Firestone Walker retires Pale 31

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by thuey, Feb 15, 2018.

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  1. thuey

    thuey Defender (623) Nov 13, 2015 California

    A note from David Walker

    “Pale 31 has been put out to pasture simply because the American palate it helped awake has decided this style is not for them. Let’s hope they come full circle and we can dust off the spell book and create this beautiful creature once more”

    I thought this would have been a thread here already, but I couldn't find it in the search. Guess it goes to show that maybe there isn't a market for it anymore.
  2. A_Rad

    A_Rad Initiate (0) May 8, 2015 Wisconsin

    Zorro and tzieser like this.

    THANAT0PSIS Champion (802) Aug 3, 2010 Wisconsin

    Hate to see it. FW seems to be retiring what I see as fan-favorites, but I'm sure their metrics tell them otherwise (and it's important to remember that BAs are a small minority of the overall beer-drinking public).
    alucard6679, Zorro, DaverCS and 2 others like this.
  4. Tdizzle

    Tdizzle Devotee (445) Dec 19, 2006 California

    Clean, incredibly well-made beer is SO yesterday.
  5. deanzaZZR

    deanzaZZR Aspirant (227) Jan 8, 2015 California

    Loved drinking this one on tap at the brewery. Unfortunately I never saw it on tap around here and fresh bottle were nearly impossible to come by.
    tzieser likes this.
  6. thuey

    thuey Defender (623) Nov 13, 2015 California

    They also started canning it with the rest of their low ABV (up to Union Jack) lineup the last couple years.
  7. Brolo75

    Brolo75 Initiate (0) Aug 10, 2013 California

    A solid APA, I hope they don't discontinue Union Jack or DBA. They need to bring back Double DBA.
  8. erway

    erway Initiate (140) Jul 28, 2006 New Mexico

    Truly, one of my all-time favorite beers ever.
    Tdizzle, JBogan, Jaycase and 3 others like this.
  9. Tucquan

    Tucquan Poo-Bah (3,338) Oct 11, 2007 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Sorry to see this go. I'm certainly not tired of Pale Ales.
    Tdizzle, Zorro, deanzaZZR and 2 others like this.
  10. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,199) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    There you have it, folks: worst beer news of 218 so far. This sucks. When I lived in Arizona it was easily my favorite pale ale you could get in stores. When I moved back East I noticed that it was very hard to find and even harder to find fresh. I'd take a fresh Pale 31 over a Luponic Distortion or even a Leo vs. Ursus any day.
  11. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Initiate (0) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona

    Sad to see this one leaving it was a solid beer.
    BalancingBrooms and tzieser like this.
  12. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,931) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    Liked this beer but also never bought it. I was part of the problem.
  13. horsehockey

    horsehockey Initiate (0) Jul 31, 2014 Illinois

    It seems like a trend in brewing. Founders isn't going to brew their Imperial Stout this year (at least that's what I've heard). I assume it's a market driven decision. I guess people aren't buying classic pale ale and classic Imperial Stouts anymore. Thoughts?
    raynmoon likes this.
  14. BalancingBrooms

    BalancingBrooms Poo-Bah (1,803) Aug 22, 2013 Illinois
    Society Trader

    Sad to see another solid staple leave.

    What the hot trend right now? NEIPAs? Sours?
    VABA likes this.
  15. TrojanRB

    TrojanRB Poo-Bah (1,669) Jul 27, 2013 Texas
    Society Trader

    Wow, what a bummer. I buy a decent amount of this....guess I have to go load up now.
    Tdizzle, Zorro and tzieser like this.
  16. laketang

    laketang Poo-Bah (1,536) Mar 22, 2015 Arizona

    The beer was probably good , but the label just didn't speak to me.
  17. ESHBG

    ESHBG Devotee (421) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Simple solution: don't change much but re brand it is an IPA, instant hot seller again! :stuck_out_tongue:

    I'm not surprised to see this. While it was a good beer it was never something I would think to reach for often and it was hard to find fresh in my area, regularly sat collecting dust.
    Duckaduck, Zorro and PatrickCT like this.
  18. GetMeAnIPA

    GetMeAnIPA Crusader (737) Mar 28, 2009 California

    I always liked this beer and thought it was underrated. However, with that being said I never bought six packs of it because I always choose Pivo over it.
    alucard6679 and jakecattleco like this.
  19. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Poo-Bah (1,901) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    This makes me sad.
    Norica, tzieser and breadwinner like this.
  20. breadwinner

    breadwinner Initiate (0) Mar 6, 2014 California

    Tremendous beer. One of the first that taught me how to appreciate/discern crackery malt character amidst floral/citrusy hops. Refreshing as hell.

    So, selfishly, I hate to see it go. But do I begrudge Firestone? No. They have 2 options, right? 1) Stick with a beer that isn't selling because people don't like that style anymore. Watch business suffer. Lay off employees. Reduce size. Go extinct. 2) Begrudgingly bid the beer goodbye, try your damndest to replace it with something cool that people will like enough to buy more than the previous beer.
    Hoppedelic and tzieser like this.
  21. chimneyjim

    chimneyjim Initiate (73) Jun 23, 2004 Oregon

    Had it on tap for the first time just the other day... Delicious, subtle, well-crafted beer.
  22. jcos

    jcos Aspirant (212) Nov 23, 2009 Maryland

    Better session ale than Easy Jack. I realize it is because of sales, but seriously, this beer is very good.
  23. Prince_Casual

    Prince_Casual Disciple (356) Nov 3, 2012 District of Columbia

    Sadly, I feel like DBA could easily go, I can NEVER find it fresh which indicates poor sell through.

