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Pale 31 - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pale 31Pale 31

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

505 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 505
Hads: 1,701
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 9.54%
Wants: 68
Gots: 183 | 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 (83) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 505 | Hads: 1,701
Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden colored and clear with a small foamy head that retains a small amount of lacing around the edges of the glass. Strong apple aroma with underlying citrus tones. Mixture of apple and citrus tastes. Nice balanced hops taste that hits you midway through. Bitter taste that retains on your tongue when done. Not too bitter, though. Hops are moderate, perhaps a little stronger than most pale ales but not quite as strong as most IPAs. Overall a very good beer, becoming one of my favorite go to session beers. One of my favorite pale ales for sure. (556 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.77/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep straw with a chill haze. Short lived soapy head.
Aroma is zesty, floral, lemony,herbal and very hoppy. In the taste, grapefruit, orange and nectarine fruityness are apparent from the dry hop/ale yeast combo. A bit of lemon candy and pine are in effect as well. Mellow bitterness on a pale, salt water toffee like malt notes. Medium bodied, well carbonated, semi crisp. Overall this is an interesting pale ale, I'd give it another go easily. (453 characters)

Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
3.44/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle given to me by one of my good beer customers that he picked up while out in CA. Poured into a Victory pint glass.

AP: Straw gold colour. I can see my fingers through the glass. White head about 1" fizzling down to 1/8", either way it's not dense at all.
AR: Biscuit, cracker, caramel malt. There's some subtle fruity notes in the background trying to make themselves known: orange, grapefruit, pineapple. There's a floral aroma as well. Nothing is really jumping out and making a bold impression.
T: Taste if better than the nose, thankfully. Pretty much all of the above that were in the nose, though the malt base is more like toasty grains and the main hop note is pink grapefruit with a touch of floral lavender. As it warms a little a hint of lemon mixes in with the GF.
M: Moderately carbonated, body on the lighter side, fairly crisp with a semi-dry finish.
OV: A decent brew, but certainly nothing that is going to 'wow' you. Seems like this was made to be a simple sessionable Pale Ale with a kiss of hops on it, if so then nicely done. However, if someone just shoved a glass in my hand and said 'taste this' without knowing what it was or is supposed to be, I'd probably just say 'it's nice' or 'it's good' and not add anything to it. (1,258 characters)

Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
4.04/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass.

A - Mostly clear yellow-gold with a finger of white head.

S - Grassy, citrusy, and sweet.

T - Grassy and herbal hops, a bit of grapefruit and lemon, very slight bitterness, and a good malty sweetness. Well balanced beer, easy drinking, not detectable alcohol.

M - Thin-to-moderate body, moderate carbonation. It has a lingering bittersweetness in the mouth after each sip.

O - Better than I was expecting. An interesting hop profile, well hidden alcohol, and very refreshing and easy to drink. (535 characters)

Photo of minterro
3.79/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bought a sixer at Morgan's in Denver

A&S: On the larger side of hoppy, dominated by citrus hops in the aroma. Lively transparent straw yellow colored beer. About two fingers of fizzy head, that is retained in a thin layer throughout. Notiable

T&M: Pretty bold for a APA, tons of citrus hops (lemon). Not very balanced, but its the an enjoyable beer non the less. Crisp, but not overly carbonated. Medium to low bodied.

Overall: Super easy to drink, but still very flavorful. Nothing very unique, just another well put-together beer. Nothing out of the ordinary for firestone walker. (588 characters)

Photo of champ103
4.46/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at a few places around Houston. Cottonwood and BRC most recently.

A: Pours a clear orange/yellow color. A two finger white head forms with good retention and lace.
S: A great pale and biscuit malt character up front. Then a substantial hoppiness. Floral, grassy, minty hops. The great malt character and the hops are perfectly balanced.
T: Like the nose there is a lot of character here. Big hops that follow the nose. Floral, grassy, perfume like that is balanced perfectly with pale/crystal malts. Even lightly biscuit like. Then an enjoyable dry bite that pulls everything together.
M/D: A light to medium body. Very crisp, effervescent, and with a dry finish. The definition of refreshing. Incredibly easy and enjoyable to drink. Easily all day with this.

