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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.

2,187 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,187
Reviews: 773
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 27
Gots: 118 | 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: 2,187 | Reviews: 773 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of maximum12


3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours yellow! Even a full-glass swirl, risking drippage, returns only slight malts & faint hoppy snorts.

Same taste. Malts & hops are in evidence, & for the first time I taste some biscuit, but very gentle. Easy to drink. Good summer beer, not terribly complex, goes down just fine.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2008 23:59:25 | More by maximum12
Photo of tayner


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

12 oz stubby bottle

3 finger white sticky head tops a golden yello, slightly chill-hazed liquid with lots of carbonation bubbles.

smell was sweet malt and THEN some hops which, for a dry-hopped APA, surprised me the order of smells.

sweet, malty backbone with only a minimal hop finish. makes me wonder if this is normal or if this may be an older sample.

Finishes crisp and clean with plenty, maybe too much, carbonation.

easy to drink, finishes crisp and clean.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2008 18:45:43 | More by tayner
Photo of jasonjlewis


3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a 1 1/8 finger head with a cloudy yellow orange color. Retention is fairly good and lasts for quite a while.

Smell is of cascades with some pale malts underneath.

Taste is of pale malts with a nice citrusy hop bitterness from the cascade hops. This beer is fairly simple with just a couple of ingredients and not a whole lot of complexity. Cascade hops are a good choice as they provide a sort citrusy grassy aroma with the bitterness.

The mouthfeel falls a little short. It is somewhat crisp, but is a little thin and slightly watery. It is a small flaw, but a flaw nevertheless.

This is a decent simple beer that I could make a session out of during the summer.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2008 22:46:38 | More by jasonjlewis
Photo of birchstick


4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured yellow with a massive head.
S - Smells like an IPA due to the dry hops
T - Malty sweetness turns to a bitter hop ending. I found that the bitterness tuned down after the first couple of drinks.
MF - a bit thin and carbonated
D - This was a great dry-hopped pale ale. This was a bit bitter for me at first, but as it warmed it became quite tasty.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2008 00:21:11 | More by birchstick
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

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

Founders- Pale Ale

A- Slightly hazy orange with a thick billowy, heavy lacing head.
S- Buttery malt with doses of citrus rind and floral hops.
T- Thick sweet malt, buttery caramel with light citrus rind and floral hops.
M- Thick and sweet with a light mild dry finish. No carbonation.

Overall- Sweet and mild make this enjoyable and easy to drink a few before going out.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2008 22:44:29 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of klintok21


4.88/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Living in Grand Rapids, I get the luxury of getting this stuff right from the source (Along with all of their great brews). This is a very strong scented pale ale and is quite tasty, however I'm in a mix as to my favorite pale ale between this one and that of Magic Hat's #9. Anyhow if you see a bottle of this around it is sure to not disappoint, especially on a hot summer day! If your ever in Grand Rapids, Founder's brewery is a must on the trip!

Serving type: on-tap

07-24-2008 04:26:05 | More by klintok21
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 Baileyuk


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

golden color that was a little lighter than I was expecting. The head was good and lacing okay.

More malts than hops in the smell, there was not tonnes going on.

Taste was good, more bitter than the nose would suggest. Hop profile was still a little weak but definately more than the smell.

Carbonation was good and definately one that could be drubk again. I was okay with this one and would be okay with it again although I want to try others more.

Serving type: on-tap

07-24-2008 01:22:14 | More by Baileyuk
Photo of EStreet20

New Jersey

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

12 ounce bottle, 20 ounce "tulip" shaped pint glass.

A - Hazy golden amber hue. The head is a very small cap despite a fairly hard pour.

S - Nice hop aroma. Some grassy smell, along with some malt coming forward.

T - Pretty good, but a much more subdued flavor than I expected from any Founders product. Nice grassy hop taste, but it's not big and in your face, more subtle. Fairly well balanced with some sweet malt.

M - Nice light/medium body.

D - Pretty drinkable brew. Expecting more of an in your face taste. If I want a pale with a flavor this laid back I'm probably looking for a more sessionable brew than a 6.2% beer. Still it is easy to drink, just watch that ABV sneaking up.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2008 02:48:32 | More by EStreet20
Photo of thisisshsas


3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- a very hazy Bronze appearance, Is a much darker and hazier apearance than other APA's i've had.
S- rich in texture. It is easy to point out the citrus smell as well as the spice smell that the hops create. Enjoyable just to wiff.
T- Hoppy taste, a little woody too, but nothing overpowering.
M&D- fits well in the mouth, and goes down easy. Though not a beer with any particurly special qualities, every part is done well and is worth a purchase if you like the APA style.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2008 01:27:41 | More by thisisshsas
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thick two-fingers head is fluffy and just a little rocky, with all kinds of lace sticking from the very beginning as it starts to diminish. Color is peach-juice with copper tinges, and I'm surprised to see lots of tiny floating bits of sediment. My pour was on the aggressive side, but I don't mind a little sediment so no points deducted.

