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PALE AMERICAN ALE
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Overall Impression: Easy-drinking, approachable, maltoriented American craft beer, often with interesting fruit, hop, or character malt notes. Well-balanced and clean, is a refreshing pint without aggressive flavors.
Aroma: Light to moderate malty aroma, generally neutral or grainy, possibly with a light bread or caramel note. Low to moderate fruitiness is optional, but acceptable. May have a low to medium hop aroma, and can reflect almost any hop variety although citrusy, floral, fruity, and spicy notes are common. Clean fermentation profile.
Appearance: Light yellow to deep gold in color. Clear to brilliant. Low to medium white head with fair to good retention.
Flavor: Initial soft maltiness, but can also have light character malt flavor (e.g., bread, toast, biscuit, wheat). Caramel flavors usually absent; if present, they are typically low-color caramel or honey notes. Low to medium fruity esters optional, but are welcome. Light to moderate hop flavor (any variety), but shouldn’t be overly aggressive. Medium-low to medium bitterness, but the balance is normally towards the malt or even between malt and hops. Finishes medium-dry to slightly malty; an impression of sweetness is often an expression of lower bitterness than actual residual sweetness. Clean fermentation profile.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light to medium body. Medium to high carbonation. Smooth without being heavy.
Comments: Oxidized versions can develop caramel or honey notes, which should not be mistaken for similar malt-derived flavors. Sometimes known as Golden Ale or simply a Gold.
History: An American craft beer style produced as a fasterproduced alternative to standard American lagers. First believed to be produced in 1987 at Catamount. Often positioned as an entry-level house ale.
Style Comparison: Typically has more flavor than American Lager and Cream Ale. Less bitterness than an American Pale Ale. Perhaps similar to some maltier examples of Kölsch.
Commercial Examples: Firestone Walker 805, Kona Big Wave Golden Ale, Real Ale Firemans #4 Blonde Ale, Russian River Aud Blonde, Victory Summer Love, Widmer Citra Summer Blonde Brew