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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.

2,269 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,269
Reviews: 774
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 11.38%
Wants: 29
Gots: 141 | 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: 2,269 | Reviews: 774 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of TexIndy
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%

Poured from a 12oz bottle that I brought back from Indy. The front label had a notch in the lower right corner but no info here or the website on what that means. It was a hazy light honey color. Plenty of carbonation and a tad bit of lacing. It had a good sized white head that settled to broken foam and a collar.

The aroma citrus hops and weak tea. Just didn't grab me like other APA's that I've had recently. The taste was also just alright. The hops were there but weak. Tasted watered down.

Overall, an OK beer from a great brewery. Grab something else from them unless you are just trying to expand what you've had from them. One and done for me.

TexIndy, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of Grandwazoo
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%

Cloudy golden yellow with no head to speak of.

Light lemon-citrus and tea aroma with mild spice and cinnamon-apple.

Dry hops flavor throughout with a little honey sweetness pushing through in the beginning and a little citrus sourness at the end to balance the hops dryness.

Not a ton of flavor, but still very full in the mouth and quite drinkable.

Grandwazoo, Jan 19, 2009
Photo of tigg924
2.9/5  rDev -21.4%

Appearance: cloudy, orange yellow, small head

Smell: hoppy, soap, and grapefruit

Taste: big hops, grapefruit, and small cantaloupe

Mouthfeel: bitter, smooth, and a sour finish

Drinkability: This to me tasted like an average pale ale...This is very representative of the style, but I do not think it excels...I will not be buying this again.

tigg924, Jan 19, 2009
Photo of AltBock
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%

Stubby 12 oz. bottle with a classic label. This classic label depicts a golden blonde woman with a pink leaf hat and a long golden dress in front of a big red shield shaped object. In front of this woman is a huge stock of barley. She's motioning with her hands and eyes that she absolutely loves this barley stock and can't live with out it. Over this picture in bold light pink letters is the words "Pale Ale." Founders has a notch system and this label was notched in between the middle and the far right hand corner. What does it mean? I have no clue.

When poured into a DFH pint glass, this Pale Ale was an extremely hazy golden orange color. If it wasn't for the haziness, the color of the beer would have matched the woman's hair color perfectly. It was hazy because of all the hop particles floating around. I'm not complaining. After the great color, it's hard for me to say that the head of foam was disappointing. At the height of foam, all it was a 1/4 of an inch head of white foam. Even though it was just a small skim of foam, it had good retention that left behind a string of foamy white rings and 3 spots of white lace.

The aroma was on the light side. It takes a lot of swirling to wake up the aroma. It was light, but it featured a big whiff of ruby red grapefruit. Everything after the grapefruit was subtle. The subtle aroma consisted of bitter citrus hops and toasted malts. Not a bad aroma, but far too light for my liking.

The taste loved the grapefruit as much as the aroma loved it. It started off with a subtle touch of toasted malts and then like a flash of lightning, in comes the ruby red grapefruit. it was then where the ruby red grapefruit took over the taste. It made every other flavor subtle. Following the huge taste of grapefruit was some dry and bitter citrus hops and a splash of lemon peel. In the end, this was a nice ruby red grapefruit based Pale Ale.

This was a medium bodied Pale Ale with a mild aftertaste of ruby red grapefruit, a pinch of citrus hops, and a splash of lemon peel. The ruby red grapefruit taste lingered on for a little bit before it skipped out.

Not a bad Pale Ale at all. It was a bit too heavy of the ruby red grapefruit. That's fine and dandy, but only if there were more flavors backing it up. If it would have increased the citrus hops, I probably would have liked this beer more. I could possibly see this as a session Pale Ale. Not for me though. Too much grapefruit and not enough of anything else. Since it's brewed by Founders, it's worth a shot.

AltBock, Jan 16, 2009
Photo of ffejherb
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%

12oz. bottle into DFH specialty glass on 1/13/09.

A - Poured a fairly clear amber/orange body, just a tad hazy and gritty, with ample carbonation and about a finger's width of foamy white head that settled into a quarter inch of bubbly retention and left swatches of sticky lace around the glass.

S - Apparent dry-hopped aroma up front with leafy, earthy hops and a bit of citrus and spices to round out the hop profile. Malt character is a little more muted with hints of toasted grains and wheat bread.

T - The malt character seems to dominate the flavor here, with a healthy dose of grainy malt and bready notes. However, the hops soon emerge with an earthy, leafy and woody character with a dash of spiciness. A bit of citrus tang also sneaks its way into the party and provides a nice contrast to the otherwise earthy hop quality.

