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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.

2,175 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,175
Reviews: 773
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 27
Gots: 114 | 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:
100% Cascade hops.
35 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,175 | Reviews: 773 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zoso1967


3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pale Ale is served up looking like a top notch APA. It is medium amber with a bit of a bronze hue. It has a nice creamy head that has great retention and leaves crazy swaths of lace.

The aroma is a mélange of zesty citrus hops and smooth biscuity malt. Lemon zest and grapefruit are the dominant aromas, with just a hint of the malt.

The flavor is still quite hoppy, but the malt shines through a lot more with one of the craziest fresh biscuit characters that I think I have ever smelled. The grapefruit and zesty citrus are held up well by the malt backbone. Though this beer is pretty bitter, it comes off quite balanced.

The mouthfeel is medium with a very nice softness to it. Not quite smooth, but not spiky either. The finish is nice and dry, with some hops in the aftertaste.

This is a nice drinkable pale, but nothing too special. Definitely a solid beer by a great brewery, and one that I am glad I tried.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2011 23:30:14 | More by zoso1967
Photo of Phinner


3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The dry hopping in this beer is a nice touch compared to other pale ales. A good beer with reasonable drinkability. Some may consider it too bitter for its style, but the perception of bitterness fades as more of it is consumed. I would buy this again.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2011 21:13:42 | More by Phinner
Photo of tribepride


3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing with luxbwin. Thanks to him for this and many other beers.

App - gold, a little cloudy. Thin head with great carbonation.
Smell - not a lot here. A good bit of citrusy hops and a hit of malt.
Taste - good hops at the front, not terribly strong making it a pretty good pale ale.
Drinkability - Very drinkable, but not the best pale ale I've had. That said, I'd drink it again for sure.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2011 23:31:19 | More by tribepride
Photo of luxbwin

North Dakota

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

Brought this one back from ND after Christmas break, and I am enjoying it currently with Tribepride.
Appearance - I like the orange color; almost golden.
Smell - I can smell the hops, as advertised.
Drinkability - I enjoy this. I will definitely have this one in my fridge, and I will order it at a bar if it is in SD
Overall - I like this; it's not the best beer I have had, but I feel its a good beer to drink. This is the first Founders I have had, and I would like to try some more.
Serving: Poured from a bottle into a Saint Arnold's pint.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2011 23:23:26 | More by luxbwin
Photo of AlCaponeJunior


3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange/tan in color. Even with a rough pour it didn't produce much head. Lacing was decent but presentation wasn't great.

Smelled of lemony pine hops with a lightly floral accent.

Taste was nice, but not super exciting. Very standard for the style, with a pretty balanced blend of hops, citrus, and malt background. I didn't detect grapefruit on this one, more of a lemony flavor.

Feel was a bit thin. Carbonation was decent and aftertaste was nice.

Drinks pretty easy but there are other more drinkable APAs. I'd always be happy to drink one but I probably wouldn't seek this one out. A bit dry, could have used a little more sweetness.

EDIT 11-11-11 had this one again, liked it a bit better the second time around. Bumped the overall half a point. I could taste a tinge of grapefruit on this round, overall I liked it a bit better than the first time.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2011 02:20:11 | More by AlCaponeJunior
Photo of tjsdomer2


3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ok foam, and good orange color as well.

Smell: Strong citrus and hops. Not really grassy or floral.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Citrusy and bitter hops. Not too malty. Strong flavor. A bit too thin for my taste.

Drinkability: Good flavor and not too heavy. Easy to drink.

Overall: A good pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2010 22:44:24 | More by tjsdomer2
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

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

Bottle shared by matt9875. Thanks Matt!

This pale ale pours slightly hazy and appears orange in color. The aroma is of hops, with some citrus notes. The taste was decent, but not great. The beer is not aggressively hop forward, nor does it have a substantial malt presence. The beer has a thin body and finishes with some hop bitterness. Overall, I found this to be a decent, but unexciting offering from a world class brewery.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2010 00:48:04 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of DKMonroe


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

Got this from the store, but thought I gotten centennial IPA from founders.

Nevertheless, It poured a light hazy orange with a very small head. Some here say it laced, I seen very little. The smell was less than in your face (I was expecting an IPA) but was decent for the style. Citrus is in the front along with some hops. Taste was a little sweet with some grapefruit, decent enough.

I could drink a few of them.

