Weekly Beer Geek: Ruedrich’s Red Seal Ale
- Written by Luke G
- March 1, 2012
Ruedrich’s Red Seal Ale
North Coast Brewing Co.
As you may have noticed, in spite of my geekdom I occasionally have the attention span of a 5-year old on a sugar binge. In this instance, it showed itself in the form of my reaction to the bottle. “Holy shit a red seal!” I yelped, with the glee of…. Well, someone gleeful. Look, it’s a neat bottle, OK? And I like seeing things drawn literally. Plus, I enjoy them much more when I’m drinking beer, so… bottoms up.
The Brewer’s Pitch
Much like Stone brewery, North Coast gives their ingredients list pride of place. Water, malted barley, hops, and yeast- nothing else. This can be quite good, avoiding all the nonsense that can go wrong with a fancy beer. On the other, it can end up boring. Red Seal blends malt and hops for a full bodied brew, technically a pale ale but with a copper-red color. With a large load of hops to give a lingering spicy finish, Red Seal makes a good accompaniment to vivid or strong foods.
Red Seal poured with an incredibly immense, thick velvet-white head that gradually dissipated, leaving heavy lacing down the glass. The beer itself is a slightly hazy copper-orange with a matching, slightly metallic smell sharply redolent of hops. It opens with a broad flow of lightly-roasted malt and grain, tasting earthy before being tempered abruptly by the hops. It builds in floral bitterness before fading slowly- and then coming back in a slow burning aftertaste. This lingers dry and smooth well after the rest of the beer is gone.
I could have cut the whole description here and just described it as “Ale.” True to the roots of the style, this blends classic beer elements for a flavor that isn’t anything unusual, and all the better for it. Free of gimmicks, special spices, or unique grain blends, Red Seal has a classic feel that puts a smile on my face. Keep this one on your list for a summer barbeque, or just sitting and watching the snow melt.
The Bottom Line
What does a red seal have to do with a classic ale? What is a solidly basic beer doing with a fruity artsy name? Friends, I prefer to savor the mystery.