Red River Brewing Company - River Monster
- ABV: 8.0%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 65
- Serving Temperature: 45-50° F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip or Snifter
- Malts: 2-Row Pale, Crystal 40, Carastan 35, Munich, Carafa II
- Hops: Herkules, Mosaic, Citra, Amarillo
The folks at Red River developed this brew as a sort of imperialized mash-up between a Scottish Ale, with all of its malty backbone, and an American-style IPA, with all of its hoppy glory. Pouring a very deep red color, almost brown, and topped with plenty of sticky foam, River Monster looks as big as it tastes. On the nose, we were struck by a veritable fruit cocktail of aromas; look for citrus, pineapple and other tropical fruits, berries, and stone fruits, along with a rich caramel undertone and a touch of cotton candy. Flavorwise, robust caramel malts form a big, round, mouth-filling core with a moderate level of residual sweetness. The generous contribution of American hop varieties is not shy either, bringing those aforementioned fruity notes to bear in a big way in the mouth, bolstered by fruit esters given off by this ale's yeast strain. Prominent citrus and red fruits play off of the rich malts, and the overall impression reminded some of us of a caramel apple. The hop bitterness is quite firm, and along with a touch of vinous alcohol, provides plenty of counterbalance to the big malts. For food pairing ideas, keep in mind that bold brews need bold foods that can stand up to them. Roasted game, cheeseburgers with sautéed onions, corned beef sandwiches, and grilled pork with a spicy and fruity sauce should all provide tasty accompaniments to this Imperial Red. Cheers!
Founded by Jared Beville and Beau Raines in 2013, Red River Brewing Company is named in honor of Shreveport's main waterway, which separates it from its sister, Bossier City, on the opposite bank. Until now, this area of the country has been a bit behind the rest of the nation in the growth of the craft beer industry, although that's beginning to change. In the Shreveport-Bossier City area specifically, Red River, as well as Great Raft Brewing and Flying Heart Brewing, have really helped raise the profile of better beer throughout the region.
Formerly garage homebrewers, Beville and Raines recognized the potential that Shreveport offered for turning their hobby into a full-scale business. For its first couple of years in operation, Red River existed as a relatively small outfit whose beers could generally only be found at local bars and restaurants. But in 2015, the duo secured a new, much larger location in downtown Shreveport to serve as a new brewing facility as well as a taproom (which opened in 2016) to serve the public directly. Just a few hundred yards down the road from their original facility, the new Red River brewery has allowed them to jump from a tiny 5-barrel brewing system to a much more robust 20-barrel system. Additionally, the brewery and attached Taproom is serving to help revitalize the downtown area, attracting lots of people looking to enjoy good beer, and often, live music. Plus, visitors can enjoy excellent gastropub-style food from chef Anthony Felan's Fat Calf Boucherie, a food trailer located at Red River's parking lot. For more info about the brewery, tours, and Red River's Taproom, check out www.redriverbeer.com.
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