January 08, 2024

Irish Ales Are Brewing: A Beer Kit Breakdown

Glasses of Dry Irish Stout, Irish Red Ale, Irish Blonde Ale on wooden bench

Our Irish ale beer kits create a full spectrum of flavor in three sessionable homebrews: Dry Irish Stout, Irish Red Ale, Irish Blonde Ale

While Dry Irish Stouts – like the one iconically brewed by Guinness in Dublin – are most commonly associated with Irish beers and brewing, there are other brew-worthy styles from the Emerald Isle. Specifically Irish Blonde Ale and Irish Red Ale (the latter of which happens to be one of our best-selling kits), both extremely popular for balanced flavor and approachability. Irish Blonde Ale, Irish Red Ale, and Dry Irish Stout all have unique characteristics, flavors, and ingredients, offering a delightful spectrum for beer enthusiasts during St. Patrick’s Day or any time of year a flavorful, generally sessionable beer is called for. Let’s take a look at what makes the beers and our respective recipe kits different from each other. (Buy them à la carte or get all three together in our Kilty Pleasure Extract Beer Variety Pack.)

Irish Blonde Ale

Beer Recipe Kits: Extract | All-Grain

While Irish Blonde Ale is not an official beer style included in either BJCP or Brewers Association guidelines, there are some commercial examples out there and, like them, our Irish Blonde Ale beer recipe kit is a wonderful easy-drinking beer. Brewed with a variety of malted barley, Irish Blonde Ale highlights the malt character without overpowering the palate. The use of noble hops contributes to a well-balanced profile; think something along the lines of a German KölschIrish Blonde Ale typically has a pale to light amber color, often resembling a golden hue. It is known for its moderate malt sweetness, balanced with a subtle hop bitterness. The flavor profile may include light biscuit or honey notes, providing a crisp and refreshing taste. Alcohol content generally falls within the moderate range, making it a sessionable beer.

When brewing our Irish Blonde Ale beer recipe kit, expect a full-bodied beer with buttered toast and fruity hops flavors that give way to a finish evenly split between malty and bitter. Flaked barley and oat malt (or wheat DME for the extract version) build density and a viscous texture with supporting grain flavors. Serve it at cellar temperature any time of year. Or if you really want to go all out, keg it and dispense with beer gas through a stout faucet!

Irish Red Ale

Beer Recipe Kits: Extract | All-Grain

As the name suggests, Irish Red Ale has a distinct reddish-brown hue, ranging from amber to deep copper. The use of caramel and other specialty malts imparts the rich color and sweetness to the beer. The balance between malt sweetness and hop bitterness is crucial for this style. This style is characterized by a malty sweetness, often featuring caramel and toffee notes. The malt profile is complemented by a subtle hop bitterness, resulting in a well-balanced and smooth taste. Its alcohol content is similar to Irish Blonde Ale in that it is typically moderate, making it a beer that can be enjoyed over an extended period – a true crowd-pleaser. The great taste, drinkability, and low aging requirements of Irish Red Ale make this our best-selling kit. 

Dry Irish Stout

Beer Recipe Kits: Extract | All-Grain

Arguably Ireland’s most famous export, Dry Irish Stout has a loyal following all over the world. Epitomized by Guinness Stout, the style is known for its deep, opaque black color with a creamy tan head. The hallmark of this style is its dry and roasted character, featuring prominent coffee and dark chocolate notes. Both these bold flavors and dark color are the result of using roasted barley in the all-grain grist or steeping grains in the extract kit. Despite the intense flavors, it finishes clean and often has a lower perceived sweetness. Dry Irish Stouts typically have a moderate alcohol content, and their dry finish enhances their drinkability. Nitrogen is sometimes employed during the dispensing process, giving the beer a smooth and creamy mouthfeel.

Our Dry Irish Stout kit has a pronounced roasty, coffee-like flavor and aroma, imparted by a generous helping of roasted barley. Hop bitterness enhances the dryness, and the medium body makes for a very drinkable dark beer. This is one of the most popular styles among homebrewers. After a few pints, you’ll understand why. 

Irish Ales are Brewin'!

These three Irish beer styles cater to a range of preferences, from the light and refreshing Irish Blonde Ale to the maltier, well-balanced Irish Red Ale, and finally, the robust and dry character of the Dry Irish Stout. Each style reflects the craftsmanship and cultural heritage of Irish brewing, and are bundled together in our Kilty Pleasure Extract Beer Variety Pack - perfect for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations or sipping year-round. Slainte!