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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.

2,340 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,340
Reviews: 776
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 11.65%
Wants: 32
Gots: 157 | 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: 2,340 | Reviews: 776 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WYVYRN527
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours golden with a thick white head that settles to a thin film on the surface. There is some haze to this beer. Lacing is good, and head retention is decent.

S: Some sweet, caramel-like malt aroma up front, and then comes dry, floral, grassy hop notes.

T: A bit better than the smell. The sweet malt shines through in the beginning, but the hop profile is quite pleasant. Floral, grassy, and a touch of citrus, with a nice dry finish.

M: Light to medium bodied brew. A bit thin, but still quite refreshing.

D: Not my favorite beer from Founders, but overall pretty darn good. It's easy to drink, and quite sessionable.

WYVYRN527, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of THORN
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into pint glass. Stamped bottling date 10/22/2009. Served 40-45 F.
A: Hazy light orange brown. Pours thick white head. Retains very little head. A little bit of lace left around pint.
S: Sweet pale malts and fresh floral hops.
T: Pale malts, slightly sweet. Somewhat spicy, accented by crisp hops. Flavors fade away slowly.
M: Light on tongue.
D: Light and crisp, well balanced, and refreshing.

THORN, Dec 10, 2009
Photo of cagocubs
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an apple juice gold with a gigantic white foamy head. Head lingers and laces nicely. Great looking beer.

S: Smells real hoppy with citrus fruit and an earthy rose like smell. Pines and malt present as well. It's like laying in a meadow on a warm spring day. Smells real clean and crisp.

T: You get some of the taste that you smell in regards to the earthy tones, rose, and citrus. Fairly watery for the smell, this was suprising. Aftertaste is somewhat fruity and dry.

M: Watery, crisp, and light bodied.

D: The appearance and smell of this beer are amazing. The taste and mouthfeel are lacking. I would choose Founders Centenial IPA over their Pale Ale.

cagocubs, Dec 10, 2009
Photo of bbeane
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a 16oz tumbler... very nice 3/4 inch white head that with very good retention and nice lacing. Beer is a typical amber color, maybe a bit lighter, with some sediment

S- Not a whole lot going on... subtle hoppiness and sweetness

T- Starts with an ever so little amount of sweetness, than turns a bit hoppy, and finishes dry and bitter

M- Watery, lighter in body with light carbonation

D- Not very complex, but tasty... at 5.2%, almost or somewhat sessionable


bbeane, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of morimech
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden color with two inches of white head that sits perfectly in the glass. The head had excellant retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. Nice hoppy aroma with citrus and floral hints. Also hints of bready malt. The flavor also is hop centric. The hop flavors consist of oranges and pineapple. The malt has a little toasted element that helps balance things out. Bitterness is moderate. A nice refreshing flavor and it finishes clean. Medium body and nice carbonatin for a pale ale. A very drinkable APA but not sure if it is worth Founders prices. I like the low ABV as well so it is sessionable.

morimech, Dec 04, 2009
Photo of Pedro07
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Took home a growler of this stuff last night after a visit to the brewery. I've had this beer before a lot, but never have reviewed it.

A- Pours a nice deep golden color with a 3/4 white head rising, then slowly falling. Moderate lacing is left on the glass.

S- Better smell than most APA's. I get hops and a little piney note, not so much citrus. There is some earthy spiciness that I can't identify.

T- Very balanced, but there is a nice hoppy element. I can taste some pine needles and grassiness, maybe a hint of oranges. The hops linger on your palate...mmmm.

M- Very good. If a beer is advertised as an ale, it's a good idea to have the mouthfeel of one. One of my biggest pet peeves is getting a watery "ale".

D- Oh yes, session beer to the definition.

Getcha some.

Pedro07, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of homebrewhawk
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle served in a shaker pint. Poured a slightly hazy gold with a sparse white head. Pretty subdued aroma of citrusy hops and some carmel malt. Solid malt base to this one with a crisp hop bite, but not a whole lot of bitterness. On the lighter side of medium body. Nice lingering dry finish from the hops, but not a mouth puckerer. Very drinkable, a solid Pale Ale.

homebrewhawk, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of hooliganlife
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pour was light bright yellow with hints of orange, fairly murky.

light floral and citrus hops. bits of pineapple.

very malty, huge malts. light floral and bitter piny hops blend with the malts to add a little something extra. strong bitter aftertaste

medium carbonation, a bit of bite, nice body

a very easy drinking pale ale although it has a bit more flavor than most pale ales. this is quite drinkable

hooliganlife, Nov 10, 2009
Photo of Buebie
3.78/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a single with the new pry cap, no more twist offs.
Poured into a pub glass off a rigorous pour, producing little head. No lace is left behind and a smallish collar of retention is left.
Faint haze to this, but mostly transparent.

