You can actually trace the craft beer revolution back to patient zero—Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Back when it was released in 1980, stores and bars alike were full of standard lagers. The crisp, hoppy beer was a blast of flavor the country didn't know it needed.
While pale ale beers had been around for 300 years in England, the US has tweaked the formula and truly made it what it is today. British pale ales tend to be malty and fruity, while the American version is aromatic and cleanly bitter. Although traditionally they have a moderate ABV, the line of demarcation between pale ales and IPAs has essentially exploded, with hoppy, boozy options readily available.