Founders Pale Ale - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Pale AleFounders Pale Ale

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2,575 Ratings
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Ratings: 2,575
Reviews: 816
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 11.41%
Wants: 43
Gots: 263 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002

100% Cascade hops.
35 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,575 | Reviews: 816
Reviews by ngandhi:
Photo of ngandhi
4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my favorite beer of the summer.

It's clean, bitter, nutty, soft, and more refreshing than spring water served directly out of the spring. The grainy finish and aroma are just barely caramelly--really a model for anyone who's trying to brew this seemingly simple brew. It's very comparable to Dogfish Head's 60 Minute IPA, but less bitter.

I hate saying "crisp" because it hardly means anything, but there's something virtually crunchy and praline about how this beer goes down.

Hints of grapefruit, lemon ice, and clementine round out the dry finish.

Relax, relax.

More User Reviews:
Photo of cryptichead
4.75/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Surprisingly clean, crisp, and refreshing. Akin to a German pilsner. Very drinkable. Much lighter in flavor than a typical APA. Overall, a surprising find and very enjoyable beer.

Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Slow's BBQ in Detroit,poured a hazed light copper with a orange hue a small but well retained white head.There was a dose of American hops in this brew you could tell right off the bat in the nose quite piney and citrusy but there was a very noticable sweet caramel aroma that nearly matched the healthy dose of hops.Very well balanced with a real American character piney and citrusy and very crisp over top of a firm slightly sweet doughy malt backbone.Solid what else to say about this beer,very food friendly with good bbq cutting power with those hops.

Photo of RoyalT
3.91/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance – This is a gorgeous, hazy orange in color with a foamy, white, pillowy head that showed great retention.

Smell – The nose is balanced between light citrus hopping and quality grain. No sense reallly of the dry-hopping.

Taste – This is a balanced ale. The grain is bigger here and very nice. The hops again are mild and well-proportioned.

Mouthfeel – This is just shy of medium-bodied and well-balanced in the mouth.

Drinkability – Definitely a session ale, this Founders’ offering shows off some high-quality ingredients as well as an expert’s touch by the brewmaster. One of the most quaffble APAs I’ve ever had.

Photo of tectactoe
3.66/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a burnt amber color with hints of orange and copper, moderate hazy in the body; very small, wispy white head that dissipates quickly but leaves some noticeable lacing in its wake. Aroma is quite nice - the main component here is fruit; citrus, grapefruit, orange zest, lemon rinds. A slight hint of pine and leaf on the nose, very mild when compared to the citrus. The taste does a little bit of a switcheroo in the sense that the citrus flavors are toned down quite a bit on the palate. They play more of a background part, secondary to the emerging, bitter hop flavors; resinous pines and leafy, floral hop flavors explode with the lemon, citrus, and grapefruit sweetness around to balance things out a bit. A little more bitter than expected from the aroma (not a bad thing, however), this is approaching IPA level hop addition. Of course the malts are there, but it's really hard to pick out any distinct malt flavors. Maybe some simple white bread flavors, but the malts are light and somewhat pushed to the side by the hops. Medium-high amount of carbonation with a medium body, quite crisp and clean on the finish.

Founder's take on the classic Pale Ale is a pretty good one. Quite strong in hop character, but simply so, and not too overbearing for those not exactly looking for an IPA. This would be a good transition from APAs to IPAs for someone who is afraid to make the leap.

Photo of brownbeer
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one has leafy, herbal hop aroma with some pine, mint, and soft grains. American all the way.

The taste is fresh, leafy hop resins without much malt complexity and a long, dry finish. I could have used a little more of a malt profile in this.

It's not bad, but there are a lot better choices out there right now. I don't factor in price when reviewing, but there are better values.

Photo of orbitalr0x
2.86/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Revisiting this one courtesy of kmpitz2. Pours a golden yellow orange with a big cragly two finger head on top. Strong aromas of floral hops that actually smelly soapy. A hint of citrus is there as well...but the odd soapy fragarance is just off putting to me.

First sip brings a nice pale, bready maltiness along with a very floral, citrusy dirty hoppiness. The floral aspect is overpowering and again reminds me of soap..something I'd rather not have in my beer. An interesting pale ale that really doesn't do anything for me.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with strong carbonation. This is easy to drink but the particular flavor profile doesn't have me going back for more. The first Founders offering that I've been less than pleased with.

