St. Brendan's Irish Red Ale
Marin Brewing Company

St. Brendan's Irish Red AleSt. Brendan's Irish Red Ale
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Irish Red Ale
Ranked #191
Ranked #41,179
3.47 | pDev: 10.66%
Marin Brewing Company
California, United States
St. Brendan's Irish Red AleSt. Brendan's Irish Red Ale
Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 26 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of pkalix
4.1/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

quick review....
nice head, nice color.
malty aroma, malty taste. surprisingly sweet, I thought. easy to drink and seems to go well with a warm day.
thin lacing down the sides, decent abv. I would buy this again. I was expecting more hop bitterness but it has little of that. kind of bready. nothing spectacular, but a decent, well put-together brew...

 352 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.44/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at City Tavern in Culver City, CA.

Pours a hazy dark orange with a foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and some slight perfume-like aromas. Taste is much the same with a malty flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of citrus zest bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but the perfume-like aromas and a bit weird.

 571 characters

Photo of mikechance
2.59/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A --- light straw color not very deep.

S --- not much of anything, Just some malt

T --- sweet, but not much of anything (malt or hop)

M --- smooth, very lightly carbinated

O --- Not very good. It lacks any distictive character. Very watery. I was expecting a whole lot more.

 278 characters

Photo of Brewsmith
3.37/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 22oz bottle. A clear burnt amber color with a small beige head. An earthy hop aroma with a touch of yeast esters, and a slight bit of caramely oxidation. Flavor is evenly balanced between the malt and hops with a touch of roast character in there. Not much crystal character in the beginning. A touch of burnt caramel comes through in the finish. Very clean malt profile and easy drinking. A slight bit of oxidation in the flavor, but I would blame the handling more than the brewer. Even though the place I bought it had it in the fridge, who knows how long it had been in the back? Overall, a nice beer that is true to style and is easy drinking.

 655 characters

Photo of illidurit
3.66/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber poured into a pint glass. Pours orangish brown with a thick, creamy, lacy tan head. Aroma is grainy and sweet with a coppery metallic note. Flavor is better with a big toasty caramel note along with toffee and slight orange. Vague mineral finish. Pretty full flavored and tasty. Chewy mouthfeel, good drinkability.

 321 characters

Photo of Newmerator
3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Personally, I don't like the beer too much. As my palate isn't the best in the world, the other reviews can attest to my evaluation. I thought that it smelled a bit yeasty, caramel, malty, and well, almost like a lambic (sourish). There was a decent lace, off-white head.

The taste was kind of bleh. Like the previous reviewers, wasn't well balanced. After the airporter this was a bit of a let down. although I will say it was an appreciated attempt at a good red, it left my stomach/taste buds wanting more.

 510 characters

Photo of magictrokini
3/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle from Beverages 4 Less. Pours cloudy copper with a huge, rocky, long-lasting off-white head. Apples, malt, hay, sugar, metal, and bread in the nose. Taste was pleasant, but lacking. Brown sugar, malt, grain, cereal, honey, and noble hops, but unbalanced.

 260 characters

Photo of gford217
3.11/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a hazy brownish amber with a big fluffy white head that lingers for a while leaving some pretty good lacing.

S: Smell is light, sweet malts...almost like amped up apple juice. There was some caramel sweetness and maybe a hint of hops, but not much.

T: Caramel malts hit up front in the taste with a little bit of pine hop bitterness in the background. There is also a grainy medicinal quality about the taste that doesn't quite sit right for me.

M: Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fairly creamy.

D: This is a decent enough beer, but I wouldn't go out of my way to try it again.

 589 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.28/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Here's the second beer of the Second Unorganized Invitational: St. Brendan's Irish Red. It appears to be named after brewer Brendan Moylan, who I though only worked one brewery. He works two? I'll find out for sure later, but right now, let's move on to the beer:

Pours a semi-murky orangish brown, and in the glass it's a chill hazed darker orange. The head shows some sticky action and retains well on top. Aroma is malty and sweet. There's some caramel, dark bread, and faint astringent malt. The taste is a bit one-dimensional, lots of bready flavor here. There's a splash of hops which create a snap of fruitiness, but that's the most complex this beer gets. It's mostly monoflavored, and that paired with it's 6% ABV holds down the overall enjoyement. One bomber is more than enough here.

Two beers down with four to go here in the Second Unorganized Invitational. Stay tuned for tomorrow.