Oh! and on a side note.. The labels were falling off much like the one in the picture here ;0)

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2010 02:09:47 | More by DKMonroe
Photo of cosmicevan

New York

3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz into an oversized snifter...a soft clear orange with a generous white head that left a slime-like lacing on the glass as the head vanished. Smells like citric lemony candy...really nice. pretty bitter on the mouth. a touch of a hoppier pale ale. finishes a bit sweet and leaves a pretty dry aftertaste. not a bad pale ale, but not one i'd run for. smells and looks better than it tastes, but an easy drinker.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2010 23:36:22 | More by cosmicevan
Photo of JizackFH

New York

3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This pours a cloudy orange-yellow, and has a nice off white head. the head left decent lacing as it fell.

S - The smell is pretty good. nice floral hops, grassy, some breadiness., and a little citrus. The smell was also a bit faint.

T - The taste pretty much follows the nose. The breadiness is there, and there is also some hop presence. You also get some malty sweetness and some citrus. The flavors seem a bit toned down.

M - The mouthfeel is pretty good. It has a medium body and nice carbonation. It goes down easy and it is nice and refreshing.

D - I think the drinkability is good. Like I said, It goes down easy and leaves you feeling refreshed. It would be very easy to drink a 6-pack of these.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2010 01:15:53 | More by JizackFH
Photo of jsh420


2.23/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

bottled 09/23/10

pours hazy golden copper with a 1+ finger head that faded and left some spotted lacing

smell - dry hopped lmao - faint bready caramel malt and light herbal hops

taste - wtf founders???? this is a watered down bready SNPA/Celebration

mouthfeel light medium with decent carbonation - the only highlight of this beer

drinkability - not good - the only weak link in founder's armor - i have had this beer a few times before but didn't want to throw up a negative review but this beer just never got better - shame on you founders

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2010 03:59:27 | More by jsh420
Photo of OtherShoe2


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

Pours bright pale orange with a huge billowy white head. Great retention and lacing. Tons of rings.

Big grapefruit aroma with some light toasted malt.

Nice balance. Ruby red grapefruit fruitiness, citric hop bite, some toasted malt, and a lingering citric hop bitter finish. Bright strong flavors.

Medium bodied and well carbonated.

Easy to drink, refreshing and flavorful. Terrific example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2010 19:10:18 | More by OtherShoe2
Photo of Soonami


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

Founders Pale Ale is a bit lackluster, it is a hazy orange amber with little head retention. It does have enough hop flavor or bitterness and is a too sweet. I like a malty pale ale, but not one this sweet. The body is slightly thin and under-carbonated. However, this is perfectly drinkable and enjoyable, just not a wow beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2010 05:45:37 | More by Soonami
Photo of donniecuffs

New Jersey

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

Tried this one at the relatively recent Founders promo at The Blind Tiger, NYC. In a nutshell, with so many outstanding 'imperial' and barrel-aged beers made by these guys, this particular offering likely gets shoved aside, but it shouldn't.

Into a pint glass, it poured golden, with one finger of white which retained and laced very well. Visible carbonation, but not overly done. Very floral, pear and apple in the nose; a little surprisingly for a 'dry-hopped' pale ale, but it smelled inviting nonetheless. The taste mirrored the nose, with floral herbal hops coming to the fore, mixed in a nicely balanced way with apple and pear malt notes, and finished on a very modestly dry note. Lightly carbonated, and medium-bodied. This is a great session pale ale, as long as you are not expecting a huge cascade-type citrus hop presence. A pleasant pale ale alternative.

Serving type: on-tap

11-20-2010 00:10:23 | More by donniecuffs
Photo of Dogstooth5


3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearence is golden with a amber tinge. Cloudy due to the dryhoping. Pours with small head and not much lacing. Slight hop and malt aroma. The earthy hops really come out in the taste. Hops are well balanced. No real strong flavors stand out. Medium body. Drinakablity is above average. Good session beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 03:27:51 | More by Dogstooth5
Photo of Biffster


4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep golden/amber, with some haze (likely from dry hopping) and a low tawny head.

There is a moderate hop aroma - some citrus, but also grassy like English hops, most likely from dry hopping. A little unusual, but to style and pleasant. There is a restrained toasty maltiness behind the hops, and light fruiitiness.

There is a very slight malty sweetness at the sip, but the big grassy, earthy, and citrus hop flavor quickly dominate. The hop flavor lingers in the finish, and almost dominates the bitterness, which is a bit of a trick. There are also some toasty malt notes in the finish.

The body is medium/light, and it has medium carbonation.

This is a nice clean Pale Ale with big dry hopping notes that make it stand out a bit from the American Pale Ale crowd.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2010 20:26:50 | More by Biffster
Photo of prdstmnky


3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

*review from notes on 12/12/09*

Bottled on date: 10/16/09

Poured into my favorite pint glass. Golden yellow color with a nice white head and decent retention / lacing. Some faint floral scents, as well as a touch of sweet malts come through in the nose - not much to speak of. Floral and earthy hops initially in the taste, with a moderate malt backbone. Very crisp and dry.

