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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.

2,226 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,226
Reviews: 774
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 11.38%
Wants: 29
Gots: 130 | 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: 2,226 | Reviews: 774 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sethmeister

New Hampshire

3.85/5  rDev +4.3%

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

Hazy gold with off white head (1 finger) and slight lacing.

Bread and spicy hop scents waft from the glass. Grapefruit, citrus, floral. Very nice scent!

Taste is fresh bready malts with mild citrus and grapefruit hops. Mild bitterness. Fresh clean crisp taste. Though delicious, not a particularly complex or challenging beer.

Crisp, clean medium mouth feel. Nicely carbonated.

Drinkability is excellent; could enjoy several of these.

A delicious beer but not a particularly noteworthy one. I'd probably choose a Smuttynose Shoals Pale over this.

10-10-2008 00:59:35 | More by sethmeister
Photo of YankChef


3.68/5  rDev -0.3%

12 oz. bottle poured into a la fin du monde glass

Appearance: slightly hazy copper with some light ambery caramel tones.

Nose: Delightful the dry hopping really pulls through to give a big time hoppy flowery aroma

Taste: Reminiscent of SNPA but not nearly as hoppy, much more highly carbonated it really hits you in the nostrils almost with the high level of carbonation. Also not super complex.

Overall: A good beer no doubt and great for the style. For 11 bucks a 6 pack tho... I would rather go with the cheaper and in my opinion better sierra nevada pale ale.

10-09-2008 05:12:51 | More by YankChef
Photo of JohnGalt1


3.93/5  rDev +6.5%

12 oz from Aqsprint in our recent trade.. poured into my New Belgium snifter.

2 finger head.. dies back quick.. spotty lacing.. brew is a hop-hazed lite honey orange.

Aroma is American hops with a little bready pale malts.. citrus and some dough.. fairly enticing.

Flavor is more balanced toward the malt spectrum with still a fair amount of citrus hops.. crisp and pronounced.. smooth.. nothing is out of line.. yet nothing is too memorable.. good pale ale.. very drinkable.. inviting for sure.. just could probably use a little more complexity... body is lite-medium.. with smooth carbonation.. really a pretty good beer... I would buy it fairly regularly if it was available to me.


Good beer from a fantastic trade.. thanks Jon.

10-08-2008 08:23:30 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev +19.2%

A new addition to the cold case at Bottle King, Hillsdale. $8.99 a sixer, I don't see a freshness date on this bottle but it's certainly new here in North Jersey.

Served at just over fridge temperature in an imperial pint glass before a dinner of halibut with tartar sauce.

Appearance- I immediately take notice and love the obvious sediment in the bottle, and make sure to include it with a rough swirl on the pour. Murky, orangey gold in color... the head is moderate to light, also carrying a slightly orange hue. Solid lacing is evident.

Smell- Citrus and caramel are the two most prominent aromas here, at least at the outset. The dry hopping, definitely a plus here, offers a terrific whiff of orange and grapefruit.

Taste- Light, crisp, hoppy, and quite balanced... all the right measures of lightly toasty malts mesh with the floral and fruity hop flavors. The finishing bitterness, compliments of the dry hopping, is mellow and everlasting.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Too easy... in the best way possible. The light, borderline-watery entrance foams up just right, creating an airy slickness in texture. With this much balance and flavor, this drinks great by itself but would shine further with pizza.

09-25-2008 01:14:39 | More by yelterdow
Photo of kzoobrew


3.63/5  rDev -1.6%

golden orange in color with a bright white head. Head is big and pillowy with some very decent retention. Clingy lacing through out the glass.

Definite hop aroma in the nose. From a sweet citrus to grassy hop notes. Light bready malt balances the smell somewhat.

Very crisp and refreshing brew. Nice initial flavor but just does not hold up. Flavor seems to fade fast after every drink, just nothing left on the tongue.

Very crisp brew, lively carbonation does make this quite refreshing.
Light to medium body.

Very easy to drink.

I really wanted to like this beer. And I do, but it just leaves you wanting more. Alittle more longevity of the taste would go a long way.

