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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

504 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 504
Hads: 1,699
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 9.54%
Wants: 67
Gots: 181 | 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: 504 | Hads: 1,699
Photo of heygeebee
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

From Beer Cartel.. 11/05/13 ??? hmmm

A - clear straw, nice fluffy one finger heads stays nicely. Lovely spotty lace.

S - nice mixed citrus, apricot, floral hop notes..

T - well balanced, more generic citrus, peach, moderately hoppy.

M - quite light in mouth, almost soft drink like.

O - solid solid solid for style. I am wholly unsure of the freshness given the date on the bottle, but it seems to hold its own quite well. Clearly an entry-level beer, with no palate whack but that's ok too. (496 characters)

Photo of FitnessForBeer
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

From variety pack

A: light, clear beer that is straw colored Finger worth of head but disappeared quickly
S: light floral hoppy,
T: very sweet malt, mellow hop profile. Floral and citrus flavones come through
M: good, nothing to complain
O: not bad, just don't get the "wow" factor. Most important test I feel, would I buy it again? Probably not (348 characters)

Photo of BeerLover99
3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: shiny straw body, trace white head,
very little lacing

S: mild lemon peel, grassy hops, hint of pine,
corny malt

T: lemon peel, earthy/corn sweet malt,
grassy mild bitter finish

M: med/light body, hint of oily feel,
mostly semi-dry crisp mouth

O: Nice beer, Firestone Walker makes good
stuff and this is solid sessionable/summer selection.
Not my preferred Pale Ale, little too sweet bready
tasting for me, but could throw few back at a hot
summer party. Also, fine gateway craft beer for
lager loving friend.

NICE; NOT MUST HAVE! (542 characters)

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pale golden color with a dull haze. Fine bubbled eggshell white head settles shortly. Minimal spotty lacing.

S: Mango and tangerine. Sweet orange peel. Grainy and lightly honeyed malt base.

T: Orange peel, lemon, floral flavors, tangerine. Bitterness has a moderate bite. Oily. Grainy, doughy, and lightly honeyed malt base. Lightly toasted, hint of almond. Doughy on the finish with a lingering citrus rind bitterness.

M: Medium bodied. Firm, round, and somewhat silky malt backbone. Hop oils and astringency cut through the malt just a bit. Crisp, semi-aggressive carbonation adds a refreshing element.

O: This pale is somewhat of a tightrope walk, but a successful one. Great balance, as the hops have plenty of bitter bite, but share the spotlight with a substantial malt body. What's more impressive is that a somewhat larger bodied pale like this can still be so drinkable and refreshing despite that bit of extra heft. Balance really is the key to drinkability. (1,015 characters)

Photo of scotorum
3.69/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 1/7/14.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick.

a: Clear dark gold with a finger tall white head which dissipated quickly to even surface foam and patchy lacing.

s: Barley malt.

t: Medium malt with some hop balance. Some slight fruit notes. Dry finish.

m: Light to moderate, good body.

o: A good solid, if not particularly exciting, pale ale. Would pick Union Jack over this at a similar price point myself, but those who dislike hop bite in their beer would likely prefer this or DBA, which I reviewed yesterday. This is more an American pale than DBA, but I might pick 31 over DBA as a summer refresher, if it were available then. (665 characters)

Photo of Flounder57
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pale yellow with great clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Light tangerine and grapefruit with pale and bready malts.

Taste: Light hops and malt with some bitterness in the rear. Pretty straightforward.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, medium carbonation, crisp, refreshing, a little chewy, and enjoyable.

Overall: Pretty much as pale as it going to be. Short, simple, and enjoyable. (539 characters)

Photo of CorbinB
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer pours with only about a quarter-inch head but bubbles vigorously, almost champagne-like. The color is a pale orange amber.

I get a faint, bitter citrusy bouquet in the nose along with a very mild malt aroma. Really, the nose is mild overall. But that's not what makes this beer so great.

As for flavor, I get grapefruit with orange rind balanced finely with a mandarin sweetness. The initial flavor is enhanced by a back-end hop bitterness and--it sounds crazy-- even a kiwi sweetness. Lively and light, bubbling mouth that delivers and doesn't linger. So refreshing and easy drinking that I could drink this at brunch or in the middle of summer sitting by the pool.

I don't review beers often but when I do it's because they really, really stand out. This is definitely one of those beers. (805 characters)

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

Yay date, 1/07/14

Pours a pasty white fizzy frothy 1 finger head that fades semi slowly with nice frothy lacing, crystal clear pale pilsner color.

Nose nice floral hops, fruity too, hint grapefruit pith and melon rind, generic mild fruit, faint hint of malt under.

Taste fresh hops, more fruity hops, again mild melon rind and touch of grapefruit pith, generic juicy fruit and hint fruity bubblegum, fair bitterness. Malts add a touch of graininess and very light sweetness to balance. Little floral and very light resin and faint increasing pine note, also from the hops. Finish is dry, grainy malts, a bit more bitterness with hops getting a bit grassy and more floral and spicy even, hint of fruity notes.

Mouth is med bod, just the right amount of carbonation.

Overall pretty nice, nice hops, just enough malts, very drinkable and tasty. (847 characters)

Photo of MichaelJames_82
3.54/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A:
Golden color can see clearly trough the glass

S:
A very malty aroma. When I first poured it had a very faint hint of floral hops which quickly dissipated.

T:
Hint of Grapefruit. Not bitter at all. Very drinkable

M:
Very Light bodied. Medium Carbonation

O:
Very drinkable beer. Great beer after a long day in the sun. Goes down with ease. Nice session beer. (365 characters)

Photo of Billolick
3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
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 +3.1%
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 +13.7%
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 -0.8%
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 -2.1%
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 +6.7%
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 +12.6%
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%
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 +1.5%
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 -2.3%
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 -2.1%
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 +2.1%
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 -28.6%
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 -4.4%
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 -10.6%
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 +18.6%
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)

Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 504 ratings.