Strong Bitter

Includes styles: English Pale Ale, EPA

Recipes:
11,810
BJCP 2021:
11C
Era:
Traditional
Origin:
🇬🇧 Great Britain
Fermentation:
Top
Color:
Amber
Strength:
Normal
Taste:
Bitter

Profile

The Strong Bitter is a traditional British ale with a storied past, tracing its origins back to the 19th century when it was simply known as "Bitter". Over time, as brewers began crafting variations with different strengths, the style evolved to include Ordinary Bitter, Best Bitter, and Strong Bitters, with the latter being the most robust in flavor and alcohol content.

In appearance, a Strong Bitter presents with a rich amber to copper hue and should exhibit brilliant clarity. A creamy off-white head typically adorns the pour and should retain well. Lacing along the glass as one drinks is common and adds to the visual allure of this style. Upon tasting, expect a balanced blend of malt and hops. The malt profile often delivers medium to moderately-strong notes of biscuit or lightly toasted breadiness. English hop varieties contribute an earthy, floral, or even fruity character that complements without overpowering the malt; their bitterness level can range from medium to moderately high but should integrate smoothly. On the nose, there are similar balances at play; delicate aromas of malt mingling with varied hop scents can make for an engaging prelude to each sip.

This style relates quite closely to its siblings within the traditional Bitter family in terms of brewing philosophy – a focus on balance and drinkability – but distinguishes itself through its greater intensity in both flavor imparted by higher hopping rates and alcohol warmth due to increased fermentation strength. The stylistic lines between Best Bitter and Strong Bitter may blur slightly because these styles exist on a spectrum rather than as distinct categories; however, what sets them apart is generally more pronounced characteristics across all taste and aroma profiles in Strong Bitters.

Specifications

Alcohol

Specification
4.6 – 6.2 %

In Database
4.2 < 5.3 < 6.6 %

Bitterness

Specification
30 – 50 IBU

In Database
22 < 37 < 55 IBU

Color

Specification
16 – 35 EBC
8 – 18 SRM

In Database
10 < 21 < 37 EBC
5 < 11 < 19 SRM

Original Extract

Specification
11.9 – 14.7 °P
1.048 – 1.060 OG

In Database
10.9 < 13.3 < 16.4 °P
1.044 < 1.054 < 1.067 OG

Final Gravity

Specification
2.6 – 4.1 °P
1.010 – 1.016 FG

In Database
2.1 < 3.6 < 5.3 °P
1.008 < 1.014 < 1.021 FG

Popularity Over Time

Most Used Yeasts

Most Used Hops

Dosage of Hops

Hop Pairings

Brewing Recipes