Pale 31 | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

very good
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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

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Reviews: 556 | Ratings: 1,924
Photo of jnevescox
3.81/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Rich golden straw color, with a thin head that disappears within a minute or so after pouring into a glass, leaving behind little to no lacing in my experience.

Smell: Crisp and citrusy, with a very light vanilla after-scent. Very pleasant, but it lacks the robustness that I was hoping for based on Firestone's reputation.

Taste: Crisp spring water right away, followed by a bit of cereal grain, and a mild prickly bite to finish. Not as hoppy as I had hoped for.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean, with a mild bitter kick to it.

Drinkability: Almost like a "Lite" pale ale. Enough flavor and complexity to enjoy it, but your average Coors Light drinker could suck a Pale 31 down without complaining about the bitterness.

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

Ordered a bottle with my Brick's Ale Burger at the Brickskeller. The body is a clear straw yellow with a white head and lacing.

I know many hold this up as one of the great pale ales, and I'm inclined to agree when you consider the whole package. It holds nearly the same depth of hop flavor as Sierra Nevada, but with a lighter body it's much more drinkable. The malts have a light bready malt taste, that's matched first by piney, citrus hops, and then later a spicy, long-lasting aftertaste. How this beer drinks actually reminds me of a good English bitter, for the ability to hold complex flavors in a light and highly sessionable beer.

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Photo of cswhitehorse
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Pale Ale from Firestone pours a tad darker than straw with a 1-2 finger foam head and some decent sea foam lacing. Head dissipates quickly.

The aroma was fairly subdued. I got a little bit of fruitiness in the nose with a peach focus. The taste was clean malty with a slight bitterness on the back end. It was moderate to well carbonated with a tad bit of bite at the end of the drink. Definitely a session beer that would be a good barbeque brew in the summer. Overall not bad but could of used a bit of more hop presence in the beer.

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Photo of funkyspunk87
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Pale 31
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
Style: American Pale Ale (APA)
ABV: 4.60 %

Presentation: On tap at the Santa Barbara Beer Festival!

Good pale ale with complex flavors but not really great. I think I would still take a regular old Sierra Nevada over this or the regular Firestone.

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Photo of grub
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Viggo shared this bottle, brought back from our recent trip to california. thanks eric!

22oz bottle. sampled sept 28/08.

pours crystal clear golden yellow with a small fluffy white head. the head drops fast and leaves spotty lace.

aroma is great. biscuit. multi-grain bread. cracker. alcohol. light grapefruit and pine. bit of orange peel.

taste is good. medium bitterness level. biscuit. multi-grain bread. bit of cracker. light alcohol. grapefruit. bit of pine. light citrus. honey.

mouthfeel is good. medium body. medium carbonation level.

drinkability is great. great balance. nice malt and hop character both coming through strong. i could easily drink this all the time. good stuff!

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Photo of JoeCeez
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from Wasatch, thanks John for the great package and for correcting my mistake

App: slightly hazy pale gold with a balding white head, and very thin lacing

S: big hops smell, all the "C hops" give this beer a very cirusy aroma, grapefuit, orange, some tropical fruits, a fair amount of malt gives it a complimenting sweetness, very nice

T: much like the aroma, bitter juicy hops thst are very well balanced by a sweet biscuity malt

M: kinda thin and watery, at first sniff this reminded me of FFF Alpha King but much thinner and less resiny.

D: if I lived out west this would be a go to session beer, good bitterness but not so much that I won't be able to taste my next beer not like SNPA which can tend to overload the palate. I wish we could get an APA like this in New England.

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Photo of flexabull
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very pale gold color with a nice big fluffy white head.

Aromas are of hard candies, slightly sweet grainy malts, and fresh pine and citrus hops. Excellent nose on this one.

Taste is on the light side, but very pleasant. Spicy bready dough, along with some light creamy sweet malts. Finish is crisp and bright with some mineral hops.

Mouthfeel is pretty good. A bit too prickly feeling for my liking, but certainly not bad.

Drinkability is great. And is easily this beers strong suit. This beer is not going to wow you at all. But it's quite tasty, yet light enough to be very sessionable. Seems like a hybrid pale that is part British and part American. Will be a great one to grab during our warm summers here in Northern California. I hope this stays around my local liquor shop for a while, because I'll be sure to grab it again.

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Photo of Viggo
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bomber of this at the brewery, drank it a few weeks later, so fresh!

