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Stone Pale Ale | Stone Brewing Co.

very good
983 Reviews
For Trade:
Stone Pale AleStone Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 06-23-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Reviews
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Reviews: 983 | Ratings: 2,708
Photo of RonKoch
4.19/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Isn't this the standard by which all other American Pale Ale's should be measured? They've been making this recipe since July 1996, according to wording on the bottle, which is to say, for eons, considering the fast changing American craft beer market. Nice caramel malt flavors are the sweet to the bitter of this hop heavy ale.

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Photo of stella77artois
4.19/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into pilsener glass.

A - Pours a medium red-orange-brown. Dark for a pale ale. Thick head which stuck around and left plenty of residuals.

S - Very pleasant. Malt and hops, along with hints of grapefruit and melon. Reminds me of a lighter Arrogant Bastard.

T - All aromas were noted in the taste, as well. Again, tastes a fair amount like Arrogant Bastard to me, of course on a lighter scale. Could also detect hints of roasted characters and just a touch of cocoa. Interesting.

F - Like an average ale. Refreshing but leaves a bit of dryness. A very drinkable beer, could be sessioned slowly.

O - Another excellent Stone brew. As Double Bastard is Arrogant Bastard's big brother, I'd be inclined to consider this it's little brother. Has a lot of the same flavors, just on a lower level. A damn good tasting beer, highly recommended to anyone who appreciates an ale with lot's going on.

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Photo of Roman5150
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

bottle into Duvel Glass

appearance: dark mahogany with a subtle amberhue, large white head with intricate lacing, good retention

smell: tropical fruity hops, emphasis on citrus, grapefruit and apple

taste: very well balanced, enough bitterness to satisfy a hop head but smooth enough to appeal to anyone, follows the nose with citrus apple and grapefruit notes. very refreshing smooth finish, bitterness doesn't linger too long.

mouthfeel: not much carbonation, surprisingly full body for a pale ale

overall: I would say this may be a benchmark for the pale ale category, alongside Sierra Nevada's classic green label. Never had a bad beer from Stone; think of this as their "light" IPA, all the flavor and awesomeness, but in a more session-able variety.

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Photo of Slackerville
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

More mellow in terms of hop aroma and bitterness than many other Stone offerings this beer is still tasty with balanced flavor. Color is a nice pale amber and this beer is incredibly drinkable and refreshing while still staying in the West Coast pale ale vein.

As usual Stone uses quality ingredients in terms of both malt and hops to make one of their most balanced beers. While Stone IPA is distributed across the country Stone Pale Ale continues to have more of a niche following which is fine by me.

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Photo of bnes09
4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Transparent amber and tons of carbonation. Rich, creamy ivory colored head with excellent retention and plenty of stickage to the glass.

Malty, bready aroma. Some spices, herbs and rye. Hint of pine.

Dense malt character, buttered biscuits and toasted rye. Subtle pine and leaf hop. Well balanced.

Medium bodied, smooth in the middle and dry in the end. Well carbonated.

NIce pale ale. Solid flavor and good balance.

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Photo of Suds
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This one is a clear and copper colored brew. The head is white and leaves a nice lace. The smell is clean and balanced with both malt and hop qualities. Herbal and earthy in aroma...some underlying stone fruit.m the taste is more assertive....bitter ans strong. On the dry side, but lots of malt flavor. Hop resin and flavor is prominent throughout. Full body and satisfying.

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Photo of MadCat
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice copper color, decent white head, leaves good lacing

Smell: Fruit and caramel malts, along with floral and citrus hops

Taste: Hoppy, with some bitterness, floral and citrus. Caramel malt sweetness backs it up some, with some fruit and nut flavor. Very well balanced

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, good carbonation

Overall: Excellent example of the style. This brew always makes me happy, as I don't have it as often as other pale ales.

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Photo of JRed
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear burning orange in body with off-white fluffy head that lasts. Aroma of citrus, dry grass, bready, caramel notes. Tastes of biscuits, dry grass, evolves into citrus notes, mild bitterness finishes it up. Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Thick and chewy. A Stone offering that has history, mild flavor profile for modern times but still a good easy drinkin' brew.

