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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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 514 | Hads: 1,748
Photo of barleywinebrewer
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

what a fascinating extra from a recent trade. There's lots of reviews (131) already posted and given I hear most often about this brewery for their bigger beers its neat to be able to try this beer.

this was a nice golded colored brew with a pleasent hop character. I had this on a very hot day with a barbeque diner. I would recommend this beer for a nice warm weather session beer. low abv and a nice clean hop flavor. yeah, this worked.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 finger of sticky off white head sat atop my pint of beer after I poured it from the bottle.
As I drank it there was a decent amount of lacing left behind.

Deep gold to light copper in color with a good amount of carbonation visible within the beer.
Only slightly hazy.

Good looking beer.

Aroma was nice with a fresh Hop presence and some mild malty sweetness.

First thing I noticed after tasting was the extremely light mouth feel. I immediately thought that it was too light. Nothing changed my initial reaction as I consumed the remainder of the beer.

Strange flavor profile as I noticed not much up front flavor and also no real lingering finish.

The entire flavor you experienced was "in the middle."

This beer could really stand an infusion of a little malt body and flavor during the tasting experience. (And I'm a hop head, so that's saying something)

Flavor was citrus with some lemon/grapefruit notes and again, not much of a finish.

I admit I was slightly disappointed for what is supposedly the "Best Beer in America" from Men's Journal October 2006.

One man's opinion. No it's not

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.82/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my Nugget Nectar pint glass

A: Light orange with a thin white head that recedes waay too quickly leaving a tiny ring

S: Citrus hops with sweet orange make a presence with a mild caramel sweetness in the back.

T: Thin in body with a very mild hop presence. Starts off with a little citrus (orange) hoppiness and is followed by a pleasant caramel sugary sweetness

M: Thin and sweeter than i'd like but the carbonation makes up for it.

D: For 4.6%, this goes down easy but I'm not sure how many more I'd want

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Photo of bulletrain76
3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. Gold color with a firm white head. Hoppy and bright aroma, with some toasted malts. The flavor is light and drinkable, but with a nice hoppiness and medium bitter finish. I'm still not sure if they actually changed the recipe from the old pale ale, but the samples that I have had do seem hoppier and more flavorful than the old stuff.

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Photo of charlzm
4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed at Firestone Walker Tap Room, Buellton, 05/25/08.

Light golden and very clear, this brew had a few stray bubbles rising through it, just enough to keep some lacing on the sides of the glass.

Aroma is floral and grassy with some Pacific Northwest notes (pine, grapefruit).

Beer is light bodied and lively on the tongue. Sweet crystal malt profile is balanced by floral and fruity hops. Some bitterness, but mostly clean on the finish.

Not as big as a traditional non-traditional west coast APA, which is to say balanced and drinkable. Might be a good gateway beer with which to lure the beer-lover-to-be.

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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 rousee
4.35/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange apricot color with a hungry lush head of foam. Nice fluffy lace remains on sides of glass. Aroma of grapefruit and other sour fruitiness upfront with some musty cider-like quality in the background.

Taste is a nice citrus burst that with a good malt background. Hoppy but balanced -much more like a real APA versus an American version of British pale ale.

Very smooth and drinkable. One of the better APAs Ive had. It reminds me a little of Stoudt's APA but I think this one might even be a little better.

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Photo of bcm119
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Pale 31" is light gold/amber with a thin white lace. Light aromas of citrus zest and a wisp of grain. Squeeky clean pale malt flavors with snappy bittering. A little cereal grain sweetness comes through in the middle, but quickly fades to a quenching dry finish. Thin but vibrant and bubbly on the palate. Fairly long, clean finish with some herbal hops and mineral in the aftertaste. Overall a pleasant and very clean pale ale, good for quaffing but not terribly exciting. Drinkable, but not interesting enough for a long session.

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Photo of dsigmon
3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I agree with overlord on this one. Not my style of pale ale at all. Pours an amber color with offwhite head. The best part was the smell. Nice floral and hop aroma with some biscuit and caramel undertones. Hits the palatte with a one liner hop profile which just happens to be one that I do not enjoy. The malt and biscuit come in last to clean it up but is still unbalanced and doesnt leave me happy. An ok pale ale but much better out there.

