Pale 31 - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pale 31Pale 31

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

502 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 502
Hads: 1,684
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 9.54%
Wants: 67
Gots: 172 | FT: 1
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: 502 | Hads: 1,684
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 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 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 WAbeerfiend
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%

Bottled on 03.11.14.
Poured into a Mac & Jack's pint glass on 05.13.14.

A: See through yellow with a light head, which recedes quickly.

S: Flower. Some pine and grapefruit.

T: Pine, grapefruit dominate. Honey, flower are subtle.

M: Crisp. Has perfect carbonation.

O: This was somewhat hop forward. It was nicely balanced, but I guess that I expected that the hops would be stronger.

Rating: B (399 characters)

Photo of leitmotif
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm enjoying this from a bottle. Poured into a tulip glass.
Looks like a rich pale ale. It's golden dark, with a 2 finger foam head. Nothing much, i guess.

Smells of nice grapefruit, lemons, freshly cut grass and a bit of mango.

After the first sip, i could say I'm pretty sure that this could be a nice session beer. No alcohol, just waves of good quality malts and a dry hop finish. Creamy palate, fuzzy mouthfeel. Simple and complex in the same time.

It's not out of control, but a very very nice effort all the way. (525 characters)

Photo of Redneckwine
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%

12oz bottle into tulip

Appearance - Golden, lighter color than expected, just a touch hazy, decent head with a small amount of lacing

Smell - Biscuit and a bit of toasty malts right up front, some honey sweetness, hops not very prominent with some floral and sweet citrus notes

Feel/Taste - Feel is nice and smooth medium-light body with gentle carb, feels full for the ABV. Taste mimics nose but in reverse: hops are more prevalent and start off with a little orangey citrus and herbal/floral notes, then the malts trail behind with some lightly toasted biscuit flavor. Light flavors all around, but well balanced. Pretty dry on the finish with feint lingering hop bitterness.

Overall - Excellent APA. They crammed a lot of nicely balanced flavor into just a 4.8% ABV brew, and maybe more impressive is the body, which seems bigger than it really is. Very drinkable and sessionable. (887 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)

Photo of CarlosRuizsChauffeur
3.61/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very clear and translucent, maybe a little too pale. Light-medium golden color with a thin white head and medium lacing
S: Smells really hoppy relative to the alcohol content. Smells of an assortment of citrus
T: Pure, clean and smooth, but nothing too special. Tastes of pineapple, Valencia orange, coriander, and slight bite of spice. Very little taste of any wheat or malts
M: Lacks enough carbonation, but is considerably smooth. Wish this ale had a little more bite or zing
O: Decent beer, but nothing too special. Is somewhat drinkable even though it tastes pretty hoppy. There is not that biscuit or bread taste you want with a pale ale, and instead we were given the modern taste of ales with a hoppy body and aftertaste and no balance of malts (755 characters)

Photo of seedyone
3.66/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

10/09/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC.

Disclaimer: I've become extremely partial to Firestone-Walker stuff. I usually don't like anything IPA-ish at all, but they have shown me, with the right hand at the helm, this stuff can get me where I want to be. This is one such concoction.

The hops in the aroma are are barely there yet on the tongue they jump out to greet you...check that...welcome you.

The aftertaste is something else again. It hit my palate, the upper back of my mouth, with the strongest taste of all. What was left, was back to being very civilized, hop-wise. The taste lingered leaving me regretting I have no appetite, as this is what could make a great pairing with the right dish.

A drink with this much distinction, combined with it's subtlety is rare in my experience. A true showcase for what hops, in the right hands, can do for a brew. Kudos. (874 characters)

Photo of garten
3.64/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a fine saffron yellow shade, which looks just as appealing sitting in the glass. A fairly tall head is produced, eggshell white, with generous lacing and tends to linger for a good amount of time. Nothing out of the ordinary here.

