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Pale 31 - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pale 31Pale 31

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

514 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 514
Hads: 1,748
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 19.9%
Wants: 70
Gots: 203 | 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: 514 | Hads: 1,748
Photo of output01x
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. capped bottle (Bottled On 01/10/12) into a pint glass.

A moderate pour yields a 1- off white head that slowly recedes after a couple minutes to a thin, messy dusting and thing foam ring. The body is a clear orange gold with a decent amount of slow-rising carbonation bubbles. Thin lacing clings to nearly every available surface.

Light and sweet citrus hops aromas bring notes of mandarin oranges and tangerines. A strong caramel malt presence does a great job of balancing the nose.

Like the nose, each sip starts with sweet orange-like citrus flavors. Notes of peaches and tangerines give this Pale Ale a rather unique flavor. Swallowing the beer releases a floral hops flavor that combines well with the citrus flavors. As these fade, a slight grassy bitterness sets in that compliments the rest of the flavors.

The light body is easy-drinking and certainly refreshing. The carbonation is only slightly fizzy, making this beer crisp and easy-swallowed.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of the cask into a nonic tumbler at Church Key as part of the official Firestone Walker DC Launch Party.

Looks with a soupy but creamy off white head sitting on a nice cloud gorgeous twenty four carat body. Almost pale amber. Super lacing on the drink while finishing. Looks so delicious.

Bouquet seems to be a real soft floral hop, with a soft malt body. Small hint of crisp, but no buttery sensation that you would want to get from a cask.

Taste is wet, but also a great white dense bread feeling with a hint of sweet clove spice. Texture is an orange juice quality and chewy palate coating.

Overall out of the cask it's a little different, but it's quite tasty and super sessionable as well. This almost feels like a mix somewhere between an on tap and cask Ale, sort of a middle ground between both worlds.

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Photo of notsoprobeer
4.23/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Color is light golden yellow and is hazy. It has a white head that stuck around for most of the drink. Aroma is light, but I got some citrus. Flavor is mostly piney hops, and it's the predominant flavor in the beer. I was surprised to see that it was rated at only 38 IBUs. I expected it to be much higher. It has nice malts in the background. Body is light and it's very drinkable. Pale 31 has a similar creamy mouth feel that I noticed in Solace. I wonder if this is a result of fermenting in oak barrels?

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Photo of birdypowder
4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with an off-white head of mixed bubble size. Leaves just a little lacing.

Beautiful full hop aroma, delicious! Brillant yellow color, filtered star bright.

Medium to medium high carbonation.

Slight lingering bitterness with very little sweetness.

A delicious pale ale, one that is actually pale in color...not that it matters too much.

I could have 4 or 5 of these and be happy.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a light pale golden hue with a bright white head, fine speckled lacing. Aroma has brilliant citrus/tea leaf/herbal grassy notes. Pale biscuit malt breadiness sneaks out amongst the wave of hops coming at me. Flavors are completely cohesive with malts and hops working together so well. Below 5% this is some excellent hop forward session ale, biscuit malt delicate bready profile with citric, earthy, floral hops. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied sturdy spritzy carbonation goes down smooth. Drinkability was wonderful world class pale ale excellent stuff that deserves all of the accolades that they have gained recognition for.

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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 WAbeerfiend
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%

Bottled on 03.11.14.
Poured into a Mac & Jack's pint glass on 05.13.14.

A: See through yellow with a light head, which recedes quickly.

S: Flower. Some pine and grapefruit.

T: Pine, grapefruit dominate. Honey, flower are subtle.

M: Crisp. Has perfect carbonation.

O: This was somewhat hop forward. It was nicely balanced, but I guess that I expected that the hops would be stronger.

Rating: B

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Photo of makersmarkers
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

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Photo of DocJitsu
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this beer many times, both on tap and in the bottle. It has never tasted the same each time. Fortunately, this time (out of the tap), it suited my taste better than any other. It pours a beautiful golden color with a distinct citrus bouquet. No head at all, but this is likely the bar tender's choice in the way she poured to fit as much beer in the pint as possible. An easily discernible citrus up front with an alternating citrus and less present pine at the finish. A well-balanced grain and hop concoction. An excellent example of a pale ale. A competitor for Sierra Nevada as a go to, quintessential American pale ale.

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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 wcudwight
4.26/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Oh man....thanks BeerRun13 and NC Lotto BIF for introducing me to a very fine APA, that I otherwise would know nothing about. Isn't that what BIFs are all about anyway.
Pours a golden/copper color with a nice sticky beige 2 finger head that retains well. Spiderweb lacing.
Floral and candy aroma. Sweet smelling.
Mmmm! Bannana, nice citrus and floral hops but balanced out nicely by a sweet malt backbone. Good hop finish. Unexpected hop burps. This beer is nicely hopped with out being a hop bomb. Not over the top citrus hops like many IPA's outhere.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied.
Drinkability. Everyone should put this on there want list right now!!! It's that drinkable.

