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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.

2,371 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,371
Reviews: 777
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 11.65%
Wants: 34
Gots: 165 | 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:
100% Cascade hops.
35 IBU

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,371 | Reviews: 777 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mweso2000
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

8/9/13 Finally got around to having this one again. One of my first reviews. In hindsight I should not have reviewed the beer to begin with because it was obviously a skunked beer. Rookie mistake. Upon further review solid pale ale, nothing that makes me go wow but very enjoyable.

I was really disappointed in this beer. I have good things about Founders, but this beer really disappointed.

Appearance- Pours with a huge head that is really thin. Takes a couple of pours to fit in the glass. Cloudy yellowish brown color.

Smell-Smells like metal??? Almost no hint of hops.

Taste-The metal taste stays with the beer. Slight hop taste.

Mouthfeel-Overly carbonated.

Drinkability-Yea I can drink it but I am disappointed. I much prefer PA like Sierra Nevada and Mighy Arrow from New Belgium.

mweso2000, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of herman77
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Light orange/honey, with a thin cream-colored head. Pretty hazy. Not much for lacing, but there is some.

S: Pine and lemon hops with a strong carmel malt backbone.

T: Pine and a slight citrus hops with a nice light carmel malt backbone. Well balanced. Very basic straightforward flavors. Nothing stands out, no big or bold flavors, but its still good.

M/D: Medium to lighter body, average carbonation. Easy drinking APA. I could see this being a staple in the fridge. It would probably be my go to beer if it was on tap here.

herman77, Jul 04, 2010
Photo of freescribbles
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A rich orange color with a thin cream-colored head. Grapefruit with a light pine that hits the back of your throat and with minimal, if any spice. Adequate, if somewhat weak, lacing on the glass. As I tried to find a way to describe the scent, I struggle as nothing really stood out.

A nice bear for a session or if you're just looking to unwind after a long day at work.

freescribbles, Jul 02, 2010
Photo of racer2k
3.05/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured in to my favorite pint glass

A - Hazy dark orange colored pour with a two finger head that leaves some heavy lacing around my glass throughout.

S - A very light lemon and citrus like aroma with hints of grapefruit, pine and bready malt.

T - I thought that the hop profile was very light but the malt presence was overwhelming which took away form the balance of this pale ale. Given that this is dry hopped I was hoping for more hops in the profile.

M - Medium carbonation and a nice mouth feel to this beer.

D - Great session beer but nothing spectacular for a Pale Ale. A decent beer overall.

racer2k, Jun 28, 2010
Photo of squaremile
3.25/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear darker orange with a nice white head that stays around the edge. Nose is disappointing for being advertised as "dry hopped", where are the hops? Lots of pale malt in the nose and the taste, balanced by bitterness but not really hoppiness. Bitter long finish with some yeast. This is pretty disappointing,

squaremile, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of silentjay
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a hazy and bubbly orange with a big-bubbled white head that sticks around a bit and laces ok.

aroma is faint and metallic. caramel and toasty malt are most apparent, in the background is a bit of earthy and herbal hops. dry hopped? really?

taste is also a bit metallic, but the malts fall to the background and the bittering hops take over. bitter citrus flavor. very one-dimensional.

I cannot knock the mouthfeel as its good for the style. light/medium bodied with enough carbonation to let you know its there, but not enough to hinder the experience. a tad sticky.

drinks ok, but lacks anything that would make me reach for another. again, are they sure this is dry hopped?

silentjay, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of DuffManOhYeah
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An overall quality pale ale, but nothing to go running to the store for.

A- Tan/ dark yellow with a pretty thin head that fades quickly

S- Very crisp and not extremely hoppy. Maybe a little citrus, grapefruit maybe, in there too. Not a very impressive nose, but better than average.

T- Very tasty for a pale ale. A bit more hoppy and floral for just pale ale, almost closer to an IPA, but it works. Has citrus, i.e. grapefruit, undertones.

M- Slightly bitter for just a pale ale, but is still pretty light and crisp.

D- Highly drinkable because the bitterness wants you to keep taking more and more sips. Overall, a nice, refreshing beer for a summer afternoon

DuffManOhYeah, Jun 27, 2010
Photo of Phillyphilms
3.23/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass, great thick head filled the remaining space in my glass with my vigorous pour and the good carbonation it contained which held itself together for quite a while. Beer is a orange-yellow with a golden haze.

Not a strong nose for a pale ale let alone one that is dry hopped. Little floralness to it but not much at all.

Crisp on the tongue with quick finish. A lot less hops than I had thought or hoped fro from a dry hopped pale ale but that don't mean it is not a good plae ale.. just was less than I had expected. Some citrus and of course some hops but both not overwhelming. A malt backbone also hides in the background, again not overwhelming.

