Carla Jean Lauter

The Beer Babe

The Session #64: Pale in Comparison

The Session is a monthly event for the beer blogging community which was started by Stan Hieronymus at Appellation Beer. On the first Friday of each month, all participating bloggers write about a predetermined topic. Each month a different blog is chosen to host The Session, choose the topic, and post a roundup of all the responses received. For more info on The Session, check out the Brookston Beer Bulletin’s archive page.

What is the one beer style usually makes up the first position in the sample flight, but yet is usually the one that we never get really excited about? The Pale Ale.

While this style serves as the foundation to its big-hoppy-brother the India Pale Ale, lately “Pale Ale” has become a throwaway term. I hear bartenders and servers using it to describe everything from Pilsners to unfiltered wheat beers (I wish I was kidding).

Whether American (typically a bit hoppier) or English (a little more malty), these brews can be complex, interesting and tasty, and are all too often fast-forwarded through in a tasting or left as the “eh, guess I’ll have a pale ale” decision.

Your mission – if you choose to accept it – it so seek out and taste two different pale ales. Tell us what makes them special, what makes them forgettable, what makes them the same or what makes them different. Then, share it with us. (By writing a comment below on June 1st with a link to your post).

The Beer Babe


Rising Tide – Polaris


2012 Beer Blogger’s Conference


  1. I know this is a few days late, but I couldn’t pass this topic up as my first post for The Session. Great idea Carla!

  2. The link appeared to not work on my first comment here is take 2! Thanks for hosting

  3. I sent this along yesterday, but it looks like my comment got eaten.

    I’m a bit late, and a bit off-topic, but here’s my contribution

  4. I did a couple of these a while back re: pale ales.

    Pales are a favorite of mine. Love em.

    Odell v. Brooklyn Pales:

    Wet Hopped Pale v. Dry Hopped Pale:

  5. I’m a day late getting it posted, but at least I got the video up on time. Here’s the link to my blog post. Looking forward to reading everyone else’s!

  6. Hiya Carla, nice to see you hosting! Love the topic too. My contribution is here:


  7. Thanks for hosting and say hello to Scratch Bakery:

  8. Thanks for the topic, I love comparative tasting!

    Here’s my contribution:

    Thanks again for hosting…

  9. Nice topic, enjoyed trying something new – even if it wasn’t to my taste, my contribution is posted here:

  10. Hiya, my contribution to this months session, enjoying learning all about pale ales! Thanks

  11. Thanks for hosting. The Pale Ale Counter Reformation is well and truly on!

  12. Just a tad late, but here’s my, slightly off-topic, contribution!

  13. Mine is finally up: Thanks for hosting!

  14. Here is my post for the session. Thanks for hosting such a great topic.

  15. Thanks for the topic and hosting!

    Here is my contribution….

  16. Great topic, thanks for hosting. My post is up:

    Take care,


  17. Enjoyed the venture into pale ales – something I normally don’t go after. Happy to join for my inaugural “Session” with everyone!

    My picks were Port City and Highland:


  18. Hello! Our Session post is here

    Thanks for hosting.

  19. Zac

    It will appear at 9:15 AM, CST:

    Thanks for hosting.

  20. Zac

    Excellent topic. Although I don’t drink them as often as I used to, pale ales are typically the one style on which I judge most brew pubs.

  21. Irving –
    My intent was for you to pick an American Pale ale or English Pale ale as they are the more overlooked of the family, but it is your choice. Write about whatever variants you’d like.

  22. So how about Belgian Pale Ales are they still on the table?

  23. Hey Carla

    It’s just a footnote but rings true.

    “If you are one of those folks getting irked by expensive craft beers and festivals in the States these days — and who isn’t? — then I have some simple advice for you. Stop buying whales and instead subsist on that local pale ale you’ve always liked but always ignore. Save those duckets, buy a plane ticket, and go to where the beer is cheap. Make a trip your whale instead.” – Joe Stange

    Also check out #FlagshipBeerDay

    I’ll probably combine my efforts!

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén