Pale 31 California Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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Pale 31 California Pale AlePale 31 California Pale Ale
Very Good
Pale 31 California Pale AlePale 31 California Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Pale 31 is brewed to exemplify the classic California pale ale style, hence the name honoring the Golden State as the 31st state to be admitted to the Union. Beautiful floral and citrus hop aromas greet the nose with undertones of lightly toasted malt. Crisp pale and crystal malts offer a hint of sweetness. Subtle hop bitterness offers a refreshing finish. Perfect for a sunny day at the beach or barbecue with friends, Pale 31 represents the bold yet approachable spirit that embodies our state.

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User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 579 | Ratings: 1,994
Photo of bbluemzbeer
5/5  rDev +30.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Awesome beer ! It does not get better this this one!

Appearance:: a light golden color with a creamy two finger white head, which remained through and left great lacing. '

Smell: It was out of this world! It had oanges, floral notes and hops

Taste: Citric hops were perfectly balanced caramel malt presence. A very well rounded beer. Goes down smooth!

Mouthfeel: outstanding! It was nice and crisp and had a good smoothness and creaminess.

This beer is great of session beer you will ever find. It was wonderful balance, with some nice hop presence without being too bitter

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Photo of drmeto
4.88/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 5

-strong floral notes
-pleasantly balanced
-mango,grapefruit,oranges,pineapple,maracuja,caramel hop bitterniss
-well carbonated
Finish is sweet,fruity,slighly bready with medium hop bitterniss.
Absolute Reference in the Style

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Photo of Beerjonny82
4.82/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Hands down, this is by far one of the best beers I have ever had. Unlike most Pale ales, this beer has the clean, crisp feel and appearance of a lager, the hoppiness of a mild IPA, and the most incredible hoppy aroma you will get from a bottled beer. Along with the intense sweet, floral aroma, the dry hopped finish creates a superbly delicious dry aftertaste. Besides the hops, the beer is low in maltiness, yet has a nice light bready flavor. The low 4.9% alcohol content will allow you to enjoy more than one on a work night.

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Photo of huthuty
4.75/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a brilliant amber
Smell is an incredibly unique pine hop smell
Taste is of very dense pine and mild malt, very delicious, very crisp
Mouth feel is light
Overall this beer is fantastic I saw it long ago and now regretfully haven't tried it until today

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Photo of sparta2325
4.72/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beers looks are average. Golden with a small head. But taste thats a deferent story! It has a strong hop taste with a IBU of 38.0 (Medium High) !!! For those hop head's. It's thicker than you would think with a nice oak after taste. It has a lot of hops in it they are. Hops: Bittering- Fuggle Late Kettle- Cascade Centennial Chinook Dry Hops- Cascade Centennial Chinook and it has won plenty of awards.
2006 World Beer Cup: Gold Medal
2005 Australian International Beer Awards: Gold Medal for Best in Class
2004 World Beer Cup: Gold Medal
2003 World Beer Championships: Gold Medal
2003 Great American Beer Festival: Silver Medal
2002 California State Fair: Gold Medal for First Place
2002 World Beer Championships: Silver Medal
I'm would recommend this to any one!!!
I'm going to try to make a batch of home brew like this, I hope it's as good???

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Photo of robert7072
4.68/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had this on cask at DOWNTOWN BAR& GRILL (DBG) tonight
It's orange with decent lacing, lots of bubbles, Smell is mild lemon peel,citrus. Taste is a little butter, some wood and mineral earth, sharp clean finish. Very nice carbonation, medium-bodied. A great pale ale in cask, all add up to one drinkable beer. I loved it.

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Photo of viperpiper522
4.65/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a deep golden color with a 1.5 finger head that dissapates to quickly to give this one a 5. Good sticky lacing shows the gaps between big sips.

S- Out of the glass rises fresh citrus, pine, a light biscuit. You can smell some nice malt in there as well.

T- Excellent. Multiple citrus hits the tongue. Grapefruit, and meyer lemon dominate. It fades into a light balance of malt sweetness with major biscuit undertones. There is some fresh baked cookie in there as well. It finishes with a walk hrough the pine forest.

