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Pale 31 - Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Pale 31Pale 31

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

514 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 514
Hads: 1,744
Avg: 3.87
pDev: 19.9%
Wants: 70
Gots: 203 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Pale Ale (APA) |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 08-23-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (83) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 514 | Hads: 1,744
Photo of Sammy
3.59/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Sessionable, serviceable, drinkable pale. Floral and citrus and malty aroma. Light colour with short-lasting foam. Tasty and citrus hops comcommitant with aggressive carbonation. Medium or less body. Slight better than average pale, average beer overall.

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Photo of viperpiper522
4.65/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A-Pours a deep golden color with a 1.5 finger head that dissapates to quickly to give this one a 5. Good sticky lacing shows the gaps between big sips.

S- Out of the glass rises fresh citrus, pine, a light biscuit. You can smell some nice malt in there as well.

T- Excellent. Multiple citrus hits the tongue. Grapefruit, and meyer lemon dominate. It fades into a light balance of malt sweetness with major biscuit undertones. There is some fresh baked cookie in there as well. It finishes with a walk hrough the pine forest.

M- Light carbonation, releases a lusious palate. Velvety and smooth. The finish is dry enough to leave the palate with some light pine. Great residual.

D- It was so good I wish I had two more. Great trade Brad. Thanks, I don't think I could ever get it that fresh on this coast. It makes me want to move to Cali.

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Photo of Mryup
3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Darker side of golden color spectrum with a significant white head.

S: Yes, it smells like a typical pale ale but WOW, I can really smell the oak.

T: Piney and citrusy hops are evident and the fact that this beer was oak barrel aged is apparent and adds to the beer well.

M: The hops are very apparent throughout. Medium-bodied and very well carbonated. Nice.

D: This may be personal preference but I don't find this beer exceptionally drinkable but seems great to have with the right meal. Not a "pounder".

An interesting beer. There are not many like it and that appeals to me. Something I would definitely have in my stock ready to go for the right meal. The site says Asian pan but it seems like it would go good with other things as well.

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Photo of theopholis
3.42/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance- Pours an absolutely crystal clear amber. The head is quite impressive. A solid, white affair with some staying power. Also has a loose, but very sticky lacing.

Aroma- The 1st thing you notice very nice hop aroma, with pine and a hint of citrus. Some malt sweetness mixed in there. Very well balanced.

Taste- A bit overly bitter for the style. It doesn't taste bad, just not like a American pale ale. Overall good balance between malt sweetness and flavoring hops.

Mouthfeel- Crisp an light. The carbonation starts out strong, but finishes fairly low. Helps to push the hops to the forefront of the taste.

Drinkability- It's okay. Not great. Pretty much like all of Firestone's beers.

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Photo of Floydster
3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pint from Bad Dog Ale House in El Segundo

Pours a very golden color with a one half inch head white head

Voted best beer of California in something I recently read

Perfect beer for a hot summer day

Highly drinkable, good APA

All pale should taste this good, worth checking out, but I am sure most of you already have

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I am sampling this brew at cellar temp and poured into a snifter. The beer pours a bright clear gold color with bleached white 2 cm of fizzy head foaming up. The head fades rapidly to a thin surface layer.
Aroma is fresh floral hops and some light fruit, white grapes I think. First sip reveals a light body and slightly watery texture.
Flavor is grainy malt and husk with a bit of white grape and again floral hops coming through. An easy drinker not very complex but well crafted. The body was a little thin, but it is a pale ale.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a fairly unassuming copper colour with a good sized frothy head that leaves a nice amount of residue on the glass after each sip.

The aroma is sweet with hints of caramel mixed with a floral and grassy hop aroma that has some hints of citrus to it as well. Perhaps a touch of spice as well.

The flavour is essentially more of the same. Sweetness is not as dominant here with everything meshing quote evenly instead. Juicy hops lead the way before mixing with a bit of caramel and moving a bit into the floral grassy notes picked up in the aroma. There seems to be a hint of bread flavouring here as well. Mouthfeel is crisp and fairly light bodied.

