Fire Rock Pale Ale | Kona Brewing Co.

655 Reviews
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Fire Rock Pale AleFire Rock Pale Ale

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

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

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

Added by xlperro on 08-30-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 655 | Ratings: 2,251
Photo of stevecee2003
4.11/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can see this beer being my favourite (everyday) beer.

Served in (apparently the new design) bottle. Came with "packaged on" dating stamped on the neck.

Pours wonderfully. Cloudy Amber color. Soft white head, filled with cotton. The smell has hints of slight citrus. Orange maybe? With the hops coming through.

The taste is full, rich with hops, yet a nice malt flavor that seeps through, like butterscotch with some honey. And of course that bit of citrus. A very nice combination. This is one nice tasting beer! Not too strong as IPA's are prone to be. With the Fire Rock designation, it is a nice Pale Ale.

Although a nice feel on the tongue, I don't know how drinkable it is as a session beer. For me it may be a bit strong. For others it may well be just right. Certainly it has a nice taste.

Notes: This beer was a real surprise. I have tried Kona before, and just related them to some sort of Island Micro-Brewery that got picked up by the big guys. But this- this has some REAL flavor!

I can see this beer being my favourite (everyday) beer.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle a crystal clear copper-gold color with a light head which quickly faded. Lacing was very light.

A very nice malty note to the nose. A hoppy citus note was evident but light.

The taste has a pleasant maltiness and a nice vanilla to it. Very nice.

Light bodied, smooth, with light carbonation to it.

This beer was a pleasant surprise. It actually tastes better than when I had it on tap in Kona. I was very surprised to find it at Global Foods in St. Louis.

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Photo of jeffjfindley
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Copper color with a fair antique head. Smell is typical, hop-forward pale. Taste is maltier than expected with traces of honey and vanilla, unfortunately a bit coppery at the finish, but by no means a deal breaker. This sits nicely on the palate, but is a bit sticky, and is indeed a very drinkable drink.

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Photo of Hollenbeck2
3.3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought this at john's two bottle only, very good the best of the Kona beers I have tasted.

Fire Rock Pale Ale is a “Hawaiian-style” pale ale they say, I almost felt like I was back on my honeymoon. Its signature copper color results from the unique blend of specialty roasted malts.

There is a pronounced citrus-floral hop aroma comes from the liberal amounts of Galena, Cascade & Mt. Hood hops added to each brew.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Kona- Fire Rock Pale Ale

Bought a 6er at Spirits in Toms River, NJ.

Appearance- Firey reddish brown with a thick creamy head.
Smell- Light pine hops and a creamy caramel malt.
Taste- Very subdued hints of green pine hops and a caramel malt base.
Mouthfeel- Sweet and malty up front with a dose of hops but finishing off watery and weak.

Overall- A good tourist beer or 1 to break you into the APA style. A decent offering worth checking out.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured cold from a 12oz brown bottle into a standard ale glass.
A - Copper w/ 3 finger off white head that leaves an average amount of lace

S - A pleasing, exciting aroma of crystal malts and cascade hops. An after scent of piney hops comes through with a gentle swirl

M - Medium bodied w/ a citric hop feel. Maltiness gives a nice balance with a sweet finish.

T - A masterful blend of citric hops. A nice pale ale since the taste has woodiness, crystal malt flavor with nutty and dry tastes, but still sweet enough to balance the bitterness that all the flavoring hops have to offer.

D - A great tasting pale ale. So well balanced and this version deserves its place among the top American pale ales

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Photo of therica
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Definitely looks and hits like fire-rock hot-lava.

Found on-tap at LuLu's Surf Club in Waikiki (see my separate review for that establishment which I added). I was with my sons, we had 3 on-tap Hawaii beers brought to us (Fire Rock Pale Ale, Kona Big Wave Ale and Longboard Lager). We each seemed to prefer a different one. This was my choice for the first round, but I switched to another one for the second-round.

A= medium-gold with tones of deep rich cabernet-color through a glass, thick but not over-huge off-white foamy head.

S= exciting, intriguing, various tropical florals and fruits evident plus some nice hoppy-scent.

T= the strongly hoppy, bitter taste caught me off guard, given the tropical overtones of the scent. I'd love this stuff if I were in my strong-hops-bitters season. It's a bit rich and heavier than expected, as well. Bold, I suppose would be the operational-term here.

M= lots of hops-bitters in the aftertaste, and some grapefruit-ish tang on the tongue.

D= if you're in this kind of mood, you could probably really go on this stuff. If you're not in the mood, at least try it, especially if you find it on-tap.

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Photo of rowew
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz longneck - recently redesigned retro Hawaiian label. Packaged on date stamped on the shoulder.

Appearance: Clear amber, nice off white head, good retention leaves a bit of lace.