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Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Serving type: 12-ounce bottle. The “ENJOY BY” date printed on the shoulder is “12.24.12.” Rats! Only two months late.

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is hazy, orange-tinted amber. Two fingers of dense, eggshell-colored head dissipated slowly to leave a thick, spotted lacing, ring around the edge, and trails of foam along the glass.

Smell: Mild citrus intermingled with malts and faint cardboard. This bottle is showing its age. Nonetheless, there are aromas of orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime, some exotic fruit, light pine or spruce, and sweet caramel.

Taste: Despite this bottle’s age, the flavor is still pretty solid. Most of the hops may have fallen out, though. It is a mellow balance between mild citrus and the malts. Orange, lemon, pepper spice, pine, toasted malts, toffee, and caramel. It offers a floral bitterness that lingers as an aftertaste.

Drinkability: I will definitely buy a fresher bottle in the future, but this “old” one was still pretty good.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.96/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

5.40% ABV confirmed. Bottle acquired at Trader Joe's. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average; I figure a brewery with as much funding and manpower as Stone wouldn't screw up a pale ale.

Served straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 2.5 finger beige-khaki colour head of fair cream, decent thickness, and pretty good (~4 minute) retention. Body colour is a clear textbook copper. Translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Predictable for the style; this is what one thinks of when one thinks of a pale ale. Nothing unique or special here, but there are no overt flaws.

Sm: I like the refined caramel malt backbone; it's more evocative than in most pale ales. Light generic floral hops. No yeast or alcohol is detectable. Not a lot going on here; I hope there's more to the flavour. An average strength aroma.

T: Okay. Caramel malt and floral hops. There's a subtlety to the execution. (Stone, subtlety - what?). It's a simple beer but it's well put together. I wouldn't go so far as to call it balanced - after all this is Stone - but it's not bad. Built decently. I expected severe over-hopping in classic Stone fashion, but this is surprisingly underhopped for the style. It's kind of a malt-focused beer, actually. Still, its simplicity holds it back. Not quite refreshing. No alcohol or yeast comes through. A bit too bitter on the finish.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Too dry on the finish, killing the refreshing feel. Decent thickness. Okay presence on the palate. Overcarbonated. Suits the flavours generally at best.

Dr: Drinkable but forgettable. Rather pedestrian. Hides its ABV well. I doubt I'd get it again unless the only other offerings were macro-shite. It's by no means a bad beer; it's just mundane.

High C

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Photo of jsisko01
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours an orangish-copper color with an inch thick head that dissipates instantly, leaving a pretty good lacing.

Smell - Sweet but also bitter, a slight funk, and alcohol.

Taste - It has a very nice sweetness to it, kind of like grapefruit. The hops taste like pine to me. There is a slight mustiness, like the aroma. And there is a very light alcohol flavor in the finish, kind of similar to a whiskey ale. I think this might be brewed in oak barrels as well?

Mouthfeel - Has a pretty thick feel with medium carbonation.

Overall - It's pretty easy to drink on.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Two fingers of head on a cloudy, dark straw colored body.
The aroma is a faint grain smell.
The taste starts malty then switches to moderate pine/grapefruit bitterness; finishes with a mild sweetness. Great profile.
The texture is crisp with moderate carbonation.
It's a straight up pale ale, can't lose with this one.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle. Bottle says to 'enjoy by 04/03/13'. Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours a nice ruby copper color with about two fingers worth of fluffy off-white creamy head.

S - Light bready malts with a faint whiff of citrus hops in the background. Not a complex smell, but not off-putting either. Smells lightly refreshing and inviting.

T - Taste follows the nose, lots of nice bready malts paired with a hint of grapefruit hops and a bit of fresh lemon / orange. The bottle says it best, itself, at describing this beer claiming it is "nearly on the modest side". It is a much more tame beer than a lot of the raging hop assaults that Stone Brewing releases. A nice change of pace. Nicely balanced with a nice light body.

M - Smooth and clean mouthfeel. Just a very slight bitter hop aftertaste.

