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So what is a true AUS Pale Ale?


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Hi guys.

I'm a Pale Ale fan/nut, & more importantly, a Coopers style Pale Ale fan. I'm almost an honorary shareholder based purely on personal consumption volume!

"So what is a true Australian Pale Ale?"

Most of the recipes discussed on this forum are hybrid alterations on American & British style Pale Ales. The Little Creatures Pale Ale crops up in many conversations on here as a model to work off for home-brewing, & yes it is a great beer, but is it true to being the ultimate Australian Pale Ale? I say Yes,... & no. The Cascade flavours are great, but in my opinion, the body of the beer is too full, & overall, too bitter for all season drinking.

Our climate is very similar to Spanish, Mexican, Brazilian & some Asian regions. Thus following lighter influenced styles of beer such as pilsners & lagers as a base, seems more appropriate to me when looking to create a TRUE Australian signature style Pale Ale.

After 2 months of progression towards my goal, I have realised malt additives to the basic wart tin, are 'The Enemy', & need to be only added in minor quantities for brewing in this style.

The perfect Australian styled Pale Ale needs to be full in flavour, lighter in body, & have a lager/draught type end bitterness.

What do you guys think?

My challenge to ALL is to create this beer.

I will be fascinated in the posts that follow...


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As far as I am aware, Coopers Pale Ale is the only long-term commercial beer that calls itself an Australian Pale Ale.


There may have been more in the past but ales fell out of favour in Aus during the 70's and 80's and the big brewers pretty much made lagers.


Bridge Road has an Australian Ale which you might find of interest:


Bridge Road - Australian Ale


So to me it looks like you want to clone a Coopers Pale Ale.


I wouldn't skip the 'malt additives' as you suggested or you will end up with a thin, watery beer.


I would use:


Coopers Aus Pale Ale kit

500g light malt

200g wheat malt

200g dex


I would also do a 40 minute boil of a small amount of POR to increase the bitterness slightly but no flavour or aroma hops.


Then reculture some Coopers yeast and ferment around 20 degrees.


Also, I agree with Muddy. LCPA is in the style of an American Pale Ale and I find it a good session beer.

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From AABC 2010


A lively, fruity Pale Ale with surprising

lightness of body, solid bitterness, and a refreshing dry finish well

suited to a hot climate. Can be thought of as a \u201clight\u201d Burton IPA

without the dry-hopping. Relies on yeast character to compensate

for diminished late hop expression - bland examples lacking

fruitiness should be considered out of style.


Best examples will display good clarity, gold to

amber colour, with a persistent snow white head supported by brisk

carbonation from bottle conditioning.

Aroma: Fruity yeast-derived aromas most prominent, with light,

sweet pale malt underneath. Hop aroma low to none. No diacetyl.

Flavour: Medium to high fruitiness, often pear-like. Supported by

light, bready pale malt flavour. Caramel malt flavours out of style.

Banana ester from high fermentation temperature may be noticed,

but should not dominate. A mild but distinctive peppery,

herbaceous flavour from Pride of Ringwood hops is desirable.

Medium to high bitterness - may be higher in historical versions,

but not crude or harsh. Long dry finish from extremely high

attenuation, with a balanced fruity aftertaste.

Body & Mouthfeel: Light to medium-light body - any impression

of palate fullness from residual dextrins should be penalized.

Clean, crisp mouthfeel may be enhanced by spritzy carbonation.





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Hi Beerlust,


I was wondering the same as you recently, I have made a couple of simple kit & can recipes plus a couple of extract recipes where I added some grains & hops .


As the weather is getting hotter I wanted to brew a simple Aussie Summer Ale and tried using the Coopers Australian Pale Ale can as a base with the addition of some Joe White Aussie Pilsner grain & Styrian Goldings hops.


Its bottled now and I gave it a taste test , it might not be fully matured , but there was still an "astringent" (?) , raw sugar , bitter flavour right in the middle of the body , where I really wanted a pale / sweetness.


It might be my method (too much grain, not sparging or fermenting at the right temp etc )but I still think it'll take some more experimenting before I decide on the ingredients I'll use as my standard.


Have you tried Stone & Wood breweries Pacific Ale ?

If I could brew something like that as my standard I think I'd be happy.

