Is Pale Ale Passe ?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by KStark, Feb 10, 2013.

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  1. BeerIsland

    BeerIsland Zealot (548) Feb 9, 2003 Pennsylvania

    "The white zinfandel of beer"?
  2. klaybie

    klaybie Initiate (0) Nov 15, 2009 Illinois

    Most certainly not. Pale Ales are everywhere and are extremely popular. For many breweries their PA's are the pay-the-bills beers. Sure, some are more like IPA's (take Daisy Cutter for example) but there are others like Great Lakes Burning River, SN Pale Ale (the standard IMO), Sam Adams Boston Ale (not as good since the recipe change), etc. that are right on for an American pale ale. These beers are in the fridges of BA's and non BA's alike. As long as SN's doors are open I will always keep some SNPA on hand.
    CBlack85 likes this.
  3. jimmyr78

    jimmyr78 Initiate (0) Jan 26, 2013 Missouri
    Beer Trader

    Deschutes Red Chair NWPA just came to MO for the first time this year, and suddenly I'm drinking A LOT of pale ale!

    While 99% of the folks here want hop bombs, 99% of the population would prefer a tasty, session-worthy beer. Many pale ales fit the bill.
    CBlack85, Aml42000 and denver10 like this.
  4. denver10

    denver10 Poo-Bah (2,293) Nov 17, 2010 New Mexico

    Pale Ale's are some of my favorite beers. Deschutes's Red Chair, Odell's St. Lupulin, Three Floyd's Zombie Dust, Oskar Blues's Dales, etc.
    Bitterbill likes this.
  5. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,014) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Tell me this is sarcasm.
    SunDevilBeer and dennis3951 like this.
  6. Aml42000

    Aml42000 Initiate (0) Jul 21, 2011 Washington

    Red Chair cases at Costco here and I've been buying steadily. I can't say that I am less excited about the seasonal release of this than either Sucks or Bigfoot which are the other two recent releases I recently bought a lot of. I love the style and hope it never becomes "passé".
  7. RattleheadKV2

    RattleheadKV2 Initiate (0) Dec 15, 2011 New Mexico

    I love me some Pale Ales hands down the style that got me into Craft. Don't buy too much these days though, ever since I picked up homebrewing, but I always have a 12 pack of SNPA cans on hand for guests and session brews, and right now I'm stocked up on the Deschutes Red Chair.

    Also if I'm not mistaken SNPA still outsells Torpedo the number one selling IPA. So if that's true Pale Ales are certainly not passé by any means.
  8. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (824) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    The white zinfandel of beer is PBR.
    CelticAleMan and LMT like this.
  9. Ri0

    Ri0 Poo-Bah (2,562) Jul 1, 2012 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    For me, during the summer, Pale Ales are where it's at. Nothing better to quench my thirst.
    Moon Man and Hopalicious are two local favorites.
    nickapalooza86 likes this.
  10. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (2,014) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    I was going to say Blue Moon, since it's a "good" beer for anyone who wants to say they're drinking good beer, but really don't know what good beer ought to be. :wink:
    AlcahueteJ likes this.
  11. cbeer88

    cbeer88 Crusader (719) Sep 5, 2007 Massachusetts

    I love Pale Ales - the problem is most of them aren't very good. But there have been some great ones made recently - HF Edward, Maine Beer Peeper and Moe, FFF Zombie Dust, Half Acre Daisy Cutter, etc. Granted Zombie Dust is more of an IPA in disguise, but the others are true pale ales.

    One of my favorite classics is Smuttynose Shoals Pale.
  12. MarcatGSB

    MarcatGSB Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2011 Michigan

    The new Smitten Golden Rye Pale from Bell's is very tasty IMHO. (I know it's got Rye, just making a statement)
  13. 2beerdogs

    2beerdogs Poo-Bah (2,016) Jan 31, 2005 California
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    No Way!!! I still love PA's especially APA's. I don't always search out strongly hopped IPA's. Sometimes I enjoy a more subtle use of hops.
  14. kcp85

    kcp85 Initiate (148) Sep 7, 2012 Missouri

    Always have SNPA and some Schlafly's PA around.
  15. CBlack85

    CBlack85 Crusader (703) Jul 12, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Alot of time those of us on this site lose touch with the drinking habits of the average (craft) beer drinker, so often the extremes that the rabid beer geeks go to are mistaken for the norm in the "real world" of average (craft) beer drinkers. Most of the people that I know that are not on this site, and some who are, still readily enjoy the pale ales that so many "beer advocates" find boring and pedestrian...