Overall, it is highly drinkable at only 5.40% abv, lightly bodied, and remarkably well-balanced. Definitely a nice take on the style by Stone, I would have it again.

Stone Pale Ale ---3.5/5

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Photo of Mojo
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle -> World Market tulip glass.

This offering pours up a deep gold/medium amber with a small half finger head, no real retention, and bits of lacing. The nose is kind of pine, bread, and citrus. Taste is a very sweet almost apple juice flavor on the initial sip giving way to a grapefruitiness and finally a spicy hop finish. Mouthfeel is pleasant. This is a good one, maybe not the best ever, but solid.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before 03/19/13.

Appearance: Slight chill haze on a straight up copper colored beer. Head is off-white, rocky, and massive. Drops to a small cap and big chunky collar. Sheets, splotches, and spots of lacing mark the glass with each sip.

Smell: A nice balance of leafy, slightly earthy notes and citrus. Some grapefruit with a touch of pine lingering in the back. Solid malt backbone is biscuity with a good amount of caramel malt sweetness. A bit of caramelized sugar. Backing floral notes. A touch of ale yeast. Light toasted element.

Taste: Leafy flower. Drink the meadow. Raw hop leaf with a backing punch of citrus zest, pith, and oily pine. Some straight backing bitterness. Malts are nicely balanced, sweet, but not overbearing. Slightly toasted with a great caramelized malt sweetness. Finishes on the hoppy side (surprise!).

Mouthfeel: Smooth. Body runs medium with a moderate carbonation. Clean.

Overall: Are you sure Stone made this?

A nicely hopped APA. A bit restrained for Stone, but it's appreciated here. Drinkable and still carries that distinct Stone finish. I need to remember to drink this as a go to APA.

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Photo of Groomsy
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic. "Enjoy by" date is 02.18.13.

This APA pours a very attractive light amber color and is topped by a frothy off-white head of two fingers. Per the style, the head sticks around for a while and leaves some nice lacing down the glass. Some yeast particles (and hop residue?) lingers in the body of the beer, giving it some haze.

Definitely a West Coast style nose on this one - the first thing I notice is a sweet grapefruit/citrus character. There's some floral freshness behind that. The malt hangs in the balance and provides a nice, caramel contrast to the very apparent hop aromas. For some reason, I also think of orange rinds when smelling this? A well-balanced American pale ale. Not totally citrusy, as some others are.

Some strong malt sweetness hits the front of the tongue with flavors of freshly milled grain, but this is quickly balanced by some juicy fruity flavors mid-palate - citrus, predictably. Some floral, slightly pine-like bitterness finishes out the beer, with some of the citrus character still hanging out. Nice bitter and strong finish of this one.

The mouthfeel of this beer is excellent and refreshing. Mildly carbonated, it has a dry finish and the body is a medium consistency. The dry finish leaves some of the hoppy flavors lingering behind.

A great American pale ale. This is by all means a "go to." While not as outrageous as some of Stone's other beers, this shows that they can indeed make a very good "standard" ale.

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Photo of Moose90
3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best By: Sept 26 2012
Tasted: Feb 3 2013 . . . oops

A – Medium/Dark amber color. Strong 1" head stays around and leaves lacing, nice cream white foam.

S – Malt, lots of it, crystal malts, biscuity and thats about it. The hops have obviously faded considerably.

T – Some bitter hops here, but the biscuity and heavy malt character comes through and dominates. This is almost sweaty on the malt level.

M – Seems over-carbonated. It is crisp enough, but it has a sticky lingering malty aftertaste.

O – Just average, may be due to the date of the bottle, but the major notes on this one are malts and more malts. Its not bad, but not sure I'd seek out a freshie.

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Photo of browniewithnuts
3.18/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A: Dark amberish color, kind of murky in the glass. 1/2 inch head which dispersed pretty quickly with a circular white foam remaining around the glass. Decent carbonation.

S: Not much coming through in the smell for me. Mostly smelling biscuity malts coming through with slight hop presence in the smell.

