I have to say that I appreciate St. Archer Brewery has a pale ale among its core options. It seems these days that when a new brewery puts out its understandably limited initial options, the pale doesn’t often make the cut. There could be myriad reasons for it, but my personal hypothesis is that it's just holding up a mirror to San Diego’s stalker-y obsession with hops. Breweries have to differentiate themselves, and it’s easier to do that with a bold quintuple IPA or the like. Still, there’s just something about a nicely tuned pale ale that’s teetering on the edge of sessionable that makes it a compelling quaff.
The St. Archer Pale Ale has a nose that’s tropical-fruit-forward with flowery notes residing just beneath. The first sip is more aggressive than the mildly perfumy aroma suggests, but it certainly won’t kick you in the teeth. It has lots of medium-weight pine flavors with a slightly dank character to it. It finishes slightly oily, but not so much that the hop bitterness accumulates significantly.
This is a pretty soft-core pale ale for San Diego, but it's easily drinkable. If you’re looking for a low impact (5.2-percent ABV) sipper with some hop character, this will do it for you. I found it a little light, relative to my personal tastes, but perhaps those less manly than myself will enjoy that.