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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 apintofknowledge

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a golden, apple-juice color, slightly hazy with a 1/2" off-white head. The aroma was exceptional... I could smell it as soon as I opened the bottle, and it just got better when I poured it in my glass... aromas of pine and citrus, a wonderfully fresh and hoppy smell. The taste is relatively mellow and smooth... it may smell like a hop-bomb, but it's actually a very balanced beer... definitely a Pale Ale and not an IPA or a typically overly bitter West Coast Pale Ale (yes, a generalization, but often true in my opinion). While mellow, the taste is actually quite full and rich... it's initially mildly sweet with a grassy flavor, followed by a malty middle with hints of lemon peel. The finish lingers with a mild bitterness, earthy, woody and root-like flavors. A beer that's very drinkable, and can simply be enjoyed... but take some time to notice the subtle complexities of this well-crafted brew.

Serving type: bottle

11-11-2005 03:32:39 | More by apintofknowledge
Photo of beerphilosopher


3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle ...

Appearance: Golden honey, impressive head with good retention.

Smell: All about hops with this one. Cascade, with flowery notes up front. Subtle malt undertones. Smells great.

Taste: As expected, grapefruity biiterness offset with flowery flavors behind. Pleasantly hoppy, but the malt is not lost.

Mouthfeel: Moderately thin. Good clean finish and the right amount of "pucker" for a good IPA. Cleansing.

Drinkability: Iminently drinkable IPA. Good, strong hop pucker, but not overpowering. Drink this one with a good BBQ or steak before it gets too cold out!

Notes: I read this one is fermented in oak barrels, but I didn't really pick up on this characteristic in my samples. It's very subtle, but a nice touch! Likely why this IPA tastes as complex as it does. Worth trying!

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2005 18:28:27 | More by beerphilosopher
Photo of mitchfor3


3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle purchased at Bevmo in a six pack for about $7.

Disappointingly pale straw color with a thin and fizzy head with poor retention. Tons of bubbles hint at strong carbonation.

Mild floral aroma - not particularly strong but also not bad.

The first thing that hit my palate was a rush of carbonation, as suspected. Somewhat overpowering, and followed by a pleasant but too-thin flavor that was quite hoppy..

Overall, this beer was enjoyable, but not something I would seek out again. I was pleasantly surprised by its flavor, but it was simply too thin for my tastes. Still, because of that, makes for a surprisingly good session brew @ 4.6%.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2005 07:34:58 | More by mitchfor3
Photo of arizcards


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

Picked up a 6-Pack at AJ's this month for $7.99.

This is a nice golden color that poured a good two finger head that has sustained quite well. Nose is of citrusy malts. Taste reminds me of an ESB as it has a stronger malt presence than anticipated at the start and finishes with a nice citrusy floral hop with the malts still present. Mouthfeel is OK, decently carbonated and heavy enough for the style. Drinkability is near perfect for a session. This makes for a great tail gate brew!

Serving type: bottle

09-29-2005 23:28:06 | More by arizcards
Photo of UncleFlip


4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Light honey colour, billowy white that fairly quickly disapates, leaving sparse wet lace behind.

The smell is all about the hops- and there's just a hint of hearty malt underneath.

The flavour is just what I like- nice and hoppy- and remarkably similar to the smell. However, there's not much that distinguishes this from other hoppy pales. The malt is there, and there's just a little spiciness on the aftertaste- but it's all about the hops.

The liquid is just the thin side of medium, and there's a slightly burning carbonation underneath it. Not bad, but a little more active on the carbonation than I prefer.

This one gets high numbers on drinkability. I think it's be a good session beer, filed under 'comfort beer'.

Be well

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2005 02:43:13 | More by UncleFlip
Photo of merlin48


4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle pours a chill hazed, honey amber body with an offwhite head that rises about one centimeter and stays there. Good patch lacing effect. Aroma is citrusy hops, with inviting esters of orange, tangerine, and grapefruit. Malty caramel is in the background, and there is a hint of vanilla from the oak barrel fermentation. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with crisp moderate carbonation. Taste features juicy citrusy hops, with orange and grapefruit lending a soft bitterness. Caramel and toffee notes serve up a pleasant malt balance. A hint of oaky vanilla adds a nice touch. The finish is clean, with a lingering grapefruit hops bitterness that is soft and mild. Very nicely balanced, and rather tasty. ABV is under 5%, so this one would make an exceptional session ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2005 11:22:49 | More by merlin48
Photo of LarryKemp


4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright clear yellow liquid topped with a striking white head that settles down and leaves enough foam to provide a nice lace.

The aroma is all HOPS. The piney aroma reminds me of opening a bag of hops on homebrew day. It fills all the sinuses. Great.

