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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

1,449 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,449
Reviews: 478
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 11.2%
Wants: 66
Gots: 90 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pale 31 Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,449 | Reviews: 478 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mikesgroove
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was the second of my Firestone selection that I had this evening. It was quite nice to have a decent amount of their regulars around fresh to try. I popped this one open and poured it into my pint glass. Very nice medium amber colored ale came forward, with a bit of a bright golden yellow touch to it. Very nice carbonation was evident from the very beginning with streams of bubbles coming through and rippling up toward the surface to reinforce the foam. A nice head had formed on this one as well now, with a three-inch high layer of fluffy white that really just settled down very nicely, leaving behind about three quarters of an inch that really just stayed put the entire time. Really quite nice looking, leaving a good amount of lace dripping down the sides of the glass as it went as well.

The aroma was very nicely hopped, classic west coast style pale ale all the way. Big aroma of floral citric hops coming off of this one now, not so much on the sweet side, as it was light and biting. A noticeable amount of grass like flavors now mixing in as well, really pushing the hops out in front, but as it warmed, some nice light grain notes began percolating up and mixing in well, giving a still light, but a bit more depth to it overall. The flavor followed along classically and was one of those west coast pales you could sit down and drink for about a week. Gorgeous carbonation profile here, really made it feel quite light and airy. The light floral hops really dominating this one, but never becoming harsh in anyway at all, really showing their lighter side. Nice touches of grapefruit and tangerine really pushing through, with a very noticeable light cereal grains coming through underneath. Very well balanced and very light with nothing really pushing forward and nothing really dominating. Perfect pale ale flavor hands down. If you wanted that light, refreshing pale, with the west coast hop zing, this one was for you.

Overall I thought this was excellent, really a very nicely down pale, with very little errors at all. Lots of nice flavors with a good balance between bready and cereal like malts and the light floral hops, very nicely balanced. I would have loved to have had a few more of these as well. Definitely, a high quality session ale and something that I do not think I would ever turn down.

mikesgroove, Mar 22, 2008
Photo of JDV
3.1/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light clear amber pour with a fading white head. Smell is very sweet hops. Fresh and vibrant at first, followed soon by a bit of metal. A bit thin overall and I get a flavor of tea in this one quite a bit, along with some light honey like malt. Good carbonation, and while not offensive, pretty average, and needs more of a strong malt backing to shine. Decent.

JDV, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of dill
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

consumed as draught beer served in a pint glass.

A: pale golden color with a thin, white head.

S: citrus aroma.

T: hoppy with malt flavors, a bit of strawberry on the tongue. finishes dry and clean.

M: crisp mouthfeel. not too much carbonation.

D: nice balance, easy to drink.

dill, Mar 12, 2008
Photo of ojclark
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big piney hop aroma when first poured. Malt became apparent as hop aroma settled down. Clear golden/amber color with a frothy off-white head and minimal lacing. Very nicely balanced flavor. Malty, slight sweetness and caramel overtones nicely balanced by hop bitterness and a mellow hop flavor. Medium/light carbonation with a medium body and a fairly long finish. A good hybrid of British and American pale ale styles.

ojclark, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of WesWes
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a light pale and bisquit malt scent along with mild hop aroma and a light oak barrel presence. The aroma is quite complex and highly enticing. The taste is decent. It has a thin pale and bisquit malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes bitter with a nice hoppy aftertaste. The barrel taste really covers up the simple, yet refreshing pale malt flavor. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine pale ale. It's got an interesting flavor palate, but I could kill a sixer of these easy.

WesWes, Feb 01, 2008
Photo of Halcyondays
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle, single, purchased from the Hi-Times Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa,

A: Pours a macro pale yellow, with a white head that's a tad on the thin side, but has good retention and leaves some nice beer lacing.

S: Light smell of hops and malt, some oak.

T: Very crisp hop bite attacks first with some citrus and tropical fruits, maybe a bit of tangerine. Toffee and sourdough bread come in as the malt backbone, with a very nice vanilla note to end the beer, a gem.

M: Crisp, light and smooth, good carbonation, very refreshing.

D: This is a really good pale, up there with Anchor and Alpha King, possibly the best made in CA.

