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Pale 31 - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pale 31Pale 31

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

1,309 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,309
Reviews: 468
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 54
Gots: 64 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 08-23-2002)
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Ratings: 1,309 | Reviews: 468 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of thecheapies


3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Golden pale with a trusty cap. Great retention.

Floral and tangerine hops with crisp grassy notes and a crackery malt. Light pine. Simple, but great.

Gritty bitterness with a floral touch. Nice citrusy notes of lemon and pith. Faint pine. Kiss of white grape, maybe. Very dry, effervescent finish with seltzery bubbles. Appropriate lighter feel and ease for drinking. Solid and fresh.

Serving type: on-tap

05-05-2014 03:25:14 | More by thecheapies
Photo of barnzy78


3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz, bottled 12/17/12. Pours a brilliant, crystal clear golden with a frothy, white head, good retention, amazing thick sticky lacing on the glass. Aromas are floral hops, citric, plenty of grassy hop, biscuity malt in the background but hops dominate the nose. Tastes are grassy hop, floral, biscuity malt, lemongrass, so freshly dry hopped, moderate bitterness with some astringency on the finish. Thin-to-medium bodied, ample carbonation. Overall, not my favorite choice for hops, but they make it work with this well-crafted American Pale Ale.

After reviewing this beer I went to FWBC's website. I am very surprised to see the hops are Fuggle, Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook. Some of my favorites. This is why I love beer - so many different ways to accentuate flavors.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2013 22:15:26 | More by barnzy78
Photo of JoeCeez


3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from Wasatch, thanks John for the great package and for correcting my mistake

App: slightly hazy pale gold with a balding white head, and very thin lacing

S: big hops smell, all the "C hops" give this beer a very cirusy aroma, grapefuit, orange, some tropical fruits, a fair amount of malt gives it a complimenting sweetness, very nice

T: much like the aroma, bitter juicy hops thst are very well balanced by a sweet biscuity malt

M: kinda thin and watery, at first sniff this reminded me of FFF Alpha King but much thinner and less resiny.

D: if I lived out west this would be a go to session beer, good bitterness but not so much that I won't be able to taste my next beer not like SNPA which can tend to overload the palate. I wish we could get an APA like this in New England.

Serving type: bottle

10-12-2008 14:49:12 | More by JoeCeez
Photo of bgildea


3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Amber color, nice head but faded quickly. Darker than I expected for a pale ale.

S: Really nice hoppy aroma. Slight sweet afternotes.

T: Strong hoppy taste for a Pale Ale. Better than I expected though. Sweet aftertaste, nice balance of malt and hops.

M: Thin beer, but enjoyable. Not to much chew to it.

D: Very drinkable for a Pale Ale. The hoppyness is not overwhelming, so you can definitly drink a couple.

Overall: Better than I thought. The balance of hops was just right. The sweet aftertaste complimented the initial rush of hops. Good beer, I could drink a couple before the hops flavor would start getting to me.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2010 03:49:57 | More by bgildea
Photo of pwoods


3.95/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2010 05:20:13 | More by pwoods
Photo of ojclark


3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big piney hop aroma when first poured. Malt became apparent as hop aroma settled down. Clear golden/amber color with a frothy off-white head and minimal lacing. Very nicely balanced flavor. Malty, slight sweetness and caramel overtones nicely balanced by hop bitterness and a mellow hop flavor. Medium/light carbonation with a medium body and a fairly long finish. A good hybrid of British and American pale ale styles.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2008 17:15:31 | More by ojclark
Photo of DAllspaw


3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the most balanced APA I have had. For me, SNPA sets the style, and is a huge favorite of mine, so very pleased to see this has a similar profile, owing to the cascade hops for certain.

I prefer the malt flavor of this a bit more, less Munich I believe than SNPA, this is a wonderful beer, great everyday drinker.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2013 15:53:21 | More by DAllspaw
Photo of WeisGuy

New York

3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

a - pours a bright golden color with a one inch white head, decent retention and lacing, pretty clear

s - bright orange citrus smell dominates the nose, lighter graininess from the malt in there as well, no hint of alcohol

t - much like the aroma, orange citrus hoppiness is the predominant flavor up front and flows through to the midpalate where it mixes with a moderate grainy malt flavor, finish is lighter citrus bitterness combined with stronger graininess and hints of caramel, once again, alcohol is not noticeable

m - medium to lighter bodied, higher side of carbonation, fairly dry finish, no alcohol warming

d - very drinkable and a great session beer, enough hops to keep it fresh and interesting while no being overwhelming to the palate, pretty much what I look for in the style

