Pale 31 | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
87
very good
530 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
530
Ratings:
1,806
Avg:
3.87
pDev:
19.9%
 
 
Wants:
76
Gots:
231
For Trade:
1
Pale 31Pale 31
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 08-23-2002

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Reviews: 530 | Ratings: 1,806
Photo of aval89
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottled 06-06-2011.. a month & 3 days old.

a: golden orangeish color.. clear body with 1.5 finger head.. active carbonation streaming up..

s: piney hops! sweet dank & some citrus take up the nose! some bready notes deep in there & maybe a hint of caramel.. very nice nose.

t: a good blend of pine needles & citrus hops.. almost has a lemony quality to it as well.. bready notes are definitely in there too.. balances out the hops, but not a complete 50/50.. hops win :) finish is a light oily-resiny hop finish.. a refreshing hop bite. not overly dry, but dry enough to beg for another sip. lovely

mf: light-medium body with a good amount of carbonation..

o: i think i found my new favorite APA.. watch out SNPA!

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Photo of BeerRun13
4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours as clear as beer can be. A small, bubbly, white head is fed from below by a continuous bubbling. Some lace is left behind.
Kind of a citrusy piney balance with a malt backbone in the nose.
A damnfine APA. Soooo Refreshing. A wonderful balance between citrusy hops and biscuity/toasty malt.
Light bodied and niceley carbonated. A smooth yet hoppy finish with a nice tingling sensation on the tounge.
This may be the ultimate in session beers. Probably one of the most drinkable beers I've ever had.

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Photo of orcasteve
3.12/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

oak and hops are the flavors that jump out at you, this one is not anything special, i would drink this if it were avalable in new york, this one tates better as it warms up, a tuch of toffie and vanilla kick in as it warms. this one is an ok repersentation od a pale ale

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Photo of FitnessForBeer
3.25/5  rDev -16%
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

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Photo of budsboy
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Clear, light amber on the pour with a thin white head that shrinks back to a sticky film.

Big hop aroma, all pine and citrus. Thick, sugary malt smell underneath. Inviting. Mouth is watering now.

Nice hop flavor right off, malty and with a hint of diacetyl, then a lasting piney hop bitterness on a dry finish.

Light-medium bodied, clean and moderate carbonation. Maybe a wee thin.

I enjoyed it. At 4.6 ABV, this is an excellent session brew for the hop hungry. Sure it's hopped to the hilt. Some like it, some don't. If you like SNPA or Dogfish 60 Minute, I'm betting you'll like this. Just as full of hop flavor but a little less of a meal.

Thanks to Hustlemuscle for sharing.

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Photo of klikger
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle (thanks ptykozoon!) poured into a Goose Island IPA tulip

A - Very light amber, almost no head, but nice lacing.

S - Vanilla, floral hops

T - Floral hops & fresh grass --> a bit of honey --> slightly bitter, clean finish. Overall, there's not a ton going on here - solid APA, but not mind-blowing.

M - Pretty light, actually. Good carbonation, though.

D - Quite drinkable - low ABV, non-offensive beer.

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Photo of JayTheFinn
3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Firestone's Pale Ale was a surprise for me. I'm not a big pale ale fan to start with, plus I'd see this one EVERYWHERE, in all the liquor stores and even grocery stores! So i figured it was gonna be just another bland ol' pale...yeah, I know I know, it's a terrible way to judge...But boy was I pleasantly surprised! It had a wonderfully smooth feel but quite lively taste. Nice blend of favors. I'm not gonna rush out to buy more when there's so many other beers I prefer over it, but I wouldn't turn one down either! Their other brews have impressed me too. Hooray for Firestone!

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Photo of dukeandduke
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Chicago 1/13/16 (12 oz bottle poured into pint glass). Very clear blonde pour, with high initial carbonation and minimal white head. Orange and pine scent. Nice texture and easy going down. Pleasant malt and orange taste, Solid feel. Solid beer, looking forward to my next offering.

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
3.37/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on Mother's Day at my parents' house.

Its clear, and bright golden. Little lacing.

Curious smell. Very floral and grassy hop presence.

More hop bitterness, pepper, floral, grass on the mouth. Not a lot of malt backbone to speak of.

Mouthfeel is light and watery.

Overall this beer is OK. I'm honestly very disappointed with everything I've had form Firestone (minus Velvet Merkin). This is not a bad beer, but a poor representation of the style. It honestly tastes like an average homebrew. I actually take that back, I have had better extract based homebrew pale ales than this.

