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: 549 | Ratings: 1,887
Photo of tobelerone
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

An easy drinking, near-session weight pale that’s a lot less west coast than I’d expected. Clear amber color with a good sized head, solid retention and lacing. Visibly lively carbonation. Nice aroma that’s more floral than anything else; less citrusy than I anticipated, perhaps why I felt this was less of a west coast IPA-light than I thought I was getting myself into. Taste follows the nose closely, with floral and grassy hops very forward, ample bitterness, and a light grainy malt character beneath.

Carbonation was crisp, body pretty light, and the finish was short and dry. Tasty but not exactly exceptional or memorable for me. Perhaps a little unexciting?

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: light golden hue with zero haze and a moderate effervescence. Head is a thin layer of white foam. I enjoy the clarity on this one.

Smell: lightly sweet malt aroma with a combination of citrus and floral hops. I like the composition, but the intensity is a little low for my taste.

Taste: malt is on the sweet side with a low bitterness and more of the citrus/floral hop character. Again, light, but I like it.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a decent carbonation and creaminess.

Overall: this is a highly drinkable beer, with its low-end ABV and relative smoothness on the palate. This would be a great camping beer.

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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.

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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 weeare138
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to beermaninpa for this one!
Appears a light gold with a half inch white head that fades to a light film in about a minute. Some bits of streaky lacing stick to the glass. Some streams of large bubles slowly rise to the top of the glass.
Smell is of crisp hops with an oak and vanilla aroma.
Taste is of creamy vanilla and mild hops that seem to blend into a nice, crisp finish.
Mouthfeel is crisp, smooth, sweet with a semi-dry finish that is slick on the tongue. This also has a mild, tingly linger on the front of the tongue.
Drinkability isn't half bad for a pale ale.

It's ok, dog.

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

A: Golden yellow, slight haze; White head, zero retention, but it tries to lace on the glass.

S: Citrousy american hops, slightly clean/soapy. Toffee.

T: Sweet toffee, slight citrus, a little bready/biscuity.

M: Light to moderate body is smooth, light to moderate carbonation.

D: Seriously chugable.

Thanks Len!

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Photo of dar482
3.57/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The color is a golden copper pale color.

The flavor has a huge round grain maltiness at the end. The hops in this beer are quite light, nothing too powerful.

The mouthfeel is a bit light, but the malt roundness really gives it some decent body.

In the end, I prefer the sweetness and juiciness that Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
3.87/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from BevMo in Sunnyvale, CA.

Pours a very clear, bright golden colour, with a fine body and a pleasantly thick white head that leaves complex lacing. I love the bright, yet light colour of it—it makes it look vibrant and inviting. Yeah.

Nose follows on with this vibe of brightness, with a really lovely crisp citric hoppy nose, layered with sweet-savoury pastry tones and a touch of apricot. It's fruity, but layered and complex. Ooh, yeah. It doesn't break the boundaries or make you question your assumptions about the style, but it's brimming with character and about as good as you can imagine an APA nose being. Awesome.

Taste is a lot lighter, as probably was to be expected, but it continues that nice apricot flavour while not spiking it with any bitterness. Also carried along is the slight pastry character, which is what gives its lightly sweet basis. The back drops out a lot, not giving the pleasant staccato bitterness which would cut it off and round it off nicely—instead, the sweetness sits around and fades away rather limply.

Still, this is a nice APA, and a cracker for such a rather ubiquitous brew, at least around these parts. Very drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of corby112
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received as an extra in a recent trade with EinWeizenbitte. Thanks again man!

Pours a clear dark golden yellowish orange color with golden yellow hues when held to a light source. Frothy 2 finger white head with decent retention, slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves spots of soapy lacing behind.

Sweet citrusy hop aroma with nice butterscotch malty presence and earthy grassy notes. Interesting combination of sweet lemon peel/grapefruit citrus along with butterscotch like biscuity malt and earthy grassy straw notes.

