Pale Ale | Stone Brewing

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Pale AlePale Ale
Very Good
2,715 Ratings
Pale AlePale 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.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,715 |  Reviews: 986
Photo of TheTrevor
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a cloudy red-tinged copper color with a massive fluffy three-finger head. The smell is some caramel malt with some fragrant floral and leafy hops. The taste starts off with some toffee/caramel malt sweetness that gradually fades into some well-balanced hops with some floral and slightly piney and well as citrusy character. The mouthfeel is slightly thick and oily with some subdued carbonation. This is a surprisingly drinkable beer for the amount of hops it uses, a testament to the ability of a good beer to balance out the hops and the malt. A great example of the style and a must-try for anyone interested in it.

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Photo of wheatyweiss
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper with a gorgeous two finger head that recedes slowly and leaves nice lacing. Slight cloud that does not detract from the appearance at all.

Aroma is of light leafy hop and bready malt. Aroma is on the weak side.

Taste is lovely sweet malt with a light hop back, definitely not was I’m used to hearing about with Stone. The malt is full bodied and substantial and gives a cracker and bread like flavor. Sweet cream and candy sugar with a dry hop roll finish the beer, a little bit of booze detected on the finish. This is actually balanced for what it is. Good on you Stone, glad to see there are not all bombs.

Mouthfeel is creamy and bubbly with a good amount of carbonation, refreshing.

Good pale, not over hopped and nicely balanced.

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Photo of thain709
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - A cloudy white head that stayed the entire glass...great lacing

S - Malts dominated the nose...but there are some citrus notes

T - Once again the malts dominate on the palate...sweet tasting...they really take away the hop get a touch of hops but they are sweet hops

M - Medium bodied...crisp

D - This is a big difference from Ruination...I really enjoyed the malt dominance in this pale ale...another great Stone brew

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Photo of projectflam86
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours deep copper color with a thin tan head that leaves some nice lacing.

S- Lots of malty aromas and a touch of citrus floral scents. Maybe even some caramel and bread smells.

T- Malt citrus taste dominates. Other notable tastes include citrus, caramel, hazelnut, pine and the slightest bit of hops which create a nice bitter sweet balance.

M- Smooth and medium bodied with nice carbonation.

D- Overall a nice working man brew from a killer brewing company.

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Photo of Andreji
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another hidden gem in this year's lucky american beer tour for me.

I've been intrigued by stone for a long time since i've heard of it so much over here, although it seems like the arrogant bastard has more fans than this one which is, for whatever it's worth, fantastic either way. I picked it up alongside the ABs at case and keg in boca raton because well, the gargoyle and the whole legend on the back were too appealing to resist.

pour is cloudy amber, not fully see through unless you gaze deeply into it. small dirty white head with tonnes of escalonated lacing on the sides.

pugnant hoppy nose, some roasted malt filters through. It's still more nociceptively perceivable than the olfaction itself. too subtle though. must sink nose deep into glass

Taste is immediately hoppy but balances out at first well with a sweet sensation. a carbonation rush and you're riding the hop train again. throughout. with such a strong, bitter metal aftertaste.

Beer is very enjoyable, i tuned my brain to 'hops' this trip and hven't been disappointed so far.

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Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sun blistered clementine with a modest but pronounced bed of white lint raised above its surface. The tone isn't exactly pale, it's rather dense and transparency is severed substantially. Little bubbles result from the slightest agitations. This shares much more resemblance to traditional pale ales than most modern offerings that share the name.

Assertive, bitter hops cry out for as much attention as their toasted malty counterpart. My nose seems to give more credit to the malty scents of toasted rye bread and broiled butterscotch. The hops contribute a fair bit of pungency to the bouquet with very earthy, somewhat plant-like tones. The zesty citrus is kept to a minimum but not excused altogether.

Those same flavours reside in the taste as well - wild flowers and honeysuckle tossed in with a variety of toasted bread loafs and topped up with caramel drizzle. It's versatile in that it could qualify for easy, mindless drinking although there's enough thought put into the recipe that it wouldn't be an entirely senseless effort to take the time and reflect on it.

As is virtually always the case, the use of only barley, hops, water and yeast proves to be a rewarding one. There is no unpleasantness, no lingering astringency, no short-changing of bitter hops or sweet malts. Although I'm unsure of exactly how youthful this bottle is, I've had the beer fresh on tap and remember it being considerably more zestful and hoppy.

I'm almost tired of giving Stone constant validation for making kick-ass beer; that's just something I've come to expect of them. I think their Pale Ale speaks volumes for the brewery which promotes itself on making big and bold products. The fact that they can still offer something mild and balanced proves the brewer is just as talented as he is arrogant.

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Photo of Dotcubed
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Of all the Stone beers I've had I haven't had this one. Not available to me regularly as I don't think this one is in MN. Got it in Hudson Wi on the way home from Madison. I miss the IPA they make, it is awesome.

Looks like a dark pale ale. Very brown amber color. Generous finger head. Smells of saaz hops I think.

Very rich and malty. Light body, watery ale. Some saaz like spicy quality. Good bitterness.

