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Fire Rock Pale Ale | Kona Brewing Co.

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668 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 668 | Ratings: 2,317
Photo of BeerBelcher
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a dark amber with a minimal head. Served far, far too cold by the horrible establishment I drank it in. Even so, aroma was still demonstrably bitter and slightly sweet without being very fruity or citrus-y. Taste was definitely bitter, but not in a really fun or unique way. Mouthfeel was fine. I thought that this was OK and far better than the alternatives presented to me. In the same circumstances (limited selection) I'd no doubt have it again, but with a wider selection, no way.

I had this at "Cheeseburger - Las Vegas," which is definitely not Cheeseburger paradise. Beer list was all Anheuser-Busch distributed beers, which includes the Kona beers. Beer was OK, service was OK, food was lousy and overpriced, with some severely unpleasant and detrimental effects later.

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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 beertaster13
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nice dark orange/copper color with a dissapointing head that dissapates quickly. The smell is dry and full of citrus flavor, hint of nuts as well. Maybe dried apricots as well. The taste a little to bland, not enough kick, mild hop bitterness and a little to sweet for my tongue. The almond aftertaste is present, lemon citrus flavor brings up the rear ever so slightly. A light/medium bodied pale ale, an average beer but plenty of better pale ale's out there, maybe the beer to introduce others to the world of beers. I would rate this the starter beer for new beer advocates.

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

Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a light amber color with about a half-inch of light tan head that had decent retention but no lacing.

The aroma was an unremarkable blend of malt and hops, with no particular highs or lows. The flavor was the same, not terrible but not notable either. The body and drinkability were both typical for the style. Overall, this a typical example of this style, you can do better, but it's Ok for a Plan B beer.

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Photo of treehugger02010
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this on-tap at The Blue Seats in New York City, New York.
Appearance: A deep but transparent amber color, toped with a small light tan head having decent retention.
Smell: Caramel malt and citrus hops.
Taste: Predominately the caramel maltyness is what came through, but it was a bit watery.
Mouthfeel: Thin.
Drinkability: Ok, but not great.
Don't drink and review.

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Photo of bboven
3.04/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is dark copper leading towards amber with no signs of head or lacing. Clear.

Aroma is earthy, piney hops, maybe simcoe, balanced quite nicely with a bready malt backbone.

The flavor is nice and hoppy, with a tiny sweet malt note, but about halfway through it gets very harsh, tannin-like, and a little tinny towards the end. Not the greatest lasting impression.

Mouthfeel is a bit too highly carbonated, but average for a bottle in this style.

I wouldn't buy it again, but I'd get it on tap if it were the best available. Too many other fantastic choices out there for this one to rise to the top.

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Photo of jdubjacket
3.05/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

New neighbor from across the street brought a six-pack of these over the other night. Poured an amber color with very little head and almost no lacing. Smell had a slightly metallic tint with some...musky bread...? Taste is pretty unremarkable... some bready and malt taste. Almost no hops prominent, which is surprising for a pale ale. Watered down mouthfeel. Not a very good pale ale.

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Photo of jmasher85
3.06/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

If "Hawaiian-Style" means bland and uninspired, then I've been getting the wrong impression from all those episodes of Hawaii Five-0. No car chases, no sunsets, no pizazz, no exotic bird thieves, no lacing, little color, thin body; just a light, simple, neutrally flavored, ever-so-slightly bitter and mineralic pale ale. On the one hand, this would be a perfectly fine beer for throwing back on the beach, and I do like the label a lot. It's also a good way to tick off Hawaii on your 50-states challenge, if you have one. On the other hand, who needs it?

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Photo of ToasterChef
3.06/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed from my notes.

The beer is translucent and colored a mixture of copper, orange and rust. Head head is large, tan, and made up of small bubbles. There is a little bit of lacing and some rising carbonation.

There are some candied malts and a few hops in the aroma.

The taste has some brown sugar sweetness from the malts. A little hop bitterness is in the finish. There is also a buttery or vinegar-like quality to the finish. It is a fine yet unremarkable flavor.

The beer has a light body and lots of carbonation. There isn't much coating, but I can still feel the effects of the carbonation bubbles on my tongue after I've swallowed.

This beer has average drinkability. Too much carbonation and an odd aftertaste limit it. I wouldn't purchase this beer in a six pack, but depending on my choices, I may order a pint in a bar.

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Photo of CrellMoset
3.06/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle provided at a friend at a performance by the Ash-Lawn Opera Company at Ash-Lawn Highland in Charlottesville, VA. Wonderful day for a beer!

