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Pale 31 - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Pale 31Pale 31

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

1,143 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1143
Reviews: 456
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 10.59%

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)
View: Beers (64) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 1,143 | Reviews: 456 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of au1sec


3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours a copper-orange. Creamy white, thick head. I think it had some kind of reaction with the prior beer from the glass, because it was the thickest head I had ever seen without dropping the bottle before opening. Anyway, I let it rest and it eventually dissipated to a reasonable level but not completely. I think its a good example of the style. The hops are evident...too bitter for some, but probably not bitter enough for a hophead, because there is a definite malt character. If its side by side with SNPA, I'll take the Firestone every time.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2003 15:30:55 | More by au1sec
Photo of fattyre


3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear slight reddishh golden color with a rocky off-white head. The mouthfeel is moderate. The smell is sweet citrus and floral. The taste is bitter floral and citrus with sweetish malts. A tasty bitter pale ale with slight malty hints.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2003 19:36:23 | More by fattyre
Photo of Bunnyhop


3.23/5  rDev -16.5%
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)

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2003 07:43:29 | More by Bunnyhop
Photo of RBorsato


4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright golden color with a nice ivory head and good carbonation. Very nice citrus hop aroma at first; has a light malt aroma over time. Nice balanced flavor; more malt character than expected from aroma but definitely has a citrus hoppiness. Light bodied, refreshing, and easily drinkable with a light bitter finish.

A superb Pale Ale that is a very nice blend of both American and English styles.

Label states "fermented in American oak barrels" & 1996.

Per F.W website:
Malts: Premium Two-Row, Maris Otter Pale, Munich, Crystal
Hops: Bittering- Fuggle
Late Kettle- Cascade, Centennial, Chinook
Dry Hops- Cascade, Centennial, Chinook
38 IBU

2003 GABF: Silver Medal - APA ?

Per B.O.M. notes:
38 IBU
Malts: Canadian 2-row, Marris Otter Pale, Carapils, Munich, and Crystal
Hops: Fuggles, Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2003 12:44:33 | More by RBorsato
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Darkish Copper-Golden color. Reasonable head that has reasonably good retention. Huge floral hop aroma, that had an almost perfume dimension. Reminded me a lot of Burton Brewed Pale Ales I used to drink in England. In fact the beer label states they use a Union Oak Barrel Brewing System, which is what many of the Burton Breweries in UK utilized in the past. Leads me to believe it may well be dry-hopped as well, if not - it certainly smells like it does. Really good hop character, gives a dominant medium malt-bitterness that fades slowly, and makes way for a hint of wood in the aftertaste. Vanilla/toffee tastes are barely perceptable, but were there towards the end. Dare I say this reminds me so much of some 'weaker' (4 to 5%) English India Pale Ales that I used to drink. Very Burton-esque.....
A nice beer, I like the Hops and Bitterness, but it may be a bit one-dimensional for some "non-hopheads".

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2002 17:14:27 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of tigerpaws

South Carolina

3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours with a nice golden copper color and almost no head. Not much aroma to wet your appetite, and has what I think is a hint of vanilla, I may well be wrong on that. Good mouthfeel and IMO could use a little more hops and also alcohol kick. But overall a good refreshing beer that goes down well...............CHEERS

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2002 13:04:15 | More by tigerpaws
Photo of VelvetExtract


3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a clear, orange gold. A half an inch of white froth settles on the beer's body. Laces well.

S-Balanced, even leaning toward the maltier side. Sweet honey, white bread and some floral hoppiness.

T-Maltier. The malt reminds me definitely of honey. Malt is relatively airy but more forward than the hops. Hops give me some light flavors of flowers and sweet orange.

M-More body than I thought would be there. Lots of soft bubbles.

O-A bit disappointing. I was able to put down my pint very quickly, though because none of the flavors were actually off putting.

Serving type: on-tap

04-03-2014 01:04:21 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of PicoPapa


3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

32oz growler from the Bowery Whole Foods. Pours a clear light orange color with a 1/2 inch of head. Minimal lacing. The aroma is sweet orange with some malts and hints of tropical fruits. The taste is some bitter orange peel, floral hops and malts. Slightly bready. A tad watery. Malt finish with more floral notes as well as some orange peel. Light mouthfeel, but it's expected considering the low ABV. This is a highly drinkable Pale Ale that would be great for summer. Hoping this gets canned one day. Overall, one of the more flavorful, lower ABV Pales I have had in awhile. I'd buy it again.

