Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Know Your Beer: Amber

For this week's episode of Know Your Beer, let's move down the Beer Spectrum to Ambers. You'll sometimes hear these beers called Reds, given the color similiarity. This type of beer has been known to become a catch-all given it's placement in the dead-center of light and dark beer. The color of the beer will range from a dark golden to a dark copper.

The flavor profile of a amber/red ale tends to focus on malt. You may get hints of the bitterness that accommanies hops, but this will depend on the brewery. Most of these beers are pretty well balanced, so you aren't going to end up with some really extreme flavors. However, this does make this beer generally acceptible for a diverse audience. It's enough of a stretch that folks who like lighter beers are ok with it, while dark beer fans are willing to "step down" the color spectrum a bit.

Expect some toasted malt, caramel, toffee and and nutty aromas, along with the occassional hint of sweetness. These are pretty smooth beers too, so it goes down nice. Alcohol content will be mid 5% to low 6%, with the exceptions that may lower or (ridiculously higher)

I've reviewed a number of Ambers/Reds on here - including Murphy's Prescott Red, Bridgeport Ropewalk Amber Ale, Maritime Pacific Nightwatch Dark Amber Ale, Grand Teton Brewing Teton Amber Ale, Alaskan Amber (one of my favorites), Chama River Rio Chama Amber and the Mendocino Red Tail Ale.

Others that you can find around the place and are good (and will be reviewed eventually) include Full Sail Amber, New Belgium Fat Tire, Breckenridge Avalanche Amber and Bear Republic Red Rocket Ale.

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