1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Pale 31 - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pale 31Pale 31

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,312 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,312
Reviews: 468
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 54
Gots: 64 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 08-23-2002)
View: Beers (72) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pale 31 Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,312 | Reviews: 468 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tempest
tempest

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ordered a bottle with my Brick's Ale Burger at the Brickskeller. The body is a clear straw yellow with a white head and lacing.

I know many hold this up as one of the great pale ales, and I'm inclined to agree when you consider the whole package. It holds nearly the same depth of hop flavor as Sierra Nevada, but with a lighter body it's much more drinkable. The malts have a light bready malt taste, that's matched first by piney, citrus hops, and then later a spicy, long-lasting aftertaste. How this beer drinks actually reminds me of a good English bitter, for the ability to hold complex flavors in a light and highly sessionable beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2008 02:44:44 | More by tempest
Photo of akorsak
akorsak

Pennsylvania

4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2007 01:47:57 | More by akorsak
Photo of Billolick
Billolick

New York

3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, Brewed on 12/31/13.

Pours near clear, w/ bubbles continuing to rise. Off white head is moderate in size and leaves a typical film, collar and respectable thicker low sheeting and scattered lace upon a gentle swirl.

Nose is faintly of some piney hops/grapefruit.

Resin and more pine hops on the palate. Grapefruit comes to mind. Respectable and nicely crafted APA. As somebody else remarked this one does not blend the lines between APA and IPA. Aggressive? No. Highly sessionable? Yes.

Quite dry in the long and hoppy finish. Worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2014 14:58:47 | More by Billolick
Photo of woodychandler
woodychandler

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the bottle: "Passion for the Pale".

I was initially concerned when I popped the cap and foam began to slowly seep up through the neck, but it stopped shortly thereafter and allowed me to pour it into a glass. I ended up with a finger of French Vanilla-colored head with moderate retention. Color was a deep golden-amber with NE-quality clarity. Nose was very pine-like and my mouth began to water in anticipation. Mouthfeel was medium and the hops were immediate upon making contact with my tongue. Man, this was pretty intense for an APA, but I was not complaining, believe me! Finish was pleasantly dry and the malt even made an appearance. Lots of sticky lacing was in evidence as I finished the glass.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2012 00:48:53 | More by woodychandler
Photo of orangesol
orangesol

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +3.9%

03-07-2013 20:05:03 | More by orangesol
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2013 15:21:23 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of InspectorBob
InspectorBob

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +3.9%

04-07-2014 14:39:46 | More by InspectorBob
Photo of dbrauneis
dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2012 21:04:02 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of Zorro
Zorro

California

3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear gold color.

Smells distinctly hoppy and fruity. There is a small amount of maltiness in there too.

Taste is malt and hops. The hops used are flavorful and not very harsh so it makes for a very hoppy, yet still not bitter brew. Not sweet at all it is a dry ale.

Mouthfeel is good.

Very drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

02-01-2004 02:50:17 | More by Zorro
Photo of DrunkinYogi
DrunkinYogi

Connecticut

4/5  rDev +3.9%

02-07-2014 03:30:35 | More by DrunkinYogi
Photo of zestar
zestar

California

3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

01-18-2014 07:30:44 | More by zestar
Photo of DoubleJ
DoubleJ

California

4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Brea's Yard House, on to the beer:

This beer shines in the glass orange/gold with a froathy head on top, very good lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma is mild, a mix of citrus, hops, and fresh-cut pine. Refreshing....yum. By the way, that's the taste I'm talking about. Clean upfront with a mix of bread/citrus/hoppy/floral flavors, the balance being good. This is one beer I'll be coming back to for sure, and it's great on a warm day like today.

Serving type: on-tap

09-05-2008 02:49:45 | More by DoubleJ
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear dark golden color, nice carbonation, tiny head, some lacing afterwards.

S - Scents of hops, citrus, bready, slight toffee/caramel.

T - The taste is sweet/hoppy, kinda dry finish.

M - Medium body, nice carbonated feel.

D - Very drinkable, good for a hot summer day. This is my first Firestone brew, will buy other's if the liquor store carries them.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2006 23:01:26 | More by Wasatch
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A bottle into a Dark Horse Pint Glass. This bottle is almost 3 months old and just came in to Philly, so im not sure if FS is up to snuff on shipping out fresh pale, i will review as is.

