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TIP OF THE DAY & GIFT OF THE DAY: Red Ale For Christmas

What better says “Christmas” to a beer lover than a brew with crimson color?

Red ale, or Irish red ale, is, as its name suggests, an ale with a slightly reddish color. The color is intentional, and results from the use of a small amount of roasted barley in the mash.

If it comes from Ireland, it’s called Irish ale. In the U.S. and elsewhere, it’s called red ale or red beer. Some Americans use the term amber ale, but this typically describes a darker beer—truly amber instead of reddish.

Serve a red ale at your holiday celebration (add a cucumber wheel for a bit of green; or a lime wedge if your guests prefer to drink from the bottle.

If you need a holiday gift for a beer drinker, put together a six-pack of different red ale brands (see below).

How Well Do You Know Your Brews?

Take a look at our Beer Glossary.


Serve red ale for Christmas. Photo
courtesy Craft Brewers Association.


The Best Red Ales

Here are the top 10 red ales as rated by judges in the 2011 U.S. Open Beer Championship.

1. Pursuit of Hoppiness – Grand Teton Brewing, Idaho
2. O’Regan’s Revenge Irish Red Ale – Sound Brewery, Washington
3. Bomber Mountain Amber – Black Tooth Brewing, Wyoming
4. River Falls Red Ale, Thomas Creek Brewing – South Carolina
5. Cameron’s Auburn Ale – Cameron’s Brewing, Canada
6. Celtic Ale – Harpoon Brewery – Massachusetts
7. Red Mountain Ale – Silverton Brewing, Colorado
8. Samuel Adams Red Ale – Boston Beer Company, Massachusetts
9. O’Hara’s Irish Red – Carlow Brewing – Ireland
10. Kilgubbin Red Ale – Goose Island – Illinois



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