You can get a plenty dry enough APA without sugar, especially using 1056/001/05. Mashing fairly low (150-152F)and using gypsum (sulfate) will dry an APA nicely if that's what you're after. Sugar does come in handy to dry things out when brewing a IIPA where reaching a high OG with malt alone could leave a very malty ,even cloying finish. I like dry APAs and IPAs too. I highly recommend getting Martin's Bru'nWater and using the Pale Ale profile. Together with the low mash temp, it'll get you there.
The grain bill will have to be some combination of munich, pale, and pils. I have some various character malts hanging around but I don't know if I'll use any of those. Maybe some dark crystal and then some simple sugar to dry it out?
I've been looking at a pale ale recipe with cane sugar to dry it out. I haven't brewed with sugar yet, just a lower temp mash to help get a drier fermentation and US-05 or 1056. I would think that sugar should open up more yeast options. I'm curious as to how this works out for you.
Anything with centennial and or goldings just has to be good!
yeah I don't think I would use sugar on an APA, maybe an AIPA but probably not, and IIPA for sure, it's almost a must. Thing about british pale ales, particularly the really sessionable ones is that they tend to have a lot of character malt in an attempt to give what might otherwise be a somewhat thin and boring beer some... well... character. When you get a lot of crystal malt (particularly british medium or dark crystal malts) in a beer the flavor can start to get cloying particularly when the carbonation is very low as it is with cask conditioned beers. But by adding back some simple sugars you can get that sweet and flavourful character from the crystal malts while still having a very drinkable light bodied beer.
It seems somewhat counter-intuitive as we are all taught that you limit your crystal malts to prevent overly sweet beer and you only use simple sugar in big beers and/or Belgian beers but by playing each ingredient off the other you can really do some interesting stuff.