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What is an American Amber Ale?

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When it comes to different styles of craft beer there is a wide variety out there. While traditional styles are based in many different countries, there are many American versions of these brews on the market, having been modified with an American twist to the traditional style that makes them quite unique.

The American Amber Ale is a brew that features the following traits:

  • Color: Amber in color, though darker than other amber ales
  • Bitterness: Medium in bitterness on average, with more of a malt bill
  • ABV: Low on the alcohol charts with very few passing the 6% mark
  • Body: A high malt bill makes these brews medium to heavy in body, with minimal hops presence
  • Hops varieties: American all the way, providing medium hops character and high drinkability
  • Pairs well with a variety of meals, though barbecue or sweet desserts are generally the favorites for pairing. We suggest trying this brew with a varied array of meals to find which one suits your specific tastes the best. Our own favorite was our pairing of an American Amber Ale with some great Baby Back Ribs from the grill.

What are some really great American Amber Ales on the market?

Where there are craft beer lovers, there must be craft beer, and there are over 5,000 old and new craft breweries across the United States to fill that demand. Below we’ve listed a few really great craft breweries that offer some delicious American Amber Ales for you to enjoy. We’ve tried these brews and have found them to be absolutely outstanding examples of the style, which is sometimes referred to as a Red Ale instead of American Amber Ale.

Cigar City Brewing Citrus Wizard is a great brew that features all of the curious creativity that Cigar City is known for. The flavor profile of the brew is intricate and it holds plenty of aromas for you to wander through before that first sip as well. The brew has received outstanding reviews on BeerAdvocate and we suggest it as well. It’s great to see such a delicious brew coming out of South Florida and the many great craft breweries there.

Great Lakes Brewing Nosferatu is another great American Amber Ale for you to try. The art on the bottle is enough to make you shiver, but the brew inside will have you feeling quite cozy before you even hit that first drink. The aroma of the brew features some great malty notes, with some lilting hopcentric aromas sneaking in there as well. The flavor is enough to make you want another, then another, so keep an eye on your speed. At 8% ABV, this brew pushes the limits of the style, but the alcohol blends in quite well, so be aware of the alcohol by vamp in the corner.

Tell us what you think and what you’ve found!

We love hearing from our readers, so make sure to drop in and let us know what you think of these two brews. If you’ve found any really great American Ambers that you want others to know about, let us know about those as well! Your suggestion just might be the inspiration for the next feature post! In the meantime, happy tasting from all of us here in South Florida at West Palm Beach Brewery and Wine Vault.


May 18, 2017