session beers are more desireable lately and more companies seem to be brewing them. Brewer’s Publications (AHA) released a Session Beer book last year or not long ago. It has tips from pro brewers and lots of recipes. Maybe this is something you brew for yourself if you can’t find what you’re after.


Bitters are the original session beer. I know its not the same as American beers with American hops but bitter is a great session beer. I’ve found good ones hard to find here and I frequently brew those.
 
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bwible

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We have places now that have single bottles and let you build your own mixed 6 pack. Thats a great way to try a few and see if you like them before committing to a 12 pack or a case.
 
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marc1

marc1

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I’d suggest finding a local beer shop (we call them beer distributors in PA) that has a great selection and then just walk through and see what they have. I’m next door in PA and you should probably be able to get most of what I can get. And probably some things I can’t.

Like others said I like the Founders All Day IPA. Lagunitas makes great beer, I usually buy their IPA or Hop Stoopid but both of those are more than 5%. I was going to say Victory Headwaters but it looks like they stopped making that.

Session beers are more desireable lately and more companies seem to be brewing them. Brewer’s Publications (AHA) released a Session Beer book last year or not long ago. It has tips from pro brewers and lots of recipes. Maybe this is something you brew for yourself if you can’t find what you’re after.


Bitters are the original session beer. I know its not the same as American beers with American hops but bitter is a great session beer. I’ve found good ones hard to find here and I frequently brew those.
Thanks for the suggestions!

Most of what I brew is in the 3-5% range. Bitters and Dark Milds are awesome.

I've got some hoppier brews coming up, but was hoping I could find something to grab a case of every now and then when I've got non-PA/IPA stuff on tap, or if I haven't had a chance to brew enough.

I normally get SNPA or All Day IPA when on vacation. They're good, but don't really hit what I want flavor-wise.

I'm getting some pretty good suggestions here to try, though!

I've read the Jennifer Talley book. It's good for someone looking to get into lower ABV brews. I don't remember finding any really good info there that I hadn't come across elsewhere or figured out myself already.
 

Falstaff

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SNPA is my go-to. Zombie Dust is pretty much an IPA, but it's sold as a pale. I'd go with that second.
 
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marc1

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So I've now got Bell's Light Hearted, Lagunitas Daytime, Dogfish Head Slightly Naughty, and Deschutes Lil' Squeezy. Found a few others that fit the criteria but they were old. Seems most beers like this are marketed as low calorie or low carb. Lil' Squeezy is "crafted to remove gluten". :D
Taste-off sometime in the next week.
 
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marc1

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SNPA is my go-to. Zombie Dust is pretty much an IPA, but it's sold as a pale. I'd go with that second.
Oddly, even though I like IPAs and I love Citra, I never liked Zombie Dust. I can't figure it out. I've tried it several times. :(
It's been a few years, though, maybe I need to give it another whirl. Gumball Head, though, I like that one from 3 Floyds.
 
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marc1

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FYI, Lagunitas uses Julian date codes. The first 3 printed numbers on the box are the numerical day of the year (mine was 216 which comes out to Aug 4th). It appears from some internetting that the next number is the last number of the year. Mine is 1, so it is 2021.
 

Falstaff

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Oddly, even though I like IPAs and I love Citra, I never liked Zombie Dust. I can't figure it out. I've tried it several times. :(
It's been a few years, though, maybe I need to give it another whirl. Gumball Head, though, I like that one from 3 Floyds.
It's in cans now. That can change things, I've found. Maybe give it another try? Taste is very subjective, though, obviously.
 
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marc1

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It's in cans now. That can change things, I've found. Maybe give it another try? Taste is very subjective, though, obviously.
I tried it in bottles, and then I tried it at the brewery on draft (such a cool taproom/restaurant with the metal theme!).
 

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I just tried a Firestone Walker Flyjack IPA... 4%ABV 25 IBU 96 calories... Decent. Very light in body, not a lot of bitterness but decent hop flavor and aroma..

Given a choice, I'd take a founders All Day IPA for flavor: 47IBUs... but also 4.7% 140 cal...

 
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Falstaff

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I tried it in bottles, and then I tried it at the brewery on draft (such a cool taproom/restaurant with the metal theme!).
Awesome dude. Where was it? One of my favorites from 3 Floyds was It's Not Normal, which they brewed with Pig Destroyer, one of my favorite metal bands :)
 
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madscientist451

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Mirror pond is one of my favorite clones to brew, my clone version is almost always better than any original version I can find since its likely very old by the time it gets to me. The keg never lasts very long.....makes me thirsty thinking about it.
:mug:
 
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The Can You Brew It for Mirror Pond said that the maltster was important for the base malt to get the right flavor.
What's your recipe?
 

madscientist451

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The Can You Brew It for Mirror Pond said that the maltster was important for the base malt to get the right flavor.
What's your recipe?
I followed the CYBI recipe and instructions, its been a while and I don't have my brewing notebook with me right now, but I just followed what they said they did and it came out great. Its a some what old-school all cascade brew I've brewed it maybe 3-4 times, but I have gotten away from clone brewing lately, but now I'm thinking I'll put that back in the lineup.
Yeah the recipe called for great western pale ale malt, but this would be great to try with base malt from one of the smaller maltsters like Mecca Grade, no it won't be a clone then, but it who knows it might be better than the original. I might also be tempted to stray from the hop bill and use some Amarillo and Ahtanum, but there I go, getting away from clone brewing.
There are several HBT discussions about it:
 
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