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Pale 31 - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pale 31Pale 31

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

510 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 510
Hads: 1,722
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 19.9%
Wants: 71
Gots: 194 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 08-23-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (88) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 510 | Hads: 1,722
Photo of Act25
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

APA is my favorite style and this one I benchmark against my favorite Deals Pale Ale.

A - Pours a clear golden color with a modest head that laces moderately. Not as interesting as Dales.

S: Biscuity aroma that adds floral and citrus notes. Not as intense and original as Dales.
clean, straight ahead. grassy, bright.

T - follows smell, plenty of grassy, hay, coastal hops, salty, and long finish 3.75
F - Good weight, great finish 4

T: Follows smell, but more interest - A biscuity start that is cookie sweet; then by mid-palate, the citrus and grassy hops kick: sunny hay, coastal hops, salty, and long finish.

F: Great feel. Best attribute. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and nice long finish.

Sessionable APA. This brewer does it all right.

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Photo of mikeg67
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Pours golden with tall, long-lasting, fluffy white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of citrusy hops, bready malt and some tropical fruit. Body is medium and crisp. Herbal hops, pale malt and ripe fruit fill the mouth. Finish is long and dry. Very good overall.

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Photo of NiceTaps
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

on tap in a pint glass.

Clear golden color, active small-bubble carbonation. 1F white head, ends as a film leaving rings of lacing.

Fruit and citrus hop aroma.

Malt base flavor, pale and caramel, with hops.

Light body with a malt kick.

Clean dry finish.

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Photo of JackieKu
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 fl.oz. bottle. Bottled on 05/05/2015.

A: Pale amber. Clear. Poured with medium amount of foam.
S: Slightly citrus aroma.
T: Slightly citrus and grassy. Medium- bitterness. Dry.
M: Light bodied. Quite refreshing.
O: A decent session beer. Nothing really special.

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Photo of Strat58cat
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

With Firestone Walker, less can be more. While their flagship Union Jack is overwrought imho, their Pale 31 is everything a pale ale should be. From brewery to brewery, it's a fuzzy line between what is a proper ale and what is an Indian Pale Ale (and what is a double IPA, but that's another story). Firestone brews an absolutely huge IPA called Union Jack that is over the top for me. Their 31 Pale, however, is a tremendously good ale. It could pass for a session IPA at some other breweries.

31 pale is amber with an orange tint, like many IPAs. It's notably dark for a pale ale. The head froths up beautifully white and billowy and retains. There is a lot of lacing to the bottom of the glass. High quality malt, here.

The aroma is fantastic. It's not all citrus and grapefruit, all pine, or overwhelming fruit. It is a balanced, inviting bouquet featuring some of each.

The taste is a delightful citrus, but not simply grapefruit. It's more of a balanced, tart, refreshing, citrus fruit salad. The malt balances the flavors from the hops with a rich malt backbone that suggests graham crackers to me, or another consumers own subjective grain-based treat. It's really just beer, but it seems like something more important.

The quality malt is in proportion to the aggressive hop profile. The feel is substantial, not watery. It's a rich experience to drink Pale 31.

Firestone Walker has a fantastic beer here. Whether they choose to call it pale ale or IPA, it is delicious and refreshing. Sometimes less is more.

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Photo of andrewjraab
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a pale yellow with good clarity, fluffy white head and nice stick all the way down.

S - Grassy, yeast, citrus notes, malts.

T - Low to medium bodied, crisp and refreshing. Hops present - citrus, balanced nicely with some grains, yeast, malts. Clean finish.

O - Really solid brew that makes for a nice session APA.
Notes - picked up while visiting family in Cape Girardea, MO.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

7/26...on tap at Monk's. Bronze, cloudy. White foam lid. Fruity malty nose. Really drinkable. Peppy bitter hop. Touch spicy. Juicy. This bad boy is quite sessionable at 4.9%. Nicely done.

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4.09/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My usual strong pour gets me an inch and a half of creamy off white head. Head has solid retention and fades leaving a little bit of lace. Body is a orange amber in tone which is on the darker side for the style. Nose is fragrant with citrus rind and floral tones. With first sip you get juicy citrus and a hint of piney balance to the hop character. It is prickly on the back of the tongue in a good way. Super drinkable and very nice. I know this in not a session IPA but this is what most session IPA's wish they were.

