American made English Style Pales most like London Pride

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by fx20736, Feb 8, 2013.

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  1. fx20736

    fx20736 Meyvn (1,026) Mar 7, 2009 New York

    Lots of American breweries make an English style pale Ale; Sam Adams, Brooklyn & Smuttynose to name a few.

    Some are pretty good but I have yet to find one that I enjoy anywhere near as much as London Pride. SA Boston Ale is good but seems a tad over done with dry hopping. Brooklyn Pennant Ale seems underhopped and lacking in character. Smuttynose tastes 'dirty' to me.

    This is what I like about London Pride; it is smooth with no defects or off flavors, it is balanced with enough malt to give it body and taste and enough hops to add bittering. It has an orchard fruit sweetness (apple/ pear) to increase drinkability. It is 4.7 % abv so is very sessionable.

    These are the things that turn me off when drinking an American made EPA: American Hops that add pine or grapefruit notes. too much diacetyl. A 'dirty' flavor (Smuttynose has it as does Alesmith).

    Are there any American EPAs that fit? Goose Island Honker's Ale comes to mind as a maybe, although it has been awhile but nothing else does.
  2. Brunite

    Brunite Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2009 Illinois

    Good question! I love London Pride but have yet to find anything on this side of the pond that comes close to the unique flavors I pull from that beer. A fresh, economical substitute would be welcome. Honkers is OK , but not the same for me. Look forward to any thoughts others may have.
  3. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,410) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    We have a local brewery named Defiant that makes a good one. Unfortunately it is tap only with a small distro.
  4. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,304) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Yards ESA might fit the bill in terms of flavor profile, though it is a touch stronger (probably more comperable to the ESB in that regard- as you could tell by the name :wink:)
    JackHorzempa and FlakyBiscuit like this.

    SABERG Poo-Bah (1,749) Sep 16, 2007 Massachusetts
    Premium Member

    Berkshire brewing traditional pale ale may suit the bill.
  6. bleakies

    bleakies Disciple (388) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    I don't think Honkers Ale tastes all that similar to London Pride, but if you do you might try Left Hand Sawtooth Ale, an ESB that's on the same page as Honkers but at a bit above 5% abv.

    The aforementioned Berkshire Ale would be a good bet too, although that's above 6% abv.

    Along with the flavor I really like London Pride's low abv, and I'd be stoked to find American analogues that are just as sessionable.
  7. airforbes1

    airforbes1 Initiate (0) Oct 27, 2010 California

    I also vouch for Sawtooth Ale. I actually drank one side-by-side with a Fuller's ESB, and I found there to be almost no difference between the two of them. I've yet to find an American-made equivalent to London Pride, though.

    In response to the OP, I'm glad the only one who gets turned off by American hops in what's supposed to be an English-style beer. If I wanted an APA, I would have bought one!
  8. JimKal

    JimKal Zealot (510) Jul 31, 2011 North Carolina

    I've had London Pride as, unfortunately, was unimpressed. Perhaps it was just too old although it was many months before their suggested use by date. I would take Honker's Ale any time I could get it despite the InBev connection. I know it has been approved for NC but I have yet to see it here. Our local Natty Greene's Pale Ale (listed as an APA) tastes more like an EPA to me than an APA. It does have a cloudy appearance but I kind of like it that way.
  9. fx20736

    fx20736 Meyvn (1,026) Mar 7, 2009 New York

    I've had it and was not impressed.
  10. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,346) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    Mirror Pond might be one to try.

    The London Pride we get in bottles in the US is usually stale. The stuff on cask in the UK is a different beer, and far superior.
    JackHorzempa and JimKal like this.
  11. StJamesGate

    StJamesGate Poo-Bah (3,665) Oct 8, 2007 New York
    Beer Trader

    Just a matter of time before someone comes in with the British perspective/fact check, so allow me to do the honors:

    1. "English Pale Ale" is a bit vague. Considering Fullers have Chiswick (3.5%) as their session bitter and ESB (5.5%) as their strong bitter, London Pride lines up as their best bitter.
    2. 4.7% is sessionable, no doubt, but is not considered a session beer in the UK.
    3. These beers were generally made to be drunk on cask; they lose some subtlety even when bottle-conditioned.
  12. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,410) Mar 12, 2009 New York
    Beer Trader

    Nice try, but preemptive strikes rarely discourage the CAMRA crowd.
    mintjellie, mountsnow1010 and steveh like this.
  13. Tukee

    Tukee Initiate (0) Aug 1, 2009 Arizona

    I'm not a fan overly hoppy beers and so I love me some Firestone DBA
  14. javincik

    javincik Aspirant (223) Jan 23, 2008 North Carolina

    Unfortunately, I think most of the best examples that come close are going to be from brewpubs or small package breweries; they are likely to be draft only or see limited distribution. A rather delicate style to ship long distances and have sitting on retailers' shelves for long periods of time.
    BedetheVenerable likes this.
  15. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,346) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    London Pride is 4.1% on cask, 4.7% in the bottle. Borderline sessionable, no?
  16. DubbelTrubbel

