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Founders Pale Ale - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Pale AleFounders Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,372 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,372
Reviews: 777
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 11.65%
Wants: 34
Gots: 165 | FT: 1
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,372 | Reviews: 777 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Sammy, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of spycow
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%

spycow, Mar 08, 2013
Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +8.4%

djrn2, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

zestar, Jan 05, 2014
Photo of Thorpe429
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
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.

Thorpe429, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of nmann08
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

nmann08, Aug 01, 2013
Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Texasfan549, May 10, 2013
Photo of metter98
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

metter98, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

GRG1313, Mar 24, 2013
Photo of kjkinsey
4/5  rDev +8.4%

kjkinsey, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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

brentk56, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of BEERchitect
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

BEERchitect, Jul 24, 2008
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

Phyl21ca, Jan 21, 2014
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Mar 20, 2004
Photo of ygtbsm94
2.5/5  rDev -32.2%

ygtbsm94, Jan 28, 2012
Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

mikesgroove, May 01, 2011
Photo of kylehay2004
3.58/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

three finger frothy head on a pure golden, hazy body. lots of lacing and nice head retention. Aroma is a nice orange peel and grapefruit. A little soapy. I felt this to be very aromatous but many other reviewes didnt feel so. May be due to this one being bottled. The flavor is actually a little disappointing. Flavor is more soapy and way to watered down. There is a very light earthy and citrus mote. Light to medium body and moderate carbonation. Overall aromatous but watered down is what I take from this. I love Founders but I this one let me down in the flavor.

kylehay2004, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of Knapp85
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Knapp85, Aug 18, 2011
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

ChainGangGuy, Jan 11, 2007
Photo of oberon
4/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

oberon, May 08, 2006
Photo of TMoney2591
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
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...

TMoney2591, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of biboergosum
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
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…

biboergosum, Sep 25, 2011
Photo of zeff80
4.4/5  rDev +19.2%
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.

zeff80, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

NeroFiddled, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

WVbeergeek, Oct 28, 2007
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Founders Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 2,372 ratings.