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Photo of Jackolope
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sometimes I'm surprised by beer and this is one of those times. I generally don't expect anything much from a pale ale that is available year round, but this beer impressed me. I originally bought this beer because it was on sale and I think firestone puts out some pretty good beers. The beer pours like any number of pale ales but the flavor is exceptional. This beer balances malt and hops in a way that really lets the hops shine through without being overpowering. Some people might find this beer too hoppy but this is where i find that this beer really separates itself from other pale ales. While maintaining similar bitterness characteristics to similar APA's this beer has exquisite subtle floral hop aromas and flavors that really make this beer enjoyable for every single sip. This is a beer you can sip in while working in the yard yet it still has bold flavor profiles that will satisfy your hop-foward palate. Do yourself a favor and pick this beer up when it's on sale or featured in a mixed 12-pack and you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of blackie
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: The pour into my pint glass produces a .25" white head that soon recedes to a thin layer and a ring around the glass. The beer is a deep golden color with a small amount of yeast suspended throughout.

smell: The smell is up there with Alpha King, in my opinion. A great balance of beautiful, fresh, green, piney hops and caramel sweetness. Also some aromas of candied tropical fruits.

mouthfeel: The carbonation is on the high end of the medium range, and the body toward the light end of the medium range.

taste: Delicious. Definately hop balanced. The bitterness is moderate, and there's a flavor of steeped/boiled hop matter. The malt lends just about the right amount of sweetness, as well as some fruity notes. Finishes dryly.

drinkability: aromatic, tasty, and easy to drink

Received from Zorro in BCG BIF. Bottled on date of 10/11/05 is printed on the bottle. Underrated, I think.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

5/18/08- Purchased at Piazza's in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into a random pint glass.

Appearance- Light golden in color with a 3/4 inch head. Lightly frothy and holds at a slight rim. Light lacing remains.

Smell- Very hoppy with grapefruit rind nose and a touch of pine. A slight toasted malt is hidden, but barely peeks through.

Taste- This one could easily pass an an IPA. It's got a very large grapefruit hop bite and a bit of pine needle flavor as well. Malt is lightly sweet and caramel flavored. Malt comes through more as you get deep into the beer.

Mouthfeel- A tad overcarbonated. Crisp, sweet and bitter lasting aftertaste.

Drinkability- I really enjoyed this IPA...errr, pale ale. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a hazy yellow color with a white foamy head on top. The retention and lacing were very good on this beer. The smell of the beer gives off a massive fresh citrus hop aroma. The smell of the beer seems very fresh, bright and lively. The taste of the beer is bitter with a good balance of malt and hops. There are fruity notes in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel of the beer is medium bodied with a solid carbonation and a clean crisp finish to it. Overall this one is very good, it pushes the boundaries of being an APA and IPA, this beer could go either way I think. It's very good though regardless.

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Photo of cerveza5150
4.27/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a burnt golden brown color with tiny bubbles of carbonation. The head formation is nice, but the retention turns kinda soapy.

Smells of spicy hops with some earthy undertones.

The taste is great - refreshing, hoppy, and just slightly sweet. You need to like hops to enjoy this, but I'll take this and it's relatively low ABV (4.6%) any day over swill at the local 5 and dime.

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Photo of mrpunan
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

In my quest for truly hoppy session beers, I tried Pale 31 early on and wasn't impressed. But I have returned to it, and found it to be a most excellent sessioner.

a- crystal clear golden light amber. Considering the dry hopping, i wouldn't have been surprised to see haze, but it is clear as a bell, making it look a lot like you are drinking a BMC. Your non-beer-nerd buddies will leave you alone on game day when you are all drinking from clear plastic cups.

s- pretty faint, again considering dry hopping. But it does smell good, like a distant IPA. Plenty of fresh c-hops and more muted pale malts.

t- very bitter for 4.6% (or is it 4.8%? bottle and website differ) and very hoppy. Malts are barely perceptible but there. This is pretty much hop juice, and it gets a lot tastier on the 2nd bottle. I've noticed this with other low ABV high hop beers, no idea why. But with the low abv, 2 is usually called for. Once I got the flavor, with the fantastic aftertaste of citrus hop oil, I have been craving it. Got another 6 today.

m- reminds me of natural cider, very fine bubbles. leaves a coating of hop oil after it goes down, yum.

d- off the charts. a hop head's session delight.

one thing i noticed: this beer really needs to be fresh. maybe the lower abv doesn't do as much to keep the hop flavor fresh compared to 7% IPAs, but if you get can't get this on tap, look at the neck carefully and you'll see the bottled-on date. My latest 6 was bottled a month ago, but my prior one was 2.5 months before i drank it, and the younger beer is much hoppier.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

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Photo of dickroop
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Scored a sixer of this west-coast stuff at State Line Liquor - had never heard of it before!

