American Pale Ale (APA)
Pale ales are have a hop forward scent and flavor with a strong foundation of malt sweetness. They are light and flavorful often with hints of citrus, pine or flowers. They stay away from bitterness and the American version tends to be honey colored in hue.
What started out in the “Old World” as English bitter, came to America and got lighter in color and the German hops were replaced with Cascade hops. Some of the first craft breweries to take on American Pale Ale in the 1980’s, was Anchor, and the extremely popular Sierra Nevada. The backbone of this very successful style of beer, Cascade hops, was developed at Oregon State University. It was inexpensive to grow and was supposed to taste a lot like German Hops. Brewing giant Coors invested heavily in planting many acres with it, however they ultimately rejected it because it had too much of a wild, assertive citrus flavor that did not fit in with their recipe. It was a flavor though that really appealed to master brewer Ken Grossman at Sierra Nevada who made his pale ale the cornerstone of his craft brewing operation. The ABV range is 4.5-6% and the preferred serving temperature is 50-60 degrees (F).
You can find a number of APA's that have been featured in our monthly beer shipments from breweries across the country. Caldera Brewing Company's West Coast-Style Pale Ale is one such beer that has been awarded a Gold Medal in the European Beer Star Competition. They are also the first craft brewery on the West Coast to brew and can its own beer.
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