Halcyondays, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of marcpal
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Linkery, pint poured from tap

A: Pale golden color with two fingers of head. Clarity and carbonation both average.

S: West coast hop presence with plenty of floral aromas to it. Woodsiness was clearly present.

T: Pleasantly balanced with some maltiness right up front to match the hops. Not surprisingly lower in alcohol but borderline IPA flavors through the pint.

M: High carbonation but crisp and not oily.

D: Very drinkable beer, could session this one all night if only given the chance back home. Worth a try by all means.

marcpal, Jan 09, 2008
Photo of drumrboy22
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle received from bradford. Poured into Sam Adams glass.

Gold color with a small, white head.

Aroma was heavy, citrus hops. Grapefruit is prominent and smells delicious. Light malt aroma present.

Taste is well balanced and not overly hoppy.

Tasty, session beer. Moderately bitter finish. Very enjoyable.

drumrboy22, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of akorsak
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

akorsak, Dec 22, 2007
Photo of bradford
4.7/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My go-to beer on the Central Coast of California.
Very hoppy, a bit dry, perfectly balanced, a low abv to make it oh-so sessionable.
Looks good. Dark gold in color with lively carbonation
Smell of floral hops
Sensational taste with the use of the right amount of specialty malts and hops
Mouthfeel is great. Very dry but also quenching and crisp
Drinkability is about as good as it gets for the style. I can see why Men's Health rated this as the best beer in America.
Fantastic, and I live directly in the middle of the two breweries. Great stuff. I can't believe my first rating of this.

bradford, Nov 11, 2007
Photo of Sammy
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Sessionable, serviceable, drinkable pale. Floral and citrus and malty aroma. Light colour with short-lasting foam. Tasty and citrus hops comcommitant with aggressive carbonation. Medium or less body. Slight better than average pale, average beer overall.

Sammy, Oct 12, 2007
Photo of viperpiper522
4.7/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a deep golden color with a 1.5 finger head that dissapates to quickly to give this one a 5. Good sticky lacing shows the gaps between big sips.

S- Out of the glass rises fresh citrus, pine, a light biscuit. You can smell some nice malt in there as well.

T- Excellent. Multiple citrus hits the tongue. Grapefruit, and meyer lemon dominate. It fades into a light balance of malt sweetness with major biscuit undertones. There is some fresh baked cookie in there as well. It finishes with a walk hrough the pine forest.

M- Light carbonation, releases a lusious palate. Velvety and smooth. The finish is dry enough to leave the palate with some light pine. Great residual.

D- It was so good I wish I had two more. Great trade Brad. Thanks, I don't think I could ever get it that fresh on this coast. It makes me want to move to Cali.

viperpiper522, Oct 06, 2007
Photo of Mryup
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Darker side of golden color spectrum with a significant white head.

S: Yes, it smells like a typical pale ale but WOW, I can really smell the oak.

T: Piney and citrusy hops are evident and the fact that this beer was oak barrel aged is apparent and adds to the beer well.

M: The hops are very apparent throughout. Medium-bodied and very well carbonated. Nice.

D: This may be personal preference but I don't find this beer exceptionally drinkable but seems great to have with the right meal. Not a "pounder".

An interesting beer. There are not many like it and that appeals to me. Something I would definitely have in my stock ready to go for the right meal. The site says Asian pan but it seems like it would go good with other things as well.

Mryup, Sep 29, 2007
Photo of theopholis
3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Pours an absolutely crystal clear amber. The head is quite impressive. A solid, white affair with some staying power. Also has a loose, but very sticky lacing.

Aroma- The 1st thing you notice very nice hop aroma, with pine and a hint of citrus. Some malt sweetness mixed in there. Very well balanced.

Taste- A bit overly bitter for the style. It doesn't taste bad, just not like a American pale ale. Overall good balance between malt sweetness and flavoring hops.

Mouthfeel- Crisp an light. The carbonation starts out strong, but finishes fairly low. Helps to push the hops to the forefront of the taste.

