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Fire Rock Pale Ale - Kona Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Fire Rock Pale AleFire Rock Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,867 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,867
Reviews: 615
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 12.98%
Wants: 36
Gots: 176 | 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:
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 added by: xlperro on 08-30-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,867 | Reviews: 615 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of snogglethorpe
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice copper color, looks very enticing, but almost no head on the bottle I had.

Smell is really nice, fruity and a little sour.

Taste is quite sweet and malty, with a very fruity taste; there's definitely a hop presence, although somewhat subtle. The bitterness is subdued but pretty good in tone, and I think the hops lend to the fruitiness (it reminds me somewhat of Anchor brews in that respect). A slight mineral/metallic taste. While not a hop monster, it has what I think is a decent balance. Hmm, fruity!

Mouthfeel is thick, maybe a bit too thick (as someone noted, "syrupy" may be a good description), but it's pretty drinkable nonetheless.

Maybe not a prize-winner, but quite tasty and very easy to drink. Did I mention it was fruity?

[Somehow this strikes me as being halfway between American and British pale-ale tastes...]

snogglethorpe, Nov 19, 2010
Photo of Thorpe429
2.75/5  rDev -24%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. The color is a moderate orange-copper with a slight white head and not too much lacing. The nose brings some very, very mild hops along with some pale malt and light caramel. The taste pulls back so that the hops are nearly non-existent, not even to the level of a mild. Fairly light feel without really any bitterness. No off flavors and the malt is fairly nice, but not what I expect from an APA.

Thorpe429, Nov 12, 2010
Photo of capra12
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed solo served out of a slender pint glass.

Appearance: orange and cloudy brown in color, poured a 1 1/2 finger of coarse head.

Smell: I got a ton of caramel malt in this brew.

Taste: Opens with a brown ale malt profile as a subtle hop bitterness peeks through at the end. One dimensional here but what was I expecting with a pale ale.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, and medium bodied. This brew leaves my palate coarse.

Drinkability: The unfortunately is a one and done for me. I get too much malt in this pale ale with almost a syrupy mouthfeel. Not my favorite pale ale. I recommend this to those seeking a strong malt presence with a medium body.

capra12, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of melloashello
4.18/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a copper color with little to no head. Smell of floral hops and sweet malty goodness. At first sip, I immediately noticed the abundance of hop presence. Pretty hoppy for a pale ale, which I love! The beer is not too heavy and I could easily throw back of a couple of these. Overall, pretty impressed with this beer.

melloashello, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of Sudsy89
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle, chilled

Pours a copper-amber color, one-finger head, leaves some lacing. High level of carbonation, a bit cloudy. Looks somewhat like a Hefeweizen.

Aroma is floral, citrusy, sweet. Has a medium-bodied feel to it, modest hop bitterness. Taste is mostly sweet, caramel malt. I do think the carbonation is too much, though. This particular bottle is seven months old, so I will say the hops may be more dull by now. I think this is a decent Pale Ale, but nothing really great or unusual. Drinkability is pretty high, but it is 6% abv, not very heavy but moderate. Would probably go well with pizza or spicy BBQ. I'd prefer it over Bass but Sierra Nevada's pale ale is my preference.

Sudsy89, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of Ragingbull
3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reddish color with lacing and a rim of foam. Mild hops and gentle malt hints coming off the nose. The attack is gently hoppy and there are some flavors of the grains swirling around with a malty backdrop. There seems to be some irish moss or peat flavor kicking around there as well, especially in the aftertaste. I must admit this was better than I expected. I have recently been seeing the Kona stuff at various places around the country and I was afraid it was going to be some mass produced swill that was capitalizing on the fact it was from Hawai'i. This wasn't the case and I am glad I finally purchased some to try.

Ragingbull, Sep 23, 2010
Photo of WinthrHOPHEAD89
3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Reddish copper color. A 2 to 3 finger, off-white, foamy head that quick dissipates. Leaves some very nice lacing on the glass though.

S - Lots of dark malts, and VERY hoppy. Slightly floral as well.

T - the taste of this beer is an intense caramel malt sweetness up front, with a nice hope bite on the finish. The taste can be summed up that simply, but it is very very good.

M - This beer is medium to heavy bodied with a very sticky resiny quality to it.

D - The drinkability of this beer is fairly high, although personally I dont think I could have more than two of these due to its stickiness.

Final thoghts: Very suprised, and would reccommend to IPA and PA drinkers, and Hopheads in general.

WinthrHOPHEAD89, Sep 15, 2010
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!

BeerAdvocate, Sep 10, 2010
Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle, the brew looked a pale amber color with a few centimeters of foam above. Not a bad looking brew, really. Some flowery notes in the aroma are offset by a dose of fermented caramel grain. The aroma is played out on the palate with a strong grainy sweetness. Some bitterness from the hops is apparent at the end but more would be appreciated to offset the grains.

BeardedBoffin, Sep 06, 2010
Photo of trevorjn06
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a nice looking 1 inch head that recedes in about a minute to a frothy layer on the surface. Leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is (while cold) bready malts and some grassy hops.

