Fire Rock Pale Ale - Kona Brewing Co.

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Fire Rock Pale AleFire Rock Pale Ale

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2,084 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,084
Reviews: 658
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 12.98%
Wants: 47
Gots: 321 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Kona Brewing Co. visit their website
Hawaii, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: xlperro on 08-30-2002

Fire Rock Pale Ale is crisp, refreshing “Hawaiian-style” pale ale. Its signature copper color results from the unique blend of specialty roasted malts. The pronounced citrus-floral hop aroma comes from the liberal amounts of Galena, Cascade & Mt.Hood hops added to each brew.

35 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,084 | Reviews: 658
Reviews by Celtics17:
Photo of Celtics17
3.89/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is a solid Pale Ale, I don't taste caramel like some have tasted, but I do get some fruit notes. I would say it's more on the mango, or peach side of a Pale Ale. The peach note is very slight. I thought it wasn't very bitter. The balance was just right.

Appearance: Beautiful shade of amber. Very easy Pale Ale to drink. This beer does feel like a tropical beer, or like a beer from Hawaii. I would have this beer again.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.66/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

To my knowledge this is the first Hawaiian beer I have had,poured into a standard pint glass a clear lighter copper with a tight formed 1/2 white head that settled into a somewhat frothy mass.Very light aromas I did get a little spike of piney hop at bottle opening but it faded quickly to just a hint of tasted malt,very balanced pale here a big toasty cereal-like malt presence up front with a touch of caramel that melds into a piney-citric finish that lingers nicely.A balanced pale ale that is food friendly went well with a pizza with spicy sauce,not over the top flavor wise but very quaffable.

Photo of RoyalT
3.86/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This one is a light and translucent orange in color with a terrific, clingy head. It left tons of lacing as it settled in the glass.

Smell – There’s a big, malty base to this one that has some soft American grain and a decent hop balance.

Taste – The grain came on pretty strong at the taste, but the addition of some light caramel flavors helped smooth things out. The hops actually come on pretty well. They are light but show some good complexity. The citrus notes seem to dominate but there’s a bit of pine as well.

Mouthfeel – This is big for the style, maybe medium-bodied, and very creamy. I thought that this was the ale’s strong point.

Drinkability – It’s a bit on the malty side, so if you don’t like that then stay away, but I really enjoyed this offering from the great state of Hawaii. It is very thick and creamy and went down in gulps.

Photo of MadScientist
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: A medium amber with excellent clarity. The cream off-white head settles to a thin cap but never going away, leaving light lacing on the glass.

S: Moderate malt and hop aroma having biscuit and caramel malt aromas with a citrus American hop character. The nose has a slight fruit ester. It's not as has hop forward as I'd like but it smells great. No Diacetyl.

T: Again it's no where as hoppy as most current examples but it absolutely sublime with a moderate bitterness and citrus hop flavor supported by a moderately-low malt sweetness. The malt shows notes of biscuit and very light caramel. The balance is what makes this beer so good, it somewhat favors the hops bitterness but the malt gets to have it's chance to shine as well. There is a light malt sweetness mid-way through but it resolves into a dry finish with a light lingering bitterness and slight malt taste.

M: medium bodied with a moderately-high level of carbonation, there is a pleasing moderate creaminess. No astringency.

O: A slightly hoppy fairly balanced beer that I could enjoy with a steak or a creamy comfort food meal or all on it's own, pint after delicious pint.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VII:

So what makes this different from other Pale Ales? It's "Hawaiian-style"--we're not sure what that means, but we know they bitter this ale with one of our favorite hops, "Galena," which is an old-school, high-alpha hop.

Good clarity with a stunning pale copper color. A couple rings of off-white lace left on the glass. Mild pungent oily hop aroma with an animal feed grain, hay and faint caramel aroma. Smooth with an oily slickness that buffs the medium body. Oily hop flavor lays a thick blanket to start things off, then the bitterness kicks in with a broad prickly character, and later with a more fresh mint and light citric tone. Kiss of mineral. The center is juicy with a clean fruitiness and caramel flavor. The finish wraps up with a hint of estery alcohol, toasted malt and drying grain.

