Featured Style: American Pale Ale

The Fourth of July is upon us. What better way to celebrate this patriotic holiday than with an American Pale Ale? This classic brew might arguably be the style that triggered the craft beer movement here in the US. Prior to the 1980′s, the options for pale ale were pretty slim and often referred to the malt-driven session brews or ESBs coming out of England. That all changed when a few small California micro-breweries like Sierra Nevada, Anchor Steam and New Albion began experimenting with local indigenous ingredients…most importantly, hops. These founding fathers paved the way for a new style of pale ale; declaring our independence from England and producing a quintessential American version that would set the bar for decades to come.

Using a locally-grown hop known as Cascade, they created a bolder and more aggressively-hopped pale ale than its caramelly-sweet and delicately-hopped cousin across the pond. With a vibrant citrus nose, good malty backbone and a snappy, bitter finish, the American palate was forever changed.

Fast forward to today and you’ll find a wide range of pale ales on the market. From citrusy and grapefruity to bready and bisquity, aromas and flavors run the gamut. They range in color from golden to dark copper and the amount of hop bitterness varies widely, anywhere from 30-50 IBUs with some tinkering more on the scale of an India Pale Ale with IBUs closer to 60.

While Cascade remains one of the classic APA hops, there are numerous options available to brewers these days. Simcoe, Centennial, Liberty, Columbus, Chinook, Willamette, you name it. Each with their own unique aroma and flavor profile, these hops have provided brewers with the ability to experiment and create their own distinctive version. Several craft breweries such as Boulder and Founders also use a “dry-hopping” method to impart even more concentrated hop aroma in their brew or will pass the wort through a “hopback” vessel such as the one that Troegs is so famously known for.

Needless to say, the variety of ingredients available to brewers and different practices taking place in the brewhouse over the last few decades is truly inspiring. On this holiday and every day of the year, you should feel proud to have such an abundance of American-made choices at your fingertips! Just check out our extensive list below!

Cheers & Hoppy 4th of July!!

Smuttynose Shoals Pale Ale
HOPS: Cascade, Galena
ABV: 5.6%
IBU: 52

Stone Pale Ale
HOPS: Columbus, Ahtanum
ABV: 5.4%
IBU: 41

Troegs Pale Ale
HOPS: Liberty, Cascade; Hopback: Cascade
ABV: 5.4%
IBU: 45

Boulder Hazed & Infused
HOPS: Willamette, Nugget, Crystal, Cascade,Centennial; Dry-hopped with Crystal, Centennial
ABV: 4.85%
IBU: 38

Flying Dog Doggie Style Classic Pale Ale
HOPS: Cascade, Northern Brewer
ABV: 5.5%
IBU: 31

Founders Pale Ale
HOPS: Cascade; Dry-hopped with Cascade
ABV: 5.4%
IBU: 34

Oskar Blues Dales Pale Ale
HOPS: Cascade, Columbus and Centennial (an ever-changing blend!)
ABV: 6.5%
IBU: 60

Full Sail Pale Ale
HOPS: Northwest Varieties
ABV: 5.4%

Yards Philly Pale Ale
HOPS: Simcoe
ABV: 4.6%
IBU: 36

River Horse Hop Hazard
HOPS: Chinook, Cascade, Centennial
ABV: 6.5%
IBU: 40

Sly Fox Phoenix Pale Ale
HOPS: Centennial, Cascade
ABV: 5.1%
IBU: 40

Great Divide Denver Pale Ale
HOPS: Unknown
ABV: 5.5%
IBU: Unknown

Lagunitas Dogtown Pale Ale
HOPS: primarily Simcoe
ABV: 6.2%
IBU: 45

Left Hand Stranger Pale Ale
HOPS: Centennial, Williamette, Cascade
ABV: 5%
IBU: 36

Caldera Pale Ale
HOPS: Cascade
ABV: 5.6%
IBU: 55

Old Dominion Hop Mountain Pale Ale
HOPS: Nelson Sauvin, Cascade, Columbus
ABV: 6.6%
IBU: Unknown

NJ Beer Co. Hudson Pale Ale
HOPS: Unknown
ABV: 5.8%
IBU: Unknown

Philadelphia Brewing Pale Ale
HOPS: Centennial, Amarillo
ABV: 5.25%
IBU: 50

And coming soon….
Boulder Hoopla in cans!
HOPS: Nugget, Glacier, Centennial
ABV: 5.7%


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