This is probably my least favorite offering from Founders - not bad, not great - simply an average Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2010 01:35:53 | More by prdstmnky
Photo of alleykatking


3.78/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a semi-hazy straw yellow color. One finger white head shows alright retention dying down to a cap on the beer. Sticky streaky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Good floral hop aromas come up first. There is a light bready aroma in the middle of the beer that kind of sneaks up on you. A heavy grassy light pine aroma in the ending kind of makes up the nose as a whole.

T- Light floral and citrus hops in the front of the beer. The citrus comes through more and tends to last through the entire taste. The middle is the bready malts that shine through and I can also taste a little yeast as well. The back end of the beer is more grassy and there is a light bitterness in last second of the taste.

M- Medium light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Light citrus hops left on the palate with bready hints added to the aftertaste. Well blended beer flavorwise. Clean and crisp feeling on the palate. Not a huge drying on the palate from the alcohol.

D- The lower ABV of this pale makes it a example of a American "session" beer. Good drinking beer that seems to be the common output from Founders.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2010 00:30:19 | More by alleykatking
Photo of Swill5786


3.65/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a straw yellow, cloudy, unlimited head... Normal pour produced only foam. Took forever to die down and finish the pour. Lacing is incredible. Flecks in the body, carbonation always rising. Nose of apples, grapefruit and pine. Hoppy, as expected! Lightly bitter from start to finish. Sour and hoppy at the back. Bready aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel. Highly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2010 00:39:40 | More by Swill5786
Photo of salvo


3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours straw yellow-brown under a dissipating fluffy head that laces the glass; just a ring of foam persists.

Smell is honey malt and floral hops: mild. Taste is also subdued; dry hopping imparts a milder floral hops character that never really bitters the beer.

Light mouthfeel; highly drinkable and flavorful, but a little less than I hoped and was expecting. Guess I need to change my "favorite style" to American IPA.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2010 23:19:29 | More by salvo
Photo of beer2day

North Carolina

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

Honey gold pour with 2-fingers of near white very fluffy head. Decent retention and lace.

Floral hops with a touch of grapefruit round out the nose. Very earthy.

Bitter to almost sour right up front. Very bitter grapefruit comes in right away. Nice chewy malt balance for a beer this low in abv. Finishes very dry and with a serious hop bite for an APA.

Feel is just about right. Pretty thick for the style, but matches the flavors.

Very nice sessionable beer from Founders.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2010 01:34:44 | More by beer2day
Photo of buschbeer


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

I poured into a pint glass to one finger of off white head. It is amber colored and hazy. The aroma is citrus hops. The taste is rather bland. I get faint citrus and sweet malt. I expected more of a hops presence. It's an ok beer but it does not stand out in any aspect.

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2010 15:51:41 | More by buschbeer
Photo of LtCracker20


3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a semi-cloudy straw color. Soft off-white head of about an inch that quickly recedes to a thin cap. A little sticking going on. Very nice lace.

S- Grassy and floral hop aromas up front. A slight breadiness in there also. Not too much else, but it's pretty nice.

T- The hop flavors seem a little subtle, but they're there. Again, floral and grassy.

MF/D- Medium bodied with a good feel from the carbonation level. Drinkability is amazing. I'd have no problem having another. A very good pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2010 23:05:09 | More by LtCracker20
Photo of beerdrifter


4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly cloudy orange-yellow pour with quickly fading head and decent lacing. Pleasant but subdued floral notes with a touch of citrus in the nose along with a hint of straw and grass. Taste mirrors the smell, but with a bit more bitter hops than I had expected for a pale ale which was a nice surprise. Unique earthy, but fruity hop character with enough sweet, bready malts to balance it out nicely. A tart, crisp and dry finish that makes this quite drinkable with a nice mouthfeel. This makes the fourth great beer in a row I've had from Founders. Quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2010 15:43:05 | More by beerdrifter
Photo of Thur123


4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a light golden orange color with at least two fingers of thick white foam. The body is hazy with moderate carbonation. The smell is lemon and lime zest with a light airy flowery smell. Moderate sweetness from the malt as well.

Glug glug glug

The flavor is bitterer than the smell but the lemon citrus aspect is focused and well executed. Pretty straight forward and well balanced. Ht body isn't too thick and the drinkability is very good.

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2010 23:43:55 | More by Thur123
Founders Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 2,175 ratings.