Fire Rock Pale Ale | Kona Brewing Co.

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664 Reviews
Fire Rock Pale AleFire Rock Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Kona Brewing Co.
Hawaii, United States | website

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: 664 | Ratings: 2,304
Photo of Ale_Dog
3.29/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Serving: bottle
Appearance: pale amber
Smell: nothing jumps out. Light biscuit
Taste: medium malt with lingering hop bitterness
Overall: solid beer. Can drink a few of these. No particular element jumps out and grabs you, but tasty just the same. Worth a try.

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Photo of Chaz
3.29/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant copper-golden in color, topped with a frothy, medium-tan head. Some chill haze. Head drops after a couple of minutes and leaves a fair amount of lacing -- so far, so good!

First thing I'll mention about the nose is that it is light on the C-hops (thankfully), so by my reckoning this is gonna be a rather "old-school" APA, and I can get down with that. Up front this one's very fruity; I get strawberry and green grapeskin, maybe some light honeydew melon... so I'd consider it to be a very approachable beer. Just a touch of a fairly familiar (but quite neutral) pale ale yeast strain on the end of the nose.

Sweet and fruity/juicy on the first sip, paired with a brisk and light-scrubbing of carbonation across the palate. Dry, biscuit malt character sneaks in toward the end of the drink, and a bittersweet dry character is indeed the lasting impression. Clean, dry finish.

On the lighter-bodied side but well-within the style parameters. Very good mouthfeel, and really in keeping with the overall character of this beer.

Overall, I'm trying not to be overly-critical of this beer, and I'm not failing at doing so. This one *does* hit all of the right notes for a beer in this style and would be on-par for an APA brewed by any professional setup of any size. But I look at some of the high marks this one gets and wonder if people aren't just amazed that A-B/I can produce a better than average APA on a very large scale?

No matter: This one is definitely (at least) average for the style, and probably better than average. Definitely worth a shot if you haven;t tried it yet, and it might even become a go-to for someone who hasn't yet written-off all of the beers brewed by CBA..

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Photo of Mora2000
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orange-amber color with a very small white head. The aroma has some orange and mango notes as well as some bread and biscuit malt. The flavor is orange citrus, as well as some flowery and perfume-like hops, mixed with biscuit malt. Low bitterness. The mouthfeel is about medium and the carbonation is pretty low. Decent.

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Photo of wesclaypool
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

a - Pours a dark caramel color with about a half inch of frothy-looking head.

s - Mostly malts coming through the smell; very weak scent of hops.

t - A sweet, malty taste with just a bit of bitterness towards the back. Hops are not overtly present.

m - Feels pretty light and sharp on the tongue.

d - Its not bad, but it doesn't really come across as a pale ale. Almost seems closer to an amber.

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Photo of Goliath
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a thin off-white head. Poor retention and no real lace.

Aroma has a nice gentle hoppiness. A little malt caramely sweetness as well.

The taste is alright. A gentle hop bitterness with a slight caramel sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a nice carbonation tingle.

Drinkability is moderate. Low alcohol and decent flavors make for easy consumption, but this beer becomes boring after a little while.

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Photo of tpd975
3.28/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a bright reddish-amber hue with a big foamy head. The head was quick to fall but left nice big thick spots of lace.

S: A nice mixture of sweet fruit and spicy hops. There is a bready malt backbone as well.

T: Good balance of hops and malt. Maybe a bit more malt than hops. Nice and bready with hints of hops.

M: Light and body with ample carbonation.

D: Pretty drinkable.

Overall: I am glad Kona has come to Florida, it's not the best APA for real hops heads but it is enjoyable nonetheless.

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Photo of HochFliegen
3.27/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Had this beer in Maui just a few days ago. I remember enjoying it there last year as well before I joined the BA. What a great excuse to try it I can make a review of it.

The beer has a darker look than the average pale. A slight amberish tint to it. The head was ok but quickly went away with no lacing. The smell was very strong of hoppy floralness. The taste was mild with a hint of hops and malt. Not overpowering at all. The mouthfeel was very small not much there. Over all an ok beer.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.26/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Opaque copper-toned amber with fluffy tan head of good retention. Aromas are weak, malty, almost caramelly, for the most part, but I do detect some small measure of grass, resin, and herbal or floral notes. Sweeter malts up front, quite tart throughout, lemony to nearly rindy toward the back, light pepper retro-olfaction. Medium body, sparse, gentle carbonation, on the smoother side.

