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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 n8tron
3.22/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I got a bottle because it was recommended to me, I'm a big hop lover, bet this beer was pretty average in my opinion. It was easily drinkable, but the taste only lasts a second and then disappears leaving more to be desired. This is a beer that could have been great but for some reason just ended up less than expected.

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
4.42/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite pale ales made in Michigan.
The color is like a blonde with high lights, golden with sparkles of red and amber. The aroma is wounderful with a slight citrus, rich malt and hint of yeast. The flavor is rich with malt and hop flavor, little citrus refreshes the middle with hop flavor and finishes smooth with a lingering citus on the tounge. Not to heavy on the mouth and is an easy drinker. Easy drinker and great taste make this an all out good buy.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.88/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, Woodman's

appearance: cloudy peach/copper pour, a foamy white head with some frothy lacing

smell: first aroma is definately some sweet malts, dry and herbal, some sweet floral hops underneath

taste: the hops come out to play right away...floral and citrusy in nature- grapefruit, orange, apricot, some peppery sweet malts behind the hoppiness. taste is much better than the smell would have indicated. slightly bitter aftertaste

mouthfeel: medium carbonation, fresh and fruity, medium body

drinkability: a little above average for APA

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Photo of hero27
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. No best before date.

Is there beer at the bottom of this foam? ..I can't quite tell. Even with the most careful pour, the foam erupts in the glass...making me wait patiently to try it. I gotta say..I am not a fan of the overcarbonated bottles (other reviews show this is not an extremely rare thing with this beer). Aroma is pale malts and light citrus (orange peel?). The taste is good for a pale ale..very flavorful without being over the top in any single aspect..mostly pale malt character with a notable dry-hop addition. Definitely a better-than-average pale, but I'd be a bit more pleased with this if I wasn't sucking in so much foam with every sip.

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

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a golden orange. Had about a one finger head that dissipated slowly.

Smell: The first smell that hits my nose is a citrus smell probably from the cascade hops.

Taste: Like the smell the first thing that I taste is a citrus taste followed by a caramel taste. Very well balanced. There is a hint of a bread taste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth Mouthfeel with the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Could be a session beer in my opinion.

Yet another fine offering from Founders Brewing. Keep up the great work!!!

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

A straight 4. This beer is a great choice on tap if you want flavor, but not big bold and bordering on undrinkable. I live in a hicktown of about 5000 people, 40 minutes from the Founders Bewery. When I heard that this was on tap at one of the four bars in my town, I was as happy as can be! Founders on-tap without having to drive to Founders, yea!

Great biscuity bready flavors with a hint of caramel sweetness. Well-balanced hop bittering is more subdued than in the bottle, and is accompanied by the slightest hint of diacetyl, which I'm starting to enjoy. A light body and delicate carbonation add to an already very drinkable brew. Time to go to the bar!

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Photo of nlmartin
4.08/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a bottle into a 20 ounce wine gobblet.

Appearance: This has a very nice pale off amber coloration with loads of particles suspended in the beer. The head is an inch and a half of white foamy goodness. Looks great as the lace plays on the side of the glass.

Smell: A combination of floral, grassy, citrusy goodness.

Taste: A very strong taste of hops and yeasty goodness on the intial taste. The finish is citrus and breadyness.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This is a very drinkable smooth pale ale. Not alot of carbonation to be had. I think I will pour myself another.

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Photo of battlekow
4.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The store just started carrying Bell's and Founders pale ales, so I thought I'd give them a whirl.

Founders' version comes equipped with a clear amber color and tons of suspended particulates, plus a moderate white head. In an interesting twist, it looks quite a lot like the Bell's Sparkling Ale I just drank.

Smells lightly of cirtusy hops. Tastes quite excellent, up there with Anchor Liberty Ale for a pleasant, balanced APA. Malts are complemented well by a prominent, but not assaulting, citrusy hop flavor. Just a touch of bittering in the finish. A nice, creamy mouthfeel completely a ridiculously drinkable APA.

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

Beeer pours a hazy orange with lots of floaties, in my opinion detracting from the appearance.

taste is primarily hops although a bit of malt comes through. Mouthfeel is very good - smooth, not over-carbonated.

this beer is a pretty good APA and i would buy it regularly if there weren't much better examples readily available (Great Lakes Burning River, SNPA) . There is a bit of an off taste to me that is very difficult to describe as it doesn't taste like anything else i've ever experience, it does not make it a bad beer but it does make me want to stick to other pale ales when i'm in the mood for one.