Smell: Smells mildly sweet, certainly yeasty with a hint of toasted malts and subtle bittery hops. Otherwise it does not smell especially notable.

Taste: Now this is one tasty beer! First few sips were nice and biting. I could taste the malty characteristics right away, along with the hoppy character that I noted prior in smelling. The latter flavor lingers somewhat, but it is not unpleasant in the slightest. It tastes quite good after a few more sips are had. It's not especially bitter, but just enough to remind you that it's a pale ale. A good one at that.

Mouthfeel: About average. Does not feel watery or thick. You could certainly chug this one if you really wanted to on an especially hot day and not feel at all weighed down by it. Mild carbonation, not at all flat.

Overall: A fantastic brew and my first one out of this brewery. Maybe I have a soft spot for pale ales, but this one is a winner in my books. If you like Pale Ales like SN and Dale's Pale Ale, this one will definitely stand up to them. I will likely buy these again on a whim sometime.

Notes: Served chilled in a U.S.-style Tumbler glass. Date on bottle says '01/23/14' - presumably its bottled date. (1,439 characters)

Photo of bassboneman
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I love this beer!
It is just perfect drinking for the warm days/nights of summer. It has a great taste and mouthfeel.
It is a great combintion of sweet and bitter with a backround taste/finish that is pleasantly unusual.
While great out of the bottle - even better in a cold glass!
Sam

** worth noting - the labels - at least in NY dont quite look the same as pictured (372 characters)

Photo of REDsage
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

Firestone Walker's "Pale 31" pours a rich pale color with an appropriate carbonation. It has the strong aroma of Turkish delights (for those of you who have tried these tasty and gooey little sugar cubes) that also radiates sugar, white rose, and perhaps under-ripe apricots. The first sip comes with a head that wont quit and a particularly artificial flavor that comes with low-end canned beers like PBR, albeit this flavor is light. A larger mouthful reveals a weak body with a mouthfeel like many other light beers. The flavor is the sweet and bitter you would expect from a pale ale that disappears quickly. The aftertaste however, is this beer's saving grace. This lingering flavor is that of light and summer sweetened hops and some malt that brings you to have another, and yet another sip. This beer is nothing to call home about, but certainly not at all bad. (869 characters)

Photo of NODAK
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Smell is fairly mild even for this kind of beer. Pine cone hops with a bit of honey sweetness also in there. Tame.

Taste definitely followed the nose. Upfront, a decent west coast style pine bitterness, but rather soft. Very approachable. The honey, fruity sweetness is certainly there as an undercurrent. I get a bit of grain on the finish as well. Wraps up with little bitterness. Rather clean.

Very approachable and drinkable pale ale. They're not trying to break the mold and the low ABV is rather obvious in how it tastes. A very easy, if not basic, drinker. (567 characters)

Photo of gonzo000
3.39/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

a. Yellow in color with very little head. Poured into a tulip glass.

s. Dry hopped honey aroma.

t. Not matching the smell. Very little in way of taste. All on the front of the tounge. Malt taste, not much hops.

m. Undercarbonated, bity.

o. Good beer at best - not the best firestone offering. Would not revisit, but might be slightly above average (351 characters)

Photo of JAFoley
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pale blonde and crystal clear body with dense white head. Good retention and lacing.

S - citrus lemon and bready malts

T - nice refreshing citrus hops with subtle earthy malts.

M - Light body with moderate carbonation.

O - What a great drinkable summer beer. I'll definitely be picking this up more often. (314 characters)

Photo of Dope
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle is dated 02/27/14 so around 2.5 months old.

A: Pours a clear gold with a small, fizzy white head. Head fizzes out pretty quickly to boot. Sparse little streaks of lacing and a little head retention.

S: Pleasant citrus bitterness with bits of pine. Grassy too? Light grainy malt.

T: Yup, grassy mainly up front. Spicy pine in the middle. Maybe some bitter grapefruit peel floating around too? Especially in the lightly bitter aftertaste. Very light malt, a bit of dry cracker in the finish. Crisp, dry and bitter finish/aftertaste.

