Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Pale 31 | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
87
very good
552 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
Pale 31Pale 31
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
Reviews:
552
Ratings:
1,896
Avg:
3.86
pDev:
19.95%
 
 
Wants:
83
Gots:
265
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 552 | Ratings: 1,896
Photo of budsboy
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Clear, light amber on the pour with a thin white head that shrinks back to a sticky film.

Big hop aroma, all pine and citrus. Thick, sugary malt smell underneath. Inviting. Mouth is watering now.

Nice hop flavor right off, malty and with a hint of diacetyl, then a lasting piney hop bitterness on a dry finish.

Light-medium bodied, clean and moderate carbonation. Maybe a wee thin.

I enjoyed it. At 4.6 ABV, this is an excellent session brew for the hop hungry. Sure it's hopped to the hilt. Some like it, some don't. If you like SNPA or Dogfish 60 Minute, I'm betting you'll like this. Just as full of hop flavor but a little less of a meal.

Thanks to Hustlemuscle for sharing.

 693 characters

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

12 oz bottle (thanks ptykozoon!) poured into a Goose Island IPA tulip

A - Very light amber, almost no head, but nice lacing.

S - Vanilla, floral hops

T - Floral hops & fresh grass --> a bit of honey --> slightly bitter, clean finish. Overall, there's not a ton going on here - solid APA, but not mind-blowing.

M - Pretty light, actually. Good carbonation, though.

D - Quite drinkable - low ABV, non-offensive beer.

 425 characters

Photo of JayTheFinn
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Firestone's Pale Ale was a surprise for me. I'm not a big pale ale fan to start with, plus I'd see this one EVERYWHERE, in all the liquor stores and even grocery stores! So i figured it was gonna be just another bland ol' pale...yeah, I know I know, it's a terrible way to judge...But boy was I pleasantly surprised! It had a wonderfully smooth feel but quite lively taste. Nice blend of favors. I'm not gonna rush out to buy more when there's so many other beers I prefer over it, but I wouldn't turn one down either! Their other brews have impressed me too. Hooray for Firestone!

 581 characters

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 AWolfAtTheDoor
3.37/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on Mother's Day at my parents' house.

Its clear, and bright golden. Little lacing.

Curious smell. Very floral and grassy hop presence.

More hop bitterness, pepper, floral, grass on the mouth. Not a lot of malt backbone to speak of.

Mouthfeel is light and watery.

Overall this beer is OK. I'm honestly very disappointed with everything I've had form Firestone (minus Velvet Merkin). This is not a bad beer, but a poor representation of the style. It honestly tastes like an average homebrew. I actually take that back, I have had better extract based homebrew pale ales than this.

 593 characters

Photo of pjwilson
3.59/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

appearance: very pale, almost unpeallingly so. nice head though

smell: ok that's some nice hop aroma, i gotta admit. it's the kind of hops I like in a APA too. dry hopping.

taste: wow this is a hoppy beer. not very bitter though, almost under bittered for how hoppy it is. But i'm tasting chinook alot. there is no malt balance to this beer.
mouthfeel: here's were things go wrong; this beer is very, very watery. It so hoppy and yet it sort of feels like you are drinking water. It's not very fun.
drinkability: well i got a single and i'm going slowly and I won't buy this in bottles again. It's just too watery, smell just isn't enough to sell a beer no matter how great the nose is.

 697 characters

Photo of RedBrewer83
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aggressively poured into pint glass...

A: Pours a crystal clear straw yellow with a nice two finger creamy head that falls slowly in pockets leaving excellent webbed lacing.

S: Fresh floral grassy hops a little pale malt and some yeast profile as well. Very crisp.

T: Hops up front but not in a harsh way at all, very grassy and floral with some citrus layers as well. Definitely taste the pale malt and a very nice yeast profile mid-palate that really lingers. This tastes very fresh and very clean. Would be a great food beer.

M: Light body, crisp active carbonation, dry finish.

D: Perfect abv for the style and the clean crisp flavor and smooth carbonation make it perfectly drinkable! I guess the last bottle I had was old or lightstruck because this is a much better beer than I remember!

 799 characters

Photo of chaz01
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle courtesy of thirdeye11 (thanks!) poured into a pint glass.

A: Golden color, just a bit cloudy, with a thick head that leaves some lacing.

