Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

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 TrevorGW
4.28/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Had this beer on tap in Kauai a few times and I was very impressed.

Nice looking beer - a bit hazy with a bright copper color.

Aroma is earthy. Perfect American Pale Ale aroma. Balanced and not shy with the hops.

Tastes surprisingly spicy. Whatever hops they use are really shining through and complimenting the sweet, bready, light malt perfectly. The citrus is there from the hops, but the grassier notes are dominating. A bit drier than most APAs, which is nice.

Mouth feel is grainy and prickly, with the heat from the spicy hops coming through from front to back.

This beer has a lot of big flavor and is somewhat "filling," so the drinkability will suffer slightly. But I would drink it all day.

 706 characters

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

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler glass.

A: Pours a coppery orange liquid with a thin white head that reduces quickly to a ring. Very little lacing.

S: Malt, caramel, faint hops.

T: Malty on the front with a quick citrusy hop punch that disappears as quickly as it presents itself. Bitter finish.

M: A tad slick or oily IMO. Decent carbonation.

D: Very drinkale Pale Ale. Not the best for the style, but definitely worth a try.

 434 characters

Photo of schoolcb
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours very clear and copper colored. Small off-white head faded, but carbonation kept a lace of foam going steady. Aroma's of malt and hops. Hops jump out front in the taste, but this is a fairly malty beer. Nice american pale (more like amber) ale.

 249 characters

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.

 425 characters

Photo of Raven3464
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Beer pours a clear, copper body with a soapy head. There is a light amount of carbonation:

Smell: Citrus, pine and sweet malts are noticed right away. A floral aroma starts to take over as the beer warms.

Taste: Sweet fruit, like pineapple and orange, are tasted at first with a light hop bite at the end. It would have been better had the flavors been more pronounced.

Mouth feel: It is light bodied for the style. A little more carbonation also would be nice. Otherwise, it is refreshing.

Overall: It is an average pale ale. As stated above, flavors could be more pronounced and a little more hops would not hurt either. Overall, it is a decent attempt at the style.

 684 characters

Photo of JohnnyI
4.09/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled on 7/25/14. A little past its peak, but with 6% ABV and that avowed hop character, it should still be a fair representation for this Kona creation.

Poured in to an IPA glass, the unique look of this beer immediately catches my eye. Despite the fact that the head disappeared about as quickly as it formed, with scant lacing to be found, I am struck by the appearance. The tangerine-grapefruit color of the beer looks almost electric when its chilled haze meets the light. Interesting. The aroma promises bright tropical fruit, with a subtle essence of pine. A little biscuity malt in the background rounds out the nose. The flavor brings sweet bread, subtle dried fruit, lightly toasted malts, and a balanced hop character. Mild pine and grapefruit. This is a well-rounded brew. The mouthfeel is on point, with just enough body and carbonation to keep this refreshing. I believe the few extra months have mellowed this beer, as I remember it being more vibrant when it was in season. As it stands, this is superbly sessionable, perhaps more so now that time has reigned in the flavors a bit. I have enjoyed it either way. It's nice to see an American Pale Ale that is not trying to masquerade as an IPA and brings it's own unique qualities. I put this near the top of my list when a Pale Ale is in order. Fresh or mellowed, it's always delicious.

 1,357 characters

Photo of Brian_L-2056
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours an amberish-orange color into a typical pint glass with very little head. Can smell the typical piney/citrusy smell of a pale ale and IPA. Initial taste is pleasant with slight pine/citrus and little to no aftertaste. Good lacing too. Overall, it is a good solid Pale Ale but harder to find around here compared to Sierra Nevada. Don't really think its worth any price difference either.

 398 characters

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.

 1,053 characters

Photo of bobbyc881
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange with a thin white head, some lacing. Hazy. Sweet bread and citrus aromas.

Taste up front is sweet caramel malts, slightly buttery... finishes only slightly bitter with a some moderately hoppy citrus flavors. Nothing is over-the-top. Very well balanced, sessionable pale ale.

Moderate carbonation, balanced flavors and medium body make this a highly drinkable ale. Overall a well put-together beer.

 406 characters

Photo of camp0474
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from 1/28/11

Fresh in Hawaii

A: Pours a nice copper orange color with nice off-white head. Good head retention.

S: Faint bready and caramel malts with some mellow citrusy hops. Not too much there but good.

T: Balanced bready and sweet caramel malt with mellow citrus. These hops more of just bitterness and not an overpowering flavor. Hops give a slight citrus bite with some herbal flavors. Quite balanced. Finishes with a slight mellow bitterness and light toasted flavor.

M: Medium body with good carbonation. Smooth with a crispy carbonation bite. Light hop oils linger.

D: Well balanced and pretty tasty. Definitely could be a session beer.

Have to realize this is a Pale Ale with mellow hops, not an IPA with a super hoppy character. Well balanced and more of a mellow session beer. Overall solid beer.

 822 characters

Photo of Pantalones
3.64/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Second bottle from the variety pack; bottling date is February 16th, 2015.

