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 mcallister
3.38/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very copper dirty gold color. Beer poured with a minute head that fell away quickly. Significant lacing with good retention left on the rim of the glass.

Slight hop in the nose with a bit of pear and a nice toasty malt. Somewhat lacking in overall aroma.

Not an overly complex brew but overly drinkable. A subtle hop component with a nice malt mid palate. A creamy thick mouthfeel leaves a desire for the next drink and the next. Buttered toast is one of the main components I can pull from this one. Could drink a lot of these but I think there are many other beers out there that are a tad more complex that would get me hard earned money first.

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Photo of Brian700
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a great looking beer. Pale in color with a nice white head that settles down to a ring around my glass. Nice and clear.

The aroma is hops hitting me over the head.

This is a nice malty brew with a moderate amount of hop addition, it is just a notch down from the Centennial. Great balance of malt and hops.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium/moderate carbonation.

I think this is a very drinkable beer.

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Photo of Derek
3.98/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Their website says 5.2% abv? This is definitely their "Dry Hopped Pale Ale".

A: Brownish-orange, slightly hazy; Fluffy white head, good retention, great lace.

S: Bready malt, pleasant orange/grapefruit citrus, slight toffee.

T: Plenty of grapefruit citrus, bready, with a little pine. Toffee sweetness with a crisp finish; nice bittersweet balance.

M: Light to moderate body, slight acidity, Moderate to high carbonation.

D: Hop lovers could session this, if it wasn't quite as carbonated.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.12/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Poured a mdeium copper haze with bright clay overtones. Had a one finger head that went to a constant foam that lasted throughout the beer. Also noticed some light lacing.

Smell- A definite dry-hopped aroma with some dry malts as well. The dry-hopps almost smell like feet. Or like the boys locker in gym class back in high school. Even though this smell arouses these memories, I had to give it a 4 for uniqueness.

Taste- Starts out dry, medium malts with a dry mix of English and American hops. Both subdued and citrusy.

Mouthfeel- Medium dryness at the tip and center of the tongue. Lights of light malts also mixing well with these complex hop flavors.

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Photo of taez555
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a golden orange/yellow body with a small white head.

Nose was rather faint for a beer that states "dry hopped" in the name. Sugary sweet caramel malt, some biscuit, not really much in the way of a hop nose.

Very juicy fruit taste. I really wasn't expecting this. It's like biting into a fresh piece of fruit. Apples, oranges, grapefruit, pears, limes, lemons and lemon zest. Very bitter from start to finish but by no means a hop monster, just really bitter for it's size. Some biscuit malt and caramel taste. A strong dry leafy citrus peel chalky mouth-feel. Finishes with a long dry astringent bitterness.

An interesting dry hopped beer in that it almost overdoes it with the hop flower bitterness and not hop flavor. The nose is bizarre because you can barely smell any hops at all. It's good, but I'm not sure if I'd have it again.

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Photo of rousee
3.44/5  rDev -7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours murky apricot. Very coarsely filtered--almost too much. I dont want to see big floaties in my beer and there arent here but --its close--I'd advise drinking this stuff as freshly as possible or discard completely--else the floaties might grow. Tastes more like an IPA than just a pale ale. Probably Centennial hops which Founders seems to like to use. Overall-its a decent beer and the hops are more subdued than most IPAs, it is a pretty good beer but not much more.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.83/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

slightly hazed amber with a thinck tan head, that laces all the way down the glass.
the nose is dominated by citrus, apricots and piney hops. slight vanilla aromas too.
the taste is more of the same, apricots, onangey lemon citrus, and pine needle hops. nice balance with sweetness up front and corresponding bitterness in back. the only thing is there is a bit of soapy astringency in the aftertaste. it doesn't prevent this from being a pretty solid brew though.
medium bodied with light carbonation. drinks almost like it was on tap.
good drinkability, a more than decent pale ale. i wonder what's causing the astringency though. wihtout that, this would be a pretty damn good beer,

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Photo of kdmorse
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy golden color with 2-3 fingers of head. Head fades slowly to leave rocky lacing clinging to the glass. Large fluff of foam continues to float like a scoop of ice cream.

S: Not much smell to speak of. Fairly neutral with slight hint of hops. I remember this having a big aroma of hops, but I can’t pick it up even when I try. (Does my glass have soap residue? No, I rinse with the best of them.)

<Edit: Gave it another shot a few days later in a fresh/clean glass. Still not much smell, but I can pick up some citrusy hops this time. Not as much as I would like from the style but it is there.>

T/M: Biscuity (new favorite description) malt with slightly citrusy hops. Hoppy up front with a smooth finish. Solid pale ale taste. Easy to drink.

D: Very easy to drink. Good with a light snack or for a long night of drinking.

