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Fire Rock Pale Ale - Kona Brewing Co.

Fire Rock Pale AleFire Rock Pale Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,508 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1508
Reviews: 596
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 13.02%

Brewed by:
Kona Brewing Co. visit their website
Hawaii, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  5.90% 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: 1,508 | Reviews: 596 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of orbitalr0x


2.93/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle picked up in St. Louis. Pours into my glass a deep hazy copper color with a fizzy half inch of white head on top. Aromas of caramel and roasted fruity malts upfront from this brew with a slight buttery undertone. I get some herbal, piney hops in the background but they end up being fairly subdued.

First sip brings a caramel, somewhat bready roasted malt upfront with fruity accents as well. It flows down bringing in a slight buttery flavor. As it finishes mellow herbal hops move in, but don't really stand out. Ends up being sweet overall, lacking the bitterness and hop flavor I would normally like with a pale ale.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth and creamy with solid carbonation. I really can't argue with the mouthfeel at all as it flows down easily. However, overall for me this pale ale didn't make the cut. It lacks the hop presence I would normally look for and the malts seem a bit muddled with the buttery aspect in there. I'll pass next time.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2008 00:28:34 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of Risser09


2.93/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter - fridge - bottled 3/23/09

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy copper color with orange highlights. The head only goes to 1/4" with it's off-white color. No retention and just a few spots left as lace.

Smell: A sweet, malt ridden aroma of caramel malt. Cherry, strawberry, rose, hyacinth, honeysuckle, but not a hop cone to be smelled.

Taste: Malt and hops are equals in this beer. A bitter forefront of earthy, vegetal hops quickly gives way to sweet caramel malt. Cereal grains push through as well to kick in some grit. So do nutty almond flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, decent carbonation, not much bitterness, smooth. A little bit of booze.

Drinkability: Okay. This isn't much of a pale ale. It needs a better/bigger hop profile to stand out. A decent New Hampshire brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2009 17:22:06 | More by Risser09
Photo of kingcrowing


2.93/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a deep golden amber with a small white head. Nose is very lager-esque. A bit of sulfer and lightly sweet and malty.

Ale? wtf? This tastes like a fancy pbr or something. It's light and fizzy but still ok. eck, as I drink it I see how bland this is, skip it.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2009 00:20:28 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

2.93/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured on-tap and served in a pint glass, the beer presents a ruby highlighted copper coloring with a thick, smooth, foamy white head. The beer has caramel sweet and nutty aromas, with a thick, cloying character. Flavors are dark roasted caramel, with coffee tones, as well. No hops whatsoever. This brew is a bit more like an amber to me. The carbonation comes through at the end of the palate. Sharp, toasted aftertaste of roasted caramel. The finish is sweet and smooth. Decent beer stand alone, but within the style, not overly impressive.

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2011 01:32:48 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of 24Beer92


2.93/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours out with hardly any head at all and quickly dissapates into no head at all. Very bright copper color, Shows alot of carbonation at first than dies down rapidly. Smells very sweet which throws you off when you take your first drink and get the overwhelming bitterness of an IPA, not what i normally expect in an APA. This beer is very smooth going down, that was probably my favorite part of this beer. Overall my opinion is biased based on the fact i am not the biggest fan of this bitter of a beer but if thats your cup of tea than i would suggest it to you. I am a fan of Kona's longboard and other beers so just shop around their different selections. overall a great brew just not mine.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2011 00:03:19 | More by 24Beer92
Photo of Zimbo

United Kingdom (Scotland)

2.93/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nose piercing sweet nose in the bottle but duller in the glass. To compensate it takes on a sort of spicy sappiness.
Light golden oragne colour with a decent off white head which steadily decreases over time but never completely disappears.
Fairly flat tasting, mellow, maybe a very slight bit of marmalade in there but by the mid palate it just flatlines before ending with a fairly faint taste of rubber before a return to not so much. Concludes with the odd carnobic burp.
No length, light , unchallenging but would make a reasonable starter for the craftbeeroskeptics out there who need to be weened off corn and rice beers.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2012 20:36:18 | More by Zimbo
Photo of theozag


2.95/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I tried this beer at the Kona Brewing Co's pub at the Koko Head Marina Center (Oahu, HI). I figured the best possible place to try a new (to me) beer from the Kona folks was at their house.

I was not particularly impressed with this beer, but I would choose it over quite a few brews I've had in the past. The body of the beer is a crystal-clear red-brown upon which sits a thin and quickly thinning light tan head. A ring of bubbles rests atop this beer while you enjoy it, but it is only the smallest of "heads."

Smell was not particularly notable to me. Honestly, though, if you look back in my tastings you'll see my oft-made confession: "I have a terrible sense of smell." All I could get out of this glass was some oat and bitter hop notes.

Taste is somewhat bland, but certainly pleasant. The beer is definitely full-bodied, and it has a few complimentary flavors - plus plenty of bitters besides.

