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Founders Pale Ale - Founders Brewing Company

Founders Pale AleFounders Pale Ale

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1,977 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1977
Reviews: 764
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 11.62%

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:
100% Cascade hops.
35 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002)
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Ratings: 1,977 | Reviews: 764 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Significant white head on grapefruit copper. One dimension understated IPA based on cascade hops, malted. A good though drying taste from all the malt. Stickly.Because of my upbringing, whenever I start a pale I think British.I agree its a lawnmower beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2006 02:53:12 | More by Sammy
Photo of BuckeyeNation


4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hazy orange-amber with an impressive amount of yeast in suspended animation. The cap is small, even after a pretty aggressive pour, and is bone white in color. It persists nicely, though, eventually falling to a thick film and leaving a moderate amount of lace in tries-to-be-rings.

The aroma is surprisingly citrus zest hoppy, approaching an IPA in terms of character and intensity. I like the flavor quite a bit. Like the nose, it's definitely on the hoppy end of the pale ale scale. The grapefruitiness of the Cascade hops is dominant and adds a resinous, medium strength bitterness.

Founders Pale Ale is a 'tweener' and would be a good bridging beer to move people from pale ales to more strongly hopped IPAs. There's a solid pale malt presence, but it's easily overshadowed by the hops. The finish is extended, allowing the lupulins to shine for as long as possible. The mouthfeel is more than solid and edges into mini-IPA territory.

This is immensely enjoyable and drinkable beer. I also have a few Centennial IPAs in my beer fridge. They should be a real treat after tasting what Founders has done with Pale Ale. Thanks to deejaydan for the bottles.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2004 20:39:07 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy burnt amber, with no real large head. What was there faded quickly but left a film of gooey, drippy lace skimming on the top, lots of eddys and swirls rounding about on it. Deep dripping lace down the glass, and a bit of a bubble stream coming up from the bottom. Smell was big and strong. Big citrus players here, lots of orange and grapefruit. Very sweet smell, like orange sherbert or candy. Very nice and plesing to the nose, smells like it will be a winner. Taste struck me as odd, after all the sugary itrus in the smell, none really came through in the taste. There was a strong bitter hop presence, providing lots of IBU's however it was more of a pine,resiney type of hops, rather then the sweet candy orange that came through at first. Nice and crisp, clean, very dry and long lingering finish, leaving a taste of burntor raosted pine for several minutes after a sip. Goes down very smooth and clean, not overally carbonated, and not syrupy either.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2011 01:40:43 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear amber color with a modest head that deposits a lot of foam, nevertheless

Smell: Balanced aromatics, with biscuity malt offset by a primarily earthy hop profile; has a little citrus, however, to remind us that this is an APA

Taste: Biscuity, up front, with a sugary citrus flavor that emerges by mid-palate, along with an earthy, stone fruit character; after the swallow, the sugary malt balances out the hops, though I wouldn't describe this as a malty beer by any stretch

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Nice and refreshing; a well-balanced APA

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2010 23:00:01 | More by brentk56
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a light orangey color ale with a generous head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of citrus and fruity hoppy notes is very interesting. Taste is dominated by very nice flavours of fruity and citrus hoppy notes with lightly sweet malt notes. Body is full for style with good carbonation. Very nice beer with high-level of drinkability with some very nice notes hops flavours without too much bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2014 02:54:42 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect


3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice Pale Ale that's probably more true-to-style than most that are put out these days. Not overly done, plain and simple: a dry beer with enough hop character to make you think whether it's balanced or dominant.

The nose is all citrus- grapefruit, orange zest, and lemon grass The spicy hops weaven in and out of the light caramel undertones from the malt. Lightly earthy with a mild fresh tobacco scent, shying just enough away from becommming catty or earthy.

Flavors are more balanced but with the hops still demanding attention at the tip of the tongue. Grapefruit and light pine taste give a zesty and fresh taste up front. Hops fade at mid palate, leaving way for the crisp graham cracker or animal cracker taste to balance the hop flavor and growing bitterness. The hop resins give a dry sensation in the finish but the malts give the last punch with an aftertaste of sweet breads. Still, light tobacco flavor rides along side of caramel malt sweetness.

Very well attenuated and very drinkable though maybe to the point of giving an impression of lightness or thinness. The dry finish accentuates the alcohols and suppresses what malt sugars are left.

I wouldn't call this beer an Extra Pale Ale but it tilts toward the more moderate or lighter end of the Pale Ale spectrum.

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2008 01:53:14 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Thorpe429


3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewpub a while back, right before I tried the vaunted CBS.

A: Bright orange color with a big white head.

S: A so-so amount of citrus hops with a decent malt backing.

T: Much like the nose--there are some hops there, but a little lacking for the style.

M: Pretty good. Decent carbonation and a light-medium body.

