Fire Rock Pale Ale | Kona Brewing Co.

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BA SCORE
82
good
667 Reviews
Fire Rock Pale AleFire Rock Pale Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Kona Brewing Co.
Hawaii, United States
konabrewingco.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
667
Ratings:
2,311
Avg:
3.62
pDev:
23.76%
 
 
Wants:
56
Gots:
494
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
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Reviews: 667 | Ratings: 2,311
Photo of Poser
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium amber. Decent top. Aroma is low -- "muted" used below is a good word. Just a little citrus. It has a decent start -- good representation of the style. The end is what's interesting. It has a lingering earth bitterness to it that's very interesting. Medium-bodied.

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Photo of Pantalones
3.64/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Second bottle from the variety pack; bottling date is February 16th, 2015.

Nice orangey color to this one. Reminds me of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, which is always a good first impression for a pale ale. Clear, with some little bubbles rising up from the bottom, though it's just dark enough in color (or maybe just slightly hazy?) that I can only see them very well around the edges without shining some light through. The first bottle I had didn't form much foam on top, but I poured a bit faster and a bit more directed toward the bottom of the glass this time and got a nice, fluffy white head -- just short of filling the glass completely. I may have overdone it just a bit, heh. Anyway, the foam shrinks away after a bit, leaving a layer on the surface and some trails on the sides.

Smell is mostly bready, and not all that strong at first. Got a slight hint of piney hops when opening the bottle and I think I may be picking up just a tad of something tropical on the end of a sniff now, but overall seems pretty malt-forward for a pale ale. There is a definite "something else" in the smell, I'm assuming hop-related, but it's so faint I'm having difficulty placing it. What's there is kinda nice, but it's fainter than I expected. Gets a little iffier in the smell department as the beer warms up a bit -- not to the point of being offensive, but simultaneously stronger and less pleasant than it was at first, so I'm marking this one down a bit in the smell area.

Taste is an improvement over the smell. The malt has this really nice toasted sort of thing going on, reminding me of lightly toasted bread crust or a bran-flake cereal kind of thing. Hops are still fainter than I would expect of a pale ale, but I am getting a little bit of citrus and some leafy bitterness in there, too. I think I went into this one with my expectations set a little too high the first time I had it, but drinking a second one knowing that it's going to be a bit maltier than other pale ales I've had, I'm able to appreciate it a lot more. I get a hint of citrus and some bitterness right away, and then that blends into the malt, with the bran-flake sort of thing (and sometimes, some leafy flavor and bitterness) lingering for a bit afterward. Burps are a bit fruity. Can't say enough good things about that toastedness in the malt, though -- while the amount of hop flavor still doesn't seem like quite enough to me (for an American-style pale ale at least), the malt flavor in this is great.

Feel is pretty nice. Very, very drinkable, which is a feature that I've appreciated from all of Kona's beers so far -- though this one may just be the "heaviest/maltiest" feeling out of the variety pack, it's still easy to gulp down a bit more at a time than I normally would. There's that "just a hint of stickiness" going on much like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale -- which, like in the appearance category, is a good thing to have similarities to. Nothing negative to say about the mouthfeel here at all.

Overall, this is pretty good. Not amazing, but certainly not anywhere near bad -- it's one that I find myself appreciating much more the second time around compared to the first, and the presence of that toasted malt is definitely a bit of a nice change from all the hop-forward beers I've been having lately. I'll be sure to try this again if I can find it on tap, or in a bottle that's not already several months old -- maybe the hops stand out more when it's super fresh. If so, I can see this easily going from "pretty good" to "great" -- it's definitely got one of the nicest malt flavors I've ever experienced in a pale ale already, the hops just need to stand out a bit more.

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Photo of Lahoi
2.86/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Not bad, but not my favorite APA. And I really like APAs. Maybe my favorite. But I'd much prefer Sierra Nevada, deschutes or sweetwaters APA to this. It seemed to be lacking something. Or maybe it's that it was too malty. I'm too much of a green horn to know for sure.

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Photo of hophead723
4.26/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I first tried this beer in Hawaii so it has a special significance. Every time I drink it it takes me back.

Look: Poured a hazy amber honey color with a off-white light caramel colored head. I held it up to the light and it had glorious sunset orange hues with a solid gold core. It left thin lacing on the glass.

