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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.

2,293 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,293
Reviews: 776
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 11.65%
Wants: 30
Gots: 144 | 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: 2,293 | Reviews: 776 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brenden
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one's a clear amber color that isn't hazy, though there is some sediment on the bottom. A nice, rocky dense head that's just off-white stays around two fingers and leaves rings and patches all the way down.
Fresh, raw citrus hops. A simple but nice, strong aroma.
Hops are dominant but there is a nice malt balance. This is my first experience with a dry-hopped beer, and the effect of raw, pure hops bud I found to be delicious.
There's about a medium body to this one with a good combination of smooth and crisp in the mouthfeel. The finish is fairly dry.
There may not be all that much complexity, but it's tasty and pure.

Brenden, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of Pauly2X
3.55/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Hazy light amber with a massive two finger head.

S- Very fresh citrusy hop aroma.

T- Rich lightly toasted malt provides a good foundation for some basic hop flavor. Well balanced through to the finish.

M- Pretty decent, good carbonation.

D- Wen't down well, but I wouldn't seek this out.

Good, but was fairly pedestrian. Nothing wrong persay, just didn't shout out at me.

Pauly2X, Jul 11, 2009
Photo of rfgetz
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pale and hazy gold

S - Fruity and Floral Hoppyness

T - Medium Fruity/Floral Hoppyness and hints of cereal that dont hide the malt

M - Moderatly carbonated for a Pale Ale, a slight graininess to the tongue

D - Mostly smooth, but all the ingredients shine through. Perfect step back in hoppyness from the Centenial IPA. Very drinkable.

rfgetz, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of biggred1
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Russet orange with tons of suspended yeast particles and blonde highlights with a medium cream colored head that leaves thick lace behind. The nose is citrus fruit, orange and lemon with a nice caramel malty background. The flavors are nice and fruity up front with orange and grapefruity hops balanced with caramel malt and just a touch of fresh, bread dough. The mouthfeel is creamy with fine carbonation. Highly drinkable if consumed fresh, I've heard this beer can oxidize pretty quickly.

biggred1, Jun 27, 2009
Photo of BierFan
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass. The abv is listed on the neck label as being 5.4%.

Appearance: Nice sized off-white head. Hazy orange body. Very good head retention.

Smell: The aroma is floral from the hops. Sweetness manages to peak through.

Taste: The flavor of this beer is dominated by the big flowery hops that are used. The yeast adds a little bit of a spiciness. Bitterness is a little higher than I expected but it's nice.

BierFan, Jun 26, 2009
Photo of dmfrench
4.22/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

An excellent, wheaty, sub-IPA Pale Ale.

A: Slightly hazy straw yellow with an off-white one finger head.

S: Not particularly aromatic... a bit of citrus hops

T: Vibrant grapefruit and potent yet restrained resiny hops, beneath IPA level, but above a typical Pale Ale. Malts are underneath, creamy and buttery.

M: Perfect... medium body with a bit of grain texture to hold on to.

D: Quite high.

dmfrench, Jun 25, 2009
Photo of KBomb
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A monstrous cascading head of foam erupts out of my pint glass from an only mildly aggressive pour. Body has a slightly murky and dull copper color. Smell has a good amount of grapefruit citrus and a little earthiness to the hops-- a minimal amount of pale malt adds some sweetness. Tastes of slightly citrusy hops with a bit of a musty bitter finish. Very little malt to compliment. ABV isn't very high, but you get a little alcohol taste coming through. Taste isn't bad, but slightly less than captivating. Mouthfeel is dry and crisp with prickly high carbonation.

This isn't the tastiest Pale Ale I've ever had, but its got a crisp refreshing character that earns some points. Mouthfeel and light-body make it desireable on a hot summer day.

KBomb, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of JordanEllwanger
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my trusty weizen Glass. Nice full creamy white head. Pale golden and somewhat cloudy, with more transparency towards the middle and bottom of the glass. Little sediment which was easy to pull from the bottle. Sediment brings an unexpected change in color from a transparent pale golden to an amber cloud floating darker at the top.

Smells full of hops budding with that bitter sent.

Taste is just as hoppy, with an after taste that serves the name and gives a dry sharp ting.


JordanEllwanger, May 22, 2009
Photo of atpben
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured in a pint glass. Appears a nice light copper color with a thin head. Wonderful floral aroma with a light citrus hint. Taste is on the lighter hop side with more tastes of pine, citrus and some light spice. Ends with a nice hoppy aftertaste. This beer had pretty good balance and quite smooth to drink. A good session beer. Nothing exceptional but will definately have again.

atpben, May 17, 2009
Photo of Brad007
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful amber-blonde color with a two-finger head that fades down in my glass.

