Pale 31 | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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87
very good
548 Reviews
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Pale 31Pale 31
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 08-23-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
548
Ratings:
1,876
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
19.95%
 
 
Wants:
81
Gots:
252
For Trade:
0
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 548 | Ratings: 1,876
Photo of altadenabrou
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The floral hoppiness is pleasant at first, but soon is overwhelmed by the medium malt with a smoky, slightly bitter aftertaste. The color of the beer corresponds directly to the slightly sweet but not unpleasant body, which the company rightly describes as containing "hints of toffee."

I suspect that this will be an easy and very pleasant session beer if you don't mind a bit of sweetness. I will buy more and test that theory personally.

 444 characters

Photo of ocelot2500
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange golden with a small white head that leaves little lacing.

Smells of clean hops and mild malts.

Tastes of hops layered on top of mild malts with slight fruity esters. Hops are grassy with a citrus character. Malts have the pale character with a graininess. Fairly balanced.

Mouthfeel is a medium with a with a crisp finish.

 346 characters

Photo of NODAK
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Smell is fairly mild even for this kind of beer. Pine cone hops with a bit of honey sweetness also in there. Tame.

Taste definitely followed the nose. Upfront, a decent west coast style pine bitterness, but rather soft. Very approachable. The honey, fruity sweetness is certainly there as an undercurrent. I get a bit of grain on the finish as well. Wraps up with little bitterness. Rather clean.

Very approachable and drinkable pale ale. They're not trying to break the mold and the low ABV is rather obvious in how it tastes. A very easy, if not basic, drinker.

 567 characters

Photo of portia99
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle received in trade with Wasatch - thanks John. Poured into a Portsmouth goblet.

A - Beautiful, clear and pale golden color. Minimal loose bubbled, white head - disappears rapidly into a collar around the edge of the glass.

S - Fruity and sweet in aroma. Candy and caramel sweetness...fruity hops. Smells like this one is going to balance on the malty side.

T - Sweet and bready malt dominate this one's flavor. Hop bitterness is minimal, hop flavor is fruity and has just a tinge of citrus. Flavors are all subdued and blend well together. Light and refreshing.

M - Thin in body, carbonation is light, but adequate. Smooth and creamy feeling. Has a light and easy drinking feel to it.

D - These are quite poundable for a craft beer. Alcohol is low at 4.8%, flavors are smooth and well rounded, and not at all powerful. Everything is on the reserved side, but blend together well to create a nic, well rounded beer. Great lawnmower beer.

 952 characters

Photo of seanyfo
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint served into imperial pint glass by hand pump.

A- Pale blonde cloudy hue, 2 finger creamy head with excellent retention and lacing.

S- Light citrus hints and toasted malts.

T- citrus flavours of the hops upfront and fade to reveal a light toffee/caramel sweetness.

M- Light and creamy

T- A refreshing pale ale with a solid flavor profile.

 347 characters

Photo of roadhouse
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Appears a clear golden orange color with a one inch thick off-white head. It settles to a cap and leaves some moderate lacing on the side of the glass.

Aroma is of piney hops more than anything with some citrusy orange and lemon coming through as well. Malt backbone is there in the form of a mild caramel sweetness.

The taste starts out with a bit of sweet caramel malts then it gets bitter with flavors of pine, citrus, and a bit of a spiciness. Finish is a nice balance between the malt and hops, but the hops slightly taken an edge.

Mouthfeel is medium-light, a nice creaminess compliments the crisp feel on the tongue. Quite drinkable.

While this one won't go down as my favorite Pale Ale, I like it. I would still take a Sierra Nevada or something over it, but this one is a good choice if you prefer more of the piney/spicy flavors in your pale ale over the citrus.

 931 characters

Photo of kbutler1
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Poured into my favorite DFH tulip glass a clear golden orange color with a 1 finger white head that quickly settles to form a white coaster on top of the beer. Slight floral and a dose of mild citrus greats the nostrils upon the first whiff, rather nice, mild breadiness as well. The flavor is nice with a soft sweetness and light bitterness from the hop additions. Medium mouthfeel. Some watered down mandarin orange type flavors. Overall, a nice, easy drinking beer with some full flavors.

 499 characters

Photo of tigerpaws
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours with a nice golden copper color and almost no head. Not much aroma to wet your appetite, and has what I think is a hint of vanilla, I may well be wrong on that. Good mouthfeel and IMO could use a little more hops and also alcohol kick. But overall a good refreshing beer that goes down well...............CHEERS

 329 characters

Photo of heygeebee
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

From Beer Cartel.. 11/05/13 ??? hmmm

A - clear straw, nice fluffy one finger heads stays nicely. Lovely spotty lace.

S - nice mixed citrus, apricot, floral hop notes..

T - well balanced, more generic citrus, peach, moderately hoppy.

M - quite light in mouth, almost soft drink like.

O - solid solid solid for style. I am wholly unsure of the freshness given the date on the bottle, but it seems to hold its own quite well. Clearly an entry-level beer, with no palate whack but that's ok too.

 496 characters

Photo of Offa
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep gold, this has a small off-white head steadily thinning to thin ring & wisps.

Aroma is grapefruit, orange, bread crust, fruit candy. Very much a West Coast pale ale, but a good example, nicely balanced, well-rounded.

Taste is nice dryish orange-bread crust with spicy peppery citrusy bitterness, jammy citrus and spicy bitterness. It’s nice, well-made and nicely integrated as Firestone Walker beers seem always to be, but not great, and a bit to utterly “west coast” for my tastes.

 495 characters

Photo of seedyone
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

10/09/13 On tap at Rattle n Hum, NYC.

Disclaimer: I've become extremely partial to Firestone-Walker stuff. I usually don't like anything IPA-ish at all, but they have shown me, with the right hand at the helm, this stuff can get me where I want to be. This is one such concoction.

The hops in the aroma are are barely there yet on the tongue they jump out to greet you...check that...welcome you.

The aftertaste is something else again. It hit my palate, the upper back of my mouth, with the strongest taste of all. What was left, was back to being very civilized, hop-wise. The taste lingered leaving me regretting I have no appetite, as this is what could make a great pairing with the right dish.

A drink with this much distinction, combined with it's subtlety is rare in my experience. A true showcase for what hops, in the right hands, can do for a brew. Kudos.

 874 characters

Photo of arvidkoval
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pale golden color. Great bouquet of citrus aromas. Tastes citrusy over a subtle malt. A little more bitter than I like in a pale ale. Good mouthfeel. Decent APA.

 166 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

Appearance - Clear amber colour with an above average size frothy white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - malts, hops, grapefruit zest, oranges, biscuits

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and the beer has a nice balanced taste. There are a fair amount of hops mixed with caramel and a biscuit sweetness. There is also some orange and grapefruit taste. It finishes with a malty sweet aftertaste with a bit of lingering hops.

Overall - While it is a very good pale ale, it seemed to be lacking something. It was highly drinkable, just not very exciting. It would probably work well as a session beer as it isn't too overpowering.

 787 characters

Photo of mikeg67
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle. Pours golden with tall, long-lasting, fluffy white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of citrusy hops, bready malt and some tropical fruit. Body is medium and crisp. Herbal hops, pale malt and ripe fruit fill the mouth. Finish is long and dry. Very good overall.

 278 characters

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a bright, crystal clear, golden coloring with a fluffy, light, bubbly, white head. Aromas of toasted grains, lemon, orange, cut grass, and evergreen. Light on the nose, but balanced. Flavors are grassy forward, with a slight buttered bread and toffee follow. Roasted, with some citrus blend coming through on the back of the tongue. The body is light and effervesced, but almost watery at points, too. The aftertaste is more of the roasted characteristics, with some tangy lemon and orange notes. Light, slightly dry, effervesced finish. Decent, and very drinkable.

 618 characters

Photo of BrewDrinkRepeat
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden hue, with an off-white head that dissipates quickly but leaves gentle lacing on the glass. Clarity is excellent, a very clear beer that shows well in the glass.

The aroma is subdued; a hint of Cascade or other "c" hops intermingled with a bit of slightly nutty caramel. Overall, a very mild nose, not as hoppy as many West Coast pale ales tend to be. I don't dislike it, but I kind of wish there was a bit more to smell, something more to entice me to drink.

This is a pretty well-balanced ale, with a gentle hop bitterness that gives way quickly to a nice slightly grainy flavor. As with the nose, a slight nutty caramel characteristic is detected, but not overpowering to the overall flavor of the base malt. A slight lingering sweetness on the finish. Medium carbonation, perhaps slightly more than I would prefer for a pale ale. Again, this beer might be a bit of a disappointment to those seeking a more typical West Coast-style pale ale as it is not aggressively hopped (bittering or flavor/aroma) but for those looking for a more balanced pale ale this might fit the bill.

A very nice example of a less-aggressive American pale ale, very drinkable and refreshing. Strikes me as a good warm-weather beer, and a nice accompaniment to a cold deli sandwich and potato chips after mowing the lawn or washing the car. This would also be a good "intro" beer for converting a BMC drinker to craft beer.

 1,425 characters

Photo of flyingpig
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle at home from Good Spirits Co, Glasgow (£3.00):
One that definitely grew on me as I worked my way down the glass. I initially wasn't overly impressed with what I felt to be a weak nose & a lack of in your face hops with the taste but given time to open up the bitterness is there & the beer starts to work its magic. It's definitely not up there with their Union Jack IPA but it's not a bad effort from Firestone Walker again.

