American Pale Ale

Includes styles: APA

Recipes:
74,683
BJCP 2021:
18B
Era:
Craft
Origin:
North America
Fermentation:
Top
Color:
Pale
Strength:
Normal
Taste:
Bitter

Profile

The American Pale Ale (APA) is a distinct style of beer that represents a modern American craft beer adaptation of the traditional English Pale Ale, using indigenous ingredients. This style gained prominence with the introduction of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in 1980, which played a significant role in popularizing it. Before the rise in popularity of American IPAs, the American Pale Ale was the most well-known and popular of American craft beers.

An American Pale Ale typically presents itself with a pale golden to amber color, with a moderately large white to off-white head that has good retention. The beer is generally quite clear. The aroma is characterized by a moderate to moderately-high hop aroma, which can include a wide range of characteristics such as citrus, floral, pine, resin, spice, tropical fruit, stone fruit, berry, or melon. The malt in the aroma is low to moderate, neutral to grainy, and may show low amounts of specialty malt character like bread, toast, biscuit, or caramel. The flavor mirrors the aroma, with hop and malt characters showing similar intensities and descriptors. The beer has a medium-light to medium body with moderate to high carbonation, and a smooth finish without astringency or harshness.

When compared to other styles, the American Pale Ale is typically lighter in color and cleaner in fermentation profile than its English counterparts, with fewer caramel flavors. It differs from the American Amber Ale by being cleaner, having a less caramelly malt profile, less body, and often more finishing hops. It is less bitter and hoppy than an American IPA and more balanced and drinkable than session-strength American IPAs. Compared to a Blonde Ale, it is more bitter and hoppy.

Specifications

Alcohol

Specification
4.5 – 6.2 %

In Database
4.2 < 5.4 < 6.7 %

Bitterness

Specification
30 – 50 IBU

In Database
22 < 38 < 58 IBU

Color

Specification
10 – 20 EBC
5 – 10 SRM

In Database
7 < 12 < 22 EBC
4 < 6 < 11 SRM

Original Extract

Specification
11.2 – 14.7 °P
1.045 – 1.060 OG

In Database
10.2 < 12.9 < 16.0 °P
1.041 < 1.053 < 1.066 OG

Final Gravity

Specification
2.6 – 3.8 °P
1.010 – 1.015 FG

In Database
1.5 < 3.0 < 4.6 °P
1.006 < 1.012 < 1.018 FG

Popularity Over Time

Most Used Yeasts

Trending Yeasts

Most Used Hops

Dosage of Hops

Trending Hops

Hop Pairings

Brewing Recipes