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Pale 31 - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pale 31Pale 31

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

511 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 511
Hads: 1,723
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 19.9%
Wants: 71
Gots: 194 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 08-23-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (88) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 511 | Hads: 1,723
Photo of thecheapies
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Golden pale with a trusty cap. Great retention.

Floral and tangerine hops with crisp grassy notes and a crackery malt. Light pine. Simple, but great.

Gritty bitterness with a floral touch. Nice citrusy notes of lemon and pith. Faint pine. Kiss of white grape, maybe. Very dry, effervescent finish with seltzery bubbles. Appropriate lighter feel and ease for drinking. Solid and fresh.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle stamped 03/04/14-22:38. Sampled on May 3, 2014.

The pour is golden to medium amber with a white head and good clarity.

The aroma has a nice combination of roasted caramel malts, sweetness, and a dash of earthy hops to add some highlights to the nose.

The body is smooth and in the medium range.

Interestingly the sweet caramel malts make way to a slightly peppery hop note. There is a modest hop bite at the end that reminded me of something like pepper. It was definitely not spicy but there you have it.

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Photo of tigg924
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, gold in color, high carbonation, clear

Smell: honey, pale malt, meadow

Taste: toasted English malt, honey, dry citrus hops

Mouthfeel: sweet with slight bitterness towards the end, medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation

Overall: An above average sweeter APA with California style hopping. Above average for a pale ale. If I wanted a pale ale, I would certainly reach for this.

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Photo of Foyle
3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: sudsy 1" off white head recedes quickly with nice lacing. Color is clear rich gold with mild streaming carbonation.
Aroma: citrus and floral aroma dominates, some caramel and bread dough in the background. Mouthfeel: light and somewhat sticky mouthfeel with a somewhat dry finish.
Flavor: balanced hop and malt flavors. The sweet caramel and bready malts lead the way, followed by citrus and then a lingering bitterness in the swallow.
Overall: a pleasant pale ale and representative of the style.

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Photo of papat444
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle, bottled on Mar. 19, 2014.

Pours a clear gold body with a frothy head and decent retention. Very grassy hops in both the aroma and flavor but has a vegetal quality that i'm not too fond of. Lemony and soapy as well but not a fan of this one very much.

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Photo of cbutova
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Poured from the 12oz bottle to my glass with a fairly clear golden yellow body. A cap forms on the brew to about a finger but the fizzy texture alludes to me the poor retention. The head dies down to a small ring that leaves spotty lacing.

S- Aroma presents a nice blend of malts and hops. Prevalent aromas are of cracked cereal grains, citrus and floral hops as well as yeast bread and light fruits. A bit faint compared to some APAs but I don't have to stress too much to pick up what's happening.

T- Follows the nose and presents a balanced APA flavor. The hops are crisp with mostly flavors of citrus zest and oil as well as floral notes. They do bring slight herbal and spicy hints but those are secondary. Base of cereal grains, biscuit, lightly sweet and crystal malts with a fruity bready American Ale yeast coming into play.

MF- Light bodied with a crisp, creamy texture that has some fizziness to it. Carbonation at a high end level which lends that crispiness and helps the hops shine. Light bitter finish.

Simple but enjoyable APA that provides a nice mix of Cascade citrus with some spicy, floral hops as well. Crisp and refreshing.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.44/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a clear, orange gold. A half an inch of white froth settles on the beer's body. Laces well.

S-Balanced, even leaning toward the maltier side. Sweet honey, white bread and some floral hoppiness.

T-Maltier. The malt reminds me definitely of honey. Malt is relatively airy but more forward than the hops. Hops give me some light flavors of flowers and sweet orange.

M-More body than I thought would be there. Lots of soft bubbles.

O-A bit disappointing. I was able to put down my pint very quickly, though because none of the flavors were actually off putting.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

From Beer Cartel.. 11/05/13 ??? hmmm

A - clear straw, nice fluffy one finger heads stays nicely. Lovely spotty lace.

