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Founders Pale Ale - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Pale AleFounders Pale Ale

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2,487 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,487
Reviews: 795
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 11.41%
Wants: 38
Gots: 206 | 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: 2,487 | Reviews: 795 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gskitt
3.92/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very balanced APA. Pours a hazy amber, thin white head that does not last very long. Smells of flowers and has a fresh scent. Love the smell. Taste is of floral hops, balanced, slightly bitter, with a dry receding mouthfeel. Overall, a nice balanced APA. Founders rarely disappoints.

Photo of kjc51478
4.42/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Appearance is light orange and slightly hazy with light carbonation.

S: Aroma is orange/citrus and a distinctive floral character.

T: Taste is citrus moving into a mild breadiness; lemon hop bitterness is prevalent throughout.

M: Palate is remarkably dry giving it a rather bitter finish.

O: Just a wonderful APA.

Photo of dragonWhale
3.14/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From the great Michigan brewery..
Into the snifter it goes. A glorious orange, hazy, with sexy legs. Smells vaguely of some citrus and malt, not very exciting but there is a little going on. A quick hit of soft bitterness rolls into the malt and more or less dies. Little bit of citrus and pine hop flavor. Decent body, bitterness I'd like a bit more of. A little more hop presence too. Strange too that this is dryhopped. Not really getting that punch of aromatics out of this beer. Age?

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.14/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Captainren for the bottle.

12oz bottle poured into a Pint glass.
11.04.10 bottle date

A- Cloudy orange colored with a thin, off-white head that fades very quickly.

S- Citrus, floral, and malty.

T- Bitter orange and very floral.

D- Low carbonation, mild-slightly bitter after taste.

O- Overall ok, but may be due to how old it is.

Photo of grub
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

growler purchased at the brewery april 28/2011 and kept refrigerated. sampled may 6/2011.

pours deep yellow, not quite orange or amber, and showing just a touch of haze. a big cap of white head forms, dropping slowly and leaving tons of lace as it falls.

aroma is great. earthy, herbal, and lightly floral. not at all perfumey. touch woody. white bread and cracker. hint of biscuit. touch of alcohol. bit of grain. faint notes of citrus and pine, but the herbal/earthy combo seems to dominate. touch of caramel.

taste is nice. grain and toasty white bread. cracker. herbal and earthy. bit woody. light floral character. medium-low bitterness level. light alcohol. just a touch of buttery toffee.

mouthfeel is good. medium-light body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is good. nice balance. i'd like a more decidedly american hop presence, but i like it regardless. it's certainly not going to be mistaken for an english pale or an american ipa, so it's doing something right. one i've had many times before and will surely have many more. good stuff.

Photo of washburnkid
3.26/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Under a finger of off-white froth. Hazy golden and some sticky lacing. Citrus and a bit of weird sour earth...not sure how else to describe it. Taste falls a little flat. Bitter and floral, but it's nothing that makes me really excited. Mouthfeel is light and dry. Not the best beer coming out of Founders...I'd be hard-pressed to pick this one up over a Red's Rye.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy burnt amber, with no real large head. What was there faded quickly but left a film of gooey, drippy lace skimming on the top, lots of eddys and swirls rounding about on it. Deep dripping lace down the glass, and a bit of a bubble stream coming up from the bottom. Smell was big and strong. Big citrus players here, lots of orange and grapefruit. Very sweet smell, like orange sherbert or candy. Very nice and plesing to the nose, smells like it will be a winner. Taste struck me as odd, after all the sugary itrus in the smell, none really came through in the taste. There was a strong bitter hop presence, providing lots of IBU's however it was more of a pine,resiney type of hops, rather then the sweet candy orange that came through at first. Nice and crisp, clean, very dry and long lingering finish, leaving a taste of burntor raosted pine for several minutes after a sip. Goes down very smooth and clean, not overally carbonated, and not syrupy either.

Photo of kbutler1
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Poured into a NB tulip glass a clear honey, amber color with a 1 1/2 finger off white head. Subtle aroma of orange and grapefruit, not overly in your face but there. Semi sweet start with a nice transition to a light/medium level of bitterness. Ends rather crisply with some lingering bitterness. Nice lace. Medium mouthfeel. A tish more carbonated than I would prefer and ever so slighlty takes away from the flavors. No real trace of alcohol. Overall, I nicely balanced beer and easily drinkable.

