Karl Strauss Red Trolley Amber Ale Review

Posted March 26, 2013 by in




Value For Money


Total Score

3.5/ 5


Manufacturer: Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Type: Irish Style Red Ale
Release Date: 2009
Price: ~$17 for a 6 pack


- Not too heavy, quite drinkable


- A bit one dimensional

A solid red ale that is very drinkable. Would like a fresher tap version for a definitive verdict

by kenny
Full Article

Karl Strauss Brewing Company is one of the largest and oldest breweries in San Diego, USA. Founded in 1986, the company has expanded its range to four regular beers, with a wide selection of special and seasonal releases. They’ve also established 7 brewery restaurants to spread the love throughout the United States.

The Karl Strauss Red Trolley Ale


The Red Trolley Ale is one of the regulars in the Karl Strauss range with multiple awards including a gold in the 2010 and 2012 World Beer Cup in the Irish Style, Red Ale category. It also managed to take out a gold at the 2010 Great American Beer Festival. Impressive stuff then. Karl Strauss describe the Red Trolley Ale as a medium-bodied beer with heavyweight malts. Caramalised malts give the Red Trolley Ale its rich copper colour along with a sweet toffee flavour, while dried raisins and currents added during fermentation add further complexity and intrigue. Sitting at 5.8% alcohol by volume, its getting up there in strength as well.

Interestingly Karl Strauss originally brewed the Red Trolley Ale as a special seasonal release for the festive holidays. Overwhelmed by the popularity, they decided to continue making it all year around.



The Karl Strauss Red Trolley Ale pours to a dark amber colour with minimal head. On the nose there’s a malted barley with a bit of light toffee aroma. Tastewise, I found the Red Trolley Ale to have quite strong initial malted barley sweetness, followed by a slight bitter and fruity finish. It’s medium bodied so is quite drinkable, though I found the sweetness a bit one dimensional.

The Red Trolley Ale is available in Australia for around $17 for a six-pack which is reasonable, if not amazing value. To be fair, it doesn’t have a lot of competitors in the Red Ale sphere, and even less that are readily available from most bottleshops. Probably best for those cooler nights, or with a nice pub meal. Try it, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

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