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Fire Rock Pale Ale | Kona Brewing Co.

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669 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: 669 | Ratings: 2,323
Photo of wahhmaster
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Guinness-branded pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a golden-amber color with a tight head that lingers for a bit leaving spotty lacing.

Smell: Strongly hopped with a hint of malts; like a pale ale should smell.

Taste: Hops, hops, and more hops. This is a hoppy pale ale. A little bit of malty sweetness comes out but hops is definitely the dominant flavor here.

Mouthfeel: Bready and a little chewy. Could do with a little less carbonation, but otherwise great.

Drinkability: A surprisingly good pale ale. I honestly picked up this beer just because it was from Hawaii not really expecting much. However, it turned out to be a great brew and one I would highly recommend.

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Photo of uustal
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy amber, more on the yellowish side with a small white head. Quickly goes away. Hops in the nose, some citrus and pine notes, nothing really standing out. Starts with a bit oily pine bitterness before a sweet fruity middle. Mosty orange with a hint of grapefruit and lemon zest. A modest caramel sweet malt background before another little kick of pine hops for a semi-bitter finish.

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Photo of vtfan77
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Light gold with an orange tinge. A modest head forms upon pouring and quickly dissipates into a persistent ring of lace.

S- Nice and hoppy with a solid malt backbone. A caramelly sweetness frames the citrusy hops nicely.

T- The solid malt profile carries through into the taste. Nice balance between the hops and the malt. A mineral taste is evident as well. The bitterness on the finish is fairly mild, but definitely present.

M- The medium-thin body works well with the active carbonation to give this beer a crisp, refreshing feel.

D- Pretty high. The alcohol is a little too high to make it a session beer, but otherwise, it's quite drinkable. I'd have a couple in a sitting no problem.

This is a quality pale ale. It's flavorful and refreshing, and overall just a solid beer. It perhaps falls just a notch below SNPA (the benchmark for the style), but it's not too far behind. I'd consider getting it again, especially to have on a warm day. Recommended.

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Photo of cvstrickland
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12-ounce bottle with a packaged-on date printed on the neck, poured into a shaker pint glass yields a clear burnished copper body capped with a nice thick finger of pale ecru foam with ivory highlights. The head retains for a while before receding to a sheet and leaves consistent rings of lacing on the glass.

Smell is nice and toasty with some succulently sweet malty notes and a touch of vanilla.

Taste is soft and malty with simple-syrupy caramel right up front checked with a toasty, nutty, dry malt note for balance. A dark and burnt flavor (maybe lava engulfing a coconut grove?) brings a smoky bitterness to an otherwise very clean finish.

The drink is medium-bodied and juicy. Drinkability is superb and though the flavors are all mild, the beer stands up well to stronger tastes. I had mine with a somewhat oily, spicy garlic-olive tapenade on slices of toasted baguette, and the beer matched just perfectly.

Cracking another. Aloha!

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Photo of hopphead31415
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I love how the style of this brewer is to incorporate the fruits common in places like Hawaii. This variety is a pale ale weighing in at 6.0% ABV.

Look-It pours a crystal clear amber copper with large carbonation bubbles sticking to the glass. The head disappears shortly, but leaves a little bit of fine lacing on the glass.

Smell-It smells of fruity malts with a tinge of citrus-floral hops.

Taste-This pale ale deserves the name since it is a malt forward brew with only a little bitterness. I taste pineapple, lemon, and roasted grains, with a floral and citrus hop flavor.

Mouthfeel-It is smooth and crisp as well as moist. It is medium-bodied but on the lighter side I would say, but then again I am a hop head. It has an oily feel also and a slightly dry finish.

Overall-I would say that this beer is refreshing and complex, but some of the fruits don’t come out clearly enough. I remember their Castaway IPA and I tasted very clearly a plethora of traditional Hawaiian fruits. Nice beer though!

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Photo of TheMarkE
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Beautiful shade of amber. Decent foam that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Toasted malts, floral hops, hints of citrus.

Taste: Toasted malts, citrus, caramel, floral. Hints of spice.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, creamy, slight bitter hop aftertaste.

The Verdict: Good beer. Very well balanced and moderately complex. My first exposure to Kona left me underwhelmed, but I'm beginning to become a fan. Considering that they are partially owned by Anheuser-Busch, (along with their sister brewery Widmer Brothers) they continue to crank out some pretty good stuff.

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Photo of canucklehead
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a well crafted beer that shows moderate hops and a good balance. Nothing huge in the flavour department but instead an easy drinking beer that tastes great in a hot climate. I like the interesting esters in the Mehana Pale Ale but this beer is more true to form.