Yeah, we can dig the whole "Hawaiian-style." Complex and drinkable, the hops and malt mesh very well together and show great balance. Great stuff, Kona!

Photo of Dmann
4.53/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I think this is my new session beer, and one of my new gateway beers to show newbies what's up. The pour was a nice burnt orange color with a slight haze to it. Head was nice and web like and stuck to the glass very well. The smell was kind of bland to me at first and surprised me a bit since I was expecting a more intense smell, but it hinted at the subtle flavor to come.

Something about the flavor of this beer is just irresistible. It has more in common with and english pale ale rather than and apa but it works perfectly. Up front are the toasted malts that give it a great slightly sweet and at the same time dry flavor, followed by a slight hop flavor and a perfect mouthfeel that makes you reach for another sip. I am not usually a fan of malt-up-front beers, but the fact that the malt in this one is not super sweet and cloying makes it perfect. Get out and try this one now, you will not be sorry!

Photo of orbitalr0x
2.91/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle picked up in St. Louis. Pours into my glass a deep hazy copper color with a fizzy half inch of white head on top. Aromas of caramel and roasted fruity malts upfront from this brew with a slight buttery undertone. I get some herbal, piney hops in the background but they end up being fairly subdued.

First sip brings a caramel, somewhat bready roasted malt upfront with fruity accents as well. It flows down bringing in a slight buttery flavor. As it finishes mellow herbal hops move in, but don't really stand out. Ends up being sweet overall, lacking the bitterness and hop flavor I would normally like with a pale ale.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and creamy with solid carbonation. I really can't argue with the mouthfeel at all as it flows down easily. However, overall for me this pale ale didn't make the cut. It lacks the hop presence I would normally look for and the malts seem a bit muddled with the buttery aspect in there. I'll pass next time.

Photo of generallee
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass. There is a bottled on date on the label but it is hard to read, all I can make out is that it was brewed sometime in 2009. (Sampled on 6-11-09)

Appearance: The body has a deep amber color with good clarity and a small bright white head on top. The head fades down to just a small ring of foam which makes for some slick lacing on the glass.

Smell: Its aroma malty and sweet with just the slightest hint of hops.

Taste/Mouth: The flavor malty and sweet with caramel and sugary notes. The hops add some mild citrus notes and light bitterness for some balance. The finish is still a little bit on the sweet side with just a mild touch of hop bitterness. Its palate is smooth and medium bodied with mellow carbonation.

Notes: Overall it is a nice pleasant but average Pale Ale.

Photo of merlin48
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy copper body is topped by a small beige head. Nice lacing. Subdued aroma features citrusy grapefruit, caramel, and a hint of pine. Medium body with strong carbonation. Taste is well balanced between the citrusy and pine hop bitterness and sweet caramel maltiness. A very drinkable American Pale Ale that, while not outstanding, is quite respectable.

Photo of Billolick
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ouncer, bottled on dating etched onto the label, nice. Pours lighter tangarine amber, with a slight haze. Delicate off white head/film/lace. Mild bready nose. On the lighter side of the style flavor and hop wise. Respectable, smooth hop undercoating and a rather thin resiny hit of hops in the background. Decent sessioner, warm weather ale.

Photo of tigg924
3.12/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: orange-brown in color, clear, 1/3 inch head, medium carbonation

Smell: citrusy hops and malt

Taste: toasted malt,citrusy hops, and a bit of sugar or sweet fruit towards the end

Mouthfeel: bitter start that gets less bitter towards the finish. medium body, moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This is an average inoffensive pale ale. I like how the ending gets sweeter, but otherwise, nothing jumps out.

Photo of Mora2000
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orange-amber color with a very small white head. The aroma has some orange and mango notes as well as some bread and biscuit malt. The flavor is orange citrus, as well as some flowery and perfume-like hops, mixed with biscuit malt. Low bitterness. The mouthfeel is about medium and the carbonation is pretty low. Decent.

Photo of NicholasCasber
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: This beer, when poured into a glass mug was a deep golden color, with little head, however some lacing was produced as the beer was consumed.

