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Founders Pale Ale - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Pale AleFounders Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

2,490 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,490
Reviews: 796
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 11.41%
Wants: 39
Gots: 209 | 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: 2,490 | Reviews: 796 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of lstokes
3.67/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice copper look and lovely white head, but the underlying pale ale is somewhat one-dimensional--lots of grapefruit, some pale malts, some unresolved sweetness and not enough bite, body on the light side--and Cascade not being my favorite hop, I would probably give this a miss in the future. Anyone who likes Cascade should give it a shot, though!

Photo of andrenaline
3.94/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy golden colour with an orange hue, finger of head with some retention and sporadic lacing.

S - Sweet citrus, honey, caramel and toffee on the finish; nicely balanced.

T - Bitter citrus off the top, leafy green hop notes, pine and cedar, and caramel comes through on the finish. The bitterness lingers but is not overly offensive.

M - Nice body carbonation, goes down smooth and finishes nice and wet.

O - A tasty pale ale that's easy drinking and possesses a nice balance. Nothing spectacular, but a solid hop presence to satisfy the criteria of the style.

Photo of chinchill
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange-amber with a small and short-lived off-white head. The top coat that remains after the head dissipates does last a good while and leaves a moderate amount of lacing.

Nice citrus hop aroma with hints of pine and light malt. Slightly earthy.

Good but limited hop flavor. Mildly bitter due to a substantial contribution from sweet malts.

M - medium-thin body. Dry, beginning rather early and then into the finish. Crisp.

O - a very pleasant and drinkable APA. A bit timid, however.

Photo of barleyroad
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear gold in appearance, very nice look, with good foam. The smell is the hoppy you want in a pale ale, invites you to taste this beer. Mouthfeel is hoppy in and on tongue, then it is gone, nice. Taste is crisp and clean with an nice balance of hops. Overall this is a fridge worthy beer. An anytime beer that will go well with any side order. We want this on tap at the local pub.

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

A cloudy, semi opaque amber beer with a nice head that falls slowly; strong lacing remains. Looks good.

A hoppy citrus aroma that's stronger than the taste. Flavor is almost too balanced, with lots of sweet malt offsetting the hops. For a change this is a pale that doesn't taste like an IPA but it's really not all that exciting. Definitely good - it's Founder's after all - but not one of my favorite offerings.

The finish is a bit bitter but not overly long. A well-rounded pale in which the aroma is perhaps the best aspect.

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

Review from notes.

A: Pours a golden/copper color, slightly hazy, with a small white head on top. Decent retention with some patches of foam on top. Little bits of lacing.

S: Pretty good for an APA. Light citrus and floral hops with a little bit of grass and some pale malt backbone.

T: Nice and hop forward with some grapefruit and citrus. Slight pale malt flavor and a hint of caramel.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinks smooth and crisp with a slightly dry finish.

O: Solid APA, would expected nothing less from Founders.

Photo of billab914
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into my Dogfish shaped glass. It poured a hazy orange amber color with a thin but sticky white head to it. Decent head retention and a little lacing on the glass as I drank it.

The aroma has a modest American hop profile with a little bit of citrusy, grapefruit like flavors coming out. Pale malts give it a good base for the hops and some balance.

The taste shows a little more of the pale malts up front while the hoppy, citrusy flavors seem to linger through the finish. Decent amount of bitterness in the finish, but not overly done for the style.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Overall it was a pretty easy drinking and nicely flavored beer. It wasn't an overly hoppy version of the style, nor did it really wow me in any category. Overall I though it was pretty tasty, drinkable, and an above average but not outstanding beer.

Photo of Neorebel
3.45/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Yellow gold in color with a thin head of carbonation. Little to no lacing. I am getting maltiness, grapefruit and orange peel from the aroma, the latter 2 not very strong. The beer tatses similar to the aroma but with much more grains coming through in the middle and finish of the flavor. The mouth feel is light but I am definitely left wanting more. Good session beer - very balanced. Not the best APA, but not bad at all. Perhaps their Rye beer spoiled me a bit...

Photo of DeltaGolfSierra
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance is a light amber with a moderate pale white head. The scent is excellent and strong, with a bouquet of citrus. The taste is more subdued. Hops are most prominent, with a tart grapefruit flavor and a slight bitterness, but the malts are not totally pushed away; it's pretty well balanced. Mouthfeel seemed ordinary. This would make a good starter beer for those wanting to move toward the hoppy end of the scale.

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

Hazy yellow/orange with solid white head.

