The Birth of American Pale Ale
American pale ale (APA) was developed in the United States around 1980 in Chico, CA, by the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. With its highly aromatic, crisp, fruity and hoppy character, it was a huge success almost instantly, becoming an epitome of American style beer. Sierra Nevada pale ales now serve as a model for other American beers, including those produced by numerous microbreweries.
American pale ales usually contain 5% ABV and a decent concentration of American hops, Cascade variety being the leader here. Also, typically in the American brewing technique, a cleaner yeast and two row malts are used. This results in a bright and clear yellow colour and a very refreshing, subtle taste. The style is close to the American IPA, although IPAs are usually stronger, heavier and more assertively hopped, resulting in a distinct bitter, tropical fruit flavour.