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Pale 31 - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pale 31Pale 31

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

504 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 504
Hads: 1,699
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 9.54%
Wants: 67
Gots: 182 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 504 | Hads: 1,699
Photo of bbluemzbeer
5/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Awesome beer ! It does not get better this this one!

Appearance:: a light golden color with a creamy two finger white head, which remained through and left great lacing. '

Smell: It was out of this world! It had oanges, floral notes and hops

Taste: Citric hops were perfectly balanced caramel malt presence. A very well rounded beer. Goes down smooth!

Mouthfeel: outstanding! It was nice and crisp and had a good smoothness and creaminess.

This beer is great of session beer you will ever find. It was wonderful balance, with some nice hop presence without being too bitter (579 characters)

Photo of Beerjonny82
4.82/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hands down, this is by far one of the best beers I have ever had. Unlike most Pale ales, this beer has the clean, crisp feel and appearance of a lager, the hoppiness of a mild IPA, and the most incredible hoppy aroma you will get from a bottled beer. Along with the intense sweet, floral aroma, the dry hopped finish creates a superbly delicious dry aftertaste. Besides the hops, the beer is low in maltiness, yet has a nice light bready flavor. The low 4.9% alcohol content will allow you to enjoy more than one on a work night. (529 characters)

Photo of sparta2325
4.72/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beers looks are average. Golden with a small head. But taste thats a deferent story! It has a strong hop taste with a IBU of 38.0 (Medium High) !!! For those hop head's. It's thicker than you would think with a nice oak after taste. It has a lot of hops in it they are. Hops: Bittering- Fuggle Late Kettle- Cascade Centennial Chinook Dry Hops- Cascade Centennial Chinook and it has won plenty of awards.
2006 World Beer Cup: Gold Medal
2005 Australian International Beer Awards: Gold Medal for Best in Class
2004 World Beer Cup: Gold Medal
2003 World Beer Championships: Gold Medal
2003 Great American Beer Festival: Silver Medal
2002 California State Fair: Gold Medal for First Place
2002 World Beer Championships: Silver Medal
I'm would recommend this to any one!!!
I'm going to try to make a batch of home brew like this, I hope it's as good??? (863 characters)

Photo of robert7072
4.68/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on cask at DOWNTOWN BAR& GRILL (DBG) tonight
It's orange with decent lacing, lots of bubbles, Smell is mild lemon peel,citrus. Taste is a little butter, some wood and mineral earth, sharp clean finish. Very nice carbonation, medium-bodied. A great pale ale in cask, all add up to one drinkable beer. I loved it. (320 characters)

Photo of bradford
4.65/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My go-to beer on the Central Coast of California.
Very hoppy, a bit dry, perfectly balanced, a low abv to make it oh-so sessionable.
Looks good. Dark gold in color with lively carbonation
Smell of floral hops
Sensational taste with the use of the right amount of specialty malts and hops
Mouthfeel is great. Very dry but also quenching and crisp
Drinkability is about as good as it gets for the style. I can see why Men's Health rated this as the best beer in America.
Fantastic, and I live directly in the middle of the two breweries. Great stuff. I can't believe my first rating of this. (592 characters)

Photo of viperpiper522
4.65/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a deep golden color with a 1.5 finger head that dissapates to quickly to give this one a 5. Good sticky lacing shows the gaps between big sips.

S- Out of the glass rises fresh citrus, pine, a light biscuit. You can smell some nice malt in there as well.

T- Excellent. Multiple citrus hits the tongue. Grapefruit, and meyer lemon dominate. It fades into a light balance of malt sweetness with major biscuit undertones. There is some fresh baked cookie in there as well. It finishes with a walk hrough the pine forest.

M- Light carbonation, releases a lusious palate. Velvety and smooth. The finish is dry enough to leave the palate with some light pine. Great residual.

D- It was so good I wish I had two more. Great trade Brad. Thanks, I don't think I could ever get it that fresh on this coast. It makes me want to move to Cali. (842 characters)

Photo of JBogan
4.64/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I reviewed this beer a few years ago from the bottle. Normally I don't go back and re-review a beer, but recently I had this on tap at a small bar somewhat close to the brewery in central California, and felt the difference was significant enough to warrant another review.

Presented in a pint glass a light golden color with a beautiful and creamy two finger white head, which remained through the entire consumption of this beer and left excellent lacing. Very pleasing to look at.

