Red Trolley Ale

Brewery info:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company

California, U.S.A

[No website listed]

Alcohol: 5.8%
Standard drinks: 1.6

Cap type: Non-twist

Cost: I picked this up for $3.99 AU

Label info: ‘Back in the day, we brewed Red Trolley Ale as our first holiday beer. In the spirit of the season, we made like Santa in a fat suit and stuffed it full of caramel malts. So many folks got on board that we decided to brew it year round. Years later, Red Trolley Ale remains the perfect beer to make any occasion festive’. 

What the label really means: Sounds intriguing. Bring it on.

The Hell-Cat review starts here

Label: I love this label. There’s a dodgy sketch of a red trolley car that looks as though it’s been lifted straight from a 1970s newspaper. There’s something fascinating about it, something intriguing. Where is the trolley going? Where has it been?
Then look above the trolley and check out the font for ‘Red Trolley Ale’. It’s cramped as though it’s been caught up in the peak hour rush. It conveys energy and a strong sense of urgency. It’s a great label that works so brilliantly. 

I give it a label rating of 8 out of 10.

AROMA:  Hints of malty goodness sit amidst a slight stale-water aroma. I’m a tad worried.

Taste: GLASS – Delicious choc-malty flavours swirl through a smooth, warming, refreshing ale. It has an all mouth beauty that continues to caress the senses long after the last drop has left the mouth.

I give it a beer from glass rating of 7.5 out of 10.

Taste: BOTTLE – Drink Red Trolley Ale from the bottle and you’ll be hit with a bit more of a bitter element. And this is really welcomed. It adds another flavour treat that truly defines this brew as complex. The more I drink of this, the more I’m transported to a warm apres-ski bar with an open fire and a wood-fired pizza oven (Matterhorn Bar I’m looking at you).

I give it a taste from bottle rating of 8 out of 10.

Song of choice: Try this alongside Billy Bragg’sWaiting for the Great Leap Forward

Accompanying food: Hot buffalo wings with a blue cheese dipping sauce please.

Best season to appreciate: A real Winter-warmer

All-nighter beer? Yes I think so…It’s so damned easy to drink.

OTHER: Happy 20 year anniversary today to ABC television’s ‘The Late Show‘.  

NEXT WEEK: Cascade First Harvest

  1. Captain Pugwash says:

    Avast ye land lubbers! Ahoy there ye scurvy knaves! Yo ho ho and a bottle of Red Trolley. I’ve been lost at sea for nearly six weeks, with nary a sniff of the interweb and the mystical Blog De Hell Chat. Twas like living in a dark hole in the corner of a dark room in the middle of a Scandinavian winter with only VB to keep me warm. Yeeesh, tis enough to make me shudder and snuff.

    Yar, it’s good to be back. As Gary Glitter once said to the cabin boy.


  2. BargeDave says:

    Haven’t tried the beer yet but was watching my Best of The Late Show DVD with my stepson on the weekend. Had to explain Frente and ‘Accidently Kelly Street’ to a lad who was four years away from being born when this tune hit the airwaves. When I pointed out that Mick Molloy was portraying their guitarist in the video, and that apparently the guitarist’s girlfriend laughed so hard at The Late Show’s depiction of her then-boyfriend that they instantly broke up, it started to make sense to him. If you’re too young (or weren’t in Australia in 1992) to remember this show, get the best of DVD and it will crack you up for hours. Great times.


    • Radio Snivins says:

      I saw that episode, but I don’t remember it. The two seasons of the Late Show coincided with my foozling apprenticeship, and I was a diligent apprentice, especially by 10pm.


      • BargeDave says:

        Snap, Sniv. It’s funny how little I remember of The Late Show that isn’t on the DVD (or on the easter eggs which have found their way onto the Olden Days/Bargearse DVD which is also a must-have)!! Seriously a worthwhile investment folks. For less than the price of a slab, too.


  3. Radio Snivins says:

    Ahoy-hoy, Bargé. Ahoy-hoy, ‘Kazoo.

    Another superdooper review, ‘Kazoo, and a great song choice. Alas, the pleasantries cease there. I got on the outside of my first Red Trolleys last week, and made this note in my foozling diary – If this stuff was a chick her name would be Plain Jane Slocombe. She’s all malt bomb, and then nothin’. A cheaper alternative would be to guzz Summer Bright Lager whilst sucking Ovalteenies. Still, she is 5.8%. Nine out of ten.


    • BargeDave says:

      Ouch. If I were a brewer and someone made Sniv’s comment about Summer Bright Lager and Ovalteenies, I’d be very pained.

      Sad but true tale. When I first brewed home-brew (back in the day when The Late Show ruled the airwaves, or at least tried to out-rate showings of Calamity Jane on Channel 7 on a Saturday night) my best drinking bud said of my dark ale “Hmm, it’s vegemite with prawns”. I didn’t brew again for over a decade.


      • Radio Snivins says:

        Perhaps I should clarify. I didn’t think Red Trolley was a bad beer. I thought it was clumsy.There was no subtlety or balance to it whatsoever. It was big malt, ‘n’ skimpy hops. I expect more from a sixer that requires a bottle opener.

        We’ve all got tales of backyard brews gone agoof that have led to a home brew hiatus, Bargé, although probably less crustaceany than yours. Mine lasted about ten years as well, and when I finally felt confident enough to get back on the fermenter, it was still full of sediment from the agoof.


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