Smell: At first caramely and biscuity but then comes a rush of floral, grassy, and peppery hues from the hops which include the high-alpha classic Galena.

Taste: Bitter right upfront with grapefruit rind, lemon, white pepper, and herbs leading to a subtle malty swell of toasted biscuits and honey. There is a peculiar buttery quality throughout.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, slightly crisp, and moist upfront. The finish is oily with a lingering bitterness but it is dry on the back of the palate.

Overall: Delicious, complex, satisfying, rich, and well brewed. It has the robust character of a full blown IPA but the crisp drinkability and quaffable characteristics of a Pale Ale. Definitely give this Hawaiian style beauty a try.

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Photo of rgrholmes168
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a pretty nice amber color with about a one finger head. The foam disappated fairly quickly, but left plenty of lace on the sides of the glass. The beer was nice and clear with plenty of carbonation showing in the glass.

This APA is a little bit heavier on the malt than the others that I have had. The beer is a medium body beer that does not have a trace of hops or bitterness. There is a good hint of caramel in the taste of this beer and you get the same caramel in the aroma.

This is a pretty good APA. I really like how it is a little bit heavier on the malt than other APAs. This set its a little bit apart from others.

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Photo of snogglethorpe
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice copper color, looks very enticing, but almost no head on the bottle I had.

Smell is really nice, fruity and a little sour.

Taste is quite sweet and malty, with a very fruity taste; there's definitely a hop presence, although somewhat subtle. The bitterness is subdued but pretty good in tone, and I think the hops lend to the fruitiness (it reminds me somewhat of Anchor brews in that respect). A slight mineral/metallic taste. While not a hop monster, it has what I think is a decent balance. Hmm, fruity!

Mouthfeel is thick, maybe a bit too thick (as someone noted, "syrupy" may be a good description), but it's pretty drinkable nonetheless.

Maybe not a prize-winner, but quite tasty and very easy to drink. Did I mention it was fruity?

[Somehow this strikes me as being halfway between American and British pale-ale tastes...]

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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 bamojr
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice amber with white head. Smells very citrusy and a lot of hop in the nose. The tase has the same. Tons of citrus and plenty of hops to go around. This is a very well rounded beer. Its my first kona and I will be back for more for sure. So there you have it.

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Photo of setexascustoms
3.57/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into a pint glass.

A- Deep amber, deeper and not as clear as I expected. A half inch of head that dissipated quickly and leave little lacing.

S- Biscuity roasted malts, balanced out by floral hops. Again, not what I expected.

T- Again, biscuity roasted malts with a slight sweetness. Balanced by floral, herbal hops but not much bitterness. Clean finish with a slight dryness.

M- Medium bodied with nice lifting carbonation.

O- A pleasant departure from typical pale ale. Could maybe use a little more bitterness; but it's clean, refreshing and sessionable. I reckon it'd make a good palate cleanser. If I ever am fortunate enough to find my self in Hawaii I know one beer I'll order with dinner.

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Photo of eballard
3.35/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer with some nice fried chicken. It poured a nice amber color with a light lace. It has a light sweet hops smell. The taste is sweet with a little bit of bitterness. It has nice hops spiciness and a sweet finish. The feel is clean and refreshing with a crisp finish. This is a great beer for a hot summer evening. Clean and light with a good flavor.

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a nice, slightly cloudy copper, head dissipates somewhat quickly.

S: Slight hops with bready malts, a bit fruity with some caramel.

T: Bready/caramel malt debuts first but is quickly pushed aside by a nice wave of citric and somewhat tropical hops. Ends with a nice balance and a slightly toasted character.

M: Light bodied and crisp. Very refreshing and drinkable. Without even realizing it i threw this down pretty quick.

Overall: Very enjoyable. An excellent session beer and great for warm weather.

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Photo of sam_bliss
3.54/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very red for a pale ale. Light copper colored with an impressive white head. Long retention and good-looking lacing as the foam ever-so-slowly subsides. It smells a bit malty, and pretty weak. Perhaps I've poured it too cold, but I can hardly make out any real scent. Taste is upper malty for an APA; some roasted malts mix in to the caramel and pale malt foundation. Raisins, dark brown sugar, and some grassy hops make this worth drinking. There is a little bit of hay flavor as well.