S - nice mixed citrus, apricot, floral hop notes..

T - well balanced, more generic citrus, peach, moderately hoppy.

M - quite light in mouth, almost soft drink like.

O - solid solid solid for style. I am wholly unsure of the freshness given the date on the bottle, but it seems to hold its own quite well. Clearly an entry-level beer, with no palate whack but that's ok too.

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Photo of FitnessForBeer
3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

From variety pack

A: light, clear beer that is straw colored Finger worth of head but disappeared quickly
S: light floral hoppy,
T: very sweet malt, mellow hop profile. Floral and citrus flavones come through
M: good, nothing to complain
O: not bad, just don't get the "wow" factor. Most important test I feel, would I buy it again? Probably not

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Photo of BeerLover99
3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: shiny straw body, trace white head,
very little lacing

S: mild lemon peel, grassy hops, hint of pine,
corny malt

T: lemon peel, earthy/corn sweet malt,
grassy mild bitter finish

M: med/light body, hint of oily feel,
mostly semi-dry crisp mouth

O: Nice beer, Firestone Walker makes good
stuff and this is solid sessionable/summer selection.
Not my preferred Pale Ale, little too sweet bready
tasting for me, but could throw few back at a hot
summer party. Also, fine gateway craft beer for
lager loving friend.


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Photo of ryan1788a5
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pale golden color with a dull haze. Fine bubbled eggshell white head settles shortly. Minimal spotty lacing.

S: Mango and tangerine. Sweet orange peel. Grainy and lightly honeyed malt base.

T: Orange peel, lemon, floral flavors, tangerine. Bitterness has a moderate bite. Oily. Grainy, doughy, and lightly honeyed malt base. Lightly toasted, hint of almond. Doughy on the finish with a lingering citrus rind bitterness.

M: Medium bodied. Firm, round, and somewhat silky malt backbone. Hop oils and astringency cut through the malt just a bit. Crisp, semi-aggressive carbonation adds a refreshing element.

O: This pale is somewhat of a tightrope walk, but a successful one. Great balance, as the hops have plenty of bitter bite, but share the spotlight with a substantial malt body. What's more impressive is that a somewhat larger bodied pale like this can still be so drinkable and refreshing despite that bit of extra heft. Balance really is the key to drinkability.

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Photo of scotorum
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 1/7/14.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick.

a: Clear dark gold with a finger tall white head which dissipated quickly to even surface foam and patchy lacing.

s: Barley malt.

t: Medium malt with some hop balance. Some slight fruit notes. Dry finish.

m: Light to moderate, good body.

o: A good solid, if not particularly exciting, pale ale. Would pick Union Jack over this at a similar price point myself, but those who dislike hop bite in their beer would likely prefer this or DBA, which I reviewed yesterday. This is more an American pale than DBA, but I might pick 31 over DBA as a summer refresher, if it were available then.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pale yellow with great clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Light tangerine and grapefruit with pale and bready malts.

Taste: Light hops and malt with some bitterness in the rear. Pretty straightforward.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, medium carbonation, crisp, refreshing, a little chewy, and enjoyable.

Overall: Pretty much as pale as it going to be. Short, simple, and enjoyable.

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Photo of CorbinB
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer pours with only about a quarter-inch head but bubbles vigorously, almost champagne-like. The color is a pale orange amber.

I get a faint, bitter citrusy bouquet in the nose along with a very mild malt aroma. Really, the nose is mild overall. But that's not what makes this beer so great.

As for flavor, I get grapefruit with orange rind balanced finely with a mandarin sweetness. The initial flavor is enhanced by a back-end hop bitterness and--it sounds crazy-- even a kiwi sweetness. Lively and light, bubbling mouth that delivers and doesn't linger. So refreshing and easy drinking that I could drink this at brunch or in the middle of summer sitting by the pool.