Taste is toasty and bready malts up front with a balancing hop bitterness coming midway through. Toward the finish there are some nice light fruity flavors and the finish is quite smooth, not overly sweet or too hoppy.

Mouthfeel is medium with medium/low carbonation.

Overall this beer goes down easy and is fairly straight forward in it's flavor profile. It didn't blow me away, but I would have it again.

trevorjn06, Aug 31, 2010
Photo of bourbonbock
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a bottle of this beer into a clean pub glass.

A. Crystal clear orange gold body with a white foam head that recedes to a ring after a few minutes. Lacing has appeared in place of the head.

S. Like smell of hops but I get a strong whiff of malt. Nothing special but strangely appetizing.

T. I taste hops and hop oils up front followed by a pronounced malt backbone.

M. Clean with a bitter bite. Smooth and bubbly.

D. I could probably kill a six pack of this on a Saturday afternoon.

bourbonbock, Aug 20, 2010
Photo of ToasterChef
3.05/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from my notes.

The beer is translucent and colored a mixture of copper, orange and rust. Head head is large, tan, and made up of small bubbles. There is a little bit of lacing and some rising carbonation.

There are some candied malts and a few hops in the aroma.

The taste has some brown sugar sweetness from the malts. A little hop bitterness is in the finish. There is also a buttery or vinegar-like quality to the finish. It is a fine yet unremarkable flavor.

The beer has a light body and lots of carbonation. There isn't much coating, but I can still feel the effects of the carbonation bubbles on my tongue after I've swallowed.

This beer has average drinkability. Too much carbonation and an odd aftertaste limit it. I wouldn't purchase this beer in a six pack, but depending on my choices, I may order a pint in a bar.

ToasterChef, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of goblue3509
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orangish copper color with a two finger head which gives way to some lacing. The aroma has a faint toffee and sweet malt backbone with a some citrus hop notes over the top. The taste has a toffee and bready backbone on the back end there is a citrus hop bite with a slight floral hop. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated. Overall it is a solid apa not the hoppiness of some of the bigger apa's but the drinkability is well blended and very smooth.

goblue3509, Aug 17, 2010
Photo of berley31
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured with a moderate-sized, frothy white head that diminished fairly quickly to 1/2-finger. Body is a dark orange color, and hazy.

S: Aroma is a bit of a let-down for the style... the expected moderate to strong hop aroma is missing... the citrusy hop aroma IS there, but it's light and doesn't come through as it should.

T: Pleasant malt sweetness (a bit of both bready and caramel), followed by a light citrus hop flavor and low bitterness in the finish. Very smooth and easy-drinking, but like the aroma the hops are slightly lacking.

M: Medium-low body, medium-high carbonation. Very smooth finish.

D: This is a very easy-drinking beer... I could have several of these easily. Unfortunately, as APAs go, it's a little on the weak side. I'd like to see some more hop flavor with this beer... that would push it into the very good territory at least.

berley31, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of BigIrishman
3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours light amber, not much head and little lacing.

Smell: Maybe a bit of a grassy spicy hop note, not a lot though. Mostly smell sweet pale malts here.

Taste: Not too much in terms of hop flavor, maybe citrus or a cut grass but it's not too powerful. The caramelish/buttery malt sticks out and it finishes with a little tingle and the tongue (like it's trying to have a SNPA bitterness but never really gets there).

Mouthfeel: Drying and fairly clean and light.

Drinkability: This is probably one of the only times I'll grab the lager over the pale. The flavor was kind of all over the place and lacked any real direction. Not hoppy, but not smoothly balanced...so what is it? Not sure but at least it's fairly non offensive.

BigIrishman, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of mytireisfat
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P: 12oz tall brown bottle. date: June 10 10

A: One finger head, that retains well. no lacing. Amber color.

S: Caramel malts, hops, sweetness.

T: A Good hops flavor to this one. Slight roasted malts.

M: Light body, lots of carbonation.

D: Easy to drink. great rounded beer. really enjoyed it!

mytireisfat, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of Haybeerman
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Clear copper color. Poured a 2 fingger creamy off-white head that slowly dissipated to a almost a 1 finger skim. Patchy lacing most of the way down.

S: Toffee and bread. A little citrus zest; a hint af vanila.

T: Sweet and malty; predominantly the toffee flavor like in the nose. Hop character is muted; primarily citrussy. Long, lingering bitter to balance.

M: Medium body. Maderate carbonation. Flavorful and balanced. Smooth and creamy.

D: Flavorful and balanced. Very drinkable.

Haybeerman, Aug 02, 2010
Photo of sjverla
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nose: Sweet and malty. A faint ring of hops at the end.

Appearance: Rich copper. Thin head with minimal lacing.

Taste: Sweet and malty with a toffee-like richness. It almost becomes cloying. Grassy notes and faint bitterness come in at the end, that transform into a minerally tin flavor.

Feel: Bright and big. The carbonation reaches high towards the nose.

Overall: B- Almost too sweet. Not well-balanced. Could benefit from more hops.

sjverla, Jul 31, 2010
Photo of BeerNinja007
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single for $2.00 at Barb's Beer Emporium in Concord NH. Label stamped as bottled on 060910 (June 9 2010).