Photo of beerprovedwright
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was really hoping for more, seeing this is one of my favorite breweries, but it is what it is. Poured in Sam Adams Perfect Pint, chilled, not frozen. One finger head of white, medium foam. Little broken lace, with little cling. Color is a 6 on the SRM beer color chart. Smell is high in roasted malt and some citrus. Taste is balanced, but lacking in real body. Flavor of roasted wheat, sweet barley, and citrus. Mouthfeel was somewhat creamy and had some zing, but just seemed to be missing something, just can not lay my tongue on it. Maybe I am in a off day or just got a bad bottle. I think there is better Founders APA out there, I just got a bad bottle....I hope.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.2/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint.

A: Standard pour yields a .5 finger foamy white head with poor retention. Collapses quickly into a thin film atop a slightly cloudy pale orange brew. Lacing is spotty with moderate stick. Average. Clarity could use a bit of work but everything else is on point.

S: Nose is subtle. Grass, pine cones, and tea leaves characterize the hop profile with a bit of cane sugar sweetness in the back. Pretty pedestrian.

T: Opens with a slightly grassy and piney hop bitterness. Tea leaves. Some citrus and cane sugar in the middle that stays constant, finally dissipating towards the end. Finish is a nice hop spiciness. Aftertaste is a mild, sticky, resiny hop bitterness. Very simple and easy drinking.

M: Light bodied and well carbonated. Lively and bubbly in the mouth and watery and prickly going down. Finish is slightly dry with a sticky, slightly lingering aftertaste. Really drinkable and refreshing.

O: The perfect summer day-drink for hours beer. Refreshing, light, simple, and crisp. Flavor could use a bit more character but overall, this is a solid example of its style.

Photo of greybeardloon
3.06/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled on March 18, 2011.

A: Cloudy orange with maybe a finger of head from a reasonable pour. The head receded quickly, leaving some lacing.

S: Some bready malts and a hint of butter. A very faint hoppy aroma. I had expected much more from a dry-hopped beer.

T: The flavor is pretty light--just a little malt. A touch of metal. Some pleasant grassy or herbal hop bitterness comes through at the end and lasts for a while, though. The aftertaste is the best part of this beer.

M: Thin, boardering on watery, but with lively carbonation.

O: I didn't find this beer offensive in any regard, but I also didn't find anything particularly interesting about it. I expected much more from the dry-hopping, which turned out not to have much effect. There is nothing in here that impedes drinkability, but there's also nothing that keeps you coming back for more. With so many tasty American pale ales out there, I don't think I will choose this again.

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

12 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass

a: bright orange and cloudy. Minimal head but was not an aggressive pour either.

s: faint, light citrus notes. smell is very subtle.

t: grapefruit at the front and then finishes sweet with a little malt.

Easy drinking! Go does extemely smooth. Nothing complex or overpowering about this, but hits the spot with a nice pale ale and could easily enjoy a couple of these on a sunny afternoon.

Photo of Illtryit
4.7/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a really good Pale Ale.

Pours an orange-gold and cloudy into my mug with the perfect one finger head which lingers for a few minutes and leaves the proper amount of lacing. Looks absolutely irresistable.

Has a very slight citrus smell and maybe some molasses in there too. Smells almost as good as it tastes.

This is the perfect pale ale. Full flavored, crisp carbonation, and a slight bitter aftertaste. Slight alcohol flavor. Very refreshing, very drinkable.

I think this is a home run for Founders (go figure). For a dry hopped pale ale, I've tasted none finer.

For those looking for a gateway beer, this could be the one. Try it, you wont be disappointed.

Photo of daledeee
3.68/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beers pours a bright but cloudy yellow orange.

Nose is hoppy.

Taste is pretty much all hops but not very complex. Hop profile is on the grapefruit side. There is sweetness in the back ground. The taste hits you at first but ends up being bland.

Mouth feel is goodly carbonated. I found the beer to be easy to drink and fresh tasting. A good example of the style.

