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The 15 Best American Pale Ales of 2022

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Earlier this year we wrote about "The 9 Best Belgian Pale Ales of 2022" led by the highest-rated Orval from Brasserie d'Orval in Belgium. Last weekend, we celebrated the official Orval Day 2022, an entire day dedicated to this renowned beer. 

Now that we've given our due to the OG Belgian pale ales, we wanted to show a little love to its contemporary cousin—the American pale ale.

Pale ales are the backbone of American craft beer. Long before American IPAs reigned supreme, the American pale ale (APA) reigned as royalty.

Iconic beers such as Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, considered crucial to igniting the craft beer revolution within the United States, became like stepping stones to the rise of West Coast IPAs.

Actually derived from the English pale ale (a style we'll cover later this year), the American pale ale differs in quite a few ways. Whereas the English version has a muted hop character dominated by English hop varieties and balanced by a definitive malt backbone, the American style is lighter, cleaner, and less malt-forward. Plus, American versions typically feature American hop and ingredients. 

For instance, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale featured Cascade (a little-known hop when Sierra Nevada Founder Ken Grossman first used it in his beer in 1980). 

People love American pale ales because they're kind of like the Goldilocks of beers. They're not too hoppy like a West Coast IPA, but they're also not too light like a blonde ale. They're just right, pairing well with almost any food or simply perfect on their own. 

Here is a true testament to how much American brewers respect this style: Almost every brewery well known for its IPAs…also has a fantastic APA. 

For example, in the list below you'll find incredible American pale ales from breweries such as Hill Farmstead, Tree House Brewing Company, 3 Floyds Brewing, Toppling Goliath Brewing Company, and Half Acre Beer Co. 

Untappd's 15 Highest-Rated American Pale Ales of 2022* 

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1. Edward - Hill Farmstead Brewery

Edward label

Edward

Hill Farmstead Brewery

Pale Ale - American

Total (?) 131,598

Unique (?) 72,432

5.2% ABV

65 IBU

(4.24)

65,801 Ratings

2. Zombie Dust - 3 Floyds Brewing

Zombie Dust label

Zombie Dust

3 Floyds Brewing

Pale Ale - American

Total (?) 879,777

Unique (?) 311,279

6.5% ABV

62 IBU

(4.23)

286,441 Ratings

3. Taters (8th Anniversary Edition) - Other Half Brewing Co.

Taters (8th Anniversary Edition) label

Taters (8th Anniversary Edition)

Variant of Taters

Other Half Brewing Co.

Collaboration with Monkish Brewing Co.

Pale Ale - American

Total (?) 1,488

Unique (?) 1,355

5.5% ABV

N/A IBU

(4.16)

1,246 Ratings

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4.  Mini Creamsicle - Tree House Brewing Company

Mini Creamsicle label

Mini Creamsicle

Tree House Brewing Company

Pale Ale - American

Total (?) 3,093

Unique (?) 2,828

5.2% ABV

N/A IBU

(4.13)

2,585 Ratings

5.  Juli-ish - Tree House Brewing Company

Juli-ish label

Juli-ish

Tree House Brewing Company

Pale Ale - American

Total (?) 15,035

Unique (?) 12,616

5.2% ABV

N/A IBU

(4.16)

11,598 Ratings

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6. Pseudo Sue - Toppling Goliath Brewing Co.

Pseudo Sue label

Pseudo Sue

Toppling Goliath Brewing Co.

Pale Ale - American

Total (?) 486,021

Unique (?) 242,635

5.8% ABV

45 IBU

(4.12)

224,686 Ratings

7. Tiny Treat - Tree House Brewing Company

Tiny Treat label

Tiny Treat

Tree House Brewing Company

Pale Ale - American

Total (?) 5,087

Unique (?) 4,505

5.4% ABV

N/A IBU

(4.08)

4,142 Ratings

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8. Double Daisy Cutter - Half Acre Beer Company

Double Daisy Cutter label

Double Daisy Cutter

Half Acre Beer Company

IPA - New England / Hazy

Total (?) 62,008

Unique (?) 41,616

8.2% ABV

N/A IBU

(4.09)

37,742 Ratings

9. Lustra - Dancing Gnome

Lustra label

Lustra

Dancing Gnome

Pale Ale - New England / Hazy

Total (?) 32,464

Unique (?) 21,640

5.8% ABV

45 IBU

(4.02)

19,876 Ratings

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10. Moon Man - New Glarus Brewing Company

Moon Man label

Moon Man

New Glarus Brewing Company

Pale Ale - American

Total (?) 246,387

Unique (?) 120,818

5% ABV

N/A IBU

(3.83)

109,085 Ratings

11. Photon - Equilibrium Brewery

Photon label

Photon

Equilibrium Brewery

Pale Ale - American

Total (?) 49,242

Unique (?) 41,280

4.8% ABV

N/A IBU

(3.99)

37,955 Ratings

12. First Drop - Upper Pass Beer Company

First Drop label

First Drop

Upper Pass Beer Company

Pale Ale - American

Total (?) 42,177

Unique (?) 32,496

5.9% ABV

65 IBU

(4)

29,768 Ratings

13. Prophetmaker - Burial Beer Co.

Prophetmaker label

Prophetmaker

Burial Beer Co.

Pale Ale - American

Total (?) 9,132

Unique (?) 8,035

5.3% ABV

35 IBU

(3.93)

7,296 Ratings

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14. Alpha King - 3 Floyds Brewing

Alpha King label

Alpha King

3 Floyds Brewing

Pale Ale - American

Total (?) 334,532

Unique (?) 173,009

6.66% ABV

68 IBU

(3.96)

157,139 Ratings

15. Lizard King - Pipeworks Brewing Company

Lizard King label

Lizard King

Pipeworks Brewing Company

Pale Ale - American

Total (?) 139,896

Unique (?) 98,736

6% ABV

36 IBU

(3.97)

90,805 Ratings

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