Founders Pale Ale - Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Pale AleFounders Pale Ale

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2,424 Ratings
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Ratings: 2,424
Reviews: 781
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 11.65%
Wants: 36
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: 2,424 | Reviews: 781 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of cdkrenz
3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Thick hazy pale copper colored body. Her head is frothy and stark white standing a couple inches tall. Very nice lacing too.

S - Great aroma of citrus hops offer a quite inviting offer.

T - Bitterness is prevalent and not all that flavorful. I have to admit it leaves a bit for desire.

M - The feel is slightly sticky with a moderately coarse texture throughout.

~ Overall this is a brew I would really like to like. Founders is a great brewery and deserves every benefit of the doubt, seeing as they've earned it with the lineup of every other beer they brew being so solid. I'm going to give this beer an average rating overall. However, don not let this sway you from sampling others they have created for our consuming pleasure.

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

355ml bottle bought online from

Poured a light golden yellow colour... Slightly off white head poured fairly foamy then faded quite quickly to light layer.. fair amount of carbonation... some light patchy lacing...

Aroma - Light biscuity malts, vanilla hints, grassy, nice honey sweetness, some light lemon notes, grapefuit, tobacco notes, sea saltiness, spicy / pepperiness, some floral and pine hops...

Taste - Light spicy / grassy hops, strong tobacco notes, earthy, some light biscuity malts, definite honey sweetness, peppery notes, floral, some creamy vanilla, light fruits (lemons, apricots, grapefruits)...

Feel - Pretty smooth... Light bodied. Very drinkable and refreshing - a nice summer, thirst quenching, beer...

Overall - A pretty good beer... nothing too exciting but very drinkable.... certainly worth a try...

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A- pours a light shade of amber/orange...almost yellow with a really weak one finger white head that fades quickly. No lacing, either

S- very weak citrus hops. Not a whole lot of anything going on here...which is shocking considering the company

T- nice piney bite to start...finish is of citrus. Pretty muted, albeit nice tasting

M- really nice body, has a little bit of thickness to it.

D- easy drinking, solid pale ale.

Photo of mwagner1018
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a slightly hazy rusted orange copper color, with a nice thick 2 fingers of creamy white head. Significant layered lacing down the glass.

S- Grapefruit, mandarin orange note, light strawberry, the dry hopping comes through with a floral hoppy spicy finish.

T- Good marmalade character, with a good toasty caramel praline malt, followed by a nice clean citrus grapefruity bitterness. Love the Cascade hops in this, they really shine, and match well with the light malt note.

M- Light medium body, dry bitter finish, good character.

D- Crisp and refreshing, dry spicy, hoppy finish, nice balance at 5.4% alcohol.

3.85/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into pint glass.
A: Pours a nice white foamy head that sticks to the glass with a nice lacing and retreats to a nice layer on top. Body color is a light amber, with a touch of green when held up to the light.
S: A bright, dry hopped aroma, with a touch of sweetness. A strange aroma of drying glue is found.
T/M: A dry mouthfeel of hop resin is on the front. A touch of a medicinal finish. Earthy hops are nicely backed by a distant malt backbone. A bit light on the flavor profile, but still what is found is quality.
D: A nice flavor profile, but still a easy drinking brew. Flavors on the lighter side, but still good lingering tastes.

Photo of jampics2
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Looks decent in the glass. Bright orange with poor head retention. But good color and overall look.

Smell is of caramel malt and flowery hops with some grapefruit and citrus. Kind of one dimensional and not as expressive as I'd expect from a beer touting dry hops.

Taste is of pale malt and slightly sweet caramel, plus a touch of hoppy floweriness and grapefruit. Not too expressive or pronounced. Just basic, one-dimensional taste. Pleasant, but no where up there with the best in the genre.

Mouthfeel is ok, but the carb is too high for me, it's distracting. This beer is average for Founders, but better than many others. Enjoyable but I like more interesting and expressive flavors in an APA.

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

12oz bottle extra good lookin out nopucophop

A: poured a pale straw yellow with orange highlights that had a finger of head and left almost no lacing sticking to the glass.

S: I definitely got some cascade hops that were not that potent with hints of grains, sweet malts, and citrus notes.there was also a little tangerine as well.

T: the cascade hops were more potent on the palate with citrus character that brought out the bitterness. The malts did bring out some sweetnes but was not overpowering the hops; nice hop bite.

M: the brew was medium body with a fair amount of tingly carbonation that had a citric slight sweet but hop bitter crisp finish.

D: it was a very drinkable pal ale that had a good hop bite for the style. I wish pale ale's were as punchy as this one .

Photo of NODAK
2.35/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Nose has a lot of grapefruit hops on it...dry, clean. Straight forward.

Carbonation is very spritzy, to the point of being a distraction to me. Taste is...well...very hoppy as compared to what I'd have expected for style. Loads of aggressive grapefruit hops assert themselves early and often in this beer. There's a bready malty note on the backend, and that's all I get for balance. Astringent citrus peel bitterness remains during and after the swallow.

For me, this isn't high up on the list of APA's I enjoy. I find it just too aggressive and unbalanced.

Photo of robert7072
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a pint glass
A light clear gold color with a halph finger foamy head this offering from the tape has hoppy flavor with some bitterness , crisp and refreshing
It was very easy to drink, this beer has good feel

Photo of bobhits
2.6/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Two finger white head. a golden honey like color. Not much to talk about there

Faint hop aroma, not much going on here. My stone levitation glass is failing me one creating a nose for this one.

Well looks a aroma are really pointless so lets get to the important stuff. This is tasty beer. A nice kiss of malt to start finishing with a tame hoppy finish. Look it's an apa with a bit of dry already know where this one is going. 35 ibu's and they work darn well here.