 898 characters

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.49/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

A - Reddish-orange clear brew with a decent-sized, short-lived, cream-colored head. Some narrow delicate lacing.

S - A malty smelling brew with some slightly peppery and mossy aroma.

T - A malty amber malt. Sounds redundant, but it is very malty. There is a hint of sourness that is not terribly pleasant. The aftertaste is a slightly bland bitter malt flavor.

M - Smooth, thick, very refreshing.

D - Alright. It is an okay brew, but it is nothing worth seeking out. It is a mediocre Irish Red. I won't have again. Moylan's Danny's Red is a better beer.

 557 characters

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.55/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle from Hi Time Wine Cellar, February 2008, tasted in March of the same year. Price not recorded.

Pours an amber-orange-red with a decent head at first. Even with nice carbonation of tiny bubbles, the beer is only able to keep a thin cover over the beer after about 3 minutes.

Aroma is malty, slightly medicinal, lemony. Flavor is a lightly caramelized toffee and a moderate piney hop finish. Moderate mouthfeel really doesn't have much to describe it. It's not bad, just there.

A decent beer for someone who isn't really a lover of the red ale style, not bad, it's fine, easy to drink. Decent middle of the road beer.

 634 characters

Photo of stephendr
3.48/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. glass bottle- color of deep honey , with a thick white colored head - nose of honey dew melon, hops, and slight chocolaty malt – taste of malty, citrus (orange), and crisp - body is medium, and with fairly high carbonation – aftertaste of orange, slight malt, slight hops, and medium lasting

 300 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I found this beer subtle and interesting.
Pours a nice red amber with a small head that leaves a slightly sticky lacing in it's wake.

Aroma is subdued amber malt with a bit of toastiness to it...some bread, and very little hops.

Taste is definitely a bready sweet amber malt with very little hops presence at the end.

A very subdued Irish red I found very pleasant none the less. A clean mouthfeel follows everything and you definitely feel like you've had an honest Irish red when you've finished it.

 511 characters

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.25/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a thin looking light copper color with a fizzy off white head. Fell quickly to a full ring around the glass. Not off to the greatest start.

S: Toasted biscuits, strawnana berry with wafts of caramel.

T: Begins with a mellow doughiness followed by stewed veggies and minor metallic moments. Just a bit of butterscotch comes next with toaster crumbs and yellow apple. Finishes with some prickly hops on the tip of the tongue and lingering breadiness.

M: Thin and hard watered.

D: Overall this beer is sort of watery and lacking cajones. Not bad but nothing special going on here. This would make a good session beer though.

 642 characters

Photo of Talisker
3.5/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very good beer from Marin Brewing, but I don't like it as much as Paddy's Irish Style Red Ale from sister brewery Moylan's.

Bomber label says, "Our Irish Red Ale is very true to style, rich and malty with a grand amount of character. This twice-a-year brew has that special 'accent of Ireland.'" Listed ABV is 6.0%, not the 6.20% on the BA listing.

Pours a distinct hazy orange. Little or no red to be seen. Absolutely beautiful persistent pillowy head with rich lacing. Taste is malt led, predominantly sweet, but certainly nicely balanced. Proportions are fine, but the basic levels don't do much for me - I could really use some more malt and hops both.

Overall relatively thin, even approaching a slightly lagerish crispness - more of a session experience than something you really want to think about (I wish it were closer to 5% than 6%). Finish vanishes just a tad too quickly, but still a very pleasant overall drink.

Good beer. Not a huge amount of character, but could be a nice regular drinker. At 6.0% I wish it had more character, or else that it was a little lower proof at the existing taste.

 1,122 characters

Photo of DogFood11
3.66/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a tulip it forms a loose off white head. Hazed up copper body with some orange tint around the edges. Sliding spotty lace.

This one fits the style guidelines very well. There is a sweetened tea aspect that to me was the most dominant part of the brew. Toasty malted backbone gives this a nice balancer and what I would consider the highlight of the offering. Abv is not evident.
Creamy mouthfeel.

Notes: A gentle brew.

 450 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.36/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

St. Brendan's is not retired, but is brewed every year for St. Patrick's Day. A telephone call a few weeks ago to Marin Brewing Company confirmed it.

It's too bad that Irish Red Ales can't all be some shade of red; it seems only fitting. Glassy brassy dark orange with tangerine skin borders. I keep squinting and keep trying to imagine a reddish blush, to no avail. Good looking cap on this one. Lightly toasted ecru in color, firmly creamy in consistency, adequate in terms of lace generation.

