American Amber IPA
- ABV: 8.5%
- IBU: 54
- SRM: 10
- A decidedly hoppy and strong American pale ale
- showcasing modern American hop varieties.
- With a clean supporting malt combination to allow a creative range
- of hop character to shine through.
- A modern American craft beer interpretation of the historical English style
- brewed using American ingredients and attitude.
Recipe Goals: To create an amber IPA that is accessible to a wide audience using caramel malts combined with American hops for a medley of pleasant aromas and flavors. This beer is bold but smooth and can match up with any season. It has a slightly hazy, juicy red ale character with excellent foam and retention.
Background: A decidedly hoppy, bitter and strong American pale ale, showcasing modern American hops. A modern American craft beer interpretation of the historical English style with American ingredients and attitude. Stronger, more highly hopped than American Pale Ale — less of an “English” character, less caramel, bread, toast; more hops, less body and slightly stronger than most examples. This version is close to a Double IPA in strength and hop character.
Tasting Notes: A prominent hop aroma and restrained alcohol note present. A reddish-amber slightly hazy due to dry hopping. Medium-sized, off white head, good persistence. High hop bitterness and flavor of citrus, floral, pine, resinous, spicy, tropical fruit, stone fruit, berry, melon. Malt flavor is lightly caramel centered. Medium-dry finish, low residual sweetness, pleasant lingering bitterness and hop flavor. A medium-full body, with a smooth texture with medium-high carbonation.
History: The first American IPA, Anchor’s Liberty Ale was first brewed in 1975 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere’s ride. It featured hops like no American beer had before, and it defied existing labels, termed a “Special Ale.” Liberty Ale was more effervescent than the pale ales of England, brewed with whole-cone hops. Earlier Coors used the newfangled Cascade American hop in small quantities to impart some slight notes, but Anchor went all in on it. For the first time, that citrusy, floral aroma that drives hopheads crazy flowed from draft lines. The style has pushed beyond that original beer, which now tastes more like an American Pale Ale in comparison.
Ingredients: Pale 2-row US brewer’s malt and caramel crystal malt with Dextrine to increase the body and foam. American hops — Simcoe for the bitterness, and Amarillo and Citra for the aroma, with American yeast (Wyeast 1056) to provide a clean, slightly fruity profile. Mashed at lower temperatures and candy sugar added to aid attenuation. Restrained crystal malts, as high amounts lead to too sweet a finish and clashes with hops.
Food Pair: Pungent hop aromas in an American IPA pair well with cheeses. The firm bitterness of the beer cuts through the creaminess of the cheese, while notes of tropical fruit brighten the palate. This style combines well with bold, spicy food — tacos, jerk chicken wings, a roast beef dip with pepper Jack and horseradish cream and BBQ short ribs, bold sweet deserts are all excellent complements to the American IPA.
Vital Statistics: BJCP IPA – American (21A) With Specialty IPAs, Belgian, Black, Brown, White, Rye
For Style ABV: 5.5 – 7.5% IBUs: 40 – 70 SRM: 6 – 14
Red Lion Alesmiths version. ABV: 8.5% IBU: 54 SRM: 10
ABV is Alcohol by Volume. Listed as a percentage volume. Average commercial beer ABV = 4.2%
IBU is International Bitterness Units. Measures bittering chemicals ranges from 0-120, but most beers are from 15-80.
SRM is Standard Reference Method. Measure of color. Scale of 0-40. From yellow, to amber/gold, to brown, to black.
Commercial Examples: Alpine Duet, Bell’s Two-Hearted Ale, Fat Heads Head Hunter IPA, Firestone Walker Union Jack, Lagunitas IPA, Russian River Blind Pig IPA, Stone IPA