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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

505 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 505
Hads: 1,701
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 9.54%
Wants: 68
Gots: 184 | 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: 505 | Hads: 1,701
Photo of dmcbeerington
2.61/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Maybe I should go back to drinking orange juice or coke. This beer doesn't taste good at all. it doesn't taste like a normal beer. It is very hard for beginner drinker, and I have been drinking beer for 2 years now.

First thing about this beer is that it is hard to drink. normally this is because the beer is too bitter, but not the case here.

A, good color, head disappear in seconds.

S, I was sick, and my nose can't smell anything

T, Hard to drink kind of taste, some people may like it, but not me, not much sweetness. I will say on the bitter side. (560 characters)

Photo of blakelive784
2.63/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle (bottled on 2/2/13) served in a pint glass, reviewed live:

A - Pours a honey golden color with lively carbonation but wit only a half finger of thin, white, fizzy head. Retention is awful, especially given the low ABV. Average at best.

S - Oddly - the first notes I get are sweet honey and pale malts. Light, fresh lemon and orange zest and faint grassy notes. I'm surprised how restrained the hops are, maybe even enough to upset the balance. Pretty mild but refreshing.

T - Watery base malts open. Bland, uneventful body. Stale. No yeast character. The hops don't show up until the climax. Incredibly faint citrus is about all I can find. It's too sweet, and there's a strange metallic note near the finish. Simple and watery. Where'd all the hops from the nose go?

M - Watery and smooth.

D - I'd like to think that I got an old bottle, but It's barely a month old. Just a poor example of the style. It's easy to drink, but there's really nothing going on. Won't be having this again. (1,022 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.67/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Nabbed a sixer at my local Vons grocery store. "California Pale Ale Dry Hopped." 4.9% ABV according to the label (not 4.8 as currently listed; I chalk it up to batch variation). Bottled 02/20/13 - that makes this less than two months old, and it's been refrigerated the whole time. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard branded pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

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

A: Pours a four finger head of beige colour, fair cream, decent thickness, and pretty good (~4 minute) retention. Body colour is a clear pale copper. Not very vibrant. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Typical of the style; it's generally appealing.

Sm: Generic floral hop notes. Light citrus. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. Pale malts. A mild to moderate strength aroma. Light hop oil.

T: Pale malts, floral hops, light hop oil. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Boring and bland for a pale ale, but passable. A bit grassy. Imbalanced. Decently built. I'm unwderwhelmed.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit oily. Adequate carbonation. It's thin and weak. Suits the flavour profile okay, but it's very wanting.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable for what it is, but very pedestrian. Another underwhelming brew from Firestone Walker. I wouldn't get this again. Hides its ABV decently. Meh.

C- (1,509 characters)

Photo of BMMillsy
2.77/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

On draft at Taphouse in Seattle. Worried they have me the wrong beer. Poured cloudy yellow with a bit of head in a pint glass. Aroma of some citrus and yeast funk. Flavor follows with what can only be described as a bad wheat beer or hefe. Dirty wheat finish, bits of citrus and banana, a touch of sweet citrus hops. Light mouthfeel. Whatever this was it was not good, and I can't imagine my favorite brewery FW would try to pass this off as a pale ale. Blegh. Will have to try again when I visit the west coast. (512 characters)

Photo of ronniebruner
2.91/5  rDev -25%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Another boring, run of the mill IPA...... The market is becoming oversaturated with pale ales and Firestone is no exception. There is nothing memorable about this beer and honestly if I hadn't found an old napkin from the bar I wrote this down on, I wouldn't have even remembered it. It is plain in all senses of the word and there is nothing memorable about this beer except that it is not terrible. The king of the mediocre category if there ever were.... (460 characters)

Photo of HawkFalco
2.96/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Tasted:Dec. 22, 2014 12 oz. bottle

Poured into a pint glass, 50 degrees.

Looks: Rich lemon-gold color. Hazy. Made little head that disappeared quickly. lacing lasted.

Smell: citrus, fresh, floral

Tastes: floral taste follows nose, quite hoppy with any malt sweetness buried. Way more hoppy than I expected for an American Pale Ale, Why not just call it a IPA?