Finish is very clean and aftertaste is minimal. Alcohol content is relatively high, but since when was that a problem? I guardedly recommend this beer; try it, you just might like it.

Serving type: on-tap

07-22-2006 06:03:38 | More by theozag
Photo of williamherbert

New York

2.95/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review #600 for me.

A clear dark orange color. Almost no head retention whatsoever, though a thin layer does remain on top.

The smell is bitter pale malts, with a bleachy hop smell. Seems to be of the German (Hallertauer/Saaz) variety. A tad off-putting.

The taste is bitter hops at the front of the tongue, almost like chlorine. A bitter amber malt flavor, with hints of some crystally pale thrown in. More malty than hoppy.

The feel is a thick and fizzy body. Dances on the tongue, then sticks around. It's drinkable enough, but too overly bitter for my tastes, without enough balance.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2009 00:39:59 | More by williamherbert
Photo of bboven


2.98/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is dark copper leading towards amber with no signs of head or lacing. Clear.

Aroma is earthy, piney hops, maybe simcoe, balanced quite nicely with a bready malt backbone.

The flavor is nice and hoppy, with a tiny sweet malt note, but about halfway through it gets very harsh, tannin-like, and a little tinny towards the end. Not the greatest lasting impression.

Mouthfeel is a bit too highly carbonated, but average for a bottle in this style.

I wouldn't buy it again, but I'd get it on tap if it were the best available. Too many other fantastic choices out there for this one to rise to the top.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2008 23:36:02 | More by bboven
Photo of hoplover82


2.98/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a sample on tap and it was one of the worst pale ales Iv'e had. It was so bland.

Pours a good pale golden color with a fluffy white head that leaves quickly but with some lacing.

Aroma is bland of pale malts and almost no hops.

Flavor is the same as above. Pale. :(

Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, and a little watery.

I guess it's drinkable but I won't have another.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2008 18:41:53 | More by hoplover82
Photo of stephendr


3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle- color of dark golden , with a acceptable whitish head - nose of sweat , mild hops , and sour grapefruit – taste of red grapefruit , hint of dry bitter hops , dough , and malts- body is medium , sharp , and with medium to high carbonation – aftertaste of hops , some sweetness , and medium duration

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2007 17:13:04 | More by stephendr
Photo of goochpunch


3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a slightly hazed orange-honey with a barely-there head that leaves some sticky lace. Smells of sticky, syrupy, sweet, toasted malts with some clementine hops character underneath. Taste is about the same. A bit too sweet for me. The orange comes out well though, and I like that. Toasty and slightly bitter finish. Mouthfeel is a little sticky and the body is moderate in weight. Bubbles kind of prick the tongue. Average all-around. I wouldn't refuse this, but I don't think I'd be buying it again. There are better pales for the same price or cheaper available to me.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2008 01:38:32 | More by goochpunch
Photo of BeerBelcher


3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a dark amber with a minimal head. Served far, far too cold by the horrible establishment I drank it in. Even so, aroma was still demonstrably bitter and slightly sweet without being very fruity or citrus-y. Taste was definitely bitter, but not in a really fun or unique way. Mouthfeel was fine. I thought that this was OK and far better than the alternatives presented to me. In the same circumstances (limited selection) I'd no doubt have it again, but with a wider selection, no way.

I had this at "Cheeseburger - Las Vegas," which is definitely not Cheeseburger paradise. Beer list was all Anheuser-Busch distributed beers, which includes the Kona beers. Beer was OK, service was OK, food was lousy and overpriced, with some severely unpleasant and detrimental effects later.

Serving type: on-tap

06-20-2008 19:17:54 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of PorterLambic


3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours an orange/amber color, cream colored head with good retention. Creamy with very good lacing.
Smell is spices, fruit, malt. All light but well balanced.
Taste malt, hops, spice in aftertaste. Decent, lightly flavored but good.
Medium/full body with light-ish effervescence. Smooth, slightly crisp finish with a hint of dryness. A good beer but not one that announces itself well, too subtle.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2008 22:00:57 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of Minkybut


3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured this average beer into my tumbler at 45 degrees. I also noticed it was out of date. Nobody must drink this stuff as every Kona product I have looked at recently was out of date in every store I have looked. Head was an off white and had good lacing. The amber colored beer was bready smelling and a little hoppy. Nothing to smile about here. I'm not buying again.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2010 21:20:14 | More by Minkybut
Photo of selecter70


3/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Since Kona is not regularly available, I was happy to see it at a bbq, as a friend there is the brother of one the brewers. So, needless to say, I was a bit excited...I had tried a coffee stout that was good a couple years prior. Needless to say, this pale ale under-whelmed on all fronts, sadly enough. The pour was an average coppery brown with decent head & lace, but little aroma other than a malt-hop. The flavor was a basic pale ale a la Bass when I expected more. Simple hops & sweet malts prevailed with nothing else of note...not a bad beer for a bbq, just a let down. The feel while somewhat crisp & bubbly, was dry & scratch almost, reminding me of dry grasses. While I would drink if offered, I would not go out of way to get again....

