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 Stickydates
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%

A: hazy copper, moderate carbonation, sediment with little head.
S: hops, fruit, damp grass.
T: a little bit of bitter hops, then some fruity and grassy flavours. Little aftertaste.
M: mild carbonation with a quite thin feel.
O: nice, but not great. Easy drinking.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

(on tap at Jackbar in Williamsburg - served in a shaker)

just the notes:

English-style malt and, to a lesser extent, hop sensibilities... American hop influence: undeniable - and this is only now seeing that it's 100% Cascade - makes total sense then...

long-lasting, earthy, dried-grass bitterness... mellow caramel flavor and roundness to the body

perhaps and understated fruit highlight to the overall taste - and taking the Cascade into perspective, I'm wondering if most of the hop charge was in the bittering addition... the balance with and true forwardness of the malt flavors will certainly tone down the fruity elements of Cascade

bit of a peppery and maybe even minty finish/aftertaste...

pleasant enough medium-light body, lightened and dried out even more with the woody overtones from the grain

a pleasant pale from Founders... certainly low-key and workman-like, considering the intensity and bold build of their other offerings

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Photo of ob_carr
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%

If you're in the mood for a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, I say go for Founder's instead. I love both, but this takes the cake. It does a great job balancing the Cascade hops with fruit to avoid a too sharp pinch-you-in-the-face experience. I enjoy it from the bottle, typically poured into a goblet or weizen glass. It's very hazy with a nice, hoppy and floral aroma. I dare say the hops are mild. The head leaves you rather quickly but I see lacing. Hops are very present in the taste but its again mild and balanced with citrusy fruit and a clean, dry finish. The best news is that I don't count this among Founders finer brews, and it's still great! If ever you find yourself in/around Grand Rapids, MI, the brewpub located downtown is a must see (seriously, it's impressive only to look at) and sports amazing, seasonal offerings.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.16/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a hazy copper color. The head is two fingers high, off-white in shade, and very fluffy. As the head recedes (retention is good, by the by), its texture seems to become thicker and creamier.

S: Yep, smells like a textbook Cascade pale ale. Flowers, twinges of grapefruit, a touch of lime - y'know, the usual suspects. Caramel malts stay in the background. I can't think of any standout qualities, but it's not flawed in any way, either.

T: Opens with a floral bitterness that isn't quite biting or harsh...but gets pretty close at times. It stays bitter throughout, and not even a slight upsurge of malty sweetness near the back end can change that. This is a very simple brew that would make a nice everyday drinker, if nothing else.

M: The bitterness makes it very dry and light on the palate, and its crisp bite and solid carbonation helps it go down very easily. It's even a bit astringent feeling. Did I mention it goes down easily? If nothing else, it's the calling card of this offering.

O: Must re-review - I bought it relatively fresh, shame I let it fester in the fridge longer than I should have. It's held up okay, I suppose. This is a solid lunch-time beer, but has that "middle of the road" stink to it I usually don't expect from Founders.

3.15/5: By Founders standards, this is a snoozer

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Photo of slusk
3.42/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a hazy golden with a dense white, long lasting head. Nice lacing.

S:Earthy, woody hop aroma with a wee bit of pine. A little light caramel come through.

T:Earthy hop bitterness is the main event with a less obvious caramel sweetness. bit of lemon peel and caramel are evident. The maltiness is short lived as its taken over by a low to moderate hop bitterness. Semi dry with a nice bready finish

M: low body, somewhat thin. Moderate carbonation with some astringency.

O: This beer is Not one of my favorites from Founders, in fact I find myself a little disappointed. It seems a bit weak. The body is just a bit too light and thin to suit me. The hop flavors are good and the beer is fairly well balanced, but I don't notice a distinct hop that I would expect with dry hopping. Just seems a bit muddled over all in its flavor.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep orange colour with mild cloud. Head is soft and dense, pretty nice.

Smells sweet, lightly malty. Cake batter and caramel. Touch of hop but not much. Mostly sweet. Nice enough but could use more hop aroma.

Taste is similar: cake batter with a touch of stale grain. Hop is subtle; resinous bitterness. Yeah, pretty decent but not very exciting.

Smooth, quite full, decent.

Fairly subdued. Not too exciting but then is it meant to be? Might be a bit old; will look out for the next import shipment and retry.

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Photo of arizcards
3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a couple of singles from Total Wine at the end of April for $1.99 each. Bottled on 3/26/2014.

Beer poured orange with a nice white head upon the initial pour.

Nose is primarily malty with a hint of citrus.

Taste is pretty well balanced between the malts and citrus hops. The alpha hopping used wins out in the end and leave a nice citrus rind lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel is decently carbonated to provide a nice refreshing finish.

Overall an above average APA that provides what a pale ale is supposed to do - this is a nice refreshing bitter beer, kind of similar to some of the session IPA's available today.

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Photo of gonzo000
3.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

a. Nice orange/brown color with 1 finger head. Cloudy. head does not last. Not much lacing.

s. OK, one trick pony without a lot of complexity. Dry hopped honey.

t. Honey, spice - very nice.

m. A bit thin - lacking carbonation.

o. Good beer - would revisit occasionally.

