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Pale 31 | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
87
very good
534 Reviews
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BEER STATS
Reviews:
534
Ratings:
1,820
Avg:
3.87
pDev:
19.9%
 
 
Wants:
78
Gots:
238
For Trade:
0
Pale 31Pale 31
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 08-23-2002

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Reviews: 534 | Ratings: 1,820
Photo of sulldaddy
3.87/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of BrewDrinkRepeat
3.64/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.51/5  rDev +16.5%
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.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of chadlebald
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
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"

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Photo of budsboy
3.8/5  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.

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Photo of roblowther
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

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Photo of Duster72
4.62/5  rDev +19.4%
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.

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Photo of sparta2325
4.72/5  rDev +22%
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???

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Photo of zymurgy4all
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of jeffjfindley
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of techdiver
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of dermot
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of goschool
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

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Photo of bjohnson
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +3.4%
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

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Photo of malcontent
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of tonistruth
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
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

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Photo of HighOctane
4.54/5  rDev +17.3%
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.

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Photo of MUSHROOMCLOUD
3.83/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
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...

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Photo of Talisker
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.52/5  rDev +16.8%
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!

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Photo of BlindPig
3/5  rDev -22.5%
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.

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Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 534 ratings.