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American-Style Pale Ale

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Location: North American
Category: Ale
BJCP Comparable Category: 18B - American Pale Ale

Style Description

This is the description of how the American-Style Pale Ale style of beer should taste, feel and look. However, there may be perfectly fine beers in this style that fall outside of these ranges and descriptions. This information is just to show the most commonly accepted ranges for the American-Style Pale Ale beer style.

  • Body: Medium
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: Low caramel malt aroma is allowable. Low to medium maltiness may include low caramel malt character.
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: High, exhibiting floral, fruity (berry, tropical, stone fruit and other), sulfur, diesel-like, onion-garlic, catty, citrusy, piney or resinous character that was originally associated with American-variety hops. Hops with these attributes now also originate from countries other than the U.S.
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity esters may be low to high. Diacetyl should not be present.
  • Common Ingredients: Pale ale malt, typically North American two-row. American or New World hops, with a wide range of allowable characteristics. American or English ale yeast (neutral to lightly fruity). Specialty grains may add character and complexity, but generally make up a relatively small portion of the grist. Grains that add malt flavor and richness, light sweetness, and toasty or bready notes are often used (along with late hops) to differentiate brands.
  • Commercial Examples: Ballast Point Grunion Pale Ale, Firestone Walker Pale 31, Great Lakes Burning River, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Stone Pale Ale, Tröegs Pale Ale

Brewing Properties of American-Style Pale Ale

The functional properties of brewing American-Style Pale Ale beers as descided by the Brewers Association. These guidelines reflect, as accurately as possible, historical significance, authenticity or a high profile in the current commercial beer market.

ABV
The alcohol by volume is shows the amount of alcohol this style of beer should have.
4.4 - 5.4%
Bitterness
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
30 - 50 IBUs
SRM
SRM is a scale for measuring the color intensity of a beer. Low SRM grains impart a pale straw color while higher values mean it will add a darker color to the wort. Learn more »
4 - 7 SRM
(8 - 14 EBC)
Original Gravity
Original Gravity (OG) is a measure of the sugar content in the wort before alcoholic fermentation has started to produce the beer.
1.044 - 1.050
Final Gravity
The Final Gravity (FG) is how much sugar is left over in the beer when fermentation is complete.
1.008 - 1.014

If you see an error in our data, please let us know!

Based on Brewers Association 2020 Beer Style Guidelines with changes. Used with permission of Brewers Association.

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