This is a hoppy Pale Ale, but it's not an IPA, which I was pleased to be the case. Too often a brewery will over hop it's standard Pale Ale and it just comes across as an IPA. This one does not and clearly holds it's ground in the Pale Ale category. It is an easy drinker for sure and is loaded with balanced flavour. This was a nice first sampling for me from the Firestone Walker folks.

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Photo of BrewDrinkRepeat
3.64/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden hue, with an off-white head that dissipates quickly but leaves gentle lacing on the glass. Clarity is excellent, a very clear beer that shows well in the glass.

The aroma is subdued; a hint of Cascade or other "c" hops intermingled with a bit of slightly nutty caramel. Overall, a very mild nose, not as hoppy as many West Coast pale ales tend to be. I don't dislike it, but I kind of wish there was a bit more to smell, something more to entice me to drink.

This is a pretty well-balanced ale, with a gentle hop bitterness that gives way quickly to a nice slightly grainy flavor. As with the nose, a slight nutty caramel characteristic is detected, but not overpowering to the overall flavor of the base malt. A slight lingering sweetness on the finish. Medium carbonation, perhaps slightly more than I would prefer for a pale ale. Again, this beer might be a bit of a disappointment to those seeking a more typical West Coast-style pale ale as it is not aggressively hopped (bittering or flavor/aroma) but for those looking for a more balanced pale ale this might fit the bill.

A very nice example of a less-aggressive American pale ale, very drinkable and refreshing. Strikes me as a good warm-weather beer, and a nice accompaniment to a cold deli sandwich and potato chips after mowing the lawn or washing the car. This would also be a good "intro" beer for converting a BMC drinker to craft beer.

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Photo of BeerTruth
4.51/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to Zorro. Received this in the Summer Sipper BIF 2007.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a clear light copper hue with a white fluffy one finger head that dies down quickly to a thin lacing. Stickiness is very spotty, here and there. Very mild sweet citrus hop odor with a wonderful caramel/toffee malt blend. One of the best smelling beers in general I've experienced, by far the best smelling Pale Ale. Such a unique yet pleasing beer to put your nose up to. Taste is amazing as well. Once again, mild on the hops but clearly there. Citrus hops on the tongue but then the delicious vanilla malt flavor takes combined with a peppery-spice flavor. Aftertaste is very smooth and pleasant, sweet toffee like flavor. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a perfect amount of carbonation. This could very possibly be a session ale at 4.6% abv. Get you hands on this if you can.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hmmm, it's been awhile since I've had a pale ale. Hot, sticky summer day, this should do just fine.
Nice sunshiney fresh hops with touch of citrus and grass. Clean and fresh, Very nice.
Amber of gold. Clear. Semi-dense head that borders on frothy. Good looking.
Pretty hoppy bitey. I like it. Prominent dryness at finish, but it doesn't linger all that long. Malt is muted. No particular sweetness noted. Malt flavors increase as warms as does softness of the drink. The very soft flavors of the oak barrel are available, but I'd say only to those with the most sensitive of palates (it would have been hard for me to detect, unless I knew to search for them). They seem to appear at the end and mix with the dryness.
Carbonation is rather full and sharp and prickly. It intensifies the bitterness to a point of excess for my tastes. Otherwise feel is on, i.e. medium light. Does possess a ale type crispness which lends a thirst quenching quality (along with the citrus flavor and dryness).
This is a nice solid APA. Highly drinkable. Good for the summer. Subtle in the complexity.
Thanks for thinking of me my brother.

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Photo of chadlebald
3.72/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a sort of dark golden (almost an amber hue to it). Solid initial head that tapered off quickly but leaves a nice 'cling' to the sides as its drank. Smell is very floral right out of the gate, but with a slight caramely sweetness.

