I have sort of a complicated relationship with red ales.
You get some that are insanely hoppy, as if the brewer decided to forego logic and determine that when you pronounce Amber Ale, the IPA is merely a silent, yet integral, piece of the experience. Then there are some that are so caramel-laden that the can should probably say Brachs on the side.
That’s one of the things I liked so much about River Rat Rye Red Ale (Amber Ale, 5.5% ABV) from Walking Tree Brewery. It’s an impeccably produced, almost unheard of middle ground between the two.
A large part of that is the rye. While not intense, it definitely helps bolster the blend of both sides of the beer while not letting anything get out of control. They intentionally kept the hops low, and you get a modest, earthy undercurrent in the beer that isn’t completely evident in the nose.
You also get a slight touch of caramel goodies in the taste (and a lot in the color). But here once again the rye comes in, making sure the sweetness doesn’t get out of hand. It’s a remarkably balanced brew that goes a long way in keeping the beer refreshing and great to drink.
It’s a good example of some of the things you can do with the style. I would love to see more balanced reds like this. Or I can leave them and just stick with this one. It’s not them, it’s me.
Okay, it’s them.
Drink Florida Craft,