A: Copper colored brew generates 1/2" of tan foam that settles slowly to a respectable layer and a big meniscus around the glass. Generates a little lace as I sip it.

S: Big buttery toffee nose, tons of diacetyl. After it breathes a bit, maybe some floral and hoppy notes emerging, but still the toffee clearly dominates.

T: Smooth and creamy, diacetyl and vanilla on a moderately sweet malt backbone. Like the ice cream part of a root beer float. Hops are present but subdued, definitely take a back seat, just a subtle rounded citrus, maybe as mellow as apricot.

M/D: Moderately thick, very creamy, soft carbonation, no alcohol detected. Highly drinkable , a bit heavy, very enjoyable. Not a typical APA, not by a long shot... too creamy and not enough hops. But very tasty nonetheless. Reminds me of a Yankee Candle my college roommate used to burn, sugar cookie or something like that. I don't think the Fire Rock name fits, unless it refers to lava burning through a warehouse full of vanilla beans.

BeerNinja007, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of wmthorne
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle with a bottled on date of 03.10.10.

Poured into a taller pint glass. Presents about a finger of head. Brew is caramel in color.

The first smell I got was brown sugar but after a little reflection I get a real cotton candy smell. Wish I was at a minor league park with a dog and some cracker jack's.

Carbonation is mild in the mouth. Lots of bubbles rising in the glass.

Taste of caramel and nice malt. Just a hint of bitterness in te aftertaste.

I'd recommend this beer on a hot day on the lake. It is pretty darn hot right now. I got this bottle in a pick-6 at the store an I think I'll snag a sixes soon.

wmthorne, Jul 22, 2010
Photo of ssalgado
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Great color coming out of the bottle and very clear look in the glass. Nice coppery tone and about a finger head.

The aroma is light with some fruity accents that aren't overwhelming. Not too strong but there is enough there to entice the palate.

Taste surprised me a little but in a good way. There was a light hoppy flavor that went down easy.

Overall not a mind blowing pale ale but it wasn't half bad. Very smooth but not completely bland and undrinkable.

ssalgado, Jul 17, 2010
Photo of Wilson27
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank July 2010 - bottled on April 28th 2010
Bottle --> Pint Glass

Pour was nice, good 1-2 finger head.
Very nice light amber color, clear.
Head dissolved quickly. The nose has a nice sweet quality to it. Mouth feel is not very full, about a 3 out of 5.

Initial Taste - Present but not overboard hop taste, that lingers a bit. A bit sweet at first but finishes with a bit of a sourdough flavor.
After Taste - Slow finish, the sweetness stays a bit and the hops stick around.
After After Taste - It finishes nicely, the hops stay in the mouth a bit.

Overall - I had my doubts about a beer from Hawaii. However, it was a nice experience. First brew from this brewery and I enjoyed it.

Wilson27, Jul 17, 2010
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on March 29, 2010 at 3:42pm. I love how they print precise dates on every bottle!

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Careful pour yielded about 3mm of white, sticky foam. Body is orange-amber, hazy, and displays gentle carbonation. Head quickly recedes to a thin, splotchy crown and holds that form for the duration of the tasting. Very light lacing.

Smell: Caramel, pineapple, orange peel, and moist pine were the only four aromas that I could detect. The mix remained pretty consistent over the course of the session. Good combo though.

Taste: Caramel, toasted bread, orange rind, and pine come through first. As time passes, the taste (especially in the finish) becomes more earthy, toasty, bitter and dry. Nothing spectacular, but nicely balanced and pretty tasty. I dig.

Mouthfeel: Malty, medium-bodied, delicately carbonated, and flavorful. Just the right amount of bitterness; balances nicely with the malt. Finishes a bit dry, with an aftertaste that could use a little work (wish it was sweeter and more flavorful).

Drinkability: I've gone through quite a few of these since arriving on the Big Island three days ago. While not thrilling or particularly special, this is a solid pale ale. One of my favorites from Kona Brewing. Worth a try.

ThreeWiseMen, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of biboergosum
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first beer from the state of my conception! (I know, TMI...) Nice little Hawaiian language lesson under the cap: 'Kia'i ola', which apparently means 'lifeguard'.

This beer pours a clear golden medium amber hue, with one finger of soapy off-white head, which dissipates quickly, leaving decent layers of thin lace around the glass. It smells of biscuity, fruity malt, with some floral, earthy hop undertones. The taste is toasted, crackery, mildly sweet caramel malt, and herbal, dusty hops. The carbonation is moderate and unobtrusive, the body medium weight, and fairly smooth. It finishes dry, clean, and kind of light and airy.

Not a bad pale ale, more British session ale in style than anything, excepting the 6 points of booze, none of which is at all evident.

biboergosum, Jul 15, 2010
Photo of dstc
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear ruby brown with a small tan head. Head falls to nothing. Not much lace.

Mild hop aroma. Somewhat sweet.

Hops in the taste yet sweet at the same time. Ends mild s very mild bitterness.

Medium bodied with average carbonation.

Not too bad. Fairly easy drinking.

dstc, Jul 15, 2010
Fire Rock Pale Ale from Kona Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 1,867 ratings.