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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: 550 | Ratings: 1,888
Photo of Floydster
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pint from Bad Dog Ale House in El Segundo

Pours a very golden color with a one half inch head white head

Voted best beer of California in something I recently read

Perfect beer for a hot summer day

Highly drinkable, good APA

All pale should taste this good, worth checking out, but I am sure most of you already have

 321 characters

Photo of drumrboy22
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle received from bradford. Poured into Sam Adams glass.

Gold color with a small, white head.

Aroma was heavy, citrus hops. Grapefruit is prominent and smells delicious. Light malt aroma present.

Taste is well balanced and not overly hoppy.

Tasty, session beer. Moderately bitter finish. Very enjoyable.

 319 characters

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.

 518 characters

Photo of mikegreen138
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

picked this up in a variety pack at costco
pours out looking like s typical pale ale with a about one finger of head that doesnt stick around too long.
smells of nice floral and citrus highlights with a slight malty aroma that sneaks in, very balanced in its aroma
a little lacking in flavor slightly above average could have had a tiny amount ofl more hopped flavor thats just what i am into thse days, but goes down nice a smooth

nothing ground breaking, but still drinkable

 477 characters

Photo of Mustard
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle with no discernible "best before" or "bottled on" date; purchased as part of a ten beer sampler from the West LA Whole Foods on National and Barrington ($12.99); love the label.

Appearance: Pours a clear, golden hue faintly tinged with a trace of orange; fine, three-quarter inch, snow white head; fair to decent lacing; adequate head retention.

Aroma: Predominantly of sweet caramel, oranges and grapefruit.

Taste: Light, malty sweetness upfront; moderate grapefruit type hop bitterness in the finish; faint traces of grain, flowers and toffee.

Notes: Label reads: "... this distinctive pale ale boasts a bright, elegant texture with hints of toffee and a medium malt character. Fermantation in individual 60 gallon American Oak barrels imparts soft smoky nuances, a suggestion of vanilla and additional complexity to the flavor profile." Not sure, a la Bunnyhop, that I experienced all of this, but still found Firestone PA to be a gentle, tasty session pale ale nonetheless. Would happily drink this again.

 1,054 characters

Photo of MetalHopHead6
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a shaped pint glass.

Firestone Pale 31 poured a very pale gold with a thin short head that dissipated quickly. It looked more like a lager or pils than a pale ale.

The smell was earthy, with hints of pine. The taste started similar to the smell but finished with a sweet maltiness that seemed more English than American IPA. The feel was inconsequential, lacking the bitterness of good pale ale, but paired with the low alcohol level, it was very drinkable.

Firestone Pale 31 looks and feels weak--too pale to be pale.

 545 characters

Photo of chadlebald
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a sort of dark golden (almost an amber hue to it). Solid initial head that tapered off quickly but leaves a nice 'cling' to the sides as its drank. Smell is very floral right out of the gate, but with a slight caramely sweetness.

Lots of hoppy flavor that if I were blind tasting it, would say it was an IPA. I think it does have a fair amount of malt balance, though. On the whole, it drinks 'dry'.

Feels full in the mouth, and hits the taste buds evenly at first before lingering more in the mid tongue.

I am far from being a hophead even though I seek out hoppy beers on occasion. This is one that I would seek out more often I think, since it's just at that point of not overdoing it. In other words, I could order more than one in a session, whereas with IPAs, I usually switch after just one.

"Two bottoms up"

 833 characters

Photo of kmcnair
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sample comes from a 12oz bottle. Pours a light copper color and makes about an inch worth of fine white bubbly head. Smells well hopped, fruity, spicy. Flavor is not too bitter, slightly sweet, hops make a slight tartness come through, its pretty good. Mouthfeel is light to medium body with moderate carbonation. This is quite drinkable stuff, a nice session beer.

 365 characters

Photo of timontheroad
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass, clear golden yellow, with a nice white fluffy one finger head that lasted quite nicely to the end and provided some nice lacing. Aroma is a bit muted, with some light pineapple, floral and piney notes. Taste is pretty much like the aroma, but a little more robust, and with just a touch of malty sweetness. The mouthfeel was fairly light, with nice carbonation bite. Overall, for a session beer, this was OK, not bad but not great.

 457 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 artoolemomo
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Pours up about a finger and a half of head which has little retention. The head is a pure cotton white while the body is a clear, medium amber which ranges from a golden straw to a pale amber when held up to the light. Some lacing is left near the surface of the beer.