M: Light bodied and dry. Decent punch of bitterness to go with the dryness in the finish.

O: Honestly not a bad APA. The appearance and aroma is pretty meh but the taste is nice. Surprisingly decent hop character with quite a bit of bitterness. Crisp and refreshing, sessionable for sure. Pretty much the very definition of an APA in my opinion. (890 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
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. (386 characters)

Photo of puboflyons
3.74/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle stamped 03/04/14-22:38. Sampled on May 3, 2014.

The pour is golden to medium amber with a white head and good clarity.

The aroma has a nice combination of roasted caramel malts, sweetness, and a dash of earthy hops to add some highlights to the nose.

The body is smooth and in the medium range.

Interestingly the sweet caramel malts make way to a slightly peppery hop note. There is a modest hop bite at the end that reminded me of something like pepper. It was definitely not spicy but there you have it. (536 characters)

Photo of tigg924
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
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. (412 characters)

Photo of Foyle
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: sudsy 1" off white head recedes quickly with nice lacing. Color is clear rich gold with mild streaming carbonation.
Aroma: citrus and floral aroma dominates, some caramel and bread dough in the background. Mouthfeel: light and somewhat sticky mouthfeel with a somewhat dry finish.
Flavor: balanced hop and malt flavors. The sweet caramel and bready malts lead the way, followed by citrus and then a lingering bitterness in the swallow.
Overall: a pleasant pale ale and representative of the style. (512 characters)

Photo of papat444
3.3/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle, bottled on Mar. 19, 2014.

Pours a clear gold body with a frothy head and decent retention. Very grassy hops in both the aroma and flavor but has a vegetal quality that i'm not too fond of. Lemony and soapy as well but not a fan of this one very much. (278 characters)

Photo of cbutova
3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Poured from the 12oz bottle to my glass with a fairly clear golden yellow body. A cap forms on the brew to about a finger but the fizzy texture alludes to me the poor retention. The head dies down to a small ring that leaves spotty lacing.

S- Aroma presents a nice blend of malts and hops. Prevalent aromas are of cracked cereal grains, citrus and floral hops as well as yeast bread and light fruits. A bit faint compared to some APAs but I don't have to stress too much to pick up what's happening.

T- Follows the nose and presents a balanced APA flavor. The hops are crisp with mostly flavors of citrus zest and oil as well as floral notes. They do bring slight herbal and spicy hints but those are secondary. Base of cereal grains, biscuit, lightly sweet and crystal malts with a fruity bready American Ale yeast coming into play.

MF- Light bodied with a crisp, creamy texture that has some fizziness to it. Carbonation at a high end level which lends that crispiness and helps the hops shine. Light bitter finish.

Simple but enjoyable APA that provides a nice mix of Cascade citrus with some spicy, floral hops as well. Crisp and refreshing. (1,152 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.44/5  rDev -11.3%
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. (569 characters)

Photo of heygeebee
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

From Beer Cartel.. 11/05/13 ??? hmmm

A - clear straw, nice fluffy one finger heads stays nicely. Lovely spotty lace.

S - nice mixed citrus, apricot, floral hop notes..

T - well balanced, more generic citrus, peach, moderately hoppy.

M - quite light in mouth, almost soft drink like.

O - solid solid solid for style. I am wholly unsure of the freshness given the date on the bottle, but it seems to hold its own quite well. Clearly an entry-level beer, with no palate whack but that's ok too. (496 characters)

Photo of FitnessForBeer
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

From variety pack

A: light, clear beer that is straw colored Finger worth of head but disappeared quickly
S: light floral hoppy,
T: very sweet malt, mellow hop profile. Floral and citrus flavones come through
M: good, nothing to complain
O: not bad, just don't get the "wow" factor. Most important test I feel, would I buy it again? Probably not (348 characters)

Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 502 ratings.