Solace | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
82
good
511 Ratings
SolaceSolace
BEER INFO

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

Style: American Pale Wheat Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ThreeWiseMen on 04-01-2010

BEER STATS
Ratings:
511
Reviews:
156
Avg:
3.63
pDev:
14.05%
 
 
Wants:
48
Gots:
28
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 511 |  Reviews: 156
Photo of mikesgroove
3.06/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

hazy bright golden yellow coming through immediately. Nice white puffy head on top quickly faded leaving behind a broken crown and some nice carbonation.

The aroma was odd. Very light and almost non existent at times. What was there seemed a touch artificial to me to be honest. Light grain and some off fruit notes, not very appealing at all. The flavor was a little bit better, but still very weak in my eyes. It started with a nice rush of light grain, some mild fruitiness as well. Light touches of peach and passion fruit I guess highlighting it, but leaving quickly with only a touch of light grass like flavor in the finish, which was itself short-lived.

 662 characters

Photo of DrJay
3.89/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy yellow/amber with a thin skim and collar of white bubbles. Wheat cracker aroma, slight fruitiness, toast, mild citrus and spiciness. Low bitterness with wheat and malt, not a lot of sweetness, toasty with a flash of grassy hops and slight spiciness in the finish. Light bodied with carbonation on the low side, fairly dry. It's well done for what it is, a subtle beer that's not out to clobber you with over the top aromas or flavours.

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Photo of Beaver13
2.51/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle. Pours a hazy yellow gold with a medium white head that quickly goes to a thin collar that leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is hefeweizen like - banana and clove with some light citrus, pepper and wheat.

The flavor is a bit subdued and watery with some yeasty banana and wheat with some sweet fruity malt. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and watery.

Overall, I was not too impressed especially at $10 for a 6 pack. It's watery with too much banana for me. It does get a bit better as it warms.

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Photo of itlnstallion11
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank straight from bottle...like a champ
A- The bottles alright, has a summery feel to it. Looks arabic. hAs anyone seen man-bear-pig?
S- Smells like banana whitefruit honey, slight caramel smelll and with a tinge of honey. And white malts.
M- Light yet silky. Deifnitely light for an ale.
O- A great summer beer. A Bavarian style hef. Flavorfull without the fillingness.

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Photo of CaptainIPA
3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Single purchased @ Trader Joe's in San Clemente, California and presented in a brown 12 oz. bottle. "Craftily Unfiltered."

Pours a hazed orange color with a small white head that dissipates rapidly. Aromas of malt, floral hops and spicy yeast. Smooth and medium bodied with good carbonation. Opens with toasted malt, wheat and a sweet nuttiness. Hops assert themselves with some balancing bitterness. Belgian yeast and residual spiciness kicks in at the conclusion. Finishes dry.

A refreshing summer seasonal ale that's worth a try.

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Photo of mdvatab
3.27/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into tall weizen glass.
Bottled on 4/14/2011.

Aroma: Spicy yeast with a slightly Belgian profile. Some vanilla, and a hint of apple juice.

Appearance: Very hazy tan/orange body (per style), 1 finger off-white head, which disappears almost immediately. Minimal lacing. I was expecting more foam and lacing with this one, but it fell a bit short.

Flavor: Similar to the aroma. I got a slight metallic twang toward the front. Some more apple juice/apple skin shows up in the middle, and a subtle bitterness appears at the end.

Mouthfeel: Medium-high CO2. Medium-full body.

Overall: A tasty-enough beer, but, I rate it around average. A bit more sweet spice to it than anticipated for an American wheat ale. It's likely that this one is better on draught, so I will keep my eyes out for it.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle stamped with bottled on date of 7/12/11.

Served cold into a pint glass, Solace is a hazy straw yellow color with about a 1/2" of short-lived head. No lacing so a pretty common looking wheat ale. Nothing wrong with that.

Aroma is nice with elements of German and American wheat ale yeasts. A little banana and clove mixed with some spicy hops.

