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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: 1,744
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 514 | Hads: 1,744
Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)
Bottled on 12/17/12
A- This beer pours a crystal clear deep copper body with a slow carbonation that trails up to a sticky antique white head that fades to a thick ring.

S- The pale green hops have a papery but pungent aroma to them.

T- The hint of sweetness to the pale malt stays soft even though the pale malt flavor grows and some hints of toasted malt come though in the background. There is a full pale green papery hop flavor in the finish that has a mellow pungency in the dry finish.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a nice gentle fizz and no alcohol heat.

O- This beer has a nice fresh malt flavor that grows to over take the hop flavor. This beer is very sessionable and it would be nice to try this on cask to see if more nuances come out.

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

Poured into a Seattle Beer Week pint glass. Pours a medium bubbly golden amber with a nice two finger white head with excellent retention and lacing. Aroma of citrus hops and sweet malt. Flavor is grassy hops, light citrus, biscuit malt, finishes with a grassy hop bitterness. Light bodied as expected from the style. Flavor is light, but well balanced; an enjoyable, refreshing pale ale. After drinking some hefty darker strong ales and stouts the last week, it's nice to sit back and watch active carbonation in a nicely made light golden beer.

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Photo of akorsak
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A 12 oz bottle courtesy of Zorro, my Secret Santa.

A: The pale ale is indeed pale, a soft light copper color. The ale is clear with only a stream of carbonation obscuring the view. A 1.5 finger head livened things up a bit, but it quickly receded.

S: The nose has a tangy aroma, full of citrus hops and stronger than I expected for an APA. A very enticing aroma with malty elements that balance out the hops.

T: A sip reveals a hop depth that really socks the tastebuds. Citrus flavor, strong grapefruit primarily, really grabs you up front. The hops are bitter but not intense, allowing a grainy toast flavor to mix with the grapefruit.

M: The hops make this beer. The citrus element that they add is flavorful and strong, a marked departure from most APAs.

D: The abv is perfect, as is the flavor. This is a solid APA, great taste and fantastic hop profile.

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

Pours a clear, gold/amber color. 1/3 inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of citrus hops, slight pale malt, slight sweet malt, and hint of alcohol, and a hint of caramel malt. Fits the style of an American Pale Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of citrus hops, slight hop oil, sweet malt, slight pale malt, and a hint of alcohol. Overall, good appearance, decent aroma, body, blend, and feel.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An easy drinking, near-session weight pale that’s a lot less west coast than I’d expected. Clear amber color with a good sized head, solid retention and lacing. Visibly lively carbonation. Nice aroma that’s more floral than anything else; less citrusy than I anticipated, perhaps why I felt this was less of a west coast IPA-light than I thought I was getting myself into. Taste follows the nose closely, with floral and grassy hops very forward, ample bitterness, and a light grainy malt character beneath.

Carbonation was crisp, body pretty light, and the finish was short and dry. Tasty but not exactly exceptional or memorable for me. Perhaps a little unexciting?

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Photo of corby112
3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received as an extra in a recent trade with EinWeizenbitte. Thanks again man!

Pours a clear dark golden yellowish orange color with golden yellow hues when held to a light source. Frothy 2 finger white head with decent retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves spots of soapy lacing behind.

Sweet citrusy hop aroma with nice butterscotch malty presence and earthy grassy notes. Interesting combination of sweet lemon peel/grapefruit citrus along with butterscotch like biscuity malt and earthy grassy straw notes.

Pretty hop forward for a pale ale with a prominent dry earthy pine presence that's complimented by a sweet citrus lemongrass/grapefruit character. The malt backbone is a lot stronger than I expected in a west coast beer but provides excellent balance. Hints of caramel, butterscotch and biscuit. More dry bitter earthy hops and citrus sweetness in the dry finish.

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Photo of beertunes
3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into straight pint glass. Poured with less than an inch of head that very quickly dissipated. Left light but sturdy lacing. A dark yellow color. Clarity is very good. Pleasant floral hop aroma with citrus notes. Flavor followed aroma closely, with the citrus flavors leaving a sharp taste. Body is what was expected for the style. Nicely drinkable. I received this as a gift, if this was available locally I would put this in my regular rotation.

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

A: Golden yellow, slight haze; White head, zero retention, but it tries to lace on the glass.

S: Citrousy american hops, slightly clean/soapy. Toffee.

T: Sweet toffee, slight citrus, a little bready/biscuity.

M: Light to moderate body is smooth, light to moderate carbonation.

D: Seriously chugable.

Thanks Len!

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

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle stamped 03/04/14-22:38. Sampled on May 3, 2014.

