Tooborac, the brewery found at the rear of a historic bluestone hotel on the Northern Highway about 115km outside Melbourne, has played around with the red IPA style in the past. Clearly, they were happy with the result as a new version of that beer joins the core range in the second half of 2018.
Despite the label artwork, Firemans Red IPA isn't a beer that seeks to blast you with hops and booze like many IPAs hitting the market these days; indeed, at 5.3 percent ABV, it possesses a potency more akin to contemporary pale ales. Instead, it sets out to deliver the characteristics of the style at a more sessionable (more core range like?) strength, with its appealing ruddy red colour heralding a well judged balance of US hops and specialty malts. They combine on the nose to create aromas taking in caramel, toffee, sweet citrus and red berries, while a pretty full and smooth body brings with it a long and building bitterness.
- Red IPA