Appearance: Nice copper penny body with one-finger of white head on top. Carbonation is slow but steady.

Aroma: Leafy, citrusy hops - an earthy, herbal zest - but mostly lots of strong, buttery, biscuity malt. A little too buttery and malty, but that's a matter of opinion.

Taste: Similar to the nose, and a little one-dimensional in my opinion. It's very sweet and very buttery, slightly roasted, and there's some vegetal leafiness around the perimeter. Not what I look for in a pale ale.

Mouthfeel: Thin and watery, with a small head/body in the mouth, but what is there is even.

Drinkabililty: Total is a little less than the sum of the parts here - this one sort of wore on me after a while, and it's a little too sweet/buttery to be too drinkable, in my opinion.

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Photo of oggg
3.07/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

So I hear this bottled version of Fire Rock is contract brewed by Widmer in Oregon.

Color is about right. Copper and clear. My whole six pack is undercarbonated and virtually flat. Head is minimal.

Aroma is sweet caramel.

The beer goes down as a flat syrup. Hops are a bit player. I wait for the biscuity malt to surge, but the wave never comes. Every once in a while I'll imagine some breadiness towards the end. Finish is syrupy.

It's just a travesty that the tap version is so good and the bottles suck.

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Photo of huxcrunner
3.08/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this beer is you pretty average pale ale, it had good body to it. It was a little dry and bitter tasting but overall this was not a bad choice. It had good color to it with about a fingers worth of white head and alright lacing. This is one that im glad i tried but there are other that i would prefer over this beer

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Photo of jameaterblues
3.08/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

From Notes.
A- Rich dark amber, orangish tint....minimal head that is just on the surface of the beer. thin watery lace.
S-Hops cascade among others....light citrus and spice.
T- Much more to it than expected, but mostly hops....all throughout the body...not balanced very well....bitterness, and citrus not a whole lot more.
M/D- Medium boded, bitter, light carbonation....I don't know what I was expecting...maybe something a little more exotic being from Hawaii...I feel like the tried to take the notch up one more on the classic american pale, but something did not quite work.

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Photo of jnezda
3.08/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beer for breakfast anyone? I was in the DFW airport heading off to the west coast for some hiking and trying to get over a slight cold so thought I would stop in at Blue Mesa for some spicy tacos and a beer. They have just recently added Kona Fire Rock to the taps so I thought I would give it a whirl.

As a complement to tacos this beer could does not work out so well. Virtually no head, which I will chalk up to the establishment, light amber in color and slightly cloudy. The color was a little misleading since it was much darker than I expected for a pale ale. The smell had strong hints of fruit, berries mostly and would seem more fitting for a amber ale than for a pale. The taste was the same with hints of fruit and a clean and otherwise forgettable finish. Slightly bready with a full mouthfeel but all in all I was expecting a bit more with a name like fire rock. For a breakfast beer this would have gone better with fruit pancakes than tacos. This was my first Kona beer and is not leaving me longing to try the others.

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Photo of hawks10
3.09/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into my Bell's pint glass...

Pours a nice clear copper color with two fingers of soft off white head which leaves some lacing and takes a while to dissipate...

Smells of abundant toffee and caramel malts, no trace of hops...not very nice...

Again, abundance of caramel and bready/toffee malt, tastes like an ESB minus the B...not bitterness, no balance, not my cup of tea...

Medium bodied with good carbonation, crisp and clean, refreshing, but would be much better with a balanced taste...

Still within the expected freshness period, but tastes like all the hops are gone, or maybe they were never there...

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Photo of scooter231
3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amberish color, thin, not too much head, and very little lacing. Looks like a pale ale. Smells sweet and malty with a light grassy hops smell. Nothing exciting, but a nice nose.

Taste is not very different from the smell- malty, hoppy, grassy, light light light grapefruit citrus flavor. Mouthfeel is a little thin, a little watery. Fairly drinkable, especially on a hot day. A simple, solid pale ale. Nothing terribly noteworthy, but not bad at all.

