So I have to admit, I'm kind of confused on the style. I'll admit that I don't know the history. But you know what it reminds me of? Mild ale. Basically take an old school pale ale, cut back on the hops, and serve it as a running ale.
Not sure why mild ale got dark, but swap out the caramel syrup and dark invert and sub some black malt. Boom. Irish red. It kind of makes sense. Hit it with some flavorful base malt, sub some Munich or Vienna if you can't, and darken it with roast malts. Keep ibu down.
Basically mild ale. Am I missing something?