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Pale 31 | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
87
very good
546 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:
546
Ratings:
1,869
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
19.95%
 
 
Wants:
80
Gots:
245
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 546 | Ratings: 1,869
Photo of CarlosRuizsChauffeur
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very clear and translucent, maybe a little too pale. Light-medium golden color with a thin white head and medium lacing
S: Smells really hoppy relative to the alcohol content. Smells of an assortment of citrus
T: Pure, clean and smooth, but nothing too special. Tastes of pineapple, Valencia orange, coriander, and slight bite of spice. Very little taste of any wheat or malts
M: Lacks enough carbonation, but is considerably smooth. Wish this ale had a little more bite or zing
O: Decent beer, but nothing too special. Is somewhat drinkable even though it tastes pretty hoppy. There is not that biscuit or bread taste you want with a pale ale, and instead we were given the modern taste of ales with a hoppy body and aftertaste and no balance of malts

 755 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.

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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.

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Photo of bassboneman
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

I love this beer!
It is just perfect drinking for the warm days/nights of summer. It has a great taste and mouthfeel.
It is a great combintion of sweet and bitter with a backround taste/finish that is pleasantly unusual.
While great out of the bottle - even better in a cold glass!
Sam

** worth noting - the labels - at least in NY dont quite look the same as pictured

 372 characters

Photo of REDsage
3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

Firestone Walker's "Pale 31" pours a rich pale color with an appropriate carbonation. It has the strong aroma of Turkish delights (for those of you who have tried these tasty and gooey little sugar cubes) that also radiates sugar, white rose, and perhaps under-ripe apricots. The first sip comes with a head that wont quit and a particularly artificial flavor that comes with low-end canned beers like PBR, albeit this flavor is light. A larger mouthful reveals a weak body with a mouthfeel like many other light beers. The flavor is the sweet and bitter you would expect from a pale ale that disappears quickly. The aftertaste however, is this beer's saving grace. This lingering flavor is that of light and summer sweetened hops and some malt that brings you to have another, and yet another sip. This beer is nothing to call home about, but certainly not at all bad.

 869 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.

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Photo of gonzo000
3.39/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

a. Yellow in color with very little head. Poured into a tulip glass.

s. Dry hopped honey aroma.

t. Not matching the smell. Very little in way of taste. All on the front of the tounge. Malt taste, not much hops.

m. Undercarbonated, bity.

o. Good beer at best - not the best firestone offering. Would not revisit, but might be slightly above average

 351 characters

Photo of JAFoley
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pale blonde and crystal clear body with dense white head. Good retention and lacing.

S - citrus lemon and bready malts

T - nice refreshing citrus hops with subtle earthy malts.

M - Light body with moderate carbonation.

O - What a great drinkable summer beer. I'll definitely be picking this up more often.

 314 characters

Photo of Dope
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle is dated 02/27/14 so around 2.5 months old.

A: Pours a clear gold with a small, fizzy white head. Head fizzes out pretty quickly to boot. Sparse little streaks of lacing and a little head retention.

S: Pleasant citrus bitterness with bits of pine. Grassy too? Light grainy malt.

T: Yup, grassy mainly up front. Spicy pine in the middle. Maybe some bitter grapefruit peel floating around too? Especially in the lightly bitter aftertaste. Very light malt, a bit of dry cracker in the finish. Crisp, dry and bitter finish/aftertaste.

M: Light bodied and dry. Decent punch of bitterness to go with the dryness in the finish.

O: Honestly not a bad APA. The appearance and aroma is pretty meh but the taste is nice. Surprisingly decent hop character with quite a bit of bitterness. Crisp and refreshing, sessionable for sure. Pretty much the very definition of an APA in my opinion.

 890 characters

Photo of thecheapies
3.97/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Golden pale with a trusty cap. Great retention.

Floral and tangerine hops with crisp grassy notes and a crackery malt. Light pine. Simple, but great.

Gritty bitterness with a floral touch. Nice citrusy notes of lemon and pith. Faint pine. Kiss of white grape, maybe. Very dry, effervescent finish with seltzery bubbles. Appropriate lighter feel and ease for drinking. Solid and fresh.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle stamped 03/04/14-22:38. Sampled on May 3, 2014.

