Pale 31 - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pale 31Pale 31

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

1,663 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,663
Reviews: 511
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 69
Gots: 166 | 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 (84) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,663 | Reviews: 511
Reviews by CharlesRiver:
Photo of CharlesRiver
4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz stubby brown bottle, capped. Pours out a much lighter yellow than I expected for a Pale Ale. I would simply call it "yellow". Lovely large, fluffy white head that seems to keep growing.

Smell is hoppy and grainy. Classic American citrus hops are what come through most for me. I also pickup some lemony citrus notes. Taste is again on the lighter side and really adds to the drinkability. Solid grainy malt middle that leads to a perfect balance of hops and bitterness.

This is a very easy drinking beer that is on the dry side. This is a beer that you could really drink a few of as it's lighter in body but full of flavor. They call it a California Pale Ale but I would like to make it my House Pale Ale.

More User Reviews:
Photo of dill
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

consumed as draught beer served in a pint glass.

A: pale golden color with a thin, white head.

S: citrus aroma.

T: hoppy with malt flavors, a bit of strawberry on the tongue. finishes dry and clean.

M: crisp mouthfeel. not too much carbonation.

D: nice balance, easy to drink.

Photo of Duster72
4.62/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to IntriqKen for this one. Pours a clear golden with a smallish head and decent lacing. Aroma is sweet breads and citrus hops - very nice. Taste is tasty sweet malts up front followed by pleasant citrus and a good hop finish to cleanse the palate. Perfect mouthfeel and drinkability. Excellent APA, very refreshing.

Photo of merlin48
4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle pours a chill hazed, honey amber body with an offwhite head that rises about one centimeter and stays there. Good patch lacing effect. Aroma is citrusy hops, with inviting esters of orange, tangerine, and grapefruit. Malty caramel is in the background, and there is a hint of vanilla from the oak barrel fermentation. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with crisp moderate carbonation. Taste features juicy citrusy hops, with orange and grapefruit lending a soft bitterness. Caramel and toffee notes serve up a pleasant malt balance. A hint of oaky vanilla adds a nice touch. The finish is clean, with a lingering grapefruit hops bitterness that is soft and mild. Very nicely balanced, and rather tasty. ABV is under 5%, so this one would make an exceptional session ale.

Photo of Billolick
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, Brewed on 12/31/13.

Pours near clear, w/ bubbles continuing to rise. Off white head is moderate in size and leaves a typical film, collar and respectable thicker low sheeting and scattered lace upon a gentle swirl.

Nose is faintly of some piney hops/grapefruit.

Resin and more pine hops on the palate. Grapefruit comes to mind. Respectable and nicely crafted APA. As somebody else remarked this one does not blend the lines between APA and IPA. Aggressive? No. Highly sessionable? Yes.

Quite dry in the long and hoppy finish. Worth a try.

Photo of tigg924
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, gold in color, high carbonation, clear

Smell: honey, pale malt, meadow

Taste: toasted English malt, honey, dry citrus hops

Mouthfeel: sweet with slight bitterness towards the end, medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation

Overall: An above average sweeter APA with California style hopping. Above average for a pale ale. If I wanted a pale ale, I would certainly reach for this.

Photo of mikegreen138
3.72/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

picked this up in a variety pack at costco
pours out looking like s typical pale ale with a about one finger of head that doesnt stick around too long.
smells of nice floral and citrus highlights with a slight malty aroma that sneaks in, very balanced in its aroma
a little lacking in flavor slightly above average could have had a tiny amount ofl more hopped flavor thats just what i am into thse days, but goes down nice a smooth

nothing ground breaking, but still drinkable

Photo of MikePags
4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Growler from Oliver's brew crew. Albany. Served in a pint glass.

A: golden color that is a hazy with carbonation.

S: nice hoppy aroma that isn't overpowering

T: this beer's straightforward, simple and solid taste makes it an amazing example of what a California Pale Ale should be. Nice hops without overpowering your taste buds but enough to keep you coming back.

M: smooth medium body

O: amazing session beer that should be used as a benchmark to evaluate all other Pales

Photo of ehammond1
3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Cask

Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Golden amber with a thin white head. Nice lacing down the glass. Looks heavy and substantial.

Abundantly pungent and powerful citrus bill in the nose. Surprising and welcoming!

Not quite as powerful in the mouth as it is on the nose. Hop flavors are certainly present, nice accompanying bitterness, along with some earth and grassy flavors.

Medium to thick body.

A pleasant and flavorful, simple, citrus-hop-forward American pale ale.

Photo of Jackolope
4.27/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

Photo of far333
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear light apricot colored with a bright white frothy head that settles down to a half innch head of thick foam and hangs out for a while.

Aroma of semi-sweet fruity malt and hoppy freshness. Good balance of malt and hops, understated citrus, ripe fruits.

Clean and crisp flavors that match the aroma well - more floral and citrus hops balanced out with fruit and honey malt. Very clean, refreshing, not trying to knock anyone down, just doing what a right-on pale ale is supposed to do.

