Beer Maverick

Belgian-Style Pale Ale

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Location: Belgian and French
Category: Ale
BJCP Comparable Category: 24B - Belgian Pale Ale

Style Description

This is the description of how the Belgian-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 Belgian-Style Pale Ale beer style.

  • Color: Gold to copper
  • Body: Low to medium
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: Malt aroma should be low. Caramel or toasted malt flavor is acceptable.
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Low but noticeable. Noble-type hops are commonly used.
  • IBUs/Bitterness: Low to medium
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Low to medium fruity esters are present. Yeast-derived phenolic spicy flavors and aromas should be present at low to medium-low levels. Diacetyl should not be present.
  • Common Ingredients: Pilsner or pale ale malt contributes the bulk of the grist with (cara) Vienna and Munich malts adding color, body and complexity. Sugar is not commonly used as high gravity is not desired. Saazer-type hops, Styrian Goldings, East Kent Goldings or Fuggles are commonly used. Yeasts prone to moderate production of phenols are often used but fermentation temperatures should be kept moderate to limit this character.
  • Commercial Examples: De Koninck, De Ryck Special, Palm Dobble, Palm Speciale

Brewing Properties of Belgian-Style Pale Ale

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

The alcohol by volume is shows the amount of alcohol this style of beer should have.
4.1 - 6.3%
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
20 - 30 IBUs
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 »
6 - 12 SRM
(12 - 24 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 - 1.054
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.