By Gregg Smith
Lately it seems every time you turn around there's another new "Red Beer" coming on the
market. Brewers from coast to coast have been rolling out the barrels as quickly as they can
devise a formula. Truth is, this newest, hot craze in cold beers is really quite old.
As far back as ancient Summeria the brewers were making a red beer they called 'Kassig'
and the beer of more modern origin "Vienna" was probably invented by brewer Anton
Dreher in 1841. But the style eventually feel out of favor. However, a group of
immigrants fleeing Austria took the style named Vienna with them to Mexico and the
Southwest United States. Where the brewers of Dos Equis and Negro Modelo carried it
Fortunately the rise of the microbrewing movement brought with it an interest in traditional
brewing. Along with this was a natural curiosity about the old methods and beer styles.
Meanwhile down in Texas and Mexico a few examples of Vienna beer lived on and waited
for micro brewers to revive Vienna style beer.
With a change in name to reflect the reddish-amber hues, the style is characterized by the
toasted malt which imparts the color. The taste is of soft malt and sports a complex nose of
malty sweetness mingling with low aroma hops. It's also not unusual to hear people
describe the flavor as toasty.
Excellent with any matter of sweet, spicy foods, Red Beers make a good year round
choice. So admire the light shining through the and reflect on a beer that reaches back to
© Gregg Smith