Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Pale 31 - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pale 31Pale 31

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

520 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 520
Hads: 1,769
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 20.16%
Wants: 72
Gots: 210 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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 (85) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 520 | Hads: 1,769
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.

 697 characters

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!

 799 characters

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.

 649 characters

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.

 419 characters

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.

 1,131 characters

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.

 1,315 characters

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.

 227 characters

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.

 314 characters

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.

 283 characters

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.

 524 characters

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.

 532 characters

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.

 365 characters

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

 1,486 characters

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.

 405 characters

Photo of DM1293
3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sample at the Lazy Dog Cafe.

An ordinary light-orangish copper color, this pale ale is pretty light and balanced. Hops are there in the smell and taste, pulling into a citrusy-appley finish. Bitterness is fairly light, and it doesn't linger for long.

A bright refreshing drink.

 279 characters

Photo of jdhowe
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle (bottled on 2/12/13) into a pint glass.

A: Pours a beautiful, clear golden color with a half finger of white, quickly dissipating head. Very nice to look at.

S: Smell is crisp and clean, with hops and sweet fruit making up the primary notes. Nothing overwhelming or complex here -- just, pure, simple, good.

T: A bit of a let-down, but very drinkable. Malt and citrus dominate with a little hint of hop bitterness rising and then overstaying its welcome. The hop flavors don't seem prominent nearly so much as in the nose, and this is a disappointment. Not bad, but not as good as I had hoped after seeing/smelling it, either. I would expect more hop flavor from something dry-hopped and wonder if this bottle might not be too old.

M: very drinkable. Carbonation that fills the mouth lends itself to a refreshing drink that finishes smoothly, if maybe a bit overly bitter for a refreshing sessionable drink.

O: Good beer. Not great, but good. I would like this much more if there were either more hop flavor or less hop bitterness, and I feel like they've missed the balance with this one. That said, it doesn't ruin the beer by any stretch of the imagination, and I would be happy to drink this again in the future.

 1,247 characters

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.

 316 characters

Photo of Duster72
4.62/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to IntriqKen for this one. Pours a clear golden with a smallish head and decent lacing. Aroma is sweet breads and citrus hops - very nice. Taste is tasty sweet malts up front followed by pleasant citrus and a good hop finish to cleanse the palate. Perfect mouthfeel and drinkability. Excellent APA, very refreshing.

 322 characters

Photo of Mustard
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

 1,054 characters

Photo of mfavoino
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled labeled 1/3/12 enjoyed on 3/24/12.

Appearance: Pours a clear and bright gold. A nice fluffy white head recedes after a couple of minutes and the beer yields spotty lacing.

Smell: Distinctly citrus nose with some floral notes as well. Smells like I would expect a California PA to be.

Taste: Follows the nose with a crisp orange, citrus flavor. Juicy, but not overwhelming either. A strong caramel malt base balances the beer well. Bitterness is fairly light and the beer finishes off smoothly.

Mouthfeel: Super easy drinking, light and crisp. Very refreshing.

Overall: This will likely be my new go to PA because of how well it's put together. Not mind-blowing or distinct by any means, yet an all together spot on PA.

 736 characters

Photo of dickroop
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Scored a sixer of this west-coast stuff at State Line Liquor - had never heard of it before!

Its color could almost pass for Miller High Life - straw with not much head. The give-aways are that it's hazy, not see-thru and the lacing is promising. The smell is also promising - a little sweet, lots of phenolic hops with some citrus and floral notes, against a faintly earthy backdrop. Mmmm.

Taste does not disappoint. Malt sweetness is very muted, and bitterness appears at the back sides of the tongue right away, gentle but persuasive. There's a topnote of malt, faintly bready or biscuity, but the finish is dry and clean. Mmmm, again.

The mouthfeel is light, there's some chewiness, and some really nice zing that comes from ?? somewhere. Drinkability? This brew is Super-Sessionable! With a 4.8 ABV, this ale is for sustained enjoyment. What a treat. Highly recommended.

 878 characters

Photo of DAllspaw
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the most balanced APA I have had. For me, SNPA sets the style, and is a huge favorite of mine, so very pleased to see this has a similar profile, owing to the cascade hops for certain.

I prefer the malt flavor of this a bit more, less Munich I believe than SNPA, this is a wonderful beer, great everyday drinker.

 322 characters

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.

 435 characters

Photo of KroMagnon
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightly cloudy, decent white head, light copper-gold in color. The aroma is rather nice, though I get mostly malt - just a trace of a fruity-piney blend, probably hops and esters, it doesn't knock me out but the maltiness is good. The flavor is great - absolutely tremendous, a delicious rich grainy maltiness with some toffee and caramel notes followed by a clean bitterness that compliments the flavor very well. This is clearly a pale ale although its balance seems tilted toward the malt a little more than normal. I think this is awesome.

 544 characters

Photo of dwilson01
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from a 12oz bottle into my arrogant bastard pint glass. The body is a pristinely clear yellow gold topped with a creamy off white banana colored head. This falls moderately and leaves some nice thick lacing on the glass.

The scents is a smooth floral hoppy one, the malt is there in the background providing a grainy corn flake type deal.

The flavor is great, it's a balance between the malt and hop which is quite impressive. There is a tiny tiny amount of bitterness in the end, mostly a floral hop flavor though. I didn't get any fruits from it, it tastes very spring-planty. The malty sweetness comes out as honey, like a piece of hawaiin sweet bread with a thin glazed of honey on it.

The mouthfeel is high quality for a beer of this alcohol content, very smooth malty feel which fills the mouth and invites the palate.

The drinkability is good, it's not a chugger but you can definitely session this brew to your hearts content.

 946 characters

Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 520 ratings.