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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: 1,748
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: 1,748
Photo of tzieser
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

bottled 8/26/13.

A: pours a clear, bright golden color with a fluffy white head. very good carbonation. seems like firestone-walker always brews a great looking beer.

S: a light citrus hop aroma with a subtle grassy character. sweet and bready malts are there. dry hopping works wonders here.

T: complex hop profile. starts off a bit on the citrus side but ends with a touch of grass/pine bitterness. the lingering sweetness from the malt bill keeps everything nicely balanced, if a tad sweet side as it warms.

M: smooth mouthfeel with a nice bit of carbonation.

O: a pretty underrated pale ale. i'd put this ahead of sierra nevada any day but the price point is a tad high. recommended.

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

Picked up a 6er from the local grocery and just did it.

This is a goodie. Like, your girlfriend just walked into the door with a bag from Victoria Secret, "goodie." Pure golden Pale like a tropical sunburst, which then leads to so fresh and so clean flavors.

Go now and get it. Go now and get it good.

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Photo of obrike
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a sixer on the recommendation of my beer guy.

Pours a light golden orange with a thin white head...disappates fairly quickly and leaves just a bit of lace.

I really enjoyed the scent...especially considering this has under 5% booze. Citrus, mainly orange and cantelope hops and a bit of sweet malt. Impressive.

Had a good dose of hops over a solid caramel malt backbone. Citrus hops with a hint of pine. A tiny bitter bite at the end, but well balanced. Super easy drinking. Almost goes down like a light beer...but with actual hop taste!

I think this is a nice summer/pool pale ale. Well balanced with low abv means you can have quite a few in a sitting and maintain. A little pricey, but if you're looking for a tasty sessionable pale aler with a good hop profile...look no further.

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

Appearance: A very clear golden yellow, with a short white head that leaves good lacing

Smell: Very aromatic hops, piney, herbal, and a little grapefruit

Taste: More piney hops, with some grapefruit in there, some bitterness on the finish, though not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Light body, full carbonation, good for this style.

Overall: A very good beer, and a very good example of this style.

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Photo of dar482
3.57/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The color is a golden copper pale color.

The flavor has a huge round grain maltiness at the end. The hops in this beer are quite light, nothing too powerful.

The mouthfeel is a bit light, but the malt roundness really gives it some decent body.

In the end, I prefer the sweetness and juiciness that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has.

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Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

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Photo of vkv822
3.51/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz : Teku
bottled on 01/02/13

Pours a clear golden with a foamy, craggy white head and nice lacing.

Aroma and taste both consist of citric hops upfront, balanced out by a pleasant biscuit malt backing.

Medium body with average, foamy carbonation.

Nothing particularly outstanding, but an easy drinking, well done APA. Hoppy upfront but well balanced overall.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.67/5  rDev -31%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Nabbed a sixer at my local Vons grocery store. "California Pale Ale Dry Hopped." 4.9% ABV according to the label (not 4.8 as currently listed; I chalk it up to batch variation). Bottled 02/20/13 - that makes this less than two months old, and it's been refrigerated the whole time. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard branded pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a four finger head of beige colour, fair cream, decent thickness, and pretty good (~4 minute) retention. Body colour is a clear pale copper. Not very vibrant. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Typical of the style; it's generally appealing.

Sm: Generic floral hop notes. Light citrus. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. Pale malts. A mild to moderate strength aroma. Light hop oil.

T: Pale malts, floral hops, light hop oil. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Boring and bland for a pale ale, but passable. A bit grassy. Imbalanced. Decently built. I'm unwderwhelmed.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit oily. Adequate carbonation. It's thin and weak. Suits the flavour profile okay, but it's very wanting.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable for what it is, but very pedestrian. Another underwhelming brew from Firestone Walker. I wouldn't get this again. Hides its ABV decently. Meh.


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Photo of makersmarkers
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Smells pleasant, floral and sweet. Hoppy in aroma but less so bitterness. Tastes similarly: a very balanced flavor profile on this one, with perhaps more floral notes than I'm accustomed to with a pale ale. Feels full-bodied on the tongue with plenty of carbonation and goes down smooth. Sessionable? Absolutely. Overall, a fine example of a pale ale. Recommended.