09-20-2008 22:05:52 | More by kzoobrew
Photo of ColForbinBC

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

12oz bottle poured into a pint

Bright orange body sits underneath a thick, pillowy, bone white head. Gobs of sticky lacing are spattered all over the sides of my glass.

Grassy, citrus hops with a stale cracker-like malt backbone. Has a crisp, biting hop forward nose.

Taste mimics the nose. Crisp, faint citrus with grassy hops and a bitter, biting finish. Not overly bitter, but the flavor comes to a screeching halt. Very dry.

Creamy mouthfeel. Medium light body, nice carbonation. Lacks a lingering bitterness.

These are perfect for a nice warm day. Sessionable if not for that abv north of 5%.

09-17-2008 18:18:54 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev +11.1%

Very hazy orange body, topped by three fingers of big super sticky white froth.

Citrus aroma, lot of orange, with a bit of pine, enticing, maybe not subdued but not overpowering either.

Malt eventually gets a foothole, though it stumbles around some juicy citrus hops at first. The hops then rise up over the sweet stuff and shift the balance just a bit toward their side. Fairly clean finish.

Mouthfel is light-to-medium, with a solid body finish. Very easy drinking.

A classic style APA, the kind that gets overlooked in DIPA/IIPA/Need more and more hops frenzy of todays craft beer world. It won't rock your world, but makes a solid everyday craft brew.

09-15-2008 02:18:07 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of Bitterbill


3.63/5  rDev -1.6%

I got this bottle in a trade with jwc215. Thanks Joe!

It pours a hazy orange gold with a 1 finger head of foam. Great head retention and there's some lacing.

The smell has notes of caramel and earthy malt and some citrus hoppiness but overall, it's lightly done.

The taste has some weak malt presence, earthy and a touch of caramel, followed by a light citric hop bitterness that dominates mid palate on and through the finish. Hmm, this is a serviceable APA in taste but the overall flavours come across as very mild to me. If this was lower in abv, it would be a decent sessionable ale but at over 6%, I just expected more flavour and didn't get it.

Good medium mouthfeel here and the carbonation is fairly light.

Bottom line: A decent APA that looks good, smells good, tastes ok, has a pretty good mouthfeel, and is pretty drinkable. There you have it in a nutshell. ;^)

09-09-2008 22:23:48 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of cameraman


2.9/5  rDev -21.4%

An amber to light orange color, with an off white colored one inch head on top. A malty scent at the start, that is soon followed by a grassy and light citrusy aroma at the end. The atste is malty at the front, then the hops begin to come foward with grassy, earth, and grapefruit citrus flavors. The hop bitterness seems to fade very quickly, and it tastes as the malt is reasserting itself. A light to medium bodied feel, finishing light and dry on the palate. It is an easy to drink beer, with very good feel and good aroma. But, the taste was very lackluster and brings this beer down.

09-02-2008 16:16:58 | More by cameraman
Photo of Shumista


3.83/5  rDev +3.8%

12 oz. bottle poured into a clear plastic cup.

A- Pours a hazy dull orange with a small thin head that disappears quickly.
S- Lots of hops in the aroma and some sweet malt.
T- Citrusy hop bitterness followed by some sweet malt. The bitterness lingers in the aftertaste. Nothing groundbreaking but definitely a good APA. Also, this beer was not nearly as aggressive as the other beers that I have had from Founders, which tend to be much bigger in taste.
M- Creamy with good carbonation.
D- I could go through a 6 pack without much trouble I think.

09-02-2008 04:39:17 | More by Shumista
Photo of kmeves


3.03/5  rDev -17.9%

Pours a hazed golden with a small filmy off white head. Aroma is medium sweet with orange, light citrus biscuit malt. Flavor is orange, grapefruit and light caramel. Light astringency. Light to medium body, crisp texture. The astringency really detracts from the overall score of this beer.

08-27-2008 13:30:28 | More by kmeves
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

A: Poured a bright and vibrant orange color with a noticeable chill haze and a thin, frothy ivory capping that quickly dissipated. No visible carbonation was detected.

