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Types Of Ale

WRITTEN ON 14 September, 2021

Ale is one of the two major common beer styles. Known as top-fermented beers, the yeast strains continue to work at the top of the fermentation tank. Ale usually requires warmer temperatures, ranging from 13 to 21°C and has a shorter fermentation timeline.

Ale offers a fruity and spicy flavour due to the formation of esters and phenols that are created through quicker fermentation at warmer temperatures. They can be light or dark in colour that ranges from red, copper, orange and brown in appearance. The Alcohol By Volume (ABV) of ales ranges from 4-11 percent and an IBU (International Bitterness Units) varies between 8-100.

Types Of Ales

1. Pale Ale

Pale ale is a generic term that includes popular ale styles distinguished by their golden to amber colour, hop-forward and bitterness characteristics. The original pale ale is the British pale ale (English-style pale ale) that was first developed in England in the 18th century.

Throughout history, innovations in the brewing process gave rise to the popularity of pale ale through flavour development that evolved over time. Some notable pale ale styles are American pale ale, Indian pale ale, Belgian session ale and Bière de Garde.

2. Amber Ale

Amber ales are known for their malt sweetness and caramel flavour tends to be sweeter compared to other pale ales. The colour ranges from amber to red tones derived from the roasting of malt and caramels.

Today, the most popular styles of amber ales are American amber and Irish red ale. Although both of them share similar characteristics, the emphasis on the use of caramel and malt during the brewing process differentiates these two styles. In general, the American amber flavour profile has a high hop bitterness and aroma compared to the Irish red ale which is very low in hop flavour and aroma.

3. India Pale Ale

Indian pale ales are known for their bitter taste due to the additional use of hops during the brewing process. Due to its frequent export from England to India during the 18th and 19th centuries, the extra hops were used to preserve the beer for a longer time due to the extended travel periods.

IPA’s ABV (Alcohol By Volume) ranges from 5-10.5 percent and the IBU (International Bitterness Units) varies between 40-100. They are slightly darker in colour that can range from gold to copper or red/brown.