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Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a small one finger white head that has already gone down to half a finger, it's clear it doesn't want to give me much head. The head is mostly big bubbles, a few small. The body is pretty standard, medium carbonation, pretty see through, but by no means clear, amber-orange in color. It for sure looks like a legit pale ale, the body looks nice, pretty standard but nice, the head is now gone, and I was not impressed with it. Overall an ok look, but nothing special. Nice northwest hops on the smell, very clean smelling, nice and hoppy with a good malt note as well. Probably some fruit, maybe grapefruit, along with a citrucy smell. It smell very good, pretty excited about the taste! Well, for the taste, the first thing I get is a nice mixture of clean water and quality malt up front, and then it finishes with a nice hop bite. There should be more hops in this, and frankly more flavor, but overall it's pretty dang tasty. For sure and clean and refreshing beer, nice on a hot day. I don't know if the taste deserves a 4 or not, because the taste isn't too big, but it is really tasty and easy to drink. Mouthfeel is really really nice, the carbonation and thickness of the beer are both perfect for a pale ale. Overall a really good beer, not outstanding, but super super easy to drink and very tasty.

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Photo of pjwilson
3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

appearance: very pale, almost unpeallingly so. nice head though

smell: ok that's some nice hop aroma, i gotta admit. it's the kind of hops I like in a APA too. dry hopping.

taste: wow this is a hoppy beer. not very bitter though, almost under bittered for how hoppy it is. But i'm tasting chinook alot. there is no malt balance to this beer.
mouthfeel: here's were things go wrong; this beer is very, very watery. It so hoppy and yet it sort of feels like you are drinking water. It's not very fun.
drinkability: well i got a single and i'm going slowly and I won't buy this in bottles again. It's just too watery, smell just isn't enough to sell a beer no matter how great the nose is.

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Photo of RedBrewer83
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aggressively poured into pint glass...

A: Pours a crystal clear straw yellow with a nice two finger creamy head that falls slowly in pockets leaving excellent webbed lacing.

S: Fresh floral grassy hops a little pale malt and some yeast profile as well. Very crisp.

T: Hops up front but not in a harsh way at all, very grassy and floral with some citrus layers as well. Definitely taste the pale malt and a very nice yeast profile mid-palate that really lingers. This tastes very fresh and very clean. Would be a great food beer.

M: Light body, crisp active carbonation, dry finish.

D: Perfect abv for the style and the clean crisp flavor and smooth carbonation make it perfectly drinkable! I guess the last bottle I had was old or lightstruck because this is a much better beer than I remember!

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Photo of kculrich
4.21/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle into a cool nonic, thick, foamy white head over a bright orange filtered beer. S: a nice blend of hops, it's all there, fruit, pine, straw, and something sweet. T: toasted crackers, lemon zest, caramel. F: crisp and refreshing, nothing heavy, moderate carbonation. O: an excellent refreshing beer, a credit to the APA style. I could surely squander an afternoon sitting out on the lawn with a few of these under my chair.

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Photo of chaz01
3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle courtesy of thirdeye11 (thanks!) poured into a pint glass.

A: Golden color, just a bit cloudy, with a thick head that leaves some lacing.

S: Wonderful fruity citrus aroma -- very strong and bold for a pale ale. Apricot, grapefruit, apple and honey aromas -- smells like a fresh fruit cup.

T: Nice and well balanced. Apple and citrus flavors with some malty sweetness. Not as hoppy as the aroma would indicate -- what I would expect from a pale ale.

M: Medium to light bodied with a dry, peppery finish.

D: Very smooth and easily drinkable -- this would make a really nice session beer -- if only it were available in this area.

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Photo of 303beer
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pores a very bubbly golden color with a dense White head about 1 inch in depth. Citrus and hop notes in the nose. Nice balance of hop and citrus in the taste, a little more than you'd expect from a pale ale. Pretty good stuff.

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Photo of iSip
3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Firestone Pale Ale: The deep auburn color is dark for a pale ale, but the brew is perfectly clear. A thick white and pillowy head forms on top, and lasts. A hoppy aroma is present. The flavor lacks any big malt, so the hops come through from start to finish. The finish is lean. This is a very drinkable beer, visually aesthetic, decent in an unassuming way.

Note: My bottle did not have a 31 on it, it just said Pale.

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Photo of JosiahS
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this beer into a standard pint glass. It has a great golden color and it gave off about a 1-finger white head that looks to be semi-creamy with some large bubbles around the rim. Lacing is splashy.

