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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.

649 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 649
Hads: 2,204
Avg: 3.62
pDev: 23.76%
Wants: 51
Gots: 419 | 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: 649 | Hads: 2,204
Photo of microbrewlover
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a dark copper/brown color; somewhat opaque, light just barely makes it through. There is a half-finger head which dissipates quickly, some of it sticks around until the end. Light lacing.

The smell is mostly caramel and roasted malts. Some sweetness, bready, lemongrass and pine.

The tastes is thick caramel malts, bread, pine, grapefruit and some other type of fruit I cannot identify.
The feel is thick, bready and chewy. There is some pine prickliness left on the tongue after swallowing.

This is a somewhat complex but not a "blow me away" type of Pale Ale. It is a solid Pale Ale even though it has a low hop content. However, without the 'in your face' hops this brew might make a good "session" brew.

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Photo of dbriesemeister
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at a local MN beer bar.

Look - rich amber color, limited head, but strong lacing

Smell - fresh smell, freshly cut grass, some floral notes of lavender

Taste - sweet malty flavor, good bite of bitterness

Feel - medium bodied, crisp refreshing carbonation, lingering (but appealing) bitter flavor

Overall - solid representation of an American pale ale

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Photo of Aaron_Ramson
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Carmel colored body, almost too dark for a pale ale, quickly dissapating head that left very nice lacing around the glass. Nose was nicely balanced between fruity, citrus hops and toasty sweet malt. Great mouthfeel with medium body and carbonation; the taste follows the nose with sweetness from caramel malts, biscuity nutty flavor, lightly roasted malts, hop flavor is floral forward and floral/fruity back. A tasty and satisfying ale that is a cross between a pale and amber, color and flavor wise.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.76/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased by my wife and brought home from Hana Hou's Hawaiian Restaurant in Yomitan, OKinawa...

A - Pours a gorgeous copper color with a big creamy three fingers of tan cream on top

S - Sweet citrus, and ripe fruits on the nose, cascade hop like aroma is prominent

T - Bitter floral hops hit the front matched in stride with thick rye-like malts, pit fruits such as raisins and fig make an enjoyable balance

M - Medium bodied, medium carbonation, a little warmth and staying power from the after -taste

Overall I'm not sure if it is because I'm starved of the good american craft beer scene out here in Japan, but this was much better than I remembered it. Don't drink it too cold, and the flavor is fantastic. And for those reviewing this who say it doesn't have enough IBU's... try an IPA, this nailed my pale ale fetish.

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Photo of jjamadorphd
3.42/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I really like Kona Brewing - I guess since I really like visiting Hawaii - but there is something that leaves me a little wanting with their offerings.

This particular brew - the Fire Rock Pale Ale - is for the most part good. Looks great in the glass, has a nice white head and staying power. But for a pale ale, which I'm admittedly not a huge fan of pale ales, has the strongest of aftertastes I have ever experienced. If you put that aside, it really has a nice pale ale taste - bold and refreshing - definitely a good summertime brew to share with good friends and during relaxing times.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
3.52/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle.

Pours a nice traditional strong copper color with some golden hues. There is a thin white head to forms that is quite dense.

The aroma is nice and quite traditional earthy and bready grain notes in the nose. Slight caramel sweetness form the pal malts. Aroma is nice and grassy as well. Not too strong of a hop backbone which is refreshing though.

Flavor starts off nice and bready. Notes of grain and earthy toasted malt. There is a nice robust and herbal grassy hop character that adds a nice balance of bitterness to the bready sweet malt. THe mouthfeel is nice and light with good carbonation.

Overall. Pretty solid APA. Great bready notes that has some good sweetness. There is a nice herbal and grassy hop note that is also slight piney. Pretty good brew.

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Photo of EagleTalon
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours out to a creamy white head and moderate lacing. Color is a brilliant orange copper. Aroma is hop dominant, with citrusy hops and crystal malts to balance. Flavor is supremely balanced between sticky, biscuity malts and citrus/floral hops. Bittersweet finish. Mouthfeel is a bit sticky and I am liking this. Overall, a tasty, rich but sessionable APA.