Pours a clear amber/golden, thin white head forms, drops down to a ring and leave some pretty lacing. Smell is real nice, biscuits, caramel, jasmine, citrus, very flowery hopping, just the right balance, very fresh aroma. Taste is great as well, very caramelized, bready, wheat, jasmine, floral, some light fruitiness and a bit grapefruit, very nice balanced finish. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with medium carbonation. Pretty standard pale ale, but damned fresh and goes down right. Very flavourful for a sub 5% brew, I like!

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Photo of bitterthebetter
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a light yellow golden with white head

aromas of citrus hops, slight malt and slight pine

lemony upfront with solid dry piney hops on the finish, slight malty balance on the back palate

light bodied, good semi dry finish that lasts longer than the initial sip lets on

a very crisp and refreshing pale, light bodied yet sturdy enough, I like them hoppier but its tasty for a pale

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Photo of USCTrojanBrian
3.52/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into nonic.

Firestone makes some great pales but this really was deflating. Watery, nothing too spicy (maybe it was the 4.8%) or complex, almost transparent golden color.

Would go well with pretzels or something as there is a certain body to it, but stand-alone is meh.

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Photo of jmalex
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Always good to try something I can't get here in Pennsylvania. I grabbed this one at State Line in Elkton, MD.

APPEARANCE: Pours into a shaker pint a very clear golden amber with a 2-finger white head on top. It gradually shrinks to a full cap and no lower.

SMELL: A clean malt base sits behind an aggressive hop aroma that only slightly overwhelms. The hops are of the expected citrusy, west-coast style. It's just a bit out of balance and could lean a bit more to the malty side.

TASTE: Much better balance in the flavor with the sweet malts coming first with a hint of caramel. Hops aren't far behind and do very well to accentuate the subtler points of the beer.

MOUTHFEEL: Fuller-bodied than most. I'd call it medium, and it feels almost syrupy. Carbonation is at average levels.

DRINKABILITY: Definitely easy drinking, only held in check by the syrupy body. The low ABV is definitely a help here.

Very nice. One of the better pale ales I've had for sure. If only I could get more FW products here in PA.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Brea's Yard House, on to the beer:

This beer shines in the glass orange/gold with a froathy head on top, very good lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma is mild, a mix of citrus, hops, and fresh-cut pine. Refreshing....yum. By the way, that's the taste I'm talking about. Clean upfront with a mix of bread/citrus/hoppy/floral flavors, the balance being good. This is one beer I'll be coming back to for sure, and it's great on a warm day like today.

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Photo of orcasteve
3.12/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

oak and hops are the flavors that jump out at you, this one is not anything special, i would drink this if it were avalable in new york, this one tates better as it warms up, a tuch of toffie and vanilla kick in as it warms. this one is an ok repersentation od a pale ale

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

12oz. bottle

Pours a clear, golden color with a small white head that maintains. Mild lacing on the glass.

Aroma is a nice blend of piney and floral hops with a hint of caramel malt lurking beneath.

Piney and floral hops upfront with a medium bitterness. A nice mild caramel malt flavor appears midway and rides along with the hops through the finish.

Medium-light body, medium carbonation.

Solid APA across the board, and definitely has the California vibe to it. Will make a return in my fridge as often as I can find it.

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Photo of GrimmReaper
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one on tap on my recent trip to Anaheim,at Tony Roma's,very nice butterscotch color to it with a slight tan head and mild lacing.Nose was of floral with a tinge of fruit and mild hops.Taste was mild fruit,peach tinge to it,very mild bitterness all going down rather easily,kinda watery but enjoyable,very lite and mild mouthfeel,overall,quite a nice brew and worth another shot.

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Photo of BeerManDan
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color when poured, was of an amber golden yellow with a little foam that clinged to the side of the glass. The smell was of pine, with a hint of floral after notes. The taste was between an IPA and a Pale Ale. Nice balance of bitterness and smoothness on the aftertaste. Also, you can taste, beside the hops, the malts with a slight floral and a touch of spices!

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Photo of johnd513
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go to barleywinefiend for this one.
This beer pours a light golden color with an almost nonexistent white head. I can taste some citrus flavors. This beer is much lighter than I expected and it goes down like water. Certainly not bad but not much going on here and not what I expected.