    As a homebrewer I almost always have a pale ale on tap in my kegerator for daily drinking, can't always indulge in TIPA and RIS
  16. WBD

    WBD Initiate (0) Feb 3, 2013 South Carolina

    Dales pale ale in cans. Summer boating beer of choice.
  17. SportsandJorts

    SportsandJorts Meyvn (1,324) Nov 17, 2012 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I do not agree with pales being passe at all. I am not big on IPA's but I do enjoy a fresh well made pale ale. Bell's new Smitten and Founder's Red Rye are to pale ales with a little bit of crossover into rye beers, but they are extremely well made refreshing beers that get the job done when I am not in the mood to drink something heavier.
  18. BedetheVenerable

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

    Passe? Not for this guy. I got into homebrewing in the first place to brew two things I couldn't get good examples of here: Belgian/French saison and English ordinary and premium bitters.

    Though I brew a lot of different styles now, English bitter is still up near the top of my favs. Always classic, never faddish :slight_smile:
    wesbray likes this.
  19. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    I think for the super hop heads (which seem to dominate this website, but not the craft seen overall) yes, but in general, I don't think they are passe. I drink plenty of Long Trail Pale Ale (note, not traditional Long Trail Ale, which is an altbier). It's classified here as an APA. And it's most definitely not an IPA in an APA's clothing. It's an awesome beer and I encourage everyone to try one.
    Jerrky and dennis3951 like this.
  20. FosterJM

    FosterJM Poo-Bah (2,719) Nov 16, 2009 California
    Beer Trader

    I know, what you mean, Ambers just dont do it for me

  21. DelMontiac

    DelMontiac Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2010 Oklahoma

    Ignoring popular demand, I still feel that the the pale ale is the foundation of craft beer and it provides some common ground for craft brewers. They may serve as a good "measuring stick" as well. Seems if a brewer makes a great pale ale, they're more likely to create some really good big beers as well. My fridge is never without a pale ale of some sort.

    And, yes...we find American brewers trying to make their APAs stand out from the crowd by pushing the hop profile a bit hard into IPA territory blurring the line between the two.
  22. AlcahueteJ

    AlcahueteJ Crusader (702) Dec 4, 2004 Massachusetts

    IPAs do dominate the overall craft scene overall. They surpassed pale ale as the number one selling craft style (behind seasonal, but that's obviously not a style).
  23. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (824) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Long Trail ia a vastly under rated brewery, great beer at a good price.
    Jerrky and Providence like this.
  24. kojevergas

    kojevergas Poo-Bah (7,592) Aug 15, 2010 Texas
    Beer Trader

    I'd point to Alpine's Hoppy Birthday and Russian River's Happy Hops as examples of solid pale ales. Hell, even Alpine Ale is stellar. I don't think any of these beers are irrelevant in a world (and on a coast) littered with double IPAs. I think the two styles can exist side by side quite fancifully.
  25. darky

    darky Aspirant (212) Apr 16, 2010 South Dakota

  26. Stevedore

    Stevedore Poo-Bah (4,074) Nov 16, 2012 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    Never for me. NG Moon Man and Ale Asylum Hopalicious will always find a place in my beerfrigerator.
    steveh and DelMontiac like this.
  27. willbm3

    willbm3 Initiate (0) Feb 19, 2010 Massachusetts

    The only reason one may say Pale Ale's are passe, IMO, is because there is a sort of 'prejudice' against non-extreme beers. Extremity is too often associated with quality and I feel like subtlety is under appreciated. Many of the very highly rated and revered beers on this site are imperial stouts, barrel aged stouts, IPA's, DIPA's, etc. I don't always want to be punched in the face by hops, and a Pale Ale fits that niche nicely.
    jmw, steveh, LMT and 3 others like this.
  28. smutty33

    smutty33 Defender (627) Jun 12, 2009 Connecticut
    Beer Trader

    I love pale ales....english styles to this day are my fav.

    Sam Smith's Old Brewery Pale will always have a special place in my heart,as it gets a ton of credit for helping to start me in the craft beer direction.Just finished a Smuttynose Shoals Pale ale about an hour ago,loooove that brew.American or not,Gotta love a refreshing,crisp,pale ale!

