Founders Pale Ale | Founders Brewing Company

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Founders Pale AleFounders Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
100% Cascade hops.
35 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-10-2002

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Reviews: 827 | Ratings: 2,730
Photo of icebergfat
1.18/5  rDev -68.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Appearance: Sort of an amber orange color w/ light orange head that was over carbonated, nothing to write home about.

Smell: Hints of grapefruit and citrus but very minor and hardly any hop aroma not what I would expect from a pale ale once again quite mediocre.

Taste: This what really let me down , terrible I don't know how to describe the taste(just trust me it's bad) and this really dissapointed me because I've really liked everything else I've had from Founder's (Breakfast Stout,Old Curmudgeon, Backwoods Bastard, Dirty Bastard(and I don't usually like scotch ale)so I was really let down, had to pour it out.

Mouthfeel: Tinny, Dry, hardly goes down.

Drinkability: None what so ever, although I did use it in a soup I made today instead of white wine and that came out ok, so I guess it does have some redeeming qualities after all, drinking is just not one of them.

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Photo of crayphish
1.84/5  rDev -50.3%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

This Founders brew pours to a half inch of liquid, and a 4 inch fizzy head. Dumped that pour and tried a different glass, same thing. Very annoying. Took me 6 minutes to empty the bottle. Smell is a medicinal hop aroma, seems artificial. Taste is again the artificial mediciney hop flavor. Not much else can be discerned. Mouthfeel is crisp and dry. I barely finished this brew, I have no idea what happened here, and I hope this was an old lot.

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Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
2.05/5  rDev -44.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Packaged in a stubby 12 oz twist off amber bottle
Served at fridge temp about 35F
Aroma at bottleneck: none noted
Pour: Wow, fizz bomb! 7/8 foam to 1/8 beer. Rock hard head, evidence of a heading agent? I walked away to let it settle, when I came back it was still a mountain of foam, like aerosol insulation. Carefully decanted the rest, raising the mountain of foam an inch or so above the rim of the pint glass.
Appearance in glass: very cloudy, light golden color.
Aroma in glass: very sweet, smells like honey, with a hint of citrus.
Taste: Sweet, with slight hop bitterness, watery mouthfeel, honey aftertaste.
Upon warming, a little more drinkable, but not actually tastier. Smells just like a cup of tea with a tablespoon of honey added. Not trying to be mean, but it just doesn't smell like an ale.
Drinkability: Poor, but not a sink-pour. I really hope this was a bad batch. It's hard to believe this is a dry hopped beer, since it has no hop aroma. From this sample it seems as if they tranferred the beer early to the bottling line--neither dry hopping it nor allowing it to ferment out completely before bottling. I'm going to come back to this beer in a couple months to see whether it was indeed a fluke, since Founders Red 's Rye and Founders Centennial are so nice.

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Photo of mattcrill
2.06/5  rDev -44.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours a deep honey yellow with visible carbonation throughout the body. A billowy tight white cap forms. I see bits of what I can only assume are hop floaties. Pretty good looking in my nonic tumbler.

Smell: A mix of citrusy hops, some floral hop notes, with a wheaty base to it. I'm picking up some yeast notes as well. A little light in this department but certainly forgiveable for the style.

Taste: A belgian yeasty funk dominates this brew. Not good in my book. Mostly floral hop notes noted. A wheat bread base to this is the most dominate flavor noted on the palate. A very yeasty and bready finish. I feel deceived as the aroma did not match the taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light bodied and prickly.

Drinkability: I'm sure had I expected this, it may be a nice summer session beer. It tasted too much like a bad belgian beer to me. I'm not sure if the batch was off or the yeast just went wild but this beer is WAY too funky for me. I won't be going back to this one for sure. Likeable enough I suppose but certainly not to style. Avoid.

Notes: I couldn't handle this beer. This was only the second beer I've ever had that ended up in a drain pour. Most definitely AVOID.

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Photo of beachfirebrews
2.09/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a nice copper color, but with almost no head. Very sweet, almost pungent aroma. Overly sweet for a pale ale - it almost tastes artificially sweet (both I and the person I was drinking with said it tastes like Splenda was added to it). Nor is it very hoppy - I would never have guessed this was dry hopped. Also, way over-carbonated. Overall, not a great representation of an American Pale Ale, nor a beer from Founders.

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Photo of jsh420
2.24/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

bottled 09/23/10

pours hazy golden copper with a 1+ finger head that faded and left some spotted lacing

smell - dry hopped lmao - faint bready caramel malt and light herbal hops

taste - wtf founders???? this is a watered down bready SNPA/Celebration

mouthfeel light medium with decent carbonation - the only highlight of this beer

drinkability - not good - the only weak link in founder's armor - i have had this beer a few times before but didn't want to throw up a negative review but this beer just never got better - shame on you founders

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Photo of Bighuge
2.24/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Dull amber-orange. The body of the beer is speckled with particles in suspension. No head to speak of . Just a slight collar that leaves sparse lace. Nose is citrus, orange peel and light biscuit malts. Flavor is sweet over bitter. For a pale ale, I'd call this a cloying sweetness even. Just not appropriate. Hops are minimized in it all. Some dry cedar like tones derived from hops I believe. Body is thick and syrupy. Really not that enjoyable.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
2.26/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a clear gold with a thin heaad that disappears quickly. The aroma is floral with hints of caramel and dough. The flavor is spicy caramel with mild malt sweetness and strong hop bitterness but not overwhelming. It's mouthfeel is mediumn, dry and refreshing. Founders Pale Ale is a decent beer, recommended.

