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Pale 31 | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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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: 552 | Ratings: 1,896
Photo of srandycarter
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a clear, pretty, light honey with .5 inch near white head. Head leaves to ring very fast. Nice lace.

S - Definitely a malt center, then a whiff of hops. Not overbearing, but its there.

T - Malt starts, hops finish, but there is something a little tinny in there towards the end to me.

M - Light body, good carb, fair balance except for the tinny thing.

D - Light ABV and not overbearing, easy session.

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Photo of mrpunan
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

In my quest for truly hoppy session beers, I tried Pale 31 early on and wasn't impressed. But I have returned to it, and found it to be a most excellent sessioner.

a- crystal clear golden light amber. Considering the dry hopping, i wouldn't have been surprised to see haze, but it is clear as a bell, making it look a lot like you are drinking a BMC. Your non-beer-nerd buddies will leave you alone on game day when you are all drinking from clear plastic cups.

s- pretty faint, again considering dry hopping. But it does smell good, like a distant IPA. Plenty of fresh c-hops and more muted pale malts.

t- very bitter for 4.6% (or is it 4.8%? bottle and website differ) and very hoppy. Malts are barely perceptible but there. This is pretty much hop juice, and it gets a lot tastier on the 2nd bottle. I've noticed this with other low ABV high hop beers, no idea why. But with the low abv, 2 is usually called for. Once I got the flavor, with the fantastic aftertaste of citrus hop oil, I have been craving it. Got another 6 today.

m- reminds me of natural cider, very fine bubbles. leaves a coating of hop oil after it goes down, yum.

d- off the charts. a hop head's session delight.

one thing i noticed: this beer really needs to be fresh. maybe the lower abv doesn't do as much to keep the hop flavor fresh compared to 7% IPAs, but if you get can't get this on tap, look at the neck carefully and you'll see the bottled-on date. My latest 6 was bottled a month ago, but my prior one was 2.5 months before i drank it, and the younger beer is much hoppier.

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Photo of kaseydad
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excited to try this after I was blown away by the IPA.

Pint glass pour and an apple juice-like ale is produced with a small bright white head. Citrus, hoppy and malty aroma. There is a bitterness in each sip and a malty backbone trying to break through. Sort of a battle between the hops and malt but neither winning.
The taste is somewhat strange. I think it may have to do with the malt used. Not sure. It is much smoother than quite a few Pale Ale's out there so that was a welcome change. At only 4.8% there is quite a bit of flavor, hops and malt packed into this.

Overall I was a little let down by this Pale Ale. Coming from the same brewery as their amazing IPA, I was hoping for something more but got a rather mellow Pale Ale. Still worthy of a try.

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Photo of Padron4KM
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Jan 8, 2010
12 oz bottle, no freshness date.
Dark golden with a nice half inch head. Good retention and sticky lace.
Aroma is caramel malt with some earthy and piney hops.
Flavor is pine up font, with a caramel backbone, and a medium length earthy piney finish.
Low alcohol and balanced flavors make this an excellent choice for a session beer.

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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.

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Photo of pwoods
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to ddot for the nice extra.

12oz. Stubby brown bottle poured into an imperial pint.

A: Pretty standard amber with perfect clarity. About 2 fingers worth of white head forms and holds for a bit. Decent lacing.

S: Decent hop aroma with a healthy dose of saaz. Crisp, clean cereal grains.

T/M: Bitterness level is a bit weak even for a PA. Decent citrus flavor with some grassy flavor notes and light spicy notes. Malts are crisp and clean with a nice sweetness line. Decent carbonation with a medium body.

D: Low ABV and drinks pretty easy. Nothing too stand out, though.

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Photo of kpoole25
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a really good example of an American pale ale that goes for balance rather than power. Very drinkable. 12 oz bottle to glass. Dark yellow to orange color, soap suds head. Smell is pine and citrus hops. Taste is well balanced between malt and hops, not too bitter, finishes quite dry and refreshing.