  29. Blanco

    Blanco Devotee (458) Oct 11, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    I love Pale Ales, I just usually don't start threads about them. In fact, the only time I've ever done that was after I had Edward.
  30. Providence

    Providence Initiate (0) Feb 24, 2010 Rhode Island

    Completely agree. I know I am biased when it comes to Long Trail as I have a strong emotional connection to them (via trips to the brewery when my wife and I were dating and I was just getting in craft). But their stuff still is awesome. Regular Long Trail Ale is a great everyday beer. Double Bag is my go to tailgate beer (more buzz, less peeing). The aforementioned Pale Ale is kick ass. Additionally, their brewmasters series (or whatever they call it) has done some great stuff; specifically the Double White and the Coffee Stout (or porter, can't remember). Plus, I just caught one of their "Brown Bag" beers on draft, it was an IPA and it was very good.
  31. JBogan

    JBogan Champion (829) Jul 15, 2007 California

  32. otispdriftwood

    otispdriftwood Defender (637) Dec 9, 2011 Colorado
    Beer Trader

    Considering that Pale Ales are one of the gateways to craft beer and as far as I know, there are many more people who are not into craft beer than there are people who are into craft beer, I would say no, Pale ales are not passe. They are an important component of the appreciation of craft beer and are still enjoyable from time to time for those of us who have broadened our beer horizons.
  33. paulytasker

    paulytasker Disciple (331) May 16, 2012 New York
    Beer Trader

    Couldn't agree more.... Great Lakes Burning River is a spot on example of what a Pale Ale should be. Such a great example of the style.
    BB1313 likes this.
  34. ericwo

    ericwo Initiate (80) Aug 21, 2008 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    This reminds me of the old saying, "Don't forget where you came from". For me, I was first turned on to craft beer through pale ales. Sure, the big IPAs and DIPAs are getting all the attention these days (from me too), but every time I drink a really well made pale ale, I'm reminded why I love craft beer. A well made pale ale should always have a place in every beer drinker's fridge!
  35. SnowFlowMfg

    SnowFlowMfg Initiate (0) Dec 13, 2011 California

    I love me a good full flavored pale ale
  36. fx20736

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

    A Bitter is an English Pale Ale, I've never heard anyone call an American Pale a Bitter.

    80% of the beer I drink is London Pride which is a Bitter so, no I don't think it is passe.

    American Pale Ales are really little brothers to American IPAs with lower abvs. In general it is a pretty tasty style.

    I do not like Burning River, in fact it is the beer that eventually led me to stop drinking Great Lakes beers except for Eddy Fitz which I still enjoy. I detected an unsweetened cocoa flavor in Burning River that I found offputting. Eventually I noticed that flavor in all GL beers. It works in Eddy Fitz but turns me off for everything else with the possible exception of Nosferatu.
  37. paulytasker

    paulytasker Disciple (331) May 16, 2012 New York
    Beer Trader

    Long Trail Ale was actually one of the 1st craft brews i ever tried, it really catapulted my love of craft beer. With the ever growing craft world of D.I.P.A.'S and Barrel Aged Brew's, it's refreshing to scale it back periodically and re-visit Long Trail Ale.... It's simple, but brilliantly made.
    Providence likes this.
  38. JoeSixpack

    JoeSixpack Initiate (132) Feb 9, 2013 Wisconsin
    Beer Trader

    I think that there's room in every refrigerator for some pale ale. In fact, there's room in mine right now and that ain't right. Haven't had any for awhile and its time to pick some up.
  39. DelMontiac

    DelMontiac Initiate (0) Oct 22, 2010 Oklahoma

    A lot of people (gen millenials more than any other) feel the need to be completely appeased, entertained, and blown away by everything they encounter. Just because you dig roller coasters doesn't mean you have to ride one to work everyday.
    fx20736 likes this.
  40. Jerrky

    Jerrky Initiate (0) Sep 18, 2010 Massachusetts

    I don't think Pale Ales can be passe because I don't think they were ever as popular as other styles such as IPAs. My favorite style is a pale ale and if they become half as popular as IPAs I would be happy. The ratio of IPAs to Pale Ales at any package store in Massachussets has to be 5:1.
    The best pale ale I have had in a long time, in fact, one of the best beers I have had in a long time, is Moe by Maine Beer Company. I think a lot of brewers are finally coming out with a pale ale because they have all but exhausted all the other styles. My impression was that the average brewery did not want to take a stab at the pale ale market because, until now, there only seemed to be enough room for one pale ale, which is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. If I could only drink one style for the rest of my life it would be a pale ale.
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