Stone Pale Ale | Stone Brewing

very good
985 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.

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User Reviews
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Reviews: 985 | Ratings: 2,715
Photo of ElijahRivera
3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed based on tasting notes from a blind pale ale tasting.

12 oz. bottle inside a paper bag poured into a plastic tasting cup.

A- Dark copper color.

S- Sweet, boozy, not much hops aroma.

T- Tastes like it has some age on it, boozy, sweet, stale and lacking hop flavors, but still retaining a good amount of bitterness.

M- Full for the style. Not much carbonation.

O- Realized this one was past the date after the tasting. Still drinkable, although not at all what it was supposed to be. Also, a worthwhile experience to blindly compare fresh and not so fresh pale ales to hone one's palate. I'm a lot better about checking dates now.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a slightly hazy copper color with some clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass. Super nice lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Toasted malts, caramel, a bit fruity, and a little citrus

Taste: A little grapefruit, chewy and toasted malts some fruitiness, caramel, and mild hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: A bit smooth, a little chewy, some mild hop bitterness, light bodied, and low to medium carbonation.

Overall: Pretty standard pale ala. Was expecting more hops from these guys, but wondering where they went when compared with beers in their portfolio.

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Photo of heygeebee
3.42/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From Warner's. BB 21/10/13.

Briefly, good dark amber colour, truly off-white head though, with unappealing large bubbles and scummy lace. Little on nose, and taste is apricots, grapefruits, somewhat stale, doughy malts, but still hoppy. Not a zesty Pale Ale.

Not maybe the best purchase, now I have seen the date, and has not kept as well as it's higher ABV brothers I have tried. Solid.

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Photo of Immortale25
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a New Belgium goblet. Bottleneck says Enjoy By 01/23/14.

A- Pours a dark amber color with a 3/4 inch bubbly light tan head that retains well before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a large center patch of surface foam. Very nice resilient webs of lacing adhere to the glass.

S- Borderline toasty malt aroma with a small tinge of hops. Husky, bready,

T- The vegetal hops are more apparent in the flavor as the bitterness comes on and lingers a bit. The malt works well in contrast providing a sturdy base. More bready notes. Lightly sweet.

M- Slightly oily from the hops and also a tad sharp. Medium carbonation with a body leaning toward the fuller side.

O- A subtle pale ale that has a good balance of flavor.

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Photo of delta490
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- a nice, clear deep amber with a big pillowy off-white head. Some visible carbonation

S- rich caramel malt with some nice citrus hops in the background

T- a nice blend of the caramel maltiness and hops. The hops is subtle but pleasant.

M- A nice fullness and a slight tickle from the carbonation

O- a really good Pale Ale. Nothing really blows you away, but it's just good all around.

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Photo of SteadySippin
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This stone pale ale from poured from a bottle to a chilled glass.

A - Deep amber color. After pouring, it has a off white head about 2 fingers thick. Then the head settles to a thin ring. Lots of lacing with this one. Lots of bubbles floating around in there too. Beautiful looking beer.

S - Faint barley scent, with some citrus hidden in there.

T - The taste isn't bad, but definitely not expected. It has quite a bitter side to it for a pale ale. I get a lot of pine which dissipates and then the citrus flavor comes through. The bitterness stays with you from sip to swallow.

M - Feels bubbly in the mouth but easy to drink. Flavors cover the whole pallet quite nicely. Light to medium bodied.

O - I will probably buy this one again. It really surprised me though because I wasn't expecting the hops to come through like they do. I didn't enjoy the beer much at first, but the more I drink it, its quite good. Not as balanced as it probably could be, but I think thats the style that stone was going for with this one. For a pale ale with a little bite, I recommend. Oh, and the bottles are pretty sweet too.

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Photo of retry4z
2.11/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This PALE ale is overhopped and overhyped. Even for a seasoned hophead, and considering that Stone helped define the West Coast style, this beer misses it's mark by miles. This is more of a brown ale than a pale ale.