 306 characters

Photo of microbrew52
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours bright yellow with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a light pale and malty scent along with mild hop aroma and a light oak barrel presence. The aroma is quite complex and highly enticing. The taste is decent. It has a thin pale and bisquit malt flavor that goes down easy and finishes bitter with a nice hoppy aftertaste. The barrel taste really covers up the simple, yet refreshing pale malt flavor. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium/full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine pale ale.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz, from augustgarage in a trade. Thanks!

A- Clean, clear, golden, nice if quickly-fading head, little lacing.

S- Floral hops, light, but nice. Good for a pale ale.

T- Really good hops, a very tasty pale ale. Crisp, clean, floral and citrus (tangerine and orange) hops are the star of the show. Light, but assertive.

M- Crisp, clean, tasty, fantastic.

D- High. Sessionable. This is one of the best pales I've ever had, I'd buy this on the regular if it was in my distribution circle. Very great beer. You can have flavor without going overboard! Amazing beer!

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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.

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Photo of corby112
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received as an extra in a recent trade with EinWeizenbitte. Thanks again man!

Pours a clear dark golden yellowish orange color with golden yellow hues when held to a light source. Frothy 2 finger white head with decent retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves spots of soapy lacing behind.

Sweet citrusy hop aroma with nice butterscotch malty presence and earthy grassy notes. Interesting combination of sweet lemon peel/grapefruit citrus along with butterscotch like biscuity malt and earthy grassy straw notes.

Pretty hop forward for a pale ale with a prominent dry earthy pine presence that's complimented by a sweet citrus lemongrass/grapefruit character. The malt backbone is a lot stronger than I expected in a west coast beer but provides excellent balance. Hints of caramel, butterscotch and biscuit. More dry bitter earthy hops and citrus sweetness in the dry finish.

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Photo of donniecuffs
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At The Blind Tiger, NYC: hopefully I'm reviewing the correct beer, as the beer I had was 'Firestone Walker Nectar Pale Ale', but I don't see anything else on the list that resembles what I had. Anyway, this beer poured orange copper with a very thin white head and spotty lacing. The aroma was dominated by pine, with only feint hints of grass, lemon, and yellow grapefruit. The flavor was a nicely balanced mix of piney hops and malt throughout, with a smooth finish. Nice carbonated mouthfeel makes for a good session pale ale, but if this beer had a more varied flavor profile (e.g. more than just pine), it would be fantastic.

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Photo of koopa
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Honey blond translucent body with a small off white crown that rapidly dissipates and leaves swirls of lace.

Smell: Tea, grass, herbal hops, slight touch of lightly toasted malt.

Taste: Like drinking a carbonated glass of sun tea with a nice english hop profile. Earthy!

Mouthfeel: Thin but with a nice amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Goes down like water. Super pale malty and earthy hoppy water. Totally sessionable but the flavor profile isn't to my liking enough to give it a 5.0 in this dept.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was not impressed with this beer. Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass. Beer is yellow and hazy. Carbonation is low, a thin white, broken head floats around on top clinging to the glass, leaving almost no lacing.

This beer has almost a sweet / plastic aroma to it. There are some hops in there but more than that there is just this sweet candy like aroma. I don't smell the malt. Maybe buttery. I'm not sure what's going to happen.

Beer is medium body, so that's good. The flavors are mild and understated, which is fine. The sweetness I smelled is present in the beer, for sure. There isn't a lot of bitterness, no aftertaste, I'm not sure how the different flavors are playing together, they all seem disconnected. Drinkability is fine so is mouthfeel.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

Golden poppy body with amber and old gold highlights. Brilliant clarity. Decent ivory head forms a subtly rolling landscape with good lacing.

Herbal/floral hops and pale malt lead the aromatics - reminds me of a pilsner at first. Mild fruit, pepper, and grass - with a little pine. Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook hops create a crisp profile without dominating the nose.

Lemon, cilantro, and pine on the palate. Flavor is a bit sharp and lager-ish, though the variety of malts helps add balance and interest (though not quite complexity). The finish is dry and very slightly toasty though a pervasive low-level bitterness persists.

Light bodied and well carbonated which further emphasizes the hops.

Very thirst quenching, and sessionable - reminds me more of NW pale ales rather than those from NorCal...I like this more than Sierra Nevada, though I'd rather have a Mirror Pond given the option.