Nice orangey color to this one. Reminds me of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, which is always a good first impression for a pale ale. Clear, with some little bubbles rising up from the bottom, though it's just dark enough in color (or maybe just slightly hazy?) that I can only see them very well around the edges without shining some light through. The first bottle I had didn't form much foam on top, but I poured a bit faster and a bit more directed toward the bottom of the glass this time and got a nice, fluffy white head -- just short of filling the glass completely. I may have overdone it just a bit, heh. Anyway, the foam shrinks away after a bit, leaving a layer on the surface and some trails on the sides.

Smell is mostly bready, and not all that strong at first. Got a slight hint of piney hops when opening the bottle and I think I may be picking up just a tad of something tropical on the end of a sniff now, but overall seems pretty malt-forward for a pale ale. There is a definite "something else" in the smell, I'm assuming hop-related, but it's so faint I'm having difficulty placing it. What's there is kinda nice, but it's fainter than I expected. Gets a little iffier in the smell department as the beer warms up a bit -- not to the point of being offensive, but simultaneously stronger and less pleasant than it was at first, so I'm marking this one down a bit in the smell area.

Taste is an improvement over the smell. The malt has this really nice toasted sort of thing going on, reminding me of lightly toasted bread crust or a bran-flake cereal kind of thing. Hops are still fainter than I would expect of a pale ale, but I am getting a little bit of citrus and some leafy bitterness in there, too. I think I went into this one with my expectations set a little too high the first time I had it, but drinking a second one knowing that it's going to be a bit maltier than other pale ales I've had, I'm able to appreciate it a lot more. I get a hint of citrus and some bitterness right away, and then that blends into the malt, with the bran-flake sort of thing (and sometimes, some leafy flavor and bitterness) lingering for a bit afterward. Burps are a bit fruity. Can't say enough good things about that toastedness in the malt, though -- while the amount of hop flavor still doesn't seem like quite enough to me (for an American-style pale ale at least), the malt flavor in this is great.

Feel is pretty nice. Very, very drinkable, which is a feature that I've appreciated from all of Kona's beers so far -- though this one may just be the "heaviest/maltiest" feeling out of the variety pack, it's still easy to gulp down a bit more at a time than I normally would. There's that "just a hint of stickiness" going on much like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale -- which, like in the appearance category, is a good thing to have similarities to. Nothing negative to say about the mouthfeel here at all.

Overall, this is pretty good. Not amazing, but certainly not anywhere near bad -- it's one that I find myself appreciating much more the second time around compared to the first, and the presence of that toasted malt is definitely a bit of a nice change from all the hop-forward beers I've been having lately. I'll be sure to try this again if I can find it on tap, or in a bottle that's not already several months old -- maybe the hops stand out more when it's super fresh. If so, I can see this easily going from "pretty good" to "great" -- it's definitely got one of the nicest malt flavors I've ever experienced in a pale ale already, the hops just need to stand out a bit more.

 3,695 characters

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.

 426 characters

Photo of Sudsy89
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle, chilled

Pours a copper-amber color, one-finger head, leaves some lacing. High level of carbonation, a bit cloudy. Looks somewhat like a Hefeweizen.

Aroma is floral, citrusy, sweet. Has a medium-bodied feel to it, modest hop bitterness. Taste is mostly sweet, caramel malt. I do think the carbonation is too much, though. This particular bottle is seven months old, so I will say the hops may be more dull by now. I think this is a decent Pale Ale, but nothing really great or unusual. Drinkability is pretty high, but it is 6% abv, not very heavy but moderate. Would probably go well with pizza or spicy BBQ. I'd prefer it over Bass but Sierra Nevada's pale ale is my preference.

 695 characters

Photo of RobH
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A bit more hops-forward than I was expecting from a warm-weather brewer of a Pale Ale. Not IPA hopiness, but hop heads should appreciate this one within the Pale Ale style.

Trying to figure out when I'd most yearn for this beer. It's not "sessionable" to me for a hot day, yet may be too light bodied for a truly cold day. A conundrum.

Nevertheless, I'd call it a quality brew in the grand scheme of crafts.

 409 characters

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

Has this as part of a 5 beer flight on new(to this bar) pale ales. Not being a fan of overly hoppy ale I was alittle afraid of what I was getting.
The beer had little head but thats not surprising in a sampler but had a nice citrus aroma with a mild presense of hops. I was very impressed with the overall flavor and texture of the sample and after the flight ordered a full pint. The full pint came with a nice frothy head and seemed to have a bit more fizz- I think maybe my sample had sat around for awhile
I thought the beer had a great balance of hops to malt to the citrus flavor and would recommend

 609 characters

Photo of GoodKnight1220
3.64/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to a glass.

Smells of floral hops.

Poured a deep golden yellow. Little head with little to no lacing throughout.

Very crisp and refreshing citrus and salt that fades to a nice faint hoppy bitterness.

This is a very good brew that after the first sip leaqves you want another.

Could drink these all night long.

