Is Amber Ale making a comeback? Perhaps Chuckanut Brewery knows something we don’t

Maybe Chuckanut Brewery knows something we don’t. In all honesty, that would not be surprising in the least. That esteemed brewery seems to live in a world that is just ahead of the curve. Below, I share some information about a new beer from Chuckanut, Scarlet Ale.

There was a time, a couple decades ago when amber ales were everywhere, but that style of beer has fallen out of fashion. At the 2020 Great American Beer Festival, only 111 beers of this style (American-Style Amber/Red Ale) were entered in the competition. Compare that to 355 entries in American-Style IPA and 377 entries in Hazy/Juicy IPA.

For the longest while, it has seemed that most breweries just phone it in when producing an amber. Like every brewery needs to have one on the menu, but beyond that, a lot of breweries don’t give it much thought. Don’t get me wrong; there are some good ones out there, for sure. Beyond the ubiquitous Mac and Jack’s African Amber, the first one that comes to mind is Stoup Brewing’s Northwest Red (pictured below), which is a damn good beer. Beyond that, off the top of my head, I struggle to think of one, much less one that I like.

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Stoup-NW-red

Everything I just said about amber ales, and how breweries too often just phone it in, you could have said about light lagers, like Pilsners, 12 years ago. Then Chuckanut Brewery showed up and started creating lagers that did more than appease reluctant taproom guests who “usually drink light beer.” Chuckanut raised the bar and today we are awash in beautiful pilsners, delicious Helles lagers (Kulshan Brewing just won GABF medal for theirs), and other light-bodied lagers.

Anyway, Chuckanut Brewery never phones anything in. The number of medals the brewery has collected over its 12-year history proves it. They recently brought home three medals from the aforementioned GABF, only one brewery in the entire country brought home more medals. So when Chuckanut Brewery announces that they are releasing an amber/red ale, take heed. It means something.

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From the brewery:

Chuckanut Brewery Taps Scarlet Ale

Considered uncommon in the world of beers today, Chuckanut Brewery has rediscovered this old style, sessionable ale. Using Best Malts Red X, Weyermann’s Carared & Melanoidan malts, Chuckanut accentuates the reddish hues in Scarlet Ale. The beer’s medium body is highlighted by toasted malt flavors balanced by the hops. Chuckanut Scarlet Ale is a satisfying, any-time of day tipple!

chuckanut-scarlet

Scarlet Ale is known as a ruby style ale in England. Making a comeback and popular with craft breweries across the UK, this flavorful ale is great with grilled cheese sandwiches and pizzas. There’s also enough toffee-caramel flavor in Chuckanut Scarlet Ale to match with the caramel flavors in roasted meats & poultry. You may just find this balanced and toasty scarlet-colored ale is perfect for a “cheers” to the fall!

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