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Pale 31 - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pale 31Pale 31

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

510 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 510
Hads: 1,722
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 19.9%
Wants: 70
Gots: 194 | 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 (88) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 510 | Hads: 1,722
Photo of GrimmReaper
3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one on tap on my recent trip to Anaheim,at Tony Roma's,very nice butterscotch color to it with a slight tan head and mild lacing.Nose was of floral with a tinge of fruit and mild hops.Taste was mild fruit,peach tinge to it,very mild bitterness all going down rather easily,kinda watery but enjoyable,very lite and mild mouthfeel,overall,quite a nice brew and worth another shot.

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Photo of johnd513
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go to barleywinefiend for this one.
This beer pours a light golden color with an almost nonexistent white head. I can taste some citrus flavors. This beer is much lighter than I expected and it goes down like water. Certainly not bad but not much going on here and not what I expected.

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

A - Crystal clear, yellow with a touch of light orange. Short lived head. A few bubbles.

S - Pine, floral, citrus and soft pale malt. Faint woody funk. The aroma is nice, but on the subtle side.

T - Like the aroma with some semi-sweet grapefruit and a hint of caramel.

M - Light body. Mild carbonation. Mild bitterness with a medium sustain.

O - A flawless, easy drinking, light pale ale with a pleasant flavor.

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Photo of hiku7
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a very inviting clear gold with a moderate off-white head.

Aroma is grapefruit citrus and piney hops, but as it warms, some caramel malt comes through. Not a lot, but just enough to foreshadow substance.

The flavor is a moderate but crisp hop bitterness, plus some of the citrus that came through in the aroma. At the outset there is a slight caramel sweetness, but that gives way to a fairly dry finish. Seems very balanced despite the bold hopping. Medium body at most, moderately carbonated, and a dry finish.

Overall, a solid west coast pale ale with a fairly assertive hop presence but still an easy drinking pale ale feel.

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Photo of tigerpaws
3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours with a nice golden copper color and almost no head. Not much aroma to wet your appetite, and has what I think is a hint of vanilla, I may well be wrong on that. Good mouthfeel and IMO could use a little more hops and also alcohol kick. But overall a good refreshing beer that goes down well...............CHEERS

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Photo of xhcadamx
4.32/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden with a white sticky head. Nice lacing.

S - Nose is a suprise. Lots and lots of C Hops. If I hadnt read the label I would have thought it was an IPA.

T - Just like the smell. Nice sweet malt taste in between the C hops up front and the ending bitterness. Very well balanced.

M - Thin with a little hop oiliness that I can appreciate.

D - This a very drinkable APA. They were on sale for 5.99 a six pack and I am glad that I bought two.

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Photo of aquaderek
4.47/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this beer into a tasting glass. The head is a nice creamy white lacing, with beautiful tiny bubbles and amber color. The nose is hoppy with subtle citrus notes. The taste is clean, crisp, and hoppy. I really love this style of beer. The drinkabililty of this is off the charts. In college, UCSB, I have many a fuzzy night due to the drinkabililty of this beer. Great beer.

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

APPEARANCE: Pours a slightly hazy gold color with a small white head that dissipates quickly. There is a small amount of lacing.
Pleasant aroma of orange, apricots and sweet dough. Also some pine.
Smooth slightly sweet with nice balance of citrusy hops. Finishes with a little grassy bitterness.
Medium body with slight syrupy texture. Moderate carbonation. Finishes a bit dry.
Very easy drinking beer. Not too sweet and not to bitter. Nothing exciting but a great session beer.

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Photo of BenwayPHD
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a light yellow color with a small, white, foamy head. The nose is superb. Grass, pine, resin, lemon, papaya. I've gotta say the flavor is a let down on this one. A little bit of lemon sweetness and a bitter, dry finish. The body is too thin. Maybe some stronger malt character would liven this up. Not Firestone Walker's best.