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Photo of hophugger
3.18/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

good beer, pale and sweetness prevail. Overall a good dry hopped beer. Color is acceptable but look past it and try to feel the flavor. It is good but is missing some complexity. Overall, Founder's Brewing does an ok job with their beers but could use a little extra care to take it to the next level

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.77/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Hotel glass
From: Whole Foods in Tempe, Ariz.
Price: $2.59
Purchased: May 17, 2014
Consumed: May 17, 2014
Misc.: Bottled April 18, 2014

Poured a honey, pale, clear color with 1-to-2 fingers of pillowy khaki head. Lots of bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass. A good deal of layered foamy lacing along the sides of the glass. Good retention.

Smelled floral hops, citrus hops, lemon wheat, grassy hops, wheat, honey, orange and some caramel.

Tasted floral hops, grass hops, citrus hops, lemon grass, wheat, honey, light orange rind, caramel and other fruity tastes.

Light body. Oily-to-creamy texture. Lively carbonation. Long, slightly bitter finish.

A nice pale ale. I may have underrated this a tad. I’d have it again for sure.

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Photo of elwetback
3.41/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Solid yet not spectacular beer. Dry/crisp bitter hop flavor with only a minor hint of malt flavor. Very light/easy drinking which would allow you to have a couple back-to-back without a problem.

From an appearance POV, nice orange color with OK foam (little head retention). Hop smell is piney with citrusy notes.

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Photo of Jamiesue
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer has enough flavor to make it tasty but is not overpowering or heavy so you can drink it all day long. Hoppy aroma but not overly bitter. refreshing and crisp, my go-to pale ale. If you are looking for a balance of drink-ability and flavor I highly recommend. Great for BBQ or tailgating.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.91/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance – This is a gorgeous, hazy orange in color with a foamy, white, pillowy head that showed great retention.

Smell – The nose is balanced between light citrus hopping and quality grain. No sense reallly of the dry-hopping.

Taste – This is a balanced ale. The grain is bigger here and very nice. The hops again are mild and well-proportioned.

Mouthfeel – This is just shy of medium-bodied and well-balanced in the mouth.

Drinkability – Definitely a session ale, this Founders’ offering shows off some high-quality ingredients as well as an expert’s touch by the brewmaster. One of the most quaffble APAs I’ve ever had.

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Photo of reebtaerG
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had on tap nitro at Fireworks Pizza

A-Pours a hazy, orangey color with a 2 finger, off white head. Superb lacing!

S-Citrusey hops, grapefruit, bready

T-Bready, lots of citrus fruit, somewhere in between a pale ale and an IPA.

M-Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O-A very drinkable PA with a strong hop presence, definitely better with nitro than the bottle I had in the summer.

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Photo of mjpolzin
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this beer up to help accumulate "Founders points" for a beer club at a local liquor store. I had never had this particular beer before. With spring coming I am more in the mood for pale ales so I figured this would be a good buy.

This beer is solid but nothing spectacular. It is easy drinking enough but there is hardly any malt backbone and the only real flavor is a bitter hop taste. There isn't really any other hop flavor to speak of. I would say this brew would be good for a summer outing because it is decent and could be refreshing on a hot day but it is certainly nothing spectacular.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.86/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 10/07/13 at 45 degrees into imperial pint, sediment present
Light aroma of flowery hops
Head average (3 cm), frothy, white, rapidly diminishing
Lacing spotty, small
Body medium yellow, slight haze of tiny particles
Flavor light, no alcohol, slightly sweet but well balanced by the hops which add a resinous counter point. It ends with a slowly-dissipating bitter aftertaste. No malt flavor, no diacetyl.
Palate light, watery, carbonation soft.

This is a nice, light pale ale; a pleasant break after winter’s mixture of stouts, porters, and IPAs. This is easily a potential lawnmower beer.

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Photo of alphagnome
3.39/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy, sediment rich, medium oak color. Considerable head with fantastic retention and lacing. Plenty of carbonation.

Leaves a lot to be desired. Light pine and subtle, sweet citrus. If the aromas were a bit more exaggerated, this would be ok... Unfortunately, it's all too light.

Bitterness hits right upfront as you'd expect from any respectable IPA. Heavy grass and pine character. A quick sweetness hits at the end that vaguely reminds me of pineapple.

If I didn't know that dry-hopping was a method of hop addition, I'd swear they were referring to the finish - it's VERY dry. Full body with decent carbonation. A bit too dry for my liking.

Not a bad IPA, just not the most enjoyable. A bit more balance and some more character in the taste and aroma department will go a long way. Oh, and fix the finish. Minor gripes aside, it's a solid IPA - there are better offerings available however.

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Photo of tmzl
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Look: Pours with lovely, puffy, large, off-white (yellow hue, small to medium sized bubbles) head. It has a sticky retention (collapsing big bubbles), leaves relatively creamy, thin top layer, which is responsible for some sticky lacing. Clear golden (light orange hue) with some haze particles floating around.