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Photo of RonfromJersey
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Juicy citrus aroma.

Juicy from the firm semi-sweet foundation on. Juicy fruits gush through your teeth, leading to a tasty mild bitter bite at the swallow. Light citrus aftertaste tingles briefly.

Soft all purpose mouthfeel.

Superb drinkability.

A great example of west coast pale ale.

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Photo of ybnorml
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clean yellow beer with a small white head that leaves a nice bit of lace on the glass as you drink. Has a nice light prickly, piney hop aroma with a promising malt note in the background. The flavor starts with a light tea like bitterness. Followed by a smooth biscuit malt note. The finish delivers the piney hop character advertised in the aroma. A nice beer.thanks john

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Photo of david18
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was one of four beers in a flight that I had and the others may have been a bit overpowering to really enjoy this beer but in general I liked it a lot. Great golden color, good aroma, mouthfeel and flavor were very good and the low abv makes it very sessionable.

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Photo of berley31
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured very nice with a large, white head that diminished to around 1/2-finger size. Nice sticky lacing left behind on the sides of the glass. Body is a dark orange color, and clear.

S: Nice aroma of average-to-heavy hops, heavy on the pine, with some citrus present as well.

T: Mild hoppy flavor, with some citrus and pine present too. A little watery with a short duration for an APA, but understandable at an ABV of 4.8%. Still quite enjoyable.

M: Medium-bodied with a creamy texture, and lively carbonation.

D: Very easy to drink with quite a good flavor and excellent appearance... the perfect session APA.

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

Had this brew in my kegerator. Poured into a Firestone pint glass.

A. Golden with a fluffy white head. A little cloudy.

S. Very good smell. Citrus hops and possibly a little honey.

T. The hops stand out on this one. Lots of citrus notes (orange? grapefruit?) as well as a some malty flavors. Very balanced.

M. Bitter hops and perhaps a little bit of an oily texture.

D. At about 4.6% abv this one is very drinkable. That is why I had it in my kegerator. You can drink many of these a day without damaging the liver too much.

Serving type: on-tap

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Photo of ffejherb
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle into half pint on 10/19/09.

A - Poured a hazy pale golden body with thin, bubbly off-white head that reduced to a patchy film and spotty lace.

S - Sweet and fruity with apparent citrus notes suggesting orange pulp. Sweet caramel malt provides adequate balance.

T - Citrusy hops with a subtle orange rind character backed by sweet caramel malt. Finish is slightly medicinal.

M - Medium bodied with an oily texture and soft carbonation. Sweet with minimal hop bitterness on the palate.

D - Not a bad pale ale, although I found this to be sweeter than hoppier overall. Decent enough, but nothing to rave about.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.37/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a light golden color with small head that dissapates. Nose of very subtle hops. Tastes is hoppy that's not too overpowering, keeps in balance overall. Some subtle floral and pine notes. Extremely drinkable and tasty, dangerously good! One great Pale! A perfect example of a West Coast Pale!

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

pour is light pale and clear. little head and little retention.

light floral and citrus with a touch of biscuit. slight sweetness like candied fruit

light malts with a big pine bitterness. mixed in between is a slight citrus kick. malts mainly come alive in the finish.

a bit too carbonated for a pale ale but an easy drinking indeed

overall, a great pale ale with a great california flavor. i dig this, big time.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.49/5  rDev +16.3%
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 mjl21
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Pizza Antica in Mill Valley. Poured into a stemmed pilsner glass. No abv info given.

A-Pours a clear golden amber with a 3/4 finger white head that has some respectable staying power. Lots of active bubbles can be seen and it has good lace.

S-Quite subdued at first. I get some bread and a touch of citrus. As it warms the citrus, particularly orange, hop character begins to really shine. It also picks up on some sweet malt as it sits in the glass.

T-The bread flavor is apparent early. It is quite crisp and has a little hint of sweet malt mid-palate. The citrus really hits at the end resulting in a little bitterness level.

M-Lighter bodied and crisply carbonated.

D-Very refreshing beer that is not heavy and low in abv.

This seemed to be a very fresh keg and it was full of citrus kick. It was consumed on a warm summer's night and it hit the spot.

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Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,896 ratings.
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