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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 BrownNut
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is an utterly forgettable beer. There's nothing bad about it except that it's round and bland and nothingy. I like their Koko Brown and their Wailua Wheat but this is a generic beer and I'm surprised they call it a pale ale. They should just call it "ale". If it was the only beer on tap in a bar, you'd drink your pints and not think twice about it as you focused on talking to your friends. But the beer would not factor into your memory of the night at all. You know how sometimes you just want a beer while you watch tv or eat and don't want to think about it like you do with a potentially really good beer? Here you go. It's beer-flavored beer.

EDIT: Well now HOLD on. Roast chicken comes to the rescue of yet another beer. I mentioned that this was a beer to have while you eat, just a generic beery accompaniment that wouldn't distract, so that's what I did. Roast chicken and veg with pan sauce and this beer. Suddenly these other flavors come out. It was actually pretty tasty. Almost tasted like a pale ale. A little floral or fruity something going on. Some slightly sweet caramel. I'll give it an extra half point for that. And interestingly I had another after dinner and it was back to where it was before, nothing wrong but nothing interesting. I feel like trying all beers with roast chicken now. Try it!

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy yellow/ orange-ish color with a small white head. In the aroma, a small grapefruity, citrusy hop. In the taste, somewhat watery, and a small semi-dry grapefruity hop. A smooth and watery mouthfeel and a semi-dry maltiness in the aftetaste. Kinda watery, good aroma and color. OK pale, but nothing too exciting.

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

Pours out a rich amber color with a finger thick head that takes a good long time to melt, with lingering lacing. The smell says "HOPS!" with some hint of malt behind it. The taste doesn't quite deliver the promise of the smell, but is still pretty good for a pale ale. Nice crisp finish with a lingering of hops on the palate that makes you go back for more. Personally, my favorite pale ale is from another brewer, but would this stop me from getting this one again, or recommending it? Definitely not. Glad I bought a sixer so I can have more..

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Photo of SurferEric
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%

Fruit flavors followed by a distinct readiness, caramel, and malts. Good not great pale ale, but perhaps a bit jaded as I live on the islands and can pick this up fairly cheap.

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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 Dukeofearl
3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a medium golden-amber color, slightly hazy, with a 1/2 inch head that quickly settles, with no lacing. Aroma is of souor orange, with hop oil, very slight sweetness and pepper. The flavor is on the harsh side of bitter which is offset somewhat by creamyness and citrus. Balance seems a bit off. Relatively thin, watery mouthfeel, not as astringent as some.

Overall, this is a decent beer, and I have returned to it on several occassions, but is is not top of its class. I've had this both on tap and in bottle on several occasions (a love affair with the Hawaiian Islands, I guess!). There's not a lot of difference between the two; I think the tap version is a little more mellow, the edges not quite so hard.

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Photo of phisig137
3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- Bottled May 14, 2008. Pours a slightly hazy orange/deep amber color, with half a finger of head. Little retention, and fairly minimal lace.

S- Not a whole lot... A touch of citrusy hops, and some powdery malt. Quite tame.

T- Disappointing. A bit of crystal, and maybe caramel malt up front, but a very week citrus hop finish. You've got to dig for the flavor hops. Dry (not really bitter so much) finish, that is slightly metallic.

M- Fairly flat, below average carbonation, slightly slick.

D- Easy to drink quite a few of them. Very sessionable, because you surely won't be concentrating on the beer.

Overall, ho-hum. Nothing too much exciting going on here, but not too many flaws either. It could be worse, but it could be much better too. At only $7.50 for the sixer, it isn't a waste of money, but I won't be rushing back to it...

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Photo of MaxBrewell
3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured a hazy amber with a minimal off-white head. Lacing is non-existant.

S - Earthy malts, grassy with some floral hops.

T - Sweet malt up front slowly fades to a hoppy bitterness, carmel, toffee & butterscotch.

M - Medium bodied with average carbonation.

D - Very decent beer. A little sweet, and a little lacking in hops. A very nice malty pale ale.