This beer is unbalanced, and I would not drink it unless it was the last beer in the planet.

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Photo of MrBoz21
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 40 degree bottle into pint glass

Poured with 1/3 inch creamy white head that quickly settled into a persistent foam cap with thick cream ring on glass that left lacing which crept down side of glass. Color is mild amber-copper that holds light. Nice carbonation bubbles.

Mild earthy and piney hop aroma.

Mouthfeel is moderately dry but not thin.

Balanced hop flavor with delicate bitterness that carries through mid mouth and pleasantly lingers in the throat. Not sweet, but it has a substantial malty quality with hints of biscuit. Nicely balanced and drinkable.

Overall – this is a delicious pale ale that has substance, nuance and flavorful hoppiness. While I like that it is comfortable being a pale ale, better examples of the style are more creative.

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Photo of alphagnome
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber color body that is both mildly hazy and incredibly active. Carbonation is in abundance, as is the bone-white head that is persistent on hanging around. Gobs upon gobs of lacing here as well.

The aroma is centered around one thing: Piney hops. Pine cones, spruce branches, and a hint of pepper. A bit boring but decent.

Taste wise, you're treated to the same experience as your nose... Plenty of pine notes and hints of pistachios. Bitterness isn't overwhelming but does sting the tongue a bit.

Medium-bodied. The body here is incredibly smooth - almost enough to balance the bitter bite. Don't for a second think you can jump from Budweiser to this though, or you're going to have a bad time. The finish is desert dry, leaving your mouth seeking the nearest oasis.

Here we have another west coast Pale that doesn't have enough balance to make it a truly enjoyable beer. Much better examples of the style exist, Bell's Two-Hearted and Three Floyd's Zombie Dust to name a few.

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Photo of damndirtyape
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint glass. Best before 09/18/13.

Appearance: Hazy to translucent deep amber. 1/16" persistent off white head. Lots of delicate persistent lacing.

Smell: Grapefruit, pine, orange citrus.

Taste: Pine up front, then caramel / bready malt middle, then a nice hoppy finish of pine, grapefruit and orange citrus. Very tasty and well balanced.

Mouthfeel: Nice thickness, smooth, just right carbonation. Surprisingly not a lot of hop oils sticking to the teeth.

Overall / Drinkability: A very solid and drinkable beer. Full flavored and loaded with good aroma, I could drink another one easily if I had one. Went great with food (mexican bean & salsa + polenta casserole) and I know it would be good all by itself. I agree with the back of the bottle, probably exceedingly bold for its day, but not mega hoppy by today's standards. That being said, really well done and still a very good beer that accentuates the hops, but isn't excessively bitter. Well done.

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Photo of scotorum
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoy By 10/3/13, so slightly past its prime.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams nonick pint.

a: hazy dark amber topped by a beautiful tall perfectly formed off white head which receded to surface foam film and lots of lacing.

s: Mild pine.

t: Moderate pine hops forward. Good overall flavor but the malt is not very distinctive.

m: Light to moderate, leaning to light. Easy drinking.

o: A classic modern American style pale ale, in that it is on the whole more hop than malt dominated. Some balance but it is the hops which stand out. Extremely sessionable: you do want more after it's gone. Wondering if the low marks and references to maltiness in some reviews here are the result of aged bottles. Not my experience at all.

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Photo of vkv822
3.12/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz : tulip

Clear amber-red ale with a thin, foamy off white head.

While still pleasant, I was surprised by the aroma. Much more malt balance than I tend to expect from Stone. Faint citric, floral hops, balanced with caramel, nutty malts.

The taste follows the nose for the most part.

Medium+ body, foamy carbonation.

A decent beer, nothing unpleasant, but not necessarily anything exciting either.

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Photo of RickS95
3.27/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

It's only partially got the look I was expecting. It's the darkest pale ale I've seen. The pour is a clearish, medium brown with some lighter hints of red. Not exactly pale. However, the head is a thing of beauty. A couple fingers of light beige bubbles. Really resembles an IPA with the look of meringue up top. Seriously long retention and a huge mess of lace.