S: There is a strong smell of malt, however I do get an aromatic that i'm picking up on the tail end that is a bit floral.

T: A very well balanced sweet and bitter delivery with a lingering flavor of hops.

M: A fairly balanced beer that proved itself a verry good attempt.

D: I'd rate this higher if I could get it back on the mainland.

Overall, good beer, but when drinking beer in Hawai'i, what can be better? Anyway, Cheers!

Photo of bsp77
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into tall glass.

Appearance: Bright, but hazy, reddish-copper with thin white head and slight lacing.

Smell: Distinct citrus and sweet toasted malts.

Taste: Major citrus flavor countered by semi-sweet toasted and caramel malts. Just a touch of bitterness at the end.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium body, nice dry finish.

Drinkability: Seems like a cross between an American Pale Ale and Amber Ale due to the malt focus and restrained bitterness. Regardless of what it is, this is my go-to Hawaii beer - refreshing, very drinkable and with a good amount of flavor.

Photo of magictrokini
2.8/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Clear copper pour with a medium white head. Sweet malt aroma, with a hint of hops. Crisp taste with mild hops, more of the citrus variety. Wanted more of something. Kind of like an APA-lite. Not really much more to say about this beer, curse the 250+ character limit.

Photo of kingcrowing
2.91/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a deep golden amber with a small white head. Nose is very lager-esque. A bit of sulfer and lightly sweet and malty.

Ale? wtf? This tastes like a fancy pbr or something. It's light and fizzy but still ok. eck, as I drink it I see how bland this is, skip it.

Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brilliant amber with a 1” offwhite foam cap, spicy hop nose, some malt and biscuit, very creamy rich, a touch of sweetness, almost a hit of cocoa nut. Some bitterness but not big. Light fruit, just a touch of bitterness to balance.

Photo of dogfishandi
3.11/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle at fridge temp poured into an imperial pint glass. 6% ABV according to label. bottled on JUN 7, 2011 (about 2 months old). label looks like a hollister ad.

pours out a nice orange copper color with a 1-2 finger white head that faded to a thick retentive layer. some light spotty lace. fairly clear body, just the slightest bit cloudy.

the initial aroma is very metallic. behind that there is some strange fruity smell i dont quite have a name for, apricot?, and hints of grainy, caramel malt.

a lot of the same in the taste. quite metallic, wierd off fruity apricot, a little citrus hop balanced by a grainy, biscuity malt. finishes fairly bitter like your standard pale ale.

lighter side of medium bodied, decent feeling carbonation. slightly resinous.

very metallic and too many off flavors here to make this enjoyable. behind all of this, i can taste a decent pale ale. not something i would ever come back to or recommend.

Photo of MattyG85
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass. Label bottling date of Oct 30, 2012.

Appearance: Pours a somewhat cloudy copper amber orange with lot of rising bubbles. Solid three fingers of off white head with good retention. Leaves a lot of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A nicely floral and malty aroma. Solid hop presence with hints of floral and grassy hops and some citrus orange peel and lemon. Subtle pine spice. Strong malt scents with good hints of grains, biscuit, crackers, yeast, caramel, and toffee. Smells nicely bready and earthy. A solid mix of malts and hops that you expect in a Pale Ale.

Taste: A solid mix of bready malts, floral and citrus hops like the smell hints. A nice mix of floral, grassy, and piney hops with a kick of citrus orange, lemon, and a little grapefruit. A nice balance of bready malts with notes of wheat grains, biscuit, crackers, yeast, caramel, and toffee. A pretty solid balance of hops and malts. Bready and nicely drying.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, spicy, clean, and smooth. Finishes fairly dry.

Overall: A solid Pale Ale. Pretty standard for the style, but good.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 355ml bottle with a bottled-on date of April 2012 (according to their website). Bought recently at my local beer specialist. According to the label this is named after Hawaii's famous volcanoes.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A clear orange-amber hue with medium carbonation. Yields a large head of creamy white foam that lasts for a few minutes before reducing to a surface layer. Aroma of rich, sweet malt with notes of grain, citrus, faint tropical fruit, yeast and a mild whiff of diacetyl.

