As Michael Jackson (the writer, not the moonwalking fellow) reports, American pale ales (APA) were born in 1975. Anchor Brewing Company released the first one, Anchor Liberty Ale, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere's midnight ride. Could it get more American than that? In the early 1980s, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company started to use American hops to produce pale ale beers.
Flavor profile and food pairings
The main characteristic of APAs is the unique flavor of American hops, which feature notes of fruit, flowers, pine and citrus. These beers are medium-bodied, with medium to low caramel notes and a toasted malt flavor. They have a 30 to 50 International Bittering Unit (IBU) value, which indicates a moderate bitterness, and fairly low alcohol content, from 4.4% to 5.4% ABV. Like many other beers, APAs are food-friendly thanks to the simplicity of their ingredients. Try them with grilled meats, chicken, cheddar, seafood, apple pies and other desserts.
American pale ales vs. India pale ales
India pale ales (IPAs) tend to taste hoppier and stronger than APAs. The former typically have a higher ABV value, approximately from 6% to 10%. However, the lines between IPAs and APAs are definitely blurred, and you can find an APA from one brewer that tastes just as hoppy as your favorite IPA from another brewer. There are no strict rules about what makes a beer an APA rather than an IPA. Both beer styles became popular when the craft beer trend started in the United States in recent times. Today, they're staples of most Tiki bars all across the country.
Do you want to try APAs for yourself? Shop Driz online or check if Drizly is in your city, and look for liquor stores on Drizly near you.