Question About Bitters and Pale Ales.

Discussion in 'Great Britain' started by TealTokterFest, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. TealTokterFest

    TealTokterFest Initiate (0) Apr 15, 2018 Ohio

    Is the American Equivalent to a Bitter a Pale Ale?

    Also, what are the Welch known for drinking?
     
  2. Dave_S

    Dave_S Initiate (48) May 18, 2017 England

    Things sold as "bitter" in the UK vary quite a lot, but classic mid-brown bitters are probably closer to US amber ales (but probably lower gravity and without any American hop character) than pales.

    I'd probably associate Wales with not drinking more than anything else - it's traditionally been a stronghold of Methodism with an associated history of temperance. That said, you wouldn't know that from a visit to Cardiff city centre on a Saturday night. Otherwise, I don't think there's any distinctively Welsh drink - traditional Welsh breweries tend to have fairly similar lineups to equivalent brewers in England.
     
  3. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Champion (862) Jan 29, 2012 United Kingdom (England)
    Trader

    Pale ale / bitter, they're one and the same.
     
    TealTokterFest likes this.
  4. Dave_S

    Dave_S Initiate (48) May 18, 2017 England

    I had my money on @marquis to say that! Fair point in a historical British context, although I was assuming that the OP was referring to pale ales in the US sense...
     
    TealTokterFest likes this.
  5. Dave_S

    Dave_S Initiate (48) May 18, 2017 England

    That said, these days I'd struggle to draw the line between pale bitter and trad golden ale, and between hoppy golden ale and cask APA, so yeah...
     
    TealTokterFest likes this.
  6. marquis

    marquis Crusader (759) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    The term Pale Ale was used to denote those Ales brewed using Pale Malt.Not that the Ale was pale though it would usually have been paler than the Beers which used Brown Malt.
    In the 19th century Mild was not dark (Mild simply meant unaged , if it was aged it was Old Ale) so in a pub Mild Ale and Pale Ale would look the same.The customers therefore took to calling the Pale Ale Bitter.
    Brewery records of the time rarely if ever refer to a Bitter being brewed.
    Pale Ale or PA at the brewery, Bitter in the pub.
     
    TealTokterFest likes this.
  7. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Champion (862) Jan 29, 2012 United Kingdom (England)
    Trader

    Confusion arises when on this website, and on others, English Pale Ale and English Bitter are described as separate styles. So too are English Porter and English Stout, and then there's the ESB thing, which is not nor has it ever been a described style in the UK.
     
  8. TealTokterFest

    TealTokterFest Initiate (0) Apr 15, 2018 Ohio

    Honestly I think everyone should start with the IBUs as the golden standard for naming a beer whether its a (blank) style brew or Pale or Double etc...

    Thanks for the input guys.
     
  9. EmperorBevis

    EmperorBevis Poo-Bah (4,432) Sep 25, 2011 United Kingdom (England)
    Premium

    Bitter is the mainstay of British cask/draught ale & without it & CAMRA
    it might have been possible that all we would have been left with American style adjunct lagers & pastuerized Guinness
    So there are ties to the U.S. IPA
    Now Bitter is different though England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland
    on the other side of the Pennines in Yorkshire its malt led
    but here in Manchester biting citrusy hops have been the prominent flavour
    so there again.
     
  10. Hoppsbabo

    Hoppsbabo Champion (862) Jan 29, 2012 United Kingdom (England)
    Trader

    Are we talking in traditional terms, Bevis? Surely it's a bit more of a smorgasbord now?
     
  11. EmperorBevis

    EmperorBevis Poo-Bah (4,432) Sep 25, 2011 United Kingdom (England)
    Premium

    Absolutely
    Currently with the combined real ale & craft beer
    we have a plethora of styles in pubs & even on supermarket shelves.
    its great to be able to get cask stouts, old ales, winter warmers etc
    The problem is with traditional terms,
    these traditional terms are very shaky
    whats the difference between bitter & pale ale, whats the difference between stout & porter.
    you'l get a lot of different answers and sometimes the right answer technically
    is then wrong historically because a brewer eighty years ago was using the wrong terms lol.

    but basically what has stayed a constant in the past fifty years of beer drinking in the U.K. is the consumption of hop forward flavoured bitter
    & what has spearheaded the U.S. movement away from faux lager & to ale is hop forward flavoured IPA