Pale 31 - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pale 31Pale 31

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BA SCORE
86
very good

1,663 Ratings
THE BROS
85
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,663
Reviews: 511
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 10.97%
Wants: 69
Gots: 166 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,663 | Reviews: 511
Photo of TheMarkE
3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Nice shade of gold with good head that sticks around. Very good lacing and plenty of carbonation.

Smell: Grass, herbs, citrus, and malts.

Taste: Grass, citrus, herbs and malts.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, crisp and refreshing, with a bitter hop aftertaste.

The Verdict: Very good. About as hoppy as a pale ale could get without crossing into IPA category, and much hoppier than a lot of cheap offbrand IPAs without their nasty bitterness. Another winning brew from Firestone.

Photo of Jdbateman83
3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Im not a fan of hops, and this beer is a little hopy, but for a person that does not like hops its actually pretty good. The bitterness is controlled, a little much on the carbonation, but overall another finer from Firestone. This is by know means a light beer, lots of flavor, and lots to enjoy.

Photo of LambicPentameter
3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed along with a lunch--roast beef sandwich with horseradish and french fries--at the Bellagio while on vacation in Las Vegas. Served out of a 12 oz brown bottle with the bottling date 08/12/13 marked clearly on the base of the label and poured into a medium-sized goblet.

Appearance - Pours a transparent golden amber with subtle copper shadowing and maize highlights. Atop the body rests an effervescent and delicate-looking head of about a finger thick, the color of cream. Retention is moderate and leaves sparse lacing along the sides of the glass.

Smell - Bright and refreshing, with traces of grass and herbs peeking out through a bouquet of citrus notes and light acidity. The biscuity pale malts also shine through to balance out the sharper aroma with some bready roundness. Overall quite a balanced aroma.

Taste - Like the aroma, notes of toasted sourdough and butter cracker play with more astringent aspects of grassiness and pine, along with a more subtle citrus component at this point. Light bitterness like baby garden greens flashes on the finish and lingers for just a second on the aftertaste. Since it fades quickly, like many APAs, it makes for easy drinkability.

Mouthfeel - Light bodied and moderate carbonation, with a crisp finish and quickly fading aftertaste.

Overall, a balanced and highly drinkable take on this great style and it has plenty of flavor for a 4.8% beer. I would gladly order this again with food or to take home to crack open for an easy drinking beer that won't knock me on my ass. Unfortunately, it's not too common in my local market, otherwise I'd likely find myself drinking it quite a bit.

Photo of BMMillsy
2.77/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

On draft at Taphouse in Seattle. Worried they have me the wrong beer. Poured cloudy yellow with a bit of head in a pint glass. Aroma of some citrus and yeast funk. Flavor follows with what can only be described as a bad wheat beer or hefe. Dirty wheat finish, bits of citrus and banana, a touch of sweet citrus hops. Light mouthfeel. Whatever this was it was not good, and I can't imagine my favorite brewery FW would try to pass this off as a pale ale. Blegh. Will have to try again when I visit the west coast.

Photo of artoolemomo
3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up about a finger and a half of head which has little retention. The head is a pure cotton white while the body is a clear, medium amber which ranges from a golden straw to a pale amber when held up to the light. Some lacing is left near the surface of the beer.

Nose- Fairly subdued- there is a bit more presence from the bottle which shows some notes of apple and a strong, sweet honey character. The aroma from the glass is more typical of a pale ale- light citrus of orange and lemon with faint hints of pine and resin in the background. Swirling reveals a very clean and slight melon quality.

Taste- Starts off with the orange and lemon of the nose, moves into slight notes of caramel and honey before moving into a light bitterness of grapefruit, earwax, and some matchstick. Some slight mineral notes (most chalky) with cereal and biscuit in the background. The hops appear to be a little degraded as it is almost 3 months old but it is still a pretty good beer. Caramel and matchstick dominate a little more than I want them to but they aren't that big of a distraction. Good beer and a solid one at that. A little juicy, which I like.

Mouthfeel- A little more than light bodied with a slight hint of syrup. Just a tad bit too carbonated.

Drinkability- Very easygoing and very sessionable. At 4.9%, it's a little less alcoholic than my standards of SNPA and Red Chair but still quite good. A little bit pricier than those two.

Overall- Solid beer and a good representation of the style. Definitely worth a try. Something to keep in mind when you want a pale ale with a little more of a malt bill. Certainly won't be confused with an IPA like some pale ales.

Photo of TrappistJohnMD
3.47/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Light amber golden color. Almost no head. Served in pint glass at The Public House in the Venetian.

Smell is honey and apple.

Taste is sweet malts, apple and no bitterness.

Mouthfeel is almost flat but drinkable. Typical cask beer.

Overall this was good, but not great.

Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.6/5  rDev +20.1%
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.

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.77/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
3.44/5  rDev -10.2%
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.

Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of minterro
3.79/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of champ103
4.46/5  rDev +16.4%
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.

Photo of StoneTSR
3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of Omnium
3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.36/5  rDev -12.3%
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.

Photo of bbluemzbeer
5/5  rDev +30.5%
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

Photo of WBMiller
4.12/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Photo of WanderingFool
3.81/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of jdhowe
3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
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.

Photo of tzieser
4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of RaulMondesi
4/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of obrike
4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 1,663 ratings.