Smells faintly like citrus and wheatgrass. Smell is grainy and metallic.

Taste is a little restrained compared to other Pale Ales, but still sharp. There's a nice hop presence backed by subdued malts and grain.

Mouthfeel is refreshing then dry creating a constant cycle of sipping.

Not a bad pale ale but probably won't pick it up again

Photo of abrand
3.8/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle from 6 pack poured into pint glass.

Pours a hazy orange color with a nice 2 finger white head that retains. Smells of oranges, grapefruit, malts, and a little hop presence. Crisp and fresh smelling. Taste is pretty smooth with plenty of citrus fruits in this APA. A nice bitter finish leaves the palate dry. Mouthfeel is fairly thin but nicely carbonated. Overall a very sessionable pale ale.

Photo of jsisko01
3.23/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a light golden color, unfiltered, and a half-inch thick head that faded quickly.

Smell - Hints of citrus and yeast.

Taste - Somewhat sweet at first, citrus, and spicy. Kind of a toasty finish and quite bitter.

Mouthfeel - Kind of a light body with a lot of carbonation.

Overall - Pretty good for an APA.

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

Pours into a clear golden copper without the orange depth hoppier ales are known for. Head is decent as is lacing.

The aroma is a splash of cascade hops going at you with all their floral, citrus qualities. The malt bill almost seems to be almost entirely void in the aroma.

The taste is somewhat how the smell would suggest. There's a decent amount of hoppiness, but less than implied from the aroma. A hint of caramel provides some depth, but this seems like a pretty straightforward beer, but in a good way.

The body is medium thick with carbonation as it should be. The finish is moderately dry with slight stickiness.

Overall, this is just a good beer. It doesn't really blow you away, but it doesn't disappoint either. It has no real flaws, except perhaps lack of depth, but the rich Cascades are nice enough for me. I could easily drink a lot of this, and I'd have no reservations buying this again.

Photo of Bowman2001
3.62/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pale golden color. Finger of head. Smells faintly of citrus and piney hops. Smells like I'd expect--as if it will be thin and only mildly hoppy. That is the taste indeed but it is certainly refreshing. Nice balance of hops and malt. Mouthfeel is thin. Great session beer.

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

Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

The appearance is pale golden color with decent white head. It looks like a pale ale should, so no complains there.

The aroma is of fresh hops, some floral, pine and citrus. The aroma is restrained, as I'd expect from a pale ale, but slightly stronger, and fresher, than others I've had.

The taste is where this beer steps ahead of the competition. There's a good amount of flavor for a pale ale, the bitterness is present and refreshing without being too bitter, while the malt provides a nice counterbalance. Most other pale ales are either too light on flavor, or too bitter like they're trying to be an ipa, but this strikes the balance just right.

Overall, this is the best pale ale that I've had. The balance between the malt and hops is just about perfect. It's very refreshing, and I would recommend it if you're looking for something light.

Photo of jsprain1
3.72/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- A light amber honey color. Head is one finger and stays in a rocky foam.
S- The dry hopping really comes through nicely. It's quite floral with just a touch of an orange juice aroma.
T- There's a flash of floral, slightly citric hops at first but it doesn't last. The pale malt comes through but a bit too much. The finish is a honey cracker one.
M- The body is decent with enough malt body to support the beer, but it is on the edge of being woefully undercarbed. It's like heavy water.
O- I enjoyed the dry-hop work, but otherwise it's only an average pale ale for me.

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

A: A slightly cloudy golden straw pour. Good bubbly off-white head. Retention is pretty decent.

S: Pretty subtle, more like an EPA than an APA. Some grass, some pine, and some sweet caramel.

T: A bit of citrus bitterness up front. Maybe a hint of pine and grass in there before the caramel sweetness washes over. Pretty simple, surprisingly sweet. A bit of earthy/pine bitterness in the aftertaste as it warms up.

M: Mid-range, decent carbonation and pretty smooth.

O: Nothing special, just a simple, solid APA. Surprisingly lacking on hops which is why I scored it a little lower than I wanted to. I think this is closer to an EPA than an APA. Definitely a good starter beer if you're trying to get into the style. 35 IBU says everything, very little bitterness.

Photo of Humulus85
3.78/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Rogue pint glass. With a more aggressive pour it produced a white, finger and a half head; moderate retention with some nice lacing. A hazy golden-yellow, what you would expect from a APA.

For a "dry hopped" pale, this has subdued nose, maybe even a bit lacking. It smells like an APA, but is nothing special. Crisp pine and some sweetness, not much else.