S: Wonderful fruity citrus aroma -- very strong and bold for a pale ale. Apricot, grapefruit, apple and honey aromas -- smells like a fresh fruit cup.

T: Nice and well balanced. Apple and citrus flavors with some malty sweetness. Not as hoppy as the aroma would indicate -- what I would expect from a pale ale.

M: Medium to light bodied with a dry, peppery finish.

D: Very smooth and easily drinkable -- this would make a really nice session beer -- if only it were available in this area.

 649 characters

Photo of 303beer
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pores a very bubbly golden color with a dense White head about 1 inch in depth. Citrus and hop notes in the nose. Nice balance of hop and citrus in the taste, a little more than you'd expect from a pale ale. Pretty good stuff.

 227 characters

Photo of iSip
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Firestone Pale Ale: The deep auburn color is dark for a pale ale, but the brew is perfectly clear. A thick white and pillowy head forms on top, and lasts. A hoppy aroma is present. The flavor lacks any big malt, so the hops come through from start to finish. The finish is lean. This is a very drinkable beer, visually aesthetic, decent in an unassuming way.

Note: My bottle did not have a 31 on it, it just said Pale.

 419 characters

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

Poured this beer into a standard pint glass. It has a great golden color and it gave off about a 1-finger white head that looks to be semi-creamy with some large bubbles around the rim. Lacing is splashy.

The aroma is excellent, I'm not sure of the hops used but it's a very singular smell. Intensely floral with some pine and light tropical fruit. When swirled i get a very pungent hop aroma that i almost perceive as oily. Very subtle malt character comes through.

Taste is well-balanced bringing a nice floral bitterness up front followed immediately by citrus and bright fruit, like mango, pineapple. Bitterness is there throughout and finishes on the pallete along with a great dough-like maltyness that i did not expect. It rounds out very well leaving me wanting to sip again and again.

Mouthfeel is light-medium with medium carbonation. Very smooth and refreshing.

The hops seem to be a little more present than what i'm used to tasting and smelling in a pale ale but that's certainly nothing to complain about. This beer is very drinkable and goes down great. For what it is, it has great flavor! Definitely recommend.

 1,131 characters

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.

 316 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 DM1293
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sample at the Lazy Dog Cafe.

An ordinary light-orangish copper color, this pale ale is pretty light and balanced. Hops are there in the smell and taste, pulling into a citrusy-appley finish. Bitterness is fairly light, and it doesn't linger for long.

A bright refreshing drink.

 279 characters

Photo of SethB2
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

This beer looks nice. Pours a perfectly transparent amber color with a one finger head and a nice amount of lacing for an APA. Smell is nice. Lots of hops on the nose. More than normal for the style. Also a small amount of sweetness there too. Reminds me of a toned down IPA. Taste is also very nice. Hoppy up front, leading the way to a roasted malt flavor. Very well balanced. Mouthfeel and drinkability are also very good. For a low ABV beer, Firestone has done a nice job here.

 524 characters

Photo of bcm119
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Pale 31" is light gold/amber with a thin white lace. Light aromas of citrus zest and a wisp of grain. Squeeky clean pale malt flavors with snappy bittering. A little cereal grain sweetness comes through in the middle, but quickly fades to a quenching dry finish. Thin but vibrant and bubbly on the palate. Fairly long, clean finish with some herbal hops and mineral in the aftertaste. Overall a pleasant and very clean pale ale, good for quaffing but not terribly exciting. Drinkable, but not interesting enough for a long session.

 532 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 JohnW
3.26/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer, was brewed for the UK Wetherspoons Pub Chain Beer Festival in November 2008. According to the leaflet, Firestone Walker brewed this beer at Marstons Brewery Burton on Trent here in UK, using the tradition Burton Union system, with American hops from Cascade, Centennial, Chinook and American Fuggles.

The beer was available at some, but not all Wetherspoons pubs during the 3 weeks Beer Festival.

The beer poured pale amber colour, almost perfectly clear, with fair head, though the head did not last long. From the sample I had (but was unable to try it again at a later date for comparison) the aroma was very strange, very sweet almost like sugar candy cane and a hint of vanilla, and malts. Initial taste was of sweetness on the tongue, but then bitterness of the hops came through quickly. The hop bitterness was never overpowering, and slightly floral and citrus in the finish. Fairly light bodied and smooth texture, easy to drink, though I felt the sweet aroma and initial sweetness of the taste was a bit off putting. The aroma had a strange "perfumed" sweet smell that I felt spoilt what could have been a really good beer. Not sure if this was typical of the beer, as I never had chance to try it again elsewhere for comparison, so my marking down a peg in aroma and taste should be treated with caution, as another sample might have been a lot better.