Firestone Pale Ale comes into the glass a whistling golden slight copperish color with a nice amount of white suds up top leaving nice streaks. Smell is very citrusy and biscuit malt forward, a nice breadiness comes up. Taste takes a backseat from the scent. Flavors include biscuits from the pale malt, light pine over citrus from the hops. Feel is light and refreshing though with spot on carb. Finishes clean as can be. I drank this very quick and I hope to god FS sends very fresh stuff by the time summer comes around.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2011 02:09:13 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep straw with a chill haze. Short lived soapy head.
Aroma is zesty, floral, lemony,herbal and very hoppy. In the taste, grapefruit, orange and nectarine fruityness are apparent from the dry hop/ale yeast combo. A bit of lemon candy and pine are in effect as well. Mellow bitterness on a pale, salt water toffee like malt notes. Medium bodied, well carbonated, semi crisp. Overall this is an interesting pale ale, I'd give it another go easily.

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 00:24:15 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A bright and sunny yellow-tinged scotch with sheer transparency. The colour is golden and gleaming and the clarity consummately clean. Its head, although sickly anemic, is resiliently sticky. Tight clinging bands of white lace appear hopelessly stuck to the glass. This visual certainly imparts the temperate, sunny climate of Paso Robles to my mind.

The aroma is about as existent as it is non-existent. The faint grapefruit-like pungency of the hops suggest this may not be intentional but the lack of aromatic malt suggests it is. I keep taking bigger and bigger whiffs to be sure but my nostrils are largely drawing blanks. The floral qualities of the English Fuggles are apparent but I don't note much to resemble any of the big American C's (Cascade, Centennial, Chinook).

Is it just me or does the "California Pale Ale" taste a touch better than regular old pale ale? Strong bready, biscuity, doughie, cookie and wafer-like malts and a sprinkling of green, zesty recently ripened hop flowers (there's the American influence!) make for a delicious beer in my opinion. The caramel outweighs the grapefruit but not by much, the beer really does taste fresh-hoped even nearly 6 months after the bottling!

This is barrel aged but the beer itself doesn't advertise it. Good. Why should it have to? Novelty and insatiability have become driving factors in a lot of America's (especially California's) microbreweries. Special releases and experimental, high gravity beers (often with the use of blending, wild yeasts or barrel aging) have become the focal point of many breweries and the products on which they're most often judged...

While Firestone is responsible for making what are arguably the best examples of such beers (Firestone 10, 11) it's good to know they put every bit the same craftsmanship and attention into their normal lineup of pale ales too. Between the Double Barrel, the Union Jack IPA and now the Pale 31, I would say with little hesitation that Firestone is responsible for some of the best simple but solid drinking ales on the entire continent. Thanks BuckeyeNation!

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2009 21:48:01 | More by biegaman
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

07-14-2013 12:22:45 | More by BillRoth
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2013 03:56:41 | More by superspak
Photo of rab53
rab53

Washington

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

12-01-2011 05:43:35 | More by rab53
Photo of plaid75
plaid75

New York

4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Sapsuckers, Huntington, NY.

Poured a light copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light citrusy hop and soft pale malts.

The taste offered bready malts, a springy citrus spice and lingering pine.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness for the style.

Overall a tasty simple ale that is highly quafffable.

Serving type: on-tap

06-30-2011 23:32:47 | More by plaid75
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is a really nice, quaffable beer. Session? Yes. It's easy drinking with just the right amount of bite to demand notice, but not a tongue scraper. It looks delicious; off golden, clear pour with a huge white fluffy head. Spotty lacing.
Open aroma of floral and citrus with some light cracker underneath.
Flavors are light but powerful. Citrus zest blends well with the floral perfume-ness and the cracker brings it together nicely.
A bit light on the malt for a APA. This is almost like a light IPA. Very drinkable. Really liked this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2013 05:59:04 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of the cask into a nonic tumbler at Church Key as part of the official Firestone Walker DC Launch Party.

Looks with a soupy but creamy off white head sitting on a nice cloud gorgeous twenty four carat body. Almost pale amber. Super lacing on the drink while finishing. Looks so delicious.

Bouquet seems to be a real soft floral hop, with a soft malt body. Small hint of crisp, but no buttery sensation that you would want to get from a cask.

Taste is wet, but also a great white dense bread feeling with a hint of sweet clove spice. Texture is an orange juice quality and chewy palate coating.

Overall out of the cask it's a little different, but it's quite tasty and super sessionable as well. This almost feels like a mix somewhere between an on tap and cask Ale, sort of a middle ground between both worlds.

Serving type: cask

04-05-2011 03:39:03 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
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!

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2008 20:55:56 | More by Viggo
Photo of Latarnik
Latarnik

New Jersey

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

05-27-2014 15:22:47 | More by Latarnik
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

03-21-2014 14:48:37 | More by mdaschaf
Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,312 ratings.