For many years, the Coopers Brewery was one of the only groups making Australian beer that stood above the mass market garbage. Although many younger upstarts such as Holgate, Fitzroy Brewing Company, Mountan Goat, or Little Creatures have now entered the market with excellent bottle-conditioned ales, it was the Coopers Original Pale Ale that for hundreds of years set the de facto standard.

Coopers Pale Ale is often seen as a poor cousin to the sparkling ale. Although the pale ale is still bottle-conditioned, it is a much milder, softer brew. The beer is fresh on the palate, and the hops are not nearly as pronounced or as fruity as in the other Coopers products. The alcohol content weighs in at about 4.8% and it is additive and preservative free. The pale ale is an excellent accompaniment to seafood or a subtle curry. According to Coopers PR propaganda, the pale ale is brewed in a "'Burton on Trent' style" which means absolutely nothing. Burton-on-Trent is home of Bass Ale and breweries have been there since the 11th Century, yet the area has no specific beer style or brewing technique associated with it.

As with the Coopers Sparkling Ale, the orthodox method of serving is to agitate the bottle as to lift the yeast sediment by either inverting the bottle, or rolling along the bar. This is simply a matter of both taste and belief in marketing hype. Much to the chagrin of the brewers, the marketing team at Coopers have been promoting agitation as a point of difference between its brands and the younger rivals. If you prefer your beer to taste yeastier and give your bowels a gaseous workout then agitate. Otherwise, simply pour it straight into a frosty glass and enjoy!

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