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

A: Amber color, nice head but faded quickly. Darker than I expected for a pale ale.

S: Really nice hoppy aroma. Slight sweet afternotes.

T: Strong hoppy taste for a Pale Ale. Better than I expected though. Sweet aftertaste, nice balance of malt and hops.

M: Thin beer, but enjoyable. Not to much chew to it.

D: Very drinkable for a Pale Ale. The hoppyness is not overwhelming, so you can definitly drink a couple.

Overall: Better than I thought. The balance of hops was just right. The sweet aftertaste complimented the initial rush of hops. Good beer, I could drink a couple before the hops flavor would start getting to me.

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Photo of originalsin
3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've avoided drinking this for too long now--Been staring me in the eyes from the shelves, often with a discount sticker. Got this 6 pack on the cheap at a local Ralphs. Pours a transparent honey amber with about a quarter inch of white foamy head that dissipates quickly. Pretty typical looking pale ale. Nothing stands out here.

Smell is of caramel malt and some light citrus hops. Taste doesn't diverge much. Big on the caramel and bready malts. A bit too malty for a pale ale for me with next to no hop bitterness and little hop flavor coming through. Oh well. The mouthfeel is relatively light. All of the above make for a decently drinkable pale ale.

Not necessarily something I'll be drinking again any time soon--far too many better examples of the style for me. I expected a bit more from a company with a "passion for the pale". But that's alright, it's a well crafted pale ale nonetheless. Just no my favorite. Cheers.

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

A crystal clear apricot with a faint white fizzy head. This is a hoppy Pale Ale with pine and grassy notes and good citrus scents in the background. This is the beers strong point in my opinion and I had to give it an extra 1/2 point just now for smelling so damn good. The taste is Pale Ale up front and IPA citrus on the back. A bit of clove spice gives it a Pilsner feel. The mouthfeel is semi dry and light. Definitely a pretty nice beer.

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Photo of ChuckHardslab
3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It pours a very pale, slightly hazy golden amber with a solid head that settles into a thin cap that stays the whole way down.
The aroma is dominated by citrus hops with some bready malt to back it up.
The taste is lightly sweet with a strong citrus hop component. There's a bit of lemon pepper too. It finishes with a pleasant bitterness. The hops definitely lean lemon and grapefruit.
The mouth feel is a little thin with a good balance of carbonation.
Overall it is a very refreshing, easy to drink APA. That's a winner here where the weather is usually warm to hot. It's not spectacular but it is quite good and a fine example of the style.

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Photo of appenzeller
3.3/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light orange, thin head. Smells slightly spicy and peppery. Taste has modest underlying notes of sweet malts, honey-like, overlaid by a nice peppery bitterness. Good carbonation gives a full mouthfeel, spiciness and clean taste make this nearly a session beer.

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Photo of Redneckwine
4.18/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into tulip

Appearance - Golden, lighter color than expected, just a touch hazy, decent head with a small amount of lacing.

Smell - Biscuit and a bit of toasty malts right up front, some honey sweetness, hops reasonably prominent with some floral and sweet citrus notes.

Feel/Taste - Feel is nice and smooth medium-light body with gentle carb, feels full for the ABV. Taste mimics nose but in reverse: hops are more prevalent and start off with a little orangey citrus and herbal/floral notes, then the malts trail behind with some lightly toasted biscuit flavor. Light flavors all around, but very well balanced. Pretty dry on the finish with feint lingering hop bitterness.

Overall - Excellent APA. They crammed a lot of nicely balanced flavor into just a 4.8% ABV brew, and maybe more impressive is the body, which seems bigger than it really is. Very drinkable and a I think a bit more hop-forward than the archetypal APA (SNPA) - this stands right up there with SNPA as far as quality goes.

