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Founders Pale Ale - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Pale AleFounders Pale Ale

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2,457 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,457
Reviews: 788
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 11.68%
Wants: 37
Gots: 191 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002

100% Cascade hops.
35 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,457 | Reviews: 788 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ngeunit1
3.9/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a fairly clear golden-orange color with a finger of frothy white head atop. The head fades down at a normal pace leaving behind some spots of lace.

S - Aroma is a nice balance of citrus hops and sweet caramel malts. Some grapefruit and orange notes. Could have been a bit stronger.

T - Starts off with a nice mix of citrus hops, with some orange and grapefruit notes and some sweet caramel malts. Through the middle, the bitterness gets a bit more noticeable with some richer/deeper malts coming through. The finish is a mix of sweet caramel malts and citrus hops with just a touch of bitterness.

M - Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation. Feels smooth and very refreshing overall.

D - Super drinkable. Solid pale ale and a great session brew. Could have used just a bit more flavor and kick to it through.

Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip

A: Pours a straw, gold yellow color with about one finger of fizzy white head.  

S: Smells hoppy up front with a hint of sweet malt, a touch of peach, some faint orange and even a bit of yeast.  

T/M: A medium amount of carbonation and a zesty mouthfeel.  A light amount of piney hops greet you up front with lingering bitterness and a bit of lemon.  

It's a reasonably light endeavor and great for a pale ale.


Photo of BeerLover99
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: deep yellow/gold, finger head, light lacing

S: fresh cascade, grassy, light hint of citrus

T: mild citrus front, earthy pine/grassy middle,
light crisp bitter finish

M: med/light body, slight prick on tongue, semi-dry mouth

O: First, I'm a HUGE fan of Founders, but
this one was just solid. Guess exactly a little more
complex of an APA. Fine session brew or
gateway ale for a hoppy-worried friend.


Photo of MattyG85
3.68/5  rDev 0%
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.

Photo of CHADMC3
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a healthy copper body with golden hues beneath the fluffy white head, which is packed densely with bubbles of carbonation.

Generous hop aromas float from the glass and include pine, grassy, wood, and other earthy notes. There are also hints of malty sweetness.

Funky hop flavors are first to hit the palate, part herbal, part woody, with hints of grass and citrus.

Medium in body and carbonation with a nice oily coating on the tongue.

Another fine beer from Founders and a fine example of the style

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

Founders Pale Ale dry hopped with Cascade is a nice APA. It was on tap at ChurchKey as "Founders dry-hopped ale (Cascade)" or something like that, so I'm pretty sure this is the right beer.

A: 15 mm Orange head that fades to good lacing. 4.5

S: Hoppy and yum. 4.5

T: Malty with tangy citrus hops. Bitter, slightly chlorine, aftertaste. 4

M: Foamy. 4

O: Yum. 4

Photo of TheDudeRules
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into my Darkness snifter.

Straight on honey color. Heavy amount of pillowy head. Several fingers deep. Lacing remains. Sweet citrus and bready malt on the nose. Very easy to drink. First thing I notice. Floral hop with a slightly dry finish. Goes down easy. Almost like charged water.

Pretty ho hum. I do believe this is my idea of a session beer.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am guessing the "Pale Ale" is the same as the Dry Hopped Pale Ale I am reviewing here. Anyway, the appearance is a nice copper slightly cloudy. Great carbonations is giving the beer a nice froathy white head that appears to be lacing nicely. The nose includes subtle pine and weak citrus. The taste is failry smooth with pine beginnings then it turns malty and a slight roast/smoke tange at the end. Mouthfeel is fine it can be sessioned.

Photo of woosterbill
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at DeCicco's in Brewster; warming up for CBS.

A: Lightly hazed pale amber body under a sticky layer of fine tan foam. Pretty nice.

S: Very light aroma of nothing but faint herbal hops. Swirl as I may, this never shows any intensity or complexity.

T: A bit more dynamic here, with sharply herbal, leafy hop flavors dominating. Light pale malt on the finish. The dry-hopping really shows here.

M: Light, creamy, and clean. Very good.

O: I can't get over how big the disconnect was between this beer's nothing nose and pleasing palate. I really expected more aroma from the Cascade hops, but what can you do. It's certainly a nice, balanced, easy-drinking APA, and one that I'd like to have out of a bottle sometime.


Photo of Knapp85
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of surprenant1138
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours from a bottle Ito a snifter a light golden amber with minimal white head that fades quickly. Decent lacing. Aroma is light and yeasty. Mouthfeel is light, slightly dry. Taste is of slight hops, slightly piney, yeasty, and grassy. Tasty, light summer time brew.

Photo of PicoPapa
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Bottled On Date of 04/29/11. Pours a translucent amber color with very little head. No lacing. Aroma is sweet and hoppy. Some citrus in the nose. Hint of floralness. Taste has a lot more malt flavor than I expected. Floral hops, grains and some pine. Resiny pine at the end. Pretty dry. Flavorwise this has alot more pine and floral hops to it than the aroma indicated but it's still pretty good. Overall, solid Pale Ale.