Excellent. If I can get this year round, this will be my new standard bearer for the style. I am so glad this is available on draught at the better beer bars, bring on the six packs. Nothing is over barring, and all in perfect balance. Which is something most "pale ales" now lack, and I would expect no less from this brewery. Let alone the great sessionable ABV. Very highly recommended. (1,158 characters)

Photo of StoneTSR
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: This is a bright beer. The pale, orange-yellow color almost matches the label on the bottle with a stark white head on top. The head foams up to about a finger and a half and then very slowly recedes until it caps the glass with about a quarter-inch of foam. Some very nice lacing develops at the top of the glass and eventually slides down the sides.

SMELL: A lighter aroma emerges from the glass once it has been poured, but sticking the nose into the glass provides a real treat; a wonderfully floral and slightly grassy aroma.

TASTE: A touch of caramel dances around the edges of a pleasant, but subtle hop flavor. The hops provide some citrus and a touch of grass.

MOUTHFEEL: It always surprises me how light this beer is especially after sticking my nose in the glass. The body is very light and it goes down incredibly easy. The carbonation just provides a very light tickle, which contributes to the ultra-drinkability of this beer.

OVERALL: This is simultaneously a very satisfying and unsatisfying beer. The lighter body, subtle hop flavors and lighter malt character leave the palate constantly wanting just a touch more, but on the other hand you can have more. At 4.9% this is a tasty, flavorful and easy drinking Pale Ale. (1,253 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 7.18.13

A - Pours a clear light orange with a one inch cream-colored silky head that fades very slowly.

S - Caramel malt, citrus hops.

T - Sweet caramel, honey malt with a slight hop bite.

D - Good carbonation with a light body and a sweet finish.

O - Sweet and light with a nice subtle citrus hop punch. (328 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Yet another Firestone Walker single I grabbed from the house of 1,000 beers. 2/12/13 damn this beer is over 4 months old.
A - Actually spot on for a pale ale good orange yellow tone with a 1/4 of head that pulls back to a hella sticky lace ring.
S - Piney, herbal, almost minty hops meets mild pale malts and a touch of sweet malts mostly crystal.
T - Clean dry hopped taste of floral and citrus variety, crystal and sweet cracker malts have a nice edge. Slightly bitter finish.
M - Light to medium, somewhat watery compared to other FW offerings.

Overall the flavor is great and the ABV makes it session able or chug able, if only I could find this by the case. great tasting pale ale. (687 characters)

Photo of Omnium
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours a nice yellow/straw color, fizzy one finger head, good lacing.
S - Grass, pine, dried flowers, some lightly sweet malt.
T - Those grassy and pine hops are most prominent to the palate, some minor spices as well, a little peppery, and a nice cracker or bread malt. Some citrus as well.
M - Dry and bitter, but still a nice feel.
O - Good pale for sure, the bitterness from the dry hopping holds it back from being totally sessionable, but you could definitely have a few of these. (513 characters)

Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.36/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours out a clear golden body with a fluffy white head.

Floral, grassy, and lemony hops with a bready and honey sweet maltiness.

A mild bitterness sets in yielding to a floral and grassy hoppiness and bready malt.

Light bodied and clean with ample carbonation. (264 characters)

Photo of bbluemzbeer
5/5  rDev +28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Awesome beer ! It does not get better this this one!

Appearance:: a light golden color with a creamy two finger white head, which remained through and left great lacing. '

Smell: It was out of this world! It had oanges, floral notes and hops

Taste: Citric hops were perfectly balanced caramel malt presence. A very well rounded beer. Goes down smooth!

Mouthfeel: outstanding! It was nice and crisp and had a good smoothness and creaminess.