Serving type: growler

01-20-2014 01:37:36 | More by PicoPapa
Photo of TheMarkE


3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Nice shade of gold with good head that sticks around. Very good lacing and plenty of carbonation.

Smell: Grass, herbs, citrus, and malts.

Taste: Grass, citrus, herbs and malts.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, crisp and refreshing, with a bitter hop aftertaste.

The Verdict: Very good. About as hoppy as a pale ale could get without crossing into IPA category, and much hoppier than a lot of cheap offbrand IPAs without their nasty bitterness. Another winning brew from Firestone.

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2013 00:27:32 | More by TheMarkE
Photo of Jdbateman83


3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Im not a fan of hops, and this beer is a little hopy, but for a person that does not like hops its actually pretty good. The bitterness is controlled, a little much on the carbonation, but overall another finer from Firestone. This is by know means a light beer, lots of flavor, and lots to enjoy.

Serving type: on-tap

10-19-2013 02:14:25 | More by Jdbateman83
Photo of BMMillsy


2.76/5  rDev -28.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-12-2013 19:09:38 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of TrappistJohnMD


3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Light amber golden color. Almost no head. Served in pint glass at The Public House in the Venetian.

Smell is honey and apple.

Taste is sweet malts, apple and no bitterness.

Mouthfeel is almost flat but drinkable. Typical cask beer.

Overall this was good, but not great.

Serving type: cask

10-04-2013 00:43:31 | More by TrappistJohnMD
Photo of champ103


4.48/5  rDev +15.8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-20-2013 02:54:40 | More by champ103
Photo of dar482

New York

3.56/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The color is a golden copper pale color.

The flavor has a huge round grain maltiness at the end. The hops in this beer are quite light, nothing too powerful.

The mouthfeel is a bit light, but the malt roundness really gives it some decent body.

In the end, I prefer the sweetness and juiciness that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2013 20:44:46 | More by dar482
Photo of MikePags

New York

4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
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

Serving type: growler

04-01-2013 01:35:45 | More by MikePags


4.14/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

$3 during happy hour, served in a pint glass
Sampled 28MAR13

[A] Served with a small head, less than a finger high, foamy and compact, and just off white in color. Well retained. The light orange colored body is crystal clear. A few strands of lace line the glass.

[S] Fresh hop character is average in intensity. Notes of orange flesh, pith and oils. Just a hint of grassiness adds complexity to the citrus-forward nose.

[T] Pulpy orange juice. With the help of a very effervescent mouthfeel, the flavor of Pale 31 is quite mimosa-like. Juicy, straightforward and delicious.

[M] The mouthfeel leans towards the aggressive side. Slightly overcarbed for my tastes. After a few swirls, the mouthfeel is spot on. Light body and super crisp on the finish.

[O] This is a damn good beer. And highly quaffable. I could order this again and again.

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2013 15:25:50 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of Philousa


4.44/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Imbibed at Wine Affairs on 3/4/13.

Very pale with copper color, and clear. Head retention is great, big rocky head that laces very well for the style. Lemon and grapefruit dominate the nose with floral notes and slight biscuit. Flavor is lemony and bright with a lot of orange flavor to start as well. Fades to overcooked biscuit and slight a tartness, then floral hops, which are not heavy handed. Bitterness comes on gradually, but its definitely noticeable. Feel is middling, finish is slightly dry. This one tasted especially fresh. I could drink this all day.

Serving type: on-tap

03-05-2013 18:25:09 | More by Philousa
Photo of jvillefan


4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: It is a golden yellow/orange with a lace white head.

S: The is a nice subtle hop aroma with some caramel notes to it.

T: The is a nice sharp hop flavor. There is a dry Belgian character that adds nice flavored to the secessionible beer.

M: Very thin and has a great carbonation bite.

O: Good, not great. Get it if you can but there are better pale ales out there.