    DubbelTrubbel Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2012 Georgia

    Definitely try Schlafly Pale Ale. They make it clear- it's not to be confused with their American Pale Ale.
    BedetheVenerable likes this.
  17. imbibehour

    imbibehour Poo-Bah (6,441) Mar 18, 2008 Maryland
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    May not be "as close" to fuller's in taste profile but these are all worth a go

    Firestone DBA
    Odell 5 Barrel Pale Ale
  18. BedetheVenerable

    BedetheVenerable Meyvn (1,023) Sep 5, 2008 Missouri

    +1 for Schlafly Pale Ale...4.4%, pale malts with a bit of Munich, if I remember correctly, 'London' yeast and all-English hops. It's one of the closest examples to a traditional English bitter I've come across in the states. Needs to be drunk between cellar and room temp to shine, and it's still fairly simple, but very tasty. It is lacking the delicate esters that LP has, but it's fresh, affordable, and delicious...a trio that's hard to beat.

    And for what it's worth, Honkers is delicious, and uses all Styrian Goldings (a Slovenian variety much like Fuggles, that's also used in the UK) but it has a BIG hit of flavor/aroma hops, which puts it (in my mind) in the 'Americanized' version of a bitter category...still delicious, but not much like London Pride.
  19. Bay01

    Bay01 Aspirant (278) Nov 19, 2008 Illinois

    Firestone DBA is the correct answer
    highdesertdrinker likes this.
  20. carteravebrew

    carteravebrew Zealot (510) Jan 21, 2010 Colorado

    Surprised marquis hasn't chimed in to those of you saying you don't like American hops in your English pale ales, as he is always quick to point out that American hops are often used in ales made in England, now and in the past.
    mintjellie likes this.
  21. jmw

    jmw Initiate (0) Feb 4, 2009 North Carolina

    His work is done here apparently, and the repetitions have begun to proliferate without him.
  22. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,013) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    I'd have to agree with that. Honkers is a good Bitter on its own, but it lacks the same malt character as London Pride.

    To the OP, there is a new brewery in Chicago that's brewing a very nice ale: Revolution Cross of Gold.

    BA had called it an American Blonde, but I see they've reclassified it as an English Pale Ale. If you read my review you may want to hit the trading pages.
  23. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,446) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    A lot of good posts here. Below are a few ‘me too’ sorts of comments:

    It has been my personal experience that the English bottled beers we get in the states are typically stale. I personally avoid them. I have had Fullers London Pride and Fullers ESB on cask (in the US) a few times. Now those beers are tasty; fresh and delivered the way it should (via cask).

    A US craft brewery that makes very good English style beers is Yard’s in Philadelphia. Their flagship beer of ESA is very, very good on cask (which is available at a number of Philly beer bars). ESA out of the bottle is good but this beer really shines on cask. Yard’s also makes a very tasty Mild (interestingly called Brawler). Yard’s use English malts and English hops in making their English style beers.

    TongoRad likes this.
  24. TongoRad

    TongoRad Poo-Bah (2,304) Jun 3, 2004 New Jersey
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    You're making me jealous, Jack. Bottles are all I can get, and they suit me fine. I really like what Yards is doing, and they really do stand out in this area.
  25. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,446) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Premium Member

    Maybe you might want to come down to Philly for the Yard’s Real Ale Invitational? You will then get to taste ESA on cask plus a number of other wonderful cask ales.

    If you do decide to go buy your ticket fast (like today). These tickets go fast!!


    “March 24, 2013|

    Going back to our roots of cask ale and bringing others to the party…. More than 20 of the nation’s finest cask ale producers will be offering guests a variety of unique flavors (with perhaps a wee bit of help from across the pond). Cask ale — unfiltered and unpasteurized beer that is conditioned (including secondary fermentation) and served from a cask without additional nitrogen or carbon dioxide pressure — has a deeply rooted tradition in the local beer scene and it’s only natural that the brewery that resurrected this style of beer in Philly hosts its flagship event.

    Food will be provided, live music supplied, and all attendees will receive a commemorative mug. Additionally, the entire brewery space will be open to guests, allowing them to explore Philadelphia’s most sustainable brewery from the Tasting Room to the bottling line. Make your plans early as this event sells out well in advance.”
  26. trbergman

    trbergman Defender (671) Nov 17, 2006 England

    Certainly Firestone DBA, and I also like Cisco Whale's Tale.
    highdesertdrinker likes this.
  27. marquis

    marquis Crusader (758) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    American hops are often used in ales made in England, now and in the past.
    Beer is always in a state of evolution and when new hops became available they were seized upon by enterprising brewers.But apparently even going back to the 19th century it wasn't rare for an English beer to have no English hops in it.We had ceased to grow enough of our own by then.
    English hop varieties were and still are grown overseas. Willamette in the US and Styrian Goldings in eastern Europe are close relatives to Fuggles.For some beer styles hops such as Fuggles and Goldings (around since the 1700s) are still highly prized of course.But there are plenty of beers brewed with more recent varieties both English and American.
    jtdolla911 and FriarTuckInLuck like this.
  28. carteravebrew