Smell: Floral the most dominant, following with some herbal and very light earthy notes. Malt character mostly consist of light grain sweetness that in combination with hops creates a fresh, fruity feeling, which reminds me of pear compote. Also hiding in there are some light citrus notes.

Taste: Light, mostly grain with light honey middle sweetness. Some of the malt character is missing, but I can't resent that since this is a all-in Cascade driven beer - floral still the most dominant, with some herbal and earthy notes in there. Light bitterness finish goes into the realm of zest and pine. Some honey and floral notes come out deep in the after-taste.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, dry finish, refreshing carbonation. Goes down very easily.

Overall: Light, easy to drink and floral. Cascade all over it, would wish for a bit more malt backbone, but changing that would change the niche of this beer - the thing to grab instead of ice tea at a hot summer day.

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Photo of Budinetz
3.82/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap nitro style at The Mint Gastropub.
Delicious flavor and serious hop contest. Lush in hops but light in flavor with no harsh after taste...this beer is certainly session able and also available ok the Pennsylvania market. Come drink some!

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Photo of LooseGasCap
3.44/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's an OK bottle to follow a burger. The Pale Ale part is especially true as the color and head are creamy and true to the Pale name.
I like the crisp hop finish and the dry mouthfeel, but the nose is not particularly a draw for me.
At 5.4% ABV, it's no lightweight, but there's room for improvement and room for one more.
On second thought... there's always room for one more!

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Photo of Act25
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I'm wavering overall on 4. Here's a great pear-like pale ale.
Love this brewer, this is high quality and well made.

A Cloudy apricot body, not much head, a little lacing.
S: Pear like aroma, plenty of sweet malt, along with faint hops in direction of grassy and flowery.
A bit faint.
T: Very good, much fuller, sweeter profile, of pear/apricot/pulpy fruit juice, very juicy, with a clean transition to bitter hop drying finish. Good hop profile, balanced, true to pale ale - not as piney hoppy as Dales or Stone. Too Vegetal?
MF: Lovely body, like a fruit juice, satisfying, beer is food. Good for you. Never cloying. Great body ala Stone or Dales.

O: Some reviewers asked for more distinct flavor but it's a dry pale ale - it is balanced and full bodied with a juicy profile. Well done but mid-pack.

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Photo of polloenfuego
3.79/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 12 oz bottle to a pint glass.

This beer pours a nice pale gold with a good two finger head that breaks fairly fast but leaves good lacing and a nice thin film of bubbles. The smell was grains, mild citrus hops and some floral qualities too. The taste was much like the nose, but there is an excellent balance to this beer. It is just quenching and satisfying, really quite enjoyable. Medium body with a medium amount of carbonation.

This may be my new cottage beer. It is very easy to drink and quite flavorful without being too heavy.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.49/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz bottle poured into a Founders imperial pint.
5.4% ABV, 35 IBUs

A - Nearly crystal clear, it's easy to see the carbonation rushing from the glass' nucleation point to it's sturdy off-white head. Delicate lace adds appearance points to the already warm golden glow of the beer.

S - Founders' Pale Ale extends a welcome greeting of fragrant Cascade hops on the nose. Floral, faintly herbal, and finished with a touch of lemony citrus and mango; it's a beautiful bouquet overlapping pale malt with a touch of caramel sweetness for balance.

T - Lingering sweetness suggests some caramel notes to the otherwise pale malt base but this American pale ale focuses almost exclusively on it's Cascade hopping. Ripe lemon and grapefruit citrus underscore the flirtatious floral attributes and herbal suggestions.

M - Crisp cleanliness lends this beer near perfect drinkablility as it's loaded with aroma and flavor but lacking both a full body and high alcohol. Hop bitterness ads dryness along the finish but it's nicely balanced, sip after sip.

O - A charming version of the style from front to back, Founders' Pale Ale is a beautiful demonstration of the Cascade hop variety with it's floral and citrus aroma and flavor but, above all else, it's exceptional drinkability! This pale ale would pair well with nearly any pub fare.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a light orangey color ale with a generous head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of citrus and fruity hoppy notes is very interesting. Taste is dominated by very nice flavours of fruity and citrus hoppy notes with lightly sweet malt notes. Body is full for style with good carbonation. Very nice beer with high-level of drinkability with some very nice notes hops flavours without too much bitterness.

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Photo of Digimaika2
3.59/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

(3.75) A: Clear amber with a finger of stark white coloured creamy head. Recedes fairly quickly to a ring with some good lacing evident.

(3.5) S: Grains, light citrus, probably more floral qualities, faint banana, and dry crackers. Detecting an earthy mineral-like aroma on the backend that’s nice.

(3.5) T: Similar to aroma with grains, citrus and floral qualities, and faint honey. Nice level of bitterness and dryness without over doing it making this very easy-to-drink.

(3.75) M: Lighter bodied with moderate-higher level of carbonation. Slightly creamy with enough slickness.

(3.75) D: This is a solid and very easy-drinking APA that I would recommend to fans of the style.

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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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