Red Red Redemption
Style: Red IPA
Grain: US 2-Row, Munich, Crystal, Special B
Hops: Centennial and Liberty
Fermented with an English and American blend
Tasting notes: dark toast and caramel with citrus, pine, and herbal spice edges
Pair with: pork bbq nachos, whole hog burger, tacos de panza, bbq piggy flatbread
I first started homebrewing late in 2006. I was in college and was brewing to save money on beer, but also to brew stuff you just couldn't get at the store. One such beer came from a recipe book and was named "Firecracker Red" to be brewed for the Fourth of July. It patriotically contained Liberty and Centennial hops. And a load of cinnamon candies. Just dump 'em into the boil kettle and let them melt into the beer. It was... an acquired taste.
I quickly switched gears into brewing beers that were good first and gimmicky second ("quickly" is subjective – that fall, I brewed a Pepsi Porter and Mountain Dew Pale Ale) - yet I never revisited Firecracker. I think it's time for redemption.
This is a big, bold red IPA. American 2-Row barley lays the foundation, followed by German, Belgian, and British malts to push things into malty Amber ale territory (and what's more American than the mixing and blending of cultures?). I kept the Centennial and Liberty hops because they are the most patriotic sounding hops out there, and they work surprisingly well together. It's all fermented with a blend of British yeast to provide some fruity esters and American yeast to keep things clean and dry. And of course, there's some cinnamon candy in there too.