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Photo of TheMarkE
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Beautiful shade of amber. Decent foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Toasted malts, floral hops, hints of citrus.

Taste: Toasted malts, citrus, caramel, floral. Hints of spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, creamy, slight bitter hop aftertaste.

The Verdict: Good beer. Very well balanced and moderately complex. My first exposure to Kona left me underwhelmed, but I'm beginning to become a fan. Considering that they are partially owned by Anheuser-Busch, (along with their sister brewery Widmer Brothers) they continue to crank out some pretty good stuff.

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Photo of Hoppsbabo
4.08/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Slightly dulled amber with a light beige head and small strings of fine bubbles.

S: Tropical fruit and sherbet. Has a very slight pong. Very subtle almonds.

T: Slightly earthy, fruity – papaya and pineapple perhaps, not over the top though. Nice and balanced. When taking a swig I get a subtle nose of almonds.

M: Not particularly sharp, which I like, but it looses its fizz incredibly quickly.

O: Good. I much prefer American ale when the fruity flavours are played down a bit.

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Photo of RickS95
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle

Clear beers don't do much for me and this is no exception. It's fairly dark for a 'pale' ale, as it pours an orangey amber color. The problem is it's so clear you can still see right through it. The head isn't awful. It starts off pale ale-ish, but it doesn't retain very well.

The smell is non-descript. The Cascade hops try to make an appearance, but they're too subtle. You mostly get a variety of malts and a floral hop note.

The taste isn't really pale ale-ish, but it's really good. Lots of malts with a variety of different flavors melding together. There's a bit of spice and the caramel really comes through. There's honey in the background. However, I don't pick up much in the way of hops, even in the finish, which has little bitterness. Earthiness maybe, but no really hoppiness.

A good bit of feel. Sweet, spicy, only the faintest bitterness. Medium bodied. Kind of a sticky, spicy-sweet finish with some balancing bitter only deep in the swallow.

Overall, it's a pretty good beer. Probably misclassified as a pale ale, but whatever. Brown ale might be a better description. Once you get past the look and commonplace smell, it's an easy beer to drink.

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Photo of KarlHungus
2.92/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This beer pours a hazy bronze color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes into sparse lacing within seconds. The aroma is of grapefruit, and pine. I feel like I've smelled this same aroma dozens of other times. The taste is similar to the aroma, and leans heavily toward the sweet side of things. In fact, I detect virtually no bitterness whatsoever. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with lower than optimal carbonation, and a sticky texture. Overall, this is a pretty mundane pale ale that I will pass on next time.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Ruby-copper with good foam and decent lacing. Not too much carbonation.

Smell: Sweet caramel and dry hay. Not incredible, but a nice balance.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Dry hay and a hint of caramel. A bit too sour in the background. Pretty active carbonation, but flattens in finish.

Overall Drinkability: Not as good as Pipeline Porter or Coconut Brown...not even close. Enjoyable to start, but not great in the end.

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Photo of neenerzig
3.73/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into one of my pint glasses. This beer pours a clear medium to copper/amber/dark golden color with a white head that is initially 1 inch when first poured. Settles pretty quickly to a medium to thick ring lining the inside of the glass with a pretty good film layer of foam hanging out on the beer's surface. Pretty decent lacing too. Aromas of slightly toasted caramel malt and some grassy, floral hop notes. Decent flavors of some slightly toasted caramel malt and some grassy floral hop bitterness. Good balance of the malt sweetness and the hop bitterness, but the hop bitterness does tend to be the more dominant flavor profile here. Has a crisp, yet smooth, oily and even slightly rubbery medium to full bodied mouth feel with moderate carbonation. Easy to drink in the way good beer should be.


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Photo of Nugganooch
3.46/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle from the Kona Brewing variety pack - served in an Imperial nonic glass

A: Dark caramel color nearing a copper-amber really with some light hazing towards the center. Otherwise near perfect clarity. Thin half finger of light retaining khaki suds float on top leaving behind some light etch work and dots of lace.

S: Toasted biscuit and caramel malts with some understated earthy hops. There are faint stone fruit like esters coming through as well. Real bready aroma overall.

