Fire Rock Pale Ale | Kona Brewing Co.

671 Reviews
Fire Rock Pale AleFire Rock Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Kona Brewing Co.
Hawaii, United States

Style: American Pale Ale (APA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Fire Rock Pale Ale is crisp, refreshing “Hawaiian-style” pale ale. Its signature copper color results from the unique blend of specialty roasted malts. The pronounced citrus-floral hop aroma comes from the liberal amounts of Galena, Cascade & Mt.Hood hops added to each brew.

35 IBU

Added by xlperro on 08-30-2002

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Reviews: 671 | Ratings: 2,338
Photo of Sammy
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad beer, though not an outstanding pale
Galena, Cascade & Mt. Hood hops. Not so familiar with Galena.
Big carbonation was a bit much, but still getting the hops, they did not skimp, and a tad of fruitiness. This would be interesting on cask. Fruity colour with moderate off-white head. Drinkable stuff.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: half finger head on a crimson with golden hues body. poor head retention.

S: pretty light on the nose with hops being scarce and mostly malts.

T: the hops are weak and provide mostly and floral note. This one is pretty malty with a subtle bitterness throughout.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: under hoped even by an APA standard.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Schooners Patio Grille in Santa Clarita, CA.

Pours a hazy brown with a 1 inch off-white head that fades to a film on the top of the beer. Thin foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of bread/biscuit-like malt and some subdued hop aromas. Taste is of citrus zest and floral hops up front with a solid malt backbone. Mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good pale ale with a nice balance between the malt and hops in the taste.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.38/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a nice looking golden yellow color. The head was fluffy and white. The lacing is decent but nothing too great. The smell of the beer had a good amount of hops and malts. The taste was nicely balanced. The malts were sweet and the hops were lightly citrusy. The mouthfeel was crisp, clean and refreshing. Overall this beer is pretty good. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of metter98
3.33/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear light copper in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin head that quickly faded away into delicate lacy patterns of bubbles on the surface.
S: The smell has light aromas of citrusy hops and toasted malts.
T: The taste has flavors of bready, caramel and toasted malts, which are accompanied by a slight amount of sweetness. A slight amount of bitterness is present in the finish.
M: It feels light-bodied and smooth on the palate with a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
D: This beer is quite easy to drink; I could easily have several of them in one sitting.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

New arrival at my beer store... my first, and probably only, Hawaiian beer.

Pours a cloudy copper color, small head to it, some lacing. Nothing crazy about the aroma, now time to taste. Light bodied and crisp, nice mouthfeel to it. For a pale ale it's definitely more malty than I expected, but finishes smooth. Pretty interesting taste to it.... could definitely tell it apart from a 100 other pale ale's. While not spectacular by any means, it's a solid refreshing ale that would be good on a nice warm, summer day.

Sixer for $7.49.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

In the bottle, I thought it went a bit 'flat' and thin too quickly. Tried it last night on tap and was quite impressed. The body stood up better throughout the durration of the glass. Creamy, bready, rich and full from start to finish. Caramel, toasted sweetness balances with spicy American hops, a tough of ginger and nutmeg. The head retention and carbonation remained consistently firm. A much better experience with this beer.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, procured at some grocery store stateside earlier this month. This is my first beer from the state of my conception! (I know, TMI...) Nice little Hawaiian language lesson under the cap: 'Kia'i ola', which apparently means 'lifeguard'.

This beer pours a clear, medium golden amber hue, with one finger of weakly puffy, bubbly, and soapy off-white head, which dissipates quickly, leaving a few decent layers of thin jungle vine lace around the glass.

It smells of biscuity, fruity, and slightly toasted caramel malt, muddled and indistinct savory spice, with some citrusy, floral, and earthy hop undertones. The taste is lightly roasted, crackery, and mildly sweet caramel malt, mixed citrus rind, a bit of herbal tincture, and more earthy, leafy, and dusty hops.

The carbonation is moderate in its fizzy and frothy manifestations, and generally unobtrusive, the body a so-so medium weight, and fairly smooth, a bit of tacky pithiness arising as it warms. It finishes off-dry, clean, and with a sort of ethereal airy essence.

Not a bad pale ale overall, more British session ale in style than anything, excepting the 6 points of booze, of course, none of which is at all evident. And given the mainland partnerships this brewery is involved in, I'm not entirely sure that this was even brewed on the Big Island, let alone the 50th state in the union.

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Photo of brentk56
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear light amber color with a modest head that leaves some lace shards around the pint glass

Smell: Grainy aroma with some citrusy notes

Taste: Starts out with a slightly fruity but doughy flavor that builds in herbal bitterness by mid-palate; after the swallow, there is a flash of citrus, but the malt remains prominent; the finish is slightly harsh with some mineral elements, but there remains a subtle underlying honey-like sweetness on the tip of the tongue

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Despite some of the harsh flavors, I rather like this beer and its peculiar complexities

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Photo of kojevergas
2.85/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into De Molen stemware in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly low.