Aroma is full of floral hops and pale malt in the nose. The dry hopping in this ale is very apparent and for good reason.

Taste is full of floral, grassy hops upfront with pale malt in the middle. Bitterness seems to be in the middle here but still quite apparent.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin in the middle but otherwise, feels just right. Hop bitterness does fade towards the back of the throat, leaving the malt to shine through a bit more here.

A good example of the style that's drinkable. Nothing memorable but it succeeds where it should.

Brad007, May 12, 2009
Photo of BigMike
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange with not very much head even with an aggressive pour.

Smell is very piney and floral. Almost perfume like.

Slight caramel sweetness which surprised me a bit. The hop flavor is very fresh and grassy like.

This is a no frills pale ale and i enjoyed it a lot. Very crisp and refreshing. Decent balance and easy to drink.

This would make an excellent sessioner!

BigMike, May 12, 2009
Photo of DavidSeanNJ
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been meaning to review this one for quite some time. One of those brews that I passed by many times and never decided to pick up. Glad I did! To me- this is a really nice sessionable Pale Ale. It is not completely outstanding, but it definitely has some serious flavors and texture going on.

A- Massive head. Don't know if this was a singular bottle issue but the head was about half the glass. Hazy murky orange color. Sediment and lacing around the glass.

S- Big whiff of piney hops combined with a lemony citrus afterbite. Fresh and pleasant.

T- Surprised by the caramel flavors, I was expecting more hops. The hops were very fresh- grassy and piney.

M- Yum! Smooth and silky. Medium bodied. Easy going down.

D- Big time session beer for me. Truly a pleasure to sip. Easy drinking.

DavidSeanNJ, May 11, 2009
Photo of paco1029384756
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale orange color with a huge fizzy white head.

Scent of light caramel, citrus, and some hops. Pretty good, but not appealing entire to a hop head.

Taste is comparable, caramel and honey with some citrus and faint hops, not bad at all.

Mouthfeel is light bodied with a bite of carbonation.

paco1029384756, May 04, 2009
Photo of Thorpe429
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the brewpub a while back, right before I tried the vaunted CBS.

A: Bright orange color with a big white head.

S: A so-so amount of citrus hops with a decent malt backing.

T: Much like the nose--there are some hops there, but a little lacking for the style.

M: Pretty good. Decent carbonation and a light-medium body.

D: This isn't a bad brew, just not up to Founders' normal standards. There's just nothing special about it when compared with other APA's.

Thorpe429, Apr 29, 2009
Photo of jculler82
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle to an American pint glass.

Slightly hazy dark gold with a one finger white frothy head. Lemon rind and grapefruit are the main smells, sort of a wheat beer smell.

Taste is more of the same. Lots of hops for only 35 IBU's. Spicy hops hit up front, followed by a bitter lemony middle, and a crispness from the yeast at the finish. The malts are just barley there throughout. A similar taste profile to a wheat beer, IMO.

The mouthfeel is a touch too fizzy, but not enough to make it unpleasant.

Overall, for me, not enough malt balance from this pale ale.

jculler82, Apr 26, 2009
Photo of jefferyc
4.58/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Incredible amount of hops for a pale ale; furthermore it tastes more like an india pale ale than a pale ale. Although, it doesn't have a lot of bitterness except the aftertaste. Overall, it is an exceptional pale ale and should be treated with respect.

jefferyc, Apr 25, 2009
Photo of Wasatch
2.98/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks goes out to jwc215 for this one.

Pours a cloudy dark golden yellow color, way too much carbonation, huge three-finger head which took almost an half hour to pour, tons of sticky lacing, I think I got a bad bottle. The nose is malty, some hops, and not much else. The taste is slightly sweet, malty, not much hops at all. Medium body. Would not trade for this one again, but like I said, I'm sure it is a bad bottle.

Wasatch, Apr 17, 2009
Photo of twelvsies
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Hmm surprised people aren't loving this beer, but I guess I am not surprised that there often is not a lot of love here for lower ABV non- super hopped souped up beers... This is just a pale ale, and with in the style, it is excellent. Very light amber, clear, this beer has a damn nice head and excellent lacing down the glass, decent retention. Aromas of dry earthy herbal hops and pale malt, grainy. Perfect dry finish to this beer, just the perfect balance of dusty hops and a nice light biscuity maltiness. That's it. Very simple, very good beer. So drinkable. This beer will be lucky to survive 36 hours in the fridge...

twelvsies, Apr 14, 2009
Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up recently just because I love Founders beers and I've never had an American Pale Ale that I didn't like. Will Rogers notwithstanding, this brew held true to form even though it didn't feel too pale or dry-hopped. Instead, it was a bit of each as the hops can be felt and the dryness is present. The result of both of those aspects being that this is a beer that goes down easy and probably won't offend many outside of those looking for a true hallmark of this style.

