Pale 31 California Pale Ale | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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87
very good
1,955 Ratings
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Pale 31 California Pale AlePale 31 California Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States
firestonewalker.com

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
Ratings:
1,955
Reviews:
569
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
10.62%
 
 
Wants:
86
Gots:
282
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,955 |  Reviews: 569
Photo of axeman9182
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap in a pint glass, served at the Blind Tiger.

Firestone Walker Pale 31 pours a brilliantly clear goldenrod, darkening towards orange when the beer's less well lit. A light dusting of white foam caps the beer, but doesn't provide much opportunity for either head retention or lacing. The nose has a nice floral aroma, offset by some juicy grapefruit notes. It doesn't quite jump out if the glass as much as it could though. The flavor is fantastic, just about perfectly balanced for a pale ale. There's a solid foundation of caramel sweetness right up front. The bitterness that comes through is enough to let you know it's there, but definitely stays short of IPA level intensity. The hoppy close is that classic floral, citrus grapefruit flavor. If I had to nitpick, I would say that the finish could stand to be a little more intense/vibrant, but it's pretty close. The body is nice, a little bit solid while not becoming too heavy for a sub 5%ABV beer. The carbonation is definitely a touch muted though. Pale 31 is another reminder that I should consider myself lucky to have Firestone Walker readily available locally.

 1,129 characters

Photo of Ben_Bernstein
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of falloutsnow
4.12/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Colorado, gifted by CE
01/10/12 stamped on bottle, not sure if this is bottled on date
Poured into a New Belgium globe glass

Firestone Walker's pale ale uses a solidly American-style pale ale recipe, while partaking of the Burton Union brewing system and one of its owner's penchants for the English pale ale to brew an interesting beer that is definitely an APA (abundant hops, cleanness of taste), with nods to the BPA (malt presence, balance, floral hops at times). With its fairly low ethanol content and more than satisfying taste, this could be an easy choice for a standard go-to APA.

Pours a 2cm head, white in color, which declines in a minute or two to a 0.3cm cap atop the body for a duration of the beer. Leaves modest lacing along sides of glass. Body is a dark golden orange color out of the light, orange-yellow when exposed to sun. Clear and clean looking, with abundant streams of carbonation.

Delicious aroma, mostly from hops, of pineapple, tangerine, assorted other light citrus, faint mango, and just a touch of malt sweetness. Generally all bright scents, and the collection is mouthwatering.

Taste opens with minute malt sweetness that's quickly gobbled up by hop bitterness. Mid-palate brings out the fruit flavors: tangerine, mango, lemon, ripe peach; a nuance of spicy black pepper; all while continuing with bitterness and slight malt sweetness in background. Begins to fade with a flash of bitterness, sudden surprise of floral hops, and a bit of fresh, light malt wort sweetness. Closes out with some residual bitterness and a grainy component. Aftertaste is of lingering bitterness, vegetal "green" component, and some grainy malt.

Fairly light in body, with carbonation high enough to make this foam up gently on the palate. The result is a pillowy mouthfeel, which suits the beer fairly well. Finish is semi-dry.

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Photo of Onenote81
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle received from breity in a recent trade. Thanks!

Pours a cloudy gold with a billowy white head bursting forth. Excellent retention throughout the entire drink, leaving some spotty lacing on the glass edge. Smells of malty biscuits, honey-kissed breads, and slight floral finish.

Mouthfeel is crisp and clean. Flavor is of buttery bread, sweet candied malts, and finishes with just a touch of hoppy bitterness. With the low ABV and great flavor profile, this has got to be one of the most drinkable APAs I've ever had. I could drink these one after the other all summer long. Recommend.

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Photo of lwtlwt
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice aromatics, easy to drink. I like this!

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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 bouncepass
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kaos
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for acquiring this

Consumed 5/17/12

Appearance: Clear, dark gold - fizzy white head that keeps a wispy cap, streaks of lacing

Smell: Nicely hoppy - floral citrus, with some pine and tropical notes - orange and grapefruit, with a touch of pineapple - pale, grainy malts underneath, and a mild sweetness

Taste: Mild yet tasty - floral citrus - orange and tangerine, mostly flesh, a hint of zest, a touch of pith - some pine and some tropical flavors - pale malts, sweet grains, provide a nice base - on the sweet side, but not overly sweet

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body, very smooth, very clean, nicely carbonated

Overall: Remarkably solid

I am actually surprised at how much I like this beer. The hops in this beer are unlike anything I've encountered from Firestone Walker, and I approve. I hope this starts to show up on the East Coast because I would drink this often.

