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All things Ale

Following on from our most recent blog post, ‘All things IPA’ we decided to explore the world of Ale. Ale production commercially began around 13 AD in England, Germany and Austria. Archaeologists discovered beer jugs in Bavaria, Germany dating back to 800BC telling us ale and beer was consumer at an earlier date in Europe. Ale is brewed using a warm fermentation method where the yeast settles at the top of the beer which results in a sweet, full bodied and fruity taste. There are many types of Ale and they are often grouped in terms of their appearance.

The most common ales include Red, Brown, Pale, Amber, Blonde and Golden. At River Shannon Brewery we currently offer a Red Ale (The Crank Red Ale) and a Pale Ale (Outdoorsy Summer Pale Ale). Red Ale and Pale Ale are common drinks amongst Irish microbreweries. One of the most common Irish drinks after Guinness is Smithwicks Red Ale, this why Red Ale production appeals to the Irish drinkers.

Brown Ale’s are popular amongst microbreweries in the UK with Newcastle Brown Ale being one of the most popular Brown Ale’s there.

Blonde, Amber and Golden are popular amongst the Belgian Trappist Ales. Some of the pictures below show some of the best Belgian Craft Beer Microbreweries that we’ve sampled including Duvel, Palm, Bockor and Straffe Hendrik !

Belgium like Ireland have a rich history in Ale production, we would definitely recommend making the journey to sample a few on the hundreds of ales majority of bars offer! If you have yet to try an ale, River Shannon Brewery is a great place to start we offer a delicious Red Ale that has hints of toffee or a light sparkling Summer Pale Ale that contains hints of grapefruit. You can buy from our website at or check out our list of stockists at

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