Fir Rock Pale Ale is more of an amber if you ask me. But I won't judge based on that; it's a good beer. It is interesting and something different - "Hawaiian-Style" I suppose. I can appreciate a beer that breaks from the norms and even the definition of such a broad style. Notes that bring to mind sweet oatmeal with raisins are balanced out by just the right amount of hops. This is far less bitter, or refreshing, than your typical SNPA model.

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Photo of bgraney
3.43/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Light amber color, lots of bubbles, 2-finger creamy white head.
Surprised by the bready aroma with a light hop background.
Enjoyable hop tang right off the bat with a smooth malty follow through.
Thin mouthfeel with a slight lingering hop flavor.
Very smooth & drinkable. I can definitely see knocking a few of these down on a beach in Hawaii.
Enjoyable beer but not in the same class as the elite pale ales in my opinion.
The Kona beers seems to have a unique flavor and I'm not sure what it is, but I like it.

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Photo of MobBarley
4.26/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours more of an amber-orange, with a flaccid, white bubbly head that recedes rapidly. Nice color though. Aroma is tangy/piney hops up front with a thick, bready backbone. The taste is well rounded, with toasty sweet malts dominating before a dry and citrusy hop finish. The mouthfeel is good and chewy with a slight oily texture that makes it a winner with spicy meals. Drinkability is absoutely tops. I could drink this all day...a new fave. This drinks a bit more like an amber than a pale, but I really like the sweet smoothness and balance.

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Photo of BWMKappaSig
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, bottle date 4/23/09

A: Deep orange, immediately reminiscent of Anchor's Liberty Ale, but with almost no head retention.

S: A little floral hops and a pretty biscuitty nose. Yet, strangely weak, for the style.

T: An initial hoppy bitterness with that same bready yeastiness to the taste. The malts have a little bit of roast to them, almost as if this was just adding hops to an amber ale recipe. Slight astringency reminds me of some of my earlier homebrews gives me the feeling that the malts were slightly scorched in the boil.

M: Decent carbonation, light to medium body, but a rather noticable yeasty aftertaste that I'd expect to find more in a beligian ale than in the APA style.

D: Less drinkable than I'd hoped, I'm left slightly confused by this beer. It seemingly strays from the American Pale Ale malt profile, but is moderately enjoyable nonetheless.

Mild recommendation.

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Photo of BeerisfoodLLC
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass:

A - Carmel colored, with a slight head.

S - Notes of citrus smells in the hops, sweet malty scents as well.

T - Hoppy up front that fades fast into sweeter malty tastes. Well balanced.

M - Medium bodied, slight carbonation.

D - Not a bad session beer, I enjoyed it.

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Photo of eporter66
3.51/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I tried this at the 2009 Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney Worlds EPCOT Theme Park. I was excited to find some beers that I had not tried before. I found this to be a bit fruity and piney from the taste I had at EPCOT and immediately picked up a 6 pack upon returning home.

Well - first of all, that citrus bite seems to be gone from what I remember. A little more malty , with a little bitterness from the hops at the end, but not a dry finish

Appearance - Amber colored, with a nice two finger head and good lacing around the glass.

Smell - A bit of a fruity aroma can be found, but not a strong aroma

Taste - Malts seem to hit me first, then more of the citrus quality comes up with a bite from the hops at the end

Mouthfeel - good solid mouthfeel from this beer, it is by no means heavy.

Drinkability - I have 5 more, and see no problem putting these away. I would have liked more hop bite in this beer, and for some reason dont get that citrus flavor I remember from my first try. After getting through the 6 pack, that citrus flavor appeared more than I thought on my first try. A decent beer

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Photo of TrevorGW
4.28/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Had this beer on tap in Kauai a few times and I was very impressed.

Nice looking beer - a bit hazy with a bright copper color.

Aroma is earthy. Perfect American Pale Ale aroma. Balanced and not shy with the hops.

Tastes surprisingly spicy. Whatever hops they use are really shining through and complimenting the sweet, bready, light malt perfectly. The citrus is there from the hops, but the grassier notes are dominating. A bit drier than most APAs, which is nice.

Mouth feel is grainy and prickly, with the heat from the spicy hops coming through from front to back.

This beer has a lot of big flavor and is somewhat "filling," so the drinkability will suffer slightly. But I would drink it all day.

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Photo of usmittymc
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tumbler glass.