Aroma is easily the most unassuming of any Founders beer I've had so far, but all of them have been bigger and bolder than this. Still, even for your typical pale ale, it's quite subdued. Hops come in first, clearly Cascade even if I didn't know it, but they're timid, as is the malt, which is offers only a dim sweetness. A light peach/pear fruitiness lingers, also rather faint.

Flavor is something I'm glad I gave consideration to beyond my first couple impressions. There's an overriding bitterness that's hardly intense or extreme, but lets you know hops were a main consideration in the recipe. They're offset by fruit sweetness (again recalling pear and peach) and strong tea, with the tartness of lemon mingling with a firmer malt base. Finish keeps the cool, citrusy bitterness/sweetness rolling.

Not a guzzler of a pale ale, as its flavors ask you to take your time and enjoy it, with more depth than many in this style. Looking at the Founders logo makes me brace for an alestorm wallop of some kind, and this is clearly not meant for such things. As is, it's quite good, nothing major to complain about, just don't go looking for transcendence.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2008 22:03:12 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of robbyc1


2.95/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

fizzy, color between yellow and orange, slight head, dissipates fast, not a great look, kinda like a darker bud.

Tight nose, not much there.

Taste yields a slight hop finish, light malts, not really out of balance, but a lite bit for this style. Drinkable, balanced yes, but not really lots of taste, more of a lawnmower beer. Mouth feel has the right amount of carbonation, but not heavy enough for me. Maybe just not my style, it's passable but definitely rather have a decent IPA.

OK for summer, but there are others out there better i'm sure.

Possibly, this was a bit old, hop nose (dry hopped!) was not noticable, so age maybe declined it).

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2008 19:20:15 | More by robbyc1
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 FtownThrowDown


3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light golden in color. A nice inch deep head forms on the pour. Smell is subtle hops. Taste is hoppy and clean. Decent amount of hops for being only a pale ale. Very refreshing, smooth beer. Very good beer that is way too easy to drink. Doesn't get old, and is perfect for a day at the lake.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2008 21:48:16 | More by FtownThrowDown
Photo of marcpal

New Jersey

3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A: Bright orange with a moderate pillowy head. Good lacing.

N: Clearly dominated by citrus, the hops are prominent. Grassiness and malts both are evident.

T: Again, citrus hops. Particularly grapefruit but somewhat watery and the lack of texture hurt the taste. The bitter taste was not as strong as the nose unfortunately.

M: Pretty hefty carbonation, not much of a spicy hop sting.

D: Good for a hot day, surely drinkable. Perhaps expecting something in the lines of centennial and wet hopped harvest and didnt get it.

Far from bad, far from great.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2008 15:06:12 | More by marcpal
Photo of gford217


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

Pours bright, hazy yellowish orange with a fluffy white head that lingers for a while leaving some delicate lacing. Aroma is light hops with citrus - lemons, floral and grassy. Taste is bitter floral hops up front which gives way to a subtle bready malt backbone. The bitterness comes back in the finish and hangs around in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel is light and creamy with a dry, bitter feel at the end. This one is a tad bitter but still drinkable and a nice summer brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2008 02:33:06 | More by gford217
Photo of msgraves


3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice amber color but little head and low lacing.

Aroma was a tribute to cascade hops. Bold lemon/lime citrus with some piney character.

Lots of hop notes with citrus the most bold: orange, lemon, pine, tea, and floral. Light cracker malt provides some balance.

Finishes long and hoppy. Medium/light body.

Decent balance. I was able to drink a fair amount of this and I would again.

Serving type: on-tap

06-19-2008 07:17:38 | More by msgraves
Photo of ATPete

New Jersey

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

12 oz twist off bottle

A- Pours an amber/orange color with a slight haze. Medium sized white head and slow moving carbonation.

S- Slightly smoky with a real bold hop character. Not much going on but just enough...

T- Mellow and very well balanced, nice fruity hops and toasty malts.

M/D- Medium/light body, the perfect amount of carbonation. Very drinkable, another excellent session beer choice from Founders. Thanks for coming into NJ!!