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Photo of vfgccp
2.26/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Solid gold with a finely bubbled white head. Ok lace and retention.

S - Very light. Malt. Mild coriander.

T - Mildly soapy / lipid-like. Cardamom, coriander, light malt. Disappointingly one-note.

M - Light body with nice carbonation.

O - Surpising off-flavors. Possibly a bad bottle?

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Photo of nsheehan
2.26/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

12oz to libbey pub pint
5.4% ABV
35 IBUs
Bottled 07/24/13, purchased ~8/28/2013
A – A cloudy gold with a tinge of some amber, a tiny bit of transparency. Somewhat translucent. Thin layer of cream colored head.
S – Some OK fruitiness and plant aroma, and slightly burnt pizza crust. Grass, peach, cantaloupe, and a bit of citrus. An earthy smell that really reminds me of singed pizza crust. Also a faint note of greenness, like washed lettuce.
T – Grassy and green tasting, with a fair amount of bitterness. A faint amount of a citrusy melon. No other fruitiness or earthiness detected so far. Reminds me quite a bit of smelling lilies.
M – Light bodied and a tad soft on the tongue, with a good amount of gentle tingle. Somewhat sharp in the cheeks, feels rough. A pretty dry and rough finish that detracts a lot.
D – Seems quite unrefined and is not nice feeling to drink. Can’t recommend, and it would be hard to choose between a AAL and this given an option at a tailgate or something.
3.75, 2, 2.25, 2, 2.25; 2.13

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Photo of bawoof
2.38/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I was somewhat disappointed in this ale from Founders. I find most of the ales they produce to be outstanding. I will skip this one next time and grab a Red's Rye or a Centennial IPA. This is one of the best Midwest brewers that I have tried and wish them success. Have you tried their Backwoods Bastard Ale?...

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Photo of NODAK
2.4/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Nose has a lot of grapefruit hops on it...dry, clean. Straight forward.

Carbonation is very spritzy, to the point of being a distraction to me. Taste is...well...very hoppy as compared to what I'd have expected for style. Loads of aggressive grapefruit hops assert themselves early and often in this beer. There's a bready malty note on the backend, and that's all I get for balance. Astringent citrus peel bitterness remains during and after the swallow.

For me, this isn't high up on the list of APA's I enjoy. I find it just too aggressive and unbalanced.

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Photo of schwansmantr
2.46/5  rDev -33.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Look - Hazy orange/copper with a finger frothy head that quickly got lost. No lacing.

Smell - almost like a malty grapefruit mixed with possibly orange. very faint

Taste - Grapefruit but otherwise bland just bitter

Feel - Medium bodied with some creaminess but not much life.

Overall -Save your money my letter grade would be a D+

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Photo of bertram
2.53/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice, rich golden color with a decent cream head.

The smell...well, it lacks. I'm honestly not sure what I'm picking up here, but whatever it is, it's not much.

The mouthfeel...again, it's lacking. Not a lot of carbonation here.

The taste...ugh, a broken record's lacking. There's no significant hops or citrus, just a bitterness in the aftertaste.

I love Founders - I was just debating this past weekend whether Founders or Bells is my current favorite brewery. Sadly, this is the first "miss" I've had from Founders. I really hope it's the last.

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Photo of bobhits
2.53/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Two finger white head. a golden honey like color. Not much to talk about there

Faint hop aroma, not much going on here. My stone levitation glass is failing me one creating a nose for this one.

Well looks a aroma are really pointless so lets get to the important stuff. This is tasty beer. A nice kiss of malt to start finishing with a tame hoppy finish. Look it's an apa with a bit of dry already know where this one is going. 35 ibu's and they work darn well here.

You can certainly drink this beer without a problem

could use some more carbonation but it isn't needed. Thin in body but plenty of flavor.

Bottom line, I love this style and this is a very tasty beer. That said there's countless better examples of the style. This is at best average and perhaps a hair under average for the style. I love living in a world where this is average though!

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Photo of Boblud
2.7/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Somewhat hoppy and bitter. I would drink this beer again but it would not rank as one of my favorites. I am new to microbrews and am really starting to enjoy them. I am not a fan of heavy hops nor am I that fond of citrus drinks. I am willing to try any and have not really settled on a style of beer yet.

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Photo of pvsob
2.7/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A- Hazy honey color with a one finger head that fades fast and leaves a thin film. Miniscule lacing.

S- Subdued/bland aromas of citrus, earth, caramel malt, and just a touch of sweet oranges.