Photo of AEK
2.75/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

355ml brown bottle poured SLOWLY into a Young's pint pot.

A. Straw coloured ale with a bubbly white head as tall as the Chrysler building. Whoah!! this beer seems way too lively. Highly carbonated judging by the amount of bubbles streaming up the beer.

S. Melon, grapefruit, a little floral and grassy. Lemon sherbet.

T. Lacking complexity. Not a lot to say here, fairly bland. I think I got a touch of citrus fruit but can't be sure.

M. Thin.

D. A poor pale ale indeed. I hope the other Founder's beers I have are better than this rather tasteless thin bodied ale. Have another one of these that I was going to save until the end of the year but it isn't worthy enough to save until Christmas/New Year. Did I really pay £7.56 for 2 bottles of this rubbish?!!!

Photo of BeerDawgs
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A hazy golden/blond color. Leaves a ton of foamy head and lace retention on the bottle. Some of the most head I have ever seen in a beer! There is sediment floating all around in the beer. I love that.

S - Hops. The aroma is mild, but it is fairly hoppy and not many malts come through.

T - Lemon and a light bitterness. Nothing jumps out. Just a tasty pale ale. But it packs a nice bite at the finish.

M - Alot of carbonation, but a nice smooth finish.

D - Very high. This is a nice tasty beer for a hot summer day. Very refreshing, and I could drink several of these in a row.

Photo of Brianjames16
3.77/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a hazy golden color with a one finger width white head. Some thin lacing sticks around on the glass.

S- Some slight bitter hop aromas with grapefruit and piney notes. I'm getting a more mild IPA aroma off this one. Some delicate flower like aromas.

T- Taste pretty much follows the aroma with a faint bitterness from the hops. Drinks like a more mild Founders IPA. This one is a very nice easy drinking beer.

M- Very light body with a nice refreshing crispness and clean finish. Very nice beer.

O- Very drinkable and great tasting. Founders has not let me down yet with any of there approaches. Cheers Founders !

Photo of bbkd3b
3.17/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

Hits the bottle with a pale, golden tone. The color lacks a little bit of brightness, and the lack of any head makes it look a little weak, but there's a nice amount of lacing.

Scent's very hoppy and flowery. Floral hops with a twist of citrus and a slight backbone of malt. Very pleasant.

Touches the palate very lightly. The malt presence is much more pronounced, but along with comes a big reduction in the hops. The flavor isn't anything to write home about, but when it shows up at the back end, the hops give a nice kick of enjoyable bitterness.

Light-but-not-watery body is made up for by a perfect amount of tingly carbonation. Very crisp and refreshing on the finish.

Not nearly the best pale ale I've had, unfortunately. I can see myself drinking this on a hot summer day, but not in many other situations. I love Founders, but mediocre is the best way to describe this beer, I think. Meh.

Photo of vfgccp
2.26/5  rDev -38.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Solid gold with a finely bubbled white head. Ok lace and retention.

S - Very light. Malt. Mild coriander.

T - Mildly soapy / lipid-like. Cardamom, coriander, light malt. Disappointingly one-note.

M - Light body with nice carbonation.

O - Surpising off-flavors. Possibly a bad bottle?

Photo of bamadog
3.83/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Not sure why it took me so long to get around to trying this one, but I finally did. Review is from notes taken on 4/5/2011 and poured from the bottle to a pint glass.

Appearance: Pour is a lemony/honey color and it starts with a near one finger, slightly off-white head that fades quickly to a thin and incomplete skim with a thicker ring around the surface; body is quite cloudy/hazy, but shows strong carbonation bubbling at different levels of strength throughout the glass; a few spots and strands of lacing are left behind.

Smell: Not quite as robust as I would like, but there's no dating code on the bottle so I'm not quite sure how old it is -- there's a bit of a floral hop presence to it, with a touch of a lemony citrus, but not much beyond that.

Taste: I would say that this is quite the quaffable beer - flavors aren't huge or overpowering or anything like that, but they're definitely solid; much like the smell, there's a bit of a floral hoppiness to it, as well as a touch of lemony citrus, perhaps some orange peel; a light toasty graininess is hiding out beneath that and helps add just a touch of bitterness to the already presence of the flavor from the hops.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is a touch sharp, and I wouldn't mind it being just a little bit softer; body is of light to medium/light in weight and it leaves a firm, semi-dry stickiness on the roof of the mouth; gums are left tingling from the stronger carbonation, as is the belly.

