English Pale ale

Reads 2469 • Replies 59 • Started Thursday, November 2, 2017 1:22:02 PM CT

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chriso
beers 7540 º places 736 º 18:36 Thu 11/2/2017

Originally posted by Sigmund
While pale ales are not necessarily very pale, they are paler than the counterpart of their heyday in the 19th Century, the porter.

Exactly. But it certainly seems to be the case that, whilst they were called Pale Ale and labelled as such in bottle by the brewers, the very same beers came to be known as Bitter on draught in the pubs by customers - no point of sale badging or branding for draught beers back then. So in the UK, until pretty recently at least - when Pale Ale tended to fall out of use here in favour of Bitter - it appears that Bitter and Pale Ale from a particular brewery were exactly the same, making having two different styles for them rather redundant. Whether English Pale Ale has evolved into something different in the US is beyond my experience.

 
chriso
beers 7540 º places 736 º 18:42 Thu 11/2/2017

Originally posted by ebone1988
Cask Bitters come to the US as ESB due to the higher malt build to survive the trip.

Of course, we have only one ESB here in the UK as Fullers has the rights to the name sewn up tight. We have beers labelled as Strong Bitters, or Special Bitters, or whatever. But ESB means Fullers ESB. Maybe another example of American monikers being heavily influenced by a single beer?

 
ebone1988
beers 2500 º places 25 º 18:55 Thu 11/2/2017

Originally posted by chriso
Originally posted by ebone1988
Cask Bitters come to the US as ESB due to the higher malt build to survive the trip.

Of course, we have only one ESB here in the UK as Fullers has the rights to the name sewn up tight. We have beers labelled as Strong Bitters, or Special Bitters, or whatever. But ESB means Fullers ESB. Maybe another example of American monikers being heavily influenced by a single beer?


Good question. Old Speckled Hen comes here as an ESB, which is a shame because a friend of mine who went to St Andrews loved the cask version and hates it in a bottle. Foreign stouts fall in a similar category.

 
Bitterbill
beers 2621 º places 25 º 19:05 Thu 11/2/2017

Hopshackle Extra Special Bitter. From the UK, right?

 
chriso
beers 7540 º places 736 º 19:39 Thu 11/2/2017

Originally posted by Bill Becker
Hopshackle Extra Special Bitter. From the UK, right?

The trademark is on ESB, not Extra Special Bitter.

 
Bitterbill
beers 2621 º places 25 º 19:48 Thu 11/2/2017

Originally posted by chriso
Originally posted by Bill Becker
Hopshackle Extra Special Bitter. From the UK, right?

The trademark is on ESB, not Extra Special Bitter.


I KNEW you were going to say that!
I think of nothing but Fuller's when I see ESB.

 
minutemat
beers 9245 º places 379 º 03:39 Fri 11/3/2017

English Pale Ale = bottled version of a bitter

 
Jow
beers 5070 º places 374 º 06:59 Fri 11/3/2017

Just figured I’d post official description from RateBeer for reference.

Classic English Pale Ales are not pale but rather are golden to copper colored and display English variety hop character. Distinguishing characteristics are dryness and defined hop taste, but more malt balance than what you’ll typically find in an American Pale Ale. Great to drink with all sorts of meats including roast beef, lamb, burgers, duck, goose, etc. Note that the term ’pale ale’ is used in England to signify a bottled bitter, and in that way there is no such thing as ’English Pale Ale’ to the English. The style is a North American construct, borne of the multitude of pale ales that pay homage to these bottled bitters - Bass in particular - and therefore the majority of true examples of the style are found outside Britain.


 
chriso
beers 7540 º places 736 º 07:41 Fri 11/3/2017

Originally posted by Jow
Just figured I’d post official description from RateBeer for reference.

Classic English Pale Ales are not pale but rather are golden to copper colored and display English variety hop character. Distinguishing characteristics are dryness and defined hop taste, but more malt balance than what you’ll typically find in an American Pale Ale. Great to drink with all sorts of meats including roast beef, lamb, burgers, duck, goose, etc. Note that the term ’pale ale’ is used in England to signify a bottled bitter, and in that way there is no such thing as ’English Pale Ale’ to the English. The style is a North American construct, borne of the multitude of pale ales that pay homage to these bottled bitters - Bass in particular - and therefore the majority of true examples of the style are found outside Britain.

I'd be curious to get a US take (and maybe a European one) on this. That description certainly captures the UK perspective. If the beers from which EPAs drew inspiration were simply bottled Bitters (ignoring subdivisions based primarily on alcohol content) have they evolved into something different in the US, and possibly elsewhere? If so what are the characteristics that distinguish them, apart from the nomenclature? If there's nothing concrete then surely Bitter or Premum Bitter/ESB and English Pale Ale are just synonyms and not separate styles?

 
hawthorne00
beers 5264 º places 58 º 09:16 Fri 11/3/2017

If so what are the characteristics that distinguish them, apart from the nomenclature?Many of them are like an English beer of a similar flavour profile but with 0.5 - 1 % higher ABV. eg Drinks much like an ordinary bitter but is 5%.