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Photo of slusk
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a clear gold with a moderate white head. Good lacing,

S: Hops are in the forefront with a pronounced floral aroma, along with some pineapple and a hint of grapefruit. Light maltiness.

T: Definitely a hop forward brew. There's a light sweetness on the palate before the hops kick in almost immediately with a nice balanced floral, piney flavor. A bit of pineapple lingers in the dry finish. Smells sweeter than it actually tastes.

M: Medium light bodied brew with medium carbonation. Smooth, almost slick mouthfeel.

O: I really like this brew. It's everything a pale should be. Nice hop flavor without the bitter bite of an IPA and a well attenuated malt underpinning. Finishes dry and leaves a pleasant balanced aftertaste. I've had both the Bottled and Tap versions, and I have to say I prefer the tap version with a wee bit less carbonation that really lets the flavors shine. However, both are excellent. Nicely done Mr. Brynildson.

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Clear, pale amber in color. Tall, fluffy white head. Big citrus hop aroma balanced with malt sweetness. Clean, fruity, hoppy flavor with a dry finish. Medium bodied, smooth and crisp. A pale ale with just enough oomph to prevent it from being a session IPA.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a pale orange body with fuzzy two finger head and left a little bit of a lace ring. The aroma is more of a citric hop aroma than sweet malts but there is a bit of malt in there. Easy drinking and simple pale ale that balances citric, piney hops with some decent sweetness in it. More hoppy than sweet, which seems to be how all pale ales are going these days, but is still an easy drinker with a biting dry finish.

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Photo of pcrager
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Solid example of a American Pale Ale. Fresh, aromatic, and crisp. Delightful hint of hops, moreso than other APAs. Pale straw colored with a white head. Very clear.

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Photo of flyingpig
3.64/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle at home from Good Spirits Co, Glasgow (£3.00):
One that definitely grew on me as I worked my way down the glass. I initially wasn't overly impressed with what I felt to be a weak nose & a lack of in your face hops with the taste but given time to open up the bitterness is there & the beer starts to work its magic. It's definitely not up there with their Union Jack IPA but it's not a bad effort from Firestone Walker again.

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Photo of BenwayPHD
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a light yellow color with a small, white, foamy head. The nose is superb. Grass, pine, resin, lemon, papaya. I've gotta say the flavor is a let down on this one. A little bit of lemon sweetness and a bitter, dry finish. The body is too thin. Maybe some stronger malt character would liven this up. Not Firestone Walker's best.

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Photo of kculrich
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle into a cool nonic, thick, foamy white head over a bright orange filtered beer. S: a nice blend of hops, it's all there, fruit, pine, straw, and something sweet. T: toasted crackers, lemon zest, caramel. F: crisp and refreshing, nothing heavy, moderate carbonation. O: an excellent refreshing beer, a credit to the APA style. I could surely squander an afternoon sitting out on the lawn with a few of these under my chair.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.64/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a bright, crystal clear, golden coloring with a fluffy, light, bubbly, white head. Aromas of toasted grains, lemon, orange, cut grass, and evergreen. Light on the nose, but balanced. Flavors are grassy forward, with a slight buttered bread and toffee follow. Roasted, with some citrus blend coming through on the back of the tongue. The body is light and effervesced, but almost watery at points, too. The aftertaste is more of the roasted characteristics, with some tangy lemon and orange notes. Light, slightly dry, effervesced finish. Decent, and very drinkable.

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Photo of delta490
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep clear gold with a thick, long-lasting cap of foamy white head. Robust carbonation is visible. The aroma has a nice big hop presence, mostly citrus with a little floral in the background. The taste is very good, with a little less of a hops pop than the aroma, but the same qualities, with the addition of a little malt sweetness. The body is lighter with a little bit of carbonation.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.22/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful golden color. The head is three fingers high, and barely off-white in shade. Bubbly yet consistent, the head has a nice look, though its retention isn't the best. On the other hand, incredible amounts of lacing stick to the glass. (4.25)

Smell: Pretty typical for the style...or is it? At first, it seems to be a combination of grapefruit and caramel malt, but letting it open up will reveal some nice mandarin orange notes. That alone helps this one stand out from the pack, and helps me enjoy it all the more. (3.5)

