Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

Pale 31 - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pale 31Pale 31

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

511 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 511
Hads: 1,724
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 19.9%
Wants: 71
Gots: 196 | 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 (87) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 511 | Hads: 1,724
Photo of airforbes1
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light orange color with fizzy effervescenc; the bubbles remind me of sparkling wine.

The aroma is dominated by hops...I smell grass and grapefruit. I'm expecting this to be a hop-forward pale ale like Sierra Nevada's.

The taste is better balanced than I expected. The hops are more piney than grassy with a mild grapefruit sensation. The finish is pretty watery, however.

For me, this beer is a tweener. It tries to be hoppy like an APA but also tries to be smooth and highly drinkable like an English pale ale. It's tasty, but if I wanted something more hop-forward I'd go with SNPA or Liberty Ale, and if I wanted something smoother or more sessionable I'd go with an English-style pale pale.

 712 characters

Photo of kpoole25
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a really good example of an American pale ale that goes for balance rather than power. Very drinkable. 12 oz bottle to glass. Dark yellow to orange color, soap suds head. Smell is pine and citrus hops. Taste is well balanced between malt and hops, not too bitter, finishes quite dry and refreshing.

 306 characters

Photo of USCTrojanBrian
3.52/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into nonic.

Firestone makes some great pales but this really was deflating. Watery, nothing too spicy (maybe it was the 4.8%) or complex, almost transparent golden color.

Would go well with pretzels or something as there is a certain body to it, but stand-alone is meh.

 291 characters

Photo of bbluemzbeer
5/5  rDev +29.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Awesome beer ! It does not get better this this one!

Appearance:: a light golden color with a creamy two finger white head, which remained through and left great lacing. '

Smell: It was out of this world! It had oanges, floral notes and hops

Taste: Citric hops were perfectly balanced caramel malt presence. A very well rounded beer. Goes down smooth!

Mouthfeel: outstanding! It was nice and crisp and had a good smoothness and creaminess.

This beer is great of session beer you will ever find. It was wonderful balance, with some nice hop presence without being too bitter

 579 characters

Photo of birdypowder
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with an off-white head of mixed bubble size. Leaves just a little lacing.

Beautiful full hop aroma, delicious! Brillant yellow color, filtered star bright.

Medium to medium high carbonation.

Slight lingering bitterness with very little sweetness.

A delicious pale ale, one that is actually pale in color...not that it matters too much.

I could have 4 or 5 of these and be happy.

 391 characters

Photo of NatetheGreat
4.02/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden-orange color with good head. Nose finds floral and fruity notes with big whiff of honey sweetness; some orange. Taste had zesty hops with a delicate malt presence. Not as complex as the aroma, but still flavorful. Fits the billing as a "West Coast" (AKA, American) pale.

Mouthfeel was fair and drinkability excellent. Good beer from a great brewer.

 357 characters

Photo of trumick
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

 533 characters

Photo of spoons
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden yellow with a white head that fades fast.

Smells pretty hoppy for a pale, citrus and pine.

Tastes slightly fruity with a balance between the hops and malt.

Mouthfeel is great, easy sipping, medium carbonation.

I could drink this all day long.

 262 characters

Photo of ojclark
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big piney hop aroma when first poured. Malt became apparent as hop aroma settled down. Clear golden/amber color with a frothy off-white head and minimal lacing. Very nicely balanced flavor. Malty, slight sweetness and caramel overtones nicely balanced by hop bitterness and a mellow hop flavor. Medium/light carbonation with a medium body and a fairly long finish. A good hybrid of British and American pale ale styles.

 419 characters

Photo of dill
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

consumed as draught beer served in a pint glass.

A: pale golden color with a thin, white head.

S: citrus aroma.

T: hoppy with malt flavors, a bit of strawberry on the tongue. finishes dry and clean.

M: crisp mouthfeel. not too much carbonation.

D: nice balance, easy to drink.

 282 characters

Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
3.44/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle given to me by one of my good beer customers that he picked up while out in CA. Poured into a Victory pint glass.

AP: Straw gold colour. I can see my fingers through the glass. White head about 1" fizzling down to 1/8", either way it's not dense at all.
AR: Biscuit, cracker, caramel malt. There's some subtle fruity notes in the background trying to make themselves known: orange, grapefruit, pineapple. There's a floral aroma as well. Nothing is really jumping out and making a bold impression.
T: Taste if better than the nose, thankfully. Pretty much all of the above that were in the nose, though the malt base is more like toasty grains and the main hop note is pink grapefruit with a touch of floral lavender. As it warms a little a hint of lemon mixes in with the GF.
M: Moderately carbonated, body on the lighter side, fairly crisp with a semi-dry finish.
OV: A decent brew, but certainly nothing that is going to 'wow' you. Seems like this was made to be a simple sessionable Pale Ale with a kiss of hops on it, if so then nicely done. However, if someone just shoved a glass in my hand and said 'taste this' without knowing what it was or is supposed to be, I'd probably just say 'it's nice' or 'it's good' and not add anything to it.

 1,258 characters

Photo of livewire78
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very pretty golden peachy orange. Head is good enough for the score it gets. Lacing is pretty enough for me too.

Smells really good. Nice balance of citrus aroma and decently strong intensity of aroma as well.

Love the citrus taste. This follows the nose all the way down the road. Near perfect amount of bitterness and bite to this beer. It reaches out and grabs the taste buds like most pales try to do but can't get done.

Can't get much better for a pale ale than this consistency. Full without being heavy at all and beautifully carbonated without going overboard.

The devil is in the details here. For a pale ale this has amazing taste. It won't kick you in the face but it's a pale so it's not supposed to. This one gets things right on all counts. If this was locally available I'd have to get a kegerator for this specific beer alone.