This beer is great of session beer you will ever find. It was wonderful balance, with some nice hop presence without being too bitter (579 characters)

Photo of WBMiller
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance = Bright gold. A quarter inch of white head, great lacing throughout.
Smell = Clean, lively. Subtle.
Taste = Balance of sweet and bitter.
Mouth-feel = Medium, dry.
Overall = Initially, the beer comes of somewhat light. It's character becomes more apparent as the it acclimates outside the bottle. A charming brew. (327 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is a really nice, quaffable beer. Session? Yes. It's easy drinking with just the right amount of bite to demand notice, but not a tongue scraper. It looks delicious; off golden, clear pour with a huge white fluffy head. Spotty lacing.
Open aroma of floral and citrus with some light cracker underneath.
Flavors are light but powerful. Citrus zest blends well with the floral perfume-ness and the cracker brings it together nicely.
A bit light on the malt for a APA. This is almost like a light IPA. Very drinkable. Really liked this one. (545 characters)

Photo of WanderingFool
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pale 31 pours a clear honey yellow with a moderate sized creamy head on top. The foam fades away quickly leaving behind lots of spots of lace on the glass.

The aroma has nice sweet malt notes with some citrus hop mixed in. Notes of lemon and pine plus a touch of honey and cereal malt.

Each sip of this medium bodied beer is smooth and creamy with moderate carbonation. The flavor is more sweet than bitter. Cereal malt, honey and a little biscuit along with a touch of light fruit (mango?) are balanced with lemon citrus and a little pine. It finishes with a mild grassy bitterness. Once gone the honey and grass lingers on the palate.

An easy drinking beer that leans sweet. It could use a little more bitterness to balance it out. (736 characters)

Photo of jdhowe
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle (bottled on 2/12/13) into a pint glass.

A: Pours a beautiful, clear golden color with a half finger of white, quickly dissipating head. Very nice to look at.

S: Smell is crisp and clean, with hops and sweet fruit making up the primary notes. Nothing overwhelming or complex here -- just, pure, simple, good.

T: A bit of a let-down, but very drinkable. Malt and citrus dominate with a little hint of hop bitterness rising and then overstaying its welcome. The hop flavors don't seem prominent nearly so much as in the nose, and this is a disappointment. Not bad, but not as good as I had hoped after seeing/smelling it, either. I would expect more hop flavor from something dry-hopped and wonder if this bottle might not be too old.

M: very drinkable. Carbonation that fills the mouth lends itself to a refreshing drink that finishes smoothly, if maybe a bit overly bitter for a refreshing sessionable drink.

O: Good beer. Not great, but good. I would like this much more if there were either more hop flavor or less hop bitterness, and I feel like they've missed the balance with this one. That said, it doesn't ruin the beer by any stretch of the imagination, and I would be happy to drink this again in the future. (1,247 characters)

Photo of tzieser
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

bottled 8/26/13.

A: pours a clear, bright golden color with a fluffy white head. very good carbonation. seems like firestone-walker always brews a great looking beer.

S: a light citrus hop aroma with a subtle grassy character. sweet and bready malts are there. dry hopping works wonders here.

T: complex hop profile. starts off a bit on the citrus side but ends with a touch of grass/pine bitterness. the lingering sweetness from the malt bill keeps everything nicely balanced, if a tad sweet side as it warms.

M: smooth mouthfeel with a nice bit of carbonation.

O: a pretty underrated pale ale. i'd put this ahead of sierra nevada any day but the price point is a tad high. recommended. (694 characters)

Photo of RaulMondesi
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6er from the local grocery and just did it.

This is a goodie. Like, your girlfriend just walked into the door with a bag from Victoria Secret, "goodie." Pure golden Pale like a tropical sunburst, which then leads to so fresh and so clean flavors.

Go now and get it. Go now and get it good. (304 characters)

Photo of obrike
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a sixer on the recommendation of my beer guy.

Pours a light golden orange with a thin white head...disappates fairly quickly and leaves just a bit of lace.

I really enjoyed the scent...especially considering this has under 5% booze. Citrus, mainly orange and cantelope hops and a bit of sweet malt. Impressive.

