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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: 2,653
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: 2,653
Photo of RoyalT
3.91/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance – This is a gorgeous, hazy orange in color with a foamy, white, pillowy head that showed great retention.

Smell – The nose is balanced between light citrus hopping and quality grain. No sense reallly of the dry-hopping.

Taste – This is a balanced ale. The grain is bigger here and very nice. The hops again are mild and well-proportioned.

Mouthfeel – This is just shy of medium-bodied and well-balanced in the mouth.

Drinkability – Definitely a session ale, this Founders’ offering shows off some high-quality ingredients as well as an expert’s touch by the brewmaster. One of the most quaffble APAs I’ve ever had.

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Photo of reebtaerG
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on tap nitro at Fireworks Pizza

A-Pours a hazy, orangey color with a 2 finger, off white head. Superb lacing!

S-Citrusey hops, grapefruit, bready

T-Bready, lots of citrus fruit, somewhere in between a pale ale and an IPA.

M-Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O-A very drinkable PA with a strong hop presence, definitely better with nitro than the bottle I had in the summer.

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Photo of mjpolzin
3.5/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this beer up to help accumulate "Founders points" for a beer club at a local liquor store. I had never had this particular beer before. With spring coming I am more in the mood for pale ales so I figured this would be a good buy.

This beer is solid but nothing spectacular. It is easy drinking enough but there is hardly any malt backbone and the only real flavor is a bitter hop taste. There isn't really any other hop flavor to speak of. I would say this brew would be good for a summer outing because it is decent and could be refreshing on a hot day but it is certainly nothing spectacular.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.86/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 10/07/13 at 45 degrees into imperial pint, sediment present
Light aroma of flowery hops
Head average (3 cm), frothy, white, rapidly diminishing
Lacing spotty, small
Body medium yellow, slight haze of tiny particles
Flavor light, no alcohol, slightly sweet but well balanced by the hops which add a resinous counter point. It ends with a slowly-dissipating bitter aftertaste. No malt flavor, no diacetyl.
Palate light, watery, carbonation soft.

This is a nice, light pale ale; a pleasant break after winter’s mixture of stouts, porters, and IPAs. This is easily a potential lawnmower beer.

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Photo of alphagnome
3.39/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, sediment rich, medium oak color. Considerable head with fantastic retention and lacing. Plenty of carbonation.

Leaves a lot to be desired. Light pine and subtle, sweet citrus. If the aromas were a bit more exaggerated, this would be ok... Unfortunately, it's all too light.

Bitterness hits right upfront as you'd expect from any respectable IPA. Heavy grass and pine character. A quick sweetness hits at the end that vaguely reminds me of pineapple.

If I didn't know that dry-hopping was a method of hop addition, I'd swear they were referring to the finish - it's VERY dry. Full body with decent carbonation. A bit too dry for my liking.

Not a bad IPA, just not the most enjoyable. A bit more balance and some more character in the taste and aroma department will go a long way. Oh, and fix the finish. Minor gripes aside, it's a solid IPA - there are better offerings available however.

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Photo of tmzl
3.7/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Look: Pours with lovely, puffy, large, off-white (yellow hue, small to medium sized bubbles) head. It has a sticky retention (collapsing big bubbles), leaves relatively creamy, thin top layer, which is responsible for some sticky lacing. Clear golden (light orange hue) with some haze particles floating around.

Smell: Floral the most dominant, following with some herbal and very light earthy notes. Malt character mostly consist of light grain sweetness that in combination with hops creates a fresh, fruity feeling, which reminds me of pear compote. Also hiding in there are some light citrus notes.

Taste: Light, mostly grain with light honey middle sweetness. Some of the malt character is missing, but I can't resent that since this is a all-in Cascade driven beer - floral still the most dominant, with some herbal and earthy notes in there. Light bitterness finish goes into the realm of zest and pine. Some honey and floral notes come out deep in the after-taste.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, dry finish, refreshing carbonation. Goes down very easily.

