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Pale 31 - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pale 31Pale 31

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

1,405 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,405
Reviews: 473
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.91%
Wants: 64
Gots: 83 | 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: 1,405 | Reviews: 473 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of garymuchow
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hmmm, it's been awhile since I've had a pale ale. Hot, sticky summer day, this should do just fine.
Nice sunshiney fresh hops with touch of citrus and grass. Clean and fresh, Very nice.
Amber of gold. Clear. Semi-dense head that borders on frothy. Good looking.
Pretty hoppy bitey. I like it. Prominent dryness at finish, but it doesn't linger all that long. Malt is muted. No particular sweetness noted. Malt flavors increase as warms as does softness of the drink. The very soft flavors of the oak barrel are available, but I'd say only to those with the most sensitive of palates (it would have been hard for me to detect, unless I knew to search for them). They seem to appear at the end and mix with the dryness.
Carbonation is rather full and sharp and prickly. It intensifies the bitterness to a point of excess for my tastes. Otherwise feel is on, i.e. medium light. Does possess a ale type crispness which lends a thirst quenching quality (along with the citrus flavor and dryness).
This is a nice solid APA. Highly drinkable. Good for the summer. Subtle in the complexity.
Thanks for thinking of me my brother.

garymuchow, Jun 17, 2007
Photo of chadlebald
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a sort of dark golden (almost an amber hue to it). Solid initial head that tapered off quickly but leaves a nice 'cling' to the sides as its drank. Smell is very floral right out of the gate, but with a slight caramely sweetness.

Lots of hoppy flavor that if I were blind tasting it, would say it was an IPA. I think it does have a fair amount of malt balance, though. On the whole, it drinks 'dry'.

Feels full in the mouth, and hits the taste buds evenly at first before lingering more in the mid tongue.

I am far from being a hophead even though I seek out hoppy beers on occasion. This is one that I would seek out more often I think, since it's just at that point of not overdoing it. In other words, I could order more than one in a session, whereas with IPAs, I usually switch after just one.

"Two bottoms up"

chadlebald, Jun 16, 2007
Photo of budsboy
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Clear, light amber on the pour with a thin white head that shrinks back to a sticky film.

Big hop aroma, all pine and citrus. Thick, sugary malt smell underneath. Inviting. Mouth is watering now.

Nice hop flavor right off, malty and with a hint of diacetyl, then a lasting piney hop bitterness on a dry finish.

Light-medium bodied, clean and moderate carbonation. Maybe a wee thin.

I enjoyed it. At 4.6 ABV, this is an excellent session brew for the hop hungry. Sure it's hopped to the hilt. Some like it, some don't. If you like SNPA or Dogfish 60 Minute, I'm betting you'll like this. Just as full of hop flavor but a little less of a meal.

Thanks to Hustlemuscle for sharing.

budsboy, Jun 13, 2007
Photo of roblowther
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer does not look like I expected. it is light reddish gold with almost no head. I've never seen a pale pale ale really, but here it is. The smell is dominated by hops. Rose hips, pine resin, and green tea, with a sweet note underlying it all. The taste is refreshing and, again, floral. The hops dominate but not too hoppy. The aftertaste is completely dominated by hops. The beer is refreshing but a bit astringent. The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, despite its appearance. The carbonation adds to the crisp taste to make this a very refreshing brew indeed. The drinkability is good. The alcohol content puts this one into the realm of session beer and the crispness reminds me of a dry cider. This is a good beer and a good primer on what aroma hops are. I need to find a beer newby to use this as a lesson.

roblowther, Jun 08, 2007
Photo of Duster72
4.63/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to IntriqKen for this one. Pours a clear golden with a smallish head and decent lacing. Aroma is sweet breads and citrus hops - very nice. Taste is tasty sweet malts up front followed by pleasant citrus and a good hop finish to cleanse the palate. Perfect mouthfeel and drinkability. Excellent APA, very refreshing.