    I have never been to FW, I assume the investment in the rig would make that an even harder choice for them though.
    Brolo75 and tzieser like this.
  24. IPAExpert69

    IPAExpert69 Aspirant (244) Aug 2, 2017 Pennsylvania

    What a fantastic, truly underappreciated beer. Shame brewers are discontinuing some great Pale Ales and IPL's in favor of making cookie cutter ipa's. Such a good change of pace beer, you will be missed!
    JBogan, breadwinner, Zorro and 2 others like this.
  25. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,199) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    Don't judge a book by it's cover! :slight_smile:
    laketang likes this.
  26. deanzaZZR

    deanzaZZR Aspirant (227) Jan 8, 2015 California

    The last time I visited Paso they were selling a Pale 31 that was fermented in barrel. It was delicious as it sounds so I took a growler home.
    breadwinner and tzieser like this.
  27. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,199) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    I wouldn't mind if they shitcanned DBA if it meant more Unfiltered DBA would be available. That stuff was absolutely amazing (it was 100% Burton Union barrel aged DBA, instead of the usual blend that regular DBA is composed of)

    I might get some flak for this but they should've killed off 805 blonde ale and just re-branded Pale 31. Pale 31 was always the superior beer. Oh well.
    #27 tzieser, Feb 16, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
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  28. AndrewK

    AndrewK Aspirant (275) Oct 20, 2006 California

    805 is Firestone’s best selling beer.
  29. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,199) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    Bud Light is the best selling beer in America but that does not mean I enjoy it. That's not to say 805 is an awful beer, I just liked Pale 31 better (and there is a reason I don't work in the brewing industry:grin:)

    EDIT: do you have any sales figures for 805? I find it fascinating that a brand that isn't distributed to most states in their footprint is their leading seller. If I were a betting man I'd choose Union Jack as their best seller.
    TrojanRB likes this.
  30. thuey

    thuey Defender (623) Nov 13, 2015 California

    805 is in spades. I've talked to a number of FW employees who have said that. Don't know if there are public sales figures though.
  31. skelliott

    skelliott Initiate (77) Jul 2, 2013 California

    Check out this article from April 2017...

    "Walker refers to 805 — a light, blonde ale aimed at the more casual beer drinker — as both a giant monster and a gift from the beer gods, often in the same sentence.

    Appealing to a whole different, much larger swath of the population — 70 percent of beer sold in America is still industrial-produced lager, Walker says — 805 exploded, quickly becoming more than 50 percent of Firestone’s production and the No. 1 selling craft beer in California.

    “We’re blessed to have it, but it definitely forced us to grow faster than we intended,” Brynildson said."
  32. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,199) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    I guess that says it all. Thank you very much for the article. I tried googling and failed.

    (I still liked Pale 31 better:laughing:)
    breadwinner, Zorro and deanzaZZR like this.
  33. reefer_bob

    reefer_bob Disciple (302) May 13, 2014 California

    I'd be interested to see a list of mid-abv craft beers that have been discontinued... examples being here, Pale 31, others like Lagunitas Censored, Stone Levitation, etc...
    breadwinner and tzieser like this.
  34. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,199) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    At least Censored (aka Kronik) lives on as Dry Hopped Censored. It's too bad FW didn't try rebranding Pale 31 by throwing the words "Dry Hopped" in front of it. Probably would've resulted in increased sales (though probably not enough to save it)
    breadwinner likes this.
  35. laketang

    laketang Poo-Bah (1,536) Mar 22, 2015 Arizona

    Right! I had no real reason not to try it, i should fact i brought my firestone tshirt to San Fran with me on this trip and checked it, and look at what is printed on the front! Ironic.

    But having had many of their other beers, i will not get rid of good friend here gave it to me .
    #35 laketang, Feb 16, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018
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  36. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,199) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    Nice shirt! I'd definitely keep it too (might be a collectors item someday lol). FWIW, I liked the old Pale 31 label art before they did the 'ol obligatory Brand Redesign that every brewing company does once they get some extra cash to burn.


    RIP Pale 31!
    breadwinner likes this.
  37. craigbelly

    craigbelly Poo-Bah (1,673) Dec 31, 2015 Iowa
    Society Trader

    This and Union Jack were my first 2 beers from Firestone years ago.
  38. Hoppedelic

    Hoppedelic Initiate (191) Dec 6, 2010 California

    I knew 805 was FW's best selling beer but had no idea that it was the best selling craft beer in CA. That's pretty impressive.
    tzieser and jakecattleco like this.
  39. breadwinner

    breadwinner Initiate (0) Mar 6, 2014 California

    Always thought the same. Just a couple tenths of a percent more ABV, but the balance and character of Pale 31 is much superior. At least to me and you:slight_smile:
    jcos, tzieser, thuey and 1 other person like this.
  40. JBogan

    JBogan Savant (909) Jul 15, 2007 California

    This beer (along with their Double Barrel Ale, now called DBA) are the ones that got me interested in craft beer. I'm extremely sad to see it go. I hate what this damned infatuation with IPAs is doing to the market.
    JimKal, Zorro, breadwinner and 3 others like this.
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