D: This isn't a bad brew, just not up to Founders' normal standards. There's just nothing special about it when compared with other APA's.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2009 17:54:34 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98

New York

3.55/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured golden yellow with a little bit of head.
S: Faint smells of toasted malts were present in the aroma, along with some notes of hops.
T: There are some hoppy flavors, but the overall taste is on the weak side. The finish had some bitterness.
M: The mouthfeel was crisp, refreshing and light-bodied.
D: It was very easy to drink but the lack of a distinct flavor did not leave me with the feeling that I wanted another of these anytime soon.

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2010 03:58:05 | More by metter98
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep golden body with a bubbly, lasting off-white head.

Smell: Soft citrus aroma with some toasted malt notes floating around in there, too.

Taste: Light caramel malt flavor with a citrus hop snap to it. Only a slight bitterness, with a green tea-ish leafy aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, and a bit watery; could definitely benefit from more body. Moderately carbonated.

Drinkability: Inoffensively light and crisp, though what you gain in sessionability, you lose in depth of character.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2007 03:57:37 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +8.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-08-2006 21:12:40 | More by oberon
Photo of TMoney2591


3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Bruery snifter.

Not sure why it's taken me so long to review this guy, especially considering how many times I've had it in the past year or so... Oh well, here goes: It pours a clear light amber topped by a finger or so of dirty white foam. The nose comprises pine resin, mint, a touch of menthol, light spicy greens, and soft caramel. The taste holds notes of pine needles, lightly toasted caramel, light balsa, grass, light greens, flowers, and the slightest possible touch of orange peel. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fairly smooth feel. Overall, a pretty enjoyable pale ale, one that's not too hoppy, but doesn't go too far in the other direction either. It's almost too easy to drink at times...

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2012 03:45:00 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of NeroFiddled


3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Founders Pale Ale, although "dry hopped", is pretty standard fare. Not that that's not good, but it's not exactly like there haven't been brewers following in the steps of Sierra Nevada for well over a decade now.

It pours a hazy (it's bottle conditioned) amber-orange beneath a full head of frothy off-white foam that holds remarkably well and leaves wide walls of pretty solid lace about the glass.

The aroma is citrusy, and perhaps a light touch piney. Malt is minimal, and never quite edges over the fruity edge of the hops.

In the mouth it's medium in body with a delicately zesty carbonation from natural conditioning.

The flavor, following the aroma, displays drying citrusy hops (grapefruit rind) with some very gently piney notes as well; and there's also a fairly solid base of gently biscuity malt, and some yeasty notes for additional depth. Along with a stiff bitterness, it's gently resiny with hops, and the yeast adds a little bit to the dry finish as well.

Nicely done. Balanced a bit towards hops, but certainly not out of balance, and quite drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2009 00:52:49 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium golden amber colour, with one skinny finger of tight foamy white head, which leaves some DNA strand lace around the glass as it falls away. It smells of bready malt, citrus hops, buttery yeast, and a bit of pine needle. The taste is somewhat sweet, clean grainy malt, soft citrus and pine hops, and an underlying muddled yeastiness. The carbonation is moderate, the body medium weight, a bit clammy, but generally smooth. It finishes clean, a tad crisp, and nicely balanced between the non-overreaching flavour counterpoints.

Easy to drink, if you don’t expect too much from the hops – just enough to even everything out, and lo and behold – you’re ordering another…

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2011 06:06:54 | More by biboergosum
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

whoops, another gusher! I think my Founders shipment got jostled a bit too much en route...ah, well, must excercise patience and understanding...
Appearance: peachy, golden color, slight haze, enormous, creamy white head, softly shifting down. Scads of floaties dart about, or are they errant hop pieces?
Aroma: peach, apricot, apple and pine resin, pineapple, banana, vanilla bean, not too outspoken, more on the subtle side, but still, very appealing.
Taste: high, brash hops jump on the palate at first, then slide back, having done their work. Citric bitterness continues sip after sip, with sweet fruit matching bitter hop bite.
Light/mediumish in body, bitter, medium finish, non-stop flavor.
Copuld stand to be a lot hoppier, then I'd be happier with it, but as it is, this is a very nice pale ale, one I would accept in any situation.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2004 07:56:07 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of fruity citrus, hops and light caramelized malts.

T: The taste starts out with a nice burst of grassy hops bitterness. Then a citrus and caramel sweetness comes in to provide a good balance. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, mild kick, very good representation of style, this is an excellent beer to drink a lot of when you're looking to pound down something mild but hoppy.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2009 03:46:36 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of russpowell


3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up in NC about 45 days ago, review based on notes:

Pours a semi-hazed apricot with 2 fingers of beige head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Grassy & floral hops, orange peels & biscuitty malt

T: Floral hops, dryness & biscuitty malt, plus lemony hops up front. Dryness & slight apricot fruittyness, plus grapefruit, as this warms. finishes with citric hops & grainyness

MF: Medium bodied with soft carbonation & good balance

Drinks pretty easy, but had higher expectations for this one, especially since it was about $11 a sixer, came back to Mizzou & found other Founders for $8.50, not cool...

