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Firehouse American Pale Ale - The Firehouse Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Firehouse American Pale AleFirehouse American Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

51 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 51
Hads: 57
Avg: 3.09
pDev: 19.74%
Wants: 0
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Firehouse Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  ABV ?

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 06-19-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 51 | Hads: 57
Photo of grandma
1.88/5  rDev -39.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

What a terrible beer.

Appearence...slight haze (no big deal) but the color is way off. looks like an amber.

Smell...where's the hops? Toffee, cardboard, and some DMS.

Taste...just as bad as the smell.

Mouthfeel...nice, full body

Overall...crap. Get with it Chris Finch. you kook.

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Photo of rarbring
3.83/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is hazy amber, has an off-white high head that leaves good lacing.

The smell has some toffee, citric notes, and pine.

Upfront caramel, bread, then grape-fruit, grass and lemon zest.

Medium high carbonation, slightly spritzy, a dry finish.

A nice one, felt almost IPA:ish.

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Photo of armock
3.5/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a copper color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of sweet caramel malt with some light hops

T - Follows the nose sweet caramel malt with some hops

M - This beer has a medium body with medium carbonation to it

D - Overall this isn't a bad pale but there's not much separating it from most other average pales its still drinkable and worth a shot if you see it

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Photo of srandycarter
3.51/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pretty copper, tons of head, tons of lace. Retention is good.

S - Light sweet malt. Bitter is in the back seat of the light car.

T - Malty. Nice. Average to above average mix of malt and bitter.

M - Medium body, good carb, fair coating and balance.

D - Drinkable enough!

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Photo of garymuchow
3.41/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not sure how this ended up in MN and by the date of the previous review it may be old too. Is that fair? I dunno', but maybe it shouldn't be out and about if it wasn't meant to be drank (I know it's not always the brewers fault what distributors do).
More malt forward, but also some oxidation (a little cardboard). Mild hop with more of a grassy quality.
Attractive amber with orange and red. Smaller head that settles to a reasonably dense small cap. Off-white to tan.
Again with the forward malt and mild hop flavors. This is more of an amber than APA. However, the malt flavors are pretty good. Nice toastiness with a touch of sweetness, mild fruit. Hops are subdued in both flavor and bitterness. Noticeable dryness. A faint bit of oxidation.
Fine carbonation that enhances smoothness of a moderate body.
This is a drinkable beer. I would have liked to had it fresher. Much better than the wheat beer I had previously.

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Photo of cavedave
3.05/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thanks to Maltzilla for this extra

It pours a cloudy amber topped by a fleeting head of beige. Not much lace, and in minutes the head of the beer has vanished.

Light aroma of oranges, light yeast tang, and a sweet breadiness.

Taste is a medium flavor of orange, neutral sweet, and an herbosity that isn't bitter, nor vegetal, sort of like ganja, beneath it. The finish is semi-juicy, the orange of it grabbing some bitter.

Mouthfeel is a bit thick for an APA, med. carb., and the finish is not as clean as possible. For style, this beer takes a hit.

Drinkability is not that great. Too thick in the mouth, not interesting nor complex, and the flavors aren't very tasty.

Impression: Won't be getting this again, and not because it doesn't come to NY

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Photo of Kegatron
2.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap @ South Beach Bar & Grill (San Diego, CA) on 3/22/10. Served in a pint glass.

Pours a clear copper, with a ½ finger of smooth off-white head. This maintains its size with a decent foamy richness to both the retention and lacing. The aroma is lightly is lightly floral and citric smelling, with a bit of a backing tang from the bread and caramel flavors of the malts.

The taste has some light feeling hop bitterness to it, with fresh feeling citrus in the background and a flush of breaded caramel across the rear. Touch of lingering dry spiciness works the finish of this. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a nice crispness to it that also stays smooth in the mouth. This has an acceptable quenching feel to it.

Decent look and drinkibility here but the flavors were pretty muted and light. Not exactly what I would call full-flavored. This was my first offering from Firehouse and it doesn't really make me want to rush out and try anything else from them. At least it paired up decently with my plate of world class fish tacos from the restaurant.

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Photo of traviserickson
3.48/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- head falls apart like with a quick swiss cheese appearance in less than 20 sec. Translucent with weak lacing

S- yeasty but and weak

T- malty, not very pale. Biscuity and watery.