M- Light carbonation, releases a lusious palate. Velvety and smooth. The finish is dry enough to leave the palate with some light pine. Great residual.

D- It was so good I wish I had two more. Great trade Brad. Thanks, I don't think I could ever get it that fresh on this coast. It makes me want to move to Cali.

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Photo of bradford
4.65/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

My go-to beer on the Central Coast of California.
Very hoppy, a bit dry, perfectly balanced, a low abv to make it oh-so sessionable.
Looks good. Dark gold in color with lively carbonation
Smell of floral hops
Sensational taste with the use of the right amount of specialty malts and hops
Mouthfeel is great. Very dry but also quenching and crisp
Drinkability is about as good as it gets for the style. I can see why Men's Health rated this as the best beer in America.
Fantastic, and I live directly in the middle of the two breweries. Great stuff. I can't believe my first rating of this.

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Photo of JBogan
4.64/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I reviewed this beer a few years ago from the bottle. Normally I don't go back and re-review a beer, but recently I had this on tap at a small bar somewhat close to the brewery in central California, and felt the difference was significant enough to warrant another review.

Presented in a pint glass a light golden color with a beautiful and creamy two finger white head, which remained through the entire consumption of this beer and left excellent lacing. Very pleasing to look at.

The smell was fantastic. I've had this beer probably a hundred times or more before from the bottle, but somehow on tap this took on a new life. Oranges, floral notes, and much more of a hop presence than I have ever experienced than from the bottled version, this beer on tap had it all. A wonderful bouquet which ranked among the best smelling beers I've ever put my nose to.

The taste was nearly the equal of the aroma. Once again the citric hops were there, joined by a perfectly balanced caramel malt presence. A very well rounded beer.

The mouthfeel was what I would call good but not outstanding. Perhaps a bit thicker body would improve things, but that's nitpicking. It was nice and crisp and had a good smoothness and creaminess.

As I sat there drinking a few glasses of this beer from tap over the course of a few days I wondered if it was perhaps as good as it gets for a session beer. Perfectly balanced, a nice hop presence without being overly bitter, and extremely drinkable. Very good out of the bottle, fantastic when fresh from a local tap.

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Photo of Duster72
4.62/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to IntriqKen for this one. Pours a clear golden with a smallish head and decent lacing. Aroma is sweet breads and citrus hops - very nice. Taste is tasty sweet malts up front followed by pleasant citrus and a good hop finish to cleanse the palate. Perfect mouthfeel and drinkability. Excellent APA, very refreshing.

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Photo of Augustiner719
4.62/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a stubby 12 oz bottle into a taster glass.

Pours a very clear melted butter color with a yellow tinge and a white fluffy soapy head. Massive head retention and beautiful. Aromas are very strong for an apa. I get tangerine, musky grapefruit and some sweet salted caramel on the nose. The flavor is very balanced. Really a nicely crafted brew. You can taste the care and effort put I to this. Love how smooth this is yet it has a very nice mandarin orange finish. Mouthfeel is very smooth, perfect. Has a great crisp finish, balanced malts with fresh tasting hops for balance. Really a near perfect apa. Honestly I love SNPA but this just got on the same level as it. Very smooth. Go out and get your hands on some.

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Photo of madtappers
4.61/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Probably the best of the Firestone Walker beers that are bottled.

I have tried both on tap and in the bottle, and prefer the the tap over the bottle.

Beer is very drinkable has a great hop smell without the hop after taste. This beer can easily been sesioned without getting overwhemled by hops. Must be the oak barrel fermentaion process that gives the beer the smooth drinkablity.

Would recomend this beer to both the beer snob and the beer novice!

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.6/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden colored and clear with a small foamy head that retains a small amount of lacing around the edges of the glass. Strong apple aroma with underlying citrus tones. Mixture of apple and citrus tastes. Nice balanced hops taste that hits you midway through. Bitter taste that retains on your tongue when done. Not too bitter, though. Hops are moderate, perhaps a little stronger than most pale ales but not quite as strong as most IPAs. Overall a very good beer, becoming one of my favorite go to session beers. One of my favorite pale ales for sure.

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Photo of oxnard111
4.57/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Above good beer here. Not quite exceptional, but I truly love this brew. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass

A-Light golden. Semi cloudy. Thick foamy head that receded quickly. Soapy think residual layer that stays on top of the beer. Low-medium lacing.