The pour is golden to medium amber with a white head and good clarity.

The aroma has a nice combination of roasted caramel malts, sweetness, and a dash of earthy hops to add some highlights to the nose.

The body is smooth and in the medium range.

Interestingly the sweet caramel malts make way to a slightly peppery hop note. There is a modest hop bite at the end that reminded me of something like pepper. It was definitely not spicy but there you have it.

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Photo of tigg924
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: 1/4 inch head, gold in color, high carbonation, clear

Smell: honey, pale malt, meadow

Taste: toasted English malt, honey, dry citrus hops

Mouthfeel: sweet with slight bitterness towards the end, medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation

Overall: An above average sweeter APA with California style hopping. Above average for a pale ale. If I wanted a pale ale, I would certainly reach for this.

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

Appearance: sudsy 1" off white head recedes quickly with nice lacing. Color is clear rich gold with mild streaming carbonation.
Aroma: citrus and floral aroma dominates, some caramel and bread dough in the background. Mouthfeel: light and somewhat sticky mouthfeel with a somewhat dry finish.
Flavor: balanced hop and malt flavors. The sweet caramel and bready malts lead the way, followed by citrus and then a lingering bitterness in the swallow.
Overall: a pleasant pale ale and representative of the style.

 512 characters

Photo of papat444
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle, bottled on Mar. 19, 2014.

Pours a clear gold body with a frothy head and decent retention. Very grassy hops in both the aroma and flavor but has a vegetal quality that i'm not too fond of. Lemony and soapy as well but not a fan of this one very much.

 278 characters

Photo of cbutova
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A- Poured from the 12oz bottle to my glass with a fairly clear golden yellow body. A cap forms on the brew to about a finger but the fizzy texture alludes to me the poor retention. The head dies down to a small ring that leaves spotty lacing.

S- Aroma presents a nice blend of malts and hops. Prevalent aromas are of cracked cereal grains, citrus and floral hops as well as yeast bread and light fruits. A bit faint compared to some APAs but I don't have to stress too much to pick up what's happening.

T- Follows the nose and presents a balanced APA flavor. The hops are crisp with mostly flavors of citrus zest and oil as well as floral notes. They do bring slight herbal and spicy hints but those are secondary. Base of cereal grains, biscuit, lightly sweet and crystal malts with a fruity bready American Ale yeast coming into play.

MF- Light bodied with a crisp, creamy texture that has some fizziness to it. Carbonation at a high end level which lends that crispiness and helps the hops shine. Light bitter finish.

Simple but enjoyable APA that provides a nice mix of Cascade citrus with some spicy, floral hops as well. Crisp and refreshing.

 1,152 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.44/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a clear, orange gold. A half an inch of white froth settles on the beer's body. Laces well.

S-Balanced, even leaning toward the maltier side. Sweet honey, white bread and some floral hoppiness.

T-Maltier. The malt reminds me definitely of honey. Malt is relatively airy but more forward than the hops. Hops give me some light flavors of flowers and sweet orange.

M-More body than I thought would be there. Lots of soft bubbles.

O-A bit disappointing. I was able to put down my pint very quickly, though because none of the flavors were actually off putting.

 569 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 FitnessForBeer
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

From variety pack

A: light, clear beer that is straw colored Finger worth of head but disappeared quickly
S: light floral hoppy,
T: very sweet malt, mellow hop profile. Floral and citrus flavones come through
M: good, nothing to complain
O: not bad, just don't get the "wow" factor. Most important test I feel, would I buy it again? Probably not

 348 characters

Photo of BeerLover99
3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: shiny straw body, trace white head,
very little lacing

S: mild lemon peel, grassy hops, hint of pine,
corny malt

T: lemon peel, earthy/corn sweet malt,
grassy mild bitter finish

M: med/light body, hint of oily feel,
mostly semi-dry crisp mouth

O: Nice beer, Firestone Walker makes good
stuff and this is solid sessionable/summer selection.
Not my preferred Pale Ale, little too sweet bready
tasting for me, but could throw few back at a hot
summer party. Also, fine gateway craft beer for
lager loving friend.