Aroma is unimpressive, mild floral hop aroma and malt, some caramel and breadyness but really a subdued aroma for one that is dry hopped.

Hop forward in flavors though which is a nice change from aroma. Bittering hops up front, mixing with pine and mild rind peel, some malt comes through creating nice balance. Through the middle is great fresh grain flavors, cereal like bordering husky but not crossing the line.
Finishing crisp and mild bitter linger and a little bit of aspirin.
A good clean beer all around. This could use oomph in aroma and maybe some flaked barley for a bit more foam presence and longer lasting head.

Buebie, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of adamette
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the tap at the brewery yesterday during my visit there into a clean, clear pint glass.

A Yellow orange slightly cloudy body with little head. 3.5

S Light malt, barley with very little hops. 3.5

T Light malt, barley taste with somewhat larger hops presence than the smell suggested. A very soild Pale Ale and not weak like many I have tasted. 4.0

M Light feel with minimal syrupy stickiness, "goes down" very easily. 3.5

D Very good and I believe that this is the main point. 4.5

adamette, Oct 19, 2009
Photo of dfillius
4.55/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass. Bottle 4/23/09, enjoyued 8/13/09
A: Aggressive pour yields 2/3 finger thight white head with great retention. Chill hazy orange straw colored liquid. Pretty.
S: Man Candy! Pineapple, orange, grapefruit. Simcoe and Centennial? Slight hint of malt, whiff of aspirin.
T: Well rounded and balanced with a prick of bitterness finishing. Piney hop, bready malt with some buttered toast flavor. Twinge of fruity alcohol. Solid, tasty beer.
M: Sharp bitterness is slightly puckering
D: Session beer that has big hop aroma and well balanced flavor. I would order another and buy a sixer.

dfillius, Oct 18, 2009
Photo of heliosphann
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz squat bottle with a Pry-off cap. About a month from the bottling date. Served in a Pint glass.

A: Very thin layer of sketchy foam. Pours a fairly clear orange. Lacing is not bad for a Pale.

S: Crisp, floral hops up front along with some breadiness and grains. Some faint malts and sweetness are also present.

T: Light grassy hops are paired nicely with some solid maltiness. A little sweetness is also detectable, and some hop bitterness on the finish.

M: Light/Medium bodied. Carbonation feels spot on.

D: Just like it should, this beer drinks quite nicely. You could session these very easily at 5.2%. The slight bitterness on the finish might impede drinking too many though.

Another solid offering from Founders. I'm not the biggest fan of Pale Ale's, but I wouldn't mind drinking a few of these in a pinch.

heliosphann, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of projectflam86
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a nice golden orange color with a thick white foam head that leaves some nice lacing.

S- A fairly large amount of hoppy aroma with some citrus and pine scents. A decent roasted malt undertone is noticeable as well.

T- Crisp hoppy bitterness initially with grapefruit, pine, orange, and light floral flavor. A bit of caramel malt flavor is present in the finish helping to balance this brew nicely.

M- Light/medium body with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Really easy drinking brew that I would consider having around often.

projectflam86, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of kbeals
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review number 100!

A- Served in an imperial pint glass it appears a bright amber/orange color. A solid two fingers of head sits atop the beer. Great head retention and lacing.

S- Citrusy hops, and that's about it, no real malt bill is detected.

T- The malt bill shows up here a little bit. A lightly sweet start followed by a hoppy bitterness. Ends slightly dry, but overall pretty pleasing.

M- Light bodied, very crisp feel like other pale ales. Plenty of carbonation.

D- Pretty drinkable due to the light body and lower ABV.

Overall, a pretty standard pale ale, not the best one I've had but it is good. I would buy it again.

kbeals, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of jera1350
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deeper golden yellow color with a thin layer and ring of foam.

Nose is like a lighter version of Centennial IPA backed by some grain. A little zestiness.

A nice lighter piney hop flavor with a good amount of malt. Again, reminds me of a lighter Centennial.

Nice active mouthfeel. A little more than light bodied. Crisp and clean with a dry finish.

This would make an outstanding session beer. I could easily make a night of these. Solid pale ale from a solid company.

jera1350, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of MrMonkey
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright but slightly hazy golden amber with a steady stream of carbonation rising up. A one-finger off-white head fades slowly to a thin cap.

Strong smell of orange zest as soon as the cap is off. After pouring, there's some pale malts and toasted bread crusts, along with some floral, grassy notes.

Taste begins with pale malts and bread crust up front, and finishes rather dry and bitter. Citrus notes that are evident in the nose are missing in the taste, with the hops being mostly grassy.

Medium-bodied, crisp mouthfeel.

Drinkable, and a pretty good session beer.

