Micro Breweries / Wine of the Week

Crispin’s pick of the week: Red Trolley Ale

This weeks beer pick of the week comes from Karl Strauss in San Diego. Their Red Trolley Ale, a pleasant and refreshing beer that you will find in almost every local store.

This was a working review…my publisher has me chained to my desk, then again drinking a Red Trolley Ale at my desk is not such a bad punishment. Photo by Crispin Courtenay

It is not one of the hop-monsters that San Diego is becoming known for, but rather a uncomplicated and refreshing brew. It will stand up to most BBQ food and handles spice quite well.

Hint of caramel with muted hops on the nose. Not the typical sharpness of an ale, more towards a lager. In the mouth I find it quite pleasant, and crisp with a lush, crisp finish. It is not a highly complex beer, but I find it very pleasant to drink.

Highly recommended for the hot days of Summer, this makes a very refreshing beverage indeed.

Awards, yes this beer has them in spades, but the real award is the great taste.

  • 2010 World Beer Cup, Gold, Irish-Style Red Ale
  • 2009 LA County Fair, Bronze
  • 2009 San Diego International Beer Competition, Silver

Tasting Notes from Karl Strauss

Red Trolley Ale is a medium-bodied beer with heavyweight malts. We brew it with a half ton of caramelized malts for a rich copper color and toffee flavor. After adding the perfect mix of hops for balance, we warm ferment the beer to bring out a hint of dried raisins and currants. The complexity of flavors makes Red Trolley Ale a hearty and truly enjoyable beer.

Back in the day, we brewed Red Trolley Ale as our first holiday beer. In the spirit of the season, we made like Santa in a fat suit and stuffed it full of caramel malts. So many folks got on board that we decided to brew it year round. Years later, Red Trolley Ale remains the perfect beer to make any occasion festive

One thought on “Crispin’s pick of the week: Red Trolley Ale

  1. I do enjoy the Red Trolly Ale the most out of Karl Straus’s beers and it’s a great ‘maintenance’ beer. I tend to like darker richer beers and my husband likes the lighter profiled tastes so this one is a good compromise.


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