1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Stone Pale Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Stone Pale AleStone Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

2,444 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,444
Reviews: 961
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.4%
Wants: 72
Gots: 131 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 06-23-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Stone Pale Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,444 | Reviews: 961 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of guitarmage
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Crystal clear copper, big rocky white head, inviting, bubbly. Perfect looking ale.

Smell: Light malt, bready and yeasty, grassy, pungent.

Taste: Subtle malt character, flavors are light and in the background, grassy hops, very faint citrus, juicy, then a biscuity finish.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, lightly carbonated, nitro creaminess but still a crisp edge, super drinkable and smooth.

Drinkability: This is a really easy drinking APA, not big and hoppy, not really sweet, but this makes it really balanced and easy drinking. Mouthfeel is outstanding.

guitarmage, Mar 22, 2007
Photo of Mdog
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy amber, nice head and retention.

Smell: Citrusy smell.

Taste: A little bite of citrus, then caramel and breadiness. Has a earthy hop bite at the end like an ESB.

Drinkability: Sessionable but not my favorite flavor profile.

A friend sent this as a surprise gift to me. I've had Stone's more aggressive offerings but not this one before now. It surprised me in that it reminded me of an ESB or other English ale due to the earthy hop aftertaste. I'm glad to have tried it even though it's not my favorite.

Mdog, Mar 21, 2007
Photo of BBM
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this one on cask at BoBBQue. It poured a golden amber color, clear, with a big, pillowy white head that stuck around the entire time. Nice lacing, as well. The aroma was fairly standard, leafy, hints of citrus and caramel.

The taste was leafy and grassy hops up front, with an oily, bitter finish. It's not an overwhelming hop presence, though. Slight hints of citrus and fruits, but they are not really the focus hear. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but the finish was clean. This is certainly a drinkable, well-crafted pale ale. Worth a try.

BBM, Mar 21, 2007
Photo of akorsak
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle from a trade with Phatz.

A: The pale ale has a robust color, a dark amber that has equal parts red and orange. The head is thick and, from initial appearances, laces nicely in the glass.

S: The overwhelming aroma is grainy, cereal malts, slightly bready. There is a hint of hoppiness underlying those malts.

T: The ale is heavy on the cereal malts, showing off a grainy, liquid bread that has a fairly short finish. There is a small hop presence but it struggles to overcome the malts. Unfortunately, I find that neither one really stands out very well.

M: The mouthfeel is fairly nondescript, showing off the muted flavor of a pale ale.

D: This is Stone's least memorable brew, in my opinion. It seems like they do best when pushing the boundaries rather than fitting in.

akorsak, Mar 09, 2007
Photo of prototypic
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a nice two finger head which sits atop a deep red to amber colored brew. Stone brews are great. Even their look screams attitude.

Smell: Not a great deal to speak of. I am picking up some hops and citrus notes. It also features hints of toffee or caramel. This one is light on smell though.

Taste: Nice blend of malt and hops. Definitely leaves a dry taste in my mouth. Good bitter taste to it. The citrus undertones and toffee taste are also present. Alcohol is not overly strong and I like the carbonation level.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Good, smooth beer. I could drink a few of these. Overall, it's definitely not my favorite pale ale. I also think it's one of the weaker Stone offerings. It's definitely a good beer. It just doesn't overwhelm like many of the Stone brews do. But, that's not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it's one of the few Stones I could session.

prototypic, Feb 26, 2007
Photo of blitz134
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy caramel orange. Off-white head. Kinda small initially, but left a quarter inch of resistant foam. Good retention as with most of Stone's brews.

Smell is sweet, caramel and some raw candy sugar. Hops are quite subdued in the aroma as compared to their other stuff. Floral hops are the predominant aroma that I get with a bit of herbalness. I found the aroma quite weak and not overly complex.