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Photo of dogfishandi
3.11/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle at fridge temp poured into an imperial pint glass. 6% ABV according to label. bottled on JUN 7, 2011 (about 2 months old). label looks like a hollister ad.

pours out a nice orange copper color with a 1-2 finger white head that faded to a thick retentive layer. some light spotty lace. fairly clear body, just the slightest bit cloudy.

the initial aroma is very metallic. behind that there is some strange fruity smell i dont quite have a name for, apricot?, and hints of grainy, caramel malt.

a lot of the same in the taste. quite metallic, wierd off fruity apricot, a little citrus hop balanced by a grainy, biscuity malt. finishes fairly bitter like your standard pale ale.

lighter side of medium bodied, decent feeling carbonation. slightly resinous.

very metallic and too many off flavors here to make this enjoyable. behind all of this, i can taste a decent pale ale. not something i would ever come back to or recommend.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.11/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a three finger cream head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Clear amber color. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Hoppy nose. Flavor is citrus hops, little sweetness and a light bitter finish. Reasonable pale. Bottled on May 6, 2009. $1.75 for a 12oz bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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Photo of tigg924
3.12/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: orange-brown in color, clear, 1/3 inch head, medium carbonation

Smell: citrusy hops and malt

Taste: toasted malt,citrusy hops, and a bit of sugar or sweet fruit towards the end

Mouthfeel: bitter start that gets less bitter towards the finish. medium body, moderate carbonation

Drinkability: This is an average inoffensive pale ale. I like how the ending gets sweeter, but otherwise, nothing jumps out.

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Photo of Foyle
3.12/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: 3/4" off white head recedes slowly, significant lacing, copper color with moderate carbonation
Aroma: significant malt presence, caramel, bread, some citrus hop aroma
Mouthfeel: medium bodied and sticky. Semi dry finish.
Flavor: very malt forward. Reminds me more of a scotch style ale than a traditional pale ale. nicely balanced between sweet caramel and bready malt combined with a noticeable citrus and earthy hop presence.
Overall: this is a very nice beer and I recommend it. Although it is session-able at 5.9% abv, it is also rather filling (nearly 180 calories in 12 oz serving).

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Photo of BigIrishman
3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours light amber, not much head and little lacing.

Smell: Maybe a bit of a grassy spicy hop note, not a lot though. Mostly smell sweet pale malts here.

Taste: Not too much in terms of hop flavor, maybe citrus or a cut grass but it's not too powerful. The caramelish/buttery malt sticks out and it finishes with a little tingle and the tongue (like it's trying to have a SNPA bitterness but never really gets there).

Mouthfeel: Drying and fairly clean and light.

Drinkability: This is probably one of the only times I'll grab the lager over the pale. The flavor was kind of all over the place and lacked any real direction. Not hoppy, but not smoothly balanced...so what is it? Not sure but at least it's fairly non offensive.

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Photo of Ragingbull
3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reddish color with lacing and a rim of foam. Mild hops and gentle malt hints coming off the nose. The attack is gently hoppy and there are some flavors of the grains swirling around with a malty backdrop. There seems to be some irish moss or peat flavor kicking around there as well, especially in the aftertaste. I must admit this was better than I expected. I have recently been seeing the Kona stuff at various places around the country and I was afraid it was going to be some mass produced swill that was capitalizing on the fact it was from Hawai'i. This wasn't the case and I am glad I finally purchased some to try.

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Photo of iSip
3.13/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Kona Fire Rock Pale Ale: Why drink beer brewed in Hawaii when you live in Colorado? Good question with no answer. The Fire Rock, once in the glass has a burnt copper color which is translucent, thin white head that fades and just a whiff of aroma. The flavor is mostly roasted malt, with not much hop or bitter coming through. Hops must be expensive in Hawaii! Anyway, the Fire Rock is an easy drinking ale. My tastes would prefer some more hops and complexity.

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Photo of mikefuski17
3.14/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

I had Kona Fire Rock a few months back at a wedding. It was on tap. I saw the bottle and had to grab it.

A. Fire rock has a lovely dark gold almost a copper hue and is slightly opaque. The was a nice creamy off white head for a few seconds then disappeared. Lacing does not stick around either.

S. There was not any distinct scent from this beer. You get an ever so slight tough of roasted malts.

T. Taste is very light and easy. It has a malty touch but not a lot. Very simple beer yet pretty delicious. Nice summer evening beer.

M. Very soft on the palette. Not much carbonation and not full. Very easy on the taste buds and does not coat.

O. I enjoy the simplicity of the beer. After a hard days work you can kick back to a kona and not have to think about it too much. Just a nice relaxing beer.

Served in a pint glass.

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Photo of KevinSku
3.14/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Has something about it's aftertaste that even after drinking primarily IPA's my entire drinking career, tasted bitter in an off putting way. Almost as if the fire rock in the name is really an ashed cigarette.
Despite the aftertaste, the pour is smooth, and the taste tastes good if you don't count the last ten percent of a sip.
I'll get the Liquid Aloha again, but not if there's other Kona varieties available.

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Fire Rock Pale Ale from Kona Brewing Co.
3.62 out of 5 based on 2,317 ratings.
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