A: Pours a coppery orange liquid with a thin white head that reduces quickly to a ring. Very little lacing.

S: Malt, caramel, faint hops.

T: Malty on the front with a quick citrusy hop punch that disappears as quickly as it presents itself. Bitter finish.

M: A tad slick or oily IMO. Decent carbonation.

D: Very drinkale Pale Ale. Not the best for the style, but definitely worth a try.

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

Pours very clear and copper colored. Small off-white head faded, but carbonation kept a lace of foam going steady. Aroma's of malt and hops. Hops jump out front in the taste, but this is a fairly malty beer. Nice american pale (more like amber) ale.

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Photo of Hollenbeck2
3.3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I bought this at john's two bottle only, very good the best of the Kona beers I have tasted.

Fire Rock Pale Ale is a “Hawaiian-style” pale ale they say, I almost felt like I was back on my honeymoon. Its signature copper color results from the unique blend of specialty roasted malts.

There is a pronounced citrus-floral hop aroma comes from the liberal amounts of Galena, Cascade & Mt. Hood hops added to each brew.

 425 characters

Photo of Raven3464
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Beer pours a clear, copper body with a soapy head. There is a light amount of carbonation:

Smell: Citrus, pine and sweet malts are noticed right away. A floral aroma starts to take over as the beer warms.

Taste: Sweet fruit, like pineapple and orange, are tasted at first with a light hop bite at the end. It would have been better had the flavors been more pronounced.

Mouth feel: It is light bodied for the style. A little more carbonation also would be nice. Otherwise, it is refreshing.

Overall: It is an average pale ale. As stated above, flavors could be more pronounced and a little more hops would not hurt either. Overall, it is a decent attempt at the style.

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Photo of JohnnyI
4.09/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled on 7/25/14. A little past its peak, but with 6% ABV and that avowed hop character, it should still be a fair representation for this Kona creation.

Poured in to an IPA glass, the unique look of this beer immediately catches my eye. Despite the fact that the head disappeared about as quickly as it formed, with scant lacing to be found, I am struck by the appearance. The tangerine-grapefruit color of the beer looks almost electric when its chilled haze meets the light. Interesting. The aroma promises bright tropical fruit, with a subtle essence of pine. A little biscuity malt in the background rounds out the nose. The flavor brings sweet bread, subtle dried fruit, lightly toasted malts, and a balanced hop character. Mild pine and grapefruit. This is a well-rounded brew. The mouthfeel is on point, with just enough body and carbonation to keep this refreshing. I believe the few extra months have mellowed this beer, as I remember it being more vibrant when it was in season. As it stands, this is superbly sessionable, perhaps more so now that time has reigned in the flavors a bit. I have enjoyed it either way. It's nice to see an American Pale Ale that is not trying to masquerade as an IPA and brings it's own unique qualities. I put this near the top of my list when a Pale Ale is in order. Fresh or mellowed, it's always delicious.

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Photo of NeedBeerHere
3.4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours out dark orange in color with a finger white head. Seems to have decent retention and some decent lacing. Smell is some citrusy, pineapple, grapefruit, orange, and there is definitely some sweet malt in the background to balance things out. Definitely smells like a pale ale as it smells well balanced. Taste is quite a bit more on the malty side and the hops really don't shine here. Hard to tell if it's a little old or there just isn't much hop presence in the beer as there is no dating on the bottle. Regardless, the 6/pack I found on the shelf is pretty malt forward and whish there were more hops here. Mouthfeel is fairly good as it is thicker than I would have thought. Overall the beer smells fairly decent but really doesn't come through with the taste. This seems to be a malt bomb with a tiny bit of bitterness.

Edit: After drinking a few more mouthfuls I can get more hops and bitterness than at first. It actually seems true to style or maybe a little more malty than I would like but it seems more true to style after a few gulps.

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Photo of bobbyc881
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange with a thin white head, some lacing. Hazy. Sweet bread and citrus aromas.

Taste up front is sweet caramel malts, slightly buttery... finishes only slightly bitter with a some moderately hoppy citrus flavors. Nothing is over-the-top. Very well balanced, sessionable pale ale.

Moderate carbonation, balanced flavors and medium body make this a highly drinkable ale. Overall a well put-together beer.

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Fire Rock Pale Ale from Kona Brewing Co.
3.62 out of 5 based on 2,311 ratings.
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