The hops take over the taste as well. A good bit citrusy but not so much that it burns your mouth. But plenty to keep the malt totally hidden.

very refreshing with a medium light mouthfeel. The hops play with the roof of my mouth long after the finish. I would not call the finsh either sweet or dry. Just well balanced.

Very nice beer one that I would recommend for anyone who likes hops or someone who has just gotten into hops and does not want to be blown totally away.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2005 21:03:28 | More by LarryKemp
Photo of weeare138


3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
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 trumick


3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden color, a finger head that dissapates quickly and lacing all around..

Scent is of lightly sweet malts, hints of peach and sweet orange citrus.

Taste is about right for a pale. It starts out sweet, bready and continues with the same. The end is a sweet citrus and pine. It is a good pale.

Mouthfeel is light bodied, and the carbination is just right.

Drinkability is above average. I could make this a session beer. The taste is nice and it's not filling... Ok, just noticed I have already reviewed this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2005 03:28:17 | More by trumick
Photo of Noelito76

New York

3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Similar to Sierra Nevada, but better. Nice amber color with a decent head. Mouthfeel is the best quality of this beer as the taste will sit nicely on the tongue allowing you to savor the beer. The taste itself is malty with a hint of fruitiness that complements the hops real well.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2005 19:06:14 | More by Noelito76
Photo of tgbljb


3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a deep amber color with a white foamy long-lasting head. Smell is of pine-scented hops. Has a nice dry hops taste that is thoroughly enjoyable. The dry tsate left in my mouth encouraged additional tasting. Very drinkable, but nothing outstanding

Serving type: bottle

05-08-2005 21:14:12 | More by tgbljb
Photo of BuckeyeNation


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

Polished amber suffused with orange peel orange. Atop the beer is a beautiful, firmsticky head of alabaster cream that has tiny, pearl-like bubbles embedded in its upper surface. Delicate snippets of lace keep watch over the head's descent from the safety of the upper portion of the glass... until the drinking begins, that is.

Pale Ale has a very nice nose. A hop bill that includes Fuggles, Cascade, Centennial and Chinook is hard to screw up, but I still have to give credit where credit is due. Firestone has fashioned a wonderfully aromatic '3-Cs and an F' nose that many pale ales would kill for.

The flavor isn't quite a match for the nose, but it's close. The same citrus hoppy elements are in play, even if they don't shine with quite as much luster as I'd like. It's a tad undermalted and a wee bit underhopped, although I feel as if I'm being overly picky. The beer has a fresh, clean flavor of orange and grapefruit sections soaking in their own juice.

It all fades away a little prematurely thanks to the light body/mouthfeel, but that only makes me want to drink faster. The flavor profile is right on the money, I just wish there was more of it.

Firestone Pale Ale is pretty good beer that would benefit from a slightly more assertive nature. Having said that, there's nothing at all wrong with a pale ale that doesn't feel like blurring the distinction between an APA and an IPA. In the end, I like this one more than the final score would indicate and I'm certain that I'd drink a lot of it if it was brewed locally.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2005 23:04:05 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of IceAce


3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: An aggressive pour yielded two and a half fingers of rocky egg-white foam with a 50% coverage of lace. The body is stoplight yellow with very nice clarity

Aroma: Thanks to the permenant collar of foam, the nose needs no help. Floral hops are dominant...both piney and citrusy (sp?) at the same time. This is the nose I would expect from a West Coast Pale Ale

Taste: A nice medium maltbase quickly makes way for a vanilla sweet midtaste.The finish quickly fulfills the promises made by the nose with floral hops slowly fading away

Mouthfeel: A lot of Pale Ales could take a lesson from Firestone-Walker when it comes to mouthfeel. A superb velvety coating transfers the complex tastes while quickly fading to hoppy bliss

Drinkability: Coming in at 4.60% ABV...I could do this all day, almost everyday!

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2004 08:49:37 | More by IceAce
Photo of MattThomas


3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Again, a decent head with a mild nose. This pale ale is fairly true to style in taste. The big draw to Firestone Walker is the oak barrel fermenting, yet their beers are very clean with little oak notes. The pale has a slightly less that solid hop character and still not much of a malt balance. Perhaps this one falls a little week.

I still find this drinkable and better than the Macro-brew alternatives, but will not be something worth shipping across the country for others to try.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2004 00:54:24 | More by MattThomas
Photo of alexgash


3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours an orange-golden with a slight haze and a thin, spittly white head.

Smell: mostly sugar cookie malt, laced with fragrant, citrusy hops.

