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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.

2,419 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,419
Reviews: 779
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 11.65%
Wants: 35
Gots: 177 | 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: 2,419 | Reviews: 779 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by matt9875. Thanks Matt!

This pale ale pours slightly hazy and appears orange in color. The aroma is of hops, with some citrus notes. The taste was decent, but not great. The beer is not aggressively hop forward, nor does it have a substantial malt presence. The beer has a thin body and finishes with some hop bitterness. Overall, I found this to be a decent, but unexciting offering from a world class brewery.

Photo of DKMonroe
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this from the store, but thought I gotten centennial IPA from founders.

Nevertheless, It poured a light hazy orange with a very small head. Some here say it laced, I seen very little. The smell was less than in your face (I was expecting an IPA) but was decent for the style. Citrus is in the front along with some hops. Taste was a little sweet with some grapefruit, decent enough.

I could drink a few of them.

Oh! and on a side note.. The labels were falling off much like the one in the picture here ;0)

Photo of cosmicevan
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz into an oversized snifter...a soft clear orange with a generous white head that left a slime-like lacing on the glass as the head vanished. Smells like citric lemony candy...really nice. pretty bitter on the mouth. a touch of a hoppier pale ale. finishes a bit sweet and leaves a pretty dry aftertaste. not a bad pale ale, but not one i'd run for. smells and looks better than it tastes, but an easy drinker.

Photo of JizackFH
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This pours a cloudy orange-yellow, and has a nice off white head. the head left decent lacing as it fell.

S - The smell is pretty good. nice floral hops, grassy, some breadiness., and a little citrus. The smell was also a bit faint.

T - The taste pretty much follows the nose. The breadiness is there, and there is also some hop presence. You also get some malty sweetness and some citrus. The flavors seem a bit toned down.

M - The mouthfeel is pretty good. It has a medium body and nice carbonation. It goes down easy and it is nice and refreshing.

D - I think the drinkability is good. Like I said, It goes down easy and leaves you feeling refreshed. It would be very easy to drink a 6-pack of these.

Photo of jsh420
2.23/5  rDev -39.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

bottled 09/23/10

pours hazy golden copper with a 1+ finger head that faded and left some spotted lacing

smell - dry hopped lmao - faint bready caramel malt and light herbal hops

taste - wtf founders???? this is a watered down bready SNPA/Celebration

mouthfeel light medium with decent carbonation - the only highlight of this beer

drinkability - not good - the only weak link in founder's armor - i have had this beer a few times before but didn't want to throw up a negative review but this beer just never got better - shame on you founders

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours bright pale orange with a huge billowy white head. Great retention and lacing. Tons of rings.

Big grapefruit aroma with some light toasted malt.

Nice balance. Ruby red grapefruit fruitiness, citric hop bite, some toasted malt, and a lingering citric hop bitter finish. Bright strong flavors.

Medium bodied and well carbonated.

Easy to drink, refreshing and flavorful. Terrific example of the style.

Photo of Soonami
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Founders Pale Ale is a bit lackluster, it is a hazy orange amber with little head retention. It does have enough hop flavor or bitterness and is a too sweet. I like a malty pale ale, but not one this sweet. The body is slightly thin and under-carbonated. However, this is perfectly drinkable and enjoyable, just not a wow beer.

Photo of donniecuffs
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tried this one at the relatively recent Founders promo at The Blind Tiger, NYC. In a nutshell, with so many outstanding 'imperial' and barrel-aged beers made by these guys, this particular offering likely gets shoved aside, but it shouldn't.

Into a pint glass, it poured golden, with one finger of white which retained and laced very well. Visible carbonation, but not overly done. Very floral, pear and apple in the nose; a little surprisingly for a 'dry-hopped' pale ale, but it smelled inviting nonetheless. The taste mirrored the nose, with floral herbal hops coming to the fore, mixed in a nicely balanced way with apple and pear malt notes, and finished on a very modestly dry note. Lightly carbonated, and medium-bodied. This is a great session pale ale, as long as you are not expecting a huge cascade-type citrus hop presence. A pleasant pale ale alternative.

