Recipe: Cannery Row West Coast Red Ale

Whatever you want to call it, the West Coast–style red ale is different from other beers that try to capture it on their margins. If you’re not brewing these, you’re missing out.

Josh Weikert Jun 5, 2021 - 3 min read

Recipe: Cannery Row West Coast Red Ale Primary Image

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For more thoughts on designing and brewing your own West Coast–style red ale, see this edition of Make Your Best. Also, see below for an extract version of this recipe.


Batch size: 5 gallons (19 liters)
Brewhouse efficiency: 72%
OG: 1.064
FG: 1.014
IBUs: 27
ABV: 6.4%

10 lb (4.5 kg) Maris Otter
8 oz (227 g) Caramunich (58L)
8 oz (227 g) Briess Extra Special Roast
5 oz (142 g) chocolate rye


1 oz (28 g) Citra at 20 minutes [19 IBUs]
1 oz (28 g) Hallertauer Mittelfrüh at 20 minutes [8 IBUs]
1 oz (28 g) Citra at flameout
1 oz (28 g) Hallertauer Mittelfrüh at flameout

Wyeast 1318 London Ale III

Mill the grains and mash at 152°F (67°C) for 60 minutes. Vorlauf until the runnings are clear, then sparge and top up as necessary to obtain 6 gallons (23 liters) of wort. Boil for 60 minutes, adding hops according to the schedule. Chill to slightly below fermentation temperature, about 68°F (20°C). Aerate well and pitch the yeast. Ferment at 68°F (20°C) for 7–10 days, then allow the temperature to rise to 70°F (21°C) over the next 4 days. When fermentation is complete, crash to 35°F (2°C), then package and carbonate to about 2.5 volumes.

For an American-style ale—often code for “hoppy”—this is more balanced than you might expect. Don’t go overboard on bitterness or hop flavor. The profile should feature caramel as well as the fruity-floral hops.

Mill the grains and in a mesh bag, steep 6 oz (170 g) of Caramunich, 6 oz (170 g) of Extra Special Roast, and 3.5 oz (99 g) of chocolate rye malt in 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of 152°F (67°C) water for 30 minutes, then raise the temperature to 168°F (76°C). Rinse the steeping bag and add 5 more gallons (19 liters) of water to your kettle, then bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and add 9.7 lb (4.4 kg) of pale liquid malt extract (LME) in batches, being careful not to scorch. Return the heat and achieve a rolling boil. Boil 60 minutes and follow the remainder of directions above.