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

N/E Auburn Pale Ale

American Pale Ale  •  Knee Deep Brewing Co.

N/E Auburn Pale Ale is an American Pale Ale by Knee Deep Brewing Co. that brings big, bold hoppy flavors in a sessionable brew. Read More

Mega Mix Pale Ale

American Pale Ale  •  MIA Beer Co.

Mega Mix Pale Ale is an American Pale Ale brewed by MIA Beer Co. that blends hoppy citrus with tropical fruit and cracker malt. Read More

I Am Ocean

American Pale Ale  •  Barley Mow Brewing Company

I Am Ocean is an American Pale Ale brewed by Barley Mow Brewing Company that’s a pleasant enough pale but turns somewhat medicinal in its bite as it warms. Read More

Voodoo Ranger 8 Hop Pale Ale

American Pale Ale  •  New Belgium Brewing Company

Voodoo Ranger 8 Hop Pale Ale, an American Pale Ale by New Belgium Brewing Company brings a lot of hops to the palate but lacks depth. Read More

Fort Point

American Pale Ale  •  Trillium Brewing Company

Fort Point, an American Pale Ale by Trillium Brewing Company delights with a hazy appearance and its big juicy hop flavor without the bite of an IPA. Read More

Reef Donkey

American Pale Ale  •  Tampa Bay Brewing Company

Reef Donkey is an American Pale Ale by Tampa Bay Brewing Company that balances mildly bitter grapefruit with caramel malt. Read More

Neomexicanus Native

American Pale Ale  •  Crazy Mountain Brewing Company

Neomexicanus Native is an American Pale Ale by Crazy Mountain Brewing Company that blends piney hops with tangerine, mango, and cracker malt. Read More

Moab Pale

American Pale Ale  •  Moab Brewery

Moab Pale is an American Pale Ale by Moab Brewery that balances grassy, floral, and piney hops with caramel malt. Read More

Stone Ripper

American Pale Ale  •  Stone Brewing

Stone Ripper is an American Pale Ale by Stone Brewing that blasts the palate with grapefruit, orange, and spicy hops. Read More

Death Valley Pale Ale

American Pale Ale  •  Indian Wells Brewing Co.

Death Valley Pale Ale is an American Pale Ale by Indian Wells Brewing Co. whose bitter herbal and citrus hops clash with sweet caramel and bready malt. Read More

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