Photo of Dogstooth5
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearence is golden with a amber tinge. Cloudy due to the dryhoping. Pours with small head and not much lacing. Slight hop and malt aroma. The earthy hops really come out in the taste. Hops are well balanced. No real strong flavors stand out. Medium body. Drinakablity is above average. Good session beer.

Photo of Biffster
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a deep golden/amber, with some haze (likely from dry hopping) and a low tawny head.

There is a moderate hop aroma - some citrus, but also grassy like English hops, most likely from dry hopping. A little unusual, but to style and pleasant. There is a restrained toasty maltiness behind the hops, and light fruiitiness.

There is a very slight malty sweetness at the sip, but the big grassy, earthy, and citrus hop flavor quickly dominate. The hop flavor lingers in the finish, and almost dominates the bitterness, which is a bit of a trick. There are also some toasty malt notes in the finish.

The body is medium/light, and it has medium carbonation.

This is a nice clean Pale Ale with big dry hopping notes that make it stand out a bit from the American Pale Ale crowd.

Photo of prdstmnky
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

*review from notes on 12/12/09*

Bottled on date: 10/16/09

Poured into my favorite pint glass. Golden yellow color with a nice white head and decent retention / lacing. Some faint floral scents, as well as a touch of sweet malts come through in the nose - not much to speak of. Floral and earthy hops initially in the taste, with a moderate malt backbone. Very crisp and dry.

This is probably my least favorite offering from Founders - not bad, not great - simply an average Pale Ale.

Photo of alleykatking
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Pours a semi-hazy straw yellow color. One finger white head shows alright retention dying down to a cap on the beer. Sticky streaky lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- Good floral hop aromas come up first. There is a light bready aroma in the middle of the beer that kind of sneaks up on you. A heavy grassy light pine aroma in the ending kind of makes up the nose as a whole.

T- Light floral and citrus hops in the front of the beer. The citrus comes through more and tends to last through the entire taste. The middle is the bready malts that shine through and I can also taste a little yeast as well. The back end of the beer is more grassy and there is a light bitterness in last second of the taste.

M- Medium light mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Light citrus hops left on the palate with bready hints added to the aftertaste. Well blended beer flavorwise. Clean and crisp feeling on the palate. Not a huge drying on the palate from the alcohol.

D- The lower ABV of this pale makes it a example of a American "session" beer. Good drinking beer that seems to be the common output from Founders.

Photo of Swill5786
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a straw yellow, cloudy, unlimited head... Normal pour produced only foam. Took forever to die down and finish the pour. Lacing is incredible. Flecks in the body, carbonation always rising. Nose of apples, grapefruit and pine. Hoppy, as expected! Lightly bitter from start to finish. Sour and hoppy at the back. Bready aftertaste. Medium mouthfeel. Highly drinkable.

Photo of salvo
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours straw yellow-brown under a dissipating fluffy head that laces the glass; just a ring of foam persists.

Smell is honey malt and floral hops: mild. Taste is also subdued; dry hopping imparts a milder floral hops character that never really bitters the beer.

Light mouthfeel; highly drinkable and flavorful, but a little less than I hoped and was expecting. Guess I need to change my "favorite style" to American IPA.

Photo of beer2day
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Honey gold pour with 2-fingers of near white very fluffy head. Decent retention and lace.

Floral hops with a touch of grapefruit round out the nose. Very earthy.

Bitter to almost sour right up front. Very bitter grapefruit comes in right away. Nice chewy malt balance for a beer this low in abv. Finishes very dry and with a serious hop bite for an APA.

Feel is just about right. Pretty thick for the style, but matches the flavors.

Very nice sessionable beer from Founders.

Photo of buschbeer
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I poured into a pint glass to one finger of off white head. It is amber colored and hazy. The aroma is citrus hops. The taste is rather bland. I get faint citrus and sweet malt. I expected more of a hops presence. It's an ok beer but it does not stand out in any aspect.

Photo of LtCracker20
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a semi-cloudy straw color. Soft off-white head of about an inch that quickly recedes to a thin cap. A little sticking going on. Very nice lace.

