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Fire Rock Pale Ale - Kona Brewing Co.

Fire Rock Pale AleFire Rock Pale Ale

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1,501 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1501
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: 1,501 | Reviews: 596 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Brad007


3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with a one-finger head into my glass. Pretty much the standard for the style.

Aroma is full of light hops with biscuit malt in the nose. Seems standard for the style.

Taste is full of light hops and malt upfront. Simple. Inoffensive. Biscuit malt is a bit sweet.

Mouthfeel is full of lingering malt and light hops. Standard for the style.

I think this is a good, average pale ale that is drinkable. It won't knock your socks off but I've had worse.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2009 03:28:03 | More by Brad007
Photo of JohnGalt1


3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bought at the Boise Coop for about $1.40.. shared with my brother.. my half poured in my New Belgium balloon. Listening to the RIS party mix Led Zeppelin Dyer Maker.

Decent looking rocky head... lite amber with alot of bubbles. Lacing is sporadic but still nice.

Nose is citrus and earthy hops balanced by a good amount of caramel malts.. sorta smells sugary.

Flavor is bigger than expected.. toasted and caramel malts.. more grassy hops with a lite pine&citrus finish. Bigger body than expected from a brew from Hawaii. Really pretty good... I've had this beer probably 8-10 times over the last few years, and writing this review makes me think it should probably be part of a bigger rotation.

Serving type: bottle

12-13-2007 09:02:15 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark golden with a tight bubbled head that is small.

Smell has some dry hoppiness up front and an earthy profile- somewhat like an English ESB.

Not bad. An up front hoppiness with spicy piney hops. Fairly decent for a pale ale. The hops are followed by a vague fruitiness and little cereal grain sweetness. Nice hop flavors, but the hops could be longer and overall al ittle more balanced. Definitely better than I was expecting when I bought the bottle.

Round mouthfeel. Maybe a little thin and a little too spritzy, but not bad. Could use a little more body.

Pretty drinkable- could down a couple of these on a hot day- more if it weren't for the residual sweetness after the hop bitterness.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2006 02:01:34 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of smakawhat


3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2013 22:16:31 | More by smakawhat
Photo of superspak


3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2014 05:07:54 | More by superspak
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I found this on-tap & by the bottle in Orlando, Fl. The bottle was better (more hop flavour).

A: Amber, off-white head, some retention, a little lace.

S: Citrus with a touch of caramel.

T: A unique citrus-rind flavour with some quality pale malt (biscuity).

M: Light to moderate body, moderate carbonation.

D: Quite quaffable, but doesn't really draw me in.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2006 00:49:50 | More by Derek
Photo of ccrida


3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2010 22:48:28 | More by ccrida
Photo of Tone


3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy, copper color. 1/2 inch head of an off-white color. Good retention and great lacing. Smells of hops, slight citrus, and a hint of spice. Fits the style of an American Pale Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and creamy with a low carbonation level. Tastes of hops, sweet malt, and slight spice. Overall, well-blended, smooth, nice body, and good aroma.

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2009 03:43:49 | More by Tone
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 Dogbrick


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

Bottle from Albertson’s in Tehachapi, CA. The beer is a clear amber color with a medium off-white head that has decent retention. Stringy lacing. Lightly floral hops aroma with some grass and malt. Medium, smooth body with a moderately hoppy character. Grainy malt, flowers and some citrus flavors are present. The finish is dry and hoppy with a slight citrus aftertaste. Above average overall.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2007 20:38:45 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of kylehay2004


3.23/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: half finger head on a crimson with golden hues body. poor head retention.

S: pretty light on the nose with hops being scarce and mostly malts.

T: the hops are weak and provide mostly and floral note. This one is pretty malty with a subtle bitterness throughout.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: under hoped even by an APA standard.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2012 00:51:03 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of OWSLEY069


3.2/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy yellow/ orange-ish color with a small white head. In the aroma, a small grapefruity, citrusy hop. In the taste, somewhat watery, and a small semi-dry grapefruity hop. A smooth and watery mouthfeel and a semi-dry maltiness in the aftetaste. Kinda watery, good aroma and color. OK pale, but nothing too exciting.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2008 18:11:15 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of tavernjef


3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Muted coppery orange color with a small white capping of briefness. Picks a few spots to keep some lace otherwise there's not much.