 340 characters

Photo of JesteR14
3.59/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

under the cap LAULEA- friendship

A- Great look. Murky amber color with very tiny bubbles comming from the bottom of my tumbler. Creamy 1 finger head that leaves quickly.

S- Not much here for me.slight hint of toasted malts.

T- Mild hopness with some nice toasted malts. Good flavor that makes this a nice refreshing beer. Perfect for the weather of Kona!

M- Dry, but not overly done. Decent carbonation and a good pop from the malts. This beer is more of a stronger beers then the ones ive come in contact with. But nothing near over the top..

D- Great drinking beer. Ive been a fan of all of the Kona beers.

 613 characters

Photo of unionturf
4.26/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first brew from Hawaii too! Pours out to a hazy copper, forming a large whipped off-white head of fine bubbles with excellent retention and very good lacing. Carbonation is moderate. The aroma is really nice...and I really like. Taste is almost perfect for me and being new to IPA's I am very happy. I could have a few of these in a row ith no problems, one of the best IPA's I have had.

 390 characters

Photo of Crazy4LegMoose
2.87/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Got this one in MA and it states it is brewed by Kona Brewing in Portsmouth, NH

A: Light amber brown hue with 3/4 fingers of off white creamy head. Light crown around the edge of the glass with a minute amount of lacing.

S: Smell of hay with light tones of citrus and grass

T: Pale malty flavor mixed with a grassy earth hop taste that finishes with a bitter almost coffee like bite. Not very complex tasting beer, but it does have hints of butter and toasted nut to go along with the pale malt base.

M: Thin mouthfeel that is more creamy than fizzy.

D: Decent drinkability. I could have a few of these but the taste doesn't exactly have me longing for more. Not bad, but not a great pale ale either.

 705 characters

Photo of thesilverhand
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed this one at Kua'aina, a Hawaiian burger chain with several locations here in Japan.
It poured a brownish copper-gold, with a fairly small foamy white head that actually lingered for a long time.
The nose is pleasant and light, with citrus hop notes and malty sweetness.
The flavour follows, and is very nicely balanced. Citrus hops and sweet malts are matched with good bitter hops. There's nothing outstanding or particularly adventurous here, but it's a really nice pale. It has a long bitter hop finish.
The mouthfeel is pleasant - light and active on the palate, but not overly carbonated.
All in all, it's very good. Don't expect an earth-shattering beer experience. But it's a very nice, eminently quaffable pale ale.
Incidentally, it also goes very nicely with Kua'aina's excellent bacon avocado burger!

 826 characters

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

Had this while in Maui, 2008.

Pours a clear amber with heavy orange tones. Bubbly.

Aroma of citrusy hops. Fruit aromas of orange zest and tangerine. Slight bready yeast.

Taste of a moderate hop with orange and citrus notes. Moderate bitterness and body. Malts are subdued. Orange and citrus notes left behind on the palette.

A good, surprising even, pale ale that goes down easy and has a good balance and character.

 421 characters

Photo of hoppyhampy
3.15/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a tumbler. Bottled on 4/26/11. Pours a classic pale orange color with two fingers of frothy foam but almost no carbonation visible. Good lacing. Nose is nicely balanced between lightly sweet malt and citrusy hops with a scent of mango. Flat mouthfeel makes it seem heavier than it should. The palate hits the right bases though. A nice, slightly roasted and sweet malt contrasts with clean, fresh hops. Finish is balanced and clean. Overall, balanced the way a pale ale should be but not displaying any qualities that jump out at you.

 560 characters

Photo of ryantho00
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taken from notes in Kauai.

Didn't pour this into anything, taking a tour of the Napali Coast on a catamaran.

I got hints of fresh hops, citrus, a slight pineapple tinge. This was most drinkable, wonderful balanced frshness and an underlying grain and toasted malt, citrus, great wonderful smoothness. Very well done, I had heard Mauai brewing was the only 'good' brewer in Hawaii, but from my Kona experience, there is at least another!!! (By looking at their lineup, I wish I would have visited their brewpub!!!)


 525 characters

Photo of HeightsEats
4.33/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Lisa's Pizzeria in Rodanthe, NC. Pours a deep golden color with a minimal head. Aroma is sweet and slightly bready. Flavor is clean but complex with a distinct, almost fruity caramel followed by a dry but not overly bitter hop finish. Unique, tasty and very drinkable.

 278 characters

Photo of Prostman81
3.66/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bought a sixer of these on my most recent trip to Oahu. Poured into a hotel tumbler (at least it's glass).

Color is a dark copper, with about 1 finger of head that disappates quickly. Aroma gives off a decent hop note, about what you'd expect from a regular Pale Ale.

Taste, mouthfeel, & drinkability: A very smooth PA, great balance of hops and malt. Was pleasantly surprised at the craftsmanship of this one, I regularly drink a lot of Pale Ales (both commercial and my own homebrewed) and this is one I would grab again in an instant, a rare treat to have when visiting the beauty that is Hawaii.

For the price and quality, you can't miss.

 647 characters

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