Flavor is good and clean, dry and crisp. It has ample hopping without turning into an extra pale wheat or something like Lagunitas would make. Good sweetness from the malt goes a long way to balance it out. At 6%, it's one of the stronger pale wheat beers out there, bridging the gap between hefe and saison or weizenbock.

Mouthfeel is smooth and balanced, an easy-drinking summer wheat ale.

Overall, this is definately a good version of the style. I'm not sure why the other reviewers don't see it that way. Maybe if they used wild yeasts, barrel aged it, and made it 12% ABV it would score higher.

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Photo of biegaman
3.54/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Solace is a wonderful thing, but it's an ugly looking beer that apparently takes the colour and form of pineapple juice. It looks thick as an oatmeal gruel. The complexion is dulled and turbid, muffing both highlights and clarity. Its head is missing a few key pieces and is suspiciously shoddy were wheat is concerned. (Usually that makes for better retention.)

The aroma indeed smells like an unfiltered, unpasteurized wheat beer - it has a field-like scent of fresh cut grain (and a bit of hay-like must too). Fruity esters are stirring and notes of rotting apple and other assorted, over-ripened tree fruits register (whether from the alcohol or yeast or shelf-life, who can be sure?). Surprisingly, banana is noted as well.

I suppose the trace of pungent hop flavour and extra notch of alcohol technically qualify this as American wheat beer - not to mention, the fact that it's actually brewed in the United States! - but the notable presence of banana flavour, the almost creamy wheat flavour, the herbal qualities and the slight bubblegum taste all point to a German hefeweizen.

And a mellow, but faintly zesty acidity settles it. Drinking this I see black, red and yellow, not stars and stripes. I'm not exactly swept away to Bavaria, however, as this would pair unfavorably against most commercial German examples. It's a little too heavy, with a spiciness that is somewhat of a nuisance, and it's in need of a few more bubbles.

I don't know that Firestone Walker could release any brand of ordinary-style beer that would come anywhere close to matching the ratings of their limited, higher gravity offerings. Still, Solace is a terribly disappointing offering from a brewery capable of not only complex blended beers, but great conventional brands like Union Jack and Double Barrel as well.

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Photo of azdback
3.26/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Boston Lager glass. Bright, but cloudy orange color. Lots and lots of tiny carbonation bubbles lead to a strong two finger head, that is creamy and bright white. Lace sticks in a nice ring pattern.

Smell is very soggy bread. Lots of yeast smells an not much more.

The taste is pretty much on the same lines as the nose. Lots of belgium yeast flavors. Tons of earth and lemongrass, maybe even hay notes, and very sweet. Not my cup of beer!!

Mouth is fairly fresh and refreshing (if you can ignore the flavor). I think if this was my style I might enjoy many of these on a warm day.

Overall I did not like this. I generally don't like wheats or Hefe's. So for me to not like this is pretty on par. For the style I must say it stayed musty and earthy. This was a bit sweet though.

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Photo of dcook11
4.23/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a two finger white head into the pint glass that dissapears within 20 secounds. High carbonation. No lacing. The color of the beer is dark yellow or very light orange. Pale and hazy because of the yeast.

S- Over ripe bananas, clove, spice, cotton candy, and a touch of hops.

T- Over ripe bananas spice, and a touch of hops.

M- Light to medium bodied.

O- Great summer beer! Refreshing!

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Photo of ifnkovhg
4.35/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was a pleasant surprise. Cloudy, orange color. Not much head upon pouring, but it lasts. The label didn't give any indication, but I was expecting an APWA based on its "craftily unfiltered" tag.

I'm not nearly as learned as most, I'd bet, but this reminded me more of a saison ala Great Divide's Colette. Somewhere between juicy and semi-dry, this is beer has a smooth, semi-full mouthfeel, with spicy and fruity notes. I'm getting a flashback from my cider days in Edinburgh.There's also yeast, of course. Carbonation is assertive. Definitely worth a try!