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2010 23:25:53 | More by selecter70
Photo of beertaster13


3.03/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice dark orange/copper color with a dissapointing head that dissapates quickly. The smell is dry and full of citrus flavor, hint of nuts as well. Maybe dried apricots as well. The taste a little to bland, not enough kick, mild hop bitterness and a little to sweet for my tongue. The almond aftertaste is present, lemon citrus flavor brings up the rear ever so slightly. A light/medium bodied pale ale, an average beer but plenty of better pale ale's out there, maybe the beer to introduce others to the world of beers. I would rate this the starter beer for new beer advocates.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2004 03:21:29 | More by beertaster13
Photo of treehugger02010


3.03/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this on-tap at The Blue Seats in New York City, New York.
Appearance: A deep but transparent amber color, toped with a small light tan head having decent retention.
Smell: Caramel malt and citrus hops.
Taste: Predominately the caramel maltyness is what came through, but it was a bit watery.
Mouthfeel: Thin.
Drinkability: Ok, but not great.
Don't drink and review.

Serving type: on-tap

12-10-2008 16:29:34 | More by treehugger02010
Photo of beertunes


3.03/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a light amber color with about a half-inch of light tan head that had decent retention but no lacing.

The aroma was an unremarkable blend of malt and hops, with no particular highs or lows. The flavor was the same, not terrible but not notable either. The body and drinkability were both typical for the style. Overall, this a typical example of this style, you can do better, but it's Ok for a Plan B beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-23-2010 03:11:35 | More by beertunes
Photo of Rifugium


3.03/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: Philly Beer Scene Tasting panel with Matt Falco at Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, PA

I was privileged enough to be on the tasting panel for PBS Magazine, along with Bill Covaleski of Victory and Greg Ramirez of Exton Beverage. This was one of 21 beers we sampled during the session.

Poured a mostly clear copper color with a small white head. Aroma is simple: fair balance of pale malts and slightly citrusy hops. Again in the taste, decent balance of malts and hops up front, but the maltiness soon comes to dominate, leaving a bit of staleness in the finish. Medium body, and decent for the style.

FYI Kona comes from Portsmouth Brewery in New Hampshire, not Hawaii, contrary to popular belief.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2012 01:30:53 | More by Rifugium
Photo of oggg


3.05/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

So I hear this bottled version of Fire Rock is contract brewed by Widmer in Oregon.

Color is about right. Copper and clear. My whole six pack is undercarbonated and virtually flat. Head is minimal.

Aroma is sweet caramel.

The beer goes down as a flat syrup. Hops are a bit player. I wait for the biscuity malt to surge, but the wave never comes. Every once in a while I'll imagine some breadiness towards the end. Finish is syrupy.

It's just a travesty that the tap version is so good and the bottles suck.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2004 06:37:59 | More by oggg
Photo of CrellMoset


3.05/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle provided at a friend at a performance by the Ash-Lawn Opera Company at Ash-Lawn Highland in Charlottesville, VA. Wonderful day for a beer!

Appearance: Nice copper penny body with one-finger of white head on top. Carbonation is slow but steady.

Aroma: Leafy, citrusy hops - an earthy, herbal zest - but mostly lots of strong, buttery, biscuity malt. A little too buttery and malty, but that's a matter of opinion.

Taste: Similar to the nose, and a little one-dimensional in my opinion. It's very sweet and very buttery, slightly roasted, and there's some vegetal leafiness around the perimeter. Not what I look for in a pale ale.

Mouthfeel: Thin and watery, with a small head/body in the mouth, but what is there is even.

Drinkabililty: Total is a little less than the sum of the parts here - this one sort of wore on me after a while, and it's a little too sweet/buttery to be too drinkable, in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2008 20:55:13 | More by CrellMoset
Photo of jdubjacket


3.05/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

New neighbor from across the street brought a six-pack of these over the other night. Poured an amber color with very little head and almost no lacing. Smell had a slightly metallic tint with some...musky bread...? Taste is pretty unremarkable... some bready and malt taste. Almost no hops prominent, which is surprising for a pale ale. Watered down mouthfeel. Not a very good pale ale.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2009 23:05:57 | More by jdubjacket
Photo of ToasterChef


3.05/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2010 15:06:20 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of jameaterblues

New York

3.08/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From Notes.
A- Rich dark amber, orangish tint....minimal head that is just on the surface of the beer. thin watery lace.
S-Hops cascade among others....light citrus and spice.
T- Much more to it than expected, but mostly hops....all throughout the body...not balanced very well....bitterness, and citrus not a whole lot more.
M/D- Medium boded, bitter, light carbonation....I don't know what I was expecting...maybe something a little more exotic being from Hawaii...I feel like the tried to take the notch up one more on the classic american pale, but something did not quite work.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2006 20:58:25 | More by jameaterblues
Fire Rock Pale Ale from Kona Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 1,508 ratings.