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2009 03:26:52 | More by russpowell
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a beautiful gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a pale malt scent along with nice floral hop aroma. It's light and refreshing. The taste is good. It has a very light pale malt flavor, although it reaches 6.2% abv.. It also has a kick ass hop flavor that quite floral and bitter. This is an easy drinker; very light, yet flavorful and full of hops. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer. I love the hop presence; very well done.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2007 21:01:40 | More by WesWes
Photo of zeff80


4.4/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Poured out a clear, golden-orange color with a two-finger, khaki-colored head of thick, firm foam. It left thin rings of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled floral and citrusy with a nice pine aroma. There was a burnt toast maltiness, too.

T - It tasted of spicy hops, burnt toast malt and caramel. It had a bitter citrusy hop kick.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - This was fantastic, an APA that almost tastes like an IPA. Founders continues to crank out great beers.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2010 03:04:17 | More by zeff80
Photo of Knapp85


3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a nice golden color. The head was white and it pretty thick looking. The smell of the beer is hoppy and malty, smell like it's well balanced. The taste of the beer is pretty good but kind of falls short in my opinion. The mouthfeel of the feel is nicely carbonated. Overall it's a good social drinking Pale Ale, it's a good brew to offer people who might be interested in drinking Craft brews.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2011 00:17:14 | More by Knapp85
Photo of jwc215


4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazed orangeish amber with a thin white head that leaves lacing.

The smell is of a fair amount of grapefruit and resin - Cascade style - about a grainy/doughy malt background. (Gotta love that dry-hopping!)

The taste of Cascade hop presence pushes towards IPA, but the sweet grainy/doughy malt just about keeps up with it. Tastes like a wanna be IPA - not a bad thing at all, though, IMO. There is a slight metallic sharpness in the bitterish finish.

Medium-bodied, with medium to slightly aggressive carbonation.

This is a very nice APA - quite hoppy, but with balance. LIke I mentioned - more like a somewhat restrained IPA.

Serving type: bottle

07-09-2008 17:00:04 | More by jwc215
Photo of RblWthACoz


3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice foggy gold with a minimal crème head. Nose is mild with a slight citrus tone. Not much to it really. Flavor is bitter hops with a leafy, earthy edge. Feel is a bit thicker on the liquid and the carbonation is decent. Overall a fairly good one here. A bit bitter and lacking a smooth even profile, but nice enough to try.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2008 06:39:24 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of WVbeergeek


4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a pale copper hue slightly hazed much akin to a Two Hearted with fluffy slightly off white eggshell hued head, dimples nicely sticks to my HopDevil pint with no excuses looks beautiful but we've heard to watch out for those. Aroma contains piney and citrus layers of freshly opened hop packs before adding to your homebrew these are pelletized bastardized at their best blended with a touch of skunk, citrus peel, herb, and pine but a bit heavy on the pine sol component with light biscuit malt sweetness arising around the edges. Flavor....mouth full of pine cone and citrus peel great stuff dry hopped with alpha acids in mind great oily texture flowing mild tame biscuit creamy sweetness excellent pale ale, actually just as magnificent as the label. Refreshing as all hell with hop oils floating thank god for Founders, yes I did capitalize one of those sorry G man. Mouthfeel is resinous medium bodied evenly carbonated the kind of lusciousness that goes a long way, at least until the bottom of this glass. Great stuff watch out, of course it's drinkable give me a mini keg so I can die in peace.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2007 00:56:29 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a yellowish orange color with a 3" head that sticks around a while. Some nice lace paints the glass.

Smell: some grass, floral bitterness, and fruits are picked up by the nose.

Taste: caramel, ripe fruits, decent bitterness, some breadiness, light grass tones, and a floral bitterness that has a hint of bite.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Aftertaste is short and stick with flavor profile. Very crisp to start, less crisp at the finish. A bit dry late too.

Drinkability: nice APA that is easy to quaff. Definitely a solid beer that anyone will enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2009 00:31:49 | More by Gavage
Photo of smcolw


3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here's a quintessential hoppy pale ale done in the American tradition. Great body and well-carbonated, a generous dollop of hops with a solid malt base. A dry flavor, but not lip puckering. Longlasting hop bitterness after the swallow. Would be a great regular APA to have when friends come by--no errors, good flavor.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2008 22:17:50 | More by smcolw
Photo of tempest


3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good pale ale, I like the dry-hopping. It adds an extra crisp hop bite, which is still gentle and in line with the style. Unfortunately, this didn't come off as the most complex ale. There's just a good balance of caramel malt (few distinguishable flavors) with citrus hops. Basically there's a some malt, some hops, and it feels good.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2008 23:45:12 | More by tempest
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Founders Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 1,977 ratings.