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Photo of blitz134
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another treat from a non BA trade, ahh the wonders of beer trading...

Damn explosive head on this one. Granted it did take an hour and a half ride up to my new apartment before opening it, but others seem to have seen a lot of head from this one as well. It did reduce rather quickly though to almost nothing leaving some nice lacing behind from its initial off white frothyness. Clear body with some perfectly suspended particles.

Bottle says dry hopped, but I might beg to differ. I actually don't pick up much hops in the nose of this one. Comes across mostly as malts with some caramel sweetness to them. There is a little bit of hops, some light straw, grass varieties.

Taste is hit with a sharpness, probably due to the carbonation. Finishes with a slight resin bitterness. Sweet malts round it out making this one pretty balanced. I seem to pick up some soapiness though, which adds an "off" touch to the middle range of this beer. It does disappear though and offers room for a clean finish with a bit of bitterness.

Thinish, light mouthfeel. Might receive a higher rating if the carbonation was reduced a bit to "thicken" the feel up and uncover some of the flavors. Still drinkable though. I feel my scores undermind this brew a bit, but I dont know what to change...

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Photo of macpapi
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So far I haven't tasted a Founder's product that's been anything but great. So I thought I'd give their basic Pale a try.

Founder's PA pours a pale amber-copper color with a relatively small head. There is good bubble action throughout and a decent lace afterwards.

Nice smell. Malt and a good deal of hops are present. There are good floral and citrus aromas to boot. I also noticed a bit of a buttery tinge at the end of the inhalation as the beer warmed.

The taste is pretty hoppy. There is also a good deal of citrus flavor thrown in. A sharp and bitter kick adds to a very well-balanced and tasty swallow.

In the mouth FPA is crisp, sharp and relatively highly carbonated. Bitterness remains on the tongue for quite some time.

Overall this is a very nice Pale and highly drinkable beer. Not overly bitter or mega-hopped, but very enjoyable on a session-type level. Another point for Founder's.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4.47/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This sucker had a four finger, rocky head in my pint glass. It took a while to die down, and an eighth inch layer of foam persisted. It was a deep yellow brew with lots of floaters.

Aroma was grassy and floral, with a definite hit of raw hops. There was a firm caramel malt backbone.

The taste was slightly bitter, with raw hops, a hint of pine, and a hint of sweetness in the aftertaste that mingled with a lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel was quite good. Not too heavy, a little chewy, melded quite well with the hops.

Drinkability was excellent. I would definitely get this one again. An excellent session beer.

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Photo of karengarys
4.27/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours clear amber, leaving 12 fingers head. It's true. The first 1" of beer produces 3" of foam. It is overcarbonated, or out of control. It really should get a 3.5 for appearance here, but the aggrevation costed it a bit. [update - I poured the 2nd half of the bottle - there are floties!!! Guess I didn't realize this was an unfiltered beer, but there is settlement on the bottom to enjoy too!]

Smells dry, lemony, hoppy, but also a bit dusty.

Taste is incredible. The hop is over the top, but it is mostly a dry hop with just a hint of pine. It is slightly sweet, but the hops balances that out very well. This combination, to me, gives me the most refreshing and flavorful taste. it is soooo rich!

The mouthfeel is very good too. Nice and creamy and sparkely!

The finish is sparkely clean!

This is a very drinkable beer once the carbonation calms down. it is super good!!!! I do highly recommend this brew, and I would even go a bit out of my way to look for it!

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours out brownish yellow, topped with half an inch of white foam. Fruity malt aroma with some hops, but not as much as I expected. Sweet malty base, with apricots and orange. Hops come in midway through, but does not taste very fresh. This beer in general has a stale taste. Mouthfeel is medium. This beer did not really leave me wanting another. Not as good as most Founder's beers.

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Photo of KarlHungus
4.13/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a semi-cloudy pale golden color with faint reddish hues along the sides. The head is absolutely enormous, creamy, and white. The aroma is floral and fruity. Not overpowering, but pleasant and relaxing. The taste is rather balanced. The sip is a plethora of fruits, while the aftertaste is slightly bitter. The mouthfeel is a little thinner than medium bodied. Overall, this is a darn good pale ale if you want something that is not overly hoppy.

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Photo of mattcrill
2.06/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a deep honey yellow with visible carbonation throughout the body. A billowy tight white cap forms. I see bits of what I can only assume are hop floaties. Pretty good looking in my nonic tumbler.

Smell: A mix of citrusy hops, some floral hop notes, with a wheaty base to it. I'm picking up some yeast notes as well. A little light in this department but certainly forgiveable for the style.

