There From the Beginning
A Review of Red's Rye PA by Founders Brewing Co.
Posted on 1/8/2012 by Brew's Your Daddy
So there we sat. Me and my fellow co-founder at a bar. Long had been the length of time that we had spent sending countless text messages, emails and photos of our latest craft beer discoveries. We always tried to describe what we had just had, be it the taste, the smells, or just the overall experience. It had become a habit, and almost a game of sorts. Who could find the better craft beer treasure? While it was always entertaining, there was also something missing from it all. So while we were able to steal a few hours together one day and share some beers, the idea for was born. I can remember it vividly. I had just ordered a Breckenridge Vanilla Porter, and he got a Founders Red's Rye Pale Ale. We looked at each other, and said ''Ya know, there has to be a way to share amazing beers like these with people who are simply less informed. We don't want to just rate them. That bores us. But we don't want to be snotty beer snoots either. We want to share the experience of the beers. What they are all about. Anyone can give a beer an ''8'' on a scale of 1-10, but can they tell you why? What if someone gives a stout a ''4'', without telling you that they are a diehard IPA loving hophead?'' Those two beers will for always be tied to that glorious moment of creation. And while I have paid my homage to my selection, today is the time when my co-founders selection gets its due.

In the glass, Red's Rye Pale Ale is pretty much spot on for what a high quality pale ale should be. The coloration falls somewhere between a burnt orange and toasted brown. When held up to a light source, there is a definite haze to it, and a few particles can be spotted floating around. A fairly decent head with some good lacing qualities hangs around for most of the session. Getting your nose in the glass leads to the discovery of a nice hops presence. There seems to be a good balance between the typical grapefruit and pine aromas that come with most pale ales. Nothing to aggressive, but very floral. Digging a little deeper uncovers a sweet caramel malt layer that works quite well with the hops profile, and at times some other random citrus notes can be found.

The first taste greets you with a nice tongue hug of grapefruit hops goodness. Again, nothing overly aggressive, just well balanced and bright. Taking a few minutes with it reveals more of the hops profile, especially in the pine resin category. As it warms a bit, the malts really start to make themselves known. A rich and smooth feeling comes from them, and the sweetness does a good job of keeping the hops bitterness in perfect balance. It isn't until the very end of the flavor train that the rye malts come through in just a bit of a spicy bite on the palate. We have said it before, and it is worth repeating, that a well balanced pale ale is a delicious pale ale. This is a perfect example of what we are talking about. Plenty of flavor. Plenty of balance. And plenty of fan-freaking-tastic-ness in your glass.

Just the fact that the Founders Brewing Company's Red's Rye Pale Ale was present when the idea for was born is enough to make it a craft beer superstar, but even on a completely objective scale, it is a great example of craft beer excellence. Any level of beer drinker could enjoy it. There is nothing about this beer as far as stylistic requirements go, that isn't spot on. Granted, if someone doesn't appreciate pale ales in general, then there really isn't much we can do. But anyone who can say ''Hey, if a beer is what it says it is, and if it takes things to a whole different style level, I'm willing to give it a fair go'', would absolutely love this beer. And if you want my honest opinion, anyone who doesn't like this one, probably doesn't deserve to be in your company in the first place. Yeah, its that good.

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Red's Rye PA by Founders Brewing Co.
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