Stone Pale Ale | Stone Brewing

very good
984 Reviews
Stone Pale AleStone Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 06-23-2001

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 984 | Ratings: 2,714
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle, served in a pint glass.

A - cloudy, amber color with a small white head that went away after a while, leaving no lace.

S - upfront hop aroma, but sweet smell of malt is also there.

T - very well balanced pale ale, very good taste.

M - medium bodied, crisp carbonation.

D - extremely easy drinking, very enjoyable brew.

Final Note: after having had most of what Stone has to offer, I finally tried this delicious beer... what took me so long?

 460 characters

Photo of zuggy9
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love this pale ale. It pours a nice copper-amber with a thick off-white head and excellent retention, yielding some nice lacing. The smell is light, but with a good mix of malts, fruit and hops. The taste is quite full, with complex grains and caramel sweetness, along with the classic Stone citrus notes. It has a good body and light carbonation, finishing dry, but not overly bitter. These won't last if you share then, so stock up on them!

 444 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dense, murky, dark orange color...a thick, creamy head...
Nose is fruity, and floral, vibrant and sweet, hops are nice, mellow, and very attractive, without standing out too much. Perfectly mild pale ale aroma. Zesty and citric, nice and fresh.
Taste...very nice. All those flavors found in the nose return on the palate. A certain spiciness sticks it out right next to the easy-going fruitiness, and, if you'll allow me, I'm reminded of a barleywine flavor, but without the alcohol. Mellow and tasty, light to medium in body, pleasant finish. Extraordinarily drinkable and smooth, but never skimping on taste!
What an appealing pale ale, I'm glad that Stone has such a friendly offering to appeal to those who aren't always aching for an abundance of hops and challenging flavors, something to keep the taps flowing and the coffers filled, allowing them to make those bad bastards we all love!

Big-sized doffing of the topper to El Bummerino for providing the bomber!

 974 characters

Photo of rapidsequence
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle

Appearance: Orangey with a slight haze and a very short lived head. Would like it to be more clear.

Smell: Surprising. Lots of floral hops and sweetness.

Taste: Nice bitterness up front. Hoppy but balanced with pretty assertive malt flavor and some sweetness. It finishes almost completely clean. Its very refreshing.

Mouthfeel: It lacks a little in the mouthfeel department, but its just an APA. Its not watery, just a bit thin. Again, after you swallow, you almost can't tell you just took a sip of beer.

Drinkability: I just grabbed this out of the fridge after cutting the lawn and I'm glad I did. I've never bought this before because I've always gone for Stone's "bigger" offerings. This is a great beer for what it is, and it doesnt try to be anything else. A real nice APA.

 799 characters

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is orange/amber palish. It has nice head and great retention. It has a nice hop scent. Sort of citrusy. Taste is incredibly well balanced. This beer was sooo perfect to relax with it is highly sessionable. One of the best pale ales I've had. Go try one.

 263 characters

Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle, cool Sam Adams glass. 60 degrees because I like them that way.

Beautiful copper color, clear as can be. Off white head lasts a while and lacing is pretty good. Overall a great presentation!

A nice earthy hop aroma, like a stroll through a pine forest after a light rain. Nothing overwhelming in the hop nose, just pleasant and a bit of maly sweetness for balance. Really balanced well while not being overpowering in the least.

Tastes of those earthy hops, and caramel malt. A bit of alcohol mixes well with the bitter hop finish that does it's best to linger but fades quickly nonetheless.

Medium body, not too carbonated, a real slick mouthfeel. This is a tasty APA on the low end of hop craziness, which I appreciate. It would be my daily drinker if I could buy it in my lame State.

 804 characters

Photo of jhtipton
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When reviewing this one has to dismiss any other Stone beers they have had before, especially of they are lovers of the hop as I am. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into my trusty affligem chalice. I love the appearance a bit darker than a "pale" ale but a beautiful two finger head and a deep orange. Nose is nice malts and slight grassy piney. No definitely not a ruination but I can enjoy a beer afterwards without having to bump up the IBU. Nice mix of British PA and California PA. Malty with a eccentric piney aftertaste. Light to medium bodied with the enduring oily hops. Overall an excellent Pale Ale. Definitely great for a sunny afternoon session without killing you for the evening. Cheers.

 697 characters

Photo of beersarang
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden almost orange with a frothy head that leaves sheets and sheets of lacing all down the glass. Beautiful. The most beautiful lacing I have ever seen. Leaves a quite persistant head that stays forever and ever.

Smells mild, spicy citrucy.

Sweet malts all around with a modest sweetness that is quickly put into its place by the citrucy west coast hops. APAs have this quality and Stone represents it well. Quite balanced and delicious.

Medium bodied and drinkable like no other.

 499 characters

Photo of mghotbi
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper color with thick foamy lingering cream-colored head. Aroma of caramel malt with floral hop tones .

Mouthfeel is smooth and silky with just a touch of carbonation. Predominance of malt early, with sweet fruit (fig) tones and clean hop finish. Surprisingly dry. Perfectly balanced sweetness and bitterness. An excellent pale ale.

Very refreshing and drinkable. Another outstanding Stone product.