Update: My feelings on this beer have not changed, but my interpretation of the rating scale has. Consequently, I have adjusted my points to what I feel it truly deserves. I think that a little over five times out of ten, I'd grab this over Sierra Nevada if given the choice, all other things being equal. It's that good.

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Photo of MikePags
4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Growler from Oliver's brew crew. Albany. Served in a pint glass.

A: golden color that is a hazy with carbonation.

S: nice hoppy aroma that isn't overpowering

T: this beer's straightforward, simple and solid taste makes it an amazing example of what a California Pale Ale should be. Nice hops without overpowering your taste buds but enough to keep you coming back.

M: smooth medium body

O: amazing session beer that should be used as a benchmark to evaluate all other Pales

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4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

$3 during happy hour, served in a pint glass
Sampled 28MAR13

[A] Served with a small head, less than a finger high, foamy and compact, and just off white in color. Well retained. The light orange colored body is crystal clear. A few strands of lace line the glass.

[S] Fresh hop character is average in intensity. Notes of orange flesh, pith and oils. Just a hint of grassiness adds complexity to the citrus-forward nose.

[T] Pulpy orange juice. With the help of a very effervescent mouthfeel, the flavor of Pale 31 is quite mimosa-like. Juicy, straightforward and delicious.

[M] The mouthfeel leans towards the aggressive side. Slightly overcarbed for my tastes. After a few swirls, the mouthfeel is spot on. Light body and super crisp on the finish.

[O] This is a damn good beer. And highly quaffable. I could order this again and again.

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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 CommanderOfAwesome
4.46/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 2/21/13 poured into a snifter glass. Reviewing this compared to other pale ales.

A: Pours a yellow golden with 2 finger fluffy white head and tons of carbonation bubbles. Fantastic head retention with lacing prominent on the glass.

S: The aroma on this beer is pretty strong, which is remarkable for a 4.8% beer. Strong citrus grapefruit, slight pineapple and lemon zest. Caramel malt backing it up. Really strong, can def tell the dry hopping. This aroma is right up there with Zombie Dust.

T: Sweet citrus flavor, refreshing as hell with just a slight bitter dry finish. Light sweet malt making itself known. On the hoppy side for APA.

M: light bodied, perfect amount of carbonation goes down easy. Leaves the mouth with a slight sweetness that coats the mouth with a slight bitter after finish.

O: A fantastic APA and one of my go to's. I would easily put this up there with 3 Floyds Zombie Dust, and an underrated beer on BA for sure.

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Photo of blakelive784
2.63/5  rDev -32%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle (bottled on 2/2/13) served in a pint glass, reviewed live:

A - Pours a honey golden color with lively carbonation but wit only a half finger of thin, white, fizzy head. Retention is awful, especially given the low ABV. Average at best.

S - Oddly - the first notes I get are sweet honey and pale malts. Light, fresh lemon and orange zest and faint grassy notes. I'm surprised how restrained the hops are, maybe even enough to upset the balance. Pretty mild but refreshing.

T - Watery base malts open. Bland, uneventful body. Stale. No yeast character. The hops don't show up until the climax. Incredibly faint citrus is about all I can find. It's too sweet, and there's a strange metallic note near the finish. Simple and watery. Where'd all the hops from the nose go?

M - Watery and smooth.

D - I'd like to think that I got an old bottle, but It's barely a month old. Just a poor example of the style. It's easy to drink, but there's really nothing going on. Won't be having this again.

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

A - Crystal clear, yellow with a touch of light orange. Short lived head. A few bubbles.

S - Pine, floral, citrus and soft pale malt. Faint woody funk. The aroma is nice, but on the subtle side.

T - Like the aroma with some semi-sweet grapefruit and a hint of caramel.

M - Light body. Mild carbonation. Mild bitterness with a medium sustain.

O - A flawless, easy drinking, light pale ale with a pleasant flavor.

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Photo of Philousa
4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Imbibed at Wine Affairs on 3/4/13.

