Pale ale may have a lighter hue than its counterparts, but don't underestimate it. It typically tastes hoppier than other ales and lagers, resulting in a subtle yet bitter flavor.
However, ales from different areas of the world tend to have different flavor profiles. English pale ales have a malty flavor with fruity notes, while American pale ales are more bitter. India pale ales, which hail from England despite the name, are more bitter than the American ones, with a strong hoppy taste.
How to serve it?
If you're more of a straight-from-the-can kind of person, live you truth and drink right outta that can. If you're in the mood for a frosty glass, serve these beers in a pint glass or, even better, a stein. Make sure to drink it at 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit for the best flavor.
Not surprisingly, English pale ales pair well with traditional pub food like ribs and shepherd's pie. If you're planning to serve them with a cheese platter, choose English cheddar, which complements the fruity notes of the beer.
American pale ales are food-friendly, so pair them with a variety of dishes. Try them with seafood, mild cheddar, salads, grilled meats and desserts like apple pie.
As for India pale ales, you can try them with Thai or Mexican food, salmon, burgers, or fruity desserts with citrus and mango.
The history of pale ale
In England, brewers were already producing beers from pale barley malt in the early 18th century. However, pale ales became popular in the United States beginning in the late 1970s. In 1979, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. created the first pale ale from the U.S.
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