A category of alcoholic beverages brewed froma combination of hops and barley malt where the yeast rises to the top of the fermentation tank (rather than falling to the bottom, as with beer). Ale is typically stronger than beer and more bitter in flavor because of the hops. Pale ale (the name referring to its relatively pale to deep amber color as compared to dark ales like porter or stout) originated in England and has a flavor that's reasonably balanced between the hops and malted barley. India pale ale, originally produced in England for export to British soldiers stationed in India, is slightly more bitter than regular pale ale.Brown ale is lightly hopped, very full-bodied, slightly sweet and dark brown in color. The color and flavor are derived from caramelized malts. Scotch ale is amber to dark brown in color, full-bodied and has a strong malty flavor. Although it originated in Scotland, it's now produced in other countries including Belgium and France. See also trappist beer.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.