Very good APA overall. FW does a nice job with this and their private label APA, which I actually prefer to Pale 31. Great session beer to have around during the warmer months.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2010 00:10:48 | More by WeisGuy
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Beer Authority in New York, NY

A: Pours a crystal clear dark copper to amber in color with light to moderate amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a finger tall white head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the entire surface of the beer and a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate to significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of biscuit and caramel malts, some light sweetness, with stronger notes of orange/tangerine/citrus, pineapple/tropical, and floral hops.

T: The beer starts out with some light sweetness and biscuit and caramel malts. There are moderate to strong flavors of hops - orange/tangerine/citrus and just a touch of pineapple/tropical. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Very enjoyable with really good flavors and aromas. Easy to drink and sessionable. Well balanced between the sweetness of the malts and bitterness of the hops.

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2012 21:04:02 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of flexabull


3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very pale gold color with a nice big fluffy white head.

Aromas are of hard candies, slightly sweet grainy malts, and fresh pine and citrus hops. Excellent nose on this one.

Taste is on the light side, but very pleasant. Spicy bready dough, along with some light creamy sweet malts. Finish is crisp and bright with some mineral hops.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. A bit too prickly feeling for my liking, but certainly not bad.

Drinkability is great. And is easily this beers strong suit. This beer is not going to wow you at all. But it's quite tasty, yet light enough to be very sessionable. Seems like a hybrid pale that is part British and part American. Will be a great one to grab during our warm summers here in Northern California. I hope this stays around my local liquor shop for a while, because I'll be sure to grab it again.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2008 23:33:30 | More by flexabull
Photo of LazyL

British Columbia (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A crystal clear apricot with a faint white fizzy head. This is a hoppy Pale Ale with pine and grassy notes and good citrus scents in the background. This is the beers strong point in my opinion and I had to give it an extra 1/2 point just now for smelling so damn good. The taste is Pale Ale up front and IPA citrus on the back. A bit of clove spice gives it a Pilsner feel. The mouthfeel is semi dry and light. Definitely a pretty nice beer.

Serving type: on-tap

04-25-2011 05:07:57 | More by LazyL
Photo of garymuchow


3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hmmm, it's been awhile since I've had a pale ale. Hot, sticky summer day, this should do just fine.
Nice sunshiney fresh hops with touch of citrus and grass. Clean and fresh, Very nice.
Amber of gold. Clear. Semi-dense head that borders on frothy. Good looking.
Pretty hoppy bitey. I like it. Prominent dryness at finish, but it doesn't linger all that long. Malt is muted. No particular sweetness noted. Malt flavors increase as warms as does softness of the drink. The very soft flavors of the oak barrel are available, but I'd say only to those with the most sensitive of palates (it would have been hard for me to detect, unless I knew to search for them). They seem to appear at the end and mix with the dryness.
Carbonation is rather full and sharp and prickly. It intensifies the bitterness to a point of excess for my tastes. Otherwise feel is on, i.e. medium light. Does possess a ale type crispness which lends a thirst quenching quality (along with the citrus flavor and dryness).
This is a nice solid APA. Highly drinkable. Good for the summer. Subtle in the complexity.
Thanks for thinking of me my brother.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2007 01:47:07 | More by garymuchow
Photo of pokesbeerdude


3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Wasatch for this one in a trade. 12oz Bottle. Alcohol noted at 4.8%.

A: Pale orange, light gold in color, somewhat cloudy, dense rocky head about a quarter of an inch thick. Spotty lacing.

S: Not a whole lot going on, pretty strong malt flavorings, piney hops. Pretty standard, but smells tasty. Just not a lot going on.

T: Really a mild tasting beer, light graininess, very doughy malt character, slightly astringent pine/citrus bitterness at the end, really comes to life as it warms up a bit, malt is quite doughy, and hops are piney, quite balanced between the two though. Quite tasty!

M: A little over carbonated for my taste, really is quite prickly on the tongue, dry, and begs for another drink each and every time. Just a little to prickly for my taste.

D: Good session beer, very tasty, I'd love to have this one on tap. All around great beer, I'll have to find out where John got it so I can snag some more of it. Tasty beer!

