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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.

2,238 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,238
Reviews: 774
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 11.38%
Wants: 29
Gots: 133 | 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: 2,238 | Reviews: 774 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bawoof


2.35/5  rDev -36.3%

I was somewhat disappointed in this ale from Founders. I find most of the ales they produce to be outstanding. I will skip this one next time and grab a Red's Rye or a Centennial IPA. This is one of the best Midwest brewers that I have tried and wish them success. Have you tried their Backwoods Bastard Ale?...

01-09-2009 03:18:41 | More by bawoof
Photo of bigkahunas4


3.48/5  rDev -5.7%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an SA lager glass.

Pours a cloudy straw body with a white finger head - which dissipates quickly to a filmn. Some pretty sticky, and suddy lacing. Nose is medium strong, picking up wheat bread, grain, sweat sugar, and faint hops. Not expected, but very nice.

This light bodies brew first throws some bubbly on your tongue. Flavors are pretty muted, but sweet grains are prominent, bready malts, followed by a lager tasting finish. Hops are basically non-existent. This obviously isn't very fresh.

So kids - when you let this one sit, it turns into a nice light lager with some sweet flavoring. Not what Founders is intending for - but turns to be a decent tasting brew.

01-09-2009 01:26:22 | More by bigkahunas4
Photo of trbergman


3.48/5  rDev -5.7%

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Pale golden color, cloudy with suspended sediment, and a thin white head. Plentiful lacing.

S - Light bready malt aroma is overpowered by the beer's multifaceted hop bouquet - grassy, floral, earthy, with a kiss of grapefruit. Not as aromatic as expected, though.

T - Clearly focused on the hops, this beer's malt background is subdued and cracker-like. This beer makes up for the somewhat disappointing nose with a nice bit of spicy, herbal hop flavor and pleasing bitterness. Nothing overwhelming, but appropriate levels for an APA.

M - A bit coarse in the mouth, maybe a little grainy.

D - Hard to say. Undeniably a well-made beer, but for some reason it's not really wowing me.

01-06-2009 23:01:51 | More by trbergman
Photo of CrellMoset


3.73/5  rDev +1.1%

Bottle from Brawley's Beverage, Charlotte, NC. Split w/ edelweiss, poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Huge bubbly effervescence, fast and plentiful in a sea of hazed golden orange. A sticky, one-finger, white, foamy head has average or slightly above-average retention and leaves plenty of nice, bubbly, sticky, dry hopped-esque lacing. Nice start.

Aroma: Orange zest is prominent, slightly tart, and it melds well with the grassy dry-hop notes. Backed up by a handful of roasted biscuity notes, though this one's definitely all about the hops.

Taste: Dry, roasted malts support a grassy, floral, fainly citrusy and therefore lightly tart hop profile. Bitterness is moderate, but between that and the hop notes, the biscuity backbone is pretty much dominated.

Mouthfeel: Big and fluffy, medium bodied but with lots of effervescence. A little over carbonated, in fact.

Drinkability: A solid beer, though definitely one of the less impressive Founders I've had so far. This one's just a little too overcarbonated and a little too tart (I like the leafyness to come through in my dry hopped beers). That being said, it's still a very drinkable, low abv% beer, highly sessionable and recommended.

01-05-2009 02:55:00 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of Rainintheface


3.65/5  rDev -1.1%

A: Hazy, golden orange with a smallish white head, moderate carbonation and some suspended floaties

S: mild citrus, floral and caramel. mellow on the nose.

T: mild across the board. caramel, citrus, grassy and a hint of spiciness

M: light-moderate in body, crisp, effervescent and semi-dry

D: very easy drinking.

01-03-2009 15:38:42 | More by Rainintheface
Photo of midnite2sixman


3.9/5  rDev +5.7%

Nice foamy head on this one that quickly dissipated leaving behind minor lacing

Smells very hoppy

Taste is dry and hoppy with a bit of roastiness. NOT a lot of roasty but a little. Quite bitter as well.

Mouthfeel is dry with a bit of a bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability: Founder's rarely does wrong and this one is up there for Pale Ales in my book. Almost as good as Bell's Pale.

