west coast pale ale

True to Style #4 West Coast Pale Ale Review

West Coast Pale Ale is a classic American beer style known for its distinctive hop-forward character and crisp, clean finish. It’s a beer that embodies the spirit of the West Coast, with bold flavors and a refreshing bitterness that sets it apart from other pale ales.

Malt Miller True to Style #4 West Coast Pale Ale with Centennial

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The new Malt Miller True to Style range of all-grain recipe kits is a good, well-priced way to start brewing to style. They are typically a few pounds cheaper than building up the ingredients yourself on the site.

True To Style #4 – West Coast Pale with Centennial was the first kit I chose to brew. Pale ale is by far my favourite style to brew. I was particularly drawn to it by Centennial as it’s a hop I’ve brewed with quite a lot and always found to produce very tasty beers.

The kit includes all the ingredients needed as well as instructions on brewing. The only thing to work out is your water volumes and treatments, depending on your equipment and water profile.

The ingredients are simple with it being a single-hop brew and just two malts, pale and a bit of Munich for depth and colour.

  • Simpsons Malt – Finest Pale Ale Golden Promise®™
  • Simpsons Malt – Munich Malt
  • Centennial – T90 Pellets 100g (1 grams)
  • LALLEMAND BRY-97 American West Coast Yeast – 11g

Brewing the West Coast Pale Ale

This was a really simple one to brew, with just over a 5kg malt bill and nothing complicated about it. I brewed it back in November, ready to be drunk at Christmas. An unseasonably warm November meant I brewed outside, meaning I didn’t need to have windows and doors open.

Grainfather west coast pale ale

A 60-minute mash and 60-minute boil meant this was pretty quick and easy. I seem to have finally got my water volumes right for my Grainfather having regularly been a few litres short at the end.

By the end of the boil and hopstand, it was bang on target. I transferred to my fermenter getting 22L of wort and pitched the yeast. This was the first time I’d used LALLEMAND BRY-97, and I was pretty impressed. Despite just pitching straight to the fermenter, it went off well and was bubbling away.

The final 30g of Centennial was added to dry hop for 48 hours, then a cold crash, and it was time to keg. Again this went without a hitch, I’d dry hopped in a hop sock to avoid too much debris in my fermenter, so it transferred to the kegs easily.

The final result and verdict

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
west coast pale ale

The final beer was delicious, it was everything you could ask from a pale ale with a good body and plenty of hop aroma. After a couple of weeks in the kegs to mature a little, it was a really nice, well-rounded beer and one I’d definitely choose to brew again.

If I were to be super critical, it could have done with slightly more hop punch. However, that could have partly been due to my very hard water and slightly haphazard water treatment. I’ll maybe rebrew with Ashbeck from Tesco to compare.

As a first attempt, I was very impressed with my first brew from the Malt Miller’s True to Style range. There’s 20 to choose from, and I’ll definitely brew more of them. You can see more of the True to Style beers I’ve brew on my guide to brewing to style.

Below is a little more about what makes a West Coast Pale Ale.

Attributes of a West Coast Pale Ale:

  • OG (Original Gravity): West Coast Pale Ales typically have an OG ranging from 1.045 to 1.060. This moderate strength provides a solid malt backbone while allowing the hop character to shine.
  • IBU (International Bitterness Units): The IBU for this style typically falls between 30 to 50, delivering a firm but balanced bitterness that complements the malt sweetness and enhances drinkability.
  • ABV (Alcohol by Volume): With an ABV of 4.5% to 6%, West Coast Pale Ales maintain a moderate strength that allows the hop flavors to remain the focal point.
  • Hops: Classic American hops such as Cascade, Centennial, Chinook, and Columbus are commonly used in West Coast Pale Ales. These hops impart citrus, pine, and floral notes that define the style.
  • Malt: A clean, pale malt base, often with a touch of caramel malt for depth, provides a balanced platform for the hops to shine.
  • Yeast: A clean-fermenting ale yeast is used to allow the hop character to be the star of the show, with a neutral yeast profile that accents the hops without introducing any competing flavors.

West Coast Pale Ales are all about balance and boldness. The moderate OG and ABV provide a solid malt backbone, while the higher IBU ensures a pronounced but not overwhelming bitterness. The hops, particularly those classic American varieties, are the star of the show, contributing bright, citrusy, and piney notes that make this style so distinctive.

The malt provides a clean, slightly sweet base that complements the hops, and the yeast ensures a clean fermentation that lets the hop flavors shine. Overall, a well-crafted West Coast Pale Ale is a celebration of the West Coast’s hop-forward brewing tradition, delivering a bold, flavorful beer that’s perfect for any occasion.

West Coast Pale Ale with Centennial ingredients and method

  • Simpsons Malt – Finest Pale Ale Golden Promise®™
  • Simpsons Malt – Munich Malt
  • Centennial – T90 Pellets 100g (1 grams)
  • LALLEMAND BRY-97 American West Coast Yeast – 11g

Beer Style (main): American Ales
Beer Style (sub): American-Style Pale Ale
Batch Size: 23l
Original Gravity: 1.048
Final Gravity: 1.012
ABV %: 4.8
IBU: 35
Mash efficiency: 80
Brewing equipment:

Temperature °C (Step 1): 68
Length (mins) (Step 1): 60
Temperature °C (Step 2): 75
Length (mins) (Step 2): 10

Boil time (mins): 60

Hop / kettle additions and timing:

20g Centennial @ 60min
20g Centennial @ 10min

Whirlpool / hop stand:

30g Centennial @ 80c – 15min

Yeast: Lalbrew Bry-97
Fermentation temperature/steps: 19c – 7-10 days

Secondary additions:

30g Centennial Dry Hop – End of Fermentation – 48 hours contact time before cold crashing and packaging.