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Fire Rock Pale Ale - Kona Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Fire Rock Pale AleFire Rock Pale Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

635 Reviews
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 635
Hads: 2,122
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 11.05%
Wants: 46
Gots: 355 | FT: 2
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 635 | Hads: 2,122
Photo of McStagger
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

A: Pours a nice copper/amber color. Excellent clarity. Finger slight off white head. Moderate retention. Moderate lacing. Minimal carbonation, with bubbles lazily rising to the surface.

S: Some amber notes from the glass. Roasted grain,caramel, a bit of cinnamon or nutmeg. Getting some alcohol, believe it or not. Hops smell mildly oxidized (bottled on June 15th). Little bit of dank fruitiness coming through. Little bit of stone fruit...almost like a mildly ripe peach or nectarine. Some slight citrus in the nose, but it's really hard to ferret out.

T: Pretty decent hit of toasty sweetness and alcohol up front. Transitions to a soapy citrus candy in the mid palate. This resinous quality carries through to the finish. Slightly astringent on the aftertaste, with mildly candied citrus components and a distinct floral soapiness.

M: Beer is medium bodied with just enough of a pop of carbonation to balance out the malts.

O: This one is a bit rough around the edges, but I'm not sure if the off flavors are intentional or due to the two and a half months it sat in it's box. Regardless, this is a surprisingly good pale ale. (1,165 characters)

Photo of tillmac62
3.87/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a clear medium amber with a hint of red. Normal head, lacing and retention. Light tropical nose (passion fruit) over caramel. Heavy medium bodied with a nice slick oily texture. Average carbonation level with a bit of effervescence on the finish. The taste profile is balanced between the flavors of the nose. It begins with tropical notes, flows to a bit of spice and ends with a light bitterness over caramel. (417 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I am now committed to reducing, if not eradicating, my backlog of bottles. This one was part of a local, in-person trade with tone77. This is not a bad way to continue the day - getting Fired up!

From the bottle: "Since 1994, Kona Brewing Co. has been committed to making handcrafted ales and lagers of uncompromised quality."; "We invite you to visit our brewery and pubs whenever you visit Hawaii. Mahalo!"; "Fresh, Responsible, Always Aloha"; "Go With the Flow! Active volcanoes on the Big Island pf Hawaii leave visitors awestruck by their power. The glow of lava as it meets the ocean is an amazing sight. Our Fire Rock Pale Ale is inspired by this place with a bright copper color and rich roasted malt taste. Aloha!"; "Liquid Aloha".

I did as they directed and simply allowed the lava, I mean, liquid flow from the bottle and into my glass. This set up a pseudo-cascade which then settled into three fingers of dense, rocky, tawny head with good retention. Color was a deep coppery-amber (SRM = > 9, < 13) with NE-quality clarity. As the head slowly fell, it left nice lacing in its wake. Nose had a light grapefruit-citrusiness to it along with a caramel sweetness. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was intensely citrusy and probably pushes the envelope between an APA and an AIPA. As a self-avowed hophead, this was right in my wheelhouse, but for style mavens, it might be just a tad too hoppy. Finish was semi-dry with a light caramel sweetness kicking in to better align it with its style. I now await its release in CANs. (1,541 characters)

Photo of mrjez
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L: pours a standard copper with small dissipating head, slight lacing on swishes.
S: I'm getting a pleasant whiff of pine off the top, sticking my nose in there are floral notes, and slightly sweet malt reminiscent of an English pale.
T: great balance in the taste. The malts present well, a little sweetness like the smell, and citrus comes through, subdued and hard to discern which but providing great support on the palate.
F: a tad chewy and oily on the backend, not a lot of bitter presence, but quite quaffable.
O: this was a training wheels beer for me and it was very nice to revisit it after a few years and my palate shifts. Still holds up very well. (665 characters)

Photo of Gabriel_Vaughn
3.71/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This is by far my favorite of the Kona beers. I was surprised that this beer was so flavorful seeing as it is a pale ale. I am not the biggest fan of pale ales but this guy is great. Pours into a glass looking just swell, smells fine tastes fantastic. Good beer I would recommend to a friend. (292 characters)

Photo of Ryne0h
4.17/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

I purchased this beer thinking that it would pair well with pizza. While I did thoroughly enjoy the beer overall, it did not pair well. The initial smell and taste were fantastic, but the beer was heavier than I anticipated. I will more than likely purchase this beer again. (274 characters)