 411 characters

Photo of Taffle
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A copper, amber coloration and malty head give this pale a great appearance.

After literally dipping my shnoz in the foam, I took away some subtle hops and fruitiness. A bit orangy and tangy citric.

Hops were there, but not much. A lot of zest from the fruit. Really smooth and not too much bite - just perfect.

A bit more to this beer than was expecting. The flavors are wonderful and the mouthfeel was great. Perfect carbonation and body on the palate.

Stone still doesn't seize to amaze me with their products. This is probably my new favorite pale ale. Everything seems to be moderate and perfected. Love this brew.

 625 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4.37/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From recently discovered notes:

Wow, I forgot to review this one for a while. So here it goes. A dark amber/copper colour with a thick white head of foam that lasts for a while and leaves very nice lace patterns on my arrogant bastard pint glass. The aroma is definately hop-heavy but the biscuity, bready malts are in there as well. The taste is hoppy up front, but this is a very balanced pale ale, especially for Stone. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth and the drinkability is very good! An awesome, balanced, pale from Stone Brewing Co.

 545 characters

Photo of bbkd3b
4.36/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dare I say this is the best looking beer I've ever seen? It pours a deep amber-red with great clarity and awesome carbonation. Nice 1.5-finger white head with great retention that leaves just fantstic lacing.

Smell: It's got a fruity/hoppy aroma. There's orange citrus, an earthy aroma of some sort. Oh, and those hops add a nice touch, too.

Taste: Hops on impact, but it gives way to a frutier taste that makes up the main part of it. A real citrus flavor, almost sour in a way. There's great balance here, and a nice pleasant aftertaste, too.

Mouthfeel: Disappointing all other things considered. Carbonation was too sharp and the body was thin. Not quite watery, but thin. Average.

Drinkability: Fantastic, really. It's not a heavy beer, and I could keep drinking it as long as I had one.

Overall/notes: Wow... just wow. This is a great beer! It's a shame I haven't found any Stone in Columbia, but when I get back, I'm scouring the town! A great APA.

 1,012 characters

Photo of MLasoski
4.36/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served: In a bottle, poured into an ale glass.

A: It has an unfiltered and hazy body with a light amber color.

S: Smells of citrus and faint pine.

T: Tastes just how it smells. The yeast isn't as apparent but it has a nice malty citrus flavor.

M: Starts out fruity and ends with a pine aftertaste.

D: A very good pale ale indeed. I would definitely buy this beer again, most likely in a six pack instead of a single. Give it a try.

 436 characters

Photo of bsp77
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint. Best by date of June 8, 2011.

Appearance: Clear amber with moderate, foamy off-white head.

Smell: Grainy and toasted malt, nice orange-driven citrus and some spiciness.

Taste: Very citrusy and fruity, with orange, grapefruit and possible some darker fruits as well. Semi-sweet overall, with a malt backbone of caramel, toasted and grainy malts. Turns more spicy and bitter on the finish with lingering grapefruit and pine. Well balanced.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, fairly creamy body, very dry on the finish.

Overall: One of the best APAs I have had. Complex, yet very drinkable. Slightly bitter but the sweet core keeps it well balanced. This beer actually improves my opinion of Stone more than all the extreme beers. Making a mouth-wrenching IPA or Strong Ale is easier than the subtle balance needed for this APA.

 883 characters

Photo of tugdriver7
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Easily one of the best APAs I've had. Interesting, cloudy orange/tan in the glass, with some head retention, but a nice lacing the whole glass through. Taste was a fascinating balance of floral/fruity hops, deep malt, and a touch of sweetness that made it extremely drinkable. One could easily blow through a bunch of these in a session and enjoy every swallow. Fantastic.

 372 characters

Photo of necoadam
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear dark copper/amber color with a fizzy head.

Smell was a solid malt aroma, with a light sweetness in the background. Some citrus and hops mingle together. It all blended together so well.

Taste was an almost perfect balance of malts and hops with an underlying sweetness to it, but then the bitterness of the hops blended in. Nothing is overwhelming, and underwhelming too.

Mouthfeel was medium with a good check in carbonation. Finished with a little a little hops hitting the palate.

An excellent beer. A staple for pale ales for sure.

 559 characters

Photo of athensbeermaster
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty funny that this beer is called a pale ale. This brew has more going on then most breweries have in what they call a IPA. The Head was a good two fingers and the lacing is small.
The taste: Nice malty mouthfeel then the hops come and spice up the finish. This beer has more malt and mouthfeel than fat tire and they call that a amber ale? Cheers to Stone even if this is there bottom of the line entry level beer this just shows there runt is better than most brews best offering.

 486 characters

Photo of Natural510
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, no dating.

Pours a murky bronze with billowing white head.
Equal amounts of malt and hops to the nose, with sweet, fruity tinge.
Fruity, biscuit malt meets a sharp, herbal hop. Hop bite mellows, leaving a dry yet crisp finish. Notes of toffee, tea-leaf and cherry make up the flavor.
Very full in body. Hoppy yet smooth; this one is bulkier than most IPAs.
Wonderfully balanced yet complex pale ale. This one picks up where the SNPA classic left off. Possibly the best of the "regular" pale ales brewed in the US.

