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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.

1,911 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,911
Reviews: 619
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 13.26%
Wants: 39
Gots: 201 | 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: 1,911 | Reviews: 619 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Photo of r0nyn
3.9/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Outback Steakhouse in Lahaina, Hawaii. Served in a mug.

Appearance is quite clean. Amber-colored liquid with no head that leaves a nice bit of lacing. Smell is on the light side, with a distinct malt character and just a subtle wafting of citrus fruits. Could have been because it was served in a chilled mug, so I'll have to try it without one.

Taste is refreshing and malty off the bat, followed by the hoppy bitterness and rounding off with a dryer finish than I expected. It tastes like a milder, more rounded version of Nugget Nectar, and that's a good thing. Mouthfeel is good, not too light, not too heavy. What little carbonation there is tickles the tongue just enough to spread the flavor around.

Definitely could have had another one, thanks to the pleasant taste and easy mouthfeel. A very good experience for my first beer from the Hawaiian islands and looking forward to more from Kona.

Photo of ccrida
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draught at their pub in the Honolulu airport, served in a tall pils glass (it was probably like $10!), Fire Rock Pale Ale is bright orange with a small eggshell head leaving very pretty lace.

Smell is sweet malt and light herbal hops.

Taste is generic, malty pale ale with only a light amount of hops. Clean finish, bittersweet.

Mouthfeel is dry on the finish, with creamy carbonation and a medium body.

Drinkability is OK, not as good as I recall, although the last time I had it I was on my honeymoon so it was probably more of a situational impression.

Photo of racer2k
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this beer into my favorite pint glass

A - Dark copper pour with a frothy one two finger white head which leaves plenty of lacing around the glass

S - A mixing bowl of sweet malt and a solid hop aroma with hints of citrus, grapefruit and oranges

T - The initial taste starts with a toasted malt flavor which leads to a very smooth sweet and hoppy finish. I really enjoyed the transition of the flavor profile in this beer.

M - Light carbonation is in order with a medium body texture to the beer.

D - This is a very drinkable beer which tastes even better from what I remember of my trip to Hawaii in 1997. Now that this is distributed locally I will be grabbing some more.

Photo of Jemonster
4.43/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Date on the bottle says Apr 27 '10.

A: Very attractive beer! Poured into a glass, it looks like the beer that you would see a picture of in the dictionary under "beer". Orange tan color, a bit darker than the pale ales I'm used to seeing.

S: Smells like tropical iced tea mixed with beer. I can smell pineapples and oranges along with the yeast. Smells wonderful.

T: Sweet at first with that tropical fruits thing going on. Increasingly bitter hops as it sits on the tongue, maybe a little too much for its style. Overall, a very tasty beer. I can't give it a 5, but I've given lesser beers a 4, so its a 4.5.

M: Medium bodied so that the flavor coats the mouth, but not as crisp and refreshing as I would expect given the flavor. It could be my fault, since it seems like a beer that should be served very cold, and I'm drinking it at about 50F.

D: I could drink a good number of these I think. The flavor goes well with the sausage pizza that I am eating with it. At 6% alcohol, it's session-able for me.

Photo of u2carew
4.33/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz long neck. Consumed 6/16/10
A) Pours with a quarter inch head - creamy and wispy. Lacing is thin and sticky. Body has just a slight haze with mellow upward carbonation. Bronze with amber tones.
S) Caramel. Subtle vanilla. Some floral notes. Toasty.
T) Blast o' malt up front - yum! Nutty. Buttery. Toasted bread. It's like caramel popcorn with a sassy hop bite. The combination of malt and hops are well balance and interact well with each other. Finishes with a nice caramel and floral sweetness.
M) Smooth. Creamy. Medium body. Crisp in the finish.
D) A delicious Pale Ale. Well done Kona!

Photo of Crazy4LegMoose
2.88/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got this one in MA and it states it is brewed by Kona Brewing in Portsmouth, NH

A: Light amber brown hue with 3/4 fingers of off white creamy head. Light crown around the edge of the glass with a minute amount of lacing.

S: Smell of hay with light tones of citrus and grass

T: Pale malty flavor mixed with a grassy earth hop taste that finishes with a bitter almost coffee like bite. Not very complex tasting beer, but it does have hints of butter and toasted nut to go along with the pale malt base.

M: Thin mouthfeel that is more creamy than fizzy.

D: Decent drinkability. I could have a few of these but the taste doesn't exactly have me longing for more. Not bad, but not a great pale ale either.

Fire Rock Pale Ale from Kona Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 1,911 ratings.