Who wouldn’t like beer this Valentine’s Day? But, which style would be sweetest for your sweetheart?

To show appreciation to the beer admirer in your life, pair those roses with a Red Ale.

The moderate caramel, sweet sugar and toffee notes, as well as a clean finish make this a wonderful beer any time of the year. Refreshing with candy hearts and chocolate alike, raise a pint with the one you love this weekend.

If you’d like to brew a batch as Valentine’s gifts for those near and dear, you’ll want that nice red hue-try something like Briess Goldpils® Vienna Malt. Any specialty malt with melanoidins, an organic compound created during malting, like Vienna and Munich Malts create that deep copper color you’re looking for.

Caramel Malts (anything between 40 and 120 Lovibond) will add a nice toffee note, as well as bring out (darken) the red hue contributed by the Vienna (or Munich) Malt. On top of that some Black Malt or Roasted Barley in small quantities keeps the finish clean and dry, and further accentuates the copper color.

Irish or English Ale yeast, and British hops will work well, though American hops have become more popular in this style.

Let’s brew!

Vienna Red

  • Type: Ale
  • Style: Irish Red Ale
  • Batch Size: 5 gallons
  • Recipe Type: All Grain
  • Recipe Contributed By: Aaron Hyde


  • 9 lbs—2-Row Brewers Malt
  • 1 lb—Goldpils® Vienna Malt
  • .75 lb—Caramel Malt 40L
  • 1 oz—Roasted Barley
  • 1—Whirlfloc Tablet—Last 10 minutes of boil
  • 1 oz—Fuggle Hops (4.8% AAU)—60 minutes, full boil
  • 2 pouches— White Labs WLP004 Irish Ale Yeast


  • Bring 3.6 gallons of water to 167ºF.
  • Add to mash tun with crushed grains, mix together, and hold at 154ºF for 1 hour.
  • Heat 4.4 gallons of 180ºF sparge water in a kettle.  Add to mash tun and sparge.
  • Collect 6 gallons in kettle and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiling, add bittering hops, 1oz of Fuggle hops.
  • 50 minutes later, add one tablet of Whirlfloc.
  • After 10 more minutes, 60 minutes of boiling, turn off heat, and cool to 70ºF.
  • Transfer to primary fermenter.
  • Pitch two packs of yeast.


  • Primary Fermentation: 1 week at 70ºF-72ºF
  • Secondary Fermentation: 2 weeks at 62ºF-68ºF
  • Fermentation Notes: Force carbonate at 1.5-2.3 volumes, or bottle condition with ¾ cup priming sugar for 3-4 weeks.


  • Original Gravity: 1.054
  • Final Gravity: 1.014
  • ABV: 5.4%
  • IBU: 19