M - Light to medium body with a slight syrupy texture and medium carbonation. Finishes with a moderate bitterness on the palate, more than I would have expected for just a pale ale.

D - This brew is certainly tasty enough and delivers a bit more flavor than your everyday pale ale thanks to the generous dry hopping. Solid offering from Founders indeed.

Brewslut's Quote of the Day:
"I smell chocolate... it's the very first thing I smell."

ffejherb, Jan 14, 2009
Photo of orangemoustache
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%

Pours a hazed orange with a small bone colored head that is both thin and in hurry to retreat leaving very little remnants of its short life. The nose reminds me of graham crackers and citrus,more citrus than anything else. This tastes dirty to me and I kind of like it. A good balance of malt and hops as it should be. Founders PA leans heavily on the malt in this offering, some citrus hop shines through, just not quite enough for me to put this up there with my favorites. This has a solid quality taste none the less. The body was the biggest let down for me. Thin and not nearly as creamy as I would hope for, losing almost all its carbonation after a couple swirls of my snifter. I may be being a little bit too critical, I just expected something a little more on the edgier side of the style. Still a good grab in the mix-a-six, not nearly as good as their Centennial IPA.

orangemoustache, Jan 13, 2009
Photo of bawoof
2.35/5  rDev -36.3%

I was somewhat disappointed in this ale from Founders. I find most of the ales they produce to be outstanding. I will skip this one next time and grab a Red's Rye or a Centennial IPA. This is one of the best Midwest brewers that I have tried and wish them success. Have you tried their Backwoods Bastard Ale?...

bawoof, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of bigkahunas4
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into an SA lager glass.

Pours a cloudy straw body with a white finger head - which dissipates quickly to a filmn. Some pretty sticky, and suddy lacing. Nose is medium strong, picking up wheat bread, grain, sweat sugar, and faint hops. Not expected, but very nice.

This light bodies brew first throws some bubbly on your tongue. Flavors are pretty muted, but sweet grains are prominent, bready malts, followed by a lager tasting finish. Hops are basically non-existent. This obviously isn't very fresh.

So kids - when you let this one sit, it turns into a nice light lager with some sweet flavoring. Not what Founders is intending for - but turns to be a decent tasting brew.

bigkahunas4, Jan 09, 2009
Photo of trbergman
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A - Pale golden color, cloudy with suspended sediment, and a thin white head. Plentiful lacing.

S - Light bready malt aroma is overpowered by the beer's multifaceted hop bouquet - grassy, floral, earthy, with a kiss of grapefruit. Not as aromatic as expected, though.

T - Clearly focused on the hops, this beer's malt background is subdued and cracker-like. This beer makes up for the somewhat disappointing nose with a nice bit of spicy, herbal hop flavor and pleasing bitterness. Nothing overwhelming, but appropriate levels for an APA.

M - A bit coarse in the mouth, maybe a little grainy.

D - Hard to say. Undeniably a well-made beer, but for some reason it's not really wowing me.

trbergman, Jan 06, 2009
Photo of CrellMoset
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%

Bottle from Brawley's Beverage, Charlotte, NC. Split w/ edelweiss, poured into a tulip.

Appearance: Huge bubbly effervescence, fast and plentiful in a sea of hazed golden orange. A sticky, one-finger, white, foamy head has average or slightly above-average retention and leaves plenty of nice, bubbly, sticky, dry hopped-esque lacing. Nice start.

Aroma: Orange zest is prominent, slightly tart, and it melds well with the grassy dry-hop notes. Backed up by a handful of roasted biscuity notes, though this one's definitely all about the hops.

Taste: Dry, roasted malts support a grassy, floral, fainly citrusy and therefore lightly tart hop profile. Bitterness is moderate, but between that and the hop notes, the biscuity backbone is pretty much dominated.

Mouthfeel: Big and fluffy, medium bodied but with lots of effervescence. A little over carbonated, in fact.

Drinkability: A solid beer, though definitely one of the less impressive Founders I've had so far. This one's just a little too overcarbonated and a little too tart (I like the leafyness to come through in my dry hopped beers). That being said, it's still a very drinkable, low abv% beer, highly sessionable and recommended.

CrellMoset, Jan 05, 2009
Photo of Rainintheface
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%

A: Hazy, golden orange with a smallish white head, moderate carbonation and some suspended floaties

S: mild citrus, floral and caramel. mellow on the nose.

T: mild across the board. caramel, citrus, grassy and a hint of spiciness

M: light-moderate in body, crisp, effervescent and semi-dry

D: very easy drinking.

