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American Strong Ale

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American Strong Ale is a catch-all term used to describe a diverse group of beers brewed by American craft brewers.

Types of American Strong Ale

The term "American Strong Ale" is often used to describe any strong beer that does not fit into an existing style. However, many beers in this style share certain characteristics; they are generally dark brown to black in color, with strong hop flavor and bitterness that distinguish them from English Strong Ale, balanced by strong and often sweet or caramel malt flavors. Stone's Arrogant Bastard Ale and Legacy's Hedonism are well-known commercial examples.

The GABF also recognizes a category it refers to as "American-Style Strong Pale Ale" but that appears to be simply a subcategory of American IPA.

Brewing American Strong Ale

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Competition Styles

Despite the popularity of beers like Arrogant Bastard, neither the BJCP nor the GABF provide a category for these beers. The GABF's Strong Ale category specifies a low or absent hop flavor and therefore describes only traditional English Strong Ale.