Australian pale ales are much like the traditional British varieties, which have a malty profile and just enough woody or light floral hops to create an elegant balance. Compared to American pale ales, the Aussie equivalents have a maltier flavor and contain less hops, making them less bitter and pungent, which are seen by some to set the standard for what a pale ale should be. But that doesn’t mean these beers are in any way sweet. Like all pale ales, the Australian pale ale is best suited to those who like their amber nectar to pack a savory punch.
As the name suggests, pale ales are a light and refreshing variety of beer. So it’s not surprising they’ve taken off in a big way in hot countries such as America, India and Australia. The hops used in these homegrown creations are specifically Australian varieties. Australian pale ales don’t depart radically from their British ancestors. But new local hop varieties, such as Galaxy, Vic Secret and Enigma, mean you can find Australian pale ales with punchy and exotic passionfruit, tropical fruit, pineapple, apricot and melon tastes.
Here is The Brewers Association Beer Style Guidelines for the Australian Pale Ale:
- Color: Straw to medium amber
- Clarity: Yeast, chill and/or hop haze may be present in this style at low levels but are not essential
- Perceived Malt Aroma & Flavor: Very low to medium
- Perceived Hop Aroma & Flavor: Medium-low to medium-high, exhibiting attributes typical of modern Australian hop varieties such as tropical fruit, mango, passionfruit, and/or stone-fruit
- Perceived Bitterness: Low to medium-high
Fermentation Characteristics: Very low to low fruity estery flavor and aroma are acceptable but not essential.
- Body: Low to low-medium with a dry finish
- Additional notes: Overall impression is a well-integrated easy drinking, refreshing pale ale style with distinctive fruity Australian hop aromas and flavours. Diacetyl if present should be very low. DMS should not be present.