S: a fresh citrus hopping, moderate in strength, with some fresh pine and tangerines.

T: fresh tangerines, juicy grapefruit, pine and a nice floral hopping. The flavor however seems to thin out a bit midway through the sip but is thankfully saved by a smooth dry hopped finish.

M: A nice effervesce provides a slight tingle, smooth in texture with a light-medium viscosity along with a tangerine and pine hopping that is crisp on the finish.

D: Decent drinkability making for a good session. enjoyed it.

08-21-2008 22:59:55 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of AlexJ

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +5.7%

Lightly hazed pale yellow amber with an explosive off-white head. Once the severely overcarbonated brew settles a bit, the head remains with craggy, stiff peaks and incredible lacing.

Aroma is more on par with an IPA; strong citrus and floral hops with toffe and honey malts.

Flavor excellent, orange peel and pine meet crushed flowers drenched in honey malt.

Body super carbonated at first, but slick and creamy once settled a bit. Obviously something wrong w/ this bottle as per the excessive carbonation. But it tastes fresh and very tastey.

08-13-2008 22:19:53 | More by AlexJ
Photo of ElGrecoVerde


3.93/5  rDev +6.5%

Not sure if it was just a strange bottle, but I had to pour this one pretty aggressively to get anything out of it.

Smell and taste were but pleasant but mild. Neither innovative nor offensive. It did it's job as a beer, but didn't earn any extra credit. Sounds like my life in high school. Just do the work, go through the motions, and nothing more.

It was basically a tamed version of a floral, citrus flavored pale ale. I'm noticing a lot of the pales and IPAs from this region have and dry, bitter grapefruit tastes to them. That may sound bad, and I used to agree, but now I'm a fan. It really grows on you.

Felt a bit thin, as I expected from the pour, but again not bad. Went down easy. I certainly wouldn't mind having some more.

08-09-2008 22:31:07 | More by ElGrecoVerde
Photo of maximum12


3.23/5  rDev -12.5%

Pours yellow! Even a full-glass swirl, risking drippage, returns only slight malts & faint hoppy snorts.

Same taste. Malts & hops are in evidence, & for the first time I taste some biscuit, but very gentle. Easy to drink. Good summer beer, not terribly complex, goes down just fine.

08-07-2008 23:59:25 | More by maximum12
Photo of tayner


3.58/5  rDev -3%

12 oz stubby bottle

3 finger white sticky head tops a golden yello, slightly chill-hazed liquid with lots of carbonation bubbles.

smell was sweet malt and THEN some hops which, for a dry-hopped APA, surprised me the order of smells.

sweet, malty backbone with only a minimal hop finish. makes me wonder if this is normal or if this may be an older sample.

Finishes crisp and clean with plenty, maybe too much, carbonation.

easy to drink, finishes crisp and clean.

08-07-2008 18:45:43 | More by tayner
Photo of jasonjlewis


3.95/5  rDev +7%

pours a 1 1/8 finger head with a cloudy yellow orange color. Retention is fairly good and lasts for quite a while.

Smell is of cascades with some pale malts underneath.

Taste is of pale malts with a nice citrusy hop bitterness from the cascade hops. This beer is fairly simple with just a couple of ingredients and not a whole lot of complexity. Cascade hops are a good choice as they provide a sort citrusy grassy aroma with the bitterness.

The mouthfeel falls a little short. It is somewhat crisp, but is a little thin and slightly watery. It is a small flaw, but a flaw nevertheless.

This is a decent simple beer that I could make a session out of during the summer.

08-03-2008 22:46:38 | More by jasonjlewis
Photo of birchstick


4.15/5  rDev +12.5%

A - Poured yellow with a massive head.
S - Smells like an IPA due to the dry hops
T - Malty sweetness turns to a bitter hop ending. I found that the bitterness tuned down after the first couple of drinks.
MF - a bit thin and carbonated
D - This was a great dry-hopped pale ale. This was a bit bitter for me at first, but as it warmed it became quite tasty.