T: Hop bitterness comes through at first but the taste changes quickly. The maltiness comes through quickly and takes over the palate. There is a little more bitterness on the back end before the taste fades with a crisp, clean finish

M: Light clean body, slightly over carbonated but not overwhelmingly so. Decent mouth feel.

O: An average Pale Ale. Nothing really stood out with it but nothing really offended the senses.

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Photo of mscudder
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a pint.

A - Nice smoke from popping the bottle. Crisp translucent copper hue with a small ivory head.

S - Pale malts, yeast and hops. Simple.

T - Rather heavy on the malts for an APA, reminds me of OB Dale's PA in this regard. Bit of caramel sweetness atop smooth smooth malts. Crisp finish that goes down nicely. Nothing crazy here, yet nothing bad to speak of.

M - Light-medium body with moderate carbonation.

O - This is a simple, malty pale ale. Big simplicity makes this one a go-to when you want something simple and clean with refinement.

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Photo of Rastabama
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Not pale, almost amber

S: Lovely Ahtanum aroma, sweet caramel malts. Hints of pepper.

T: The hops are one tone lower than the cascade not as bright but delicious, high caramel/bread sweet on the front.

M: Medium, balanced, appropriate.

O: One of the best examples of Californian APA there is. A good session or pairing beer. It is a bit on the sweet caramel side with a darker color than other APAs. I think it's wonderful and has unique character.

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Photo of ElSid
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

The Beers of California


Bottled Date: None

A: Golden copper with minimal haze and two fingers of off white foam with good retention. The head finally fades leaving a generous amount of lace on the glass.

S: Biscuity malt, bread, and grass with caramel, brown sugar sweetness and faint citrus and pine in the background.

T: Toasted brown bread, buttery biscuits, and even some faint nuttiness. The malt is balanced with a nice hop bitterness which consists of mostly herbal, earthy, and grass notes along with some muted pine and citrus flavors.

M: Medium mouthfeel with good prickling carbonation. Trace linger.

O: Overall a nice pale ale which is well balanced and easy to drink. One of my first California microbrews which will always have a soft spot in my refrigerator. A brew that pairs well with almost any food and is also a great session beer.

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Photo of Oakenator
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is leaning more amber than expected. Finger thick head on a 10 oz pour - eggshell colored. Good mouthfeel. The aroma is closer to an Arrogant Bastard - bitter. Taste is milder than expected given the profile to this point - don't get me wrong it is bolder than many and still solid.

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Photo of sevenarts
3.21/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Clear, glimmering amber with a big, fluffy light tan head and good lacing.

S: Thick, bready malts with some piney hop bitterness.

T/M: Bready and malty, with some bitter, piney hops threaded through it. Fairly mild and simple, with a medium/light mouthfeel.

O: Not the most exciting beer or even the most exciting pale ale. Easily drinkable and moderately tasty, but nothing too special.

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Photo of larryarms847
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours somewhat darker for a pale ale. Has a rusty hue but golden amber.

Citrus, pine, grassy, dank.

Taste follows aroma. The usual piney, grassy, dank hop resins with a little bit of citrus and grainy sweet malts.

Light-bodied, high carbonation, crisp, dank, earthy.

Overall, not the greatest beer ever but decent.

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Photo of angrybabboon
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 11/15/12

Appearance: Somewhere between light amber, orange, and copper - very clear - leaves some spotty lacing

Smell: So... mellow... is this really a Stone beer? - floral citrus, light fruits, some gentle pine - tons of caramel malts - lightly toasted, lightly sweet - very clean, very balanced

Taste: As mellow and quaffable as the aroma suggests - lightly sweet caramel malts, lightly toasted - clean, decidedly non-earthy - lightly fruity, with some hints of orange and tangerine - very mildly bitter

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nice carbonation, very smooth, easy to drink

Overall: A benchmark for American Pale Ales

I bought this beer because I realized I hadn't had it in a while. I didn't realize that I had failed to ever review it on BA. It's actually pretty odd pale ale for Stone, in the sense that it is balanced and not particularly hoppy. It is absurdly drinkable, greater than the sum of its parts.

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Stone Pale Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 983 ratings.