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2008 23:52:08 | More by ATPete
Photo of dsa7783

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Single, 12-ounce bottle just purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield... A true tribute to the Cascade Hop...
Tawny, bright-orange hue with a minimal head that left hardly any lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Earthy aroma with noticeable hops, hay, straw, and caramel murkiness...
Extra dry-hopped taste, very crisp, clean, and smooth and easily drinkable with a burst of hops, light caramel, toffee, and bread and butter flavors...
Crisp, refreshing mouthfeel with no sign of the 6.2% ABV...
Excellent level of drinkability to match...
An all-around great depiction of the style...

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2008 20:10:52 | More by dsa7783
Photo of ajmoody76


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

bought at the local beer store. 12 ounce bottle poured into an imperial pint. one finger white head. thins out to a fine layer all the way down. nice lace. hazy dark yellow. looks good.

fruity and floral with a bit of toastyness. no off odors.

hops up front. earthy citrus. a hint of sweetness. pretty well balanced though. bitter hop aftertaste.

good carbonation. mid body. good beer. would love to have this on tap. cool bottle- love the flowers in her hair.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2008 02:58:25 | More by ajmoody76
Photo of jkrich


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

12 oz. bottle with no freshness date; very appealing artwork on label.

This one poured a bright orange color which turned slightly hazy with the added yeast. A thin layer of white foam remained with moderate lacing.

Upon opening the bottle there was an explosion of sweet, fruity aromas; not the strong gragefruit odor often assoicated with domestic hops.

Nothing overwhelms with this one; the malts are actually more noticeable than any hop flavor. There is a mild fruitiness and slight biscuit like maltiness.

The ale was moderately carbonated and medium bodied. The fruity flavor pleasantly coated the tongue.

A very easy, if unspectacular american pale ale. Since there is no freshness date, I can not determine if the hops have simply diminished in flavor. I suspect this one is at its best very fresh or on tap. It is very easy to drink several of these despite the 6.2 % ABV.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2008 23:08:46 | More by jkrich
Photo of DefenCorps


2.88/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into my Russian River pint. March bottling, based on the notch on the label

A: Light orange with a thin white head that recedes leaving a nice lacing

S: Sweet in a way that reminds me of a medicine that i used to take for an upset tummy - i'd almost describe it as calcium sulfate. There's a thin malt presence to this.

T: Starts off with a sweet hop flavor that then then turns rather chalky, like a candy cigarette. The finish is a tad dry.

M: I like the carbonation and the dryness on this one

D: I wonder if this is an off bottle - the medicinal tastes are strange. I'm not going to find out tonight.

This is the first BIG clunker I've had from Founder's :-(

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2008 03:57:05 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of ndekke39


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

Bought a bottle of this from the Founder's brewery in GR. The notch indicates that it was bottled last May. Decanted into a pint glass. Pours a clear orange with a frothy white head. Pretty good retention - leaves a small ring of lace around the glass.

Smells are fairly simple: light, citrusy hops plus a soft breadiness.

Tastes are simple, too. Soft hop flavors - mostly sweet - and some yeasty breadiness. Nothing exceptional.

Mouthfeel is light-bodied. Little bit of carbonation.

This is pretty easily drinkable, but I expected a little more character from a Founder's beer, especially one that's labeled as a "dry-hopped pale ale."

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2008 02:24:17 | More by ndekke39
Photo of mobyfann


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


Paid $1.69 for a single at Jungle Jim's in Fairfield, OH...

The beer pours a golden base with a small white head, nice 1/8" head retention and a few specs of lacing. The aroma is one-dimensional in floral hops, but pleasant.

The beer's taste is very smooth, low-to-mid carbonation, nice head for cream gives it a smooth mouth-feel, and a dry hoppy aftertaste as the label suggests. At 6.2% ABV it fairs as a very drinkable beer from an excellent brewery, I'd like to have this pale ale a few times before something else.

Final Thought: Not up to par like some of their others, but this is a nice base for a beer to work from. Very good for its style.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2008 01:58:48 | More by mobyfann
Photo of ckeegan04


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

Bottle into pint glass.

A - Nice copper color with foamy white head. Excellent lacing.

S - Moderated fruity hop smell. Not much on the malt side of the aroma.

T - Good hop bitterness with an equally balance sweet malt backbone. Not a remarkable taste but a very well balanced.

M/D - Smooth and easy drinking. Doesnt fry the tastebuds and just a well balanced beer. Proper amount of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2008 22:54:24 | More by ckeegan04
Founders Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 2,187 ratings.