Overall: Light, easy to drink and floral. Cascade all over it, would wish for a bit more malt backbone, but changing that would change the niche of this beer - the thing to grab instead of ice tea at a hot summer day.

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Photo of Budinetz
3.82/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap nitro style at The Mint Gastropub.
Delicious flavor and serious hop contest. Lush in hops but light in flavor with no harsh after taste...this beer is certainly session able and also available ok the Pennsylvania market. Come drink some!

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Photo of LooseGasCap
3.44/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's an OK bottle to follow a burger. The Pale Ale part is especially true as the color and head are creamy and true to the Pale name.
I like the crisp hop finish and the dry mouthfeel, but the nose is not particularly a draw for me.
At 5.4% ABV, it's no lightweight, but there's room for improvement and room for one more.
On second thought... there's always room for one more!

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Photo of Act25
3.76/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I'm wavering overall on 4. Here's a great pear-like pale ale.
Love this brewer, this is high quality and well made.

A Cloudy apricot body, not much head, a little lacing.
S: Pear like aroma, plenty of sweet malt, along with faint hops in direction of grassy and flowery.
A bit faint.
T: Very good, much fuller, sweeter profile, of pear/apricot/pulpy fruit juice, very juicy, with a clean transition to bitter hop drying finish. Good hop profile, balanced, true to pale ale - not as piney hoppy as Dales or Stone. Too Vegetal?
MF: Lovely body, like a fruit juice, satisfying, beer is food. Good for you. Never cloying. Great body ala Stone or Dales.

O: Some reviewers asked for more distinct flavor but it's a dry pale ale - it is balanced and full bodied with a juicy profile. Well done but mid-pack.

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.79/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass.

This beer pours a nice pale gold with a good two finger head that breaks fairly fast but leaves good lacing and a nice thin film of bubbles. The smell was grains, mild citrus hops and some floral qualities too. The taste was much like the nose, but there is an excellent balance to this beer. It is just quenching and satisfying, really quite enjoyable. Medium body with a medium amount of carbonation.

This may be my new cottage beer. It is very easy to drink and quite flavorful without being too heavy.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.49/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Founders imperial pint.
5.4% ABV, 35 IBUs

A - Nearly crystal clear, it's easy to see the carbonation rushing from the glass' nucleation point to it's sturdy off-white head. Delicate lace adds appearance points to the already warm golden glow of the beer.

S - Founders' Pale Ale extends a welcome greeting of fragrant Cascade hops on the nose. Floral, faintly herbal, and finished with a touch of lemony citrus and mango; it's a beautiful bouquet overlapping pale malt with a touch of caramel sweetness for balance.

T - Lingering sweetness suggests some caramel notes to the otherwise pale malt base but this American pale ale focuses almost exclusively on it's Cascade hopping. Ripe lemon and grapefruit citrus underscore the flirtatious floral attributes and herbal suggestions.

M - Crisp cleanliness lends this beer near perfect drinkablility as it's loaded with aroma and flavor but lacking both a full body and high alcohol. Hop bitterness ads dryness along the finish but it's nicely balanced, sip after sip.

O - A charming version of the style from front to back, Founders' Pale Ale is a beautiful demonstration of the Cascade hop variety with it's floral and citrus aroma and flavor but, above all else, it's exceptional drinkability! This pale ale would pair well with nearly any pub fare.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a light orangey color ale with a generous head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of citrus and fruity hoppy notes is very interesting. Taste is dominated by very nice flavours of fruity and citrus hoppy notes with lightly sweet malt notes. Body is full for style with good carbonation. Very nice beer with high-level of drinkability with some very nice notes hops flavours without too much bitterness.

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.59/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

(3.75) A: Clear amber with a finger of stark white coloured creamy head. Recedes fairly quickly to a ring with some good lacing evident.

