Difference Between IPA and Pale Ale

Beer varieties are terms that are used to define and identify beers based on their provenance, flavor, color, combination, intensity, and manner of manufacture.


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The first beer types emerged in Europe, but various kinds have since emerged all around the world. What sort of beer may be made accessible in a given place is determined by the quality, weather, groundwater profile, and availability of ingredients.

Pale ale and IPA are among the most popular beer types in the world.

The Pale Ale and India Pale Ale surely create confusion due to their similar names and characteristics so, this article aims on clearing out the confusion by comparing both these fine drinks side-by-side.

IPA vs Pale Ale

The difference between IPA and Pale ale is that an IPA is a more forthrightly pitched and harder variant of a Pale Ale, but what that means, in reality, varies depending on the brewer. A Pale Ale is a lighter variant of an IPA brewed by a brewer. So, theoretically, the difference lies in their texture and intensity.

IPA vs Pale Ale

IPA is also known as India Pale Ale is the stronger brew of the traditional English Bitter Pale Ale. The India pale ale (IPA) is a funkier pale ale than other pale ales.

Varietals are an important element in all ales, but IPAs use a lot of them during the production process.

Chinook, Centenary, and Cascade hops are popular in IPAs, and many brewers explore with additional varietals, frequently in unique combinations. Brewers frequently use pale malt, however, some use crystal, Vienna, or Munich malts as well.

Pale ales in general are pretty famous throughout the world. Pale ale is the name given to a beer brewed from malt burnt coke. The word “beer style” was first seen in 1642, but it wasn’t until 1703 that the name “beer fashion” was coined.

The changes in this beer style’s procedures and hop levels resulted in a diversity of this type of beer. The Organization of Brewers in the United States, for example, defines American Pale Ale as a kind of ale.

The body of this brown ale is medium, and the maltiness is low to intermediate.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonIPAPale Ale
DefinitionIndia Pale Ale is the stronger brew of the traditional English Bitter Pale Ale.Pale ale is a pale malt-based English type ale.
TasteSweet and harsh, but when the fragrance and golden colour of an IPA are combined, you get tastes like citrus, oak, and flowers.Pale ales are session beers that are fruity, crisp, and copper in colour. They’re packed, yet don’t have an overwhelming hops flavour.
MaltinessMore maltier than pale ales.Less maltier compared to IPA.
IntensityHigher intensity because of stronger brews.Lower intensity and lower alcohol content too.
OriginThe IPA was created in the United Kingdom. Pale ale is the name given to a beer brewed from malt burnt coke.

What is IPA?

IPA is known as Indian Pale Ale, falls under the English Bitter taste category. In 1840, the word was coined in England.

One of the most distinctive characteristics of an IPA is that it is heavily hopped and has a more intense strength than an English pale ale, and it is liked by Indian consumers.

IPAs have progressed since their inception. The predominant taste of an IPA, as it was in 1829, derives from the hops used throughout the brew. The hop variety can provide a citrus flavor, a fruity flavor, or a herbaceous flavor to the beer.

With the rise of good beer, IPAs have evolved into a variety of styles, including Britain, West Side, New American, Juicy, and others. Sága IPA, Slugfest Fruity IPA, and Victorious Session IPA are all available year-round during Summit Brewing Company.

The one thing that all of these beers have in common is that they all have a tinge of fruity or citrusy flavor with a strong hop taste. Whereas the latter might be heavier and stronger than the other at times, the brew nearly always has a smooth texture.

India pale ales have a distinct flavor profile. There aren’t many beers that have the perfect balance of sweetness and hops. IPAs, like its sibling, the pale ale, is harsher and hoppier. Festive varieties will be available at several small and craft brewers.

Changes in the processes and hop amounts used in this beer style led to a wide range of flavors. American Pale Ale, brown pale ale, and even India pale ale is a type of ale, according to the Association of Brewers in the United States.


What is Pale Ale?

Pale ale is a commonly consumed beer style that has a rich flavor, a yellow to amber hue, and medium strength. Pale ales are a cross among dark brews and light pilsners, brewed with pale grain and ale bacteria.

The pale ale was first used in England in 1703 to describe beers brewed with coke, a refined type of coal that produces an auburn or cerium-colored ale.

Though the word “pale ale” now encompasses a wide range of beer types, including IPAs, bottles labeled as pale ales tend to be on the softer, livelier end of the scale.

They’re flavorful but not overpowering, making the style highly approachable. The first pale ales were brewed in England, as well as the style that launched the craft beer movement in the United States.

Malty English beers, smooth Us brews, Belgium leisure ales, and hops IPAs are all part of the category. Majority of pale ales are better served chilled, around 50 and 60 degrees F.

Some IPAs and British pale ales benefit from a slight chill, which is not below 45°F though. As a rule of thumb, the stronger the beer, the more hops it contains.

pale ale

Main Differences Between IPA and Pale Ale

  1. IPA is stronger in intensity when compared to classic or English Pale Ale.
  2. IPA has a sweet yet bitter flavor with a considerable amount of alcohol in it whereas Pale Ale has a bitter and malty flavor with less alcohol content.
  3. IPA is preferred by Indian consumers whereas pale ale is preferred by Americans and Europeans.
  4. IPA or India Pale Ale is a variation of Pale Ale but vice versa is not true.
  5. IPA originated in Britain when the British sailors were heading to the Indian colony whereas Pale Ale was made in London by George Hogeson from Bow Brewery.
Difference between IPA and Pale Ale


  1. https://sierranevada.com/beer/pale-ale/
  2. https://beerandbrewing.com/dictionary/5FoSirhrCg/
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