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Founders Pale Ale - Founders Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Founders Pale AleFounders Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.

816 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 816
Hads: 2,654
Avg: 3.69
pDev: 20.33%
Wants: 53
Gots: 300 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002

100% Cascade hops.
35 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 816 | Hads: 2,654
Photo of nickapalooza86
3.19/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

 280 characters

Photo of cryptichead
4.75/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

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.

 179 characters

Photo of kitch
3.43/5  rDev -7%
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 -0.5%
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 +5.7%
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 +1.9%
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%
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 +1.9%
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.

 499 characters

Photo of Samuel906
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

 297 characters

Photo of Jacobob10
3.26/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

 536 characters

Photo of outdoor7or24
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
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

 337 characters

Photo of Duhast500
3.4/5  rDev -7.9%
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 -4.9%
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 -5.1%

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 -4.3%
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

 950 characters

Photo of ob_carr
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%

If you're in the mood for a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, I say go for Founder's instead. I love both, but this takes the cake. It does a great job balancing the Cascade hops with fruit to avoid a too sharp pinch-you-in-the-face experience. I enjoy it from the bottle, typically poured into a goblet or weizen glass. It's very hazy with a nice, hoppy and floral aroma. I dare say the hops are mild. The head leaves you rather quickly but I see lacing. Hops are very present in the taste but its again mild and balanced with citrusy fruit and a clean, dry finish. The best news is that I don't count this among Founders finer brews, and it's still great! If ever you find yourself in/around Grand Rapids, MI, the brewpub located downtown is a must see (seriously, it's impressive only to look at) and sports amazing, seasonal offerings.

 829 characters

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.16/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy copper color. The head is two fingers high, off-white in shade, and very fluffy. As the head recedes (retention is good, by the by), its texture seems to become thicker and creamier.

S: Yep, smells like a textbook Cascade pale ale. Flowers, twinges of grapefruit, a touch of lime - y'know, the usual suspects. Caramel malts stay in the background. I can't think of any standout qualities, but it's not flawed in any way, either.

T: Opens with a floral bitterness that isn't quite biting or harsh...but gets pretty close at times. It stays bitter throughout, and not even a slight upsurge of malty sweetness near the back end can change that. This is a very simple brew that would make a nice everyday drinker, if nothing else.

M: The bitterness makes it very dry and light on the palate, and its crisp bite and solid carbonation helps it go down very easily. It's even a bit astringent feeling. Did I mention it goes down easily? If nothing else, it's the calling card of this offering.

O: Must re-review - I bought it relatively fresh, shame I let it fester in the fridge longer than I should have. It's held up okay, I suppose. This is a solid lunch-time beer, but has that "middle of the road" stink to it I usually don't expect from Founders.

3.15/5: By Founders standards, this is a snoozer

 1,349 characters

Photo of slusk
3.42/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy golden with a dense white, long lasting head. Nice lacing.

S:Earthy, woody hop aroma with a wee bit of pine. A little light caramel come through.

T:Earthy hop bitterness is the main event with a less obvious caramel sweetness. bit of lemon peel and caramel are evident. The maltiness is short lived as its taken over by a low to moderate hop bitterness. Semi dry with a nice bready finish

M: low body, somewhat thin. Moderate carbonation with some astringency.

O: This beer is Not one of my favorites from Founders, in fact I find myself a little disappointed. It seems a bit weak. The body is just a bit too light and thin to suit me. The hop flavors are good and the beer is fairly well balanced, but I don't notice a distinct hop that I would expect with dry hopping. Just seems a bit muddled over all in its flavor.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep orange colour with mild cloud. Head is soft and dense, pretty nice.

Smells sweet, lightly malty. Cake batter and caramel. Touch of hop but not much. Mostly sweet. Nice enough but could use more hop aroma.

Taste is similar: cake batter with a touch of stale grain. Hop is subtle; resinous bitterness. Yeah, pretty decent but not very exciting.

Smooth, quite full, decent.

Fairly subdued. Not too exciting but then is it meant to be? Might be a bit old; will look out for the next import shipment and retry.

 526 characters

Photo of arizcards
3.71/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a couple of singles from Total Wine at the end of April for $1.99 each. Bottled on 3/26/2014.

Beer poured orange with a nice white head upon the initial pour.

Nose is primarily malty with a hint of citrus.

Taste is pretty well balanced between the malts and citrus hops. The alpha hopping used wins out in the end and leave a nice citrus rind lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel is decently carbonated to provide a nice refreshing finish.

Overall an above average APA that provides what a pale ale is supposed to do - this is a nice refreshing bitter beer, kind of similar to some of the session IPA's available today.

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Photo of gonzo000
3.59/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

a. Nice orange/brown color with 1 finger head. Cloudy. head does not last. Not much lacing.

s. OK, one trick pony without a lot of complexity. Dry hopped honey.

t. Honey, spice - very nice.

m. A bit thin - lacking carbonation.

o. Good beer - would revisit occasionally.

 273 characters

Photo of hophugger
3.18/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

good beer, pale and sweetness prevail. Overall a good dry hopped beer. Color is acceptable but look past it and try to feel the flavor. It is good but is missing some complexity. Overall, Founder's Brewing does an ok job with their beers but could use a little extra care to take it to the next level

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.77/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Hotel glass
From: Whole Foods in Tempe, Ariz.
Price: $2.59
Purchased: May 17, 2014
Consumed: May 17, 2014
Misc.: Bottled April 18, 2014

Poured a honey, pale, clear color with 1-to-2 fingers of pillowy khaki head. Lots of bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. A good deal of layered foamy lacing along the sides of the glass. Good retention.

Smelled floral hops, citrus hops, lemon wheat, grassy hops, wheat, honey, orange and some caramel.

Tasted floral hops, grass hops, citrus hops, lemon grass, wheat, honey, light orange rind, caramel and other fruity tastes.

Light body. Oily-to-creamy texture. Lively carbonation. Long, slightly bitter finish.

A nice pale ale. I may have underrated this a tad. I’d have it again for sure.

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Photo of elwetback
3.41/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Solid yet not spectacular beer. Dry/crisp bitter hop flavor with only a minor hint of malt flavor. Very light/easy drinking which would allow you to have a couple back-to-back without a problem.

From an appearance POV, nice orange color with OK foam (little head retention). Hop smell is piney with citrusy notes.

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Photo of Jamiesue
3.86/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer has enough flavor to make it tasty but is not overpowering or heavy so you can drink it all day long. Hoppy aroma but not overly bitter. refreshing and crisp, my go-to pale ale. If you are looking for a balance of drink-ability and flavor I highly recommend. Great for BBQ or tailgating.

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Founders Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 816 ratings.