Rainintheface, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of midnite2sixman
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%

Nice foamy head on this one that quickly dissipated leaving behind minor lacing

Smells very hoppy

Taste is dry and hoppy with a bit of roastiness. NOT a lot of roasty but a little. Quite bitter as well.

Mouthfeel is dry with a bit of a bitter aftertaste.

Drinkability: Founder's rarely does wrong and this one is up there for Pale Ales in my book. Almost as good as Bell's Pale.

West Michigan Beer is awesome.

midnite2sixman, Jan 02, 2009
Photo of CaptainIPA
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%

A: Although I may have poured this over aggressively, the ginormous head is completely out of control. Read: Foam Monster. What remains of the body is a cloudy, orange-copper color with cyclonic carbonation.

S: Citrus hops, and lots of it.

T: Tastes like a dry-hopped bomb that's more akin to an IPA: bitter upfront with lots of floral citrus notes -- predominately grapefruit with hints of lemon and pine. Finishes dry, but not astringent.

M: Cask-like smoothness throughout with plenty of effervescence at mid-tongue.

D: Its one-dimensional, dry-hopped bitterness prevents this Pale Ale from being truly sessionable. Decent enough, just be gentle on the pour.

Note: Evidently, this bottle was over-carbonated. I'll revisit this beer in 2009.

CaptainIPA, Dec 30, 2008
Photo of Slatetank
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%

I picked this up at the Brass rail in Cambelltown, poured chilled into Dogfish shaped pint, La fin du monde tulip and Ommegang sampler glass.

A - The 12oz bottle fills 3 glasses-3/4 foam in all three. The beer head looks like whip cream when settled. There is a haze whih is common w/ dry hopped ales, but there is plenty of visible carbonation too. The carbonation level as evidenced by the head is very high. The lace collects very seriously with leafy patterns on the glass

S - A very floral, fragrant hop nose that is clean and lemony w/ obvious cascade influence - I didn't realize it was(all)cascade though when reviewing

M - Very spritzy, resinous and yet light on the palate w/ juicy sweet hop texture and dry floral feel, somewhat thin for the style

T - A taste that is very assertive with hops and is not overly bitter though. There is a lightness in the malt flavor which gives the lemony citrus hop a place to be showcased. The malt could be sweeter to balance since the leafy flavor makes it taste dry. Overall a bit spicy and astringent in the finish. The taste goes downhill halfway through for me.

D - An average pale even w/ dry hopping. It seems light bodied/thin and just doesn't justify repeated tastes(for my palate). The most dissapointing ale I have had from Founders, but still completely drinkable.

Slatetank, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.85/5  rDev +4.3%

Reviewed on 10/7/08. Bottle. Pours a clear light orange with a small, foamy white head. Aroma of sweet malt and citrusy hops. Flavor of nice sweet floral hops with a mild citrusy finish. Nice and refreshing. Tasty beer!
Aroma: 7/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 8/10
Palate: 4/5
Overall: 14/20

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of WakeandBake
4.25/5  rDev +15.2%

Orange amber color with a thick off white head. Aroma is pine and citrus with an underlying malty sweetness. The mouthfeel is smoother and creamier than I would have expected. A little hoppy dryness up front ,and some sweet fruit notes. The flavor is extremely well balanced. Grapefruit and pine leads to some caramel sweetness. Fairly dry finish with little aftertaste. A nice pale ale, I could drink this every day.

WakeandBake, Dec 21, 2008
Photo of TheBear11D
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%

A: Rich orange-yellow color with small carbonation bubbles topped with a thick off-white creamy head.

S: Relaxed citrus with a floral and wheat background.

T: Strong citrus forefront quickly adjusting to a mellow spiced bread with a hint of lemon in the finish.

M: Potent with a pleasant thickness and carbonation.

D: Delicious, a little bitter, but not overpowering...just enough to remind you what your tastebuds think of bitter.

TheBear11D, Dec 19, 2008
Photo of HIFF
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%

Nice thick head. Golden brown in color. Good hoppy, citrusy smell. The lacing on this brew was a sight to behold you could still see the first mark after the pint was gone. The malty carmel flavor was good but could of been more hoppy for my taste. A full bodied beer for sure with a smooth finish. Could drink many of these in a sitting.

HIFF, Dec 18, 2008
Photo of wagenvolks
3.33/5  rDev -9.8%

12 oz. stubby bottle into a DFH off-centered pint glass.

For a Pale, this beer pours pretty hazily, giving off a golden-peach hue with hints of iced tea at the edges. The bone-white head builds to an impressive, although fleeting, inch in height before dropping to nothing more than a splotchy veil of bubbles. No lacing here. I was underwhelmed by the aroma, perhaps because I was expecting a dry-hopped brew from Founder's. The hops are there, sure, but the faint citrus and mango are tough to detect beneath the crystal malt.

The taste could use another dose of hops, in my opinion. Maybe I'm just a hop-head, but it seems like the hops used for the secondary dry-hop should have been thrown into the boil at some point. A touch of pine and bitter resins greets the back of the palate, but for the most part this beer tastes like (slightly stale) crystal malt. Mouthfeel is a step in the right direction, with a light body that's well-carbonated, giving it a crisp, clean finish that allows the bitterness to linger for just long enough. I can't say that I'd ever buy this beer again--there are just too many better choices out there--but if it were a hot summer day and all I had were Founder's Pale Ale, I wouldn't turn it down.

wagenvolks, Dec 15, 2008
Photo of JamesS
3.73/5  rDev +1.1%

Pours a orange/copper color, with almost no head and just a tiny bit of lacing. Great smell, absolutely great, a full nose of American hops with a great floral and citrus kick to it. Good taste, but it doesn't match up with the scent; good hops, nice floral and citrus American style, but has a slightly watered down taste. Goes down fine, with just a bit of roughness, nothing horrible, though. Worth it for the scent alone.

JamesS, Dec 06, 2008
Photo of HeyItsChili
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%

A - Pours a buttery, hazy gold with a fleeting white head.

S - Crisp, piney, bits of citrus, hoppy, sharp.

T - The taste follows along nicely with the aroma. Piney, obviously as it is a pale ale the hops are in firm control here. There is a dry, bitter finish indicative of the dry hop process here. A bit bitter, but then again I tend to think that about all pale ales.

M - Mouthfeel was medium bodied with some crisp carbonation bite.

D - Easily drinkable if you're into a more bitter brew.

HeyItsChili, Dec 03, 2008
Photo of corby112
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%

Serving type: on draft at the South Philadelphia Taproom, Founders Event, Philly Beer Week 2007.

Pours a cloudy golden color with foamy white head. Aroma is very hoppy with a nice malt backbone. Flavor very similar to aroma; pretty malty for a pale ale with a lot of floral hops.

corby112, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of superdedooperboy
4.03/5  rDev +9.2%

This brew pours a hazy deep gold with a half-finger of white foam; head fades slowly to a splotchy cap, leaving sporadic legs of lace on the glass.

Aroma is delightful, with delicious citrus notes of grapefruit, orange, and apricot filling the nose.

Medium-bodied; citrussy hop flavors are predominant, with notes similar to those in aroma but with much more bitterness. A bit salty, with the faintest maltiness peeking through underneath. Finishes mostly dry and bitter.

Overall a delicious brew, with the dry-hopping providing such a wonderful aroma, and the dry, bitter finish encouraging another quaff.

superdedooperboy, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of baos
4.63/5  rDev +25.5%

Had this one on tap up north.

A: 2 finger ecru head. Hazy golden amber color. Decent lacing and really nice head retention. Half a finger all the way down.

S: Spicy, hoppy, and fresh, very nice!

T: The Cascade hops are awesome with their piny-grapefruity kind bud pow intermingled with a nice maltiness. This brew is A-one and on draft it is AA-one.

M: Very nice pretty near full body on her.

D: This only gets better as it warms in your glass. I drank my first one quick, but I let the second sit around a bit and just sipped on her. The flavor really gets going when you let it warm a bit. Great BREW!

baos, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of Reagan1984
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%

Poured with a 1 ½ to 2 finger thick head that showed some decent retention. Later there was sporadic lacing. The color of the beer was golden amber, with a slight haze and minimal visible carbonation.

The aroma was fresh, floral and also balanced with a bready/light malt tone. Certainly some grapefruit/citrus notes.

Really liked the balance of this beer. Also liked how the crispness of the malt came through just below the hop bitterness. An interesting cracker/bread flavor to the malt. I also tasted some light lemon in the flavor as well. I've always been a fan of dry hopping, and this beer is further evidence of that. To me there is a fresh nature that is introduced to the beer that I really enjoy. The more I drank this, the more I enjoyed the fairly complex malt flavors. Got a sense of pepper/spice as well. Not much, but it was there.

Mouth feel was medium bodied and lively due to some pinpoint carbonation. This seemed to match nicely with the hop profile. Very drinkable.

I enjoyed this beer.

Reagan1984, Nov 26, 2008
Founders Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 2,269 ratings.