Duster72, Jun 07, 2007
Photo of sparta2325
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beers looks are average. Golden with a small head. But taste thats a deferent story! It has a strong hop taste with a IBU of 38.0 (Medium High) !!! For those hop head's. It's thicker than you would think with a nice oak after taste. It has a lot of hops in it they are. Hops: Bittering- Fuggle Late Kettle- Cascade Centennial Chinook Dry Hops- Cascade Centennial Chinook and it has won plenty of awards.
2006 World Beer Cup: Gold Medal
2005 Australian International Beer Awards: Gold Medal for Best in Class
2004 World Beer Cup: Gold Medal
2003 World Beer Championships: Gold Medal
2003 Great American Beer Festival: Silver Medal
2002 California State Fair: Gold Medal for First Place
2002 World Beer Championships: Silver Medal
I'm would recommend this to any one!!!
I'm going to try to make a batch of home brew like this, I hope it's as good???

sparta2325, Jun 03, 2007
Photo of zymurgy4all
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a deep golden color, has a decent head, and nice lacing. The aroma is a wonderful bouquet of citrusy hops. The flavor is citrusy as well, and is remarkably pleasant. This is a great example of the American Pale Ale style. There is a little bit of crystal malt flavor that completes this ale. If you like APA style, this is worth going out of your way for. Great beer overall.

zymurgy4all, May 29, 2007
Photo of jeffjfindley
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Striking golden color, with a decent head that fizzes out pretty fast. The smell is rich, yet hoppy and crisp. Flavor is simple enough, but as with all Firestone beers incredibly executed. Light sweet malt strikes immediately, followed by a brilliant splash of hops that lingers seductively on the palate. I feel the oakiness in their beers more than taste, and it feels damn good. Drinkability is superb.

jeffjfindley, May 15, 2007
Photo of techdiver
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear gold with modest head that dissipates quickly.

Typical hoppy nose, nothing special.

Well balanced, nothing overwhelming; just a modest APA.

Good carbonation, refreshing, and very mellow.

Great drinkability, it's gone before you know it. After the disappointment of the Double Barrel, this is an improvement.

techdiver, May 05, 2007
Photo of dermot
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up as a gift in a mixed six pack.

On-tap at the White Harte Pub in Woodland Hills, CA.

Appearance: A bit darker than the norm for a pale ale. Poured with a nice off-white head.


Smell: Nice a sweet smell of citrus hops.


Taste: Nice malty taste up front. Finishes with a nice, but not overpowering bitterness. Exactly what you'd expect from a pale ale.


Mouthfeel: It's medium-bodied and smooth.


Drinkability: Very drinkable. Crisp flavors, finishes smooth with the right amount of bitterness. A very quenching and refreshing beer.

dermot, Apr 27, 2007
Photo of goschool
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the White Harte Pub in Woodland Hills, CA.

Appearance: The color is quite a bit darker than how I remember the bottled version looking. It's darkish amber with a respectable off-white head.

Smell: Sweet, bready malt aromas, much like Double Barrel, take charge of the nose in front of fruity apricot and citrus hops.

Taste: The flavor profile is malty up front, the sweet and bready notes get lighter in the mid-palate, and the fruity hops give the finish a burst of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It's medium-bodied and smooth, but it's a tiny bit aqueous.

Drinkability: I think the crisp flavors in the bottled version make this beer more drinkable than the sweet malty draft offering.

goschool, Apr 20, 2007
Photo of bjohnson
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a darker than average golden color with a frothy one finger white head. Not much retention but a thin skim on top and a ring around the edges. Citrus fruit aroma with a nice hefty infusion of pine notes. Biscuity and toasted grain malt notes.