MrMonkey, Aug 22, 2009
Photo of russpowell
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up in NC about 45 days ago, review based on notes:

Pours a semi-hazed apricot with 2 fingers of beige head. Above average head retention & lacing

S: Grassy & floral hops, orange peels & biscuitty malt

T: Floral hops, dryness & biscuitty malt, plus lemony hops up front. Dryness & slight apricot fruittyness, plus grapefruit, as this warms. finishes with citric hops & grainyness

MF: Medium bodied with soft carbonation & good balance

Drinks pretty easy, but had higher expectations for this one, especially since it was about $11 a sixer, came back to Mizzou & found other Founders for $8.50, not cool...

russpowell, Aug 13, 2009
Photo of kegger22
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured amber with a generous head with some staying power. Aroma was a nice, solid citrus. The taste fell a little short of the mark though. While I normally applaud the lack of bitterness, in this case, it would have aided a rather bland flavor. The feel is OK, nothing special here. Drinkability goes up on a hot, humid day.

kegger22, Aug 04, 2009
Photo of malty
4.18/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Re-reviewing this old friend (actually this is probably only 6-8 wks. old).

Poured into my nonic 'Bass Ale" pint glass a slightly hazy muted gold/light copper color with a blossoming loose/dense 1 1/2" head. Lots of visible carbonation rushing upward. Thick globular rings of bulging lace all the way down.

Fresh & fruity lovely hop aroma that glides across the nostril hairs and livens up the soul. Light concord grape notes with a hint of crusty sourdough bread.

The flavors are supremely well-balanced and very simple; bitter & fruity hops (albeit a bit more perfumy in flavor when compared to the 'fruity' nose). The malts are extra soft and play a nice supporting roll to the friendly hop host.

Mouthfeel is superb. Very finely carbonated at an above average level. Airy, playful and a tad prickly. On the lighter side of medium bodied. Zesty, chalky/bitter flavorful finish.

Drinkability is killer. Thia beer is so good al by itself and very versitile with a bevy of food choices. You sure can quaff this sucker.

Overall a solid, simple and satisfying brew that I appreciate even more, now that I've been enjoying it for almost 7-8 years. A great non-thinking beer for all beer lovers. Just enough chalky dry bitterness you'd expect from an American Pale Ale with an ample amount of fresh hoppy flavor & bite. Quenching and very easy to drink.


Served from a 12 oz. twist-off brown bottle. No freshness date.

Pours a light clear copper color w/ fine yeast suspension.Nice 1 inch white head that has staying power.

The nose is a bit timid with floral & perfumey fruit notes, but not much else.

Nice dose of quenching dry hop and a (little bit of) pizza dough-like maltiness. Somewhat sharp and very dry hop character. Citrus fruit tanginess stays nicley mingled with the (again) dry hop finish.

Mouthfeel is finely carbonated with a light-med body that's crisp & slightly oily.

A good hand crafted pale ale that would be an excellent choice for first-timers. This ale's biterness/dryness sure keeps you thirsty!

malty, Aug 02, 2009
Photo of rtratzlaff
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy light peach hued beer with a massive 1" thick white foamy head. The aromas are strongly citrus hop characters of the Cascade hops. The flavor is less bitter than expected with a sweetened grapefruit flavor. Fluffy mouthfeel with plenty of carbonation. This is a tasty example of a good dry-hopped APA.

rtratzlaff, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of bfields4
3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy pale golden color. Has a small head that quickly dissipates.

Hoppy light citrus smells nice sweet almost honey maltyness.

Pale grains with a slightly bitter taste. Also a fruity ester twang from the yeast.

The carbonation is a bit much. Not a bad beer just really didn't do it for me.

bfields4, Jul 18, 2009
Photo of sweemzander
4.45/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. No bottled date.

(A)- Pours a cloudy orange hue color. 3+ finger head dissipated after a minute or so to a 2 finger head of some of the thickest white foam I have seen in awhile. Sticky lacing all over the place in the glass.

(S)- Tons of citrus on the nose: Lemon, lime, grapefruit, and even a touch of pineapple. Light hints of hoppy pine.

(T)- Delicate citrus flavors (like above mentioned) combined with a nice light hoppy dryness. Light malts detected in the background. Kinda creamy on the finish.

(M)- Light-bodied. Smooth, crisp, creamy, and balanced ridiculously well all-around. Carbonation level is spot on. Overall, a rather delicate and intricate beer.

(D)- If you are looking for awesome balance in a Pale Ale, then this is it. Not overpowering in any direction. Its on the lighter side strength-wise. Superb citrus, hops, and creamy mouthfeel. An overall winner in my book for drinkability. A 6pk would not last long. Its also interesting to note that they used 100% Cascade hops in this beer.

sweemzander, Jul 13, 2009
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
Founders Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 2,340 ratings.