Feels: Thin with little body, low carbonation, mildly dry bitterness in the finish

Overall: I expected balance and so am disappointed in the strong hop forward bitterness of this beer. I am not a fan of bitter beer so I may be a poor judge. Look to the reviews of the drinkers who like IPAs. I won’t buy again. (690 characters)

Photo of sj660
2.96/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Yellow and bright with a bright white foam; good laces.

Classic pine, citrus hop aroma. Flavor is similar, with a bit of biscuit and grass. Mineral off taste in this pour.

Felt slippery and light.

I will try another one later to make sure this is representative. This isn't representative of Firestone-Walkers beers, which can be great. (341 characters)

Photo of iSip
3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Firestone Pale Ale: The deep auburn color is dark for a pale ale, but the brew is perfectly clear. A thick white and pillowy head forms on top, and lasts. A hoppy aroma is present. The flavor lacks any big malt, so the hops come through from start to finish. The finish is lean. This is a very drinkable beer, visually aesthetic, decent in an unassuming way.

Note: My bottle did not have a 31 on it, it just said Pale. (419 characters)

Photo of BlindPig
3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- About a 1/4" white head on a clear orange body with hues of yellow.
S- Malt, orange, lemon, grapefruit, citrus hops, and that is pretty much it.
T- Citrus hops, and a malt background to help balance it out. Orange, lemon, and a light grapefruit flavor come out. A light bitterness lingers on the tongue a long with some orange and grapefruit flavors.
M- Medium body with low to medium carbonation.
D- It is a average pale ale. I like the more on the hoppy side but it is not bad. Really don't think I would buy it again. There are a lot better beers for same price out there. (584 characters)

Photo of SensorySupernova
3/5  rDev -22.7%

Appearance: Crystal clear gold with a big white head that faded into thin lacing, and a few stray bubbles rising through.

Smell: Faint citrus and floral hops.

Taste: Pretty bitter for a pale ale, and the malt backbone never gets strong enough to overpower the hops. It’s not tongue-curdling bitter, but way more than the hop aroma would suggest.

Mouthfeel: Thin and moderately carbonated.

Overall: Okay. Not enough malt, not enough hop aroma. It’s like a less balanced version of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I would rather drink one Union Jack than two of these. (566 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.07/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled 15NOV12

Golden with a loose quilt of light cream foam. Smells of grapefruit, grass, light caramel malts, some sweet malts - a touch of lactose. Flavor is bready, bitter (lightly), hints of grapefruit pith, some pine and a touch of woody malts. Light body with low carb and a semi dry finish. Decent beer, nothing special. (330 characters)

Photo of JoshuaB
3.08/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an orangey color with a large head, which subsides in a minute or two to a steady foam top.

Very little scent, almost as neutral as water. Tastes mildly bitter and hoppy, not a lot of other flavor characteristics. Mouthfeel is pretty decent, and it lingers for a few seconds but not too long.

Overall, seems to be a very light PA, not offensive to someone like me, who rarely enjoys hoppy beer, but likely not enjoyable to someone who does. (448 characters)

Photo of PA-hunter
3.09/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured 12oz bottle into a snifter. 4.9% abv

Appearance- Pours a dull yellow with a fair bit of cloudiness. Decent foam on the head with mild retention.

Smell- Fragrant floral aroma; citrus-like sweetness

Taste- Light tasted grain flavor builds into some of the floral sweetness. Has a lemony kick to it. The bitterness and peppery flavor shows itself later in the taste and lingers.

Mouthfeel- Thin to medium in body. Appropriate.

Overall- A decent APA but could use more balance in malt/citric/bitterness transitions. Drinkable but not special. (550 characters)

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.1/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle, this beer had a clear golden color and a modest, bubbly white head that shrank down to a skim and left sketchy lace.
This pale ale packed a noseful of floral hops - very flowery with a strong citrusy undercurrent. Miniscule maltiness in the nose. The taste was a complete 180° turn-about from the smell: lots of biscuity malt with some candy sweetness and little in the way of hops, bitter or otherwise. Finish had a stale saltine cracker flavor and I swear there was a tortilla aftertaste that put me off. The feel was light, dry and faintly gritty.
I can't say I'd be eager to reach for another one of these. It just seemed to wander around too much trying to figure out whether it should be hoppy or malty. In the end, Firestone Pale Ale remained indecisive and only a mediocre brew. (822 characters)