S- Grassy and floral hop aromas up front. A slight breadiness in there also. Not too much else, but it's pretty nice.

T- The hop flavors seem a little subtle, but they're there. Again, floral and grassy.

MF/D- Medium bodied with a good feel from the carbonation level. Drinkability is amazing. I'd have no problem having another. A very good pale ale.

Photo of beerdrifter
4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly cloudy orange-yellow pour with quickly fading head and decent lacing. Pleasant but subdued floral notes with a touch of citrus in the nose along with a hint of straw and grass. Taste mirrors the smell, but with a bit more bitter hops than I had expected for a pale ale which was a nice surprise. Unique earthy, but fruity hop character with enough sweet, bready malts to balance it out nicely. A tart, crisp and dry finish that makes this quite drinkable with a nice mouthfeel. This makes the fourth great beer in a row I've had from Founders. Quickly becoming one of my favorite breweries.

Photo of Thur123
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a light golden orange color with at least two fingers of thick white foam. The body is hazy with moderate carbonation. The smell is lemon and lime zest with a light airy flowery smell. Moderate sweetness from the malt as well.

Glug glug glug

The flavor is bitterer than the smell but the lemon citrus aspect is focused and well executed. Pretty straight forward and well balanced. Ht body isn't too thick and the drinkability is very good.

Photo of tapman
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear straw with a dash of red thrown in, the luscious billowing head practically crawls down the side of the glass like spider webs getting torn from a window. I like Founders.

Nose is very mellow and lacking of grass or anything very bright. Hints of lemon and sugar water. Everything else (malt, yeast) is very clean and dry.

Taste is subdued. Not sweet, but not too dry either. Bitterness is soft and pleasant and the hops are obviously well blended and accented by the extremely clean yeast.

Strong carbonation with enough body to make sipping or slamming an option.

I guess I was expecting more from the people who give us KBS. They make some crazy big bears at Founders and I expected their dry hopped pale to have more oomph to it. Still good, though.

Photo of jrallen34
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into my Orval glass...Dark honey gold with a light tan head, two fingers of head, good retention ok lacing...Really nice aroma, light caramel, grass hops, light metallic hop...Taste is not as successful, not impressive really, light bitter, chalky, metallic hops aftertaste, misses the grass, just blah overall.

Photo of Anthony1
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is a light gold color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass. The aroma is of fruity citrus, hops and light caramelized malts. The taste starts out with a nice burst of grassy hops bitterness. Then a citrus and caramel sweetness comes in to provide a good balance. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The after-taste is slightly hoppy and slightly sweet. Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

Photo of PDXHops
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Growler, poured into a Duvel tulip. Golden orange body capped with 3 fingers of foam that settles down into pillowy layer, reducing at a slow rate and leaving scattered patches of soapy lace

Nice fresh nose- crisp grains, straw, sweet citrus. Tasty brew as well, somewhat in the vein of an "IPA lite", with a fairly stinging does of piny bitterness and touch of courseness that make up for the modest level of carbonation. Malts are dry and crisp, orange and grapefruit are lively, PDXHops is happy.

Overall impression: Now that we're getting Founders in SC, I hope we get this in bottles, because it's got "beer fridge staple" written all over it.

Photo of champ103
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear yellow/orange color. A small white head forms of about one finger. The foam gently recedes to a ring that leaves some watery lace.
S: Nice floral, grassy, and citrus hops. Bread and biscuit for balance. Simple and enjoyable.
T: Follows the nose. Plenty of floral and citrus. Dry biscuit and some sweetness. Finishes a little bitter.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. A little thin and watery though. Easy to drink. The six pack will be gone in no time.

Simple and enjoyable is the name of the game. An easy drinker and a nice pale ale.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Average color yellow and head, retention of which subsides hastily. Aroma was very nice, citrus lemon hoppy. Good dry hopping here.

Taste, light enough on the palate, but a fair degree of bitter and hopping to satisfy, yet be accessible to those not chasing numbers. A really good pale ale from the Midwest. Perfect weekday beer.

Founders Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 2,419 ratings.