24 Beers of Christmas – December 10th: Central City Red Racer India Red Ale
Surrey BC’s Central City Brewers+Distillers are certainly no strangers to hop-forward ales. Central City‘s Red Racer India Style Red Ale is no exception. Brewed using a variety of British malts, this beer takes inspiration from English Pale Ales called Strong Bitters, often referred to as Extra Special Bitters or ESBs. That means that the beer relies on a characteristic biscuity and caramel malt sweetness with a significant hop presence and a clear, but not overwelming hop bitterness. Central City interpreted this style in their own way, using a combination of hops predominently from the Pacific Northwestern, United States, to create a beer that presents strong citrus, herbal and some floral notes.
The flavours emparted by this combination of hops fall well within the spectrum one might expect from a Best Bitter, but sheer amount used exceeds what would commonly fall into this category. This beer could instead be classified as an American IPA or a Specialty IPA because of its deeper amber hue. That said, Central City has a proven track record of delivering very well balanced beers with a creamy mouthfeel, big resiny hops and enough sweetness to pull it all together. They don’t dissapoint with with Red Racer India Style Red Ale.
Style: Specialty IPA (India Red Ale) – 5.6% ABV, 60 IBU
Food pairings: Spicy Pad Kee Mao, Stilton Cheese, Banana pound cake