Taste: fruity malts with a dough-y backbone. Met with a spritzy, citrusy hoppiness. Finish is moderately bitter with lingering citrus and malt.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: pretty much a standard American pale ale; felt a little on the watery side, but overall not too bad. I liked the citrus quality in the hops.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2004 21:27:06 | More by alexgash
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange color with a 1" head. Some light lacing develops. The aroma is nice as floral hops and oranges are easily detectable. The flavor was nice as malt and floral hops were nicely balanced, but the malt came across as slightly sweeter than other pale ales. The citrus (orange tones) were quite strong.

The mouthfeel was smooth and it had a medium body. The finish was relatively short with bitterness and citrus lasting on the tongue. Nicely drinkable, but the sweetness may be a turnoff to some here.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2004 11:12:50 | More by Gavage
Photo of kmcnair


3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sample comes from a 12oz bottle. Pours a light copper color and makes about an inch worth of fine white bubbly head. Smells well hopped, fruity, spicy. Flavor is not too bitter, slightly sweet, hops make a slight tartness come through, its pretty good. Mouthfeel is light to medium body with moderate carbonation. This is quite drinkable stuff, a nice session beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2004 07:39:11 | More by kmcnair
Photo of Mark


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

I've now tried all the Firestone beers that I have seen in stores. This pale ale poured a deep gold, head retention was so so, but my glass was thick with lace rings. Sharp aroma of hop and grain, inviting. Smooth on the palate, with a solid malt base, lightly hopped. I did detect a note of sweetness like others have mentioned. It didn't bother me. Mouthfeel was a bit thin, but this is a drinkable decent beer. The average ratings for Firestone beers seem to me mostly well under four. I think they're better than that.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2004 03:38:07 | More by Mark
Photo of Boilermaker88


3.08/5  rDev -20.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2004 05:19:37 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of Zorro


3.33/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear gold color.

Smells distinctly hoppy and fruity. There is a small amount of maltiness in there too.

Taste is malt and hops. The hops used are flavorful and not very harsh so it makes for a very hoppy, yet still not bitter brew. Not sweet at all it is a dry ale.

Mouthfeel is good.

Very drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2004 02:50:17 | More by Zorro
Photo of altadenabrou


3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The floral hoppiness is pleasant at first, but soon is overwhelmed by the medium malt with a smoky, slightly bitter aftertaste. The color of the beer corresponds directly to the slightly sweet but not unpleasant body, which the company rightly describes as containing "hints of toffee."

I suspect that this will be an easy and very pleasant session beer if you don't mind a bit of sweetness. I will buy more and test that theory personally.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2003 03:41:00 | More by altadenabrou
Photo of Gusler


3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer as it pours from the bottle presents an unambiguous copper color the head modest in size and the color a beauteous light tan, it vanishes quite quickly leaving a fair sheet of lace behind. A sturdy hop aroma upfront and a candy like sweetness, fresh, crisp and pleasing to the senses this nose, start is overly sweet, the top thin to medium in feel to the palate. Finish is leniently acidic, the hops perky in their spicy bite, dry and long lasting aftertaste. A nice session beer me thinks, but does seem a bit too sweet, but nothing I can't live with.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2003 20:47:30 | More by Gusler
Photo of Mustard

District of Columbia

3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle with no discernible "best before" or "bottled on" date; purchased as part of a ten beer sampler from the West LA Whole Foods on National and Barrington ($12.99); love the label.

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden hue faintly tinged with a trace of orange; fine, three-quarter inch, snow white head; fair to decent lacing; adequate head retention.

Aroma: Predominantly of sweet caramel, oranges and grapefruit.

Taste: Light, malty sweetness upfront; moderate grapefruit type hop bitterness in the finish; faint traces of grain, flowers and toffee.

Notes: Label reads: "... this distinctive pale ale boasts 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." Not sure, a la Bunnyhop, that I experienced all of this, but still found Firestone PA to be a gentle, tasty session pale ale nonetheless. Would happily drink this again.

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2003 07:43:38 | More by Mustard
Photo of beerguy101


3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light gold color. Medium white foamy head. Aroma is nutty and slightly fruity. A medium bodied Pale Ale. Medium malty, hoppy ale. Crisp malt flavor, good hop balance. Some subtle fruity overtones. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is delicately bitter.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2003 04:11:47 | More by beerguy101
Photo of beernut7


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

This tasty offering pours forth a hazy deep golden color with a thin head giving way to a thinner lace. The aroma is decidedly malty with strong caramel tones and subtle hints of roast and chocolate. The initial flavor is of a quick malt pushed aside by a light floral hop spice. Toffee and mellow chocolate notes flow through and finish everything off nicely.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2003 20:32:07 | More by beernut7
Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,143 ratings.