pale ale

What to expect from… a Pale Ale

Think of this as IPAs little brother if you like. It has a similar pale appearance and refreshing character with malts and hops in good balance, but it’s all pitched at a gentler level.

It should pour a pale golden to light amber colour with a good head of white foam. It should range from clear to slightly hazy. Any more murk than that suggests too much hopping for the style and sees you edging away from pale ale territory into the land of IPAs. It’s always going to be a bit of a blurred line however.

The malt character should be light and clean, possibly with some speciality malt flavours such as bready, toasty or biscuity. Caramel might be a step too far here. A classic English pale ale would be identifiable by its hop character with spicy, herbal and earthy aromas being the order of the day. American pale ales display fruitier hop aromas, as you’d expect; look for stone fruit, toprical fruit, berry or melon, citrus, floral, pine or resinous. The yeast profile here is usually neutral to lightly fruity.

Beers to try in this style: Stone Pale Ale 2.0 (Ratebeer | Untappd), Meantime London Pale Ale (Ratebeer | Untappd)

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