Tastes of sweet malt with a spicy hop finish. Notes of mild citrus and pine, along with grain, dry yeast and stewed hops. A prickly yet restrained bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth, tingly and spicy, with good body. Somewhat astringent - the hop flavour feels like it's clinging to your taste buds. Aftertaste of sweet malt and subtle aromatic hops.

Rather nice, but falls short of exceptional. Pretty heavy on the malt, while the aromatic hops seem indistinct and lacking in presence (especially in the taste). The body is good, and it has a pleasing spicy quality. Surprisingly dark for a pale ale. Overall, a highly drinkable ale that goes down easily but is unlikely to leave a lasting impression. Worth sampling.

Photo of Soonami
3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Fire Rock Pale Ale is the first beer I've had from Kona (I think, certainly the first reviewed). It's a pretty average beer for the style. There is nothing offensive, but not what I'm really looking for in a APA. Maybe I got an older bottle, but this beer is very malt forward without the hop flavor or mouthfeel that I've grown accustomed to in the best APA's--which have bright citrusy hops and toasty biscuity malt. The malt in this beer even tastes a bit oxidized and a bit too sweet/caramelly. The sweetness at the end of the beer is a little too much without the hops.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.9/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A substandard pale ale. Pours, looking all sanitized and clean. Nothing impressive. Lacking any distinct aroma, at this point, looks hospital grade. Tastes similar, not bad per se, but gimme something to hang my taste buds on! Lacks a hop bite that I want in a pale ale. Just replaces hops and bitterness with carbonation.

Mouthfeel, this is a very straightforward, lacking complexity beer. Seems a bit much to pay $7 for 6 of these, they are very standard, easy to drink and all. These are something to give to non serious beer drinkers to segue into something better.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.02/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appears a slightly hazed copper hue forms a vibrant white head with thin streaks of lacing left between each sip. Aromatics offered here are built largely between floral and sharp acidic citrus notes from the hops. A very mild metallic twang with some smooth caramel malt sweetness evident. Flavor brings excellent balance to the palate healthy dose of hops make their presence felt on the palate throughout each sip, but the malts bring out enough nutty caramel biscuit sweet notes to make the barrage of citrus and flowery hop flavors and bitterness manageable. A beer I tried at least five years ago on draft out at the Yardhouse it's always nice to reacquaint with an old friend, this is definitely a solid all around pale ale. Mouthfeel doesn't get to oily but I will call it slightly slick with hop oils moderate even carbonation flows smooth nothing abrasive about this pale. Drinkability it's at the high end of the sessionable abv limit but damn if I had a twelve pack of this I would definitely enjoy a few of these without any problems.

Photo of chinchill
3.49/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lovely orange/golden with plenty of highlights when held to the light and an ample off-white head.

Aroma: rather mild with a character of an average but light Pale Ale: perhaps some English or Asian influence here.

T - a nice fruity and acceptably sweet taste but too sweet and insufficient hops to score well as a PA.

M - Medium-light body; good carbonation; very smooth

O - very pleasant and easy drinking, especially on a hot day. A fruity but low-hop PA.

Photo of glid02
3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this on-tap at Brewhouse Cafe in Atlanta.

Appearance...well I had a hard time with this one because it was served in a dark blue pint glass. At first I cursed the server, but as it turns out this was an actual Kona pint glass. Strange. Anyhoo, from what I could see, there was a one-finger white head that dissipated into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a medium-sized ring around the glass. Lacing was somewhat sticky, but disappeared after a while.

Smells good. A lot of floral hops with a bit of a malty aroma as well.

Tastes similar to the smell, but not quite as strong. There's a good floral taste up front, followed by some malt sweetness and backended by some mild bitterness. Not great but pretty solid.

Mouthfeel is good. There's a good thickness there but I thought it was mildly overcarbonated.

Drinkability is good. It's not really lacking anything, but the tastes could be better balanced.

Overall I was mildly impressed. I was underwhelmed with their Longboard Lager but this was a pretty solid beer.

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Fire Rock Pale Ale from Kona Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 2,084 ratings.