Serving type: on-tap

02-03-2013 01:31:14 | More by jvillefan
Photo of beergoot


3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A thick, chunky white head rests atop a golden, crystal clear body; sticky lacing on the glass. Nice, hoppy aroma; pine and melon. Bright, crisp feel with a subtle malt backbone and a bold hop bitterness rounding things out. Clean, dry finish.

A refreshing beer with good balance and taste all-around. Nothing earth-shattering or innovative per se; just a darn fine beer....

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2012 22:35:16 | More by beergoot
Photo of Knapp85


4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a hazy yellow color with a white foamy head on top. The retention and lacing were very good on this beer. The smell of the beer gives off a massive fresh citrus hop aroma. The smell of the beer seems very fresh, bright and lively. The taste of the beer is bitter with a good balance of malt and hops. There are fruity notes in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel of the beer is medium bodied with a solid carbonation and a clean crisp finish to it. Overall this one is very good, it pushes the boundaries of being an APA and IPA, this beer could go either way I think. It's very good though regardless.

Serving type: on-tap

11-24-2012 02:12:00 | More by Knapp85
Photo of xnicknj


4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at the khyber in philly

Pours a lightly hazed golden color with a one-finger froth of white head resting on top. Retains for a while, leaving patchy rings of lacing on the glass while drinking.

Nice punchy, tropical hops in the nose with pineapple and grapefruit. Soft sweetness twisted with toasted grain and biscuit. Very inviting.

Soft bitterness up front, mix of citrus and tropical flavors in the hop profile. Pineapple, citrus peel and mango with soft sweetness. Mild malt backbone with toasted grain and biscuit. Finishes juicy and bitter with another kiss of tropical hops.

Lighter medium body, well carbonated, refreshing and crisp on the palate. Really easy drinking, excellent hop profile - I easily took down 2 pints and could have enjoyed another without trouble. I need to remember to buy some of this for next summer, this would be perfect for backyard barbecues and sunny summer afternoons.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2012 14:43:38 | More by xnicknj
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
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 AgentMunky


4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a chilled pint glass at the Rose & Crown.

A: A finger of white head tops a clear golden beer. Heavy lace.

S: Fruity, aromatic hops. Crisp, bitter, and citrusy. Very nice.

T: Mm. Delicious, light-bodied pale ale. Hops are prominent and tasty, but with little body to back it up. Light, biscuity malt. Bitter aftertaste.

M: Not the best. But maybe that's just me knocking pale ales.

O: Great pale ale! Highly recommended for the style. Highly drinkable and sufficiently hoppy. Would have again.

Serving type: on-tap

10-08-2012 03:52:17 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of axeman9182

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap in a pint glass, served at the Blind Tiger.

Firestone Walker Pale 31 pours a brilliantly clear goldenrod, darkening towards orange when the beer's less well lit. A light dusting of white foam caps the beer, but doesn't provide much opportunity for either head retention or lacing. The nose has a nice floral aroma, offset by some juicy grapefruit notes. It doesn't quite jump out if the glass as much as it could though. The flavor is fantastic, just about perfectly balanced for a pale ale. There's a solid foundation of caramel sweetness right up front. The bitterness that comes through is enough to let you know it's there, but definitely stays short of IPA level intensity. The hoppy close is that classic floral, citrus grapefruit flavor. If I had to nitpick, I would say that the finish could stand to be a little more intense/vibrant, but it's pretty close. The body is nice, a little bit solid while not becoming too heavy for a sub 5%ABV beer. The carbonation is definitely a touch muted though. Pale 31 is another reminder that I should consider myself lucky to have Firestone Walker readily available locally.

Serving type: on-tap

09-06-2012 20:43:13 | More by axeman9182
Photo of Tone


3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, gold/amber color. 1/3 inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of citrus hops, slight pale malt, slight sweet malt, and hint of alcohol, and a hint of caramel malt. Fits the style of an American Pale Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of citrus hops, slight hop oil, sweet malt, slight pale malt, and a hint of alcohol. Overall, good appearance, decent aroma, body, blend, and feel.

Serving type: on-tap

08-12-2012 13:50:42 | More by Tone
Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,143 ratings.