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Photo of Overlord
3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber gold. Not much head. Smell is floral hops, and the taste is unbalanced pine/grapefruit hops with maybe a hint of malt sweetness. Decent, surprisingly hoppy.

Mouthfeel was okay. Bubbly, appropriate for the pale ale style. A nice little pale ale that's expensive for the style, but good.

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Photo of Vansmack
3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear orange color with a 1" head. Some light lacing develops. The aroma is nice as floral hops and oranges are easily detectable. The flavor was nice as malt and floral hops were nicely balanced, but the malt came across as slightly sweeter than other pale ales. The citrus (orange tones) were quite strong.

The mouthfeel was smooth and it had a medium body. The finish was relatively short with bitterness and citrus lasting on the tongue. Nicely drinkable, but the sweetness may be a turnoff to some here.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely drinkable pale ale. No fireworks or whistles with this one. Just a simple, straight up pale ale.

Pours a gold color. Mostly clear. Thin white head that all but dissolved. Nose was malts and hops. Nothing of remarkable interest but it smells good.

Flavor is straight pale ale. Malts are bready and finish dry. Hops are floral and a bit piney. Nothing remarkable about this beer but that it is a solid pale ale. Dry finish that makes this beer even more easy to drink.

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Photo of illidurit
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Red in Santa Cruz. Surprisingly appropriate pour yields a full inch of head, barely cresting atop the pint glass. Amber-orange in color. Some nice lacing mars the glass.

Aroma is typical of west coast hoppy pale ales. Lots of citrus with a decent maltiness for balance.

Flavor is a pretty even duel between grapefruity hops and grainy malt. Pretty tasty.

Mouthfeel is exemplary, drinkability is high.

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Photo of largadeer
4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Clear gold with abundant head and lace.

Smell: Floral hops, citrus, a hint of grain. Fresh and mild, doesn't jump out much, but it's very pleasant.

Taste & mouthfeel: This brew opens with a malt character of cereal and freshly baked bread, leading way to a perfect floral hop bite. Very mellow in the finish, with a hint of citrus remaining on the tongue.

Drinkability: This stuff goes down ridiculously easy; it's gone before you know it. The ideal session beer.

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Photo of Pencible
3.97/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured a clear gold with a little off-white head. It smelled like lemon and pine hops mixed with malt. It tasted like copper hops balanced evenly with malt. It was pretty thick and oily with a little carbonation, and had a very mild bitter aftertaste. Overall this was a good pale ale, but nothing too special.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was the second of my Firestone selection that I had this evening. It was quite nice to have a decent amount of their regulars around fresh to try. I popped this one open and poured it into my pint glass. Very nice medium amber colored ale came forward, with a bit of a bright golden yellow touch to it. Very nice carbonation was evident from the very beginning with streams of bubbles coming through and rippling up toward the surface to reinforce the foam. A nice head had formed on this one as well now, with a three-inch high layer of fluffy white that really just settled down very nicely, leaving behind about three quarters of an inch that really just stayed put the entire time. Really quite nice looking, leaving a good amount of lace dripping down the sides of the glass as it went as well.

The aroma was very nicely hopped, classic west coast style pale ale all the way. Big aroma of floral citric hops coming off of this one now, not so much on the sweet side, as it was light and biting. A noticeable amount of grass like flavors now mixing in as well, really pushing the hops out in front, but as it warmed, some nice light grain notes began percolating up and mixing in well, giving a still light, but a bit more depth to it overall. The flavor followed along classically and was one of those west coast pales you could sit down and drink for about a week. Gorgeous carbonation profile here, really made it feel quite light and airy. The light floral hops really dominating this one, but never becoming harsh in anyway at all, really showing their lighter side. Nice touches of grapefruit and tangerine really pushing through, with a very noticeable light cereal grains coming through underneath. Very well balanced and very light with nothing really pushing forward and nothing really dominating. Perfect pale ale flavor hands down. If you wanted that light, refreshing pale, with the west coast hop zing, this one was for you.