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Photo of edbeer
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this for the first time at East Ave Cafe in Pawtucket RI. I was amazed at the overall balance of this beer. I can't mention one particularly good thing about this beer because it was so well balanced. The head was medium sized and lasted for a while. There was a pleasing amount of maltiness with a little caramel and the hops were light but present. Maybe a little under-hopped for some but well within the style guidelines. Overall a very tasty beer.

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Photo of olmatty
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours a huge, billowy off-white head with excellent retention and lacing, beer is a golden amber

Smell- Pale amber malts and hoppy nose

Taste- Biscuity malts and middling hops that take their time unfurling a touch of citrus and pine. Complex and balanced.

Mouthfeel- Moderately carbonated and smooth.

Drinkability- Enough body and flavor to be interesting, light enough to session.

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Photo of camp0474
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from 1/28/11

Fresh in Hawaii

A: Pours a nice copper orange color with nice off-white head. Good head retention.

S: Faint bready and caramel malts with some mellow citrusy hops. Not too much there but good.

T: Balanced bready and sweet caramel malt with mellow citrus. These hops more of just bitterness and not an overpowering flavor. Hops give a slight citrus bite with some herbal flavors. Quite balanced. Finishes with a slight mellow bitterness and light toasted flavor.

M: Medium body with good carbonation. Smooth with a crispy carbonation bite. Light hop oils linger.

D: Well balanced and pretty tasty. Definitely could be a session beer.

Have to realize this is a Pale Ale with mellow hops, not an IPA with a super hoppy character. Well balanced and more of a mellow session beer. Overall solid beer.

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

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VII:

So what makes this different from other Pale Ales? It's "Hawaiian-style"--we're not sure what that means, but we know they bitter this ale with one of our favorite hops, "Galena," which is an old-school, high-alpha hop.

Good clarity with a stunning pale copper color. A couple rings of off-white lace left on the glass. Mild pungent oily hop aroma with an animal feed grain, hay and faint caramel aroma. Smooth with an oily slickness that buffs the medium body. Oily hop flavor lays a thick blanket to start things off, then the bitterness kicks in with a broad prickly character, and later with a more fresh mint and light citric tone. Kiss of mineral. The center is juicy with a clean fruitiness and caramel flavor. The finish wraps up with a hint of estery alcohol, toasted malt and drying grain.

Yeah, we can dig the whole "Hawaiian-style." Complex and drinkable, the hops and malt mesh very well together and show great balance. Great stuff, Kona!

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brilliant amber with a 1” offwhite foam cap, spicy hop nose, some malt and biscuit, very creamy rich, a touch of sweetness, almost a hit of cocoa nut. Some bitterness but not big. Light fruit, just a touch of bitterness to balance.

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Photo of MattyG85
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams "Perfect Pint" glass. Label bottling date of Oct 30, 2012.

Appearance: Pours a somewhat cloudy copper amber orange with lot of rising bubbles. Solid three fingers of off white head with good retention. Leaves a lot of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A nicely floral and malty aroma. Solid hop presence with hints of floral and grassy hops and some citrus orange peel and lemon. Subtle pine spice. Strong malt scents with good hints of grains, biscuit, crackers, yeast, caramel, and toffee. Smells nicely bready and earthy. A solid mix of malts and hops that you expect in a Pale Ale.

Taste: A solid mix of bready malts, floral and citrus hops like the smell hints. A nice mix of floral, grassy, and piney hops with a kick of citrus orange, lemon, and a little grapefruit. A nice balance of bready malts with notes of wheat grains, biscuit, crackers, yeast, caramel, and toffee. A pretty solid balance of hops and malts. Bready and nicely drying.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, spicy, clean, and smooth. Finishes fairly dry.

Overall: A solid Pale Ale. Pretty standard for the style, but good.

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Photo of tdm168
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light orangish-amber with a half of an inch of off white, loose, foamy, crackling head that has great retention. The nose is big, malty, biscuity, and very bready with an underlying citrusy aroma. The taste is very malt up front with a bready, biscuity malt character. It's then followed by a balanced, bitter, citrusy, grapefruity, lemony hop character. There's a slight astrigency in the finish leaving the mouthfeel a bit tart and sweet. The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit crisp, but overall smooth and well carbonated.

This is a smooth, quaffable, refreshing, enjoyable beer that you can definitely have more than one of.

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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 Brent
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A solid pale ale offering, with more than enough hopping. A bit more, and this would qualify as an IPA. A very classic hop and malt balance, with a bit of resiny bite to the hops. Smooth finish, wiht a touch of creamyness to the mouthfeel. I bought this for the novelty of adding Hawaii to my list of states sampled, but I would buy this again for the quality.