M- carbonation leaves quickly and you can only taste malt and water.

D- yep, the dollar beer has spoken loud and clear.

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Photo of Soilworker
3.2/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Cloudy amber red with a white creamy head.

Smell: Strong ripe fruitiness with a prominent backing of floral hops and slight fruitiness. Significant malty biscuit aromas come through.

Taste: Predominately bitter and malty. There are hints of biscuit and baked bread that are apparent and the floral hops only slightly offset this. not quite what I would expect with an APA.

Mouthfeel: Very nice! Pleasant carbonation and moderate to full body.

Drinkability: Not a terrible beer. It is definetely worth a try if you see it for sale. I wouldn't buy a six pack of it but a single in a sampler is well worth it.

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Photo of CRichardsMN
3.18/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Partly cloud dark amber with a creamy off-white head. After the head falls, there is a swampy looking film over the whole surface which leaves a sparse lacing. Head bounces back a little after each sip.

Moderate slightly sweet and tart citrus hops.

Decent flavor of sweet caramel and malts and good bite of hops. Finishes fairly tartly and bitter, not overwhelming and well balanced.

Mildly carbonated and full bodied.

Full of flavor with nice body but finishes clean and crisp. Not typically a favorite style (PA, EPA or IPA) but I like this one.

Maybe I've been away from beers with any hint of hops for too long but this one really woke up the taste buds. Welcome back.

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Photo of jeremyd365
4/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pretty, dark amber with a good amount of carbonation and a nice later of off-white head. A great floral scent. It's got a solid medium body and the flavor is a delicious hoppiness. It lingers afterward in a pleasant hoppy maltiness. Overall, a pretty drinkable brew.

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Photo of civilizedpsycho
3.58/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: A pretty dark, amber color that is semi-transparent, but not cloudy. Had a good 1-finger head, that lasted for a little while.

Smell: A fair hop aroma with a hint of sweet fruit lingering in the background.

Taste: I found no bit of the fruity smell in the taste. I thought it was fairly bitter all the way through, but finishes very smooth.

Mouthfeel: I was surprised that it had a fairly full body. I was expecting it to be pretty thin, but it actually has some texture to it.

Drinkability: I liked this beer. It's not my favorite thing ever, but I feel it's very worthy of a try. I could see myself getting this again.

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Photo of Rmassimiano
1.77/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I had this brew on tap at the Firehouse Brewery in San Diego. I was excited to try this place. I had seen it around for sometime but hadnt, for some unknown reason, tried towns beer.

I was expecting much much more from there American Pale Ale. I could not distinguish much of a malt but more importantly hop flavor to this beer what so ever. It was like when you have a coke when the ice melts, its that watered down taste. I dont know if it was just me but the others around me seemed to enjoy it fine. I think to call itself an American Pale Ale it needs to gain a little malt/hop profile so it doesnt seem so bland.

As a consolation the IPA and Hefeweizen were outstanding.

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Photo of WakeandBake
3.6/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A light amber color pour with a small white head , medium carbonation , and a bit of jagged lacing left. Aroma is slightly floral ,lightly grainy , and a little sweet caramel malt . Flavor of light citrus and floral hops , nice balance of caramel malt , light to medium body , smooth mouthfeel , and very sessionable . A nice drinker and a solid APA .

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Photo of Bighuge
3.06/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice looking orange copper body with an dirty white head sititng on top. Lace comes in sporadic patches. Very average aroma. Light caramel malts and light bits and pieces of hops. Nothing jumps out at all. And there's no complexity in the subtlety either. Some caramel and some nuttiness give the beer a little substance but not much of an overlay of hops. Light citric tones. Body is medium to medium full with a slightly viscous feel. Average.

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Photo of Buebie
2.47/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Well, after reading the story behind the creation of this brewery on the website, I'm very moved. You should read it too.


With that aside, I spottd this new addition to my local bottles shops mix a six pack shelf. Had to give it a try.

Poured from a brown 12 ounce bottle into my surly tulip. The head forms up at 2'' of tan fluffyness. Receeding to leave a thin thayer and thicker colar.
As a filtered beer this is somwhat hazy. I do like the unfiltered brews and this one has great appearance. A orangish copper glowing color, more pale and brown away from light.

Aroma is pretty dull, its got a sawdust aroma mixing with a very distant hop spice. Some mild sweet malt and that about sums up aroma.

