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Pale 31 - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pale 31Pale 31

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

1,443 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,443
Reviews: 478
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 66
Gots: 91 | FT: 0
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,443 | Reviews: 478 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of uawildcat
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

uawildcat, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of RJLarse
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I bought a couple of bottles of Pale 31 in a grocery store while traveling in Nevada.

Pours a pale gold color and is clear. Modest while head, leave a little lace on the glass.

Smell is sweet and fruity, with a hint of sweet vinegar. Soft fruits like pears and melons.

Taste is a cereal flavor up front followed by a soft fruit flavor, and mild bitter/sweet aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is very thin, light and crisp.

A very drinkable brew. If it were available in my area and at a reasonable price it could be a staple at my house.

RJLarse, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of hoppyweasel311
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice golden amber color with a quick disappearing head. Smells like bubblegum.. kind of a sweet aroma. But the taste is not sweet at all.. has a ok mouth feel.. nice hop flavor with out being too bitter.. I don't really like this beer that much... it's not bad or anything... I would just rather drink a Sierra Nevada pale ale.

hoppyweasel311, Sep 07, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: The pour is a hazed golden orange color with a sticky white head and nice lacing.

S: Smells a bit sweet, but there's plenty of citrus and even a few tropical fruit notes. Mild grass with a nice pine note to it as well as a light floral scent. Some bready malt gives a little body.

T: Like the nose, it's a bit sweet, but it works fine for a pale ale. Lots of citrus hops (especially orange and tangerine, a little less grapefruit). Some pine bitterness as well as a little bit of floral character.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

O: I really like this beer, a solid pale ale that I know will pretty much always be good.

womencantsail, Sep 04, 2011
Photo of MrKennedy
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from the International Beer Shop with thanks to bluebetty for coordinating the order. Poured into a Tripel Karmeliet tulip style glass.

Pours a hazy orangey-golden colour with a head of off-white coloured foam that measured a finger in height and then reduce to fil pretty quickly. A little bit of lacing as it goes down.

Smells a touch musty, perhaps a little stale and hasn't survived the journey that well. Understandable having crossed half the world and then cross a large country. Aroma is citric, reminding me of orange peel in a nice way.

Tastes like orange peel and grapefruit in a relatively well-worked and consistent combination. Flavours are a not in your face and nor should it be as an APA.

Mouthfeel is really good. A touch creamy, consistent, restrained bitterness throughout. Nice balanced finish has you seeking more. Great body for the size of the beer.

I would not hesitate to go back to this in a flash if i was in the US. This bottle was good, have a feeling it was not that fresh, but still was a good overall beer. Do want to get my hands on a bottle or 6 when i eventually head across to California.

MrKennedy, Sep 03, 2011
Photo of doughanson78
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Light golden yellow color. Perfectly clear. Half finger, white, very fizzy head that immediately disappears. No lace to speak of.

S: I get honey as the dominate aroma. Some light citrusy hops. With a touch of caramel. Good aroma, just way to light.

T: Honey and caramel sweetness throughout. Slight earthy and citrusy bitterness in the middle. Finishes sweet.

M: Light to medium bodied. Not watery. Slightly creamy. Very crisp and refreshing. Big carbonation, a bit much. Slightly dry finish.

O: Another good offering from Firestone. Not Great, but definitely good. Good summer/session beer.

doughanson78, Aug 30, 2011
Photo of BucannonXC5
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Originally rated it 4.00 | 4.00 | 4.50 | 4.50 | 4.50 on Aug. 11, 2011.
Re-rated it to 4.25 | 4.75 | 4.25 | 3.75 | 4.25 on Dec. 28, 2013

Poured from a bottle into a pilsner glass. Had less than a ¼-inch of head. Color was a lighter orange/gold combination. Slight lacing left after pour. Very slight film throughout the glass.

Smelled plenty of strong flavors. First smell is citrus, mainly lemon and orange. Some pine in there, too. Smells crisp and fresh.

Tasted like a combination of citrus and pine needles. Followed with some grapefruit and orange peels. More hoppy than I thought it would be, but overall a pretty good balance.

Good mouthfeel. Refreshing throughout and never lost its taste. Crisp and refreshing. All the flavors work together well. Higher on the carbonation.

Have always loved this beer. Despite finally rating it, I hardly think it changed from my first sip a few years ago. Crisp, clean and refreshing.

BucannonXC5, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of GilGarp
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Firestone Walker is finally in Colorado!

12oz bottle served cold into a pint glass.

Their pale is a slightly hazy copper orange with good sticky head. Some lacing is left as it settles.

Aroma is a really nice, fresh and hoppy with classic American citrus hops.

