Pale 31 | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

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87
very good
548 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:
548
Ratings:
1,877
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
19.95%
 
 
Wants:
81
Gots:
255
For Trade:
0
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 548 | Ratings: 1,877
Photo of BenwayPHD
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a light yellow color with a small, white, foamy head. The nose is superb. Grass, pine, resin, lemon, papaya. I've gotta say the flavor is a let down on this one. A little bit of lemon sweetness and a bitter, dry finish. The body is too thin. Maybe some stronger malt character would liven this up. Not Firestone Walker's best.

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Photo of kculrich
4.21/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle into a cool nonic, thick, foamy white head over a bright orange filtered beer. S: a nice blend of hops, it's all there, fruit, pine, straw, and something sweet. T: toasted crackers, lemon zest, caramel. F: crisp and refreshing, nothing heavy, moderate carbonation. O: an excellent refreshing beer, a credit to the APA style. I could surely squander an afternoon sitting out on the lawn with a few of these under my chair.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a shaker pint, the beer is a bright, crystal clear, golden coloring with a fluffy, light, bubbly, white head. Aromas of toasted grains, lemon, orange, cut grass, and evergreen. Light on the nose, but balanced. Flavors are grassy forward, with a slight buttered bread and toffee follow. Roasted, with some citrus blend coming through on the back of the tongue. The body is light and effervesced, but almost watery at points, too. The aftertaste is more of the roasted characteristics, with some tangy lemon and orange notes. Light, slightly dry, effervesced finish. Decent, and very drinkable.

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Photo of delta490
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep clear gold with a thick, long-lasting cap of foamy white head. Robust carbonation is visible. The aroma has a nice big hop presence, mostly citrus with a little floral in the background. The taste is very good, with a little less of a hops pop than the aroma, but the same qualities, with the addition of a little malt sweetness. The body is lighter with a little bit of carbonation.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.22/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a teku.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful golden color. The head is three fingers high, and barely off-white in shade. Bubbly yet consistent, the head has a nice look, though its retention isn't the best. On the other hand, incredible amounts of lacing stick to the glass. (4.25)

Smell: Pretty typical for the style...or is it? At first, it seems to be a combination of grapefruit and caramel malt, but letting it open up will reveal some nice mandarin orange notes. That alone helps this one stand out from the pack, and helps me enjoy it all the more. (3.5)

Taste: Alas, this one is pretty dead simple. Some sweet caramel malt, a touch of grapefruit, flowers, and that's about it. Further sips reveal...little else. Nothing wrong with it per se, it's just a bland APA. (3)

Mouthfeel: This has a surprisingly full body, along with a not-entirely-dry finish. In a way, its sweetness is thirst quenching. The combination of initial creaminess and decent carbonation still makes it somewhat easy to drink. (3.25)

Overall: I hoped this would be better than Easy Jack now that this finally showed up in MD - in many ways it is (none of that damn Mosaic character, for one), but it's also less interesting. Worthy of being drunk again, just know that Firestone Walker makes far superior brews over this. (3)

3.22/5: I'd say it's a Pale 32...out of 50

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

Pale gold in color with white head, and little retention. Caramel malts and sweet floral aroma hops come through. Taste begins with biscuity lagery flavors followed by earthy battering hops. Medium bodied feel with a semi-dry finish. Overall not bad but I was expecting more in taste after getting some great smells.

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Photo of jjboesen
4.16/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This Firestone gem is brewed with seven hops (Fuggles, Cascade. Centennial and Chinook) AND some dry-hopping (Amarillo). The body is a translucent copper liquid that is crowned by a slathering of foam; the lacing is loose and slippery and will soon disappear.

The nose emits subtle mango whiffs. The palate engorges on the hops; there is a major battle between the heavy hand of rye bread and the scrappy slugger that is some intense graininess. Bread? The mouthfeel is nicely balanced and is able to align the described madness and provide the drinker with a surprisingly crisp quaff. Of course, the low alcohol level also assists in the enjoyment.

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Photo of breadwinner
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Such a fantastic brew for its size, it just checks off all the boxes so well -- tremendous floral hop nose with requisite flecks of citrus, crackery/toasty malt palate in complete harmony with the hoppy bitterness, which takes on a really quite lovely grassy note. It is hoppy, to be sure, and in this way a departure from other APA stalwarts like Deschutes Mirror Pond, but, again, it works incredibly well. Staple beer and one that fills the hoppy session category a helluva lot better than most session IPAs.

(Bumping up. Brews like this are exemplars. Their scores should reflect that.)

