Beer brewing in Ireland is said to have been in existence since the Bronze Ages. This beer style historically describes a red amber or actually a brown beer style that has been brewed in Ireland for many years. Mostly as an Irish alternative to bitters from England. The Irish red ale titling was actually an American marketing strategy that was made popular in the 1990s. Before this, in Ireland, this beer style was known as a Ruby Ale. This style was originally brewed by the Killian family brewery or the county Wexford in Ireland.
For more recipes on Irish style, beers try our How to brew Dry Irish Stout Easy Guide.
The base malt of choice for this style is Pale Ale Malt. Usually at 65% or more of your grist. It is the roasted barley that provides the red hue for this style within your grist. Flaked barley is an optional authentic choice for this style that can replace Carapils in the recipe.
For the hops, the key is to use British variety. Most common being either East Kent Goldings or Fuggles. The hop profile for this style is mild. When you first brew a beer to this style you can be forgiven if you’re wondering if it’s too dark. This is just how the style is. You will find that once this clears things will look rather different and a ruby red hue will come through. At first glance, it actually looks like a dark brown beer with no red in it at all.
If you want a beer for just looking at and you want it just red then this is not really a style for you. However, if you want a beer that is for drinking then this style certainly has its fans.