Help Us Get Blind: Reds & Ambers


Times have changed a lot since we first started holding blind tasting panels at Crafty Towers. Back then, we'd struggle to get our hands on a wide selection of locally brewed, packaged examples of many beer styles and would have to supplement the lineups with international beers. These days, for many styles of beer, there are too many to reasonably sit down and assess in one session.

Last year, we had to split the IPA tasting into two sessions over separate weekends and, given how hard it is to find a free weekend to get a panel together, dedicating more than one afternoon to a particular beer style seems excessive. So we've come up with a solution that gets you, our readers, more involved in the process.

Prior to each tasting, provided there's more than a reasonable number of beers to choose from, we're inviting you to help select the lineup. Pick the ten you'd most like to see featured from the list below and we'll aim to get our hands on the ten most popular from your votes. We'll judge 15 beers in total – in five flights of three – meaning we keep five selections in house in case there are beers that haven't come up in the reader poll we think should be there, whether that's to try and involve a spread from around the country, ensure trophy winning beers are included or for some other good reason.

The next tasting will look at hoppy / New World red and amber ales: American ambers, India red ales, RIPAs and so on. Below you'll find a list of 30-odd from which you can select up to ten you'd like featured. There are other red and amber ales on the market, but we've whittled the list down by focusing on those of similar character, namely those designed to have upfront, New World hoppiness as well as rich malt backbones, and also ruled out any mid-strength beers of this hue.

That means no place for the likes of James Squire Nine Tales, Newstead's Liquidambar, Hawthorn's Amber Ale, Rocks Boxer, Black Duck's Irish Red, Last Rites' Bette Midler, Odyssey Craft Brewing's ESR, Van Dieman's Jacob's Ladder, Morrison's Irish Red Ale, Beard & Brau's Red Tail or Blizzard's Avalanche. BrewCult's Keep On Truckin' hasn't been packaged recently enough to warrant inclusion either. That said, if there's anything we're missing, do get in touch so we can add it to the list ASAP.

NB We're only requesting your email address to ensure there are no multiple entries.


The poll is now closed.

You can read past blind tasting features here.

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