Quick Sips: American Pale Ales are marked by their floral, fruity (citrus heavy,) flavors and medium body. The hops are medium, but pronounced and the maltiness is relatively sedate in keeping with a “clean” flavor. ABV clocks in around 5%.
Backstory: These beers are an American offshoot of British Ales. Beer historian Michael Jackson believes that the first manifestation in the States was in 1975. That year, Bay Area craft pioneer Anchor Brewing released the iconic Anchor Liberty Ale to honor the bicentennial of Paul Revere’s midnight ride.
The west coast continued the charge in 1981 when Sierra Nevada introduced their now ubiquitous Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. The popularity of the variety continued to grow through the early phases of the Craft Beer Awakening. In the late nineties, as the popularity of microbrews grew, Pale Ales endured a drop in production yielding to their cousin, the IPA.