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Beer Review: Renegade Brewing Company's Redacted Rye

One ryeteous beer
by Nathan Solheim on May 19, 2014 in Beer
Beer Review: Renegade Brewing Company's Redacted Rye

Renegade Brewing Company was one of the first Denver breweries to go against the grain.

While it’s common to throw wheat or even corn into the grain bill of a craft beer, brewers at Renegade were among the first in Denver to successfully incorporate rye—a grain known more for bread than anything else. While most drinkers probably associate rye with the current explosion of rye whiskies, beers featuring rye go back farther than Bert Cooper. The German brewing tradition includes a style—Roggenbier—that pertains specifically to beer made with secale cereale.

For Denver beer geeks, Renegade’s Redacted Rye IPA can claim a spot as one of the city’s first popular rye beers. Once known by another name before some testy brewers from out East complained of trademark infringement, Redacted Rye has since become one of Renegade’s best-selling beers—widely available on tap and in 16-oz. cans.

It’s easy to see why. This very lightly carbonated beer is topped by a pearly white head—the cap to a pale dark yellow, even light amber, liquid. In the glass, Redacted simply looks the way a tasty craft beer should—unassuming yet tempting like Peggy Olson in the creative lounge. At first whiff, Redacted has a faint hops aroma mixed with sweet caramel scent.

Weighing in at 7 percent ABV, a slight alcohol burn could be expected of Redacted, but it never materializes. Redacted’s begins with a somewhat dank flavor that conveniently subsides to a pleasant citrusy hoppiness. While the malt bill would get a “meets expectations” on its yearly performance review for its ability to balance hops adequately, Redacted has the level of bitterness one expects in a pale ale rather than an IPA. For some Denver beer aficionados, it won’t be hoppy enough for an IPA. Forget that. Many IPAs can be so bitter their texture almost seems abrasive or even unpleasantly sticky. Redacted, however, goes down like a Don Draper advertising pitch—smooth.

Because this beer is so kind, Redacted could be used as an intro to IPAs and rye beers alike. It’s hoppy enough for people to acquire the taste, but it’s also got enough rye spiciness for an intro to rye beers, too. Indeed, this beer is well worth a rye. (Really sorry about that.)

 


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