Notes: Good all-around pale ale. I would lean toward Founders other selections, but not with too much prejudice. Not my favorite pale ale, but I wouldn’t turn one down when offered.

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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 bearrunner44
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Sunny orange color. Cloudy; a hard pour produced a huge, fluffy head that nearly spilled over the top of the glass.

Smell- Sweet and spicy. Fresh, herbal hops, orange rind, and a sweet malt backbone. Rich and doughy. Light, floral aroma.

Taste- Full-bodied. Stinging hops hit the taste buds early on before fading to mild levels in the finish. Malt flavors are full and bready. Biting up front, with a tangy finish.

Verdict- Tasty and satisfying. The hopping might be a little light for the style, but it avoids the harshness sometimes seen in beers of this type.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice APA from Founder's. Pours out to a slightly foggy bright yellow color with a nice 1/4 inch head of foam. Medium low level of carbonation. Nice lacing was noted on the interior of the glass. Aromas were of roasted malts and hops. Hints of citrus hang in the back. Taste is very straightforward, but well crafted. Lots of malt mixed with blends of citrus flavors and some dry grain and hops. Nice. Mouthfeel was good enough, but I would've cared for a more slick feel. Drinkability is pretty good. I'd go for this again. Recommended.

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Photo of n8tron
3.22/5  rDev -13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I got a bottle because it was recommended to me, I'm a big hop lover, bet this beer was pretty average in my opinion. It was easily drinkable, but the taste only lasts a second and then disappears leaving more to be desired. This is a beer that could have been great but for some reason just ended up less than expected.

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite pale ales made in Michigan.
The color is like a blonde with high lights, golden with sparkles of red and amber. The aroma is wounderful with a slight citrus, rich malt and hint of yeast. The flavor is rich with malt and hop flavor, little citrus refreshes the middle with hop flavor and finishes smooth with a lingering citus on the tounge. Not to heavy on the mouth and is an easy drinker. Easy drinker and great taste make this an all out good buy.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, Woodman's

appearance: cloudy peach/copper pour, a foamy white head with some frothy lacing

smell: first aroma is definately some sweet malts, dry and herbal, some sweet floral hops underneath

taste: the hops come out to play right away...floral and citrusy in nature- grapefruit, orange, apricot, some peppery sweet malts behind the hoppiness. taste is much better than the smell would have indicated. slightly bitter aftertaste

mouthfeel: medium carbonation, fresh and fruity, medium body

drinkability: a little above average for APA

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Photo of hero27
3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. No best before date.

Is there beer at the bottom of this foam? ..I can't quite tell. Even with the most careful pour, the foam erupts in the glass...making me wait patiently to try it. I gotta say..I am not a fan of the overcarbonated bottles (other reviews show this is not an extremely rare thing with this beer). Aroma is pale malts and light citrus (orange peel?). The taste is good for a pale ale..very flavorful without being over the top in any single aspect..mostly pale malt character with a notable dry-hop addition. Definitely a better-than-average pale, but I'd be a bit more pleased with this if I wasn't sucking in so much foam with every sip.

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

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a golden orange. Had about a one finger head that dissipated slowly.

Smell: The first smell that hits my nose is a citrus smell probably from the cascade hops.

Taste: Like the smell the first thing that I taste is a citrus taste followed by a caramel taste. Very well balanced. There is a hint of a bread taste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth Mouthfeel with the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Could be a session beer in my opinion.

Yet another fine offering from Founders Brewing. Keep up the great work!!!

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

A straight 4. This beer is a great choice on tap if you want flavor, but not big bold and bordering on undrinkable. I live in a hicktown of about 5000 people, 40 minutes from the Founders Bewery. When I heard that this was on tap at one of the four bars in my town, I was as happy as can be! Founders on-tap without having to drive to Founders, yea!

Great biscuity bready flavors with a hint of caramel sweetness. Well-balanced hop bittering is more subdued than in the bottle, and is accompanied by the slightest hint of diacetyl, which I'm starting to enjoy. A light body and delicate carbonation add to an already very drinkable brew. Time to go to the bar!

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Photo of nlmartin
4.08/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a bottle into a 20 ounce wine gobblet.

Appearance: This has a very nice pale off amber coloration with loads of particles suspended in the beer. The head is an inch and a half of white foamy goodness. Looks great as the lace plays on the side of the glass.

Smell: A combination of floral, grassy, citrusy goodness.

Taste: A very strong taste of hops and yeasty goodness on the intial taste. The finish is citrus and breadyness.

Mouthfeel/ Drinkability: This is a very drinkable smooth pale ale. Not alot of carbonation to be had. I think I will pour myself another.

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Photo of battlekow
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The store just started carrying Bell's and Founders pale ales, so I thought I'd give them a whirl.

