Diamond Bear Brewing Company - Irish Red
- ABV: 6%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 31
- Serving Temperature: 42-47°F
- Suggested Glassware: Pint Glass or Mug
- Malts: 2 Row Pale, Caramel 80, Roasted
- Hops: Willamette, Fuggles
Pouring a deep reddish amber topped by a tan cap of foam, this brew looks right for the style. Expect big caramel aromas to come forth with a decidedly toasty edge. The impression of sweetness is countered by an herbal, woody, and mildly spicy hop profile that overlays the malt core. On the palate this brew presents quite a toasty character. Malt sweetness is moderate, but countered well by the hop bitterness, which at 31 IBUs is decidedly on the high end for the style. Expect flavors of toasted bread, nuts, and caramel, along with a hop profile that tends toward herbaceous grassy notes with a bit of earth, and a considerable tea-like character. We picked up on light hints of toffee as well, plus some very subtle fruity ester undercurrents. This 2005 GABF gold medal winner makes quite the pleasant a-la-carte easy drinker, but it works well with food too. Try it with roasted chicken dishes, corned beef & cabbage, or salty vinegar drizzled French fries. Cheers!
Built within what was once a Studebaker dealership, Diamond Bear Brewing Company became the first production brewery in Little Rock in more than 15 years when it opened in the fall of 2000. For a state that is not known for its craft beer culture, this small brewery is a quite a treasure trove for lovers of good beer. While Arkansas may not yet be home to many breweries or watering holes that serve up good local beer, Diamond Bear has managed to put the state on the map, bringing the region quality beers just as tasty as those of any other state in the union.
Arkansans have Germany and Russ Melton, the brewery’s CEO and president, to thank for the beer oasis that is Diamond Bear. It was during Russ’ four year stint in the military in Germany that he picked up a taste for high-quality beer (a story we’ve seen repeated numerous times with other microbrewery founders). In 1999, Russ and his wife Sue (both Little Rock natives) developed the idea for a local microbrewery. With the help of seven other owners, Russ and Sue built the brewery and began production in September of 2000. Their mission statement: “To provide the people of Arkansas and the surrounding region with their own local brewery, which produces great premium all natural beer products, which reflect favorably on Arkansas and the surrounding region.” Well, to that we say “Mission Accomplished!”
To learn more about the brewery and scheduled tours, contact them at (501) 708-2739, or visit their website at www.diamondbear.com.
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