The Pale Ale is an important style today. You can see it brewed commercially but also as a part of the growing craft beer industry. It’s time we refresh what we know about this amazing and tasty beer style.
And for another great American beer style check our West Coast IPA Recipe and CBD Dosing.
The origin of the Pale Ale
Pale Ale dates back to the very early 1700s in England. It found its original home in Burton on Trent because the water supply there had one key advantage in that it contains high amounts of sulfides. This provided great clarity and high pitch rate tolerance which was key to this style.
They usually have more hops additions throughout the boiling process. This beer style became the most common beer drank for a long time. Once the water chemistry was understood then this water profile spread in England and beyond into the world. It’s still used by many worldwide.
But this style is still being overshadowed by its offspring which is known as IPA. The IPA is a Pale Ale that was dry-hopped to keep it fresh for long periods usually at sea. The Pale Ale is essentially the same beer but without the dry hops.
The American Pale Ale
An American Pale Ale is essential as a similar beer style to its originator. Both of American ingredients and expression. The commercial beer market is simply bursting with examples. And the American adaptation has now clearly overshadowed its British parentage a long time back. American Pale Ale is now brewed worldwide. Not just by breweries but also by homebrewers. this is one style that has really benefited from time and new ideas are outgoing.
Pale Ale beer style was originally named as such because it was mostly just pale ale malt with a little crystal malt for head retention. A good APA will have mass accessibility and a high drinkability along with the appropriate balance in the malt to hops. The classic grain bill is as simple as 95% pale ale malt and 5% crystal malt. Most breweries worldwide still stick to this as their grain bill.
In terms of hop additions, the classic APA would always start with a bittering hop at the beginning of the boil which is usually 60 minutes. It is also very common to see 10, 15, and 0 minutes additions for this style. The hops that you should use with this style really should be American or at the very least the end result tasting mostly of American hops. The classics like Cascade, Centennial, and Amarillo work very well.