Pale Ales

Learn all about pale ales from beer expert Katherine Kyle in this Howcast video.


You can tell by the name that it is an ale that uses the ale yeast. It's kind of a broad category. It can go anywhere from the English ales, such as an ESB, extra special bitter, but really, you know, it starts out with the bitter itself, which is a, you know, quite a lower strength of beer, you know, I think anywhere from about 3.2 is acceptable in a bitter. And then you move into the, you know, little bit stronger English bitters and all the way up to that extra special bitter which is, you know, around, you know, five, six percent. There's a broad range of American styles that have, you know, come in, especially, you know, over the last many years, and that, you would probably start out with the American pale ale.

And it's going to have, you know, some really, you know, hops that are very present. That's something that's, you know, very traditional in the American style, but it's going to have a malt backbone that really sort of braces it and, you know, backs it up right there. Also, the American amber is a pale ale and that is a style of beer, it's similar to the pale ale except that it's going to lean more towards the malt in terms of balance. So there still can be quite a bit of hop presence in it, but the malt, which brings out this sweetness will also be very prominent.

Another style of pale ale is the American brown, and that's, you know, you've probably learned by now that whenever I saw brown or dark that that's a result of roasting the malts, and, again, it's going to have some roast, some roasted malts to make the, you know, the color brown but it's not going to come out a whole lot in roastiness. If it goes too far in the roastiness direction you're going to wind up with a totally different style of beer and that would be the porter. So you're looking at a, you know, a light roast. Again, that's what makes it pale is because of the light roast of the malt. So those are different examples of what a pale ale is.

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