T: Tastes of caramel malts, toasted bread, and biscuit. Some nice stone fruit juiciness and light earthiness there with a moderate amount of bitterness. Has a flowery finish with a suggestion of citrus fruits. Alcohol is completely hidden and there is a pleasant balance to the beer overall but this is definitely a malty Pale.

M: Moderate to lighter body with a nice frothy smooth feel from the ample carbonation. There is a nice drying effort in the finish with some residual hop oils and malt sugars lingering on the palate.

D: Perfectly average pale ale that boasts a malty profile with some complementary bitters. Has some nice balance in flavors actually just offers very little to get excited about.

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Photo of matjack85
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I bought this as part of a build-your-own six pack for $9.99 at the Binny's store in Bloomingdale, IL, making them $1.67 each. 12oz brown bottle with a brewed on date of Jan 13 of 2013, making this bottle about 3 months old.

The beer poured a deep copper color with a 2-finger off-white head that lasted a few minutes and left lots of spotty lacing on the glass.

There's not much smell to this - just some very weak malt.

Lots of caramely sweetness along with other toasted malts to give this a big malt forward profile. Some juicy fruitiness adds to the complexity, and there's just the perfect amount of hops to keep it balanced and to give it a gentle bitterness. It's delicious.

Light to medium bodied, crisp, and with medium high carbonation.

This is by far the best beer from this brewery.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
2.9/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(Served in an American pint glass)
A- This beer pours a crystal clear deep orange body with a thin white film and a gentle carbonation

S- The pine and pith hints give way to a pale malt note when it opens a bit but the aroma is pretty clean over all.

T- The fizzy covers much of the taste except a pungent bitter hop after taste. There is a field corn note that comes through as the beer opens and the fizz dies down.

M- The medium mouthfeel has a full scrubbing fizz and no alcohol heat noticed.

O- The fizz and hop bitterness is about all there is making it not very sessionable and a bit one-dimensional. The hops are mostly bitterness and no any flavor or aroma to them.

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Photo of sam_bliss
3.54/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very red for a pale ale. Light copper colored with an impressive white head. Long retention and good-looking lacing as the foam ever-so-slowly subsides. It smells a bit malty, and pretty weak. Perhaps I've poured it too cold, but I can hardly make out any real scent. Taste is upper malty for an APA; some roasted malts mix in to the caramel and pale malt foundation. Raisins, dark brown sugar, and some grassy hops make this worth drinking. There is a little bit of hay flavor as well.

Fir Rock Pale Ale is more of an amber if you ask me. But I won't judge based on that; it's a good beer. It is interesting and something different - "Hawaiian-Style" I suppose. I can appreciate a beer that breaks from the norms and even the definition of such a broad style. Notes that bring to mind sweet oatmeal with raisins are balanced out by just the right amount of hops. This is far less bitter, or refreshing, than your typical SNPA model.

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Photo of Bills453
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - nice amber color that one would expect. Loses points because the head doesn't last. Decent lacing on the glass though!

Smell - a little bit of hops and some floral smells, but not much.

Taste - an ok pale ale. A like more bold hops in my pale ales of any variety. This would be a very nice session pale ale though because the hippiness certainly is not overpowering.

Mouthfeel - good

Overall - an ok pale ale.

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

Opening a bottle of Kona Fire Rock Pale Ale. The date on the bottle says NOV 27 2012, which means it was bottled almost 4 months ago. Hoping that the hop aromas have not taken too big a hit from that fact.

Appearance: A beautiful clear, dark copper color with a clear white, coarse head which is gone in 2 minutes. Color reminds me of scotch.

Aroma: Not too hoppy on the aroma. Rather on the malty side, which I accredit to the 4 months in the bottle. Especially, caramel malt is prominent. Just when poured, has grassy and floral notes.

Taste: Subtle sweet maltiness with the bitter aftertaste of an IPA.

Mouthfeel: This is the best part of this IPA. Very round and drinkable. I am having this in a cold Danish march with a foot of snow outside. However, I believe that this IPA will truly prove its worth on a warmer summer day.

