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Extra Pale Ale

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Since Extra Pale Ale beers are only about five years old and are not recognized as a beer style category, the term "Extra" is open to interpretation. This beer style may also be recognized by the name XPA, session IPA, Hoppy Pale Ale, or Strong Pale Ale. To best understand exactly what an Extra Pale Ale is, one might describe it as a twist on the American Pale Ale (APA) style, that falls somewhere between a Pale Ale and an India Pale Ale (IPA).

An Extra Pale Ale is often bigger than an APA, but lighter than an IPA. The color generally falls between a pale golden and deep amber color with a decent head. It can be characterized as being refreshing, clear, and having a medium body, however, hazy versions exist as well. A strong supporting Extra Pale Ale malt is important, but the key to the best Extra Pale Ales is definitely the hops. For ABV Extra Pale Ales usually range from 5-6%, which makes a lot of sense, since APAs generally range from 4-5% and IPAs from 6-7%.

So, what is the reasoning and importance of adding "Extra" to the front of the beer style? Well, most believe it is used as a marketing tactic, whereas others believe it is referring to the extra pale color, extra aroma, and extra flavor. With two different reasons, it would seem the interpretation of the word is up to the imagination of the beer drinker.

Every brewer has their own interpretation of the beer style as well, each producing uniquely different beers that are all equally delicious. If you come across one of these incredibly hoppy, delightful Extra Pale Ales be sure to give it a try!

We have had the pleasure of featuring a few Extra Pale Ales in our craft beer of the month club, including: SweetWater Brewing's 420 Extra Pale Ale, Grey Sail Flying Jenny's Extra Pale Ale, and Mad River Brewing's Steelhead Extra Pale ale. We look forward to featuring more of this great style in the future. Cheers!



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