Lacks the smell of a pale ale as well. Very malt forward on the nose. Faint bits of floral, but really it's nutty and malty like a brown ale (looks like one too).

Nothing to write home about. Again, very malty. Kind of a nutty taste (brown ale?). Has an earthy taste, likely some dirty pine. Floral hops appear in the finish.

Being an APA from Cali, I expected an ale bursting with citrus. Not so much. Mostly earthy and bitter. More of a savory, resiny hop than a splash of tropical fruit. Medium bodied, the alcohol is barely present.

Overall, it's a decent beer, but nothing to write home about and a bit of a disappointment. It's not hard to drink, just doesn't look or taste like a pale ale from California.

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Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A- clean copper with a dense, light tan head. Respectable lacing and outstanding retention. One of the finer looking pales I have seen

S- Citrus fruits and fresh bready malts. Pine hops invigorate the nose as well, with a health does of sweet caramel and molasses to finishing things off.

T- Earthy, citrus, and bitter. Straight forward as there are no real surprises here. Biscuity malts make for a well rounded balance. Touch of dry spice. Simple, but refined. Balance seems to be what I keep coming back to here.

M- Dry, mid to light body that is about par for the course of this style...but bouldering on heavy.

O- Not necessarily spectacular in my opinion, but about as solid as an APA gets. Not as bold as I am accustomed to with Stone, but a sure fire go to brew when you want something for any occasion without breaking the bank. The balance and consistency of this one should not be overlooked. Well done.

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Photo of SteveB24
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance; the least impressive feature of this beer,color is a medium brown, medium carbonation and almost no head.

smell; very nice, bread with some banana and maybe a hint of pineapple.

taste; brief malty notes quickly followed by a wave of pleasant, hoppy bitterness. the tropical notes in the smell lack in the taste, but are found in the aftertaste which is nice.

mouthfeel; nice carbonation, slightly dry finish but still pretty smooth.

overall; definitely a solid beer, good for beginners in the hoppy ale world, unfortunately, and this is my opinion, it does not stand out among lots of other similar pale ales, bordering forgettable.

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Photo of a0lbudman
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- dark amber in color with an off white foam
S-it really had no smell that stood out
T- was the best part of the beer, it had a hop tatst that I like, but was not overpowering in the aftertatse, a clean tatse
M-was refreshing
O- I can see why this is Stones best selling brand look foward to getting a 6 pack

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Photo of HoppyBastard
2.32/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a shaker pint glass.

APPEARANCE: dark amber color with very thin head which dissipated quickly, almost no lacing, light carbonation.

SMELL: metallic and caramel.

TASTE: caramel and malty with a metallic hop profile.

PALATE: light carbonation medium body.

OVERALL: this is not a beer I would buy again. For a pale ale it was far too malty and the hops were metallic tasting, in an unpleasant way.

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Photo of brewbattles
2.47/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.75

We conducted a blind taste test between this beer and 4 other popular American Pale Ales: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Deschutes Mirror Pond Ale, Stone Pale Ale, Firestone Double Barrel Ale, and Boulder Hazed & Infused.

Check it out:

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Photo of SFACRKnight
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into the old reliable oskar blues shaker pint.
Pours an amber tinged brown with an off white head. Tons of caramel on the nose backed up with spicy hops, a hint of citrus zest. Tastes exactly like it smells. Tons of. Caramel malty goodness with overtones of earthy hops and a citrus zest bitterness softly bringing it all together. Pretty thick mouthfeel for an APA in part because of the sweetness. Overall I enjoy this beer. Easy drinking and probably my favorite stone offering so far.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap The Village Tavern in Hammondsport, NY.

Pours a clear copper amber, with a 2 inch head, and really good thick lacing down the glass.

Smells quite hoppy, but slightly metallic. Lots of citrus zest, grapefruit and pine.

The taste is similar. The metallicness is there in the flavor too, but it's not that distracting. Fresh, clean, crisp hop flavor here, with only a little bit of sweet malt that makes the hops taste like sugar-coated grapefruit.