Its color could almost pass for Miller High Life - straw with not much head. The give-aways are that it's hazy, not see-thru and the lacing is promising. The smell is also promising - a little sweet, lots of phenolic hops with some citrus and floral notes, against a faintly earthy backdrop. Mmmm.

Taste does not disappoint. Malt sweetness is very muted, and bitterness appears at the back sides of the tongue right away, gentle but persuasive. There's a topnote of malt, faintly bready or biscuity, but the finish is dry and clean. Mmmm, again.

The mouthfeel is light, there's some chewiness, and some really nice zing that comes from ?? somewhere. Drinkability? This brew is Super-Sessionable! With a 4.8 ABV, this ale is for sustained enjoyment. What a treat. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Dlish
4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

First off can't believe I have not reviewed this beer yet. Its pretty much go to 6pack and is a great session beer to get the night started. Being i've had a keg of this for my birthday I might be a bit bias.

A- nice golden color, its the American beer color you think of. Golden crisp, with a white head that thinly laces the edge.

S- Smells hops, and it being they use the three C's Cascade, Centenniall and chinook. Although the hops are very faint, to be fair this beer is cooler than normal. The malt profile is hint in the background.

T- The hops really come through in the taste. Nice herby balance, that is refreshing. The clean bitterness flows great into the light and sweet malt profile. This beer could almost be a pale/honey blond beer with how sweet but warm the malt profile is. This beer does not try to be in your face, (nor are most firestone beers) its perfection is in how clean and crisp it is, which is the American pale ale style.

M- Because of the sweet crisp style, it makes this beer incredibly easy to drink. That and its low alcohol content lets you polish off a 6 pack and not even worry about it.

D- I love this beer, I think I already made that clear. It might be a hometown pride, but personally I just think its because its that good.

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Photo of smcolw
4.29/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Modest start to the head. Leaves some streak and spotty lace.

Excellent hop aroma; half floral and half peppery.

Good malt start but it quickly devolved into a hop bomb. This borders on an IPA in terms of bitterness. Good body with a high carbonation level.

If you like bitter beers, this could be a new favorite.

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Photo of apintofknowledge
4.29/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a golden, apple-juice color, slightly hazy with a 1/2" off-white head. The aroma was exceptional... I could smell it as soon as I opened the bottle, and it just got better when I poured it in my glass... aromas of pine and citrus, a wonderfully fresh and hoppy smell. The taste is relatively mellow and smooth... it may smell like a hop-bomb, but it's actually a very balanced beer... definitely a Pale Ale and not an IPA or a typically overly bitter West Coast Pale Ale (yes, a generalization, but often true in my opinion). While mellow, the taste is actually quite full and rich... it's initially mildly sweet with a grassy flavor, followed by a malty middle with hints of lemon peel. The finish lingers with a mild bitterness, earthy, woody and root-like flavors. A beer that's very drinkable, and can simply be enjoyed... but take some time to notice the subtle complexities of this well-crafted brew.

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Photo of Bfarr
4.29/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark straw colored with thin white head with poor retention. Fruity sweet aroma. Delicate hops with nice sweet apple balance with a hint of pepper. Slight bitter linger with perhaps some pilsner aftertaste. Good carbonation that's not overdone and very smooth and drinkable with a light fuzziness.

This is a great drinking pale ale. Not too much hops but enought to keep a nice balance. Great mouthfeel and definitely a no brainer six pack purchase.

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Photo of merlin48
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle pours a chill hazed, honey amber body with an offwhite head that rises about one centimeter and stays there. Good patch lacing effect. Aroma is citrusy hops, with inviting esters of orange, tangerine, and grapefruit. Malty caramel is in the background, and there is a hint of vanilla from the oak barrel fermentation. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with crisp moderate carbonation. Taste features juicy citrusy hops, with orange and grapefruit lending a soft bitterness. Caramel and toffee notes serve up a pleasant malt balance. A hint of oaky vanilla adds a nice touch. The finish is clean, with a lingering grapefruit hops bitterness that is soft and mild. Very nicely balanced, and rather tasty. ABV is under 5%, so this one would make an exceptional session ale.

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Photo of microbrew52
4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours bright yellow with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a light pale and malty scent along with mild hop aroma and a light oak barrel presence. The aroma is quite complex and highly enticing. The taste is decent. It has a thin pale and bisquit malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes bitter with a nice hoppy aftertaste. The barrel taste really covers up the simple, yet refreshing pale malt flavor. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine pale ale.

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Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 514 ratings.