By Jared Dillon
Ireland is synonymous with beer, specifically stout. Another style Ireland is known for is the Irish Red Ale.
Originating in the town of Kilkenny, it finds its history in the style of an English Pale Ale. The primary difference between the two styles is color.
A roasted barley is traditionally used to give Irish Red Ale a darker color than English Pale Ale.
Interestingly enough, the style is not very popular in Ireland. Coors purchased the rights to Killian’s in the 1980s and through intense marketing, made it a popular American style.
Irish Red Ales typically are beers with a medium body and light-hop profile. Craft brewers around the country, though, have over-hopped the style in many cases. San Diego beers, such as Port’s Shark Attack or Green Flash’s Hop Head Red, are examples.
One of my favorite locally produced red ales comes from Ritual Brewing in Redlands. Its Extra Red Ale is one of their flagship brews and is everything a solid Irish Red Ale should be.
The flavors aren’t super intense, the beer has a nice, smooth mouthfeel, citrusy hop flavors and a lightly sweet malt profile. The beer itself pairs well with pretty much any style of food, given its relative inoffensive flavors.
This Saturday, Aug. 23, we will be doing a beer tasting with Ritual from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Idyll Awhile Wine Shoppe. Stop by and enjoy one of these fine beers and some delicious food.