S-Piney, citrus hop smells stand out with a slight floral undertones. Hidden malt smells that barely stand out.

T-Orangey hoppy taste. Very slight sweetness. Malt flavors stand out also. Near even balance of all flavors.

M-Medium thickness. Lower carbonation level.

D-The one thing about this brew that I truly love. Very drinkable. I have easily put back six bottles in a session without feeling bad, full or hung over the next day. Beer can be drunk when wrenching or in social scenes.

Truly tasty APA. I love this brew. Another great Firestone brew.

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Photo of HighOctane
4.54/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smell and taste set this APA apart from others. I crave a hop flower aroma in my pales and this beer delivers big time. I've had 2IPA's with less hop aroma. The taste is very crisp - delivering hop bitterness with a slightly nutty finish. Highly drinkable - definitely Firestone's best widely available offering.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.52/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer was sent as a bonus, thanks to Zorro. One of the best pales I've yet tasted, and I've had quite a few, so it is not often I will rave about one. I really can't wait to try the Firestone 10 based on how amazing this simple pale ale is. This is not only the first oak aged pale I've had, but as far as I know it is the first beer I've had that was fermented in a burton union system.

The beer looks great. It pours to a clear golden yellow color with a crisp carbonation supporting a thick fluffy white head. Lacing is pretty spotty, on the other hand. Retention is alright.

The smell is wonderful. Nice mellow pale malty sweetness balanced out by a piny and juicy hoppiness. Even has a hint of oaky vanilla. Has a mellow creaminess about it as well. Very smooth and balanced.

The taste is just as exceptional as the aroma. Very clean pale malt flavor followed by the perfect balancing bitterness. Bountiful hops flavor in the finish. Subtle pine and grapefruit with a gentle lemon zest. The oak really smooths out the rough edges and adds a bit of vanilla and a feint barrel char.

The beer is medium in body. Carbonation is very smooth and gentle on the palate. Alcohol is undetectable, though I would expect no less from a 4.6% pale ale. Very creamy mouthfeel. I could drink this all night, and I probably would quite often if it were available in my area. Thanks again, Zorro.

Oh, and P.S. - Jim Cibak, we miss you over here in 3F's land!

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.51/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Zorro. Received this in the Summer Sipper BIF 2007.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a clear light copper hue with a white fluffy one finger head that dies down quickly to a thin lacing. Stickiness is very spotty, here and there. Very mild sweet citrus hop odor with a wonderful caramel/toffee malt blend. One of the best smelling beers in general I've experienced, by far the best smelling Pale Ale. Such a unique yet pleasing beer to put your nose up to. Taste is amazing as well. Once again, mild on the hops but clearly there. Citrus hops on the tongue but then the delicious vanilla malt flavor takes combined with a peppery-spice flavor. Aftertaste is very smooth and pleasant, sweet toffee like flavor. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation. This could very possibly be a session ale at 4.6% abv. Get you hands on this if you can.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$ 1.85 (Including tax)/12 oz can ($ 0.154/oz) at Max Wine & Spirits, Danbury, CT
Canned on 04-08-16 at 42 degrees into a hand washed and dried JK snifter
Aroma – pleasantly coniferous, lasts
Head – large (Maximum 5.7 cm, aggressive pour), off white, frothy, diminishing to an irregular one cm ring with lots of residual drag deposits and a frothy partial layer
Lacing – very good – wide frothy rings of tiny to small bubbles
Body – light yellow, clear
Flavor – very light hint of malt and only slightly bitter; no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate – light, watery, lively carbonation

A very pleasant, refreshing APA. A nice change from all those IPAs. Wish I could get this locally.

Appearance 4.5, Aroma 4.5, Flavor 4.5, Palate 4.5, Overall 4.5

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Photo of TriggerFingers
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Being spoiled on the Central Coast, I must say that this a lighter, sessionable Pale Ale that is absolutely fabulous!

Is it the best Pale Ale in all creation? mmm?....even though it took a Gold at the GABF a few years back? its great!

get it on tap in Paso Robles or Buellton and see what's up....most people (9 out of 10) choose FW's DBA over Pale 31...its not a hop head's dream...its much more subtle than that...