Citrus hop notes coupled with resiny pine flavors. Fruit notes are a bit more pronounced then the pine flavors. Toasted grains and biscuit flavors round out the malt profiles. Light with a slight slickness in the finish. Just an all around easy drinking pale ale. Good example of the style. Perfect for a session brew with an abv lower then 5.

bjohnson, Apr 13, 2007
Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a robust head that laces well

Smell: Biscuity aroma that is extremely floral and citrusy with a vague hint of vanilla

Taste: Starts with a biscuity taste that is slightly sweet; by mid-palate, the citrusy hops kick in, along with a flash of vanilla at the swallow; the finish is balanced between the biscuity malt and the citrusy hops

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: What a nice APA; superbly balanced and a low abv, to boot

brentk56, Apr 05, 2007
Photo of malcontent
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden color with average head and lacing. Nothing remarkable going on here.

Faint citrus with grain aromas driving an otherwise weak nose.

Mild hop flavor is very nicely balanced with just a touch of rich malt taste. Not peppery or citrus-like as with many APAs, just very restrained and satisfying in this area.

A little too much chalkiness on the finish but good body and carbonation otherwise. Not earth-shattering but I rather liked this beer. Exceptional drinkability and not something to overpower food or short-circuit your palate. A really well-made mild ale in my estimation.

malcontent, Mar 06, 2007
Photo of tonistruth
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap @ Pizza Port Carlsbad, CA

A- bartender poured out my head, golden straw with hints of copper, leaves thin whit rings 'round glass

S- pine, floral, sweet bread (like that Hawaiian stuff)

T- bready up front and a spike at finish, good balance and mellow flavor, citric hops with pine aftertaste, bitter

M- light/med body, smooth, bit dry in after

D- enjoyable, dont know about sessionable, paired well with my whole grain portzels, balance is awesome, memorable pale if not one of my faves

tonistruth, Mar 03, 2007
Photo of HighOctane
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smell and taste set this APA apart from others. I crave a hop flower aroma in my pales and this beer delivers big time. I've had 2IPA's with less hop aroma. The taste is very crisp - delivering hop bitterness with a slightly nutty finish. Highly drinkable - definitely Firestone's best widely available offering.

HighOctane, Feb 19, 2007
Photo of MUSHROOMCLOUD
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - 2" barely off white head. Gold, straw-yellow color. Clear. Head has good retention and at 1/2" and leaves some light lacing.

S - Light citrus aroma. Creamy vanilla.

T - Tangerine like citrusy hops. Fresh and tangy. Light toasty malt undertone. Vanilla. Light bitterness in finish.

M - Light body with medium carbonation.

D - Good drinkability. Smooth pale ale that would be easy to session.

MUSHROOMCLOUD, Feb 13, 2007
Photo of msubulldog25
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first Firestone Walker beer, sent by Wasatch. A 12 oz. bottle, poured to a standard pint glass.

A: Aqueous pale amber, with a slight haze. Started with a 3/4 finger white head, which dwindled to a thin film. A few lazy streams of carbonation.

S: Malty, lightly toasted grain, a little lemony. A mild sugary sweetness draws me in...

T: Tasty malty breadiness with an ample hit of green hops - herbal, almost vegetable-like greenness.

M: Clean, crisp & smooth. A slightly tart and dry finish gives this beer a summery, refreshing quality. Medium body & lightly tingling, carbonated mouthfeeel.

D: Easily drinkable, nothing bad about this one. A sessionable light-tasting, smooth pale ale. Worthy of a try...

msubulldog25, Feb 11, 2007
Photo of Talisker
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very drinkable hop-forward session beer - absolutely worth a try.

Not the typical APA hop showcase - closer to a British style in flavor. More than just a clear yellow thirst-quencher, though, with a genuine personality and very nicely integrated taste profile.

Pours a clear yellow with a nice one finger of head. Crisp, refreshing nose with a very hoppy aroma - some citrus, but distinctive (non-American hops, maybe?). Taste follows nicely. Enough malt for some body, but generally crisp, dry texture. Finish matches the nose and flavor - nicely integrated.

Not remotely an extreme or over-the-top beer - the kind of nicely made craft beer that you could spend an afternoon with, especially if you like that hop crispness. My favorite Firestone Walker beer.

Talisker, Feb 08, 2007
Photo of neonbrown82
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer was sent as a bonus, thanks to Zorro. One of the best pales I've yet tasted, and I've had quite a few, so it is not often I will rave about one. I really can't wait to try the Firestone 10 based on how amazing this simple pale ale is. This is not only the first oak aged pale I've had, but as far as I know it is the first beer I've had that was fermented in a burton union system.

The beer looks great. It pours to a clear golden yellow color with a crisp carbonation supporting a thick fluffy white head. Lacing is pretty spotty, on the other hand. Retention is alright.

The smell is wonderful. Nice mellow pale malty sweetness balanced out by a piny and juicy hoppiness. Even has a hint of oaky vanilla. Has a mellow creaminess about it as well. Very smooth and balanced.

The taste is just as exceptional as the aroma. Very clean pale malt flavor followed by the perfect balancing bitterness. Bountiful hops flavor in the finish. Subtle pine and grapefruit with a gentle lemon zest. The oak really smooths out the rough edges and adds a bit of vanilla and a feint barrel char.

The beer is medium in body. Carbonation is very smooth and gentle on the palate. Alcohol is undetectable, though I would expect no less from a 4.6% pale ale. Very creamy mouthfeel. I could drink this all night, and I probably would quite often if it were available in my area. Thanks again, Zorro.

Oh, and P.S. - Jim Cibak, we miss you over here in 3F's land!

neonbrown82, Feb 03, 2007
Photo of BlindPig
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- About a 1/4" white head on a clear orange body with hues of yellow.
S- Malt, orange, lemon, grapefruit, citrus hops, and that is pretty much it.
T- Citrus hops, and a malt background to help balance it out. Orange, lemon, and a light grapefruit flavor come out. A light bitterness lingers on the tongue a long with some orange and grapefruit flavors.
M- Medium body with low to medium carbonation.
D- It is a average pale ale. I like the more on the hoppy side but it is not bad. Really don't think I would buy it again. There are a lot better beers for same price out there.

BlindPig, Jan 30, 2007
Photo of mrmanning
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy Harry! Thank you! Pale yellow pour with medium white froth fading to a thin white ring. Good malted base aroma with mild pine hops and a boost of sugars. Decent hoppy flavour profile with sugared malt sweetness to balance. Slightly thin and watery finish. But would be very good for sessions. Glad I got to try it. Thanks Harry!

mrmanning, Dec 03, 2006
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from Phocion, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep yellow color, with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: Sweet citrus aroma dominates the smell. There’s a good complimentary hops aroma along with a background of caramelized malt.

T: The citrus sweetness that you get in the smell comes out first in the taste. The hops quickly follow and it’s a much stronger burst than the smell leads you to expect. Once the two flavors are introduced, the taste stays very well-balanced the rest of the way.

M: Smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, clean & dry finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down very easily, not filling at all, the only drawback I can see with this beer would be that you might look for something with a little bit more of a kick to it. Overall, it’s an excellent representation of style while at the same time keeping the beer lighter than most APA’s.

TheManiacalOne, Dec 03, 2006
Photo of aquaderek
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this beer into a tasting glass. The head is a nice creamy white lacing, with beautiful tiny bubbles and amber color. The nose is hoppy with subtle citrus notes. The taste is clean, crisp, and hoppy. I really love this style of beer. The drinkabililty of this is off the charts. In college, UCSB, I have many a fuzzy night due to the drinkabililty of this beer. Great beer.

aquaderek, Nov 21, 2006
Photo of Phocion
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bright clear gold with a thin head that quickly recedes, leaving decent lacing and just a bit of a frothy crown on top of the beer.

Strong floral and somewhat citric (orange grapefruit) hops aroma with a pleasant sweet and nutty malt background.

Not a bad taste, but no match for the nose. Floral hops balance nicely with the malts, but it is a little underpowered for the style.

Oily mouthfeel, but very clean and crisp. Low ABV and excellent balance make this a very drinkable APA that I could easily session. Not a particularly special brew, but nonetheless a solid offering I wouldn't turn down.

Phocion, Nov 02, 2006
Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,405 ratings.