The smell was fantastic. I've had this beer probably a hundred times or more before from the bottle, but somehow on tap this took on a new life. Oranges, floral notes, and much more of a hop presence than I have ever experienced than from the bottled version, this beer on tap had it all. A wonderful bouquet which ranked among the best smelling beers I've ever put my nose to.

The taste was nearly the equal of the aroma. Once again the citric hops were there, joined by a perfectly balanced caramel malt presence. A very well rounded beer.

The mouthfeel was what I would call good but not outstanding. Perhaps a bit thicker body would improve things, but that's nitpicking. It was nice and crisp and had a good smoothness and creaminess.

As I sat there drinking a few glasses of this beer from tap over the course of a few days I wondered if it was perhaps as good as it gets for a session beer. Perfectly balanced, a nice hop presence without being overly bitter, and extremely drinkable. Very good out of the bottle, fantastic when fresh from a local tap. (1,548 characters)

Photo of Duster72
4.62/5  rDev +19.1%
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. (322 characters)

Photo of Augustiner719
4.62/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a stubby 12 oz bottle into a taster glass.

Pours a very clear melted butter color with a yellow tinge and a white fluffy soapy head. Massive head retention and beautiful. Aromas are very strong for an apa. I get tangerine, musky grapefruit and some sweet salted caramel on the nose. The flavor is very balanced. Really a nicely crafted brew. You can taste the care and effort put I to this. Love how smooth this is yet it has a very nice mandarin orange finish. Mouthfeel is very smooth, perfect. Has a great crisp finish, balanced malts with fresh tasting hops for balance. Really a near perfect apa. Honestly I love SNPA but this just got on the same level as it. Very smooth. Go out and get your hands on some. (726 characters)

Photo of madtappers
4.61/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Probably the best of the Firestone Walker beers that are bottled.

I have tried both on tap and in the bottle, and prefer the the tap over the bottle.

Beer is very drinkable has a great hop smell without the hop after taste. This beer can easily been sesioned without getting overwhemled by hops. Must be the oak barrel fermentaion process that gives the beer the smooth drinkablity.

Would recomend this beer to both the beer snob and the beer novice! (453 characters)

Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden colored and clear with a small foamy head that retains a small amount of lacing around the edges of the glass. Strong apple aroma with underlying citrus tones. Mixture of apple and citrus tastes. Nice balanced hops taste that hits you midway through. Bitter taste that retains on your tongue when done. Not too bitter, though. Hops are moderate, perhaps a little stronger than most pale ales but not quite as strong as most IPAs. Overall a very good beer, becoming one of my favorite go to session beers. One of my favorite pale ales for sure. (556 characters)

Photo of oxnard111
4.57/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Above good beer here. Not quite exceptional, but I truly love this brew. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A-Light golden. Semi cloudy. Thick foamy head that receded quickly. Soapy think residual layer that stays on top of the beer. Low-medium lacing.

S-Piney, citrus hop smells stand out with a slight floral undertones. Hidden malt smells that barely stand out.

T-Orangey hoppy taste. Very slight sweetness. Malt flavors stand out also. Near even balance of all flavors.

M-Medium thickness. Lower carbonation level.

D-The one thing about this brew that I truly love. Very drinkable. I have easily put back six bottles in a session without feeling bad, full or hung over the next day. Beer can be drunk when wrenching or in social scenes.

Truly tasty APA. I love this brew. Another great Firestone brew. (817 characters)

Photo of HighOctane
4.54/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smell and taste set this APA apart from others. I crave a hop flower aroma in my pales and this beer delivers big time. I've had 2IPA's with less hop aroma. The taste is very crisp - delivering hop bitterness with a slightly nutty finish. Highly drinkable - definitely Firestone's best widely available offering. (312 characters)

Photo of neonbrown82
4.52/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer was sent as a bonus, thanks to Zorro. One of the best pales I've yet tasted, and I've had quite a few, so it is not often I will rave about one. I really can't wait to try the Firestone 10 based on how amazing this simple pale ale is. This is not only the first oak aged pale I've had, but as far as I know it is the first beer I've had that was fermented in a burton union system.

The beer looks great. It pours to a clear golden yellow color with a crisp carbonation supporting a thick fluffy white head. Lacing is pretty spotty, on the other hand. Retention is alright.

The smell is wonderful. Nice mellow pale malty sweetness balanced out by a piny and juicy hoppiness. Even has a hint of oaky vanilla. Has a mellow creaminess about it as well. Very smooth and balanced.