    carteravebrew Zealot (510) Jan 21, 2010 Colorado

  29. bleakies

    bleakies Disciple (388) Apr 11, 2011 Massachusetts

    I recall reading the brewer's notes on Pretty Things' recent historical recreation of an 1879 IPA, and being surprised that this late-nineteenth-century English brew included hops from California, of all places.
  30. palma

    palma Defender (640) Dec 14, 2003 New York
    Beer Trader

    Ive been looking for the same. I agree, I have yet to find an american made pale or ESB that tastes very similar to london pride. However, i disagree about the diacetyl comment. I think london pride has a lot of this buttery flavor and it is the aspect of the beer I enjoy most. Been looking for this flavor in an american brew for a while now and I've noticed any of this type of flavor in the american versions seem to be more sharp and slightly sour or oxidized rather than the mild smooth caramel buttery flavor I notice in london pride.
  31. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Poo-Bah (2,482) Jun 18, 2002 Arizona

    NONE that I've tried, but maybe I'm being too strict. American attempts go too far with the hopping, or if they dial back the bold flavors then many flaws are more noticeable. They just can't do it right.

    In my experience there's just something about Fuller's ESB and London Pride that escapes the American versions. There's more too it than the gypsum and other water issues. In my case I love Fuller's ESB and I have absolutely no 2nd best to enjoy when I crave that specific flavor. In my market we've been out of sixpacks for awhile at my shops I visit and finally a new shipment arrived, good freshness date, so i've been drinking a lot of Fuller's lately.

    So, just drink London Pride itself. :slight_smile:
    chinabeergeek likes this.
  32. fx20736

    fx20736 Meyvn (1,026) Mar 7, 2009 New York

    Shipyard Chamberlain Pale Ale has a buttery taste and is a decent, if not great EPA.

    I have to disagree on diacetyl in London Pride. I am enjoying one right now and this is what I smell;
    an almost ghost like floral boquet, like lillies

    on the taste;

    tart apples
    a flint like bitterness

    The thing about London Pride that most impresses me is how balanced the aromas and flavors are. Everything is noticeable, yet no one note dominates, rather it is a harmonious blend.

    Maybe there is nothing else like it. I know when I am down to my last six pack of it I always head to Beers of the World and buy another case.
  33. TheSixthRing

    TheSixthRing Poo-Bah (2,574) Sep 24, 2008 California

    I've always thought the Mad River Steelhead Extra Pale Ale tasted a lot closer to an English pale than an American one. Whether or not it tastes like Fullers is something I do not know, because frankly I've never had it, though it is on my long list of beers to try.
  34. Brunite

    Brunite Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2009 Illinois

    I absolutely agree. Water chemistry aside....these are unique. You just reminded me I have a few ESB in the fridge. Cracking one now!
    yemenmocha likes this.
  35. fx20736

    fx20736 Meyvn (1,026) Mar 7, 2009 New York

    I bought a 6 of GI Honker's today. I haven't had it in almost 2 years.

    It looks like a good English Pale. Malt and Hops are more or less balanced although I think the malt is slightly more prominent. There are no 'dirty' or off flavors here. What Honkers does not have that Fullers does is a fruitiness or mineral quality. Honkers seems like a nice amateur try, not bad. Better than Brooklyn Pennant Ale or Smuttynose but still falls short in comparison with London Pride.
  36. hopfenunmaltz

    hopfenunmaltz Meyvn (1,346) Jun 8, 2005 Michigan

    On the water. Fullers burtonizes the water from fhethe London water utility. You can see the 25 kg bags of it in the brewery by the Hot Liquor Tank. You see bags of gypsum in US breweries. Water can be adjusted.
  37. Brunite

    Brunite Initiate (0) Sep 21, 2009 Illinois

    Yes. Home-brewing taught me that. The mix of strong biscuit notes, malt sweetness and bit of noticeable diacetyl in Fullers give a distinct flavor, along with the water, that I have yet to find in an American version of an EPA.
  38. patto1ro

    patto1ro Zealot (525) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    California hops were pretty common. Tetley (the original brewer of the 1879 IPA) used Caelofrnian hops from the 19th century right through until at least the 1940's.
  39. fx20736

    fx20736 Meyvn (1,026) Mar 7, 2009 New York

    What about the Bass Ale made here in Baldwinsville, NY. I have no memory of what impported Bass tastes like so I can't compare the water (not to mention taste).
  40. mjryan

    mjryan Zealot (581) Dec 22, 2007 Minnesota

    Try Firestone Walker DBA. The fist time I had it I thought to myself, wow this reminds me London Pride.
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