Even and smooth mouthfeel, a bit dry and crisp.

Very drinkable, way tasty session ale. Thank you barleywinefiend.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Standard amber light color in a pale ale. Aroma was pleasant, if muted though.

Taste, a non bitter pale. Ample hopping for style, nuanced sweetness with it. Good session ale. Light in the heft on the palate, mouthfeel doesn't thin out, but doesn't weigh you down (sounds like a macro jingle). a little cost prohibitive for something this simple ($8 a 6r).

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a light pale golden hue with a bright white head, fine speckled lacing. Aroma has brilliant citrus/tea leaf/herbal grassy notes. Pale biscuit malt breadiness sneaks out amongst the wave of hops coming at me. Flavors are completely cohesive with malts and hops working together so well. Below 5% this is some excellent hop forward session ale, biscuit malt delicate bready profile with citric, earthy, floral hops. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied sturdy spritzy carbonation goes down smooth. Drinkability was wonderful world class pale ale excellent stuff that deserves all of the accolades that they have gained recognition for.

Photo of timontheroad
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass, clear golden yellow, with a nice white fluffy one finger head that lasted quite nicely to the end and provided some nice lacing. Aroma is a bit muted, with some light pineapple, floral and piney notes. Taste is pretty much like the aroma, but a little more robust, and with just a touch of malty sweetness. The mouthfeel was fairly light, with nice carbonation bite. Overall, for a session beer, this was OK, not bad but not great.

Photo of hagbergl
3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I've been enjoying indulging in the Firestone Walker lineup lately. Next up, Pale 31. Enjoyed in my Firestone Walker tulip glass. Review is from notes.

Appearance (4.25/5): An aggressive pour yields a thick and creamy two-finger white head. Copper-yellow colored beer, clear, tons of spider web lacing on the sides of the glass as the head dissipates. Good retention. Holding the beer up to the light, it turns a bright dandelion yellow color. Very nice looks for the style.

Smell (3.75/5): Big green hoppy lemony aroma. Fresh and slightly sweet, slightly grassy, and quite citrusy. Light malt does a nice job of cutting through. Outsized nose for a beer of this strength.

Taste (4/5): ...And outsized flavor for a beer of this strength! Very lemony, citrusy, and grassy green from the hops. Light and sweet pale maltiness makes itself known, adding some nice backbone to the beer. This is a hop-forward APA, for sure. Firestone really squeezed a lot of flavor out of this one–much better than some beers I've had modeled on a similar concept, Green Flash's Extra Pale Ale, for instance.

Mouthfeel (4.25/5): Nice light body, beautiful medium-high carbonation. Nice and prickly on the tongue. Quality dryness. The mouthfeel on Pale 31 really makes it a great easy-drinking, session-type beer. You could easily have 3 or 4 of these and not get tired of them.

Overall (4/5): Pale 31 has a lot going for it: easy-drinking, refreshing, and very flavorful given its ABV. Not too expensive for a sixer, at least by Chicago standards–$10.99 for a six-pack. I would recommend this beer to anyone looking for a hop-forward beer that they want to "session". Can't go wrong with this one for the purpose. Probably even better in the summer.

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the Brickskeller in Washington DC.

Pours a clear light copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head dissipates into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of citrus and floral hops with a decent malty undertone. Pretty pungent for an APA.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet malt flavors kick things off, followed shortly by citrus flavors. There's a mild bitterness at the end and the grapefruit flavors tend to stick around.

Mouthfeel is good. It's a bit on the light side, but it still goes down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. This is not a really flavorful beer but I could certainly have a lot of these.

Overall this is an APA that is actually an APA and doesn't try to do too much. Worth a shot.

Photo of JohnW
3.26/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer, was brewed for the UK Wetherspoons Pub Chain Beer Festival in November 2008. According to the leaflet, Firestone Walker brewed this beer at Marstons Brewery Burton on Trent here in UK, using the tradition Burton Union system, with American hops from Cascade, Centennial, Chinook and American Fuggles.

The beer was available at some, but not all Wetherspoons pubs during the 3 weeks Beer Festival.

The beer poured pale amber colour, almost perfectly clear, with fair head, though the head did not last long. From the sample I had (but was unable to try it again at a later date for comparison) the aroma was very strange, very sweet almost like sugar candy cane and a hint of vanilla, and malts. Initial taste was of sweetness on the tongue, but then bitterness of the hops came through quickly. The hop bitterness was never overpowering, and slightly floral and citrus in the finish. Fairly light bodied and smooth texture, easy to drink, though I felt the sweet aroma and initial sweetness of the taste was a bit off putting. The aroma had a strange "perfumed" sweet smell that I felt spoilt what could have been a really good beer. Not sure if this was typical of the beer, as I never had chance to try it again elsewhere for comparison, so my marking down a peg in aroma and taste should be treated with caution, as another sample might have been a lot better.

If any other UK BA member tried this, hope they can add a review too!