Not a lot of depth, but it's super balanced. Dry, slightly bitter hops upfront blends smoothly into some sweet malt and grain. Again nothing super complex, but very clean and crisp.

This is the definition of drinkability. Great carbonation, solid flavor profile, yet very light in the mouth, and a slightly dry finish.

Overall this is a solid brew (they can't all taste as good as Breakfast Stout) and a good representation of the style. It would be a good choice for a newb, or if you're trying to bring a good, craft, sixer to a party and actually have people enjoy/drink it. Cheers!

Photo of pvsob
2.7/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Hazy honey color with a one finger head that fades fast and leaves a thin film. Miniscule lacing.

S- Subdued/bland aromas of citrus, earth, caramel malt, and just a touch of sweet oranges.

T- Bready malts and stale grapefruit juice. Finishes with a dull and forgettable bitterness.

M- Thin to medium texture with moderate carb.

O- Maybe I'm having an off day when it comes to tasting, but this beer didn't impress me one bit. Boring, bland, and an all around disappointment. Don't worry about it Founders, you can't hit it out of the park every-time. Not recommended. Cheers.

Photo of manitouman84
3.03/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful orange golden amber, with a thin head that dissipates rather quickly. Some turbidity present. Pine and citrus hops hit the nose first, although they seem a bit subdued with the strong woody malt character that shows through next, mild caramel to finish. Caramel, grass and pine anchor the flavors, a bit woody and paper, perhaps a bit oxidized. Body is lacking, seemed a little watered down, not balanced to hop bitterness, and husky on the tongue. Not what I expected from founders.

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

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a nice apricot color with a ½” off white head that soon recedes to a ring and thin layer of foam on the surface. Sipping leaves some long slender patches of foam a few leggy bits of lacing here and there and a number of scattered speckles of lacing that cling to the sides of the glass.

Smell: The aroma is filled with fresh floral citrus and zest. It seems to be mostly tangerine and orange with touches of grapefruit in the background.

Taste: The flavors are mostly citric with a good bit of tangerine and orange. There are hints of lemon and grapefruit. All of the citrus is being carried along by the sweetness of the malt, which provides a pleasant enough backbone without concealing the hops.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and a bit prickly with the persistent carbonation. The finish is medium long, begins in the citrus fruit flavors and then fades to a touch of bitterness that merges with dryness at the end.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: I found this one pretty drinkable and its not a pale ale I’d pass by when given the opportunity to drink it again. That said however, there are other Pale Ales I prefer and would pick in preference in the future. My overall impression is of a good workman-like beer that is a nice middle of the road pale ale that would find its natural place at an evening of good food and good conversation shared with friends.

Photo of cjacobsen
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The label says Dry Hopped Pale Ale

(A) Pours a mostly orange, dark golden color. Good amount of frothy head that dissipates quickly but leaves a decent amount of lacing. There is some sediment, but its fine particles and all hangs loosely.

(S) There's a good amount of floral notes as well as some pine, grapefruit, and some citric rind.

(T) Some honey and orange zest. Not as much citrus as the nose and not all too similar to the nose at all. The taste isn't as bold as I would have expected. It's got more malts going on than hops. Not overly bitter and a bit more on the sweeter side.

(M) Medium body. Smooth and oily. A bit carbonated but not overly bitey. Slight bitterness.

(O) This one kind of caught me off guard. The label says Dry Hopped Pale Ale but it's not overly hoppy. Most pale ales that I've had give a bit more to the grainy, hoppy side of the brew. They usually have a great malt base but remain pretty hopped up. This one wasn't as aromatic and was sweeter on the taste. it was by no means a bad brew, just not what I was expecting.

Photo of soulfly1492
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Fresh, sweet floral hops. A little bit of pine.

Appearance: Deep gold. Slightly cloudy. Fluffy white head, huge bubbles. Intense lacing. Excellent retention.

Flavor: Caramel malts, floral and pine hops. Slight orange & grapefruit citrus. Primarily grapefruit and pine.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body. Oily. Light carbonation. Slight tingle, dries the tongue a bit after a while.

Overall: Nice. Sweet and slightly bitter. Excellent flavor.

Photo of todisht
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mid golden color with a bit of off-white head.

The dry hopping gives this beer a great flavor. It's not too bitter or hoppy. Nice and smooth with a slight fruity flavor.

Slight carbonation which makes it nice and refreshing. Not too heavy. Really an easy drinking beer. Perfect post hockey game libation ;)

Photo of biboergosum
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
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…

Founders Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 2,490 ratings.