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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: 2,249
Photo of jmarklan
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a nice, slightly cloudy copper, head dissipates somewhat quickly.

S: Slight hops with bready malts, a bit fruity with some caramel.

T: Bready/caramel malt debuts first but is quickly pushed aside by a nice wave of citric and somewhat tropical hops. Ends with a nice balance and a slightly toasted character.

M: Light bodied and crisp. Very refreshing and drinkable. Without even realizing it i threw this down pretty quick.

Overall: Very enjoyable. An excellent session beer and great for warm weather.

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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 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 MobBarley
4.26/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours more of an amber-orange, with a flaccid, white bubbly head that recedes rapidly. Nice color though. Aroma is tangy/piney hops up front with a thick, bready backbone. The taste is well rounded, with toasty sweet malts dominating before a dry and citrusy hop finish. The mouthfeel is good and chewy with a slight oily texture that makes it a winner with spicy meals. Drinkability is absoutely tops. I could drink this all day...a new fave. This drinks a bit more like an amber than a pale, but I really like the sweet smoothness and balance.

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Photo of BWMKappaSig
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, bottle date 4/23/09

A: Deep orange, immediately reminiscent of Anchor's Liberty Ale, but with almost no head retention.

S: A little floral hops and a pretty biscuitty nose. Yet, strangely weak, for the style.

T: An initial hoppy bitterness with that same bready yeastiness to the taste. The malts have a little bit of roast to them, almost as if this was just adding hops to an amber ale recipe. Slight astringency reminds me of some of my earlier homebrews gives me the feeling that the malts were slightly scorched in the boil.

M: Decent carbonation, light to medium body, but a rather noticable yeasty aftertaste that I'd expect to find more in a beligian ale than in the APA style.

D: Less drinkable than I'd hoped, I'm left slightly confused by this beer. It seemingly strays from the American Pale Ale malt profile, but is moderately enjoyable nonetheless.

Mild recommendation.

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Photo of BeerisfoodLLC
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass:

A - Carmel colored, with a slight head.

S - Notes of citrus smells in the hops, sweet malty scents as well.

T - Hoppy up front that fades fast into sweeter malty tastes. Well balanced.

M - Medium bodied, slight carbonation.

D - Not a bad session beer, I enjoyed it.

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Photo of eporter66
3.51/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tried this at the 2009 Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney Worlds EPCOT Theme Park. I was excited to find some beers that I had not tried before. I found this to be a bit fruity and piney from the taste I had at EPCOT and immediately picked up a 6 pack upon returning home.

Well - first of all, that citrus bite seems to be gone from what I remember. A little more malty , with a little bitterness from the hops at the end, but not a dry finish

Appearance - Amber colored, with a nice two finger head and good lacing around the glass.

Smell - A bit of a fruity aroma can be found, but not a strong aroma

Taste - Malts seem to hit me first, then more of the citrus quality comes up with a bite from the hops at the end

Mouthfeel - good solid mouthfeel from this beer, it is by no means heavy.

Drinkability - I have 5 more, and see no problem putting these away. I would have liked more hop bite in this beer, and for some reason dont get that citrus flavor I remember from my first try. After getting through the 6 pack, that citrus flavor appeared more than I thought on my first try. A decent beer

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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