Pale ales started life in early 18th century England (Burton-on-Trent) following innovations in malting technology which allowed maltsters to produce consistent pale malts, using coke-fired kilns. Previously malt was darker, and porters and stouts were the most common brews. At first pale malt was expensive and so pale ales were limited to wealthy drinkers. Eventually pale malts became more affordable and paler beers became far more popular.
American Pale Ale (APA) came much later in the mid-1970s and the style probably started the American craft beer revolution. Anchor Liberty Ale by Anchor Brewing Company was first brewed in 1975 and then New Albion Brewing Company made New Albion Ale in 1976. New Albion Brewing are said to be the first modern American craft brewery but unfortunately they failed to survive. They did however inspire the US craft beer movement which began in the 1980s and continues to this day! Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is probably the most classic example of an American Pale Ale and was first brewed in the 1980s.
APAs are brewed with American hops, such as Cascade and other ‘C’ hops – they are also usually less malty than their British or European cousins and are fermented with a clean American ale yeast strain. APAs are similar to American IPAs and boundaries between the two styles can be blurred, though IPAs are generally stronger and more heavily hopped. Our Palomino Pale Ale is certainly approaching an American IPA in style!
Palomino is inspired by West-coast APAs and we hop it heavily with several late hop additions as well as dry hopping it in the fermenter. We wanted our pale ale to be hoppy, citrusy and piney, but with a restrained bitterness and clean refreshing finish. We use Chinook and Cascade hops as well as a small quantity of German Magnum hops for the bittering addition. To keep things balanced, Munich and Biscuit malts are added to the grist to add some restrained malty, bready, biscuity flavours.
There are some fantastic APAs brewed in the US and right here in the UK. We’re pretty happy with our spin on the style and love brewing a taste of West-coast America on the North Wales coast.
Dave & Emma