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The American amber ale is as basic as craft beer gets, a simple style that doesn’t get much attention in these hop-happy times. When they’re good, though, an amber ale can be the perfect pub beer. The always-consistent folks at Bell’s brew a nice example called, appropriately enough, Bell’s Amber Ale. Caramel is the most obvious component of both the flavor and the aroma, enhanced with touches of sweet bread and grassy hops. There is just enough bitterness to balance out that malt sweetness, but not so much that you’ll sit up and take notice. This excellent example of an under-appreciated style is best accompanied with a bowl of pretzels, chips with mild salsa, and a few good friends. See for yourself at Sidecar, 2nd Street Brew House and Bar 31.