Dale's Pale Ale: What It Is, and Why It's So Popular

You can thank Dale for your love of canned beers.

dale's pale ale
Oskar Blues

Everything you need to know about the most iconic beers in history from grocery staples to cult favorites. This time: Dale's Pale Ale, the first craft beer to be sold in a can.

In 2020, craft beer drinks were afraid. The precious cans their beer came in were running in short supply. Canned beer accounted for 67 percent of beer sales in 2020, greatly outweighing sales of beer in bottles and kegs. Craft beer in cans is nothing new, but back in the late '90s and early aughts, canned beer was cheap beer: Budweiser, Pabst Blue Ribbon — you get the picture. Then the first canned craft beer came out, and nothing's been in the same since. And to whom to do owe all the pleasure? Well, that would be Oskar Blues' Dale's Pale Ale. Here's what you should know about the pioneering beer.

What is Dale's Pale Ale?

Dale's Pale Ale is a 6.5 percent ABV American Pale Ale brewed with comet, cascade and centennial hops. Despite its classification as an APA, the beer is very much an IPA. Doubt it? Try one for yourself. Like an IPA, Dale's Pale Ale is a hop-forward brew supported by a hearty malt backbone. Many call Dale's Pale Ale as an "anytime beer." They're certainly chuggable, as in they're light, crisp and refreshing, but they're also jam-packed with flavor ranging from citrus fruit to grass and earthy notes.

dales pale ale
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Who makes Dale's Pale Ale?

Dale makes his own pale ale. Dale, by the way, is Dale Katechis, the founder of Oskar Blues, which started as a restaurant in Lyons, Colorado, before turning into a juggernaut of a craft brewery. The brewery has its headquarters out in Longmont, Colorado, with offshoots in North Carolina and Texas. Many credit Katechis as the first craft brewer to put craft beer in a can, that beer being Dale's Pale Ale. Cans have since been the go-to way to package beer. Brewers credit cans as being a better container to preserve a beer's freshness, while being more portable than glass bottles and more easily recyclable. Plus, if you want to authentically "crack open a cold one," you need a can.

dale and dale's pale ale
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Where can you buy Dale's Pale Ale?

Oskar Blues distributes its beers nationwide, and its Dale's Pale Ale can be found almost anywhere. For specific locations, use Oskar Blues' beer finder because hunting down beer on foot is not fun. Dale's Pale Ale is available year-round, so there's no need to hoard it like the apocalypse is coming, and it comes in 12-ounce cans and tall boys.

Why is Dale's Pale Ale so popular?

Dale's Pale Ale is popular because, one, the beer is good, and two, it revolutionized how we drink craft beer today. It's not the highest-rated beer (on Beer Advocate, it has a score of 87 out of 100), but reviewers and drinkers give it props for being a reliable brew. Just like the craft beer movement itself, Oskar Blues doesn't care about what others think. When beer was more wet than flavor, there was Oskar Blues. When beer came in bottles, there was Dale's Pale Ale. The no-shits-given attitude is exactly what makes Dale's Pale Ale a worthwhile beer – and it helps that the beer is good.

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