Not much of a nose at all, unfortunately. It smells a little like an underhopped English pale ale, all sweet toasty malt and laid back hops. It's a trifle sweet too, which is nice. St. Brendan's nose fits comfortably within the bounds of the style, but lays down a way too shallow olfactory footprint and is only average as a result. Make that noseprint.

Irish Red Ales have a tough row to hoe to impress me. St. B's either needs to start working double shifts or needs to get a bigger hoe. All of the style elements are in place and, actually, if I throttle my expectations downward and concentrate on just what the style requires, this isn't a bad little beer. There's a decent quantity of malt and a sweetness that probably exceeds the Irish Red average by a fraction.

There's very little hoppiness in the house with a mild earthiness that could just as easily be attributable to one of the malts as one of the hops. This beer is as simple and as unchallenging as they come. I keep searching for other facets of what is an unrelentingly two-dimensional flavor profile, but I don't believe that they exist. Drinking it in quantity on St. Paddy's Day should be a cinch, just keep the green food coloring out of the glass.

Given the style, the body probably isn't all that inappropriate. I'd like to see a bit more of everything though. More malt, especially, would turn this beer into something a little more praiseworthy without changing its basic character. Not that changing its basic character (for the better) is such a bad thing. The body is light-medium, veering recklessly toward light on the finish.

Saint Brendan was an Irish saint who was also known as Brendan the Voyager. He is reported to have had grand plans to set out on a quest for the Land of Promise, but probably never left the vicinity of the British Isles. If he had made it to Paradise, I'm sure that he would have found beer more transcendent than this Irish Red Ale named in his honor.

 2,476 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.53/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Similar in style to the Marin Star Brew Triple Wheat Ale and Tripel Dipsea Belgium Style Ale; the Marin “St. Brendan’s Irish Red Ale” comes in a yellow screen-printed 22 ounce bottle, sealed with a ‘California Brewed’ crown cap.

Listed at Alcohol 6.2% by Volume, and described on the back of the label as:
“St. Brendan’s Irish Red Ale – Our Irish Red Ale is very true to style; rich and malty with a grand amount of character. This once-a-year brew has that special “accent of Ireland”. The beginning specific gravity is 1.064”.
>Allegedly brewed once a year for the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Appearance: Dark copper brown with a shallow rustic red dimension. Deep 2” thick light tan colored creamy head has good resilience. Ring like lacing is permanent and lines the glass like a ribbed condom. Average conditioning assists in reinstating the thicker head as your work down the glass.

Nose: Caramel, sweet malts, chewy toffee and a licking hop dimension that wraps the malts at the finish. A malty brew which has a gentle baked bread character hiding in the background.

Taste: Sweet malts slowly evolve into chewy toffee. Malts, caramel and a toasted biscuit with some grain in the back half. The last third is malty with some dextrose in and amongst the herbal earthy hops. The ending has plenty of malts which seem richer than they were in the beginning, with some grain in the lingering finish.

Mouthfeel: Grain texture benefits from creamier malts and soft toffee with chewy caramel. Nevertheless, it seems to invoke body through the malts, closer examination reveals a rather average body that is not as thick as it portrays though.

Drinkability: I handled a Bomber without having to ask for any help or hold anyone’s hand, but there again I have a stiff upper lip and don’t like to complain too much.

Overall: Never seen or even heard of this one before; in fact I even thought that it may be the Paddy’s Irish Style Red Ale with a fancy new bottle perhaps, well until I remembered that the Paddy’s is from Moylan’s, as well as when I looked a little closer and read the back of the bottle. So I decided to give this one a whirl. I’m not that big on Reds, even putting that affliction aside, I’ll always try anything new with an open mind. But honestly, this is nothing outstanding, reasonable enough, but not one that I would pick up again.

 2,418 characters

Photo of rkhaze
4.07/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

St Patricks Day "once a year brew" according to the bottle. Pours a copper/amber color with a creamy, tightly packed off white head. Ok lace. Not as much of a reddish color as I would have thought. Aromas of sweet malt, caramel some fruitiness and a nice hop presence.
Nice grainy sweet malt upfront followed by the caramel and fruit. Great balance with an earthy, slightly spicy hop bitterness.
Seemed a bit thin bodied but had a rich, mildly creamy mouthfeel and a good amount of carbonation. Alcohol was hidden really well and this was extremely drinkable. Anyone for a session Irish Red?

 593 characters

St. Brendan's Irish Red Ale from Marin Brewing Company
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 26 ratings