You can certainly drink this beer without a problem

could use some more carbonation but it isn't needed. Thin in body but plenty of flavor.

Bottom line, I love this style and this is a very tasty beer. That said there's countless better examples of the style. This is at best average and perhaps a hair under average for the style. I love living in a world where this is average though!

Photo of ne0m00re
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

07/03/10- Had this one on-tap at St. James.
A: Dark golden honey with a nice creamy head.
S: Tangerine, leafy/piney hops, mild aroma that is slightly yeasty, very good.
T: Orange juice, bitter apple cores, lingering dry bite, mild yeasty bread.
M: Smooth start with nice carbonation and a crisp finish.
D: Very good.

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

12oz bottle split with oglmcdgl, been about two years since I had this one.

A- Bright golden with some light bronze spots with a thin but sustainable cap that stuck to the glass in theory.

S- Smell is kinda bland for a Founders but this is a APA so it's not supposed to be mad bold. The bottle is fresh by the way. Scents of faded grapefruit and papaya with a small sweet malt kick. Some earth in the distance.

T- Starts off earthy and slightly tropical but overall it's pretty much earthy with those type of hops with some grapefruit and a small malt bill. It's just not all that large, but it is rather tasty. The pale malts seem to steal the show in this after time.

MD- The feel is a step above thin with a crisp carb going for it. Finishes on the dry side leaving you wanting more, so this is pretty drinkable considering the taste could be amped up. Not my favorite but for sure worthy.

Photo of SeasonalBrew
3.28/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured into a standard pint glass, the beer appears a light gold in color with two fingers of white head and lots of racing carbonation. Retention is great and lacing is decent, as well.

S: The nose is weak. Honestly, to me it smells like a slightly hoppy Bud Light. Weak malts and hops. Very slight citrus notes.

T: Although the IBUs aren't very high, the hops are upfront. Malts form a weak backbone. There are so citrus notes in the finish, at least. Overall, just not very impressed.

M: Great carbonation with a light to medium body.

D: It goes down easy, but I was extremely underwhelmed by it. Maybe it's because with Founders you expect nothing but the best. The worst Founders beer I have consumed so far.

Photo of oglmcdgl
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Me and b on the late night bottle tip.

A- a finger of white eggshell head from a steady pour. Bright and glowing orange yellow in color

S- vegetative and citrusy hops. Pale malt sweetness. Hint of fruitiness.

T- bitter grapefruit and a hint of pine. Pale slightly sweet malts. Powdery biscuits. Almost minty at times.

M- light body a bit high then medium carb.

D- nice stuff for a warm day. Boldly hopped and rather refreshing.

Photo of claminat420
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- poured a slight transparent copper with a frothy white head. medium to heavy lacing. commercial quality.

S- some pale and light caramel malt. a slight floral and citrus hop aroma. alil fruity smelling.

T- just how it smells.

M- light/ medium bodied. good carbonation.

D- a 6 pack can be knocked out no problem.

Overall- being much more of an ipa (india pale ale) fan this apa (american pale ale) was pretty hitting the bill. anyone who comes into this brew expecting a hop bomb you will be dissapointed. for the style (i'm not usually a fan of) this brew his the mark and maybe down the road when i'm in the mood for another apa this one will be top choice.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Porter in Atlanta.

Pours a slightly hazy light copper color with a half-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of sweet pale malts with solid amounts of citrus and floral hop aromas with lighter amounts of tropical fruit hops.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Smooth and light pale malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by solid amounts of citrus and lighter amounts of tropical fruit hop flavors. The hops carry through to a moderately bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with smooth carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall this as a light and easy-drinking beer with a nice hop presence. Worth a shot.

Photo of Chico1985
4.15/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Smith's Billiards.

Pours a bright, hazy orange. Small white head turns to a swirly cap, leaves a bit of lacing.

Smell is nice, pretty standard for a pale ale, citrus and earth and pale malt.

Taste is great, pretty hoppy and bitter for the style but balanced good overall. Light citrus, floral and grassy hops, caramel and bready malt backbone. Really no complaints.

Mouthfeel is very nice and creamy. Not overly bitter, quite refreshing, drinkable and flavorful.

I've never had it out of the bottle, but on-tap this was great. Founders nailed this one. Comparable to Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in my opinion.

Photo of Brez07
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. Bottled 4/22/10

A: Golden pour with some visible carbonation. There is a 1 finger white head that dissipates into a thin layer. Spectacular lacing at the top of the glass, but that's it

S: Grass, pine, some light fruit. Occasional floral notes. Small but appealing nose

T: Fair amount of bitterness and pine. Some grass and just a hint of grapefruit

M: Light, good carbonation. Seemingly just the right amount of bitterness

D: Very easy drinking, refreshing beer. Could drink multiple of these in a sitting. Very solid

Photo of elgiacomo
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottled June 10, 2010.

Pours hazy gold with a one finger foamy head that quickly diminishes to a light cap, leaves a few spots of lacing.

Aroma is floral and earthy hops, some citrus, yeast, mild overall strength.

Flavor features a good amount of citrus bitterness, some earthy hops, a bit musty, mild malt sweetness in the middle, good bitterness toward the end and finishes dry.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, a bit oily, low carbonation.

Nice, hoppy, refreshing Pale Ale.

Photo of kjyost
4.05/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an undated bottle into a beer glass.

A: More golden than expected, but the big knocks are the lack of lacing, head retention and the surprising amount of floaters in the glass

S: Very nice for a pale ale. Seems like American 'C' hops with a bit of bread underneath

T: Dominated by the hop flavours with a bit of sweetness and bread.

M: Crisp, maybe a little too effervescent

D: Enjoyable. Went down a little too quick. Better than most so-called pale ales I've had.

Founders Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 2,424 ratings.