The pour is golden to medium amber with a white head and good clarity.

The aroma has a nice combination of roasted caramel malts, sweetness, and a dash of earthy hops to add some highlights to the nose.

The body is smooth and in the medium range.

Interestingly the sweet caramel malts make way to a slightly peppery hop note. There is a modest hop bite at the end that reminded me of something like pepper. It was definitely not spicy but there you have it.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Wasatch. Thanks John!

It pours a clear yellow gold with a 2 finger head of foam.

The smell really has a nice citrus hop and fruity nose with a ample amount of malty sweetness. I'm impressed with the smell, for sure.

The taste has that nice citrus up front with the malt right behind it with both a light bready note and some sweetness. Nice tasting APA.

The mouthfeel just crosses over to medium and the carbonation is medium.

Drinkability? Good tasting and very easy drinking. This is a very enjoyable example of the style.

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

A: Clear yellow/gold color. Poured a 2 finger white foalmy head that slowly dissipated to a thick skim. Decanted continually. Laced in rings.

S: Grapefruit and citrus hop. A little pine and light sweet fruit. Sweet malts also prominent.

T: Citrus zest up front with the sweet roasted malt close behind. Bready malts in the middle yeild to a bitter finish to balance

M: Medium body. Medium carbonation. Bitter finish is fairly clean.

D: Looks good, smells good, tastes good. Very sessionable APA.

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

Picked up a bomber of this at the brewery, drank it a few weeks later, so fresh!

Pours a clear amber/golden, thin white head forms, drops down to a ring and leave some pretty lacing. Smell is real nice, biscuits, caramel, jasmine, citrus, very flowery hopping, just the right balance, very fresh aroma. Taste is great as well, very caramelized, bready, wheat, jasmine, floral, some light fruitiness and a bit grapefruit, very nice balanced finish. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with medium carbonation. Pretty standard pale ale, but damned fresh and goes down right. Very flavourful for a sub 5% brew, I like!

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 7.18.13

A - Pours a clear light orange with a one inch cream-colored silky head that fades very slowly.

S - Caramel malt, citrus hops.

T - Sweet caramel, honey malt with a slight hop bite.

D - Good carbonation with a light body and a sweet finish.

O - Sweet and light with a nice subtle citrus hop punch.

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

Standard amber light color in a pale ale. Aroma was pleasant, if muted though.

Taste, a non bitter pale. Ample hopping for style, nuanced sweetness with it. Good session ale. Light in the heft on the palate, mouthfeel doesn't thin out, but doesn't weigh you down (sounds like a macro jingle). a little cost prohibitive for something this simple ($8 a 6r).

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Photo of spinrsx
3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

Appearance - Clear amber colour with an above average size frothy white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - malts, hops, grapefruit zest, oranges, biscuits

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and the beer has a nice balanced taste. There are a fair amount of hops mixed with caramel and a biscuit sweetness. There is also some orange and grapefruit taste. It finishes with a malty sweet aftertaste with a bit of lingering hops.

Overall - While it is a very good pale ale, it seemed to be lacking something. It was highly drinkable, just not very exciting. It would probably work well as a session beer as it isn't too overpowering.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Yet another Firestone Walker single I grabbed from the house of 1,000 beers. 2/12/13 damn this beer is over 4 months old.
A - Actually spot on for a pale ale good orange yellow tone with a 1/4 of head that pulls back to a hella sticky lace ring.
S - Piney, herbal, almost minty hops meets mild pale malts and a touch of sweet malts mostly crystal.
T - Clean dry hopped taste of floral and citrus variety, crystal and sweet cracker malts have a nice edge. Slightly bitter finish.
M - Light to medium, somewhat watery compared to other FW offerings.

Overall the flavor is great and the ABV makes it session able or chug able, if only I could find this by the case. great tasting pale ale.

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Photo of claspada
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aromas are mainly light/sweet citrusy hops, a little earthy, with nice butterscotch/caramel malty presence and earthy grassy.
Tastes are in balance quite well in my opinion. Starts off hop centric for a pale ale with a prominent dry earthy/lemony combo. The malt backbone is a lot stronger than I expected in a west coast beer, especially one so low in ABV. Hints of caramels and biscuity malts as well. More dry bitter earthy hops and citrus sweetness in the dry finish. Overall this is a good beer I would defintely order again and session but not one I NEED to have again or will go out of my way for.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a pale orange body with fuzzy two finger head and left a little bit of a lace ring. The aroma is more of a citric hop aroma than sweet malts but there is a bit of malt in there. Easy drinking and simple pale ale that balances citric, piney hops with some decent sweetness in it. More hoppy than sweet, which seems to be how all pale ales are going these days, but is still an easy drinker with a biting dry finish.