Light body, lots of carbonation and overall a nice drinking PA. I like the dry hopping but it certainly don't take this to a hoppy heaven by any means. An easy drinking ale that I will revisit at some time but doubt I'll rush.

Phillyphilms, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of AgentZero
3.05/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - A dark yellow beer with a nice white head that left behind some lacing.

S - Both hoppy and malty. Kind of a sharp sweetness and phenol like quality.

T - Not bad, but not special. Taste is a bit underwhelming. Has a solid hop bite and a touch of malt sweetness. Nothing spectacular, I wanted Daisy Cutter but they were out so this was the replacement.

M - Lighter bodied, good carbonation, finish is too dry for this brew.

D - Should be easier to drink than it is, although it's not difficult to get down.

AgentZero, Jun 21, 2010
Photo of WhiteOak
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark yellow color with a light tan, foamy, lacy head.

This offering from the tap has a big bright aroma of Pine, Fir, and pineapple.

The flavors of fresh citrus hops balance well with nutty maltiness, where they alternate in dominance on the palate. But the finish is bitter.

WhiteOak, Jun 20, 2010
Photo of Baraka
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- dark amber with a quickly dissipating head that leaves behind a thin layer of lace

S: fairly balanced nose, both hops and malt are clear, although the hops have the advantage here.

T: Contains both bittering hops (brew notes say 100% centennial) and a decent bready malt backbone that adds a sweetness to the flavor.

M: fairly light body with a decent amount of carbonation and a crisp finish

D: Very enjoyable, although not phenomenally interesting by any means. Your basic APA, although the dry hopping adds a bit to the hop flavor. Tastes like a lighter and more balanced version of their Centennial IPA, which is perfectly acceptable and to style.

Baraka, Jun 16, 2010
Photo of NickBus
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hoppier than you might expect, but other than that a pretty run-of-the-mill pale ale, frankly. There's a nice toasty maltiness and a robust hop bite, but I feel like there's something missing on the finish. It's almost a little watery, even. The dry-hopping gives it some character; otherwise I'd say it's pretty forgettable.

Creamy white head lasts for only a couple of minutes. Bubbles not very fine. Golden colored. A lot of carbonation bubbles rising up from the bottom. Earthy aroma, maybe a little grapefruit smell in there.

It's not a bad beer by any stretch, but Founders has certainly done better.

NickBus, Jun 12, 2010
Photo of cindyjeffsmith
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: Could've gone with a 4. Nice, hazy amber with a full creamy white head. Doesn't blow me away but a nice looking brew.
smell: Floral and hoppy. Very understated which I understand is appropriate for the style. Nice but nothing amazing.
taste: Citrus and a little sweet with a nice hop balance.
mouthfeel: Again, nice but nothing to knock your socks off.
drinkability: Great session brew. Enjoying it during a hot Georgia summer.

cindyjeffsmith, Jun 06, 2010
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured in to Duvel tulip.
Brewed on date: 9/25/09

A - Poured cloudy yellow /orange colour with a lot of visible carbonation that created 2 fingers of bubbly white head that stuck around for quite a long time.

S - Not a very pronounced nose. Crisp, bready malts with a faint hop nose.

T - A well balanced mix of bitter earthy hops and crisp bready malts. Bitterness lingers a little in the finish. This beer got much better (more pronounced hops) as I continued to drink it.

M - light body, heavily carbonated.

D - A good beer. Could have a few of these on a hot summer day without hesitation. Not one of the best pale ales that I have had and certainly not one of Founder's better offerings, but still worthy of a try.

TheSevenDuffs, May 27, 2010
Photo of DrDemento456
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The latest founders beer to hit my local shop!

A- Hazy golden amber with a inch of head and lacing.
S - Mostly floral hops with slight grapefruit.
T - Wow for 35 IBU's I didn't expect it to be so bitter. Must be since it was dry hopped. Bitter and malty yet not too overbearing considering the ABV.
M - Very dry yet refreshing.
D - Well overall I like it more than the IPA which seems to have west coast hops and taste soapy yet this beer was dry, hoppy, malty, and delicious. To buy it again would be individual or case considering the extreme price of craft here. Someday I will find founders cheap here...

DrDemento456, May 26, 2010
Photo of berpwillie
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pours a hazy orange yellow color with good white head that recedes quick, and good lacing. fizzy carbonation. pine hop smell and flavor thats slightly bitter, with some floral hints. light body with short flavor duration. great ipa but nothing special.

berpwillie, May 25, 2010
Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz brown pop top, cool label, best-by date

Appearance: Just slightly hazy dark gold beer with orange tints; A strong pour produces a nice fluffy ivory cap with good retention

Smell: Mild biscuity malts and fruity Cascades. Simple and tasty.

Taste: Medium-bitter, citrusy Cascade hops mingle with earthy, lightly toasted malts. Fairly easy-drinking. This sounds kind of dumb, but this kind of reminds me of an English Pale Ale with the Goldings or Fuggles chucked out in favor of Cascades.

