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Imperial Red Ale

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Location: North American
Category: Ale
BJCP Comparable Category: 21B - Specialty IPA: Red IPA

Style Description

This is the description of how the Imperial Red Ale style of beer should taste, feel and look. However, there may be perfectly fine beers in this style that fall outside of these ranges and descriptions. This information is just to show the most commonly accepted ranges for the Imperial Red Ale beer style.

  • Color: Deep amber to dark copper/reddish-brown
  • Body: Full
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: Medium to high caramel malt character is present in aroma and flavor
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: High, derived from any variety of hops. Hop flavor is prominent and balanced with other beer attributes.
  • IBUs/Bitterness: Very high
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Very high alcohol is a hallmark of this style. Complex alcohol flavors may be present. Fruity esters are medium. Diacetyl should not be present.
  • Common Ingredients: Similar to an American IPA, but with medium or dark crystal malts, possibly some character malts with a light toasty aspect. May use sugar adjuncts. American or New World finishing hops with tropical, fruity, citrusy, piney, berry, or melon aspects; the choice of hops and character malts is synergistic – they very much have to complement each other and not clash.

Brewing Properties of Imperial Red Ale

These are the functional brewing properties of Imperial Red Ale beers, as descided by the Brewers Association. These guidelines reflect, as accurately as possible, the historical significance, authenticity or a common profile in the current commercial beer market.

The alcohol by volume is shows the amount of alcohol this style of beer should have.
8.0 - 10.6%
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
55 - 85 IBUs
SRM is a scale for measuring the color intensity of a beer. Low SRM grains impart a pale straw color while higher values mean it will add a darker color to the wort. Learn more »
10 - 17 SRM
(20 - 33 EBC)
Original Gravity
Original Gravity (OG) is a measure of the sugar content in the wort before alcoholic fermentation has started to produce the beer.
1.080 - 1.100
Final Gravity
The Final Gravity (FG) is how much sugar is left over in the beer when fermentation is complete.
1.020 - 1.028

If you see an error in our data, please let us know!

Based on Brewers Association 2020 Beer Style Guidelines with changes. Used with permission of Brewers Association.