Pretty hop forward for a pale ale with a prominent dry earthy pine presence that's complimented by a sweet citrus lemongrass/grapefruit character. The malt backbone is a lot stronger than I expected in a west coast beer but provides excellent balance. Hints of caramel, butterscotch and biscuit. More dry bitter earthy hops and citrus sweetness in the dry finish.

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

Poured a light golden color with small head that dissapates. Nose of very subtle hops. Tastes is hoppy that's not too overpowering, keeps in balance overall. Some subtle floral and pine notes. Extremely drinkable and tasty, dangerously good! One great Pale! A perfect example of a West Coast Pale!

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Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a pale orange body with fuzzy two finger head and left a little bit of a lace ring. The aroma is more of a citric hop aroma than sweet malts but there is a bit of malt in there. Easy drinking and simple pale ale that balances citric, piney hops with some decent sweetness in it. More hoppy than sweet, which seems to be how all pale ales are going these days, but is still an easy drinker with a biting dry finish.

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

(Served in a tulip glass)
Bottled on 12/17/12
A- This beer pours a crystal clear deep copper body with a slow carbonation that trails up to a sticky antique white head that fades to a thick ring.

S- The pale green hops have a papery but pungent aroma to them.

T- The hint of sweetness to the pale malt stays soft even though the pale malt flavor grows and some hints of toasted malt come though in the background. There is a full pale green papery hop flavor in the finish that has a mellow pungency in the dry finish.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has a nice gentle fizz and no alcohol heat.

O- This beer has a nice fresh malt flavor that grows to over take the hop flavor. This beer is very sessionable and it would be nice to try this on cask to see if more nuances come out.

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Photo of akorsak
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A 12 oz bottle courtesy of Zorro, my Secret Santa.

A: The pale ale is indeed pale, a soft light copper color. The ale is clear with only a stream of carbonation obscuring the view. A 1.5 finger head livened things up a bit, but it quickly receded.

S: The nose has a tangy aroma, full of citrus hops and stronger than I expected for an APA. A very enticing aroma with malty elements that balance out the hops.

T: A sip reveals a hop depth that really socks the tastebuds. Citrus flavor, strong grapefruit primarily, really grabs you up front. The hops are bitter but not intense, allowing a grainy toast flavor to mix with the grapefruit.

M: The hops make this beer. The citrus element that they add is flavorful and strong, a marked departure from most APAs.

D: The abv is perfect, as is the flavor. This is a solid APA, great taste and fantastic hop profile.

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Photo of beertunes
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into straight pint glass. Poured with less than an inch of head that very quickly dissipated. Left light but sturdy lacing. A dark yellow color. Clarity is very good. Pleasant floral hop aroma with citrus notes. Flavor followed aroma closely, with the citrus flavors leaving a sharp taste. Body is what was expected for the style. Nicely drinkable. I received this as a gift, if this was available locally I would put this in my regular rotation.

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

Bottle courtesy of Wasatch. Thanks John!

It pours a clear yellow gold with a 2 finger head of foam.

The smell really has a nice citrus hop and fruity nose with a ample amount of malty sweetness. I'm impressed with the smell, for sure.

The taste has that nice citrus up front with the malt right behind it with both a light bready note and some sweetness. Nice tasting APA.

The mouthfeel just crosses over to medium and the carbonation is medium.

Drinkability? Good tasting and very easy drinking. This is a very enjoyable example of the style.

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

A: Clear yellow/gold color. Poured a 2 finger white foalmy head that slowly dissipated to a thick skim. Decanted continually. Laced in rings.

S: Grapefruit and citrus hop. A little pine and light sweet fruit. Sweet malts also prominent.

T: Citrus zest up front with the sweet roasted malt close behind. Bready malts in the middle yeild to a bitter finish to balance

M: Medium body. Medium carbonation. Bitter finish is fairly clean.