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Photo of Toddv29424
3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden color with a moderate head. The taste is like no other Pale Ale that I've had. There is something really fruity about it, much like sweetened hops, or almost pinapple...which would work with the hawaiian connection. This puts the beer in a novelty category and away from other serious microbrews, but still it has a lot of character. This goes down really easy, but its still hard to enjoy more than one.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.23/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a somewhat cloudy orange with a thick white head. Aroma of stale wheat malt and slight fruits. Flavor of raisins, lots of malt. Rather malty for an American pale ale. Just ok for me, would have preferred some more hops in this.
6/4/7/3/13 (3.3/5)

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Photo of clark123456
3.22/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Kona Fire Rock Pale Ale:
A: Very light in color. Clear.

S: Hoppy, but I can't nail which hops.

T: Hops are very pronounced with some bitterness. The bitterness isn't overpowering. Not too much malt is coming through. Initially I picked up on a savory flavor, but as I continue to drink the savoriness is dissipating.

M: Average carbonation and it's mouth coating.

D: This beer is drinkable.

Overall: This beer is good and I'd drink it again.

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Photo of beerguy101
3.22/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Orange color. Medium head. Aroma is malty and floral. A medium bodied pale ale. Malts are fruity and mild. Hops are grapefruity. Mild flavored pale ale. Refreshing and drinkable. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and crisp. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of output01x
3.21/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. capped bottle (Born On DEC 20 11) into a pint glass.

A moderate pour yields a 1 1/2-finger cream-colored head that slowly fades to a thick coating and thick foam ring. The body is a clear copper amber with an amazing amount of carbonation bubbles coursing through nearly every available area of liquid. Thick lacing coats the glass in a never-ending blanket of white foam.

While this beer may not be the most aromatic, it is both balanced and enjoyable. Piney and citrusy hops aromas carry notes of tangerine and mandarin oranges. Light malts form a nice backbone with notes of caramel and graham crackers. A slight spiciness adds an extra layer to the nose.

Bitter, grassy hops are balanced by caramel malt. As the beer is swallowed, more grassy hops are met by citrus hops and more caramel and toffee malts flavors. As these fade, a slight bitterness clings to the tip of the tongue as a watery and dulled grassy hops flavor lingers on the rest of the tongue.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, this beer is creamy and easy-drinking. The body is smooth and drinkable but slightly watery in the finish. The carbonation is well hidden but could use a bit more strength during the swallow.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.21/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle picked up on Orlando. A Hawaiin beer in Floriday. Makes sense...I guess(?).

This has all the elements to be a good APA, but just lacks boldness and umph. Kinda' an APA light.
Light grassy hop aroma with little to no malt presence. Pretty simple and straight forward.
Amber of gold and brownish orange. Clear. Decent tannish head with some persistence.
Malt show greater presence in flavor and that's a good thing as it rounds this off nicely. The malt is quite sweet up front, almost like honey and a really sweet fruit. It's brief. Hops then until finish with mild dryness and mild astringency. Again pretty simple hop character that's not unpleasant, just not complex. Plus the flavor of the bitterness isn't always that enjoyable. There seems to be some inconsistency between bottles.
Average feel with some softness of carbonation. About as it should be.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.21/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a clear gold with a 1 finger head of foam. Good head retention and a little bit of lacing.

The smell is a mix of grassy hops and sweet malt.

The taste starts of with some caramel malt and it turns toward a bitterness from the hops but I'm not getting anything really flavourable from the hops; I think they are there just to add the bitterness and try to balance the malt.

To be fair, I popped the cap on this bottle while it was still iced cold from the liquor store. I'm going to let it warm up some and continue from there.

Well, after letting it warm up, nothing much has changed. I'd call this one a good entry level Pale Ale but, at least for me, it doesn't have the flavours that I look for in the style.

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Coppery golden in color with minimal amount of off-white head.
Aroma of lightly roasted malt and citrusy hops.

Taste: Decent roasted malt backbone with a hop bite that's respectable, but mild for a pale ale. My major issue with this beer is that something is off. There is an astringent, medicinal, bitter character that's overwhelming the good aspects of this beer. It's prominent on the sides of the tongue, but seems to be on the back of the tongue as well.

Mouthfeel is good minus the excessive astringency.
Drinkability obviously suffers due to what I am perceiving as an off-flavor.
I'm curious if this beer is better on tap, but I'd pass on a 2nd offering in the bottle although there seems to be a decent beer lurking underneath.

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Fire Rock Pale Ale from Kona Brewing Co.
82 out of 100 based on 664 ratings.
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