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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.

650 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 650
Hads: 2,205
Avg: 3.62
pDev: 23.76%
Wants: 51
Gots: 420 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Kona Brewing Co.
Hawaii, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Fire Rock Pale Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 650 | Hads: 2,205
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.

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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 !!!

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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..

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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).

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Photo of YeastMode
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - Mellow 1/4 inch head with a fringe of auburn. Deep caramel color. Appears more foggy than most Pale Ales.
S - Light floral aroma. Flowery and light. Earthy and deep, tropical as expected.
T - Slight citrus, bite of hops in a quick flair which quickly dissolve. As the profile progresses it has a unique malty-bready-sweetness. Spicy yet sugary.
M - Mouthfeel was unique. very bready and sweet for a pale ale but paired well with some mellow intial hop-bite. Finished cleanly.

O- I was surprised overall by this beer. For a Pale ale i was not expecting it to have such a variety of flavor. Ranging from hop-forward to sweet breadyness. Deffinetly a good brew.

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Photo of bmwats
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a hand glass.

A: Deep golden hue. Pours a 1 finger, bubbly, white head. Dissipates slowly, but not completely. Fairly persistent, but light, spiderweb lacing.

S: Light pine, fresh tea leaf, with a nutty tone.

T: Pine hop, with bitter nut shell.

M: Crisp body with something a steely, dry finish. That steeliness lingers on the palate throughout.

D: Sessionable, although the bitter (slightly off-putting) finish will compel a slower progression.

Atmosphere is pretty solid. Deep hue, fair head, and some persistent albeit light lacing. Nose is piny with a nutty character. Crisp pine hop with bitter nut shell, and a steely finish. Overall, this is a good quaff.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with bottled on date September 21, 2013 printed on the label. A new beer to me from Kona Brewing Co., a brewery I'm not too familiar with, but a style I enjoy. My bottle lists a 6.00% abv, rather than the 5.90% abv listed on BeerAdvocate. Expectations are decent enough.

Poured into a Miller High Life pint glass.

A - Pours a bright citrusy orange colored body with a slight haze. Just over a finger of fluffy off-white head sits for a while. Looks decent for what it is.

S - Smell is light and subdued. Honeyed graham cracker malts, grains, faint citrus lemon zest, and some dirty earthy hoppiness.

T - Taste follows in suit of the nose: dry grain, corn, honey, graham cracker, faint citrus, lightly floral, dirty herbal hop bitterness, and some bready pilsner malt. Not my favorite flavor combination, but it's okay.

M - Feel finishes bready, grainy, and dry. Fairly clean, with not a lot of bitterness left behind.

Overall, I'd say it is a fairly mediocre brew from Kona Brewing Co. It was nice to try, but I will definitely not be wanting this one again.

Kona Brewing Fire Rock Pale Ale ---3.5/5

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Photo of BVukelich
3.41/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into pint glass. Nice copper color, very minimal head but leaves good lace. Offers a decent hop flavor. Not much for aroma going on. I thought the mouthfeel was a little better than okay. I'd say overall it is a little better than average. I probably won't go out of my way for it but if someone is offering or the variety 12-pack is on sale next summer, I may pick it up. My wife likes the Wailea that comes in the pack.

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Photo of 57md
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance is light copper in color with a finger of head that enjoyed some good retention. There is a mellow hop nose to this slightly fizzy offering. The flavor profile is mildly malty and sweet with a nice hoppy finish.

Not sure what makes this "Hawaiian-style" but it is a great APA.

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Photo of a0lbudman
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-clear copper color with a large white head that lased the glass nicely
S-hoppy smell with a pear smell also
T-good hop flavor then the malts take over leaving you with a light hops and grapefruit aftertaste
M-medium body and carbonation
O-good hop taste that made this beer very good

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Photo of tmm313
4.25/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Transparent dark amber. 1 finger creamy head. Quickly dissipating. Nice lacing.

Smell: On the light side. Sweet malts, caramel and orangey citrus.

Taste: Malt forward followed by a nice citrusy hop bitterness. Sweet citrus is present throughout. Finish reminds me of burnt bread and lingering citrus with slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with crisp carbonation. Slightly oil finish with lightly lingering citrus sweetness and hop bitterness.

Overall: This is pretty good. I wouldn't see anything wrong with picking up a six pack of these from time to time. Nicely balanced and flavorful. Its almost like a light IPA, especially as it warms; the orangey hop flavors become much more pronounced. I'm sure I'll have this again.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Body is quite amber red, with hints of orange hues and microscopic rising carbonation. Head is light white and maybe a little tan, with a thin soapy slightly two finger head and a thin puck left while drinking. Fairly clear but slightly hazy also.

Nice sense of biscuit and caramel smelling malts. Slight jammy fruit esters a little also, hinting of strawberry. Not bad, not much of a hop angle noticeable.

Palate sense lots of biscuit and cream. Hints of banana slightly which seems to knock the fruit angle up differently. Clean finish but some dense malts. Mild herbality on the finish hop wise but not much going on even for a pale ale.

This reminds me more of English bitter strangely, but there's no complaints here.

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

Decent PA...hoppier than most PAs, with a nice twang. I looked at the bottle and saw that the "expiration" date was 4/15/13 and I just bought it last week...not sure if it matters. Also, learned that it is brewed right here in Portsmouth, NH...nowhere near Hawaii (not that I care). I'm guessing that the Portsmouth Brewery is doing a little side work with recipes imported from lands afar. PB produces quality so I'm good with that detail.

In any case, I wasn't blown away. Worth another try since when I had it on tap in FL a few years ago it was fantastic.

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Photo of mikefuski17
3.14/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I had Kona Fire Rock a few months back at a wedding. It was on tap. I saw the bottle and had to grab it.

A. Fire rock has a lovely dark gold almost a copper hue and is slightly opaque. The was a nice creamy off white head for a few seconds then disappeared. Lacing does not stick around either.

S. There was not any distinct scent from this beer. You get an ever so slight tough of roasted malts.

T. Taste is very light and easy. It has a malty touch but not a lot. Very simple beer yet pretty delicious. Nice summer evening beer.

M. Very soft on the palette. Not much carbonation and not full. Very easy on the taste buds and does not coat.

O. I enjoy the simplicity of the beer. After a hard days work you can kick back to a kona and not have to think about it too much. Just a nice relaxing beer.

Served in a pint glass.

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Fire Rock Pale Ale from Kona Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 650 ratings.