Aroma is dull of some dry cereal grains with a certain unidentifable leafy woodyness about its subtlty with a hint to some sweet mushy fruityness of old apple.

Taste is a nudge better with a simple tone of slightly toasted and cooked buttery/nutty cereal grains, tender little apple and malt sweetness in the undertow as it grabs a nudge of leafy/woody hops that have just faint bite of bitterness like that of an old peach pit.

Body is slightly below medium with a slender grittyness to it that's not to off but bothersome in the first bit of the glass. Virtually simple, clean, tender, mildly sweet and toasty, and easy going enough for good drinking and could be sessionable enough to perhaps three or four.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2009 21:46:38 | More by tavernjef
Photo of Cyberkedi


4.22/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, transparent orange-brown with a fine-bubbled off-white head. Aroma is not strong but appetizing, malty with touches of spice and fruit. Flavor is rich, mainly malty with spicy hints and a nice hoppy edge. Mouthfeel is edgy so it seems to dance on the tongue.

Serving type: on-tap

07-20-2008 01:46:50 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

3.13/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: This beer had an amber color and fairly thin consistency. There was almost no head at all and only a little lacing.

S: A slightly citrusy aroma along with a bit of malt and yeast.

T: The citrus dominated the flavor more than anything, but overall it was thin. Not that complex in the least.

M: Lower than average in the carbonation section, with an oily finish. Medium-bodied.

D: This is kind of average beer when you get down to it. Not the worst thing I've ever had, but certainly not the best.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2008 13:05:56 | More by avalon07
Photo of Bitterbill


3.2/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a clear gold with a 1 finger head of foam. Good head retention and a little bit of lacing.

The smell is a mix of grassy hops and sweet malt.

The taste starts of with some caramel malt and it turns toward a bitterness from the hops but I'm not getting anything really flavourable from the hops; I think they are there just to add the bitterness and try to balance the malt.

To be fair, I popped the cap on this bottle while it was still iced cold from the liquor store. I'm going to let it warm up some and continue from there.

Well, after letting it warm up, nothing much has changed. I'd call this one a good entry level Pale Ale but, at least for me, it doesn't have the flavours that I look for in the style.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2008 22:38:19 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of RoyalT


3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – This one is a light and translucent orange in color with a terrific, clingy head. It left tons of lacing as it settled in the glass.

Smell – There’s a big, malty base to this one that has some soft American grain and a decent hop balance.

Taste – The grain came on pretty strong at the taste, but the addition of some light caramel flavors helped smooth things out. The hops actually come on pretty well. They are light but show some good complexity. The citrus notes seem to dominate but there’s a bit of pine as well.

Mouthfeel – This is big for the style, maybe medium-bodied, and very creamy. I thought that this was the ale’s strong point.

Drinkability – It’s a bit on the malty side, so if you don’t like that then stay away, but I really enjoyed this offering from the great state of Hawaii. It is very thick and creamy and went down in gulps.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2004 01:20:29 | More by RoyalT
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 bluejacket74


3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle, a buddy brought some island brews back for me on a recent trip to Hawaii. Served in a Sam Adams BL glass, the beer pours an orange/amber color with about a half inch off-white head. Head retention is decent, lacing is good. Aroma is citrusy hops (orange), caramel malt and a bit of floral hops too. Taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of a bit of peppery spice. The hops are the strongest flavor in this brew, but they're not overpowering. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit coating and has moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's enjoyable to drink. I think it's a good balanced beer, not a bad choice as an occasional session brew.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2010 01:15:17 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of DrDemento456


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

Bottled on date "Sep 19 2011" ow it's at least 3-4 months old.

A - Little head that turns quickly to a lace ring decent amount of sticky lacing. Clear orange yellow tint with a bit of sediment chunks throughout.

