Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Pale 31 - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pale 31Pale 31

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

520 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 520
Hads: 1,769
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 20.16%
Wants: 72
Gots: 210 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States | website

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 (85) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 520 | Hads: 1,769
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.

 559 characters

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

 303 characters

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.

 374 characters

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.

 596 characters

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.

 1,129 characters

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!

 1,821 characters

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.

 1,561 characters

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.

 633 characters

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.

 322 characters

Photo of TheMarkE
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
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.

 498 characters

Photo of Jdbateman83
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

 297 characters

Photo of LambicPentameter
3.96/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

 1,649 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
2.77/5  rDev -28.4%
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.

 512 characters

Photo of artoolemomo
3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

 1,693 characters

Photo of TrappistJohnMD
3.47/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

 273 characters

Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
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 -2.6%
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.

 453 characters

Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
3.44/5  rDev -11.1%
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 +4.4%
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 -2.1%
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.

 588 characters

Photo of champ103
4.46/5  rDev +15.2%
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 -0.3%
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 -3.6%
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.

 328 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.01/5  rDev +3.6%
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 +0.3%
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.

 513 characters

Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 520 ratings.