Drinkability- It's okay. Not great. Pretty much like all of Firestone's beers.

theopholis, Sep 24, 2007
Photo of Floydster
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pint from Bad Dog Ale House in El Segundo

Pours a very golden color with a one half inch head white head

Voted best beer of California in something I recently read

Perfect beer for a hot summer day

Highly drinkable, good APA

All pale should taste this good, worth checking out, but I am sure most of you already have

Floydster, Sep 10, 2007
Photo of sulldaddy
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I am sampling this brew at cellar temp and poured into a snifter. The beer pours a bright clear gold color with bleached white 2 cm of fizzy head foaming up. The head fades rapidly to a thin surface layer.
Aroma is fresh floral hops and some light fruit, white grapes I think. First sip reveals a light body and slightly watery texture.
Flavor is grainy malt and husk with a bit of white grape and again floral hops coming through. An easy drinker not very complex but well crafted. The body was a little thin, but it is a pale ale.

sulldaddy, Jul 29, 2007
Photo of SixpointJMH
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a fairly unassuming copper colour with a good sized frothy head that leaves a nice amount of residue on the glass after each sip.

The aroma is sweet with hints of caramel mixed with a floral and grassy hop aroma that has some hints of citrus to it as well. Perhaps a touch of spice as well.

The flavour is essentially more of the same. Sweetness is not as dominant here with everything meshing quote evenly instead. Juicy hops lead the way before mixing with a bit of caramel and moving a bit into the floral grassy notes picked up in the aroma. There seems to be a hint of bread flavouring here as well. Mouthfeel is crisp and fairly light bodied.

This is a hoppy Pale Ale, but it's not an IPA, which I was pleased to be the case. Too often a brewery will over hop it's standard Pale Ale and it just comes across as an IPA. This one does not and clearly holds it's ground in the Pale Ale category. It is an easy drinker for sure and is loaded with balanced flavour. This was a nice first sampling for me from the Firestone Walker folks.

SixpointJMH, Jul 09, 2007
Photo of BrewDrinkRepeat
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden hue, with an off-white head that dissipates quickly but leaves gentle lacing on the glass. Clarity is excellent, a very clear beer that shows well in the glass.

The aroma is subdued; a hint of Cascade or other "c" hops intermingled with a bit of slightly nutty caramel. Overall, a very mild nose, not as hoppy as many West Coast pale ales tend to be. I don't dislike it, but I kind of wish there was a bit more to smell, something more to entice me to drink.

This is a pretty well-balanced ale, with a gentle hop bitterness that gives way quickly to a nice slightly grainy flavor. As with the nose, a slight nutty caramel characteristic is detected, but not overpowering to the overall flavor of the base malt. A slight lingering sweetness on the finish. Medium carbonation, perhaps slightly more than I would prefer for a pale ale. Again, this beer might be a bit of a disappointment to those seeking a more typical West Coast-style pale ale as it is not aggressively hopped (bittering or flavor/aroma) but for those looking for a more balanced pale ale this might fit the bill.

A very nice example of a less-aggressive American pale ale, very drinkable and refreshing. Strikes me as a good warm-weather beer, and a nice accompaniment to a cold deli sandwich and potato chips after mowing the lawn or washing the car. This would also be a good "intro" beer for converting a BMC drinker to craft beer.

BrewDrinkRepeat, Jun 26, 2007
Photo of BeerTruth
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Zorro. Received this in the Summer Sipper BIF 2007.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a clear light copper hue with a white fluffy one finger head that dies down quickly to a thin lacing. Stickiness is very spotty, here and there. Very mild sweet citrus hop odor with a wonderful caramel/toffee malt blend. One of the best smelling beers in general I've experienced, by far the best smelling Pale Ale. Such a unique yet pleasing beer to put your nose up to. Taste is amazing as well. Once again, mild on the hops but clearly there. Citrus hops on the tongue but then the delicious vanilla malt flavor takes combined with a peppery-spice flavor. Aftertaste is very smooth and pleasant, sweet toffee like flavor. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation. This could very possibly be a session ale at 4.6% abv. Get you hands on this if you can.

BeerTruth, Jun 21, 2007
Photo of garymuchow
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
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 -2.3%
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 -1.6%
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 -1.6%
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 +20.6%
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 +23.7%
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
Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,449 ratings.