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

Overall it is a good APA. It reminds me of a lighter version of sierra nevada. The taste is slightly bitter with a very slight hint of pine and grapefruit. The best way to describe this beer is a 'Light APA'.

I recommend it, and I am enjoying it as I type. If you see it in the store give it a shot, but beware of the price. I have noticed that this beer is very pricey for an American beer. I think 13.xx (6 pack) is a little too much to pay for a standard craft American Beer.

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

Sample from a bottle with no freshness date. Light copper in color with hues of yellow on the edges of the glass. Not much head on the pour, but a light wispy cap. Biscuit and light toasted malt aromas with a hint of floral and citrus hop. Smooth feel with a tangy hop bite toward the finish. Flavor is similar to aroma with toasted malt and biscuit with an underlying tangy cirus and floral hop bitterness beneath. Finishes with a tangy, crisp, semi-dry bitterness. A very pleasant and easy-drinking pale ale.

Photo of jwinship83
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle picked up at the brewpub. drank from my samuel adams perfect pint glass.

A- the pour yields a translucent copper colored body under a small bright white head. the head takes its time falling, and leaves behind small spots of lacing.

S- the hops become apparent as soon as the beer is in my glass. lots of grapefruit and pine wafting from my glass. after that i pick up on a small amount of sweet caramel malts.

T- the taste stats out with some caramel malts which add a level of sweetness to this and tries to balance out the hops, which come next. grapefruit and pine in large amounts. lots of floral notes as well.

M- nicely bitter. the body is on the upper side of light. the carbonation is just where it should be.

O- one of the best pale ales out there. it gives sierra nevada a run for its money. check this out if you havnt yet.

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

Bottle date all but illegible, appears to be may 2011

A - A crisp golden orange body, slightly clouded, medium quickly dissipating white head. It's a very nice color.

S - Grapefruit and pine, bitter. Not a big nose, but it's hoppy, with some earthy notes.

T - Citrus, some roasted malts, very refreshing.

M - medium body, light, fairly smooth.

O (D) - I think this is pretty good. But there are other pale ales i'd rather have (alpha king). SOlid brew.

Photo of minterro
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A & S: the scent is dry hops, herbs, and a bit of metallic. The smell kinda fades quickly. Pours a huge fizzy off white head (about a half a finger) that fades at a moderate rate leaving behind about a quarter a fingernail of head for most of the remaining drinks. Specks of lacing line the glass.

T & M: for starter let me say this beer is complex. It has an underlying tone of buttery bread like tones and sweet malts that blends nicely with some grapefruit citrus (quite acidic) flower like hops. It’s well balanced with a lean toward the hoppy side (which I really don’t mind at all). Toward the end of the taste it comes on quite buttery. The finish is crisp and bitter. Medium body with medium (tongue tingling) carbonation. Very easy to drink.

O: I have no major complains about this beer, its defiantly worth a try. It’s up there with the best APA that are readily available.

Photo of mocktm
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 3/18/2011, four months old at this point.

Slightly hazy and deep golden yellow hue with a just off white colored head. As it dies down to a thin film, it leaves a noticeable lacing down the sides of the glass. So far, so good.

Head isn't quite as pungent as I anticipated. Slight citrus zest and floral hops, almost soapy. For a dry-hopped brew, the nose seems very restricted. I wonder if it'd be more aromatic with a fresher bottle?

Slight hop bitterness up front which exhibits little persistence. A bit of lemon rind and and some caramel malt. As with the nose, the hops are very subdued in this one, giving it an almost soapy flavor.

Mouthfeel is appropriate for the style; medium bodied with ample carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

I'm disappointed with this one to be honest. Founder's has always been one of my go to breweries and this one didn't quite deliver the goods. For a pale ale that labels its main distinguishing attribute as being dry hopped, I was expecting more of a bitter kick. I'll have to seek out a fresher bottle to see if its any better.

Photo of ZAP
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Really a nice balanced easy drinking pale ale with a lot of character. Fresh and floral on the nose...similr hop impression on the flavor but more malt than expected here...kind of a caramel drizzled biscuity malt flavor....drinks easy...medium bodied at best....perhaps more of a light medium bodied...very nice pale ale.

Photo of ms11781
3.43/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 03/22/2011. Bottled on 02/24/2011. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a clear, golden orange with a minimal white foam head. What little head that was present sticks around and leaves excellent sticky lacing on the glass.

The nose is surprisingly subdued for a dry hopped beer. Floral hops stand out the most. There is a slight lemon/citrus zest along with some clean pale malt.

The taste follows along with the nose but aren't as muted. Big floral hop flavors hit first along with a touch of bitterness. The pale malt character balances the hops nicely before finish with the lemon/citrus zest.

Very crisp and extremely clean. Light/medium body with matching carbonation. Very smooth all the way through.

