What Is Pale Ale?

With ale gaining increasing popularity, you might be asking yourself, "What is pale ale?". Pale ale is a type of beer in which pale colored malt and top quality yeast is used for fermentation. Pale ale is considered good quality because of its clear, golden, copper color and strong, bitter taste.

Pale ale was originally brewed in Burton England and was a result of beer innovation. Pale ale, most commonly known as India pale ale, is a beer brewing style. In the eighteenth century, breweries used wood for production which was difficult to control and which gave a darker tone to the resulting ale. This was improved by replacing wood with a coal in the brewing process. The resultant ale was paler and refined in color.

The signature color of Burton ale was due to the high calcium in the local water. In the 1800s, when pale ale was first brewed, England was ruling India. Burton ale was sent to the Englishmen by sea. Initially the East India Company brought pale ale to India. The time taken to complete the journey made ale acquire quality and flavor due to aging. This  led to its name Indian pale ale, or IPA. This is actually refers to a style of brewing rather than flavor.

In the beginning, alcohol content was kept high in ale because it had to be supplied by sea that took months. The preservatives from fermentation kept the ale in good condition and it developed a pronounced bitter flavor. Later, for domestic usage, a version with less alcohol was developed.

The most enjoyed type of pale ale is that made from fresh hops. Freshly picked hops are added to the brew along with some dried hops to adjust the strength of flavor. There are three famous styles of brewing pale ale English, American and Belgian. Most appreciated is the traditional English style IPA to which some breweries add Burton salt to replicate the taste.

 

 

References:
CAMRA


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