Sampling a Couple Freds – Fall Reds
Sierra Nevada Flipside and Clown Shoes Swagger are a couple recent red ale releases. Flipside is a top fermented ale and Swagger is a bottom fermented lager. Both are brewed with Simcoe and Citra hops, which makes an interesting comparison. The beers are actually late summer releases, but should be on the shelves throughout the Fall.
Flipside is a Red IPA or India Red Ale, with 6.2% ABV and 60 IBUS. The pour is a nice ruby red color. Aroma is balanced between caramel malts, citrus, and fruity hops. Flipside has a medium body with moderate malt sweetness and citrusy hop flavors. The finish is dry with moderately high hop bitterness.
Swagger is a Hoppy Red Lager or India Red Lager, with an ABV of 6% and unknown IBUs. The beer pours a deep amber red color. The beer is dry-hopped with Simcoe and Citra hops, but we found the aroma to be on the light side for a dry-hopped beer. Hop flavor is nice with notes of tropical fruit, citrus, and pine. Mild caramel sweetness adds some balance. The finish is clean with crisp bitterness.
We found both beers to be tasty, approachable, and easy-drinking, but not overly exciting. Swagger had very nice hop flavor but was lacking in hop aroma for a dry-hopped beer. Flipside felt more like a hoppy Amber ale than an IPA and could use a bigger kick of hop flavor.