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No Rests For the Wicked: The Quick & The Red

In this throwback IPA style that recalls the beauty of malt—both visually and in the flavor—you can go with a complex, layered all-grain grist. Or, you can get there quicker (and just as beautifully red) with an intentional approach to extract brewing.

Annie Johnson Nov 15, 2022 - 8 min read

No Rests For the Wicked: The Quick & The Red Primary Image

Photo: Matt Graves

My first experience drinking a red IPA was at the now-defunct Populuxe Brewing in Seattle. My brewer friend Pete handed me a pint of the most crimson-looking beer I’d ever seen. This was a true red color with a slight orangey tint—it was beautiful, bordering on otherworldly.

There was more to it, though. When I closed my eyes, it had the aroma of New World hops—Citra to be precise. (It then occurred to me to read the tap list a little more closely—“Citra Red IPA,” plain as day. Read and ye shall know.) The aroma was of lime, grapefruit, some bright orange peel, and a little sweet mango. The malt was more in the background, supporting the hops, yet detectable and giving off toasty and toffee-like qualities.

Besides that aroma, it was pretty to look at. If you’re like me, I tend to think any beer—or food, for that matter—that looks tasty will be tasty. After a few sips, I knew that my eyes and nose had not let me down. It was a delicious red ale, relatively light in body and mouthfeel, with moderate alcohol, a bit dry in the bitter finish, and extremely drinkable.

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Annie Johnson is an experienced R&D brewer, IT specialist, and national beer judge. Her awards include 2013 American Homebrewer of the Year honors.