Photo of blitz134
3.6/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another treat from a non BA trade, ahh the wonders of beer trading...

Damn explosive head on this one. Granted it did take an hour and a half ride up to my new apartment before opening it, but others seem to have seen a lot of head from this one as well. It did reduce rather quickly though to almost nothing leaving some nice lacing behind from its initial off white frothyness. Clear body with some perfectly suspended particles.

Bottle says dry hopped, but I might beg to differ. I actually don't pick up much hops in the nose of this one. Comes across mostly as malts with some caramel sweetness to them. There is a little bit of hops, some light straw, grass varieties.

Taste is hit with a sharpness, probably due to the carbonation. Finishes with a slight resin bitterness. Sweet malts round it out making this one pretty balanced. I seem to pick up some soapiness though, which adds an "off" touch to the middle range of this beer. It does disappear though and offers room for a clean finish with a bit of bitterness.

Thinish, light mouthfeel. Might receive a higher rating if the carbonation was reduced a bit to "thicken" the feel up and uncover some of the flavors. Still drinkable though. I feel my scores undermind this brew a bit, but I dont know what to change...

Photo of nickadams2
4.03/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A_Pours hazy orange with a bone white head.Thick,sticky lacing coats the glass nicely.

S_Grassy,earth hops.

T_Surprised too see only 35 IBU's. Crisp and bitter. Grassy floral hops up front. Slightly sweet finish.

M_Light but full bodied. Crisp finish.

D_Great beer for hot weather.Great flavor and easy to drink.

Great example of a "boring" style that I think is often over looked. (Myself included.)

Photo of CAC329
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

After walking around NYC this beer was a great refreshing treat!

Photo of Duster72
3.41/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color from 12oz bottle to pint glass. Little head and practicaly no lacing. Smell is mild pine hops with a very mild carmel malt behind it. Taste is primarily piney hops with a touch of grapefruit and very mild sweetness from the malts. Very dry, bitter finish. More bitter than most APAs. Light mouthfeel. A little too much unbalanced bitters for me. Drinkability suffers from the bitterness. Good, not great APA. Great value at $1.25.

Photo of merlin48
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazed honey amber body with a white head that is small but longlasting. Good patchy lace is deposited on the glass. Aroma is citrusy grapefruit, lemon, and mandarin orange with caramel malt undertones. Mouthfeel is creamy and medium bodied, with spritzy carbonation. Taste is dominated by the citrusy hops, but not overly bitter. Fruity grapefruit and orange work well with the caramel malt backbone. Another fine ale from Founders, that is crisp and refreshing. I enjoyed this one more than Founders Centennial IPA. Thanks to brewedlyhooked13 for the trade.

Photo of Billolick
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this fine sessioner on tap in Ann Arbor. Poured light amber, hazy and supporting a minimal medium bubble head. Left alot of light, fine lacing behind. Nose is delicate hops and fruity esters. Notes of honey, vanilla, and slightly flowery, This is a moderatly hopped ale, nicely balanced and supremely drinkable. More fine brew from Founders, when are you going to be available in New York??

Photo of fdrich29
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle from a six pack. "Founders Dry Hopped Pale Ale".

Little head to speak of and what there was disappeared quickly. Strong, earthy and bready smell with hops prevelant. Very dry with little more than a weak, residual yeasty flavor left on the tongue. Not a brew that is prompting me to quickly grab one of it's brothers-in-cardboard. One is certainaly more than enough as the experience leaves something to be desired.

Photo of banglin
3.17/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: poured a very small white head, clear golden color

S: nice hop aroma but not overpowering. nothing too strong

T: the hops bitterness is almost absent when first taking a sip but appears after being swallowed and remains in the mouth for a while after drinking

M: nice amount of carbonation bordering on too much

O: this is a pretty good beer. Admittedly I am more of a porter and stout fan and prefer Founders' selection of stouts and porters over this one.

Photo of tigg924
2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: cloudy, orange yellow, small head

Smell: hoppy, soap, and grapefruit

Taste: big hops, grapefruit, and small cantaloupe

Mouthfeel: bitter, smooth, and a sour finish

Drinkability: This to me tasted like an average pale ale...This is very representative of the style, but I do not think it excels...I will not be buying this again.