Smell: A bit of pine from the hops, and a light bready malt aroma.

Taste: Malt dominated - nice combination of bready flavor and just a bit of sweetness. A bit of pine and floral flavor from the hops in the finish. Nice medium mouthfeel with a good level of carbonation.

Overall impression: Nice drinkable beer, good combination of flavors.

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Photo of zeff80
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a copper/amber color with a foamy, off-white, one-finger head. It left a little lace.

S - It smelled of grass and malt.

T - It tasted of sweet roasted malt. It also had a nice spicy hop bite.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - A very nice APA. It is the best of the 3 Kona beers that I have tried.

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Photo of hckyfn9999
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a burnt orange color with a creamy white head that doesnt have the best retention and leaves a bit of lace on the glass. Aroma is of sweet caramel and citrusy hops. Not a very strong aroma, but not bad. This beer features a nice malty caramel presence that temporarily gives way to some herbal and citrusy hops, only to finish with more malt. Nicely balanced beer. Those that prefer heavily hopped APA's may be disappointed. Mouthfeel is a little thin for my taste but not bad. Definitely wouldn't mind putting a few of these back on the Hawaiian Islands; a solid beer.

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Photo of markaberrant
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - slightly hazy amber colour. Nothing but a ring for head. A little bit of noticable carbonation.

S - Hop aroma is more spicy than citrus, seems like the Mt Hood hops are sticking out more than the Galena or Cascade.

T - Citrus hops come through much better in the taste... very nicely blended. Website says it contains honey malt, and I'm really enjoying the sweetness it lends, similar to Winterfish IPA. Sweetness and hop bitterness linger into the finish, and a little dry biscuit shows just for good measure.

M - Light carbonation is good for the style.

D - Can I have another? If I ever get to Hawaii, I want a cooler of these sitting beside me on the beach.

I find this pale ale to have a very complex taste. The brewer has built interesting hop and malt profiles. In my opinion, very balanced as a pale ale shoul be, yet the hops still remain at the forefront.

Thanks to Noxious26 for the bottle!

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Photo of Noxious26
3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle in a pint glass. Enjoyed on Maui.

Light copper in colour and clear. Beige head is 1/8 inch and rocky/spotchy. Good head retention.

Strong aroma of Pacific North West hops. Citrus and Pine with a light caramel background and hints of lemongrass.

Smooth. Balance is slightly towards hoppy. Citrus hops at the start with the caramel malt poking through in the middle. Balanced finish with a lasting aftertaste of citrus hops.

Light-medium bodied and mildly carbonated.

Nice, smooth, and easy going pale ale. A touch hoppy. Perhaps a different variety of hops (herbal or pine) thrown in for half of the pitch would balance it out nicely while maintaining the backbone. Still, the best beer I had on Maui.

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Photo of Atlas1
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The last of the Kona beers my wife brought back from Hawaii last month. T'is a pity to see them go.

Poured from the bottle into my DFH "tulip pint" glass. Appears a cloudy orange-apricot in color with a frothy 2-finger head. Pretty dense looking beer. The foam thins out over time but leaves a nice film on top of the liquid. Not much lace left on the glass though. The aroma is very malty, with some yeastiness and nuttiness as well. Somewhat biscuity. Maybe some hints of dark fruit. No real hop presence, though, in the bouquet at all. The taste echoes the aroma. Rich and malty, this is kind of like an Old Chub junior, but that is a weak, weak comparison, and I know it. Smooth malty taste. Slightly thin, but refreshing. Some woody, nutty flavors, and the faintest hint of strawberries. Slight hop kick right before the finish, which is nice for balance but otherwise unimpressive. I would never have guessed this beer was almost 6% ABV, because the alcohol is masked very nicely. On the whole, this is a very drinkable beer. Much better than the Kona Golden Wave ale I tried before, but not quite as good as the Pipeline Porter. Still, a solid session beer and a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of bgraney
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Light amber color, lots of bubbles, 2-finger creamy white head.
Surprised by the bready aroma with a light hop background.
Enjoyable hop tang right off the bat with a smooth malty follow through.
Thin mouthfeel with a slight lingering hop flavor.
Very smooth & drinkable. I can definitely see knocking a few of these down on a beach in Hawaii.
Enjoyable beer but not in the same class as the elite pale ales in my opinion.
The Kona beers seems to have a unique flavor and I'm not sure what it is, but I like it.

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Photo of stephendr
3/5  rDev -17.1%
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

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Photo of ggaughan
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Delux in Phoenix, AZ. The beer came with a nice amber body and a slight white head leading to solid lacing on the sides. The aroma was a bit of citrus, slightly sweet and touch earthy. The taste is a nice balance of the malty sweetness and a good hop bitterness that leaves a pleasant taste on the tongue. The body is solid and makes for drinkable session beer.

