Overview for the American Pale Ale

The American Pale Ale is a hop-forward brew that has less alcohol strength, is less bitter and is more approachable than the American IPA. Its clean and balanced palate makes use of New World or American hop varietals. Prior to the explosion of the American IPA, the American Pale Ale was the most popular craft beer style in the United States.

Style Expectations

A pale, refreshing and hoppy ale, yet with sufficient supporting malt to make the beer balanced and drinkable. The clean hop presence can reflect classic or modern American or New World hop varieties with a wide range of characteristics. An average-strength hop-forward pale American craft beer, generally balanced to be more accessible than modern American IPAs.

Appearance

Pale golden to light amber. Moderately large white to off-white head with good retention. Generally quite clear, although dry-hopped versions may be slightly hazy.

Aroma

Moderate to strong hop aroma from American or New World hop varieties with a wide range of possible characteristics, including citrus, floral, pine, resinous, spicy, tropical fruit, stone fruit, berry, or melon. None of these specific characteristics are required, but hops should be apparent. Low to moderate maltiness supports the hop presentation, and may optionally show small amounts of specialty malt character (bready, toasty, biscuit, caramelly). Fruity esters vary from moderate to none. Dry hopping (if used) may add grassy notes, although this character should not be excessive.

Flavor

Moderate to high hop flavor, typically showing an American or New World hop character (citrus, floral, pine, resinous, spicy, tropical fruit, stone fruit, berry, melon, etc.). Low to moderate clean grainy-malt character supports the hop presentation, and may optionally show small amounts of specialty malt character (bready, toasty, biscuity). The balance is typically towards the late hops and bitterness, but the malt presence should be supportive, not distracting. Caramel flavors are often absent or fairly restrained (but are acceptable as long as they don\\\\\\\'t clash with the hops). Fruity yeast esters can be moderate to none, although many hop varieties are quite fruity. Moderate to high hop bitterness with a medium to dry finish. Hop flavor and bitterness often lingers into the finish, but the aftertaste should generally be clean and not harsh. Dry hopping (if used) may add grassy notes, although this character should not be excessive.

Mouthfeel

Medium-light to medium body. Moderate to high carbonation. Overall smooth finish without astringency and harshness.

Reviews

Magic City

American Pale Ale  •  Wynwood Brewing Company

Magic City is an American Pale Ale by Wynwood Brewing Company whose orange-flavored, balanced palate features double-dry-hopped Mosaic. Read More

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Floridays Tropical Pale Ale

American Pale Ale  •  Islamorada Beer Company

Floridays Tropical Pale Ale is an American Pale Ale by Islamorada Beer Company that’s light and refreshing with heaps of tropical fruit. Read More

Trail Ride

American Pale Ale  •  Laughing Dog Brewing

Trail Ride is an American Pale Ale by Laughing Dog Brewing that’s dominated by floral, herbal, and citrus hops and balanced by toast and caramel. Read More

Samuel Adams New England Pale Ale

American Pale Ale  •  Boston Beer Company

The Samuel Adams New England Pale Ale by the Boston Beer Company is a real easy drinker. It’s juicy and refreshing with a pleasant bite. Read More

Salute the Sun

American Pale Ale  •  Elysian Brewing Company

Salute the Sun is an American Pale Ale brewed in the New England style by Elysian Brewing Company. The APA was brewed with black limes and heaps of Citra hops. Read More

CitruSinensis

American Pale Ale  •  Lagunitas Brewing Company

CitruSinensis is an American Pale Ale by Lagunitas Brewing Company whose sweet and juicy blood oranges are balanced lightly with citrus. Read More

Samuel Adams Pale Ale

American Pale Ale  •  Boston Beer Company

Samuel Adams Pale Ale is an American Pale Ale brewed by the Boston Beer Company that blends grapefruit, lemon, and pine with cracker, peach, and melon. Read More

Upslope Citra Pale Ale

American Pale Ale  •  Upslope Brewing Company

Upslope Citra Pale Ale is an American Pale Ale brewed by Upslope Brewing Company that’s Citra-hopped with grapefruit and balanced by tropical fruit and cracker. Read More

Dragons & YumYums

American Pale Ale  •  Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Dragons & YumYums is an American Pale Ale by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery that blends sweet and tart tropical fruit with pine, resin, and bready malt. Read More

Maroon Bells

American Pale Ale  •  14er Brewing Company

Maroon Bells is an American Pale Ale by 14er Brewing Company that offers mildly bitter grapefruit balanced by guava and cracker malt. Read More

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