Flavor is very well done with great balance. The sweetness is perfectly offset with fresh crisp hoppiness.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and the same could be said about the carbonation.

A perfect session-able pale ale. Light in body and alcohol but big in flavor and hops. Dale's Pale Ale was always my go-to in this category but this one might just challenge it in the future.

GilGarp, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of cagocubs
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

While visiting Cali I found this at the market, was not familiar with this brewery, but was glad I tried them.

Look: Pours a transparent gold/orange color with a 1 finger head. Lots of active carbonation feeding into the head.

Smell: Earth tones include hops, citrus, pine. Some sweetness.

Taste: The citrus tones are very present in every sip. Hops are good, but not overpowering. The piney taste is not as strong as other APAs.

Feel: Light body with lots of carbonation. Mouth coating is nice.

cagocubs, Jul 15, 2011
Photo of aval89
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottled 06-06-2011.. a month & 3 days old.

a: golden orangeish color.. clear body with 1.5 finger head.. active carbonation streaming up..

s: piney hops! sweet dank & some citrus take up the nose! some bready notes deep in there & maybe a hint of caramel.. very nice nose.

t: a good blend of pine needles & citrus hops.. almost has a lemony quality to it as well.. bready notes are definitely in there too.. balances out the hops, but not a complete 50/50.. hops win :) finish is a light oily-resiny hop finish.. a refreshing hop bite. not overly dry, but dry enough to beg for another sip. lovely

mf: light-medium body with a good amount of carbonation..

o: i think i found my new favorite APA.. watch out SNPA!

aval89, Jul 10, 2011
Photo of plaid75
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
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.

plaid75, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
3.4/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

594th Review on BA
Bottle to Pint

App- A nice dark orange with a nice clarity to it. A one finger head that left quickly and some lines of cling.

Smell- A very light tinge of hops and a bit of wheat to it. Pretty bland on the nose.

Taste- A bit of a watery malty light wheat flavor. Seems a bit unbalanced and light.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium/high carb level. Leaves a little bitter hops.

Drink- Pretty average, not that bad, but not that great either. Probably won't come back to this one.

FosterJM, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of CHickman
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tasting notes from 12/11/10-(cask ale) pours hazy yellow in color with a small off white head that faded quickly; basically zero lacing, as it all slid down very fast.

Smells of floral hops, sweet malt, caramel, light grains, lemon zest, grapefruit, coriander and grass or hay; overall all sweet and fruity, like citrus fruit.

Tastes of floral hops, piney hops, sweet malt, caramel, light grains, lemon, grapefruit, coriander, orange peel, herbs, grass and/or hay; nice hoppy and malty combo with good balance.

Mouthfeel is creamy and almost watery, with very light carbonation, a light body and an easy feel. High drinkability, as this is a very smooth and easy to drink; a definite session beer.

CHickman, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of Allpe45
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
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.

Allpe45, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of LittleCreature
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 4.0
Pours a finger of off-white head that gradually reduced to a thin layer over a body of deep gold to palest amber.

Smell - 4.0
Pleasant and surprisingly balanced aroma; big bready malt aroma is not dissimilar to that found in good Bavarian lagers, accompanied by a little fudge and the grapefruit and orange expected in this style.

Taste - 4.0
A tasty malt backbone tasting of sweet biscuits and toasted bread and light fudge, followed up by a level of hopping that is surprisingly restrained for an American ale. Moderate to firm bitterness with flavours of mandarin and grapefruit, finishing bone dry.

Mouthfeel - 4.0
Light to medium body with fine and lively carbonation, slightly coarse over the tongue.

Overall - 4.0
The first impression is that this is very similar to Little Creatures Pale Ale - one of my all-time favourite beers. While the hop character is perhaps not quite as good as in that classic beer, I am seriously impressed by the malt profile of this beer. Beautifully balanced and very drinkable.

LittleCreature, Jun 09, 2011
Photo of Beezee
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle in Jim Morrison's last US home into a kinda dirty drinking glass. Bottled dated a couple weeks old.

Appearance- Clear golden, nice inch of head that sticks around, good lacing

Smell -Citrus, earthy Cali hops, slight malty bread

Taste/Mouthfeel -Crisp citrus and slightly grassy hops. Very well balance hop profile with a clean finish. Medium bread/biscuity malt backbone. Slightly sweet. Very light mouth feel with a good amount of carbonation.

Overall -This beer really stands out. Just spent a week in California drinking dozens and dozens of great beers and this pale ale stands out from it all! Had it on tap and in the bottle. Perfectly balanced flavorful pale ale. I'm inspired to brew a clone!

Beezee, Jun 05, 2011
Photo of Phelps
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed pumped from a cask at Papago right into a nonic pint.