West Michigan Beer is awesome.

01-02-2009 06:51:27 | More by midnite2sixman
Photo of CaptainIPA


3.35/5  rDev -9.2%

A: Although I may have poured this over aggressively, the ginormous head is completely out of control. Read: Foam Monster. What remains of the body is a cloudy, orange-copper color with cyclonic carbonation.

S: Citrus hops, and lots of it.

T: Tastes like a dry-hopped bomb that's more akin to an IPA: bitter upfront with lots of floral citrus notes -- predominately grapefruit with hints of lemon and pine. Finishes dry, but not astringent.

M: Cask-like smoothness throughout with plenty of effervescence at mid-tongue.

D: Its one-dimensional, dry-hopped bitterness prevents this Pale Ale from being truly sessionable. Decent enough, just be gentle on the pour.

Note: Evidently, this bottle was over-carbonated. I'll revisit this beer in 2009.

12-30-2008 07:27:09 | More by CaptainIPA
Photo of Slatetank


3.33/5  rDev -9.8%

I picked this up at the Brass rail in Cambelltown, poured chilled into Dogfish shaped pint, La fin du monde tulip and Ommegang sampler glass.

A - The 12oz bottle fills 3 glasses-3/4 foam in all three. The beer head looks like whip cream when settled. There is a haze whih is common w/ dry hopped ales, but there is plenty of visible carbonation too. The carbonation level as evidenced by the head is very high. The lace collects very seriously with leafy patterns on the glass

S - A very floral, fragrant hop nose that is clean and lemony w/ obvious cascade influence - I didn't realize it was(all)cascade though when reviewing

M - Very spritzy, resinous and yet light on the palate w/ juicy sweet hop texture and dry floral feel, somewhat thin for the style

T - A taste that is very assertive with hops and is not overly bitter though. There is a lightness in the malt flavor which gives the lemony citrus hop a place to be showcased. The malt could be sweeter to balance since the leafy flavor makes it taste dry. Overall a bit spicy and astringent in the finish. The taste goes downhill halfway through for me.

D - An average pale even w/ dry hopping. It seems light bodied/thin and just doesn't justify repeated tastes(for my palate). The most dissapointing ale I have had from Founders, but still completely drinkable.

12-29-2008 15:16:54 | More by Slatetank
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.85/5  rDev +4.3%

Reviewed on 10/7/08. Bottle. Pours a clear light orange with a small, foamy white head. Aroma of sweet malt and citrusy hops. Flavor of nice sweet floral hops with a mild citrusy finish. Nice and refreshing. Tasty beer!
Aroma: 7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 8/10
Palate: 4/5
Overall: 14/20

12-28-2008 15:30:58 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of WakeandBake


4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Orange amber color with a thick off white head. Aroma is pine and citrus with an underlying malty sweetness. The mouthfeel is smoother and creamier than I would have expected. A little hoppy dryness up front ,and some sweet fruit notes. The flavor is extremely well balanced. Grapefruit and pine leads to some caramel sweetness. Fairly dry finish with little aftertaste. A nice pale ale, I could drink this every day.

12-21-2008 22:53:04 | More by WakeandBake
Photo of TheBear11D


3.6/5  rDev -2.4%

A: Rich orange-yellow color with small carbonation bubbles topped with a thick off-white creamy head.

S: Relaxed citrus with a floral and wheat background.

T: Strong citrus forefront quickly adjusting to a mellow spiced bread with a hint of lemon in the finish.

M: Potent with a pleasant thickness and carbonation.

D: Delicious, a little bitter, but not overpowering...just enough to remind you what your tastebuds think of bitter.

12-19-2008 06:08:54 | More by TheBear11D
Photo of HIFF


3.3/5  rDev -10.6%

Nice thick head. Golden brown in color. Good hoppy, citrusy smell. The lacing on this brew was a sight to behold you could still see the first mark after the pint was gone. The malty carmel flavor was good but could of been more hoppy for my taste. A full bodied beer for sure with a smooth finish. Could drink many of these in a sitting.

