Back in the “good old days” my memories of a visit to the pub involved the average punter making that all-important choice between lager and bitter, perhaps a pint of stout, or for those at the upper echelons of the age spectrum, particularly for ladies from Birmingham, an unfashionable bottle of mild. The emergence of craft beer has all but called last orders on the availability of mild, and modern beer drinkers are increasingly more fluent in their IPAs, Pilsners, Pale Ales and Blondes.
However, long overshadowed by its more popular counterparts, Red Ale remains a brew style waiting in the wings, awaiting its big break and the chance to audition for a spot on the stage amongst its more easily recognised peers.
Originating from Europe, Red Ale unsurprisingly refers to styles of beer that are dark red or reddish in appearance, the beer colouring dependent on the selection of the malts used in the brewing process. Historically, Red Ales use specialty roasted malts that give it a sweeter, butterscotch or caramelized flavour, whilst allowing it to achieve the reddish colour. To all intents and purposes Red Ales can be regarded as a relative of their trans-Atlantic Amber Ale cousins; however Amber Ales also enjoy a close relationship with (admittedly less maltier) Pale Ale.
Red symbolizes good fortune and joy, it is unmistakably the colour of Lunar New Year and is found everywhere at holiday celebrations and family gatherings. When selecting a case of beer for a Tết gift you would be well-advised to consider the following craft beers!
Tê Tê Mellow Red
ABV 5.3% :: IBU 25
An Irish-inspired Red Ale with hints of cinnamon & nutmeg. It’s earthy & smooth with a rich caramel body, highly drinkable.
LAC Lava Red Ale
ABV 6.6% :: IBU 41
A classic American style Red Ale, more hoppy & bitter than English counterparts. Roast & malt go to battle upfront with an aggressive West Coast hop profile that starts out piney & blossoms into a subtle citrus finish.
14 Tribesmen Irish Red Ale
Roasted caramel malts blended with Centennial & Crystal hops producing a distinctive deep reddish colour, rich malty sweetness & smooth finish.