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

L: Pours a nice amber-orange color with a medium sized and medium bodied tan colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet malts and a nice "firey" hop aroma that lets me know this is going to have some kick to it.
T: Very nice sweet malt base followed by a nice spicy kick of earthy/piney/citrusy hops.
M: Very smooth, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Pretty drinkable, I think it would have been less drinkable if it had less hops in it, but then I suppose it wouldn't be called Fire Rock. Overall it was really nice.

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

Decent 1 1/2 finger head with good retention and a nice amber color.

Smell is of toasted malts and some earthy hops. Sort of smells amber/pale ale in betweenish. Seems like it could go either way.

Taste if of toasted malts with a dry earthy bitterness. Some lemon and grass go to the nose on the swallow which influence the taste by adding to the earthiness of the hops.

This beer is moderately low on carbonation but it helps by not getting in the way of the toasty malts which makes for a very smooth experience.

A nicely done pale ale. Could be advertised as an amber too with the malt profile.

I could easily make a session out of this beer, give it a try.

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


Okay, so right before this I had a Rochefort 10, So my rating may be skewed, but hopefully not in a bad way, I think.

Pours a bright gold with a real nice head. Great rentention and clingy lacing on the side of my glass.

Sweet hoppy goodness in the nose. Bright orange and lemon citrus and florals. No alcohol aroma present.

Nice tasty apa flavors, very PacNW in it's hop presence. A real good Pale Ale in every respect. Good balance of hops/malts.

Overall a great session beer. Good flavor and nothing off.

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

Tasted in a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle on April 1, 2016. Look is clear pale copper with a white two finger head and lingering lacing. Smell is hop forward with grain and caramel malt aromas. Taste is hoppy, citrus, juicy fruits, mint with caramel, grain and toasted malt flavors. Feel is medium to light in body with a smooth, clean and slightly dry finish. Much better than the ratings here suggest.

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

Appearance- This beer poured a nice hazy, orange color with a descent 1 inch head. Lacing was present throughout beer.

Smell- Nice hint of floral and pine. Had a slight hint of citrus but not much going on here.

Taste- Not too bad. Had a nice hoppiness which was balanced well with the malt. Not much of a bitter finish which I'm fine with. The hops were a bit subdued which again was ok with me since I wasn't looking for a hop bomb.

Mouthfeel- Medium body with medium high carbonation.

Overall- A nice beer which is easy to drink. I would really love to drink this beer while sitting on the beach in Waikiki. We'll see how much better it gets. I bet a Corona would taste good in Hawaii!!

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

Aroma has a definite mix of floral and citrus notes to it, certainly on par for a decent APA. Not very powerful, but pretty middle of the road.

Taste certainly has much of the same notes as the nose, with a floral presence, but more so of a tangy citrusy, tropical (orange? apricot?) flavor that gives the beer a distinctive flavor compared to many other APA's. It finishes off with a slight grain taste that is certainly in the background but noticeable along with a small dryness.

I found this to be a pretty tasty rendition of an APA. Pretty light on the hops to be honest, but the flavor that it has is pretty delectable and I find that that's what really matters in the end.

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

P: 12oz tall brown bottle. date: June 10 10

A: One finger head, that retains well. no lacing. Amber color.

S: Caramel malts, hops, sweetness.

T: A Good hops flavor to this one. Slight roasted malts.

M: Light body, lots of carbonation.

D: Easy to drink. great rounded beer. really enjoyed it!

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

Had this on tap at the Cocoa Beach Pier in Florida. Poured a nice amber color with an off white head that settled into a nice cap leaving behind some nice lacing. Nice aroma of caramel malts and some fruity hops. Hops flavor is more on the grassy, fruity side rather than piney. Nice balance between the hops and malts. Creamy mouthfeel and an excellent session pale. I was happy to find this one among all the BMC beers at the bar. Good stuff!

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance/Smell - Appears slightly cloudy, deep copper with a hue of orange in color. Very nice lacing, thin head with medium carbonation. Smells of bright pungent fruity notes, along with beautiful dry pine & hops. Sweet caramel & honey notes, with rich cake like malt. Very good balance.

Taste/Mouthfeel - Tastes of sweet caramel/honey, with dry pine & bitter hops. Bitterness doesn't linger on the palate, sip by Sip, it leaves one wanting more & more. Caramel malt with small notes of banana. Not much change as it warms. Mouthfeel is smooth and a bit chewy. Has a medium body.

Drinkability/Final thoughts - This Pale Ale is highly drinkable, hops aren't to strong & don't linger on. So it kind of leaves you wanting more sip by sip. This is a pretty good Pale Ale, I recommend you give it a try. Cheers!

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Fire Rock Pale Ale from Kona Brewing Co.
3.62 out of 5 based on 2,323 ratings.
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