This is another in a series of articles about homebrewing in the DC area by Carl Weaver of RealHomebrew.com. Want to learn about making your own beer? Keep an eye out for Friday homebrew features.
America’s biggest contribution to the beer world, at least in my opinion, is a very good jumping-off point for homebrew: the American ale. It is safe to say that the majority of beer enthusiasts have enjoyed an ale at one time or another. Despite the commercial popularity of pilsners in America, the craft brew community has brought about a rebirth of this uniquely American style.
American ales are generally a bit more hoppy than their cousins from across the pond and often have a bit higher percent alcohol by volume (ABV). A great deal of the unique hoppiness is due to the floral and citrus characteristics of the hops grown in the United States, especially those developed in California and the Pacific Northwest. In addition to the increased hop characteristics, American ales are generally medium bodied with a lighter malt flavor than than European-style ales. Some of the more notable American ale styles are the American pale, amber, brown, and IPA.
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