I guess I am the exception....Pale 31 has a complexity that Mission St. Pale Ale lacks (perhaps its the DBA blended in?)....

This is delicious for days....bottle is good, on tap is the best!


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Photo of breadwinner
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Such a fantastic brew for its size, it just checks off all the boxes so well -- tremendous floral hop nose with requisite flecks of citrus, crackery/toasty malt palate in complete harmony with the hoppy bitterness, which takes on a really quite lovely grassy note. It is hoppy, to be sure, and in this way a departure from other APA stalwarts like Deschutes Mirror Pond, but, again, it works incredibly well. Staple beer and one that fills the hoppy session category a helluva lot better than most session IPAs.

(Bumping up. Brews like this are exemplars. Their scores should reflect that.)

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Photo of PintOHops
4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glass - Pint

A - Pretty clear pale gold color with a 2-finger head, slightly dense looking, and the retention is pretty good. Moderate Co2 can be seen, leaves a very nice lacing as well.

S - Very citrusy & inviting, it's got big grapefruit and orange fruits, along with a nice floral quality. I get an underlying malt sweetness, some toast, a touch of biscuit but soft. God the aroma is so inviting!

T - It's got wonderful grapefruit & orange fruit burst upfront, floral with a nice soft zip of rind as you begin to swallow the beer. It finishes with very little malt character, soft toast & cracker perhaps with subtle but balancing bitterness. Fresh grapefruit is dominant.

M - Soft to moderately carbonated, very smooth, medium bodied. Perfect!

D - God I don't think Ive had a better Pale Ale since I first tried Sierra Nevada Pale Ale! I loved everything about this beer, especially it's fresh, floral aroma, and it's fresh grapefruit flavor. I could quaff a sixer or more, I'll definitely buy this beer again, recommended. Cheers!

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.49/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(bottling date: 08/19/14 - purchased cold, poured into a tulip pint)

L: crystal-clear, yellow-gold liquid... only a small pad of foam

S: they really must use hop extract in their beers - the intensity and dimension of the, what appears to be, whole-flower hops is ridiculous... spicy, earthy, herbal, mustard seed-y... clear, crisp balance of toasted, cookie-ish pale malt below, good bit of depth to that too... overall, just wonderfully defined and distinct

T: sharp-spicy, peppery, bitter zip at the front... almost a lemon-honey-ginger zip in the fantastically dry finish... man, this is dry... a toasted grain flavor slowly builds on the palate midway and to the back, in balance by the end... seems like some Chinook is ripping hard

F: fairly polished-smooth, dry with the bitterness accentuating a parching effect... not terribly residual resin, but perhaps a mildly acidic tingle

O: bold, bright, clean-as-hell, and to the point... excellent drinking that packs a punch on the palate, but is deceptively light... another winner from FW

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.49/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours a deep gold with a nice wheat head.

S: Plenty of hops for the style with some mild sweetness.

T: Slightly sweet malt with some citrus/grapefruit hops.

M: Medium bodied and well-carbonated.

D: Quite good in this department. A nice, low abv beer with plenty of hops--my definition of great session-style drinkability.

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Photo of aquaderek
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this beer into a tasting glass. The head is a nice creamy white lacing, with beautiful tiny bubbles and amber color. The nose is hoppy with subtle citrus notes. The taste is clean, crisp, and hoppy. I really love this style of beer. The drinkabililty of this is off the charts. In college, UCSB, I have many a fuzzy night due to the drinkabililty of this beer. Great beer.

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Photo of Gstarkey
4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer!. I'm from california and I'm all about ipa's and pales and this one really did it for me. The beer pours a really nice golden color and could almost be mistaken for a blonde ale. It smells real floral and has piney notes throughout with a small amount of sweet malt on the back end.

The taste is really crisp, hoppy, and a little sweetness at the end. The beer has a pleasant medium body with a really nice bitterness. I can really understand why the took gold at the world beer cup these guys know how to brew good beer. Overall really high marks all around i think they nailed it and i will be drinking more of this beer. Cheers.

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Pale 31 California Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 1,994 ratings