Pale Ale is a light beer made with top-fermenting yeast. This means that the beer is fermented at temperatures between 12 and 25°C and the fermentation period is shorter than, for example, that for lagers brewed from bottom-fermenting yeasts. The light colour and name come from the name of the pale type of malt which is commonly used: pale. Pale Ales have a somewhat stronger smell of hops and a light to medium malt sweetness. The balance between the bitter hops and sweet malt varies from Pale Ale to Pale Ale.
In Great Britain all beers are commonly termed ales, with the exception of porter and stout. India Pale Ales or Brown Ales are special types of Pale Ale.
American Pale Ale has its origins in British Pale Ale. It tends to have approx. 5.0% vol., may have a less intense malt sweetness and a significant proportion of American hop varieties, which are generally more bitter with a stronger aroma. However, American Pale Ale is generally characterised by its balance of hops and malt.