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Big Batch Brew Bash

The Next Big Batch: Sunday, June 23rd, 2024

The 2024 style will follow the BJCP Style 15A, Irish Red Ale

Overall Impression

An easy-drinking pint, often with subtle flavors. Slightly malty in the balance sometimes with an initial soft toffee/caramel sweetness, a slightly grainy-biscuity palate, and a touch of roasted dryness in the finish. Some versions can emphasize the caramel and sweetness more, while others will favor the grainy palate and roasted dryness.


Medium amber to medium reddish-copper color. Clear. Low off-white to tan colored head, average persistence.


Low to moderate malt aroma, either neutral-grainy or with a lightly caramelly-toasty-toffee character. May have a very light buttery character (although this is not required). Hop aroma is low earthy or floral to none (usually not present). Quite clean.


Moderate to very little caramel malt flavor and sweetness, rarely with a light buttered toast or toffee-like quality. The palate often is fairly neutral and grainy, or can take on a lightly toasty or biscuity note as it finishes with a light taste of roasted grain, which lends a characteristic dryness to the finish. A light earthy or floral hop flavor is optional. Medium to medium-low hop bitterness. Medium-dry to dry finish. Clean and smooth. Little to no esters. The balance tends to be slightly towards the malt, although light use of roasted grains may increase the perception of bitterness slightly.


Medium-light to medium body, although examples containing low levels of diacetyl may have a slightly slick mouthfeel (not required). Moderate carbonation. Smooth. Moderately attenuated.


Several variations exist within the style, which causes the guidelines to be somewhat broad to accommodate them. Traditional Irish examples are relatively low in hops, are grainy with a slight roast dryness in the finish, fairly neutral in general. Modern export Irish examples are more caramelly and sweet, and might have more esters. American craft versions are often more alcoholic versions of the Irish export examples. An emerging Irish craft beer scene is exploring more bitter versions of traditional examples. Finally, there are some commercial examples that sound Irish but are essentially International Amber Lagers, with sweetish palates and little bitterness. These guidelines are written around the traditional Irish examples, with slight extensions for export Irish versions and modern craft Irish versions.


While Ireland has a long ale brewing heritage, the modern Irish Red Ale style is essentially an adaptation or interpretation of the popular English Bitter style with less hopping and a bit of roast to add color and dryness. Rediscovered as a craft beer style in Ireland, today it is an essential part of most brewery lineups, along with a pale ale and a stout.

Characteristic Ingredients

Generally has a bit of roasted barley or black malt to provide reddish color and dry roasted finish. Pale base malt. Caramel malts were historically imported and more expensive, so not all brewers would use them.

Style Comparison

A less-bitter and hoppy Irish equivalent to an English Bitter, with a dryish finish due to roasted barley. More attenuated with less caramel flavor and body than equivalent-strength Scottish ales.

Vital Statistics

IBU 18 - 28

SRM 9 - 14

OG 1.036 - 1.046

FG 1.010 - 1.014

ABV 3.8% - 5%

Commercial Examples

Caffrey’s Irish Ale, Franciscan Well Rebel Red, Kilkenny Irish Beer, O’Hara’s Irish Red Ale, Porterhouse Red Ale, Samuel Adams Irish Red, Smithwick’s Irish Ale.

Deadline for entry: Friday, June 14th, 2024 by 5 pm

Please note that only entries with blank bottle caps will be accepted.

Drop Off Locations

Thistle Draft Shop

5210 FM 2920 Ste 100

Spring, TX 77388



Sitta Brew Hub

618 FM 1959

Houston, Texas 77034



Farmboy Brew Shop

3814 North Shepherd Drive

Houston, Texas 77018



Shipping Location

Thistle Draft Shop

5210 FM 2920 Ste 100

Spring, TX 77388


Entry Requirements:

Each entry shall consist of 3 12 oz bottles along with a completed entry form.

Anyone (21 years of age or older) is eligible to enter.

All entries must be non-commercial, home-produced beer.

Up to two entries per brewer/team will be accepted. If a brewer enters a beer as a team entry, that will count as one of their two entries.

There is a $10.00 entry fee!

Entry to BBBB/Bottle ID Forms:

Please note only two entries per brewer will be accepted. If a brewer enters a beer as a team entry then it will count as one of the two allotted entries per brewer. 

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