Shannon Irish Red by Shannon Brewing Co

Shannon Irish Red by Shannon Brewing Co

Shannon Irish Red by Shannon Brewing Co

Shannon Irish Red by Shannon Brewing Co

Red ales are always a weird deal for me.  I generally really like them, but it seems like some brewers shy away from them.

I get the feeling like they don’t have quite that following that some other styles have, so maybe it’s considered a risk to brew one?

Anyways, I saw Shannon’s Red Ale on one of my recent trips to the beer store and decided to give it a go.

Here is what Shannon Brewing says about their Irish Red Ale:

“Shannon Irish Red — Year Round (Available in kegs and cans)
Shannon Irish Red has a beautiful deep copper hue associated with fine Crystal Malts. This ale also has a wonderful malty start, a gentle hop aroma and crisp clean finish. Our red ale has aromatic hints of baking raisin bread — satisfying and perfectly balanced. Shannon Irish Red is our nod to Saint Patrick, the most recognized patron saint of Ireland. Just in case you are curious, we will NEVER brew a green beer.

ALC by Vol: 5.5%  •  IBU: 47  •  SRM: 23  •  Serve At: 40º F – 50º F”

I was able to find this article from’s Blog all about Crystal or Caramel malt.  Check it out if you are looking for some background info.

Here is what says an Irish Red Ale should resemble:

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

Now for the taste test:

Shannon Irish Red in glass

Shannon Irish Red in glass

Shannon Irish Red pours a rich amber color with a head of tan foam.

I got a lot of caramel malt sweetness on the nose with some bitter and fresh hops.  It was pretty close to what I expect from a red ale.

The flavor and body on this beer is definitely driven by the malts. It’s bready with a little sweetness.

There are some slightly bitter hops on the finish that give this beer a clean feel.

The interesting thing to me is that after a few sips I got a little bit of spice like you would get from rye malts.  I don’t think that they used any rye, but I got something similar in the flavor.

I think this is a good medium beer.  It’s super approachable and refreshing.  It’s pretty versatile, and you could actually drink a few without turning into a drunken mess.

I think this would be a good beer for late Spring or early Fall for those times  in between really cold and really hot.

I actually bought a big bottle of the Shannon IPA a few months ago, but it was loaded with chunks of (hopefully) yeast.  I didn’t drink it, but it smelled really good.  I’ll have to give that one another shot not that Shannon is canning their beer.

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