Irish- and American-style Red Ales

This afternoon I hit up the Home Fermenter Center for some ingredients for a tasty Red Ale. In preparation, I’ve been going over my homebrewing book, The Complete Joy of Homebrewing Third Edition (Harperresource Book) and hitting up the web for some info on this style of ale. Hmm, though perhaps Jodie and I should also prep a shopping list for the Bier Stein, for, ahem, more, um, field research…

BYO – Are my taste buds wrong or are Irish Red Ales similar to Oktoberfest beers?

"According to Michael Jackson, most Irish Ales, including Kilkenny, use a portion of caramel malt and roasted barley to provide a toffee-like malt backbone with roasted overtones."

Red Beer. Sections of note:

  • Grolsch Amber Ale is the newest U.S. offering from Grolsch Breweries of The Netherlands. Described by the brewery as an altbier (a German style ale), this amber ale features a lightly malty flavor with a hop finish derived from American and German hops. It serves as a good training wheels beer for those trying to crossover from light lagers to fuller flavored beers. It is brewed with amber and roasted malt as well as wheat. All Grolsch ales are cold conditioned like lagers with krauesen added for a smoother, less estery and yeasty character.
  • McTarnahan’s Amber Ale from Portland (Oregon) Brewing Co. is a full-bodied rich amber beer that gets its character from roasted caramel malt, which is balanced by a double addition of Cascade hops for robust bitterness and a floral, sprucy aroma. It walked away with the Bronze medal in the American amber ale category at the 1996 World Beer Cup.
  • Boont is a traditional dialect in Boonville, California, and it seemed like the perfect moniker for Anderson Valley Brewing Company’s quirky Boont Amber Ale. The sweetness of crystal malt and the sourness from a 16-hour mash (usually the mash takes around two hours) combine to give it an unusual, yet refreshing and tangy flavor. The caramel malt gives it a hazy pale amber color with citrusy aromas and a lingering hop finish. It earned the bronze medal in the American amber ale category at the 1995 Great American Beer Festival.
  • Opening its doors in 1993, New Glarus Brewing Co., New Glarus, Wisconsin, is a relative newcomer to the U.S. craft brew industry. Its Belgian Red Wisconsin Cherry ale is brewed with Wisconsin cherries and aged in oak for that marriage of wine and beer. It is refreshing and complex with subtle sourness and cherries in the flavor. It garnered two recent awards — a gold medal in the fruit beer category at the 1996 Great American Beer Festival and a silver in the same category at the 1996 World Beer Cup.

Dry Hopped St. Rogue Red – Rogue Ales Brewery / Brewer’s on the Bay – Beer Advocate. Good Reviews and tasting notes, including some characteristics of these red beers that I’m interested in putting in mine.

the beer hall – donavan’s literate beer guide

"Irish Reds are less hoppy than their American cousins. They look essentially the same in the glass, but the flavor profile is quite different—beginning sweet and ending roasty and dry."

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