Style Details

Name
Ame­ri­can Amber Ale
Cate­go­ry
Amber and Brown Ame­ri­can Beer
BJCP Style Code
19 A
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.
Aro­ma
Low to mode­ra­te hop aro­ma with cha­rac­te­ris­tics typi­cal of Ame­ri­can or New World hop varie­ties (citrus, flo­ral, pine, resin­ous, spi­cy, tro­pi­cal fruit, stone fruit, ber­ry, or melon). A citru­sy hop cha­rac­ter is com­mon, but not requi­red. Moder­ate­ly-low to moder­ate­ly-high mal­ti­ness (usual­ly with a mode­ra­te cara­mel cha­rac­ter), which can eit­her sup­port, balan­ce, or some­ti­mes mask the hop pre­sen­ta­ti­on. Esters vary from mode­ra­te to none.
Fla­vour
Mode­ra­te to high hop fla­vor with cha­rac­te­ris­tics typi­cal of Ame­ri­can or New World hop varie­ties (citrus, flo­ral, pine, resin­ous, spi­cy, tro­pi­cal fruit, stone fruit, ber­ry, or melon). A citru­sy hop cha­rac­ter is com­mon, but not requi­red. 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, but can vary eit­her way. Frui­ty esters can be mode­ra­te to none. Cara­mel sweet­ness and hop flavor/bitterness can lin­ger some­what into the medi­um to full finish.
Mouth­feel
Medi­um to medi­um-full body. Medi­um to high car­bo­na­ti­on. Over­all smooth finish without astrin­gen­cy. Stron­ger ver­si­ons may have a slight alco­hol warm­th.
Over­all Impres­si­on
An amber, hop­py, mode­ra­te-strength Ame­ri­can craft beer with a cara­mel mal­ty fla­vor. The balan­ce can vary qui­te a bit, with some ver­si­ons being fair­ly mal­ty and others being aggres­si­ve­ly hop­py. Hop­py and bit­ter ver­si­ons should not have cla­shing fla­vors with the cara­mel malt pro­fi­le.
Typi­cal Ingre­dients
Pale ale malt, typi­cal­ly North Ame­ri­can two-row. Medi­um to dark crys­tal mal­ts. May also con­tain spe­cial­ty grains which add addi­tio­nal cha­rac­ter and uni­queness. Ame­ri­can or New World hops, often with citru­sy fla­vors, are com­mon but others may also be used.
Histo­ry
A modern Ame­ri­can craft beer style deve­lo­ped as a varia­ti­on from Ame­ri­can Pale Ales. 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.
Comments
Can over­lap in color with dar­ker Ame­ri­can pale ales, but with a dif­fe­rent malt fla­vor and balan­ce. Regio­nal varia­ti­ons exist with some being fair­ly main­stream and others being qui­te aggres­si­ve in hop­ping. Stron­ger and more bit­ter ver­si­ons are now split into the Red IPA style.
Com­mer­cial Examp­les
Deschu­tes Cin­der Cone Red, Full Sail Amber, Kona Lava­man Red Ale, North Coast Ruedrich’s Red Seal Ale, Rogue Ame­ri­can Amber Ale, Trö­egs Hop­Back Amber Ale
Ori­gi­nal Gra­vi­ty
1.045 - 1.060 SG
Final Gra­vi­ty
1.010 - 1.015 SG
Color
10 - 17 SRM
Alco­hol
4.0 - 6.0 %vol
Bit­ter­ness
25 - 40 IBU