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Photo of CarlosRuizsChauffeur
3.61/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very clear and translucent, maybe a little too pale. Light-medium golden color with a thin white head and medium lacing
S: Smells really hoppy relative to the alcohol content. Smells of an assortment of citrus
T: Pure, clean and smooth, but nothing too special. Tastes of pineapple, Valencia orange, coriander, and slight bite of spice. Very little taste of any wheat or malts
M: Lacks enough carbonation, but is considerably smooth. Wish this ale had a little more bite or zing
O: Decent beer, but nothing too special. Is somewhat drinkable even though it tastes pretty hoppy. There is not that biscuit or bread taste you want with a pale ale, and instead we were given the modern taste of ales with a hoppy body and aftertaste and no balance of malts

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Photo of bitterthebetter
3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a light yellow golden with white head

aromas of citrus hops, slight malt and slight pine

lemony upfront with solid dry piney hops on the finish, slight malty balance on the back palate

light bodied, good semi dry finish that lasts longer than the initial sip lets on

a very crisp and refreshing pale, light bodied yet sturdy enough, I like them hoppier but its tasty for a pale

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Photo of Bunnyhop
3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A clear, slight reddish golden Pale Ale with a rocky, off-white head. The smell is strongly floral, and hoppy. The taste is lightly malty with a bitter middle and end. The body is moderate in my mouth. An adequate example of its style, Pale Ale, but a bit bitter for me.

Some of the description on the label is as follows: "...a bright, elegant texture with hints of toffee and a medium malt character. Fermantation in individual 60 gallon American Oak barrels imparts soft smoky nuances, a suggestion of vanilla and additional complexity to the flavor profile." I can't say I experienced all of this, but I found this description interesting none-the-less.

(source: Beers Across America)

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Photo of slusk
4.31/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a clear gold with a moderate white head. Good lacing,

S: Hops are in the forefront with a pronounced floral aroma, along with some pineapple and a hint of grapefruit. Light maltiness.

T: Definitely a hop forward brew. There's a light sweetness on the palate before the hops kick in almost immediately with a nice balanced floral, piney flavor. A bit of pineapple lingers in the dry finish. Smells sweeter than it actually tastes.

M: Medium light bodied brew with medium carbonation. Smooth, almost slick mouthfeel.

O: I really like this brew. It's everything a pale should be. Nice hop flavor without the bitter bite of an IPA and a well attenuated malt underpinning. Finishes dry and leaves a pleasant balanced aftertaste. I've had both the Bottled and Tap versions, and I have to say I prefer the tap version with a wee bit less carbonation that really lets the flavors shine. However, both are excellent. Nicely done Mr. Brynildson.

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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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Photo of fsimcox
3.93/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle.

Pours a nice clear slightly amber straw color. White foamy head that dissipates quickly. Nice lacing.

Smells of fruity hops, hints of citrus.

Taste is crisp, with hops, finishes dry with a little sour/bitter note.

Mouthfeel is good. A little more carbonation is noticed

This beer is plentiful in central Cali. 4.8% abv makes this a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of BurnsTau
3.69/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent amber with small head that dissapates and no real lacing.

Smells of florally hops. Tastes is hoppy that's not too overpowering, keeps in balance overall. For this style the hops could have been a bit stronger, however it is still tasty Some strange aftertastes linger, perhaps because of the barrelling, but maybe not. Overall a pleasent brew, worth trying.

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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 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 airforbes1
3.77/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear light orange color with fizzy effervescenc; the bubbles remind me of sparkling wine.

The aroma is dominated by hops...I smell grass and grapefruit. I'm expecting this to be a hop-forward pale ale like Sierra Nevada's.

The taste is better balanced than I expected. The hops are more piney than grassy with a mild grapefruit sensation. The finish is pretty watery, however.

For me, this beer is a tweener. It tries to be hoppy like an APA but also tries to be smooth and highly drinkable like an English pale ale. It's tasty, but if I wanted something more hop-forward I'd go with SNPA or Liberty Ale, and if I wanted something smoother or more sessionable I'd go with an English-style pale pale.

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Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 510 ratings.