A: Pours a one finger head of slight cream, fair thickness, and pretty good retention. Colour is a clear caramel.

Sm: Floral notes, hops, and light caramelized malt. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Quite hoppy, with some floral and caramel tones. Nothing special. Fairly bland for a pale ale, but has some flavour. It's balanced and built alright. Largely uninspired and boring.

Mf: Smooth and wet, roughly suiting the flavours. A touch too thin.

Dr: Quite drinkable, but also forgettable. Even fans of the style won't find this particularly appealing. I'd try it on draught, but Kona needs to step up their game if they want to really make good beer.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle: Poured a light copper color ale with a medium size foamy head with OK retention. Aroma of light dry hoppy notes with light cereal notes also discernable. Taste is dominated by dry cereal notes with light dry hoppy hops notes with faint residual sugar notes. Body is about average with good carbonation. Not bad but hops flavours are below par for the style.

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Photo of zeff80
3.62/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a copper/amber color with a foamy, off-white, one-finger head. It left a little lace.

S - It smelled of grass and malt.

T - It tasted of sweet roasted malt. It also had a nice spicy hop bite.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A light to medium-bodied beer.

D - A very nice APA. It is the best of the 3 Kona beers that I have tried.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.78/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a tulip. The color is a moderate orange-copper with a slight white head and not too much lacing. The nose brings some very, very mild hops along with some pale malt and light caramel. The taste pulls back so that the hops are nearly non-existent, not even to the level of a mild. Fairly light feel without really any bitterness. No off flavors and the malt is fairly nice, but not what I expect from an APA.

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Photo of nickfl
3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - poured with one finger of white foam on top of a slightly hazy, reddish-copper colored body. The head settlesrapidly and leaves light lace.

S - musty pine hops and some caramel malt.

T - sweet malt up front with some toasted notes. Caramel and herbal hops in the middle. Finishes with sweet, bready malt and more toasty caramel.

M - medium body, moderate carbonation, and a slightly sweety finish.

D - not bad, a bit heavy for the style with a darker malt profile than most pale ales.

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Photo of oberon
3.66/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

To my knowledge this is the first Hawaiian beer I have had,poured into a standard pint glass a clear lighter copper with a tight formed 1/2 white head that settled into a somewhat frothy mass.Very light aromas I did get a little spike of piney hop at bottle opening but it faded quickly to just a hint of tasted malt,very balanced pale here a big toasty cereal-like malt presence up front with a touch of caramel that melds into a piney-citric finish that lingers nicely.A balanced pale ale that is food friendly went well with a pizza with spicy sauce,not over the top flavor wise but very quaffable.

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Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, bottled on 12/3/2013. Pours lightly hazy golden orange color with a 2 finger fairly dense off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange zest, pear, light caramel, biscuit, honey, floral, grass, and herbal earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of hop and malt notes; with solid strength. Taste of grapefruit, lemon zest, orange zest, pear, biscuit, light caramel, honey, floral, grass, light pine, and herbal earthiness. Light earthy floral/pine bitterness; with lingering notes of grapefruit, orange/lemon zest, pear, biscuit, honey, light caramel, and floral earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance of citrus hops with malt sweetness; with good robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a smooth and moderately crisp mouthfeel that is good. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice pale ale. All around well balanced citrus hop and bready malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering.

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Photo of jlindros
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've been waiting to try Kona for a while now, and it finally made it to MA.

A: Pouring into my SA perfect pint glass with a healthy pour yields a very small head covering that fades quickly despite a huge number of bubbles rising from the etch in the bottom. Aside from the billion bubbles blocking the view, it's pretty clear with an auburn amber toasty orange brown color.

N: Mostly a slightly sweet malty toasted aroma. Some light English style bittering hops seem to caress the aroma along with a touch of some fruity American hops. The hops are very light on the nose though, but it has some nice subtle aromas.

T: Starts again with a malty kick, mostly some lighter malts, a little crystal, maybe Munich. A touch of toasty roasted sweetness in the malt category. Then comes the bitterness and some hop kick. A slight chewy and fruity American hop kick, with more English hop flavors. Slight pale malt flavors. A slight citrus flavor as well comes with the pale hop flavors.

M: Medium to lighter body with a little lower than expected carbonation.

F: Finishes slightly pale bitter, with a little citrus, acidity, and some more of those fruity hops. A slight sweetness that seems to stay but it also seems to dry off a bit with the pale bitterness. Despite all the nice flavor it also seems to have a nagging off flavor bitterness, some hop characteristic that I'm not really digging, or it seems more like a burnt malt bitter flavor that doesn't go well with a pale ale. I think the biggest problem is the trip over here from the brewery, which is quite a long trip, probably harsh on the beer. If I'm ever over there I'll def drop in to try some fresh.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kona's fresh, floral, and citrusy hops are evident in the nose as you admire its dark-gold/amber body and frothy "vanilla" head. The flavor is a bit more malty, however, but it's nicely balanced and has just the right amount of hop flavor to keep you interested. The bitterness is solid enough to balance its lightly bready malt, and it lingers a bit in the finish with a smattering of citrusy and floral hop flavors. Quite nice!

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Photo of chinchill
3.49/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lovely orange/golden with plenty of highlights when held to the light and an ample off-white head.

Aroma: rather mild with a character of an average but light Pale Ale: perhaps some English or Asian influence here.

T - a nice fruity and acceptably sweet taste but too sweet and insufficient hops to score well as a PA.

M - Medium-light body; good carbonation; very smooth

O - very pleasant and easy drinking, especially on a hot day. A fruity but low-hop PA.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 4/15/09 at Doherty's East Ave Irish Pub in Pawtucket, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden brown color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains caramelized malts, citrus and some hops.

T: The taste is decently balanced with sweet flavors of citrus and caramel up front, followed by a good hops presence. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a nice beer to drink for a while, but overall it's just an average pale ale.

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Photo of mactrail
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Amber color in the chalice. Some coarse foam but not a lot. Good nose of resin and pine. First sip is suprisingly good-- lots of flavor. Plenty of malt and some nice . Bitterness takes over the other flavors.

Aromatics are good. Each sip starts out promisingly, but I think it's just over-hopped with an unpleasant variety. I wish for a nicer creamy carbonation as well.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: Philly Beer Scene Tasting panel with Matt Falco at Victory Brewing Company, Downingtown, PA

I was privileged enough to be on the tasting panel for PBS Magazine, along with Bill Covaleski of Victory and Greg Ramirez of Exton Beverage. This was one of 21 beers we sampled during the session.

Poured a mostly clear copper color with a small white head. Aroma is simple: fair balance of pale malts and slightly citrusy hops. Again in the taste, decent balance of malts and hops up front, but the maltiness soon comes to dominate, leaving a bit of staleness in the finish. Medium body, and decent for the style.

FYI Kona comes from Portsmouth Brewery in New Hampshire, not Hawaii, contrary to popular belief.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, copper body capped by a small, white head.

Smell: Aroma of pale malts and fragrant citrus. Keepin' it simple at Kona. I like that.

Taste: Standard pale maltiness with a mild sweetness. Citrusy hops with a medium, balancing bitterness. Lingering bitterness to the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A good, albeit basic pale ale. I'm sure it'd be 100% better to be enjoying this beer in its home state.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Particulate-laden, medium orangish amber. I had this bottle stored on its side so I must have kicked up the yeast in the process of getting it into the glass. The head is rich cream in color with big rounded craters on top, has fairly good retention and deposits fat, broken rings of lace.

It smells like both American- and English-type hops are in use. I can pick out orange and grapefruit zesty notes as well as herbal, earthy ones. I have the exact same impression after tasting. The flavor is an Anglo-American mix that just has to be due to a combination of hops from those two countries.

The malt backbone is as solid as a (fire) rock. It's certainly more substantial than in most beer of this style. There's a fair amount of butterscotchy, caramel-like flavor to go along with the citric fruitiness of the hops. The finish is increasingly bitter and is on the lengthy side thanks to the medium-full APA body.

Fire Rock Pale Ale is malty, hoppy and just plain good. I'd love to drink it on-tap, as fresh as possible. Of course that would necessitate a trip to the islands, a sacrifice that I'd be willing to make for the good of my vocation.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.56/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the last time I stopped into I was shocked to see this one sitting on the shelves. I had heard we were getting Kona, I just did not think it was coming so soon. Poured this one into a pint glass straight out of the fridge and served it for dinner last night. A nice bright golden amber color with crystal clear clarity came out of the bottle. Lots of visible carbonation was apparent throughtout the session with chains of bubbes rippling up through the glass. A nice two inch hight pillow of white foam then came over the top and settled down qucikly leaving a bare centered crown in its wake. No appreciable side glass lace, but still a more the decent look to it.

The aroma was light with hints of light citrus, lemon mostly mixed in on top of a cereal grain filled base. Lots of whaeat and light earthy aromas blending in, but as it warmed a light hop presenced was dulled out way in the back, the aroma overall though was far too light to be really a knockout in any way. A nicel ight, crisp, and clean flavor was then produced. It was a classic light pale ale flavor, clean with a light wheat base, some light floral, citrus notes spprinkled through, orange, light lemon grass, especially in the finish. Great mouthfeel, with a carbonation that held thoughout the session. Easy drinkability as the flavors were light, crisp and clean, with almost no aftertaste. I could easily session this one over the course of a night.

Overall while not really spectacular, this was definitly a solid offering all around. There is no really I could not put down more then a few and this is not a bad offering for a BBQ or to get someone into craft beer a little bit more. I would go for this one again.

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Fire Rock Pale Ale from Kona Brewing Co.
3.62 out of 5 based on 2,338 ratings.
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