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Photo of Vancer
4.01/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sitting in Jax Fifth in Orlando, HIGHLY enjoying this brew in the cool breeze. Great clear amber orange with sheets of ivory lace – whata start.

Fairly malty aroma, with nice touches of floral. And then, with the sippy quaff; notes of pine pops up in the finish. Nice balance – sweet and malty beginning, and finishes with a chewy pine cone. Oh, the burps were double enjoyment.

This lil’ brew sure traveled a long way for me, and I’m glad it did. Try one whenever possible.

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Photo of ybnorml
3.91/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An amber/orange beer with a slight haze. Has a small creamy head with some nice lace. A lot of light hoppy esters get airborn as you pour it into a glass. Notes of spice and grapefruit with a sweet caramel malt backbone. A quick hint of grapefruit bitterness on the tip of your tongue. With a spicey/piney hop presence along the sides. Hints of smokiness along with the sweet caramel note before the nicely balanced peppery hop finish. I found this in a grocery store in Melbourne, FL. I drank the whole sixer during my stay and enjoyed every bottle.

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Photo of Phocion
4.03/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found these notes scribbled on a napkin from some pizza joint in Yorba Linda, CA about a month ago in a jacket pocket today.. figured I might as well put them up here... It was poured skillfully into a pint glass a dark gold with about a finger of frothy white head. Excellent retention and nice lacing left around the glass.

Aroma was overpowered by grapefruit hops, a little more than I was expecting from an APA. Nice roasted maltiness as well, but mostly the hops.

Okay, maybe my nose was being overpowered by the pizza in this place, but the hops bouquet in this thing is even more impressive than the aroma. Nice blend of orange/grapefruit citrus and a sort of earthy floral hops as well. Just enough caramel malts to add a nice balance, but still a strong bitter finish.

Very sharp and crisp mouthfeel, though perhaps a little thin. Overall an excellent choice and one of the better APAs I've tried, on tap at least. I'd definitely recommend this one.

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Photo of rkuhnel
3.3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle poured a slightly cloudy amber wtih an off-white head and moderate lacing. Aroma was of hops, with some fruit and citrus and is very mild. Mouthfeel is light and clean. Flavor is the same as the nose. Slighly bitter finish. Enjoyaable to drink.

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Photo of brentk56
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear light amber color with a modest head that leaves some lace shards around the pint glass

Smell: Grainy aroma with some citrusy notes

Taste: Starts out with a slightly fruity but doughy flavor that builds in herbal bitterness by mid-palate; after the swallow, there is a flash of citrus, but the malt remains prominent; the finish is slightly harsh with some mineral elements, but there remains a subtle underlying honey-like sweetness on the tip of the tongue

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Despite some of the harsh flavors, I rather like this beer and its peculiar complexities

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Photo of clickpush
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pour: 12oz bottle to pint glass. Amber body with lots of visible carbonation within. A thin white head that's gone before you know it, leaving almost nothing by way of lacings.

Nose: Light grapefruit hop presence. Some honey w/ yeast and malt dough-y-ness, touches of cinnamon.

Mouth: Strong mouthfeel right off the bat. Lots of good hops touched up w/ more flavors of cinnamon. Bitter hop flavor that's kind of tingly remaining in the mouthfeel. Graham cracker taste w/ banana notes and brown sugar.

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Photo of mutt
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer I found to be surprisingly good.

I had on tap and it was a dark amber color that had a creamy head that lingered for a while. Smell was strong and sweet with a touch hops and honey. Taste was good. Not to strong, and not to thin. I drink this ale often as it is priced right and easy to find on the space coast. I also find it in a lot of pubs and restaurants in the area and notice a big movement with it. It's an obvious pleasure. Drink One....

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Photo of Braudog
4.48/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(#2, 8/2002) This pours with little head, but maintains an invitingly beautiful copper color. The initial aroma hints of its citrusy hoppiness. Although pretty it has a light texture, the taste is wonderfully tart. Excellent American PA. I like how in Hawaii the pronounce it Pal-ey, Al-ey.

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

Orange-red body with an off-white creamy head.

Mild nose, not much beyond a light citrus.

Flavor is a sweet and tasty blend of solid malt and sweet hops. A quenching and drinkable brew for a hot day.

Mouthfeel is medium with a creamy finish.

Drinkability is high, a good session brew.

Originally reviewed in Hawaii.

Additional thoughts since arriving in Kwajalein:

As the only Pale Ale, (other than Bass), available on this island, it has become my instant favorite beer for the near future. Light on the hops, it certainly is, but still much more hoppy and flavorful than ANY other brew I have seen here. Luckily, I brought a few treats with me for special occasions, (i.e. 3 bombers of Stone 10th etc.).


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Fire Rock Pale Ale from Kona Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 655 ratings.