Medium bodied, crisp, clean, dry mouthfeel. Great mouthfeel, almost silky.

This is one of the original Stone beers, and it's still impressive.

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Photo of Tonmeister
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sierra Nevada Pint Glass

Appearance: reddish brownish, hazy amber. Can't really see through it with a finger off-white head that with good lacing around.

Smell: Caramel, hazel, dark fruity notes, yet sweet and malty.

Taste: sweet orangey caramel maltiness. It's more on the malty side.

Mouthfeel: medium full-boddied with moderate carbonation

Overall: This is a great APA, by far one of my favorites. It has a very rich, yet complex taste. This is an excellent session beer.

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Photo of Kendo
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle says "Enjoy By 10/17/13." Consumed on 8/18/13, so I believe this one's pretty fresh.

A: Poured into a pint glass. Body is coppery amber with a half-finger ecru-colored head that leaves behind a bit of lacing on the glass.

S: Good for an APA - some caramel malt and juicy, citrusy hops. Not overwhelmingly strong in the nose, but solid for the style and nicely balanced.

T: More malty than expected - especially from Stone. Toffee, caramel malt sweet foundation; think also of brown sugar. Finishes with some citrusy hops (more oranges or clementines than grapefruit) and a spicy, earthy hop bite that at times seems metallic. Lingering bitterness - which at times seems lemony, at times metallic - on the palate is a bit of a surprise because early on it seems so malty.

M: Medium in heft, carbonation is on the lighter/finer side of the spectrum.

O: I like it.

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Photo of artoolemomo
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours up a good amount of head which appears to have excellent retention. The head is a pure cotton white while the body is a medium to dark amber which glows a medium amber when held up to the light. Considerable lacing is left behind.

Nose- Caramel and citrus from the glass. Very noticeable caramel from the bottle. This subsides rather quickly but it was nice when it lasted. Though the caramel does linger longer than any citrus notes. The citrus notes are basically undefined but present. A certain mustiness (as in an armpit/dirty socks sort of hoppiness) comes out when this beer is swirled.

Taste- Considerable malt bill for a pale ale- some aspects of a lager/pilsner. Definite cereal and grain followed by caramel. Definite citrus notes (orange and lemon) follow this with a slight finish of pine, resin, and spice. I'm guessing that the date is 09/03/13 as the hops do not seem faded. While this might be modest by today's standards, I enjoy the mellow nature of the flavor profile. There is an incredible amount of complexity and integration, that “so-called lack of presence” seems minimal. Significantly different from SNPA and Red Chair, but definitely in the same league. Stone's prices for six packs tend to run higher than Sierra and Deschutes, so I would probably still opt for those. Wood and spice comes out more and more as this beer opens up. There's a juiciness that starts to round out the entire flavor profile that really defines this beer.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied with light carbonation. The syrup in the texture makes the light carbonation work.

Drinkability- Very easygoing. Subtle complexity. Stone is a little pricier but would consider this if I were looking for something a little different from my usual IPAs.

Overall- Solid APA. Must try. It will be more amenable to those who like a stronger malt bill but it is not without its hop charm.

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Photo of sfprint
3.49/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: transparent medicinal orange with a natural soda like carbonation. basically no head.
s: not a particularly strong scent. but whats there is a bit hoppy.
T: ipaish, but with a darker almost coffee-ish aftertaste. very hoppy and bitter
M: light to medium body with a slight carbonation sparkle.
O: very solid but more like an IPA than an APA

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Photo of soju6
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark copper color with a tan head and some lacing.

S: Aroma of some pine, malt sweetness and bit of spice.

T: Taste of caramel sweetness, some pine and grain. Nice bitterness and fairly dry finish.

F: Medium body and quite smooth, with a decent balance.

O: Nice pale ale without being in your face hoppy.

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Stone Pale Ale from Stone Brewing
3.89 out of 5 based on 2,715 ratings.
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