Pale 31 | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

very good
1,940 Ratings
no score
Send samples
Pale 31Pale 31

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:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 08-23-2002

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,940 |  Reviews: 561
Photo of Drinkerofales
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is clear, golden straw, with a huge off-white head. Slow dissipating foam leaves perfect lacing as it recedes.

Smells of clean malts, and citrussy orange, good balance.

Taste is mellow with a citrus opening, a clean malt middle, and a lightly bitter finish.

Smooth and light, with an almost dry finish, and great drinkability.

I really liked this beer, I could drink it all day, so much flavor from such a low abv.


 432 characters

Photo of Krevee
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank 6/1/10
Reviewed from notes
Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Bruery tulip

A - Pours a golden color with a slight haze. Had about a half inch of head with an aggressive pour. Light even lacing falls quickly.

S - Very hop heavy smell. Lots of citrus and pine smells that you generally get from hops. Slight undercurrent of sweetness from what I assume is the malt.

T - Taste similar to smell. There is a nice hop flavor all the way through but it is not overpowering. I can taste the pine and citrus along with a light sweetness.

M - Medium/Light bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Creamy feeling in the mouth and is a bit crisp.

D - A nice lighter IPA that doesn't destroy the taste buds. A fairly easy drinking beer. I'm not big on Pale Ales or IPAs but I enjoyed this beer quite a bit.

 809 characters

Photo of allengarvin
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into plastic cup (still at the VdGSA conclave, in a dorm room), this brew is a bright gold color, with a pure white, thin head. It doesn't offer much in the way of aroma, just light hops--not really identifiable--with a clean maltiness. The flavor is more defined: bitterness is moderate for an APA, offering an earthy hop flavor. Good malt profile, lightly caramel, a touch of toast. Clean, from the yeast point. The body is exceptionally soft, and full for the strength.

Not too complex of a beer, but at 4.8% it would make an excellent session brew. Very quaffable.

 577 characters

Photo of RichH55
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of TheRealBigC
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Here is an excellent, crisp, tasty pale ale from FW. Golden body with nice clarity. Light hoppy smell and taste, notable carbonation to keep it interesting. It's not as bitter as one may expect from a pale ale, but for me that makes it a refreshing take on the style. It's a simple, but marvelously executed beer. A great anytime pale ale.

 339 characters

Photo of Faxmesomehalibut
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of LarryKemp
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright clear yellow liquid topped with a striking white head that settles down and leaves enough foam to provide a nice lace.

The aroma is all HOPS. The piney aroma reminds me of opening a bag of hops on homebrew day. It fills all the sinuses. Great.

The hops take over the taste as well. A good bit citrusy but not so much that it burns your mouth. But plenty to keep the malt totally hidden.

very refreshing with a medium light mouthfeel. The hops play with the roof of my mouth long after the finish. I would not call the finsh either sweet or dry. Just well balanced.

Very nice beer one that I would recommend for anyone who likes hops or someone who has just gotten into hops and does not want to be blown totally away.

 737 characters

Photo of UncleFlip
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Light honey colour, billowy white that fairly quickly disapates, leaving sparse wet lace behind.

The smell is all about the hops- and there's just a hint of hearty malt underneath.

The flavour is just what I like- nice and hoppy- and remarkably similar to the smell. However, there's not much that distinguishes this from other hoppy pales. The malt is there, and there's just a little spiciness on the aftertaste- but it's all about the hops.

The liquid is just the thin side of medium, and there's a slightly burning carbonation underneath it. Not bad, but a little more active on the carbonation than I prefer.

This one gets high numbers on drinkability. I think it's be a good session beer, filed under 'comfort beer'.

Be well

 750 characters

Photo of theghost3
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent, light copper with a 2-finger white head that quickly dissipates. Minimal lacing.

The smell is grapefruity hops with a hint of honey. Flavor is grapefruit and herbal hops with a slight sour bready character. Somewhat bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated, medium-bodied.

This is a very drinkable APA. Quite sessionable. It would be my go-to if it were available in Louisiana.

 418 characters

Photo of Eman17
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of HunterSBeerson
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of NatetheGreat
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden-orange color with good head. Nose finds floral and fruity notes with big whiff of honey sweetness; some orange. Taste had zesty hops with a delicate malt presence. Not as complex as the aroma, but still flavorful. Fits the billing as a "West Coast" (AKA, American) pale.

Mouthfeel was fair and drinkability excellent. Good beer from a great brewer.

 357 characters

Photo of deruiz10
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A - One-finger head is white and leaves scant lacing. Pour is a hazy honey color with mild effervescence.