12-18-2008 19:28:51 | More by HIFF
Photo of wagenvolks


3.33/5  rDev -9.8%

12 oz. stubby bottle into a DFH off-centered pint glass.

For a Pale, this beer pours pretty hazily, giving off a golden-peach hue with hints of iced tea at the edges. The bone-white head builds to an impressive, although fleeting, inch in height before dropping to nothing more than a splotchy veil of bubbles. No lacing here. I was underwhelmed by the aroma, perhaps because I was expecting a dry-hopped brew from Founder's. The hops are there, sure, but the faint citrus and mango are tough to detect beneath the crystal malt.

The taste could use another dose of hops, in my opinion. Maybe I'm just a hop-head, but it seems like the hops used for the secondary dry-hop should have been thrown into the boil at some point. A touch of pine and bitter resins greets the back of the palate, but for the most part this beer tastes like (slightly stale) crystal malt. Mouthfeel is a step in the right direction, with a light body that's well-carbonated, giving it a crisp, clean finish that allows the bitterness to linger for just long enough. I can't say that I'd ever buy this beer again--there are just too many better choices out there--but if it were a hot summer day and all I had were Founder's Pale Ale, I wouldn't turn it down.

12-15-2008 22:41:54 | More by wagenvolks
Photo of JamesS


3.73/5  rDev +1.1%

Pours a orange/copper color, with almost no head and just a tiny bit of lacing. Great smell, absolutely great, a full nose of American hops with a great floral and citrus kick to it. Good taste, but it doesn't match up with the scent; good hops, nice floral and citrus American style, but has a slightly watered down taste. Goes down fine, with just a bit of roughness, nothing horrible, though. Worth it for the scent alone.

12-06-2008 02:54:58 | More by JamesS
Photo of HeyItsChili


3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

A - Pours a buttery, hazy gold with a fleeting white head.

S - Crisp, piney, bits of citrus, hoppy, sharp.

T - The taste follows along nicely with the aroma. Piney, obviously as it is a pale ale the hops are in firm control here. There is a dry, bitter finish indicative of the dry hop process here. A bit bitter, but then again I tend to think that about all pale ales.

M - Mouthfeel was medium bodied with some crisp carbonation bite.

D - Easily drinkable if you're into a more bitter brew.

12-03-2008 02:09:13 | More by HeyItsChili
Photo of corby112


3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Serving type: on draft at the South Philadelphia Taproom, Founders Event, Philly Beer Week 2007.

Pours a cloudy golden color with foamy white head. Aroma is very hoppy with a nice malt backbone. Flavor very similar to aroma; pretty malty for a pale ale with a lot of floral hops.

11-27-2008 17:56:22 | More by corby112
Photo of superdedooperboy


4.03/5  rDev +9.2%

This brew pours a hazy deep gold with a half-finger of white foam; head fades slowly to a splotchy cap, leaving sporadic legs of lace on the glass.

Aroma is delightful, with delicious citrus notes of grapefruit, orange, and apricot filling the nose.

Medium-bodied; citrussy hop flavors are predominant, with notes similar to those in aroma but with much more bitterness. A bit salty, with the faintest maltiness peeking through underneath. Finishes mostly dry and bitter.

Overall a delicious brew, with the dry-hopping providing such a wonderful aroma, and the dry, bitter finish encouraging another quaff.

11-27-2008 06:31:32 | More by superdedooperboy
Photo of baos


4.63/5  rDev +25.5%

Had this one on tap up north.

A: 2 finger ecru head. Hazy golden amber color. Decent lacing and really nice head retention. Half a finger all the way down.

S: Spicy, hoppy, and fresh, very nice!

T: The Cascade hops are awesome with their piny-grapefruity kind bud pow intermingled with a nice maltiness. This brew is A-one and on draft it is AA-one.

M: Very nice pretty near full body on her.

D: This only gets better as it warms in your glass. I drank my first one quick, but I let the second sit around a bit and just sipped on her. The flavor really gets going when you let it warm a bit. Great BREW!