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Photo of Jimmys
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

bottled on: 12/10/14. poured into a FW pint glass.

Slightly hazy on an otherwise pale blond body. Earthy and herbal aroma. Green grass, moss, green tea. Flavor is similar. Not much malt flavor here at all, but not much bitterness either. A light, easy drinking, slightly hoppy pale ale is what I have here. Not bad, but nothing to write home about. Good if your desire for hops is light.

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

Sometimes I'm surprised by beer and this is one of those times. I generally don't expect anything much from a pale ale that is available year round, but this beer impressed me. I originally bought this beer because it was on sale and I think firestone puts out some pretty good beers. The beer pours like any number of pale ales but the flavor is exceptional. This beer balances malt and hops in a way that really lets the hops shine through without being overpowering. Some people might find this beer too hoppy but this is where i find that this beer really separates itself from other pale ales. While maintaining similar bitterness characteristics to similar APA's this beer has exquisite subtle floral hop aromas and flavors that really make this beer enjoyable for every single sip. This is a beer you can sip in while working in the yard yet it still has bold flavor profiles that will satisfy your hop-foward palate. Do yourself a favor and pick this beer up when it's on sale or featured in a mixed 12-pack and you won't be disappointed.

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

It pours a very pale, slightly hazy golden amber with a solid head that settles into a thin cap that stays the whole way down.
The aroma is dominated by citrus hops with some bready malt to back it up.
The taste is lightly sweet with a strong citrus hop component. There's a bit of lemon pepper too. It finishes with a pleasant bitterness. The hops definitely lean lemon and grapefruit.
The mouth feel is a little thin with a good balance of carbonation.
Overall it is a very refreshing, easy to drink APA. That's a winner here where the weather is usually warm to hot. It's not spectacular but it is quite good and a fine example of the style.

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Photo of arvidkoval
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pale golden color. Great bouquet of citrus aromas. Tastes citrusy over a subtle malt. A little more bitter than I like in a pale ale. Good mouthfeel. Decent APA.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.86/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap:
Pours quite pale, yellow side of golden, and very clear. Active carbonation on nucleation points, but not much head is sustaining. Nose has a crisp grain note to it, but is more floral/fruity, some tropical notes, but overall it seems more sweet apple and pear.

Feel is nice and light, carbonation well-balanced. Taste starts clean, light grain notes. The hops comes on with the fruity notes from the smell, although tropical notes are a bit more prevalent (also not powerful). The bitterness of the hops takes over at the right time, and brings on some pine, again not overpowering. As the beer warms, citrus orange and grapefruit become more apparent as fruit components.

Balanced, mildly light, decent flavor profile. A very good option for a session beer, at least. Could also be a nice beer to expose people to what beer can be.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

12oz. bottle served in a tulip nonic. 05/12/14 on the label (shit!). Pours a translucent honey gold with a loose, 1/8th inch bright white head that quickly dissipates to a frothy slick. Nose expresses a trace of caramel and wet cardboard. Taste consistent with nose with the addition of some noble hops. Mouthfeel is light in body with a crisp carbonation. Overall, I think this beer is past its prime - slightly off flavors. I wish I checked the bottle dating before purchasing. Will need to revisit with a fresher offering.

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Photo of Duhast500
3.29/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Sierra Nevada Celebration pint glass.

The color is a hazy orange with a finger of foamy white head and some thin lacing left in the glass.

The smell is malty at first with a biscuit aroma. There is a slight tease of clay-like aroma in the nose that mixes here with a slight earthy aroma.

The taste is all malt character from start to end. Again there is a dry bready flavor that has a slight citrus flavor that does come out very briefly but then backs away into the either. There is some earthy blandness that has some wheat flavor that stays till the end.

The feel of this beer is light with a decent drinkability. There is a smoothness that has no bitterness and seems to have some holes. Not what the brewer intended but not a drain pour.

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Photo of PA-hunter
3.09/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Poured 12oz bottle into a snifter. 4.9% abv

Appearance- Pours a dull yellow with a fair bit of cloudiness. Decent foam on the head with mild retention.

Smell- Fragrant floral aroma; citrus-like sweetness

Taste- Light tasted grain flavor builds into some of the floral sweetness. Has a lemony kick to it. The bitterness and peppery flavor shows itself later in the taste and lingers.

Mouthfeel- Thin to medium in body. Appropriate.

Overall- A decent APA but could use more balance in malt/citric/bitterness transitions. Drinkable but not special.