The aroma is excellent, I'm not sure of the hops used but it's a very singular smell. Intensely floral with some pine and light tropical fruit. When swirled i get a very pungent hop aroma that i almost perceive as oily. Very subtle malt character comes through.

Taste is well-balanced bringing a nice floral bitterness up front followed immediately by citrus and bright fruit, like mango, pineapple. Bitterness is there throughout and finishes on the pallete along with a great dough-like maltyness that i did not expect. It rounds out very well leaving me wanting to sip again and again.

Mouthfeel is light-medium with medium carbonation. Very smooth and refreshing.

The hops seem to be a little more present than what i'm used to tasting and smelling in a pale ale but that's certainly nothing to complain about. This beer is very drinkable and goes down great. For what it is, it has great flavor! Definitely recommend.

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Photo of JAFoley
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of E-McFarden
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale gold in color with white head, and little retention. Caramel malts and sweet floral aroma hops come through. Taste begins with biscuity lagery flavors followed by earthy battering hops. Medium bodied feel with a semi-dry finish. Overall not bad but I was expecting more in taste after getting some great smells.

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Photo of TH28
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can. 12/22/15 can date. Appearance: Golden, clear, moderate white head that dissipates quickly.
Aroma: Light breadiness, light grassy hop aroma. Pretty mild hop notes for the style.
Taste: Light crackery maltiness, grassy and resinous hop flavor, with a minimal citrus character. Perceived bitterness is high.
Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, moderately high carbonation.
Finish: Strong grassy, resin hop character lingers. Sticky on the tongue and dry.
Overall: A nice, refreshing beer, but wouldn't qualify it as a top example of the style...but that may be driven by the fact that it's nearly 4 mths old. Aroma is pretty low key for the style, and flavor lacks some complexity of others. Would be interested to try a fresher version to see if the character is the same.

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Photo of SethB2
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

This beer looks nice. Pours a perfectly transparent amber color with a one finger head and a nice amount of lacing for an APA. Smell is nice. Lots of hops on the nose. More than normal for the style. Also a small amount of sweetness there too. Reminds me of a toned down IPA. Taste is also very nice. Hoppy up front, leading the way to a roasted malt flavor. Very well balanced. Mouthfeel and drinkability are also very good. For a low ABV beer, Firestone has done a nice job here.

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Photo of bcm119
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Pale 31" is light gold/amber with a thin white lace. Light aromas of citrus zest and a wisp of grain. Squeeky clean pale malt flavors with snappy bittering. A little cereal grain sweetness comes through in the middle, but quickly fades to a quenching dry finish. Thin but vibrant and bubbly on the palate. Fairly long, clean finish with some herbal hops and mineral in the aftertaste. Overall a pleasant and very clean pale ale, good for quaffing but not terribly exciting. Drinkable, but not interesting enough for a long session.

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Photo of kmcnair
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of JohnW
3.26/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer, was brewed for the UK Wetherspoons Pub Chain Beer Festival in November 2008. According to the leaflet, Firestone Walker brewed this beer at Marstons Brewery Burton on Trent here in UK, using the tradition Burton Union system, with American hops from Cascade, Centennial, Chinook and American Fuggles.

The beer was available at some, but not all Wetherspoons pubs during the 3 weeks Beer Festival.

The beer poured pale amber colour, almost perfectly clear, with fair head, though the head did not last long. From the sample I had (but was unable to try it again at a later date for comparison) the aroma was very strange, very sweet almost like sugar candy cane and a hint of vanilla, and malts. Initial taste was of sweetness on the tongue, but then bitterness of the hops came through quickly. The hop bitterness was never overpowering, and slightly floral and citrus in the finish. Fairly light bodied and smooth texture, easy to drink, though I felt the sweet aroma and initial sweetness of the taste was a bit off putting. The aroma had a strange "perfumed" sweet smell that I felt spoilt what could have been a really good beer. Not sure if this was typical of the beer, as I never had chance to try it again elsewhere for comparison, so my marking down a peg in aroma and taste should be treated with caution, as another sample might have been a lot better.

If any other UK BA member tried this, hope they can add a review too!

JohnW
B'ham UK November 2008

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

Striking golden color, with a decent head that fizzes out pretty fast. The smell is rich, yet hoppy and crisp. Flavor is simple enough, but as with all Firestone beers incredibly executed. Light sweet malt strikes immediately, followed by a brilliant splash of hops that lingers seductively on the palate. I feel the oakiness in their beers more than taste, and it feels damn good. Drinkability is superb.

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Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 530 ratings.