The Beer List: Dawn of the Red

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What’s in a name? When it comes to the ability of a beer to jump off the shelf at you, that answer is EVERYTHING. While this particular beer was gifted to me, if I had seen it in a liquor store, I would have bought it on the name alone. If the name is clever, and has anything to do with zombies, chances are that I’m in. 

This week, The Beer List presents, all the way from Eugene, Oregon, Ninkasi Brewing Company’s Dawn of the Red. This India-Style red ale was an incredibly smooth drink. I’ve always been a fan of red ales, and this one is no exception. Dawn of the Red has a fairly low carbonation level, and its well-balanced mixture of hops, tropical fruits and malt, makes it a great beer for sipping and exploring its flavor palette.

The bitterness that most certainly belongs in an India-style red ale is there, and a fruity combination of tastes in pineapple, mango, and papaya dance on the tongue. For me, the taste of those fruits were prominent in the beer, but that’s likely because I like to concentrate on them while drinking. Dawn of the Red employs five different malts, as well as five different types of hops, hence the aforementioned balance. A respectable 7 percent alcohol-by-volume will keep you warm by the end of the bottle. Upon pour, the beer stays true to the color expectation associated with the style, appearing a deep, burnt orange.

As the artwork on the label of the bottle leads you to believe, this beer is going to rock you. Full, but smooth, exploding with flavor, and with a decent alcohol content, it’s a satisfying brew. Dawn of the Red enjoys a year-round availability in its distribution areas, which includes much of the Western U.S., two of the Western Canadian provinces, and can even be found New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia! I love to see food pairing recommendations from brewers, and Ninkasi does just that on its page for Dawn of the Red, stating that the beer goes well with chicken, seafood, spicy foods, fish tacos, and even French toast!

Thanks for checking out this latest edition of The Beer List at The No Seatbelt Blog! Have you had Dawn of the Red, or any of NInkasi’s other beers? Let me know what you think of them! Check out my other beer recommendations under “The Beer Garden” at! Cheers!

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