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Founders Pale Ale - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Pale AleFounders Pale Ale

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2,457 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,457
Reviews: 788
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 11.68%
Wants: 37
Gots: 191 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002

100% Cascade hops.
35 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,457 | Reviews: 788 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of nickthetick
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear amber gold into an imperial pint with a half finger of off white head.

S: pale malt an orange hop character.

T: more pale malt right up front gives a sweet biscuit quality. Blood orange and lemon zest linger on the tongue.

MF: smooth medium body and a little crisp.

D: had to come to harrisburg to find a Founders beer but once they come to MD I can see myself buying this as much as SNPA.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Golden color with a tinge of copper and lightly hazy, giving off that unfiltered look. A small white head forms at first but fades fairly quickly, leaving just a few spots of lace and a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: The hops come to the forefront, with citrusy zest the most dominant. A touch of pine, and the pale malt presence is notable as well.

Taste: A strong dose of pale malt up front, then grapefruit, orange zest, and some light spicy pine hops. The finish is somewhat bitter.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel gets lost between smooth and grainy. There is a soft creaminess from the carbonation, which falls on the light side. The body is light to medium.

Drinkability: This would definitely be a welcome hopped up addition to a BBQ in the summer, but it does not quite find its place into my regular lineup.

Photo of CPeterson
3.53/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A -- A hazy golden ale that pours to a two finger head and settles into a mild froth with a moderate amount of lacing.

S -- Mild aromas of floral hops, citrus, and earth.

T -- Bready malts and earthy floral hops. Light notes of citrus peel and pine. Slightly bitter but well balanced.

M -- Mild dryness and slightly oily. Medium body and well carbonated.

D -- A nice pale, worth a try.

Photo of rarbring
3.98/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is hazy and brass colored, an off-white rather small and uneven head with some lacing.

The smell is lightly citric, lemon, grape, bitter oranges and some soapy pine needle presence.

The taste has a soft sweetness, white sugar, lemon and lime with a peel bitterness.

Medium carbonation, refreshing and with a rather straight body.

A good beer for a warm summer afternoon on the porch.

Photo of Lothore
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a hazy, orangey color with a 2 finger, off white head.

S- Citrusey hops, grapefruit, bready

T- Bready, lots of citrus fruit, somewhere in between a pale ale and an IPA.

M- Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

D- A very drinkable PA with a strong hop presence.

Photo of htomsirveaux
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle tried 12 Jul 2010. Served in the Sierra Nevada Celebration shaker pint.

Medium light yellowish head. Moderate carbonation. Cloudy orange color. Aroma is light, of lemons and peaches. Tangy lemon becomes somewhat bitter. Lightly aspiriny (why, why why?!?!). Becomes more astringently bitter towards the end. Tart lemony aftertaste. Medium body. Moderate ethanol.

Aspirin = suck.

Photo of Franz4
3.93/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a nice golden color with a very creamy head that settles to a thin tap. Unfiltered, very fine bits of sediment equally distributed throughout glass. Very nice unfiltered look.

S- Oranges and grass are dominant here, pleasant, but nothing too surprising.

T- Hops, hops, and more hops. Lemon/Orange up front, bitterness is subdued but noticeable. Finishes more lemon/grapefruit.

M- medium bodied, sediment is fine enough that it's not noticeable. High level of residual carbonation.

D- A very nice, accessible unfiltered pale ale, I'd pick this one up again, especially with some buffalo wings.

Photo of zoso1967
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pale Ale is served up looking like a top notch APA. It is medium amber with a bit of a bronze hue. It has a nice creamy head that has great retention and leaves crazy swaths of lace.

The aroma is a mélange of zesty citrus hops and smooth biscuity malt. Lemon zest and grapefruit are the dominant aromas, with just a hint of the malt.

The flavor is still quite hoppy, but the malt shines through a lot more with one of the craziest fresh biscuit characters that I think I have ever smelled. The grapefruit and zesty citrus are held up well by the malt backbone. Though this beer is pretty bitter, it comes off quite balanced.

The mouthfeel is medium with a very nice softness to it. Not quite smooth, but not spiky either. The finish is nice and dry, with some hops in the aftertaste.

This is a nice drinkable pale, but nothing too special. Definitely a solid beer by a great brewery, and one that I am glad I tried.

Photo of Phinner
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The dry hopping in this beer is a nice touch compared to other pale ales. A good beer with reasonable drinkability. Some may consider it too bitter for its style, but the perception of bitterness fades as more of it is consumed. I would buy this again.

Photo of tribepride
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing with luxbwin. Thanks to him for this and many other beers.

App - gold, a little cloudy. Thin head with great carbonation.
Smell - not a lot here. A good bit of citrusy hops and a hit of malt.
Taste - good hops at the front, not terribly strong making it a pretty good pale ale.
Drinkability - Very drinkable, but not the best pale ale I've had. That said, I'd drink it again for sure.

Photo of luxbwin
3.5/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brought this one back from ND after Christmas break, and I am enjoying it currently with Tribepride.
Appearance - I like the orange color; almost golden.
Smell - I can smell the hops, as advertised.
Drinkability - I enjoy this. I will definitely have this one in my fridge, and I will order it at a bar if it is in SD
Overall - I like this; it's not the best beer I have had, but I feel its a good beer to drink. This is the first Founders I have had, and I would like to try some more.
Serving: Poured from a bottle into a Saint Arnold's pint.

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.58/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange/tan in color. Even with a rough pour it didn't produce much head. Lacing was decent but presentation wasn't great.

Smelled of lemony pine hops with a lightly floral accent.

Taste was nice, but not super exciting. Very standard for the style, with a pretty balanced blend of hops, citrus, and malt background. I didn't detect grapefruit on this one, more of a lemony flavor.

Feel was a bit thin. Carbonation was decent and aftertaste was nice.

Drinks pretty easy but there are other more drinkable APAs. I'd always be happy to drink one but I probably wouldn't seek this one out. A bit dry, could have used a little more sweetness.

EDIT 11-11-11 had this one again, liked it a bit better the second time around. Bumped the overall half a point. I could taste a tinge of grapefruit on this round, overall I liked it a bit better than the first time.

Photo of tjsdomer2
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Ok foam, and good orange color as well.

Smell: Strong citrus and hops. Not really grassy or floral.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Citrusy and bitter hops. Not too malty. Strong flavor. A bit too thin for my taste.

Drinkability: Good flavor and not too heavy. Easy to drink.

Overall: A good pale ale.

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.68/5  rDev 0%
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%
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 +1.4%
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 +2.7%
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 -39.4%
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 +6.8%
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 +0.5%
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 +14.1%
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 -5.4%
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 +10.1%
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 -7.6%
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 +2.7%
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.

Founders Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 2,457 ratings.