Taste: Alas, this one is pretty dead simple. Some sweet caramel malt, a touch of grapefruit, flowers, and that's about it. Further sips reveal...little else. Nothing wrong with it per se, it's just a bland APA. (3)

Mouthfeel: This has a surprisingly full body, along with a not-entirely-dry finish. In a way, its sweetness is thirst quenching. The combination of initial creaminess and decent carbonation still makes it somewhat easy to drink. (3.25)

Overall: I hoped this would be better than Easy Jack now that this finally showed up in MD - in many ways it is (none of that damn Mosaic character, for one), but it's also less interesting. Worthy of being drunk again, just know that Firestone Walker makes far superior brews over this. (3)

3.22/5: I'd say it's a Pale 32...out of 50

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Photo of E-McFarden
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale gold in color with white head, and little retention. Caramel malts and sweet floral aroma hops come through. Taste begins with biscuity lagery flavors followed by earthy battering hops. Medium bodied feel with a semi-dry finish. Overall not bad but I was expecting more in taste after getting some great smells.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.16/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This Firestone gem is brewed with seven hops (Fuggles, Cascade. Centennial and Chinook) AND some dry-hopping (Amarillo). The body is a translucent copper liquid that is crowned by a slathering of foam; the lacing is loose and slippery and will soon disappear.

The nose emits subtle mango whiffs. The palate engorges on the hops; there is a major battle between the heavy hand of rye bread and the scrappy slugger that is some intense graininess. Bread? The mouthfeel is nicely balanced and is able to align the described madness and provide the drinker with a surprisingly crisp quaff. Of course, the low alcohol level also assists in the enjoyment.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Such a fantastic brew for its size, it just checks off all the boxes so well -- tremendous floral hop nose with requisite flecks of citrus, crackery/toasty malt palate in complete harmony with the hoppy bitterness, which takes on a really quite lovely grassy note. It is hoppy, to be sure, and in this way a departure from other APA stalwarts like Deschutes Mirror Pond, but, again, it works incredibly well. Staple beer and one that fills the hoppy session category a helluva lot better than most session IPAs.

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Photo of Jimmys
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

bottled on: 12/10/14. poured into a FW pint glass.

Slightly hazy on an otherwise pale blond body. Earthy and herbal aroma. Green grass, moss, green tea. Flavor is similar. Not much malt flavor here at all, but not much bitterness either. A light, easy drinking, slightly hoppy pale ale is what I have here. Not bad, but nothing to write home about. Good if your desire for hops is light.

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Photo of Jackolope
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sometimes I'm surprised by beer and this is one of those times. I generally don't expect anything much from a pale ale that is available year round, but this beer impressed me. I originally bought this beer because it was on sale and I think firestone puts out some pretty good beers. The beer pours like any number of pale ales but the flavor is exceptional. This beer balances malt and hops in a way that really lets the hops shine through without being overpowering. Some people might find this beer too hoppy but this is where i find that this beer really separates itself from other pale ales. While maintaining similar bitterness characteristics to similar APA's this beer has exquisite subtle floral hop aromas and flavors that really make this beer enjoyable for every single sip. This is a beer you can sip in while working in the yard yet it still has bold flavor profiles that will satisfy your hop-foward palate. Do yourself a favor and pick this beer up when it's on sale or featured in a mixed 12-pack and you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of ChuckHardslab
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It pours a very pale, slightly hazy golden amber with a solid head that settles into a thin cap that stays the whole way down.
The aroma is dominated by citrus hops with some bready malt to back it up.
The taste is lightly sweet with a strong citrus hop component. There's a bit of lemon pepper too. It finishes with a pleasant bitterness. The hops definitely lean lemon and grapefruit.
The mouth feel is a little thin with a good balance of carbonation.
Overall it is a very refreshing, easy to drink APA. That's a winner here where the weather is usually warm to hot. It's not spectacular but it is quite good and a fine example of the style.

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Photo of arvidkoval
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pale golden color. Great bouquet of citrus aromas. Tastes citrusy over a subtle malt. A little more bitter than I like in a pale ale. Good mouthfeel. Decent APA.

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Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 510 ratings.