Very pale with copper color, and clear. Head retention is great, big rocky head that laces very well for the style. Lemon and grapefruit dominate the nose with floral notes and slight biscuit. Flavor is lemony and bright with a lot of orange flavor to start as well. Fades to overcooked biscuit and slight a tartness, then floral hops, which are not heavy handed. Bitterness comes on gradually, but its definitely noticeable. Feel is middling, finish is slightly dry. This one tasted especially fresh. I could drink this all day.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.91/5  rDev +1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured two fingers of head on a medium straw colored body.
The aroma is a wonderful mix of pine, whole cone hops and honey.
The taste starts with mild sweetness and then goes to pine bitterness. The transition is abrupt.
The texture is soft with some fizz.
An enjoyable and drinkable ale at a low ABV.

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Photo of SolipsismalCat
4.16/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Clear golden yellow with two-finger, off-white, creamy head that lasted a long time and left a nice film. Great lacing.

S: Bright citrus aroma. Caramel malt.

T: Light to moderate sweetness and light bitterness. Bready and toasted malt. Citrus hops. Matches the nose.

M: Medium bodied with soft carbonation. Very smooth.

O: I really like this pale ale. It looked phenomenal, and tasted really good too.

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Photo of hagbergl
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I've been enjoying indulging in the Firestone Walker lineup lately. Next up, Pale 31. Enjoyed in my Firestone Walker tulip glass. Review is from notes.

Appearance (4.25/5): An aggressive pour yields a thick and creamy two-finger white head. Copper-yellow colored beer, clear, tons of spider web lacing on the sides of the glass as the head dissipates. Good retention. Holding the beer up to the light, it turns a bright dandelion yellow color. Very nice looks for the style.

Smell (3.75/5): Big green hoppy lemony aroma. Fresh and slightly sweet, slightly grassy, and quite citrusy. Light malt does a nice job of cutting through. Outsized nose for a beer of this strength.

Taste (4/5): ...And outsized flavor for a beer of this strength! Very lemony, citrusy, and grassy green from the hops. Light and sweet pale maltiness makes itself known, adding some nice backbone to the beer. This is a hop-forward APA, for sure. Firestone really squeezed a lot of flavor out of this one–much better than some beers I've had modeled on a similar concept, Green Flash's Extra Pale Ale, for instance.

Mouthfeel (4.25/5): Nice light body, beautiful medium-high carbonation. Nice and prickly on the tongue. Quality dryness. The mouthfeel on Pale 31 really makes it a great easy-drinking, session-type beer. You could easily have 3 or 4 of these and not get tired of them.

Overall (4/5): Pale 31 has a lot going for it: easy-drinking, refreshing, and very flavorful given its ABV. Not too expensive for a sixer, at least by Chicago standards–$10.99 for a six-pack. I would recommend this beer to anyone looking for a hop-forward beer that they want to "session". Can't go wrong with this one for the purpose. Probably even better in the summer.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

All the rest have 31 and seem to be getting drunker by the day... ...Wow, sorry... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear brass topped by a finger if lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises bright grapefruit zest, light orange zest, light honey, and a bristling of pine needles. The taste brings in more of the same, with the citrus blending together into a tasty little tropical smoothie, the parts indistinguishable from the whole. In a good way. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a fluid feel. Overall, a very nice pale ale, highly drinkable and even more highly enjoyable. Good times.

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Photo of jvillefan
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: It is a golden yellow/orange with a lace white head.

S: The is a nice subtle hop aroma with some caramel notes to it.

T: The is a nice sharp hop flavor. There is a dry Belgian character that adds nice flavored to the secessionible beer.

M: Very thin and has a great carbonation bite.

O: Good, not great. Get it if you can but there are better pale ales out there.

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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 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 harrymel
3.07/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled 15NOV12

Golden with a loose quilt of light cream foam. Smells of grapefruit, grass, light caramel malts, some sweet malts - a touch of lactose. Flavor is bready, bitter (lightly), hints of grapefruit pith, some pine and a touch of woody malts. Light body with low carb and a semi dry finish. Decent beer, nothing special.

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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.

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