Nose- Fairly subdued- there is a bit more presence from the bottle which shows some notes of apple and a strong, sweet honey character. The aroma from the glass is more typical of a pale ale- light citrus of orange and lemon with faint hints of pine and resin in the background. Swirling reveals a very clean and slight melon quality.

Taste- Starts off with the orange and lemon of the nose, moves into slight notes of caramel and honey before moving into a light bitterness of grapefruit, earwax, and some matchstick. Some slight mineral notes (most chalky) with cereal and biscuit in the background. The hops appear to be a little degraded as it is almost 3 months old but it is still a pretty good beer. Caramel and matchstick dominate a little more than I want them to but they aren't that big of a distraction. Good beer and a solid one at that. A little juicy, which I like.

Mouthfeel- A little more than light bodied with a slight hint of syrup. Just a tad bit too carbonated.

Drinkability- Very easygoing and very sessionable. At 4.9%, it's a little less alcoholic than my standards of SNPA and Red Chair but still quite good. A little bit pricier than those two.

Overall- Solid beer and a good representation of the style. Definitely worth a try. Something to keep in mind when you want a pale ale with a little more of a malt bill. Certainly won't be confused with an IPA like some pale ales.

 1,693 characters

Photo of scottoale
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12oz. brown bottle, poured into a tulip glass comes a murky apricot, gold-amber ale with small off-white head. While the head settles to a thin foam ring, it leaves only dots of lace behind.

Has a nice earthy malt nose with some scents of citrus, mainly that of orange. Not a very sweet smelling brew overall.

The flavor, much like it smells has a nice earthy malt entry with a sweetness of mild honey which the hops then turn it to a nice citrusy clean finish. A little alcohol comes out in that finish but doesn't really have that warming effect. Good tasting APA in any case.

Good bit of body with moderate carbonation gives it a smooth, creamy kind of mouthfeel with a tinge of tartness.

Easy too drink and quite enjoyable...better than I was expecting.

 776 characters

Photo of hoppyweasel311
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice golden amber color with a quick disappearing head. Smells like bubblegum.. kind of a sweet aroma. But the taste is not sweet at all.. has a ok mouth feel.. nice hop flavor with out being too bitter.. I don't really like this beer that much... it's not bad or anything... I would just rather drink a Sierra Nevada pale ale.

 335 characters

Photo of Nugganooch
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle dated 11/16/11
*Notes from yesterday - Been putting quite a few of these down lately so figure time to give it a review.

A: Pours a very clear and effervescent burnished gold hue. Thin white bubbly cap. Other vigorous pours have yielded much more. Some light trackings of lace.

S: Smell is bright pines up front. Nice stone fruit accents like peach and apricot. Coupled with some citrus and grapefruit aromas. Light pale malt. Surprisingly great aroma here.

T: Tastes of grapefruit flesh, peaches, and prickly pine resins. Has a spike of bitterness right at mid-palate. Layered on a slight sweet and bready graham cracker maltiness. Very light , hoppy, and refreshing. Sessionable and well done.

M: Real light in body. Slight creamy texture. Great carbonation. Dry crisp puckering finish.

D: Total sessions time with this light hoppy refreshing Pale Ale. Really nicely balanced and well crafted.

Eerily close to the Trader Joes Mission St. Pale Ale???? Dun Dun Dunnn

 984 characters

Photo of SteelerChris
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is nice summer beer to gulp at an outside BBQ. The color is a light amber with a strong frothy head that lasts to the very end. The aroma is slightly sweet with notes of citrus and hops. Once this beer hits your palate you feel refreshed but if you are looking for bold ale flavors and complexity you will not find it in this brew. The flavors of lemon zest, malt, and hops are faint, but incredibly smooth and enjoyable in the sun. I like this beer because you have enjoy the true beer flavors and have a few without feeling weighed down. I will drink this again, but only on a hot summer day.

 599 characters

Photo of HopHead84
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


A: Yellow with good clarity and a finger of white foam.

S: Tangerine and grapefruit balanced by biscuit and bready malts. Lightly sweet with soft floral aromatics. Gives the impression of balance.

T: Upper low level of bitterness with a light and ephemeral malt sweetness. Biscuity and grainy with tangerine and orange flesh. Smooth crisp and dry finish.

M: Lower medium body with upper medium carbonation.

Overall: A highly drinkable balanced Pale Ale. Expertly brewed, but I prefer them a bit hoppier.

 519 characters

Photo of TempeBeerMan
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a nonic pint.

A - Brilliant yellow-gold with a small one-finger white head. Lacing very minimal.