Overall: As mentioned earlier, a pretty easy drinking beer -- nice flavors that are pleasantly bitter and come across as refreshing and tasty without presenting anything to "think about." Moderately low ABV also makes it pretty easy to drink.

Photo of funkymuppet
3.95/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very nice, easy drink. Nice on the light malt flavor, and good level of bitterness. Nice coloring and fair head retention - kept alive to the bottom of the glass. Not much there in hop aroma - true to style (I note that it's 100% cascade). Great warm weather pint.

Photo of StoutHunter
3.46/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a single of Founders Pale Ale at the Lager Mill for $1.59. I have been meaning to try this beer for a while but I always found myself grabbing a seasonal or Dirty Bastard instead, so since this was on the singles shelf I decided to give it a try and see what I have been missing. The bottling date was mostly rubbed off but it looks to be from late November 2010. Poured from a stubby 12oz brown bottle into a pint glass.

A- I like the label on this beer, it is pretty clean and cool looking. This beer poured a nice clear golden yellow with a tint of orange. It had three fingers worth of fluffy white head that died down to a thick ring that left some nice lacing.

S- I pick up some pale malts that have some moderate sweetness. The pale malts and yeast also impart a nice bready aroma. It has a nice citrus hop aroma, I pick up some orange peel and lemon zest.

T- The pale malts up front give this beer a heavy biscuit flavor that is somewhat sweet, I haven't encountered this much in a pale ale. The citrus hops are there but seem muted and a fading, this must be attributed to its age. The finish is slightly dry and it still retained some nice bitterness.

M- Light bodied, crisp, and perfect carbonation.

Overall this was a good Pale Ale. This beer was pretty flavorful while still being very drinkable. This would make a good beer for the summer time when you are active in the outdoors. A lot of American Pale Ales tend to be very close to being an IPA, this one wasn't and I liked that. I don't think I would buy a six pack of this, but one at a restaurant with dinner would be nice. I think bell's pale ale is better but this one was good and would probably be better if it was fresh, I'll try and track down a fresher one and see if my opinion changes but for now Bell's is on top.

Photo of Gmann
3.57/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear pale copper color with a small white head that settles into a light ring. A bit disappointed in the head would expect it to big a little bigger for the style.

Typical APA aroma; light citrus hops with cereal grain sweetness. Light brown sugar and metallic notes.

Taste is much the same. More of a limey/grassy hop flavor to go along with the cereal grain. There is an overall fruitiness to the ale but it is rather average. Some asprin bitterness in the end.

Light with prickly carbonation, a bit sweet to start and finishes with a balancing bitterness. Very balanced and light.

Textbook APA, flavorful yet highly drinkable. Not the most flavorful APA out there, definitely could use a dash more of hops but not a bad everyday beer.

Photo of foogerd
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Sun kissed golden clear body, with a small white head which dies down to a thin film and leaves over speckles of lace.

S- Dried grain, leafy hops, citrus and cracked pines.

T- Light orange citrusy hops backed by a robust grainy malt bill. Some light sweetness I'd say a hint of honey.

M- Nice wet feel and moderate to high carbonation that gives it a refreshing feel.

O- Great beer if your weary of the highly hopped IPA's but still want some hops in your beer. This is a great brew to just quaff while sitting back and watching tv and would pair well with anything.

Photo of CooperEllis
3.25/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into .3l tulip

Meh. Prior to this I hadn't had any beer for a week. I would say that my palate was as 'clean' as it could get - and this was severly underwhelming.

Very little head (1/4") on top of a murky orange/amber body. Lacing sticks nicely to the edges of the glass.

Frankly, much more malt than hops. I understand this is 100% cascade dry hopped etc...but this wasn't evident in the flavor; more malt than hops.

Mouthfeel was fine - and overall this was a enjoyable, if a bit on the bland side. Not everything needs to be intense, but subtle layers or one prominent and well executed flavor would have greatly enhanced this ale.


Founders Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 2,487 ratings.