Lots of hoppy flavor that if I were blind tasting it, would say it was an IPA. I think it does have a fair amount of malt balance, though. On the whole, it drinks 'dry'.

Feels full in the mouth, and hits the taste buds evenly at first before lingering more in the mid tongue.

I am far from being a hophead even though I seek out hoppy beers on occasion. This is one that I would seek out more often I think, since it's just at that point of not overdoing it. In other words, I could order more than one in a session, whereas with IPAs, I usually switch after just one.

"Two bottoms up"

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Photo of budsboy
3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Clear, light amber on the pour with a thin white head that shrinks back to a sticky film.

Big hop aroma, all pine and citrus. Thick, sugary malt smell underneath. Inviting. Mouth is watering now.

Nice hop flavor right off, malty and with a hint of diacetyl, then a lasting piney hop bitterness on a dry finish.

Light-medium bodied, clean and moderate carbonation. Maybe a wee thin.

I enjoyed it. At 4.6 ABV, this is an excellent session brew for the hop hungry. Sure it's hopped to the hilt. Some like it, some don't. If you like SNPA or Dogfish 60 Minute, I'm betting you'll like this. Just as full of hop flavor but a little less of a meal.

Thanks to Hustlemuscle for sharing.

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Photo of roblowther
3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer does not look like I expected. it is light reddish gold with almost no head. I've never seen a pale pale ale really, but here it is. The smell is dominated by hops. Rose hips, pine resin, and green tea, with a sweet note underlying it all. The taste is refreshing and, again, floral. The hops dominate but not too hoppy. The aftertaste is completely dominated by hops. The beer is refreshing but a bit astringent. The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated, despite its appearance. The carbonation adds to the crisp taste to make this a very refreshing brew indeed. The drinkability is good. The alcohol content puts this one into the realm of session beer and the crispness reminds me of a dry cider. This is a good beer and a good primer on what aroma hops are. I need to find a beer newby to use this as a lesson.

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Photo of Duster72
4.62/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to IntriqKen for this one. Pours a clear golden with a smallish head and decent lacing. Aroma is sweet breads and citrus hops - very nice. Taste is tasty sweet malts up front followed by pleasant citrus and a good hop finish to cleanse the palate. Perfect mouthfeel and drinkability. Excellent APA, very refreshing.

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Photo of sparta2325
4.72/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beers looks are average. Golden with a small head. But taste thats a deferent story! It has a strong hop taste with a IBU of 38.0 (Medium High) !!! For those hop head's. It's thicker than you would think with a nice oak after taste. It has a lot of hops in it they are. Hops: Bittering- Fuggle Late Kettle- Cascade Centennial Chinook Dry Hops- Cascade Centennial Chinook and it has won plenty of awards.
2006 World Beer Cup: Gold Medal
2005 Australian International Beer Awards: Gold Medal for Best in Class
2004 World Beer Cup: Gold Medal
2003 World Beer Championships: Gold Medal
2003 Great American Beer Festival: Silver Medal
2002 California State Fair: Gold Medal for First Place
2002 World Beer Championships: Silver Medal
I'm would recommend this to any one!!!
I'm going to try to make a batch of home brew like this, I hope it's as good???

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Photo of zymurgy4all
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a deep golden color, has a decent head, and nice lacing. The aroma is a wonderful bouquet of citrusy hops. The flavor is citrusy as well, and is remarkably pleasant. This is a great example of the American Pale Ale style. There is a little bit of crystal malt flavor that completes this ale. If you like APA style, this is worth going out of your way for. Great beer overall.

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Photo of jeffjfindley
4.07/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Striking golden color, with a decent head that fizzes out pretty fast. The smell is rich, yet hoppy and crisp. Flavor is simple enough, but as with all Firestone beers incredibly executed. Light sweet malt strikes immediately, followed by a brilliant splash of hops that lingers seductively on the palate. I feel the oakiness in their beers more than taste, and it feels damn good. Drinkability is superb.

