About English Style Pale Ale

About English Style Pale Ale
English-style pale ales are pale gold to amber in color and range in alcohol from 4-6%. These beers are characterized by the flavors and aromas of nutty and biscuity English malts, floral and earthy English hops and the notes of fruitiness and faint butterscotch of English yeast. Water also plays a key role in the overall character of these beers. Great examples of this style are brewed with harder water resembling that of Burton-Upon-Trent, lending these beers an impression of dryness in the finish and rounded hop bitterness.

Pale ales originated in England over 300 years ago with the advent of new technology making pale barely malt a possibility. In the 19th century, ales that were pale in color were often referred to as pale ale or bitter interchangeably. Today, there is a distinction between these styles, albeit a very fine distinction with some arguing that “bitter” refers to the style dispensed as draft and “pale ale” to the style when bottled. Noteworthy examples of this style include: Fuller’s London Pride Pale Ale, Sam Smith’s Organic Pale Ale and Marston’s Pedigree English Pale Ale.

Top Picks for English Style Pale Ale

Samuel Adams Crystal Pale Ale
95 points
Pale brilliant golden amber color. Bright, green, herbal aromas and flavors of pine forest, sage basil pepper muffin, caramelized citrus, and earl grey tea with a silky, crisp, fizzy, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a tingling, medium-long finish with touches of grilled romaine and kiwi, peppercorns, hint of bark, and herbs de Provence finish. A nice herbal, earthy, hop-forward pale ale.
Deschutes Brewery Mirror Pond Pale Ale
90 points
Minutely hazy amber color. Aromas of toast with kiwi-lemon curd, spiced butter roasted corn, dried fruits and ginger, and nut oil with a supple, crisp, effervescent, dry-yet-fruity medium body and an effortless, delightful, medium-long radicchio, candied lemon peel, and nutskin finish. A light and tropical English-Style Pale Ale that doesn’t skimp on lush aromatic hops.
Shoreline Brewery Dont Panic English Pale Ale
90 points
Gold color. Toasty aromas and flavors of roasted nuts and carrots and fig newton with a supple, crisp, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, captivating, medium-long finish with accents of peppercorn bread and arugula and radicchio finish. A nice balanced, lively English style pale ale with great session-ability and table appeal.
Vancouver Island Brewing Pipers Pale Ale
86 points
Minutely hazy deep amber color. Herbal aromas and flavors of hard bread sticks and pretzels, grilled corn with salted butter, and butter pecan ice cream with a supple, racy, fizzy, dryish medium body and a tingling, brisk finish revealing shades of bitter greens, charred nuts, and baking chocolate finish. A fine English Style Pale Ale with a nice dry finish.
Old Speckled Hen English Style Fine Ale
85 points
Minutely hazy copper color. Aromas and flavors of bit of honey candy, frosted pineapple and banana cakes, buttered strawberry biscuit with honey, and dry eraser marker with a silky, soft, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a polished, interesting, medium-long finish with accents of lettuces, praline, and cream finish. An English style pale ale with great fine texture and superb drinkability.