The taste is just as exceptional as the aroma. Very clean pale malt flavor followed by the perfect balancing bitterness. Bountiful hops flavor in the finish. Subtle pine and grapefruit with a gentle lemon zest. The oak really smooths out the rough edges and adds a bit of vanilla and a feint barrel char.

The beer is medium in body. Carbonation is very smooth and gentle on the palate. Alcohol is undetectable, though I would expect no less from a 4.6% pale ale. Very creamy mouthfeel. I could drink this all night, and I probably would quite often if it were available in my area. Thanks again, Zorro.

Oh, and P.S. - Jim Cibak, we miss you over here in 3F's land! (1,464 characters)

Photo of BeerTruth
4.51/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Zorro. Received this in the Summer Sipper BIF 2007.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a clear light copper hue with a white fluffy one finger head that dies down quickly to a thin lacing. Stickiness is very spotty, here and there. Very mild sweet citrus hop odor with a wonderful caramel/toffee malt blend. One of the best smelling beers in general I've experienced, by far the best smelling Pale Ale. Such a unique yet pleasing beer to put your nose up to. Taste is amazing as well. Once again, mild on the hops but clearly there. Citrus hops on the tongue but then the delicious vanilla malt flavor takes combined with a peppery-spice flavor. Aftertaste is very smooth and pleasant, sweet toffee like flavor. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation. This could very possibly be a session ale at 4.6% abv. Get you hands on this if you can. (896 characters)

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

Glass - Pint

A - Pretty clear pale gold color with a 2-finger head, slightly dense looking, and the retention is pretty good. Moderate Co2 can be seen, leaves a very nice lacing as well.

S - Very citrusy & inviting, it's got big grapefruit and orange fruits, along with a nice floral quality. I get an underlying malt sweetness, some toast, a touch of biscuit but soft. God the aroma is so inviting!

T - It's got wonderful grapefruit & orange fruit burst upfront, floral with a nice soft zip of rind as you begin to swallow the beer. It finishes with very little malt character, soft toast & cracker perhaps with subtle but balancing bitterness. Fresh grapefruit is dominant.

M - Soft to moderately carbonated, very smooth, medium bodied. Perfect!

D - God I don't think Ive had a better Pale Ale since I first tried Sierra Nevada Pale Ale! I loved everything about this beer, especially it's fresh, floral aroma, and it's fresh grapefruit flavor. I could quaff a sixer or more, I'll definitely buy this beer again, recommended. Cheers! (1,040 characters)

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

Being spoiled on the Central Coast, I must say that this a lighter, sessionable Pale Ale that is absolutely fabulous!

Is it the best Pale Ale in all creation? mmm?....even though it took a Gold at the GABF a few years back? its great!

get it on tap in Paso Robles or Buellton and see what's up....most people (9 out of 10) choose FW's DBA over Pale 31...its not a hop head's dream...its much more subtle than that...

I guess I am the exception....Pale 31 has a complexity that Mission St. Pale Ale lacks (perhaps its the DBA blended in?)....

This is delicious for days....bottle is good, on tap is the best!

94++ (617 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.49/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a deep gold with a nice wheat head.

S: Plenty of hops for the style with some mild sweetness.

T: Slightly sweet malt with some citrus/grapefruit hops.

M: Medium bodied and well-carbonated.

D: Quite good in this department. A nice, low abv beer with plenty of hops--my definition of great session-style drinkability. (328 characters)

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.49/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(bottling date: 08/19/14 - purchased cold, poured into a tulip pint)

L: crystal-clear, yellow-gold liquid... only a small pad of foam

S: they really must use hop extract in their beers - the intensity and dimension of the, what appears to be, whole-flower hops is ridiculous... spicy, earthy, herbal, mustard seed-y... clear, crisp balance of toasted, cookie-ish pale malt below, good bit of depth to that too... overall, just wonderfully defined and distinct

T: sharp-spicy, peppery, bitter zip at the front... almost a lemon-honey-ginger zip in the fantastically dry finish... man, this is dry... a toasted grain flavor slowly builds on the palate midway and to the back, in balance by the end... seems like some Chinook is ripping hard

F: fairly polished-smooth, dry with the bitterness accentuating a parching effect... not terribly residual resin, but perhaps a mildly acidic tingle

O: bold, bright, clean-as-hell, and to the point... excellent drinking that packs a punch on the palate, but is deceptively light... another winner from FW (1,048 characters)

Photo of Gstarkey
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer!. I'm from california and I'm all about ipa's and pales and this one really did it for me. The beer pours a really nice golden color and could almost be mistaken for a blonde ale. It smells real floral and has piney notes throughout with a small amount of sweet malt on the back end.

