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Make Your Best West Coast Red Ale

A decent jumping-off point for Red Ale is the American Amber, which ostensibly includes Reds in their midst. There are some worthwhile differences to note, though.

Josh Weikert Jul 1, 2018 - 6 min read

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Not to get into yet another "that's not a real style!" debate, but let's take a moment this week to consider the West Coast/American/California Red. Look, I understand that it isn't a recognized style, either by the BJCP or the BA/GABF.

I understand that we have American Amber Ale and Red IPA. I understand that red is subjective in beer-color terms. And despite all of that, much like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart trying to define obscenity, we know it when we see it.

Moreover, I'll make a case any day of the week that whatever you want to call it (we'll go with just "Red Ale" from now on to avoid picking geographic "winners") the Red Ale is actually distinct from the other beers that try to capture it on their margins. If you're not brewing these, you're missing out.

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