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Beer Basics

Defining Beer
Beer Styles

English Pale Ale

Style Snapshot

This drinkable ale is light to pale amber in color, is medium-bodied, is moderate in alcohol content, and exhibits a balanced maltiness, bitterness, and fruitiness.

The English Pale Ale is slightly stronger and darker in color than American Pale Ale. It is further distinguished by the character of its English-variety hops. In effect, Pale Ale is a bottled Bitter but it typically has a less obvious hop presence and a higher gravity than the Bitter style. In this way, Pale Ale is a term used by some English brewers to label their premium bitters.


English Pale Ale is also known as a 'Burton', the location in England where it originated in England. Historically, Pale Ale was the name given to the bottled version while cask or kegged products were referred to as Bitters. Nowadays the terms are almost interchangeable, with no English regulation enforcing the product labeling. The northern English version is maltier, stronger, and has a less hop bitterness than that in the south which has greater hop bitterness and carbonation.

Style Parameters

Original Gravity (OG):

1.044 - 1.056

Final Gravity (FG):

1.008 - 1.016

Strength (ABV):

4.5 - 5.5

Bitterness (IBU):

20 - 40

Color (SRM):

5 - 12

Compare this beer style's parameters to others

Serving This Style

Suggested serving temperature: 44 - 52 F

Examples to Try

Related Styles

English Pale Ale