Had a good dose of hops over a solid caramel malt backbone. Citrus hops with a hint of pine. A tiny bitter bite at the end, but well balanced. Super easy drinking. Almost goes down like a light beer...but with actual hop taste!

I think this is a nice summer/pool pale ale. Well balanced with low abv means you can have quite a few in a sitting and maintain. A little pricey, but if you're looking for a tasty sessionable pale aler with a good hop profile...look no further. (795 characters)

Photo of MadCat
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A very clear golden yellow, with a short white head that leaves good lacing

Smell: Very aromatic hops, piney, herbal, and a little grapefruit

Taste: More piney hops, with some grapefruit in there, some bitterness on the finish, though not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Light body, full carbonation, good for this style.

Overall: A very good beer, and a very good example of this style. (396 characters)

Photo of dar482
3.57/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The color is a golden copper pale color.

The flavor has a huge round grain maltiness at the end. The hops in this beer are quite light, nothing too powerful.

The mouthfeel is a bit light, but the malt roundness really gives it some decent body.

In the end, I prefer the sweetness and juiciness that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has. (329 characters)

Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 11/15/2012. Pours lightly hazy golden amber color with a nice 1-2 finger dense white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange zest, floral, light grass, light pine, light honey, bread, and floral earthiness. Very nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of hop notes with a moderate malt balance. Taste of grapefruit, orange zest, lemon zest, floral, grass, light pine, bread, light honey, and floral earthiness. Light floral pine bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, citrus zest, floral, light pine, bread, and light honey after the finish for a bit. Very nice balance of hop flavors with a moderate malt balance; and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and fairly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is damn good session pale ale! Very nice balance of hop and malt flavors; and extremely smooth to drink. No complaints at all, really enjoyed this one. (1,171 characters)

Photo of vkv822
3.51/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz : Teku
bottled on 01/02/13

Pours a clear golden with a foamy, craggy white head and nice lacing.

Aroma and taste both consist of citric hops upfront, balanced out by a pleasant biscuit malt backing.

Medium body with average, foamy carbonation.

Nothing particularly outstanding, but an easy drinking, well done APA. Hoppy upfront but well balanced overall. (364 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.67/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Nabbed a sixer at my local Vons grocery store. "California Pale Ale Dry Hopped." 4.9% ABV according to the label (not 4.8 as currently listed; I chalk it up to batch variation). Bottled 02/20/13 - that makes this less than two months old, and it's been refrigerated the whole time. 12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard branded pressure cap served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live.

Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a four finger head of beige colour, fair cream, decent thickness, and pretty good (~4 minute) retention. Body colour is a clear pale copper. Not very vibrant. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Typical of the style; it's generally appealing.

Sm: Generic floral hop notes. Light citrus. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. Pale malts. A mild to moderate strength aroma. Light hop oil.

T: Pale malts, floral hops, light hop oil. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Boring and bland for a pale ale, but passable. A bit grassy. Imbalanced. Decently built. I'm unwderwhelmed.

Mf: Smooth and wet. A bit oily. Adequate carbonation. It's thin and weak. Suits the flavour profile okay, but it's very wanting.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable for what it is, but very pedestrian. Another underwhelming brew from Firestone Walker. I wouldn't get this again. Hides its ABV decently. Meh.

C- (1,509 characters)

Photo of makersmarkers
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Smells pleasant, floral and sweet. Hoppy in aroma but less so bitterness. Tastes similarly: a very balanced flavor profile on this one, with perhaps more floral notes than I'm accustomed to with a pale ale. Feels full-bodied on the tongue with plenty of carbonation and goes down smooth. Sessionable? Absolutely. Overall, a fine example of a pale ale. Recommended.

Update: My feelings on this beer have not changed, but my interpretation of the rating scale has. Consequently, I have adjusted my points to what I feel it truly deserves. I think that a little over five times out of ten, I'd grab this over Sierra Nevada if given the choice, all other things being equal. It's that good. (687 characters)

Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 505 ratings.