A decent beer overall, nice, clean hop and malt flavors although they are somewhat subdued. The beer is only about a month old. Normally a hoppy beer is ok at that point but what stands out is that the malt flavors are also somewhat muted at this point.

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

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark burnt orange, golden yellow. Not much head or lacing.

Smell - Mild hops, yeast, floral spices, lemon.

Taste - Very smooth and mild pale ale, yeasty, piney, light malts but not very flavor heavy. Floral hops add a bitterness, and a carmal and lemon like taste from the spices.

Mouthfeel - Thin, light, and slighty bitter but not strong at all. Aftertaste is dry and not long lasting.

Overall - A decent offering from the great founders brewing. MIld flavor, low alcohol, not to sweet, not to bitter, just a good overall easy to drink beer.

Photo of weizenbob
2.88/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled 6/29/11. Poured into a nonic pint glass. The pour yields a finger of head that slowly dissipates. Some small patches of lacing caress the glass. A fair amount of carbonation can be seen. The brew is golden colored and fairly translucent. It looks like standard issue pale ale.

This is not a very aromatic glass of beer, but the aromatics that do manifest are all mildly hoppy. A sweet piney scent just slightly dominates a noticeably soapy presence. There is a little bit of floral action going on in the background and the slightest hint of sweet citrus, bringing tangerine to mind. Overall however, the aroma lacks punch (which surprises me considering how fresh this bottle is).

I generally like to review a beer on its own merits, but when reviewing an American Pale Ale, it is really difficult to not compare what I'm drinking with Sierra Nevada's classic Pale Ale (a beer that pretty much defines the style). As far as this particular pale ale is concerned, there is a decent balance between hops and malt; but I could really do with more of both. I'm not saying that Founders should jack this into India Pale Ale territory, but as is, the flavor is underperforming to my taste. Some would throw around adjectives like "subtle" but I'm just going to call it bland. The flavor is a mildly bitter affair with a floral hoppiness reluctantly taking center stage. There is not a lot of backbone to the brew, so it comes in like a lamb and goes out like a slightly more timid lamb.

The mouthfeel is what you'd expect from a pale ale. It's nice and light with a mild effervescence that makes it fairly easy to drink. It does come off a little watery but the notion is slight, and just mentioning it feels like splitting hairs. It's not offensive and it's not noteworthy. But then again, pale ale is not a style that aims to amaze.

Overall, this is not a bad beer. But considering that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is (1) better (2) about 20% less expensive, and (3) much more widely available, I can't see any reason to purchase this beer again. The odd notion is that, save for this pale ale, I really love Founders' entire line. As everything they bottle is so extraordinary, it is surprising how tragically average this is. Again, it's not bad, but why bother with not bad?

The Two-Schlitz Scale: (reference my profile for an explanation)
I give a Schlitz for Founders' Dry Hopped Pale Ale; but for the price, I'll pass.

Photo of jimlin
3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

After having been blown away by the first Founders product I had (Red's Rye PA), I have been less impressed by the others I have had. The Centennial IPA was mediocre, lacking the hop kick I was hoping for, especially with the Centennial right in the name. Same can be said about this Pale Ale. The label calls attention to it being a Dry Hopped Pale Ale. I get very little hop aroma from it after pouring into a pint glass. There's some bitterness (label states 35 IBU) but the malt backbone seems to dominate. Not a bad thing, just not what I expected given the label calling out the dry hopping and Cascade hops used. Maybe I've just been trying too many West Coast brews when I can find them here in MA. I fully expected much more hop aroma and flavor due to the label's description. Again, not a bad pale, just not what they seem to advertise it to be.

Photo of BradLikesBrew
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an opaque golden body with a white head and good lacing.

100% sure its 100% cascade. Orange rind, grapefruit zest, tangerine, vanilla, mild pine, and floral notes.

Caramel and pale malts upfront, with zesty tangerines, sweet orange, and apricot. Bitterness is their, but very mild.

Medium bodied and lower carbonation make this one smooth drinker.

Not off the charts flavor wise, but the drinkability is killer. A poundable Pale Ale.

Photo of TheHoppiest
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a slightly cloudy golden color, with minimal head that reduces to a skim on top. The bottle bears a "bottled on 04/01/11" stamp, making this one just over three months old, and at the outer edge of its freshness.

Has a malty, honey aroma, almost biscuity- ccertainly not what I would expect from a dry-hopped pale ale. There's a mild fruit aroma that is effervescent in its wispiness. Some floral notes as well.

Starts rather simple, some carbonation up front, with mild malt and grassy notes. Very little hop presence, with just an echo of hop bitter to escort it out. Light lemon mid-taste that lingers on the back of the tongue.

Light bodied, this is a simple, uncomplicated brew.

A decent offering, but nothing that overwhelms. The aroma, frankly, is almost non-existent, and the taste is light and easy. If I'm going to have a session-tasting beer, I'd like it to actually be a session beer, not a brew clocking in at 5.4%. In that vein, give me a Founder's Endurance any day over this ale from Founders.

Founders Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 2,457 ratings.