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edited as I see Newton C beat me to it... and a newer version of the AABC [lol]


edit edit.. I will add this though for clarity of the Style.. just intersting is all[bandit]


Comments: Historical style defined by Coopers ales as the last surviving examples: \u201cCoopers ales, all heavily

sedimented and very fruity, are Australian classics\u201d \u2013 Michael Jackson.

Note: Colonial brewers strived for pale beer clarity to match imports - entries will be poured quietly without rousing sediment.

History: Basic version of Burton pale ale produced throughout the early colonies, as British settlers established the first Australian breweries in the mid-19 th century. Developed to compete with expensive Burton imports \u2013 Bass, Allsopp, Ind Coope IPA, using Burton yeast strains of the day, with domestic barley and hops and available native water. Inferior colonial malt often led to inclusion of sugar. Bottled for local sale, not dry-hopped and aged for export, Australian pale ales were prevalent by late century, with 350 breweries operating by 1890. Commonly

relabeled Sparkling Ale (UK term coined for present-use domestic pale ale). Superceded by Bitter Ale after introduction of crystal malt during early 20 the century. Ale brewing grew obsolete as industry consolidation spawned a lager-based duopoly - by 1985 only family owned Coopers brewery remained independent. Established 1862 in Adelaide SA, successive generations preserved Coopers flagship Sparkling Ale using traditional brewing methods,

including open fermentation and maturation in oak casks. Removal to modern plant in 2001 improved clarity while maintaining original formulation: all-malt, Burton yeast, Australian hops, absent late hopping, bottle conditioning.

First released on draught 1985, naturally conditioned in keg. A lighter version, brewed periodically since 1880\u2019s,

was re-launched in 1989. Also world\u2019s largest homebrew supplier, Coopers pioneered kit-beer products soon after legalization in 1973.


Indgredients: Lightly kilned Australian 2-row pale malt, lager varieties typical. Judicious use of crystal malt for

colour adjustment. Small proportion of wheat may assist head retention. No adjuncts, cane sugar for priming only.

Australian hops, esp. Pride of Ringwood (absent late hopping). Highly attenuative Burton style yeast, eg. Coopers, Worthingtons. Multiple strains common historically (none available commercially, must be cultured from bottle sediment) Variable water profile - low carbonate, moderate sulphate preferred.


Vital Statistics:


1.035-1.050 1.004-1.006 25-40 4.2\u20136%

Commercial Examples: Coopers Sparkling Ale (5.8% ABV),

Coopers Original Pale Ale (4.5% ABV)


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Thanks for all the replies guys, & the info contained there in. It all made for good, informative reading.

Hairy: I took all of your advice on board. Your 'Pride Of Ringwood' hop suggestion was one of two different types I was considering for bittering anyway. So you swayed me.

My recipe has some slight differences, that I will jot a bit further down...

Yob & NewtonClown: Your info was great! By the way, I know the Michael Jackson you quoted first hand. We've met & spoken numerous times. I had him host a James Squires tasting for a group a year or so ago. He's pushing the Squires range as his mainstay these days. A very likeable fellow that I enjoy talking with.

GregT5: Yes, Pacific Ale is a nice drop.

AdamH: The best example I have tasted displaying the 'Nelson Sauvin' hops is the "Knappstein Enterprise Lager" made in SA. It's brilliant!

BohemianMohican: I'm hearin' ya loud & clear on that unwanted "raw sugar, bitter flavour right..." taste. I also believe I have the solution to that. I believe it's the use of honey in place of dextrose or brewing sugar. If you don't believe me, pour a glass of your current homebrew & taste it, then pour a glass of REAL Coopers Pale Ale & taste that. If you taste what I taste, it's a light honey-like flavour with the genuine Coopers Pale Ale. So guess what's going in place of my dextrose in this next brew?




Coopers Aus Pale Ale kit

500gms Powdered Light Malt

250gms Maltodextrin

375gms Honey (substituted for 300gms of Dextrose)

25gms Pride Of Ringwood hops (cooked as per Hairy's advice)

15gms Cascade hops (Added late to P.O.R cook for flavour)


I bought all the stuff this morning, & will put it down this friday after I bottle the current brew I have going. I'll let all you guys know how it turns out in a few weeks.