The taste is really crisp, hoppy, and a little sweetness at the end. The beer has a pleasant medium body with a really nice bitterness. I can really understand why the took gold at the world beer cup these guys know how to brew good beer. Overall really high marks all around i think they nailed it and i will be drinking more of this beer. Cheers. (657 characters)

Photo of aquaderek
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this beer into a tasting glass. The head is a nice creamy white lacing, with beautiful tiny bubbles and amber color. The nose is hoppy with subtle citrus notes. The taste is clean, crisp, and hoppy. I really love this style of beer. The drinkabililty of this is off the charts. In college, UCSB, I have many a fuzzy night due to the drinkabililty of this beer. Great beer. (379 characters)

Photo of champ103
4.46/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at a few places around Houston. Cottonwood and BRC most recently.

A: Pours a clear orange/yellow color. A two finger white head forms with good retention and lace.
S: A great pale and biscuit malt character up front. Then a substantial hoppiness. Floral, grassy, minty hops. The great malt character and the hops are perfectly balanced.
T: Like the nose there is a lot of character here. Big hops that follow the nose. Floral, grassy, perfume like that is balanced perfectly with pale/crystal malts. Even lightly biscuit like. Then an enjoyable dry bite that pulls everything together.
M/D: A light to medium body. Very crisp, effervescent, and with a dry finish. The definition of refreshing. Incredibly easy and enjoyable to drink. Easily all day with this.

Excellent. If I can get this year round, this will be my new standard bearer for the style. I am so glad this is available on draught at the better beer bars, bring on the six packs. Nothing is over barring, and all in perfect balance. Which is something most "pale ales" now lack, and I would expect no less from this brewery. Let alone the great sessionable ABV. Very highly recommended. (1,158 characters)

Photo of CommanderOfAwesome
4.46/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2/21/13 poured into a snifter glass. Reviewing this compared to other pale ales.

A: Pours a yellow golden with 2 finger fluffy white head and tons of carbonation bubbles. Fantastic head retention with lacing prominent on the glass.

S: The aroma on this beer is pretty strong, which is remarkable for a 4.8% beer. Strong citrus grapefruit, slight pineapple and lemon zest. Caramel malt backing it up. Really strong, can def tell the dry hopping. This aroma is right up there with Zombie Dust.

T: Sweet citrus flavor, refreshing as hell with just a slight bitter dry finish. Light sweet malt making itself known. On the hoppy side for APA.

M: light bodied, perfect amount of carbonation goes down easy. Leaves the mouth with a slight sweetness that coats the mouth with a slight bitter after finish.

O: A fantastic APA and one of my go to's. I would easily put this up there with 3 Floyds Zombie Dust, and an underrated beer on BA for sure. (956 characters)

Photo of akorsak
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A 12 oz bottle courtesy of Zorro, my Secret Santa.

A: The pale ale is indeed pale, a soft light copper color. The ale is clear with only a stream of carbonation obscuring the view. A 1.5 finger head livened things up a bit, but it quickly receded.

S: The nose has a tangy aroma, full of citrus hops and stronger than I expected for an APA. A very enticing aroma with malty elements that balance out the hops.

T: A sip reveals a hop depth that really socks the tastebuds. Citrus flavor, strong grapefruit primarily, really grabs you up front. The hops are bitter but not intense, allowing a grainy toast flavor to mix with the grapefruit.

M: The hops make this beer. The citrus element that they add is flavorful and strong, a marked departure from most APAs.

D: The abv is perfect, as is the flavor. This is a solid APA, great taste and fantastic hop profile. (865 characters)

Photo of oggg
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Six-pack from BevMo

This beer pours a golden orange hue with a soft pillowy white head. Slightly hazy in a good way. Hop aroma is floral, mildly citrusy. A touch of biscuit in the aroma too. On the tongue, moderate carbonation gives way to malty sweetness, then moderate bitterness (less than SNPA or Full Sail PA), hop goodness, and then biscuit and bread. Very clean. Medium bodied.

Overall: this is my new favorite session beer. Beautiful. Good for adventurous newbies, too. (480 characters)

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Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 504 ratings.