Nicely balanced beer. A lot of malt flavor in this with some yeast bread and a little caramel sweetness. The unrefined sugar in the nose doesn't present itself here. Hops are again a bit floral and there is a definate herbal, earthy hit at the end. Finishes fairly clean with only the slightest bit of lingering dirty bitterness. There are some fleeting hints of alcohol that show up every now and then.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. Coats well and there is just enough crispness from the carbonation. Overall this is a pretty drinkable pale ale and quite toned down compared to most of their other brews. I'd drink this if it was more readily available, although there are more flavorful offerings out there.

blitz134, Feb 21, 2007
Photo of Brent
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I'm certainly a fan of Stone's hop-centric offerings, but I was equally impressed with this beer, in which Stone demonstrated an abilty to hold back on the hop-horsepower while still producing a flavorful beer with bright malt flavors, tinged with caramel malt and juicy but well-balanced hop bittering. Stone managed to put quite a bit of depth into this beer, no small feat for a pale ale. A work of art.

Brent, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of Stoneman78
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Deep amber hue, creamy white head that is mostly diminishing, tiny thin particles, slight lacing

S- Nose is malty and caramel with some subtle citrus hoppiness

T- Very light caramel malt predominates throughout, short dry hoppiness very subtle in the finish. Well balanced and enjoyable. Spoke with a Stone employee who said this beer has won recent competitions as an ESB, go figure.

M- Smooth, medium body with a short, dry finish, soft carbonation

D- Great, easy-drinking APA (ESB?). This is a very refreshing beer that I will continue to enjoy. I have also found this is a great 'gateway' craft beer for friends used to the macrobrews. I took some friends to the Stone Brewery and the hoppy IPAs were too much for most of them, but they all enjoyed this beer. One friend even bought a case of Stone Pale Ale the following week (this is a Texan who only drinks Bud!). If that isn't an endorsement, I don't know what is. . .

Stoneman78, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of schusterbauer
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

caramel and toffee coloring; head forms in an attractive rolling manner, and slightly laces the glass. smells of caramel, malt, hops, copper -- thin in the nose, and automated. tastes like you'd expect from the smell -- good, but there's nothing revealed in the taste, until the beer warms significantly and some herbal tea flavors come out. mouthfeel is respectably full; stickier than i prefer.

everything tastes natural and fresh, which is nice, but i can't help but feel like i'm drinking a calculation, not a beer. that said, it is a fine brew, and i'm sure a crowd pleaser. i've had a good number of these since stone came to michigan, and i'm sure it will find its way into my rotation now and then, especially in social situations.

schusterbauer, Feb 02, 2007
Photo of Enola
3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Obtained as part of the Double Trouble Bif.

This is not my favorite Stone brew. The beer just seems too bland. Not bad, just average. The smell is creamy and the taste is hoppy bot and it has a slight adjunct taste. The mouthfeel is smooth. Drinkability is good. This beer is not bad. It is, however, plain. Average for the style. Drinkable. No thumbs up or down. Medium.

Enola, Jan 27, 2007
Photo of beerphan
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle -> imperial pint
no date

Pours clear copper with a big fluffy head that settles to thin blanket. Lace is sparse sporadic gobs. Carbonation appears robust.

Nose: Citrus hops and caramel malt and some sweetness.

Taste: Light caramel malt meets a tamed bitterness. Very well balanced, the citrus hop bitterness lingers tamely.

Good mouth feel for an APA, crisp and medium.

Not the big flavors you may have come to expect from Stone, but a very well balanced APA. Very sessionable brew.

beerphan, Jan 16, 2007
Photo of brewcrew76
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a bright clear orange, light copper with two fingers of creamy off white head. Lacing clings to the side of the glass.

S - Caramel and soft citrus, flowery hops. Basic and somewhat faint but spot on for the style.

T - Sweet caramel malt and fresh baked biscuity bread followed by citrus and flowery hops. Dry with a nice hop presence but very well balanced.

M - Light to medium body with just the right amount of carbonation. Slightly dry on the finish.

D - Very drinkable. I feel I could drink this everyday and not get sick of it.

brewcrew76, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of AltBock
3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A little 12 oz. bottle with the usual silk-screened Stone trade mark on the front. Their trade mark is that of their kneeling muscular horned gargoyle giving the drinker of this beer an evil creepy look. Sometimes the gargoyle has a pitcher of beer in his hand, but I guess he wasn't thirsty when his picture was taken. To the right is the California warning, Government warning, and then the barcode in the middle or the warnings. On the back is the definition of the word Gargoyle and the usual long Stone information paragraph about the beer and brewery. To me it's mostly just gibberish, but it's nice to see they didn't waste any space on the back of the bottle. There is a close up silk-screened picture of the kneeling muscular horned gargoyle on the neck of the bottle. I didn't see any day stamped onto the bottle, but it has to recent because this Stone beer just arrived into the state of Ohio.