Cheers. [biggrin]


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Yob & NewtonClown: Your info was great! By the way' date=' I know the Michael Jackson you quoted first hand. We've met & spoken numerous times. I had him host a James Squires tasting for a group a year or so ago. He's pushing the Squires range as his mainstay these days. A very likeable fellow that I enjoy talking with. [/quote']

I thought Michael Jackson died a few years ago (the beer writer not the singer) [unsure]


Wikipedia - Michael Jackson


Or are we talking about a different Michael Jackson?

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The "Coopers" style Australian Pale Ale is only about 50-60 years old, for two reasons.

1. The use of Pride of Ringwood, only began being used in the early 60,s or late 50's. It is a hop that C.U.B. developed in the Victorian suburb of Ringwood. Google it.


2. Coopers Australian Pale Ale can trace its origins to Coopers Light Dinner Ale. This beer was on the market in the late 60,s up until the mid 70,s, or at least the beer can of this beer was. I have 2 of them in my beer can collection. Now I believe that the Dr Tim's is the Coopers Pale Ale in a can. Maybe PB2 can clarify this. Then it was relaunched in the late 80's (I think), or early 90's.

Now I was told by a Coopers Sales rep. in my local home brew shop many years ago that if you wanted to make a clone of CAPA you needed a kit of APA a box of No2 and Coopers yeast from the bottle. That's it, go figer.

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We are talking about the same guy Hairy.


That's scary if what you say is true. I haven't seen him in a while, & I do know he has/had a heart condition & has had bypass surgery in the past.


I do hope you're wrong. I'll speak to my Lion-Nathan rep next time I see him to confirm.

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Hiya Jasond4.


Interesting fact about the "Light Dinner Ale".

As far as "Dr. Tims" goes, to my knowledge it is a close recipe of Coopers Pale Ale. The difference(s) revolve around the inability to naturally secondary ferment in a can as is done with the Pale Ale, thus the mainstream large volume method has to be adopted.

The Dr. Tims is slightly sweeter to the taste than the Pale Ale IMHO.

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Yes, Dr.Tims is Pale Ale in a can.[rightful]


We don't call it "Pale Ale" because the secondary fermentation process in the can produces a different flavour and aroma profile to Pale Ale in a 375ml bottle. I reckon, Pale Ale also presents slightly different from a 750ml bottle and hugely different from a keg [sideways]


This is part of the magic with naturally conditioned beer, I guess [tongue]


Some history of Light Dinner Ale: It surfaced a few times through the brewery's history. First records date back to the early 1900s when the words "LIGHT BREW" were placed on a Sparkling Ale label. It appeared again as "LC" LIGHT ALE (LC stood for Light Coopers), which was discontinued in the 1930s. Then it popped up again in 1961 as Light Dinner Ale. All of these iterations were simply Sparkling Ale (known as Ale to Coopers Employees) diluted to a large volume.


As for the history of Pale Ale - its precursor was Carrington Pale Ale (back in the 80's). This was and has always been a stand alone brew - the recipe developed by Maxwell Cooper. [biggrin]


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Thanks for all the time taken to comment in this thread guys. [happy]

So where does that leave us in this discussion?

Has the true Aussie Pale Ale already been made, or is it still yet to be discovered & produced?

What is your favourite AUS-made Pale Ale, & why?


I'll be interested in everyone's thoughts.

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Well I,m glad to have that mystery of the Dinner Ale and Pale Ale solved. But just to clarify it was the Sparkling Ale "diluted" then packaged as a different beer?. But never as the birth child of the Pale Ale. To me it doesn't matter I like the old beer cans, they look so good on an empty wall. Just a shame that bottles are all the rage. To me they are soooo boooring. NOT ENOUGH BEER CANS IN AUSTRALIA TO COLLECT AT THE MOMENT.[crying]

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Thanks for all the time taken to comment in this thread guys. [happy]

So where does that leave us in this discussion?

Has the true Aussie Pale Ale already been made, or is it still yet to be discovered & produced?

What is your favourite AUS-made Pale Ale, & why?


I'll be interested in everyone's thoughts.


The True Australian Pale Ale is Coopers Sparkling Ale. Other than my own, my favourite Australian made Pale Ale is Little Creatures Pale Ale, but that's an American Pale Ale made in Australia, not an Australian Pale Ale.

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