S - Fairly hoppy kind of faint and some strong pale malts. Subtle.

T - Well it's fairly balance maybe could use more hops in the flavor since the pale malt is out of balance (bit strong and kind of grainy) Finish is slightly bitter and earthy. Ok at best.

M - Light to medium.

Overall I am kind of disappointed in this it's kind of grainy and harsh with an earthy hop bite. If I ever try this again I might change my score.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2012 23:37:42 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of scruffwhor


3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty quick, thin head that doesn't last at all. Clear copper and amber color. Almost no bubbling.

Toasted cracker malt aroma and some orange peel and earthy hop notes.

Toasted, biscuit and cracker malts. some what syrupy palate. Malt sweetness is well balanced by the earthy, orange bitterness from the hops. Crisp feeling on the finish. Pretty easy to drink and session.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2013 20:34:34 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of tone77


3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a caramel color with a small head. Smell is of hops, some malts. Taste is good, well balanced combination of malts and hops. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has decent drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2010 14:41:01 | More by tone77
Photo of flagmantho


3.55/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: medium amber-orange hue with a clear body and a light, lazy effervescence. Head is a thin layer of frothy ivory foam. Decent.

Smell: toasty malt aroma with hints of bread and biscuit. Hops are nicely present with a piney, earthy quality. Not bad, but I don't love the biscuity character so much.

Taste: flavor has a fair bit more caramel character that the aroma and overall is a lot more malt-forward; again, I'm not a huge fan of the biscuity malt here. Hop flavor is still present, but the experience is more of a malty-flavored beer with a big bitterness at the end. It seems to me a little bit more in the English style.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied with a good level of carbonation and a nice, satisfying creaminess. Probably my favorite thing about this beer.

Overall: a decent pale ale, but I probably wouldn't grab for this one again at the store. It just doesn't tickle my palate.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2012 15:52:13 | More by flagmantho
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 fl.oz bottle. The last of the three Kona beers that I picked up tonight. The standard generic style label on this offering has an appropriate deep golden yellow fiery label and the silhouette of a Volcano. The bottle has a yellow dot matrix style ink mark that tells me “PKGD MAY2903”. After two previous Kona offerings tonight, I also just realized that it actually has a twist-off crown cap, as do the other two empty Kona bottles that I opened earlier with my Bottle Opener. Duh!!!

Appearance: Clear golden color with a deep fire-orange hue when held to the light. The head, as with the other two offerings, soon disappears to reveal a thin unimolecular covering. However the head on the Pale Ale really suffers. It looses serious marks here for the lack of any head after a very short period, has a flat-look which is a disappointment.

Nose: Quite a punchy nose that has plenty of character and strength. Decent roast malts dominate.

Taste: Roast malts and a rich fruitiness. Slight citric twang mixed with some orange zest all rise in the middle, but eventually all make way for a tangy bitter finish. Sharp but clean tasting. Crisp malt-bitter finish with a nice lingering taste in the mouth.

Mouthfeel: Solid and upstanding, pronounced and above average in strength. A smooth beer that coats the mouth well.

Drinkability: Highly quaffable. Lovely tasty malty Pale Ale that I immediately took to right from the first taste, right through to the last drop.

Overall: It looks like I left the best until last. Out of the three Kona beers that I tried tonight, the Fire Rock Pale Ale is definitely the pick of the bunch. Very nice, and one which I would love to try on draft on the Big Island one day. Aloha!

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2003 23:27:57 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of nickfl


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

A - poured with one finger of white foam on top of a slightly hazy, reddish-copper colored body. The head settlesrapidly and leaves light lace.

S - musty pine hops and some caramel malt.

T - sweet malt up front with some toasted notes. Caramel and herbal hops in the middle. Finishes with sweet, bready malt and more toasty caramel.

M - medium body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweety finish.

D - not bad, a bit heavy for the style with a darker malt profile than most pale ales.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2012 00:51:52 | More by nickfl
Fire Rock Pale Ale from Kona Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 1,501 ratings.