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Pale 31 - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pale 31Pale 31

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

514 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 514
Hads: 1,746
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 19.9%
Wants: 70
Gots: 203 | 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.
View: Beers (83) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 514 | Hads: 1,746
Photo of Jimmys
3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

bottled on: 12/10/14. poured into a FW pint glass.

Slightly hazy on an otherwise pale blond body. Earthy and herbal aroma. Green grass, moss, green tea. Flavor is similar. Not much malt flavor here at all, but not much bitterness either. A light, easy drinking, slightly hoppy pale ale is what I have here. Not bad, but nothing to write home about. Good if your desire for hops is light.

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Photo of Jackolope
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sometimes I'm surprised by beer and this is one of those times. I generally don't expect anything much from a pale ale that is available year round, but this beer impressed me. I originally bought this beer because it was on sale and I think firestone puts out some pretty good beers. The beer pours like any number of pale ales but the flavor is exceptional. This beer balances malt and hops in a way that really lets the hops shine through without being overpowering. Some people might find this beer too hoppy but this is where i find that this beer really separates itself from other pale ales. While maintaining similar bitterness characteristics to similar APA's this beer has exquisite subtle floral hop aromas and flavors that really make this beer enjoyable for every single sip. This is a beer you can sip in while working in the yard yet it still has bold flavor profiles that will satisfy your hop-foward palate. Do yourself a favor and pick this beer up when it's on sale or featured in a mixed 12-pack and you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of ChuckHardslab
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It pours a very pale, slightly hazy golden amber with a solid head that settles into a thin cap that stays the whole way down.
The aroma is dominated by citrus hops with some bready malt to back it up.
The taste is lightly sweet with a strong citrus hop component. There's a bit of lemon pepper too. It finishes with a pleasant bitterness. The hops definitely lean lemon and grapefruit.
The mouth feel is a little thin with a good balance of carbonation.
Overall it is a very refreshing, easy to drink APA. That's a winner here where the weather is usually warm to hot. It's not spectacular but it is quite good and a fine example of the style.

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Photo of arvidkoval
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pale golden color. Great bouquet of citrus aromas. Tastes citrusy over a subtle malt. A little more bitter than I like in a pale ale. Good mouthfeel. Decent APA.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.86/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap:
Pours quite pale, yellow side of golden, and very clear. Active carbonation on nucleation points, but not much head is sustaining. Nose has a crisp grain note to it, but is more floral/fruity, some tropical notes, but overall it seems more sweet apple and pear.

Feel is nice and light, carbonation well-balanced. Taste starts clean, light grain notes. The hops comes on with the fruity notes from the smell, although tropical notes are a bit more prevalent (also not powerful). The bitterness of the hops takes over at the right time, and brings on some pine, again not overpowering. As the beer warms, citrus orange and grapefruit become more apparent as fruit components.

Balanced, mildly light, decent flavor profile. A very good option for a session beer, at least. Could also be a nice beer to expose people to what beer can be.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz. bottle served in a tulip nonic. 05/12/14 on the label (shit!). Pours a translucent honey gold with a loose, 1/8th inch bright white head that quickly dissipates to a frothy slick. Nose expresses a trace of caramel and wet cardboard. Taste consistent with nose with the addition of some noble hops. Mouthfeel is light in body with a crisp carbonation. Overall, I think this beer is past its prime - slightly off flavors. I wish I checked the bottle dating before purchasing. Will need to revisit with a fresher offering.

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Photo of Duhast500
3.29/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sierra Nevada Celebration pint glass.

The color is a hazy orange with a finger of foamy white head and some thin lacing left in the glass.

The smell is malty at first with a biscuit aroma. There is a slight tease of clay-like aroma in the nose that mixes here with a slight earthy aroma.

The taste is all malt character from start to end. Again there is a dry bready flavor that has a slight citrus flavor that does come out very briefly but then backs away into the either. There is some earthy blandness that has some wheat flavor that stays till the end.

The feel of this beer is light with a decent drinkability. There is a smoothness that has no bitterness and seems to have some holes. Not what the brewer intended but not a drain pour.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.09/5  rDev -20.2%
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.

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Photo of HawkFalco
2.96/5  rDev -23.5%
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.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.52/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: slight haze; deep gold in color; 1 finger ivory head that receded to a thin cap; very nice lacing;

S: floral, soapy;

T: floral that build through the finish; not really getting any malt; low to moderate bitterness on the finish;

M: a bit thin; moderate carbonation;

O: good, but not remarkable;

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Photo of timontheroad
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass, clear golden yellow, with a nice white fluffy one finger head that lasted quite nicely to the end and provided some nice lacing. Aroma is a bit muted, with some light pineapple, floral and piney notes. Taste is pretty much like the aroma, but a little more robust, and with just a touch of malty sweetness. The mouthfeel was fairly light, with nice carbonation bite. Overall, for a session beer, this was OK, not bad but not great.

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Photo of fps_dean
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a glass a clear golden yellow color, with moderate lacing.

Smells like piney, lemony hops.

Tastes as hoppy as it smells, with the hops overpowering the malts from start to finish, but at no point being too extreme. This is clearly a hop lover's Pale Ale. Could almost pass as an IPA based on the hop content, but it's definitely a Pale Ale.

Goes down fairly smooth as well, with medium body and light to moderate carbonation.

Overall, a very solid Pale Ale, and a very solid session beer and has become one of my go to session beers.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.49/5  rDev +16%
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

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Photo of SensorySupernova
3/5  rDev -22.5%

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.

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Photo of ronniebruner
2.91/5  rDev -24.8%
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....

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Photo of WAbeerfiend
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

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

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Photo of leitmotif
4.22/5  rDev +9%
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.

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Photo of Redneckwine
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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 reasonably 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 very 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 a I think a bit more hop-forward than the archetypal APA (SNPA) - this stands right up there with SNPA as far as quality goes.

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Photo of Salt-n-Beer
3.25/5  rDev -16%

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.

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Photo of CarlosRuizsChauffeur
3.61/5  rDev -6.7%
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

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Photo of seedyone
3.66/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of garten
3.64/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of bassboneman
4.18/5  rDev +8%
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!

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

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Photo of REDsage
3.28/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

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Photo of NODAK
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 514 ratings.