For many people, pale ales are their first introduction to craft beer - they have more flavour than the mass produced lagers they’d known before, but not as much alcohol or bitterness or weirdness as some of the other beer styles out there.

Like most beers, pale ales are made with four ingredients - malt, hops, yeast, and water - but it’s what brewers do with these ingredients that gives pale ales their appeal. 

What makes it a pale ale?

The story of pale ales goes back to 17th and 18th century Britain. Before that, most beers were dark, since malts were roasted with wood fire, which generally resulted in dark malts. But the use of a new kind of fuel gave people more control over the malting process, making pale malts available.

‘Pale ale’ is actually a broad category rather than a single style. While any pale ale is made using mostly (or only) pale malts and fermented with ale yeast (as opposed to lager yeast), and most sit between 4% and 6% ABV, there’s plenty of variety under the pale ale umbrella.

What should you expect?

Pale ales are approachable, versatile, and refreshing. When you take a sip, you’ll generally notice both the sweetness from the malts and the flavour and bitterness from the hops (but less than in an IPA).

There are styles within the style: an American pale ale will feature the citrus and piney flavours of American hops, and have a bitterness you can’t ignore; an English pale will let caramelly malts come to play more than the hops; an Australian pale ale is designed for our climate, bursting with the tropical fruit aromas of Aussie hops while still being light and easy to smash; and a hazy or New England pale is all about a cloudy appearance, juicy flavours, and low bitterness.

Having said all this, keep in mind that a lot of brewers don’t follow the rules - they brew beer that they and their customers enjoy, rather than sticking to a defined style. So don’t be surprised if a beer doesn’t fit neatly into any category.

Australian Pale Ale

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  1. Flavour Profile
    Hops
    Malt
    • Dry
    Tasting notes
    Strate & Amarillo hops impart subtle notes that, if in a wine, might be expressed as barnyard. Finishes dry and crisp.
    11 Days Pale Ale
    11 Days Pale Ale
    Australian Pale Ale
    Jervis Bay Brewing Co
    Sold By Jervis Bay Brewing Co
    Pay as little as $43.00
    8 pack
    $51.00
    16 pack
    $84.00
    4 pack
    $26.00
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  2. Flavour Profile
    Hops
    Malt
    • Delicate
    Tasting notes
    Easy drinking full strength ale made with familiar Australian hops.
  3. Flavour Profile
    Hops
    Malt
    • Clean
    Tasting notes
    A clean crisp finish makes this fruity hop forward beer an ideal thirst quencher.
    Enigma
    Enigma
    Australian Pale Ale
    Sunday Road Brewing
    Sold By Sunday Road Brewing
    Pay as little as $50.00
    12 pack
    $57.00
    24 pack
    $87.00
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  4. Flavour Profile
    Hops
    Malt
    • Sharp
    • Clean
    Tasting notes
    Norman Australian Ale is an approachable session beer made from all local ingredients. With a light malt base that makes way for an abundance of hop character
  5. Flavour Profile
    Hops
    Malt
    • Dry
    • Light
    Tasting notes
    Easy drinking, light and fruity.
    Pacific Ale
    Pacific Ale
    Australian Pale Ale
    7th Day
    Sold By 7th Day
    Pay as little as $39.00
    8 pack
    $44.00
    16 pack
    Special Price $65.00 Regular Price $72.00
    4 pack
    $22.00
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  6. Flavour Profile
    Hops
    Malt
    • Clean
    Tasting notes
    Tropical hop flavours, low bitterness.
    Prancing Pale Ale
    Prancing Pale Ale
    Australian Pale Ale
    Prancing Pony Brewery
    Sold By Prancing Pony Brewery
    Pay as little as $91.00
    24 pack
    $107.00
    12 pack
    $59.00
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  7. Flavour Profile
    Hops
    Malt
    • Smooth / Velvety
    • Soft
    Tasting notes
    Unique bouquet of fruit and floral aromas - passion fruit, white grape and stone fruit.
  8. Flavour Profile
    Hops
    Malt
    • Delicate
    Tasting notes
    Smooth, fruity, and floral.
    Slapshot Pale Ale
    Slapshot Pale Ale
    Australian Pale Ale
    Urban Alley Brewery
    Sold By Urban Alley Brewery
    Pay as little as $31.00
    8 pack
    $37.00
    24 pack
    $92.00
    4 pack
    $19.00
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  9. Flavour Profile
    Hops
    Malt
    • Dry
    • Light
    Tasting notes
    Citrus notes as well as a touch of pineapple with a neutral, clean yeast character to finish.
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