Editors’ Picks: Red & Amber Ales

Whether they’re smooth, malty throwbacks or hop-drenched progressives in crimson tuxedos, here are some of the best American amber and red ales we know.

Craft Beer & Brewing Staff May 17, 2023 - 2 min read

Editors’ Picks: Red & Amber Ales Primary Image

Photos, from left: courtesy Little Brother; Jamie Bogner(2); courtesy Lawson’s; Jamie Bogner

Little Brother Local 947

An enticing nose fully melds mellow caramel with classy herbal hops, while the sip avoids overt fruit in an old-fashioned way that feels fresh and new, dialing up the bitter edges for interest and drying out nicely in the finish.
ABV: 5% IBUs: 40 Loc: Greensboro, North Carolina

Montauk Arrowhead Red

Another commendable take in classical form, combining caramel-toffee malts with Noble, herbal-tobacco hops and polishing them into a crisp, clean, lager-like frame—assertive yet highly drinkable.
ABV: 5% IBUs: 23 Loc: Montauk, New York

MadTree Happy Amber

This West Coast–style amber from Ohio manages great drinkability for its strength, loading up on toasted-bread malt and orange-marmalade hops without ever getting too heavy or verging into austere IPA territory. Big flavors, wonderful balance.
ABV: 6% IBUs: 30 Loc: Cincinnati

Lawson’s Mad River Maple

This big, ruddy ale borrows a trick from breakfast stout’s adjunct game, as a malt-forward amber proves to be the perfect canvas for maple syrup—indulgent and comforting yet relatively dry, offering a hint of the familiar.
ABV: 8% IBUs: N/A Loc: Waitsfield, Vermont

Port Brewing Shark Attack

This West Coast double red is a resilient blast from a past decade, delivering big citrus-hop flavors rounded by rich crystal malt and fruit-forward esters—all balanced by formidable bitterness and a drying finish to drink well below its strength.
ABV: 9% IBUs: 70 Loc: San Marcos, California