 439 characters

Photo of garten
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours out a fine saffron yellow shade, which looks just as appealing sitting in the glass. A fairly tall head is produced, eggshell white, with generous lacing and tends to linger for a good amount of time. Nothing out of the ordinary here.

Smell: Smells mildly sweet, certainly yeasty with a hint of toasted malts and subtle bittery hops. Otherwise it does not smell especially notable.

Taste: Now this is one tasty beer! First few sips were nice and biting. I could taste the malty characteristics right away, along with the hoppy character that I noted prior in smelling. The latter flavor lingers somewhat, but it is not unpleasant in the slightest. It tastes quite good after a few more sips are had. It's not especially bitter, but just enough to remind you that it's a pale ale. A good one at that.

Mouthfeel: About average. Does not feel watery or thick. You could certainly chug this one if you really wanted to on an especially hot day and not feel at all weighed down by it. Mild carbonation, not at all flat.

Overall: A fantastic brew and my first one out of this brewery. Maybe I have a soft spot for pale ales, but this one is a winner in my books. If you like Pale Ales like SN and Dale's Pale Ale, this one will definitely stand up to them. I will likely buy these again on a whim sometime.

Notes: Served chilled in a U.S.-style Tumbler glass. Date on bottle says '01/23/14' - presumably its bottled date.

 1,439 characters

Photo of beerguy101
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light gold color. Medium white foamy head. Aroma is nutty and slightly fruity. A medium bodied Pale Ale. Medium malty, hoppy ale. Crisp malt flavor, good hop balance. Some subtle fruity overtones. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is delicately bitter.

 257 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: slight haze; medium gold in color; 1 finger ivory head that receded to a thin cap; very nice lacing;

S: floral, soapy, citrus;

T: floral that builds through the finish; a hint of caramel in the background; low to moderate bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: good, but not remarkable;

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Photo of DM1293
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sample at the Lazy Dog Cafe.

An ordinary light-orangish copper color, this pale ale is pretty light and balanced. Hops are there in the smell and taste, pulling into a citrusy-appley finish. Bitterness is fairly light, and it doesn't linger for long.

A bright refreshing drink.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Copper colored with excellent clarity and a quarter inch of dishwater white on top. Moderate lacing. Aroma is of lightly bready to marzipan malt. The taste is a nice balance of marzipan and malt with just a hint of German hops in the back of the palate. The mouth is very delicate and smooth.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From California to Portland, OR (thanks Brian!) to Virginia, where it was finally opened and poured into my dependable pint glass. Color is slightly hazed washed-out copper, with a bountiful cloudy head that lessens fairly quickly to a thin soapy skim.

Clean aroma offers a quintessential pale ale smell--caramel malts and springy citrus-like hops mingling happily and with total balance. Nothing more and nothing less.

Flavor is citrusy hops that are controlled and accessible--some soapy lemon elements here--with spicy and caramel-like malts giving the backup and balance necessary for a solid pale ale. Pale 31 is so solid that it borders on generic--not really in a bad way, but more because it resembles a ton of other well-made pale ales out there with nothing to differentiate it from the masses. The flavor dies quickly, and not in a drying way. So the flavor is a little thin, and that's frustrating, especially considering there's not a lot to grab onto in the first place. Maybe a slightly higher dose of hops/malts would've done the trick? (And I don't mean anything drastic, as I appreciate a good, sensible APA. Who doesn't?)

The mouthfeel is almost thin itself, although there's a slight buttery slickness and plenty of carbonation to carry it along pleasantly enough.

Just a decent, solid pale ale, but not dissimilar to so, so, so many others out there in craft and brewpub world. Thanks to msubulldog25 for sending this bottle--a more reliable and downright cool trader you'll not find.

 1,510 characters

Photo of au1sec
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle pours a copper-orange. Creamy white, thick head. I think it had some kind of reaction with the prior beer from the glass, because it was the thickest head I had ever seen without dropping the bottle before opening. Anyway, I let it rest and it eventually dissipated to a reasonable level but not completely. I think its a good example of the style. The hops are evident...too bitter for some, but probably not bitter enough for a hophead, because there is a definite malt character. If its side by side with SNPA, I'll take the Firestone every time.

 562 characters

Photo of beernut7
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This tasty offering pours forth a hazy deep golden color with a thin head giving way to a thinner lace. The aroma is decidedly malty with strong caramel tones and subtle hints of roast and chocolate. The initial flavor is of a quick malt pushed aside by a light floral hop spice. Toffee and mellow chocolate notes flow through and finish everything off nicely.

 360 characters

Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 548 ratings.
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