I don't review beers often but when I do it's because they really, really stand out. This is definitely one of those beers.

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Photo of jlindros
4.05/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Yay date, 1/07/14

Pours a pasty white fizzy frothy 1 finger head that fades semi slowly with nice frothy lacing, crystal clear pale pilsner color.

Nose nice floral hops, fruity too, hint grapefruit pith and melon rind, generic mild fruit, faint hint of malt under.

Taste fresh hops, more fruity hops, again mild melon rind and touch of grapefruit pith, generic juicy fruit and hint fruity bubblegum, fair bitterness. Malts add a touch of graininess and very light sweetness to balance. Little floral and very light resin and faint increasing pine note, also from the hops. Finish is dry, grainy malts, a bit more bitterness with hops getting a bit grassy and more floral and spicy even, hint of fruity notes.

Mouth is med bod, just the right amount of carbonation.

Overall pretty nice, nice hops, just enough malts, very drinkable and tasty.

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Photo of MichaelJames_82
3.54/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Golden color can see clearly trough the glass

A very malty aroma. When I first poured it had a very faint hint of floral hops which quickly dissipated.

Hint of Grapefruit. Not bitter at all. Very drinkable

Very Light bodied. Medium Carbonation

Very drinkable beer. Great beer after a long day in the sun. Goes down with ease. Nice session beer.

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Photo of Billolick
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, Brewed on 12/31/13.

Pours near clear, w/ bubbles continuing to rise. Off white head is moderate in size and leaves a typical film, collar and respectable thicker low sheeting and scattered lace upon a gentle swirl.

Nose is faintly of some piney hops/grapefruit.

Resin and more pine hops on the palate. Grapefruit comes to mind. Respectable and nicely crafted APA. As somebody else remarked this one does not blend the lines between APA and IPA. Aggressive? No. Highly sessionable? Yes.

Quite dry in the long and hoppy finish. Worth a try.

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Photo of a0lbudman
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-clear gold color with a large white had that lingers
S-orange and grapefruit with a good hop aroma
T-it begins with a combanation of orange, and malt then it turns tos more to grapefruit taste that goes tp a hop kick that stays with you for a while
M-light body and medium carbonation
O-solid pale ale

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Photo of BierJager89
4.41/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Amber/copper color, with a creamy white head.

S: Nose is loaded with citrus, as well as some grassy notes, and pineapple.

T: Sweet orange, pineapple, citrus peel and malt are well balanced by a dry hoppy bitterness.

M: Body is on the light side of medium, extremely refreshing, I could literally drink this all day.

O: This is delicious. One of my favorite pale ales.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

32oz growler from the Bowery Whole Foods. Pours a clear light orange color with a 1/2 inch of head. Minimal lacing. The aroma is sweet orange with some malts and hints of tropical fruits. The taste is some bitter orange peel, floral hops and malts. Slightly bready. A tad watery. Malt finish with more floral notes as well as some orange peel. Light mouthfeel, but it's expected considering the low ABV. This is a highly drinkable Pale Ale that would be great for summer. Hoping this gets canned one day. Overall, one of the more flavorful, lower ABV Pales I have had in awhile. I'd buy it again.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bright gold, very Pils-like appearance for a Pale Ale. Clear, few bubbles, very thin head that isn't lasting. The aroma is a bit more impressive: clean, citrus fruit hops with only a faint touch of malt balance. Smells like this is going to be a crisp, hoppy session ale.

The taste is as expected. Fruity hops start out with an IPA level of citrus burst, almost more grapefruity and tangy, before finishing with slightly more sweetness. The malt is very clean. The bitterness does not round things out too much at the end, so it leaves everything feeling a bit one dimensional after a few sips. I really like the hop character but there isn't enough else going on to keep it interesting. Mouthfeel is a bit watery but workable. Carbonation is very fine but sharp.