JohnW
B'ham UK November 2008

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

(Served in a tulip glass)
Bottled on 12/17/12
A- This beer pours a crystal clear deep copper body with a slow carbonation that trails up to a sticky antique white head that fades to a thick ring.

S- The pale green hops have a papery but pungent aroma to them.

T- The hint of sweetness to the pale malt stays soft even though the pale malt flavor grows and some hints of toasted malt come though in the background. There is a full pale green papery hop flavor in the finish that has a mellow pungency in the dry finish.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a nice gentle fizz and no alcohol heat.

O- This beer has a nice fresh malt flavor that grows to over take the hop flavor. This beer is very sessionable and it would be nice to try this on cask to see if more nuances come out.

Photo of Auraan
4.37/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light amber with a thin white head that receded to a white ring leaving no lacing. It looks okay, but not as good as some. Scents of citrus-zest, pine resin, grapefruit, and faint hints of floral hops and malt. A bit more hop-forward than Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, with more citrus, grapefruit and pine. Very good, but not as balanced as Sierra Nevada's. Flavor begins with a moderate level of hops, with bitter citrus-zest, grapefruit and pine dominating. These flavors stick around throughout the sip. Towards the middle a bit more floral hop flavors come through in the background, but not heavily. Malt is present, though on the breadier, grainer side, not much sweet caramel or toffee like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Finish is dry with citrus-zest, grapefruit and pine resin dominating. Aftertaste is bitter with a grainy malt flavor. Pretty good. More hop forward and less balanced than Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but not in a bad way. It certainly doesn't hurt the flavor profile, it just makes it a different take on a pale ale. Mouthfeel is light bodied, crisp and semi-drying. A bit less smooth than Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, more of an IPA mouthfeel, but not bad to drink at all. It makes you want to drink another sip right after you finish. Overall this is another good American Pale Ale. While not as balanced as Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, it has a good aroma and flavor profile that balance more towards the hop-forward side of things, while still keeping a sessionable ABV and providing a good drinking experience from the mouthfeel. I recommend it.

Photo of pwoods
3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ddot for the nice extra.

12oz. Stubby brown bottle poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pretty standard amber with perfect clarity. About 2 fingers worth of white head forms and holds for a bit. Decent lacing.

S: Decent hop aroma with a healthy dose of saaz. Crisp, clean cereal grains.

T/M: Bitterness level is a bit weak even for a PA. Decent citrus flavor with some grassy flavor notes and light spicy notes. Malts are crisp and clean with a nice sweetness line. Decent carbonation with a medium body.

D: Low ABV and drinks pretty easy. Nothing too stand out, though.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear golden amber in the glass with a solid one finger white head that melts to moderate lacing.
Aroma is lightly fruity, then citrus hops (cascade?)
Taste is pale ale light and clean...slightly sweet malt gets overpowered immediately by a mixture of hops...cascade, chinook, others...on swallowing the citrus peel hop (not quite grapefruit but close) takes over completely.
Mouthfeel seems very adequate for the style and a nice drying stays in your mouth with no memory of the malt sweetness.
Good session beer.
Very good.

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.35/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Firestone Walker- Pale 31

A- Bright yellow orange with a thick frothy head and thick lacing.
S- Light caramel/ butter malt. Lemony citrus with a touch of pine.
T- Sweet buttery caramel/ butterscotch with lemon citrus and a light touch of pine hops.
M- Buttery sweet and smooth with a nice touch of citrus and pine hops.

Overall- Creamy smooth and nicely balanced.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a hazy, golden orange with a white, finger width head. Decent retention, leaving behind a thin but consistent lacing.

Smell - Sweet, malty aroma. Hints of orange and peach, slight caramel and a touch of pine.

Taste - Hops are most noticeable on the tongue; pine and slightly citric. Malts are bready with a faint note of caramel, and are firmly entrenched behind the hop notes. Finishes a touch sweet and a moderate citrus twang.

Mouthfeel - Medium, slightly malty body. Carbonation leads to a nice, crisp bite.

Overall - A pretty solid Pale Ale. Well balanced, though a bit safe. Nothing here that makes the brew stand out, but it's a quality all-around product.

Photo of GilGarp
4.42/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Firestone Walker is finally in Colorado!

12oz bottle served cold into a pint glass.

Their pale is a slightly hazy copper orange with good sticky head. Some lacing is left as it settles.

Aroma is a really nice, fresh and hoppy with classic American citrus hops.

Flavor is very well done with great balance. The sweetness is perfectly offset with fresh crisp hoppiness.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and the same could be said about the carbonation.

A perfect session-able pale ale. Light in body and alcohol but big in flavor and hops. Dale's Pale Ale was always my go-to in this category but this one might just challenge it in the future.

Photo of appenzeller
3.3/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light orange, thin head. Smells slightly spicy and peppery. Taste has modest underlying notes of sweet malts, honey-like, overlaid by a nice peppery bitterness. Good carbonation gives a full mouthfeel, spiciness and clean taste make this nearly a session beer.

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Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,663 ratings.