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American Strong Ale


This beer style was said to have started on accident by Stone Brewing Company by making a Pale Ale with an overload of intended ingredients. American Strong Ale style was said to have gained its name for being American, and described as strong with its high alcohol percentages, while other beers have obtained this name because their flavor does not fit in to any existing beer style categories.

American Strong Ales range in color from moderate amber to almost brown, but when held in the sunlight reveals a vibrant red hue. The brew is medium-full bodied, malty, hoppy, and complex in flavors and aromas. The aromas produced by the hops in American Strong Ales are reminiscent of citrus, cherries, and pine. Of course these fragrances are all layered over the heavy dark crystal and caramel malt aromas. As a whole, the American Strong Ale is more malt centered than hop forward, but still doesn’t compare to the maltiness of a barleywine.

The ABV can range from 7-25%. It is best served in a snifter glass, which is wide-bowled and wide-stemmed with a tapered mouth, leaving room to swirl the brew around and gather the aromas. American Strong Ales serving temperature is usually warmer than weaker brews because they are meant to be sipped slowly and enjoyed for their complexity, whereas cold temperatures would dilute these complex flavors and aromas.

Dishes with rich, caramelized flavors such as roasted duck, pork chops, thick-cheese pizza, saucy Mexican dishes, and rich pasta with marinara tend to pair well with American Strong Ales.

We've featured a few brews of this powerful beer style in our Craft Beer Club! All of which have come from different breweries and regions across the US. Sign up today and taste how the same style can (and does) taste different from each location!

Breweries Producing American Strong Ale