There is a lot of potential here for a go-to session ale, west coast style. Unfortunately Pale 31 doesn't really deliver. When I think of how this could be better, I imagine something by Sierra Nevada. I think that beer would combine a better malt balance, more superb mouthfeel, and sharper bitterness. This is decent, but I'm hoping for better luck next time.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.14/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a nice golden color with two fingers of a foamy gold tinted white colored head. The head has a decent level of retention, slowly fading over time to leave a great level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell - The aroma is strongest of some nice hop smells being a mix of a grassy and herbal hop smell as well as some grapefruit hop aromas. Along with these smells is a nice bready malt smell as well as a decent level of tangerine sweetness, producing a rather nicely balanced pale ale smell overall.

Taste – The taste begins a quite bready flavor right up front with some notes of caramel and orange. Some hop of a grassy and lighter grapefruit nature are there from the start as well. The grapefruit hop continues to strengthen throughout the taste and is later joined by a nice level of an herbal hop flavor. While this change in hop potency and presence occurs, more citrus sweetness comes to the tongue in the form of a bit of tangerine. A lighter buttery biscuit flavors also come to the tongue more at the end of the taste, with the combination off hop, malt and sweet leaving a smooth and very satisfying flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – .For a brew of only 4.9 % abv. the body of the beer is on the average to above average side in terms of its thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is a bit on the higher side. Both are quite fantastic for the flavors of the beer, combining with the crisp tastes and making it very easy drinking.

Overall – While not a union or double jack in flavor potency, this modest brew packs tons of flavor into a mere 4.9 % abv. Really, this is a very balanced brew at a more modest abv, with a great flavor profile and a wonderful drinkability. Fantastic for the style!

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Photo of Auraan
4.37/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a light amber with a thin white head that receded to a white ring leaving no lacing. It looks okay, but not as good as some. Scents of citrus-zest, pine resin, grapefruit, and faint hints of floral hops and malt. A bit more hop-forward than Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, with more citrus, grapefruit and pine. Very good, but not as balanced as Sierra Nevada's. Flavor begins with a moderate level of hops, with bitter citrus-zest, grapefruit and pine dominating. These flavors stick around throughout the sip. Towards the middle a bit more floral hop flavors come through in the background, but not heavily. Malt is present, though on the breadier, grainer side, not much sweet caramel or toffee like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Finish is dry with citrus-zest, grapefruit and pine resin dominating. Aftertaste is bitter with a grainy malt flavor. Pretty good. More hop forward and less balanced than Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, but not in a bad way. It certainly doesn't hurt the flavor profile, it just makes it a different take on a pale ale. Mouthfeel is light bodied, crisp and semi-drying. A bit less smooth than Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, more of an IPA mouthfeel, but not bad to drink at all. It makes you want to drink another sip right after you finish. Overall this is another good American Pale Ale. While not as balanced as Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, it has a good aroma and flavor profile that balance more towards the hop-forward side of things, while still keeping a sessionable ABV and providing a good drinking experience from the mouthfeel. I recommend it.

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Photo of lehueve
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a golden clear color with a white head. Nice lacing and good carbonation.

S - The aroma is probably the best part of this beer. I get some grass, herbs, grapefruit and some orange peel. Very refreshing

T - Kind of dissapointed on the taste. Is too watery but i can identify some citrusy fruits, grapefruit, orange peel and some tangerine.

M - The mouthfeel is light, as it warms up it becomes a little more creamy. Good beer for a warm day.

O - Good refreshing beer but for me not like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Torpedo. I could give it a shot again but under different environment in a warm saturday right after lunch.

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Photo of DAllspaw
3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the most balanced APA I have had. For me, SNPA sets the style, and is a huge favorite of mine, so very pleased to see this has a similar profile, owing to the cascade hops for certain.

I prefer the malt flavor of this a bit more, less Munich I believe than SNPA, this is a wonderful beer, great everyday drinker.

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Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 511 ratings.