Photo of mrmanning
3.1/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy Harry! Thank you! Pale yellow pour with medium white froth fading to a thin white ring. Good malted base aroma with mild pine hops and a boost of sugars. Decent hoppy flavour profile with sugared malt sweetness to balance. Slightly thin and watery finish. But would be very good for sessions. Glad I got to try it. Thanks Harry! (344 characters)

Photo of JDV
3.1/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light clear amber pour with a fading white head. Smell is very sweet hops. Fresh and vibrant at first, followed soon by a bit of metal. A bit thin overall and I get a flavor of tea in this one quite a bit, along with some light honey like malt. Good carbonation, and while not offensive, pretty average, and needs more of a strong malt backing to shine. Decent. (361 characters)

Photo of hopdog
3.12/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle.

Poured a medium and cloudy golden color with a smaller sized white head. Aromas of citrus, grainy, floral, and some breadiness. Tastes of ligther citrus, grainy and the same floralness. Thinner body.

Notes from and tasted on: 1/26/09. (250 characters)

Photo of orcasteve
3.12/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

oak and hops are the flavors that jump out at you, this one is not anything special, i would drink this if it were avalable in new york, this one tates better as it warms up, a tuch of toffie and vanilla kick in as it warms. this one is an ok repersentation od a pale ale (271 characters)

Photo of HalfFull
3.15/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden color with a half inch head. Very clear and not much in the bubbles department. As such, head settles quickly.

Smell has the same citrus sweetness of the Union Jack but without much hop presence. Malts and hops are in a similar balance, less of each yielding a lighter nose.

Taste follows with a bit of light malts on the tongue and a slightly bitter and lingering close. Decent feel and drink but has a bit of an artificial sense on the nose and close. That aside this is a fairly smooth light pale ale. (522 characters)

Photo of JayTheFinn
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Firestone's Pale Ale was a surprise for me. I'm not a big pale ale fan to start with, plus I'd see this one EVERYWHERE, in all the liquor stores and even grocery stores! So i figured it was gonna be just another bland ol' pale...yeah, I know I know, it's a terrible way to judge...But boy was I pleasantly surprised! It had a wonderfully smooth feel but quite lively taste. Nice blend of favors. I'm not gonna rush out to buy more when there's so many other beers I prefer over it, but I wouldn't turn one down either! Their other brews have impressed me too. Hooray for Firestone! (581 characters)

Photo of dsigmon
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I agree with overlord on this one. Not my style of pale ale at all. Pours an amber color with offwhite head. The best part was the smell. Nice floral and hop aroma with some biscuit and caramel undertones. Hits the palatte with a one liner hop profile which just happens to be one that I do not enjoy. The malt and biscuit come in last to clean it up but is still unbalanced and doesnt leave me happy. An ok pale ale but much better out there. (443 characters)

Photo of beertunes
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into straight pint glass. Poured with less than an inch of head that very quickly dissipated. Left light but sturdy lacing. A dark yellow color. Clarity is very good. Pleasant floral hop aroma with citrus notes. Flavor followed aroma closely, with the citrus flavors leaving a sharp taste. Body is what was expected for the style. Nicely drinkable. I received this as a gift, if this was available locally I would put this in my regular rotation. (453 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.22/5  rDev -17%
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 (1,365 characters)

Photo of Bunnyhop
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A clear, slight reddish golden Pale Ale with a rocky, off-white head. The smell is strongly floral, and hoppy. The taste is lightly malty with a bitter middle and end. The body is moderate in my mouth. An adequate example of its style, Pale Ale, but a bit bitter for me.

Some of the description on the label is as follows: "...a bright, elegant texture with hints of toffee and a medium malt character. Fermantation in individual 60 gallon American Oak barrels imparts soft smoky nuances, a suggestion of vanilla and additional complexity to the flavor profile." I can't say I experienced all of this, but I found this description interesting none-the-less.

(source: Beers Across America) (694 characters)

Photo of Salt-n-Beer
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%

Not the strongest of Pale Ales (in terms of flavor) but one that goes down pretty smoothly. Pours a very thin head and it's lighter than expected in color. I would happily drink it again but it will not be given priority over other better APAs that can be purchased in my area. (278 characters)

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Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 505 ratings.