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2009 00:32:14 | More by pokesbeerdude
Photo of fsimcox


3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle.

Pours a nice clear slightly amber straw color. White foamy head that dissipates quickly. Nice lacing.

Smells of fruity hops, hints of citrus.

Taste is crisp, with hops, finishes dry with a little sour/bitter note.

Mouthfeel is good. A little more carbonation is noticed

This beer is plentiful in central Cali. 4.8% abv makes this a very drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2009 21:09:41 | More by fsimcox
Photo of montecristo2

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Small head- one finger at the pour, dissipating to a light lacing on the glass.

Smell of citrusy hops.

Clear, pale orange/yellow color. Similar to filtered apple juice.

First taste is lemony/grapefruity/citrus flavor. Very balanced and nice, hoppy taste for an APA.

4.8% makes it a good session beer. I could drink this again.

Citrus start leads to a tangy, bitter taste on the outsides of the tongue.

I look forward to trying other Firestone beers.


Serving type: bottle

08-31-2010 17:34:30 | More by montecristo2
Photo of Allpe45


3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dispensed from the cask by gravity at the Hungry Monk

Appears yellowish orange with a short frothy head, plenty of clarity but still a bit of chill haze. Smells citrus forward with a touch of floral hops. Very crisp, tastes like floral hops and grapefruit up front, smooth malty middle and a quick bitter finish. Medium bodied, the carbonation is much more prominent than expected for the serving type. This is flavorful, not too strong in alcohol content, and fits the style well.

Serving type: cask

06-11-2011 05:23:21 | More by Allpe45
Photo of DovaliHops


3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 3/18/11, so this guy's less than a month old. One of my favorite go-to pale ales for sure. Pours a clear, pale, golden color with a medium white head that disappears quickly. Scent is very lovely with nice, subtle hops and malt. Some citrus and floral notes with a hint of grain. Taste is very well-balanced and complex with malt and hop flavors. Some floral notes in the finish along with a bit of citrus bitterness. Mouthfeel is light and crisp. Drinkability is very high. Overall, a very solid pale ale when fresh. I've had this beer old, and still a good beer, but nowhere near when it is fresh like this. Very sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2011 07:28:09 | More by DovaliHops
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2014 14:58:47 | More by Billolick
Photo of LambicPentameter


3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed along with a lunch--roast beef sandwich with horseradish and french fries--at the Bellagio while on vacation in Las Vegas. Served out of a 12 oz brown bottle with the bottling date 08/12/13 marked clearly on the base of the label and poured into a medium-sized goblet.

Appearance - Pours a transparent golden amber with subtle copper shadowing and maize highlights. Atop the body rests an effervescent and delicate-looking head of about a finger thick, the color of cream. Retention is moderate and leaves sparse lacing along the sides of the glass.

Smell - Bright and refreshing, with traces of grass and herbs peeking out through a bouquet of citrus notes and light acidity. The biscuity pale malts also shine through to balance out the sharper aroma with some bready roundness. Overall quite a balanced aroma.

Taste - Like the aroma, notes of toasted sourdough and butter cracker play with more astringent aspects of grassiness and pine, along with a more subtle citrus component at this point. Light bitterness like baby garden greens flashes on the finish and lingers for just a second on the aftertaste. Since it fades quickly, like many APAs, it makes for easy drinkability.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied and moderate carbonation, with a crisp finish and quickly fading aftertaste.

Overall, a balanced and highly drinkable take on this great style and it has plenty of flavor for a 4.8% beer. I would gladly order this again with food or to take home to crack open for an easy drinking beer that won't knock me on my ass. Unfortunately, it's not too common in my local market, otherwise I'd likely find myself drinking it quite a bit.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2013 06:15:18 | More by LambicPentameter
Photo of prototypic


3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Many thanks to EinWeizenbitte for this fine extra. Very thoughtful selection, Todd.

Pours a pale gold color with a slight orange tint. A very light amount of haze clouds it a little. A slightly off-white head caps it off. Retention was good and a sticky coat of lace clung to the glass. Not bad at all.

Pale 31 smells very well hopped. It features a diverse bill, whatever it may be. There's some citric notes of grapefruit and mango with light floral elements blended in. Smells earthy and a tad grainy. Pale malts and a healthy amount of caramel malts appear to be present. Smells like the caramel malts balance out the hop qualities to a degree. More on that in a few. All in all, it's pretty well done. I like it.