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Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at the Brickskeller in Washington DC.

Pours a clear light copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head dissipates into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of citrus and floral hops with a decent malty undertone. Pretty pungent for an APA.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet malt flavors kick things off, followed shortly by citrus flavors. There's a mild bitterness at the end and the grapefruit flavors tend to stick around.

Mouthfeel is good. It's a bit on the light side, but it still goes down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. This is not a really flavorful beer but I could certainly have a lot of these.

Overall this is an APA that is actually an APA and doesn't try to do too much. Worth a shot.

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

The beer as it pours from the bottle presents an unambiguous copper color the head modest in size and the color a beauteous light tan, it vanishes quite quickly leaving a fair sheet of lace behind. A sturdy hop aroma upfront and a candy like sweetness, fresh, crisp and pleasing to the senses this nose, start is overly sweet, the top thin to medium in feel to the palate. Finish is leniently acidic, the hops perky in their spicy bite, dry and long lasting aftertaste. A nice session beer me thinks, but does seem a bit too sweet, but nothing I can't live with.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.44/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a clear, orange gold. A half an inch of white froth settles on the beer's body. Laces well.

S-Balanced, even leaning toward the maltier side. Sweet honey, white bread and some floral hoppiness.

T-Maltier. The malt reminds me definitely of honey. Malt is relatively airy but more forward than the hops. Hops give me some light flavors of flowers and sweet orange.

M-More body than I thought would be there. Lots of soft bubbles.

O-A bit disappointing. I was able to put down my pint very quickly, though because none of the flavors were actually off putting.

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my Nugget Nectar pint glass

A: Light orange with a thin white head that recedes waay too quickly leaving a tiny ring

S: Citrus hops with sweet orange make a presence with a mild caramel sweetness in the back.

T: Thin in body with a very mild hop presence. Starts off with a little citrus (orange) hoppiness and is followed by a pleasant caramel sugary sweetness

M: Thin and sweeter than i'd like but the carbonation makes up for it.

D: For 4.6%, this goes down easy but I'm not sure how many more I'd want

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Photo of barnzy78
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz, bottled 12/17/12. Pours a brilliant, crystal clear golden with a frothy, white head, good retention, amazing thick sticky lacing on the glass. Aromas are floral hops, citric, plenty of grassy hop, biscuity malt in the background but hops dominate the nose. Tastes are grassy hop, floral, biscuity malt, lemongrass, so freshly dry hopped, moderate bitterness with some astringency on the finish. Thin-to-medium bodied, ample carbonation. Overall, not my favorite choice for hops, but they make it work with this well-crafted American Pale Ale.

After reviewing this beer I went to FWBC's website. I am very surprised to see the hops are Fuggle, Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook. Some of my favorites. This is why I love beer - so many different ways to accentuate flavors.

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Photo of ccrida
4.4/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bomber (stamped 10/1/09) poured into my Meantime snifter, Pale 31 is chill-hazed golden orange with a creamy off-white head that leaves scattered lace. Nice glow to it.

Smell light and clean, limes, oranges and apricots, a touch overripe and soured, nice.

Taste is pleasantly hoppy, more so then I expected for a pale, with really clean but satisfying fresh bread malt backbone that goes great with the fleeting citrus of the hops and esters before the dry, spicy finish. Not super complicated, but an exceptionally well made and tasty APA. Very impressive, I love the freshness (even though it's 3 months old) and sessionability.

Mouthfeel is light, crisp and dry, a sharpness to it, although served at fridge temp.

Drinkability is very high, this is a tasty but clean pale ale that's not to robust or strong but very satisfying, I can see really sucking down a bunch of this at a party. This immediately became my all time favorite APA, from a style that I granted don't normally much care for.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at the khyber in philly

Pours a lightly hazed golden color with a one-finger froth of white head resting on top. Retains for a while, leaving patchy rings of lacing on the glass while drinking.

Nice punchy, tropical hops in the nose with pineapple and grapefruit. Soft sweetness twisted with toasted grain and biscuit. Very inviting.

Soft bitterness up front, mix of citrus and tropical flavors in the hop profile. Pineapple, citrus peel and mango with soft sweetness. Mild malt backbone with toasted grain and biscuit. Finishes juicy and bitter with another kiss of tropical hops.

Lighter medium body, well carbonated, refreshing and crisp on the palate. Really easy drinking, excellent hop profile - I easily took down 2 pints and could have enjoyed another without trouble. I need to remember to buy some of this for next summer, this would be perfect for backyard barbecues and sunny summer afternoons.

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