(3.5) S: Grains, light citrus, probably more floral qualities, faint banana, and dry crackers. Detecting an earthy mineral-like aroma on the backend that’s nice.

(3.5) T: Similar to aroma with grains, citrus and floral qualities, and faint honey. Nice level of bitterness and dryness without over doing it making this very easy-to-drink.

(3.75) M: Lighter bodied with moderate-higher level of carbonation. Slightly creamy with enough slickness.

(3.75) D: This is a solid and very easy-drinking APA that I would recommend to fans of the style.

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Photo of ElijahRivera
4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed based on tasting notes from a blind pale ale tasting.

12 oz. bottle inside a paper bag poured into a plastic tasting cup.

A- hazy amber.

S- Pungent lemon rind in the nose.

T- Really nice balance of sweet malts and citrusy hops that also have a hint of pine.

M- Creamy mouthfeel.

O- Outstanding example of the American Pale Ale style. Out of a total of 14 pale ales in the blind tasting, this ale tied for 1st (with 4 other beers) on my list, and ended up at 7th on the collaborative list.

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Photo of Rambu
3.93/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a pint glass.

A - Golden to Orange hues, a little cloudy, nice 1 finger head, good lively carbonation.

S - Hop aromas are Citrus, Grapefruit, lemon zest. Slight bit of maltiness coming through as well.

T - A nice rounded malt profile with a slight sweetness, hops blend in great, lemony, citrus, slight earthiness, finishes with a firm bitterness and lingering hop character. Really reminds of Timothy Taylor's Landlord pale ale, I get very similar hop flavours, very drinkable.

M - Mouthfeel is good, carbonation is right on the money, good rounded malt gives way to a nice dry hoppy finish.

O - This is a great sessionable pale ale, well brewed and put together, I'm not sure of the bottled date on this beer but it tastes reasonably fresh, can't pick up any oxidised notes. I'd love to smash down pint after pint of this on tap, everything I've tasted from Founders so far has been excellent, glad to have them available here in Australia, cheers!

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Photo of Scrapss
3.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a cheater pint.

A: medium gold with a two finger whitish head that dissipated to a thin disk very quickly. Active carbonation.

S: some mild earth, slightly bitter citrus and middling malts make for a very pleasant nose.

T: Very welcome light bittering hops with bitter citrus and some smooth lightly roasted malt flavors. Plays well.

M: creamy, not overly filling. side of tongue gets a slight puckery sensation. not boozy or hot. Not overtly drying, just right amount of dryness.

O: This is a very nice PA that will get passed over by many that want a bigger IPA or IIPA, not realizing just how darned good this is. It is very light and nearly sessionable due to moderate ABV. This is a go-to for me now. Very very good Pale Ale.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on January 4, 2014.

The pour is orange amber with a quick lasting white fizzy head. Not a ton of lacing but some.

The aroma is of grainy malts, pale malts, and a nice dose of earthy hop explosions. It smells fresh, clean, and crisp.

The body is light to medium but there is also a decent smooth quality to it.

The taste begins with a decent pale and grainy malt note, a kind of citrus feel, and a definite hop bite that is not overpowering but balances well with the rest of the sensations. Above average but nothing I would remember a few weeks from now.

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Photo of jdhowe
3.61/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 11/16/13

A; Pours a hazy golden amber with 1/4 finger of white head that dissipates quickly.

S: A bit of a spicy and earthy hop note over pretty standard pale ale malt aromas.

T/M: Mouthfeel is light to medium with a relatively high level of carbonation -- crisp and clean, but prickly with carbonation. Taste is pretty unassuming up front, with very little character alongside prickly carbonation leading into a hop bitterness alongside bready pale ale malts. Finish is bitter and slightly drying with an aftertaste of both hop bitterness and bready malt character.

O: Nothing really special here, which is partly why this is such a bare-bones review. A really unspectacular beer that isn't great and isn't awful. Entirely drinkable, but definitely not something I will actively seek out.

