PintThe pale ale isn't necessarily pale, it is called so in distinction with the porter, the other common style in England. The use of malts with less color makes the pale ale less dark than a porter, but usually darker than a pilsner.
As an ale, they are made with top-fermenting yeast. The style originated in Burton-upon-Trent, a city known for its hard water. The preeminent pale ale from Burton-upon-Trent is Bass. The minerals in the water gave the beer its flavor, and later a process known as Burtonization was developed to allow for the same flavors in beer brewed in other locations.
Oak Creek Pale Ale
An American Pale Ale [Type 17], which tends to be maltier and much hoppier than the English Pale Ales, Oak Creek Pale Ale is amber colored, with a significant piney hop taste. 5.5% ABV. 3 beers.
Reaper Deathly Pale Ale
Dark orange, and a little hazy. Has a sour, Belgian finish. Surprisingly sweet for a pale ale. 6.2% ABV. 4 beers.
Samuel Smith's Old Brewery Pale Ale
This is my favorite of the bunch. It is an old school English Pale Ale [Type 10], more like a porter because of the cocoa flavors from the malt. Very drinkable beer. 5.0% ABV, 2 beers.
Poleeko Gold Pale Ale
A California beer, it is strong on the hops, with a smell like stale beer. 5.5% ABV, 5 beers.
Four Peaks 8th Street Ale
An Arizona classic, 8th Street Ale is the flagship brew from Four Peaks. It is citrusy, something I had never noticed before. As a milder Pale Ale, it is considered an English [Type 10]. It has a bit of a soapy finish. 4.5% ABV, 3 beers.
Boddington's Pub Ale
Boddington's Pub AleA traditional pub ale, Boddington's is clear and smooth, the kind of beer you can just keep on drinking all day. We had the can with the nitrogen capsule, so it had a nice creamy head on it. Light in color and flavor, goes down easy. 4.7% ABV, 2 beers.
Mirror Pond Pale Ale
Another moderately hopped pale ale. 5.0% ABV
Nimbus Pale Ale
Nimbus is a very pale pale ale. Light on color and flavor. 5.5% ABV
Ballast Point Yellowtail Pale Ale
A bit of a blended style, Ballast Point Yellowtail is an ale that is lagered. It is a Kölsch [Type 55] more than a pale ale, but they label it as the latter. Very sweet, I don't think I could drink too many. 4.6% ABV, 5 beers.
Rogue Juniper Pale Ale
I couldn't really taste the juniper, but that may not be the beer's fault at this point in the evening.
Two Hearted Ale
A couple of IPAs snuck in at the end, which is okay since in this part of the queue you aren't all that selective anymore, and the IPA hops cannot affect the more delicate flavors of the earlier beers.
I reviewed Two Hearted Ale in January of 2010.
OMG! That is hoppy! This is a quote, and everyone insisted I write down what I said, so there it is. Modus Hoperandi is one of those punch you in the face kinds of IPAs. It has an intense hop aroma and equally intense flavor. 6.8% ABV, 4 beers.