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Photo of techdiver
4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear gold with modest head that dissipates quickly.

Typical hoppy nose, nothing special.

Well balanced, nothing overwhelming; just a modest APA.

Good carbonation, refreshing, and very mellow.

Great drinkability, it's gone before you know it. After the disappointment of the Double Barrel, this is an improvement.

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Photo of dermot
3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up as a gift in a mixed six pack.

On-tap at the White Harte Pub in Woodland Hills, CA.

Appearance: A bit darker than the norm for a pale ale. Poured with a nice off-white head.

Smell: Nice a sweet smell of citrus hops.

Taste: Nice malty taste up front. Finishes with a nice, but not overpowering bitterness. Exactly what you'd expect from a pale ale.

Mouthfeel: It's medium-bodied and smooth.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Crisp flavors, finishes smooth with the right amount of bitterness. A very quenching and refreshing beer.

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Photo of goschool
3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the White Harte Pub in Woodland Hills, CA.

Appearance: The color is quite a bit darker than how I remember the bottled version looking. It's darkish amber with a respectable off-white head.

Smell: Sweet, bready malt aromas, much like Double Barrel, take charge of the nose in front of fruity apricot and citrus hops.

Taste: The flavor profile is malty up front, the sweet and bready notes get lighter in the mid-palate, and the fruity hops give the finish a burst of bitterness.

Mouthfeel: It's medium-bodied and smooth, but it's a tiny bit aqueous.

Drinkability: I think the crisp flavors in the bottled version make this beer more drinkable than the sweet malty draft offering.

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Photo of bjohnson
4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a darker than average golden color with a frothy one finger white head. Not much retention but a thin skim on top and a ring around the edges. Citrus fruit aroma with a nice hefty infusion of pine notes. Biscuity and toasted grain malt notes.

Citrus hop notes coupled with resiny pine flavors. Fruit notes are a bit more pronounced then the pine flavors. Toasted grains and biscuit flavors round out the malt profiles. Light with a slight slickness in the finish. Just an all around easy drinking pale ale. Good example of the style. Perfect for a session brew with an abv lower then 5.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a robust head that laces well

Smell: Biscuity aroma that is extremely floral and citrusy with a vague hint of vanilla

Taste: Starts with a biscuity taste that is slightly sweet; by mid-palate, the citrusy hops kick in, along with a flash of vanilla at the swallow; the finish is balanced between the biscuity malt and the citrusy hops

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: What a nice APA; superbly balanced and a low abv, to boot

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Photo of malcontent
3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden color with average head and lacing. Nothing remarkable going on here.

Faint citrus with grain aromas driving an otherwise weak nose.

Mild hop flavor is very nicely balanced with just a touch of rich malt taste. Not peppery or citrus-like as with many APAs, just very restrained and satisfying in this area.

A little too much chalkiness on the finish but good body and carbonation otherwise. Not earth-shattering but I rather liked this beer. Exceptional drinkability and not something to overpower food or short-circuit your palate. A really well-made mild ale in my estimation.

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Photo of tonistruth
4.17/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap @ Pizza Port Carlsbad, CA

A- bartender poured out my head, golden straw with hints of copper, leaves thin whit rings 'round glass

S- pine, floral, sweet bread (like that Hawaiian stuff)

T- bready up front and a spike at finish, good balance and mellow flavor, citric hops with pine aftertaste, bitter

M- light/med body, smooth, bit dry in after

D- enjoyable, dont know about sessionable, paired well with my whole grain portzels, balance is awesome, memorable pale if not one of my faves

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Photo of HighOctane
4.54/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Smell and taste set this APA apart from others. I crave a hop flower aroma in my pales and this beer delivers big time. I've had 2IPA's with less hop aroma. The taste is very crisp - delivering hop bitterness with a slightly nutty finish. Highly drinkable - definitely Firestone's best widely available offering.

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Pale 31 from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 514 ratings.