Mouthfeel is thin and mildly carbonated.

Taste is also thin with not much depth to it, very borring for an apa. Starting out with a dull wet wood taste and a metallic linger. Some very mild hops and really no malt at all. No grain flavor, no balance or anything really appealing to make me want another.

I love what made this brewery and why they started brewing. But if you guys want to make it, I suggest some more flavor. For a California apa, this doesnt have much of any hop flavor at all.

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Photo of ABOWMan
3.37/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a reddish amber color with good clarity. Ample two finder head of tan colored foam.

Aroma is of sweet malt, and spice.

Flavor is sweet and malty, with a light amount of hop bitterness.

Not a very notable beer, but the color is nice. Won't be buying this one again.

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Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.42/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Typical light amber color, clear, with a thick white head that had a good amount of lacing.

S - Not a whole lot of aroma, a little hop presence, but mostly malts.

T - Again, there wasn't as many hops present as I would have imagined for an APA and the finish/after taste was quite nutty almost like a brown ale.

M/D - It had an average amount of carbonation, medium-light body, and it was very smooth. It finished semi-dry but very clean.

Had this beer on tap at a local pub when I visited San Diego...not quite an APA in my books and could use a little more hop presence.

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Photo of becktone
1.39/5  rDev -55%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

From notes 4-29-09

Done horizontally with Point Cascade Pale Ale

Eye: This one pours copper with some tints of red and gold in there. Color is nice, but as with the Point head is weak. The only difference in the appearance of the head on this beer is that it looks more like milk boiling, you know that pitted, kinda rocky, sticky looking foam that forms when milk gets too hot. Well it has that look but at just a thin film that covers the beer.

Nose: Pretty much nothing, some malty aromas and perhaps some caramel in there too. Aroma is weak and is nothing close to what I'd call an American Pale Ale. Where are the hops? I'm just getting a whole lot of bland. If this beer labels itself as an APA then it should at least make an effort to smell like one. Way off, I'm almost thinking that some aroma here, even if it smelled like a stout would be better than this weak shredded wheat or metamucil aroma that I can barley pick up.

Tongue: Oh, this is not good. Extremely watery, huge notes of diacetyl and some caramel tones that only make the diacetyl worse. Extremely unbalanced with a slick feeling that is left on the palate after its swallowed. Some alcohol is detectable too, just as a slight warmth, a slight astringency that comes through in the finish. I find that to be a major flaw in a beer that is small such as this one is. There are no redeeming qualities to this beer. Firemen should stick to putting out fires and quit trying to brew beer. Every beer I've had that has to do with Firestations, Firetrucks, Firemen, Hooks and Ladders, and Firehouses have been incredibly bad...drinkable but way off and not worth the money. This tastes much more like a brown ale. Really all they'd have to do is rename it and It would instantly become better...But no this is their take on an APA and I shall treat it as such, a complete clusterfuck of malt that has no hop character. The brewer here might have been trying to brew an APA, but didn't he taste it first and realize "Hey, this is nowhere close." Apparently not. Wow! just looked at the label, this is out of California....well isn't the west coast pretty much responsible for supper hoppy beers and isn't it the origin of the APA? last time I checked it was....Chico is in Cali not England right? correct me if I'm wrong. These idiots should know better. In a part of the country responsible for the styllistic emergence of the AMERICAN Pale Ale I would imagine that the brewers here would be able to tell the difference between an APA and something that is almost a Newcastle clone. No sympathy.

Feel and Drinkability: Low carbonation but prickley when it comes out. Light in body and watery on the palate. Thank god I didn't pay for this. I'll never buy it and will steer people away from it at all costs. This is a poorly brewed APA, yes I know there's a hop shortage, but c'mon you guys change the label to brown ale or perhaps even English brown ale, hell nut brown ale would even work better than APA. Again, no sympathy for stupidity. This is almost as bad as Wild Goose Brown lager...Titled as a Brown Lager whilst the description on the side states that "Wild Goose brown lager is....making it a great session ale." Don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad beer, its a bad APA, as a brown ale, its not bad, but labeled as an APA well...