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Photo of mattcrill
4.12/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: Light crackery malt nose with a touch of earthy and slightly woody hop character. Clean fermentation notes.

Appearance: Deep amber pour with a thick and sudsy off-white head.

Flavor: A touch of bready sweetness up front followed by more earthy and slightly citric hop character. Minerally water profile which adds to the depth and character of the flavor. Balance is nearly even with a slight nod to the hop character. Finish is long and slightly bitter. Aftertaste is clean leaving the palette wanting more.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Just a touch of creaminess and even a little resiny/oily. No alcohol heat.

Overall impression: An immensely drinkable, complex, and refreshing pale ale. Seems a bit heavier handed on the malt than what I'm used to but really enjoyable. Nicely done.

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

Aloha!!! Trying the Kona Brew Fire Rock....its decent. The beer pours a nice clear copper with a finger thick white head that is leaving a lace. The smell is mostly caramel type malt....not much hops. The taste is a well balance pale ale, but the malt is more pronounced than the hops. The mouthfeel is medium in body with good carbonation. Overall it is a tasty beer and would be good to session.

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Photo of Hoptometrist
4.23/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap into a shaker glass
A- Poured a clear orange color with lots of visible streaming carbonation, off-white frothy head left lots of dense glass coating lace
S- Big aroma of peach, grapefruit, mango, and tropical hops
T- Lots of peach, grapefruit, and mango hop flavors. Very tropical and fruit forward. Moderate to mild bitterness.
M- Dry, medium body and carbonation
O- A very good fruit forward pale ale with lots of tropical hop flavors, fitting I suppose for a brewery in Hawaii.

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Photo of hosehead83
4.12/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.
Chill-hazed copper in color, with a moderate cap of bone-white foam.
Aroma-Toasted malt, faint floral hop note
Taste-Toasted malt, herbal and floral hop notes, citrus -rind bitterness snakes in and out balanced by caramel and a bit of mineral essence. Very tasty and exceptionally well-balanced. Nothing over-the-top, just classic American pale. Excellent flavor and character. Great with a hunk of aged white cheddar.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.42/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

Ted Nugent sets rocks on fire. Get used to it. Anyway, this stuff pours a clear copper topped by a finger of lightly off-cream foam. The nose comprises mild pine needles, mild caramel, and light orange rind. The taste brings in more of the same, with more orange and a touch of flowers. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, a nice, if not altogether distinguished, brew. 'Nuff said.

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

Poured into a pint glass from a 12oz bottle. Packaging states that this was bottled on "09/26/12," meaning this is over 4 months old at this point.

Color is an orangish-amber, filled with ripe tones produced by the malts, and plenty of syrupy goodness to boot. Carbonation is relatively decent, although there wasn't that much of a head overall. Lacing gently rests on the glass's walls, and bubbles seem to be abundant even as this warms up. Looks mellow overall, but afraid if this might be too old at this point.

Getting plenty of cascade hops on the nose, alongside another gentle plunge of citrus that resembles most closely orange peel. Lots of strong caramel and honey notes here, however. Usually this is the case as these beers get a little older in the bottle, but it doesn't smell too yeasty or boozy at this point. There's a little bit of hefty yeast notes that rise at the back of the neck after each large whiff, yet this seems pretty balanced overall, and indeed, as mellow as the appearance was in the beginning.

The flavor starts off slightly bitter, with some of the hoppy notes coming through, but is quickly replaced by biscuit, toasted malts melded with brown sugar and candied honey. A little bit of spiciness catches me by surprise, often resembling cinnamon and pumpkin spice. Fruity notes are not too tropical, but they do seem to resemble apricots when they're not too citrusy. It's pretty balanced and easy to consume overall, especially given the syrup-like character and simple aftertaste despite all of the flavors. A little bit of alcohol burn gets you as well, which also came as a surprise.

This is a bare bones pale ale for sure, but some of the hoppy characteristics are different here, definitely in ways that I haven't found in the APA style before. While not in-your-face in any way, indeed, its balanced nature is what I enjoy about it. I will try more beers from Kona Brewing Co. in the future.

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Fire Rock Pale Ale from Kona Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 649 ratings.