Overall I thought this was excellent, really a very nicely down pale, with very little errors at all. Lots of nice flavors with a good balance between bready and cereal like malts and the light floral hops, very nicely balanced. I would have loved to have had a few more of these as well. Definitely, a high quality session ale and something that I do not think I would ever turn down.

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Photo of JDV
3.1/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light clear amber pour with a fading white head. Smell is very sweet hops. Fresh and vibrant at first, followed soon by a bit of metal. A bit thin overall and I get a flavor of tea in this one quite a bit, along with some light honey like malt. Good carbonation, and while not offensive, pretty average, and needs more of a strong malt backing to shine. Decent.

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Photo of dill
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

consumed as draught beer served in a pint glass.

A: pale golden color with a thin, white head.

S: citrus aroma.

T: hoppy with malt flavors, a bit of strawberry on the tongue. finishes dry and clean.

M: crisp mouthfeel. not too much carbonation.

D: nice balance, easy to drink.

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Photo of ojclark
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big piney hop aroma when first poured. Malt became apparent as hop aroma settled down. Clear golden/amber color with a frothy off-white head and minimal lacing. Very nicely balanced flavor. Malty, slight sweetness and caramel overtones nicely balanced by hop bitterness and a mellow hop flavor. Medium/light carbonation with a medium body and a fairly long finish. A good hybrid of British and American pale ale styles.

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Photo of WesWes
3.92/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a light pale and bisquit malt 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. It's got an interesting flavor palate, but I could kill a sixer of these easy.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle, single, purchased from the Hi-Times Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa,

A: Pours a macro pale yellow, with a white head that's a tad on the thin side, but has good retention and leaves some nice beer lacing.

S: Light smell of hops and malt, some oak.

T: Very crisp hop bite attacks first with some citrus and tropical fruits, maybe a bit of tangerine. Toffee and sourdough bread come in as the malt backbone, with a very nice vanilla note to end the beer, a gem.

M: Crisp, light and smooth, good carbonation, very refreshing.

D: This is a really good pale, up there with Anchor and Alpha King, possibly the best made in CA.

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Photo of marcpal
4.12/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Linkery, pint poured from tap

A: Pale golden color with two fingers of head. Clarity and carbonation both average.

S: West coast hop presence with plenty of floral aromas to it. Woodsiness was clearly present.

T: Pleasantly balanced with some maltiness right up front to match the hops. Not surprisingly lower in alcohol but borderline IPA flavors through the pint.

M: High carbonation but crisp and not oily.

D: Very drinkable beer, could session this one all night if only given the chance back home. Worth a try by all means.

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Photo of drumrboy22
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle received from bradford. Poured into Sam Adams glass.

Gold color with a small, white head.

Aroma was heavy, citrus hops. Grapefruit is prominent and smells delicious. Light malt aroma present.

Taste is well balanced and not overly hoppy.

Tasty, session beer. Moderately bitter finish. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of akorsak
4.45/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A 12 oz bottle courtesy of Zorro, my Secret Santa.

A: The pale ale is indeed pale, a soft light copper color. The ale is clear with only a stream of carbonation obscuring the view. A 1.5 finger head livened things up a bit, but it quickly receded.

S: The nose has a tangy aroma, full of citrus hops and stronger than I expected for an APA. A very enticing aroma with malty elements that balance out the hops.

T: A sip reveals a hop depth that really socks the tastebuds. Citrus flavor, strong grapefruit primarily, really grabs you up front. The hops are bitter but not intense, allowing a grainy toast flavor to mix with the grapefruit.

M: The hops make this beer. The citrus element that they add is flavorful and strong, a marked departure from most APAs.

D: The abv is perfect, as is the flavor. This is a solid APA, great taste and fantastic hop profile.

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Photo of bradford
4.65/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My go-to beer on the Central Coast of California.
Very hoppy, a bit dry, perfectly balanced, a low abv to make it oh-so sessionable.
Looks good. Dark gold in color with lively carbonation
Smell of floral hops
Sensational taste with the use of the right amount of specialty malts and hops
Mouthfeel is great. Very dry but also quenching and crisp
Drinkability is about as good as it gets for the style. I can see why Men's Health rated this as the best beer in America.
Fantastic, and I live directly in the middle of the two breweries. Great stuff. I can't believe my first rating of this.

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