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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

1,400 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,400
Reviews: 473
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.91%
Wants: 63
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: 1,400 | Reviews: 473 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cbl2
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%

5/2/2005 $6.99 6 pack 4.60% No best by date.


Pours a crystal clear bronze in color with about a half inch of frothy white head on top that has some lasting power.


Fresh hop citrus bursts from this one, with an overriding presence of grapefruit in the nose. Reminiscent of Thai food, due to a touch of Lemongrass.


Crisp, clean and refreshing, with nice citrus and herbal notes. Grapefruit flavors are nicely backed up by some mildly sweet malts. Low alcohol presence makes this one a nice candidate for a session beer.

cbl2, Aug 03, 2006
Photo of BeerRun13
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%

Pours as clear as beer can be. A small, bubbly, white head is fed from below by a continuous bubbling. Some lace is left behind.
Kind of a citrusy piney balance with a malt backbone in the nose.
A damnfine APA. Soooo Refreshing. A wonderful balance between citrusy hops and biscuity/toasty malt.
Light bodied and niceley carbonated. A smooth yet hoppy finish with a nice tingling sensation on the tounge.
This may be the ultimate in session beers. Probably one of the most drinkable beers I've ever had.

BeerRun13, Aug 03, 2006
Photo of wcudwight
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%

Oh man....thanks BeerRun13 and NC Lotto BIF for introducing me to a very fine APA, that I otherwise would know nothing about. Isn't that what BIFs are all about anyway.
Pours a golden/copper color with a nice sticky beige 2 finger head that retains well. Spiderweb lacing.
Floral and candy aroma. Sweet smelling.
Mmmm! Bannana, nice citrus and floral hops but balanced out nicely by a sweet malt backbone. Good hop finish. Unexpected hop burps. This beer is nicely hopped with out being a hop bomb. Not over the top citrus hops like many IPA's outhere.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied.
Drinkability. Everyone should put this on there want list right now!!! It's that drinkable.

wcudwight, Jul 22, 2006
Photo of poluti
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%

Pours a deep straw-gold with a nice tuft of white head which slowly fades away.
Smells of citrus and hop goodness. I noted that I picked up a slight biscuit-like malt note. It smells good for a pale ale, not overly hopped and not overly biscuit malted. I did not pick up too much of an indication of alcohol being present.
I enjoyed the taste. It is an interesting pale ale with many flavors running over the palate and finishing with a little bitter hop kick. It is well balanced and the citus and biscuit notes work together very nicely.
It sits heavier than it looks on the tongue. It coats the mouth well.
I will pick up another six pack of this soon and drink it in the shade overlooking the pool.

poluti, Jul 11, 2006
Photo of scottoale
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%

From a 12oz. brown bottle, poured into a tulip glass comes a murky apricot, gold-amber ale with small off-white head. While the head settles to a thin foam ring, it leaves only dots of lace behind.

Has a nice earthy malt nose with some scents of citrus, mainly that of orange. Not a very sweet smelling brew overall.

The flavor, much like it smells has a nice earthy malt entry with a sweetness of mild honey which the hops then turn it to a nice citrusy clean finish. A little alcohol comes out in that finish but doesn't really have that warming effect. Good tasting APA in any case.

Good bit of body with moderate carbonation gives it a smooth, creamy kind of mouthfeel with a tinge of tartness.

Easy too drink and quite enjoyable...better than I was expecting.

scottoale, Jul 04, 2006
Photo of Wasatch
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%

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.

Wasatch, Jun 09, 2006
Photo of mithrascruor
4/5  rDev +3.9%

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours with a nice dark gold/light orange hue. White head is about a quarter inch. Lingers for a short while and laces the glass slightly.

Smell: A strong but not overpowering aroma of hops, accompanied by the scent of lemon and other somewhat sweeter citrus flavors.

Taste: An excellent balance of bitter hops and semi-sweet citrus. Not very complex, but quite nice.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and fairly smooth with mild carbonation.

Drinkability: A very drinkable pale ale. Plenty of flavor, but not overpowering. Furthermore, the ABV isn't very noticable.

Overall, probably my favorite pale ale. I'm not too fond of pale ales (or strongly hop-oriented beers in general), but this has a nicely balanced flavor and doesn't overpower. Probably not the best choice for hop-lovers, but everyone else -- take note. I'll have another, please...

mithrascruor, Jun 05, 2006
Photo of MiScusi
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%

The West is blessed with many fine American Pale Ale's, and Firestone has got to be one of them. It looks like your classic Pale Ale, with an light orange crystal clear appearance and a smell of fresh pine. Firestone Pale Ale gives you a dose of that West Coast feel primarily with its Cascade hops. It is crisp, has a nice carbonated bite to it, and is refreshing.

MiScusi, May 29, 2006
Photo of Derek
3.85/5  rDev 0%

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!

Derek, May 04, 2006
Photo of danielharper
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%

Purchased from the BP in Five Points, Huntsville, AL.

A: Orangeish body, thin white head that sticks around. Very clear.