Heavy balanced flavors with nice lightness. Low ABV means I can drink lots of these. Unobtrusive. No "extreme" flavors to clash with.

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Photo of Yesac
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Cloudy amber orange. Small layer of head. Nice even lacing on the glass.

S - not much going on here. Bready malt and some hops.

T - Malt dominance.. some weak fruits in the middle.. slight rustic hop at the end for a dry finish.

M - Medium bodied. Nice coating on the palate.. dry

D - Lots of malts and a tease of hop to make this easy to kick back a few .

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Photo of jujubeast6000
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed 8/6/2008 (Draft @ Flying Saucer, Houston, TX):

Pours a reddish brown color. Creamy gray-whitish head, good lacing and seems to last. Very mild aroma, some nuttiness. Maybe some dark grapes. Fizzy, smooth not creamy. Some nutiness, some balance. Some dustiness. Mild. Some kind of fruit in tne taste, but not dark fruit. I guess I was expecting more hoppiness.

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Photo of william5586
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a burnt orange color with a finger of off white head. The aroma was of floral hops, but it was not too strong. The taste started off with a malty sweetness which was in great balance with the hops. Had a slightly bitter finish. The mouthfeel was smooth and crisp. Very easy drinking well balanced pale ale. A great session beer, imo.

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Photo of bluejacket74
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle. Served in a nonic pint glass, the beer pours a dark amber color with about an inch off-white head. Head retention is OK, lacing is good. The aroma is very nice, it smells like bready malt, citrusy (orange) and grassy hops, and also a bit of caramel. The taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like citrusy hops (grapefruit and orange peel), bready malt and some piney hops. Good mix of malt and hops in this brew. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit slick and has good carbonation. Drinkability is pretty good, I think this would be a good choice as a session beer as I think it's a good overall brew. It has plenty of taste and it's not too high in ABV so you can enjoy a few of these. I'd definitely buy this again, it's a good, quality classic beer.

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Photo of latercol
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured fairly dark considering it is a pale ale. Nice deep amber color. Minimal lace.

Smell - Surprised to find this stone brew actually had some malt in it. Nice bready smells balance nicely with the hops.

Taste. Balanced, Hops and Malt, that being said the taste of the malt in this beer is not quite as nice as other pales I have had.

Mouthfeel- medium bodied but didnt feel especially creamy or anything.

Overall - good but I dont think it compares to Sierra Nevada in this category. Fairly drinkable though.

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Photo of endincolorado
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy Red-Amber color with lots of bubbles, off white head with low retention. Nose smells of fruity- citrus hops with orange and light floral notes. Tastes of citrusy hops with sweet malty background. Light-medium mouthfeel with fairly high carbonation. Another beer I couldn't have more than a few of, given the high carbonation.

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Photo of Gmann
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper color with a nice pillowy egg-shell colored head that left some real nice lacing on the side of the glass. The aroma is of a biscuity malt, perhaps a hint of honey, with some floral, grassy hops. The taste is a sweet malt, toasted bread with honey butter, some bittering hops to offset the malt. The feel moderate with suprisingly soft carbonation, feels a bit flat to me. Finishes fairly balanced. Just realized this is an old sample, not good for the style. Remarkably the beer held up fairly well but any hop flavor is long gone. Dang. I will update based on fresher sample.

I have a noticably fresher sample. Look and aroma are about the same but I can detect more of a flavorful hop presense. Nothing outrageous but it does blend better with the malt. The feel definitely has more carbonation, perhaps a perfect amount, not too fizzy or soft. Drinks very nice, good balance.

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Photo of KBoudreau66
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color with one finger of off white head.

Smells of apple and other fruits up front with sweet malts. A little bit of toasted bread undertone. I was hoping that it would have more of a hop smell to it then it does.

This is actually a very well balanced brew. From the original smell I thought that it was going to be all over the place, but it turns out to have a good combination of sweet malts, apple, slight hops and undertones of other fruits in the mix. Has a nice crisp and dry aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, smooth, crisp and has a dry aftertaste.

I was not let down by Stone's version of a Pale Ale. This was excellent and very drinkable. I was expecting it to have too much of one flavor but didn't. Definitely worth the money. This is something I will drink again in the near future.

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Photo of Clydesdale
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A tawny, hazy copper-orange color with a medium-sized, densely creamy off-white head. Retention is very nice, and plenty of sticky lace is left on the glass.

S: Some toasted caramel malt aromas up front. Some moderate citric (grapefruit and orange) and floral hops. Some yeasty touches as well.

T: Toasted caramel/toffee sweetness up front provides a nice initial touch. Floral hop flavors and some grapefruit citrus provide good balance, although bitterness is fairly subdued. Some more bready, yeasty flavors into the finish.

M: A medium, somewhat sticky feel. Carbonation is somewhat light. A bit of soft dryness into the finish.

D: This is a pretty tasty APA, and it's incredibly well-balanced. Surprisingly so for a Stone offering, in fact. I'm impressed, but not blown away. Still, I'd be happy to drink this anytime.