The brewery calls this one a California pale ale — appropriate, since it’s named after California, the 31st state.

Almost perfectly clear dark tangerine, with a super-sticky two-finger head of off-white that’s dense enough to be called gelatinous, wobbling like jello when I lift the glass. Thin yet full walls of soapy bubbles cover the glass as I drink it down.

If oranges grew on pine trees, this is how the grove would smell. It’s not shockingly bright, but more smooth — an understated, zesty blend of citrus peel, pine needles, crackers and hints of burnt sugar.

More citrus appears in the flavor. Orange peel becomes a bit overbearing, imparting an orange-glo, wood cleaner flavor. Lemon is in there too, as are lots of crackers. Honey and biscuits become noticeable after poring the flavor’s depths. 

A soft, silky medium-light body allows hints of carbonation to tingle the tongue. Gentle bitterness lingers between sips.

This is my first time enjoying Pale 31 in any format, and the cask suits it well. Good flavor, fine feel. An enjoyable pale from state number 31.

Phelps, Jun 03, 2011
Photo of kbutler1
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Poured into my favorite DFH tulip glass a clear golden orange color with a 1 finger white head that quickly settles to form a white coaster on top of the beer. Slight floral and a dose of mild citrus greats the nostrils upon the first whiff, rather nice, mild breadiness as well. The flavor is nice with a soft sweetness and light bitterness from the hop additions. Medium mouthfeel. Some watered down mandarin orange type flavors. Overall, a nice, easy drinking beer with some full flavors.

kbutler1, May 24, 2011
Photo of billshmeinke
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a shaker.

Clear golden body with a finger head, and nice retention and lacing.

Smells of citrus (lemon, even a touch of grapefruit), dank, and earthy hops accompanied by a nice hearty bread quality in the nose.

Taste is all about cereal and bread up front followed by lightly acidic lemon and grapefruit notes. Some honey notes. There is also a nice light earthiness, as well as a resiny bitterness in the finish.

Hearty, medium body with a light acidity and wonderful clean, bitter, and citrusy finish.

A really nice pale ale. Just enough hoppiness with a clean and refreshing malty body.

billshmeinke, May 21, 2011
Photo of KingPuuChuu
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a liquid gold into my pint glass, with a thick white head that doesn't die, light lacing, and a distinct grapefruit nose, with a touch of honey.

Flavor is smooth, crisp, slightly hoppy. Mouthfeel is nice, not too bubbly, and a little bit of the honey flavor.

Overall, a great session beer.

KingPuuChuu, May 18, 2011
Photo of ehammond1
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Golden amber with a thin white head. Nice lacing down the glass. Looks heavy and substantial.

Abundantly pungent and powerful citrus bill in the nose. Surprising and welcoming!

Not quite as powerful in the mouth as it is on the nose. Hop flavors are certainly present, nice accompanying bitterness, along with some earth and grassy flavors.

Medium to thick body.

A pleasant and flavorful, simple, citrus-hop-forward American pale ale.

ehammond1, May 13, 2011
Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on Mother's Day at my parents' house.

Its clear, and bright golden. Little lacing.

Curious smell. Very floral and grassy hop presence.

More hop bitterness, pepper, floral, grass on the mouth. Not a lot of malt backbone to speak of.

Mouthfeel is light and watery.

Overall this beer is OK. I'm honestly very disappointed with everything I've had form Firestone (minus Velvet Merkin). This is not a bad beer, but a poor representation of the style. It honestly tastes like an average homebrew. I actually take that back, I have had better extract based homebrew pale ales than this.

AWolfAtTheDoor, May 07, 2011
Photo of MaltsOfGlory
3.8/5  rDev -1%
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.

MaltsOfGlory, May 05, 2011
Photo of di5co5teve
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Golden

Smell: Overwhelmingly of hops.

Taste: The beer is focused on the hops but it is also balanced. Not as much flavor and aroma as lets say SNPA but still adequate. The bitterness is there.

Mouthfeel: Light and refreshing. Perfect on a summer day.

Drinkability: reasonable ($6.99/six) and light enough to drink a full six pack on a summer afternoon on your porch.

di5co5teve, May 04, 2011
Photo of ADZA
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a very light see through golden hue with average carbonation that leaves behind a one finger head and some sporadic lacing,the smell is piney hops,apricots and boiled candy,it has a light bodied well carbonated mouthfeel that could be abit less in my mind and has tastes of passionfruit,apricots,mangoes,boiled candy and finished with a light touch of piney hops and to be honest its quite quaffable without being stand outish cheers.

ADZA, Apr 30, 2011
Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,443 ratings.