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Photo of thecheapies
4.06/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Light amber color with marmalade hues. Fluffy pale head holds tremendous. Laces big.

Dry, crackery grains and flowery orange hops in the aroma. Light toast and a faint wheaty scent with subtle stone fruit and grapefruity citrus interplay. Benevolent nose.

Bitter citrus fruits, tangerine, floral hops, zesty pale grains, mild toast, biscuit, grapefruit, and green leaf. Herbal and brute. Bitter husks and cracker. A fine-tasting pale.

Feels immensely full, without being thick. Velvety soft with a supple bite of chewy carbonation. Rustling, yet soppy smooth. Close to perfect.

Best feeling pale ale on the shelf, hands down. Awesome brew.

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Photo of Goosehunter75
3.86/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours A briht golden honey. Very very chunk. Lots of floaters in this beer. 1 finger fluffy white head with good retention

S - There is a whole lot of citrus in this beer! Grapefruits and lemon dominate! Slight pine and grass aromas with a hint of rasins as well

T - Not as much citrus as one would think. Nicely balanced. Grapefruit and lemon are still present but tamed down by the nice malty backbone.

M - A medium body beer. Creamy feelnig in the mouth with lots and lots of bubbles

O - Another solid offering from Founders. It has a great taste and is very easy to drink.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.68/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle pours a very hazed gold color with a small cap of off-white head. Retention and lace are both average.

Nose is husky grains and starfruit hop aroma.

Taste is ultra grainy with a fine finish of leafy hops. It is not as hoppy tasting as I thought it would be with the 'dry hopped' terxt on the label. The beer is well crafted for sure, but I was hoping for some more hop flavor...bitterness is fine. It's a pounder, for sure...a sixer of this would disappear really fast in my fridge, but I was expecting a bit more - one of the few pedestrian offerings from this fine establishment.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
4.09/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-pours dark gold with a thick white head that slowly dissipates and leaves some nice lacing

S-hoppy-very floral

T-flavor is muted somewhat due to the fact its a nitro tap but it is very floral and hoppy with a hint of honey and malt. Not complex but crisp and refreshing.

M-creamy but not too thick

D-very drinkable given its average abv. and smoothness

Overall, this is a good beer that I would drink again.

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Photo of tillmac62
3.65/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Golden pour, that has a haze, with a nice head and lacing. Light bodied with good carbonation. Mild nose of pine resin. Taste is laid back and not complex. Slight hop flavor and bitterness that is well balanced. Crisp finish that is a laid back form of slight bitterness against a slight grapefruit hop flavor. A good beer to transition from the megas into the crafts that doesn’t launch a full assault upon your taste buds.

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Photo of lostinfla
3.54/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to a sam adams glass.
nice bright head with an lightly opaque amber body. Good carbonation and very light lacing throughout the glass.
very mild citrus / hoppy smell, I think i expected more as their All Day IPA has been a summer favorite for me.
tast was as expected and actually got better as the ale warmed a bit. Smooth malt beginning with a nice hp backbone and finish.
Nothing really outstanding here, just a solid IPA.
Still have not had a Founders I didn't like!

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Photo of TBoneJones
3.96/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass as a lighter-looking, yellow/ golden beer with double finger of white head and many tiny bubbles.
Smells malty, earthy, some hay/ grass, and with but a hint of any hops.
Tastes refreshing. I really like the finish because it's malty, quenching and bitter; the lasting impression is like a refreshing peppery ale. I just got done mowing my lawn so maybe this one is getting better credit through me than it otherwise would. It seems like a great sessionable choice, however I'm missing the hop presence and in place I'm getting grassy malts and grain. However, the latter is still making for a drinkable brew as it goes down smooth and rounds out well in my opinion.
This is about the 6th Founders beer I've tried since they began shipping to Texas, and while I've had better pale ales, this one is fine and for me solidifies Founders as one of my favorite go-to's for quality brews.

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