Thorn Rock the Pale Ale

Thorn Brewing Co. - Rock the Pale Ale

Brewed by: Thorn Brewing Co.

Beer Classification and Specs

  • Style: Pale Ale
  • Variation: American Style
  • Limited: No
  • ABV: 5.5%
  • IBU: 44

Notes: A San Diego collaboration between Thorn Brewing Co and The Casbah nightclub.

Brewer’s Notes and Ingredients

Just like San Diego’s independent music scene, this traditional, California-style pale ale unapologetically stands out. It’s a highly balanced beer with pine and citrus hop flavors coming from a generous late-kettle addition and dry hop.

Hops: Cascade, Chinook, and Columbus

Malts: Caramel Light and Carapils

More Rock the Pale Ale Images

First Impressions

Artwork: Follows Thorn branding on one side of the can, and The Casbah nightclub skull and guitars artwork on the reverse complete with flames around the whole can base.

Color: Bright clear coppery hue.

Aroma: Pungent, skunky hops.

The Tasting

Arrived in: 12oz. Can

Served in: Stemless Wine Glass

We’re always happy to see more and more local breweries canning, especially since packaged beer suits our lifestyle so well. With kids, we can’t necessarily run out of the house to go beer touring through North Park at the drop of a hat.

Of course we can bring growler fills home from places, but it’s even better to have factory sealed containers we don’t have to dig into immediately.

We try to grab Thorn Brewing Co. beers whenever we see them on tap. Now, thanks to their new distribution deal with Stone, we have a choice of 4 of offerings, straight from our beer fridge: Foreplay Belgian Blonde, Barrio Baja-Style Lager, Relay IPA, and this beer, Rock the Pale Ale.

In the glass, Rock the Pale Ale poured a very clear, coppery color you could almost see through. It didn’t look highly effervescent in the glass, but did manage to collect a small pure white topper that faded into a thin sheet across the liquid line.

Rock the Pale Ale featured a huge, skunky aroma of IPA proportions. We wouldn’t complain if more APA’s had these aromatics! For as fragrant as this pale was, we regretted not pouring it into a more specialized glass, which we will try later for the remaining cans out of the 6 pack. There was pungent hop spice up front, with some citrus and breadiness.

There are traditional Pale Ales, and then there’s the San Diego style pale ale — which is typically an IPA anywhere else on the beer map of America. This beer straddled both sides of the fence with a bold hop profile (SD-style), and just a touch of added maltiness for an almost medium body and soft mouthfeel (traditional).

Rock the Pale Ale was quite balanced, with just enough malt backbone to make it satisfying with a little sweetness to stand up to its hop bitterness. The beer’s aggressive C-hop profile not only gave it that SD flair, but offered firm spicy pine that mellowed out into refreshing zesty citrus.

This beer will make for an amazing football Sunday beer, thanks to its impressive hop bitterness to ABV ratio. Still sessionable, but more hop-laden than a Session IPA.

Final Score: 4/5


4 Stars

Thorn Brewing has added a great new beer to their line-up. This won’t be the last time we rock this pale, especially with its bold hop flavors and inexpensive price point.

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