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Photo of LutherBrau
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

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.

 616 characters

Photo of SweetwaterTuonker
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of unclekeith
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Bright yellow-orange, very clear, great head. Smells very hoppy for a pale ale, citrus fruits like lemon and orange come to mind. Flavor is more of the same but this is not an IPA, it feels lighter in body and so easy to drink. I think I found my new go to pale ale because this has less alcohol than Sierra Nevada and I might just prefer the hop profile, great stuff.

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Clear golden orange with tight, white cap. Decent lacing. Small head declines to sticky white ring.

Smell: Citrus (lemon), piney hops, and toasted bready malts (light). Maybe some nuts in there as well.

Taste: Lemon, pine, butter, toasted malts, nuts, and a clean, bitter finish. Great balance!

Mouthfeel: Nice mouth-coating, and very smooth. Medium carbonation. Crisp, dry finish.

Drinkability: I could drink these all day, any day. And with an ABV of only 4.6%, that's totally possible. We buy these puppies in 24-packs regularly.
"It's what we drink around here."

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

Pours a light amber color with about an inch of foam. The head is formed mostly of large bubbles in the center and smaller ones on the sides. Retention is ok, with some lacing.

Flowery, hints of citrus and earthy hops on the nose. A bit of lemon and subtle notes of tropical fruits like papaya, mango, and peach. As the beer warms up I can smell some of the malts; pale malts and crackers with a bit of caramel. There's some honey aroma once the beer warms up a bit.

Crackers upfront with light toast and some citrus bitterness in the finish. Some flowery hop flavor in the finish as well. More earthy and flowery than citrus with some dry cracker or biscuit flavor. Hints of orange marmalade after a couple of sips. The beer starts to taste a bit grainy mid-way.

Very good mouthfeel, moderate carbonation with a clean and semi-dry finish. Easy to drink.

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Photo of Hopfenpeter
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of SPLITGRIN
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My usual strong pour gets me an inch and a half of creamy off white head. Head has solid retention and fades leaving a little bit of lace. Body is a orange amber in tone which is on the darker side for the style. Nose is fragrant with citrus rind and floral tones. With first sip you get juicy citrus and a hint of piney balance to the hop character. It is prickly on the back of the tongue in a good way. Super drinkable and very nice. I know this in not a session IPA but this is what most session IPA's wish they were.

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Photo of MKrauss
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of sheenisgod
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TonyTwins
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Nace4
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Devman171
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light body, crisp malts and fruity bitter finish, solid pale

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

Photo of mikesgroove
4.07/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was the second of my Firestone selection that I had this evening. It was quite nice to have a decent amount of their regulars around fresh to try. I popped this one open and poured it into my pint glass. Very nice medium amber colored ale came forward, with a bit of a bright golden yellow touch to it. Very nice carbonation was evident from the very beginning with streams of bubbles coming through and rippling up toward the surface to reinforce the foam. A nice head had formed on this one as well now, with a three-inch high layer of fluffy white that really just settled down very nicely, leaving behind about three quarters of an inch that really just stayed put the entire time. Really quite nice looking, leaving a good amount of lace dripping down the sides of the glass as it went as well.

The aroma was very nicely hopped, classic west coast style pale ale all the way. Big aroma of floral citric hops coming off of this one now, not so much on the sweet side, as it was light and biting. A noticeable amount of grass like flavors now mixing in as well, really pushing the hops out in front, but as it warmed, some nice light grain notes began percolating up and mixing in well, giving a still light, but a bit more depth to it overall. The flavor followed along classically and was one of those west coast pales you could sit down and drink for about a week. Gorgeous carbonation profile here, really made it feel quite light and airy. The light floral hops really dominating this one, but never becoming harsh in anyway at all, really showing their lighter side. Nice touches of grapefruit and tangerine really pushing through, with a very noticeable light cereal grains coming through underneath. Very well balanced and very light with nothing really pushing forward and nothing really dominating. Perfect pale ale flavor hands down. If you wanted that light, refreshing pale, with the west coast hop zing, this one was for you.

Overall I thought this was excellent, really a very nicely down pale, with very little errors at all. Lots of nice flavors with a good balance between bready and cereal like malts and the light floral hops, very nicely balanced. I would have loved to have had a few more of these as well. Definitely, a high quality session ale and something that I do not think I would ever turn down.

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Pale 31 California Pale Ale from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,955 ratings.
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