Published On: Thu, Feb 21st, 2013

Red Riser: Burnin’ Down Winter

Story last updated on February 27th, 2013 at 12:04 am.

A roan-hued beauty, Red Riser IRA by McMenamins has enough spice and hoppy kick to warm the Willamette. So drink up and kiss winter good-bye, but hurry, ‘cause this seasonal brew ends its run February 28th!

In my very first review here at Lane Today, I confessed my love for feisty redheads. Red Riser India Red Ale is another case in point. Let’s start with appearance: McMenamins calls it ‘garnet’, but to my eye ‘roan’ or ‘chestnut’ works just fine. It’s a gorgeous deep reddish-brown, how ‘bout that.

Take a whiff, and you get floral tones, maybe some citrus or spice. Hold onto your seat, ‘cause you’re in for a ride!

Take a swallow, and the hops hit you with all the intensity of a very well-hopped IPA. That’s no coinkydink, either: on their site, McMenamins explains that they hop this saucy number like an IPA, with four different kinds of hops!

In addition to hoppy as all get-out, Red Riser is spicy and floral, with a tinge of citrus. McMenamins uses a total of six different malts, including rye malts as well as barley, and it shows: Red Riser is peppy and saucy and positively will burn down the house. It’s basically everything you could want in a good red, mixed with the really hoppy character of an IPA. If you like both of those styles, I virtually guarantee you’ll love Red Riser. And at a whopping 7.10 ABV, Red Riser really brings the party!

This is a beer for thawing out winter, friends, a beer to stir a fire in the soul and put a spring in the step on a cloudy and overcast evening. Who cares if it’s cold and rainy outside, so long as you have one of these?

Like I mentioned in my last review of a McMenamins beer, McMenamins doesn’t sell to the stores. You can pick up Red Riser in draft form at one of their restaurants, or you can go to their High Street brewery, where they sell their beer in bottles, growlers, and kegs.

So, let’s talk beer and food. This one is pretty hoppy and intense, which is always an interesting challenge for food pairings. Think spicy or creamy flavors. Some menu options from McMenamins you might try would be the chicken sandwich, the pork sandwich, and the Classic Reuben. But remember, come February 28th Red Riser’s run ends!


You can learn more about Red Riser here:


Michael Schultheiss Beer Writer

In addition to his work with Lane Today, Michael is available for freelance work. When he’s not writing the next great American novel, you can follow him at:

Email (Professional):

HubPages Author Profile:


Comments? Leave comments at the bottom of the page. Lane Today also accepts letters to the editor for publication in our Sound Off section. Please send them to for consideration.

Share your comments below