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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 Sammy
3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Sessionable, serviceable, drinkable pale. Floral and citrus and malty aroma. Light colour with short-lasting foam. Tasty and citrus hops comcommitant with aggressive carbonation. Medium or less body. Slight better than average pale, average beer overall.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly murky honey orange with a 1 inch foamy off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, citrus zest, and some pine aromas. Taste is of malt, herbal/pine hops, and some citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good pale ale with a nice balanced malt and hop flavor that is easy drinking.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.38/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

decent pale ale, if a bit boring. pours a nice looking honey color crystal clear with a 2 inch white head that lazes around the whole time. smells like a beer, period. flavor is light and citrusy with a crystal and pale malt body. mouthfeel is fine, well carbonated and crisp. good pale ale but nothing special. on the lighter side, very sessionable especially at the low abv

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Photo of Knapp85
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a robust head that laces well

Smell: Biscuity aroma that is extremely floral and citrusy with a vague hint of vanilla

Taste: Starts with a biscuity taste that is slightly sweet; by mid-palate, the citrusy hops kick in, along with a flash of vanilla at the swallow; the finish is balanced between the biscuity malt and the citrusy hops

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: What a nice APA; superbly balanced and a low abv, to boot

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.49/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a deep gold with a nice wheat head.

S: Plenty of hops for the style with some mild sweetness.

T: Slightly sweet malt with some citrus/grapefruit hops.

M: Medium bodied and well-carbonated.

D: Quite good in this department. A nice, low abv beer with plenty of hops--my definition of great session-style drinkability.

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

Appearance: Clear gold with abundant head and lace.

Smell: Floral hops, citrus, a hint of grain. Fresh and mild, doesn't jump out much, but it's very pleasant.

Taste & mouthfeel: This brew opens with a malt character of cereal and freshly baked bread, leading way to a perfect floral hop bite. Very mellow in the finish, with a hint of citrus remaining on the tongue.

Drinkability: This stuff goes down ridiculously easy; it's gone before you know it. The ideal session beer.

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Photo of zeff80
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, bubbly, orange color with gold highlights. It had a bubbly, white, two-finger head of foam that left a little lace.

S - It smelled of citrus and floral notes.

T - It had a nice roasted malt and caramel taste with bitter, floral hops providing a potent kick.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a dry finish. A light bodied ale.

D - This is a high quality APA. I'm glad I was able to find one.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was the second of my Firestone selection that I had this evening. It was quite nice to have a decent amount of their regulars around fresh to try. I popped this one open and poured it into my pint glass. Very nice medium amber colored ale came forward, with a bit of a bright golden yellow touch to it. Very nice carbonation was evident from the very beginning with streams of bubbles coming through and rippling up toward the surface to reinforce the foam. A nice head had formed on this one as well now, with a three-inch high layer of fluffy white that really just settled down very nicely, leaving behind about three quarters of an inch that really just stayed put the entire time. Really quite nice looking, leaving a good amount of lace dripping down the sides of the glass as it went as well.

The aroma was very nicely hopped, classic west coast style pale ale all the way. Big aroma of floral citric hops coming off of this one now, not so much on the sweet side, as it was light and biting. A noticeable amount of grass like flavors now mixing in as well, really pushing the hops out in front, but as it warmed, some nice light grain notes began percolating up and mixing in well, giving a still light, but a bit more depth to it overall. The flavor followed along classically and was one of those west coast pales you could sit down and drink for about a week. Gorgeous carbonation profile here, really made it feel quite light and airy. The light floral hops really dominating this one, but never becoming harsh in anyway at all, really showing their lighter side. Nice touches of grapefruit and tangerine really pushing through, with a very noticeable light cereal grains coming through underneath. Very well balanced and very light with nothing really pushing forward and nothing really dominating. Perfect pale ale flavor hands down. If you wanted that light, refreshing pale, with the west coast hop zing, this one was for you.

Overall I thought this was excellent, really a very nicely down pale, with very little errors at all. Lots of nice flavors with a good balance between bready and cereal like malts and the light floral hops, very nicely balanced. I would have loved to have had a few more of these as well. Definitely, a high quality session ale and something that I do not think I would ever turn down.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: The pour is a hazed golden orange color with a sticky white head and nice lacing.