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Photo of angelmonster
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on draft at Flying saucer. Poured a small off white head, light brown body, decent head retention and lacing was very good

Smell was of sweet, citrus hops with faint malt

The taste was of piny hops and grassy malt. Not too overly hoppy

There was a nice balance of carbonation, smooth going down. Semi creamy head was nice, not as light as other APA's, which i thought was nice.

Overall is a good, light, highly drinkable APA. Would recommend to people just getting into beers with generous amounts of hops

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Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured fresh growler into a pint glass. A dark amber color with a nice white head transferred into a smaller form. Killer lacing. Smells of sweet malt are noticed first, followed by some of that W.C. hops. Gulp. Very mild and sweet on the intake, frothy as well. Little thickness makes for some great aftertaste. Drinkability is favorable for a pale ale. The combination of the maltiness and the hops are perfectly portioned, embracing for those who find hoppy beer overwhelming. This is a stellar sunshine beer in my opinion. Stone never disappoints and for that this one comes recommended.

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Photo of roadhouse
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appears a shade of orange-amber with a one inch off-white head. Leaves some pretty nice lacing behind after falling to a cap.

Aroma is of piney and citrusy hops, kind of orangy, with a decent malt backbone.

Taste presents some maltiness up front, though it's more bready than sweet, with the hops coming in lightly for a Stone brew in the form of citrus and pine. Finish is a nice balance of the malt and hop character.

Mouthfeel is medium, tending more towards the lighter side. It's a got a crispness to it that makes it pretty refreshing.

I'd say this is a pretty solid Pale Ale overall, though there are of course better ones out there. At around the same price for a six pack I'd just as well go with their IPA though.

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Photo of UDbeernut
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at Ballentine in Willoughby, Oh poured into a standard pint glass

a: dark amber color, nice sliky white head with slight retention

s: sweet fruit aroma with slight floral aroma from hops

t: sweet up front with slight bitterness from the hops forcing them selves in. Slight earthly in the aftertaste. Not a bad brew.

m&d: medium bodied beer, decent mouthfeel and drinkable beer.


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Photo of SaintArnold
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz glass into a matching pint glass.
A- Appearance was a beautiful dark amber color with a sticky 2 finger foamy white head. This beer provided excellent lacing.

S- The smell wasn't as apparent as I would have like it to have been. I did detect a nice spicy, malty aroma.

T- Solid! Well balanced creamy malt flavor with spicy finish.

M- Light to medium body with great carbonation and a nice finish to it.

D- Off the chart. This is a great beer and you could easily drink this all night. I must admit I have a cult-like devotion to the Stone Brewery. I love their beers and this is no exception.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy amber, with a generous ivory head. Great head retention, Great lacing on the glass.
Resiny hop aroma, big in the nose, with an undercurrent of toasty, caramel malt. Pretty clean, not too much in the way of esters aside from light pear. A lightly minerally quality.
Bold, grainy caramel malt right up front, followed quickly by a wash of assertive hop bitters. Soft pear fruitiness, a little bready, with a robust, fuller mouthfeel than most american pale ales. The hops are more woody and piny than citrusy, though there is some of that flavor, too. Mostly in the very end of the finish, on the sides of my tongue. Finishes fairly dry and clean, with only a light, piney hop bitterness.
A little pricey around my way, but a good pale ale.

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Photo of Ezekiel81923
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of a mixed sixer I put together at Abe's in Bethlehem. 12oz Bottle poured in a normal pint glass.

Appearance: Nice, clear amber/copper color. One finger, semi-tan head billows up and recedes quickly. Nice sticky lacing around the glass...the kind you have to scrub off when you're done.

Aroma: Some citrus notes, but a lot more malt than I expected. Some grapefruit? or other kind of fruity notes? Nose is a little sweet.

Taste: Exceptional! A quick smack of sweet malts before a real nice citrus zest on the tongue. Malts return to finish out. Not much of an aftertaste, but finishes real smooth.

Mouthfeel: Not much bitterness to speak of. Light splash of carbonation as you swallow. Light to medium body.

Drinkability: High. This is not a heavy drink, and has a pretty sessionable ABV. I could drink many of these over the course of a night.

Overall, not quite your prototypical pale ale. Dale's Pale Ale is still my favorite, but this is an interesting take on the style that I would not hesitate to drink again.

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Photo of droomyster
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful hazy amber with a small tan head. Smells good, sweeter and more complex than most pale ales: notes of caramel and toasted sweetness, citrusy hops. Taste is very chewy, with multilayered flavors starting with big malts right up front with very vibrant hops kicking in mid-palate and electrifying it, and then a long, oily finish with an evergreen hop profile that makes me think of gin. Very round and balanced. This beer reaffirms Stone's status as one of the best breweries on the West Coast.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark copper with a thin. whispy off-white head.

Nose is a bit fruity, citrus hops, sweet malt.

Taste is a bit biscuity, toasty, with a clean, citrusy bitterness complementing it. Finished with a lingering hop bitterness on the palate.

Med-light body, moderate carbonation.

Seems a bit closer to an ESB than a Pale. Nice either way, though.

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Pale Ale from Stone Brewing
Beer rating: 3.85 out of 5 with 2,715 ratings