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Old 02-18-2012, 10:34 PM   #1
Marshi
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Default Difference between American Amber, American Red and Belgian Pale Ale?

Is there a difference between these three styles? I have read New Belgium's Fat Tire Ale as described by these three descriptions? Which one is correct, or are they all right?

Yee!

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Old 02-18-2012, 10:40 PM   #2
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Fat Tire is an American Amber Ale.

http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/catdex.php


10B. American Amber Ale

Aroma: Low to moderate hop aroma from dry hopping or late kettle additions of American hop varieties. A citrusy hop character is common, but not required. Moderately low to moderately high maltiness balances and sometimes masks the hop presentation, and usually shows a moderate caramel character. Esters vary from moderate to none. No diacetyl.

Appearance: Amber to coppery brown in color. Moderately large off-white head with good retention. Generally quite clear, although dry-hopped versions may be slightly hazy.

Flavor: Moderate to high hop flavor from American hop varieties, which often but not always has a citrusy quality. Malt flavors are moderate to strong, and usually show an initial malty sweetness followed by a moderate caramel flavor (and sometimes other character malts in lesser amounts). Malt and hop bitterness are usually balanced and mutually supportive. Fruity esters can be moderate to none. Caramel sweetness and hop flavor/bitterness can linger somewhat into the medium to full finish. No diacetyl.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-full body. Carbonation moderate to high. Overall smooth finish without astringency often associated with high hopping rates. Stronger versions may have a slight alcohol warmth.

Overall Impression: Like an American pale ale with more body, more caramel richness, and a balance more towards malt than hops (although hop rates can be significant).

Comments: Can overlap in color with American pale ales. However, American amber ales differ from American pale ales not only by being usually darker in color, but also by having more caramel flavor, more body, and usually being balanced more evenly between malt and bitterness. Should not have a strong chocolate or roast character that might suggest an American brown ale (although small amounts are OK).

History: Known simply as Red Ales in some regions, these beers were popularized in the hop-loving Northern California and the Pacific Northwest areas before spreading nationwide.

Ingredients: Pale ale malt, typically American two-row. Medium to dark crystal malts. May also contain specialty grains which add additional character and uniqueness. American hops, often with citrusy flavors, are common but others may also be used. Water can vary in sulfate and carbonate content.
Vital Statistics: OG: 1.045 – 1.060
IBUs: 25 – 40 FG: 1.010 – 1.015
SRM: 10 – 17 ABV: 4.5 – 6.2%

Commercial Examples: North Coast Red Seal Ale, Tröegs HopBack Amber Ale, Deschutes Cinder Cone Red, Pyramid Broken Rake, St. Rogue Red Ale, Anderson Valley Boont Amber Ale, Lagunitas Censored Ale, Avery Redpoint Ale, McNeill’s Firehouse Amber Ale, Mendocino Red Tail Ale, Bell's Amber

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Old 02-18-2012, 10:41 PM   #3
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People us red and amber interchangeably for american amber ales...belgian pale is a whole different style.

http://www.bjcp.org/2008styles/catdex.php

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Old 02-18-2012, 10:44 PM   #4
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American amber = American red. But a Belgian pale ale is a totally different beer, using Belgian yeast. Here's the guidelines for a Belgian pale ale:

16B. Belgian Pale Ale
Aroma: Prominent aroma of malt with moderate fruity character and low hop aroma. Toasty, biscuity malt aroma. May have an orange- or pear-like fruitiness though not as fruity/citrusy as many other Belgian ales. Distinctive floral or spicy, low to moderate strength hop character optionally blended with background level peppery, spicy phenols. No diacetyl.

Appearance: Amber to copper in color. Clarity is very good. Creamy, rocky, white head often fades more quickly than other Belgian beers.

Flavor: Fruity and lightly to moderately spicy with a soft, smooth malt and relatively light hop character and low to very low phenols. May have an orange- or pear-like fruitiness, though not as fruity/citrusy as many other Belgian ales. Has an initial soft, malty sweetness with a toasty, biscuity, nutty malt flavor. The hop flavor is low to none. The hop bitterness is medium to low, and is optionally complemented by low amounts of peppery phenols. There is a moderately dry to moderately sweet finish, with hops becoming more pronounced in those with a drier finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium to medium-light body. Alcohol level is restrained, and any warming character should be low if present. No hot alcohol or solventy character. Medium carbonation.

Overall Impression: A fruity, moderately malty, somewhat spicy, easy-drinking, copper-colored ale.

Comments: Most commonly found in the Flemish provinces of Antwerp and Brabant. Considered “everyday” beers (Category I). Compared to their higher alcohol Category S cousins, they are Belgian “session beers” for ease of drinking. Nothing should be too pronounced or dominant; balance is the key.

History: Produced by breweries with roots as far back as the mid-1700s, the most well-known examples were perfected after the Second World War with some influence from Britain, including hops and yeast strains.

Ingredients: Pilsner or pale ale malt contributes the bulk of the grist with (cara) Vienna and Munich malts adding color, body and complexity. Sugar is not commonly used as high gravity is not desired. Noble hops, Styrian Goldings, East Kent Goldings or Fuggles are commonly used. Yeasts prone to moderate production of phenols are often used but fermentation temperatures should be kept moderate to limit this character.

Vital Statistics: OG: 1.048 – 1.054
IBUs: 20 – 30 FG: 1.010 – 1.014
SRM: 8 – 14 ABV: 4.8 – 5.5%

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