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Irish-Style Red Ale

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Location: Irish
Category: Ale
BJCP Comparable Category: 15A - Irish Red Ale

Style Description

This is the description of how the Irish-Style 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 Irish-Style Red Ale beer style.

  • Color: Copper-red to reddish-brown
  • Body: Medium
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: Low to medium candy-like caramel malt sweetness should be present in flavor. A toasted malt character should be present and there may be a slight roast barley or roast malt presence.
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Not present to medium
  • IBUs/Bitterness: Medium
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Low level fruity esters are acceptable. Diacetyl is usually absent in these beers but may be present at very low levels.
  • Common Ingredients: Generally has a bit of roasted barley or black malt to provide reddish color and dry roasted finish. Pale base malt. Caramel malts were historically imported and more expensive, so not all brewers would use them.
  • Commercial Examples: Caffrey’s Irish Ale, Franciscan Well Rebel Red, Kilkenny Irish Beer, O’Hara’s Irish Red Ale, Porterhouse Red Ale, Samuel Adams Irish Red, Smithwick’s Irish Ale

Brewing Properties of Irish-Style Red Ale

These are the functional brewing properties of Irish-Style 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.
4.0 - 4.8%
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
20 - 28 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 »
11 - 18 SRM
(22 - 35 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.
1.040 - 1.048
Final Gravity
The Final Gravity (FG) is how much sugar is left over in the beer when fermentation is complete.
1.010 - 1.014

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.