Tag Archives: american pale ale

Beer Style: American Pale Ale

In this segment I’ll be shedding some light on the different beer styles, what makes them different from other beers and give a few examples of great beers within the style.

American Pale Ale

Pale Ales have taken Australia by storm over the last few years. In fact, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is often regarded as starting the craft beer revolution in America. In much the same way, our own Little Creatures Pale Ale introduced many Australians to a whole new range of beers. Since then, we’ve not turned back.

Pale Ales are divided between American (APA) and English (EPA) subtypes. There are quite a few differences between them,  but the key difference lies with the hop choices. An APA is hop forward and typically uses citrus/fruity hop varieties, while an EPA is more malty and uses earthy/spicy noble hops.

We typically see more APAs in Australia, so that is what I’ll focus my attention on here.

What makes a Pale Ale?

Appearance: Pale gold to deep amber are the most common.

Aroma: A citrusy hop variety is common, but not required. Low to moderate maltiness, either from caramel or speciality malts. There shouldn’t be much, if any, aromas from the yeast or their by-products.

Flavour: Hops should be quite prominent and overpower a clean malt character. Any sweetness from caramel malts should be balanced out with a stronger bitterness from the hops.

Bottom Line: It needs to be refreshing and hoppy, but ultimately balanced nicely to be a sessionable style.

Notable Examples

I love a good Pale Ale and while I started off on Little Creatures, I’ve come to relish a few gems:

  • Bridge Road Beechworth Pale Ale: Perfectly balanced hop/malt profile that is just an absolute pleasure to drink
  • Cavalier Pale Ale: This one is a bit sweeter than your average APA, but still has great fruity hop aromas and flavours.
  • Killer Sprocket Hey Juniper: A wildcard entry, but it is just so damn good. The juniper adds a really interesting and fun dynamic. Really yummy.

Leave a comment below and let me know what your favourites are.

Cheers!

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