Home > American Pale Ale > Pale 31

Pale 31

Rating: 3.65

Time now for what will be the second of several Firestone Walker beers I picked up at my local bottle shop recently, this one following on from their Easy Jack session IPA that I reviewed not too long ago and quite enjoyed without it truly standing out. This particular offering is mroe of an established beer in the brewery’s range having been introduced in the early 2000’s but it’s not one that I’ve seen in the UK before and it seems to be finally making it this way thanks to the brewery’s new canning line. It’s another Californian beer as well, I seem to be drinking more than my fair share of them at the moment but since they fairly disappoint I’m not complaining.

Pale 31

Appearance (4/5): This one pours a clear and bright amber colour with a larger than expected, two or three centimetre tall head that is foamy looking and white in coloured. Retention is okay with a slight reduction early on but it holds at about half its original size for a fair bit after and there is some fine bubbles rising to the surface too.
Aroma (6/10): Some light tropical fruits, citrus and resinous pine kick things off here before some orange and faint mango start to come through. It’s not quite as in your face as I’d been expecting really but it was still a nice smelling beer with some sweetness coming through around the middle with a few grassy hops and touches of grain alongside the odd malt but I was a little disappointed if I’m honest.
Taste (7/10): Starting with a subtle bitterness from the pine hops, there is some grassy flavours and a little citrus early on before some grain, lemon and the odd tropical fruit start to make an appearance. It’s an improvement on the nose for me but I still wouldn’t rate it as a classic as there’s not all that much to grab your attention. There was some touches of grapefruit bitterness and the odd sweet malts right at the end but that’s about it really.
Palate (4/5): The beer does have quite a good balance with a nice bitterness throughout without it threatening to overpower, the beer was also fairly smooth with a medium body and the odd touch of sweetness. Carbonation was about average for the style and it was easy to drink despite my initial fear upon taking my first sip.

Overall (15/20): Like so many other beers I’ve tried of late, this is one that definitely grew on me as I worked my way down the glass. I initially wasn’t overly impressed with what I felt to be a weak nose and a lack of in your face hops with the taste but given time to open up the bitterness is there and the beer starts to work its magic. It’s definitely not up there with their Union Jack IPA but it’s not a bad effort from Firestone Walker again.

Brewed In: Paso Robles, California, United States of America
Brewery: Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
First Brewed: circa. 2002
Type: American Pale Ale
Abv: 4.9%
Serving: Cab (355ml)
Purchased: Good Spirits Co. (Glasgow)
Price: £3.00

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