Pale 31's a nice APA. It's a little sweet up front. Pale malts seem to be the primary malt flavor. There's perhaps a little caramel, but it's less prominent here than on the nose. That's a good thing. Hops are flavorful and give it a nice bitter buzz. It's not quite as hoppy as I'd like, but it's not bad at all. It's not as balanced as I expected and I like that quality. Hops do their job pretty well and aren't completely balanced by the malts. The hops are mostly citric and have a nice grapefruit and orange flavor. They're a little grassy and earthy. Finishes sweet, bitter, and a little dry.

Pale 31 is light with relatively buzzy carbonation. It's not quite smooth, but it's not bad either. A little more body would improve it a little. Drinkability is good. I like the flavor and it's too easy to drink. There's a number of better APAs out there, but this one's far from a bad choice.

I haven't tried a bad Firestone Walker beer yet. This one's no exception. It's fairly straight forward and really doesn't have any special qualities that grab you, but it's a nice representation of the style. There are a number of better APAs, but Pale 31's probably second tier for the style. A little more body (and hops) would improve it, but I don't have any material criticism for it. It's pretty damn good as it is. Thanks, Todd.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 02:32:41 | More by prototypic
Photo of hooliganlife


3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pour is light pale and clear. little head and little retention.

light floral and citrus with a touch of biscuit. slight sweetness like candied fruit

light malts with a big pine bitterness. mixed in between is a slight citrus kick. malts mainly come alive in the finish.

a bit too carbonated for a pale ale but an easy drinking indeed

overall, a great pale ale with a great california flavor. i dig this, big time.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2009 22:18:49 | More by hooliganlife
Photo of Brewermeister


3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a yellow color with a slight orange hue to it. Head is pretty minimal with slight retention.
Good citrus smell from the hops.
Light to medium body. Great tasting Pale Ale with a crisp clean finish. A great refreshing summer beer and a great example of a pale ale

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 08:43:49 | More by Brewermeister
Photo of weeare138


3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to beermaninpa for this one!
Appears a light gold with a half inch white head that fades to a light film in about a minute. Some bits of streaky lacing stick to the glass. Some streams of large bubles slowly rise to the top of the glass.
Smell is of crisp hops with an oak and vanilla aroma.
Taste is of creamy vanilla and mild hops that seem to blend into a nice, crisp finish.
Mouthfeel is crisp, smooth, sweet with a semi-dry finish that is slick on the tongue. This also has a mild, tingly linger on the front of the tongue.
Drinkability isn't half bad for a pale ale.

It's ok, dog.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2005 22:21:47 | More by weeare138
Photo of Clydesdale

District of Columbia

3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a lightly hazy orange-gold color. The off-white head is reasonably tall, with a sudsy, frothy texture. Retention is solid, and some nice splotches of lace ring the glass.

S: Some very light toasty/caramel notes, but mainly straightforward pale malts. A freshly citric (orange and grapefruit juice) and a grassily herbal hop nose is also present. Some light, yeasty, fruity tartness adds a bit of depth.

T: A little graininess, along with some caramel sweetness up front. Light cookielike malt as well. Hop bitterness is moderate, accompanied by citric (again grapefruit/orange) and herbal flavors. A few faintly fruity yeast esters as well.

M: Medium-light body. Carbonation is medium, and there's a general crispness to the overall feel. The finish is slightly thinner than I'd prefer, with a slight club soda character.

D: An easily drinkable, nicely balanced pale ale from Firestone Walker. A bit on the thin/light side, but not overly so. There's surely a time and a place for this kind of quaffable brew, even if it's not the most thrilling version of the style.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2011 01:33:09 | More by Clydesdale
Photo of JamesP123


3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a sexy Oakland Raiders Logo Beer Mug.

A. Light orange/Dark yellow, pouredf with one finger of head that quickle dissapates.

S. Smells good, picking up floral hops first immidiately follwoed by a malty sweetness.

T. A bit lighter than expected from the smell, very balanced. Not tasting a lot of floral hops but definately get some spicy bitterness in the aftertaste. Medium carbination races across the tounge with each sip.

M. Light mouthfeel, good amount of carbination running through the mouth.

D. Easy to find, good beer at a moderate price. Nothing blows me out of the water but an all together very good beer across the board. Could see myself bringing to a few BBQ's this summer.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2009 01:22:26 | More by JamesP123
Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,309 ratings.