A Partridge in a Beer Box

all grain, beer, beer kit, craft beer, heritage, historical, homebrew, homebrewing, irish, irish red, partridge island, red, roasted barley -

A Partridge in a Beer Box

Like bringing a banana in a boat on a fishing trip, or opening an umbrella indoors one of the most superstitious beer styles seems to be Irish Red. Adored by home brewers, cautiously brewed by commercial enterprises and nervously sipped by beer lovers who judge them using their most eloquent negative (rarely positively) descriptors. Irish Red remains a conundrum of a beer.

Why all the fuss? Once again, can we just not just enjoy beer without judgement, rhetoric, marketing, debate or rankings? Irish Red can be brewed a few ways, there are historical and modern styles and the beer has deep interesting flavour. So the answer is NO! We must be critical and break this style down, because it is often done poorly on a commercial scale, can be sometimes difficult to find, and can confuse the hell out of any modern beer connoisseur.

Malt lovers tend to dive a little darker into chocolate, coffee flavours you get in stouts, porters, dark milds and brown. Hop heads stick with American ambers, English bitters or Red IPAs. In summary, it would appear that Irish Red falls through the cracks of the modern craft beer craze, so when it is brewed it is sometimes a slow seller and does not appeal to nearly anyone. 

At home on a smaller scale we have the benefit of not answering to the consumer. We can brew whatever we want. It allows us some artistic freedom to not be bound by the chains of others perceptions. 

We are going to let the partridge out of the box here. One of our most requested recipes from local home brewers is this style, so we had to go to work to brew, test, brew, test, and brew a recipe that would be worthy of such critics as ourselves. We started brewing Irish Red when we started brewing.

Our latest beer box is easy to brew…yes, but we’ve spent more time brewing and perfecting this recipe then any other brew box in our lineup. It was not simple. We wanted to give our customers the best Irish Red we could make. Deeply layered malt using a blend of newer malts as well as a kiss of roasted barley to bring the depth and the acrid bite of dryness on the palate. We brought in special malts specifically to the shop to get this beer to where it is. The layering creates a super smooth transition from maltiness to a slight bitter dry finish that is done by the one and only Fuggle hop. Fuggle is a classic for this style and keeps the earthy bitterness that does not linger and stays away from the juicy side of things.

Our Partridge Island Irish Red beer box has just hit the site for sale. Always milled fresh when you put your order in. Available at an easy to swallow price and with easy to brew instructions. Irish Red is a simple beer to brew, as it is the malt and hops that make the beer interesting and it still remains quaffable at 4.5%. Perhaps some of the larger breweries think of Irish Red as a quick easy money maker. Often they find out it is not the case unless done well. 

The name pays respect to the rich Irish heritage in Saint John and around the maritime provinces. Partridge Island lies slightly off the coast of Saint John and served as a quarantine area for Irish immigrants. Those who survived the trip across to the mainland planted roots in the area and continue to influence food, culture and beer. Irish Red remains a popular style in the area despite the superstition that comes along with it.


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