Different Styles

There many different styles of real ale, varying from malty, lightly-hopped milds to dark and bitter stouts and porters. With over 1,200 breweries producing over 6,000 ales on a regular basis, it can truly be said that British real ale is an incredibly diverse product. Whatever your taste preference you can be sure that there is a beer to suit almost everyone! To find out more about individual beer styles please click on the links below.

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Pale Ale or IPA

Pale Ale or IPA

India Pale Ale changed the face of brewing early in the 19th century. The new technologies of the Industrial Revolution enabled brewers to use pale malts to fashion beers that were genuinely golden or pale bronze in colour.

First brewed in London and Burton-on-Trent for the colonial market, IPAs were strong in alcohol and high in hops: the preservative character of the hops helped keep the beers in good condition during long sea journeys. Beers with less alcohol and hops were developed for the domestic market and were known as Pale Ale.

Today Pale Ale is usually a bottled version of Bitter, though historically the styles are different. Marston's Pedigree is an example of Burton Pale Ale, not Bitter, while the same brewery's Old Empire is a fascinating interpretation of a Victorian IPA. So-called IPAs with strengths of around 3.5% are not true to style. Look for juicy malt, citrus fruit and a big spicy, peppery bitter hop character, with strengths of 4% upwards.