One of the most classic and at the same time popular styles of beer is the Pale Ale style. The word “Ale” refers to the type of fermentation with which this beer is made (high fermentation produced by the yeast strain “Saccharomyces Cerevisiae”) and the word “Pale”, which indicates the type of malt used, a pale malt. Its historical origin takes place in the city of Burton-Upon-Trent, in the heart of England.
This city boasts a very long brewing tradition that began in its abbey back in the 11th century, and all thanks to the abundance of raw materials and water available to them, and of course, free time and good palate enjoyed by their monks. Already in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the city’s brewers (who were no longer monks) improved the malting process using a kind of coal called coke. Thanks to the use of this new fuel, energy could be generated in a much more controllable way than burning wood, making it possible to obtain much less toasted and therefore less dark barley malt. As a result, when using this malt for brewing, it also had a much lighter colour.
Little by little, the Pale Ale style became popular in England and ended up imposing on the Porter style, a very popular dark beer at the time, and the most toasted beers. With the expansion of industrial beers, the Pale Ale suffered a major setback that almost led to their disappearance, but thanks to the resurgence of microbreweries in recent years, it has reappeared, and with more force than ever.
In general, Pale Ale are light to medium-bodied beers with low carbonation, which gives them great “drinkability” (an invented word that, although it is laughable, defines the concept very well) and they are very refreshing. Its colour can go from yellow to copper and its foam is white. The original English version (EPA) of this style tends to give a little more importance to malt flavours, with even a hint of caramel in some cases. In the American version (APA), on the other hand, hops are given more prominence, giving rise to more aromatic beers and ones with usually citrus flavours, but which can cover a wide range of fruity, resinous and floral profiles. They are beers in which the bitterness is well present but is never the protagonist.