D: Looks good, smells good, tastes good. Very sessionable APA.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle

Appearance - Clear amber colour with an above average size frothy white coloured head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - malts, hops, grapefruit zest, oranges, biscuits

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and the beer has a nice balanced taste. There are a fair amount of hops mixed with caramel and a biscuit sweetness. There is also some orange and grapefruit taste. It finishes with a malty sweet aftertaste with a bit of lingering hops.

Overall - While it is a very good pale ale, it seemed to be lacking something. It was highly drinkable, just not very exciting. It would probably work well as a session beer as it isn't too overpowering.

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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.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.01/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Yet another Firestone Walker single I grabbed from the house of 1,000 beers. 2/12/13 damn this beer is over 4 months old.
A - Actually spot on for a pale ale good orange yellow tone with a 1/4 of head that pulls back to a hella sticky lace ring.
S - Piney, herbal, almost minty hops meets mild pale malts and a touch of sweet malts mostly crystal.
T - Clean dry hopped taste of floral and citrus variety, crystal and sweet cracker malts have a nice edge. Slightly bitter finish.
M - Light to medium, somewhat watery compared to other FW offerings.

Overall the flavor is great and the ABV makes it session able or chug able, if only I could find this by the case. great tasting pale ale.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. bright orangy yellow, full fluffy white head, good lacing

S. appetizing whiffs of sweet clover like hops and malt, slight lemon

T. excellent balance of floral hops and sweet malts, hints of lemon

M. light bodied, good carbonation, refreshing, semi dry

D. fantastic refreshing brew, perfect flavor profile

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Photo of RBorsato
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright golden color with a nice ivory head and good carbonation. Very nice citrus hop aroma at first; has a light malt aroma over time. Nice balanced flavor; more malt character than expected from aroma but definitely has a citrus hoppiness. Light bodied, refreshing, and easily drinkable with a light bitter finish.

A superb Pale Ale that is a very nice blend of both American and English styles.

Label states "fermented in American oak barrels" & 1996.

Per F.W website:
Malts: Premium Two-Row, Maris Otter Pale, Munich, Crystal
Hops: Bittering- Fuggle
Late Kettle- Cascade, Centennial, Chinook
Dry Hops- Cascade, Centennial, Chinook
38 IBU

2003 GABF: Silver Medal - APA ?

Per B.O.M. notes:
38 IBU
Malts: Canadian 2-row, Marris Otter Pale, Carapils, Munich, and Crystal
Hops: Fuggles, Cascade, Centennial, and Chinook

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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 DefenCorps
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into my Nugget Nectar pint glass

A: Light orange with a thin white head that recedes waay too quickly leaving a tiny ring

S: Citrus hops with sweet orange make a presence with a mild caramel sweetness in the back.

T: Thin in body with a very mild hop presence. Starts off with a little citrus (orange) hoppiness and is followed by a pleasant caramel sugary sweetness

M: Thin and sweeter than i'd like but the carbonation makes up for it.

D: For 4.6%, this goes down easy but I'm not sure how many more I'd want

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Coming in like equal parts pale ale hearty gold and amber ale and a 3/5" head, white. Aroma was a tad floral hops and wavy grains.

Taste was a smooth, middle of the road affair between an English pale ale and an American pale ale. Sessiony.

Wouldn't turn down on a hot daybut since they make some session ipa and lupulin session stuff, this isn't gonna be what I reach for on a hot day despite being a beer that is plenty fine.

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

Bought at State Line Liquors in Elkton, Maryland.

The appearance is a deep yellow tone with a thin head that quickly becomes a thin ring. The smell is light hops and faint spice. The taste is crisp and perfect for a pale ale, a little bit of that bite too. Mouthfeel is barley, some hops, very clean and well balanced. Drinkability is good on this beer, the first time that I have every drank a Firestone. It is a great pale ale.

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Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.86 out of 5 based on 1,887 ratings.
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