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Founders Pale Ale | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Pale AleFounders Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
100% Cascade hops.
35 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 826 | Ratings: 2,711
Photo of hotpauko
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Whoa, this is tough for me. Surprisingly unimpressed with this Founders pale ale. Expected a little bite and flavor, got too much mild. Average at best compared to say a Dales. Easy drinking, good for a beginner to pale ales or to offer a slight hop taste, but not much more.

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Photo of Joseph01
3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Color - Light amber

Aroma - Floral/herbal, caramel hints

Palate - Smooth and creamy, hints of caramel

Overall - Decent ale, refreshing and worthwhile

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Photo of Malt_Man
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served cool from 350ml bottle into half pint glass.

L) Amber, very hazy (floating yeast??), thin white head.

S) Deep malty odour, like the malt extract used in home-brew bitters and floral hops. Really good.

T) Not as malty as the nose suggests. Dry, bitter hops, none of that juicy / piney business here. Hints of sweetness and floral notes at the back of the mouth in the aftertaste.

F) Quite fizzy, with a definite drying out of the mouth.

O) Not the best American IPA I have had by a long stretch and nowhere near as good as their Centennial IPA, but still a decent drink.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

DATE TASTED: April 16, 2015... GLASSWARE: Brew at the Zoo pint... OCCASION: a good, long day needs an ale night... APPEARANCE: pours a copper amber body that teems with life--swirling, active bubbles and steady, upward effervescence; reasonably thick, two-finger white head stays packed as the glass settles; nice finger-like tracings on the outtro... AROMA: floral yes, as the Cascades promise; some subtle caramel and cereal offer a reasonable allure ... PALATE: lively rush at the tongue and teeth; medium-bodied and creamy, with a pleasant, long finish--what a worthwhile pale ale should embody... TASTE: mellow, almost apologetically light flavors--hops are floral and only peacefully bitter; the caramel malts keep this secure... OVERALL: quite sessionable, with the hint of dank wood at the end that keeps the experience earthy and heavier than expected; from a leftover surprise pack--judging on that alone (about $1 a beer in the 12-pack), a win...

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Photo of TBonez477
3.69/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: golden/copper color, white head that quickly dissipates.

S: funky straw-like aroma, hop spice.

T: initial malt/honey sweetness, quickly moves to bitter and then finishes with a floral/spicy pop which releases into a bit of a juicy finish.

M: light on the palate, medium carbonation.

O: a nice pale ale, though not consistent with the normal citrus aromas and flavors typically offered.

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Photo of pat61
4.06/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Bryant Lake Bowl. Brilliant copper gold under a 1" white foam collar that clings to the side of the glass. Floral citrus nose with traces of fruit. Sweet malt and light fruit on the palate give way to a balancing citrus rind bitterness. Medium body and carbonation. A bold, easy to drink pale ale.

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Photo of wmickdds32
4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Draft in a pint glass....nitro....thus the incredible creamy mouthfeel. Light brown/Amber with a 1/2 inch creamy head that stayed until draft was half gone. Light hoppy nose. Tasted as expected light malt...light hop...slightly bitter... The nitrogenized draft made for a pleasant creamy mouthfeel...some would call it flat, but again just how I expected it to be......I had two!

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Photo of Gajo74
4.02/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an enticing golden copper with a nice foam head; good lace retention throughout. A fruity aroma hits you as well as a malt backbone and some floral esters that develop as it warms. Spicy, herbal, and bold piney hops taste as well as a slight lemon finish. Good pale malt backbone; I nevertheless would have liked some of the fruity elements of the aroma to match the taste a tad more. Medium light bodied, prickly carbonation and very drinkable; definetely a session brew. I liked it a lot and will get again for sure.

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Photo of chopp02
2.54/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

What was missing for me when I had this beer was the smell and taste. Hardly any smell at all and then the flavor just came up short for me. Part of the issue, though, is that I am a Stout, Breakfast Stout, and IPA lover, so Pale Ales just don't do it for me. However, I have had other pale ales and enjoyed them more than this particular one. This is my least favorite Founders beer.

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Photo of dukeandduke
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

3/21/15 (Bottle) - Nice foggy golden brown pour, minimal head, mild carbonation. Citrus and malt scent prevalent. Nice contrast of citrus and bitter hops. Light clean and refreshing feel. Overall very good beer.

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Photo of nickapalooza86
3.19/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Pours a nice gold, slight haze, half finger of white head.

Smell is lemon, grass, cracker malt

Taste has some nice citrus peal notes, cracker and breast malts, some grassy bitterness

Mouthfeel is light and clean, slightly dry

Decent pale, much better options out there though.

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Photo of cryptichead
4.5/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Surprisingly clean, crisp, and refreshing. Akin to a German pilsner. Very drinkable. Much lighter in flavor than a typical APA. Overall, a surprising find and very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of kitch
3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

A 355ml bottle poured into a La Chouffe tulip glass. Bottle says best before 4th March 2015 so not exactly fresh, but tried a few days before best before date.

A: Poured a cloudy orange/copper with some floating residue, small head with very little retention
S: Grassy, pine, mango and citrus
T: Starts crisp and grassy with very light bitter taste, ends with some caramel and alcohol
M: Crisp and dry with nice carbonation
O: Feels dry but goes down easy. Also disappointed with the alcohol appearing at the end

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Photo of Antc2382
3.67/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a single bottle. Look- brighter gold/orange. I like how it is very cloudy, you can see a lot of floating residue in it. This tells me it is a smaller batch brew; not mass produced! Smell- not entirely distinctive; faint hops but not very fragrant. Taste- very good for style. Well balanced- crisp high quality water is used here, light in the hops. I am not the biggest APA guy but this is a good one. Feel- carbonation, dry finish as advertised. Overall- I dug this, it is a nice beer and I really like Founders' output. It just is not extremely memorable

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Photo of Pukstopper
3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour from bottle into a 16 oz mason jar ( it's all they had except a girly 10 oz glass)
Having with steak tips and 3 cheese Alfredo in a blue cheese cream sauce.
Pours a nice golden color with a 2 finger head that fades quick some lacing but tough to judge in a mason jar. Not to hoppy at 35 ibu but a nice clean taste.
Some floral notes with a crisp finish.
Overall a nice APA especially with the meal. And it was only $2:50 a bottle

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Photo of leantom
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I'm kind of sick, so this review may be somewhat inaccurate. Here goes:

A: Cloudy orange, some carbonation. Beer pours a very small head with moderate lacing. Overall, just average.

S: Smell what appears to be lemon zest and grass. VERY grassy. Other than this, some grainy cereal malt, mild caramel.

T: Follows the nose. Very grassy upfront, then lemon and grapefruit. Some caramel malt. Just OK.

F: Good. Glides down the tongue.

O: An OK beer. Not one of Founders better offerings.

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Photo of GSP
2.99/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

No hop on the front end even though it claims to be dry hopped. Poor head. Cindery flavor on the back. Astringent bite. Maltose dextrose is evident. I champion APAs but unfortunately not this one

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Photo of predikit
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear gold, with a small head with little retention. Leaves a moderate amount of lacing on the glass.

Smelling the bottle yielded hoppy citrus notes, smelling from the glass after pour was malty, toasted grains, yeast, hint of apple.

Tastes bready, toasted barley, grass notes. Hops add a bitterness for the finish.

Light bodied, crisp, leaves a very faint oily residue behind. Alcohol shows up in the finish.

Overall not a bad entry, but people looking for hop bombs won't find it here.

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Photo of Samuel906
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright straw color, clear with a thick bright white head. Smell is grains, cereal, light malt, faint hops. Taste is notes of citrus, wheat, grass, malt, fairly mild. Feel is light and crisp. Overall, nothing bad but not quite as exciting as Founders reputation led me to think it would be.

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.26/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottled on 11/21/2014.

Hazy amber in color with a large, white fluffy head. Good lacing and retention. Caramel, citrus, bread, and earth in the aroma but it is all a bit muddled and difficult to pick out. A little bit of grass and skunk in the flavor to combine with the citrus hops. Fairly bitter in an unpleasant way with a dry and chalky mouthfeel. Medium bodied. Nothing against Founders, but I have been unimpressed by many of their beers (with the exception of Centennial IPA and Red's Rye) and this was no exception.

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Photo of outdoor7or24
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle from Todd, poured into snifter.
A: pours a huge 3 finger lightning white foam head, clear golden body, heavy stringy lacing, some carbonation.
S: some citrus, malt, pine and Oak resin, biscuit
M: medium body
T: earthy hops, pine resin, biscuit, malt
O: good ipa, dry and earthy, less citrus and more muted earthy hop flavor

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Photo of Duhast500
3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

The color is a cloudy orange with a finger foamy white and some slight lacing left on the glass.

The smell is bright citrus aroma with some lemongrass in the nose. There are hints of sunflower seed and a slight bread dough aroma.

The taste is a touch of orange with some earthy hop flavor. There is a wet dough flavor that had some poppy seed bagel-like flavor mixed together. There is a slight bitterness that creeps up toward the end that hangs slightly before going away.

The feel if this beer is light with a good drinkable feel that goes down smooth. This may not be the beer the brewer intended but still has some good flavors and aromas that makes for pleasant beer.

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Photo of lwillitz
3.51/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle into nonic pub glass

A - 2 fingers off-white foam over a cloudy body of golden amber

S - lemony citrus, slight scent of grain; not much going on here

T - lemon, pepper, light bready taste from the malt, touch of pine, subtle floral notes; hops are running this show, dry finish

M - thick medium body with high carbonation

O - On the dry and bitter side, otherwise a pretty average pale.

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Photo of Stickydates
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

A: hazy copper, moderate carbonation, sediment with little head.
S: hops, fruit, damp grass.
T: a little bit of bitter hops, then some fruity and grassy flavours. Little aftertaste.
M: mild carbonation with a quite thin feel.
O: nice, but not great. Easy drinking.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

(on tap at Jackbar in Williamsburg - served in a shaker)

just the notes:

English-style malt and, to a lesser extent, hop sensibilities... American hop influence: undeniable - and this is only now seeing that it's 100% Cascade - makes total sense then...

long-lasting, earthy, dried-grass bitterness... mellow caramel flavor and roundness to the body

perhaps and understated fruit highlight to the overall taste - and taking the Cascade into perspective, I'm wondering if most of the hop charge was in the bittering addition... the balance with and true forwardness of the malt flavors will certainly tone down the fruity elements of Cascade

bit of a peppery and maybe even minty finish/aftertaste...

pleasant enough medium-light body, lightened and dried out even more with the woody overtones from the grain

a pleasant pale from Founders... certainly low-key and workman-like, considering the intensity and bold build of their other offerings

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Founders Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 826 ratings.