Beer Style: Pale Ale Family

Holden’s Black Country Bitter clone

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Holden’s Black Country Bitter won Silver in the Bitter category in 2005 and is described as “A medium-bodied, golden ale; a light, well-balanced bitter with a subtle, dry, hoppy finish.” The data I have for this beer is: OG: 1.039. Malt bill: 85–95% Maris Otter pale malt, 0–10% crystal malt, 0–5% torrefied wheat, 0–2% brewing sugar. Hops: Fuggles, optional Goldings. Dry hops: Fuggles. EBC: 24–26.

Rudgate Viking clone

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Rudgate Viking won Silver in the Bitter category in 2002 and is described as “An initially warming and malty, full-bodied beer, with hops and fruit lingering into the aftertaste.” The data I have for this beer is OG: 1.039. Malt bill: 90% Halcyon pale malt, 10% crystal malt. Hops: Fuggles, Northdown or Challenger, Goldings. Late hops: Goldings. IBU: 24. EBC: 24–30.

Bateman’s XXXB Bitter clone

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Bateman’s XXXB Bitter won Gold in the Premium Bitter/Special Bitter/Strong Bitter category in 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1997. It is described as “A brilliant blend of malt, hops and fruit on the nose with a bitter bite over the top of a faintly banana maltiness that stays the course. A russet-tan brown classic.” From this I would suggest a yeast that provides a fruity character. The data I have for this beer is: OG: 1.048–1.049. Malt bill: 72–87% Pipkin or Maris Otter pale malt, 7.5–12% crystal malt, 0–3% wheat flour, 15–18% invert sugar. Hops: Challenger, Goldings. IBU: 37. EBC: 40–42.

The Kernel Brewery’s Table Beer clone


The best selling beer at Kernel Brewery (London, England) is their table beer, which is a well-balanced session ale with a great hop presence, smooth body, and a surprising hoppiness for a 3.3% ABV beer.

Riveter Rye Pale Ale

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A little stronger than your typical pale ale and not as hoppy as some IPAs, this is an easy-drinking brew that’s great for the summer.

Grantham Mild

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The best thing about brewing a mild is that you get to dial up pretty much all of your favorite malt flavors, in whatever ratio you’d like, in a session-strength beer – and all you need to do is back out the black barley and sub in a bunch of fun character malts. You can still have a touch of roast in there (if you want), but you also get biscuit, toffee, nut, molasses, toast, plum, raisin . . . you get the picture.

Cologne Kölsch

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The word Kölsch has several connotations in the German language. If used as a noun, it refers to the distinct Cologne dialect and accent. As an adjective, it means “anything from Cologne.” Thus, it is a local joke that Kölsch is the only language that you can also drink!

Düsseldorf Altbier

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The grain bill of the classic copper-colored altbier — which is internationally also known as a German Brown Ale — is almost Munich-like, but with a slightly less “caramelly” character than a Märzen, and less dark than a dunkel. It differs from a Munich brew, however, in its much more pronounced hoppiness. This creates a wonderful blend of malt-and-hop aromas in the finish, which is often described as bitter-sweet. The uniqueness of this beer — an ale after all — comes from the clean fermentation of a relatively cold-tolerant, top-fermenting specialty yeast.

Bone Idle Bitter

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A schwarz’ed version of an English bitter.


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Similar to Trappist single, Tafelbier is a low-gravity session style beer with a nice Belgian character in the background that is a great beer to drink on brew days when you need to keep your wits about you but would also like to have a few beers. It also has a quick turnaround, so it’s perfect for brewing when you need a beer for a fast-approaching event.

Bombing Range Brewing Co.’s Medusa Dry Hopped Pale clone

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This beer from Bombing Range Brewing (Richland, Washington) had limited availability but was easily one of the best using MedusaTM that I personally had. Founder and Head Brewer Mike Hopp describes it as a smooth, easy drinker with huge stone fruit and apricot flavors and aroma.

Oskar Blues Brewery’s Dale’s Pale Ale clone

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Dale’s Pale Ale is an iconic American pale ale, balancing caramel and biscuit malt and fruity, citrusy, piney hops. The first craft beer in a can comes with a little extra oompf at 6.5% ABV — just enough to cap off a solid day in the mountains!

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