Photo of badbeer
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Light amber color with a soft white head leaving good lacing. Smell of pine needles and some citrus. Pine and citrus flavors as well with a little bit of malt showing up in the finish. Low carbonation, light bodied. Pretty easy to drink, could easily make an evening out of this one.

Photo of icebergfat
1.18/5  rDev -67.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Appearance: Sort of an amber orange color w/ light orange head that was over carbonated, nothing to write home about.

Smell: Hints of grapefruit and citrus but very minor and hardly any hop aroma not what I would expect from a pale ale once again quite mediocre.

Taste: This what really let me down , terrible I don't know how to describe the taste(just trust me it's bad) and this really dissapointed me because I've really liked everything else I've had from Founder's (Breakfast Stout,Old Curmudgeon, Backwoods Bastard, Dirty Bastard(and I don't usually like scotch ale)so I was really let down, had to pour it out.

Mouthfeel: Tinny, Dry, hardly goes down.

Drinkability: None what so ever, although I did use it in a soup I made today instead of white wine and that came out ok, so I guess it does have some redeeming qualities after all, drinking is just not one of them.

Photo of Cavanaghty
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Golden color with a thin white head and no lacing on the glass.

Smell: Citrus and hops.

Mouthfeel/Taste: Smooth medium to light bodied. Taste is citrus and dry, well balanced flavor.

Overall: Great beer, I will enjoy this six pack for sure.

Photo of bsp77
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Hazy light orange with creamy white head and some nice lacing.

Smell: Dry citrus and floral hops and just barely sweet grainy malts.

Taste: Very dry all the way through with a focus on citrus, grapefruit, pepper and slightly grainy malt. Ends slightly bitter and almost sour.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium grainy body, very dry sour finish.

Drinkability: It is official - Founders can do no wrong. Very solid APA overall with an emphasis on hops and an unusually dry body for an APA.

Photo of jsolack
4.14/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Heady, pale orange in color. Sediment floats around after poured and finally settles to the bottom.

Very strong and bitter scent. Sour apples also noted.

Apples and cinamin. Bitterness is strong but light sweetness compliments it nicely.

Light and crisp in the mouth. Compliments the bitter flavor.

This is a little different than I was expected. It has a complex flavor that I think I'll appreciate more the more I drink it. Overall I like it a lot!

Photo of hotpauko
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Whoa, this is tough for me. Surprisingly unimpressed with this Founders pale ale. Expected a little bite and flavor, got too much mild. Average at best compared to say a Dales. Easy drinking, good for a beginner to pale ales or to offer a slight hop taste, but not much more.

Photo of pat61
4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Bryant Lake Bowl. Brilliant copper gold under a 1" white foam collar that clings to the side of the glass. Floral citrus nose with traces of fruit. Sweet malt and light fruit on the palate give way to a balancing citrus rind bitterness. Medium body and carbonation. A bold, easy to drink pale ale.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. bottled 06/04/12.

pours out a golden color with about one fingers worth of white head, fairly big bubbles. spotty lace at first. decent retention until the very end of the glass. some sediment visible.

cereal grains, just slightly buttery, some pale base malt balanced by grassy, citrus hops. lemon citrus, maybe even a little smarties in the aroma.

cereal grains, some very light caramel malt balanced bicely by a grassy citrus hop. some nice sharp bitterness in the finish lingers.

medium to light in body, slightly dry finish.

a solid, super clean, super sessionable pale ale. not something that i would need to run out and get more of, but id definatly drink this again if i crossed paths.

Photo of MattyG85
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass.

Appearance: Bright and lively golden amber orange with lots of bubbles and a solid three finger white head with good retention. Lots of sticky lacing around the glass.

Smell: A sweet and hoppy mix. Cascade citrus hops and some floral pine hops with a good amount of sweet bready malts with caramel and toffee. Light hint of honey.Hops and malts smell very balanced.

Taste: Starts with a taste of hops that are both floral and citrus driven with hints of pine. Some sweet bready caramel malts follow. Light hints of honey and lemon. Overall taste is considerably milder than what is typical of an American pale ale.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Crisp and smooth. Slightly watery.

Overall: This is a fairly tasty and decent pale ale but the taste and body isn't quite full enough to be a true representation of an American pale ale. The flavors that are present are pretty good. Its more like a light version of a pale ale.

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Founders Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 2,575 ratings.