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Photo of jczn
2.34/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Orange, somewhat cloudy. Airy, white head disappears quickly. (2.0)

S: Deep malt aroma; sweet like the FG is high. No hop aroma. Reminds me of wort boiling. (3.0)

T: The initial taste is rather bland, nothing about it sticks out. The after taste, however, has a bit of something that, to me, tastes like an off flavor in this style. I can't put my finger on exactly what it is, but it could be an English style yeast strain or perhaps a higher fermentation temperature. The flavor is cloudy and murky, not at all the clean, moderately hoppy flavor I expect from an American Pale Ale. (2.0)

M: Too much carbonation, too much bite. (2.0)

D: It's not a beer that I'm going to throw out, but it's also not a beer that I'm going to buy
again. Labeling it an American Pale Ale is misleading. I think the flavor is more akin to darker amber ale with very little hop presence. Overall, I'm not a fan. (2.5)

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Photo of Offa
3.75/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I picked this up in a store in Angel's Camp whilst geting some Snowshoe beer to take home and had no idea what to expect, never having heard of it. It turned out to be a fairly tasty, pretty solid beer. However, I should note that the actual name on the bottle is "American Pale Ale" and that ironically it is much more like an English Pale Ale in style. This may be one factor in people scoring it as low as they have. It in fact tastes quite different from what I was expecting.

Amber (reddish gold) and faintly hazy, it has a smallish off-white head slowly shrinking to a wispy top and a little lace.

The aroma is grain, bread, faint citrus, flowers, with hints of fruit, caramel, and leaves. It already seems a bit more English than American in character.

The taste is toasted grain, hints of caramel and buttery bread, leaves, light elements of spicey pepper, undefined citrus bite and taste, leaves. It has definite English-leaning buttery character, and spicey-leafiness with citrus that is not grapefruity. It tends to the sweetish side but with a light citrus-spicey-leafy bitterness that builds to the end. However, it is a bit thin in feel, a bit rough, and the flavours tend to degrade over time (it becomes a bit rougher, more alcoholic and slightly sharply sour) while the aftertaste becomes slightly off and sharp. Overall, though, it is mostly good, quite drinkable, reasonably tasty, and has good balance.

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Photo of sonicdescent
3.1/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very murky brown with a decent head that turns into a crown with no lacing.

Smell is a bit off putting..it has that nail polish scent I got from Duchesse, but I can't discern any hop character. Pretty malty for a PA.

Taste is..well I can't say it's bad, but it really doesn't seem like much of a Pale Ale to me. If this were in the ESB category perhaps it would score higher. A bit of bread, sweetness, over some light hoppage.

Mouth is not a problem with a surpringly thick body and medium carbonation.

Drinkability I had to curve up a little, because while this isn't to style at all, it isn't a bad beer. I probably wouldn't seek it out, but I can't say I'm dissapointed I've tried.

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Photo of xhcadamx
2.9/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - dark honey with a creamy head that stayed afloat and a tad amount of lacing

S - sweet malts and a tad bit of C hops

T - Lots of Carmel and Chocolate malt... weird for an APA. Has some fruitiness and C hops.

M - thin bodied with a dry aftertaste

D - I dont really like this beer. It reminds me of those orange/chocolate candies - just doesn't work for me.

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Photo of Yetiman420
3.08/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to jgap for including this as an extra on our trade.

Served in a Unibroue tulip glass.

Pours a hazy, dark peach color with a 1/2 finger slightly off-white head. Darker than I prefer my "pale" ale.

Aroma is light fruit and ripe or perhaps sweet. Really strange that I pick up a Belgian spice aroma to this.

Dry and clean finish. While good traits, that being my first reaction does not bode well for taste. I think it has too much malt for a pale ale. If drinking blind, I'd guess it was an ESB, especially with the full mouthfeel.

Not up to par with what I would expect from a so cal american pale ale.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
2.19/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

It's hard to stand out as a brewery in a very competitive San Diego area. If you're going to try, you're beer better be good. Unfortunately, this beer doesn't do it.
Pours a light gold in color with a nice inch of head. Smell is off, with lots of lager like qualities. Not sure what's causing this, but it's not good. Taste is much more of the same. Way too much bitter lager like qualities. Taste has a bit of a burnt taste to it as well. This is way off and becoming very hard to finish.
There's way too many world class breweries in the area to seek out and try this. Hopefully these are growing pains and they can clean this beer up a bit.

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Firehouse American Pale Ale from The Firehouse Brewing Co.
73 out of 100 based on 51 ratings.