Appearance: When poured into a simple mug that can be found anywhere, the beer was a deep copper orange with a head of foam that was pearl white in color and half an inch in height. It dissipated away only after 1 to 2 minutes. If left no white rings or even white spotty lace for that matter.

Smell: It had a light aroma of bitter herbal hops, a pinch of juicy fruits, and a splash of roasted caramel in the background. It took a lot of effort of swirling this beer around the glass to even get the slightest bit of smell to emerge.

Taste: For such a low alcohol Stone brew, I found this beer to very enjoyable. It's not suppose to knock me on my ass, it's just a well rounded low ABV% slightly bitter Pale Ale. In the in taste I got some bitter citrus hops followed by a few citrus fruits, and a miniature amount of roasted malts and sweet caramel. What was nice was that it wasn't overly hopped, it was just a well rounded Pale Ale.

Mouthfeel: It was very light, crisp, smooth, dry, and with a not too strong aftertaste of bitter cirrus hops. To me it was a mouthfeel that every Pale Ale should have.

Drinkability: I know it was a nice highly drinkable session beer, but for some reason I just didn't care about this beer. I don't know what it was, but it had to be something in this beer that made not care about this certain Stone brew. I don't see myself anytime in the future buying this beer again.

AltBock, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of Westsidethreat
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Clean copper amber color with a lot of bubble activity. Head is full and creamy, a full finger of light tan bubbles.

S: Soap, pine cone, caramel with minor grapefruit.

T: Caramel is the first identifiable characteristic...and really the primary through the entire beer. Very doughy with strong bready tastes. Some red apple adds some fruitiness but it really plays second fiddle. Heck, the hops are barely even present until towards the end where some citrus and a pinch of pine needles can be found. Finishes grainy with more bread thoughts.

M: Medium body with a thin and somewhat hard mouthfeel.

D: So unlike other Stone beers, but there's nothing wrong with that. This beer is easy to drink but does get slightly cloying after a while.

Westsidethreat, Jan 14, 2007
Photo of hustlemuscle
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sturdy, well-balanced pale, perhaps even tilting toward the malty side of the equation. Looks good on the pour, with a big puffy head over a hazy apricot body. Hops provide tartness, but are overpowered by the bready malts to the extant that one cannot identify which buds were used. Smooth, full bodied, and eminentaly repeatable.

hustlemuscle, Jan 12, 2007
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.7/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Acquired via trade from Phocion, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a bright orange color with a thin but foamy white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of hops, citrus, tea and caramelized malt.

T: The taste is very well-balanced. The same elements that are in the smell, hops, citrus, caramelized malt & tea, are intricately woven together to create a robust and flavorful beer, which doesn’t seem to be done very often in this style, but it’s done here as only Stone can. The after-taste is a mild mixture of hops and sweetness.

M: Very crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean and dry finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not very filling, this is an excellent beer to just keep knocking back continuously. Stone proves again how well they can brew. They can take even an ordinary style and make an extra-ordinary beer in it.

TheManiacalOne, Jan 11, 2007
Photo of MDekker
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Typical 12oz bottle, no freshness dates. Cool gargoyle, as usual. It poured out into a copper, translucent brew with a fat finger of off-white head that settled, leaving nice lacing. A little foam retained throughout. The aroma was dry, with little bits of banana, flowers, citrus, something herbal or so. Nothing stands out. The taste is well-balanced, with the same flavors as aromas, with some additional bready taste and a bittery finish. Good texture and consistency in the mouth. Pretty easy to put down. Nothing extraordinary here, but a solid, solid brew. I'll gladly grab more of this again.

MDekker, Jan 09, 2007
Photo of Cresant
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pooured this undated 12 oz. brown bottle into a Stone IPA glass. Achieved three fingers of fresh-pine-lumber colored head. Golden amber colored clear body supported a ring of foam after the head receeded.

Smell was very floral and spicy. Roses. Slight earthiness. Biscuits. Very aromatic.

