Belgian Pale Ale

Recipes:
2,084
BJCP 2021:
24B
Era:
Traditional
Origin:
🇧🇪 Belgium
Fermentation:
Top
Color:
Amber
Strength:
Normal
Taste:
Balanced

Profile

Belgian Pale Ale is a fairly versatile beer style that offers a delicate balance between malty sweetness, hop bitterness, and a distinctive yeast character. The history of Belgian Pale Ale can be traced back to the mid-20th century when it emerged as a more approachable, everyday beer amidst Belgium's renowned brewing landscape, which was known for stronger and often darker brews. It provided an alternative to the popular imports of British pale ales, establishing itself as a sessionable choice in native Belgian bars and cafés.

In terms of appearance, Belgian Pale Ales typically exhibit an amber to copper hue with good clarity and a persistent off-white head that laces nicely on the glass. The aroma is complex, with moderate maltiness showcasing toasty or biscuity notes often complemented by mild to moderate fruitiness. Hints of orange or pear-like esters may be present due to the distinctive Belgian yeast strains used during fermentation. A gentle spiciness from hops or sometimes from the yeast can add another layer of intrigue without overwhelming the senses. The flavor profile follows the nose closely with moderate malt character presenting bready or caramel-like tones along with again, that characteristic fruitiness from esters which might express themselves as stone fruits like apricot or even banana-like flavors at times. Hop bitterness is generally moderate but should provide enough balance against the sweetness without eclipsing it – the overall impression here is one of harmony rather than contrasts. The finish is usually dry to semi-dry ensuring drinkability while encouraging another sip.

Belgian Pale Ales are less intense than many other Belgian styles like Belgian Tripels or Belgian Dubbels; they are also not as tart or funky as some Belgian wild fermentations. They offer an accessible yet authentically Belgian tasting experience that connects drinkers with Belgium's rich brewing traditions while remaining suitable for casual enjoyment.

Specifications

Alcohol

Specification
4.8 – 5.5 %

In Database
4.4 < 5.2 < 6.0 %

Bitterness

Specification
20 – 30 IBU

In Database
18 < 25 < 33 IBU

Color

Specification
16 – 28 EBC
8 – 14 SRM

In Database
12 < 18 < 28 EBC
6 < 9 < 14 SRM

Original Extract

Specification
11.9 – 13.3 °P
1.048 – 1.054 OG

In Database
10.8 < 12.8 < 14.9 °P
1.043 < 1.052 < 1.061 OG

Final Gravity

Specification
2.6 – 3.6 °P
1.010 – 1.014 FG

In Database
1.4 < 3.1 < 4.5 °P
1.005 < 1.012 < 1.018 FG

Popularity Over Time

Most Used Yeasts

Most Used Hops

Dosage of Hops

Hop Pairings

Brewing Recipes