The Best Pale Ales in America Recipe

UnderTheLabel used its Smart Rating to determine the 50 best American pale ales

The beer branch of "pale ales" was created when coke, a fossil fuel derived from coal, was first used for the roasting of malt in the 17th century. This method, which didn't produce any smoke, resulted in a lighter malt that was commonly referred to as pale ale by the 1780s.

Thanks to their generally light hoppiness, pale ales are a popular choice for daytime drinking out in the sun, when you aren't quite prepared to ingest a heavy stout or IPA. With summer quickly approaching, UnderTheLabel determined the 50 best American pale ales using its Smart Rating, which consolidates rankings from annual brewing competitions and expert/user reviews from RateBeer and BeerAdvocate.

The popular Sierra Nevada Pale Ale (pictured above) lands just inside the top 25, but it's not the best pale ale brewed by Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, according to UnderTheLabel -- that'd be the Southern Hemisphere Harvest, which lands at 15th with a Smart Rating of 94.

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Best American Pale Ales

Beer (Brewer) ABV Smart Rating
Source: Under the Label
Zombie Dust (Three Floyds Brewing Company)6.2%97
Permanent Funeral (Three Floyds Brewing Company)10.5%97
Alpha King (Three Floyds Brewing Company)6.5%96
Double Bastard Ale (Stone Brewing Co.)11.2%96
Edward (Hill Farmstead Brewery)5.2%96
Arrogant Bastard Ale (Stone Brewing Co.)7.2%95
Harvest Ale (Founders Brewing Company)6.5%95
Oaked Arrogant Bastard Ale (Stone Brewing Co.)7.2%95
Mo (Maine Beer Company)6%95
Daisy Cutter Pale Ale (Half Acre Beer Company)5.2%94
Burton Baton (Dogfish Head Craft Brewery)10%94
Double Daisy Cutter (Half Acre Beer Company)8%94
Amarillo Pale Ale (Hill Farmstead Brewery)5.2%94
Simcoe Pale Ale (Hill Farmstead Brewery)5.2%94
Southern Hemisphere Harvest (Sierra Nevada Brewing Company)6.7%94
Undercover Investigation Shut-Down Ale (Lagunitas Brewing Company)9.7%93
Hop Trip (Deschutes Brewery)5.7%93
Batch 9000 (Bell's Brewery, Inc.)12.5%93
Moon Man (New Glarus Brewing Company)5%93
SPA (Summer Pale Ale) (Port Brewing Company)5.2%93
Dale's Pale Ale (Oskar Blues Brewery)6.5%93
Callow Knife (Half Acre Beer Company)5%93
Pale Ale (Sierra Nevada Brewing Company)5.6%93
Burning River Pale Ale (Great Lakes Brewing Company)6%93
Pale Ale (Captain Lawrence Brewing Company)5.6%93
X (AleSmith Brewing Co)5.25%92
30th Street Pale Ale (Green Flash Brewing Company)6%92
Stone Pale Ale (Stone Brewing Co.)5.4%92
Tasty Waves (Half Acre Beer Company)5.9%92
Liberty Ale (Anchor Brewing Company)5.9%92
Yakima Glory Ale (Victory Brewing Company)8.7%92
Osiris Pale Ale (Sun King Brewing Company)5.6%91
Segal Select (Russian River Brewing Company)5.75%91
Pride & Joy (Three Floyds Brewing Company)5%91
XP Pale Ale (Bear Republic Brewing Company)5.4%91
Hopalicious (Ale Asylum)5.8%91
Pale Ale (Tröegs Brewing Company)5.4%90
Mirror Pond Pale Ale (Deschutes Brewery)5%90
Row 2, Hill 56 (Russian River Brewing Company)5.8%89
Pale 31 (Firestone Walker Brewing Company)4.9%89
4 C's Pale Ale (The Brew Kettle, Taproom and Smokehouse)6%89
Elysian Fields Pale Ale (Elysian Brewing Company)4.8%89
Pale (Southern Tier Brewing Company)6.1%89
Bonaventure Pale Ale (Bonaventure Brewing Co)5.5%88
Burnin' Hill (Jackie O's Pub and Brewery)6.75%88
Panama Limited Red Ale (Flossmoor Station Brewing Company)6.2%88
Chatoe Rogue OREgasmic Ale (Rogue Ales)6%88
Fresh Hop Mirror Pond (Deschutes Brewery)5%87
Shoals Pale Ale (Smuttynose Brewing Company)5.6%87
Apollo (Sixpoint Brewery)5.2%87


Stone Brewing Co. placed three variations of its notoriously strong Arrogant Bastard Ale in the top 10, with the Double Bastard Ale (11.2% ABV) ranking fourth. Also placing well is Three Floyds Brewing Company, which swept the top three thanks to its Zombie Dust, Permanent Funeral and Alpha King ales.

With 38 Smart Rating scores of 90 or higher, there's plenty of palatable pale ales for you to sample.

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The Best Pale Ales in America Recipe

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