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Make Your Best American Amber Ale

American amber ales allow for a significant range of flavors, which makes them a great beer for creative brewers.

Josh Weikert Jun 12, 2016 - 7 min read

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When anyone asks me what the “best” style of beer is, my first impulse is to say that there really isn’t one. Asking for a favorite style can be akin to asking which of your children is your favorite. But there actually is a way to answer that question in a substantive way. For example, instead of asking my father, “which kid do you love more?” you could ask, “which of your kids is the most financially successful?” So, instead of questioning the “best” beer style, what if we simply went with, “what’s a style that showcases lots of beer ingredients without overwhelming you?” Now we might be on our way to an interesting conversation!

For me, that style is the German altbier. But out of consideration for our American-hops-loving friends (and I concede that American hops, with their citrus and tropical notes, are a better fit for the warmer months), I will also make a strong case for the American amber ale.


The American amber is often described as a more malt-balanced version of the American pale ale, but that’s selling it very short. This is a style with substantial range, and while some versions are simply an APA plus caramel, that isn’t emblematic of the best of them.

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