Photo of jhartley
2.06/5  rDev -43.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Got on tap from a near by tavern. Served in a shaker pint glass.
Body was a clear golden amber color with a thin barely 1/2 finger head of small bubbles.
Got very little smell off of this one, what I did get reminded me an adjunct lager more than a pale ale.
Taste was very disappointing. Not even the littlest hint of any hops at all up front; small amount at the end. Was hoping for more from this, especially based on the ratings.
Very watery thin mouthfeel, not much at all in the way of a mouth filling flavor.
Overall a very disappointing beer, wouldn't look for this one again, unless of course it would be a freebie. (625 characters)

Photo of Tastesalot
1.02/5  rDev -71.8%
look: 1.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A: pale orange pour, foamy white head

S: wet cardboard, oxidation, corn

T: adjuncts, paper, off-flavors (especially off-bitterness)

M: watery, thin

O: This is without a doubt, the worst excuse for a beer I've ever had. It makes Rolling Rock taste good. I'm glad someone gave it to me to try, and that I did not actually spend any money on it. Heat may have gotten to this bottle, but even taking that into consideration, it still has no redeeming qualities. I'd give it an even lower rating if I could. Avoid. (514 characters)

Photo of hreb
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle dated May1614, presumably from the Widmer/CBA/ABInBev facility. Beer pours orange amber in color and crystal clear, supporting a massive foamy head. Mild aroma of toasty malt. Flavor provides a decent fresh hop flavor, though certainly not a dominant one. A little bit grainy through the middle, with a relatively neutral finish.

I had this on draught in Maui, where it was presumably brewed at the Kona brewery, and I remember, while I had pretty low expectations, I was more impressed with the toasted barley flavor and crispness of this APA. In this form it is still totally drinkable, if unremarkable. (618 characters)

Photo of Ale_Dog
3.29/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Serving: bottle
Appearance: pale amber
Smell: nothing jumps out. Light biscuit
Taste: medium malt with lingering hop bitterness
Overall: solid beer. Can drink a few of these. No particular element jumps out and grabs you, but tasty just the same. Worth a try. (259 characters)

Photo of alexrichman
3.29/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A> Poured from a 12oz into glassware. Pours a rich copper color that looks mostly clear and leaves a nice 2 finger head that slowly mellows out and leaves a good amount of lacing.

S> Good aroma but pretty faint. A lot of sweetness and tropical fruits come through.

T> Taste veers a lot more on the malty and sweet side then I was expecting. The malt comes through as sweet, dark bread, dried dark fruits, and a bit of toast. The hops are pretty mild but there is some pine and tropical hoppiness somewhere in there. Finishes on the sweet side.

M> Enjoyable in the mouth, nice thickness, ample carbonation, highly drinkable.

O> This APA's flavor profile was just a bit too malty without enough hop balance for my tastes. I enjoyed this beer but with the ample selection of APA's in Oregon I will probably not be returning to this brew anytime soon. (866 characters)

Photo of hophugger
3.31/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

o, not a bad beer but seems to be lacking a little something. Cant quite put my finger on it. Good gold color and a nice head that slowly melts away with light lacing. Smell is light. Taste is good with a slightly fruity start and a light bready finish. Some light hop ending. A little more kick would take this beer to the next level. Nice job, though !!! (356 characters)

Photo of Chaz
3.29/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant copper-golden in color, topped with a frothy, medium-tan head. Some chill haze. Head drops after a couple of minutes and leaves a fair amount of lacing -- so far, so good!

First thing I'll mention about the nose is that it is light on the C-hops (thankfully), so by my reckoning this is gonna be a rather "old-school" APA, and I can get down with that. Up front this one's very fruity; I get strawberry and green grapeskin, maybe some light honeydew melon... so I'd consider it to be a very approachable beer. Just a touch of a fairly familiar (but quite neutral) pale ale yeast strain on the end of the nose.

Sweet and fruity/juicy on the first sip, paired with a brisk and light-scrubbing of carbonation across the palate. Dry, biscuit malt character sneaks in toward the end of the drink, and a bittersweet dry character is indeed the lasting impression. Clean, dry finish.

On the lighter-bodied side but well-within the style parameters. Very good mouthfeel, and really in keeping with the overall character of this beer.

Overall, I'm trying not to be overly-critical of this beer, and I'm not failing at doing so. This one *does* hit all of the right notes for a beer in this style and would be on-par for an APA brewed by any professional setup of any size. But I look at some of the high marks this one gets and wonder if people aren't just amazed that A-B/I can produce a better than average APA on a very large scale?

No matter: This one is definitely (at least) average for the style, and probably better than average. Definitely worth a shot if you haven;t tried it yet, and it might even become a go-to for someone who hasn't yet written-off all of the beers brewed by CBA.. (1,710 characters)

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

Appearance: 3/4" off white head recedes slowly, significant lacing, copper color with moderate carbonation
Aroma: significant malt presence, caramel, bread, some citrus hop aroma
Mouthfeel: medium bodied and sticky. Semi dry finish.
Flavor: very malt forward. Reminds me more of a scotch style ale than a traditional pale ale. nicely balanced between sweet caramel and bready malt combined with a noticeable citrus and earthy hop presence.
Overall: this is a very nice beer and I recommend it. Although it is session-able at 5.9% abv, it is also rather filling (nearly 180 calories in 12 oz serving). (603 characters)

Photo of CASpencer
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nice bottle design. Pours a nice copper color from a bottle into a pint glass. Head thin and doesn't linger. Aroma of lemon, raspberries, caramel, resin and alcohol. Refreshing initial alcohol that smooths into a decent amount of biscuity-malt and hops bitterness, ends with slight alcohol heat. Mild bodied. Easily drinkable and enjoyable. Would appreciate a little more taste depth, but for a simple pale ale this is quite good, and would be happy to have it again. (467 characters)

Photo of Boca-X
4.34/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle in to snifter. Slightly off white head, decent lacing. Beautiful copper, amber colored...the two marry in a foggy hazy glaze, very pretty beer.

Molasses, honey and caramel on the nose...warm, sweet and inviting.

Medium carbonation, tiny bubbles burst upon the tongue...followed by a inviting sweet malty extravaganza. Dark molasses mingles with the layers of caramel, creamy cashews and macadamia nuts. A rather quick bitter finish then a pleasant touch of sweet burnt brittle is left on the lips.

I can't lie...I tend to think many pale ales are boring and lack character...that can not be said of this Kona brew. It's wonderful to look at and even better to drink...full of creamy, sweet in depth flavors...this is a very good PA...probably one of my favorites. Cheers! (793 characters)

Photo of Mojo
3.56/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle -> snifter

A - pours up the same color as a new copper penny, with a small one finger head without any retention and not much in the way of lacing.

S - weak nose, mostly floral and biscuit

T - smooth tasting beer with some caramel malt, pine and citrus notes and a surprisingly hoppy finish

M - medium thickness, no real aftertaste

O - easy to drink. This would an excellent introductory beer for someone looking to make the transition from macro lagers into craft. (489 characters)

Photo of iheartmyTHO
3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

In my opinion, this bear wasn't bad but not super great either. Just OK. I like Pale Ales and there's a nice amount of hops to this beer without being overly bitter. There's definitely a bit a malt too. The Fire Rock Pale Ale is very easy to drink, and would probably be a lovely addition to any summer tiki party. (314 characters)

Photo of archyquaffer
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Served from a 12 ounce stubby into an oversized pilsener glass. These bottles have a unique embossing depicting the Hawaiian islands and the cursive legend "Liquid Aloha", and attractive label art as well. An aggressive pour produces about one inch of frothy, sticky, long-lasting head, which is a rather unique colored off-white with a pinkish or orange tinge. The beer is a deep copper color with average carbonation.