If any other UK BA member tried this, hope they can add a review too!

JohnW
B'ham UK November 2008

 1,486 characters

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

Striking golden color, with a decent head that fizzes out pretty fast. The smell is rich, yet hoppy and crisp. Flavor is simple enough, but as with all Firestone beers incredibly executed. Light sweet malt strikes immediately, followed by a brilliant splash of hops that lingers seductively on the palate. I feel the oakiness in their beers more than taste, and it feels damn good. Drinkability is superb.

 405 characters

Photo of jdhowe
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz bottle (bottled on 2/12/13) into a pint glass.

A: Pours a beautiful, clear golden color with a half finger of white, quickly dissipating head. Very nice to look at.

S: Smell is crisp and clean, with hops and sweet fruit making up the primary notes. Nothing overwhelming or complex here -- just, pure, simple, good.

T: A bit of a let-down, but very drinkable. Malt and citrus dominate with a little hint of hop bitterness rising and then overstaying its welcome. The hop flavors don't seem prominent nearly so much as in the nose, and this is a disappointment. Not bad, but not as good as I had hoped after seeing/smelling it, either. I would expect more hop flavor from something dry-hopped and wonder if this bottle might not be too old.

M: very drinkable. Carbonation that fills the mouth lends itself to a refreshing drink that finishes smoothly, if maybe a bit overly bitter for a refreshing sessionable drink.

O: Good beer. Not great, but good. I would like this much more if there were either more hop flavor or less hop bitterness, and I feel like they've missed the balance with this one. That said, it doesn't ruin the beer by any stretch of the imagination, and I would be happy to drink this again in the future.

 1,247 characters

Photo of Duster72
4.62/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to IntriqKen for this one. Pours a clear golden with a smallish head and decent lacing. Aroma is sweet breads and citrus hops - very nice. Taste is tasty sweet malts up front followed by pleasant citrus and a good hop finish to cleanse the palate. Perfect mouthfeel and drinkability. Excellent APA, very refreshing.

 322 characters

Photo of mfavoino
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled labeled 1/3/12 enjoyed on 3/24/12.

Appearance: Pours a clear and bright gold. A nice fluffy white head recedes after a couple of minutes and the beer yields spotty lacing.

Smell: Distinctly citrus nose with some floral notes as well. Smells like I would expect a California PA to be.

Taste: Follows the nose with a crisp orange, citrus flavor. Juicy, but not overwhelming either. A strong caramel malt base balances the beer well. Bitterness is fairly light and the beer finishes off smoothly.

Mouthfeel: Super easy drinking, light and crisp. Very refreshing.

Overall: This will likely be my new go to PA because of how well it's put together. Not mind-blowing or distinct by any means, yet an all together spot on PA.

 736 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 irrevjim
3.77/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

from a bottle to a beer tulip
look; very pale yellow golden, nice 1" white head with some retention, plenty of lacing
smell; mild lemon grass, mild bread, good but mild
taste; very balanced crisp light pale ale, kiss of citrus hops, hint of grass, hint of honey
feel;light body, crisp, finish slightly dry, on the low end of moderate carbonation
overall; It could pass for an american pilsner. I will keep it in mind for when I want something in between an ale and a pilsner, very drinkable with a pleasant beer flavor, good summer ale

 536 characters

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

Scored a sixer of this west-coast stuff at State Line Liquor - had never heard of it before!

Its color could almost pass for Miller High Life - straw with not much head. The give-aways are that it's hazy, not see-thru and the lacing is promising. The smell is also promising - a little sweet, lots of phenolic hops with some citrus and floral notes, against a faintly earthy backdrop. Mmmm.

Taste does not disappoint. Malt sweetness is very muted, and bitterness appears at the back sides of the tongue right away, gentle but persuasive. There's a topnote of malt, faintly bready or biscuity, but the finish is dry and clean. Mmmm, again.

The mouthfeel is light, there's some chewiness, and some really nice zing that comes from ?? somewhere. Drinkability? This brew is Super-Sessionable! With a 4.8 ABV, this ale is for sustained enjoyment. What a treat. Highly recommended.

 878 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe