It all started with Sierra Nevada. But where should you go from there on your American Pale Ale tasting journey? The best APAs on the market, according to our crew of Certified Cicerones.
'pale ale' on Serious Eats
While I was traveling this month I missed the release of Almanac Beer Company's new series of California Table Beers, but that doesn't mean you should miss the beers, which are now selling in four-packs at Whole Foods, Bev Mo, and specialty beer shops around the Bay Area.
Whenever someone refers to themselves as a "beer snob," my imagination takes me to a weird place. I envision a guy in a three-piece suit, monocle firmly wedged in the crinkle of his eye, daintily sipping his beer and complaining loudly about the lack of complexity in XYZ Brewery's new Kölsch. It's an exaggeration, surely, but the hyperbole forces recognition of what it was about snobbery that I so despise: the negativity.
This single-hop pale ale from Russian River Brewing Company is named for the location in the experimental hop yard where Simcoe hops were developed.
Spoetzl Brewery of Shiner, Texas, has never offered a pale ale before, but recently released the first in their 103-year history. In fact, Wild Hare is the first brew they've released that's made with ale yeast and the ale process. It's a grainy beer full of slightly sweet malt flavors—this isn't a super-crisp, biting brew.
While we're not quite sure who came up with the genius idea of pairing brussels sprouts with bacon, we'd like to thank them for not only creating a cool-weather side dish that is pretty much perfect, but also saving rescuing the sprouts from a life of stigma. Now that we've got the thank yous out of the way, let's talk about how to improve on this already awesome combo. If you ask the guys at Stone Brewing Co., their answer to improving pretty much anything is adding beer, and really, who are we to argue?
Our team of hale ale tasters gathered an array of beers brewed in the beautiful American Pale Ale style in order to pick a favorite. With their caramel backbone and piney, citrus-hop freshness, there were more definitely more winners than disappointments.