Amber ales were first brewed in the style of English bitters. The emphasis was on balance with a bit maltier and sweeter taste than the early pale ales. Approachable yet robust, amber ales in America are often first attributed to Full Sail based out of Oregon. The Full Sail Amber was created with more American hops, more alcohol, and a slightly more bitter taste.
The amber ales you find today are not much different than those brewed in the 1980’s. Made today with an ample helping of caramel malt, they have a sweetish body that plays well off the citrusy taste of American hops. Ambers rely on crystal malt to give the brew its color and its flavor.
Amber ales can be traced back centuries to Belgium. While may beers evolve over time, Ambers have remained more or less the same. They achieved early success and popularity tends to lock in the style. For many years Ambers have been considered session ales (beer easy drinking enough to have a few in a “session” of drinking at the pub) and today they remain so. The ABV range is 4.5-6% and they come in 20-40 IBU on the bitterness scale.
The Amber Ales from Black Tooth Brewing Company and Red Brick Brewing Company won Gold Medals from the U.S. Open Beer Championship and continue to be a fan-favorite ales. We have also featured an Amber Ale from 16 Mile Brewing which was awarded 92 Points from Beer Magazine.
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