T- Bready malts and stale grapefruit juice. Finishes with a dull and forgettable bitterness.

M- Thin to medium texture with moderate carb.

O- Maybe I'm having an off day when it comes to tasting, but this beer didn't impress me one bit. Boring, bland, and an all around disappointment. Don't worry about it Founders, you can't hit it out of the park every-time. Not recommended. Cheers.

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Photo of Raime
2.74/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Look - Clear copper with a two finger frothy head that quickly got lost. No lacing.

Smell - Malt forward as all hell, but nothing else...uh oh.non

Taste - Well the malts are well as a tad bit of grapefruit but otherwise bland.

Feel - Medium bodied with some creaminess but not much life.

Overall - This was a founders beer? Are you sure?

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Photo of AEK
2.75/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

355ml brown bottle poured SLOWLY into a Young's pint pot.

A. Straw coloured ale with a bubbly white head as tall as the Chrysler building. Whoah!! this beer seems way too lively. Highly carbonated judging by the amount of bubbles streaming up the beer.

S. Melon, grapefruit, a little floral and grassy. Lemon sherbet.

T. Lacking complexity. Not a lot to say here, fairly bland. I think I got a touch of citrus fruit but can't be sure.

M. Thin.

D. A poor pale ale indeed. I hope the other Founder's beers I have are better than this rather tasteless thin bodied ale. Have another one of these that I was going to save until the end of the year but it isn't worthy enough to save until Christmas/New Year. Did I really pay £7.56 for 2 bottles of this rubbish?!!!

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Photo of microbrewlover
2.75/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This brew pours a golden brown color with a one finger head which dissapates quickly; there is very little lacing on the glass.

Light citrus hops with orange and grapefruit. A slight diacetyl, buttery, smell also a little straw/yeast smell.

The taste is oily hops with a little peppery spice and diacetyl. Not much else.

The mouthfeel is oily, strong carbonation, oil is left on the tongue after swallowing.

Overall this offering from Founders tends to underwhelm, which is a shame because it tastes as though it has potential. Founders usuall makes very high quality brews but this one fails to blow me away or even excite me.

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Photo of jbertsch
2.85/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appears orange, and fairly cloudy, though not completely opaque. Sports a sudsy one-finger head.

Floral hop aroma with some husk, light citrus, and corn.

The taste has an average malt profile file. Almost tastes hollow. Corn like flavor is experienced and makes the taste run a little short. But it’s got a touch of honey in the middle that lingers in the finish with a very faint bitterness.

Crisp mouthfeel with high carbonation.

Not great for the style, and in fact, one of the worst pale ales' I've had. I expect better from Founders. All in all, it actually smells, drinks, and feels like a ok pilsner.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
2.86/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Revisiting this one courtesy of kmpitz2. Pours a golden yellow orange with a big cragly two finger head on top. Strong aromas of floral hops that actually smelly soapy. A hint of citrus is there as well...but the odd soapy fragarance is just off putting to me.

First sip brings a nice pale, bready maltiness along with a very floral, citrusy dirty hoppiness. The floral aspect is overpowering and again reminds me of soap..something I'd rather not have in my beer. An interesting pale ale that really doesn't do anything for me.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with strong carbonation. This is easy to drink but the particular flavor profile doesn't have me going back for more. The first Founders offering that I've been less than pleased with.

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Photo of DrJay
2.88/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hazy straw yellow topped by an enormous white head. I could only pour about a quarter of the beer in my glass at a time, there's so much carbonation. At least it leaves some lacing on the glass. Strong aroma of piney and citrus hops, to the point of smelling acidic. Very light malt flavour, balanced quite far towards bitterness. Hop flavours are mostly citric and a bit harsh. Finishes extremely dry with a bit of malt and lingering pine needle bitterness. Carbonation is indeed very high, giving this lighter bodied beer an airy texture. But the astringent dryness and harsh hop character make this less than a favourite.

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Photo of tigg924
2.9/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: cloudy, orange yellow, small head

Smell: hoppy, soap, and grapefruit

Taste: big hops, grapefruit, and small cantaloupe

Mouthfeel: bitter, smooth, and a sour finish

Drinkability: This to me tasted like an average pale ale...This is very representative of the style, but I do not think it excels...I will not be buying this again.

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Photo of gdkersey
2.91/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled date reveals the beer is 3 months old; not the freshest, but not exactly out of date.

A - slightly hazed golden-amber pour, looks tasty and thinly laced head

S - not much going on in terms of hops, certainly below expectations considering the bottle is labeled with "dry-hopped". Slight grassy hoppiness

T - crystal/caramel sweetness, followed by a relatively low bitterness. not much in the terms flavorful hops. ends with some more sharp bitterness.

M - good carbonation, a little slick (maybe diacetyl?). almost as if it's an English style ale

Overall a decent beer but nothing I would seek out. Flagship, classic, reliable, but a false impression (especially given other Founders beers and the "dry-hopped" labeling)

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Founders Pale Ale from Founders Brewing Company
3.7 out of 5 based on 2,730 ratings.
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