NICE; NOT MUST HAVE!

 542 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Pale golden color with a dull haze. Fine bubbled eggshell white head settles shortly. Minimal spotty lacing.

S: Mango and tangerine. Sweet orange peel. Grainy and lightly honeyed malt base.

T: Orange peel, lemon, floral flavors, tangerine. Bitterness has a moderate bite. Oily. Grainy, doughy, and lightly honeyed malt base. Lightly toasted, hint of almond. Doughy on the finish with a lingering citrus rind bitterness.

M: Medium bodied. Firm, round, and somewhat silky malt backbone. Hop oils and astringency cut through the malt just a bit. Crisp, semi-aggressive carbonation adds a refreshing element.

O: This pale is somewhat of a tightrope walk, but a successful one. Great balance, as the hops have plenty of bitter bite, but share the spotlight with a substantial malt body. What's more impressive is that a somewhat larger bodied pale like this can still be so drinkable and refreshing despite that bit of extra heft. Balance really is the key to drinkability.

 1,015 characters

Photo of scotorum
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 1/7/14.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a Samuel Adams nonick.

a: Clear dark gold with a finger tall white head which dissipated quickly to even surface foam and patchy lacing.

s: Barley malt.

t: Medium malt with some hop balance. Some slight fruit notes. Dry finish.

m: Light to moderate, good body.

o: A good solid, if not particularly exciting, pale ale. Would pick Union Jack over this at a similar price point myself, but those who dislike hop bite in their beer would likely prefer this or DBA, which I reviewed yesterday. This is more an American pale than DBA, but I might pick 31 over DBA as a summer refresher, if it were available then.

 665 characters

Photo of Flounder57
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a pale yellow with great clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Light tangerine and grapefruit with pale and bready malts.

Taste: Light hops and malt with some bitterness in the rear. Pretty straightforward.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, medium carbonation, crisp, refreshing, a little chewy, and enjoyable.

Overall: Pretty much as pale as it going to be. Short, simple, and enjoyable.

 539 characters

Photo of CorbinB
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer pours with only about a quarter-inch head but bubbles vigorously, almost champagne-like. The color is a pale orange amber.

I get a faint, bitter citrusy bouquet in the nose along with a very mild malt aroma. Really, the nose is mild overall. But that's not what makes this beer so great.

As for flavor, I get grapefruit with orange rind balanced finely with a mandarin sweetness. The initial flavor is enhanced by a back-end hop bitterness and--it sounds crazy-- even a kiwi sweetness. Lively and light, bubbling mouth that delivers and doesn't linger. So refreshing and easy drinking that I could drink this at brunch or in the middle of summer sitting by the pool.

I don't review beers often but when I do it's because they really, really stand out. This is definitely one of those beers.

 805 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Yay date, 1/07/14

Pours a pasty white fizzy frothy 1 finger head that fades semi slowly with nice frothy lacing, crystal clear pale pilsner color.

Nose nice floral hops, fruity too, hint grapefruit pith and melon rind, generic mild fruit, faint hint of malt under.

Taste fresh hops, more fruity hops, again mild melon rind and touch of grapefruit pith, generic juicy fruit and hint fruity bubblegum, fair bitterness. Malts add a touch of graininess and very light sweetness to balance. Little floral and very light resin and faint increasing pine note, also from the hops. Finish is dry, grainy malts, a bit more bitterness with hops getting a bit grassy and more floral and spicy even, hint of fruity notes.

Mouth is med bod, just the right amount of carbonation.

Overall pretty nice, nice hops, just enough malts, very drinkable and tasty.

 847 characters

Photo of MichaelJames_82
3.54/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A:
Golden color can see clearly trough the glass

S:
A very malty aroma. When I first poured it had a very faint hint of floral hops which quickly dissipated.

T:
Hint of Grapefruit. Not bitter at all. Very drinkable

M:
Very Light bodied. Medium Carbonation

O:
Very drinkable beer. Great beer after a long day in the sun. Goes down with ease. Nice session beer.

 365 characters

Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 546 ratings.
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