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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.

2,177 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,177
Reviews: 773
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 11.35%
Wants: 27
Gots: 114 | 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: 2,177 | Reviews: 773 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of BeerBelcher


3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm a fan of Founder's beers (Red's Rye & Black Rye are two of my favorites), but this one was pretty average. Lightly hoppy and very drinkable; it would be great lawnmower beer, which is a bit unusual for a pale ale, but was perhaps too refreshing for me to think of it as being really remarkable. Still, not bad.

Appearance was very pale, with a tan body and a fairly minimal head. Aroma was lightly hoppy and appealing, but with a fair amount of apple (ethyl hexanoate?) aroma. Flavor & mouthfeel were pleasant but very light and refreshing. Good, but not overly exciting. Mouthfeel was on the light side, but by no means watery.

I'd recommend this beer as a nice session beer or for something nice and refreshing to have on a hot day, but it is by no means an "extreme" pale ale/IPA/DIPA, particularly for a beer advertised as "dry-hopped."

I bought this bottle as a 12 oz single from Woodman's in Oak creek.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2008 14:11:53 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

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

12 oz short bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Golden yellow, slight amber color, mildly hazy with a white head that dissipates to a ring of bubbles with a surprising amount of webbed lacing.
S: Very dry, biscuit, hoppy pale ale smell. Potent, but not overly complex.
T: Like the smell, strong biscuity malt backbone and a very dry, clean hopped taste. Creamy, fuller body with a lot of carbonation. This beer is what it is for a pale ale. Nothing spectacular, but very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 05:46:31 | More by yourefragile
Photo of arepwhotravels


4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer is golden amber with appropriate carbonation and head. I was surprised at all the flavor in this beer for being called a pale ale. I thought it would be much more bland and constrained. Unortodox and tasty style that makes most pale ales essentially pale in comparison.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2008 01:43:09 | More by arepwhotravels
Photo of Overlord


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

Pours an attractive golden yellow. Fuzzy thin white head that quickly dissipates to a rim. Some scattered lacing.

Mouthfeel is thin, but not overly watery. The smell is a bit offputting. I actually can't put a name to the aroma. There's some piney hops in the background, but there' something else going on here.

The taste has that weird aroma deal mixed in as a flavor. Again, I can't tell what it is. Almost like an acrid aftertaste. When I saw "dry hopped", I thought this might end up being more like an IPA than a Pale Ale, but it's a fairly typical example of the style. There's some pine in there. No real tropical or sweet notes, and I don't taste much malt.

Decent, except for that weird aftertaste/smell I can't identify.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2008 03:02:18 | More by Overlord
Photo of Dalem


4.38/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quite orange and hazy in color. Medium pour brings out an around half inch head and a decent amount of lacing on the glass. The scent is a little grassy, some apple, a bit of a spices, something that I'm thinking is clover and big (but in no way overstated) floral hop aroma.
The citrusy hops are right up front in the flavor but aren't screamingly dominate due to them being dry hopped. Very good (and dry) taste none the less on first sip especially with the good balance of malt, a orange like tinge and some bitters nuances that show up in the mouth. A clean and refreshing feeling all around in the mouth and the hop flavor lingers a bit in the back in the throat but not as crazy as some of the other superhopped and over 5 % abv (this is clocking in at around 6.2). A very good and quite drinkable beer here.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2008 02:44:58 | More by Dalem
Photo of Slynger


3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My runneth over with foamy white head, beneath which a pale orange blond brew awaits. Once it subdues I am able to make out the nice hoppiness of pink grapefruit and citrus rind. Toasted grains mix in with some pleasant grassy, earthy, spice. The light medium body is almost overun with tons of fizzy and sharp carbonation (It may be a little bad, but I kind of liked it all the same). Tart and citrusy with some rind bitterness carry lightly to the finish. Toasted golden grains wave as earthy spice finishes fairly dry. Pretty damn strong on the hops front for an APA, but very good. One of the best.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2008 04:33:54 | More by Slynger
Photo of JDV


3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orange amber sedimenty laden hazy pour with about the biggest meringue like head ever.. Ridiculously carbonated and a HUGE psssstttt sound when popping the cap. Also underfilled bottle. Very strange. That aside it had an earthy, grassy hop aroma and flavor, along with a very light sweetness. Big hop flavor, mild bitterness, kind of over carbonated and felt like champagne in the mouth towards the end of the glass. Flavor needs a bit more body, sweetness, but still a good pale overall.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2008 21:26:11 | More by JDV
Photo of pb9613


3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a dark golden body with a slight tinge of orange. The head is off white but stay with the beer until the end.

The extra hoppy smell of this Pale Ale hits you like a sledge hammer.

This brew has a solid malt taste to combat the heavy hoppy flavor that in normal for a Pale Ale.

The off white head gives this ale a solid feel when drank.

The heavy hop flaver gets to the taste buds a little guick.

D&W (a local grocery store) used to make an awesome beer brat using Founder's Pale Ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-28-2008 01:33:04 | More by pb9613
Photo of wheelinshirt


3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz stubby brown bottle from Abe's in Bethlehem. Poured into a pint glass.

Cloudy orange amber color, nice head just a tad darker than white, lasts the whole way down and leaves a bunch of lacing.

Smell is pretty generically hoppy, it looks like this one is not going to have a lot of malt backbone for balance.

Taste is pretty bitter, there is a nice hoppy taste, but I really need some more malt in here to keep it drinkable.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, some caramel malt or something would help to give this some body and balance. I could drink more than one of these in a night and it certainly wouldn't be a chore, but this really could be more balanced.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2008 05:04:21 | More by wheelinshirt
Photo of shaebs99

New York

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Received as an extra (one of many) from Tizzod. Thanks Todd!

A: Poured a hazy golden orange with nice size head that left a pleasant amount of lacing.

S: Mostly pale malts with a decent hop character.

T&M: Solid pale malt presence with a large hop dose. Decent carbonation and mouthfeel. Not too thin

D: I am a fan of the well hopped american pale ale. And this definitely fits the bill. The alcohol is a bit higher than I like out of an APA to truly make this a session beer, but a pleasant lightly hopped (with respect to my normal appetite of american IPA's and IIPa's)beer that I wouldn't mind having again. Definitely not my favorite APA, but would suit me well if I am every lucky enough to have this available to me.

Serving type: bottle

02-20-2008 04:16:08 | More by shaebs99
Founders Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 2,177 ratings.