 527 characters

Photo of ism
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper-orange, slight haze but otherwise pure, with very tiny bubbles swimming upwards. Off-white, lush, bubbly head leaving spotty lacing. Floral hops upfront on the nose, with caramel behind.

Smooth and medium-bodied, hops edging out the sweetness, in a nicely balanced way, and fully emerging in the aftertaste with a heavy citrus punch. Slight grassiness indicative of dry-hopping. Solid lingering notes.

Finished this 22oz bomber wanting more. Smooth and just short of being too interesting, perfect for sessionability.

 538 characters

Photo of jeffjfindley
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: The deepest of ambers. Pours with a generous head and leaves attractive lacing.

Smell: Lotsa hops! Also registering a sweet caramel malt structure.

Taste: Straightforward without being too simple. This is a very hoppy number, but it's not overwhelming at all. Great balance.

Mouthfeel: A wee bit sticky, but very refreshing nontheless.

Drinkability: I can & have downed many of these. This is a rare brew whose appeal to me isn't affected by the season. I could drink this anywhere.

 506 characters

Photo of car2052
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to pint glass.

A: Clear amber, with a small 1/2 in. head. that diminishes to a ring of foam.
S: Pine and Grapefruit. Hint of orange. Perfumy.
T: Nice hop presence, with the pine and grapefruit coming out well. Slightly toasted malt compliments the hops. Some hints of dark fruits. Balanced.
M: Light to medium feel. Very slight aftertaste.
O: A nice hoppy, yet balanced pale ale. Ideal for IPA drinkers who want a slightly more sessionable option.

 475 characters

Photo of Prostman81
4.34/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a 22oz bomber of this courtesy of a really good friend who brought it back from California with him.

A: Poured a beautiful, deep red color, almost ruby. Maybe a finger of head which quickly dissapated.

S: Was expecting a little more here. No real discernable hop aroma, perhaps just a faint whiff of malt. Kind of perplexed that a SNPA has more aroma than the Stone PA.

Taste, Mouthfeel, Drinkability: This is where the beer more than makes up for the lack of hop aroma. Since this is a PA, the hops are in well balance with the malt. The malt profile on this one is great, nice hit of caramel, but not overwhelming. As the beer warmed, I noticed a fruityness come out that I hadn't picked up when first sampled. The beer has a full bodied mouthfeel, but everything works in concert so well that the bomber disappeared before I knew it. The alcohol level in this definitely allows this beer to be sessionable if wanted, but I enjoyed taking my time to savor this great west coast pale ale.

My last thoughts on this are, if Stone can make a Pale Ale with this much going on, what on earth must Arrogant Bastard taste like?

 1,133 characters

Photo of TheBigE5
4.34/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured from a bottle into a sniffer. Thin white head, about a half finger. Perfectly clear light brown amber color.

S - Very hoppy in the nose, floral, sweet. A bit of malty notes. Great smelling beer.

T - Perfectly balanced. Malty at first, the the hops enter later. A bit of sweetness in the finish.

M - Smooth mouthfeel, not overcarbonated. Get a little bit of tingle in your throat. Very drinkable.

O - Wow, great nose and perfectly balanced. Add its drinkability. Excellent beer.

 492 characters

Photo of Act25
4.34/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Finally getting around to this. Stone trumps every brewer currently for my palate, and this basic bread-winner is amazing.

A: 5 for starters it's as perfect a look on a pale ale as you could imagine. If one in 1000 pale ales gets a 5, this is it. Mousse-like ivory head, a pillow that lasts and laces. Cherry copper body. Great weight.
S: I could just sniff this one. It's laid back compared to IPAs, but as it should be. Better as she warms.
T: Great tingling balance of malt and hops, creamy and satisfying. many tight facets of flavor: Citrus, bread, cracker, pepper, pine, Perfect finish
MF: Already said: Creamy, long, tingly, long finish. As good a finish on any beer in the Pale Ale Class.

A wonder. Must try. A favorite.

 733 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Slightly hazy, very deep reddish amber/copper in color with a creamy bone-white head that holds well and leaves some nice lace. The aroma is limited but offers some light fruit (berries & citrus) and a mild caramel note. The body is medium with a very fine and gentle carbonation that leaves it surprisingly creamy in the mouth. The flavor starts lightly sweet and fruity, reveals some biscuity caramel malt and bright citrusy hops as it warms in the mouth, and finishes dry with a lingering sweet & fruity citrus maltiness. Well balanced. The bitterness is appropriate for the style but not-overdone and the maltiness & tight carbonation are exquisite. This beer caught me off guard. I was expecting something more "full throttle" from Stone's. But then it occured to me... of course they have a more straightforward beer! It's their flagship (and they do make the Smoked Porter as well). And, I actually loved it because it wasn't abusively hoppy. If it was, what would be the point of having all of their other, more aggressive beers? This is easily my favorite beer from Stone! Well-rounded, fruity, and highly drinkable.

 1,125 characters

Stone Pale Ale from Stone Brewing
3.89 out of 5 based on 2,714 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.