This had a good pour to it - opaque and amber with a frothy head. Some lacing to be found here and this retained a lot of the positive aspects of a good Sierra Nevada beer. This was a bit thinner than that and has less of a resin feel to it. The floral hops and hints of citrus are there but there seems to be much more of a maltier backbone to this. Although the carbonation in this isn't high, it has enough of a bite to it that it almost feels like there's more bubbles in here.

I'd consider this a session beer even though it's over 5.20% ABV. It went down nicely and I couldn't feel any of the alcohol in this as I was enjoying it. This isn't the best APA that I've had, but it was solidy crafted and the dry-hoppiness of it kept it from being too over-the-top like so many other hop bombs that I've had over the years. Arguably the easiest beer of this style to drink...

JerzDevl2000, Apr 12, 2009
Photo of Gavage
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a yellowish orange color with a 3" head that sticks around a while. Some nice lace paints the glass.

Smell: some grass, floral bitterness, and fruits are picked up by the nose.

Taste: caramel, ripe fruits, decent bitterness, some breadiness, light grass tones, and a floral bitterness that has a hint of bite.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied. Aftertaste is short and stick with flavor profile. Very crisp to start, less crisp at the finish. A bit dry late too.

Drinkability: nice APA that is easy to quaff. Definitely a solid beer that anyone will enjoy.

Gavage, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of farrago
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thin head but frothy and dimpled, off-white in color, credible lacing, dissipates at a rapid clip. More a gauziness than cloudiness, you can see through it from up close and yellow mixes with the orange to lighten the overall hue. The nose is grainy with oat, meadow grass elements, on the whole somewhat flat, corn with a little oiliness, the citrus indistinct, the malts impart a rye bread quality, for its relative cleanliness it is heavy and without much lift. Full-bodied, moves at a slower pace, not languid, but in no rush. More hoppy than malty without being so in a biting manner, just has that herbaceous graininess which keeps it dry and cresting on and off the tongue. For its weight the carbonation is noticeable and helps to funnel things forward. Orange, lemon citrus, not much, if any, grapefruit. More generic "resin" than pine, some nuttiness and malted milk ball flavors. Entirely without flaws, however, needs a touch more verve.

farrago, Apr 09, 2009
Photo of sarahspat
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had one of these on tap at Founders today. It was served to me with minimal head, and leaves very little lacing. However, the liquid is a gorgeous hazy pale golden color.

The nose is hard to detect; very subdued floral hops and biscuity malt.

The taste follows suit, but packs more of a punch than the smell. I'd say the flavor is equal parts biscuit and flowers, and they complement each other very well. This is not a particularly complex beer, but it doesn't have to be. It's delicious. The finish leaves ample dry, bitterness on the palate. The mouthfeel is medium-light, but with good carbonation.

This is a fantastic APA, and has been my favorite one for a while now. Good job, Founders!

sarahspat, Apr 06, 2009
Photo of jeremyd365
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Carson's American Bistro in northern Ann Arbor, MI . It poured a hazy coppery golden and smelled of delicious floral and citrusy hoppiness. It had a pleasant citrus and hop taste with a decent bitter hop finish falling just short of an IPA. The body was a solid medium but lighter in color just as I'd want from a pale ale. This one went great with my mushroom burger and fries. A decently heavy yet very drinkable brew.

jeremyd365, Apr 05, 2009
Photo of GruvisHops
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 12 oz. brown, stubby bottle. 1-1/2" of pristine white, frothy head on top of a hazy orange-tinted deep golden body. Wonderful, thick lace stickage left behind as the cap fades.

S: The hop bill dominates with orange peel and grapefruit. The malt profile is way hidden. I'm having trouble discerning, but I want to say Munich.

T: Plentiful orange peel from start to finish. Bitter citrus hoppiness; nice. Again, the malt flavor is a bit sweet and bready, so I'm going to throw Munich out there, but I could be wrong. The hops are what make this beer.

M: Medium-Full

D: Big Time drinkability. Quite a bitter-hoppy beer to categorize as just plain pale vs. IPA, but that's what makes it go down fast for me.

GruvisHops, Apr 03, 2009
Photo of GJ40
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Sampled from a 12oz bottle purchased at Apex Beverage Co in Apex, NC.

A - Light golden in color with a very slight haze and a thick white head.

S - A very floral and fruity hop aroma. Some toasted malt.

T - Nice floral and fruity hop flavors lead but there's just enough malt to support it and still let the hops run wild.

M - A bit high on carbonation and thin in body. Not bad but not ideal.

D - Very smooth, interesting and refreshing.

GJ40, Mar 28, 2009
Founders Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 2,293 ratings.