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All about red IPA
What is a red IPA?
You won't find any mention of red IPAs or India pale ales in the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) beer style guidelines until the 2015 edition, so you can assume safely that it's one of the most recent beer styles. Beer connoisseurs also like to call it California or West Coast red ale, Northwest IPA or India red ale.
These IPAs have a distinctive red color that varies from a bold ruby hue to copper nuances. Most of these red beers look clear, with a moderately sized, long-lasting, off-white head. However, there are also unfiltered versions that look cloudy.
How does it taste?
Typically, these IPA beers have a strong hop aroma. Since most producers tend to use hops from the New World, the resulting beer may have notes of citrus, fruit, resin, pine and spices. Some India red ales undergo a dry-hopping process that imparts aromas of fresh hops and grass to the beer.
There is also a well-recognizable malt aroma, which balances the hop bitterness. For red IPAs, brewers typically use malts with notes of caramel, toffee and dark fruit. These beers have a moderate carbonation and a medium-light body.
How to serve a red IPA like a pro
Serve your red IPA between 42 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit in a tulip or an IPA glass. Surprisingly, this beer style is also food-friendly. You can serve it with spicy ethnic dishes from Asia or Mexico, and grilled dishes for a summer party with family and friends. Red IPAs also pair well with picnic dishes like pasta salad and shrimp-based appetizers. In the winter, you can pair it with onion soup or tomato soup or classic fast food like burgers and pizza.