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

Drake’s 1500 Pale Ale

American Pale Ale  •  Drake’s Brewing Co.

Drake’s 1500 Pale Ale is an award-winning American Pale Ale by Drake’s Brewing Co. that balances herbal and earthy hops with malty caramel. Read More

Citrafied

American Pale Ale  •  Due South Brewing Co.

Citrafied is an American Pale Ale by Due South Brewing Co. that packs a heavy dose of Citra hops flavor in a session low ABV brew. Read More

Sidecar Orange Pale Ale

American Pale Ale  •  Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sidecar Orange Pale Ale is an American Pale Ale by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. that blends sweet oranges and caramel with a trio of hops. Read More

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