Taste was fruity and bright. Well balanced hops bitterness and light caramel sweetness. Well constructed and rather subtle for a Stone product.

Mouthfeel was zesty, crunchy. Medium texture. Nice.

Cresant, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of montageman
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's funny how as a beer is poured you can tell it's going to be good. We just started getting Stone in Michigan and from what I've tried so far, the hype is all true. This pale ale is what I would term an all around good beer. Perfect for session drinking, a hot summer day or a cold winter night or anytime really. Poured into a pint glass - rich amber in color with a nice amount of head that slows fades into some decent lacing. Smells sweet and crisp - very inviting. Tastes sweet and malty up front with a refreshing dry finish. Mouthfeel is great for this brew - not too thin, some carbonation is welcomed here. I could see myself drinking this a whole lot in the future. This will become a staple at my household. Highly recommended.

montageman, Jan 07, 2007
Photo of zuggy9
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love this pale ale. It pours a nice copper-amber with a thick off-white head and excellent retention, yielding some nice lacing. The smell is light, but with a good mix of malts, fruit and hops. The taste is quite full, with complex grains and caramel sweetness, along with the classic Stone citrus notes. It has a good body and light carbonation, finishing dry, but not overly bitter. These won't last if you share then, so stock up on them!

zuggy9, Jan 05, 2007
Photo of budsboy
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours orange-amber with a thin white head. What's there sticks.

Hoppy aroma, pine and citrus, mixed with sweet carmel malt and toffee.

Carmel malt sweetness followed by a quick bit of orange citrus tang and finishing with a strong tangy bitterness.

Medium-light bodied with lively carbonation.

A fairly quiet beer, easy to drink and low enough alcohol to do just that. It retains that Stone goodness, though.

budsboy, Jan 01, 2007
Photo of Applesauce1
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I got this at The Party Source in Bellevue, KY.

Appearance: copper-amber color with a 1" white head
Smell: unique for a pale ale; very balanced: some hops
Taste: unique for a pale ale; some hops, but not as much as most pale ales; some malt sweetness; some lemon flavor, a little bit of pine flavor/smell
Mouthfeel: light to medium bodied
Drinability: good

This is a unique beer, and while I was expecting more from Stone, I'll give it another try in a month or so.

Applesauce1, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of radshoesbro
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

pours rusty amber with marginal head and good lace. floral, oily hops, almost a slight hint of honey suckle it's so sweet smelling. there is a nice hop finish to it, but just like every pale ale it really leaves me wanting a bit more punch to it. this is definately the lightest bodied beer i've had from stone thus far. this would work great for a warm summer night on a porch in rhode island. it also did well a few days after christmas in a barracks in san diego!

radshoesbro, Dec 28, 2006
Photo of quasimoto
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Nice copper color/ deep amber. big fluffy head that leaves lots of lace.

S - Strong papery smell of the worst hops in the world...AMARILLO!!! I hate these hops. There is a slight background of malt, but light and balanced.

T - those damn Amarillo hops kill it. Although it does get better as it warms up. The malt breakes though

M - It starts out dry slight bitternes, and some slight carbonation. Wets the mouth nicely and then returns to dry city. The bitterness has a nice touch.

D - For the style it is spot on. Balanced and smooth. Its the flavor of those hops I cant get past. Horrible. But then that is my own personal taste.

quasimoto, Dec 24, 2006
Photo of Realale
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper red. Very fine cream head settles to a somewhat sticky complete cap leaving nice lace. Looks English.

Smells English too. Toffee malt leads the way, supported by some yeasty bready notes. The hops seem more American, but are somewhat subdued, particularly for Stone. Overall, it's a very nice, surprisingly traditional package.

Medium in the mouth. The malt stars again, and it's a bit too toffee-centric for me. Some hop flavor mixes it up, and a nice bitterness kicks in mid-palate. Finish is medium, with good bitterness and some minerally, almost sulphury notes.

Mouthfeel is fine, and drinkability is hampered only by too much caramel/toffee for me. Very nice beer in its style, it's certainly not what I was expecting. Best before was sometime in January, 2007, but the exact date is smeared on the last two bottles of my six pack.

Realale, Dec 23, 2006
Stone Pale Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 2,444 ratings.