S - Cracker malt, yeast, fruity esters, and floral hops.

T - Big juicy fruitiness forward (grapefruit, tangerine, and pear), followed by some hop flower, which carries through the finish. Not much malt presence at all, just a bit of wafer resting in the background A hint of diacetyl in the mid-palate. Very clean.

M - Light bodied and aggressively carbonated. Probably one of the most carbonated beers I have had in a while.

O - A pretty well put together pale ale, but a but on the hoppy/floral side, whereas I personally prefer a bit more malt forward. But still, a decent beer overall.

 717 characters

Photo of ADZA
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a very light see through golden hue with average carbonation that leaves behind a one finger head and some sporadic lacing,the smell is piney hops,apricots and boiled candy,it has a light bodied well carbonated mouthfeel that could be abit less in my mind and has tastes of passionfruit,apricots,mangoes,boiled candy and finished with a light touch of piney hops and to be honest its quite quaffable without being stand outish cheers.

 450 characters

Photo of IceAce
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: An aggressive pour yielded two and a half fingers of rocky egg-white foam with a 50% coverage of lace. The body is stoplight yellow with very nice clarity

Aroma: Thanks to the permenant collar of foam, the nose needs no help. Floral hops are dominant...both piney and citrusy (sp?) at the same time. This is the nose I would expect from a West Coast Pale Ale

Taste: A nice medium maltbase quickly makes way for a vanilla sweet midtaste.The finish quickly fulfills the promises made by the nose with floral hops slowly fading away

Mouthfeel: A lot of Pale Ales could take a lesson from Firestone-Walker when it comes to mouthfeel. A superb velvety coating transfers the complex tastes while quickly fading to hoppy bliss

Drinkability: Coming in at 4.60% ABV...I could do this all day, almost everyday!

 824 characters

Photo of danielharper
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from the BP in Five Points, Huntsville, AL.

A: Orangeish body, thin white head that sticks around. Very clear.

S: Strong citrus aroma, some crisp hops, with some natural sweetness underneath. Inviting.

T: Nice sweet citrusy taste, good hoppiness, but with a bit of a strange astringent aftertaste that makes it slightly less pleasant.

M: Moderate, thicker than expected for a pale ale, but not nearly as thick as a stout or Belgian. Enjoyable.

D: I can drink a few of these at a sitting. Just a relaxing, easy beer that doesn't make my head spin.

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

Chicago 1/13/16 (12 oz bottle poured into pint glass). Very clear blonde pour, with high initial carbonation and minimal white head. Orange and pine scent. Nice texture and easy going down. Pleasant malt and orange taste, Solid feel. Solid beer, looking forward to my next offering.

 283 characters

Photo of BurnsTau
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a transparent amber with small head that dissapates and no real lacing.

Smells of florally hops. Tastes is hoppy that's not too overpowering, keeps in balance overall. For this style the hops could have been a bit stronger, however it is still tasty Some strange aftertastes linger, perhaps because of the barrelling, but maybe not. Overall a pleasent brew, worth trying.

 380 characters

Photo of micromaniac129
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliantly clear light golden amber color with a medium size head. The foamy cap is fairly dense and has a tan color. Carbonation is medium to weak. This is quite a pale pale ale. This beer does not lack for aromatics. The hop bouquet is big and bright with aromas of grass floral and pine. Malts are understated and weak. Flavor finds a nice hoppy ale, just right I think for a pale ale. Malts and hops balance nicely with a godd biscuit malt finish. Unfortunately on the palette the beer presents itself as watery and rather weak. Its smooth with a semi-dry finish.
This is a California style APA and I couldn't find any info about that style. Maybe a hoppy steam beer. I thought this beer pretty good even with the lighter taste, could be a session or yard beer perhaps.

 782 characters

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

From notes taken yesterday:

Now, that’s a pale ale. Gasoline color as it’s poured, though considerably darker in the glass, a semi-cloudy golden amber. Head is foamy with crisp surfaces and edges, eggshell to lemon white, of moderate retention with great lacing, filmy on the surface after it has mostly dissipated. I can actually smell the alcohol in this, at least right after the pour, despite it’s not even 5% ABV. Beyond that, it is grass, light lemon. All of this on the palate, excepting the alcohol, and with stronger lemon tartness and the addition of pine and rind bitterness, starting a second or so in and crescendoing with the finish, at which point peppercorn also sets in. Light- to medium-bodied, sloshy, light spritziness, semi-smooth, very quenching.

 775 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

Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,888 ratings.
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