Irish-style Red Beer | Red Beer | Irish Red Ale Beer
Skip to content

Applications Now Open for the Diversity in Beer Writing Grant 2024! Learn More

Beer Styles

Irish-Style Red Beer

Irish red ale is known for its unique malty taste and is on the lower side of the bitterness and alcohol content scales. If you love American craft beer, the Irish red ale beer remains a great style for beer lovers to seek out and appreciate.

Irish-Style Red Ale

The Irish-style red ale is a balanced beer that uses a moderate amount of kilned malts and roasted barley in the recipe, which gives the beer the color for which it is named. Featuring an approachable hop bitterness which rests on the palate, this typically amber-colored beer is brewed as a lager or an ale, and can often have a medium, candy-like caramel malt sweetness. This style may contain adjuncts such as corn, rice, and sugar, which help dry out the beer’s finish and lessen the body. It also often contains roasted barley, lending low roasted notes, darker color and possible creation of a tan collar of foam on top. With notes of caramel, toffee and sometimes low-level diacetyl (butter), think of the Irish red ale beer style as a cousin to lightly-toasted and buttered bread.

America’s Version of Irish Red Ale Beer

Irish-style red ales are an approachable style for people who are new to craft beer, but are also enjoyed and appreciated by even the most discerning of craft connoisseurs. Don’t let these tasty, sessionable beers be relegated to a once-a-year holiday, Irish style reds can be enjoyed throughout the year in a variety of occasions and with a lot of different food options.

American Craft Breweries Serving Irish Red Ale

It’s no secret that Irish beers have played an influential role in the American craft beer scene, and that’s apparent through the Irish red ale beer. It can be challenging to keep up with all of the Irish beer reinventions, and that is why we’ve created an interactive “Find a Brewery” map. The map will help you find small and independent U.S. craft breweries near you; some of those breweries and brewpubs are likely making variations of red ale beer.

Finding your next favorite Irish red ale beer doesn’t have to stop here. If you enjoy the website and are interested in a convenient way to learn more about Irish red beer, sign up to have our newsletter delivered directly to your inbox. We can’t send you beer, but we can send you our newsletter, which is almost as good.

Category: Hybrid Beers

Food Pairings

  • Roasted Vegetables
  • Cheddar
  • Poached Pears

Glassware & Serving Temperature

Nonic Pint
45-55 °F

Commercial Examples

Commercial Examples



Copper-Red to Reddish Brown


Clear to Hazy

Carbonation (Visual)

Medium to Fast Rising Bubbles



Not Detectable to Mild


Hop aroma is not perceived or low. Hop flavor and bitterness are medium


Low to medium candy-like caramel malt sweetness is present. May have a subtle degree of roasted barley or roasted malt character and complexity


Low levels of fruity-ester flavor are acceptable


Not common to style

Fermentation By-Products

Diacetyl should be absent or at very low levels



Soft to Moderate


Medium to High

Finish Length






Kent Goldings


Pale, Crystal, Roasted Barley




Lager or Ale

Other Styles you May Enjoy