India Red Ale

India Red Ale
1 draught pint, $3.75, 7.3% ABV

Purchased at Cambridge House Brew Pub, Granby

iraHm Definitely a new type of beer to me – ain’t this project great? India Red Ale. Again… Hm.

What it is is a hopped up red ale. That may sound simple, but there’s danger to making such a beer and I fear that CHB has toyed with that danger, tickled it, prodded it and pulled back just a tad for the masses.

This is a bitter beer. And not “deliciously bitter” like a high IBU IPA, but just straight up pine bitter. And yet, it’s not terrible; not even close.

But when their own description of the IRA is what follows, you know you’re in for some bitter beer face.

CHB says:

“A completely unbalanced and, at 90 IBU’s, over-hopped red ale. If you like IPA’s you’ll love this one! Be prepared for a bitter hop nectar finish thanks to a medley of simcoe, amarillo, summit and cascade hops!”

IBU’s are, of course, “international bitterring units” and while the scale is somewhat arbitrary, 90 is really, really high. In fact, Wikipedia says, “The technical limit for IBU’s is around 100; some have tried to surpass this number, but there is no real gauge after 100 IBUs when it comes to taste threshold. An imperial stout is usually around 50 IBU’s.”

936full-ira-chernovaMy lovely wife, by the way, rather enjoys highly hopped and bitter beers. This probably isn’t typical of many Vietnamese born females, but that’s just pure conjecture on my part. I only know a few other Vietnamese females and I am absolutely certain they would never, ever drink an IPA on purpose.

Or an IRA. You know what makes me bitter? The clowns who attend the Irish Festival in Glastonbury every year wearing IRA t-shirts and such. I’m nor here to pretend I know everything about “the Troubles” or (goodness no) that the English have any moral high-ground with the issue, but the IRA has operated as a terrorist organization many times over the years.

This is a picture of Russian model Ira Chernova… To get our minds off of the IRA IRA. Yes, that tattoo near her butt does say “Keep disco evil.” She’s wonderful.

Did you know that there is a memorial in Hartford dedicated to members of the IRA? I’ve always found it one of the more unique thing in our state. (My visit, with several interesting comments, here.)

And yes, my Vietnamese wife has been all over Ireland – and this northern European mutt has not. Go figure.

I wouldn’t get this beer again, but I appreciate the effort… even if it wasn’t the least bit red.

Overall Rating: C
Rating vs. Similar style: n/a

Beer Advocate’s Reviews of the India Red Ale
Cambridge House Brew Pub
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