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Red Ale

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About Red Ale

The perfect autumn beer- the Red Ale. Originating in Europe, the red ale is known for its reddish appearance and buttery taste. This craft beer style is seen by the community as still waiting for its big break, and is often dominated by more popular beer styles. The underdog of the craft beer community, the red ale is both delightful in taste and appearance, so who wouldn’t want to give this hoppy, exuberant beer a try? 

Often compared to the American Amber Ale, the Red Ale has very similar visual qualities and taste palate, but it is distinctly different in its brewing process. While the American Amber relies on caramel malts for colour and flavour, the Red Ale uses specially roasted malts to create a unique flavour profile of sweeter butterscotch or caramel, along with allowing it to achieve its reddish colour. Other red beers such as the Mexican Red Beer, are named for their colour alone, which is produced through external alteration of the brewing process. 


Irish Red Ale
Born as Ireland’s answer to the English Pale Ale, an Irish red tends to be more malty, less hoppy than a modern red. The body, sweetness, and alcohol content are all moderate, with the colouring a deep red and the flavour profile having notes of toffee. The Hop & Clover Brewing Irish Red Ale is a good beer for burnt toffee flavours and a smoky quality!

Flanders Red
As the oldest red, we had to include it on our list, though it’s quite different from many red ales. Flemish reds, like sours, use lactobacillus in the fermentation and are aged in large wooden casks. Lots of fruitiness with a tartness on par with a balsamic vinegar, and just about zero hop presence.

This is one of Craft Cartel’s favourite interpretations of the red ale. Like the IPAs you’re used to, these delicious brews invite lots of big hop flavours and aromas — tropical, to piney, to fruity. But with a red IPA, you also get nice support from the malt characteristics, giving great balance and delicious flavour profile. We recommend Black Hops Afterburner Red IPA for flavours of toffee, caramel and kola and the interplay of citrus and pine hop bitterness to give a dry finish! 

Red Rye Beer
Red Rye Beer is almost identical to a normal Red Ale, with the addition of grainy rye! Rye is an excellent grain addition to a red, imparting an earthy spiciness and adding a pleasing note to the sweetness of the malt and plays well with many different hop additions. 

Bitterness levels are measured through a scale that is aptly named International Bitterness Units, or IBU. These units measure the level of hop and alpha acids in beer through the use of a formula. For most Red Ales, the IBU is usually between 17-28, which is low to moderate, indicating less bitterness and more smooth, rich flavouring.

ABV stands for alcohol by volume and represents the percentage of alcohol in the beer. The amount of alcohol in the brew can actually affect the taste of the beer. Beers with a higher ABV have a more bitter flavour. Brewers use ABV to achieve balance between sweetness and bitterness, so with the red ale the ABV usually sits in the average range, between 4-7%, making for a very sessionable beer style. 

At Craft Cartel, the red ale is the underdog no longer. With a wide range of red ale beers on offer, the red ale can shine just as bright as all of the other beer styles out there! While we do not have a specific gift box for our amazing red ales, through a subscription or membership, your red ale craving will be filled each month with a delivery straight to your door! Within our Craft Cartel memberships, there are a ridiculous amount of benefits, such as access to limited releases and 10% off of all our online products! For more information on our Craft Beer Subscriptions, click here! 

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