S: Smells a bit sweet, but there's plenty of citrus and even a few tropical fruit notes. Mild grass with a nice pine note to it as well as a light floral scent. Some bready malt gives a little body.

T: Like the nose, it's a bit sweet, but it works fine for a pale ale. Lots of citrus hops (especially orange and tangerine, a little less grapefruit). Some pine bitterness as well as a little bit of floral character.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: I really like this beer, a solid pale ale that I know will pretty much always be good.

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Photo of jlindros
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Yay date, 1/07/14

Pours a pasty white fizzy frothy 1 finger head that fades semi slowly with nice frothy lacing, crystal clear pale pilsner color.

Nose nice floral hops, fruity too, hint grapefruit pith and melon rind, generic mild fruit, faint hint of malt under.

Taste fresh hops, more fruity hops, again mild melon rind and touch of grapefruit pith, generic juicy fruit and hint fruity bubblegum, fair bitterness. Malts add a touch of graininess and very light sweetness to balance. Little floral and very light resin and faint increasing pine note, also from the hops. Finish is dry, grainy malts, a bit more bitterness with hops getting a bit grassy and more floral and spicy even, hint of fruity notes.

Mouth is med bod, just the right amount of carbonation.

Overall pretty nice, nice hops, just enough malts, very drinkable and tasty.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

All the rest have 31 and seem to be getting drunker by the day... ...Wow, sorry... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear brass topped by a finger if lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises bright grapefruit zest, light orange zest, light honey, and a bristling of pine needles. The taste brings in more of the same, with the citrus blending together into a tasty little tropical smoothie, the parts indistinguishable from the whole. In a good way. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a very nice pale ale, highly drinkable and even more highly enjoyable. Good times.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Mostly clear deep golden body beneath a full head of white that gently settles to an average collar, leaving behind some thin sheets of lace.

S: Pale malt, gently citrusy and grassy hops, mild yeasty fruitiness. Pretty basic, but clean.

T: Hop flavors and yeasty fruitiness lay just beneath, or perhaps on, the surface of the golden malt. It's just slightly grainy, and just slightly sweet. The fruit and hop flavors help to liven it - the grapefruit gives it a hint of a raspy edge. A median bitterness supports it, and it's almost too perfectly balanced! It finishes pretty much as it starts, with a smear of lingering gently sweet and grainy malt that's threaded through with hints of fruitiness and hops.

M: Medium bodied and gently crisp and smooth with a moderate, fine-bubbled carbonation.

D: Drinkability is where this beer shines. There's just enough malt, yeast, and hop to give it some character, but not enough of any one - or all - to make it shine. But it's perfectly balanced and clean and fresh and easily quaffable!!! It's almost like 'American Pale Ale Light' to a certain extent - everything's there, but it's not nearly as full as you might expect. It's easy to drink, and there's certainly some flavor to it, and that keeps me wanting more... wanting to find those hops and malt and bitterness! But I never will, so I'll just have to have another. Pretty nice!

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Photo of mactrail
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light in weight but the flavors seem quite appropriate to the lower alcohol and the general thin and crisp body. A clear yellow in the glass, a nice head, and plenty of carbonation. Sharp and refreshing.

Quite a delicious but delicate hoppy flavor. The nose is really flowery. Brewery says this is dry hopped with Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook. Some resins and pine in the flavor. Some understated malt with a fresh, bready flavor. The combination is totally drinkable. Even the bitterness is just right. You can taste that it's bitter, but somehow it's a pleasing hoppy flavor rather than a medicinal taste.

The one I had to sample was icy cold, and it stands up very well to the chill with its fragrance and crisp flavor. It's one beer to chill when you want a cold one. From the 12 oz bottle. I am getting to be a Firestone fan.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.67/5  rDev -31%
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.


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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.42/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from Phocion, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep yellow color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: Sweet citrus aroma dominates the smell. There’s a good complimentary hops aroma along with a background of caramelized malt.

T: The citrus sweetness that you get in the smell comes out first in the taste. The hops quickly follow and it’s a much stronger burst than the smell leads you to expect. Once the two flavors are introduced, the taste stays very well-balanced the rest of the way.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, clean & dry finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not filling at all, the only drawback I can see with this beer would be that you might look for something with a little bit more of a kick to it. Overall, it’s an excellent representation of style while at the same time keeping the beer lighter than most APA’s.