Taste: A belgian yeasty funk dominates this brew. Not good in my book. Mostly floral hop notes noted. A wheat bread base to this is the most dominate flavor noted on the palate. A very yeasty and bready finish. I feel deceived as the aroma did not match the taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied and prickly.

Drinkability: I'm sure had I expected this, it may be a nice summer session beer. It tasted too much like a bad belgian beer to me. I'm not sure if the batch was off or the yeast just went wild but this beer is WAY too funky for me. I won't be going back to this one for sure. Likeable enough I suppose but certainly not to style. Avoid.

Notes: I couldn't handle this beer. This was only the second beer I've ever had that ended up in a drain pour. Most definitely AVOID.

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Photo of fdrich29
3.2/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle from a six pack. "Founders Dry Hopped Pale Ale".

Little head to speak of and what there was disappeared quickly. Strong, earthy and bready smell with hops prevelant. Very dry with little more than a weak, residual yeasty flavor left on the tongue. Not a brew that is prompting me to quickly grab one of it's brothers-in-cardboard. One is certainaly more than enough as the experience leaves something to be desired.

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Photo of DrJay
2.88/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hazy straw yellow topped by an enormous white head. I could only pour about a quarter of the beer in my glass at a time, there's so much carbonation. At least it leaves some lacing on the glass. Strong aroma of piney and citrus hops, to the point of smelling acidic. Very light malt flavour, balanced quite far towards bitterness. Hop flavours are mostly citric and a bit harsh. Finishes extremely dry with a bit of malt and lingering pine needle bitterness. Carbonation is indeed very high, giving this lighter bodied beer an airy texture. But the astringent dryness and harsh hop character make this less than a favourite.

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Photo of ALESwhatCURESya
3.45/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This is just another nice, clean, safe Pale Ale. A hazy, orange-hued, body with an airy head. The aroma is citrusy and filled with a fresh cut grass smell. The taste is nice and filled with a moderate hop presence. The finish is nice and dry with the sweetness of the malt pulling through. Definately not a bad beer, but there are so many good pale ales out there, that this doesn't stick out in the memory.

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Photo of lackenhauser
3.35/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale golden color-somewhat slight amber hue but fairly light in color. Low aroma-for being dry hopped as the label states theres not too much there. Ok malty flavor-ok balance of hops behind it all. Decent body-well rounded and a good balance between hops and malt. Ok beer-pretty standard stuff. Thanks to crjmellor for the sample.

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Photo of ngandhi
4.28/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is my favorite beer of the summer.

It's clean, bitter, nutty, soft, and more refreshing than spring water served directly out of the spring. The grainy finish and aroma are just barely caramelly--really a model for anyone who's trying to brew this seemingly simple brew. It's very comparable to Dogfish Head's 60 Minute IPA, but less bitter.

I hate saying "crisp" because it hardly means anything, but there's something virtually crunchy and praline about how this beer goes down.

Hints of grapefruit, lemon ice, and clementine round out the dry finish.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of maxpower
3.57/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a hazy bright copper with a small white head that leaves some lacing in my glass. Citrus grapefuit-piney aroma, typical hoppy flavors of grapefruit, lemon and pine. Medium bodied with a crisp carbonated mouthfeel that finishes bittter, an average but very drinkable APA.

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Photo of fizzyfred
3.97/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice golden color with a slight haze from lack of filtering. Slight head that leaves a nice lace. Lots of floral and citrus aroma, obviously cascades hops. As it says on the bottle, it was also dry hopped. Nice upfront bitterness, not overdone. Enough malt sweetness to balance. Goes down smooth. This is a nice standard APA, nothing overdone.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.8/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased as a single at Julio's, Westboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 4" white head over not much beer at all. Must be the dry-hop effect on the carbonation or something. Head fades slowly above the warm golden brew, and lacing is nice and foamy. Aroma is of fruity and piney hops. Taste is minimally of pale malts, and the switches to hops mode, which are restrained, yet remaining flavorful. Just seems the flavor profile lacks a bit of something, but still good. Mouthfeel is good, and the drinkability could have been even better if I didn't have to wait around to get the beer into the bottle. A nice beer I would revisit.

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

Undated 12oz poured into a pint glass.

Hazy gold with a decent head of white that falls to a layer of foam with a thick ring. Shows good lacing.

Smells of tangy hops with just a little malt underneath. There's some yeast in there too.

Tastes "juicy" from the hops paired with a good malt backbone. Very hoppy in the finish, but its not overwhelming. Goes down easy.

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