08-03-2008 00:21:11 | More by birchstick
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

Founders- Pale Ale

A- Slightly hazy orange with a thick billowy, heavy lacing head.
S- Buttery malt with doses of citrus rind and floral hops.
T- Thick sweet malt, buttery caramel with light citrus rind and floral hops.
M- Thick and sweet with a light mild dry finish. No carbonation.

Overall- Sweet and mild make this enjoyable and easy to drink a few before going out.

07-27-2008 22:44:29 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of klintok21


4.88/5  rDev +32.2%

Living in Grand Rapids, I get the luxury of getting this stuff right from the source (Along with all of their great brews). This is a very strong scented pale ale and is quite tasty, however I'm in a mix as to my favorite pale ale between this one and that of Magic Hat's #9. Anyhow if you see a bottle of this around it is sure to not disappoint, especially on a hot summer day! If your ever in Grand Rapids, Founder's brewery is a must on the trip!

07-24-2008 04:26:05 | More by klintok21
Photo of BEERchitect


3.93/5  rDev +6.5%

A nice Pale Ale that's probably more true-to-style than most that are put out these days. Not overly done, plain and simple: a dry beer with enough hop character to make you think whether it's balanced or dominant.

The nose is all citrus- grapefruit, orange zest, and lemon grass The spicy hops weaven in and out of the light caramel undertones from the malt. Lightly earthy with a mild fresh tobacco scent, shying just enough away from becommming catty or earthy.

Flavors are more balanced but with the hops still demanding attention at the tip of the tongue. Grapefruit and light pine taste give a zesty and fresh taste up front. Hops fade at mid palate, leaving way for the crisp graham cracker or animal cracker taste to balance the hop flavor and growing bitterness. The hop resins give a dry sensation in the finish but the malts give the last punch with an aftertaste of sweet breads. Still, light tobacco flavor rides along side of caramel malt sweetness.

Very well attenuated and very drinkable though maybe to the point of giving an impression of lightness or thinness. The dry finish accentuates the alcohols and suppresses what malt sugars are left.

I wouldn't call this beer an Extra Pale Ale but it tilts toward the more moderate or lighter end of the Pale Ale spectrum.

07-24-2008 01:53:14 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of Baileyuk


3.48/5  rDev -5.7%

golden color that was a little lighter than I was expecting. The head was good and lacing okay.

More malts than hops in the smell, there was not tonnes going on.

Taste was good, more bitter than the nose would suggest. Hop profile was still a little weak but definately more than the smell.

Carbonation was good and definately one that could be drubk again. I was okay with this one and would be okay with it again although I want to try others more.

07-24-2008 01:22:14 | More by Baileyuk
Photo of EStreet20

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

12 ounce bottle, 20 ounce "tulip" shaped pint glass.

A - Hazy golden amber hue. The head is a very small cap despite a fairly hard pour.

S - Nice hop aroma. Some grassy smell, along with some malt coming forward.

T - Pretty good, but a much more subdued flavor than I expected from any Founders product. Nice grassy hop taste, but it's not big and in your face, more subtle. Fairly well balanced with some sweet malt.

M - Nice light/medium body.

D - Pretty drinkable brew. Expecting more of an in your face taste. If I want a pale with a flavor this laid back I'm probably looking for a more sessionable brew than a 6.2% beer. Still it is easy to drink, just watch that ABV sneaking up.

07-22-2008 02:48:32 | More by EStreet20
Photo of thisisshsas


3.85/5  rDev +4.3%

A- a very hazy Bronze appearance, Is a much darker and hazier apearance than other APA's i've had.
S- rich in texture. It is easy to point out the citrus smell as well as the spice smell that the hops create. Enjoyable just to wiff.
T- Hoppy taste, a little woody too, but nothing overpowering.
M&D- fits well in the mouth, and goes down easy. Though not a beer with any particurly special qualities, every part is done well and is worth a purchase if you like the APA style.

07-18-2008 01:27:41 | More by thisisshsas
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev +4.3%

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.

07-17-2008 22:03:12 | More by Metalmonk
Founders Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 2,226 ratings.