S: Strong citrus aroma, some crisp hops, with some natural sweetness underneath. Inviting.

T: Nice sweet citrusy taste, good hoppiness, but with a bit of a strange astringent aftertaste that makes it slightly less pleasant.

M: Moderate, thicker than expected for a pale ale, but not nearly as thick as a stout or Belgian. Enjoyable.

D: I can drink a few of these at a sitting. Just a relaxing, easy beer that doesn't make my head spin.

danielharper, Apr 28, 2006
Photo of SethB2
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

This beer looks nice. Pours a perfectly transparent amber color with a one finger head and a nice amount of lacing for an APA. Smell is nice. Lots of hops on the nose. More than normal for the style. Also a small amount of sweetness there too. Reminds me of a toned down IPA. Taste is also very nice. Hoppy up front, leading the way to a roasted malt flavor. Very well balanced. Mouthfeel and drinkability are also very good. For a low ABV beer, Firestone has done a nice job here.

SethB2, Apr 16, 2006
Photo of lackenhauser
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%

Nice, somewhat darker gold color. Im suprised as to how clear it is. Decent hop aroma-very, very fresh citrus. Whoa!!! Great hop flavor. Not a trace of bitterness just straight ahead hop flavor. Malty backbone is balanced very well. Some lingering sweetness. Excellent body for the style and the low abv. Very, very drinkable. With the low abv this could go on all night. Damn I wish I could get this one locally. One of the BEST US pales I have had. Ever.

lackenhauser, Apr 14, 2006
Photo of TastyTaste
3.58/5  rDev -7%

Appearance: Clear light copper color, fast fading white head, leaving a little lace and some foam on top of the beer.

Smell: Nice hops in the nose, dry and citric, very inviting.

Taste:A little subdued, maybe underpowered, but not bad. Hops and malt are in harmony. Definitely a sessionable APA.

Drinkability: Because of it's low ABV and subtle flavors, sessioning and drinking would be very easy Thanks to Zorro for the bottle.

TastyTaste, Apr 14, 2006
Photo of JayTheFinn
3.23/5  rDev -16.1%

Firestone's Pale Ale was a surprise for me. I'm not a big pale ale fan to start with, plus I'd see this one EVERYWHERE, in all the liquor stores and even grocery stores! So i figured it was gonna be just another bland ol' pale...yeah, I know I know, it's a terrible way to judge...But boy was I pleasantly surprised! It had a wonderfully smooth feel but quite lively taste. Nice blend of favors. I'm not gonna rush out to buy more when there's so many other beers I prefer over it, but I wouldn't turn one down either! Their other brews have impressed me too. Hooray for Firestone!

JayTheFinn, Apr 08, 2006
Photo of BurnsTau
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%

Pours a transparent amber with small head that dissapates and no real lacing.

Smells of florally hops. Tastes is hoppy that's not too overpowering, keeps in balance overall. For this style the hops could have been a bit stronger, however it is still tasty Some strange aftertastes linger, perhaps because of the barrelling, but maybe not. Overall a pleasent brew, worth trying.

BurnsTau, Mar 21, 2006
Photo of blackie
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

appearance: The pour into my pint glass produces a .25" white head that soon recedes to a thin layer and a ring around the glass. The beer is a deep golden color with a small amount of yeast suspended throughout.

smell: The smell is up there with Alpha King, in my opinion. A great balance of beautiful, fresh, green, piney hops and caramel sweetness. Also some aromas of candied tropical fruits.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the high end of the medium range, and the body toward the light end of the medium range.

taste: Delicious. Definately hop balanced. The bitterness is moderate, and there's a flavor of steeped/boiled hop matter. The malt lends just about the right amount of sweetness, as well as some fruity notes. Finishes dryly.

drinkability: aromatic, tasty, and easy to drink

Received from Zorro in BCG BIF. Bottled on date of 10/11/05 is printed on the bottle. Underrated, I think.

blackie, Feb 02, 2006
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%

The beer is a gold color and only has a wispy, pale draught head. This beer has an incredible, fresh, hop aroma. I get notes of apricots, some peach, and of course some of the typical citrus notes. The aroma is just quite striking, and I really like the mix of fruit character that the hops evoke here. The taste is pretty light and refreshing and has a light sweetness to it that really helps to accentuate the fruity flavors from the hops. The hop character is definitely dominated by a fresh fruity character that is most evocative of peaches and apricots. This is really quite nice.

Gueuzedude, Jan 25, 2006
Photo of KroMagnon
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%

Slightly cloudy, decent white head, light copper-gold in color. The aroma is rather nice, though I get mostly malt - just a trace of a fruity-piney blend, probably hops and esters, it doesn't knock me out but the maltiness is good. The flavor is great - absolutely tremendous, a delicious rich grainy maltiness with some toffee and caramel notes followed by a clean bitterness that compliments the flavor very well. This is clearly a pale ale although its balance seems tilted toward the malt a little more than normal. I think this is awesome.