Founders' version comes equipped with a clear amber color and tons of suspended particulates, plus a moderate white head. In an interesting twist, it looks quite a lot like the Bell's Sparkling Ale I just drank.

Smells lightly of cirtusy hops. Tastes quite excellent, up there with Anchor Liberty Ale for a pleasant, balanced APA. Malts are complemented well by a prominent, but not assaulting, citrusy hop flavor. Just a touch of bittering in the finish. A nice, creamy mouthfeel completely a ridiculously drinkable APA.

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Photo of evanackerman
3.56/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beeer pours a hazy orange with lots of floaties, in my opinion detracting from the appearance.

taste is primarily hops although a bit of malt comes through. Mouthfeel is very good - smooth, not over-carbonated.

this beer is a pretty good APA and i would buy it regularly if there weren't much better examples readily available (Great Lakes Burning River, SNPA) . There is a bit of an off taste to me that is very difficult to describe as it doesn't taste like anything else i've ever experience, it does not make it a bad beer but it does make me want to stick to other pale ales when i'm in the mood for one.

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Photo of blitz134
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another treat from a non BA trade, ahh the wonders of beer trading...

Damn explosive head on this one. Granted it did take an hour and a half ride up to my new apartment before opening it, but others seem to have seen a lot of head from this one as well. It did reduce rather quickly though to almost nothing leaving some nice lacing behind from its initial off white frothyness. Clear body with some perfectly suspended particles.

Bottle says dry hopped, but I might beg to differ. I actually don't pick up much hops in the nose of this one. Comes across mostly as malts with some caramel sweetness to them. There is a little bit of hops, some light straw, grass varieties.

Taste is hit with a sharpness, probably due to the carbonation. Finishes with a slight resin bitterness. Sweet malts round it out making this one pretty balanced. I seem to pick up some soapiness though, which adds an "off" touch to the middle range of this beer. It does disappear though and offers room for a clean finish with a bit of bitterness.

Thinish, light mouthfeel. Might receive a higher rating if the carbonation was reduced a bit to "thicken" the feel up and uncover some of the flavors. Still drinkable though. I feel my scores undermind this brew a bit, but I dont know what to change...

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Photo of macpapi
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So far I haven't tasted a Founder's product that's been anything but great. So I thought I'd give their basic Pale a try.

Founder's PA pours a pale amber-copper color with a relatively small head. There is good bubble action throughout and a decent lace afterwards.

Nice smell. Malt and a good deal of hops are present. There are good floral and citrus aromas to boot. I also noticed a bit of a buttery tinge at the end of the inhalation as the beer warmed.

The taste is pretty hoppy. There is also a good deal of citrus flavor thrown in. A sharp and bitter kick adds to a very well-balanced and tasty swallow.

In the mouth FPA is crisp, sharp and relatively highly carbonated. Bitterness remains on the tongue for quite some time.

Overall this is a very nice Pale and highly drinkable beer. Not overly bitter or mega-hopped, but very enjoyable on a session-type level. Another point for Founder's.

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Photo of connecticutpoet
4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This sucker had a four finger, rocky head in my pint glass. It took a while to die down, and an eighth inch layer of foam persisted. It was a deep yellow brew with lots of floaters.

Aroma was grassy and floral, with a definite hit of raw hops. There was a firm caramel malt backbone.

The taste was slightly bitter, with raw hops, a hint of pine, and a hint of sweetness in the aftertaste that mingled with a lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel was quite good. Not too heavy, a little chewy, melded quite well with the hops.

Drinkability was excellent. I would definitely get this one again. An excellent session beer.

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Photo of karengarys
4.27/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours clear amber, leaving 12 fingers head. It's true. The first 1" of beer produces 3" of foam. It is overcarbonated, or out of control. It really should get a 3.5 for appearance here, but the aggrevation costed it a bit. [update - I poured the 2nd half of the bottle - there are floties!!! Guess I didn't realize this was an unfiltered beer, but there is settlement on the bottom to enjoy too!]

Smells dry, lemony, hoppy, but also a bit dusty.

Taste is incredible. The hop is over the top, but it is mostly a dry hop with just a hint of pine. It is slightly sweet, but the hops balances that out very well. This combination, to me, gives me the most refreshing and flavorful taste. it is soooo rich!

The mouthfeel is very good too. Nice and creamy and sparkely!

The finish is sparkely clean!

This is a very drinkable beer once the carbonation calms down. it is super good!!!! I do highly recommend this brew, and I would even go a bit out of my way to look for it!

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Photo of beveragecaptain
3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours out brownish yellow, topped with half an inch of white foam. Fruity malt aroma with some hops, but not as much as I expected. Sweet malty base, with apricots and orange. Hops come in midway through, but does not taste very fresh. This beer in general has a stale taste. Mouthfeel is medium. This beer did not really leave me wanting another. Not as good as most Founder's beers.

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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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