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

I must admit before I get into the review I am becoming more a fan of well-balanced, well crafted brews. This to me is one of those beers - not to say it is for everyone, just an all around well made beer to me.
I picked this bottle up at Outlet Liquors in Rehoboth Beach DE, poured chilled in a mug.

A - A beautiful honey amber w/ 2 1/2 fingers of rocky glistening ecru w/ a very fine bead. The clarity is refulgent and the carbonation visibly rises toward the head.

S - A woody, earthy green hop aroma w/ subtle stone fruit essence. Hints of grapefruit and floral accents are present w/ mild malt in the back

M - A balance of fruity sweet and acidity w/ moderate carbonation and a spicy middle. The ale finishes more on the bitter side, but still retains a mild malt sweetness

T - A light citrus note leads to a light sweet malt w/ a gentle biscuit tinge. More lemony hops w/ mild orange similar to a meyer lemon. More spice from the hops as it opens up w/ a zesty sweet taste and the semi dry finish has moderate bitterness.

D - A great pale ale w/ plenty of hop flavor, citrus and still mostly balanced - perhaps one of the best I've had.

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

First had: on tap at Monk's, Philly, PA

Here's a nice little easy-going pale ale. I had this while I was waiting for the Funky Buddha Berliner weisses to go on. Served in a shaker, a clear golden color with a delightful puff of white head that sank quite a bit, but left some nice lacing on the way down. Not much in the aroma from what I could perceive anyway; light toasted grains, floral hops, pretty standard stuff. Taste of sweet biscuity malts, nicely balanced by fresh floral hops, slight citrus notes. Light, crisp, basic. Light body and easily drinkable.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 11/15/2012. Pours lightly hazy golden amber color with a nice 1-2 finger dense white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange zest, floral, light grass, light pine, light honey, bread, and floral earthiness. Very nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of hop notes with a moderate malt balance. Taste of grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, floral, grass, light pine, bread, light honey, and floral earthiness. Light floral pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, floral, light pine, bread, and light honey after the finish for a bit. Very nice balance of hop flavors with a moderate malt balance; and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and fairly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is damn good session pale ale! Very nice balance of hop and malt flavors; and extremely smooth to drink. No complaints at all, really enjoyed this one.

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

Appears a light pale golden hue with a bright white head, fine speckled lacing. Aroma has brilliant citrus/tea leaf/herbal grassy notes. Pale biscuit malt breadiness sneaks out amongst the wave of hops coming at me. Flavors are completely cohesive with malts and hops working together so well. Below 5% this is some excellent hop forward session ale, biscuit malt delicate bready profile with citric, earthy, floral hops. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied sturdy spritzy carbonation goes down smooth. Drinkability was wonderful world class pale ale excellent stuff that deserves all of the accolades that they have gained recognition for.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap tonight at Churchkey in Washington, DC.

a - Pours a clear golden color with one inch of white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of floral notes, citrus hops, toasted malts, bready malts.

t - Taste follows the nose, plus some fruity malts. Lots of floral and citrus hops, and some bready malts.

m - Medium body and low carbonation, super smooth and very easy to drink.

do - Overall a very nice pale ale. Not overly strong in any sense, but a lot of nice floral and citrus hops to it. Would have again and a good beer to start a session with.

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Photo of smcolw
4.29/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Modest start to the head. Leaves some streak and spotty lace.

Excellent hop aroma; half floral and half peppery.

Good malt start but it quickly devolved into a hop bomb. This borders on an IPA in terms of bitterness. Good body with a high carbonation level.

If you like bitter beers, this could be a new favorite.

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Photo of jwc215
4.39/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Wasatch for including this in a trade!

Pours slightly hazed golden yellow with a white head that thins to a wide patch, leaving dots of lacing.

The smell is citric, floral, a touch of pine with grainy/caramelish backing.

The taste if of citrus/grapefruit with some floral and piney notes and an orangey, grainy, caramelish balance. It has a bitterish, dry finish. I might like the nose a tad more, but not enough to distinguish in the score.

It has a pretty chewy, medium body.

A relatively modest abv for an American Pale, yet with strength in aroma and taste and a sturdy body. A great choice for a "sessioner" for those who like their pale ales edging on the hoppier aroma side!

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Photo of dbrauneis
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.

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