Blue Collar Brew – Bell’s Roundhouse India Red Ale

The ice of the last few days was gone. The sun was shining. I decided to make a beer run not to Joliet, but rather in the opposite direction to Ottawa.


Herman’s was at the end of the line that way. They always had some fine new beer that the Morris bottle shops didn’t have. The trip west on I-80 was always more relaxing and pleasurable than a trip the other way.

I had the idea of getting away from the IPAs and Belgians and stouts and perhaps snag a nice winter warmer. Bell’s Third Coast Old Ale in particular. Or reasonable facsimile.

As I scanned the shelves, I happened upon the Bell’s section. No 3rd Coast. But they did have a beer that I hadn’t heard about. Bell’s Roundhouse India Red Ale came in a nicely designed red, yellow and black cardboard container for cans. An India red ale. How could I resist. I grabbed the carton and went up to pay all the while chiding myself for my lack of commitment. But it was a beer made with honey. That’s what put me over the edge.

The image on the label of the can looked to be a turnbuckle in a boxing ring. Roundhouse may refer to a roundhouse kick or punch and have a small connection to the picture. A locomotive roundhouse is out of the question.

Rather than me carrying on like some Ciceronean, let’s dive into some India red beer.

The beer looked brown coming out of the can but holding the glass next to the light showed that it was a nice red with a little orange. The off-white head was quite thick and the carbonation was very slight. The aroma was barely there but did had discernible hops present.

The first sip was pleasant surprise. The mouthfeel was medium and the taste was delicious. The hop flavors were not “in your face” but rather present, there to merge and mix and meld with the malts. The bitterness is there but it’s somewhat subdued and the malt body has a slight sweetness to it.

Halfway through the glass and the foam went away. Nothing but a little slurry on the top. The inside of the glass however, was nicely laced, showing where each sip had stopped. The beer is labeled as an India red ale brewed with local Michigan honey. That’s where the silky sweetness came from.

The hop flavors are as advertised, a hint of citrus, a tad bit of peach just as they state. Not overly bitter. Mostly late addition hops. The malts and the hops play very well together in this beer, and each sip made me look forward to the next. The beer doesn’t taste the way it does strictly because it’s red. It’s because of the red yeast they used. Pfft!

I found Roundhouse to be quite smooth and an easy drinker. It would be a perfect beer for after work or watching a game on TV. Roundhouse is brewed during September and October. The label states that the beer has a 6 month shelf life. Today’s beer was brewed 9/14/16. So we’re still good.

Try this beer if you want the IPA pizzaz but don’t want to torture your throat. Roundhouse IRA is a laid back beer that will quickly become friends with your taste buds. It’s nice.

The SixPackTech summary for Bell’s Roundhouse India Red Ale:

Style: India Pale Ale (Red)
Taste: Nice and sweet with a little bitter. Delish.
Smoothness: Easy going down.
Bang for the buck: On a par with others of the same style.
Amount paid: $10.49 for six 12-ounce cans.
Get it again? Yes, next September.
ABV: 7.5%
Brewer’s website
Wife’s all-encompassing opinion: It’s red. (sip) (?) (sip) You get the citrus but it’s not that bitter. (sip) Better than I expected but still a little drying. (It must have been the red color that was drying.)

RateBeer rates.

Roundhouse kick

Locomotive roundhouse

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