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Photo of HawkFalco
2.96/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Tasted:Dec. 22, 2014 12 oz. bottle

Poured into a pint glass, 50 degrees.

Looks: Rich lemon-gold color. Hazy. Made little head that disappeared quickly. lacing lasted.

Smell: citrus, fresh, floral

Tastes: floral taste follows nose, quite hoppy with any malt sweetness buried. Way more hoppy than I expected for an American Pale Ale, Why not just call it a IPA?

Feels: Thin with little body, low carbonation, mildly dry bitterness in the finish

Overall: I expected balance and so am disappointed in the strong hop forward bitterness of this beer. I am not a fan of bitter beer so I may be a poor judge. Look to the reviews of the drinkers who like IPAs. I won’t buy again.

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Photo of HamdenHector
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A: slight haze; medium gold in color; 1 finger ivory head that receded to a thin cap; very nice lacing;

S: floral, soapy, citrus;

T: floral that builds through the finish; a hint of caramel in the background; low to moderate bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: good, but not remarkable;

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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.

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Photo of fps_dean
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours into a glass a clear golden yellow color, with moderate lacing.

Smells like piney, lemony hops.

Tastes as hoppy as it smells, with the hops overpowering the malts from start to finish, but at no point being too extreme. This is clearly a hop lover's Pale Ale. Could almost pass as an IPA based on the hop content, but it's definitely a Pale Ale.

Goes down fairly smooth as well, with medium body and light to moderate carbonation.

Overall, a very solid Pale Ale, and a very solid session beer and has become one of my go to session beers.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.49/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(bottling date: 08/19/14 - purchased cold, poured into a tulip pint)

L: crystal-clear, yellow-gold liquid... only a small pad of foam

S: they really must use hop extract in their beers - the intensity and dimension of the, what appears to be, whole-flower hops is ridiculous... spicy, earthy, herbal, mustard seed-y... clear, crisp balance of toasted, cookie-ish pale malt below, good bit of depth to that too... overall, just wonderfully defined and distinct

T: sharp-spicy, peppery, bitter zip at the front... almost a lemon-honey-ginger zip in the fantastically dry finish... man, this is dry... a toasted grain flavor slowly builds on the palate midway and to the back, in balance by the end... seems like some Chinook is ripping hard

F: fairly polished-smooth, dry with the bitterness accentuating a parching effect... not terribly residual resin, but perhaps a mildly acidic tingle

O: bold, bright, clean-as-hell, and to the point... excellent drinking that packs a punch on the palate, but is deceptively light... another winner from FW

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Photo of SensorySupernova
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Appearance: Crystal clear gold with a big white head that faded into thin lacing, and a few stray bubbles rising through.

Smell: Faint citrus and floral hops.

Taste: Pretty bitter for a pale ale, and the malt backbone never gets strong enough to overpower the hops. It’s not tongue-curdling bitter, but way more than the hop aroma would suggest.

Mouthfeel: Thin and moderately carbonated.

Overall: Okay. Not enough malt, not enough hop aroma. It’s like a less balanced version of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. I would rather drink one Union Jack than two of these.

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Photo of ronniebruner
2.91/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Another boring, run of the mill IPA...... The market is becoming oversaturated with pale ales and Firestone is no exception. There is nothing memorable about this beer and honestly if I hadn't found an old napkin from the bar I wrote this down on, I wouldn't have even remembered it. It is plain in all senses of the word and there is nothing memorable about this beer except that it is not terrible. The king of the mediocre category if there ever were....

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Photo of WAbeerfiend
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Bottled on 03.11.14.
Poured into a Mac & Jack's pint glass on 05.13.14.

A: See through yellow with a light head, which recedes quickly.

S: Flower. Some pine and grapefruit.

T: Pine, grapefruit dominate. Honey, flower are subtle.

M: Crisp. Has perfect carbonation.

O: This was somewhat hop forward. It was nicely balanced, but I guess that I expected that the hops would be stronger.

Rating: B

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Photo of leitmotif
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I'm enjoying this from a bottle. Poured into a tulip glass.
Looks like a rich pale ale. It's golden dark, with a 2 finger foam head. Nothing much, i guess.

Smells of nice grapefruit, lemons, freshly cut grass and a bit of mango.

After the first sip, i could say I'm pretty sure that this could be a nice session beer. No alcohol, just waves of good quality malts and a dry hop finish. Creamy palate, fuzzy mouthfeel. Simple and complex in the same time.

It's not out of control, but a very very nice effort all the way.

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Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 548 ratings.
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