A red ale is a reddish, malt-infused beer, which is characterized by its balanced flavors of caramel, toffee or biscuit.
Beer Style Facts: Red Ale
- Appearance: Copper over chestnut to reddish brown, rarely amber with reddish highlights. Mostly clear.
- Aroma: Restrained malty aroma. With notes of bread, caramel, red fruits, toast, toffee, some grain. Rather dry mouthfeel and finish. Slightly sweet. American-style red ales show more pronounced hop aroma and bitterness.
- Alcohol: 4.5-7%.
What is a Red Ale?
A Red Ale is basically a top-fermented Pale Ale, but brewed with a combination of reddish and brown malts. These malts are kilned longer, which affects and intensifies their color and aroma. By using such malts, the beer appears reddish to copper in the glass. The taste is pleasantly malty, centered on biscuit, caramel, toffee, but light notes of red berries or rye bread may also be present in the aroma, depending on the recipe used. Likewise, there are some hoppy examples of this beer style that complement the malt aroma with intense hop notes. For example, there are also Red IPAs or Imperial Red Ales. The style name Amber Ale is used synonymously with the term Red Ale in everyday life.
The history of Red Ale
The roots of this beer style lie in Ireland, among other places. There, the English beer styles Pale Ale and Bitter were brewed with reddish malt. However, the style became particularly popular not in Ireland itself, but in the U.S. and the name "Irish Red Ale." In the context of the craft beer movement, the style has also become popular (again) in Europe. In England and Ireland in particular, many small and independent breweries have included Red Ale in their portfolios.
Red Ale - a beer for every occasion
With its pleasantly light alcohol content, lean body, and balanced flavor, Red Ale is a beer suitable for craft beer beginners and established drinkers as well as nerds alike. Due to the almost infinite possibilities in the combination of malt and hops, Red Ales always offer new worlds of taste!
You want to get to know Red Ale? Then we at Beyond Beer recommend Hoppy Joe from the Norwegian craft beer brewery Lervig. An American Red Ale with a balanced malt and hop aroma, rounded out by a mild bitterness.
Red Ale Foodpairing:
- Mild cheeses
- Spicy sausages like merquez or chorizo
- Grilled vegetables or meat
- Hearty dishes like a roast pork with sauerkraut or red cabbage
- Dulce de leche, banana bread or nut cake