Strong American Ale

BJCP 2021:


The Strong American Ale category is a group of bold and often high-alcohol beers that are mainly characterized by their strong malt and hop profiles. This category includes styles such as the American Barleywine, Wheatwine, and the imperial versions of pale ales and IPAs which display a wide array of flavors ranging from bready or caramel-like malt character to varying levels of hop bitterness, flavor, and aroma. Typically showcasing American hop varieties, these beers are usually less refined or balanced than some of their British counterparts, favoring pronounced hop-forward notes along with a higher alcohol warmth.

What sets the Strong American Ale category apart from other beer categories is the assertive flavors coupled with high alcohol content, frequently exceeding 7% up to around 12% ABV or higher. These ales may sometimes offer darker fruit undertones and complex esters while still maintaining an unambiguous American craft beer identity that hinges on boldness in both taste and potency. Not strictly adherent to any specific color range, these styles can range from golden amber to rich dark hues depending on the specific type. Despite their intensity, these beers should remain well-attenuated and drinkable without veering into excessive heaviness or cloying sweetness.

Distinct beer styles within this category:



In Database
6.8 < 8.3 < 11.9 %


In Database
41 < 79 < 117 IBU


In Database
8 < 18 < 37 EBC
4 < 9 < 19 SRM

Original Extract

In Database
15.7 < 19.4 < 27.0 °P
1.065 < 1.081 < 1.117 OG

Final Gravity

In Database
2.2 < 4.6 < 7.7 °P
1.008 < 1.018 < 1.030 FG

Popularity Over Time

Most Used Yeasts

Most Used Hops

Dosage of Hops

Hop Pairings

Brewing Recipes