American Amber Ale

Glassware: Shaker pint
  • USA
  • Ale
  • ABV = 4.5 – 6.2% (Normal)^
  • IBU = 25-40
  • SRM = 10-17

An amber-coloured American ale with a caramelly malt flavour and balanced hop character.

Darker, more caramelly, more body, and generally less bitter in the balance than American Pale Ale. Can overlap in colour with darker American Pale Ales, but with a different malt flavour and balance. Should not have a strong chocolate or roast character like American Brown Ale.


  • Colour^ = Light amber to dark amber
  • Clarity = Generally clear, although dry-hopped versions may be hazy

Key Aromas & Flavours:

  • Malt = Moderate; malty sweet, caramelly
  • Yeast = None to moderate; fruity, if present
  • Hops = Low to moderate; citrus, floral, pine, resinous, spicy, tropical fruit, stone fruit, berry, or melon
  • Malt = Moderate to high; malty sweet initially, followed by caramel
  • Yeast = None to moderate; fruity, if present
  • Hops = Moderate to high; citrus, floral, pine, resinous, spicy, tropical fruit, stone fruit, berry, or melon
  • Perceived Bitterness^ = Pronounced
  • Balance = Varies, but usually even and mutually supportive (should not have clashing malt and hop flavours)

Medium to full finish with lingering caramel sweetness and hop flavour/bitterness


  • Body = Medium to medium-full
  • Carbonation = Medium to high
  • Alcohol warmth = Stronger versions may have a slight alcohol warmth

Characteristic Ingredients/Processes:

  • Malt = Two-row malt, plus medium to dark crystal/caramel malt
  • Yeast = American ale yeast
  • Hops = American or New World hop varietals

Historical Development:

A modern American craft beer style developed as a variation from American Pale Ale. Known simply as Red Ales in some regions, these beers were popularized in hop-loving Northern California and the Pacific Northwest before spreading nationwide.  

Commercial Examples:

Full Sail Amber, Rogue American Amber Ale, Tröegs HopBack Amber

^Sourced from the Cicerone Certification Program’s International Certified Beer Server Syllabus.
All other information is sourced from the BJCP 2015 Style Guidelines.

Discovering Beer is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Cicerone® Certification Program.

Brought to you by Beer with Nat
Instagram | Twitter | YouTube