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

what a fascinating extra from a recent trade. There's lots of reviews (131) already posted and given I hear most often about this brewery for their bigger beers its neat to be able to try this beer.

this was a nice golded colored brew with a pleasent hop character. I had this on a very hot day with a barbeque diner. I would recommend this beer for a nice warm weather session beer. low abv and a nice clean hop flavor. yeah, this worked.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 finger of sticky off white head sat atop my pint of beer after I poured it from the bottle.
As I drank it there was a decent amount of lacing left behind.

Deep gold to light copper in color with a good amount of carbonation visible within the beer.
Only slightly hazy.

Good looking beer.

Aroma was nice with a fresh Hop presence and some mild malty sweetness.

First thing I noticed after tasting was the extremely light mouth feel. I immediately thought that it was too light. Nothing changed my initial reaction as I consumed the remainder of the beer.

Strange flavor profile as I noticed not much up front flavor and also no real lingering finish.

The entire flavor you experienced was "in the middle."

This beer could really stand an infusion of a little malt body and flavor during the tasting experience. (And I'm a hop head, so that's saying something)

Flavor was citrus with some lemon/grapefruit notes and again, not much of a finish.

I admit I was slightly disappointed for what is supposedly the "Best Beer in America" from Men's Journal October 2006.

One man's opinion. No it's not

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my Nugget Nectar pint glass

A: Light orange with a thin white head that recedes waay too quickly leaving a tiny ring

S: Citrus hops with sweet orange make a presence with a mild caramel sweetness in the back.

T: Thin in body with a very mild hop presence. Starts off with a little citrus (orange) hoppiness and is followed by a pleasant caramel sugary sweetness

M: Thin and sweeter than i'd like but the carbonation makes up for it.

D: For 4.6%, this goes down easy but I'm not sure how many more I'd want

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Photo of bulletrain76
3.62/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle. Gold color with a firm white head. Hoppy and bright aroma, with some toasted malts. The flavor is light and drinkable, but with a nice hoppiness and medium bitter finish. I'm still not sure if they actually changed the recipe from the old pale ale, but the samples that I have had do seem hoppier and more flavorful than the old stuff.

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Photo of charlzm
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed at Firestone Walker Tap Room, Buellton, 05/25/08.

Light golden and very clear, this brew had a few stray bubbles rising through it, just enough to keep some lacing on the sides of the glass.

Aroma is floral and grassy with some Pacific Northwest notes (pine, grapefruit).

Beer is light bodied and lively on the tongue. Sweet crystal malt profile is balanced by floral and fruity hops. Some bitterness, but mostly clean on the finish.

Not as big as a traditional non-traditional west coast APA, which is to say balanced and drinkable. Might be a good gateway beer with which to lure the beer-lover-to-be.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.27/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

5/18/08- Purchased at Piazza's in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into a random pint glass.

Appearance- Light golden in color with a 3/4 inch head. Lightly frothy and holds at a slight rim. Light lacing remains.

Smell- Very hoppy with grapefruit rind nose and a touch of pine. A slight toasted malt is hidden, but barely peeks through.

Taste- This one could easily pass an an IPA. It's got a very large grapefruit hop bite and a bit of pine needle flavor as well. Malt is lightly sweet and caramel flavored. Malt comes through more as you get deep into the beer.

Mouthfeel- A tad overcarbonated. Crisp, sweet and bitter lasting aftertaste.

Drinkability- I really enjoyed this IPA...errr, pale ale. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of rousee
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orange apricot color with a hungry lush head of foam. Nice fluffy lace remains on sides of glass. Aroma of grapefruit and other sour fruitiness upfront with some musty cider-like quality in the background.

Taste is a nice citrus burst that with a good malt background. Hoppy but balanced -much more like a real APA versus an American version of British pale ale.

Very smooth and drinkable. One of the better APAs Ive had. It reminds me a little of Stoudt's APA but I think this one might even be a little better.

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Photo of bcm119
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Pale 31" is light gold/amber with a thin white lace. Light aromas of citrus zest and a wisp of grain. Squeeky clean pale malt flavors with snappy bittering. A little cereal grain sweetness comes through in the middle, but quickly fades to a quenching dry finish. Thin but vibrant and bubbly on the palate. Fairly long, clean finish with some herbal hops and mineral in the aftertaste. Overall a pleasant and very clean pale ale, good for quaffing but not terribly exciting. Drinkable, but not interesting enough for a long session.

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Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,924 ratings.
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