 856 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 Dlish
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First off can't believe I have not reviewed this beer yet. Its pretty much go to 6pack and is a great session beer to get the night started. Being i've had a keg of this for my birthday I might be a bit bias.

A- nice golden color, its the American beer color you think of. Golden crisp, with a white head that thinly laces the edge.

S- Smells hops, and it being they use the three C's Cascade, Centenniall and chinook. Although the hops are very faint, to be fair this beer is cooler than normal. The malt profile is hint in the background.

T- The hops really come through in the taste. Nice herby balance, that is refreshing. The clean bitterness flows great into the light and sweet malt profile. This beer could almost be a pale/honey blond beer with how sweet but warm the malt profile is. This beer does not try to be in your face, (nor are most firestone beers) its perfection is in how clean and crisp it is, which is the American pale ale style.

M- Because of the sweet crisp style, it makes this beer incredibly easy to drink. That and its low alcohol content lets you polish off a 6 pack and not even worry about it.

D- I love this beer, I think I already made that clear. It might be a hometown pride, but personally I just think its because its that good.

 1,275 characters

Photo of Bajasith
3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a nice clear golden color with a copper hue as the light reflected through...
Mellow biscuit and floral scents as slightly roasted malts rise. Tatse is very smoothe and not overpowering in any way as the light citris hits the palate and the swwet caramel malts splash in the end.
Very much drinkable as the low abv helps this brew quench your thirst on a hot day.

 370 characters

Photo of cerveza5150
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a burnt golden brown color with tiny bubbles of carbonation. The head formation is nice, but the retention turns kinda soapy.

Smells of spicy hops with some earthy undertones.

The taste is great - refreshing, hoppy, and just slightly sweet. You need to like hops to enjoy this, but I'll take this and it's relatively low ABV (4.6%) any day over swill at the local 5 and dime.

 387 characters

Photo of madtappers
4.61/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Probably the best of the Firestone Walker beers that are bottled.

I have tried both on tap and in the bottle, and prefer the the tap over the bottle.

Beer is very drinkable has a great hop smell without the hop after taste. This beer can easily been sesioned without getting overwhemled by hops. Must be the oak barrel fermentaion process that gives the beer the smooth drinkablity.

Would recomend this beer to both the beer snob and the beer novice!

 453 characters

Photo of Callenak
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a nice, clean copper with a decent white head.

S - Smells great. Not overtly hoppy, but a definite American hop presence.

T - A great example of an APA. My only complaint would be it's to balanced, I love hops, but I know this isn't an IPA. A good caramel, malt backbone to this beer. Less bitter and more sweet than say SNPA, but a nice relief from it too. If firestone were to take this recipe and up the hops to make an IPA out of it, it would be amazing. Much better than the Nectar Ales IPA, which I already enjoy.

For the style, this beer is great. Highly enjoyable and very drinkable.

 610 characters

Photo of WBMiller
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance = Bright gold. A quarter inch of white head, great lacing throughout.
Smell = Clean, lively. Subtle.
Taste = Balance of sweet and bitter.
Mouth-feel = Medium, dry.
Overall = Initially, the beer comes of somewhat light. It's character becomes more apparent as the it acclimates outside the bottle. A charming brew.

 327 characters

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

 372 characters

Photo of californiakulak
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this brew in my kegerator. Poured into a Firestone pint glass.

A. Golden with a fluffy white head. A little cloudy.

S. Very good smell. Citrus hops and possibly a little honey.

T. The hops stand out on this one. Lots of citrus notes (orange? grapefruit?) as well as a some malty flavors. Very balanced.

M. Bitter hops and perhaps a little bit of an oily texture.

D. At about 4.6% abv this one is very drinkable. That is why I had it in my kegerator. You can drink many of these a day without damaging the liver too much.

Serving type: on-tap

 553 characters

Photo of Allpe45
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dispensed from the cask by gravity at the Hungry Monk

Appears yellowish orange with a short frothy head, plenty of clarity but still a bit of chill haze. Smells citrus forward with a touch of floral hops. Very crisp, tastes like floral hops and grapefruit up front, smooth malty middle and a quick bitter finish. Medium bodied, the carbonation is much more prominent than expected for the serving type. This is flavorful, not too strong in alcohol content, and fits the style well.

 482 characters

Photo of jb413
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Golden yellow pour, crystal clear, with spots of rising bubbles. Inch or so of white head that dropped quickly and spotty, sparse lacing down the sides.

S - Light nose with some bready malts and piney hops. A bit underwhelming.

T - Better than the nose. Smooth, with a great balance between some piney / slightly floral hops and sweet malt backbone. Neither overtakes the other.

MF - Smooth feel, light in body, super drinkable, great carbonation, and a nice moderate dry hop finish.

O - Nice dry hopped pale with a great balance and great feel. The pour and the nose left some to be desired, but a repeat pick pale for sure.

 634 characters

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.

 550 characters

Photo of uawildcat
3.81/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I feel as though I have been rating beers highly lately. Maybe its just because I have had so many good beers. Had a pint of this on-tap at Sushi Garden.

A - Came to me with a one figer white head and the typical straw color of the beer. Head had nice retention and lacing

S - The smell departement is average for this beer. Has a nice predominantly cirtusy hop smell to it.

T/M - Taste has a bunch of upfront cirusy hops and piney hops that is balanced out with a cereal sweetness on the end. Creamy carbonation goes well. Leaves a slight oiliness on the palate.

O - I think this is another great pale ale. Seems as though I can't go wrong with this style.

 661 characters

Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 511 ratings.