S - Sweet citrus and strawberries with some mildly spicy hops.

T - Sweet citrus, hints of strawberries, and lots of hops with moderate bite. Aftertaste has a lingering hop bitterness and some biscuity sweetness.

M - Fairly full carbonation and a light body, pretty slick.

D - Very tasty and low in alcohol, I could suck down a bunch of these in a row. Great overall.

 517 characters

Photo of raynmoon
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It's a crystal clear yellowish gold, with a small hint of orange to it.

It smells amazing, a nice citrusy hop aroma to it, almost like oranges & cream and some pine.

This is, as other people have mentioned, like a miniature or junior Union Jack. It has the same, or similar hop profile, but with a light body to it; my only knock.

 333 characters

Photo of snaotheus
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle bought on clearance from Haggen's in Bellingham

Pours straw yellow with a big head, head fades quickly, despite nice visible, active carbonation. Beer is clear, not cloudy. Lacing looks very promising. Smell is pretty nice -- lots of floral, very sweet, a little bready, plenty of grapefruit peel bitterness.

Taste is disappointingly mild, but my baseline trends toward the "Imperial IPA" side of the scale. Still, hops are noticeable and tasty, but malt character a little musty and woody, seems to be primary. Fairly well balanced, though. Not bad at all.

Mouthfeel is light and breezy, very easy to drink beer. I like it. I like their Double Jack better, though.

 680 characters

Photo of Its_Dipset_Eyy
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JeffSK
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of popery
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer has a nice, clear golden color and a bubbly but relatively light head. The nose is hoppy, citric and floral, with a balancing malt sweetness. The taste is balanced with some good hop bitterness which is balanced out nicely for a smooth pale ale flavor. There's a lot of citrus from the hops. The feel is fairly light with good carbonation for its lightness. It's a very drinkable pale ale.

My last review contained a bit of a diatribe about bottle shape and label design, so I think that I'll continue that. This doesn't really have much to do with my enjoyment/review of the beer. I like Firestone's packaging. It's pleasantly understated compared to most beer labeling. The label is interesting but not crazy. The bottle has sort of a classic look. I like that they maintain their design across most of their beers. I don't love Firestone beers, but I like that they don't use each new beer has an opportunity for a new label design. Sometimes, that works, but not many other craft beer companies (admittedly, Firestone is rather large now and probably has a lot more budget for marketing) have such a solid, consistent look. There's something classy about such an understated look.

 1,195 characters

Photo of AZBeerDude72
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is a clean yellow with decent foamy head. Smells of lemon and light fruit. Taste is refreshing hit of lemon/lime and very gentile fruit essence. Very clean finish and refreshing beer all around. First time tasting this beer and really enjoyed it, excellent summer beer for sure.

 283 characters

Photo of tzieser
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

bottled 8/26/13.

A: pours a clear, bright golden color with a fluffy white head. very good carbonation. seems like firestone-walker always brews a great looking beer.

S: a light citrus hop aroma with a subtle grassy character. sweet and bready malts are there. dry hopping works wonders here.

T: complex hop profile. starts off a bit on the citrus side but ends with a touch of grass/pine bitterness. the lingering sweetness from the malt bill keeps everything nicely balanced, if a tad sweet side as it warms.

M: smooth mouthfeel with a nice bit of carbonation.

O: a pretty underrated pale ale. i'd put this ahead of sierra nevada any day but the price point is a tad high. recommended.

 694 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Yet another Firestone Walker single I grabbed from the house of 1,000 beers. 2/12/13 damn this beer is over 4 months old.
A - Actually spot on for a pale ale good orange yellow tone with a 1/4 of head that pulls back to a hella sticky lace ring.
S - Piney, herbal, almost minty hops meets mild pale malts and a touch of sweet malts mostly crystal.
T - Clean dry hopped taste of floral and citrus variety, crystal and sweet cracker malts have a nice edge. Slightly bitter finish.
M - Light to medium, somewhat watery compared to other FW offerings.

Overall the flavor is great and the ABV makes it session able or chug able, if only I could find this by the case. great tasting pale ale.

 687 characters

Photo of Toynk
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Chris-1911
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of jvillefan
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: It is a golden yellow/orange with a lace white head.

S: The is a nice subtle hop aroma with some caramel notes to it.

T: The is a nice sharp hop flavor. There is a dry Belgian character that adds nice flavored to the secessionible beer.

M: Very thin and has a great carbonation bite.

O: Good, not great. Get it if you can but there are better pale ales out there.

 370 characters

Photo of therealJAYZ
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,940 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

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

    Learn More