Mouthfeel: Light side of medium

Drinkability: Good

Conclusion: Good, simple American Pale Ale. The hop aromas are prevalent, but if I didn't know this was dry-hopped I probably wouldn't have picked up on it. Solid quaffer, but at $10 for a sixer, there are several I'd pick up ahead of this one.

BedetheVenerable, May 22, 2010
Photo of marcobrau
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A pale golden ale that pours with plenty of carbonation forming a bright, white head that settles to a thin layer of foam. Smells of citrus and pine, (mostly pine) well dry-hopped as advertised. Tastes of toasted malt and piney hops with some hard candy sweetness, but actually quite dry. Light-bodied with a somewhat spritzy mouthfeel and dry finish. Overall, an enjoyable and very quaffable pale ale. Extremely drinkable.

marcobrau, May 21, 2010
Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: hazy golden orange, diminishing white head, decent lacing.
S: citric, floral, spicy hops and doughy/yeasty malt. just a bit muted overall.
T: lightly sweet crackery, bready pale malts are balanced out by a smooth hop bitterness. a bit astringent in the dry, crisp finish. hop flavors linger a bit.
M: light bodied, frothy, crisp, drying.
D: very drinkable, a nice summer-y beer.

MrMcGibblets, May 10, 2010
Photo of Parrotbeak
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy yellow with an orange hue. Thin white head that fades quickly.
Smell is bready malts and sharp hops. Faint aromas of ginger, lemon, and pineapple.
Taste is peppery malts with bitter hops. Lemon peel with a hint of orange follows. Finish is bitter and slightly malty.
Mouthfeel is fairly crisp, though the level of carbonation is fairly low. Finish is crisp and dry. Light body.
Drinkability is good. Nothing too impressive about this one, but it's easy to drink.

Parrotbeak, May 02, 2010
Photo of Stigs
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, served in a SA perfect pint glass...

A - poured with about a half inch of frothy foam that quickly dispersed to a thin floating layer and ring within a minute or two. the beer is pale golden with large bubbling.

S - sharp crackery malts and some grassy slightly earthy hops. very balanced with a bit of pepper at the end. crisp and clean.

T - noble hops with some biscuit, slight caramel underneath. a bit of odd lemon rind, almost like it couldnt decide to be an APA or Pilsner and went for the middle. weird aftertaste...

M - thickish body with some "weird" carbonation. its almost as if the CO2 bubbles are substantially bigger than most beers, just a poof of tingling before fading to almost flat. very drying.

D - huge fan of Founders, but this is a bit - meh. slightly refreshing but cant get over the weird feel and aftertaste.

Stigs, Apr 29, 2010
Photo of nickadams2
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A_Pours hazy orange with a bone white head.Thick,sticky lacing coats the glass nicely.

S_Grassy,earth hops.

T_Surprised too see only 35 IBU's. Crisp and bitter. Grassy floral hops up front. Slightly sweet finish.

M_Light but full bodied. Crisp finish.

D_Great beer for hot weather.Great flavor and easy to drink.

Great example of a "boring" style that I think is often over looked. (Myself included.)

nickadams2, Apr 26, 2010
Photo of GregSVT
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a hazy yellow/orange color with a big white head that slowly fades leaving lots of sticky lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is all citrus/tropical fruit hops with a slight sweetness on the background. Smells awesome.

T: The taste is a bit muted compared to the nose. It's sweet and slightly bitter/spicey on the finish but nothing spectacular. Still good solid flavor though.

M: The feel is a bit creamy and a crisp and refreshing finish.

D: Nice Pale Ale but the taste leaves a little to be desired. I could see ordering this at the bar when I'm looking for a nice refreshing yet hoppy beer.

GregSVT, Apr 15, 2010
Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear amber color with a modest head that deposits a lot of foam, nevertheless

Smell: Balanced aromatics, with biscuity malt offset by a primarily earthy hop profile; has a little citrus, however, to remind us that this is an APA

Taste: Biscuity, up front, with a sugary citrus flavor that emerges by mid-palate, along with an earthy, stone fruit character; after the swallow, the sugary malt balances out the hops, though I wouldn't describe this as a malty beer by any stretch

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Nice and refreshing; a well-balanced APA

brentk56, Apr 14, 2010
Photo of metter98
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured golden yellow with a little bit of head.
S: Faint smells of toasted malts were present in the aroma, along with some notes of hops.
T: There are some hoppy flavors, but the overall taste is on the weak side. The finish had some bitterness.
M: The mouthfeel was crisp, refreshing and light-bodied.
D: It was very easy to drink but the lack of a distinct flavor did not leave me with the feeling that I wanted another of these anytime soon.

metter98, Apr 04, 2010
Founders Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 2,371 ratings.