English Pale ale

Reads 2531 • Replies 59 • Started Thursday, November 2, 2017 1:22:02 PM CT

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Bryne
places 1229 º 10:05 Fri 11/3/2017

We don’t need this style in my opinion. There are too many «Anglo-American Ales» But, I would like to have some more styles: kvass, NEIPA and maybe Nordic Christmas Beer

 
Oakes
admin
beers 23785 º places 929 º 15:57 Fri 11/3/2017

Originally posted by chriso
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?


Here's the thing. Evolved into something different - yes. You wouldn't confuse them, for a lot of reasons. They did start life as basically a Michael Jackson error that was repeated until it became reality.

The thing for me is that EPA as a style is basically dead now in North America (and presumably everywhere else, where it was never born). It was big in the 90s, so was on here when RB started. But for a few reasons - dominance of US hops, lack of interest in yeast among most brewers, and lack of availability of fresh UK hops over here, you just don't see EPA much. I might have had four of them this year.

So it comes to a greater conversation around pale ale - with EPA on the way out, we don't talk about American Pale Ale, as the two were juxtaposed.

The only real discussion for me is when we roll EPA, do we roll them all into Pale Ale, or do some belong in Premium Bitter. More the former, I'm thinking.

 
slowrunner77
beers 17396 º places 500 º 18:21 Fri 11/3/2017

Then you have beers like this that say ESB right in the name and is listed as a (top 50) English Pale Ale.
https://www.ratebeer.com/beer/hopworks-velvet-esb/85717/

 
Bitterbill
beers 2636 º places 25 º 18:44 Fri 11/3/2017

Originally posted by slowrunner77
Then you have beers like this that say ESB right in the name and is listed as a (top 50) English Pale Ale.


User entry mistake?

 
slowrunner77
beers 17396 º places 500 º 19:23 Fri 11/3/2017

Sorry - just remembered to actually link the beer.
May or may not have been user eror at the outset, but it's on a top 50 list in a style other than what's in it's own name, and has 73 rates dating back to 2008.
Maybe it's a weird exception. Idunno. But I thought we went by brewer's intent, so if you are labeling your beer ESB...

Originally posted by Bill Becker
Originally posted by slowrunner77
Then you have beers like this that say ESB right in the name and is listed as a (top 50) English Pale Ale.


User entry mistake?

 
chriso
beers 7540 º places 736 º 06:26 Sat 11/4/2017

Originally posted by Oakes
So it comes to a greater conversation around pale ale - with EPA on the way out, we don't talk about American Pale Ale, as the two were juxtaposed.

The only real discussion for me is when we roll EPA, do we roll them all into Pale Ale, or do some belong in Premium Bitter. More the former, I'm thinking.

I'd be quite happy to go through the UK specimens on a case by case basis. But I suspect they've only got verified in the EPA style because they've slipped through the net and not through any conscious decision to put them there. But there aren't many of them so it wouldn't be an onerous task. Much more of a challenge elsewhere.

The reappearance of English Pale Ale in the labelling of UK beers is a little perplexing. It's usually used by "modern" brewers who make a fair number of pale, aromatic, hoppy beers and may just represent an attempt to carve out a niche in their portfolio for a somewhat scaled back version. In other words, nothing like more traditional US & UK "English Pale Ales". There's also a fair degree of invention (or reinvention) in the descriptions. Maybe the brewers concerned shy away from using fuddy duddy old terms like Bitter or Golden Ale. I suspect, in so far as it denotes anything, that it simply means it's an ale, it's pale, it's not what the brewer considers to be an APA or IPA (Session or otherwise) and it's geographically not American - even if it does have some US hops in the mix, which may be a cocktail of different varieties from around the world.

In the UK, the style map for pale, aromatic, fairly to heavily hoppy beers in the UK has become increasingly congested and confusing, especially as they are often brewed with a rather lower ABV (especially if primarily intended for sale in cask) than there American counterparts. Of course we often see beers labelled as Australian or NZ Pale Ales these days too. I think moving to a single Pale Ale style would go a long way to addressing these issues.

 
harrisoni
beers 22681 º places 65 º 08:15 Sat 11/4/2017

Originally posted by chriso
I think moving to a single Pale Ale style would go a long way to addressing these issues.


I knew if I kept at it I'd convince you that all beers are pale ales.......

Only joking.

 
harrisoni
beers 22681 º places 65 º 08:21 Sat 11/4/2017

Originally posted by chriso

In the UK, the style map for pale, aromatic, fairly to heavily hoppy beers in the UK has become increasingly congested and confusing, especially as they are often brewed with a rather lower ABV (especially if primarily intended for sale in cask) than there American counterparts. Of course we often see beers labelled as Australian or NZ Pale Ales these days too. I think moving to a single Pale Ale style would go a long way to addressing these issues.


On a more serious note, this is a pretty good summary of the current UK scene. Lots of pale ales with lots of different labels, but I too would think that a single Pale Ale style would make a lot of sense. I know I'll add a 5.2% NZ hopped pale ale as an APA even though it isn't. Cos it's too strong to be a session Ipa and not strong enough to be an IPA.

IPA is also a catch all style that works. Doesn't matter the country, the hops. The same could be done for Pale Ales.

 
chriso
beers 7540 º places 736 º 09:18 Sat 11/4/2017

Originally posted by harrisoni
On a more serious note, this is a pretty good summary of the current UK scene. Lots of pale ales with lots of different labels

Not helped by the fact that the only specific "English pale ale" style we have isn't (or, at least wasn't) necessarily pale in modern day terms at all. Not that everyone - brewers included - is aware of that, so I suspect beers are getting lumped into the EPA category as something of a default where there's lack of clarity (as there often is).

 
harrisoni
beers 22681 º places 65 º 11:56 Sat 11/4/2017

It would also help if a certain Admin in North America who adds UK beers didn't add them as EPAs. Unless he has stopped doing that since my time.