Irish Red Ale

Includes styles: Irish Ale

Recipes:
5,419
BJCP 2021:
15A
Era:
Traditional
Origin:
🇮🇪 Ireland
Fermentation:
Top
Color:
Amber
Strength:
Normal
Taste:
Balanced

Profile

Irish Red Ale is a style steeped in tradition, historically tied to the famous brewing heritage of Ireland. Its roots are commonly associated with the ales brewed by George Killian Lett in Enniscorthy, County Wexford in the 19th century. This style has since become intertwined with Irish culture and is identified by its unique combination of malt-driven flavors and a distinct reddish hue – hence the name.

An Irish Red Ale typically showcases a range of colors from amber to deep reddish copper and is known for its brilliant clarity and moderate off-white to tan head which should persist. The "red" character often comes from a small amount of roasted barley used in the grist, which imparts both color and a touch of dryness to the finish. The flavor profile is dominated by caramel malt sweetness, often accented with subtle toasted notes and hints of buttery character (diacetyl) that contribute to its full-flavored richness without becoming overly sweet. A gentle hop bitterness provides balance but remains decidedly in the background, as this beer is primarily about showcasing the interplay between malt sweetness and subtle roast. These aromas mirror these qualities with slight fruity esters. Relatively low carbonation enhances its drinkability and accentuates its smooth mouthfeel.

While sharing some characteristics with British Pale Ales due to historical brewing practices shared across the Irish Sea, an Irish Red Ale tends towards less bitterness and usually exhibits a gentle roast character that differentiates it from its cousins. This gives it a certain niche amongst beer styles for those who appreciate malty beers with understated hop profiles and an attractive visual appeal thanks to its reddish tint.

Specifications

Alcohol

Specification
3.8 – 5.0 %

In Database
3.8 < 4.7 < 5.5 %

Bitterness

Specification
18 – 28 IBU

In Database
15 < 23 < 32 IBU

Color

Specification
18 – 28 EBC
9 – 14 SRM

In Database
16 < 25 < 30 EBC
8 < 13 < 15 SRM

Original Extract

Specification
9.0 – 11.4 °P
1.036 – 1.046 OG

In Database
9.7 < 11.9 < 14.2 °P
1.039 < 1.048 < 1.058 OG

Final Gravity

Specification
2.6 – 3.6 °P
1.010 – 1.014 FG

In Database
1.7 < 3.1 < 4.3 °P
1.007 < 1.012 < 1.017 FG

Popularity Over Time

Most Used Yeasts

Most Used Hops

Dosage of Hops

Hop Pairings

Brewing Recipes