The aroma-flavor is fairly delicate, with mild citrus and floral hops and a semi-sweet malt backbone. Very clean in the aftertaste, with just a touch of sweet, sour and bitter on the back of the tongue as well as a bit of crispness. Overall, an easy drinking and flavorful beer. (699 characters)

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

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 12/3/2013. Pours lightly hazy golden orange color with a 2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange zest, pear, light caramel, biscuit, honey, floral, grass, and herbal earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of hop and malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange zest, pear, biscuit, light caramel, honey, floral, grass, light pine, and herbal earthiness. Light earthy floral/pine bitterness; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange/lemon zest, pear, biscuit, honey, light caramel, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance of citrus hops with malt sweetness; with good robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and moderately crisp mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice pale ale. All around well balanced citrus hop and bready malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering. (1,233 characters)

Photo of I3eck
4.04/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle -> Craft Beer Glass

A: Crystal clear, bright copper color, 1/2" creamy light tan head, spotty stumpy lacing with a slight ring as the beer recedes.
S: Caramel malt, white chocolate, subtle hops, yeast/dough.
T: Nice toasty malts, smooth caramel, floral, nice low-key hoppy finish, citrus accents, nice minerally crispness.
M: Very crisp and refreshing brew, great CO2, medium to light bodied.
O: I enjoyed the minerally characteristic of this brew. It comes off as a peppery/flintiness that just makes that beers finish fantastic. Great drinkability. (564 characters)

Photo of kemoarps
3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appears clear, the colour of apple juice. Small head, fades to just a swirl on the top. Decent lacing.

The nose gives a honey crispyness, bready malts and some fruity hops.

There's some hops bringing a scrape to the tongue: primarily citrus, but this is much more of that bready malts. I like my APAs to be a little more crisp and hop-forward, and less malty liquid bread. I realize that may just be me, but this one is primarily those bready malts which do not particularly appeal to me. Good carbonation level, and smoothe enough. There's a honey sweetness that gives it a creamy/smoothe note on the finish.

Not a bad beer, just not the approach to the style that I prefer. (679 characters)

Photo of NeedBeerHere
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours out dark orange in color with a finger white head. Seems to have decent retention and some decent lacing. Smell is some citrusy, pineapple, grapefruit, orange, and there is definitely some sweet malt in the background to balance things out. Definitely smells like a pale ale as it smells well balanced. Taste is quite a bit more on the malty side and the hops really don't shine here. Hard to tell if it's a little old or there just isn't much hop presence in the beer as there is no dating on the bottle. Regardless, the 6/pack I found on the shelf is pretty malt forward and whish there were more hops here. Mouthfeel is fairly good as it is thicker than I would have thought. Overall the beer smells fairly decent but really doesn't come through with the taste. This seems to be a malt bomb with a tiny bit of bitterness.

Edit: After drinking a few more mouthfuls I can get more hops and bitterness than at first. It actually seems true to style or maybe a little more malty than I would like but it seems more true to style after a few gulps. (1,053 characters)

Photo of RingoBro
3.82/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Picked up a Kona Brewing Co. mix pack and was not disappointed!

"Active volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii leave visitors awestruck by their power. The glow of lava as it meets the ocean is an amazing sight. Our Fire Rock Pale Ale is inspired by this place with a bright copper color and rich roasted malt taste. Aloha!"

Poured from bottle into a pint glass.

A - Beautiful amber/orange color with a nice, fluffy head

S - Light citrus, malty smell.

T - Tastes exactly like it smells. Nice and light. Hint of mango after-taste

M - Crisp and dry. Slightly bitter

Overall, I really liked this beer. I'm a big fan of pale ales and this one hit the spot. Went down smooth and had a great after-taste. I'll be picking up more soon! (735 characters)

Photo of damndirtyape
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (no date, 6% ABV) poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance: Hazy coppery-orange, glows a bit when held up to the light. Thin skin of off white foam with persistent strands and islands of lacing.

Smell: When first poured, mild grapefruit citrus and pine. Letting it warm up and some mango comes out as well.

Taste: Nicely balanced between hops and malt. Starts with a grapefruit citrus up front, then some sweet middle; partly caramel, partly mango, partly biscuit, then a mild bitter finish, mostly pine, and a crisp bitter finish as well. The finish does not linger like most APAs I've had.

Mouthfeel: Nicely thick, good carbonation, definite hop oils sticking to the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: When first poured I simply thought this was like so many other APAs I've had. As it warmed up and got more balanced and the Mango flavor came out, I liked it more and more and drank it down fairly quickly. Quite a drinkable brew - I could easily have another one without batting an eye. Went well with dinner (pepper + wine sauce chicken, buttered carrots) and I think it would go well all by itself or with other meals as well. I'll have to pick this one up again. (1,190 characters)

Fire Rock Pale Ale from Kona Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 635 ratings.