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Photo of unseenbyyou
3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had to get a six pack for $8 at Trader Joe's. Had this last year and was unimpressed, but perhaps it is going to be better. (Nah...but still better than BMC)

Appearance: some head, limited carbonation, a nice opaque yellow, with minimal lacing

Smell: bananas, wheat, some sweet spices

Taste: a tad spicy at the end, wheaty, some citrus, but not tangy (might be improved with a piece of orange!)

mouthfeel: eh...the weakest part of the beer...leaves an average impression on the tongue...not impressed

Firestone Walker does so much great...but maybe they need to revamp the recipe for Solace to really drive sales on this one.

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Photo of dgilks
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy, pale gold colour with a small, shortlasted white head. Fine.

Clear, orangey, witbier yeast. Nice balance. Soft. Slightly frainy.

A touch sweet. Wheaty. Mld fruitiness. A decent witbeir but not as good as the aroma.

Meidum body with moderate carbonation. Decent.

A solid if unexceptional witbier. Fine.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.24/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into DFH shaped pint glass.

A: Pours a slightly hazy glowing honey color with a very thin short lived white head that disappeared into a faint collar that didn’t leave any lacing.
S: Sweet notes of overly ripened banana and a hint of wheat.
T: Not as sweet as the nose but the flavor is still overwhelmed by creamy bananas. There is a good dose of spices in the mix too, and the aftertaste has a dash of lemon and orange zest mixed in.
M: Medium body, fizzy carbonation and a tingly, almost sharp, mouthfeel.
O: The flavor was decent enough but the carbonation was distracting. I would drink this again if it were there but I don’t think I’d spend any money on it.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.53/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rather dark appearance, almost orange for a wheat beer, cool. Definitely unfiltered. Aroma was largely summer-esque, i.e. wheat and lemon.

Good dry mouthfeel, wheat % definitely noticeable, almost rye like quality as well. Solid hop bitterness is present. Not up to the level of Sumpin or Gumballhead, but its in the next tier for sure. A little bit of that spice and yeast leans a little to Belgo for me. Not overpowering clove and banana, but more than desireable. Stays light bodied throughout without sacrificing full flavor.

Good, wouldn't turn it down, but there are more interesting summer offerings.

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Photo of bbb099
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Slightly cloudy pale golden color. Bubbly and a fair amount of head. Very appealing on a hot summer day.

S - Mellow citrus, coriander, and malt aroma.

T - Banana, lime, yeast and other spices. Flavors aren't strong, but they're there. Tasted a lot better when it was ice cold. Left a medicine-like aftertaste when it warmed up a bit.

M - Bubbly and light, which is to be expected.

O - Very drinkable and a decent summer beer overall. Probably would not go well with food.

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Photo of cb462
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy goldenrod, with a 1/2" fluffy white head. Decent lacing.

S: Clove and coriander, banana, and just a tad of lemon peel.

T: Sweet banana and clove again, almost saison-ish without the Belgian yeast characteristic. A little too sweet.

M: Light and crisp, fairly refreshing. Carbonation is high.

O: Overall, a decent beer. It kind of reminds me of a Belgian farmhouse ale, but not completely there. It is a little sweet for my liking, and the taste just makes me want to have a nice saison.

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Photo of Phelps
2.94/5  rDev -19%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Enjoyed from the tap into a small tasting glass.

Cloudy sunflower yellow, hazy enough to obscure most everything behind — which makes sense, since this stuff is “craftily unfiltered.” A frothy, sticky, glorious one-inch head of egg shell diminishes slowly, leaving lines of sticky lace gripping the walls. Lots of beautiful spatter.

Wheat, hints of lemon peel and coriander in the nose are nice, but they’re all behind a soapy character that's hard to get away from.

The flavor has rid itself of soap, thankfully. Here we have oodles of wheat, a bit of pear, orange peel, coriander spice and a hint of banana. I’d rank this somewhere between a Belgian wit and an American pale wheat ale.

Light, massaging bubbles amidst a velvety medium body with nice, soft smoothness. It’s a little heavy for the style, but the finish is drying and clean.

I’m not finding solace in Solace. The flavors aren't bad, but there are better, more refreshing wheats out there.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 5/17/11
*From notes

A BIG thanks goes out to pastradul for including this as an extra in our recent trade. Cheers, Paul!

A: It's cloudy straw yellow, with a splash of graham cracker crumble to it. A good pour creates a two finger head and reasonable lacing.

S: Citrusy hops, a drop of liquid smoke and Bananas Foster.

T: Nila Wafers and hints of charcoal smoke. The banana essence barrels through, and with a touch of drizzled caramel, finsihes this one off.

M: A bit too fluffy and bubbly, it feels much lighter then I'd want for a Wheat. Considering this is a summer seasonal, I can understand why it drinks as it does; you don't want anything too cloying on a 99 degree day.

O: Though I'm not a fan of the style, Firestone's Solace is a nice little beer. The ability to showcase more then the banana profile really made this one worth returning to sip after sip. Yet another drinkable brew from Firestone-Walker.

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Photo of illidurit
3.38/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy gold pour with a wispy white head. Aroma is sweet and fruit-salady, mainly banana with a candied citrus note. Smooth wheaty palate with a refreshing citric twang and the odd watermelon seed note. Drinkable and quenching, maybe a bit on the watery side. A nice warm-weather beer.

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Photo of benclimbs
3.22/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours very light with zero head and a slight bit of lacing...

smell is nice, all yeasty and wheaty with some spice and fruit...pleasant for the style

taste is ok, a little yeasty...some spice, some bananas and some wierd sweet skunk...very sweet in fact.

feel is a bit on the light side

overall this is a nice beer, very drinkable but a bit too sweet

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Photo of notchucknorris
2.85/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Looks good. Very hazy orange/brown color that seems to glow in the glass. Reminded me of Sanctification a bit looks-wise.

S: Characteristic hef yeast, banana, some sort of melon which I eventually thought was cantaloupe and some honey.

T: And here's where it goes wrong for me. Starts with wheaty/hef taste and then goes to a creamy finish with some orange, honey and spice. The problem is that it's way over-carbonated. The flavors are subtle and it feels like this beer would have a lot to offer if the carbonation didn't blast all the flavor off your tongue. So much potential but not that great in the end.

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Photo of dbmernin83
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

In the upper echelon of wheat beers with Sierra Nevada Kellerweisse and Bell's Oberon. A spicy, yeasty brew with soft complimenting fruitiness and slight hops for balance. Thank you Firestone for showing the public that wheat beers can be interesting. I will definitely return to this during the hotter months.

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Photo of veinless
3.93/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice clear tan yellow/gold with a decent amount of white foamy head that dissipated quickly and left a little bit of lacing.

Smells of tropical fruit, namely jackfruit, wheaty malt, and a light aroma of banana.

Taste has a lot of banana and tropical fruity flavors, though not jackfruit in the taste. Very rich tasting beer, full bodied and creamy in texture, which is delicious. Hops and citrus help keep this beer from being too creamy. The clove and other spices are evident as the beer is swallowed.

Carbonation produces a light tingle when first sipped, but isn't really present otherwise. Highly drinkable beer, as the finish is crisped by the hops that are there. Well balanced, tasty wheat beer.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.17/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #40 (May 2010):

Rather taking a well-traveled path, Firestone Walker is paving a new one by overlapping beer styles. Part German Wheat and part Saison, which is great as standard summer Wheats are aplenty these days. Typical hazed orange color with good head retention, check. The aroma beats expectations with well-rounded malt, floral hops and a mild, yeasty nutti- ness. Very smooth, with a fluffy, moderate-size body. Lots of malt to go around; toasty and malty with a quick kiss of sweetness. Hops lay down a balancing bitterness while the yeast and acidulated malt provide a refreshing twang in the drying finish.

Why just a summer seasonal? The brewer surely knows this rivals many of the well- known Wheat Ales. Firestone raises the bar for Wheat Ales everywhere.

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Solace from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.63 out of 5 based on 511 ratings.
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