KroMagnon, Jan 04, 2006
Photo of pjwilson
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%

appearance: very pale, almost unpeallingly so. nice head though

smell: ok that's some nice hop aroma, i gotta admit. it's the kind of hops I like in a APA too. dry hopping.

taste: wow this is a hoppy beer. not very bitter though, almost under bittered for how hoppy it is. But i'm tasting chinook alot. there is no malt balance to this beer.
mouthfeel: here's were things go wrong; this beer is very, very watery. It so hoppy and yet it sort of feels like you are drinking water. It's not very fun.
drinkability: well i got a single and i'm going slowly and I won't buy this in bottles again. It's just too watery, smell just isn't enough to sell a beer no matter how great the nose is.

pjwilson, Dec 02, 2005
Photo of apintofknowledge
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Poured a golden, apple-juice color, slightly hazy with a 1/2" off-white head. The aroma was exceptional... I could smell it as soon as I opened the bottle, and it just got better when I poured it in my glass... aromas of pine and citrus, a wonderfully fresh and hoppy smell. The taste is relatively mellow and smooth... it may smell like a hop-bomb, but it's actually a very balanced beer... definitely a Pale Ale and not an IPA or a typically overly bitter West Coast Pale Ale (yes, a generalization, but often true in my opinion). While mellow, the taste is actually quite full and rich... it's initially mildly sweet with a grassy flavor, followed by a malty middle with hints of lemon peel. The finish lingers with a mild bitterness, earthy, woody and root-like flavors. A beer that's very drinkable, and can simply be enjoyed... but take some time to notice the subtle complexities of this well-crafted brew.

apintofknowledge, Nov 11, 2005
Photo of beerphilosopher
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle ...

Appearance: Golden honey, impressive head with good retention.

Smell: All about hops with this one. Cascade, with flowery notes up front. Subtle malt undertones. Smells great.

Taste: As expected, grapefruity biiterness offset with flowery flavors behind. Pleasantly hoppy, but the malt is not lost.

Mouthfeel: Moderately thin. Good clean finish and the right amount of "pucker" for a good IPA. Cleansing.

Drinkability: Iminently drinkable IPA. Good, strong hop pucker, but not overpowering. Drink this one with a good BBQ or steak before it gets too cold out!

Notes: I read this one is fermented in oak barrels, but I didn't really pick up on this characteristic in my samples. It's very subtle, but a nice touch! Likely why this IPA tastes as complex as it does. Worth trying!

beerphilosopher, Oct 17, 2005
Photo of mitchfor3
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle purchased at Bevmo in a six pack for about $7.

Disappointingly pale straw color with a thin and fizzy head with poor retention. Tons of bubbles hint at strong carbonation.

Mild floral aroma - not particularly strong but also not bad.

The first thing that hit my palate was a rush of carbonation, as suspected. Somewhat overpowering, and followed by a pleasant but too-thin flavor that was quite hoppy..

Overall, this beer was enjoyable, but not something I would seek out again. I was pleasantly surprised by its flavor, but it was simply too thin for my tastes. Still, because of that, makes for a surprisingly good session brew @ 4.6%.

mitchfor3, Oct 14, 2005
Photo of arizcards
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%

Picked up a 6-Pack at AJ's this month for $7.99.

This is a nice golden color that poured a good two finger head that has sustained quite well. Nose is of citrusy malts. Taste reminds me of an ESB as it has a stronger malt presence than anticipated at the start and finishes with a nice citrusy floral hop with the malts still present. Mouthfeel is OK, decently carbonated and heavy enough for the style. Drinkability is near perfect for a session. This makes for a great tail gate brew!

arizcards, Sep 29, 2005
Photo of UncleFlip
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%

Light honey colour, billowy white that fairly quickly disapates, leaving sparse wet lace behind.

The smell is all about the hops- and there's just a hint of hearty malt underneath.

The flavour is just what I like- nice and hoppy- and remarkably similar to the smell. However, there's not much that distinguishes this from other hoppy pales. The malt is there, and there's just a little spiciness on the aftertaste- but it's all about the hops.

The liquid is just the thin side of medium, and there's a slightly burning carbonation underneath it. Not bad, but a little more active on the carbonation than I prefer.

This one gets high numbers on drinkability. I think it's be a good session beer, filed under 'comfort beer'.

Be well

UncleFlip, Sep 20, 2005
Photo of merlin48
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%

12 oz bottle pours a chill hazed, honey amber body with an offwhite head that rises about one centimeter and stays there. Good patch lacing effect. Aroma is citrusy hops, with inviting esters of orange, tangerine, and grapefruit. Malty caramel is in the background, and there is a hint of vanilla from the oak barrel fermentation. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with crisp moderate carbonation. Taste features juicy citrusy hops, with orange and grapefruit lending a soft bitterness. Caramel and toffee notes serve up a pleasant malt balance. A hint of oaky vanilla adds a nice touch. The finish is clean, with a lingering grapefruit hops bitterness that is soft and mild. Very nicely balanced, and rather tasty. ABV is under 5%, so this one would make an exceptional session ale.

merlin48, Sep 17, 2005
Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,400 ratings.