11-27-2008 00:19:35 | More by baos
Photo of Reagan1984


3.98/5  rDev +7.9%

Poured with a 1 ½ to 2 finger thick head that showed some decent retention. Later there was sporadic lacing. The color of the beer was golden amber, with a slight haze and minimal visible carbonation.

The aroma was fresh, floral and also balanced with a bready/light malt tone. Certainly some grapefruit/citrus notes.

Really liked the balance of this beer. Also liked how the crispness of the malt came through just below the hop bitterness. An interesting cracker/bread flavor to the malt. I also tasted some light lemon in the flavor as well. I've always been a fan of dry hopping, and this beer is further evidence of that. To me there is a fresh nature that is introduced to the beer that I really enjoy. The more I drank this, the more I enjoyed the fairly complex malt flavors. Got a sense of pepper/spice as well. Not much, but it was there.

Mouth feel was medium bodied and lively due to some pinpoint carbonation. This seemed to match nicely with the hop profile. Very drinkable.

I enjoyed this beer.

11-26-2008 11:49:26 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of yossarian14


4.28/5  rDev +16%

Hazy golden amber with a small thin head. Aroma of pale malt and citrus hops. On the subtle side. Tastes great. A nice hoppy pale thats an easy drinker, especially from a brewery that typically pushes boundaries. I would love to drink this all day long.

On an aside, not a beer I would continue to pay a premium price for.

11-23-2008 20:06:27 | More by yossarian14
Photo of pwoods


3.83/5  rDev +3.8%

12oz. brown twist off bottle, purchased at Jungle Jims, poured into a pint.

A: Pours a light tangerine color. 2 fingers of off white head forms and holds nicely. Some lacing.

S: Good dry hopping. Citrus, pine, light resin. A touch of tea leaf. Malts balance with sweetness and bread.

T/M: Pleasant bitterness. Great balance between the hops an dmalts Good hearty bready malt base and not too heavy at all. Hops come in with a dash of citrus and pine. Body is medium to medium light with good carbonation.

D: Low ABV, tasty, and easy drinking.

11-21-2008 22:55:58 | More by pwoods
Photo of DIM


3.55/5  rDev -3.8%

a: This was a hazy, pale golden color. It poured with a thin, short-lived head.

s: Balanced almost to a fault. Grainy sweetness and some muted, citric hops.

t: Mirrors the smell. The finish is a generic bitterness that is a little flowery.

m: Good body and very active carbonation.

d: A pretty god pale ale, but nothing outstanding.

11-18-2008 11:48:55 | More by DIM
Photo of praufs01


4.33/5  rDev +17.3%

Appearance - Hazy orange yellow with a fluffy off-white head.

Aroma - Orange zest and grapefruit with some underlying malty sweetness.

Mouthfeel - Lively carbonation that has a zesty bite.

Taste - Lots of orange zest and grapefruit flavor that finishes cleanly.

Overall - Very good pale ale. I'm assuming that the zesty flavor and mouthfeel are a result of the dry hopping process that is used to make this ale.

11-16-2008 22:02:06 | More by praufs01
Photo of deepsouth


3.38/5  rDev -8.4%

this beer poured a cloudy orange color with very little head a and a few bubbles.

the smell is earthy hops, lavender, cereal.

the taste is refreshing. faint hops and sweetness. nice balance, just not a ton of flavors.

the mouthfeel is light and carbonated. expected for style.

overall, i'm glad i got to try this beer, but wouldn't really seek it out beyond the first experience. not a bad beer, but there are so many i haven't tried out there. this is a refreshing non offensive summer beer that goes down like water.

11-12-2008 01:58:09 | More by deepsouth
Photo of barefootbrewer


3.68/5  rDev -0.3%

A: This beer poured a cloudy light brown/orange color with a thin white head.

S: The aroma is mostly comprised of citrus/hops.

T: The taste is definitely a bold hop flavor upon the first sip. It has a bitter citrus/grapefruit thing going on. It is also a bit floral. There is a hint of sweetness, but you have to look for it.

M: It is medium bodied.

D: This is a refreshing beer. Something to grab when you want a cold one to work outside.

11-11-2008 19:27:22 | More by barefootbrewer
Founders Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 2,238 ratings.